Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Charlemagne (742? - 814)
Son of Peppin the Short and Bertrada of Laon.
King of Francs and Emperor of the Romans.
During his reign, he expanded his empire to include Western and Central Europe, he also conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus.
He is regarded as the Father of Europe as well as the Father of the French and German monarchies. It was he who gave a feeling of one to Europe.
Charlemagne's family replaced the Merovingian dynasty and began the Carolingian. Charlemagne himself began what is referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance, an intellectual and cultural revival that included an increase in literature, writing, arts, architecture, liturgical reforms and scriptural studies.
He introduced the Carolingian minuscule or lower case writing.
Alcuin (center), a well known scholar.
Aachen Gospel art
Charlemagne was fluent in Latin, some Greek, some Arabic, and a form of German (most likely his native language). He was keenly interested in giving his children an excellent education, including his daughters.
His tomb was opened and studied by scientists, together with written accounts from his time, we know that he was very tall, almost six feet or two meters, sturdily built with a large head, lively eyes, a large nose, and light colored hair. He was pretty chilled out, preferring to dress as common people, only dressing up when absolutely necessary.
He spent most of his life in one war or another, enlarging his kingdom. This his throne was fairly simple, easy to carry around.
Charlemagne's actual throne, today found in the Aachen Cathedral in Germany.
He was a devout Catholic and was beatified upon his death in 814 and then canonized in 1166 by Antipope Paschall III.
Chatting with the pope.
Being crowned Imperator Augustus by the pope.
The Fleur-de-lis and the German Eagle are associated with him.
Charlemagne was a great king. He died in 814 from a lung sickness, pleurisy, after being sick for a mere 7 days. He is buried in Aachen Cathedral, in Aachen, Germany.
He was survived by his son, Louis the Pious, King of Aqitaine, who took over the kingdom and who upon handing it down to his heirs, eventually broke it down into what would become Germany and France.
Charlemagne had 20 children from various wives and concubines:
Wives: Himiltrude, Desiderata, Hildegard, and Fastrada
Concubines: Gersuinda, Madelgard, Amaltrud of Vienne, Regina, and Ethelind
Children: Amaudru (f), Pippin the Hunchback, Charles the Yonger, Carloman, renamed Pippin, Adalhaid, Rotrude, Louis, Lothair, Bertha, Gisela, Theodrada, Rouhaid, Alpaida, Drogo, Hugh, Richbod, and Theodoric
Had to add that list, digging the names!
Donc voila, one of France's mightiest and best loved kings!
Gros bisous de l'ancien histoire et a demain.