The Franks: Charles the Hammer and Pepin
Last Updated      11/13/2009     11/25/2007      11/20/2007      10/16/2007      10/15/2007

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Charles the Hammer

688As Frankish kings grew weaker the "Mayor of the Palace" took over their rule.  
Charles "The Hammer" Martel led the Franks at the Battle of Tours in 732 AD. 
The Franks defeated the Arabs and Berbers that had conquered Spain in 711 AD.  
Christianity survived in western Europe. 


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741 AD, Charles dies and his son Pepin became Mayor of the Palace. 
Pepin removed the king and started a new dynasty.  
He was annointd with holy oil by the Pope. 
Pepin helped the pope when he defeated the Lombards.
Pepin gave the land of the Lombards in central Italy to the Pope.
The Pope ruled much of Italian peninsula.

Time Line of the Franks



387 BC

Gauls defeat the early RomanEmpire and sack Rome.

52 BC

Vercingetorix defeats Julius Caesar

52 BC

Julius Caesar and the Romans defeat the Gauls.
Gaul absorbed into Roman Empire

257 AD

Franks were originally a confederation of Germanic tribes east of the Rhine Began to raid Roman territory

350-550 AD

Germanic tribes migrate all over western Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire

358 AD

Frankish tribe got permission by the emperor Julian to settle on Roman territory between the rivers Schelde and Meuse as foederati (ally)

461 AD

Roman coalition including the Gauls defeats Attilia the Hun

Clovis born to King Childric and Thuringian queen Basina
481 AD Clovis chosen king of Franks at age 16.
Clovis is founder of the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings
486 AD Defeats the Roman legions under Syagrius at Soissons. 
Ends Roman domination over Gaul.
493 AD Marries Clotilda, niece of King of Burgandy
Brought all Franks under one rule.
Clovis and 3000 Frankish soldiers accept Catholic religion
496 AD Clovis defeats Alemanni.
Frank border secured to Rhine
Beginning of Middle Ages.
500 AD Attacks Burgundians at Dijon
507 AD Attacks Visigoths under Alaric at Vouille'
508 AD Ostrogoths defeat the Franks.
511 AD Clovis extends rule to the areas France and Western Germany
Clovis Dies
531 AD Franks defeat Thuringans.
533 AD Franks defeat Burgandians.
Burgandy absorbed by Franks.
628 AD Frankisk king Dagobert defeats  heathen forces of Saxons and Frisians.
City of Utrecht falls to Franks.
Dagobert builds a church and begins converting Frisians.
Under first Frisian King Eadgils Franks and Frisians live in peace.
638-751AD "Do Nothings"
679 AD-719 AD King Redbad, the heathen king, is the greatest folk hero of the Frisian.
Attacked the Franks, conquered Utrecht, destroys the church.
Christianity forcefully removed from Frisian
689 AD Pepin II leads Franks against Frisians.
Takes Dorestad.
690-692 AD Pepin II takes Utrecht.
711 AD Muslims (Sacarens) conqured Spain.
714 AD Pepin II dies.
716 AD King Redbad defeats Franks and Charles Martel at Cologne.
Wins bach Frisian Empire.
721 AD Franks and Aquitanians defeat Arabs.


732 AD Charles "Hammer" Martel Defeates Muslims (Saracens) at Battle of Tours.
Enables Christianity to survive in western Europe.
734 AD Charles sends forces to Friesland.
Defeats King Poppa, son of Redbad,
737 AD Battles of Narbone and Nemis.  Moors defeated in their strongholds in the south of France.
Pepin, Charles son, becomes first Frankish king annointed by Pope
Pepin "The Short" defeats Lombards.
Pepin gives Lombard land to Pope.
768 AD Pepin died.
Pepin's sons, Carolman and Charles, share kingdom
Carolman dies
CHARLEMAGNE  "Charles the Great"
Charles "The Great", Charlemagne, Pepin's other son becomes king.
773 AD Charles defeats Lombards.  Gives land to church.
778 AD Charlrmgne defeats the Bavarians
782 AD He called in foreign scholars to restore the schools of France
785 AD Charles attacks and subdues the Saxons in what is now northern Germany.
789 AD Drives back advancing Slavs/
Urged schools to “take care to make no difference between the sons of serfs and of freemen, so that they might come and sit on the same benches to study grammar, music, and arithmetic.”
795 AD Charles fights Muslims in Spain.
800 AD Charlemagne had created a large empire.
800 AD Christmas Day Pope proclaimed Charlemagne the new Roman Emperor.
Pope Leo put a crown on Charlemagne's head.
King of the Holy Roman Empire; King of the Franks; King of the Lombards
813 AD Louis the Pious, Charlemagne's son, becomes Emperor
814 AD Death of Charlemagne
Louis the Pious, divides empire among his three sons
Lothair gets title Emperor
841 AD Franks defeat Holy Roman Empire
843 AD Treaty of Verdun
Lothair keeps title of Emperor.
Louis got East Frankish Kingdom (Germany)
Charles got West Frankish Kingdom (France)
United western Europe divided ito small territories.


Chew, Robin. "Charlemagne King of the Franks and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire." 15 October 2007.

Durant, Will. "King Charlemagne", History of Civilization Vol III, The Age of Faith. Electronic version in the Knighthood, Tournaments & Chivalry Resource Library, Ed. Brian R. Price

Nosotoro, Tit. "Charlamegne."  15 October 2007.

"Simply History." Edited selections of mostly European history from the out-of-copyright book, A Pageant of History, by R.G. Ikin, MA, Kings' College, Cambridge, 1929. 15 Oct. 2007. (1)