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Carolingian king of the Franks (r.768-814) and 'Roman' emperor (r.800-814). He brought most of western Europe under his control, campaigning successfully against Saxons, Lombards, Bohemians and Avars to expand his empire northwards and eastwards. A devout Christian, he promoted church reform and the revival of learning - the Carolingian Renaissance. The exact significance of his coronation in Rome in 800 is not clear; Charlemagne probably believed he was refounding the western Roman empire.

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