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Thread: Charles the Great and the Franks

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    Post Charles the Great and the Franks

    Charlemagne (April 2, 742 - January 28, 814; or Charles the Great, in German Karl der Große, in Latin Carolus Magnus, giving rise to the adjective form 'Carolingian'), was king of the Franks from 771 to 814, nominally King of the Lombards, and Roman Emperor.


    Statue in Frankfurt of Charlemagne
    Life

    Arguably the founder of a Frankish Empire in Western Europe, Charlemagne was the elder son of Pippin the Short (714 - September 24, 768, reigned 751 - 768), the first Carolingian king, and his wife Bertrada of Laon (720 - July 12, 783). Pippin the Short indulged in the monopoly of the coining of money, deciding on the opening and closure of minting shops, the weight, title and the subjects represented.

    European coinage began with Pippin the Short who revived the system put in place by the ancient Greeks and Romans and kept going by the Eastern Roman Empire (1 libra = 20 solidi = 240 denarii).

    On the death of Pippin the kingdom was divided between Charlemagne and his brother Carloman (Carloman ruled Austrasia). Carloman died on December 5, 771, leaving Charlemagne with a reunified Frankish kingdom. Charlemagne was engaged in almost constant battle throughout his reign. He conquered Saxony in the 8th century, a goal that had been the unattainable dream of Augustus. It took Charlemagne over 18 times at battle to win this victory. He forced Catholicism on them, and led massive slaughters of those who refused. He dreamed of the reconquest of Spain, but never fully succeeded in this goal. In 800, at Mass on Christmas day in Rome, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor, a title that had been out of use in the West since the abdication of Romulus Augustulus in 476. While this title helped to make Europe independent of Constantinople, Charlemagne did not use the title until much later, as he feared it would create dependence on the Pope.

    Pursuing his father's reforms, Charlemagne did away with the monetary system based on the gold sou. Both he and King Offa of Mercia took up the system set in place by Pippin. He set up a new standard, the livre (i.e. pound)— both monetary and unit of weight— which was worth 20 sous (as per the solidus, and later the shilling) or 240 deniers (as per the denari, and eventually the penny). During this period, the livre and the sou were counting units, only the denier was a coin of the realm.

    Charlemagne applied the system to much of the European Continent, and Offa's standard was voluntarily adopted by much of England.


    Charlemagne's Autograph

    Charlemagne organized his empire into 350 counties, each led by an appointed count. Counts served as judges, administrators, and enforced capitularies. To enforce loyalty, he set up the system of Missi Dominici, meaning 'Envoys of the Lord.' In this system, one representative of the church and one representative of the emperor would head to the different counties and every year report back to Charlemagne on their status.
    When Charlemagne died in 814, he was buried in his own Cathedral at Aachen. He was succeeded by his only son to survive him, Louis the Pious, after whose reign the empire was divided between his three surviving sons according to Frankish tradition. These three kingdoms would be the foundations of later France and the Holy Roman Empire.

    After Charlemagne's death, continental coinage degraded and most of Europe resorted to using the continued high quality English coin until about 1100.

    It is difficult to understand Charlemagne's attitude toward his daughters. None of them contracted a sacramental marriage. This may have been an attempt to control the number of potential alliances. After his death the surviving daughters entered or were forced to enter monasteries. At least one of them, Bertha, had a recognized relationship, if not a marriage, with Angilbert, a member of Charlemagne's court circle.

    Cultural significance

    Charlemagne's reign is often referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance because of the flowering of scholarship, literature, art and architecture. Most of the surviving works of classical Latin were copied and preserved by Carolingian scholars. The pan-European nature of Charlemagne's influence is indicated by the origins of many of the men who worked for him: Alcuin, an Anglo-Saxon; Theodulf, a Visigoth; Paul the Deacon, a Lombard; and Angilbert and Einhard, Franks. Charlemagne enjoyed an important afterlife in European culture. One of the great medieval literature cycles, the Charlemagne cycle or Matter of France, centers around the deeds of Charlemagne's historical commander of the Breton border, Roland, and the paladins who served as a counterpart to the knights of the Round Table; their tales were first told in the chansons de geste. Charlemagne himself was accorded sainthood inside the Holy Roman Empire after the 12th Century. He was a model knight as one of the Nine Worthies

    It is frequently claimed by genealogists that all people with European ancestry alive today are probably descended from Charlemagne. However, only a small percentage can prove descent from him. Charlemagne's marriage and relationship politics and ethics did, however, result in a fairly large number of descendants, all of whom had far better life expectancies than is usually the case for children in that time period. They were married into houses of nobility and as a result of intermarriages many people of noble descent can indeed trace their ancestry back to Charlemagne.

    Unification legacy

    The greatest European unifiers: Frederick Barbarossa, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Jean Monnet, Helmut Kohl, and present leaders such as Gerhard Schröder have all mentioned Charlemagne's name in the context of unification.

    Wives

    1. Himiltrude
    2. Desiderata ?
    3. Hildegard of Savory (married Abt 771) (758-783)
    4. Fastrada (married 784) (died 794)
    5. Luitgard (married 794) (died 800)
    Children

    1. Pepin the Hunchback (d. 810)
    2. Charles, King of Neustria (d. 811)
    3. Pepin, King of Italy (ruled 781-810)
    4. Louis I The Pious, King of Aquitaine, Emperor (ruled 814-840)
    5. Lothar (d. 780)
    6. Six Daughters (Hildegarde?, Gisele?, Adelheid?, Bertha?, Lothaire?, Rotrud?)
    7. Aupais ?
    .

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    Post Re: Charlemagne

    Quote Originally Posted by Johannes de León
    Cultural significance

    Charlemagne's reign is often referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance because of the flowering of scholarship, literature, art and architecture. Most of the surviving works of classical Latin were copied and preserved by Carolingian scholars. The pan-European nature of Charlemagne's influence is indicated by the origins of many of the men who worked for him: Alcuin, an Anglo-Saxon; Theodulf, a Visigoth; Paul the Deacon, a Lombard; and Angilbert and Einhard, Franks.
    The Carolingian Renaissance is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated periods of European history. Without it, there wouldn't have been an Italian Renaissance of the 15th century.

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    Post Charlemagne & the Franks

    Charlemagne (742-814)


    "By the sword and the cross," Charlemagne (Charles the Great) became master of Western Europe. It was falling into decay when Charlemagne became joint king of the Franks in 768. Except in the monasteries, people had all but forgotten education and the arts. Boldly Charlemagne conquered barbarians and kings alike. By restoring the roots of learning and order, he preserved many political rights and revived culture.


    Charlemagne's grandfather was Charles Martel, the warrior who crushed the Saracens (see Charles Martel). Charlemagne was the elder son of Bertrade ("Bertha Greatfoot") and Pepin the Short, first "mayor of the palace" to become king of the Franks. Although schools had almost disappeared in the 8th century, historians believe that Bertrade gave young Charles some education and that he learned to read. His devotion to the church became the great driving force of his remarkable life.

    Charlemagne was tall, powerful, and tireless. His secretary, Eginhard, wrote that Charlemagne had fair hair and a "face laughing and merry . . . his appearance was always stately and dignified." He had a ready wit, but could be stern. His tastes were simple and moderate. He delighted in hunting, riding, and swimming. He wore the Frankish dress: linen shirt and breeches, a silk-fringed tunic, hose wrapped with bands, and, in winter, a tight coat of otter or marten skins. Over all these garments "he flung a blue cloak, and he always had a sword girt about him."

    Charlemagne's character was contradictory. In an age when the usual penalty for defeat was death, Charlemagne several times spared the lives of his defeated foes; yet in 782 at Verden, after a Saxon uprising, he ordered 4,500 Saxons beheaded. He compelled the clergy and nobles to reform, but he divorced two of his four wives without any cause. He forced kings and princes to kneel at his feet, yet his mother and his two favorite wives often overruled him in his own household.

    Charlemagne Begins His Reign

    In 768, when Charlemagne was 26, he and his brother Carloman inherited the kingdom of the Franks. In 771 Carloman died, and Charlemagne became sole ruler of the kingdom. At that time the northern half of Europe was still pagan and lawless. In the south, the Roman Catholic church was striving to assert its power against the Lombard kingdom in Italy. In Charlemagne's own realm, the Franks were falling back into barbarian ways, neglecting their education and religion.


    Charlemagne was determined to strengthen his realm and to bring order to Europe. In 772 he launched a 30-year campaign that conquered and Christianized the powerful pagan Saxons in the north. He subdued the Avars, a huge Tatar tribe on the Danube. He compelled the rebellious Bavarian dukes to submit to him. When possible he preferred to settle matters peacefully, however. For example, Charlemagne offered to pay the Lombard king Desiderius for return of lands to the pope, but, when Desiderius refused, Charlemagne seized his kingdom in 773 to 774 and restored the Papal States.

    The key to Charlemagne's amazing conquests was his ability to organize. During his reign he sent out more than 50 military expeditions. He rode as commander at the head of at least half of them. He moved his armies over wide reaches of country with unbelievable speed, but every move was planned in advance. Before a campaign he told the counts, princes, and bishops throughout his realm how many men they should bring, what arms they were to carry, and even what to load in the supply wagons. These feats of organization and the swift marches later led Napoleon to study his tactics.

    One of Charlemagne's minor campaigns has become the most famous. In 778 he led his army into Spain to battle the infidel Saracens. On its return, Basques ambushed the rear guard at Roncesvalles, in northern Spain, and killed "Count Roland." Roland became a great hero of medieval songs and romances (see Roland).

    By 800 Charlemagne was the undisputed ruler of Western Europe. His vast realm covered what are now France, Switzerland, Belgium, and The Netherlands. It included half of present-day Italy and Germany, part of Austria, and the Spanish March ("border"). The broad March reached to the Ebro River. By thus establishing a central government over Western Europe, Charlemagne restored much of the unity of the old Roman Empire and paved the way for the development of modern Europe.

    Crowned Emperor

    On Christmas Day in 800, while Charlemagne knelt in prayer in Saint Peter's in Rome, Pope Leo III seized a golden crown from the altar and placed it on the bowed head of the king. The throng in the church shouted, "To Charles the August, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor, long life and victory!"


    Charlemagne is said to have been surprised by the coronation, declaring that he would not have come into the church had he known the pope's plan. However, some historians say the pope would not have dared to act without Charlemagne's knowledge.

    The coronation was the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire. Though Charlemagne did not use the title, he is considered the first Holy Roman emperor (see Holy Roman Empire).

    Reform and Renaissance

    Charlemagne had deep sympathy for the peasants and believed that government should be for the benefit of the governed. When he came to the throne, various local governors, called "counts," had become lax and oppressive. To reform them, he expanded the work of investigators, called missi dominici. He prescribed their duties in documents called capitularies and sent them out in teams of twoÄÄa churchman and a noble. They rode to all parts of the realm, inspecting government, administering justice, and reawakening all citizens to their civil and religious duties.


    Twice a year Charlemagne summoned the chief men of the empire to discuss its affairs. In all problems he was the final arbiter, even in church issues, and he largely unified church and state.

    Charlemagne was a tireless reformer who tried to improve his people's lot in many ways. He set up money standards to encourage commerce, tried to build a Rhine-Danube canal, and urged better farming methods. He especially worked to spread education and Christianity in every class of people.

    He revived the Palace School at Aachen, his capital. He set up other schools, opening them to peasant boys as well as nobles.

    Charlemagne never stopped studying. He brought an English monk, Alcuin, and other scholars to his court. He learned to read Latin and some Greek but apparently did not master writing. At meals, instead of having jesters perform, he listened to men reading from learned works.

    To revive church music, Charlemagne had monks sent from Rome to train his Frankish singers. To restore some appreciation of art, he brought valuable pieces from Italy. An impressive monument to his religious devotion is the cathedral at Aachen, which he built and where he was buried (see Aachen). At Charlemagne's death in 814 only one of his three sons, Louis, was living. Louis's weak rule brought on the rise of civil wars and revolts. After his death his three quarreling sons split the empire between them by the Partition of Verdun in 843.
    Charlemagne's empire circa 800AD
    The Franks


    The Franks were one of several west Germanic tribes who entered the late Roman Empire as foederati and established a lasting realm in an area that is part of today's France and Germany, forming the historic kernel of these two modern countries.

    The Frankish realm underwent many partitions and repartitions, since the Franks divided their property among surviving sons. This practice is one of the reasons it is so difficult to describe precisely the dates and physical boundaries of any of the Frankish kingdoms and whoever ruled the various sections. In essence however, two dynasties of leaders succeeded each other, the Merovingians and then the Carolingians. The word frank meant "free" in their language. There were initially two main subdivisions within the Franks, the Salian ("salty") and the Ripuarian ("river") Franks. By the 9th century, if not earlier, this division was in fact virtually non-existent, but continued for some time to have implications for the legal system under which a person could be tried.


    Foundation of the Frankish kingdom



    The earliest Frankish history is not very clear. Our main source is <A title=\"Gregory of Tours\" href="http://www.fact-index.com/g/gr/gregory_of_tours.html">Gregory of Tours, who quotes from otherwise lost sources like Sulpicius Alexander and Frigeridus and probably from oral sources of the Franks around him, the latter with healthy scepticism. Apart from this there are some earlier Roman sources like Ammianus and Sidonius Apollinaris

    Modern scholars of the Roman-Germanic period have suggested that the Frankish people emerged from the unifications of various earlier, smaller Germanic groups inhabiting the Rhine valley and lands immediately to the east, events perhaps related to the increasing disorder and upheaval experienced in the area as a result of the war between Rome and the Marcomanni which begin in 166, and subsequent conflicts of the late 2nd century and the 3rd century C.E. For his part, Gregory states that the Franks originally lived in Pannonia, but settled on the banks of the Rhine. There is a region in the northeast of the modern-day Netherlands -- i.e. north of the Roman border -- called Salland, that may have been named after the Salians.

    Around 250 a group of Franks, taking advantage of a weakened Roman Empire, penetrated as far as Tarragona in Spain, plaguing this region for about a decade before being subdued and expelled from Roman territory. About forty years later, the Franks had the Scheldt region under control and interfered with the waterways to Britain; they were pacified by Roman forces, but not expelled.

    In 355-358 the later Emperor Julian once again found the shipping lanes on the Rhine under control of the Franks and again pacified them. A considerable part of Belgica was given to the Franks. From this time on they become foederati of the Roman Empire. A region roughly corresponding to present day Flanders and the Netherlands south of the rivers becomes a Germanic region down to this day. (Dutch is spoken there now). The Franks thus became the first Germanic people who permanently settled on Roman territory.

    For a map see the external link http://www.roman-emperors.org/nouest4.htm

    From their heartland they gradually conquered most of Roman Gaul north of the Iberian Peninsula. At first they helped defend the border as allies; for example, when a major invasion of mostly East Germanic tribes crossed the Rhine 406, the Franks fought against these invaders. The major thrust of the invasion went south of the Loire river. (In the region of Paris, Roman control persisted until 486, i.e. a decade after the fall of the emperors of Ravenna, in part due to alliances with the Franks.)

    The Merovingians



    The reigns of earlier Frankish chieftains -- <A title=Pharamond href="http://www.fact-index.com/p/ph/pharamond.html">Pharamond (about 419 until about 427) and Chlodio (about 427 until about 447) -- are thought to owe more to myth than fact, and their relationship to the Merovingian line is uncertain.

    Gregory mentions Chlodio as the first king who started the conquest of Gaul by taking Camaracum (today Cambrai) and expanding the border down to the Somme. This probably took some time; Sidonius relates that the Franks were surprised by Aetius and driven back (probably around 431). This period marks the beginning of a situation that would endure for many centuries: the Germanic Franks became rulers over an increasing number of Gallo-Roman subjects.

    In 451 Aetius called upon his Germanic allies on Roman soil to help fight off an invasion by the Huns. The Salian Franks answered the call, the Ripuarians fought on both sides as some of them lived outside the Empire. At this time Merovech was king of the Franks. Gregory's (oral) sources did not seem sure whether Chlodio was his father.

    Clovis engaged in a campaign of consolidating the various Frankish kingdoms in Gaul and the Rhineland, which included defeating Syagrius in 486. This victory ended Roman control in the Paris region. The later conversion of Clovis to Roman Christianity, instead of the Arianism of the other Germanic peoples, may have helped to increase his standing in the eyes of the Pope and the other orthodox rulers.

    In the Battle of Vouillé (507), Clovis, with the help of Burgundy, defeated the Visigoths, expanding his realm eastwards up to the Pyrenees mountains.

    Because they were able to worship with their Catholic neighbors, the Franks found much easier acceptance from the local (Roman) population than did the Visigoths, Vandals, Burgundians. The Merovingians thus built the most stable of the successor-kingdoms in the west.

    The Merovingians adhered to the Germanic practice of dividing their lands among their sons, and the frequent division, reunification and redivision of territories often resulted in murder and warfare within the leading families. So, on Clovis's death in 511, his realm was divided between his four sons, and over the next two centuries the kingship was shared between his descendants.

    The Frankish area expanded further under Clovis' sons, eventually covering most of what is today France, but including areas east of the Rhine river as well, such as Alamannia (today's southwestern Germany) and Thuringia (since 531). Saxony however was left to be conquered by Charlemagne centuries later.

    After a temporary reunification of the separate kingdoms unter Clotaire I, the Frankish lands were once again divided in 561 into Neustria, Austrasia, and Burgundy.

    The chief officer of each kingdom was the Mayors of the Palace. From about the turn of the eighth century, the Mayors tended to wield the real power in the kingdom, laying the foundation for the new dynasty, the Carolingians.

    The Carolingians



    The <A title=Carolingian href="http://www.fact-index.com/c/ca/carolingian.html">Carolingian line is considered to have started with the deposition of the last Merovingian king and the accession in 751 of Pippin the Short, father of Charlemagne. Pippin had succeeded his own father, Charles Martel, as Mayor of the Palace of a reunited and reerected Frankish kingdom comprised of the formerly independent parts.

    Pippin was an elected king. Although this happened infrequently, a general rule in Germanic law was that the king relied on the support of his leading-men. These men reserved the right to choose a new leader if they felt that the old one was unable to lead them in profitable battle. While in later France, the kingdom became hereditary, the kings of the later Holy Roman Empire were unable to abolish this tradition and continued to be elected until the Empire's formal end in 1806.

    Pippin solidified his position in 754 by entering into an alliance with Pope Stephen III against the Lombards; this papal support was crucial to silencing any objections to his new position. Pippin donated the re-conquered areas around Rome to the Pope, laying the foundation for the Papal States, of which only Vatican City remains today, and in turn received the title patricius Romanorum, protector of the Romans.

    Upon his death in 768, the kingdom was once again divided between Pippin's sons, Charles and Carloman. However, Carloman withdrew to a monastery and died shortly thereafter, leaving sole rule to his brother, who would later be named Charlemagne and become an almost mythical figure for the later history of both France and Germany.

    From 772 onwards, Charles conquered and eventually defeated the Saxons to incorporate their realm into the Frankish kingdom. This campaign expanded the practice of non-Roman Christian rulers undertaking the conversion of their neighbors by armed force; Frankish Catholic missionaries, along with others from Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England, had been entering Saxon lands since the mid-8th century, resulting in increasing conflict with the Saxons, who resisted the missionary efforts and parallel military incursions. Charles' main Saxon opponent, Widukind, was baptized in 785 as part of a peace agreement, but other Saxon leaders continued to fight. Upon his victory in 787 at Verden, Charles ordered the wholesale killing of thousands of pagan Saxon prisoners. After several more uprisings, the Saxons were only defeated for good in 804. This expanded the Frankish kingdom eastwards up to the Elbe river, something the Roman empire had only attempted once, and at which it failed in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (9 AD). In order to more effectively christianize the Saxons, Charles founded several bishoprics, among them Bremen, Münster, Paderborn, and Osnabrück.

    At the same time (773-774), Charles conquered the Lombards and was thus able to include northern Italy into his sphere of influence. He renewed the Vatican donation and the promise to the papacy of continued Frankish protection.

    In 788, Tassilo, dux of Bavaria rebelled against Charles. The rebellion was quashed and Bavaria was incorporated into Charles' kingdom. This not only added to the royal fisc, but also drastically reduced the power and influence of the Agilolfings (Tassilo's family), another leading family among the Franks and potential rivals. Until 796, Charles continued to expand the kingdom even farther southeast, into today's Austria and parts of Croatia.

    Charles thus created a realm that spanned from the Pyrenees in the southwest (actually, including an area in Northern Spain after 795) over almost all of today's France (except Brittany, which was never conquered by the Franks) eastwards to most of today's Germany, including northern Italy and today's Austria.

    On December 23 and 24, 800, Charles was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III in Rome in a ceremony that formally acknowledged the Frankish Empire to be the successor of the (Western) Roman one. The coronation gave the Empire the backing of the church, and permanent legitimacy to Carolingian primacy among the Franks. This connection was later resurrected by the Ottonians in A.D. 962. Charlemagne's position as Emperor was later acknowledged in 812 by the Byzantine Emperor of the time, Michael I.

    Upon Charlemagne's death on January 28, 814 in Aachen, he was buried in his own Palace Chapel at Aachen.

    Charlemagne had several sons, but only one survived him. This son, Louis the Pious, followed his father as the ruler of a united Empire. Sole inheritance was a matter of chance, rather than intent. When Louis died in 840, the Carolingians adhered to the custom of partible inheritance, and the Empire was divided in three in the Treaty of Verdun in 843:


    Western Europe around 870.

    1. Louis' eldest surviving son Lothair became Emperor and ruler of the Central Franks. This kingdom was in turn divided among his three sons, into Lotharingia, Burgundy and (Northern) Italy. These areas would later vanish as separate kingdoms.
    2. Louis' second son, Louis the German, became King of the East Franks. This area is the kernel of the later Holy Roman Empire, which eventually evolved into modern Germany. For a list of successors, see the List of German Kings and Emperors.
    3. His third son Charles the Bald became King of the West Franks; this area is the foundation for the later France. For his successors, see the List of French monarchs.
    On the map to the right, the area outlined in green is controlled by Louis II, the area in yellow is controlled by Louis the German, and the portion in purple is controlled by Charles the Bald.


    Legacy



    Although an historical accident, the unification of most of what is now western and central Europe under one chief ruler provided a fertile ground for the continuation of what is known as the <A title=\"Carolingian Renaissance\" href="http://www.fact-index.com/c/ca/carolingian_renaissance_1.html">Carolingian Renaissance. Despite the almost constant internecine warfare the Carolingian Empire endured, the extension of Frankish rule and Roman Christianity over such a large area ensured a fundamental unity throughout the Empire. Each part of the Carolingian Empire developed differently; Frankish government and culture were extremely dependent upon the individual ruler and his aims. Those aims shifted as easily as the changing political alliances within the Frankish leading families. However, those families, the Carolingians included, all shared the same basic beliefs and ideas of government. These ideas and beliefs were rooted in a background that drew from both Roman and Germanic tradition, a tradition that began before the Carolingian ascent and continued to some extent even after the death of Louis the Pious and his sons. When modern historians (from the late 18th century on) hearken back to an example of a unified Europe, they turn to the Carolingian Empire, not the Roman Empire. Whether the Carolingian Empire lasted (or, it could be argued, ever really existed as an Empire per se) in a geographical or political sense is immaterial. The model of several individual kingdoms (or regna, to give them their proper names) under one rule clearly resonates today. It may be argued that the divisions of Verdun still provide the general borders of Germany, France, and Italy, but it would be ill-considered to suppose that they provide any clear cultural divide. They cannot divide the Germanic-Roman Christian legacy begun by the Carolingians.
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    Post Re: Charlemagne & the Franks

    A good site about Charlemagne : http://home.gci.net/~airloom/charlema.htm
    http://membres.lycos.fr/histoiredefr...eWaffenSS2.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johannes de León View Post
    It is difficult to understand Charlemagne's attitude toward his daughters. None of them contracted a sacramental marriage. This may have been an attempt to control the number of potential alliances. After his death the surviving daughters entered or were forced to enter monasteries. At least one of them, Bertha, had a recognized relationship, if not a marriage, with Angilbert, a member of Charlemagne's court circle.
    I've wondered this myself. It was obvious that Charlemagne adored his daughters, and one text said that he could not bear to be parted from them, keeping them with him in his house until his death. Apparently when King Offa of Mercia suggested that his son, Ecgfrith, marry Bertha, Charlemagne became quite irrate and banned English merchants from Francia. Angilbert, a court poet on par with Alcuin, did fall in love with Bertha, and they had two sons. However, in 798 Angilbert was appointed lay abbot of St. Riquier.
    “She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick.”
    ― Flannery O'Connor

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    Upon his victory in 787 at Verden, Charles ordered the wholesale killing of thousands of pagan Saxon prisoners.
    So, it seems he was a complete sh*t then!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Braveheart View Post
    The Carolingian Renaissance is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated periods of European history. Without it, there wouldn't have been an Italian Renaissance of the 15th century.
    I agree, and the products of the Carolingian Renaissance were glorious: Carolingian miniscule, poetry, a revival of classical art, and of course Carolingian architecture, displayed at its finest in the Palatine Chapel, the central element of Aachen Cathedral.
    “She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick.”
    ― Flannery O'Connor

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