emperor charlemagne

When Christopher Lee made a Heavy Metal Opera about Charlemagne

Sir Christopher Lee is perhaps one of the most interesting men in the world.  He was former WWII intelligence officer who worked with the SAS, master fencer, and legendary actor whose famous roles include Dracula, Count Dooku, Lord Saruman, and James Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga.  Perhaps for someone like Lee, it is not unusual that in his late 80’s and early 90’s he would make a series of heavy metal albums, after all, he was a singer who had a background in opera and had worked with some metal bands in the past.  But a heavy metal opera about the Medieval Frankish King and Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne?

 In 2010 Lee released the album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross, a Symphonic Metal Opera based on the life of Charlemagne.  The album included Lee himself, who played Charlemagne, as well as a number of guest singers and musicians who played roles such as Pepin the Short and Pope Hadrian. Lyrics were composed by Marie-Clarie Calvet while music was composed by Marco Sabiu.   The album was released on March 15th, 2010.  For his work on the album, Lee received the Spirit of Metal Award from the 2010 Metal Golden Hammer Gods Award, the award being presented by Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi.
In 2013 Christopher Lee released a sequel album called, Charlemagne: Omens of Death, which featured music arranged by Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner and Guatamalan guitar virtuoso Hedras Ramos.

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The Signs as Famous Kings pt.2 (Earth)

Taurus - Charles the Great (Charlemagne), Emperor of Western Europe (768-814)
After his brother had died, Charlemagne was solely in control of a considerable kingdom, which became his empire for more than four decades after having been crowned Emperor by the Pope in 800. Charles the Great was tall in physique and enjoyed roasted meat as well as expanding his realm through military action. Perceiving the Christianity as the one and only confession, Charles showed no mercy towards followers of other religions in order to actualize his vision of a united Germanic nation. Charles was highly educated, talented in languages, interested in culture and beautiful architecture and represented an energetic sportsman pursuing hunting, horseback riding and swimming. Charles was buried in Aachen where he resided very often.

Virgo - Peter the Great, Emperor and Tsar of Russia (1682-1725)
Peter was referred to as “the Great” on the one hand because of his physical appearance with a height of more than 6.7 feet and a buff body but further because of the glory he brought to Russia. It was said that he had an impetuous and vigorous nature. Moreover Peter was famous for his determination. He worked all his life hard, both mentally and physically, to fulfill his conceptions. This emperor was rather a man of action than a man of thought but nevertheless he is considered a great statesman. Peter had many interests like collecting art but his favourite occupation was shipbuilding.

Capricorn - Ashoka the Terrible (later the Great), Ruler of the Indian Mauryan Empire (268-232 BC)
After establishing cruel prisons of torture and gaining land with superior military forces, the feared Emperor Ashoka had a change of mind during the battle of Kalinga which is considered one of the most brutal and bloodiest wars of all time. Seeing the vast suffering caused by his thirst for greatness, Ashoka distanced himself from wars and violence, turned to Buddhism, built places of meditation and hereby paved the way for a peaceful and tolerant India. His new mild nature let Ashoka set up edicts to the advantage of religious freedom, the poor and eldery, travellers and even animals. Ashoka is the incarnation of one of the most glorious periods of Indian history, having turned out to become a strong merciful king who esteemed all living beings.

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The great empress who unified the continent. She is optimistic and outgoing and is quite a big eater. She loves roasted or grilled meat. Since she participated in battles since a young age, she is illiterate and doesn’t know how to read or write. She is famous for being guarded by 12 holy knights.

Charlemagne

@Neoprusiano
Emperador Carlomagno del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico
Imperator Carolus Magnus Sacri Imperii Romani
Kaiser Karl der Große des Heiligen Römischen Reiches
Emperor Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire
Empereur Charlemagne de le Saint Empire Romain Germanique
(742-814)

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), 1513.
Alberto Durero (1471-1528), 1513.

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it is no surprise to me that these Northmen have arrived in Wessex. After I heard about their raids into Northumbria, I realized it was only a matter of time before they came ashore here. When I lived at the court of the Emperor Charlemagne, of long and blessed memory, these Northmen had already emerged from their lairs to attack parts of his empire. And I remember an incident from this period very well. I was with Charlemagne’s party at a harbor town in southern Gaul. As we sat eating supper, a fleet of pirates attacked the harbor. There was some confusion about their identity, but from the build of their ships and their speed through the water, the Emperor recognized them at once as Northmen. After a lightning attack… They made their escape. The Emperor’s men took up the chase, but they were soon out-sailed. Charlemagne rose from the table and stood at the window, facing east. I remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday. For a long time, he stood while the tears poured down his face. In the end, he said, “Do you know why I weep so bitterly? It’s not because I’m afraid these ruffians will do me any harm. But I am sick at heart to think that even in my lifetime, they have dared to attack this coast. And I am horror-stricken when I foresee what evil they will do to my descendants and their subjects.” And now, it is our turn to deal with these ruffians. These pagans. But deal with them we shall. And must.
I put it in your hands to work with our ealdormen to raise an army. In the meantime, we shall send spies and others to observe the size of the raiding party and their intentions. These Northmen never like to venture far from their ships, and they prefer not to be drawn into pitched battle. Let us not be afraid, but rather watchful. And ultimately, decisive. As the Emperor was.”

King Ecbert in S2E3

Francia under the Carolingian dynasty (of which Charlemagne was the most illustrious member) was the first area outside Scandinavia to come into contact with the Vikings, as the Frankish conquest of neighbouring Frisia (the area along the North Sea coast of the modern Netherlands and north-west Germany) from the 730s had brought its frontier dangerously close to Denmark and certainly within reach of Danish ships. Only the Saxons lay in between, and a prolonged series of campaigns by Charlemagne from 772 resulted in their final subjuga¬tion in 797. Alarmed at the prospect of the Franks pushing even further, possibly into Denmark, the Danish King Godfred sailed with a fleet and a large force of cavalry to Schleswig on the Danish-Saxon border. Mindful of his own safety, he prudently declined a personal meeting with Charlemagne and instead sent envoys, who made an agreement about returning fugitives. Relations between the Franks and Danes, however, deteriorated after Godfred attacked the Slavic Abodrites, a tribe to whom Charlemagne had given a large swathe of conquered Saxon territory when he evacuated the original inhabitants back to Francia.
When the Abodrite chieftain, a Frankish ally, was murdered, probably on Godfred’s orders, hostility between Franks and Danes mounted to such an extent that in 810 Charlemagne was about to launch an expedition against Godfred, only to find that he had been pre-empted, by a ‘fleet of 200 ships from Nordmannia that attacked Frisia and ravaged all the Frisian islands’. Unlike the raids that had begun the Viking era in England, Scotland and Ireland, this one was on a massive scale and had royal backing.
The Frisians paid a ransom of 100 pounds of silver to be left alone, and further hostilities were averted by Godfred’s opportune assassination and replacement by his nephew, Hemming. The Franks, though, continued to meddle in Danish dynastic politics, and Hemming was soon displaced by the sons of Godfred. 

The source of the text: The Northmen’s Fury, Philip Parker

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Queens consort of England - Adeliza of Louvain

Adeliza or Adelicia of Louvain was the daughter of Godfrey I, Count of Louvain, Duke of Lower Lotharingia, Landgrave of Brabant and Count of Louvain and Brussels and his wife Ida of Chiny, a descendant of the Emperor Charlemagne.

Known as ‘the fair maiden of Brabant’, Adeliza was renowned for her beauty, in his 'Historia Anglorum’ the chronicler Henry of Huntingdon refers to Adeliza’s beauty, “A jewel grows pale on you, a crown does not shine. Put adornment aside, for nature provides your adornment.”

When William the Atheling, the only legitimate son of King Henry I of England drowned in the sinking of the White Ship on 25 November 1120, Henry urgently needed a male heir to succeed to his throne. The fifty three year old King Henry took the seventeen year old Adelicia as his second wife on 24 January 1121. Henry I’s first wife, Matilda of Scotland, had died in 1118. Despite the reputation he had acquired for begetting illegitimate children, Henry’s marriage to his first queen had produced only two children, William the Atheling and a daughter Matilda, who had been sent to Germany to marry the Holy Roman Emperor as an eight year old child. After the death of her husband the Emperor, he recalled his daughter, by now known as the Empress, to England. Henry named her as his heiress and made the barons swear fealty to her.

Henry of Huntingdon recorded that the new queen accompanied Henry to London at Pentecost. The fifteen year marriage of Adelicia and Henry never produced children. Unlike Henry’s first wife Matilda, Adeliza appears to have played a very passive role. While Matilda issued some thirty-one charters and writs during her reign, during Adeliza’s fifteen-year marriage to Henry I she issued one, and she only attested 13 of Henry’s many charters, even though they were almost always together.

After the death of her husband the king on 1 December 1135, the throne was usurped by his nephew Stephen of Blois. Adeliza retired to the Benedictine convent of Wilton Abbey, near Salisbury. She attended the dedication of Henry’s tomb at Reading Abbey on the first anniversary of his death. At about that time, she founded a leper hospital dedicated to Saint Giles at Fugglestone St Peter, Wiltshire. On the first anniversary of Henry I’s death, Adeliza give the manor of Aston to the Abbey of Reading, and endowed them with lands “to provide for the convent and other religious pweaona [sic] coming to the abbey on the occasion of the anniversary of my lord King Henry.” She also added the gift of a church a few years later.

Henry I provided generously for his widow, she was given the revenues of Rutland, Shropshire and a large district of London, with possession of the city of Chichester. Henry also gave the manor of Aston to Adeliza “as his queen and wife.” Landholdings that were part of Adeliza of Louvain’s dower include Waltham in Essex, an estate in south-east England, with areas in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Middlesex. She had property in Devon. As a gift from Henry I, she was given a property in Ashleworth, a component of the royal estate of Berkley. In 1126 the whole county of Shropshire was given to her.

Three years after Henry I’s death, in 1138, Adeliza married for a second time to William d'Aubigny, 1st Earl of Arundel, the son of William d'Aubigny and Maud le Bigod. The D'Aubigny’s were royal stewards and held an important position at court. The couple lived at Adelicia’s castle of Arundel on the Norfolk coast. Although there were no children from her first marriage Adeliza presented her second husband with seven children, Alice, William, Olivia, Reynor, Geoffrey, Henry, and Agatha d’ Aubigny. Adeliza and William’s descendants include Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, the second and fifth queens of Henry VIII. The descendants of Adeliza and William still own Castle Rising and Arundel Castle to the present day.

England was plunged into a bloody Civil War when Matilda, the daughter and appointed heir of Henry I, challenged her cousin Stephen for the throne. Adeliza received her step-daughter at her home in Arundel, along with Matilda’s illegitimate half-brother Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, the chief supporter of her cause, in defiance of her husband’s wishes, William d'Aubigny was a staunch supporter of Stephen.

She later betrayed them both and handed them over to King Stephen, John of Worcester recorded that “she feared the king’s majesty and worried that she might lose the great estate she held throughout England.” He also mentions Adeliza’s attempts to pacify King Stephen, “she swore on oath that his enemies had not come to England on her account but that she had simply given them hospitality as persons of high dignity once close to her.”

In 1150, Adeliza left William d'Aubigny to enter the monastery of Afflighem in Flanders. One of her brothers was also living at the monastery. The annals at the monastery mention her death, which occurred in 1151, and her place of burial site is not known with certainty. Some traditions imply she was buried at the monastery of Afflighem, however a donation made by her brother Joscelin of Louvain to Reading Abbey would seem to indicate that she was buried there with her first husband, Henry I.

@Neoprusiano
Emperador Carlomagno del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico
Imperator Carolus Magnus Sacri Imperii Romani
Kaiser Karl der Große des Heiligen Römischen Reiches
Emperor Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire
Empereur Charlemagne de le Saint Empire Romain Germanique
(742-814)

Efemérides / Ephemeriden / Ephemeris / Éphémérides
28/1/814 - 28/1/2014 = 1200