When Charlemagne was crowned Emperor in 800, a title re-created for reasons of propaganda and political interest, he was the first man to be so-called in the western Mediterranean world since the death of Romulus Augustulus in 476. From his succession to the Frankish crown in 768, to his death in 814, Charlemagne expanded the boundaries of the Frankish Kingdom until they included most of Central Europe and Northern Italy, and was recognized for his assistance in preserving the independence of the Roman see from the Eastern Roman Empire with the Imperial title. It was Charlemagne that set the mould for the western medieval monarch. His Empire, impressive though it was for its day, was still quite vulnerable and subject to the same centrifugal forces that would plague the later imperial projects of the middle ages. Although Charlemagne claimed overlordship over the territory, it was not subject to uniform administration nor indeed did many parts even speak the same language; the Carolingian Empire was the zenith of Old Frankish culture and economy, and influence of the Franks was felt throughout the middle ages.
When Charlemagne became King in
The Carolingian Empire (814-924)Edit
When Charlmagne ruled the Franks as King and later Emperor, the Franks practiced partible inheritance, a custom that would be followed by most of the Frankish sphere of influence for several centuries. When he died, he only had one son to succeed him, Louis "the Pious," who thus inherited the entire realm intact. Louis, however, had five sons. The squabble over inheritance between Louis' sons ultimately resulted in the Treaty of Verdun in 843, which established the territory of three successor-kingdoms to the Empire of Charlemagne and Louis. Lothar I received the Imperial title, the Kingship of Italy, and the territory between the Rhine and Rhone Rivers, collectively called the Central Frankish Realm. Louis "the German" was guaranteed the Kingship of all lands to the east of the Rhine and to the north and east of Italy, which was called the Eastern Frankish Realm which was the precursor to modern Germany. Charles received all lands west of the Rhone, which was called the Western Frankish Realm. with the majority of Gaul going to Charles "the Bald," forming the Western Kingdom; Germany to Louis "the German," as the Eastern Kingdom; and the area between the two, along with the Imperial title and the Kingship of Italy, formed the Central Kingdom ruled by Lothar I. The Treaty of Verdun did not stop the squabbling.
Upon Lothar I's death in 855, his realm was divided between his sons: Italy and the Imperial title went to Louis II, a new kingdom given to Charles of Provence was formed out of Burgundy and Provence, and the remainder of the Central Kingdom went to Lothar II. Lothar II's death in 869 led to the division of his Kingdom between his uncles in 870 in the Treaty of Meerssen. Louis II designated Carloman of Bavaria, son of Louis "the German," as his heir, and Carloman succeed Louis as Emperor when the latter died in 875.