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Karl der Große / Charlemagne. Erin Eckstein. Quick Background. By the 6 th century the West Roman Empire had fallen and was ruled by the Merovingians then later Pippin the Short of the Carolingian dynasty. Franks were falling back into barbarian ways (abandoning education and religion)

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quick background
Quick Background
  • By the 6th century the West Roman Empire had fallen and was ruled by the Merovingians then later Pippin the Short of the Carolingian dynasty
  • Franks were falling back into barbarian ways (abandoning education and religion)
  • Saxons of north Europe were still pagans
  • Roman Catholic church was trying to recover land confiscated by the Lombard kingdom of Italy
  • His exact birth date/ place is not known
  • 741-ish
  • Aachen-ish
  • Charles le Magne "Charles the Great” named after his grandfather Charles Martel
  • Eldest child of Pepin the Short and his wife Bertrada of Laon
rise to greatness
Rise to greatness
  • 768 Charlemagne (26) and his younger brother (Carloman) inherited the kingdom of the Franks.
  • 771 Carloman died, and Charlemagne became sole ruler of the kingdom
military campaigns
Military Campaigns
  • Charlemagne was determined to strengthen his kingdom and bring order to Europe
  • 772 he began 30-year military campaign
  • Began with Lombardy: Pope Adrian I in 772 enlisted the help of Charles to regain lost land in Italy
  • Fifty-three campaigns- nearly all led in person
military campaigns1
Military Campaigns
  • Charlemagne's success was the result of the new novelty idea of a siege
  • Large numbers of horses were used because of their speed and durability which was vital to transporting such a large army
  • Conquered Bavaria and Saxony, destroying the Avars
  • Shielded Italy from the raiding Saracens
  • Defended Francia against Moors from Spain.
  • The Saxons on his eastern frontier were pagans (burned down a Christian church) and made occasional raids into Gaul
  • This resulted in 18 campaigns in which Charlemagne gave the Saxons the choice of baptism or death (4500 Saxon rebels beheaded in one day)
  • 800 Charlemagne was the undisputed ruler of Western Europe
  • France, Switzerland, Belgium, and The Netherlands, half of present-day Italy, Germany, and parts of Austria and Spain.
  • Charlemagne restored much of the unity of the old Roman Empire
  • Paved the way for the development of modern Europe.
personal life
Personal life
  • 781 he made his two younger sons kings, having them crowned by the Pope.
  • Eldest was Carloman, made king of Italy taking the Iron Crown and renamed "Pippin."
  • The 2 oldest was Louis, who became king of Aquitaine
  • Determined to have his children educated (even his daughters)
  • His sons learned archery, horsemanship, and other outdoor activities
  • Had a an official marriage and some other relationships less official
  • 813 Charlemagne crowned his last surviving sun (Louis the Pious of Aquitaine) to be co-emperor
  • Returned to Aachen November 1 can caught pleurisy and became depressed and died January 28 after taking communion
  • 47 years of reigning
  • He was buried on the day of his death in Aachen Cathedral
  • 1165, Frederick I re-opened the tomb and placed the emperor in a sarcophagus beneath the floor
  • In 1215 Frederick II put him in a casket made of gold and silver
cultural influences
Cultural Influences
  • Abandoned the gold standard, (shortage of gold itself was the consequence of the loss of their trade routes to Africa and to the East)
  • This standardization economically unified currencies thus simplifying trade
  • Brought the culture and knowledge of other countries to germany and the rest of his empire (especially Visigothic Spain, Anglo-Saxon England, and Lombard Italy)
  • Due to his conquests he greatly increased the amount of schools and books in Francia
  • Most of the presently surviving works of classical Latin were copied and preserved by the scholars
  • Many of the earliest manuscripts available for many ancient texts are Carolingian
cultural influences1
Cultural Influences
  • Charlemagne himself was accorded sainthood inside the Holy Roman Empire after the twelfth century
  • Public participation in government was seen in semiannual assemblies of property owners at Worms, Valenciennes, Aachen, Geneva, Paderborn
  • King submitted smaller groups of nobles/ bishops his proposals for legislation; they considered them, and returned them to him with suggestions
  • Created chapters of legislation, and presented these to the people for their shouted approval; or the assembly voiced disapproval with a collective grunt
fun facts
Fun Facts
  • Karl's full title at 800 was: Karolus Serene Highness Augustus a Deocoronatusmagnuspacificus imperator Romanumgubernansimperium, qui et per MisericordiamdeirexFrancorumatqueLangobardorum
  • (Translated): "Karl, your Highness Augustus, God-winning, large peace-building by the Emperor, the Roman rich governments, the grace of God and King of the Franks and Lombards "
  • Aachen has, since 1949, awarded an international prize (called the KarlspreisderStadt Aachen) in honor of Charlemagne.
  • Awarded to "personages of merit who have promoted the idea of western unity by their political, economic and literary endeavors.“
  • In many European languages"king" comes from from Charles' name
  • Polish: król
  • Czech: král
  • Lithuanian: karalius,
  • Latvian: karalis,
  • Hungarian: király,
  • Bulgarian: крал,
  • Serbian: краљ,
  • Croatian: kralj,
  • Russian: король,
  • Turkish: kral
  • Slovak: kráľ
fun facts1
Fun Facts
  • Annual feat January 28 in Aachen and Osnabrück
  • Spoke German Latin, little Greek, and maybe Arabic
  • 792 he banished his eldest (illegitimate) son, Pippin the Hunchback to the monastery of Prüm (he had joined a rebellion)
  • Wore embroidery and jewels for feasts but he hated wearing it and usually dressed like the common people
  • Christmas Day in 800, while Charlemagne knelt in prayer in Saint Peter’s in Rome, Pope Leo III placed a golden crown on the bowed head of the king. Charlemagne is said to have been surprised by the coronation, declaring that he would not have come into the church had he known the pope’s plan