Charlemagne Facts

Charlemagne Facts
Charlemagne was the King of Franks and the Holy Roman Emperor, also known as Charles I, and as one of the Middle Ages' greatest leaders. He was born April 2nd, 742, to Pepin the Short (King of the Franks), and Bertrada of Laon, likely in Germany - although his exact place of birth is unknown. When Charlemagne's father died he left the empire to Charlemagne and his brother Carloman, but Carloman died before a battle for rule could ever begin. Charlemagne extended the Frankish Empire to include most of today's Germany. The Franks were originally Germanic tribes that occupied much for the region of what is France today. In 800 CE Charlemagne visited Rome, and Pope Leo III crowned him Emperor of the Romans over the Holy Roman Empire.
Interesting Charlemagne Facts:
The title of Emperor of the Romans of the Holy Roman Empire was largely a non-power titled but it led to him being highly respected throughout most of Europe.
Charlemagne was given the title Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on a holiday - Christmas Day.
Charlemagne was married to at least five different women throughout his life.
Charlemagne is often referred to as the 'Father of Europe', because he founded both the French Empire and the German Empire.
Charlemagne divorced his first wife Desiderata within a year of their marriage. He then married 13-year old Hildegard in 771. As his marriages continued he went on to have as many as 18 children by his several wives.
Charlemagne was known as a very strong leader. He is considered one of the greatest leaders of the Middle Ages. As he gained control of territories he left Frankish nobility to rule them.
Charlemagne would leave local customs and laws to remain in place after gaining control of territories, and made sure they were written down and recorded. As part of Charlemagne's administrative efforts he ensured that laws in the territories were enforced.
One area of influence of Charlemagne was in respect to church music. He also was involved in civil works and encouraged the cultivation and planting of various fruit trees.
Charlemagne essentially ruled most of Western Europe from 768 to 841. He had a goal to unite all Germanic tribes and convert his people to Christianity.
Much of Charlemagne's rule involved warfare as he sought to unite Germanic people.
Charlemagne believed that children should be educated, and encouraged the education of his daughters as well as his sons.
It has been written that Charlemagne loved his daughters too much to let them get married while he was still living.
Charlemagne enjoyed leisure activities such as swimming, horseback riding, and hunting.
Charlemagne was instrumental in pushing a standardized form of writing - which was the basis for many modern printed European alphabets.
Charlemagne crowned Louis the Pious (his son) as co-emperor, and King of Aquitaine, in 813. Charlemagne's health had begun to fail and he refused to listen to the doctors about his diet.
Charlemagne died in January, 814, and his son Louis the Pious became emperor. In the years that followed the empire was divided among heirs and eventually dissolved.

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