Rise and Fall of Charlemagne

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  • Crowning of Charlemagne a surprise, but not random decision.
  • Foundation of success, his military power
  • Assembled army each year, led into battle against a foe. Incorporated land of vanquished foe into his sphere of influence, formed alliances with local rulers. In this way Charlemagne increased size and power of Carolingian kingdom
  • Pope Leo III thanks Charlemagne for restoring him to power by naming him emperor of Roman people. Title implied Charlemagne had restored glory of Roman Empire in Europe. Pope’s action suggested that Charlemagne’s rule had backing of church, God
  • Charlemagne dies in 814. Charlemagne did not build a strong enough bureaucracy to support his huge empire, so regional kings rose and spread disunity across the empire.
  • Charlemagne's grandchildren eventually agreed to split the empire into three regions to make it easier to rule. Invading factions, like the Vikings, began attacking the empire.
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