THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[28] Ultimi adventus sui non solum hae fuere causae, verum etiam quod Romani Leonem pontificem multis affectum iniuriis, erutis scilicet oculis linguaque amputata, fidem regis implorare conpulerunt. Idcirco Romam veniens propter reparandum, qui nimis conturbatus erat, ecclesiae statum ibi totum hiemis tempus extraxit. Quo tempore imperatoris et augusti nomen accepit. Quod primo in tantum aversatus est, ut adfirmaret se eo die, quamvis praecipua festivitas esset, ecclesiam non intraturum, si pontificis consilium praescire potuisset. Invidiam tamen suscepti nominis, Romanis imperatoribus super hoc indignantibus, magna tulit patientia. Vicitque eorum contumaciam magnanimitate, qua eis procul dubio longe praestantior erat, mittendo ad eos crebras legationes et in epistolis fratres eos appellando.


Charlemagne Crowned Emperor

[28] When he made his last journey thither, he also had other ends in view. The Romans had inflicted many injuries upon the Pontiff Leo, tearing out his eyes and cutting out his tongue, so that he had been comp lied to call upon the King for help [Nov 24, 800]. Charles accordingly went to Rome, to set in order the affairs of the Church, which were in great confusion, and passed the whole winter there. It was then that he received the titles of Emperor and Augustus [Dec 25, 800], to which he at first had such an aversion that he declared that he would not have set foot in the Church the day that they were conferred, although it was a great feast-day, if he could have foreseen the design of the Pope. He bore very patiently with the jealousy which the Roman emperors showed upon his assuming these titles, for they took this step very ill; and by dint of frequent embassies and letters, in which he addressed them as brothers, he made their haughtiness yield to his magnanimity, a quality in which he was unquestionably much their superior.

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