The Iron King: Charlemagne and the Foundation of Europe

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5 Ways Napoleon Made Himself into the New Charlemagne

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Charlemagne even had contact with the caliphal court in Baghdad.

In Hispania, the struggle against the Moors continued unabated throughout the latter half of his reign. His son Louis was in charge of the Spanish border. In , his men captured Gerona permanently and extended Frankish control into the Catalan littoral for the duration of Charlemagne's reign and much longer, it remained nominally Frankish until the Treaty of Corbeil in The Moslem chiefs in the northeast of Spain were constantly revolting against Cordoban authority and they often turned to the Franks for help.

The Frankish border was slowly extended until , when Gerona, Cardona, Ausona, and Urgel were united into the new Spanish March, within the old duchy of Septimania. Matters of Charlemagne's reign came to a head in late He was deposed and put in a monastery, but Charlemagne did not recognize this, as his advisor, Alcuin of York, advised. He went down to Rome in November and held a council on December 1.

On December 23, Leo swore an oath of innocence.

Charlemagne |

Charlemagne thus became the renewer of the Western Roman Empire, which had expired in the To avoid frictions with the Byzantine Emperor, Charles later styled himself, not Imperator Romanorum a title reserved for the Byzantine emperor , but rather Imperator Romanum gubernans Imperium emperor ruling the Roman Empire. In , Charlemagne called Louis, his only surviving legitimate son, to his court. There he crowned him as his heir and sent him back to Aquitaine. He then spent the autumn hunting before returning to Aachen on 1 November. In January, he fell ill. He took to his bed on the 22 January and as Einhard tells it:.

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When Charlemagne died in , he was buried in his own Cathedral at Aachen. He was succeeded by his only son then surviving, Louis the Pious. His empire lasted only another generation in its entirety; its division, according to custom, between Louis's own sons after their father's death laid the foundation for the modern states of France and Germany.

A part of Charlemagne's success as warrior and administrator can be traced to his admiration for learning.

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His reign and the era it ushered in are often referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance because of the flowering of scholarship, literature, art, and architecture which characterize it. Most of the surviving works of classical Latin were copied and preserved by Carolingian scholars. Indeed, the earliest manuscripts available for many ancient texts are Carolingian and it is almost certain that a text which survived to the Carolingian age, survives still. Charlemagne took a serious interest in his and others' scholarship and had learned to read in his adulthood, although he never quite learned how to write, he used to keep a slate and stylus underneath his pillow, according to Einhard.

Charlemagne: Imperator Augustus, King of the Franks

His handwriting was bad, from which grew the legend that he could not write. Even learning to read was quite an achievement for kings at this time, of whom most were illiterate. Charlemagne's mother tongue was the Old High German dialect called Frankish. He also spoke Latin and understood some Greek. Charlemagne, being a model knight as one of the Nine Worthies, enjoyed an important afterlife in European culture. One of the great medieval literary cycles, the Charlemagne cycle or the Matter of France, centers around the deeds of Charlemagne and his historical commander of the Breton border, Roland, and the paladins who are analogous to the knights of the Round Table or King Arthur's court.

Lecture 20