When he was only 26 years old, a man named Charles became the co-emperor of the Carolingian kingdom.  He would become one of the most well-known rulers of medieval Europe.  He would also later be known as Charles the Great, or Charlemagne.

Charlemagne was born around 742 to Bertrada of Laon and Pepin the short, who was the ruler of all the Frankish tribes in Europe.

After Charlemagne’s father died in 1768, his kingdom was divided between Charlemagne and his brother Carloman.  Carloman died in 771, so now Charlemagne was the sole ruler of France.

Once he was the sole ruler of the kingdom, he did his best to unite all the Germanic tribes, and to convert them all to Christianity.  Charlemagne spent almost all of his years on the throne fighting and uniting these tribes. He conquered the Avars, Lombard’s, Saxons, and the Bavarians to name a few.

In 782, Charlemagne did a very bad thing.  It is called the Massacre of Verden. He ordered 4,500 Saxons to be slaughtered.  He later forced the Saxons to convert to the Catholic faith and ordered that anyone who wouldn’t get baptized and follow all of their traditions would be killed.

Charlemagne crowned his son Louis the Pious as co-emperor in 813.  He died in January 814.  He was in good health until the last four years of his life when he started to suffer from fevers and a limp.





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