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Charlemagne: The Reformer of the West – The Legendary Emperor

Charlemagne was king of the Franks and the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He made expeditions to form a vast empire for about forty years.

His victories, in the Military field, also crystallized in the political arena while due to his conquests he managed to unify the German, Christian and Roman traditions into a single mosaic. Basically, he is the founder of European culture and this is the dominant footprint he left in the world.

Charlemagne was the son of Pepino, who had the nickname “Short”, and was born in 742 in Aachen, Germany, near the Belgian border. His family had already been involved in a fight to subdue its neighbours and control the surrounding area. In 754, Pepino became the king of the Franks by using force, and his kingdom included France, Belgium, Switzerland and a part of the Netherlands and Germany. Pepino immediately began military operations to conquer the territories in the south of the River Leira and to provide support to the Pope, against the Lombards of Northern Italy. Charlemagne accompanied his father to these campaigns and took, in that way, his military training.

Charlemagne had married the daughter of the Lombard king Dézderes in 779, in order to build an alliance with the former enemies of the Franks. Charlemagne sent his wife back to her father and attacked against the Lampards, by incorporating his lands into the Franconian Empire.

Charlemagne had a constant army. His warriors came from the fields and the, to conduct campaigns that lasted from three to six months. They served unpaid, brought their own weapons and supplies for three months. As a reward, they made booty at the end of the campaign.

Because of Charlemagne’s military forces and his military capabilities, the result was astonishing. In a short time, the kingdom expanded to Central Europe, invaded and conquered Hungary.

In the year 800, Charlemagne as the emperor, had the control of the whole Western and Central Europe, while having the strongest army in the Western world. On Christmas Day of the year 800, Charlemagne kneeled to pray for the King of St. Peter of Rome and Pope Leo the 30th proclaimed him as the emperor of the revived Holy Roman Empire.

On 28 January 814, he died, at the age of 71, because of pleurisy and was buried in Aachen. In addition to his proven military capabilities, Charlemagne proved that he had a multifaceted and charismatic personality. He developed rules of law, promoted letters and the arts, contributed to the spread of Christian religion and to the teaching of the Latin language.

He essentially envisioned and implemented the first attempt to unify the European continent.

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Charlemagne: The Reformer of the West – The Legendary Emperor


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