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October 9, 2015

9 Oct 768: Charlemagne becomes Frankish king

On this day in 768, Charlemagne and his younger brother Carloman were named Kings of the Franks after the death of their father, Pepin the Short.

Charlemagne became sole ruler in 771, after Carloman’s mysterious death.

More about Charlemagne (a.k.a. Carolus Magnus, Charles the Great):

  • began the Carolingian dynasty
  • became King of Italy in 774 and the first Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day in 800 (a year you should know by heart)
  • his eldest son plotted a revolt against him; this forms part of the plot of the musical Pippin
  • he is buried in Aachen, Germany, his capital city
  • he was succeeded by his son Louis the Pious
  • often known as the “father of Europe” (pater Europae), his name inspired the word for king in several eastern-European languages (e.g., król in Polish, király in Hungarian)

Charlemagne was canonized by Antipope Paschal III in 1165, but this was ignored by the Holy See.

Image: Charlemagne presenting his relics at Aachen. Stained glass at Chartres Cathedral. Photo: Stuart Whatling

One Comment
  1. jdgalt permalink

    I’m still curious as to why you don’t want to mention his German name, Karl der Große.

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