King and emperor , Charlemagne was a large man , taller than his contemporaries. His reign ruled northern France and, once Rome fell , he built a great empire. Europe enjoyed unity and peace during his reign, a situation that had not been possible to experience some 400 years ago. When was Charlemagne born?
He was king of the Franks together with his brother Carloman, but the latter died in 771 and the way to a unique crown in Franco-Germanic territory was cleared, after the fights for centuries between the first to invade the West. For the year 800 Charlemagne was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III, beginning a reborn Germanic Empire which lasted until the beginning of the 19th century.
Birth of Charlemagne
His date of birth has been set for the year 742 in most cases. There have been factors that lead experts to reconsider this date, since it was calculated taking as a reference the year in which he died, while a different date appears in the Annales Petarienses (April 1, 747). Historians defend that this last date is a farce and suggest that it was in the year 742. He was the son of Pipino el Breve and grandson of Carlos Martel.
It is almost impossible to know with certainty the day of his birth , among the most feasible are April 1, 747, April 15, 747 or April 1, 742. It is argued that the hometown was Herstal, the same city of his father. At the age of seven he went to Jupille to live with his father, which is why this city is listed as a possible birthplace in many history books. When was Charlemagne born?
A kingdom divided
When Pepin the Short died in 768, the kingdom was divided between his two descendants. Charlemagne allied himself with the Lombards by marrying the daughter of King Desiderio. By the year 771, his brother Carloman died suddenly and Charlemagne took over his territories. But the offspring of Carloman sought help at the court of Desiderio which made him stop being an ally of Charlemagne.
Scope of Charlemagne’s empire
The main aspiration of Charlemagne was to reunite under his rule the countries that belonged to Western Europe . He wanted to rebuild the Roman Empire . For this he undertook a total of 18 campaigns, directed against the Lombards, Saxons , Bavarians and Arabs.
Pope Adriano I requests help from Charlemagne to fight Desiderio in 772, so he invades Italy, managing to overthrow his father-in-law at the time and assumes the royal title. In this same year he fought against the incursions of the Saxons and by 775 he embarks on a campaign to conquer and Christianize them. This campaign took about thirty years. When was Charlemagne born?
He fought the Iberian Peninsula for the year 778, when traveling back he was ambushed by his rear. Ten years later he submitted to his power to the Bavarians and in the period that includes the years 791 – 796, his army conquers territory of Hungary and Austria. For Christmas 800 the crown was placed, Pope Leo III and the church in general acclaim him as emperor for the Romans.
Some time later, in the year 814, he designates his only son, Luis, as his successor . He located his favorite residence in Aachen from 794. In his rooms he received scholars from all over Europe, among the most famous was Alcuin of York, an English clergyman, who was in charge of the palatine school.
Characteristics and contributions of the empire of Charlemagne
Among the things that stand out most about Charlemagne’s empire, due to its solidity, are the marks or borders that he established in areas of danger. Although these were destroyed some time later by new invaders. The vassal institution was one of the administrative virtues of the Carolingian kingdom , it implied gathering the people around an established power (ecclesiastical or civil) for their defense. Unfortunately this system became a scourge in later centuries, due to territorial aristocratic corruption .
Another field owed to the Carolingian era is education . It was a permanent concern for this illiterate king, prompting him to create educational institutions and to be surrounded in his court by prominent scholars . In the economic field, Charlemagne is made responsible for an exaggeratedly conservative policy with little production. When was Charlemagne born?
Close Church-State relationship
On the other hand, the union that existed between Church and State was very close at that time, something perhaps incomprehensible for contemporary times , but which was decisive in the Carolingian Christian.
Only in this way is it understood why the forced evangelization that was imposed on the conquered areas or the importance of the designation of Charlemagne as Imperator Romanorum, carried out in San Pedro.
Conqueror of all Europe
There were many areas in which Charlemagne left a great mark , but above all these things this man is remembered mainly for having been an exemplary conqueror and the greatest unifier in Europe . The Carolingian Empire comprised what is now known as France, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, parts of Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic. It can be said that he was the first monarch, since the Roman Empire had disappeared, who had the ability to gather such extensive territory. When was Charlemagne born?
The burly emperor dies
Charlemagne dies quietly on January 28, 814 at the age of 72. He was in the palace of Aachen, which was his fixed residence and the place from where he ruled his entire Empire. This sumptuous residential complex was destroyed over the centuries. Although the Palatine Chapel is still preserved, the center of the cathedral and the space where the emperor was buried.
By the 12th century, its bones were deposited in the so-called tabernacle of Charlemagne, also located in this cathedral. After his death, it was not possible to maintain his unifying legacy due to the limited vision of his progeny. His sons divided up the kingdom, which led to the continent fragmenting into small feudal kingdoms that hoped to become completely independent. When was Charlemagne born?