Today in World History: October 9th

Carloman and Charles, sons of Pepin the Short, were crowned as joint Kings of the Franks on this day in 768. Following their father’s death, the two princes were to be crowned as kings, but their father, wishing to keep the country at peace, decided to divide the rule. Carloman was granted the regions in Southern France and central Europe, the older Charles was granted everything else. Despite their father’s intentions, the relations between the two deteriorated, and with Carloman’s sudden and unexplained death in 771, both halves of the kingdom went to Charles. The newly crowned king of all Francia began conquering the rest of Europe, being crowned King of Italy in 774, and soon, upon coming to the aid of the Pope, being crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800. Charles’s conquests led him to become known as Charles “the Great”, or in his native language of French, Charlemagne. His empire became the largest in Europe in hundreds of years, but following his death in 814, it broke apart, although the Holy Roman Empire stayed intact, involving into a loose confederation of states in Germany and Austria, becoming one of the major powers in Europe in the next centuries.

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