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Charlemagne

Charlemagne

Charlemagne (742-814), or Charles the Great, was king of the Franks, 768-814, and emperor of the West, 800-814. He founded the Holy Roman Empire, stimulated European economic and political life, and fostered the cultural revival known as the Carolingian Renaissance.

In contrast to the general decline of western Europe from the 7th century on, the era of Charlemagne marks a significant revival and turning point. Through his use of available resources (such as the Church, Irish missionaries, and manorial and feudal institutions), his alliance with the papacy, and his numerous governmental and ecclesiastical reforms, Charlemagne was able to halt the political and cultural disintegration of the early Middle Ages and lay the foundation for strong central government north of the Alps. Partially as a result of Charlemagne's activity, northern Europe emerged in the high and late Middle Ages as the dominant economic, political, and cultural force in the West.

Early Life

Charlemagne, the son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada, was born in 742. In 741 Pepin had become mayor of the palace, and in 751 he deposed the last Merovingian king and was declared king of the Franks. Little is known about Charlemagne's childhood; in 754, however, he participated in the anointment of Pepin as king by Pope Stephen II. He was educated at the palace school primarily by Fulrad, the abbot of St. Denis.

When Pepin died in October 768, Charlemagne came into his inheritance. According to a general assembly of the Franks, Charlemagne and his brother, Carloman, were both proclaimed king and were to rule the kingdom jointly. In the division of the realm, however, Carloman received a larger and richer portion. Under these circumstances ill feelings between the two brothers were inevitable, and the tension was heightened when Carloman refused to aid Charlemagne in his campaign against an uprising in Aquitaine. Toward the conclusion of the Aquitanian campaign, from which Charlemagne emerged victorious, a fraternal war seemed certain; but Carloman died unexpectedly in 771 and left Charlemagne the ruler of the entire kingdom.

Territorial Expansion

Charlemagne moved aggressively to remove those who threatened his suzerainty and to expand his power, especially in Italy. He immediately attacked and vanquished Desiderius, King of the Lombards; and in 774 Charlemagne was received by Pope Adrian I in Rome. The two renewed the alliance between the Frankish monarchy and the papacy, and shortly thereafter Charlemagne was crowned king of the Lombards at Pavia. The Frankish conquest of Italy—first of Lombardy in the north and later of the southern duchy of Benevento—had a twofold effect: all threats to the independence of the Holy See were removed, and a large portion of Italy was annexed by Charlemagne, thus bringing new wealth and peoples into his kingdom.

During his Italian campaigns Charlemagne also declared war against the Saxons, who had menaced the northeastern frontier of Francia for several generations. Begun in 772, this cruel and bitter war was finally concluded in 804 by the annexation of Saxony by Francia and the enforced Christianization of the Saxon tribes.

In the midst of the continual struggles to subdue the Saxons, Charlemagne carried on several major campaigns that resulted in territorial expansion. Perhaps the most renowned of these was his expedition into Spain. In 778, during the return from this successful campaign, Charlemagne's rear guard, led by Count Roland of the Breton March, was ambushed by traitorous Basques near Roncesvalles. The story of this episode was immortalized in the epic poem The Song of Roland. The historical importance of this campaign was the establishment of a military district called the Spanish March, a territorial buffer zone between Frankish Gaul and Moslem Spain.

On his eastern frontier Charlemagne defeated Tassilo, the Duke of Bavaria, and made the duchy of Bavaria part of his empire. He divided the western portion of the duchy into counties, each administered by a count loyal to the king; the eastern half formed a march, or border zone, called the Ost Mark (Austria), protected by a military duke, or margrave.

Further to the east, the major power and ultimate threat to the Frankish realm was the vast Slavic kingdom of the Avars, or Huns, an Asiatic tribe which had settled along the upper Danube. Between 791 and 795 Charlemagne crushed the power of the Avars and made their kingdom a tributary state. This victory opened the entire Danubian Plain to German colonization and the eastern expansion of Christianity—the beginning of the Drang nach Osten, or push to the East.

Holy Roman Empire

By 800 Charlemagne had succeeded in extending his overlordship from the Elbe River in the northeast to south of the Pyrenees in the southwest and from the North Sea to southern Italy. He ruled all of the Christianized western provinces, except the British Isles, that had once been part of the Roman Empire. As the sworn protector of the Church, Charlemagne was in fact the political master of Rome itself. Thus his authority, which extended over a vast realm and included numerous peoples, rivaled that of the Roman emperors of antiquity.

The papacy, at odds with Byzantium and its empress Irene over the question of iconoclasm (the problem of image worship and the use of images in the Church), looked to Charlemagne for protection and political leadership and regarded him as the true emperor of Latin Christendom and as the divinely appointed ruler of the earthly sphere. Thus the Pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman emperor on Christmas Day, 800.

Charlemagne endeavored to create unity and harmony within his vast realm and to promulgate laws and promote learning that would achieve his goals of empire. In his effort to assure his equality of rank with the Byzantine emperor, Charlemagne borrowed much from his eastern counterpart. The Byzantine influence is most clearly seen in the Palace Chapel of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), which was a conscious imitation of the imperial residence at Constantinople. In style, the building is based upon the church of S. Vitale in Ravenna, the former western Byzantine capital. Thus Charlemagne, in contrast to his Merovingian predecessors, who traveled incessantly throughout their realm, attempted to create a fixed capital parallel to that of Byzantium, and he resided at Aachen during most of his later years.

Character and Appearance

The major contemporary record of Charlemagne's personal attributes and achievements is the Vita Caroli Magni, the first medieval biography, written by Einhard between 817 and 836. This biography is largely a firsthand account, since Einhard was a member of the palace school during Charlemagne's reign and was his close associate.

In the Vita is the actual physical description of the man who has since become one of the greatest legendary heroes of the Middle Ages. The most striking feature about Charlemagne was his immense size in comparison to the average man of his day. Einhard believed him to be seven times the length of a foot, but with the opening of his tomb in 1861 scholars discovered that his actual height was 6 feet 3 1/2 inches. He was well built and admirably proportioned, except for his rather short thick neck and a protruding paunch. He took frequent exercise on horseback and enjoyed excellent health for most of his life. Einhard says that "his eyes [were] very large and animated, nose a little long, hair fair, and face laughing and merry."

Toward his friends Charlemagne was jovial, and he particularly enjoyed the company of others. Yet toward his enemies he was a stern and often cruel warrior to be feared for his strength and ability. Although primarily a man of action, he had great admiration for learning and "was such a master of Latin that he could speak it as well as his native tongue." He studied Greek and the liberal arts and thus combined to some extent the personality of a warrior and a scholar.

Charlemagne's Administration

In many respects Charlemagne's government, which proved so successful and which began the ascendancy of northern Europe, differed little in its institutions from the Merovingian era. In keeping with Frankish tradition, the monarchy was considered a matter of family inheritance; the government itself was personal, and its administration was founded on feudal oaths of allegiance between lord and follower. There was no distinction between the king's personal servants and the public officials. Thus the public and private nature of political control were inseparable, as were the secular and the religious aspects of kingship. Much as the Merovingians had done in the past, Charlemagne presided over ecclesiastical synods, depended upon the clergy for advice and counsel, and interfered in matters of Church discipline and property.

What is most striking about Charlemagne's rule of so vast a realm was that he was able to maintain, largely through the strength of his own personality, a centralized state wherein royal authority was primary. Power and political authority descended from the Emperor's imperium to his vassals. In this system the count, a direct vassal of the Crown, was the primary link between central and local government. Each count was in charge of an administrative district or county, which he governed with the help of lesser officials. There was always the danger that a count might become too powerful in his own district, and Charlemagne therefore created a group of special envoys, missi dominici, who inquired into abuses in the kingdom. He also maintained a small group of elite warriors, the vassi dominici, who acted as his personal retinue and helped him enforce imperial authority.

During the course of his reign Charlemagne sent a number of written instructions to his officials. These enactments, known as the Capitularii had the force of law and were implemented directly by the royal agents. They are exceedingly valuable as sources in understanding the social and legal structure of Carolingian France.

In general, the reign of Charlemagne, because of his military and political ability, was a period of internal tranquility and prosperity. He succeeded, through diplomatic negotiations, in having his imperial title recognized by the Byzantine emperor and, through his program of cultural revival and Church reform, in upgrading the level of civilization in the West.

Carolingian Culture

Charlemagne's support of art and letters had several purposes beyond the general improvement of culture and literacy in the empire. One of the major purposes was to provide an educated clergy that could undertake many of the administrative tasks of government. A second purpose, for which an educated clergy was also a necessity, was to ensure the acceptance of orthodox doctrine as well as a uniform liturgy throughout the empire. Such uniformity not only strengthened the Church but facilitated the political task of integrating and centralizing the administration of the empire. The spread of a uniform script known as the Caroline minuscule, the attempts at achieving uniformity of doctrine through the suppression of heresy, and the publication of a uniform Mass book, book of lessons, and monastic rule were sponsored as a means of furthering unity and integration. A third purpose of this cultural revival was to enhance the prestige and authority of Charlemagne himself, who thus appeared as the defender and protector of the Church, of orthodoxy, and of education.

The intellectual traditions and educational institutions supported by Charlemagne greatly influenced the development of Western culture. Grammarians and rhetoricians from northern Italy and English scholars, such as Alcuin, enhanced his court. This mixture of Italian and Anglo-Irish culture provided a broad foundation for the later stages of the Carolingian revival. Charlemagne expanded the number of schools, both monastic and episcopal, and the quality of education was greatly improved through the influence of the scholars who taught at the palace school.

Last Years

In 806, at the age of 64, Charlemagne took measures to provide for the succession of his empire. He divided the realm among his three sons—Charles, Pepin, and Louis. But the death of Charles in April 810 was soon followed by that of Pepin. The remaining son, Louis, later called "the Pious," who was the least warlike and aggressive of the three, was left as the sole heir to the empire, and he was crowned by his father in 813.

The last years of Charlemagne's reign saw difficult times. Civil disobedience increased; pest and famine created hard times; there were troubles on the frontiers. In many respects an era of crisis and decline loomed in the future. In 811 Charlemagne made his final will and gave a sizable portion of his treasures (more than to his own heirs) to various churches of the realm. He died, while fasting, on Jan. 28, 814, and was buried at his palace at Aachen.

Further Reading

Among the studies that focus on Charlemagne's life are Jesse L. Weston, The Romance Cycle of Charlemagne and His Peers (1901). Harold Lamb, Charlemagne: The Legend and the Man (1954); and Richard Winston, Charlemagne: From the Hammer to the Cross (1954). Recommended among the general, recent works are Donald A. Bullough, The Age of Charlemagne (1965), especially distinguished for its illustrations, and E. M. Almedingen, Charlemagne: A Study (1968). The best introduction to Charlemagne and Carolingian institutions is Heinrich Fichtenau, The Carolingian Empire: The Age of Charlemagne (trans. 1964).

The documents for the Carolingian period are abundant, many of them in translation. For a general collection of sources see Stewart C. Easton and Helene Wieruszowski, The Era of Charlemagne: Frankish State and Society (1961). One of the best translations of Einhard is S. Epes Turner, The Life of Charlemagne (1960). Because of the importance of the coronation of Charlemagne, scholars have devoted special attention to the subject. Many of the evaluations have been collected in Richard E. Sullivan, ed., The Coronation of Charlemagne: What Did It Signify? (1959). For the artistic achievement during Charlemagne's reign see Roger Hinks, Carolingian Art: A study of Early Medieval Painting and Sculpture in Western Europe (1935), and Kenneth John Conant, Carolingian and Romanesque Architecture, 800-1200 (1959; 2d ed. 1966). One of the most stimulating works on Carolingian culture is M. L. Laistner, Thought and Letters in Western Europe, A.D. 500 to 900 (1931; new ed. 1957). □

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Charlemagne

Charlemagne

Born: c. 742
Died: January 28, 814
Aachen (now in Germany)

Frankish king and ruler

Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, was king of the Franks between 768 and 814, and emperor of the West between 800 and 814. He founded the Holy Roman Empire, strengthened European economic and political life, and promoted the cultural revival known as the Carolingian Renaissance. Charlemagne's rule greatly influenced Europe's push to create a unique civilization different from that of Rome or other ancient empires.

Early life

Charlemagne, the son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada, was born in 742. Although his parents married before his brother Carloman was born, they were not legally married at the time of Charlemagne's birth, and he was thus thought to be illegitimate (born out of wedlock). In 741 Pepin had become mayor of the palace, and in 751 he deposed (removed from office) the last Merovingian king and was declared king of the Franks, a powerful Germanic tribe that lived in the region today known as France. Little is known about Charlemagne's childhood. In 754, however, he participated in the ceremony where Pope Stephen II appointed Pepin king. Charlemagne also joined Pepin on many military campaigns.

When Pepin died in October 768, Charlemagne and Carloman were both proclaimed king and were to rule the kingdom together. In the division of the realm, however, Carloman received a larger and richer portion. Under these circumstances relations between the brothers turned sour. But Carloman died unexpectedly in 771, leaving Charlemagne the sole ruler of the entire kingdom.

Territorial expansion

Charlemagne moved aggressively, especially in Italy, to remove those who threatened his power. He immediately attacked and defeated King Desiderius of the Lombards. Shortly thereafter Charlemagne was crowned king of the Lombards at Pavia. The Frankish conquest of Italyfirst of Lombardy in the north and later Benevento in the southbrought new wealth and people into his kingdom.

During his Italian operations Charlemagne also declared war against the Saxons, a Germanic tribe who threatened the northeastern frontier of Francia. Begun in 772, this cruel and bitter war finally ended in 804. Francia absorbed the land of Saxony and enforced the Christian religion on the Saxon tribes.

On his eastern frontier Charlemagne defeated Tassilo, the duke of Bavaria. To his empire Charlemagne added the Bavarian duchy, or territory controlled by a duke. He divided the western portion of the duchy into counties, each controlled by a count loyal to the king.

Further to the east the major power and ultimate threat to the Frankish realm was the vast Slavic kingdom of the Avars, or Huns, an Asiatic tribe that had settled along the upper Danube River. Between 791 and 795 Charlemagne crushed the power of the Avars and added their kingdom as a state. This victory opened the entire Danubian Plain to German colonization and the eastern expansion of Christianitythe beginning of the Drang nach Osten, or push to the East.

Holy Roman Empire

By 800 Charlemagne had succeeded in greatly extending his power while crushing several enemies. He ruled all of the Christianized western provinces, except the British Isles, that had once been part of the Roman Empire. As the sworn protector of the Church, Charlemagne was in fact the political master of Rome itself. The papacy, or office of the pope, also recognized Charlemagne's power. The pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, 800.

Charlemagne attempted to create unity and harmony within his vast realm and to support laws and promote learning that would achieve his goals of the empire. Charlemagne, in contrast to his Merovingian predecessors (who constantly traveled throughout their realms) attempted to create a fixed capital to rival that of Byzantium, an ancient culture legendary for its beauty and wealth.

A closer look at Charlemagne

The major record of Charlemagne's personal achievements is the Vita Caroli Magni, the first medieval biography. Written by Einhard between 817 and 836, this biography is largely a firsthand account, as Einhard was a member of the palace school during Charlemagne's reign and was his close associate.

In the Vita is the actual physical description of the man who has since become one of the greatest legendary heroes of the Middle Ages (4761453 C. E.). Toward his friends Charlemagne was lighthearted, and he particularly enjoyed the company of others. Yet toward his enemies he was often a cruel warrior feared for his strength and ability. Although primarily a man of action, he had great admiration for learning and spoke Latin fluently. He studied Greek and the liberal arts and thus combined, to some extent, the personality of a warrior and a scholar.

Charlemagne's administration

What is most striking about Charlemagne's rule was that he was able to maintain, largely through the strength of his own personality, a centralized state wherein royal authority came first. Charlemagne also maintained a small group of the best warriors, the vassi dominici, who helped him enforce his authority. During the course of his reign Charlemagne sent a number of written instructions to his officials. These enactments, known as the Capitularii had the force of law and were executed directly by the royal agents. They are extremely valuable as sources in understanding the social and legal structure of Carolingian France.

In general, Charlemagne's reign was a period of internal calm and prosperity because of his military and political ability. He succeeded, through diplomatic negotiations, in having his imperial title recognized by the Byzantine emperor. Through his program of cultural revival and changes to the Church, he succeeded in improving the level of civilization in the West.

Carolingian culture

Charlemagne's support of the arts and letters had several purposes beyond the general improvement of culture and literacy in the empire. One of the major purposes was to provide an educated clergy (a group of religious servants) that could undertake many of the administrative tasks of government. A second purpose was to win the acceptance of orthodox doctrine, or rules of the church, as well as a uniform religious practice throughout the empire. Such uniformity not only strengthened the Church but also centralized the administration of the empire. Still, a third purpose of this cultural revival was to improve the status and authority of Charlemagne himself, who thus appeared as the defender and protector of the Church, of orthodoxy, and of education.

The intellectual traditions and educational institutions supported by Charlemagne greatly influenced the development of Western culture. Charlemagne expanded the number of schools, and the quality of education was greatly improved.

His last years

In 806, at the age of sixty-four, Charlemagne took measures to provide for the succession of his empire. He divided the realm among his three sonsCharles, Pepin, and Louis. But the death of Charles in April 810 was soon followed by that of Pepin. The remaining son, Louis, later called "the Pious," the least warlike and aggressive of the three, was left as the sole heir to the empire. He was crowned by his father in 813.

The last years of Charlemagne's reign saw difficult times. Civil disorder increased as did disease and famine (drastic food shortages). Additionally, there were troubles on the frontiers. In many respects, the future looked dark. In 811 Charlemagne made his final will, giving a more sizable portion of his treasures to various churches of the realm than to his own heirs. He died on January 28, 814, and was buried at his palace at Aachen.

For More Information

Bullough, Donald. The Age of Charlemagne. 2nd ed. New York: Exeter Books, 1980.

Collins, Roger. Charlemagne. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Lamb, Harold. Charlemagne: The Legend and the Man. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1954.

Riché, Pierre. Daily Life in the World of Charlemagne. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1978.

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Charlemagne

Charlemagne (Charles the Great or Charles I) (shär´ləmān) [O.Fr.,=Charles the great], 742?–814, emperor of the West (800–814), Carolingian king of the Franks (768–814).

King of the Franks

Elder son of Pepin the Short and a grandson of Charles Martel, Charlemagne shared with his brother Carloman in the succession to his father's kingdom. At Carloman's death (771), young Charlemagne annexed his brother's lands, disinheriting Carloman's two young sons, who fled with their mother to the court of Desiderius, king of the Lombards. When Desiderius conquered part of the papal lands and attempted to force Pope Adrian I to recognize Carloman's sons, Charlemagne intervened (773) on the side of the pope and defeated the Lombards. At Rome, Charlemagne was received by Adrian as patrician of the Romans (a title he had received with his father in 754), and he confirmed his father's donation to the Holy See. Shortly afterward he took Pavia, the Lombard capital, and assumed the iron crown of the Lombard kings of Italy.

In 778 he invaded Spain, hoping to take advantage of civil war among the Muslim rulers of that kingdom, but was repulsed at Zaragoza. In later campaigns conducted by local counts, Barcelona was captured (801) and a frontier established beyond the Pyrenees. Charlemagne's 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 the interior of the Frankish kingdom, Charlemagne made his domination over Saxony complete. In 788 he annexed the semi-independent duchy of Bavaria, after deposing its duke, Tassilo. He also warred successfully against the Avars and the Slavs, establishing a frontier south of the Danube.

Emperor of the West

In 799 the new pope, Leo III, threatened with deposition by the Romans, appealed to Charlemagne. Charlemagne hastened to Rome to support Leo, and on Christmas Day, 800, was crowned emperor by the pope. His coronation legitimized Charlemagne's rule over the former Roman empire in W Europe and finalized the split between the Byzantine and Roman empires. After years of negotiation and war, Charlemagne received recognition from the Byzantine emperor Michael I in 812; in return Charlemagne renounced his claims to Istria, Venice, and Dalmatia, which he had held briefly. The end of Charlemagne's reign was troubled by the raids of Norse and Danes (see Norsemen), so Charlemagne 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. In 813, Charlemagne designated his son Louis I as co-emperor and his successor and crowned him at Aachen.

Achievements of His Reign

In his government Charlemagne continued and systematized the administrative machinery of his predecessors. He permitted conquered peoples to retain their own laws, which he codified when possible, and he issued many capitularies (gathered in the Monumenta Germaniae historica). A noteworthy achievement was the creation of a system by which he could supervise his administrators in even the most distant lands; his missi dominici were personal representatives with wide powers who regularly inspected their assigned districts. He strove to educate the clergy and exercised more direct control over the appointment of bishops and he acted as arbiter in theological disputes by summoning councils, notably that at Frankfurt (794), where adoptionism was rejected and some of the decrees of the Second Council of Nicaea (see Nicaea, Second Council of) were condemned. He stimulated foreign trade and entertained friendly relations with England and with Harun ar-Rashid. In 813, Charlemagne designated his son Louis I as co-emperor and his successor and crowned him at Aachen.

Charlemagne's court at Aachen was the center of an intellectual renaissance. The palace school, under the leadership of Alcuin, became famous; numerous schools for children of all classes were also established throughout the empire during Charlemagne's reign. The preservation of classical literature was aided by his initiatives. Prominent figures of the Carolingian renaissance included Paul the Deacon and Einhard.

Character and Influence

In his daily life Charlemagne affected the simple manners of his Frankish forebears, wore Frankish clothes, and led a frugal existence. He was beatified after his death and in some churches has been honored as a saint. Surrounded by his legendary 12 paladins, he became the central figure of a cycle of romance. At first, legend pictured him as the champion of Christendom; later he appeared as a vacillating old man, almost a comic figure. His characterization in the Chanson de Roland (see Roland) has impressed itself indelibly on the imagination of the Western world. The vogue of the Charlemagne epic ebbed somewhat after the Renaissance but was revived again in the 19th cent. by Victor Hugo and other members of the Romantic school. Charlemagne's creation (or re-creation) of an empire was the basis of the theory of the Holy Roman Empire; it was his example that Napoleon I had in mind when he tried to assume his succession in 1804.

Bibliography

Einhard wrote a contemporary biography of Charlemagne. See also H. Fichtenau, The Carolingian Empire (1949, tr. 1957); D. Bullough, The Age of Charlemagne (1966); J. Boussard, The Civilization of Charlemagne (tr. 1968); R. McKitterick, Charlemagne: The Formation of a European Identity (2008). For the literary aspect, see J. L. Weston, The Romance Cycle of Charlemagne and His Peers (1901).

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Charlemagne (or Charles the Great) (742-814)

Charlemagne (or Charles the Great) (742-814)

The greatest of the Frankish kings. Charlemagne was the elder son of Pepin the Short and succeeded his father in 768-814 C.E. He was Emperor of the West, 800-814 C.E. He had a close connection with the supernatural according to legend. Very often in the pages of French romance, the emperor was visited by angels who were considered to be the direct messengers of the heavenly power.

These visitations, of course, were meant to symbolize his position as the head of Christendom in the world. He was its upholder, with the Moors on his southern borders and the pagans (Prussians and Saxons) to the north and west. Charles was regarded by the Christians of Europe as the direct representative of heaven, whose mission it was to Christianize Europe and to defend its true faith in every way. Charlemagne and his court were also connected with the realm of fairies. Encounters with the fairy folk by his paladins were not so numerous in the original French romances that deal with his court, but in the hands of Boiardo, Ariosto, and Pulci, the paladins dwelled in an enchanted region where at any moment they might have met with all kinds of supernatural beings.

Both in the early and late romances the powers of magic and enchantment are ever present, chiefly instanced in magical weapons such as the Sword Durandal of Roland, which cannot be shivered; the magic ointments of giants like Ferragus, which when applied provide invulnerablity; and armor that exercises a similar guardianship on the body of its possessor. Heroes like Ogier the Dane penetrated into fairyland itself and wedded its queens. This union with fairyland was the fate of a great many medieval heroes. The analogous cases of Tom-a-Lincolne, Tannhäuser, and Thomas the Rhymer are also relevant. The magic and the marvels are everywhere in use in the romances that deal with Charlemagne.

He died on January 28, 814 C.E. and was buried in Aachen.

Sources:

Cabaniss, Allen. Charlemagne. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1972.

Easton, Steward C. The Era of Charlemagne. New York: Van Nostrand, 1961.

Shepard, Les. The History of Street Literature. Detroit: Singing Tree Press, 1973.

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Charlemagne

Charlemagne (742–814) (lit. Charles the Great) King of the Franks (768–814) and Holy Roman Emperor (800–14). The eldest son of Pepin III (the Short), he inherited half the Frankish kingdom (768), annexed the remainder on his brother Carloman's death (771), and built a large empire. He invaded Italy twice and took the Lombard throne (773). He embarked on a long and brutal conquest of Saxony (772–804), annexed Bavaria (788) and defeated the Avars of the middle Danube (791–96, 804). He undertook campaigns against the Moors in Spain. In 800 Pope Leo III consecrated him as Emperor, thus reviving the concept of the Roman Empire, and confirming the separation of the West from the Eastern Byzantine Empire. Charlemagne encouraged the intellectual awakening of the Carolingian renaissance, set up a strong central authority and maintained provincial control through court officials. His central aim was Christian reform, both of church and laity, and he was convinced that God had made him emperor to undertake this holy work.

http://www.chronique.com/Library/MedHistory/charlemagne.htm; http://berkeley.edu/OMACL/Roland

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Charlemagne

Charlemagne (742–814), king of the Franks 768–814 and Holy Roman emperor (as Charles I) 800–814; the name comes from Carolus Magnus ‘Charles the Great’. As the first Holy Roman emperor Charlemagne promoted the arts and education, and his court became the cultural centre of the Carolingian Renaissance, the influence of which outlasted his empire.

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"Charlemagne." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Charlemagne." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/charlemagne

"Charlemagne." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/charlemagne

Charlemagne

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"Charlemagne." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Charlemagne." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/charlemagne-0