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Charlemagne Essay, Research Paper

Charlemagne was a Frankish king and Roman emperor who lead his armies to victory over many other people and countries. He established rule of western and central Europe and became the most influential king of the Middle Ages. He was also the descendent of the great Pepin the Short and the grandson of Charles Martel. Charlemagne not only was a great king but great kings ran in his family line.

Charlemangne’s father, Pepin, dethroned the last of the Merovingian Kings and assumed the royal title for himself. Pope Stephen II crowned Pepin king in 754. Pepin saved Pope Stephen from many raids by the Lombards and many other groups against the Catholic Church. Pepin died in 768 and he left the rule of his two realms to his two sons Charlemagne and Carloman.

Charlemagne was probably born in Aachen, on April 2, 742. Pope Stephen anointed him along with his brother, Carloman, at a young age. Charlemagne accompanied his father on most of his war expeditions.

Shortly after Charlemagne’s father’s death, his brother died suddenly in 771. One of Charlemagne’s first accomplishments was when he sought an alliance with the Lombards by marrying the daughter of their king in 770. This ceased the raids by the Lombards on the Pope and Charlemagne’s kingdom. The alliance between the Lombards and Charlemagne upset the Desiderius and Desiderius invaded Italy. The invasion caused Pope Adrian I to appeal to Charlemagne for help. Charlemagne won and then assumed for himself the royal title. Charlemagne went on to Christianize many other communities, and defend the Papal States well, just like his father. He also won many more battles against nations such as: the heathen Saxons in 772, Spain in 778, the Bavarians in 788, and between 791 and 796 Charlemagne’s armies conquered the empire of the Avars.

After all of the victories he had won himself an empire and he had become an emperor. It was made official on Christmas Day, in 800, while praying in St. Peters Basilica. Pope Leo III placed the crown upon his head and the people assembled in church to give Charlemagne great acclaim. In 813 Charlemagne designated his only surviving son, Louis, his successor, and then Charlemagne personally crowned Louis.

Some of Charlemagne’s accomplishments during his reign were that he established a more permanent royal capital than anyone before him. In his favorite residence Aix-la-Chapelle he had a church and a palace built. Those buildings are a great example of his architectural genius. He created a system that helped to lead to the systems of the Middle Ages. The system involved two hundred fifty royal administrators called counts who administered to the empire. Charlemagne was very involved with his empire issuing hundreds of decrees, called capitularies that dealt with a broad range of topics. The empire did not expand after 800 but it was larger than the Roman Empire. Charlemagne had a decree to keep watch on the Viking but he died before the Vikings’ raids.

Charlemagne was a great warrior who created a vast empire. On the other hand, he also placed great power and prestige on the Christian Doctrine, the monastic life, the teaching of Latin, the copying of books, and the rule of the law. He was easily one of the best, if not the best, ruler in my eyes because of his wisdom in both the battle strategies and the political innovations.



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