Biography of Charles Charlemagne


Charlemagne, Charles, or Karl the Great. The first Carolvingian king of the Franks, son and successor of Pepin le Bref (the Short). Born in 742. Became sole ruler on the death of his brother, Carloman, in 771. He subjugated by his arms the southern Gauls, the Lombards, the Saxons, and the Avars, and conducted a successful expedition against the Moors in Spain, with the result that his kingdom extended from the Ebro to the Elbe. Having passed over into Italy in support of the Pope, he was, on Christmas Day 800, crowned emperor of the West, after which he devoted himself to the welfare of his subjects and proved himself as great in legislation as in arms. Enacted laws for the empire, called capitularies. Reformed the judicial administration, patronized letters, and established schools. Kept himself in touch with everything over his vast domain. He died, and was buried at Aix-la-Chapelle in 814.