The Life of Charlemagne
When Pepin, the King of the Franks died in 768, his sons Charlemagne and Carloman were appointed as his successors. The kingdom was divided equally between them. Charlemagne became sole ruler of the Frankish kingdom in 771 when his brother Carloman died. So began Charlemagne’s reign as one of the greatest kings in medieval times. Under Charlemagne’s rule, a common government, a common faith and a common culture united much of Western Europe. That was his legacy.
It was not Charlemagne’s military prowess that won him a vast kingdom, as Einhard believed. It was Charlemagne’s strong personality that was the driving force behind his military successes, as well as the glue that held his kingdom together.
Charlemagne was a simple man with strong family ties and religious beliefs. He was a man of great vision and determination with a diplomatic flair that few men of his time possessed. His exceptional organizational skills and his belief in education were the hallmarks of his administration.
During his reign, Charlemagne engaged in numerous military campaigns. “He so largely increased the Frank’s kingdom, which was already great and strong when he received it at his father’s hands, th
When he was near death, he appointed his son Louis to rule with himself over the whole kingdom and named him heir to the imperial name so no one would question Louis"tm authority after his death. Improving the cultural and educational standards of his people became an important mission to Charles. He controlled appointments to key positions, requiring men to come to him for power. In the administration of government, Charles"tm organizational skills were evident. He attended church regularly and made it a mission of his to make sure that the church and all it encompassed remained clean and sacred. "Many battles were fought in his name, but he rarely accompanied his armies and fought no campaigns that are remembered for strategic brilliance. After being made emperor, he decided to try and correct the discrepancies that existed in the Franks laws. " As evidenced in the Bavarian War when faced with treason by Duke Tasillo, Charles knew when to apply diplomacy for the sake of his empire. " While this was true, it was not principally Charles"tm military leadership that brought him victory. Local government was managed by counts. "He added to the glory of his reign by gaining the good will of several kings and nations. His munificence won the kings of the Scots also to pay such deference to his wishes that they never gave him any other title than lord" his relations with Aaron, King of the Persians"were so friendly that this prince preferred his favor to that of all the kings and potentates of the earth and considered that to him alone marks of honor and munificence were due"The emperors of Constantinople, Nicephorus, Michael and Leo"sought friendship and alliance with him by several embassies. He made it a priority to copy manuscripts of the bible and the writings of the church and made sure these books were copied and distributed as widely as possible. He built the basilica of the Holy Mother of God, a bridge over the Rhine and two palaces. He was modest in his eating and drinking habits.