"Right action is better than knowledge; but in order to do what is right, we must know what is right." (Charlemagne)
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' Legends of the Middle Ages series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of the most important medieval men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
The most famous man of the Middle Ages was probably Charlemagne, and few would argue that he was also the most important man during those centuries. Upon the death of his father, Pepin the Short, in 768, Charlemagne became king of the Franks, and he proceeded to create one of the largest European empires since the collapse of Rome. Through his conquests across Western Europe and Italy, Charlemagne became the first holy Roman emperor after a famous imperial coronation by Pope Leo III.
In becoming the first holy Roman emperor, Charlemagne essentially established a new order on the European continent, thereby directly influencing how European politics and royalty proceeded in the coming centuries. As if to demonstrate how large he loomed in life, Charlemagne was numbered Charles I in Germany, France, and the Holy Roman Empire.
Charlemagne is also viewed as having brought about the Carolingian Renaissance, a revival of art, religion, and culture through the Catholic Church that predated the Italian Renaissance by centuries. The Carolingian Renaissance helped establish a uniform European culture, helping Charlemagne earn the title "Father of Europe".
Legends of the Middle Ages: The Life and Legacy of Charlemagne chronicles Charlemagne's background, life, and influence, analyzing the legacy he left upon Europe.
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Verbal, nonstop, dump of facts
- Hein Du Plessis