Charles the Great

Charles the Great - Charles the Great--Charlemagne--became...

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Unformatted text preview: Charles the Great--Charlemagne--became sole king of Carolingian lands with the death of his brother Carloman in 771. The next 40 years saw forceful foreign engagements to expand borders and consolidate his influence in central and Western Europe, as well as in Rome. He engaged militarily in Italy, Saxony, Spain, Bavaria, against the Avars, and against remaining Byzantine outposts in Italy and the Adriatic. He began with Italy and Saxony, forcing a Papal appeal for help from Rome in 772. Pope Hadrian I (772-795) was again under pressure from encroaching Lombards under King Desiderius. At the same time, the latter had hosted Carloman's widow and children, and may have been intriguing against Charlemagne with Frankish nobles. Thus, Charles invaded Italy in 773 with a huge army, besieging Desiderius in his capital at Pavia until Easter 774. The Lombard was required to surrender himself along with his family and royal treasure. 774....
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