of the Franks and first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Painting by Dürer
the sole ruler of the Franks
in 771 and spent the first portion of his reign extending his rule, conquering
the Avars, Pannonia, Britanny, northern Spain, and Bavaria. In 800 the
pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor in the West. Throughout his
reign Charlemagne was an advocate of the papacy, mentor of reformers,
friend of monasticism, and a patron of learning. His palace school at
Aachen became a center for training
civil administrators and ecclesiastical reformers. In view of this modern
scholars often speak of a Carolingian renaissance. Several synods held
during the reign of Charlemagne sought to combat heresy and standardize
faith and practice.