THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[18] Talem eum in tuendo et ampliando simulque ornando regno fuisse constat. Cuius animi dotes et summam in qualicumque et prospero et adverso eventu constantiam ceteraque ad interiorem atque domesticam viram pertinentia iam abhinc dicere exordiar.

Post mortem patris cum fratre regnum partitus tanta patientia simultates et invidiam eius tulit, ut omnibus mirum videretur, quod ne ad iracundiam quidem ab eo provocari potuisset. Deinde cum matris hortatu filiam Desiderii regis Langobardorum duxisset uxorem, incertum qua de causa, post annum eam repudiavit et Hildigardam de gente Suaborum praecipuae nobilitatis feminam in matrimonium accepit; de qua tres filios, Karolum videlicet, Pippinum et Hludowicum, totidemque filias, Hruodtrudem et Berhtam et Gislam, genuit. Habuit et alias tres filias, Theoderadam et Hiltrudem et Hruodhaidem, duas de Fastrada uxore, quae de Orientalium Francorum, Germanorum videlicet, gente erat, tertiam de concubina quadam, cuius nomen modo memoriae non occurrit. Defuncta Fastrada Liutgardam Alamannam duxit, de qua nihil liberorum tulit. Post cuius mortem quattuor habuit concubinas, Madelgardam scilicet, quae peperit ei filiam nomine Ruothildem, Gersuindam Saxonici generis, de qua ei filia nomine Adaltrud nata est, et Reginam, quae ei Drogonem et Hugum genuit, et Adallindem, ex qua Theodericum procreavit.

Mater quoque eius Berhtrada in magno apud eum honore consenuit. Colebat enim eam cum summa reverentia, ita ut nulla umquam invicem sit exorta discordia, praeter in divortio filiae Desiderii regis, quam illa suadente acceperat. Decessit tandem post mortem Hildigardae, cum iam tres nepotes suos totidemque neptes in filii domo vidisset. Quam ille in eadem basilica, qua pater situs est, apud Sanctum Dionisium, magno cum honore fecit humari. Erat ei unica soror nomine Gisla, a puellaribus annis religiosae conversationi mancipata, quam similiter ut matrem magna coluit pietate. Quae etiam paucis ante obitum illius annis in eo, quo conversata est, monasterio decessit.


Private Life

[18] Thus did Charles defend and increase as well, as beautify his, kingdom, as is well known; and here let me express my admiration of his great qualities and his extraordinary constancy alike in good and evil fortune. I will now forthwith proceed to give the details of his private and family life.

After his father's death, while sharing the kingdom with his brother, he bore his unfriendliness and jealousy most patiently, and, to the wonder of all, could not be provoked to be angry with him. Later he married a daughter of of Desiderius, King of the Lombards, at the instance of his mother; but he repudiated her at the end of a year for some reason unknown, and married Hildegard, a woman of high birth, of Suabian origin. He had three sons by her - Charles, Pepin and Louis -and as many daughters - Hruodrud, Bertha, and and Gisela. He had three other daughters besides these- Theoderada, Hiltrud, and Ruodhaid - two by his third wife, Fastrada, a woman of East Frankish (that is to say, of German) origin, and the third by a concubine, whose name for the moment escapes me. At the death of Fastrada [794], he married Liutgard, an Alemannic woman, who bore him no children. After her death [Jun4 4, 800] he had three concubines - Gersuinda, a Saxon by whom he had Adaltrud; Regina, who was the mother of Drogo and Hugh; and Ethelind, by whom he lead Theodoric. Charles' mother, Berthrada, passed her old age with him in great honor; he entertained the greatest veneration for her; and there was never any disagreement between them except when he divorced the daughter of King Desiderius, whom he had married to please her. She died soon after Hildegard, after living to three grandsons and as many granddaughters in her son's house, and he buried her with great pomp in the Basilica of St. Denis, where his father lay. He had an only sister, Gisela, who had consecrated herself to a religious life from girlhood, and he cherished as much affection for her as for his mother. She also died a few years before him in the nunnery where she passed her life.

 

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