Mayor Charles Martel AUSTRASIA
(Abt 676-741)
Duchess Sunihilde Austrasia NANKS
(Abt 690-Abt 724)
Count Charibert LAON, I
(Abt 690-Aft 747)
Countess Bertrada LAON
(Abt 695-)
King Pepin FRANKS, III
Queen Bertrada De Laon FRANCE
(Abt 716-783)
Emperor Saint Charlemagne Franks HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE


Family Links

1. Empress Desiderata Lombardy HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE

  • Pepin
2. Empress Hildegard Swabia HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
3. Empress Fastrada France Countess HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
  • Princess Theodrade FRANCE
  • Princess Hiltrude FRANCE
4. Empress Liutgard France Queen HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
5. Concubine Holyroman Empire Himiltrud , I
  • Pepin FRANCE
  • Rothais FRANCE
6. Concubine Holyroman Empire Mathalgard , I
  • Abbess Rothaide FARMOUTIER
7. Concubine Holyroman Empire Gerswind , II
  • Adeltrud FRANCE
8. Concubine Holyroman Empire Reginopychra , III
9. Concubine Holyroman Empire , IV
  • Bellinandra FRANCE
10. Concubine Holyroman Empire , V
  • Gertruda FRANCE
11. Concubine Holyroman Empire , VI
  • Emma FRANCE
12. Concubine Holyroman Empire Galiena , VII
13. Concubine Holyroman Empire , VIII
  • Hruodhaid FRANCE
14. Concubine Holyroman Empire Adelheid , IX
  • Dietrich Thierry FRANCE

Emperor Saint Charlemagne Franks HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE

  • Born: 2 Apr 742, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia
  • Christened: 754, St Denis, Aude, Paris, Seine, France
  • Married (1): 770
  • Married (2): Abt 771-772, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia
  • Married (3): 783, Worms, Rhinehessen, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany
  • Married (4): Aft 794-796
  • Died: 28 Jan 814, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia
  • Buried: Cathedral, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia

   Other names for Saint were Saint, Charlemagne, Charles "The Great", Kaiser Karl, AUSTRASIA King, FRANCE King, FRANKS King and HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE Emperor.

   Ancestral File Number: 9GCC-89. User ID: 77454311684.

   General Notes:

"The Great", King of AUSTRASIA Reigned 768-771, King of the FRANKS Reigned 768/771-814, King of FRANCE, Emperor HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE Reigned 800-814, Saint 1165 Feast Day 28 Jan.

Barber Grandparents: 125 Kings, 143 Generations, Ted Butler Bernard and Gertrude Barber Bernard, 1978, McKinney TX, p73: "268P Charlemagne `The Great', King of France, (S of 261, F of 275); One of the great rulers of Europe...ruled as Emperor for fourteen years over Europe and Holy Roman Empire; The sword and the orb represent, respectively, his might and his divine right; while the emblems above, the eagle of Germany and the fleur-de-lis of France, indicate that his empire marked the beginning of those two great states. (Original painting in the National Museum at Nuremberg, Germany); Married among others, Hildegarde, daughter of Gerold I, Duke of Alemania; waged numerous wars and extended the French Empire over all central Europe; tried to force Saxons and Saracens to become Christians; put to death 4500 people at one time in trying to convert the people to Christianity..."

France A Modern History, Albert Guerard, 1959, Univ Michigan Press, p50: "...In 768 Pepin died. According to Frankish custom, his domains were divided between his two sons, Charles and Carloman. The latter, however, survived his father by three years only; and Charles brushing aside the claims of his nephews, became sole ruler. He completed and extended magnificently the work of his two predecessors. He had to subdue Aquitania once more; but, by respecting its traditions, he secured at last its loyalty. He reduced Bavaria to stricter vassalage. He finally destroyed the power of the Lombards. Redeeming the pledge of his father, he gave the pope the Exarchate of Ravenna, which belonged to the Eastern Empire. He made repeated but rather ineffectual incursions into norther Spain, and established a new march or frontier province beyond the Pyrenees. For thirty-two years, moved by religious as well as political motives, he waged war against the heathen Saxons. Their idol Irminsul was destroyed; forty-five hundred men were beheaded in a single day at Verden; their national hero Witikind had to accept Chrisitanity and the rule of Charles; one-third of the population was dragged away and settled in Franconia and Alemannia. Bishops were sent out to organize the Church in Saxon land. It remains doubtful whether a people thus converted by the grace of the sword could ever fully grasp the message of the Prince of Peace. Beyond the limits of the German world, Charles defeated the Avars and held in check the Slavs and the Danes. In the Christian West, the kingdoms of the Asturias and of the British Isles, though unconquered, acknowledged his leadership; the EasternEmpire finally recognized him; and friendly embassies proved that his fame had reached the Caliph of Bagdad.
"On Christmas Day, 800, in Rome Pope Leo III set the imperial crown on the head of Charles, while the assembled Romans and Franksburst into the cry, `Long life and victory to Charles, most pious, Augustus, crowned of God, great and pacific Emperor of the Romans!' The deatails and the full meaning of this transaction are not perfectly clear. Eginhard tells us that Charles was taken by surprise and felt annoyance rather than elation at the pope's initiative. His reluctance, if we accept it as proven and unfeigned, was not due to any Germanic contempt for a Roman title. As Patricus and Protector of the Roman Republic, he believed himself to be the temporal head of the Christian commonwealth, and the overlord of the pope. This overlordship he had but recently exercised to the full: to his protection alone did Leo III owe his restoration to the papal throne; and only two days before, the pontiff, accused of adultery and perjury, had cleared himself by an oath in the presence of the Frankish king acting as judge. The title expressed most fittingly the two principal characteristics of Charles'rule: the hegemony of the Franks in the West and the theocratic ideal. But it was the emperor, `crowned of God', who was the theocrat.
"The new title, which Charles seems for a while to have ignored, brought no change in his government. The years of conquest were over, and the emperor enjoyed in peace the respect of the whole Christian world. The majesty of his old age was sullied by the licentiousness of his own court, of his own family, and of his own life; and a telling anecdote represents the aged monarch assailed with forebodings at the news of Northmen's raids. He passed away at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), long his favorite residence, in 814.
"There is hardly any more impressive personality in history than that of Charlemagne. When we think of Frankish barbarism and chaos, of the ruined conditions of the roads in Gaul, of their total absence in Saxony, his victories, his administration, and even the flickering renaissance of learning that he encouraged assume an almost fabulous grandeur.
"As a hero of legend he is unsurpassed except by Caesar and Napoleon. Within three hundred years, he had become the center of an epic cycle- rather, it must be noted, among the Franch than among theGermans. He was `the Emperor with the Flowery Beard,' gigantic, two hundred years old, whose power kept the East as well as the West in awe. In 1165, by an even bolder transformation, he received the halo of a saint: to be sure, it was at thehands of an antipope, Paschal III, and it was Louis XI, a dubious sponsor, who insisted that his feast day (January 28) be properly celebrated. From 1661 at least, and almost to the present day, `St Charlemagnes' was a holiday for French schoolboys: for another legend made him the founder of modern education. His example was constantly before the eyes of Napoleon, whose empire was almost coextensive with the Carolingian dominions, and who once threatedned the pope `to cancel the donation of my predecessor Charlemagne.' He dominates the whole history of Germany, and his shade has flitted through the morbidly gigantic dreams of modern Teutonic leaders.
"The greatness of Charles lies in his personality, which is the surest foundation for his legend. But personality is not transmitted with the blood, and his work perished with him. He had attempted to weld the WEstern Christian world into a single whole: thirty years after his death, the nations separated, never to be permanently united again. He had stood for a strong central government with his emissaries, the Missi Dominici, carrying his will into the remotest provinces; and disintegration proceeded so fast that under kings of his line, in the tenth century there were in his former domains thousands of independent principalities. The Carolingian renaissance, creditable though it be, was but a false dawn: there were still two hundred years of darkness to go through. His reform of the Church had to be done over again. His capital remained a minor city..."

Europe in the Middle Ages, Robert S Hoyt, 1957, Harcourt Brace & Co, p621: "Genealogical Table II, The Carolingians, Charlemagne King 768-814, Emperor 800-814..."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol II, p753, Charlemagne Emperor: "Carolus Magnus, Charles the Great, Born 2 Apr Abt 742, Died 28 Jan 814 Aix-la-Chapelle Aachen Germany, King of the Franks 768-814, united by conquest nearly all Christian lands of western Europe and ruled as emperor (800-814); his reign was characterized by a brilliant court and by an imperial unity unrivalled for centuries before and after. A member of the Carolingian family and son of Pepin III the Short, Charlemagne acceded to the Frankish throne in 768, gaining sole control of it with the death of his brother in 771. He conquered the Lombards and the pagan Saxons, whom he Christianized. He contin- ued expansion of the Frankish state. His close alliance with the papacy and the papal desire for a western emperor to counter Byzantium resulted in the coronation of Charlemagne in 800. His court a Aix-la-Chapelle became an intellectual, political, and administrative centre after 794."

Macropaedia, Vol IV, p44-47, Charlemagne Emperor: "...conquered the Lombards, subdued the Saxons, annexed Bavaria, fought campaigns in Spain and Hungary, and with the exception of the Kingdom of Asturias in Spain, southern Italy, and the British Isles, united in one superstate practically all the Christian lands of western Europe. Besides expanding its political power, he also brought about a cultural renaissance in his empire. Although this imperium survived its founder by only one generation, the medieval kingdoms of France and Germany derived all their constitutional traditions from Charles' monarchy. Throughout medieval Europe, the person of Charles was considered the prototype of a Christian king and emperor."
"Charleswas born 2 Apr (probably in) 742, the elder son of Pepin III the Short. Pepin and his older brother, Carloman, had just jointly assumed the government of the Frankish kingdom as `major domus' or `mayor of the palace'. The dynasty, later calledCarolingian after Charlemagne, had originated in the Meuse-Moselle region on the borders of modern France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. In the course of a few generation, it had, as mayors of the palace to the Merovingians, gained control of the entire Frankish kingdom."
"Charles grew to manhood while his father was engaged in acquiring sole sovereignty and the kingship. Pope Stephen II arrived in the Frankish kingdom during the winter of 753-754 in order to seek help against the Lombards who were attacking Rome. As the reigning monarch's oldest son, Charles, then about 12 years of age, travelled ahead to welcome the Pope, who anointed him king, along with his father and his brother Carloman, thus sanctioningthe new dynasty...When his father subdued Aquitaine in a series of yearly campaigns beginning in 760, reasserting the integrity of the Frankish kingdom all the way to the Pyrenees, Charles repeatedly accompanied the army."
"These youthfulexperiences probably contributed to the formation of Charles' character and to the formulation of his aims. He shared with his father an unbending will to power, a readiness to fight resolutely against external enemies and to increase his domains, and the determination to rule by himself even if it meant usurping the rights of close relatives. Charles early acknowledged the close connection between temporal power and the church...while asserting royal suzerainty over the church, considered himself accountable to God for the Christians entrusted to him."
"In accordance with old Frankish custom, the kingdom was divided on Pepin's death in 768 between his two sons. It was not long, however, before a strong rivalry sprang up between the brothers: with his mother's support, Charles concluded, with the Lombard king Desiderius, whose daughter he married, and with his cousin Duke Tassilo of Bavaria, alliances directed against Carloman."
"On Carloman's suddendeath in 771, Charles was able to make himself sole ruler of the kingdom, unopposed by his young nephews, whose rights he ignored. When Carloman's widow with her children and a few remaining supporters had fled to the Lombard court, and King Desiderius, breaking his alliance with Charles, put pressure on the Pope to anoint Carloman's sons as Frankish kings, Charles was forced to come to the aid of Pope Adrian I. He marched on Pavia and after its fall made himself king of the Lombards. His brother's sons, who had fallen into his hands, disappeared...While promising to transfer large sections of Italy to papal rule, he actually enlarged the Pope's lands only slightly, assuming for himself the sovereignty over the entire Lombard kingdom."
"Charles had fought the pagan retribution for their attacks on the lower Rhine region, as early as 772...From 775 on, however, it was his goal to subdue the whole Saxon tribe, converting it to Christianity and integrating it into his kingdom. This aim appeared to have been realized after several campaigns culminating in declarations of allegiance by the Saxon nobility and mass baptisms performed in 775-777. A diet held in 777 in Paderborn sealed the submission of the Saxons. Among those attending the diet had been some Arab emissaries from northern Spain who sought Charles' aid in their uprising against the Umayyad amir of Cordoba. In the summer of 778 Charles advanced into Spain and laid siege to Saragossa, without, however, being able to take the city. Retreating across the Pyrenees, the Frankish army was badly mauled by the Basques..."
"This defeat marks the end of the first period of Charles' rule, the period of vigorous expansion. Within a decade he had become the sole ruler of the Franks, conquered the Lombard kingdom, visited Rome, subdued the Saxons, invaded Spain. Henceforth he was concerned with defending and safeguarding his quickly won gains (which wereto be extended only on the right bank of the Rhine), while consolidating the state internally and protecting cultural lifeand the rule of law."
"Not long after Charles' defeat in Spain, the Saxons rose up once more... Between 772 and 804,Charles took the field against the Saxons no less than 18 times. In the end he carried out his aim of not only subjecting them to his rule but also incorporating them fully into his empire...but the violent methods by which this missionary taskwas carried out had been unknown to the earlier Middle Ages..."
"When, in 788, Charles deposed his cousin Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria, who had acknowledged the Frankish kings as feudal lords, he in effect deprived of its independence thelast of the German tribes beyond the Rhine...The West Germanic tribes of the Alemanni, Bavarians, Saxons, and Thuringians thus found themselves for the first time gathered into one political unit..."
"The gigantic expansion of the Frankishstate, raising it far above the tribal states of the early Middle Ages, entailed qualitative as well as quanti- tative changes. Yet the idea of bestowing on Charles the Roman title of emperor arose only at a very late stage and out of a specific political constellation. While the Eastern or Byzantine Empire laid claim to universal recognition, the popes, constitutionally still subjects of Byzantium, were opposed to the iconoclastic religious policies of the Eastern emperors. Moreover, under the protection of Charles, Pope Adrian sought to erect an autonomous domain over central Italy, the more so as the Byzantines, abandoning for all practical purposes Rome and Ravenna, were asserting their rule only in Sicily and the southernmost edge of Italy...Charles paid a second visit to Rome in 781, when he had the Pope crown his young sons Pepin and Louis as kings of the Lombards and Aquitanians and gained de facto recognition of his Italian position from the Byzantineempress Irene..."
"In the end, local Roman conflicts brought about the clarification of the city's constitutional position. In May 799, Pope Leo III was waylaid in Rome by personal enemies. He took refuge at the court of Charles, who had him conducted back to the city and who in Nov 800 came to Rome himself, where he was received with imperial honours. Before Charles and a synod, Pope Leo cleared himself under oath of the charges made by his enemies. During Christmas Mass in St Peter's, the Romans acclaimed Charles emperor, whereupon the Pope crowned and perhaps anointed him."
"The imperial title was by nature a Roman dignity. While the acclamation represented the juridically conclusive act, it was the coronationat the hands of the Pope that, though of no constitutional importance, was to acquire for the Franks great significance. The Pope had been determined to make Charles emperor, deciding to a large extent the outward form; yet Charles was surely not surprised by these events. His famous statement quoted by one of his favourites, the Frankish historian Einhard, that he would not have set foot in church that Christmas if he had known the Pope's intention, implies a criticism of the ceremony initiated by the Pope, as well as a formal expression of humility. The crowning had been preceded by negotiations. While Charles' imperial rank was legally substantiated by the fact of his dominion over the western part of the old Roman Empire, the desire to counteract the petticoat rule of the empress Irene (who had dethroned and blinded her son in 797) also played a role..."
"Byzantium braced itself for the usurper's attack, but Charles merely wished to see his new rank and his dominion over Rome recognized in negotiations; he gained his point in 812 when the emperor Michael I acknowledged him as emperor, though not emperor of Romans. While the imperial title did not bring Charles any additional powers, his control of Rome was now legitimized, and the estrangement of the papacy from Byzantium and its rapprochement with the Franks, a major historical event that had been initiated in 754, was rendered incontrovertible..."
"The court's cultural interests extended beyond the intellectual gratification of a small circle...Efforts were also made to raise the level of religious observance, morality, and the process of justice throughout the empire...The spiritual and literary movement calledthe `Carolingian renaissance' had many centres, especially in the empire's monasteries; but it cannot be evaluated without reference to Charles' court and to his endeavour to call on the best minds of the whole world, setting them to work in the education of the clergy and, in the final instance of the whole people. The court's theological knowledge and intellectual self-confidence are reflected in the `Libri Carolini', a comprehensive treatise written about 791 in Charles' name anddirected against the Council of Nicaea (787), at which Greeks and papal plenipotentiaries had countenanced the practice of iconolatry..."
"Through this court, Charles ruled and administered his empire and dispensed justice. Once or twice ayear at least, the court and the chief magistrates and nobles from all parts of the empire joined in a general assembly held either in the Frankish heartland or in one of the conquered territories...Juridical, military, and ecclesiastical affairs were invariably discussed at one and the same time by the representatives of the nobility and the clergy. Above them all towered the figure of Charlemagne."
"Events during Charles' reign as well as the history of the empire under Charles' successor, Louis, show the extent to which the political system had been designed for one peron on whose outstanding abilities everything depended and with whose disappearance it threatened to collapse...The temporal nobility that had builtthe empire with the Carolingians could be firmly tied to the dynasty only as long as new conquests held out the prospect of new spoils and fiefs...External expansion, however, could not advance substantially beyond the borders reached by 800;in fact, economic and technical resources were insufficient to hold together and administer what had already been won and to defend it against foreign enemies. Charles empire lacked the means by shich the Romans had preserved theirs: a money economy, a paid civil service, a standing army, a properly maintained network of roads and communications, a navy for coastal defense. Already in Charles' lifetime, the coasts were being Threaten- ed by the Normans. In 806 Charles planned a division of the empire between his sons, but after the death of the elder two he crowned Louis of Aquitaine his coemperor and sole successor at Aachen in 813. It was only a few months later that Charles himself died there on 28 Jan 814."
"Charlemagne's posthumous fame shone the more brightly as the following generations were unable to preserve the empire's internal peace, its unity, and its international position. Even after the Carolingian dynasty had become extinct, political tradition in the East (German) and West (French) Frankish kingdoms drew sustenance form the example set by Charlemagne...The controvers- ial question whether the Germans or the French were the true successors of Charlemagne was kept alive through the Middle Ages and into modern times..."
"Charles left no biographical document...This is how Einhard, who lived at the court from about 795 on, described Charlemagne's character and appearance in his famous `Vita Karoli': `He had a broad and strong body of unusual height, but well-proportioned; for his geight measured seven times his feet. His skull was round, the eyes were lively and rather large, the nose of more than average length, the hair gray but full, the face friendly and cheerful. Seated or standing, he thus made a dignified and stately impression even though he had a thick, short neck and a belly that protruded somewhat; but this was hidden by the good proportions of the rest of his figure. He strode with firm step and held himself like a man; he spoke with a higher voice than one would have expected of someone of his build. He enjoyed good health except for being repeatedly plagued by fevers four years before his death. Toward the end he dragged one foot.'"
"The strength of Charlemagne's personality was evidently rooted in the unbroken conviction of being at one with the divine will. Without inward contradiction, he was able to combine personal piety with enjoyment of life, a religious sense of mission with a strong will to power, rough manners with a striving for intellectual growth, and intransigence against his enemies with rectitude...Although his empire survived him by only one generation, it contributed decisively to the eventual reconstitution, in the mind of a western Europe fragmented since the end of the Roman Empire, of a common intellectual, religious, and political inheritance on which later centuries could draw. Charlemagne did not create thisinheritance single-handedly, but one would be hard put to imagine it without him. One of the poets at his court called `rex pater Europae' or `King father of Europe'. In truth, there is no other man who similarly left his mark on European history during the centuries of the Middle Ages."

The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk IV, The Dark Ages, Ch XIX, The Decline of the West, Sec III, France, p461: "The greatest of medieval kings was born in 742, at aplace unknown. He was of German blood and speech, and shared some characteristics of his people- strength of body, courage of spirit, pride of race, and a crude simplicity many centuries apart from the urbane polish of the modern French. He had little book learning; read only a few books-but good ones; tried in his old age to learn writing, but never quite succeeded; yet he could speak old Teutonic and literary Latin, and understood Greek..."
"In 771 Carloman II died, and Charles at twenty-nine became sole king. Two years later...he began a series of fifty-three campaigns-nearly all led in person-designed to round out his empire by conquering and Christianizing Bavaria and Saxony...The Saxons on his eastern frontierwere pagans...Charles gave the conquered Saxons a choice between baptism and death, and had 4500 Saxon rebels beheaded in one day; after which he proceeded to Thionville to celebrate the nativity of Christ..."
"At Paderborn in 777 Ibn al-Arabi, the Moslem governor of Barcelona had asked the aid of the Christian king against the caliph of Cordova. Charles led an army across the Pyrenees, besieged and captured the Christian city of Pamplona, treated the Chtristian but incalculableBasques of northern Spain as enemies, and advanced even to Saragossa. But the Moslem uprisings that al-Arabi had promised as part of the strategy against the caliph failed to appear; Charlemagne saw that his unaided forces could not challengeCordova; news came that the conquered Saxons were in wild revolt and were marching in fury upon Cologne; and with the better part of valor he led his army back, in long and narrow file through the passes of the Pyrenees. In one such pass, at Roncesvalles in Navarre, a force of Basques pounced down upon the rear guard of the Franks, and slaughtered nearly every man in it (7780; there the noble Hruodland died, who would become three centuries later the hero of France's most famous poem, the `Chanson de Roland'...After subduing the Saxons (785), Slavs (789), Avars (790-805), Spannish March (795) Navarre, and Asturias (806), he had, in his thirty-fourth year of his reign and the sixty-third of his age, resigned himself to peace."
"In truth he had always loved administration more than war, and had taken to the field to force some unity of government and faith upon a Western Europe torn for centuries past by confilcts of tribe and creed...He had in him the bloodor teaching of the wise and cautious Pepin III, and of the ruthless Charles Martel, and was something of a hammer himself...He could lead an army, persuade an assembly, humor the nobility, dominate the clergy, rule a harem..."
"Around theking gathered a court of administrative nobles and clergymen-the seneschal or head of the palace, the `count palatine' or chief justice, the `palsgraves' or judges of the palace court, and a hundred scholars, servants, and clerks. The sense ofpublic participation in the government was furthered by semiannual assemblies of armed property owners, gathered, as military or other convenience might dictate at Worms, Valenci- ennes, Aachen, Geneva, Paderborn...usually in the open air. At such assemblies the king submitted to smaller groups of noble or bishops his proposals for legislation; they considered them, and returned them to him with suggesteions; he formulated the `capitula' or chapters of legislation, and presented these to the multitude for their shouted approval. Hincmar, Archbishop of Reim, transmitted an intimate picture of Charles at one of these gatherings, `saluting the men of most note, conversing with those whom he seldom saw,showing a tender interest toward the elders, and disporting himself with the young...The King wished to know whether in any part or corner of the Kingdom the people were restless, and the cause thereof.' Sometimes the representatives of the King would summon leading citizens to inquire and give under oath a `true statement' (veredictum) as to taxable wealth, the state of public order, the existence of crimes or criminals, in the district visited. In the ninth century, in Frank lands, the verdict of a `jurata', or sworn group of inquirers was used to decide many local issues of land ownership or criminal guilt. Out of the `jurata', through Norman and English developments, would come the jury system of modern times..."
"Barring his wars, Charlemagne's was the most just and enlightened government that Europe had known since Theodoric the Goth. The sixty-five capitularies that remain of Charlemagne's legislation are among the most interesting bodies of medieval law. They were not a organized system, but rather the extension and application of previous `barbarian' codes to new occasion or need...they kept the old wergild, ordeals, trial by combat, and punishment by mutilation, and decreed death for relapse into paganism, orfor eating meat in Lent-though here the priest was allowed to soften the penalty... `It is necessary',said one article, `that every man should seek to the best of his strength and ability to serve God and walk in the way of His precepts; for the Lord Emperor cannot watch over every man in personal descipline...'"
"Charlemagne struggled to protect a free peasantry against spreading sefdom, but the power of the nobles, and the force of circumstance, frustrated him...His reign fellinto a period when the economy of southern France and Italy was at low ebb through the control of the Mediterranean by the Saracens. `The Christians', said Ibn Khaldun, `could no longer float a plank upon the sea...' Every encouragement was given to such commerce as survived; the fairs were protected, weights and measures and prices were regulated, tolls were moderated, roads and bridges were built or repaired, a great span was thrown across the Rhine at Mainz, waterways were kept open, and a canal was planned to connect the Rhine and the Danube, and thereby the North with the Black Sea. A stabel currency was maintained; but the scarcity of gold in France and the decline of trade led to the replacement of Constantine's gold `solidus' with the silver pound."
"The energy and solicitude of the King reached into every sphere of life. He gave to the four winds the names they bear today. He established a system of poor relief, taxed the nobles and the clergy topay its costs, and then made mendicancy a crime. Appalled by the illiteracy of his time, when ardly any but ecclesiastics could read, and by the lack of education among the lower clergy, he called in foreign scholars to restore the schools of France..., and soon the palace school was an active center of study, of therevision and copying of manuscripts, and of an educational reform that spread throughout the realm. Among the pupils were Charlemagne, his wife Liutgard, his sons, and his daughter Gisela. Charlemagne was most eager of all; he seized upon learning rhetoric, dialectic, astonomy, as he had absorbed states and, says Egenhard `used to keep tablets under his pillow in order that at leisure hours he might accustom his hand to form the letters; but as he began these efforts so late in life, they met with ill success...' Many of our best classical texts have come down to us from these monastic `scriptoria' of the ninth century; practically all extant Latin poetry except Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, and nearly all extant Latin prose except Varro, Tacitus, and Apuleius, were preserved for us by the monks of the Carolingian age...In 787 Charlemagne issued to all the bishops and abbots of Francia an historic `Capitulare de litteris colendis' or directive on the study of letters. It reproached ecclesiastics for `uncouth language' and `unlettered tongues', and exhorted every cathedral and monastery to establish school where clergy andlaity alike might learn to read and write. A further capitulary of 789 urged the directors of these schools to `take care to make no difference between the sons of serfs and of freemen, so that they might come and sit on the same benches to study grammar, music, and arithmetic.' A capitulary of 805 provided for medical education, and another condomned medical superstitions...Out of these schools were to come the universities of Europe."
"We must not overestimate the intellectualquality of the age; this scholastic resurrection was the awakening of children rather than the maturity of such cultures as then existed in Constantinople, Baghdad, and Cordova. It did not produce any great writers...The only lasting composition of that Gallic age was the brief and simple biography of Charlemagne by Eginhard. It follows the plan of Suetonius' `Lives of the Caesars' and even snatches passages there- from to apply to Charlemagne; but all is forgiven to an author who modestly describes himself as `a barbarian, very little versed in the Roman tongue...'"
"Palaces were built for the Emperor at Ingelheim and Nijmegen; and at Aachen, his favorite capital, he raised the famous palace and chapel that survived a thousand dangers to crumble under the shells and bombs of the 2nd World War...Charlemagne was profusely generous to the Church; at the same time he made himself her master, and used her doctrines and personnel as instruments of education and government...He allowed the clergy their own courts, decreed that a tithe or tenth of all produce of the land should be turned over to the Church, gave the clergy control of marriages and wills...Out of this intimate co-operation of Church and state came one of the most brilliant ideas in the history of statesmanship: the transformation of Charlemagne's realm into a Holy Roman Empire that should have behind it all the prestige, sanctity, and stability of both Imperial and papal Rome. The popes had long resented their territorial subordination to a Byzantium that gave them no protection and no security; they saw the increasing subjection of the patriarch to the emperor at Constantinople, and feared their own freedom. We do not know who conceived or arranged the plan of a papal coronation of Charlemagne as Roman emperor; Alcuin, Theodulf and others close to him had discussed its possibility...There were great difficulties in the way: the Greek monarch already had the title of Roman emperor, and full historic right to that title; the Church had no recognized authority to convey or transfer the title...If the bold scheme could be carried through there would again be a Roman emperor in the West, Latin Christianity would stand strong and unified against schismatic Byzantium and threatening Sracens, and, by the awe and magic of the imperial name, barbarized Europe might reach back across centuries of darkness, and inherit and Christianize the civilization and culture of the ancient world..."
"The Roman populace did not like Pope Leo III; it accused him of varius misdeeds; and on April 25, 799, it attacked him, maltreated him, and imprisoned him in a monastery. He escaped, and fled for protection to Charlemagne at Paderborn. The King received him kindly, and sent him back to Rome under arn=med escort, and ordered the Pope and his accusers to appear before him there in the following year. On November 24, 800, Charlemagne entered the ancient capital in state; on December 1 an assembly of Franks and Romans agreed to drop the charges against Leo if he would deny them on solemn oath; he did; and the way was cleared for a magnificent celegration of the Nativity. On Christmas Day, as Charlemagne, in the chlamys and sandals of a patricius Romanus', knelt before St Peter's altar in prayer, Leo suddenly produced a jeweled crown, and set it upon the King's head. The congregation, perhaps instructed beforehand to act according to ancient ritual as the senatus populusque Romanus' confirming a coronation, thrice cried out: Hail to Charles the Augustus, crowned by God the great and peace-bringing Emperor of the Romans!' The royal head was anointed with holy oil, the Pope saluted Charlemagne as Emperor and Augustus, and offered him the act of homage reserved since 476 for the Eastern emperor."
"If we may believe Eginhard, Charlemagne told him that had he known Leo's intention to crown him he would not have entered the church. Perhaps he had learned of the general plan, but regretted the haste and circumstances of its execution; it may not have pleased him to receive the crown from a pope, opening the door to centuries of dispute as to the relative dignity and power of donor and recipient; and presumably he anticipated difficulties with Byzantium...Finally, in 812, the Greek basileus' recognized Charlemagne as coemperor, in return for Charlemagne's acknowledgment of Venice and southern Italy as belonging to Byzantium."
"The coronation had results for a thousand years. It strengthened the papacy and the bishops by making civil authority derive from ecclesiastical conferment...It strengthened Charlemagne against baronial and other disaffection by making him a very vicar of God; it vastly advanced the theory of the divine right of kings. It contributed to the schism of Greek from Latin Christianity; the Greek Church did not relish subordination to a Roman Church allied with an empire rival to Byzantium. The fact that Charlemagne continued to make Aachen, not Rome, his capital, underlined the passage of political power from the Mediterranean to northern Europe, from the Latin peoples to the Teutons...All in all, despite it s threat to the liberty of the mind and the citizen, the Holy Roman Empire was a noble conception, a dream of security and peace, order and civilization restored in a world heroically won from barbarism, violence, and ignorance..."
"He was six feet four inches tall...had blond hair, animated eyes, a powerful nose, a mustoache but no beard, a presence always stately and digni-fied'...He was temperate in eating and drinking...and kept in good health despite every exposure and hardship. He often hunted, or took vigorous exercise on horseback. He was a good swimmer...He rarely entertained, preferring to hear music or the reading of a book while he ate. Like every great man he valued time; he gave audiences and heard cases in the morning while dressing and putting on his shoes."
"Behind his pose and majesty were passion and energy, but harnessed to his aims by a clairvoyant intelligence. His vital force was not consumed by jalf a humdred campaigns; he gave himself also, with never aging enthusiasm, to science, law, literature, and theology; he fretted at leaving any part of the earth, or any section of knowledge, unmastered or unexplored. In some ways he was mentally ingenuous; he scorned superstition...This simplicity of soul had its fair side: there was in his thought and speech a directness and honesty seldom permitted to statesmanship."
"He could be ruthless when policy required, and was especially cruel in his efforts to spread Christianity. Yet he was a man of great kindness, many charities, warm friendships, and varied loves. He wept at the death of his sons, his daughter, and Pope Hadrian. In the poem Ad Carolum regem' Theodulf draws a pleasant picture of the Emperor at home...He himself, following the custom of his predecessors, had four successive wives and five mistresses or concubines...His harem bore him some eighteen children, of whom eight were legitimate. Theecclesiastics of the court and of Rome winked leniently at the Moslem morals of so Christian a king."
He was now head of an empire far grater than the Byzantine, surpassed, in the white man's world, only by the realm of the Abbasid caliphate. But every extended frontier of empire or knowledge opens up new problems. Western Europe had tried to protect itself from the Germans by taking them into its civiliza- tion; but now Germany had to protected against the Norse and the Slavs. The Vikings had by 800 established a kingdom in Jutland and were raiding the Frisian coast..."
"Perhaps because he foresaw, like Diocletian, that his overreaching empire needed quick defense at many points at once, he divided it in 806 among his three sons...But Pepin died in 810, Charles in 811; only Louis remained, so absorbed in piety as to seem unfit to govern a rough and treacherous world. Nevertheless, in 813, at a solemn ceremony, Louis was elevated from the rank of king to that of emperor...Four months later, wintering at Aachen the old monarch was seized with a high fever, and developed pleurisy...after an illness of seven days he died, in the forty-seventh year of his reign and the seventy-second year of his life (814). He was buried under the dome of the cathedral at Aachen, dressed in his imperial robes. Soon all the world called Carolus Magnus, Karl der Grosse, Charlemagne; and in 1165, when time had washed away all memory of his mistresses, the Church which he had served so well enrolled him among the blessed."

The New Columbia Encyclopedia, 1975, p507, Charlemagne: "...Charles' struggle with the pagan Saxons, whose greatest leader was Widukind, lasted from 772 until 804. By dint of forced conversions, wholesale massacres, and the transportation of thousands of Saxons to itne interior of the Frankish kingdom, Charles made his domination over Saxony complete...He also conquered the Lombards, the Bavarians, and warred successfully against the Avars and the Slavs, establishing a frontier couth of the Danube...The end of Charles' reign was troubled by the raids of Norse and Danish pirates (Norsemen), and Charles took vigorous measures for the construction of a fleet, which his successors neglected. His land frontiers he had already protected by the creation of marches..."
"He permitted conquered peoples to retain their own laws, which he codified when possible...A noteworthy achievement was the creation of a system by which he might personally supervise his administrators in even the most distant lands; his missi dominici' were personal representatives with wide poweres who regularly inspected their assigned districts. He maintained contact with the lesser magnates through annual consultative assemblies...Like Byzantine emperors, he acted as arbiter in theological disputes by summoning councils, notably that at Frankfurt (794) where the decrees of the Second Council of Nicaea were condemned... Charlemagne's court at Aachen was the center of an intellectual renaissance. The palace school became particularly famous... The preservation of classical literature was due almost entirely to his initiative...He was beatified after his death and in some churches has been honored as a saint..."

The Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Editions, France 768: "Son of Pepin, King of Austrasia 768-771, Charlemagne, "Charles the Great", King of France 771-814, Crowned by Leo III "Emperor of the West" 800, A great Prince, He was the strongest and tallest man of his time, but plain in dress, diet etc, Extinction of the Lombard Kingdom 774, Conquest of the Saxons 791, and Huns 796, Austria taken from the Huns by Charlemagne 791-796..."

The Kings of France, Claude Wenzler, Tran. Angela Moyon, Editons Quest-France 13 Rue du Breil, Rennes, France 1995, p13: "The Carolingians- Charles the Great- Charlemagne (From the Latin Carolus Magnus) 742- 768- 814 AD- Queen: Hildegard 758- 771- 783 AD.
As the elder son of Pepid the Short and Bertha, he was crowned king in 751 AD and reigned initially over Neustria, Austrasia, and Western Aquitaine. In 771 AD, he inherited his brother Carloman's possessions. Once he had re-established the unity of the Regnum Francorum, Pope Leo III crowned him Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day in the year 800 AD in Rome.
During his reign, he pursued two main ambitions - the construction of a vast Christian empire in the Western world, and the re-establishment of the Roman order. His territory stretched as far as the Elbe River, making it even larger than the empire once ruled by Rome.
From his palace in Aix-la-Chapelle, he granted Counts and Bishops lands for which they were given direct responsibility. Their work was monitored by Charlemagne's miss dominici. In order to imporve the effectiveness of his government, he replaced thitherto spoken orders by written instructions (capitularies). He founded monasteries and schools, and was a patron of the Arts. He led countless military campaigns- in Lombardy (774 AD) against the Saxons who were defeated in 804 AD, against the Arabs in Spain in 778 AD, against the Bavarians, and against the Avars in Hungary (791- 796 AD). The Act of Thionville (806 AD) divided the Empire between his three sons, while he was still alive."

Descendants of Kaiser Karl (Charlemagne)

World Ancestral Chart No. 125360 Ancestors of Patricia Ann Kieffer.

Ancestral File Ver 4.10 9GCC-89 Chr 754 St Denis Paris Seine France Mar Abt 772.

   Marriage Information:

Saint married Empress Desiderata Lombardy HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, daughter of King Desiderius LOMBARD, in 770. The marriage ended in divorce. (Empress Desiderata Lombardy HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE was born about 755 in Lombardy, , Italy.)

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Saint also married Empress Hildegard Swabia HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, daughter of Duke Gerold SWABIA, I and Duchess Imma SWABIA, about 771-772 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia. (Empress Hildegard Swabia HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE was born about 744-757 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia, died on 30 Apr 783 in Thionville, Moselle, France and was buried in Abbey, St Arnoul, Metz, Austrasia, France.)

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Saint also married Empress Fastrada France Countess HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE in 783 in Worms, Rhinehessen, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. (Empress Fastrada France Countess HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE was born about 763 in , , France, died on 10 Apr 794 in Frankfurt, Hessen-Nassau, Prussia, Germany and was buried in Cathedral, Meinz.)

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Saint also married Empress Liutgard France Queen HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE after 794-796. (Empress Liutgard France Queen HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE was born about 774 in Allemania, , Germany, died on 4 Jun 800 in Tours, Indre-Et-Loire, Alsace, France and was buried in , St Martin, Meurtheetmoselle, France.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire Himiltrud , I. (Concubine Holyroman Empire Himiltrud , I was born about 746 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire Mathalgard , I. (Concubine Holyroman Empire Mathalgard , I was born about 766 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire Gerswind , II. (Concubine Holyroman Empire Gerswind , II was born about 768 in , Old Saxony, Germany.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire Reginopychra , III. (Concubine Holyroman Empire Reginopychra , III was born about 770 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire , IV. (Concubine Holyroman Empire , IV was born about 774 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire , V. (Concubine Holyroman Empire , V was born about 776 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire , VI. (Concubine Holyroman Empire , VI was born about 778 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire Galiena , VII. (Concubine Holyroman Empire Galiena , VII was born about 780 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

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Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire , VIII. (Concubine Holyroman Empire , VIII was born about 780 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

   Marriage Information:

Saint also married Concubine Holyroman Empire Adelheid , IX. (Concubine Holyroman Empire Adelheid , IX was born about 785 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.)

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