Author of the painting: Artist Louis-Félix Amiel
Kingdom of the Franks, April 2, 742/747/748-Aachen, Holy Roman Empire, January 28, 814
The so-called “Father of Europe”, Charlemagne was the ruler of a vast territory of Western Europe, the Carolingian Empire.
He was crowned King of the Franks from 768 and King of Italy (the Lombards) in 764. Upon the death of his brother in 771, he took on the role of sole ruler of the kingdom he shared and made efforts to unite all Germanic peoples under its mandate and convert them to Christianity.
His early years as king were marked by the conquest of several villages. He did it in 772 with Saxony, with northern Spain in 778 and between 780 and 800 he conquered Bohemia. Those who resisted his Christianization campaign were under sentence of death, which led to some massacres such as that made in Verden in 782, where he ordered the killing of nearly 4,500 Saxons.
He introduced administrative reforms, agreed to hold a general meeting in Aachen, initiated legal reforms and ordered to build a library to house Christian and classical works. Promoted education and fell into a period of great cultural activity. In the year 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor of the West.
He was immortalized in history as a capable emperor and able administrator. Leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler were inspired by him to display their own desires to unify Europe in a great empire.