Charlemagne or Charles I, also known as Charles the Great, was a Catholic King of the Franks. He was one of the most powerful and also famous rulers during the Early Middle Ages. He is often regarded as the ‘Father of Europe’. Here are some of the Charlemagne major accomplishments.
1. Charles I or Charlemagne expanded his kingdom beyond the then Frankish Kingdom. At the height of his reign or when he had expanded the most, his kingdom included Germany, the Netherlands, present day France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, northern Italy and northern Spain. Charlemagne is credited with building the largest empire since the ancient Romans and his was equivalent of the Byzantine Empire.
2. Charlemagne or Charles the Great was driven by his intent to form a massive European empire, clearly inspired by the Romans. He did succeed in doing so because it was his reign during the medieval period that eventually led to a unified Western Europe.
3. Charlemagne’s rise is not short of being an accomplishment in those times. Upon the request of Pope Adrian I, Charles conquered Lombardy and then went to become the King in Pavia. His vow to protect Papal lands took him far and wide before he became the Emperor and was crowned by Pope Leo III.
4. Some of the Charlemagne major accomplishments include his victory over the Germanic tribe Saxon in 775. He defeated the Duke of Hrodgaud of Friuli who was inciting a rebellion against him. He got Duke of Spoleto to sign a treaty offering him full control of Northern Italy. He conquered Saxony, the Avars’ kingdom and several new territories.
5. History is not kind to those who have a glorious but violent legacy. Contrary to many such rulers who expanded far and wide, Charlemagne was quite fair and merciful. He was reasonable and had advocated human rights even back then. He made a conscious attempt to understand the laws and customs, cultural and ritualistic practices of prisoners of wars and other tribes that were affected due to his expansion spree. He tried to make space for new laws that would protect the dignity of the people in the kingdom. He had respect for various cultures and that made him very popular among the conquering and the conquered. Very few emperors are called great and Charles I was certainly a great emperor in that sense.