Charlemagne started out with the name Carolus or Charles. He was the grandson of Charles Martel. At age 26, he became co-ruler in 768 A.D. Then he separated the kingdom with his brother Charloman. Charles became the sole ruler after Charloman died in 771. Charles got the name Charlemagne from winning a lot of battles which gave him the name “Charles the Great” which translates into English, “Charlemagne”! Charlemagne married a Lombard princess. He was crowned with an iron crown since he was king of both France and Italy. Like his father and grandfather, Charlemagne was a spectacular general. His sword Joyeuse and elite bodyguards were very well known throughout the entire country.

   Charlemagne faced the Muslims in a battle. The Muslims did offer a treaty, but meanwhile, the entire rearguard of Charlemagne was attacked and entirely killed, including Charlemagne’s nephew, Roland. The Song of Roland, a French epic poem, was written about this sad, surprise attack. Enraged by this surprise attack, Charlemagne eventually returns and conquers the Muslims.

   Charlemagne even conquered Corsica and Sardinia. He also fought 18 battles in just 30 years against the Saxons. He forced the Saxons to convert to Christianity. He even made a court system and law code for the whole country to follow. When the Saxons tried to revolt against him, four thousand, five hundred Saxon prisoners were ordered to be killed. Charlemagne also conquered the Slavs and Anars. He had lots of other successes in his life and had a really great legacy.