Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland

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Charles / Carolus Magnus / Karl der Große, Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum

Nicknames: "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", "Cr..."
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 "le Bref", King of the Franks and Bertha Broadfoot of Laon, Queen of the Franks
Husband of Hildegard von Vinzgau; 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 Pippin I.König von Italien; Ludwig I.König von Franken; Karl,König von Franken; Amaudra; Pippin the Hunchback, son of Charlemagne & Himiltrude and 20 others
Brother of Ermengarde des Francs; Chrothais Princess Of des Franks, [Princess of]; Gertrude Princess of The Franks, Princess Of France; Bertbelle (Fictional); Carloman I, King of the Franks and 12 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 Charles / Carolus Magnus / Karl der Große, Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum

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.


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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Charlemagne's Timeline

December 17, 693

Feast September 6 and December 17

Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
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
Age 11
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Age 24
Rheinland, Preussen, Germany
October 9, 768
Age 26

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

Age 25
Age 25
(Not Married - Had Natural Dtr)
Age 25