Interesting facts about Charlemagne

Posted on Mar 11, 2022      429


The European emperor Charlemagne did not just earn such a resounding nickname. During his life he achieved enormous success, and now his biography is studied in many countries. By uniting disparate lands under his rule, he helped to strengthen their borders, which were not at all superfluous, given that in medieval Europe, wars were constantly fought.

Facts from the biography of Charlemagne

  • He himself came from the Pipinid dynasty, but became so famous that his dynasty became known as the Carolingians, after himself.
  • Emperor Charlemagne earned the nickname “the Great” while he was still alive.
  • As king of the Franks and Lombards, Charlemagne also held the titles Duke of Bavaria and Emperor of the West. The Pope himself crowned him with the imperial crown.
  • Charlemagne’s birthplace is not known with certainty, and many French cities claim he was born there.
  • After the death of his father, the famous King Pepin the Short, King Charles divided his paternal inheritance with his brother Carloman. Subsequently, after his brother’s death, he annexed his estates to his own.
  • The famous poem The Song of Roland tells of the battle of Ronseval Gorge, in which Charlemagne’s troops, led by Margrave Roland, were routed by the Basques.

  • Charlemagne united Gaul, the territory of modern-day France, and Italy into a single state by seizing the Italian lands by force.
  • Throughout most of his life, Charlemagne waged continuous wars, to which he devoted about 40 years.
  • Emperor Charlemagne had great reverence for Christmas, and many important events for himself. Like weddings, he always tried to coincide with it.
  • After conquering the Saxons, the Emperor, after a rebellion in Saxony, ordered the beheading of 4,500 men in one day, who were declared to be the instigators of the rebellion.
  • Despite the constant military campaigns, Charlemagne actively promoted education and carried out progressive reforms. Under him, reading for the first time in the Middle Ages was relatively accessible not only to two monks and nobles, but to everyone else.
  • According to the surviving chronicles, Charlemagne could read Latin, but he could not write. Many rulers of his time, however, were not literate.
  • Some historians see Charlemagne’s campaigns against the pagan Saxons as a prerequisite for the Crusades, which began much later.
  • Throughout his life, Charlemagne fought with varying success against a wide variety of peoples, including Arabs and Slavs.
  • It was he who became the first emperor in Western Europe.

  • Charlemagne’s vast empire was repeatedly subjected to devastating Viking raids. The fierce Nordic warriors came by sea, plundered coastal settlements, and disappeared after taking their booty. They attacked mainly from the territory of modern Denmark.
  • The huge empire created during the life of Charlemagne fell apart soon after his death, as he willed to divide it among his three sons.
  • Historians in the biography of Charlemagne list six of his official wives and three mistresses.
  • He forced the children of the nobility to study the sciences voluntarily. His own offspring did as well.
  • An examination of Emperor Charles’s remains showed he was 192 centimeters tall.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor, exalted Charlemagne’s personality, and considered himself his successor. He ranked him with Caesar and Alexander the Great.
  • The Saxons resisted the armies of Charlemagne for over 30 years, but in the end, they were still subdued.
  • In the Middle Ages, human life was quite short. Emperor Charlemagne lived for 71 years.
  • One of his sons, Pepin the Hunchback, tried to stage a coup against his father. It failed, and Pepin himself was permanently imprisoned in a monastery for this attempt.