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Charles I the Great

( The King of Franks)

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Biography Charles I the Great
photo Charles I the Great
Charles I the Great (742-814) - King of the Franks in 768-814 years. Emperor 'Holy Roman Empire' in 800-814 years. Son of Pepin the Short and Bertrady. Genus. April 2. 742 g.
Spouses: 1) Gimiltruda 2) with 770 g. Deziderata, daughter of the Lombard king Desiderius, 3) with 771 g. Gildegarda (+ April 30. 783 g.), 4) from October. 783 g. Countess Fastrada (+ 10 August. 794): 5) Liutgarda (June 4 + 800).

+ 28 January. 814

* * *

After the death of Pepin the Short left two sons - Charles and Carloman, inherited from him Francia. Franchi, solemnly gathered general assembly, approved the kings of both brothers, and made it a condition that Karl retain the northern and western regions of the kingdom, and Carloman - central and south-east to the border with Italy and Bayern. The terms were accepted, and each of the Kings got their share. The agreement between them was maintained with great difficulty, because many of Carloman entourage tried to embroil the brothers and even bring the case before the war. Subsequent events eliminate the danger and revealed the true cause of enmity: the death in 771 g. Carloman's widow and his sons, the most noble of the court fled to Italy to seek protection from Desiderius, King of the Lombards. Karl after the death of his brother with a general agreement was proclaimed king of a united francs.

According to biographer Charles Eyngarda, the King was very simple and moderate in his habits. In ordinary days, his outfit did not differ from the commoner clothes. Wine he drank little (dinner drink no more than three cups) and hated drunkenness. Lunch on weekdays, it consisted of only four dishes, not counting the roast, which themselves hunters served directly on a spit, and that Charles preferred to every other viands. During the meal, he listened to music or reading. He took the exploits of the ancients, as well as the composition of St. Augustine's 'City of God'. After lunch in the summer time he ate a few apples and drank another cup, then he stripped naked, resting two or three hours. At night he slept restlessly: four or five times woke up, and even got up from bed. During the morning dressing Karl took friends, and, if there was an urgent matter, which found it difficult to solve without it, listening to the litigants and a verdict. At the same time he gave orders to his servants and ministers throughout the day. He was eloquent, and so easily express their thoughts, he could pass for a conductor. Without limiting the native speech. Carl worked hard on foreign languages and, incidentally, had mastered Latin so that he could express himself in it as in their native language in Greek more understood than spoken. Diligently engaged in the various sciences, he thought highly of scientists, showing them great respect. He studied grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, and especially astronomy, so that he could skillfully evaluate church holidays and watch the movement of stars. He tried to write and to this end is constantly kept under his pillow boards for writing, so in their spare time to teach hand drawing the letters, but his work, begun too late, had little success. Church in all the years he was deeply respected and strictly observed all the rituals.

Of all the wars that led Karl, was the first of Aquitaine in 769 g. revolted against Gunolda. Karl unleashed it during the life of Carloman, hoping to help his brother. And although his brother has not had promised him assistance. Karl continued strongly conceived campaign and finished it earlier than their persistence and determination has everything you wanted. He Gunolda forced to flee to Gascony. Do not leave him there alone, Charles crossed the river Garonne and persuaded the Duke Magnifier Gascon extradition fugitive. Shortly after the death of his brother Charles started the war with the Saxons. It was the most protracted and bitter war in his reign. With breaks, stopping and resuming again, it lasted thirty-three years and cost the Franks biggest losses since the Saxons, like all the nations of Germany, were ferocious by nature and devoted to their faiths. Border with them almost everywhere held to a bare plain, and therefore was uncertain. Every day here there were killings, looting and fires. Annoyed that the Franks in the end found it necessary to start a war against neighbors. In 772 g. Carl the first time invaded Saxony, destroyed the fortress Eresburg and overthrew the pagan shrine - the idol Irminsц¦l. Then he was distracted by the Italian cases.

773 g. He started a war against the Lombard king Desiderius. Before that Charles was divorced from his daughter Dezideratoy (arranged marriage, this mother of Charles Bertrada who dreamed of an alliance with the Lombards). Strong Frankish army went to the Alps. Lombards was closed and consolidated passes. Charles decided on a workaround. By dropping the fearless Frankish detachment made his way to the enemy from the rear. Fearing encirclement, Desiderius passes left and retreated to his capital Pavy, hoping to escape unscathed thanks to its thick walls. Franks fought to pursue the enemy, along the way capturing numerous towns of Lombardy. Leaving part of the forces under Pavia, Charles to the rest of the troops went up in February, 774 g. for Verona. After a brief siege the city surrendered. In April, the Franks came to Rome. Pope Adrian I gave Karl a solemn meeting. Charles reacted to the high priest with the greatest respect: before you go to Adrian's hand, he kissed all the stairs of the temple of St. Peter's. By many cities, gave the pope his father, he promised to add a new gift (this promise was not fulfilled then). In early June, unable to endure the hardships of the siege, Desiderius came out Pavy and submitted to the winner. Karl took over the capital of the Lombards and the Royal Palace. Defeated enemies he made monastic vows.

In 775 g. led a large army in Saxony Karl plunged down to the river Okkera and left strong garrisons in Eresburge and Sigiburge. But next spring Saxons took Eresburg back. Then, Karl tried to create on the border with Saxony fortified line. In 776 g. he founded a fortress Karlsburg and baptized many of the Saxons. In 777 g. from all over the country to him were the masses of local residents and expressed his resignation.

In the same year the king arrived envoys from the ruler of Zaragoza, who asked for help from the Franks against the Umayyad Emir of Cordoba. In 778 g. Karl led a large army, crossed the Pyrenees, but failed at Zaragoza. On the way back, when the army moved by the extended system, as to forced the mountain gorges, Basques ambushed on the tops of the rocks and fell on top of the unit, was covering the convoy, after killing every last person. On his return Charles waited and other troubles: the West-Saxons, halyards, who rallied Widukind, have forgotten their oath and sham treatment, and again went to war. Cross the border at the Rhine, they went up on the right bank of the river to Kobletsa, burning and pillaging everything in their path, and then, laden with rich booty, and returned back home. In 779 g. Charles invaded Saxony and took almost the entire country, anywhere without encountering resistance. Again, as before, in his camp was a lot of the Saxons, who gave the hostages and swear allegiance. However, the king no longer believed in their love of peace. In 780 g. He again came to Saxony and went to the Elbe. Somehow sinking Saxony, at the end of the year he arrived in Italy. Besnoy 781 g. Pope in Rome at the request of

. Charles baptized his four sons, giving him the name of Pepin, and put on the child's head crown, after which his father loudly announced his desire to entrust the new King for Italian.

. Then Pepin became officially known as the 'King of the Lombards'
. 782 was re-dedicated to the Saxon Affairs. All Karl Saxony is divided into administrative districts, each headed by set of graphs. Learning that the border lands invaded Slavic Sorbs, he sent his army against them. But just at this time from Denmark returned Widukind. The whole country immediately rose. Many francs were slain, the Christian churches destroyed. Troops sent against the Serbs, was ambushed in the mountain Zuntal and was almost entirely slaughtered by rebels. Charles gathered a new army, was in Verdun, summoned the elders of the Saxon and forced them to give hostages 4500.

They are all in one day were beheaded. At the same time was promulgated the so-called 'First Saxon chapter house', which threatened dire punishments for any transgression against the Church and the Frankish administration. Next three years, Karl almost never left Saxony. During the war, he beat a stubborn Saxons in open battles and retaliatory raids, took hundreds of hostages, which was taken from the country, destroying villages and farms recalcitrant. In the summer of 785 g. Franks crossed the Weser. Bloodless many defeats Widukind tied with Carl talks and asked for mercy. In the autumn he went to the king in Attini, was baptized and received from his hands the rich gifts. It was a turning point in the Saxon war. After that, the resistance of the vanquished was gradually weakened.

At the end of 786 g. Karl spoke out against the Duke of Benevento Arihiza, who wanted to restore its authority under the Kingdom of the Lombards. At the beginning of 787 g. Charles was already in Rome and then went to Capua. Arihiz retreated to Salerno and from there sent to his son Charles for talks. He promised absolute obedience to the king not only ravaged its territory. Carl agreed. Then the Duke himself and his people brought the king of the Franks oath of allegiance. All of Italy to the south of the recognized government of Charles. Untie his hands in Saxony and Italy, Karl turned against the Bavarian Duke Tassilo, an old ally of the Lombards. In the same year he was surrounded on three sides Bavaria troops. Tassilo was forced to take an oath of loyalty. In 788 g. Charles summoned the Duke to the court, deposed and forced to take the vows. Ducal power in Bavaria was abolished and the country was put under control graphs. In 789 g. Carl made an expedition against the Slavic tribe lyutichey (Wiltz). The Franks have put in two bridges over the Elbe River, crossed the river and with the support of allies (the Saxons, Frisians, obodritov and Lusatian Serbs) struck a terrible blow lyuticham. Although, according to the chronicles, they fought hard, but resist the enormous forces of the Allies could not. Charles drove to the river Wiltz Pena, destroying everything in its path. Their capital surrendered, and the prince Drahovo surrendered and gave hostages.

Then came heavy Avar war. According Eyngarda, it was the most significant and bitter after the Saxon and demanded francs very high costs. In the summer of 791 g. army of Charles in three different ways, invaded the country and the Avars reached the Vienna Woods, where were their main building. Leaving their camp, Avars fled into the interior of the country, the Franks pursued them to the confluence of the Danube River Rab. Further prosecution has been terminated due to extensive losses of horses. The army returned to the Regen-sburg loaded with big booty. All year, Karl spent in Regensburg, but on a new campaign against the Avars he diverted the revolt of the Saxons. Swing it surpassed even the events of 785 g. By the Frisians and Saxons joined the Slavs. Everywhere were destroyed temples and killed Frankish garrisons. In the summer of 794 g. Karl and his son Charles Young led the two armies invaded Saxony. Seeing themselves surrounded, Saxons masses rushed to Eresburgu, taking an oath of loyalty, gave hostages, and returned to Christianity. Autumn 795 g. King with a strong army again ravaged Saxony and came to the lower Elbe. Learning that Saxons killed his ally, Prince obodritov, he subjected the country to secondary devastation, took the hostages to 7000 and returned to France. As soon as he left, Saxons rebelled in Nordalbingii, a country north of the Elbe. Karl had to turn against them. Meanwhile Prince horutansky Voynomir resumed the war against the Avars, took them to the fortified camp of the ring and captured a rich booty. In the summer of 796 g. son Charles Pepin again attacked the Avars, devastated the whole of their country and destroyed to the ground ring. After this campaign, according to Eyngarda, in Pannonia remained alive not one of its inhabitants and the place where was the residence of Hagan are not preserved and traces of human activity. Horrible people of accidents, over the centuries, bringing terror to the whole of Eastern Europe ceased to exist. Meanwhile, Charles and his sons, Charles and Louis, had fought in Saxony. The army combed the entire country until Nordalbingii, and then returned to Aachen with the hostages and big booty. In the late summer - early autumn Charles organized an ambitious expedition to Saxony by land and by water, devastating everything in its path, he went to Nordalbingii. On all sides of the country to him ran Saxons and Friesians, giving a large number of hostages. During the expedition, Karl resettled in Saxony francs, and many others. Saxons led with him to France. He decided not to leave the country, even in winter. Taking a whole yard, it is situated on the Weser, ordered the construction of barracks for the soldiers and called parking Gerstel. All winter he spent here, doing Saxon affairs. In the spring of 798 g. He has undergone a complete devastation of the land between the Weser and Elbe. At the same time the allied Franks obodrity smashed nordalbingov have Sventany, interrupting to 4000 Saxons. After that, Carl was able to return to France, leading to a one and a half thousand prisoners. In the summer of 799 g. King with his sons went to the last campaign against the Saxons. He himself remained in Paderborn. Meanwhile, Karl Young completed subdue Nordalbingii. As usual, Charles returned to France, leading to a lot of the Saxons, with their wives and children to settle them in the inner regions of the state.

Autumn 800 g. Charles went to Rome and spent almost six months, going feud between the Pope Leo III and the local nobility. December 25, he listened to a celebratory Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter. Suddenly my father went up to his guest, and put on his head the imperial crown. All were in the Cathedral of the Franks and Romans in unison shouted: 'Long live the victorious Carl August, crowned by God the great and mirotvoryaschy Roman Emperor'. While all this was not a surprise to Charles, he said, according to Eyngarda, at first pretended that he was dissatisfied with 'willful' act of the Pope. Charles even claimed that, had he known in advance about the intentions of Leo III, it would be in that day did not go to church, not looking at Christmas. He did this, apparently, in order to reassure the court of Constantinople. Hatred romeyskih emperors, once emerged, Carl, however, moved with great patience. In the end, the Byzantine emperor had to accept the new title of lord francs.

804 g. put an end to the exhausting Saxon war. Karl arrived in Gollenshtedt and carried out Nordalbingii 10 thousand Saxon families in the inner regions of the state. Deserted Nordalbingiya was transferred obodritam. In 808 g. Danish king Gottfried, in alliance with the Slavs attacked Polabian obodritov and overlaid them with tribute. Before leaving, he destroyed Rerik. The emperor sent against the Danes, son of Charles. In Nordalbingii, again selected by obodritov, built several forts, thus was the beginning of the Danish border stamp. To reflect the Norman invasions Karl told to build ships on the rivers, which flow from Gaul and Northern Germany. In all the seaports and the mouths of navigable rivers, on his orders were arranged parking for ships and patrol boats on display, in order to prevent the invasion of the enemy. This was the last great war when the life of Charles. For forty years since the adoption of its power, it is almost twice extended the limits of power francs.

. Shortly before his death, . at 813 g., . Charles summoned Louis, . King of Aquitaine, . sole survivor of his son from Gildegardy, . and, . convening a formal meeting of the nobles of the kingdom francs, . appointed him, . common agreement, . his co-ruler and heir, . and then placed a crown on his head and ordered to name him Emperor and Augustus,
. Shortly thereafter, struck a strong fever, he took to his bed. In early January to a fever joined pleurisy, and on the seventh day he died.


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