The Rise and Fall of the Carolingian Empire


Battle of Tours

Oct 01 0732

A turning point for Frankish society, the Battle of Tours established Charles Martel as a great hero. With the defeat of the Mohommedan invaders, Martel gained notoriety and acclaim. It was during this time, when Charles earned the title Martel (Haaren).

Charles Martel dies

Jan 1 741

Before his death, Charles Martel developed the Frankish Cavalry. Though he never officially held the title of King, he held the authority of King of the Franks (Haaren).

Childeric III Deposed

Mar 1 752

After Martel's death, his sons Pippin and Carolman ruled until Carolman decided he wanted to join the clergy. After serving as Mayor of the Palace for King Childeric III, Pippin convinced Pope Zacharias to annoint Pippin as king. Pippin deposed of Childeric III and was annointed as King (Haaren).

Pippin the Short dies

Jan 1 768

After Pippin's death, both of his sons ruled until Carolman died, leaving Charles as the sole king. This was the start of the reign of Charlemagne, or Charles the Great (Haaren).

Conquest of the Lombards

Jan 1 774

Before Pippin had died, he had conquered the Lombards and given the land to the Pope. After Pippins death, the Lombards wanted their land back, but the Pope appealed to Charlemagne to help. In turn, Charlemagne seized all of the Lombards remaining territory. It was due to Charlemagnes logistical prowess that led him to take Byzantine gold to finance the Carolingian Renaissance (Kishlansky).

Educational Reform

Jan 1 787

Besides his prowess for combat and logistics, Charlemagne was also fond of learning. It was on his command that schools were formed at various monasteries. He also rebuilt libraries and also inspired a search through Italy for original copies of the writings of the great thinkers (Kishlansky).

Charlemagne dies

Jan 28 814

After his coronation and the ending of the Saxon Wars, the Byzantine emperor had acknowledged Charlemagne as emperor. Charlemagne announced his son Louis as his successor.

The First Partition

Jan 1 817

Although Charlemagne had intended to split his kingdom among all of his sons, only Louis survived him. Louis in-turn partitioned his kingdom among his three sons. Pippin was given Aquitane, Louis was given Bavaria north of Italy, and Lothair was obtained emperor of the rest.

The Second Partition

Jan 1 829

Louis' wife died and he remarried to Judith, who gave him a son. Louis was convinced to give his son a portion of land. So Louis split up the land between his son Louis and half to Charles.

The Treaty of Verdun

Jan 1 842

The second partitioning gave way to relative peace until Louis (the elder) died. The sons then battled among themselves for 3 years until they came together to agree upon a fair division called the Treaty of Verdun. Charles the Bald received Francia, which would later become France. Louis the Bavarian received Allemagne, which would later become most of Germany. Finally, Lothair received what was left, which was a large section that would later become Italy, Luxembord, and Hungary.

Lothair I dies

Sep 29 855

After Lothair I dies, his kingdom, in the center of Europe, was split between his three sons. Provence went to Charles, Lorraine was gifted to Lothair II, and Louis II received Italy and the title of Emperor.

Louis the Bavarian dies

Aug 28 876

Thought to be the most successful grandson of Charlemagne, after Louis' death his three sons respected the divisions their father had made to his kingdom. Carolman received Bavaria, Saxony, Franconia, and Thuringia went to Louis the Younger, and finally Swabia and Raetia were bequeathed to Charles the Fat.

Charles the Bald dies

Oct 6 877

Not only was Charles the King of France but he also held the title of Holy Roman Emperor. Most of his reign was marked with battle, although starting out peacefully, Louis invaded from Bavaria. Charles then fled to Burgundy. After much bad luck with invaders, Charles died returning from Italy after helping Pope John VIII repel Saracen invaders.

Charles the Fat dies

Jan 13 888

Charles had inherited Alemannia, but after Carolman renounced his throne due to stroke, Charles succeeded him. He was crowned Emperor of Rome in 881, and in 882 he succeeded his brother Louis the Younger. Later his cousin Carolman II died he inherited the rest of West Francia. For a short while, until his death, Charles had reunited under him.

Louis the Child dies

Sep 24 911

Louis was crowned at the age of six and although his reign was marked with nearly constant battles with Magyar invaders, he never gave up on trying to assert control over his army. Unfortunately, with little success to assert control over his army, his army was completely destroyed in 907. With no children, the Carolingian dynasty ended with Louis' death at the age of 18.