December 5: The Rise of Charlemagne

December 5: The Rise of Charlemagne

Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

December 5, 771 CE. Charlemagne becomes the sole ruler of Frankia after the death of his brother, Carloman. With the death of the Frankish king, Pepin, in 768 CE, the Kingdom of Frankia was split between Charlemagne and Carloman. The split in Frankish power proved troublesome though, as the brothers often quarreled between one another. In an attempt to gain the upper hand on his brother and consolidate power, the ambitious Charlemagne formed an alliance with the Lombard king, Desiderius, who ruled vast swaths of the former Roman Italian Peninsula. To further cement his ties to the Lombards, and assure Desiderius’ full loyalty, Charlemagne married the Lombard king’s daughter. For unknown reasons, Carloman passed away prematurely, with some speculating he had been murdered by his brother in an attempt to quell any potential threats against him and his kingdom. Against the protests of his brother’s sons, Charlemagne quickly assumed power of all Frankia, solidifying Frankish power in Europe and laying the groundwork for the modern day French and German nations.