Charlemagne Concept Map: Charles the Great Biography and Accomplishments

Last updated on September 22, 2022 by

Have you heard of Charlemagne? In this article, we will show you his brief biography and the achievements during his reign. Find out why he had marked a legacy not just in Europe but also in world history. Also, we have prepared Charlemagne concept map to give you a clear view of his life, accomplishments, and facts. So, keep browsing and learn more about Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great.

Charlemagne Concept Map

Charlemagne Biography

Charlemagne Biography
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Early Life

Charlemagne also referred to as Charles the Great, was born about the year 742 AD in modern Belgium. He is the successor of Bertrada of Laon (who died in 783) and Pepin the Short (who died in 768). Pepin had been appointed mayor of the palace in 741, and in 751 he overthrew the final Merovingian king and proclaimed himself king of the Franks, a potent Germanic tribe that had previously inhabited the area that is now known as France.

In the death of King Pepin in 768, Charlemagne and his brother Carloman inherited the throne and took over control of the Kingdom. But when the realm was divided, Carloman was given a bigger and wealthier inheritance. This circumstance turned the brother’s relationship into a bittersweet state. However, Carloman unexpectedly passed away in 771, leaving Charlemagne as the only king of the entire empire.

Charlemagne Empire (The Catholic King of Franks)

To get rid of individuals who he thought as a danger to his reign, Charlemagne did not miss any chance to invade other territories, particularly Italy. He went after Lombard King Desiderius right away and defeated him. Charlemagne was crowned king of the Lombards in Pavia shortly after that. The Frankish conquest of Italy, beginning with Lombardy in the north and pursuing Benevento in the south, gave additional wealth and populace into his realm.

The most outstanding aspect of Charlemagne’s administration was his ability to establish a centralized state where royal authority came first, mainly it is because of his own strong personality. The vassi dominici, a small troupe of Charlemagne’s greatest warriors, assisted him in upholding his rule. Several written orders were given to Charlemagne’s officials throughout his reign. These regulations, known as the Capitularii, had legal effects and were carried out by the royal agents themselves. These are incredibly useful as references for learning about Carolingian France’s social and legal system.

Due to Charlemagne’s political and military skills, his reign was depicted as filled with peace and prosperity. He was able to convince the Byzantine emperor to accept his imperial title through diplomatic agreements. He was successful in raising the level of civilization in the West through his program of cultural revitalization and development of the Church.

Final Years

Charlemagne’s final years of power faced challenging circumstances as disease, starvation, and civil unrest all rose at once. There were conflicts about land boundaries and the future seems bleak and tragic in a lot of ways. When Charlemagne made his last will in 811, he left a greater percentage of his wealth to the numerous churches in the realm than to his own heirs. On January 28, 814, he passed away and was laid to rest in his palace in Aachen.

Charlemagne Accomplishments

Without a doubt, Charles the great is one of the most remarkable kings of all time and was even called the Father of Europe. With that said, here are some of the major accomplishments that his reign achieved:

Charlemagne Accomplishments
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  • Unified most of Western Europe

As the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century, its territory had been divided into various kingdoms that lacked a centralized government.  In 768, Charlemagne ascended to the throne of the Frank and conducted different movements throughout his reign to unify the majority of Western Europe under one emperor. The Carolingian Empire was the name of the extended Frankish empire that Charlemagne established.

  • First Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

Pope Leo III was violently assaulted in 799 by a group of Romans. Flying to Charlemagne, he requested his assistance. Without a  second thought, Charlemagne helped the Pope and succeeded to regain his authority.  As a result, on December 25, 800, Pope Leo III proclaimed him the  “Emperor of the Romans” in Saint Peter’s Basilica. By becoming the first Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the Great established an empire that could compete with the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. Historians regard this as one of the notable events in world history.

  • Spread Christianity across Europe

In order to propagate Christianity throughout his large dominion, Charlemagne undertook a number of actions. He supported the popes and donated resources to the Christian church, including property. He improved the clergy’s education and talents, increased the church’s influence, and standardized sacramental procedures through his religious reforms. In order to persuade monks across Western Europe to adopt Benedict’s rule as the norm, he had copies of it printed and circulated. He also had a strong interest in church music and made sure it was spread and performed well across his kingdom.

  • Initiated the Carolingian Renaissance

Charlemagne assembled the brightest minds in society at his royal court in Aachen, especially the English scholar Alcuin of York. He began an era that witnessed the development of research, literature, art, and architecture with the support of these academics. Its conclusion to the cultural stagnation of the Dark Age, which had plagued Europe for generations, and the establishment of the Western civilization are collectively known as the Carolingian Renaissance.

  • Sponsor of Medieval Education

History has credited Charlemagne with giving importance to medieval education. He permits the building of schools, which helped the educational system grow. Additionally, he initiated the modernization of existing schools and standardization of the curriculum to increase the number of students. The foundational elements for succeeding cultural revival including schools, curricula, textbooks, libraries, and teaching methods were established by Charlemagne’s educational reforms.

  • Preservation of Classical Literature

Charlemagne established a library and had classical literature as well as religious books published after realizing the value of manuscripts in the restoration of culture. Carolingian scholars copied and preserved the majority of the classical Latin writings that are still in existence today. Due to Charlemagne’s efforts, the earliest manuscripts of many ancient texts have been kept and protected.


Certainly, Charlemagne had a remarkable role in human history. He contributed to the spread of Christianity and unified Western Europe during his reign. In Charlemagne concept map, you can even realize that he was really born to be a king and rule the Roman empire. Charles the Great’s story is just a piece of history that is worth looking back for. Hope this article inspires and gave you enough knowledge about his biography and achievements.

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Posted by: on to Tips and Resources. Last updated on September 22, 2022

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    Finally! I found a reliable source about Charlemagne. This blog helped me to quickly understand boring topics without the need to read lengthy passages. Thank you so much!!!!