THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[6] Conpositis in Aquitania rebus eoque bello finito, regni quoque socio iam rebus humanis exempto, rogatu et precibus Hadriani Romanae urbis episcopi exoratus bellum contra Langobardos suscepit. Quod prius quidem et a patre eius, Stephano papa supplicante, cum magna difficultate susceptum est; quia quidam e primoribus Francorum, cum quibus consultare solebat, adeo voluntati eius renisi sunt, ut se regem deserturos domumque redituros libera voce proclamarent. Susceptum tamen est tunc contra Haistulfum regem et celerrime conpletum. Sed licet sibi et patri belli suscipiendi similis ac potius eadem causa subesse videretur, haud simili tamen et labore certatum et fine constat esse conpletum. Pippinus siquidem Haistulfum regem paucorum dierum obsidione apud Ticenum conpulit et obsides dare et erepta Romanis oppida atque castella restituere atque, ut reddita non repeterentur, sacramento fidem facere; Karolus vero post inchoatum a se bellum non prius destitit, quam et Desiderium regem, quem longa obsidione fatigaverat, in deditionem susciperet, filium eius Adalgisum, in quem spes omnium inclinatae videbantur, non solum regno, sed etiam Italia excedere conpelleret, omnia Romanis erepta restitueret, Hruodgausum Foroiuliani ducatus praefectum res novas molientem opprimeret totamque Italiam suae ditioni subiugaret subactaeque filium suum Pippinum regem inponeret. Italiam intranti quam difficilis Alpium transitus fuerit, quantoque Francorum labore invia montium iuga et eminentes in caelum scopuli atque asperae cautes superatae sint, hoc loco describerem, nisi vitae illius modum potius quam bellorum, quae gessit, eventus memoriae mandare praesenti opere animo esset propositum. Finis tamen huius belli fuit subacta Italia et rex Desiderius perpetuo exilio deportatus et filius eius Adalgisus Italia pulsus et res a Langobardorum regibus ereptae Hadriano Romanae ecclesiae rectori restitutae.


Lombard War

[6] After bringing this war to an end and settling matters in Aquitania (his associate in authority had meantime departed this life), he was induced [in 773], by the prayers and entreaties of Hadrian [I, 772-795], Bishop of the city of Rome, to wage war on the Lombards. His father before him had undertaken this task at the request of Pope Stephen [II or III, 752-757], but under great difficulties, for certain leading Franks, of whom he usually took counsel, had so vehemently opposed his design as to declare openly that they would leave the King and go home. Nevertheless, the war against the Lombard King Astolf had been taken up and very quickly concluded [754]. Now, although Charles seems to have had similar, or rather just the same grounds for declaring war that his father had, the war itself differed from the preceding one alike in its difficulties and its issue. Pepin, to be sure, after besieging King Astolf a few days in Pavia, had compelled him to give hostages, to restore to the Romans the cities and castles that he had taken, and to make oath that he would not attempt to seize them again: but Charles did not cease, after declaring war, until he had exhausted King Desiderius by a long siege [773], and forced him to surrender at discretion; driven his son Adalgis, the last hope of the Lombards, not only -from his kingdom, but from all Italy [774]; restored to the Romans all that they had lost; subdued Hruodgaus, Duke of Friuli [776], who was plotting revolution; reduced all Italy to his power, and set his son Pepin as king over it. [781]

At this point I should describe Charles' difficult passage over the Alps into Italy, and the hardships that the Franks endured in climbing the trackless mountain ridges, the heaven-aspiring cliffs and ragged peaks, if it were not my

purpose in this work to record the manner of his life rather than the incidents of the wars that he waged. Suffice it to say that this war ended with the subjection of Italy, the banishment of King Desiderius for life, the expulsion of his son Adalgis from Italy, and the restoration of the conquests of the Lombard kings to Hadrian, the head of the Roman Church.

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