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had falsely borne the name of king, Pepin had him shaved and put into a monastery, with his family."
Pepin died in 768, leaving two sons, Carloman and Carl,* or, as we should now call him, Charles, between whom he divided his dominions. The former seems to have been of a suspicious, fretful, and feeble character, constantly engaged in broils with his brother and the other neighbouring chiefs—broils which he entered into without necessity, and abandoned without honour. About two years after the accession of the youths to the throne, we find that Carloman, for some reason not fully explained, began to equip an army to attack the territory of his brother. In the midst of his preparations, liowever, he suddenly died, A.D. 771. His widow, apprehensive of the resentment of Charles, fled with her two sons to the court of Desiderius, king of the Lombards. Charles marched with his army to the frontiers of his late brother's territory, and was at once chosen by its pretates and nobles to fill the vacant throne. He thus became, in his twentyseventh year, sole king of the Franks. His dominions now extended over almost the whole of modern France, and stretched eastward through Germany as far as the Saal. His eastern frontier, however, was very indeterminate and fluctuating. In the year 774, by the defeat of Desiderius, he annexed northern Italy to his dominions, and added the famous
* Carl, “a strong man.”
iron crown of Lombardy to the one he already wore. By a series of campaigns, extending over a period of thirty years, he subjugated almost the whole of central Europe. In the year 800, being at Rome, he was on Christmas-day kneeling before the high altar of the church of St. Peter, when the pope came behind him, and (as he always averred) unexpectedly placed upon his head a magnificent crown, saying, as he did so," Hail, Charles Augustus, crowned by the hand of God emperor of the Romans !” He was then invested with the imperial mantle, and, amid the acclamations of the people, led to the throne of the Cæsars, and solemnly installed as successor to those ancient masters of the world. Nicephorus, the emperor of Constantinople, subsequently acknowledged him as emperor of the West, with the title of Augustus, thus consenting, according to the ideas of that age, to divide the empire of the world with him. The line of demarcation between their respective territories seems to have been the river Raab in Hungary, and the mountains of Carniola. Nor were his influence and fame confined to Christendom. Haroun Al Rashid, the caliph of Bagdad, respected, and the Moorish rulers of Spain appealed to, his power. Thus, by the unanimous suffrages of his contemporaries, he was acknowledged as Carolus Magnus-Charles the Great; whilst all succeeding ages have identified greatness with his name—he is known to us, not as Charles, but as Charlemagne.
To fill up this outline with a sketch of his most important achievements, to mark out his position in contemporaneous history, and to trace his influence upon subsequent times, will be the object of the following pages.
CHARLEMAGNE AS A WARRIOR.
Condition and extent of his kingdom on his accession-The
Saxons especially dangerous; their character and powerMassacre at Daventer-The Franks take revenge for the outrage—The Lombard war breaks out-Overthrow of the Lombard kingdom-The Saxons break the truce-Second Saxon campaign-The Lombards revolt- Second Lombard campaign-- Third Saxon campaign-Spanish affairs-Conquest of the northern provinces of the Peninsula-Battle of Roncesvalles-Eginhardt's summary of the Saxon warsMilitary activity of Charlemagne-Comparison with Napoleon-A campaign described by a contemporary chronicler --Statistical table of the principal expeditions of Charlemagne-Analysis of this table-Characteristic peculiarities of these wars-Summary of their results. CHARLEMAGNE on his accession to the throne . found his territory hemmed in by enemies. His frontier was threatened on every point. On the sea-coasts,
especially those of the northern provinces, the sea-rovers, or Norsemen, had commenced that career of piracy which ultimately reached even to the shores of Spain and the Mediterranean, made many of the maritime provinces of Britain and France unpeopled wastes, and caused the introduction into the Gallic liturgy of the article, A furore Normanorum libera nos Domine–From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord.”
In the south, the Moors still hung on the slopes of the Pyrenees, burning to avenge the defeat they had received forty years before at the hands of the grandfather of the young king, and eagerly watching for an opportunity to proselytize and pillage France and Germany. But the greatest danger was to be apprehended on the eastern frontier from the still barbarous descendants of those tribes which had overthrown the Roman empire, and their yet more ferocious successors on the remoter north and east-Saxons, Huns, and Ayars. Of these, the Saxons were most to be dreaded, because they were the nearest, the most powerful, and, in addition to the ferocity of their manners, were bigoted and fanatical idolaters. Their idolatry, too, was of a peculiarly savage character. It abounded in human sacrifices. Its gods delighted in bloodshed. Almost the only virtue in its moral code was military valouralmost the only vice, cowardice. Teaching the doctrine of immortality, it offered the joys of Valhalla to those only who fell in battle fighting bravely; all who died a natural death were consigned to the dark and gloomy halls of Niflheim. So inflexible was this sentence,
that the god Baldur, being accidentally slain at a banquet, could not escape though all the other deities interceded on his behalf. The joys of Valhalla consisted in fighting all day; at nightfall, the wounds received by the combatants miraculously healed, and they spent the night in fracting on the boiled fall of it brir