HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE

On Christmas Day, 800, Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope. Under Charlemagne, much of western Europe was ruled as one vast country, but within 40 years of his death, in 814, the Holy Roman Empire had fragmented.

WHY WAS THE EMPIRE FOUNDED?

Charlemagne was a brilliant leader, and his kingdom stretched from the North Sea to Italy. As Holy Roman Emperor, he was expected to rule Europe like a Roman emperor, but with a new responsibility for the safety and prosperity of the Church and the Pope.

HOW DID CHARLEMAGNE WORK WITH SCHOLARS?

Charlemagne was a great patron of learning, inviting the most famous scholars of the day to his main court at Aachen. His advisers and friends included Peter of Pisa, Agobard of Lyons, and Alcuin of York. Under Charlemagne, rare manuscripts were collected, the text of the Bible was revised, and grammars, history books, and ballads were published.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TITLE?

By 843 Charlemagne’s empire had split into three kingdoms, each of which was ruled by a member of his family. Following Charlemagne, there was no Holy Roman Emperor until Otto I was crowned in 962. After 1438, all but one of the holders of the prestigious title were Habsburg monarchs. In 1806 Napoleon abolished the title.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Group Halloween Costumes for Families
These store-bought and Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume ideas for groups are the perfect way to show off your creative side at your Halloween party or while trick-or-treating.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

12 Spine-Tingling Halloween Movies for Teens
Are you looking for a movie with just a little bit of spook-factor for your teen? Check out these 12 spine-tingling Halloween movies!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!