Posts tagged: Kings

Yngvi King In Turkey (193 AD)

A Kind Von Mir (child of mine) is a descendant Yngvi King In Turkey. Yngvi was born about 193 in Noatun, Sweden. With his wife, they had a child King Of Swedes Njord in about 214 AD.

Yngvi is a descendant of Prince Capys I son of King Dardamum Assaracus.

In Dardania, King Assaracus was succeeded on the throne by his son Capys I. Near the end of the Trojan War, Capys is said to have suggested throwing the Wooden Horse (Trojan Horse) into the sea. He was father of Anchises I, the father of Aeneas, commander of the Dardanians during the Trojan War. Aeneas is remembered for his courage and piety, as well as, the one who was destined to survive and to save the House of Dardanus I from extinction. Aeneas escaped from the flames of the defeated Troy and emigrated to Italy. There he established the kingdom which in time gave birth to Rome.

Pharamond King Of France

A Kind Von Mir (child of mine) is a descendant of Pharamond King Of France (370 – 427/430 AD). Pharamond is believed to be the first King Of The Salian Franks / France. He reigned from 410 to 426.

King Pharamond was born around 370 AD in Westphalia, Germany and died about 430. His father was Marcomir Duke of the East Franks (347 – 404 AD). His mother was Marcomir Duchess Of The East Franks. His paternal grandparents were Clodius Franks IV and Blesinde de Allemanie; his maternal grandparents were Richimir de Lombardy and Ascyla. He had a younger sister named Ildegonde.

He was unable to have children with his first wife, Imberge. In 394 AD, he married Argotta Queen of the Franks (daughter of the King of Cimbres.) They had at least two children, Clodian “Le Chevelu” (395 – 449 AD) and Adelbertus, Duke Of Moselle (405 – 491 AD).

In 420, he is believed to have led his people across the Rhine River heading west. The movement separated his tribe from the Ripuarian Franks settlement near Cologne.

His son Clodian succeeded him as King.

Some descendant of the Pharamond family established a restaurant on the rue de la Grande Truanderie in 1832. They are famous for their tripes à la mode de Caen.

Eystein Adilsson King Of Sweden (594 AD)

A Kind Von Mir (child of mine) is a descendant of Eystein Adilsson King Of Sweden (594 AD).

Eystein’s father was Adilis “Athils” Ottarsson and his mother was Yrsa Helgasdatter. His paternal grandparent was Ottar (Vendilkraka) Egilsson. His maternal grandparents were Helgi Halfdansson and Olof (The Mighty). He had a half-brother named Hrolf.

Eystein had at least one child, Ingvar “The Tall” Eysteinsson King Of Sweden.

He died in Lovund… killed in a rebellion.

Eystein ruled the Swedes after his father, at which time Rolf, the King of Leidra died. King Eystein was at a feast in a district called Lofond when a plundering sea king called Solve, a son of Hogne of Njardo from Jutland surrounded the house and burned him and all his court. Solve then went to Sigtun to gain the Swedes approval, there followed a famous eleven day battle but Solve won, ruling Sweden until the Swedes betrayed him and had him killed.

Snorri Sturluson relates that Östen ruled Sweden at the time when Hrólf Kraki died in Lejre. It was a troubled time when many sea kings ravaged the Swedish shores. One of those kings was named Sölve and he was from Jutland (but according to Historia Norwegiae he was Geatish). At this time, Sölve was pillaging in the Baltic Sea and so he arrived in Lofond (probably the island of Lovön or the Lagunda Hundred), where Östen was at a feast. It was night-time and Sölve and his men surrounded the house and set it on fire burning everyone inside to death. Then Sölve arrived at Sigtuna (Old Sigtuna) and ordered the Swedes to accept him as king. The Swedes refused and gathered an army that fought against Sölve and his men, but they lost after eleven days. The Swedes had to accept him as king for a while until they rebelled and killed him.

Alpaide Concubine Of Austrasia

A Kind Von Mir (child of mine) is a descendant of Alpaide Concubine Of Austrasia (654 AD).

Her father was Childebrand of Austrasia. Around 675 AD, she married Pepin “of Heristal” of Austrasia. They had at least two children, Childebrand I Prince of Austrasia and Karl Martel King of Austrasia.

Her grandmother was Alpaide (concubine) of Austrasia.

References About Austrasia
Austrasia is the name of a kingdom whose existence is documented from 511 to 751 AD. It is believed to have been in the area of present day France, Germany and Italy.

In 613, a rebellion by the nobility against Brunhilda saw her betrayed and handed over to her nephew and foe, king Clotaire II of Neustria. Austrasia and its neighbor, Neustria, became involved in constant disputes. Metz served as its primary capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Rheims.

Theodo married Regintrude d’Austrasie II, Princess of Austrasia. He moved his capital from Austrasia to Paris. It was a central location from which the kingdom could be governed more effectively. Regintrude d’Austrasie II, Princess of Austrasia was born circa 628.

Ancestors of Eugene Ashton ANDREW & Anna Louise HANISH Mayor Charles Martel AUSTRASIA ANDREW ANGERMUELLER HANISH …
Charles was the illegitimate son of Pepin of Herstal, who had brought the Frankish kingdom under the gegemony of Austrasia. This involved expeditions against the Saxons and the peoples of the land near the Rhine and the Danube.” After a short period of anarchy, his illegitimate son, Charles Martel, `the Hammer’, crushed all apposition in Neurstria, Burgundy, and Aquitainia. Also, in Austrasia he defeated the Arabs between Tours and Poitiers (732), led expeditions into Saxony, and was in all but name the sole king of the Franks.

Theuderic I of Austrasia was the Merovingian king of Reims and Austrasia around 511.

Charles (Charles-Martel) is known as ‘the Hammer’. His nickname came about as the famous Frankish commander who drove an Arab expeditionary force intent on seizing Gaul for the Caliphate back into Spain. In so doing, he very probably preserved Western Europe as a Romano-Teutonic and Christian region. After severe internecine warfare between Meroving Kings had resulted in long sequences of child-rulers, the Mayors assumed practical control over the entire state and, with the unification of Austrasia with Neustria, held the entire Frankish world in their hands. Dagobert I was the last active Merovingian to personally govern the entire realm.

Childebert II (570-595) was the king of Austrasia from 575 until his death in 595, the eldest and succeeding son of Sigebert I, and the king of Burgundy from 592 to his death, as the adopted and succeeding son of his uncle Guntram. When his father was assassinated in 575, Childebert was taken from Paris by Gundobald, one of his faithful lords, to Metz (the Austrasian capital), where he was recognized as sovereign.

The mistress of King Chilperic I of Neustria, she became his wife after inducing him to murder his wife Galswintha (567). After the death (511) of Clovis I, the kingdom was divided among his descendants into various kingdoms, which later became known as Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. He succeeded (584) his father as king of Neustria, but his mother ruled for him until her death (597).

Austrasia, section of an ancient Frankish kingdom in present-day north-eastern France and south-eastern Germany. He became King of Austrasia in 623 and at the death of his father the sole queen of the Frankish kingdom known as Austrasia (in present-day north-east France and south-west Germany).

Ancestors and Family of Sigebert III, King of Austrasia
One of the first so-called rois fainéants (“sluggard kings”) of the Merovingian dynasty, who held no real power of his own but was ruled by whoever was his mayor of the palace. In 632, Dagobert I of the Franks, losing Austrasia to his nobles, put his three year old son Sigebert III on the throne, without the infamous Pepin I as his Mayor of Palace, however he was re-instated to the position some years later. Grimaud, the son of Pepin I, managed to convince the king to adopt his son Childebert.

Austrasia — Retrospectively, later historians have given this me to the kingdom of Theuderich I., of his son ieudebert, and of his grandson Theudebald (548 Pc 5); then, after the death of Clotaire I., to the kingdom of ge lebert, and of his son Chi!debert. This Franconia was in 843 included ~s the kingdom of Louis the German, and was then increased pl the addition of the territories of Mainz, Spires and Worms, Ti the right bank of the river. After the death th Dagobert, Austrasia and Neustria almost always had separate ~gs, with their own mayors of the palace, and then there arose Al real rivalry between these two provinces, which ended in the ea umph of Austrasia.

Selected Families/Individuals
Outeria Duchess of Moselle was born in 504 in Moselle, Austrasia, France.
Alpaide Concubine of Austrasia was born about 654 in Of, Heristal, Austrasia.
Berthe (Bertrade) Countess of Laon was born about 720 in, Laon, Austrasia.

Royal Family of Europe – pafg18 – Generated by Personal Ancestral File
Ansgarde Princess Of BURGUNDY was born about 844 in,, Aix-La-Chappelle, Austrasia.
Alpaide Concubine Of AUSTRASIA was born about 654 in Of, Herstal, Austrasia.
Gisaele Princess Of FRANCE was born about 864 in,,, France.

She was born in Heristal, Liege, Belgien and died in Orplegrande monastery, Brabant, Vosges, France.

Rognvald I Eysteinsson Earl of More and Romsdal

Kind Von Mir (child of mine) is a descendant of Rognvald I.

Rognvald I “The Wise” Eysteinsson Earl of More and Romsdal (830 AD – 890AD)

Rognvald was the son of Eystein Glumra Ivarsson Earl Of Upland and Ascrida Aseda Rognvaldsdatter Countess Of Oppland. He was born in Norway and died in Scotland.

With his wife, Rognvald Eysteinsson Concubine #2 Of Orkney, they had at least one son, Einar Turf Rognvaldsson Earl Of Orkney.

The Wise’s father was Eystein (The Noisy, Glumra) Ivarsson and his mother was Ascrida (Aseda) Rognvaldsdottir. His paternal grandparents were Jarl of Upland Ivar Oplaendinge Halfdansson and Hilda Eysteinsdottir. His one known maternal grandparent was Rognvald Olafsson. He had a brother and a sister, named Malahule and Svanhilda. He was the second oldest of the three children. He died at the age of 38 in 890 on the Isle Of Orkney, Scotland.

Rogenwald was a supporter of King Harold Harfagr and assisted him in obtaining the mastery over the other independent Norwegian chiefs, as well as, establishing himself as King of all Norway. He was Earl of More and Raumdahl in Norway. In 888, he obtained from King Harold a grant of the Orkney and Shetland islands. One of his sons, Rollo, conquered Neustria, founded the line of sovereign Dukes of Normandy, and was ancestor to William the Conqueror.

RAGNVALD I the Wise, called the Morejarl, son of Eystein Glumra, Jarl of the Uplanders in Norway, grandson of Ivar son of Halfdan the Old, was made Jarl of North and South More and of Raumsdal in Norway by King Harald Haarfagri after his victory of Solskiel circa 869 over Hunthiof, King of More, and Nokve, King of Raumsdal. In that year, he surprised Vermund, King of Fiordeland, at Notsdal and burned him in his hall with 90 men. Later King Harald married his sister Swanhilda and had issue. Around 874, King Harald made an expedition to the Nordreys (Orkney and Shetland) to enforce his authority over those who had fled thither in order to escape from it in Norway. Either during this expedition or previously at the battle of Hafrsfiord circa 872, Ivar, the eldest son of Ragnvald, was killed and the King gave the Orkneys and Shetlands to Ragnvald as compensation. When the King started home for Norway, during the spring of 875, Ragnvald, who went with him, gave the islands to his brother Sigurd, and the King confirmed the transfer. Ragnvald was surprised in his hall and burned alive circa 894 by Halfdan Haaleg and Gudred Liomi, King Harald’s sons by Snaefrid, dau. of Swasi.

By his wife Ragnhild, dau. of Hrolf Nefia, he had 3 sons: Ivar, who was killed in battle ut supra, Rolf the Ganger, afterwards 1st Duke of Normandy, and Thori the Silent, who was made Jarl of More in succession to his father by Ring Harald Haarfagri circa 894, after Gudred Liomi, who had seized More on the death of Jarl Ragnvald, had been dispossessed by the King. By an earlier union with a nameless girl, whose kindred were all slave-born, Ragnvald had 3 sons, described as bastards: Hallad, 4th Earl of Orkney, Turf-Einar, 5th Earl of Orkney, and Hrollaug, an unwarlike man, who settled at Eyiafiord in Iceland and had issue.

He was burned alive with his bodyguards.

* Notes from the Skaggs Files.

Charlemagne The King: Story Of Civilization

Kind Von Mir (child of mine) is a descendant of Charlemagne.

Also see Charlemagne: King Of The Franks

Charlemagne the King:

Beyond the legends of Charlemagne lies a biography worthy of the tales. To the medieval mind, only King Arthur vied with Charlemagne as the finest example of what a Christian king could be. Kind, yet fiercely defensive of his family and Empire, there is much to admire. His exploits spawned both histories and romances, like all good legends it stood firmly rooted in history. The biography offered here was published in Will Durant’s History of Civilization, but a small part of an encyclopedic historical survey. I include it here in the KCT resources because it might prove useful and inspiration to those seeking a basic introduction to this most famous of medieval kings.

King Charlemagne

The greatest of medieval kings was born in 742, at a place unknown. He was of German blood and speech, and shared some characteristics of his people- strength of body, courage of spirit, pride of race, and a crude simplicity many centuries apart from the urbane polish of the modern French. He had little book learning; read only a few books- but good ones; tried in his old age to learn writing, but never quite succeeded; yet he could speak old Teutonic and literary Latin, and understood Greek.

In 771 Carloman II died, and Charles at twenty-nine became sole king. Two years later he received from Pope Hadrian II an urgent appeal for aid against the Lombard Desiderius, who was invading the papal states. Charlemagne besieged and took Pavia, assumed the crown of Lombardy, confirmed the Donation of Pepin, and accepted the role of protector of the Church in all her temporal powers.

Returning to his capital at Aachen, he began a series of fifty-three campaigns- nearly all led in person- designed to round out his empire by conquering and Christianizing Bavaria and Saxony, destroying the troublesome Avars, shielding Italy from the raiding Saracens, and strengthening the defenses of Francia against the expanding Moors of Spain. The Saxons on his eastern frontier were pagans; they had burned down a Christian church, and made occasional incursions into Gaul; these reasons sufficed Charlemagne for eighteen campaigns (772-804), waged with untiring ferocity on both sides. Charles gave the conquered Saxons a choice between baptism and death, and had 4500 Saxon rebels beheaded in one day; after which he proceeded to Thionville to celebrate the nativity of Christ.

Some Believe This Is Charlemagne's Sword

Some Believe This Is Charlemagne's Sword

At Paderborn in 777 Ibn al-Arabi, the Moslem governor of Barcelona, had asked the aid of the Christian king against the caliph of Cordova. Charles led an army across the Pyrenees, besieged and captured the Christian city of Pamplona, treated the Christian but incalculable Basques of northern Spain as enemies, and advanced even to Saragossa. But the Moslem uprisings that al-Arabi had promised as part of the strategy against the caliph failed to appear; Charlemagne saw that his unaided forces could not challenge Cordova; news came that the conquered Saxons were in wild revolt and were marching in fury upon Cologne; and with the better part of valor he led his army back, in long and narrow file, through the passes of the Pyrenees.

In one such pass, at Roncesvalles in Navarre, a force of Basques pounced down upon the rear guard of the Franks, and slaughtered nearly every man in it (778); there the noble Hruodland died, who would become three centuries later the hero of France’s most famous poem, the Chanson de Roland.

In 795 Charlemagne sent another army across the Pyrenees; the Spanish March- a strip of northeast Spain- became part of Francia, Barcelona capitulated, and Navarre and Asturias acknowledged the Frankish sovereignty (806). Meanwhile Charlemagne had subdued the Saxons (785), had driven back the advancing Slavs (789), had defeated and dispersed the Avars (790-805), and had, in the thirty-fourth year of his reign and the sixty-third of his age, resigned himself to peace.

In truth he had always loved administration more than war, and had taken to the field to force some unity of government and faith upon a Western Europe torn for centuries past by conflicts of tribe and creed. He had now brought under his rule all the peoples between the Vistula and the Atlantic, between the Baltic and the Pyrenees, with nearly all of Italy and much of the Balkans. How could one man competently govern so vast and varied a realm? He was strong enough in body and nerves to bear a thousand responsibilities, perils, and crises, even to his sons’ plotting to kill him. He had in him the blood or teaching of the wise and cautious Pepin III, and of the ruthless Charles Martel, and was something of a hammer himself. He extended their power, guarded it with firm military organization, propped it with religious sanction and ritual. He could vision large purposes, and could will the means as well as wish the ends. He could lead an army, persuade an assembly, humor the nobility, dominate the clergy, rule a harem.

He made military service a condition of owning more than a pittance of property, and thereby founded martial morale on the defense and extension of one’s land. Every freeman, at the call to arms, had to report in full equipment to the local count, and every noble was responsible for the military fitness of his constituents. The structure of the state rested on this organized force, supported by every available psychological factor in the sanctity of anointed majesty, the ceremonial splendor of the imperial presence, and the tradition of obedience to established rule. Around the king gathered a court of administrative nobles and clergymen- the seneschal or head of the palace, the “count palatine”or chief justice, the “palsgraves”or judges of the palace court, and a hundred scholars, servants, and clerks.

The sense of public participation in the government was furthered by semiannual assemblies of armed property owners, gathered, as military or other convenience might dictate, at Worms, Valenciennes, Aachen, Geneva, Paderborn… usually in the open air. At such assemblies the king submitted to smaller groups of nobles or bishops his proposals for legislation; they considered them, and returned them to him with suggestions; he formulated the capitula, or chapters of legislation, and presented these to the multitude for their shouted approval; rarely the assembly voiced disapproval with a collective grunt or moan. Hincmar, Archbishop of Reims, has transmitted an intimate picture of Charles at one of these gatherings, “saluting the men of most note, conversing with those whom he seldom saw, showing a tender interest toward the elders, and disporting himself with the young.”

At these meetings each provincial bishop and administrator was required to report to the King any significant event in his locality since the previous convocation. “The King wished to know,”says Hincmar, “whether in any part or corner of the Kingdom the people were restless, and the cause thereof.” Sometimes (continuing the old Roman institution of inquisitio) the representatives of the King would summon leading citizens to inquire and give under oath a “true statement”(veredictum) as to the taxable wealth, the state of public order, the existence of crimes or criminals, in the district visited. In the ninth century, in Frank lands, this verdict of a jurata, or sworn group of inquirers, was used to decide many local issues of land ownership or criminal guilt. Out of the jurata, through Norman and English developments, would come the jury system of modern times.

The empire was divided into counties, each governed in spiritual matters by a bishop or archbishop, and in secular affairs by a comes (companion- of the king) or count. A local assembly of landholders convened twice or thrice a year in each provincial capital to pass upon the government of the region, and serve as a provincial court of appeals. The dangerous frontier counties, or marches, had special governors- graf, margrave, or markherzog; Roland of Roncesvalles, for example, was governor of the Breton march. All local administration was subject to missi dominici- “emissaries of the master”- sent by Charlemagne to convey his wishes to local officials, to review their actions, judgments, and accounts; to check bribery, extortion, nepotism, and exploitation, to receive complaints and remedy wrongs, to protect “the Church, the poor, and wards and widows, and the whole people”from malfeasance or tyranny, and to report to the King the condition of the realm; the Capitulare missorum establishing these emissaries was a Magna Carta for the people, four centuries before England’s Magna Carta for the aristocracy. That this capitulary meant what it said appears from the case of the duke of Istria, who, being accused by the missi of divers injustices and extortions, was forced by the King to restore his thievings, compensate every wronged man, publicly confess his crimes, and give security against their repetition.

Barring his wars, Charlemagne’s was the most just and enlightened government that Europe had known since Theodoric the Goth. The sixty-five capitularies that remain of Charlemagne’s legislation are among the most interesting bodies of medieval law. They were not an organized system, but rather the extension and application of previous “barbarian”codes to new occasion or need.
In some particulars they were less enlightened than the laws of King Liutprand of Lombardy: they kept the old wergild, ordeals, trial by combat, and punishment by mutilation; and decreed death for relapse into paganism, or for eating meat in Lent- though here the priest was allowed to soften the penalty. Nor were all these capitularies laws; some were answers to inquiries, some were questions addressed by Charlemagne to officials, some were moral counsels. “It is necessary,” said one article, “that every man should seek to the best of his strength and ability to serve God and walk in the way of His precepts; for the Lord Emperor cannot watch over every man in personal discipline.” Several articles struggled to bring more order into the sexual and marital relations of the people. Not all these counsels were obeyed; but there runs through the capitularies a conscientious effort to transform barbarism into civilization.

Charlemagne legislated for agriculture, industry, finance, education, and religion as well as for government and morals. His reign fell into a period when the economy of southern France and Italy was at low ebb through the control of the Mediterranean by the Saracens. “The Christians,”said Ibn Khaldun, “could no longer float a plank upon the sea.” The whole structure of commercial relations between Western Europe and Africa and the Levant was disturbed; only the Jews- whom Charlemagne sedulously protected for this reason- connected the now hostile halves of what under Rome had been a united economic world. Commerce survived in Slavic and Byzantine Europe, and in the Teutonic north. The English Channel and the North Sea were alive with trade; but this too would be disordered, even before Charlemagne’s death, by Norse piracy and raids. Vikings on the north and Moslems on the south almost closed the ports of France, and made her an inland and agricultural state. The mercantile middle class declined, leaving no group to compete with the rural aristocracy; French feudalism was promoted by Charlemagne’s land grants and by the triumphs of Islam.

Charlemagne struggled to protect a free peasantry against spreading serfdom, but the power of the nobles, and the force of circumstance, frustrated him. Even slavery grew for a time, as a result of the Carolingian wars against pagan tribes. The King’s own estates, periodically extended by confiscations, gifts, intestate reversions, and reclamation, were the chief source of the royal revenue. For the care of these lands he issued a Capitulare de villis astonishingly detailed, and revealing his careful scrutiny of all state income and expense. Forests, wastelands, highways, ports, and all mineral subsoil resources were the property of the state. Every encouragement was given to such commerce as survived; the fairs were protected, weights and measures and prices were regulated, tolls were moderated, speculation in futures was checked, roads and bridges were built or repaired, a great span was thrown across the Rhine at Mainz, waterways were kept open, and a canal was planned to connect the Rhine and the Danube, and thereby the North with the Black Sea. A stable currency was maintained; but the scarcity of gold in France and the decline of trade led to the replacement of Constantine’s gold solidus with the silver pound. The energy and solicitude of the King reached into every sphere of life. He gave to the four winds the names they bear today. He established a system of poor relief, taxed the nobles and the clergy to pay its costs, and then made mendicancy a crime.

Appalled by the illiteracy of his time, when hardly any but ecclesiastics could read, and by the lack of education among the lower clergy, he called in foreign scholars to restore the schools of France. Paul the Deacon was lured from Monte Cassino, and Alcuin from York (782), to teach the school that Charlemagne organized in the royal palace at Aachen. Alcuin (735-804) was a Saxon, born near York, and educated in the cathedral school that Bishop Egbert had founded there; in the eighth century Britain and Ireland were culturally ahead of France. When King Offa of Mercia sent Alcuin on a mission to Charlemagne, the latter begged the scholar to remain; Alcuin, glad to be out of England when the Danes were “laying it desolate, and dishonoring the monasteries with adultery,”consented to stay. He sent to England and elsewhere for books and teachers, and soon the palace school was an active center of study, of the revision and copying of manuscripts, and of an educational reform that spread throughout the realm.

Among the pupils were Charlemagne, his wife Liutgard, his sons, his daughter Gisela, his secretary Eginhard, a nun, and many more. Charlemagne was the most eager of all; he seized upon learning as he had absorbed states; he studied rhetoric, dialectic, astronomy; he made heroic efforts to write, says Eginhard, “and used to keep tablets under his pillow in order that at leisure hours he might accustom his hand to form the letters; but as he began these efforts so late in life, they met with ill success.” He studied Latin furiously, but continued to speak German at his court; he compiled a German grammar, and collected specimens of early German poetry. When Alcuin, after eight years in the palace school, pled for a less exciting environment, Charlemagne reluctantly made him Abbot of Tours (796). There Alcuin spurred the monks to make fairer and more accurate copies of the Vulgate of Jerome, the Latin Fathers, and the Latin classics; and other monasteries imitated the example. Many of our best classical texts have come down to us from these monastic scriptoria of the ninth century; practically all extant Latin poetry except Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, and nearly all extant Latin prose except Varro, Tacitus, and Apuleius, were preserved for us by the monks of the Carolingian age. Many of the Caroline manuscripts were handsomely illuminated by the patient art of the monks; to this “Palace School”of illumination belonged the “Vienna”Gospels on which the later German emperors took their coronation oath.

Charlemagne Chess Piece

Charlemagne Chess Piece

In 787 Charlemagne issued to all the bishops and abbots of Francia an historic Capitulare de litteris colendis, or directive on the study of letters. It reproached ecclesiastics for “uncouth language”and “unlettered tongues,”and exhorted every cathedral and monastery to establish schools where clergy and laity alike might learn to read and write. A further capitulary of 789 urged the directors of these schools to “take care to make no difference between the sons of serfs and of freemen, so that they might come and sit on the same benches to study grammar, music, and arithmetic.”A capitulary of 805 provided for medical education, and another condemned medical superstitions. That his appeals were not fruitless appears from the many cathedral or monastic schools that now sprang up in France and western Germany. Theodulf, Bishop of Orleans, organized schools in every parish of his diocese, welcomed all children to them, and forbade the priest instructors to take any fees; this is the first instance in history of free and general education. Important schools, nearly all attached to monasteries, rose in the ninth century at Tours, Auxerre, Pavia, St. Gall, Fulda, Ghent, and elsewhere.

To meet the demand for teachers Charlemagne imported scholars from Ireland, Britain, and Italy. Out of these schools were to come the universities of Europe. We must not overestimate the intellectual quality of the age; this scholastic resurrection was the awakening of children rather than the maturity of such cultures as then existed in Constantinople, Baghdad, and Cordova. It did not produce any great writers. The formal compositions of Alcuin are stiflingly dull; only his letters and occasional verses show him as no pompous pedant but a kindly soul who could reconcile happiness with piety. Many men wrote poetry in this short-lived renaissance, and the poems of Theodulf are pleasant enough in their minor way. But the only lasting composition of that Gallic age was the brief and simple biography of Charlemagne by Eginhard. It follows the plan of Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars, and even snatches passages therefrom to apply to Charlemagne; but all is forgiven to an author who modestly describes himself as “a barbarian, very little versed in the Roman tongue.”

He must have been a man of talent nevertheless, for Charlemagne made him royal steward and treasurer and intimate friend, and chose him to supervise, perhaps to design, much of the architecture of this creative reign. Palaces were built for the Emperor at Ingelheim and Nijmegen; and at Aachen, his favorite capital, he raised the famous palace and chapel that survived a thousand dangers to crumble under the shells and bombs of the Second World War. The unknown architects modeled its plan on the church of San Vitale at Ravenna, which owed its form to Byzantine and Syrian exemplars; the result was an Oriental cathedral stranded in the West. The octagonal structure was surmounted by a circular dome; the interior was divided by a circular two-storied colonnade, and was “adorned with gold and silver and lamps, railings and doors of solid bronze, columns and crucibles brought from Rome and Ravenna,” and a famous mosaic in the dome.

Charlemagne was profusely generous to the Church; at the same time he made himself her master, and used her doctrines and personnel as instruments of education and government. Much of his correspondence was about religion; he hurled scriptural quotations at corrupt officials or worldly clerics; and the intensity of his utterance forbids suspicion that his piety was a political pose. He sent money to distressed Christians in foreign lands, and in his negotiations with Moslem rulers he insisted on fair treatment of their Christian population.

Bishops played a leading part in his councils, assemblies, and administration; but he looked upon them, however reverently, as his agents under God; and he did not hesitate to command them, even in matters of doctrine or morals. He denounced image worship while the popes were defending it; required from every priest a written description of how baptism was administered in his parish, sent the popes directives as numerous as his gifts, suppressed insubordination in monasteries, and ordered a strict watch on convents to prevent “whoring, drunkenness, and covetousness”among the nuns.

Charlamagne Bust

Charlamagne Bust

In a capitulary of 811 he asked the clergy what they meant by professing to renounce the world, when “we see some of them laboring day by day, by all sorts of means, to augment their possessions; now making use, for this purpose, of menaces of eternal flames, now of promises of eternal beatitude; despoiling simple-minded people of their property in the name of God or some saint, to the infinite prejudice of their lawful heirs.”Nevertheless he allowed the clergy their own courts, decreed that atithe or tenth of all produce of the land should be turned over to the Church, gave the clergy control of marriages and wills, and himself bequeathed two thirds of his estates to the bishoprics of his realm. But he required the bishops now and then to make substantial “gifts”to help meet the expenses of the government. Out of this intimate co-operation of Church and state came one of the most brilliant ideas in the history of statesmanship: the transformation of Charlemagne’s realm into a Holy Roman Empire that should have behind it all the prestige, sanctity, and stability of both Imperial and papal Rome. The popes had long resented their territorial subordination to a Byzantium that gave them no protection and no security; they saw the increasing subjection of the patriarch to the emperor at Constantinople, and feared for their own freedom. We do not know who conceived or arranged the plan of a papal coronation of Charlemagne as Roman emperor; Alcuin, Theodulf, and others close to him had discussed its possibility; perhaps the initiative lay with them, perhaps with the councilors of the popes.

There were great difficulties in the way: the Greek monarch already had the title of Roman emperor, and full historic right to that title; the Church had no recognized authority to convey or transfer the title; to give it to a rival of Byzantium might precipitate a gigantic war of Christian East against Christian West, leaving a ruined Europe to a conquering Islam. It was of some help that Irene had seized the Greek throne (797); now, some said, there was no Greek emperor, and the field was open to any claimant. If the bold scheme could be carried through there would again be a Roman emperor in the West, Latin Christianity would stand strong and unified against schismatic Byzantium and threatening Saracens, and, by the awe and magic of the imperial name, barbarized Europe might reach back across centuries of darkness, and inherit and Christianize the civilization and culture of the ancient world. On December 26, 795, Leo III was chosen Pope. The Roman populace did not like him; it accused him of various misdeeds; and on April 25, 799, it attacked him, maltreated him, and imprisoned him in a monastery. He escaped, and fled for protection to Charlemagne at Paderborn. The King received him kindly, and sent him back to Rome under armed escort, and ordered the Pope and his accusers to appear before him there in the following year. On November 24, 800, Charlemagne entered the ancient capital in state; on December 1 an assembly of Franks and Romans agreed to drop the charges against Leo if he would deny them on solemn oath; he did; and the way was cleared for a magnificent celebration of the Nativity. On Christmas Day, as Charlemagne, in the chlamys and sandals of a patricius Romanus, knelt before St. Peter’s altar in prayer, Leo suddenly produced a jeweled crown, and set it upon the King’s head.

The congregation, perhaps instructed beforehand to act according to ancient ritual as the senatus populusque Romanus confirming a coronation, thrice cried out: “Hail to Charles the Augustus, crowned by God the great and peace-bringing Emperor of the Romans!” The royal head was anointed with holy oil, the Pope saluted Charlemagne as Emperor and Augustus, and offered him the act of homage reserved since 476 for the Eastern emperor. If we may believe Eginhard, Charlemagne told him that had he known Leo’s intention to crown him he would not have entered the church. Perhaps he had learned of the general plan, but regretted the haste and circumstances of its execution; it may not have pleased him to receive the crown from a pope, opening the door to centuries of dispute as to the relative dignity and power of donor and recipient; and presumably he anticipated difficulties with Byzantium.

He now sent frequent embassies and letters to Constantinople, seeking to heal the breach; and for a long time he made no use of his new title. In 802 he offered marriage to Irene as a means of mutually legitimizing their dubious titles; but Irene’s fall from power shattered this elegant plan. To discourage any martial attack by Byzantium he arranged an entente with Harun al-Rashid, who sealed their understanding by sending him some elephants and the keys to the Christian holy places in Jerusalem. The Eastern emperor, in retaliation, encouraged the emirof Cordova to renounce allegiance to Baghdad. Finally, in 812, the Greek basileus recognized Charlemagne as coemperor, in return for Charlemagne’s acknowledgment of Venice and southern Italy as belonging to Byzantium. The coronation had results for a thousand years. It strengthened the papacy and the bishops by making civil authority derive from ecclesiastical conferment; Gregory VII and Innocent III would build a mightier Church on the events of 800 in Rome. It strengthened Charlemagne against baronial and other disaffection by making him a very vicar of God; it vastly advanced the theory of the divine right of kings. It contributed to the schism of Greek from Latin Christianity; the Greek Church did not relish subordination to a Roman Church allied with an empire rival to Byzantium. The fact that Charlemagne (as the Pope desired) continued to make Aachen, not Rome, his capital, underlined the passage of political power from the Mediterranean to northern Europe, from the Latin peoples to the Teutons. Above all, the coronation established the Holy Roman Empire in fact, though not in theory.

Charlemagne and his advisers conceived of his new authority as a revival of the old imperial power; only with Otto I was the distinctively new character of the regime recognized; and it became “holy”only when Frederick Barbarossa introduced the word sacrum into his title in 1155. All in all, despite its threat to the liberty of the mind and the citizen, the Holy Roman Empire was a noble conception, a dream of security and peace, order and civilization restored in a world heroically won from barbarism, violence, and ignorance. Imperial formalities now hedged in the Emperor on occasions of state.

Then he had to wear embroidered robes, a golden buckle, jeweled shoes, and a crown of gold and gems, and visitors prostrated themselves to kiss his foot or knee; so much had Charlemagne learned from Byzantium, and Byzantium from Ctesiphon. But in other days, Eginhard assures us, his dress varied little from the common garb of the Franks- linen shirt and breeches next to the skin, and over these a woolen tunic perhaps fringed with silk; hose fastened by bands covered his legs, leather shoes his feet; in winter he added a close-fitting coat of otter or marten skins; and always a sword at his side. He was six feet four inches tall, and built to scale. He had blond hair, animated eyes, a powerful nose, a mustache but no beard, a presence “always stately and dignified.” He was temperate in eating and drinking, abominated drunkenness, and kept in good health despite every exposure and hardship. He often hunted, or took vigorous exercise on horseback. He was a good swimmer, and liked to bathe in the warm springs of Aachen. He rarely entertained, preferring to hear music or the reading of a book while he ate.

Like every great man he valued time; he gave audiences and heard cases in the morning while dressing and putting on his shoes. Behind his poise and majesty were passion and energy, but harnessed to his aims by a clairvoyant intelligence. His vital force was not consumed by half a hundred campaigns; he gave himself also, with never aging enthusiasm, to science, law, literature, and theology; he fretted at leaving any part of the earth, or any section of knowledge, unmastered or unexplored. In some ways he was mentally ingenuous; he scorned superstition and proscribed diviners and soothsayers, but he accepted many mythical marvels, and exaggerated the power of legislation to induce goodness or intelligence. This simplicity of soul had its fair side: there was in his thought and speech a directness and honesty seldom permitted to statesmanship. He could be ruthless when policy required, and was especially cruel in his efforts to spread Christianity. Yet he was a man of great kindness, many charities, warm friendships, and varied loves. He wept at the death of his sons, his daughter, and Pope Hadrian. In a poem Ad Carolum regem Theodulf draws a pleasant picture of the Emperor at home. On his arrival from labors his children gather about him; son Charles takes off the father’s cloak, son Louis his sword; his six daughters embrace him, bring him bread, wine, apples, flowers; the bishop comes in to bless the King’s food; Alcuin is near to discuss letters with him; the diminutive Eginhard runs to and fro like an ant, bringing in enormous books.

He was so fond of his daughters that he dissuaded them from marriage, saying that he could not bear to be without them. They consoled themselves with unlicensed amours, and bore several illegitimate children. Charlemagne accepted these accidents with good humor, since he himself, following the custom of his predecessors, had four successive wives and five mistresses or concubines. His abounding vitality made him extremely sensitive to feminine charms; and his women preferred a share in him to the monopoly of any other man. His harem bore him some eighteen children, of whom eight were legitimate.

The ecclesiastics of the court and of Rome winked leniently at the Moslem morals of so Christian a king. He was now head of an empire far greater than the Byzantine, surpassed, in the white man’s world, only by the realm of the Abbasid caliphate. But every extended frontier of empire or knowledge opens up new problems. Western Europe had tried to protect itself from the Germans by taking them into its civilization; but now Germany had to be protected against the Norse and the Slavs. The Vikings had by 800 established a kingdom in Jutland, and were raiding the Frisian coast. Charles hastened up from Rome, built fleets and forts on shores and rivers, and stationed garrisons at danger points. In 810 the king of Jutland invaded Frisia and was repulsed; but shortly thereafter, if we may follow the chronicle of the Monk of St. Gall, Charlemagne, from his palace at Narbonne, was shocked to see Danish pirate vessels in the Gulf of Lyons. Perhaps because he foresaw, like Diocletian, that his overreaching empire needed quick defense at many points at once, he divided it in 806 among his three sons- Pepin, Louis, and Charles. But Pepin died in 810, Charles in 811; only Louis remained, so absorbed in piety as to seem unfit to govern a rough and treacherous world. Nevertheless, in 813, at a solemn ceremony, Louis was elevated from the rank of king to that of emperor, and the old monarch uttered his nunc dimittis: “Blessed be Thou, O Lord God, Who hast granted me the grace to see with my own eyes my son seated on my throne!”

Four months later, wintering at Aachen, he was seized with a high fever, and developed pleurisy. He tried to cure himself by taking only liquids; but after an illness of seven days he died, in the forty-seventh year of his reign and the seventy-second year of his life (814). He was buried under the dome of the cathedral at Aachen, dressed in his imperial robes. Soon all the world called him Carolus Magnus, Karl der Grosse, Charlemagne; and in 1165, when time had washed away all memory of his mistresses, the Church which he had served so well enrolled him among the blessed.


Durant, Will. “King Charlemagne”, History of Civilization Vol III, The Age of Faith.
Electronic version in the Knighthood, Tournaments & Chivalry Resource Library, Ed. Brian R. Price

Image Information:
Charlemagne’s Sword: Although this sword is usually attributed to have belonged to Charlemagne, it is of later manufacture and style. Carolingian swords were short and broader, much like the Roman gladius. It is the sword that was used for Coronations in France for centuries and should be much admired for its fine workmanship.

Chess Piece: Chess piece found at Aachen, accurately depicting a Carolingian warrior as they would have been equipped during Charlegmagne’s campaigns. Found at Aachen, this piece was illustrated by Viollet-Le-Duc in the 19th century. A fantastic execution, it is generally accepted to accurately represent the arms and armour of Charlemagne’s soldiers. Notice the scale or mail hauberk, pointed helmet, elongated shield, stirrups and high saddle

Bust of Charlemagne: A French relic c. 1350, the relic was created to house fragments of Charlemagne’s skull.

Somerland ‘King of the Isles’ and Clan Ranald Donald

Kind Von Mir (child of mine) is a descendant of the MacDonald Clan, Somerland, Ranald and Donald:


Somerled and his father Gillebride set out from Donegal Bay around 1120A.D. with a company of Fermanagh fighting men, to re-conquer the lands in Scotland from which they had been driven by the Norsemen. They would have carried pokes of barley, kegs of butter as rations, spears, swords, leather shields for fighting and great woolen war (cloaks to keep out the rain). They weighed anchor and rowed swiftly out to sea. As they did a full turn to starboard round a rocky headland the great tanned mainsail was hoisted and a course heading north towards the bloody foreland was plotted.

In the 12th century the Norse hold on the Hebrides began to weaken, their sway had lasted 400 years. This was comparable to the British, Roman and Ottoman empires which had lasted for similar periods.

The collapse of the Vikings (Norse) was accelerated by the rise of Somerled, an Ulster – Scots warrior with the ability of a Genghis Khan. After minor victories over the Norse on land, Somerled managed to crush a fleet of 80 long ships at Epihpany in 1156.

Not much detail has survived regarding Somerled himself. Whether it was personal skill as a commander or technical superiority at sea, he was always victorious. Within two years of the Epiphany fight he was strong enough to assume the title ‘King of the Isles’. The year 1158 might be said to be the start of the Gaelic kingdom of the isles which was also to last 400 years.

Although varied in extent the claim generally spanned some 25,000 square miles and 500 islands. It stretched over 200 miles south from Cape Wrath and for a brief time included the Isle of Man. The population was, like now, around 40,000 and the kingdom was guarded by some 50 castles perched on the rocks overlooking its waterways. It is perhaps through these sentinels that the ancient empire is remembered. They tell the visitor of the age and power of the lost dominion. The castle’s strength enables us to see the lordship and modern islemen as part of a continuous story. It was not until 1990 that another part of the story was re-created in an example of Somerled’s personal invention, the Highland Galley.

As Somerled prepared to fight king Malcolm of Scotland in 1164 he was assassinated on the field of battle.

Ranald, Somerled’s successor as king, was a relatively peaceful man who ruled the isles from Islay for 43 years. Ranald led galley fleets often to Ireland, founded the Benedictine nunnery on Iona and endowed the monastery at Saddel. The strong religious streak was apparent in even the wildest of the chiefs and none was wilder than the next.

Donald, Somerled’s grandson, and from whom the Clan Donald takes its name, was a sailor and warrior of note. Two years after accession he laid waste to Inishowen in Donegal with 87 ships. Back home he killed Sir William Rollock, the then King of Scotland’s emissary. Donald preferred to align his lands with the King of Norway. He found the Norse court easier of access by galley oversea than the mainland Scottish, accessible only by horse across the mountains. This allegiance combined the temporal with the spiritual, for at this time the Isles were still in the diocese of Trondheim. It took several generations after Somerled for the Norse element in the isles to become less prominent than the Gaelic.

Donald took a fleet to Ireland again and challenged the Norman colony so successfully that he was offered the high kingship of the Gaels, however this he refused. Instead Donald made his peace with the increasingly powerful Norman element in the Scottish court by marrying a daughter of Walter III, high steward of Scotland. She lived on Islay and became the mother of the MacDonalds. Donald took holy orders in his latter days and added handsomely to the endowments of Saddel.

Angus Mor, Donald’s son, continued to support Norway but found this alliance shaken when in 1263 King Haakon was defeated and his fleet wrecked by the skilled maneuvers of King Alexander III at Largs on the Clyde. Three years later the Norwegians ceded the isles to the Scottish crown. Angus then made his peace with Alexander and ruled for a further 51 years.

Clanranald Past, Present and Future

Carved on a broken cross shaft found on the island of Texa off Islay is probably the oldest surviving likeness of a MacDonald. It depicts a typical 14th Century prince, wearing a quilted coat with chain mail and a conical helmet, armed with a great sword and battle axe. This cross shaft is the Cross of Ranald, son of John of Islay and Lord of the Isles.

John of Islay inherited lands between the Great Glen and the Outer Hebrides through his marriage to Amy MacRuari, the heiress to the great Lordship of Garmoran.

There now seems little doubt that Ranald, heir to the chiefship of Clan Donald, was the second and the eldest surviving son of John and Amy. The succession however did not pass to him, but to his younger half brother whose mother was a daughter of Robert II and a Stuart princess.

Confirmed by Robert II in 1373, Ranald received a charter from his father, accounting for the greater part of the MacRuari inheritance and including land in the districts of Moydart, Arisaig and Lochhaber.

Ranald had five sons, including the eldest Allan who succeeded as Chief of Clanranald and Donald, and who founded the line of Glengarry. Allan MacRanald died at his castle of Tioram in 1419 and was succeeded by his son Roderick, who was a staunch supporter of the Lord of the Isles. Roderick was believed to have died in 1481 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Allan.

Allan was a capable and war-like chief, he led a raid into Lochaber and Badenoch in 1491, which culminated in the capture of Inverness Castle. Clanranald appears to have adjusted to the realities of royal power, and on the first visit of James IV to the highlands Allan MacRuari was one of the few chiefs to render him homage.