The sword of Carlomagno
accompanied it in its numerous battles.
Carlomagno was born probably in
Aquisgrán the 2 of April of the 742, son of frank king Pipino Brief and the
grandson of Carlos Martel, this way we could consider to Carlos like a son
ilegítimo, because the date of its birth is not known with certainty, but
anyway previous to the marriage of Bertrada and Pipino that took place in
the year 749.
In the year 751 Pipino it overthrew
last king Merovingio and assumed the real title. From the 760 main military
efforts of Pipino they were centered in the conquest of Aquitania.
Carlomagno accompanied to its father in most of those expeditions. On its
education, childhood and adolescence we do not have the news, because his
main biographer omits this stage of the life of the king alluding to that
"no testimony has had left some in writing that deals with ello".
When Pipino died in the 768,
the government of his kingdoms was shared between his two children Carlos
and Carlomán. The general assembly of the francs proclaimed to both kings
with the condition equitably for distributing the kingdom, in the same way
that Pipino and its Carloman brother had governed the kingdom. Carlo Magno
with his sword (742-814), king of the francs (768-814) and emperor of the
Romans (800-814), it lead to his frank armies to the victory on other
numerous towns, and established his dominion in most of central and western
Carlomagno with its armor.
He was the most influential
king in Europe during the average age. Carlomagno looked for an alliance
with the lombardos when marrying in the 770 with the daughter of its king
In the year 771 Carlomán it
died suddenly. Then Carlomagno seized of its territories. Carlomagno had
repudiado to its wife and Desiderio stopped being its ally. The frank king
invaded Italy, overthrew his old father-in-law (774) and assumed the real
title. He traveled to Rome and he reaffirmed the promise of his father to
protect papal earth. He fought in the Iberian Peninsula in the 778; in its
trip of return, its rear, song of Roland, was object of an ambush,
history immortalized in the song of Roland. Between the years the 791 and
796 armies of Carlomagno conquered the territory of the ávaros (corresponding
to present Hungary and Austria)
Established the frank
dominion on many other towns, Carlomagno had constructed in fact an Empire
and it had become an emperor. The day of Christmas of the 800, being
Carlomagno in the basilica of San Pedro in Rome, Pope Leon III placed on its
head a crown and the people reunited in the church acclaimed like the great
and Pacific emperor to him of the Romans.
Coronation of Carlomagno,
in the basilica of San Pedro in Rome.
One of the first actions
that Carlos undertook as unique king of the francs were to be made echo of
the request of Pope Adriano I to expel to the longobardos of Italy.
The war extended between
years 773 and 774, obtaining to the surrender of king Desiderio and the
expulsion of its Adalgiso son of Italy. The Pope was able to recover the
earth that will form the Pontifical States but the threats continued in the
peninsula of Italy.
The Duke of Fruil, Rodgauso,
rebelled itself in year 776. Carlos returned to Italy to end the revolt and
once choked all fires he imposed to his Pipino son like king.
Year 781 ran. Finalized the
campaigns in Italy, Carlos could destine greater efforts to fight to
sajones, germanic town that occupied the territory located between the Elbe
and the North Sea. The boundary of borders - where continuous confrontations
and religious questions took place - sajones was hostile the Christianity
when considering it a penetration element franca" - they would be the
causes of the war.
Sword of Carlomagno with
its corresponding cover.
The cronistas make reference
to 33 years consecutive of fight with swords, declaring that sajones never
fulfilled the signed treaties and surrenders.
Carlos put itself in several
occasions to the front of his army to fight with his sword against the
danger sajón, also trusting the troops to the counts when other subjects
required their presence.
The war finished towards
year 804. Ten thousands sajones were deported whereas the rest would be
welcomed in the Christian faith and forced to keep fidelity to the frank
king, "forming a single town".
The expansionistic sights of Carlos
did not limit the Itálica peninsula or the territory of sajones. In the
year of 778 it initiated a forceful expedition against the north of the
Iberian Peninsula, dominated by the Muslims. Animated by the Christians,
Carlos arrived at the fortress of Zaragoza after taking Pamplona. The Muslim
governor did not render the seat which motivated the beginning of a long
The news that arrived coming from
Sajonia were not very flattering reason why Carlos retired to France through
the defile of Roncesvalles. The 15 of August of 778 the frank army rear
services underwent an ambush on the part of groups of vascones, possibly
supported by Muslims. From the stop of mounts, vascones attacked the frank
troops directed by Roldan, prefect of the mark of Britain. In the unequal
fight they perished good part of the frank military elite: Roldan, the
senescal Egihardo and count Anselmo. When the vanguard wanted to react, the
attackers fled taking advantage of steep the land and the dark "de the
night that already began to fall".
This episode would give rise
the famous one to sing of develops titleholder "La chanson of Roland".
In the Navarrese enclave of Roncesvalles a building known like "Silo of
Carlomagno" is conserved; where the tradition tells that the bones of
deads in this battle are buried. Easier it is to think that the amount of
rest that are conserved in this place comes from the bodies of the
travelling patients who passed away in this place of access to the Way of
The peninsula of Armorica
will be the following point that Carlos puts under his dominion. The towns
bretones of this zone were put under in year 786 although its rebellious
character took to them to cause new interventions in years 799 and 811. The
submission of the ducado one of Benevento, in the south of Italy, will be
its next objective. Duke Aragiso went ahead to the plans of the frank king
and gave to his two children like hostages, to the time that swore fidelity.
Carlos admitted the supplies of the Duke and after taking the oaths he
retired to frank earth.
Sword of Carlomagno,
photographs of the handle.
In Baviera we were with the
new point of conflict due to Duke Tasilón and his alliance to the ávaros.
Carlos did not support this disobedience and the region of Baviera went with
a strong army. The Duke, before the threatening attitude of the frank
monarch, suplicó mercy to Carlos with which conflict east was settled of
fast way in front. Tasilón was condemned to perpetual prison sentence in
the monastery of Jumièges due to its rebellious antecedents - it had
already rebelled myself before against Carlomagno in year 787 reason why it
had to swear fidelity to the frank king-.
In their expansionistic
attitude the new enemies of Carlos will be the Slavs fighting against the
welátabos to which they allied sajones.
These towns of the Baltic
Sea rebelled in different occasions being made diverse military expeditions
But the most important war
of this decade of 790 is the undertaken one against the ávaros, in which
the king took part personally in the fights that took place in present
Hungary. They would be its Pipino son and the other members of the nobility
that received the confidence of the monarch to direct the long fight because
it would last between years 791 and 803.
The region of Panonia was
vacated according to Eginhardo while the accumulated money and treasures by
the ávaros passed hands frank. Last waged war by Carlos was against
bohemios(805), linones (808-811) and the Danish (810), town this last one
that it tried to dominate all the Germania directed by his king Godofredo.
As a result of all these
fights with swords carried out during the forty and seven years that the
reign lasted, the kingdom of Carlos was duplicated in proportions with
respect to the inherited thing of its father. The borders extended until the
Iberian Peninsula and the center of Europe, counting on Italy, Germania,
Sajonia and the Dacia, establishing in the Danube the border this. Of there
the denomination "Carolus Magnus" with that its name to the
History and the coronation of Carlos like emperor and augusto in Rome by
Pope Leon III has extended the 23 of December of year 800, equaling itself
to the emperors of East which the authentic heirs of the Roman emperors
This appointment like
emperor would be preceded by the asked for aid to Carlos by Pope Leon III
that had been attacked a year before by a group of sworn in which they
forced to him to escape to Sajonia where it was with Carlos, soliciing its
The intervention of Carlos
allowed the reestablishment of La Paz in the Pontifical States. Like the war,
the diplomacy also will be one of the strongpoints of Carlos, establishing
contacts with the kings more reputed of its time like Alfonso II the Chaste
one of Leon, Harun al-Rachid the abassí caliph of Bagdad or the emperors of
Constantinopla. It frankly turns out interesting to know the life deprived
the frank king.
Sample of the Carlomagno
sword in bronze finished.
Before its numerous marriages
Carlos it maintained relations with a young called nobleman Himiltrudis,
being born of this relation a called son Pipino the Jorobado. Towards year
770 it married with Ermengarda, daughter of Desiderio, the king of the
longobardos, to which repudió by strangers reasons after a year of the
The second wife was
Hildelgarda, noble woman of origin suabo with which she had 9 children, four
men - Carlos, Pipino and Ludovico among them - and five women - Rotrudis,
Berta and Gisela are those that we know-.
To the death of Hildelgarda
-30 of April of year 783- it married with Fastrada, of germanic origin, with
that had two daughters at least: Teodorada and Hiltrudis whereas a concubine
gave another daughter him of Rodaida name.
Again widower in year 794
contracted marriage with the alamana Liutgarda with which she did not have
When passing away this one
was related to four concubines: Madelgarda, with that it had to Rotilda;
Gersvinda, mother of Adeltrius; Regina that had two children, Drogón and
Hugo; and Adelinda with which it had to Teodorico.
Altogether, ten relations
known which was born at least 18 well-known children. All these children and
daughters received the divided medieval typical formation in two groups:
"trivium" formed by the grammar, the rhetoric and dialectic and
"quadrivium" integrated by Arithmetic, geometry, music and
presents/displays to us to Carlos worried about the education of its vast
descendants and it even tells that "nunca had supper without them nor
went of trip without llevárselos with himself".
Between the main values of
Carlos we found, always according to the cronista Eginhardo, the friendship,
the interest by coming from other earth, the honesty or the affection
towards its subjects. In its physical description it alludes to to a man of
high stature -1´92 meters according to the exhumation of its body that took
place in 1861 -, "hermosa white hair and pleasant face and cheers".
The cronista says that it
enjoyed good health with the exception of its last four years in which the
fevers were frequent and even cojeó of a foot, being able to suffer the
drop since the doctors recommended the abstinence to him from roasted stews,
recommendations that the king did not follow. Its moderation in the food and
the drink contrasts with this attraction towards stews. The food always was
accompanied by music or readings. After the lunch it used to sleep two or
Between its likings we found
the hunting, the thermal equitación, baths and swimming. Eginhardo says
that "vestía according to the custom of its town (...) on the body
took to a shirt and linen trousers; it raises, an edged túnica of silk and
averages stockings and soon bands around the legs and footwear in the feet
(...) was covered with a blue mantle and it always took fitted a dagger
whose grip and whose case were of gold or silver".
During the reign of Carlos
an important cultural Renaissance when protecting to important personages
like Alcuino of York is pronounced, that became one of the main impellers of
the culture carolingia.
The own Carlos cultivated
the liberal arts, specially astronomy. Also I am interested in the
legislative work when unifying and to complete the frank laws to the time
that ordered the compilation of all the laws of the towns that were under
Like the Roman emperors
Carlos also worried to develop to an important constructive work with which
to demonstrate the greatness of his reign as we can state in the magnificent
palaces of Aquisgran and their palatal chapel or the construction of
churches in all the corners of its kingdom. Before dying, Carlos associated
to the throne his Ludovico son, at those moments king of Aquitania, and he
named heir him of the imperial crown before the assembly of próceres. This
ceremony of coronation was made the 11 of September of year 813.
To first of November, Carlos
returned to hunt to his palace of Aquisgrán, where he underwent a fort
febrile process in the month of January of year 814. The diet that prevailed
to him for the recovery was not effective, complicando the fever with
"un pain in the flank, which the Greeks call pleuresía" in words
of Eginhardo. The 28 of January of that year passed away Carlomagno at the
age of 72 years, after 47 of reign. Its body was buried in Aquisgrán