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Charlemagne

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Charlemagne’s Achievements
Charlemagne had many significant achievements during his reign in the Holy Roman Empire. One of his greatest achievements was his military conquests. He built an empire greater than any other since ancient Rome. Charlemagne led his armies against enemies in lands surrounding the kingdom. He fought Germanic tribes and Lombards in Italy. He conquered new lands to the east and the south. He was the first leader who was able to finally reunite Western Europe since the Roman Empire. Charlemagne also became the most powerful king in Western Europe. Through his many conquests, he spread Christianity, the religion in which he felt deeply devoted. Charlemagne’s foremost religious accomplishment was spreading Christianity throughout his empire. During the conquests, Christian priests traveled with Charlemagne’s armies. When he conquered a town or country, the priests were directed to convert the people to Christianity. Charlemagne forced conquered people to convert or be tortured to death. Most people did not resist being converted. Charlemagne essentially helped the Roman Catholic Church by spreading Christianity to vast territories. Throughout his reign, Charlemagne cooperated with the church and made it very powerful. Pope Leo III wanted Charlemagne to continue to protect the church and its lands. Therefore, in 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as the Roman Emperor. Charlemagne also had some important cultural achievements. He promoted and reformed education after it had dissipated in the preceding Dark Ages. He invited English, German, Italian and Spanish scholars to teach in his empire. Charlemagne also ordered that all clergy and monks in monasteries be educated. In addition to educational reforms, Charlemagne helped revive the arts, architecture and literature. Lastly, Charlemagne reformed the government by giving less authority to the nobles. He and his royal agents, called missi dominici, traveled throughout the empire to make sure that counts, or powerful landholders governed their territories and treated people fairly. The reign of Charlemagne, through his military and political success, brought order and prosperity to much of Western Europe.

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