Charlemagne in Italy

The celebrated King of the Franks may have become the first Holy Roman Emperor, but what other impact and legacies did he leave Dark Age Italy? Ross Balzaretti investigates.

Charlemagne's conduct towards the vanquished Lombards was, on the whole, generous and statesmanlike. By assuming the title of king of the Lombards he showed that it was not his object to destroy the nationality of the countrymen of Alboin, nor to force them into one people with the Franks. Had his own son Pippin lived and transmitted his sceptre to his descendants, there ought possibly have been founded a kingdom of Italy, strong, patriotic and enduring.

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