Pre-Ap English 10
May 12, 2013
Charlemagne was a tremendous leader who altered the world forever. Throughout his lifetime his military accomplishments, concern for justice and the Church, and his revival of learning and culture in Western Europe influenced life as we know it (Historic World Leaders 1).
Charlemagne or also known as Charles the Great was born in Herstal, Belgium in 742. He was son of King Pepin and Bertrada. When Charlemagne was a child he was educated by his mother and Abbot Fulrad of St. Denis. He received religious training and was taught to read Latin, but never learned to write (New Catholic Encyclopedia 1). In 751, Pepin the Short was crowned king by the Frankish nobles. At the age of twelve Charlemagne participated in the anointment of his father by Pope Stephen II. After his father died in 768, Charlemagne and his younger brother Carloman were declared king and were to rule over the Frankish kingdom together. When tensions began to rise between the brothers during a military campaign, Carloman unexpectedly died after just three years of reign. Soon after the Carloman’s death Charlemagne became sole ruler of the Franks.
During this time, Charlemagne married the daughter of Desiderius, the King of Lombards. Shortly after, in response to Pope Adrian I in Rome, Charlemagne repudiated his wife, invaded and vanquished Italy, forced Desiderius to surrender and assumed the title King of Lombards (New Catholic Encyclopedia 2). This act resulted in the resumption of the alliance with the papacy. Charlemagne soon began conquering the majority of Italy, which brought wealth and people into his kingdom. As he was overthrowing Italy, Charlemagne was also fighting a 32 year long battle with the Saxons. This brutal war consisted of multiple military campaigns such as the enforcement of the draconian laws- a set of laws that punished those who would not convert to Christianity. These laws and the help of the...