THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[3] Pippinus autem per auctoritatem Romani pontificis ex praefecto palatii rex constitutus, cum per annos XV aut eo amplius Francis solus imperaret, finito Aquitanico bello, quod contra Waifarium ducem Aquitaniae ab eo susceptum per continuos novem annos gerebatur, apud Parisios morbo aquae intercutis diem obiit, superstitibus liberis Karlo et Karlomanno, ad quos successio regni divino nutu pervenerat. Franci siquidem facto sollemniter generali conventu ambos sibi reges constituunt, ea conditione praemissa, ut totum regni corpus ex aequo partirentur, et Karolus eam partem, quam pater eorum Pippinus tenuerat, Karlomannus vero eam, cui patruus eorum Karlomannus praeerat, regendi gratia susciperet. Susceptae sunt utrimque conditiones, et pars regni divisi iuxta modum sibi propositum ab utroque recepta est. Mansitque ista, quamvis cum summa difficultate, concordia, multis ex parte Karlomanni societatem separare molientibus, adeo ut quidam eos etiam bello committere sint meditati. Sed in hoc plus suspecti quam periculi fuisse ipse rerum exitus adprobavit, cum defuncto Karlomanno uxor eius et filii cum quibusdam, qui ex optimatum eius numero primores erant, Italiam fuga petiit et nullis existentibus causis, spreto mariti fratre, sub Desiderii regis Langobardorum patrocinium se cum liberis suis contulit. Et Karlomannus quidem post administratum communiter biennio regnum morbo decessit; Karolus autem fratre defuncto consensu omnium Francorum rex constituitur.


Charlemagne's Accession

[3] Pepin, however, was raised by decree of the Roman pontiff, from the rank of Mayor of the Palace to that of King, and ruled alone over the Franks for fifteen years or more [752-768]. He died of dropsy [Sept. 24, 768] in Paris at the close of the Aquitanian War, which he had waged with William, Duke of Aquitania, for nine successive years, and left his two sons, Charles and Carloman, upon whim, by the grace of God, the succession devolved.

The Franks, in a general assembly of the people, made them both kings [Oct 9, 786] on condition that they should divide the whole kingdom equally between them, Charles to take and rule the part that had to belonged to their father, Pepin, and Carloman the part which their uncle, Carloman had governed. The conditions were accepted, and each entered into the possession of the share of the kingdom that fell to him by this arrangement; but peace was only maintained between them with the greatest difficulty, because many of Carloman's party kept trying to disturb their good understanding, and there were some even who plotted to involve them in a war with each other. The event, however, which showed the danger to have been rather imaginary than real, for at Carloman's death his widow [Gerberga] fled to Italy with her sons and her principal adherents, and without reason, despite her husband's brother put herself and her children under the protection of Desiderius, King of the Lombards. Carloman had succumbed to disease after ruling two years [in fact more than three] in common with his brother and at his death Charles was unanimously elected King of the Franks.

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