Good morning, we are looking at the story of Charlemagne. There will be a struggle for the throne between Charlemagne and his nephews. His brother was dead. Who will come out on top? The run time for this documentary is 51:14.
After Carloman died, Charlemagne declared himself the sole emperor of the Franks. Carloman’s wife and children fled to the Lombard court. So Charlemagne declared war on the Lombards to protect his throne. However, instead of invading Lombardy, he turned his attention to the Saxons. It would provide the Frankish Empire with quick plunder. Immediately the Franks invaded the Saxon villages. However, victory was not quick so he had to alter his strategy.
Charlemagne reached the Saxon’s most sacred site: a tree that bore the weight of the world. It was the Saxons’ direct connection to their gods. He would order the tree to be burned down. Nothing would put him off burning the tree down. He would make the Saxons follow the pope. The Saxons’ Sacred Tree was burned. He continued to work on destroying the images of the Saxon religion. In a cave, he found the riches of the Saxons. This would give him a quick influx of cash to get his nephews back from Lombardy.
In the meantime, a decision was made regarding his nephews. The Pope declared that Charlemagne was the legitimate Frankish emperor. The King of the Lombards did not agree with this decision and threatened the Pope’s security. Charlemagne’s father Pepin had already waged war against the Lombards. The Pope reached out for Charlemagne’s help to invade the Lombards. Would the Lombard King invade Rome and attack the pope?
However, raising an army to attack the Lombards would not be easy. After all Charlemagne’s sister-in-law was sheltering in Lombardy with her sons. They had a following among the Franks. There would have been some risk in invading Lombardy. Charlemagne would seek help from the church in trying to decide to invade Lombardy. The complication of invading Lombardy came in the form of his nephews living in the Lombard court. Charlemagne was advised to play into the Lombard king’s weakness. The man had a great deal of pride.
The plan was for Charlemagne to march over the Alps and negotiate with the King. Charlemagne was to pretend that he was afraid of the Lombard King. Pretend that he wanted to avoid battle. If the king refused the offers of peace, then that opened the door for invasion. Charlemagne then invaded Lombardy. The men numbered 3,000 and one thousand courtiers joined them. The Queen accompanied on Campaign. She was heavily pregnant at the time of the invasion. Crossing the Alps would have been a challenge during Winter and only a miracle would save the Frankish Army.
The Lombards rejected the offer of peace, playing right into Charlemagne’s hands. The battle begins and the Lombards did not surrender. Charlemagne and his army soon siege the castle. A winter siege was going to be a challenge for the Franks. To keep morale up, he threw parties. In the meantime, his wife was battling a fever. Her brother was at her side and he challenged Charlemagne’s behavior. Contemporaries wrote about how many mistresses he had and they even went so far as to say that Charlemagne was in hell.
During the siege, Charlemagne went to Rome to see the pope. It was the first time that Charlemagne had seen Rome. The pope was surprised to see Charlemagne. He was seeking a miracle to help break the siege in Lombardy. The pope took Charlemagne on a tour of St. Peters. Charlemagne wanted the Pope’s blessing for the siege and gave the Pope a generous donation. Charlemagne also promised to give the conquered territories to the Pope. When Charlemagne returned to the campaign, he saw that the Lombards had surrendered. The Lombard king was forced to surrender and was forced into exile. So what would happen to the children of Carloman? How was he able to style himself King of the Franks and the Lombards? Tune into the rest of the episode to find out more about Charlemagne.
Okay, this is getting good. I enjoyed getting learn more information about Charlemagne. After two episodes, I would very much consider showing this series to a classroom and using it for research purposes.
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