What was the Holy Roman Empire? It was a revival of the Western Roman Empire, destroyed in 476.

Pepin was the king of France until 768, and had defeated the Lombards who guarded Italy and harassed the Pope. In return for defeating the Lombards, Pepin was allowed to make an empire for himself and for his children. When Pepin died, his lands were divided between Carloman and Charles, better known as Charlemagne. Carloman died in 771, and Charlemagne conquered the Saxons, the Britons, and the Franks. He forged the largest empire in the World at the time. He annexed the Lombard Kingdom, and in 800 on Christmas Day, Pope Leo IV crowned him Holy Roman Emperor.

Friedrich Kaulbach (1822-1903), Krönung Karls des Großen

Friedrich Kaulbach (1822-1903), Krönung Karls des Großen

Leo’s true intention of the ceremony is not known, but Charlemagne took it seriously, using it to control Italy and the Pope.

Charlemagne died in 814, and his son, Louis the Pious, succeeded him. However, Louis’s brothers rebelled, and soon the empire fragmented into the kingdoms of Germany, France, and Italy, plus many smaller kingdoms. By 927, the empire was abolished. However, in 962, Otto I, king of Germany, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor , re-establishing the empire.

I know much about Charlemagne and Otto, partially because they are my ancestors! I am descended from many famous kings of Ancient and Medieval Europe, from 400 to 1500 A.D.

The Holy Roman Empire was an off-again, on-again empire lasting from 800-927, and later 962-1806, finally ending when Francis II of Austria dissolved the empire.