Charles the Great or Charles I the Great was an important medieval emperor and conqueror of the Carolingian Dynasty. Great defender of Catholic dogmas, he was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 by Pope Leo III, after becoming King of the Franks (768 to 814) and of the Lombards (from 774), thus constituting the great Carolingian Empire, named after him.
His actions were very important to reunify several parts of Europe, which had been fragmented since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, in 476 AD. It was in this way that the ruler contributed with significant changes in the scope of medieval culture, the development of territorial administration and of strategies focused on military expansionism.
In such a way, in addition to collaborating with the spread of the Catholic religion, he was a great supporter of letters and the arts as well as a valuer of teaching, which led him to carry out an educational reform in Europe.
Thus, schools began to function in courts, monasteries and bishoprics which included the subjects:grammar, rhetoric and dialectics, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. This period of flowering of arts and culture became known as the Carolingian Renaissance.
Despite being considered one of the most important figures in Medieval Europe, little is known about his life. Grandson of Charles Martel, Duke of Austrasia, and the eldest son of Pepin III the Short, Carolus Magnus was born in 742 and died in 814. He followed in the footsteps of his heirs and was one of the most important representative figures of the expansionist policies carried out in Europe.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the middle of the 5th century, Europe was fragmented into several kingdoms, which competed with each other for power as they sought to conquer and expand territories on the continent.
Although there were many disputes between the kingdoms, the essential feature was the expansion of the Catholic religion, which in turn was used strategically by Charlemagne to unite Europe again, as many kingdoms had these beliefs in common.
The work he had been doing was already being carried out by his father Pepin III, who ruled the Kingdom of the Franks from 751 to 768, and sealed the Kingdom's power with the Catholic Church. With his death, the inheritance was divided between Charlemagne and his brother Carloman I (751-771).
As a strategist and dominated by the will to conquer, with the death of his brother, who ruled the eastern part of the Kingdom of the Franks for three years (768-771), Charlemagne decided to unify the lands, thus disregarding the order of succession to the throne, the which should be your nephew's. This fact earned him the title of the most important King of the Franks, and for many, the only one.
Thus, Magnus ruled the Kingdom of the Franks from 768, and the religious power that emanated from Rome was transferred to northern France, which left many Romans discontented, indicated by the various disputes they had. His great rival was the Italian Desiderius, Duke of Tuscany and King of the Lombards, who ruled from 756 until the year 774, when he was defeated by Charlemagne.
He was a skilled warrior, politician and strategist, and through his military campaigns, he conquered several territories creating a vast Empire, which brought together part of Western and Central Europe, in the territories of the countries:France, Spain and Italy. He participated in several battles, of which the following stand out:War in Aquitaine, War in Lombard, War in Saxony and War in Bavaria.
This is how he fought valiantly against paganism in Europe, converting them into Christians and increasingly extending his dominion, which generated several battles between different peoples:Moors, Britons, Slavs, Huns, Frisians, among others. With his death, the position was occupied by his son Louis, King of Aquitaine.
Read further: Holy Roman Empire.