Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Emperor Charlemagne

The first Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) formalised Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire, and Rome became the centre of Christianity. When Rome was sacked by the Germanic tribes in 410 A.D, though the Papacy remained in Rome, Constantinople became predominant. In 800 A.D. Pope Leo III crowned Charles I, king of the Franks (Charlemagne) as Holy Roman Emperor (even though there was already a Roman Emperor in Constantinople).

Under the protection of the Frankish Emperors, the Pope was once again able to exert authority. The Frankish Realm or occasionally Frankland, was the territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks from the 3rd to the 10th century. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, and Charlemagne—father, son, grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century. Above left Charles I, and  king of the Franks (Charlemagne) Holy Roman Emperor, on the right of the image wearing his crown.

The Holy Roman Emperor: 800 AD: It is now 799 A.D, and for the third time in half a century, a Pope is in need of help from the Frankish kings. After being physically attacked by his enemies in the streets of Rome (their stated intention is to blind him and cut out his tongue, to make him incapable of office), Pope Leo III makes his way through the Alps to visit the king of the Franks Charles I at Paderborn. Left Charles I, king of the Franks (Charlemagne) Holy Roman Emperor, on the right of the image wearing his crown.

It is not known what is agreed, but Charles I travels to Rome in 800 to support the pope. In a ceremony in St Peter's, on Christmas Day, Leo is due to anoint Charles I's son as his heir. But unexpectedly (it is maintained), as Charles I rises from prayer, the pope places a crown on his head and acclaims him emperor.

Charles I (Charlemagne - Charles the great) expresses displeasure but accepts the honour. The displeasure is probably diplomatic, for the legal emperor is undoubtedly the one in Constantinople.

 Nevertheless this public alliance between the pope and the ruler of a confederation of Black tribes now reflects the reality of political power in the west. And it launches the concept of the new Holy Roman Empire, which will play an important role throughout the Middle Ages. The Holy Roman Empire only becomes formally established in the next century. But it is implicit in the title adopted by Charlemagne in 800: 'Charles, most serene Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor, governing the Roman empire.' Above left Ludwik I of Hungary.

The Franks and the Byzantine War: In (801-810) Charlemagne and the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus I waged war on both land and sea for control of Venetia and the Dalmatian coast (modern-day northern Italy, Slovenia and Croatia).
Ludwick  or Louis I
The war progressed well for the Franks, additionally, beginning in 809, Nicephorus was distracted by a new war with the Bulgars.

Therefore, the Byzantines began negotiations with the Franks, and peace was agreed upon in which Charlemagne gave up most of the Dalmatian coast (which he had conquered), in exchange for the Byzantine Emperor recognising him as Emperor of the West.

The Istrian Peninsula remained a part of the Frankish Empire. Then Charlemagne busied himself with driving the Albinos back to the east. Between 802 and 812, Charlemagne fought the Saxons tribes, located to the north. In the beginning of this war, Charlemagne gained his reputation as a ruthless warrior when he massacred over 4,000 Saxons. Still, the warfare with the Saxons continued on. Charlemagne fought the Saxons for thirty years. Above left Ludwik  or Louis I of Hungary 1342 - 1382 A.D.

Finally, he brought Saxony to his kingdom. In (808-810) Charlamagne settled accounts with the Danes, who had given aid and asylum to the Saxon leader Widukind in the Saxon Wars. In (805-806) Charlemagne's forces subdued the Slavic region of Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic). Above left Emperor Charles the Bald.

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