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CARLOMAGNO SWORD

 

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 Europe 

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 Desiderio. 

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 siege. 

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 Santiago. 

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 against them. 

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 considered themselves.

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 aid. 

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 connection.

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 children. 

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 astronomy. 

Eginhardo absolutely 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 three hours.

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 their control. 

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

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