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Charles the Great

Charles the Great. Also known as Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor.

Beginning as the King of the Franks, Charlemagne united much of Europe and lay the foundations for what would become France, the Netherlands and the Germanic States.

He has become known as the father of Europe, and ensured the survival of Christianity by converting those whom he conquered.

A skilled military leader, Charlemagne spent most of his life at war in his quest to unite Europe.

His thirty-year campaign against the Pagan Saxons earned him a ruthless reputation, exacerbated by the Massacre of Verden where he ordered the execution of 4,500 Saxon prisoners.

However, the reign of Charlemagne also spawned the Carolingian Renaissance; an era of renewed emphasis on scholarship and culture.

First published in 1897,Charles the Great provides a colourful and detailed background to Charles’ ascension to the throne, how Charlemagne created his Europe, and an understanding of the revolts and conspiracies he encountered.

Thomas Hodgkin (1831-1913) was educated as a member of the Society of Friends and became a partner in the banking house of Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease and Spence, Newcastle-on-Tyne, a firm afterwards amalgamated with Lloyds Bank. While continuing in business as a banker, Hodgkin devoted a good deal of time to historical study, and soon became a leading authority on the history of the early Middle Ages, his books being indispensable to all students of this period.

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