Charlemagne or Charles the Great takes power as co-ruler of the Kingdom of the Franks in 768 with the death of his father, Pepin. Together with his brother, he ruled over the Frankish Kingdom. When his brother died in 771, he continued on as sole ruler of the Franks.
Over the course of his reign, Charlemagne made warfare a religious activity with the intent of expanding the reach of Latin Christianity. He compelled many of the other Romanized German barbarian peoples to abandon Arian Christianity for his Roman Catholicism and waged a brutal genocidal war against the largely pagan Saxons. With the notable exceptions of Northern-most Europe and the Iberian Peninsula, almost all of Western Europe was contained within his empire at the time of his death. It was in 795 that the Holy Roman Empire was established with Charlemagne as the first emperor.
- The Outline of History, H.G. Wells
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