A Guest Post by my grandson, William
In history class I have been studying Charlemagne, (whose real name was Charles, among many other titles) and his kingdom known then as Frankland.
Charlemagne was King of the Franks (the modern-day French) from October 9, 768 until his death on January 28, 814.
His father was King Pepin the Short, who died on September 24, 768. Charles, according to the law had to split the kingdom with his brother Carloman. Carloman died in 771, however, and Charles inherited the kingdom.
He was a devout Christian and a good leader. Under his rule, the Saxons, Lombards, Aquitanians, and others were conquered. On December 25, 800 he was crowned Emperor of the Romans.
Charlemagne’s most famous quote is, “Knowing a second language is like having another soul.” It is very interesting that Charles could speak and understand different languages, such as Latin, Greek, and a dialect of German, but could not even write his name in any of them.
His family life was very complicated. It is thought that he had four or five wives and approximately 20 children. Almost all of his wives died before he did. His wife, Hildegard, was only 13 when they were married.
Charlemagne had a close friend and advisor named Alcuin who was a monk. With his help, Charlemagne founded the first free public school system. Other countries had schools but only privileged boys could attend them. Charlemagne wanted his people to be well-educated and it was very important to him. He even had a school set up in his palace so he could help teach and observe.
Charlemagne was one of my ancestors, and I hope to be an incredible leader like him someday.