THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[2] Quo officio tum, cum Hildricus deponebatur, Pippinus pater Karoli regis iam velut hereditario fungebatur. Nam pater eius Karolus, qui tyrannos per totam Franciam dominatum sibi vindicantes oppressit et Sarracenos Galliam occupare temptantes duobus magnis proeliis, uno in Aquitania apud Pictavium civitatem, altero iuxta Narbonam apud Birram fluvium, ita devicit, ut in Hispaniam eos redire conpelleret, eundem magistratum a patre Pippino sibi dimissum egregie administravit. Qui honor non aliis a populo dari consueverat quam his qui et claritate generis et opum amplitudine ceteris eminebant. Hunc cum Pippinus pater Karoli regis ab avo et patre sibi et fratri Karlomanno relictum, summa cum eo concordia divisum, aliquot annis velut sub rege memorato tenuisset, frater eius Karlomannus - incertum quibus de causis, tamen videtur, quod amore conversationis contemplativae succensus -, operosa temporalis regni administratione relicta, Romam se in otium contulit, ibique habitu permutato monachus factus in monte Soracte apud ecclesiam beati Silvestri constructo monasterio cum fratribus secum ad hoc venientibus per aliquot annos optata quiete perfruitur. Sed cum ex Francia multi nobilium ob vota solvenda Romam sollemniter commearent et eum velut dominum quondam suum praeterire nollent, otium, quo maxime delectabatur, crebra salutatione interrumpentes locum mutare conpellunt. Nam huiuscemodi frequentiam cum suo proposito officere vidisset, relicto monte in Samnium provinciam ad monasterium sancti.Benedicti situm in castro Casino secessit et ibi quod reliquum erat temporalis vitae religiose conversando conplevit.


Charlemagne's Ancestors

[2] At the time of Childeric's deposition, Pepin, the father of King Charles, held this office of Mayor of the Palace, one might almost say, by hereditary right; for Pepin's father, Charles [Martel 715-41], had received it at the hands of his father, Pepin, and filled it with distinction. It was this Charles that crushed the tyrants who claimed to rule the whole Frank land as their own, and that utterly routed the Saracens, when they attempted the conquest of Gaul, in two great battles-one in Aquitania, near the town of Poitiers, and the other on the River Berre, near Narbonne-and compelled them to return to Spain. This honor was usually conferred by the people only upon men eminent from their illustrious birth and ample wealth. For some years, ostensibly under King the father of King Charles, Childeric, Pepin, shared the duties inherited from his father and grandfather most amicably with his brother, Carloman. The latter, then, for reasons unknown, renounced the heavy cares of an earthly crown and retired to Rome [747]. Here he exchanged his worldly garb for a cowl, and built a monastery on Mt. Oreste, near the Church of St. Sylvester, where he enjoyed for several years the seclusion that he desired, in company with certain others who had the same object in view. But so many distinguished Franks made the pilgrimage to Rome to fulfill their vows, and insisted upon paying their respects to him, as their former lord, on the way, that the repose which he so much loved was broken by these frequent visits, and he was driven to change his abode. Accordingly when he found that his plans were frustrated by his many visitors, he abandoned the mountain, and withdrew to the Monastery of St. Benedict, on Monte Cassino, in the province of Samnium [in 754], and passed the rest there in the exercise of religion.

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