– For the context of these translations click here –
Anti-juridical sovereignty of Charles and the beginning of the pro-pope warfare
Shortly before Pope Stephen died at the end of January 772, Carloman had died (after having made large donations to churches and monasteries, and especially to the cathedral of Rheims and the abbey of Saint-Denis) on 4 December 771, near the beautiful forests of Laon where he liked to hunt. He was only twenty years old. Such a misfortune probably triggered a fratricidal war that was already in the offing. Charles, then probably in his early thirties, became ruler of the entire Frankish kingdom in flagrant violation of the law, as he deferred the inheritance rights of Carloman’s two sons, both of whom were still children, and in a swift act of plunder, he took over his brother’s kingdom.
This was a centuries-old Christian tradition, both in the East and in the West. And it ran in the family, since Charles Martell, Charles’s grandfather and also a bastard, had already excluded the direct heirs in a very similar way. And in 754, didn’t Charles’ father Pepin tonsure the sons of his brother, the deposed Carloman, locking them up in a monastery and burying their right of inheritance there forever?
The founders of Europe!
Strangely enough, we know almost nothing about Charles’ childhood and youth.
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The autobiographical genre I want to inaugurate, analysing our abusive parents, sheds great light on these issues.
Anyone who has read my De Jesús a Hitler will know that my father was picked on in Catholic schools. The priests perpetrated a tremendous psyop on him (remember that the Jesuits say that if you give them a child at six, mentally he will be theirs forever).
In one of the sources Deschner himself quotes, Charlemagne is said to have been educated in a monastery. That is the key to understanding everything he did when he left that place.
As bizarre as it may seem, analysing the mad father who mistreated us sheds intense light on historical figures who caused the darkest hour that the white man is currently suffering from. But who’s interested in this new literary genre?
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Even the year of his birth is disputed. The new Lexicón des Mittelalters (still unfinished), however, gives per other sources that are supposedly second-rate the date 2 April 747. The specific date comes from an old calendar from the monastery of Lorsch.
For a long time Charles was also considered to have been born out of wedlock; it was believed that he was born before the marriage of his parents, Pepin and Bertrada, daughter of Count Charibert of Laon, a relationship that only years later became a real marriage. Einhard wrote his famous book, Vita Karoli Magni, fifteen or twenty years after Charles’s death; but twenty years before that date he was already living in the palace of the then fifty-year-old king. He soon became part of his innermost family circle, sitting at his table and becoming his confidant; so it is completely implausible that he had heard nothing about his hero’s childhood and youth—especially when Einhard says that Charles spoke almost continuously, that he could be considered a ‘chatterbox’.
Pope Stephen’s successor was Pope Adrian I (772-795), who reigned longer than any of the popes who preceded him.
Adrian, who belonged to the Roman nobility, was already the third pope of the house of Colonna, and at the same time a strong supporter of his relatives, who held the most important offices of state. In foreign policy Adrian broke with the pro-Bardic attitude that had been maintained by his predecessor. He soon mounted a front against Desiderius, who refused to return to the Roman Church some of the cities and territories that had been the fruit of Pepin’s wars of plunder. By papal order, as soon as Paulus Afiarta, a supporter of the Lombards, returned from their court, he was seized by Archbishop Leo of Ravenna, who had him tortured and executed.
The elimination of the leaders of the pro-Lombard faction of the curia again provoked the Lombard king’s threats and attacks on the Church-State, with the obligatory arson, plunder and robbery. And so again came the Pope’s cries for help. He openly reminded Charles of the example of Pepin. He repeatedly urged and pressed him to intervene ‘against Desiderius and the Lombards in the service of God, in favour of the rights of St Peter and for the consolation of the Church’, and to ‘complete the preservation of the holy Church of God’. In this way he prepared the way for Charles’ intervention in Italy, who would later march south five times, anticipating the numerous Italian campaigns that the Germanic emperors would carry out in the future.
Einhard says: ‘At the request of Bishop Adrian of Rome he [Charles] launched the war against the Lombards. The pope, whose enlisted troops on all sides could not even remotely cope with the military might of his enemies, was burning with impatience for Charles’ intervention…’
It seemed almost impossible to take the passes that the Lombards had closed and to cross the gorges, ‘the Gates of Italy’. Walls, fortifications and towers enclosed the gorges of the valleys between mountain and mountain. The Franks were pinned between steep walls, their cavalry still less able to manoeuvre than their foot troops. Charles, huddled and sulky in his tent, held one council of war after another with his military, parleyed with the Lombards, and softened his demands more and more; but in vain. Then a skilful deacon, sent by Archbishop Leo of Ravenna, led a scara francisca over a high, undefended ridge, which centuries later, with the ruins of such fortifications still standing would be called the ‘Path of the Franks’. Surprised to suddenly see the Franks in their rear, the Lombards thought they were surrounded and abandoned their positions in disarray. It was a ruse that Charles often used in the war against the Saxons.
The aggressor first conquered Turin and then his army, crossing the Po plain ‘like an immense tide of floating ice’ (Stormer), fell on Pavia. Charles rejoined the other army corps and at the end of September laid siege to the Lombard residential town, which was heavily fortified and well supplied with soldiers, arms and supplies.
Charles prepared for a long siege, had his sons brought from the far-off homeland and also his wife Hildegard, who was fourteen years old. And when he heard that Adalgis, son of Desiderius, had taken refuge with Carloman’s widow and children in Verona, then undoubtedly the most fortified city in Italy, he set out at once with a small troop.
Whether due to treachery or regular surrender, Verona soon capitulated. The kinsmen, Gerberga with her sons, passed at Charles’ disposal but the sources are silent about their fate. At best—as twenty years earlier with the beloved relatives of his father Pepin—they were tonsured into monasteries. In any case, they disappeared from history.