Saracen fleets in the south, and Danish fleets in the north

The principle of Charlemagne was, as we have seen, a common patrimony, and almost confused with his brother Charlemagne; but what an inordinate advance was his! but what an emperor of the West, with the purple and the honors of the Caesars and the crown of Italy! Almost barbarian sir of some of the Franks’ tribes, he has put the ancient empire back on its feet, and the Romans have shouted it Augustus, to his glory and triumph! In this he followed the natural inclination and tendency of his predecessors: the dignities of ancient Rome still allure those conquering peoples; Pippin and Charlemagne were first patricians; then the patrician became emperor [217] , in that [188]so that Augustus was consol and dictator before assuming the title of emperor . Thus, however, the memory of this already extinguished empire shone; the kings, in the likeness of Clovis, bowed their foreheads before the remembrances of civilization, and in the way that Clotilde’s husband had become a Roman, accepting Christianity, so Charlemagne faceasi Roman accepting the purple of the emperors.

But the work is not otherwise completed; for a dignity, however great it may be, is not valid in giving material strength when it is in leading and ruling wandering tribes; hard work and continuous sweat; it takes the captaincy of the war with all his mayor, nor a mantle, even if in purple and gold, gives us a point of authority over our comrades in the war. He who is born of arms must support himself with arms, and a conqueror is not allowed to stop halfway. The reproach of ambition to those who throw themselves into this path of risks and glory is frequent; but for them war becomes a necessity: the leaders, who share the danger with them, are intolerant of rest and fruitless idleness; and afterwards, a victory is meant to lead them to another, since a generation does not change so every little; born between iron, she likes iron, and more than anything else she needs the hustle and bustle of battles. Hence Charlemagne, like all the other conquerors, could not compress that stormy sea, forced to satisfy the just ambitions of the warriors who followed him in the conquests; he had boiled the blood in human brains, nor could he now racket it at his own pace. His necessary condition was that of fighting and winning, as did Carlo Martello and Pippin; such is his hard legacy. he had boiled the blood in human brains, nor could he now racket it at his own pace. His necessary condition was that of fighting and winning, as did Carlo Martello and Pippin; such is his hard legacy. he had boiled the blood in human brains, nor could he now racket it at his own pace. His necessary condition was that of fighting and winning, as did Carlo Martello and Pippin; such is his hard legacy.

And therefore Charlemagne’s military expeditions do not seem to have a new character around this time. It has no shortage of land, because indeed it possesses its need for an extension of several thousand square leagues, and to read the geography of the Caroline building, one sees that its borders are wider than the western empire of Honorius. , and are lost and confused in the midst of the Germanic peoples, never defeated by Rome. He therefore no longer needs to expand this already boundless extension of territory, but only to keep it in a state of obedience and to repress its seditions. The war changes its aspect, therefore, it is no longer fought to conquer and add new domains to the ancients, because the empire is already so vast as to satisfy any ambition: France in terms of today, then a large part of Germany, then Italy, then Spain up to the Ebro; what more could you want? But these territories are inhabited by riotous and indomitable peoples, so you always want to have an eye open on them and subject them to order, [189]to the hierarchy; this is from now on the very serious intent of the Carolinian affair.

King or emperor that he was, in almost every place he instituted counts and governors of the marches and frontiers, who are like heads of military camps, and lodge at the end of the borders with numerous bands of Frankish, German, Lombard soldiers, all elements that the emperor uses in the conquest; there they build hamlets and villages and some have lands, which they fan to cultivate by military colonists, in imitation of Rome, when the legions raised cities and ares in honor of Augustus and Tiberius. These accounts and governors require the master’s very careful vigilance, so that Charlemagne never has a moment of rest, nor can he have it, since sleep is not made for the founders of great institutions. Truly wonderful and wonderful thing, who reads the chronicles of those times, it is this incomprehensible diligence of the emperor, even elderly; he is everywhere; its capitulars are promulgated from the Pyrenees to the frontiers of Frisia and Gotlandia; pilgrim as he is of glory, he never stops, and runs to hold his military parliaments from one region to another; and whoever pays attention to the difficulty of the communication routes in those times will certainly have this alacrity of his to be miraculous in the life of Charlemagne.

On these journeys, which he made while riding, he did not go alone, because after him came large ranks of spears, which followed their lord to war and diets, which almost always took place on the frontiers, in order to then more readily lash out on the peoples to be kept in devotion. Except that in a short time his load became so heavy that he took his two sons, Lodovico [218] and Pippin to help: trusting to one the wars of Aquitaine, the expeditions to Spain, the restraining of the Saracens , the southern part of the empire, with the support of the Frankish counts appointed by him to lead it; on the other, the wars of Pannonia and Bavaria, albeit always with the support of the Franks and Adalardo, abbot of Corvia, son of Count Bernardo,. He, as king and emperor, kept for himself the expeditions of Saxony, which, it seems, he liked the most, perhaps because he saw them more difficult and more threatening for the frontiers of Austrasia; and to them he moved in [190]person, together with his beloved bastard Carlo or Carlotto. Fatigue does not hold him back, and whether he goes hunting in the Ardennes, or through the Black Forest, or that he comes in the winter to warm his numb limbs in the warm washings of Aisgran, he always thinks and disposes his strong expeditions on the banks of the Elbe and Veser, expeditions made indispensable by the incessant uprisings of the Saxons.

It was easy to follow and embrace, in the Carolingic period, the wars of conquest, though they protrude from the whole. There are other expeditions that branch off like majestic rivers, and they are those of Lombardy, Saxony and Spain, of which one can see the beginning, the means and the end, with the help of the chronicles; and all three have such a color that they could serve as a subject for great epics. The same is not true of what can be called wars of military restraint, waged by Charlemagne over the whole surface of his vast empire; his armies no longer overflow outside, but go around the lands they have acquired to keep the populations in their duty; nor the parliaments are no longer summoned to throw themselves on the distant districts beyond the terms of civilization, but yes to keep the already submissive in obedience. The history of these obscure wars, barely hinted at, is such that it does not come under the hand to place it in time and in order, and yet the chronicles are full of them, and form episodes, some more and some less curious in the life of the sovereign. Those counts you see encamped on the Marches or frontiers have the duty of repressing the Saxons, the Bretons, the Saracens and Visigoths of Spain, the Lombards and the Greeks of Italy; whenever these peoples do not want to obey, do not pay taxes, or deny military service, they rush to their territory, and extinguish the rebellions in blood. what more and what less curious in the life of the sovereign. Those counts you see encamped on the Marches or frontiers have the duty of repressing the Saxons, the Bretons, the Saracens and Visigoths of Spain, the Lombards and the Greeks of Italy; whenever these peoples do not want to obey, do not pay taxes, or deny military service, they rush to their territory, and extinguish the rebellions in blood. what more and what less curious in the life of the sovereign. Those counts you see encamped on the Marches or frontiers have the duty of repressing the Saxons, the Bretons, the Saracens and Visigoths of Spain, the Lombards and the Greeks of Italy; whenever these peoples do not want to obey, do not pay taxes, or deny military service, they rush to their territory, and extinguish the rebellions in blood.

The epic part of the war ended with Vittichindo, and the conversion of this captain, the faith and the homage paid by him, brought about a notable change in the political and military state of the Saxons; they no longer have this great individuality around which to gather; there are already beautiful and established accounts, and the bishops on the side of the accounts, the first with military force, the second with coercive and moral podestà; some survive the tribes, the others instruct and grace them. These two orders are valid, yes, but still nothing resolves, but the seditious, restless spirit of the Saxons continually manifests itself, and the chronic ones say so at every point; in proof here is what we read in the contemporary annals, seven years and no longer after the conversion of Vittichindo (793): [191]and having resolved to invade Pannonia again, he was informed that the militias led by Count Theodoric had been surprised and cut to pieces by the Saxons, near Rastringen on the Veser. Knowing this the king, but concealing the gravity of the evil, renounced the enterprise of Pannonia (794). The king resolved to attack Saxony with an army divided so that he himself would enter it with one half of that for the southern part, while his son Charles [220]passing the Rhine at Cologne, it entered the western part with the other half. This plan was carried out in spite of the fact that the Saxons, faced with Sinfeld, were waiting there for the king to fight him. But then despairing of the victory, which even before vainly held for sure, they surrendered at discretion, and won without a blow to pull, they submitted, giving static, and solemnly swearing fidelity and obedience. (795) Although the Saxons had, last year, given statics, and taken every kind of oath imposed on them, the king, not forgetting their perfidy, held, according to the forms, the general diet in the palace of Kuffenstein, to bank of the Main, beyond the Rhine, opposite Mainz. He then entered Saxony with his host, and ran almost all of it, preying on it; then come to Bardenvig, he set up his camp there to await the arrival of the Schiavoni, whom he had ordered to come; but having been informed that Vilzano, king of the Obotrites, in passing the Elbe had fallen into the ambushes of the Saxons set for him by that river, and had been killed by them: this perfidy added in the king’s mind a new incentive to attack, as soon as possible that he could, the enemies, and new anger against that misleading nation. He broke a large part of the country, got the static he requested, and returned to France. (796) The king personally attacked Saxony with the landlord of the Franks, and given the failure of a large part of the country, he returned to spend the winter at his palace in Aachen. (797) The king entered Saxony to crush the pride of that treacherous people, nor did he stop before having run all over the country, because he went as far as the last borders, to the place where Saxony is washed by the ocean, between Elbe and Veser. (798) The king, very angry at the Saxons, because Gotscalco, one of his officers, and several other counts had died, whom he sent to Sigifredo, king of the Dani, gathered his army in the place called [192]Minden [221], and set up camp on the banks of the Veser, he attacked the felons who had broken their faith, and avenging the death of his envoys, he set fire to all the part of Saxony that lies between Elbe and Veser. (799) The king held his general parliament at Lippenheim, near the Rhine; he crossed this river, with all the innkeeper, went as far as Paderborna, where he set up camp, and there he awaited the arrival of Pope Leo, who was coming in his turn. In the meantime he sent his son Charles towards Elba, with a part of the army, to set up certain needs between the Vilzi and the Obotrites, and to receive in faith some northern Saxons. (803) The king, during the state, waited to hunt in the Ardennes, sent an army to Saxony, and caused that country to break down as far as the Elbe. (804) The emperor passed the winter in Aachen; when he returned from the state he led an army to Saxony, and transported to France all the Saxons who lived beyond the Elbe, with their women and children, he gave their country to the Obotrites ».

Such was the custom of the conquering nations; The land was for them nothing more than a passing possession, and like the Tartar tribes, they never had stable territory: they kept it as long as they had strength in hand, and when another victor took possession of it, or were reduced by him to servitude , or dispersed in other countries, or he gave the conquered land to other tribes, in the shape of the Egyptians or the Syrians. The new Saxon wars, such as there are from the chronicles narrated, have nothing more like the first and powerful expeditions led by Charlemagne; when Vittichindo captained that great military confederation. At the conversion of this valiant leader, that soldierly republic seemed to be dissolving; nor do we see the whole mass of Saxons rushing from the banks of the

This war ended with a fierce conqueror party, the desperation of the military tribes of Saxony, some of which join the Danes, only to return, a few years later, to the detriment of the Carolingic empire [222] , while the others are as vain remains transplanted into the same territory of the Franks, so much so that one can say the thirty-three years of the wars of Charlemagne against [193]those populations, having had as a result the extermination for weapons, for captivity or for the flight of the proud and generous Saxons.

In the course of which wars Charlemagne’s clash with the Scandinavians began, and in inspection with the Danes who lived on the almost island of Jutlandia, and were ruled by a king, called by the chronicles Sigifredo, the faithful friend and aide in the war of Vittichindo . The Giutlandia was, since Lombardy, the refuge of all the discontents of the empire, of anyone who wanted to escape the grievous and weighty hand of Charlemagne, nor were the Saxons so intrepid and so ready to run to resort to the lands of the Franks if not because they had their shoulders behind the Dani and all the Scandinavian people. Whenever they retreat before the emperor’s power, the Danes come forward as auxiliaries, but their lands are in danger, hence the Frankish accounts, allocated by Charlemagne to defend the marches and borders, they set up camps for them as far as Scandinavian land. The chronicles also often mention that Gottifredo who reigned over the Danes, and here too it is good to bring the reports of that good old time. “(804) Gottifredo, king of the Dani, came with a naval army and all the cavalry of his kingdom to the place called Schleswig, on the borders of his lands and of Saxony, and promised to go to a parliament with the emperor, but frightened from the council of his own, he came no more than this, and he consented as ambassadors to what he wanted. The emperor, stopped near Elba, had sent him his warrants to return the deserters. (808) At the start of spring, having received notice that Gottifredo, king of the Dani, had entered with his host in the lands of the Obotriti, he sent, with a large backbone of Franks and Saxons, on Elba, his son Charles, with a commission to oppose that foolish king, if he dared to cross the borders of Saxony; except that he lived a few days on those banks, and besieged and took some fortress from the Slaves, he returned home with great loss of his own. (809) Gottifredo, king of the Dani, sent some merchants telling the emperor that he had heard that he was angry against him, because of the army he led the year before in the lands of the Obotrites to avenge his offenses; but wanting to apologize for the accusation made to him of having first broken the pacts, and to ask that a congress of the accounts of the emperor and his own be held, on this side of the Elbe, and on the borders of his kingdom, so that remedies are made by mutual agreement. The emperor accepted the request, and the congress with the great of Dania was held in the place called Badenstein. Many needs were brought here on both sides, and the meeting was dissolved without anything to close. [194]purposely. The emperor, therefore having more than one sign of certainty of the daring and arrogance of the king of the Dani, ordered to build a city on this side of the Elbe and set up a free garrison there; for this purpose, he had relieved people in Gaul and in Germany and supplied them with weapons and other ammunition, giving orders that he was led to the assigned place by the Frisian road. Meanwhile Trasicone, duke of the Obotriti, was treacherously killed in the port of Revich by the people of Gottifredo. Having determined the place where to erect the city, the emperor gave the load of this duty to Count Egbert, committing him to cross the Elbe, and occupy that land which lies on the bank of the Stura, and bears the name of Esselfeld. Egbert and the Saxon counts took possession of it towards the middle of March, and began to fortify it. (810) The emperor, staying in Aachen, was contemplating an expedition against Gottifredo, when he was suddenly informed, as an army of two hundred ships, coming from the Norman country, had landed in Friesland, and given the damage to all the adjacent islands and lands littorali, and how then, having entered the mainland, she had already come to blows three times with the Frisians, who, having had the worst, had been subjected to tribute, and she knew more that they had already paid a hundred pounds under this name ‘silver, and that King Gottifredo had returned to his country after all this. This news so irritated the emperor, that he sent legates on all sides to gather an army, and he himself immediately went to the ships, and having crossed the Rhine to the place called Lippenheim, he resolved to d ‘ there to wait for the militias that had not yet arrived. After gathering the innkeeper, he went, as quickly as he could, to the Aller river, and set up his field near the place where it flows into the Veser, waiting there for the outcome of Gottifredo’s talents; but that this man, mounted in pride and foolishly holding himself certain of victory, boasted of wanting to compete with the emperor. But the latter having resided for some time in that place, he was informed that the fleet which had plundered Friesland had returned to Dania, and how King Gottifredo had been killed by one of his own. ” mounted in pride and holding himself foolishly sure of victory, he boasted of wanting to compete with the emperor. But the latter having resided for some time in that place, he was informed that the fleet which had plundered Friesland had returned to Dania, and how King Gottifredo had been killed by one of his own. ” mounted in pride and holding himself foolishly sure of victory, he boasted of wanting to compete with the emperor. But the latter having resided for some time in that place, he was informed that the fleet which had plundered Friesland had returned to Dania, and how King Gottifredo had been killed by one of his own. ”

These uprisings of the Danes already gave the emperor much to think about, who from now on is trying to curb them on Elbe, placing a forecourt of several thousand spears, and making the Saxon counts devoted to him encamp on the borders, certainly so to put a stop to their corruption But with that eye of his that saw and embraced everything, Charlemagne saw that the military means, both for the assault and for the defense, want to be changed, and by giving greater scope to the territorial war, it crosses the mountains, the rivers and the more distant districts, and thus imitates the Romans in the composition of [195]armies as in their marches and countermarcies. Except that the invasions of the Danes change the elements of the war, that they are not only valiant soldiers on the battlefield, like the Saxons, but, together with all the other Scandinavian nations, they are eager to maritime expeditions and they have fleets and thousands of ships boldly carrying large armies to the farthest beaches, as seen in the conquest of Great Britain.

Charlemagne well knows that this is the part from which his empire can be wounded; he has always fought in strict ordinances on firm ground, and his lead counts know woods of spears and horses harnessed with iron, but this does not stop maritime expeditions. What to oppose to those people when they show up on the beaches of Friesland and Neustria? [223]No, there is no way to fight against these fleets which will penetrate from all sides; his empire is similar to a man entirely loricated of iron, caught in the joint of the thigh, and to a lion who roars in vain and struggles when he has the goad of the wasp in his flesh. Carlo is already too advanced in years to create a navy; we try, but in vain; this is the reason why he is so concerned about the future destiny of his empire every time he sees the Danish ship at sea, that each of us is aware within himself of the reasons that will one day destroy his work.

The same method of coercion and restraint covers the whole frontier of the empire, both to the east and to the north; Charlemagne alone reserves for himself the burden of reducing the Saxons and the Danes, and moves to this war with his most warlike people and with his dear son Carlotto, that Carlotto despised by the barony, and by the heroic songs so debased, trusting at the same time to Lodovico king of Aquitaine what is to be done in the southern provinces. In the expedition which ended the fatal route of Roncesvalles, Charlemagne had to fight two great populations, one separated from the other; first the Saracens or Infidels, who had crossed the Pyrenees; then that indomitable lineage of the Guasconi, who celebrated by glorifying the fact of Roncesvalles. It also seems beyond doubt that most of the Visigoths, hence the population of Spain had become disaffected with the dominion of the Franks and mainly from the Austrasian lineage. There were natural jealousies and racial enmities, and the Goths approached the Muslims by way of marriage[224] . Lodovico found himself [196]therefore having these three peoples in front of him, when his father confided to him the government and the kingdom of Aquitaine, under the tutelage of the counts and governors of the marches, almost all of Frankish origin.

With the only expedition which Charlemagne made beyond the Pyrenees, before encircling the imperial crown, he had not carried his dominion beyond the Ebro; well it is true that the novels of the cavalry pretend the feudal conquest in him of all Spain up to Cadiz and Portugal ( portus Galliæ); but it did not go beyond Zaragoza and Pamplona. A kind of feudal regiment was therefore established on that southern frontier, still modeled on the Roman form of military camps; accounts of the marches of Spain were created following the example of the Saxon counts, who were obliged to keep the Moorish populations, the Visigoths and the Saxons themselves in duty; on which occasion the conquests of Charles in Spain were divided into two marches; the Marca della Gotia or Septimania, which corresponded to Catalonia today, and had Barcelona as its capital city, and the Marca di Gascogna, which included the French cities of Navarre and Aragon [225]. Then there were close ties of vassalage almost everywhere between the alcaid governors of the cities near the frontiers and Lodovico king of Aquitaine. The government of the Saracens in Spain was reduced to pieces, the civil war reigned there in every place, the children of the prophet fought city against city, man against man, and the Frankish counts knew how to take advantage of these internal discords to procure new vassals and conquer new ones. city. Lodovico knew well how to repay this charge from Charlemagne who had been entrusted to him, and to punch those populations up to the Ebro with vigorous hand.

Aquitaine had in those days a regular system of feudal tenure and government, and St. Benedict of Aniano had favored civilization. To whom St. Benedict was to be given more credit than was given to him, since he was for Aquitaine what Bonifatius was for Germany. As a military count in the army who made the expedition to Lombardy, he had therefore converted to penance, and set about building magnificent monuments and churches everywhere, all resplendent with Lombard and Byzantine art. In those days the government of Aquitaine could serve as a model, and Lodovico took great care of it and more than once moved against Spain to consolidate its power and add new conquests to the old ones. Leaving his beautiful estates of Agenese, Saintonge and Poitù, he went, [197]still the ancient annals of the South. «(800) King Lodovico came to Toulouse for the second breath, and from here he moved towards Spain. Now while he was approaching Barcelona, ​​Zaddone, Duke of that city, recognizing himself as his vassal, came to meet him, but without however handing over the city to him. The king passed by, and descending on Lerida, took it and dismantled it, after which he had damaged and burned several other strong squares, forwarded as far as Uesca, whose countryside, all covered with crops, was mowed down by the soldier’s hand. , and burned and spoiled; everything that could be found outside the city was consumed by the flames. After the expedition, he returns to the approach of winter in Aquitaine. ”

Then a few years later, the king wants with great strength to rapporte Barcelona itself to Aquitaine, which is necessary since this city is to complete the Ebro front; and on the other hand it is advisable to rush to prevent the invasion threatened by the Arabs led by Acammo, who have already given the damage to the Pyrenees. King Lodovico and his advisers (they are always words of the annals) estimated that they had to wrestle with the siege around Barcelona, ​​whereby, having departed the army in three ranks, and remained with the first in Roussillon, command of Restagno, Count of Girona, to besiege the city and to prevent the besiegers from being attacked by surprise, ordered the third to go and lodge on the other side of the city. Meanwhile, the besieged were sending to Cordoba to solicit aid, and the king of Saracens soon set out with an army. In this midst, the third line of Lodovico, in which William, the first insignia and Ademar, and capate militias fought, arrived in Zaragoza, having spied that the enemies were advancing, gittossi in Asturias, and made, in two sudden assaults, and mainly in the second, very serious massacre, after which, having placed the enemy in turn, he returned to join with those who were besieging Barcelona, ​​and by hugging everyone in agreement, they did not allow a living person to leave the city, which I found reduced to this term, that the inhabitants saw themselves forced to remove the very dry leather braids from their doors to make them a hard and filthy meal; while others of those wretches, preferring death to such a miserable life, rushed from the top of the walls. Most still took comfort in the vain hope that the Franks would be forced to lift the siege by the harsh winter; but this hope was also disappointed by the prudence and shrewdness of our people, who, having gathered material from all sides, set about setting up tents and huts, as if they had decided to spend the winter there; wherefore the inhabitants, at this sight, despairing of longer resistance and reduced to extremes, handed over their prince, named Amur, who had [198]substituted for Zaddone, his relative, and made the city, asking only to be able to retire where they liked. But before this happened, our people foreseeing that the city, tired from such a long siege, would have to give in by love or by force, had already, after mature deliberation, sent to invite the king, so that the fall of so much city, before the eyes and his orders, would he procure greater glory; and he surrendered to the invitation, went among the army of the besieged, and remained there six weeks, at the end of which the city made a pact to the victor. When she had the doors open, he had her guards occupy her on the first day, but as for himself, he did not want to enter before having ordered the feasts in thanksgiving to the Lord, with which he intended to consecrate that to his holy name. victory,[226] . The approaching morning then, preceded by all his army, by the priests and all the clerics, he entered the city with solemn pomp in the midst of festive hymns, and went to the temple of the holy and victorious Cross, to thank God for the victory granted him. ; after which, left in Barcelona, ​​with Count Bera, a garrison composed of Goths, he returned to pass the vernata in his states. Charlemagne, his father, in the meantime, hearing the danger that overwhelmed him by the song of the Saracens, had sent his son Charles to help him; but a courier met him in Lyons, who announced the capture of Barcelona, ​​without going any further, returned to his father at his court in Aachen.

In this way the expeditions against Spain were taking place, and the capture of Barcelona had come to gather more and more the warlike spirit of the Frankish populations. Now they want to have Tortosa, and are no longer guided by Lodovico; but their counts advance by themselves towards the Ebro, and here is one of those armed pilgrimages who prepared the crusades. Charlemagne had commanded to surprise and expel the Moors from that city, but this could not be done, and the contemporary chronicler naively tells the reason for this sudden awakening of the Muslim peoples. While «Abaid (thus the chronicler), Duke of Tortosa, defended the banks of the Ebro on one side, to prevent our ford, who were already crossing it above; a Moor, who entered the water to bathe, saw the dung of a horse pass near him, [199]an animal that grazes on grass, but is horse dung, because it is made of barley which is usually the food of horses and mules. And yet we are on the alert that some ambushes will certainly take place further up the river. – So soon the Moors get on horseback, and go to the discovery, and having seen ours, they run to give notice to Abard, who, seized by fright, leaves the camp together with all his people, running away, and ours, preyed upon what they find around, they spend the night under the tents of the Moors [227] . ”

Tortosa did not surrender before the coming year, nor was it alone to mark this period of conquest in Spain, since Uesca also recognized with it the emperor’s lordship, as if to fulfill the order of defense and custody he placed towards Ebro, where the Frankish counts encamped there, in addition to the ancient purchases, thus had Barcelona, ​​Toulouse and Uesca.

In these expeditions the Franks were weakly seconded rather than seconded by the descendants of the Visigoth race, an adjacent population of Spain. In the first and at the time of Charlemagne’s first expedition, the Goths helped him, indeed, strongly, to free themselves from the yoke of the Moors; but when they saw the Frankish accounts firmly established on the Ebro, they entered into suspicion and jealousy. They too had their national leaders, rough knights who, having come out of the lineage of the Visigoths and of that first family of conquerors, betrayed by Count Giuliano by calling the Saracens from Africa, lived in Asturias and in the mountains of Navarre and Castile; so jealous of the Franks, masters of the Pyrenees, they no longer wanted to help them for fear of not passing under another yoke. Therefore, the conquest of Charlemagne does not extend, as can be seen, a great fact beyond the Ebro, despite the efforts of his son Lodovico; only three cities submit to him with some emirs who betray the religion of the Prophet; while Acammo, king of Cordoba, still remained the ruler of Spain.

The pasture breed of Gascony, however, retains its deep-rooted repugnance and its very strong hatred against the Austrasiians and the Neustriians. We have already seen for Roncesvalles how much the Gascon dukes could in their inaccessible homes, and the bloody cliffs of Navarre still speak of it; although always with the foot on the neck, they never remain quiet for a moment under the domination of Lodovico. Lupo, their duke, had died, leaving two sons, Adalrico and Lupo Sancho, who divided the Duchy of Gascony between them, as a fiefdom dependent on Charlemagne. But what was the faith of those indomitable mountaineers ever to be? They emboldened to the [200]memory of the fact of Roncesvalles, and the ancient chronicles still touch on their angry nature and their inclination to stand up in the head.

Lodovico was none other in Aquitaine than the prefect of Charlemagne, and so to speak, the southern arm of the powerful emperor to hold the vassals in devotion. Here are the words of the ancient chronicler. «(787) In this time, a Gascon, named Adalrico, had in the hands, by deception, Corsone Duke of Toulouse, made him promise, with an oath, faith to himself, then let him go. To punish this insolence, the kings and the great, with whose council the kingdom of Aquitaine was governed, convened a general diet in a certain place of the Week, called the Death of the Goths., before which Adalrico was mentioned; but he, aware to himself of his guilt, did not want to come until he was reassured by mutual hostages, and because of the risk they ran, no harm was done to him, indeed widely presented, our people rendered static and his he was allowed to leave. King Lodovico, having called a general diet of the nation, deliberated on the present condition of things. After Borgognone had died, the Fezenzac countryside was given to Luitardo, but the Gascons could not leave, rose up, and killed part of the armigers of the new count with iron, condemning the others to die in the flames. So called to trial, at first they refused to obey, but forced to appear, they succumbed to the punishment he deserved so much audacity, and many of those, condemned to the law of retaliation, they were put to death at the stake. (813) Convoked a general diet, King Lodovico announced that he had received notice of the uprising of a part of Gascony, which wanted to separate itself from its states, to which it had long belonged; the public should ask for that spirit of rebellion to be punished. They all applauded the king’s party, persuaded that they would not otherwise have to bear such arrogance on the part of those subjects, and have to cut the evil from its roots. Therefore, having gathered and ordered the army, the king moved as far as Dax, asking that the engines of the uprising be given to him, nor obeying them, entered their lands, and allowed the soldiers to take down everything. Finally, when the offenders saw that all their belongings were damaged, they came to pray for forgiveness, and they obtained at the price of so much ruin. After which the king, having overcome the difficult passage of the Pyrenees, went down to Pamplona, ​​but then, when he was tracing those ravines, the Gascons tried to exercise their usual perfidy, but luckily they were antivenuti and disappointed by the prudence and dexterity of the Franks. One of them, who had gone too far, was caught and hanged by the throat, while the women and children were taken away from the others. In short, yes, it was well provided that he was taken and hanged by the throat, while the women and children were taken from the others. In short, yes, it was well provided that he was taken and hanged by the throat, while the women and children were taken from the others. In short, yes, it was well provided that [201]in this time the iniquity of the Gascons was not of any prejudice either to the king or to his people [228] ».

Charlemagne therefore also imposed on the Gascons the law of despair which had forever undone the nation of the Saxons; such was the system of political unity that that conqueror imposed on the peoples. Each year was marked in this way by an uprising of those mountaineers, except that Charlemagne, stationary in his castles and farms in the north, gave little trouble as to taming them with arms and left it to Lodovico re of Aquitaine, his son. As soon as he personally made two very rapid races in the southern provinces, and whether the memory of Roncesvalles cooked in his heart, or, as a son of a Germanic lineage, he did not delight in the sight of the southern countryside of Gaul, the raffrenar confided to other hands those southern peoples,missi dominici and the valid superintendence of the Franks it instituted in Aquitaine.

Certainly, we are already in times when the Saracens or Moors of Africa or Spain show that they are recovering from their tumultuous raids through the Pyrenees, nor do they appear in innumerable throngs, as they did under Carlo Martello and Pippin; on the contrary, we have neither a hint of any expedition against the Franks, nor of any of those holy wars commanded by Muhammad to his ardent sectarians. After the preaching of Acammo in the mosques and his rapid corral in the Septimania, we see them continually standing on the defenses, never the first to attack; indeed blessed for the little rest that Charlemagne’s aging age has granted them for a few years, they conclude peace and truce in spite of that inexorable sentence of Mohammed: “Fight the Unfaithful, until the religion of God dominates on earth” .

But if the Saracins of Spain approached Charlemagne for treaties, so did the Moors of Africa; except that the forms of war changed. Already since the eighth century, very daring navigators, they give themselves, like the Normans, to maritime expeditions, arm fleets, and we have from ancient chronicles how they plundered the Balearic Islands, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica; all the coasts of them feared, and the Mediterranean was full of their armed boats that penetrated down the rivers as far as the main cities, and Provence, the Septimania, knew it well from those deserted barbarians, so that their cities even more flourishing saw the monasteries violated, the relics dispersed, the altars stripped, and the convent of San Vittore in Marseille, in order to save itself, was forced to surround itself with high walls like a fortress.

In this way the conditions of the war are changing. Charlemagne is certainly the most formidable prince in the great [202]expeditions of land, no one can cope with him when he moves leading his leudi to war; the peoples are pressed upon each other and thrown back with almost miraculous speed; but here is the action against them in a short time; you would say that, upon seeing this gigantic building rise, the enemies of the Austrasian race guess almost by instinct and foreknow the weak side, waves and Danes and Saracens throw themselves into the sea, and take to running, to prey on the navy. They can contend the empire to Charlemagne and make his forces vain, his Germanic cavalry, harnessed with iron, is made impotent; nothing can his military art; the spirited fleets challenge him on the Mediterranean and the Ocean; to the north the Danes are already showing up on their boats built in the Baltic; at noon the Saracens of Spain and

In Italy it is easier to keep the defeated races in devotion than elsewhere, and the conquests there are more lasting, because everything can be remedied with a military expedition, and crossing the Alps is a trivial matter for those very intrepid Austrian armies. . Pippin, king of Italy, is lieutenant there of the emperor, in the manner that Lodovico has this title at the frontier of the Pyrenees; Nor is Charlemagne waiting for this war, except because Italy joins the Tyrol and the Alps, which are the keys of Germany, and as he is master of Pannonia and Dalmatia, it is convenient for him to keep Lombardy together. fiefdoms that give it dominion over the Adriatic. The wars of Italy thus became his field of exercise where he found himself facing not only the Greeks, the Huns again, of the Avars and Bulgars, who camp in the middle of Europe; hence his Italic wars vanish with the Germanic ones, and when Pepin left the kingdom of Lombardy to go along the route of the Tyrol and the Venetian Alps to Lamagna, the emperor also left the Rhine and the Danube, to come and join his son, and move in harmony against the wandering tribes who live under the tent, from the Danube to Bulgaria.

The Huns and the Hungarians are the first against whom Charlemagne rushes, who having supported the uprising of the Bavarians, was enough to ignite the anger of the implacable Austrasius against them. This war against the wandering tribes and these clashes between the Franks and the Barbarians, had an early beginning, but we read in the chronicles: “(792) The king stayed in Bavaria because of the war with the Huns, and stood up on the Danube a bridge of boats to benefit from it, and celebrated the feast of Christmas and Easter. (795) While the king was in camp on the Elbe, some envoys were sent to him, coming from Pannonia, one of whom was a chief of the Huns, called by him Tudone, who promised to return and [203]become a Christian. The king then returned to Aachen, where he spent his time as usual, and celebrated the solemnities of Christmas and Easter. (796) Pippin expelled the Huns beyond the Tisza, dismantled the palace of their king, to which the palace the Huns give the name of ring and that of campo the Lombards, he plundered almost all the wealth of the Huns; then he went to Aachen to spend the winter with his father, to whom he offered the spoils of the kingdom which he had brought with him. Meanwhile Tudone, the one mentioned above, keeping his promise, went to the king and was baptized with those who accompanied him, and having good attendance, he returned to his country, swearing first fidelity; but he did not keep it long, nor did he go long when he was punished for his felony. (805) The Shit [229], o Prince of the Huns, came to the emperor for the needs of his peoples, and asked him for a place to live there between Sarvaro and Hamburg, but that those peoples could not last longer in their first homes because of the continuous raids of the slaves, called Bohemians. In fact, these slaves, whose head was named Lecone, ran the lands of the Huns, the shit of whom was a Christian, and was called Theodore. The emperor received him kindly, granted his requests, presented him generously and took his leave. Returning to his people, shortly afterwards he died, and the new shit sent one of his great ones to ask for the confirmation of the ancient dignity over the Huns which he had received; and the emperor was pleased, and ordered the shit to have the lordship of the whole realm, according to the custom of their ancestors. ‘

These wars with the wandering tribes and these peace treaties with barbarous nations vanished for a long stretch of time until the reign of the emperor was over. Certainly Charlemagne’s fame must have been very great, if they thus came from all over to pay homage to him; there was not a barbarian national who did not bow to his foot, for the name of a conqueror had far more powerful prestige for those savage nations than the name of a legislator or a supreme intellect; what more than anything else astounds the Barbarians is the overbearing force that shows itself in battles, and makes itself obeyed by the earth; Alessandro, Cesare, Charlemagne and Tamerlane are the names they keep in their memory, and they tell under the tent; these names live safe from the ravages of time, although disfigured, like bronzes from the rust of age. Now none of these names can compare to that of Charlemagne; why did he not resound in which district? and which country has no memory of him? what is the work of the ninth century that does not bear his footprints?