Portrait of Charlemagne, artist unknown

Charlemagne (April 742/747/748 – January 814), also known as Charles the Great or Charles I, was King of the Franks who united most of Western Europe during the Middle Ages and laid the foundations for modern France and Germany. He took the Frankish throne from 768, became King of Italy from 774, and from 800 was the first recognized Roman emperor in Western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state he founded is called the Carolingian Empire.


Father: Pepin the Short
Mother: Bertrada of Laon
Spouse(s): Desiderata (770–771), Hildegard (771–783), Fastrada (784–794), Luitgard (794–800)

Referring entries

Further reading


  • Wikipedia for background, portrait.