Charlemagne, Emperor of the West

Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland

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Charles 'The Great'

German: Karl der Große, Kaiser von Römisches Reich, Latin: Carolus Magnus, Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum, Dutch: Karel, French: Charles, Norwegian: Carolus Magnus, Danish: Karl "Den Store", Konge af Frankrig, Romersk kejser, Portuguese: Carlos Magno, Rei dos Francos e Imperador do Ocidente
Also Known As: "Carolus Magnus", "Карл Великий", "Karl der Große", "Karl Suur", "Charles", "Charlemagne", "Charles The Great", "Karl der Grosse", "Carlomagno", "Charles the Great", "Charles le Grand (`the Great')", "Carolus Magnus (Carlomagno)", "King of the Lombards", "Dominator Saxonorum", "Ca..."
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Herstal, Walloon Region, Belgium
Death: Died in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Place of Burial: Royal Church of St. Mary (present Aachen Cathedral or Kaiserdom), Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Pépin III , King of the Franks; 40thGreatGrandpa PepintheNotBigKingofFr... and Bertha Broadfoot of Laon, Queen of the Franks
Husband of Judith of Bavaria; Desiderata of the Lombards, wife of Charlemagne; Hildegard of Vinzgouw, wife of Charlemagne; Fastrada, wife of Charlemagne and Luitgard, wife of Charlemagne
Partner of Himiltrude, concubine of Charlemagne; Gerswinde of Saxony, concubine of Charlemagne; Madelgarde of Lommois, concubine of Charlemagne; Amaltrud of Vienne, concubine of Charlemagne; Regina, concubine Of Charlemagne and 1 other
Father of Pepin I, King of Italy; Charles the Bald Holy Roman Empire, King; Amaudra daughter of Charlemagne & Himiltrude; Pippin the Hunchback, son of Charlemagne & Himiltrude; Alpais and 19 others
Brother of Ermengarde des Francs; Chrothais Princess Of des Franks, [Princess of]; Gertrude Martel, Princess of the France; Bertbelle (Fictitious Person); Carloman I, King of the Franks and 9 others

Occupation: Charlemagne, Emperor Of The Holy Roman Empire, King of the Franks was king of the Franks from AD 768 to 814 and 'Emperor of the Romans' from 800 to 814. He became a key figure in the development of western Europe's medieval civilization. By his almost con
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About Charlemagne, Emperor of the West

Charlemagne (English: Charles the Great, German: Karl der Grosse, French: Charles le Grand, Latin: Carolus Magnus, Dutch: Karel de Grote), King of Neustria (768-771), King of the Franks (771-814), King of the Lombards (774-814), and Emperor of the Romans (800-814). He was born on April 2, 742 at Ingelheim (or Héristal or Aix-la-Chapelle), and died January 28, 814 at Aix-la-Chapelle. Charles was the eldest son of Pippin III and Bertrada of Laon.

Join the Discussion for Charlemagne's descendants in many languages.

According to this article all Europeans are descended from Charlemagne. Here's another one, & another one, & another one. And here's a quick reference table for the number of ancestors each of us has per given generation.

“By the sword and the cross”, Charlemagne became master of western Europe.

  • Old Low Franconian: Karl thie Mikili, Frankana Kunink
  • Latin: Carolus Magnus, Rex Francorum
  • Old Gallo-Romance: Karlus li Magnus, Regis de les Frankes
  • Old French: Charles li Magne, Rei des Francs
  • Middle French: Charlemagne, Roi des Francs

Charlemagne titled himself: 'Carolus serenissimus augustus a Deo coranatos magnus pacificus imperator, Romanum gubernans imperium, qui et per misericordiam Dei rex Francorum atque Langobardorum' Davis, RHC: A History of Medieval Europe, Longman 1977 p155

Google translate: Charles August, the most serene – crowned by God of Peace, is a great commander, who governs the Roman empire, & who also, by the mercy of God, is the king of the Franks and the Lombards

Description of Charlemagne’s crowning by the Pope on 23 December 800, in the Frankish Royal Annals (the earliest description we have, probably written c 801 by Angilbert the chaplain). Note: this is subtly different from the papal description given in Liber Pontificalis, which is written to suggest a far greater authority vested in the Pope than the Frankish point of view, here:

'On that very and most holy day of Christmas, when the king at Mass before the confession of the blessed Peter the apostle, was rising from prayer, Leo the pope put [a/the] crown on his head, and acclamation was made by all the people of the Romans: ‘To Charles Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor of the Romans, Life and Victory!’ And after the ‘praises’ (laudes), he was ‘adored’ by the apostolic [bishop] in the manner of ancient princes, and discarding the name of patrician, he was called Emperor and Augustus.' Davis, RHC: A History of Medieval Europe, Longman 1977 p149-50

Wives and Children

Charlemagne had twenty children over the course of his life with eight of his ten known wives and concubines. Nonetheless, he only had four legitimate grandsons, the four sons of his third son Louis, plus a grandson who was born illegitimate, but included in the line of inheritance.

OVERVIEW OF CHARLEMAGNE'S PARTNERS; CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN

See Our Charlemagne project page for details of sources

A. Himiltrude:

A1.B1 Amaudru

A1.B2 Pippin the Hunchback (ca. 769–811)

A2. Desiderata

A3. Hildegard:

A3.B1 Charles the Younger (ca. 772–4 December 811)

A3.B2 Adalhaid (774)

A3.B3 Rotrude (or Hruodrud) (775–6 June 810)

A3.B4 Carloman, renamed Pippin (April 777–8 July 810)

A3.B5 Louis I The Pious (778–20 June 840)

  • m1. Ermengard:

A3.B5.C1.1 Lothaire(795-855)

A3.B5.C1.2 Pepin (797-838)

A3.B5.C1.3 Rotrude (800-)

A3. B5.C1.4 Berta or Adelaide

A3.B5.C1.5 Hildegrard (c802-857)

A3.B5.C1.6 Louis (806-876)

  • m2. Judith:

A3.B5.C2.1 Gisela (c819-c874)


A3.B5.C2.2 Charles (823-877)

A3.B5.C2.3? Daughter

  • 'm'3.Theodelinde? / Concubine:

A3.B5.C3.1 Alpais (c793-852)

A3.B5.C2 Arnoul (794-841)

A3.B6 Lothair (778–6 February 779/780)

A3.B7 Bertha (779-826)

A3.B8 Gisela (781-808)

A3.B9 Hildegarde (782-783)

A4. Gersuinda

A4.B1 Adaltrude (b.774)

A5. Madelgard

A5.B1 Ruodhaid (775–810)

A6. Fastrada

A6.B1 Theodrada (b.784)

A6.B2 Hiltrude (b.787)

A7. Luitgard

A8. Amaltrude

A8.B1 Alpaida (b.794)

A9. Regina

A9.B1 Drogo (801–855)

A9.B2 Hugh (802–844)

A10. Ethelind:

A10.B1 Richbod (805–844)

A10.B2 Theodoric (b. 807)

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-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne -------------------- Charlemagne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charlemagne


Rex Francorum (King of the Franks)

Rex Longobardorum (King of the Lombards)
Imperator Romanorum (Emperor of the Romans)

A coin of Charlemagne with the inscription KAROLVS IMP AVG ("Carolus Imperator Augustus")


Reign


768–814


Coronation


Noyon, 9 October 768

Pavia, 10 July 774
Rome, 25 December 801

Predecessor


Pepin the Short


Successor


Louis the Pious


Father


Pepin the Short


Mother


Bertrada of Laon


Born


2 April 742 (?)

Liège

Died


28 January 814 (aged around 71)

Aachen

Burial


Aachen Cathedral


Blessed Carolus Magnus


Reliquary of Blessed Charles Augustus


Honored in


Roman Catholic Church (Germany and France)


Beatified


814, Aachen by a court bishop, later confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV[1]


Canonized


1166 by Antipope Paschal III[1]


Major shrine


Aachen Cathedral


Feast


28 January (Aachen and Osnabrück)


Attributes


Fleur-de-lis; German Eagle


Patronage


Lovers (both licit and illicit), schoolchildren, the Kings of France and Germany, men on horseback, men on the scaffold, crusaders


Carolingian dynasty


Pippinids Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)

Grimoald (616–656)
Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)

Arnulfings Arnulf of Metz (582–640)

Chlodulf of Metz (d. 696 or 697)
Ansegisel (c.602–before 679)
Pippin the Middle (c.635–714)
Grimoald II (d. 714)
Drogo of Champagne (670–708)
Theudoald (d. 714)

Carolingians Charles Martel (686–741)

Carloman (d. 754)
Pepin the Short (714–768)
Carloman I (751–771)
Charlemagne (d. 814)
Louis the Pious (778–840)

After the Treaty of Verdun (843) Lothair I, Holy Roman Emperor (795–855)

(Middle Francia)
Charles the Bald (823–877)
(Western Francia)
Louis the German (804–876)
(Eastern Francia)

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Charlemagne ( /ˈʃɑrlɨmeɪn/ or /ˈʃɑrləmeɪn/; French pronunciation: [ʃaʁ.lə.maɲ]; c. 742 – 28 January 814), also known as Charles the Great (Latin: Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus), was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800.


His rule is also associated with the Carolingian Renaissance, a revival of art, religion, and culture through the medium of the Catholic Church. Through his foreign conquests and internal reforms, Charlemagne helped define both Western Europe and the European Middle Ages. He is numbered as Charles I in the regnal lists of Germany, the Holy Roman Empire, and France.


The son of King Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, a Frankish queen, he succeeded his father in 768 and was initially co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. It has often been suggested that the relationship between Charlemagne and Carloman was not good, but it has also been argued that tensions were exaggerated by Carolingian chroniclers.[2]


Nevertheless further conflict was prevented by the sudden death of Carloman in 771, in unexplained circumstances. Charlemagne continued the policy of his father towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain, to which he was invited by the Muslim governor of Barcelona. Charlemagne was promised several Iberian cities in return for giving military aid to the governor; however, the deal was withdrawn.


Subsequently, Charlemagne's retreating army experienced its worst defeat at the hands of the Basques, at the Battle of Roncesvalles (778) (memorialised, although heavily fictionalised, in the Song of Roland). He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, especially the Saxons, and after a protracted war subjected them to his rule. By forcibly Christianizing the Saxons and banning on penalty of death their native Germanic paganism, he integrated them into his realm and thus paved the way for the later Ottonian dynasty.


The French and German monarchies descending from the empire ruled by Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor cover most of Europe. In his acceptance speech of the Charlemagne Prize Pope John Paul II referred to him as the Pater Europae ("father of Europe"):[3] his empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Romans, and the Carolingian renaissance encouraged the formation of a common European identity.[4]


Contents

 [hide]  1 Political background
2 Personal background 2.1 Ancestry
2.2 Date of birth
2.3 Place of birth
2.4 Name
2.5 Language
2.6 Appearance
2.7 Dress

3 Rise to power 3.1 Early life

3.2 The ambiguous high office
3.3 Aquitanian rebellion 3.3.1 Formation of a new Aquitania
3.3.2 Acquisition of Aquitania by the Carolingians
3.3.3 Loss and recovery of Aquitania

3.4 Union perforce


4 Italian campaigns 4.1 Conquest of Lombardy

4.2 Southern Italy

5 Charles and his children

6 Carolingian expansion south 6.1 Vasconia and the Pyrenees
6.2 Roncesvalles campaign
6.3 Wars with the Moors

7 Eastern campaigns 7.1 Saxon Wars

7.2 Submission of Bavaria
7.3 Avars campaigns
7.4 Northeast Slav expeditions
7.5 Southeast Slav expeditions

8 Imperium 8.1 Imperial diplomacy

8.2 Danish attacks
8.3 Death

9 Administration 9.1 Military

9.2 Economic and monetary reforms
9.3 Education reforms
9.4 Church reforms
9.5 Writing reforms
9.6 Political reforms 9.6.1 Organization
9.6.2 Imperial coronation
9.6.3 Divisio regnorum

10 Marriages and heirs

11 Cultural uses
12 See also
13 References 13.1 Footnotes
13.2 Bibliography

14 External links


[edit] Political background


By the 6th century, the West Germanic Franks had been Christianised and Francia, ruled by the Merovingians, was the most powerful of the kingdoms that succeeded the Western Roman Empire. But following the Battle of Tertry, the Merovingians declined into a state of powerlessness, for which they have been dubbed the do-nothing kings (rois fainéants). Almost all government powers of any consequence were exercised by their chief officer, the mayor of the palace or major domus.


In 687, Pippin of Herstal(or Heristal), mayor of the palace of Austrasia, ended the strife between various kings and their mayors with his victory at Tertry and became the sole governor of the entire Frankish kingdom. Pippin himself was the grandson of two of the most important figures of the Austrasian Kingdom, Saint Arnulf of Metz and Pippin of Landen. Pippin the Middle was eventually succeeded by his illegitimate son Charles, later known as Charles Martel (the Hammer).


After 737, Charles governed the Franks without a king on the throne but declined to call himself "king". Charles was succeeded in 741 by his sons Carloman and Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne. To curb separatism in the periphery of the realm, in 743 the brothers placed on the throne Childeric III, who was to be the last Merovingian king.


After Carloman resigned office in 746 to enter the church by preference as a monk, Pepin brought the question of the kingship before Pope Zachary, asking whether it was logical for a king to have no royal power. The pope handed down his decision in 749. He decreed (mandavit) that it was better for Pepin, who had the powers of high office as Mayor, to be called king, so as not to confuse the hierarchy (ordo). He therefore ordered him (iussit) to become "true king."


In 750, Pepin was elected by an assembly of the Franks, anointed by the archbishop and then raised (elevatus) to the office of king. Branding Childeric III as "the false king," the Pope ordered him into a monastery. Thus was the Merovingian dynasty replaced by the Carolingian dynasty, named after Pepin's father, Charles Martel.


In 753 Pope Stephen II fled from Italy to Francia appealing for assistance pro iustitiis sancti Petri ("for the rights of St. Peter") to Pepin. He was supported in this appeal by Carloman, Charles' brother. In return the pope could only provide legitimacy, which he did by again anointing and confirming Pepin, this time adding his young sons, Carolus and Carloman, to the royal patrimony, now heirs to the great realm that already covered most of western and central Europe. In 754 Pepin accepted the Pope's invitation to visit Italy on behalf of St. Peter's rights, dealing successfully with the Lombards.[5]


Under the Carolingians, the Frankish kingdom spread to encompass an area including most of Western Europe. The division of that kingdom formed France and Germany;[6] and the religious, political, and artistic evolutions originating from a centrally positioned Francia made a defining imprint on the whole of Europe.

Charlemagne was the eldest child of Pepin the Short (714 – 24 September 768, reigned from 751) and his wife Bertrada of Laon (720 – 12 July 783), daughter of Caribert of Laon and Bertrada of Cologne. Records name only Carloman, Gisela, and a short-lived child named Pippin as his younger siblings. The semi-mythical Redburga, wife of King Egbert of Wessex, is sometimes claimed to be his sister (or sister-in-law or niece).


[edit] Date of birth


The most likely date of Charlemagne's birth is reconstructed from a number of sources. A date of 742 calculated from Einhard's date of death as January 814 at age 72 suffers from the defect of being two years before his parents' marriage in 744. The year given in the Annales Petaviani as 747 would be more likely, except that it contradicts Einhard and a few other sources in making Charlemagne less than a septuagenarian at his death. A month and day of April 2 is established by a calendar from Lorsch Abbey.[7]


In 747 that day fell on Easter, a coincidence that would have been remembered but was not. If Easter was being used as the beginning of the calendar year, then 2 April 747 could have been, by modern reckoning, 2 April 748 (not an Easter). The date favored by the preponderance of evidence is 2 April 742, based on the septuagenarian age at death.[8] This date would appear to support an initial illegitimacy of birth, which is not, however, mentioned by Einhard.


[edit] Place of birth


Roman road connecting Tongeren to the Herstal region. Jupille and Herstal, near Liege, are located in the lower right corner. Charlemagne was most likely born in Herstal, Wallonia, where his father was born, a town close to Liège in modern day Belgium.[9] The Merovingians had a number of hunting villas in the vicinity. Liège is close to the region from where both the Merovingian and Carolingian families originated. He went to live in his father's villa in Jupille when he was around seven, which caused Jupille to be listed as a possible place of birth in almost every history book. Other cities have been suggested, including Aachen, Düren, Gauting, Mürlenbach,[10] and Prüm. No definitive evidence as to which is the right candidate exists.


[edit] Name


Dubbed Charles le Magne, "Charles the Great," by subsequent Old French historians,[11] becoming Charlemagne in English after the Norman conquest of England, he was named Karl (Carolus) after his grandfather, Charles Martel. Carolus Magnus was universal, leading to numerous translations in many languages of Europe: German Karl der Grosse, Dutch Karel de Grote, Danish Karl den Store, Italian Carlo Magno, Hungarian Nagy Károly, Polish Karol Wielki, Czech Karel Veliký, Russian Karl Velikij, and so on.


According to Julius Pokorny, the historical linguist and Indo-Europeanist, the root meaning of Karl is "old man", from Indo-European *ĝer-, where the ĝ is a palatal consonant, meaning "to rub; to be old; grain." An old man has been worn away and is now grey with age.[12]


"Old man" descended into words with different senses. In all the reflex languages a husband is "the old man" or in feminine form "the old lady". He can be an "old fool" as in English churl or a "sad case" as in Persian zar, but in the Germanic languages he becomes something more exalted. Old Norse Karl, Old English Ceorl, Old High German karel is a free man, a citizen, not a slave or an alien. As far as the civilizations established in imitation of classical city-states are concerned, such as the Roman, which had its senatus, "the old men," Karl means respected senior, similar to the English vernacular for a commander, "the old man." The common Germanic was *karilaz, on which the Latin Carolus, English Charles, is based.[13]


Regardless of its previously understood meaning, Charles' achievements altered the meaning of the word. In many European languages, the very word for "king" derives from his name; e.g., Polish: król, Czech: král, Slovak: kráľ, Hungarian: király, Lithuanian: karalius, Latvian: karalis, Russian: король, Macedonian: крал, Bulgarian: крал, Serbian: краљ, Croatian: kralj, Turkish: kral. This development parallels that of the name of the Caesars in the original Roman Empire, which became Kaiser and Czar, among others.[14]


[edit] Language


Main article: Theodiscus


By Charlemagne's time the French vernacular had already diverged significantly from Latin. This is evidenced by one of the regulations of the Council of Tours (813), which required that the parish priests preach either in the "rusticam Romanam linguam" (Romance) or "Theotiscam" (the Germanic vernacular) rather than in Latin. The goal of this rule was to make the sermons comprehensible to the common people, who must therefore have been either Romance speakers or Germanic speakers.[15] Charlemagne himself probably spoke a Rhenish Franconian dialect of Old High German.[16]


Apart from his native language he also spoke Latin "as well as his native tongue" and understood a bit of Greek, according to his biographer Einhard (Grecam vero melius intellegere quam pronuntiare poterat, "he could understand Greek better than he could speak it").[17] Einhard also writes that Charlemagne started a "grammar of his native language" and "gave the months names in his own tongue".[18] All of his daughters received Old High German names.[citation needed]


The largely fictional account of Charlemagne’s Iberian campaigns by Pseudo-Turpin, written some three centuries after his death, gave rise to the legend that the king also spoke Arabic.[19]


[edit] Appearance


In the Cathedral of Moulins, France, end of the 15th century Charlemagne's personal appearance is known from a good description by a personal associate, Einhard, author after his death of the biography Vita Karoli Magni. Einhard tells in his twenty-second chapter:[20]


"He was heavily built, sturdy, and of considerable stature, although not exceptionally so, since his height was seven times the length of his own foot. He had a round head, large and lively eyes, a slightly larger nose than usual, white but still attractive hair, a bright and cheerful expression, a short and fat neck, and he enjoyed good health, except for the fevers that affected him in the last few years of his life. Toward the end, he dragged one leg. Even then, he stubbornly did what he wanted and refused to listen to doctors, indeed he detested them, because they wanted to persuade him to stop eating roast meat, as was his wont, and to be content with boiled meat."


The physical portrait provided by Einhard is confirmed by contemporary depictions of the emperor, such as coins and his 8-inch (20 cm) bronze statue kept in the Louvre. In 1861, Charlemagne's tomb was opened by scientists who reconstructed his skeleton and estimated it to be measured 74.9 in (190 cm).[21] An estimate of his height from an X-ray and CT Scan of his tibia performed in 2010 is 1.84 m (72 in). This puts him in the 99th percentile of tall people of his period, given that average male height of his time was 1.69 m (67 in). The width of the bone suggested he was gracile but not robust in body build.[22]


[edit] Dress


In the Bibliothèque Nationale de France Charlemagne wore the traditional costume of the Frankish people, described by Einhard thus:[23]


"He used to wear the national, that is to say, the Frank, dress-next his skin a linen shirt and linen breeches, and above these a tunic fringed with silk; while hose fastened by bands covered his lower limbs, and shoes his feet, and he protected his shoulders and chest in winter by a close-fitting coat of otter or marten skins."


He wore a blue cloak and always carried a sword with him. The typical sword was of a golden or silver hilt. He wore fancy jewelled swords to banquets or ambassadorial receptions. Nevertheless:[23]


"He despised foreign costumes, however handsome, and never allowed himself to be robed in them, except twice in Rome, when he donned the Roman tunic, chlamys, and shoes; the first time at the request of Pope Hadrian, the second to gratify Leo, Hadrian's successor."


He could rise to the occasion when necessary. On great feast days, he wore embroidery and jewels on his clothing and shoes. He had a golden buckle for his cloak on such occasions and would appear with his great diadem, but he despised such apparel, according to Einhard, and usually dressed like the common people.[23]


[edit] Rise to power


[edit] Early life


Einhard says of the early life of Charles:[24]


"It would be folly, I think, to write a word concerning Charles' birth and infancy, or even his boyhood, for nothing has ever been written on the subject, and there is no one alive now who can give information on it. Accordingly, I determined to pass that by as unknown, and to proceed at once to treat of his character, his deed, and such other facts of his life as are worth telling and setting forth, and shall first give an account of his deed at home and abroad, then of his character and pursuits, and lastly of his administration and death, omitting nothing worth knowing or necessary to know."


[edit] The ambiguous high office


The most powerful officers of the Frankish people, the Mayor of the Palace (Maior Domus) and one or more kings (rex, reges) were appointed by election of the people; that is, no regular elections were held, but they were held as required to elect officers ad quos summa imperii pertinebat, "to whom the highest matters of state pertained." Evidently interim decisions could be made by the Pope, which ultimately needed to be ratified by an assembly of the people, which met once a year.[25]


Before Pepin the Short, initially a Mayor, was elected king in 750, he held the high office "as though hereditary" (velut hereditario fungebatur). Einhard explains that "the honor" was usually "given by the people" to the distinguished, but Pepin and his brother Carloman received it as though hereditary, as did their father, Charles Martel. There was, however, a certain ambiguity about quasi-inheritance. The office was treated as joint property: one Mayorship held by two brothers jointly.[26] Each, however, had his own geographic jurisdiction. When Carloman decided to resign, becoming ultimately a Benedictine at Monte Cassino,[27] the question of the disposition of his quasi-share was settled by the pope. He converted the Mayorship into a Kingship and awarded the joint property to Pepin, who now had the full right to pass it on by inheritance.[28]


This decision was not accepted by all members of the family. Carloman had consented to the temporary tenancy of his own share, which he intended to pass on to his own son, Drogo, when the inheritance should be settled at someone's death. By the Pope's decision, in which Pepin had a hand, Drogo was to be disqualified as an heir in favor of his cousin Charles. He took up arms in opposition to the decision and was joined by Grifo, a half-brother of Pepin and Carloman, who had been given a share by Charles Martel, but was stripped of it and held under loose arrest by his half-brothers after an attempt to seize their shares by military action. By 753 all was over. Grifo perished in combat in the Battle of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne while Drogo was hunted down and taken into custody.[29]


On the death of Pepin, September 24, 768, the kingship passed jointly to his sons, "with divine assent" (divino nutu).[28] According to the Life, Pepin died in Paris. The Franks "in general assembly" (generali conventu) gave them both the rank of king (reges) but "partitioned the whole body of the kingdom equally" (totum regni corpus ex aequo partirentur). The annals[30] tell a slightly different version. The king died at St. Denis, which is, however, still in Paris. The two "lords" (domni) were "elevated to kingship" (elevati sunt in regnum), Carolus on October 9 in Noyon, Carloman on an unspecified date in Soissons. If born in 742, Carolus was 26 years old, but he had been campaigning at his father's right hand for several years, which may help to account for his military skill and genius. Carloman was 17.


The language in either case suggests that there were not two inheritances, which would have created distinct kings ruling over distinct kingdoms, but a single joint inheritance and a joint kingship tenanted by two equal kings, Charles and his brother Carloman. As before, distinct jurisdictions were awarded. Charles received Pepin's original share as Mayor: the outer parts of the kingdom, bordering on the sea, namely Neustria, western Aquitaine, and the northern parts of Austrasia, while Carloman was awarded his uncle's former share: the inner parts: southern Austrasia, Septimania, eastern Aquitaine, Burgundy, Provence, and Swabia, lands bordering on Italy. The question of whether these jurisdictions were joint shares reverting to the other brother if one brother died or were inherited property passed on to the descendants of the brother who died was never definitely settled by the Frankish people. It came up repeatedly over the succeeding decades until the grandsons of Charlemagne created distinct sovereign kingdoms.


Further information: Mayor of the Palace


[edit] Aquitanian rebellion


An inheritance in the countries formerly under Roman law (ius or iustitia) represented not only a transmission of the properties and privileges but also the encumbrances and obligations attached to the inheritance. Pepin at his death had been in process of building an empire, a difficult task:[31]


"In those times, to build a kingdom from an aggregation of small states was itself no great difficulty .... But to keep the state intact after it had been formed was a colossal task .... Each of the minor states ... had its little sovereign ... who ... gave himself chiefly to ... plotting, pillaging and fighting."


[edit] Formation of a new Aquitania


Main article: Aquitaine


Aquitania under Rome had been southern Gaul, which was Romanized and spoke a Romance language. Similarly Hispania had been populated by peoples speaking various languages, including Celtic, but was now populated entirely by Romance language speakers. Between Aquitania and Hispania were the Euskaldunak, Latinized to Vascones, or Basques,[32] living in Basque country, Vasconia, which extended, according to the distributions of place names attributable to the Basques, most densely in the western Pyrenees but also as far south as the upper Ebro River in Spain and as far north as the Garonne River in France.[33] The French name, Gascony, derives from Vasconia. The Romans were never able to entirely subject Vasconia. The parts which they did, in which they placed the region's first cities, were sources of legions in the Roman army valued for their fighting abilities. The border with Aquitania was Toulouse.


The Romans after the fall of their empire were replaced by the Visigoths in Spain and the Franks and Visigoths to the north. Although they had the authority of state, these Germanic tribes were thinly settled at best. They did not keep their languages long but were assimilated to the Romance-speaking prior populations. Romance was still spoken in Toulouse and to the east as well as on the Ebro. These authorities maintained relationships with the Basques that were fully as combative as the previous had been; moreover, the Basques on the whole had the upper hand. They began to raid and pillage to the north and east of their borders into territory then ruled by the Merovingians. They took slaves from the north and sold them to the south. Army after army was sent by the Franks. If the Basques could not win they retreated into the mountains. In 635 a Frankish column under Arnebert was massacred in the Haute Soule, a mountain valley.[34]


At about 660 the Duchy of Vasconia united with the Duchy of Aquitania to form a single kingdom under Felix of Aquitaine, governing from Toulouse. This was a joint kingship with a 28-year-old Basque king, Lupus I.[35] The kingdom was sovereign and independent. On the one hand Vasconia gave up predation to become a player on the field of European politics. On the other, whatever arrangements Felix had made with the weak Merovingians were null and void. At his death in 770 the joint property of the kingship reverted entirely to Lupus. As the Basques had no law of joint inheritance, but practiced primogeniture, Lupus in effect founded a hereditary dynasty of Basque kings of an expanded Aquitania.[36]


[edit] Acquisition of Aquitania by the Carolingians


The Latin chronicles on the end of Visigothic Hispania leave much to be desired: identification of characters, filling in the gaps and reconciliation of the numerous contradictions.[37] The Saracen sources, however, present a more coherent view, such as the Ta'rikh iftitah al-Andalus ("History of the Conquest of al-Andalus") by Ibn al-Qūṭiyya, "the son of the Gothic woman," meaning by the named woman Sarah, granddaughter of the last king of all Visigothic Spain, who married a Saracen. Ibn al-Qūṭiyya, who had another, much longer name, must have been relying to some degree on family oral tradition.


According to Ibn al-Qūṭiyya[38] the last Visigothic king of a united Hispania died before his three sons: Almund, Romulo and Ardabast, reached majority. Their mother was regent at Toledo, but Roderic, army chief of staff, staged a rebellion, capturing Cordova. Of all the possible outcomes he chose to impose a joint rule over distinct jurisdictions on the true heirs. Evidence of a division of some sort can be found in the distribution of coins imprinted with the name of each king and in the king lists.[39] Wittiza is succeeded by Roderic, reigning 7.5 years, and a certain Achila (Aquila), reigning 3.5 years. If the reigns of both terminated with the incursion of the Saracens, then Roderic appears to have reigned a few years before the majority of Achila. The latter's kingdom is securely placed to the northeast, while Roderic seems to have taken the rest, notably Portugal.


Achila is undoubtedly Achila II of the coins and chronicles, who is stated by some chronicles to have been the son of Wittiza. How he fits into the Gothic woman's family tree is a problem, A scribal error in the transmission of her son's manuscript has been postulated: w.q.l.h for Waqla becomes r.m.l.h for Rumulu (Arabic like Hebrew writes only the consonants). Ardabast is generally identified with Ardo king of Septimania, 713-720.[40] The location of the share of Almun, or Olemundo, has not survived, but that he had one is assured by subsequent events.


In the account, a Christian merchant, Julian, left his daughter in the guardianship of Roderic (her mother had just died) while he conducted some business on Roderic's request in North Africa. Returning to find his daughter had been seduced by Roderic he simulated nonchalence and acceptance of that event, convincing Roderic to send him back on more business. Arriving there, however, he went to Tariq ibn Ziyad and convinced him to invade al-Andala. En route the prophet Mohammed appeared to Tariq in a dream at the head of an army, telling him to go on. When the Saracens had landed in southern Spain Roderic establishing a base at Cordova reached out to the three sons of Wittiza asking for assistance in the common defense. The three arrived but not even daring to enter Cordova they sent to Tariq stating that Roderic was no better than a dog and offering submission and support in return for keeping their ancestral lands and privileges.[41] The offer having been accepted Roderic was defeated at the Battle of Guadalete. It is not clear whether the royal Goths fought against him or simply withheld troops. "Weighed down with weapons he threw himself into the water and was never found."


The three royals travelled to Damascus to confirm their submissions:[42] "Aquila was nominated king of the Goths but in 714 he traveled with his brothers to Damascus and sold the kingdom to Caliph Walid I (705-15) for lands and money." Ardo went on as client-king in Provence. On the death of Almund he appropriated the latter's share of the joint property against the will of the children, who went to Syria to appeal the case. The Saracens moved against Ardo. The boys never recovered the land. One became a Christian bishop. The daughter, Sarah, accepted an arranged marriage with a Saracen, becoming known as "the Gothic woman." She played an important role subsequently in Moorish Spain.


The Saracens crossed the mountains to claim Ardo's Septimania, only to encounter the Basque dynasty of Aquitania, always the allies of the Goths. Odo the Great of Aquitania was at first victorious at the Battle of Bordeaux in 721.[43] As Saracen troops gradually massed in Septimania and in 732 advanced into Vasconia Odo was defeated at the Battle of the River Garonne. They took Bordeaux and were advancing toward Tours when Odo, powerless to stop them, appealed to his arch-enemy, Charles Martel, mayor of the Franks. In one of the first of those lightning marches for which the Carolingian kings became famous, Charles and his army appeared in the path of the Saracens between Tours and Poitiers and in the Battle of Tours settled the question of the Saracen advance into Europe. The Moors were defeated so conclusively that they retreated across the mountains, never to return, leaving Septimania to become part of Francia. Odo also had to pay the price of incorporation into Charles' kingdom, a decision that was repugnant to him and also to his heirs.


Further information: Umayyad conquest of Hispania


[edit] Loss and recovery of Aquitania


After his death his son Hunald allied himself with free Lombardy, a violation of the sovereignty of Francia. However, Odo had left the kingdom ambiguously to his two sons jointly, Hunald and Hatto. The latter, loyal to Francia, now went to war with his brother over full possession. Victorius, Hunald blinded and imprisoned his brother, only to be so stricken by conscience that he resigned and entered the church as a monk to do penance.[44] His son Waifer took an early inheritance, becoming duke of Aquitania. Inheriting also the alliance with Lombardy. Waifer decided to honor it, repeating his father's treason, which he justified by arguing that any agreements with Charles Martel became invalid on Martel's death. Since Aquitania was now Pepin's inheritance, the latter and his son, the young Charles, hunted down Waifer, who could only conduct a guerrilla war, and executed him.[45]


Among the contingents of the Frankish army were Bavarians under Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria, an Agilofing, the hereditary Bavarian royal family. Grifo had installed himself as Duke of Bavaria but Pepin replaced him with a member of the royal family yet a child, Tassilo, whose protector he had become after the death of his father. The loyalty of the Agilolfings was perpetually in question but Pepin exacted numerous oaths of loyalty from Tassilo. However, the latter had married Liutperga, a daughter of Desiderius, king of Lombardy. At a critical point in the campaign Tassilo with all his Bavarians left the field. Out of reach of Pepin, he repudiated all loyalty to Francia.[46] Pepin had no chance to respond as he grew ill and within a few weeks after the execution of Waifer died himself.


The first event of the brothers' reign was the uprising of the Aquitainians and Gascons, in 769, in that territory split between the two kings. Years before, Pepin had suppressed the revolt of Waifer, Duke of Aquitaine. Now, one Hunald (seemingly other than Hunald the duke) led the Aquitainians as far north as Angoulême. Charles met Carloman, but Carloman refused to participate and returned to Burgundy. Charles went to war, leading an army to Bordeaux, where he set up a fort at Fronsac. Hunald was forced to flee to the court of Duke Lupus II of Gascony. Lupus, fearing Charles, turned Hunald over in exchange for peace. He was put in a monastery. Aquitaine was finally fully subdued by the Franks.


[edit] Union perforce


The brothers maintained lukewarm relations with the assistance of their mother Bertrada, but in 770 Charles signed a treaty with Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria and married a Lombard Princess (commonly known today as Desiderata), the daughter of King Desiderius, to surround Carloman with his own allies. Though Pope Stephen III first opposed the marriage with the Lombard princess, he would soon have little to fear from a Frankish-Lombard alliance.


Less than a year after his marriage, Charlemagne repudiated Desiderata, and quickly remarried to a 13-year-old Swabian named Hildegard. The repudiated Desiderata returned to her father's court at Pavia. The Lombard's wrath was now aroused and he would gladly have allied with Carloman to defeat Charles. But before any open hostilities could be declared, Carloman died on 5 December 771, seemingly of natural causes. Carloman's widow Gerberga fled to Desiderius' court in Lombardy with her sons for protection.


[edit] Italian campaigns


[edit] Conquest of Lombardy


The Frankish king Charlemagne was a devout Catholic and maintained a close relationship with the papacy throughout his life. In 772, when Pope Adrian I was threatened by invaders, the king rushed to Rome to provide assistance. Shown here, the pope asks Charlemagne for help at a meeting near Rome. At the succession of Pope Adrian I in 772, he demanded the return of certain cities in the former exarchate of Ravenna as in accordance with a promise of Desiderius' succession. Desiderius instead took over certain papal cities and invaded the Pentapolis, heading for Rome. Adrian sent embassies to Charlemagne in autumn requesting he enforce the policies of his father, Pepin. Desiderius sent his own embassies denying the pope's charges. The embassies both met at Thionville and Charlemagne upheld the pope's side. Charlemagne promptly demanded what the pope had demanded and Desiderius promptly swore never to comply. Charlemagne and his uncle Bernard crossed the Alps in 773 and chased the Lombards back to Pavia, which they then besieged. Charlemagne temporarily left the siege to deal with Adelchis, son of Desiderius, who was raising an army at Verona. The young prince was chased to the Adriatic littoral and he fled to Constantinople to plead for assistance from Constantine V, who was waging war with Bulgaria.


The siege lasted until the spring of 774, when Charlemagne visited the pope in Rome. There he confirmed his father's grants of land, with some later chronicles claiming—falsely—that he also expanded them, granting Tuscany, Emilia, Venice, and Corsica. The pope granted him the title patrician. He then returned to Pavia, where the Lombards were on the verge of surrendering.


In return for their lives, the Lombards surrendered and opened the gates in early summer. Desiderius was sent to the abbey of Corbie and his son Adelchis died in Constantinople a patrician. Charles, unusually, had himself crowned with the Iron Crown and made the magnates of Lombardy do homage to him at Pavia. Only Duke Arechis II of Benevento refused to submit and proclaimed independence. Charlemagne was then master of Italy as king of the Lombards. He left Italy with a garrison in Pavia and a few Frankish counts in place that very year.


There was still instability, however, in Italy. In 776, Dukes Hrodgaud of Friuli and Hildeprand of Spoleto rebelled. Charlemagne rushed back from Saxony and defeated the duke of Friuli in battle. The duke was slain. The duke of Spoleto signed a treaty. Their co-conspirator, Arechis, was not subdued, and Adelchis, their candidate in Byzantium, never left that city. Northern Italy was now faithfully his.


[edit] Southern Italy


In 787 Charlemagne directed his attention toward Benevento, where Arechis was reigning independently. Charlemagne besieged Salerno, and Arechis submitted to vassalage. However, with his death in 792, Benevento again proclaimed independence under his son Grimoald III. Grimoald was attacked by armies of Charles or his sons many times, but Charlemagne himself never returned to the Mezzogiorno, and Grimoald never was forced to surrender to Frankish suzerainty.


[edit] Charles and his children


Charlemagne (left) and Pippin the Hunchback. Tenth-century copy of a lost original from about 830 During the first peace of any substantial length (780–782), Charles began to appoint his sons to positions of authority within the realm, in the tradition of the kings and mayors of the past. In 781, he made his two younger sons kings, having them crowned by the Pope. The elder of these two, Carloman, was made king of Italy, taking the Iron Crown which his father had first worn in 774, and in the same ceremony was renamed "Pippin." The younger of the two, Louis, became king of Aquitaine. Charlemagne ordered Pippin and Louis to be raised in the customs of their kingdoms, and he gave their regents some control of their subkingdoms, but real power was always in his hands, though he intended his sons to inherit their realms some day. Nor did he tolerate insubordination in his sons: in 792, he banished his eldest, though possibly illegitimate, son, Pippin the Hunchback, to the monastery of Prüm, because the young man had joined a rebellion against him.


Charles was determined to have his children educated, including his daughters, as he himself was not. His children were taught all the arts, and his daughters were learned in the way of being a woman. His sons took archery, horsemanship, and other outdoor activities.


Charlemagne instructing Louis the Pious The sons fought many wars on behalf of their father when they came of age. Charles was mostly preoccupied with the Bretons, whose border he shared and who insurrected on at least two occasions and were easily put down, but he was also sent against the Saxons on multiple occasions. In 805 and 806, he was sent into the Böhmerwald (modern Bohemia) to deal with the Slavs living there (Bohemian tribes, ancestors of the modern Czechs). He subjected them to Frankish authority and devastated the valley of the Elbe, forcing a tribute on them. Pippin had to hold the Avar and Beneventan borders but also fought the Slavs to his north. He was uniquely poised to fight the Byzantine Empire when finally that conflict arose after Charlemagne's imperial coronation and a Venetian rebellion. Finally, Louis was in charge of the Spanish March and also went to southern Italy to fight the duke of Benevento on at least one occasion. He took Barcelona in a great siege in the year 797 (see below).


Charlemagne's attitude toward his daughters has been the subject of much discussion. He kept them at home with him and refused to allow them to contract sacramental marriages – possibly to prevent the creation of cadet branches of the family to challenge the main line, as had been the case with Tassilo of Bavaria – yet he tolerated their extramarital relationships, even rewarding their common-law husbands, and treasured the illegitimate grandchildren they produced for him. He also, apparently, refused to believe stories of their wild behavior. After his death the surviving daughters were banished from the court by their brother, the pious Louis, to take up residence in the convents they had been bequeathed by their father. At least one of them, Bertha, had a recognised relationship, if not a marriage, with Angilbert, a member of Charlemagne's court circle.


[edit] Carolingian expansion south


See also: Abbasid-Carolingian alliance


[edit] Vasconia and the Pyrenees


The destructive war led by Pepin in Aquitaine, although brought to a satisfactory conclusion for the Franks, proved the Frankish power structure south of the Loire was feeble and unreliable. After the defeat and death of Waifer of Aquitaine in 768, while Aquitaine submitted again to the Carolingian dynasty, a new rebellion broke out in 769 led by Hunald II, maybe son of Waifer. He took refuge with the ally duke Lupus II of Gascony, but probably out of fear of Charlemagne's reprisal, handed him over to the new King of the Franks besides pledging loyalty to him, which seemed to confirm the peace in the Basque area south of the Garonne.


However, wary of new Basque uprisings, Charlemagne seems to have tried to diminish duke Lupus’s power by appointing a certain Seguin as count of Bordeaux (778) and other counts of Frankish background in bordering areas (Toulouse, County of Fézensac), a decision that seriously undermined the authority of the duke of Gascony (Vasconia). The Basque duke in turn seems to have contributed decisively or schemed the Battle of Roncevaux Pass (referred to as “Basque treachery”). The defeat of Charlemagne's army in Roncevaux (778) confirmed him in his determination to rule directly by establishing the Kingdom of Aquitaine (son Louis the Pious proclaimed first king) based on a power base of Frankish officials, distributing lands among colonisers and allocating lands to the Church, which he took as ally.


From 781 (Pallars, Ribagorça) to 806 (Pamplona under Frankish influence), taking the County of Toulouse for a power base, Charlemagne managed to assert Frankish authority on the Pyrenees by establishing vassal counties that were to make up the Marca Hispanica and provide the necessary springboard to attack the Hispanic Muslims (expedition led by William Count of Toulouse and Louis the Pious to capture Barcelona in 801), in a way that Charlemagne had succeeded in expanding the Carolingian rule all around the Pyrenees by 812, although events in the Duchy of Vasconia (rebellion in Pamplona, count overthrown in Aragon, duke Seguin of Bordeaux deposed, uprising of the Basque lords, etc.) were to prove it ephemeral on his death.


[edit] Roncesvalles campaign


Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne. Illustration taken from a manuscript of a chanson de geste According to the Muslim historian Ibn al-Athir, the Diet of Paderborn had received the representatives of the Muslim rulers of Zaragoza, Girona, Barcelona, and Huesca. Their masters had been cornered in the Iberian peninsula by Abd ar-Rahman I, the Umayyad emir of Córdoba. These Moorish or "Saracen" rulers offered their homage to the great king of the Franks in return for military support. Seeing an opportunity to extend Christendom and his own power and believing the Saxons to be a fully conquered nation, Charlemagne agreed to go to Spain.


In 778, he led the Neustrian army across the Western Pyrenees, while the Austrasians, Lombards, and Burgundians passed over the Eastern Pyrenees. The armies met at Zaragoza and Charlemagne received the homage of the Muslim rulers, Sulayman al-Arabi and Kasmin ibn Yusuf, but the city did not fall for him. Indeed, Charlemagne was facing the toughest battle of his career where the Muslims had the upper hand and forced him to retreat. He decided to go home, since he could not trust the Basques, whom he had subdued by conquering Pamplona. He turned to leave Iberia, but as he was passing through the Pass of Roncesvalles one of the most famous events of his long reign occurred. The Basques fell on his rearguard and baggage train, utterly destroying it. The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, less a battle than a mere skirmish, left many famous dead: among which were the seneschal Eggihard, the count of the palace Anselm, and the warden of the Breton March, Roland, inspiring the subsequent creation of the Song of Roland (La Chanson de Roland).


[edit] Wars with the Moors


Harun al-Rashid receiving a delegation of Charlemagne in Baghdad, by Julius Köckert The conquest of Italy brought Charlemagne in contact with the Saracens who, at the time, controlled the Mediterranean. Pippin, his son, was much occupied with Saracens in Italy. Charlemagne conquered Corsica and Sardinia at an unknown date and in 799 the Balearic Islands. The islands were often attacked by Saracen pirates, but the counts of Genoa and Tuscany (Boniface) kept them at bay with large fleets until the end of Charlemagne's reign. Charlemagne even had contact with the caliphal court in Baghdad. In 797 (or possibly 801), the caliph of Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid, presented Charlemagne with an Asian elephant named Abul-Abbas and a clock.[47]


In Hispania, the struggle against the Moors continued unabated throughout the latter half of his reign. His son Louis was in charge of the Spanish border. In 785, his men captured Gerona permanently and extended Frankish control into the Catalan littoral for the duration of Charlemagne's reign (and much longer, it remained nominally Frankish until the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258). The Muslim chiefs in the northeast of Islamic Spain were constantly revolting against Córdoban authority, and they often turned to the Franks for help. The Frankish border was slowly extended until 795, when Gerona, Cardona, Ausona, and Urgel were united into the new Spanish March, within the old duchy of Septimania.


In 797 Barcelona, the greatest city of the region, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, failing, handed it to them. The Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis of Aquitaine marched the entire army of his kingdom over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated. The Franks continued to press forward against the emir. They took Tarragona in 809 and Tortosa in 811. The last conquest brought them to the mouth of the Ebro and gave them raiding access to Valencia, prompting the Emir al-Hakam I to recognize their conquests in 812.


[edit] Eastern campaigns


[edit] Saxon Wars


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Map showing Charlemagne's additions (in light green) to the Frankish Kingdom Charlemagne was engaged in almost constant battle throughout his reign,[48] often at the head of his elite scara bodyguard squadrons, with his legendary sword Joyeuse in hand. After thirty years of war and eighteen battles—the Saxon Wars—he conquered Saxonia and proceeded to convert the conquered to Christianity.


The Germanic Saxons were divided into four subgroups in four regions. Nearest to Austrasia was Westphalia and furthest away was Eastphalia. In between these two kingdoms was that of Engria and north of these three, at the base of the Jutland peninsula, was Nordalbingia.


In his first campaign, Charlemagne forced the Engrians in 773 to submit and cut down an Irminsul pillar near Paderborn.[49] The campaign was cut short by his first expedition to Italy. He returned in 775, marching through Westphalia and conquered the Saxon fort of Sigiburg. He then crossed Engria, where he defeated the Saxons again. Finally, in Eastphalia, he defeated a Saxon force, and its leader Hessi converted to Christianity. He returned through Westphalia, leaving encampments at Sigiburg and Eresburg, which had, up until then, been important Saxon bastions. All of Saxony but Nordalbingia was under his control, but Saxon resistance had not ended.


Following his campaign in Italy subjugating the dukes of Friuli and Spoleto, Charlemagne returned very rapidly to Saxony in 776, where a rebellion had destroyed his fortress at Eresburg. The Saxons were once again brought to heel, but their main leader, Widukind, managed to escape to Denmark, home of his wife. Charlemagne built a new camp at Karlstadt. In 777, he called a national diet at Paderborn to integrate Saxony fully into the Frankish kingdom. Many Saxons were baptised as Christians.


In the summer of 779, he again invaded Saxony and reconquered Eastphalia, Engria, and Westphalia. At a diet near Lippe, he divided the land into missionary districts and himself assisted in several mass baptisms (780). He then returned to Italy and, for the first time, there was no immediate Saxon revolt. Saxony was peaceful from 780 to 782.


Charlemagne (742–814) receiving the submission of Widukind at Paderborn in 785, by Ary Scheffer (1795–1858). Versailles He returned to Saxony in 782 and instituted a code of law and appointed counts, both Saxon and Frank. The laws were draconian on religious issues; for example, the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae prescribed death to Saxon pagans who refused to convert to Christianity. This revived a renewal of the old conflict. That year, in autumn, Widukind returned and led a new revolt. In response, at Verden in Lower Saxony, Charlemagne is recorded as having ordered the execution of 4,500 Saxon prisoners, known as the Massacre of Verden ("Verdener Blutgericht"). The killings triggered three years of renewed bloody warfare (783–785). During this war the Frisians were also finally subdued and a large part of their fleet was burned. The war ended with Widukind accepting baptism.


Thereafter, the Saxons maintained the peace for seven years, but in 792 the Westphalians again rose against their conquerors. The Eastphalians and Nordalbingians joined them in 793, but the insurrection did not catch on and was put down by 794. An Engrian rebellion followed in 796, but the presence of Charlemagne, Christian Saxons and Slavs quickly crushed it. The last insurrection of the independent-minded people occurred in 804, more than thirty years after Charlemagne's first campaign against them. This time, the most restive of them, the Nordalbingians, found themselves effectively disempowered from rebellion for the time being. According to Einhard:


The war that had lasted so many years was at length ended by their acceding to the terms offered by the King; which were renunciation of their national religious customs and the worship of devils, acceptance of the sacraments of the Christian faith and religion, and union with the Franks to form one people.


[edit] Submission of Bavaria


In 788, Charlemagne turned his attention to Bavaria. He claimed Tassilo was an unfit ruler, due to his oath-breaking. The charges were exaggerated, but Tassilo was deposed anyway and put in the monastery of Jumièges. In 794, he was made to renounce any claim to Bavaria for himself and his family (the Agilolfings) at the synod of Frankfurt. Bavaria was subdivided into Frankish counties, as had been done with Saxony.


[edit] Avars campaigns


In 788, the Avars, a pagan Asian horde which had settled down in what is today Hungary (Einhard called them Huns), invaded Friuli and Bavaria. Charlemagne was preoccupied until 790 with other things, but in that year, he marched down the Danube into their territory and ravaged it to the Győr. Then, a Lombard army under Pippin marched into the Drava valley and ravaged Pannonia. The campaigns would have continued if the Saxons had not revolted again in 792, breaking seven years of peace.


For the next two years, Charlemagne was occupied with the Slavs against the Saxons. Pippin and Duke Eric of Friuli continued, however, to assault the Avars' ring-shaped strongholds. The great Ring of the Avars, their capital fortress, was taken twice. The booty was sent to Charlemagne at his capital, Aachen, and redistributed to all his followers and even to foreign rulers, including King Offa of Mercia. Soon the Avar tuduns had thrown in the towel and travelled to Aachen to subject themselves to Charlemagne as vassals and Christians. Charlemagne accepted their surrender and sent one native chief, baptised Abraham, back to Avaria with the ancient title of khagan. Abraham kept his people in line, but in 800, the Bulgarians under Khan Krum swept the Avar state away. In the 10th century, the Magyars settled the Pannonian plain and presented a new threat to Charlemagne's descendants.


[edit] Northeast Slav expeditions


In 789, in recognition of his new pagan neighbours, the Slavs, Charlemagne marched an Austrasian-Saxon army across the Elbe into Obotrite territory. The Slavs immediately submitted under their leader Witzin. Charlemagne then accepted the surrender of the Wiltzes under Dragovit and demanded many hostages and the permission to send, unmolested, missionaries into the pagan region. The army marched to the Baltic before turning around and marching to the Rhine with much booty and no harassment. The tributary Slavs became loyal allies. In 795, when the Saxons broke the peace, the Abotrites and Wiltzes rose in arms with their new master against the Saxons. Witzin died in battle and Charlemagne avenged him by harrying the Eastphalians on the Elbe. Thrasuco, his successor, led his men to conquest over the Nordalbingians and handed their leaders over to Charlemagne, who greatly honoured him. The Abotrites remained loyal until Charles' death and fought later against the Danes.


[edit] Southeast Slav expeditions


Europe around 800 When Charlemagne incorporated much of Central Europe, he brought the Frankish state face to face with the Avars and Slavs in the southeast.[50] The most southeast Frankish neighbors were Croats, who settled in Pannonian Croatia and Littoral Croatian Duchy. While fighting the Avars, the Franks had called for their support.[51] During the 790s, when Charlemagne campaigned against the Avars, he won a major victory in 796.[52] Pannonian Croatian duke Vojnomir of Pannonian Croatia aided Charlemagne, and the Franks made themselves overlords over the Croatians of northern Dalmatia, Slavonia, and Pannonia.[52]


The Frankish commander Eric of Friuli wanted to extend his dominion by conquering Littoral Croatian Duchy. During that time, Littoral Croatia was ruled by duke Višeslav of Croatia, who was one of the first known Croatian dukes.[53] In the Battle of Trsat, the forces of Eric fled their positions and were totally routed by the forces of Višeslav.[53] Eric himself was among the killed, and his death and defeat proved a great blow for the Carolingian Empire.[50][53][54]


Charlemagne also directed his attention to the Slavs to the west of the Avar khaganate: the Carantanians and Carniolans. These people were subdued by the Lombards and Bavarii, were made tributaries, but were never fully incorporated into the Frankish state.


[edit] Imperium


[edit] Imperial diplomacy


Charlemagne's chapel at Aachen Cathedral In 799, Pope Leo III had been mistreated by the Romans, who tried to put out his eyes and tear out his tongue. Leo escaped and fled to Charlemagne at Paderborn, asking him to intervene in Rome and restore him. Charlemagne, advised by Alcuin of York, agreed to travel to Rome, doing so in November 800 and holding a council on 1 December. On 23 December Leo swore an oath of innocence. At Mass, on Christmas Day (25 December), when Charlemagne knelt at the altar to pray, the Pope crowned him Imperator Romanorum ("Emperor of the Romans") in Saint Peter's Basilica. In so doing, the Pope was effectively reviving the Western Roman Empire and nullifying the legitimacy of Empress Irene of Constantinople (Leo III did not consider her a legitimate claimant to the Byzantine throne because she was a woman). Einhard says that Charlemagne was ignorant of the Pope's intent and did not want any such coronation:


[H]e at first had such an aversion that he declared that he would not have set foot in the Church the day that they [the imperial titles] were conferred, although it was a great feast-day, if he could have foreseen the design of the Pope.


Many modern scholars[55] suggest that Charlemagne was indeed aware of the coronation; certainly he cannot have missed the bejeweled crown waiting on the altar when he came to pray. In any event, he used these circumstances to claim that he was the renewer of the Roman Empire, which had apparently fallen into degradation under the Byzantines. In his official charters, Charles preferred the style Karolus serenissimus Augustus a Deo coronatus magnus pacificus imperator Romanum gubernans imperium[56] ("Charles, most serene Augustus crowned by God, the great, peaceful emperor ruling the Roman empire") to a more direct Imperator Romanorum ("Emperor of the Romans").


The iconoclasm of the Byzantine Isaurian Dynasty was endorsed by the Franks.[57] When the Second Council of Nicaea reintroduced the veneration of icons under Empress Irene, the council was not recognized by Charlemagne since no Frankish emissaries had been invited although Charlemagne was ruling more than three provinces of the old Roman empire and was considered equal in rank to the Byzantine emperor. And although the Pope supported the reintroduction of the iconic veneration he thus politically digressed from Byzantium.[57] He also most certainly desired to increase the influence of the papacy, honour his saviour Charlemagne, and solve the constitutional issues then most troubling to European jurists in an era when Rome was not in the hands of an emperor. Thus, Charlemagne's assumption of the imperial title was not an usurpation in the eyes of the Franks or Italians. It was, however, in Byzantium, where it was protested by Irene and her successor Nicephorus I—neither of whom had any great effect in enforcing their protests.


The Byzantines, however, still held several territories in Italy: Venice (what was left of the Exarchate of Ravenna), Reggio (in Calabria), Brindisi (in Apulia), and Naples (the Ducatus Neapolitanus). These regions remained outside of Frankish hands until 804, when the Venetians, torn by infighting, transferred their allegiance to the Iron Crown of Pippin, Charles' son. The Pax Nicephori ended. Nicephorus ravaged the coasts with a fleet, and the only instance of war between the Byzantines and the Franks, as it was, began. It lasted until 810, when the pro-Byzantine party in Venice gave their city back to the Byzantine Emperor, and the two emperors of Europe made peace: Charlemagne received the Istrian peninsula and in 812 the emperor Michael I Rhangabes recognised his status as Emperor,[58] although not necessarily as "Emperor of the Romans".[59]


[edit] Danish attacks


After the conquest of Nordalbingia, the Frankish frontier was brought into contact with Scandinavia. The pagan Danes, "a race almost unknown to his ancestors, but destined to be only too well known to his sons" as Charles Oman described them, inhabiting the Jutland peninsula, had heard many stories from Widukind and his allies who had taken refuge with them about the dangers of the Franks and the fury which their Christian king could direct against pagan neighbours.


In 808, the king of the Danes, Godfred, built the vast Danevirke across the isthmus of Schleswig. This defence, last employed in the Danish-Prussian War of 1864, was at its beginning a 30 km (19 mi) long earthenwork rampart. The Danevirke protected Danish land and gave Godfred the opportunity to harass Frisia and Flanders with pirate raids. He also subdued the Frank-allied Wiltzes and fought the Abotrites.


Godfred invaded Frisia, joked of visiting Aachen, but was murdered before he could do any more, either by a Frankish assassin or by one of his own men. Godfred was succeeded by his nephew Hemming, who concluded the Treaty of Heiligen with Charlemagne in late 811.


[edit] Death


Persephone sarcophagus of Charlemagne

Portion of the 814 death shroud of Charlemagne. It represents a quadriga and was manufactured in Constantinople. In 813, Charlemagne called Louis the Pious, king of Aquitaine, his only surviving legitimate son, to his court. There Charlemagne crowned his son with his own hands as co-emperor and sent him back to Aquitaine. He then spent the autumn hunting before returning to Aachen on 1 November. In January, he fell ill with pleurisy.[60] In deep depression (mostly because many of his plans were not yet realized), he took to his bed on 21 January and as Einhard tells it:


He died January twenty-eighth, the seventh day from the time that he took to his bed, at nine o'clock in the morning, after partaking of the Holy Communion, in the seventy-second year of his age and the forty-seventh of his reign.


Frederick II's gold and silver casket for Charlemagne He was buried the same day as his death, in Aachen Cathedral, although the cold weather and the nature of his illness made such a hurried burial unnecessary. The earliest surviving planctus, the Planctus de obitu Karoli, was composed by a monk of Bobbio, which he had patronised.[61] A later story, told by Otho of Lomello, Count of the Palace at Aachen in the time of Otto III, would claim that he and Emperor Otto had discovered Charlemagne's tomb: the emperor, they claimed, was seated upon a throne, wearing a crown and holding a sceptre, his flesh almost entirely incorrupt. In 1165, Frederick I re-opened the tomb again and placed the emperor in a sarcophagus beneath the floor of the cathedral.[62] In 1215 Frederick II re-interred him in a casket made of gold and silver.


Charlemagne's death greatly affected many of his subjects, particularly those of the literary clique who had surrounded him at Aachen. An anonymous monk of Bobbio lamented:[63]


From the lands where the sun rises to western shores, People are crying and wailing...the Franks, the Romans, all Christians, are stung with mourning and great worry...the young and old, glorious nobles, all lament the loss of their Caesar...the world laments the death of Charles...O Christ, you who govern the heavenly host, grant a peaceful place to Charles in your kingdom. Alas for miserable me.


He was succeeded by his surviving son, Louis, who had been crowned the previous year. His empire lasted only another generation in its entirety; its division, according to custom, between Louis's own sons after their father's death laid the foundation for the modern state of Germany.[64]


[edit] Administration


As an administrator, Charlemagne stands out for his many reforms: monetary, governmental, military, cultural, and ecclesiastical. He is the main protagonist of the "Carolingian Renaissance."


[edit] Military


It has long been held that the dominance of Charlemagne's military was based on a "cavalry revolution" led by Charles Martel in 730s. However, the stirrup, which made the "shock cavalry" lance charge possible, was not introduced to the Frankish kingdom until the late eighth century.[65] Instead, Charlemagne's success rested primarily on novel siege technologies and excellent logistics.[66]


However, large numbers of horses were used by the Frankish military during the age of Charlemagne. This was because horses provided a quick, long-distance method of transporting troops, which was critical to building and maintaining such a large empire.[65]


[edit] Economic and monetary reforms


250pxMonogram of Charlemagne, from the subscription of a royal diploma: "Signum (monogr.: KAROLVS) Karoli gloriosissimi regis" Charlemagne had an important role in determining the immediate economic future of Europe. Pursuing his father's reforms, Charlemagne abolished the monetary system based on the gold sou, and he and the Anglo-Saxon King Offa of Mercia took up the system set in place by Pippin. There were strong pragmatic reasons for this abandonment of a gold standard, notably a shortage of gold itself.


The gold shortage was a direct consequence of the conclusion of peace with Byzantium, which resulted in the ceding of Venice and Sicily and the loss of their trade routes to Africa and to the East. This standardisation also had the effect of economically harmonising and unifying the complex array of currencies which had been in use at the commencement of his reign, thus simplifying trade and commerce.


Charlemagne, denier, Tours, 793–812 He established a new standard, the livre carolinienne (from the Latin libra, the modern pound), which was based upon a pound of silver—a unit of both money and weight—which was worth 20 sous (from the Latin solidus [which was primarily an accounting device and never actually minted], the modern shilling) or 240 deniers (from the Latin denarius, the modern penny). During this period, the livre and the sou were counting units; only the denier was a coin of the realm.


Charlemagne instituted principles for accounting practice by means of the Capitulare de villis of 802, which laid down strict rules for the way in which incomes and expenses were to be recorded.


The lending of money for interest was prohibited and then strengthened in 814, when Charlemagne introduced the Capitulary for the Jews, a draconian prohibition on Jews engaging in money-lending.


In addition to this macro-oriented reform of the economy of his empire, Charlemagne also performed a significant number of microeconomic reforms, such as direct control of prices and levies on certain goods and commodities.


Charlemagne applied the system to much of the European continent, and Offa's standard was voluntarily adopted by much of England. After Charlemagne's death, continental coinage degraded, and most of Europe resorted to using the continued high-quality English coin until about 1100.


[edit] Education reforms


A part of Charlemagne's success as warrior and administrator can be traced to his admiration for learning. His reign and the era it ushered in are often referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance because of the flowering of scholarship, literature, art, and architecture which characterize it. Charlemagne, brought into contact with the culture and learning of other countries (especially Visigothic Spain, Anglo-Saxon England, and Lombard Italy) due to his vast conquests, greatly increased the provision of monastic schools and scriptoria (centres for book-copying) in Francia.


Most of the presently surviving works of classical Latin were copied and preserved by Carolingian scholars. Indeed, the earliest manuscripts available for many ancient texts are Carolingian. It is almost certain that a text which survived to the Carolingian age survives still.


The pan-European nature of Charlemagne's influence is indicated by the origins of many of the men who worked for him: Alcuin, an Anglo-Saxon from York; Theodulf, a Visigoth, probably from Septimania; Paul the Deacon, Lombard; Peter of Pisa and Paulinus of Aquileia, Italians; and Angilbert, Angilram, Einhard, and Waldo of Reichenau, Franks.


Charlemagne took a serious interest in scholarship, promoting the liberal arts at the court, ordering that his children and grandchildren be well-educated, and even studying himself (in a time when even leaders who promoted education did not take time to learn themselves) under the tutelage of Paul the Deacon, from whom he learned grammar; Alcuin, with whom he studied rhetoric, dialectic (logic), and astronomy (he was particularly interested in the movements of the stars); and Einhard, who assisted him in his studies of arithmetic.[67]


His great scholarly failure, as Einhard relates, was his inability to write: when in his old age he began attempts to learn—practicing the formation of letters in his bed during his free time on books and wax tablets he hid under his pillow—"his effort came too late in life and achieved little success", and his ability to read – which Einhard is silent about, and which no contemporary source supports—has also been called into question.[68]


In 800, Charlemagne enlarged the hostel at the Muristan in Jerusalem and added a library to it. He certainly had not been personally in Jerusalem.[69][70]


[edit] Church reforms


See also: Charlemagne and church music


[edit] Writing reforms


Page from the Lorsch Gospels of Charlemagne's reign During Charles' reign, the Roman half uncial script and its cursive version, which had given rise to various continental minuscule scripts, were combined with features from the insular scripts that were being used in Irish and English monasteries. Carolingian minuscule was created partly under the patronage of Charlemagne. Alcuin of York, who ran the palace school and scriptorium at Aachen, was probably a chief influence in this.


The revolutionary character of the Carolingian reform, however, can be over-emphasised; efforts at taming the crabbed Merovingian and Germanic hands had been underway before Alcuin arrived at Aachen. The new minuscule was disseminated first from Aachen and later from the influential scriptorium at Tours, where Alcuin retired as an abbot.


[edit] Political reforms


Charlemagne engaged in many reforms of Frankish governance, but he continued also in many traditional practices, such as the division of the kingdom among sons.[citation needed]


[edit] Organization


Main article: Government of the Carolingian Empire


The Carolingian king exercised the bannum, the right to rule and command. He had supreme jurisdiction in judicial matters, made legislation, led the army, and protected both the Church and the poor. His administration was an attempt to organize the kingdom, church, and nobility around him. However, the effort was heavily dependent upon the efficiency, loyalty, and support of his subjects.[citation needed]


[edit] Imperial coronation


Throne of Charlemagne and the subsequent German Kings in Aachen Cathedral Historians have debated for centuries whether Charlemagne was aware of the Pope's intent to crown him Emperor prior to the coronation (Charlemagne declared that he would not have entered Saint Peter's had he known), but that debate has often obscured the more significant question of why the Pope granted the title and why Charlemagne chose to accept it once he did.[71]


Roger Collins points out "[t]hat the motivation behind the acceptance of the imperial title was a romantic and antiquarian interest in reviving the Roman empire is highly unlikely."[72] For one thing, such romance would not have appealed either to Franks or Roman Catholics at the turn of the ninth century, both of whom viewed the Classical heritage of the Roman Empire with distrust. The Franks took pride in having "fought against and thrown from their shoulders the heavy yoke of the Romans" and "from the knowledge gained in baptism, clothed in gold and precious stones the bodies of the holy martyrs whom the Romans had killed by fire, by the sword and by wild animals", as Pippin III described it in a law of 763 or 764.[73]


Furthermore, the new title—carrying with it the risk that the new emperor would "make drastic changes to the traditional styles and procedures of government" or "concentrate his attentions on Italy or on Mediterranean concerns more generally"—risked alienating the Frankish leadership.[74]


For both the Pope and Charlemagne, the Roman Empire remained a significant power in European politics at this time, and continued to hold a substantial portion of Italy, with borders not very far south of the city of Rome itself—this is the empire historiography has labelled the Byzantine Empire, for its capital was Constantinople (ancient Byzantium) and its people and rulers were Greek; it was a thoroughly Hellenic state. Indeed, Charlemagne was usurping the prerogatives of the Roman Emperor in Constantinople simply by sitting in judgement over the Pope in the first place:


By whom, however, could he [the Pope] be tried? Who, in other words, was qualified to pass judgement on the Vicar of Christ? In normal circumstances the only conceivable answer to that question would have been the Emperor at Constantinople; but the imperial throne was at this moment occupied by Irene. That the Empress was notorious for having blinded and murdered her own son was, in the minds of both Leo and Charles, almost immaterial: it was enough that she was a woman. The female sex was known to be incapable of governing, and by the old Salic tradition was debarred from doing so. As far as Western Europe was concerned, the Throne of the Emperors was vacant: Irene's claim to it was merely an additional proof, if any were needed, of the degradation into which the so-called Roman Empire had fallen.


—John Julius Norwich, Byzantium: The Early Centuries, pg. 378


Coronation of an idealised king, depicted in the Sacramentary of Charles the Bald (about 870) For the Pope, then, there was "no living Emperor at the that time"[75] though Henri Pirenne[76] disputes this saying that the coronation "was not in any sense explained by the fact that at this moment a woman was reigning in Constantinople." Nonetheless, the Pope took the extraordinary step of creating one. The papacy had since 727 been in conflict with Irene's predecessors in Constantinople over a number of issues, chiefly the continued Byzantine adherence to the doctrine of iconoclasm, the destruction of Christian images; while from 750, the secular power of the Byzantine Empire in central Italy had been nullified.


By bestowing the Imperial crown upon Charlemagne, the Pope arrogated to himself "the right to appoint ... the Emperor of the Romans, ... establishing the imperial crown as his own personal gift but simultaneously granting himself implicit superiority over the Emperor whom he had created." And "because the Byzantines had proved so unsatisfactory from every point of view—political, military and doctrinal—he would select a westerner: the one man who by his wisdom and statesmanship and the vastness of his dominions ... stood out head and shoulders above his contemporaries."


With Charlemagne's coronation, therefore, "the Roman Empire remained, so far as either of them [Charlemagne and Leo] were concerned, one and indivisible, with Charles as its Emperor", though there can have been "little doubt that the coronation, with all that it implied, would be furiously contested in Constantinople."[77]


How realistic either Charlemagne or the Pope felt it to be that the people of Constantinople would ever accept the King of the Franks as their Emperor, we cannot know; Alcuin speaks hopefully in his letters of an Imperium Christianum ("Christian Empire"), wherein, "just as the inhabitants of the [Roman Empire] had been united by a common Roman citizenship", presumably this new empire would be united by a common Christian faith,[73] certainly this is the view of Pirenne when he says "Charles was the Emperor of the ecclesia as the Pope conceived it, of the Roman Church, regarded as the universal Church".[78]


Imperial Coronation of Charlemagne, by Friedrich Kaulbach, 1861 What is known, from the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes,[79] is that Charlemagne's reaction to his coronation was to take the initial steps toward securing the Constantinopolitan throne by sending envoys of marriage to Irene, and that Irene reacted somewhat favorably to them.


Only when the people of Constantinople reacted to Irene's failure to immediately rebuff the proposal by deposing her and replacing her with one of her ministers, Nicephorus I, did Charlemagne drop any ambitions toward the Byzantine throne and begin minimising his new Imperial title,[citation needed] and instead return to describing himself primarily as rex Francorum et Langobardum.


The title of emperor remained in his family for years to come, however, as brothers fought over who had the supremacy in the Frankish state. The papacy itself never forgot the title nor abandoned the right to bestow it. When the family of Charles ceased to produce worthy heirs, the pope gladly crowned whichever Italian magnate could best protect him from his local enemies.


This devolution led, as could have been expected, to the dormancy of the title for almost forty years (924–962). Finally, in 962, in a radically different Europe from Charlemagne's, a new Roman Emperor was crowned in Rome by a grateful pope. This emperor, Otto the Great, brought the title into the hands of the kings of Germany for almost a millennium, for it was to become the Holy Roman Empire, a true imperial successor to that of Charles, if not Augustus.


[edit] Divisio regnorum


The Coronation of Charlemagne, by assistants of Raphael, circa 1516–1517 In 806, Charlemagne first made provision for the traditional division of the empire on his death. For Charles the Younger he designated Austrasia and Neustria, Saxony, Burgundy, and Thuringia. To Pippin he gave Italy, Bavaria, and Swabia. Louis received Aquitaine, the Spanish March, and Provence. There was no mention of the imperial title however, which has led to the suggestion that, at that particular time, Charlemagne regarded the title as an honorary achievement which held no hereditary significance.


This division might have worked, but it was never to be tested. Pippin died in 810 and Charles in 811. Charlemagne then reconsidered the matter, and in 813, crowned his youngest son, Louis, co-emperor and co-King of the Franks, granting him a half-share of the empire and the rest upon Charlemagne's own death. The only part of the Empire which Louis was not promised was Italy, which Charlemagne specifically bestowed upon Pippin's illegitimate son Bernard.


[edit] Marriages and heirs


Charlemagne had eighteen children over the course of his life with eight of his ten known wives or concubines.[80] Nonetheless, he only had four legitimate grandsons, the four sons of his third son, Louis. In addition, he had a grandson (Bernard of Italy, the only son of his third son, Pippin of Italy), who was born illegitimate but included in the line of inheritance. So, despite eighteen children, the claimants to his inheritance were few. Cultural uses


Charlemagne had an immediate afterlife. The author of the Visio Karoli Magni written around 865 uses facts gathered apparently from Einhard and his own observations on the decline of Charlemagne's family after the dissensions war (840–43) as the basis for a visionary tale of Charles' meeting with a prophetic spectre in a dream.


Statue of Charlemagne by Agostino Cornacchini (1725), St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, Italy Charlemagne, being a model knight as one of the Nine Worthies, enjoyed an important afterlife in European culture. One of the great medieval literary cycles, the Charlemagne cycle or the Matter of France, centres on the deeds of Charlemagne—the Emperor with the Flowing Beard of Roland fame—and his historical commander of the border with Brittany, Roland, and the paladins who are analogous to the knights of the Round Table or King Arthur's court. Their tales constitute the first chansons de geste.


Charlemagne himself was accorded sainthood inside the Holy Roman Empire after the twelfth century. His canonisation by Antipope Paschal III, to gain the favour of Frederick Barbarossa in 1165, was never recognised by the Holy See, which annulled all of Paschal's ordinances at the Third Lateran Council in 1179. His name does not appear among the 28 saints named Charles who are listed in the Roman Martyrology.[84] However, his beatification has been acknowledged as cultus confirmed and is celebrated on 28 January.[citation needed] In the Divine Comedy the spirit of Charlemagne appears to Dante in the Heaven of Mars, among the other "warriors of the faith."


Stained-glass of Charlemagne sitting on his throne in the railway station of Metz, representing the imperial protection over Metz during the German annexation of the city In 809-810, Charlemagne called together a church council in Aachen, which confirmed the unanimous belief in the West that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (ex Patre Filioque) and sanctioned inclusion in the Nicene Creed of the phrase Filioque (and the Son). For this Charlemagne sought the approval of Pope Leo III. However, the Pope, while affirming the doctrine and approving its use in teaching, opposed its inclusion in the text of the Creed as adopted in the 381 First Council of Constantinople. This spoke of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father, without adding phrases such as "and the Son", "through the Son", or "alone". Stressing his opposition, the Pope had the original text inscribed in Greek and Latin on two heavy shields, which were displayed in Saint Peter's Basilica.[85][86][87]


The city of Aachen has, since 1949, awarded an international prize (called the Karlspreis der Stadt Aachen) in honour of Charlemagne. It is awarded annually to "personages of merit who have promoted the idea of western unity by their political, economic and literary endeavours."[88] Winners of the prize include Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, the founder of the pan-European movement, Alcide De Gasperi, and Winston Churchill.


In its national anthem, El Gran Carlemany, the nation of Andorra credits Charlemagne with its independence.


Charlemagne is quoted by Dr Henry Jones Sr. (played by Sean Connery) in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. After using his umbrella to induce a flock of seagulls to smash through the glass cockpit of a pursuing German fighter plane, Henry Jones remarks, "I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne: 'Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky'." Despite the quote's popularity since the movie, there is no evidence that Charlemagne actually said this.[89]


The Economist, the weekly news and international affairs newspaper, features a one-page article every week entitled "Charlemagne", focusing generally on European affairs and, more usually and specifically, on the European Union and its politics.


There is a play named "Carelman Charitham" in the Indian art-form Chavittu Nadakam which is based on the life of Charlemagne.


[edit] See also

Massacre of Verden, a massacre of 4,500 captive rebel Saxons in 782 as a repression for their paganism.
Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, a law code imposed by Charlemagne in 785 that prescribes death for Saxon pagans refusing to convert to Christianity.
Carolingian dynasty

[edit] References


[edit] Footnotes


1.^ a b Butler, Alban (1995). Thurston, Herbert J, S.J.; Atwater, Donald. eds. Butler’s Lives of the Saints. Christian Classics. Vol. 1. Allen, Texas: Thomas Moore Publishers. pp. 188–189. ISBN 0-87061-045-7.

2.^ McKitterick 2008, pp. 80–81.
3.^ Papst Johannes Paul II (2004). "Ansprache von seiner Heiligkeit Papst Johannes Paul II" (in German). Internationaler Karlspreis zu Aachen.
4.^ Riché 1993, Preface xviii. "Personally, he enjoyed an exceptional destiny, and by the length of his reign, by his conquests, legislation and legendary stature, he also profoundly marked the history of Western Europe."
5.^ The background relies heavily on Einhard, putative 741-829, Years 745-755
6.^ Oman 1914, pp. 409–410 portrays the Treaty of Verdun, 843, between the warring grandsons of Charlemagne, as the foundation event of an independent France under its first king, Charles the Bald, an independent Germany, under its first king, Louis the German, and an independent intermediate state stretching from the low countries along the borderlands to south of Rome under Lothair I, who retained the title of emperor and the capitals Aachen and Rome without the jurisdiction. The middle kingdom had broken up by 890. The disposition of its territory remained a major source of divisiveness between France, Germany and Italy down to the 20th century. The ultimate solution was the creation of smaller nations in the buffer zones, mainly Netherlands and Switzerland but also some very small states. The concept and memory of a united Europe remains to the current time.
7.^ Baldwin, Stewart (2007-2009). "Charlemagne". The Henry Project.
8.^ Baldwin, Stewart (2007-2009). "Charlemagne". The Henry Project.
9.^ Boulger, Demetrius Charles de Kavanagh (1904). Belgian life in town and country. New York; London: G.P. Putnam's sons. pp. 186–188.
10.^ http://www.route-gottfried-von-bouillon.de/index.php?rid=1307&cid=5&area=content
11.^ The historians of the period wrote universally in Latin, regardless of native language. Charles le Magne only translates Carolus Magnus given in the Latin manuscripts into French, which was subsequent to whatever language Charles spoke.
12.^ Pokorny, Julius; G. Starotsin; A. Lubotsky (2007). Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary: a Revised Edition of Julius Pokorny's Indogermanicshes Etymologisches Wörterbuch. Indo-European Language Association. pp. 1192–1193.
13.^ Köbler, Gerhard (2000). "*ĝer-" (in German). Indogermanisches Wörterbuch (3rd ed.). Gerhard Köbler.
14.^ Anderson, Perry (1996). Passages from antiquity to feudalism. Verso classics, 2. London; New York. p. 231.
15.^ Barbero 2004, p. 106.
16.^ Keller, R.E. (1964). "The Language of the Franks". Bulletin of the John Rylands Library of Manchester 47 (1): 101–122, esp. 122. Chambers, W.W.; Wilkie, J.R. (1970). A short history of the German language. London: Methuen. p. 33. McKitterick 2008, p. 318.
17.^ Einhard 1999, 25. Studies.
18.^ Einhard 1999, 29. Reforms. The names are: Wintarmanoth, Hornung, Lentzinmanoth, Ostarmanoth, Winnemanoth, Brachmanoth, Heuvimanoth, Aranmanoth, Witumanoth, Windumemanoth, Herbistmanoth, Heilagmanoth.
19.^ Herwaarden, J. v. (2003). Between Saint James and Erasmus. Studies in late-medieval religious life: devotion and pilgrimage in the Netherlands. Leiden: Brill. p. 475.
20.^ Barbero 2004, p. 116.
21.^ Barbero 2004, p. 118.
22.^ Ruhli, F.J.; Blumich, B.; Henneberg, M. (2010). "Charlemagne was very tall, but not robust". Economics and Human Biology 8: 289–290.
23.^ a b c Einhard 1999, 23. Dress.
24.^ Einhard 1999, 4. Plan of This Work
25.^ Einhard 1999, 1. The Merovingian Family
26.^ The Annales uses maiores domus, a plural followed by a singular: one house, two chief officers. Einhard, putative 741-829, Year 742
27.^ Einhard, putative 741-829, Years 745, 746
28.^ a b Einhard 1999, 3. Charlemagne's Accession
29.^ Collins 1998, pp. 32–33.
30.^ Einhard, putative 741-829, Year 768
31.^ Russell 1930, p. 87.
32.^ Collins 1987, p. 32.
33.^ Collins 1987, p. 105.
34.^ Collins 1987, p. 95.
35.^ Douglas & Bilbao 2005, pp. 36–37. Lupus is the Latin translation of Basque Otsoa, "wolf."
36.^ Collins 1987, p. 100.
37.^ Collins 2004, pp. 130–131, "The sequence of events ... has not been assisted by the tendency of the historians to take all the information ... from all the available sources and combine it to produce a single synthetic account.... As a rule of thumb, reliability, and also brevity of narrative, are usually in direct proportion to chronological proximity."
38.^ James 2009, p. 49.
39.^ Collins 2004, pp. 131–132.
40.^ James 2009, p. 54
41.^ James & 2009 pp-51-52.
42.^ Douglass & Bilbao 2005, pp. 38–39.
43.^ Douglass & Bilbao 2005, p. 40.
44.^ The story, originally told in the Annales Mettenses priores, is retold in Freeman, Edward Augustus; Holmes, T Scott (1904). Western Europe in the eighth century & onward. London, New York: Macmillan and Co.. p. 74.
45.^ Russell 1930, p. 88.
46.^ McKitterick 2008, pp. 118–125.
47.^ Gene W. Heck When worlds collide: exploring the ideological and political foundations of the clash of civilizations Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 ISBN 0-7425-5856-8, p. 172 Google Books Search
48.^ France, John, “The Composition and Raising of the Armies of Charlemagne”, in Journal of Medieval Military History, ed. B. Bachrach (2002), pp. 63-5
49.^ Revised annals of the kingdom of the Franks, ed. and trans. King, Sources, p. 110
50.^ a b Bruce Ross, James (Apr., 1945). Two Neglected Paladins of Charlemagne: Erich of Friuli and Gerold of Bavaria Speculum, Vol. 20, No. 2. Medieval Academy of America. pp. 212–235. JSTOR 2854596.
51.^ Sinor, Denis (1990). The Cambridge history of early Inner Asia. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 219. ISBN 0-521-24304-1.
52.^ a b Fine, John Van Antwerp (1991). The early medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the sixth to the late twelfth century. University of Michigan Press. p. 78. ISBN 0-472-08149-7.
53.^ a b c Klaić, Vjekoslav (1985) (in Croatian). Povijest Hrvata: Knjiga Prva. Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Matice hrvatske. pp. 63–64. ISBN 8640100519, 9788640100519.
54.^ Turner, Samuel Epes (1880). Einhard: The Life of Charlemagne (Vita Karoli Magni). New York: Harper & Brothers.
55.^ Tierney, Brian. The Crisis of the Church and State 1050–1300. University of Toronto Press, 1964. p. 17.
56.^ Cf. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata Karolinorum I, 77ff.; title used from 801 onward.
57.^ a b Becher, Matthias (2011). "Die Außenpolitik Karls des Großen. Zwischen Krieg und Diplomatie" (in German). Damals 2011 Special Volume: 33–46.
58.^ eum imperatorem et basileum appellantes, cf. Royal Frankish Annals, a. 812.
59.^ E. Eichmann, Die Kaiserkrönung im Abendland I (Würzburg: 1942), 33.
60.^ Einhard, Life, p. 59
61.^ Peter Godman (1985), Latin

About Charlemagne, Emperor of the West (Armenian)

Charlemagne (English: Charles the Great, German: Karl der Grosse, French: Charles le Grand, Latin: Carolus Magnus, Dutch: Karel de Grote), King of Neustria (768-771), King of the Franks (771-814), King of the Lombards (774-814), and Emperor of the Romans (800-814). He was born on April 2, 742 at Ingelheim (or Héristal or Aix-la-Chapelle), and died January 28, 814 at Aix-la-Chapelle. Charles was the eldest son of Pippin III and Bertrada of Laon.

Join the Discussion for Charlemagne's descendants in many languages.

According to this article all Europeans are descended from Charlemagne. Here's another one, & another one, & another one.

“By the sword and the cross”, Charlemagne became master of western Europe.

  • Old Low Franconian: Karl thie Mikili, Frankana Kunink
  • Latin: Carolus Magnus, Rex Francorum
  • Old Gallo-Romance: Karlus li Magnus, Regis de les Frankes
  • Old French: Charles li Magne, Rei des Francs
  • Middle French: Charlemagne, Roi des Francs

Charlemagne titled himself: 'Carolus serenissimus augustus a Deo coranatos magnus pacificus imperator, Romanum gubernans imperium, qui et per misericordiam Dei rex Francorum atque Langobardorum' Davis, RHC: A History of Medieval Europe, Longman 1977 p155

Google translate: Charles August, the most serene – crowned by God of Peace, is a great commander, who governs the Roman empire, & who also, by the mercy of God, is the king of the Franks and the Lombards

Description of Charlemagne’s crowning by the Pope on 23 December 800, in the Frankish Royal Annals (the earliest description we have, probably written c 801 by Angilbert the chaplain). Note: this is subtly different from the papal description given in Liber Pontificalis, which is written to suggest a far greater authority vested in the Pope than the Frankish point of view, here:

'On that very and most holy day of Christmas, when the king at Mass before the confession of the blessed Peter the apostle, was rising from prayer, Leo the pope put [a/the] crown on his head, and acclamation was made by all the people of the Romans: ‘To Charles Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor of the Romans, Life and Victory!’ And after the ‘praises’ (laudes), he was ‘adored’ by the apostolic [bishop] in the manner of ancient princes, and discarding the name of patrician, he was called Emperor and Augustus.' Davis, RHC: A History of Medieval Europe, Longman 1977 p149-50

Wives and Children

Charlemagne had twenty children over the course of his life with eight of his ten known wives and concubines. Nonetheless, he only had four legitimate grandsons, the four sons of his third son Louis, plus a grandson who was born illegitimate, but included in the line of inheritance.

OVERVIEW OF CHARLEMAGNE'S PARTNERS; CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN

See Our Charlemagne project page for details of sources

A. Himiltrude:

A1.B1 Amaudru

A1.B2 Pippin the Hunchback (ca. 769–811)

A2. Desiderata

A3. Hildegard:

A3.B1 Charles the Younger (ca. 772–4 December 811)

A3.B2 Adalhaid (774)

A3.B3 Rotrude (or Hruodrud) (775–6 June 810)

A3.B4 Carloman, renamed Pippin (April 777–8 July 810)

A3.B5 Louis I The Pious (778–20 June 840)

  • m1. Ermengard:

A3.B5.C1.1 Lothaire(795-855)

A3.B5.C1.2 Pepin (797-838)

A3.B5.C1.3 Rotrude (800-)

A3. B5.C1.4 Berta or Adelaide

A3.B5.C1.5 Hildegrard (c802-857)

A3.B5.C1.6 Louis (806-876)

  • m2. Judith:

A3.B5.C2.1 Gisela (c819-c874)


A3.B5.C2.2 Charles (823-877)

A3.B5.C2.3? Daughter

  • 'm'3.Theodelinde? / Concubine:

A3.B5.C3.1 Alpais (c793-852)

A3.B5.C2 Arnoul (794-841)

A3.B6 Lothair (778–6 February 779/780)

A3.B7 Bertha (779-826)

A3.B8 Gisela (781-808)

A3.B9 Hildegarde (782-783)

A4. Gersuinda

A4.B1 Adaltrude (b.774)

A5. Madelgard

A5.B1 Ruodhaid (775–810)

A6. Fastrada

A6.B1 Theodrada (b.784)

A6.B2 Hiltrude (b.787)

A7. Luitgard

A8. Amaltrude

A8.B1 Alpaida (b.794)

A9. Regina

A9.B1 Drogo (801–855)

A9.B2 Hugh (802–844)

A10. Ethelind:

A10.B1 Richbod (805–844)

A10.B2 Theodoric (b. 807)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wikipedia Links:

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àcerca (Português)

Charlemagne (English: Charles the Great, German: Karl der Grosse, French: Charles le Grand, Latin: Carolus Magnus, Dutch: Karel de Grote, Portuguese:Carlos Magno), King of Neustria (768-771), King of the Franks (771-814), King of the Lombards (774-814), and Emperor of the Romans (800-814). He was born on April 2, 742 at Ingelheim (or Héristal or Aix-la-Chapelle), and died January 28, 814 at Aix-la-Chapelle. Charles was the eldest son of Pippin III and Bertrada of Laon.

Join the Discussion for Charlemagne's descendants in many languages.

According to this article all Europeans are descended from Charlemagne. Here's another one, & another one, & another one.

“By the sword and the cross”, Charlemagne became master of western Europe.

  • Old Low Franconian: Karl thie Mikili, Frankana Kunink
  • Latin: Carolus Magnus, Rex Francorum
  • Old Gallo-Romance: Karlus li Magnus, Regis de les Frankes
  • Old French: Charles li Magne, Rei des Francs
  • Middle French: Charlemagne, Roi des Francs

Charlemagne titled himself: 'Carolus serenissimus augustus a Deo coranatos magnus pacificus imperator, Romanum gubernans imperium, qui et per misericordiam Dei rex Francorum atque Langobardorum' Davis, RHC: A History of Medieval Europe, Longman 1977 p155

Google translate: Charles August, the most serene – crowned by God of Peace, is a great commander, who governs the Roman empire, & who also, by the mercy of God, is the king of the Franks and the Lombards

Description of Charlemagne’s crowning by the Pope on 23 December 800, in the Frankish Royal Annals (the earliest description we have, probably written c 801 by Angilbert the chaplain). Note: this is subtly different from the papal description given in Liber Pontificalis, which is written to suggest a far greater authority vested in the Pope than the Frankish point of view, here:

'On that very and most holy day of Christmas, when the king at Mass before the confession of the blessed Peter the apostle, was rising from prayer, Leo the pope put [a/the] crown on his head, and acclamation was made by all the people of the Romans: ‘To Charles Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor of the Romans, Life and Victory!’ And after the ‘praises’ (laudes), he was ‘adored’ by the apostolic [bishop] in the manner of ancient princes, and discarding the name of patrician, he was called Emperor and Augustus.' Davis, RHC: A History of Medieval Europe, Longman 1977 p149-50

Wives and Children

Charlemagne had twenty children over the course of his life with eight of his ten known wives and concubines. Nonetheless, he only had four legitimate grandsons, the four sons of his third son Louis, plus a grandson who was born illegitimate, but included in the line of inheritance.

OVERVIEW OF CHARLEMAGNE'S PARTNERS; CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN

See Our Charlemagne project page for details of sources

A. Himiltrude:

A1.B1 Amaudru

A1.B2 Pippin the Hunchback (ca. 769–811)

A2. Desiderata

A3. Hildegard:

A3.B1 Charles the Younger (ca. 772–4 December 811)

A3.B2 Adalhaid (774)

A3.B3 Rotrude (or Hruodrud) (775–6 June 810)

A3.B4 Carloman, renamed Pippin (April 777–8 July 810)

A3.B5 Louis I The Pious (778–20 June 840)

  • m1. Ermengard:

A3.B5.C1.1 Lothaire(795-855)

A3.B5.C1.2 Pepin (797-838)

A3.B5.C1.3 Rotrude (800-)

A3. B5.C1.4 Berta or Adelaide

A3.B5.C1.5 Hildegrard (c802-857)

A3.B5.C1.6 Louis (806-876)

  • m2. Judith:

A3.B5.C2.1 Gisela (c819-c874)


A3.B5.C2.2 Charles (823-877)

A3.B5.C2.3? Daughter

  • 'm'3.Theodelinde? / Concubine:

A3.B5.C3.1 Alpais (c793-852)

A3.B5.C2 Arnoul (794-841)

A3.B6 Lothair (778–6 February 779/780)

A3.B7 Bertha (779-826)

A3.B8 Gisela (781-808)

A3.B9 Hildegarde (782-783)

A4. Gersuinda

A4.B1 Adaltrude (b.774)

A5. Madelgard

A5.B1 Ruodhaid (775–810)

A6. Fastrada

A6.B1 Theodrada (b.784)

A6.B2 Hiltrude (b.787)

A7. Luitgard

A8. Amaltrude

A8.B1 Alpaida (b.794)

A9. Regina

A9.B1 Drogo (801–855)

A9.B2 Hugh (802–844)

A10. Ethelind:

A10.B1 Richbod (805–844)

A10.B2 Theodoric (b. 807)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wikipedia Links:

Afrikaans, العربية, Български. Brezhoneg, Bosanski, Česky, Dansk, Deutsch, Ελληνικά, Englsh, Español, Eesti, فارسی, Suomi, Français, עברית, Hrvatski, Magyar, Bahasa Indonesia, Íslenska, Italiano, 日本語, ქართული, Qaraqalpaqsha, 한국어, Lietuvių, Latviešu, Македонски, Bahasa Melayu, Nederlands, Norsk (bokmål), ‬Polski, Português, Română, Русский, Slovenčina, Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски, Српски / srpski, Svenska, Kiswahili, ไทย, Tagalog, Türkçe, Українська, Tiếng Việt, 中文

================================================================
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Charlemagne, Emperor of the West's Timeline

693
December 17, 693
France

Feast September 6 and December 17

742
April 2, 742
Herstal, Walloon Region, Belgium

Charlemagne is believed to have been born in 742; however, several factors have led to a reconsideration of this date. First, the year 742 was calculated from his age given at death, rather than from attestation in primary sources. Another date is given in the Annales Petarienses, April 1, 747. In that year, April 1 was at Easter. The birth of an emperor at eastertime is a coincidence likely to provoke comment, but there was no such comment documented in 747, leading some to suspect that the Easter birthday was a pious fiction concocted as a way of honoring the Emperor. Other commentators weighing the primary records have suggested that his birth was one year later, in 748. At present, it is impossible to be certain of the date of the birth of Charlemagne. The best guesses include April 1, 747, after April 15, 747, or April 1, 748, in Herstal (where his father was born, a city close to Liège in modern day Belgium), the region from where both the Merovingian and Carolingian families originate. He went to live in his father's villa in Jupille when he was around seven, which caused Jupille to be listed as a possible place of birth in almost every history book. Other cities have been suggested, including, Prüm, Düren, Gauting and Aachen.

Charlemagne's birth-name, "Charles" was derived from his grandfather, Charles Martel. The name derives from "karl", a Germanic stem meaning "man" or "free man",[4] related to the English "churl". The earliest extant forms of Charlemagne's name are in the Latinate form, "Carolus" or "Karolus".

In many Slavic languages, the very word for "king" derives from Charles' Slavicised name.

--------------------
Aix-la-Chapelle was a palace. Aachen is located at what is now the German border, just where the boundaries of Belgium & the Netherlands meet.

April 2, 742
St. Denis, France
754
754
Age 11
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
767
767
Age 24
Rheinland, Preussen, Germany
768
October 9, 768
Age 26

Charles and his brother Pippin become kings upon their father's death

768
Age 25
768
Age 25
(Not Married - Had Natural Dtr)
768
Age 25
769
April 769
Age 27
Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany