Charlemagne the authority of Rome under his guidance.

Charlemagne (742-814) ruled over Western Europe in the Early Middle Ages. He became King of the Franks after the Frankish Kingdom was divided between him and his younger brother. When his brother died Charlemagne became sole ruler. King Charles had a strong relationship with the Roman Church. Charlemagne was particularly generous when it came to the poor. He gave to the poor in his own country and kingdom along with countries such as Syria, Egypt, African, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Carthage. Charlemagne sent money abroad to these countries and to the poor living in them. His reasoning was that he aimed to provide help and liberation to the Christians. King Charles worshiped the Church of St. Peter the Apostle at Rome. He sent gifts to the popes throughout his reign and he wished to re-establish the authority of Rome under his guidance. Charlemagne also sought to both defend and protect the church. Charlemagne’s ultimate goal was to bring the Germanic people together united under one Kingdom and convert the people to Christianity. Anyone persons under his rule who failed to be baptized or failed to follow Christian traditions was sentenced to death. Charlemagne was an advocate and defender of Christianity. Einhard’s writing showed King Charles’ relationship with Christianity. This is important because it taught historians that Charlemagne played a major role in ensuring the survival of Christianity in Europe. Much of Charlemagne’s rule was spent in warfare. This is because in order to accomplish his goals of uniting the Germanic people under one kingdom he needed to conquer them. Warfare also was meant as a way to spread Christianity to the nations in which he sought to rule. King Charles dominated the Lombards, Avars, and Bavaria. Charlemagne’s military was always at war because he wished to expand the Frankish Kingdom. This was important because it showed that he had a strong government. It started with the Aquitanian War. This particular was started by his father. Charles went about this war with patience; this showed that he was controlled. The Lombard War was a quick war. Charles also took a different approach to warfare than his father. “Now, although Charles seems to have had similar, or rather just the same grounds for declaring war that his father had, the war itself differed from the preceding one alike in its difficulties and its issue.”  Einhard writes that Charles did not stop until he had devastated King Desiderius and forced him to surrender. This is important because it proves that Charlemagne was ruthless when it came to expanding his empire. The war with the Saxons was bitter and long. This was forced conversion and it expanded the empire. “Accordingly war was begun against them, and was waged for thirty-three successive years with great fury; more, however, to the disadvantage of the Saxons than of the Franks. It could doubtless have been brought to an end sooner, had it not been for the faithlessness of the Saxons.”  Einhard tells historians that there were times throughout this war that the Saxon people were so distraught that they swore to begin following Christianity. The war finally ended when the Saxons reluctantly agreed to reject their religious customs and accept the rituals of Christianity. They also agreed on unity with the Franks. This is important because it showed how relentless Charlemagne was when it came to spreading Christianity. The war with the Saxons lasted about thirty-two years. King Charles never yielded. Einhard’s writing of Charlemagne’s wars show exactly how he spread Christianity and conquered other nations. After the wars, Charlemagne truly demonstrated how he fared as a ruler. King Charles encouraged education and the Renaissance. He also placed a big emphasis on scholarship and culture. Charlemagne also had many economic and religious reforms. By doing this he created a sense of peace and unity among his people. Charles planned to have all of his children, both boys and girls educated in the liberal arts. He also spent a lot of his own time focusing on the liberal arts. He made sure his children were skilled in different areas. The boys must be skilled in horsemanship, war practice and the chase. The girls had to work with cloth-making, distaff and spindle. Charlemagne’s personal life and the way he brought up his children was a clear reflection of how devoted he was to their education and well-being. “He was so careful of the training of his sons and daughters that he never took his meals without them when he was at home, and never made a journey without them; his sons would ride at his side, and his daughters follow him, while a number of his body-guard, detailed for their protection, brought up the rear.”  Charlemagne was very interested in education. He stressed grammar, logic, and rhetoric. He enforced education onto his children and encouraged it throughout his kingdom.

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