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Charlemagne Carolingian, Duke of Bavaria, King of the Franks, King of the Lombards, Holy Roman Emperor, was born 747 in Herstal, Belgium to Pepin the Short (714-768) and Bertrada of Laon (720-783) and died 28 January 814 in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany of unspecified causes. He married Himiltrude (c742-c780) . He married Gerperga 768 JL . He married Hildegard (758-783) 771 JL . He married Fastrada (?-794) . He married Luitgard (?-800) . Ancestors are from France, Belgium, Germany.


Offspring of Pepin the Short Carolingian and Bertrada of Laon (720-783)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Charlemagne (747-814) 747 Herstal, Belgium 28 January 814 Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Himiltrude (c742-c780)
Hildegard (758-783)
Gersuinda (?-?)
Madelgard (?-?)
Fastrada (?-794)
Luitgard (?-800)
Amaltrud of Vienne (?-?)
Regina (c780-?)
Ethelind (?-?)

Carloman (751-771) 28 June 751 4 December 771 Samoussy Gerberga

Gisela (757-810) 757 810


Charlemagne (Latin: Carolus Magnus, meaning Charles the Great) was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) from 800 to his death. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into a Frankish Empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800 which temporarily made him a rival of the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople. His rule is also associated with the Carolingian Renaissance, a revival of art, religion, and culture through the medium of the Catholic Church. Through his foreign conquests and internal reforms, Charlemagne helped define both Western Europe and the Middle Ages. He is numbered as Charles I in the regnal lists of France, Germany (where he is known as Karl der Große), and the Holy Roman Empire.

The son of King Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, he succeeded his father and co-ruled with his brother Carloman I. The latter got on badly with Charlemagne, but war was prevented by the sudden death of Carloman in 771. Charlemagne continued the policy of his father towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain, to which he was invited by the Muslim governor of Barcelona. Charlemagne was promised several Iberian cities in return for giving military aid to the governor, however, the deal was withdrawn. Subsequently, Charlemagne's retreating army experienced its worst defeat at the hands of the Basques, at the Battle of Roncesvalles (778) memorialised, although heavily fictionalised, in the Song of Roland. He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, especially the Saxons, and after a protracted war subjected them to his rule. By forcibly converting them to Christianity, he integrated them into his realm and thus paved the way for the later Ottonian dynasty.

Today he is regarded not only as the founding father of both French and German monarchies, but also as the father of Europe: his empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Romans, and the Carolingian renaissance encouraged the formation of a common European identity.[1]


Charlemagne had at least twenty children over the course of his life time with three wives and five concubines. He had five wives but no offspring with his second and his last.

Details of his children

See the children subpage for details of his children, including notes about disagreements among published writers.

Grandchildren and beyond

Only five or six of his children had children of their own, producing about 26 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, and 60 great-great-grandchildren. In that 5th generation, lines first reconnect, with Wipert de Nantes (860-) the first double descendant of Charlemagne, and the brothers Hildebert I de Limoges (865-916) and Ranulphe I d'Aubusson (872-926), who are the first double descendants of mixed generation (5 and 6). The numbers of Charlemagne's descendants per generation do not grow as fast as one might expect, partly because of intermarriage, but also because of intense rivalry (including murder). To reduce such rivalry, many descendants were clergy.


Offspring of Charlemagne and Himiltrude (c742-c780)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Pippin the Hunchback (c769-811) 769 811 Prüm
Amaudru (c770-)

Offspring of Charlemagne and Hildegard (758-783)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Rotrude (775-810) 770 6 June 810 Rorgon of Maine (c770-839)

Charles the Younger (c772-811) 772 4 December 811 Bavaria
Adelaide (c773-774) 774 Pavie, Lombardy, Italy Error: Invalid time. Italy
Pepin of Italy (773-810) 773 Vermandois, Normandy, France 8 July 810 Milan, Lombardy, Italy Bertha of Gellone (?-?)
Ingeltrude (?-?)

Louis the Pious (778-840) 778 Chasseneuil, France 20 June 840 Ingelheim am Rhein Theodelinde of Sens (?-?)
Ermengarde of Hesbaye (c778-818)
Judith of Bavaria (795-843)

Lothair (778-c779) Error: Invalid time. Casseneuil, Lot-et-Garonne, France 779
Bertha (779-823) 779 823 Angilbert (c750-814)

Gisela (781-808) 781 Milan 808
Hildegarde (783-783) Error: Invalid time. Thionville, France Error: Invalid time.

Offspring of Charlemagne and Gersuinda (?-?)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Adaltrude (774-) 774

Offspring of Charlemagne and Madelgard (?-?)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ruodhaid (c775-852) 775 24 March 852 France

Offspring of Charlemagne and Fastrada (?-794)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Theodrada (784-) 784 9 January 849 Argenteuil
Hiltrude (787-) 787

Offspring of Charlemagne and Amaltrud of Vienne (?-?)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Alpaida (794-) 794 Begon de Paris (c757-816)

Offspring of Charlemagne and Regina (c780-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Drogo of Metz (801-855) 17 June 801 8 December 855 Luxeuil
Hugh (802-844) 802 844

Offspring of Charlemagne and Ethelind (?-?)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Richbod (805-844) 805 844
Theodoric (807-819) 807 819

Noteworthy descendants include

  1. Charlemagne (747-814)

See also

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

  1. ^ Riché, Preface xviii, Pierre Riché reflects: "[H]e enjoyed an exceptional destiny, and by the length of his reign, by his conquests, legislation and legendary stature, he also profoundly marked the history of western Europe."

Noteworthy descendants include

  1. Charlemagne (747-814)

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
Ω Birth
  • Several sites say he was born in 742 but recent writers tend towards 747.
₪ Wedding
  • Authorities differ on whether their relationship should be called a marriage. See Wikipedia's references.
  • wikipedia:Charlemagne
2 Wedding 2


  rtol, Robin Patterson