Carloman I

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Carloman I (28 June 751 – December 4, 771) was the king of the Franks from 768 until his death in 771. He was the second surviving son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon. He was a younger brother of Charlemagne.

Carloman I stands in the unfortunate position of having been written of only by writers prejudiced against him, who portray him as peevish, self-pitying and easily flattered.[1] Little is known of him, except such as touches upon his more famous father and brother.


Split of the Frankish kingdom

At the age of 3, he was, together with his father, Pepin the Short, and his elder brother, Charlemagne, anointed King of the Franks and titled "Patrician of the Romans" by Pope Stephen II, who had left Rome to beg the Frankish King for assistance against the Lombards.[2] Together with Charlemagne, he inherited a half of the Kingdom of the Franks upon Pepin's death. His share was based in the centre of the Frankish Kingdom, with his capital at Soissons, and consisted of the Parisian basin, the Massif Central, the Languedoc, Provence, Burgundy, southern Austrasia, Alsace and Alemannia; the regions were poorly integrated and surrounded by those bequeathed to Charlemagne, and, although Carloman's territories were easier to defend than those of Charlemagne, they were also poorer in income.[3]

It is commonly agreed that Carloman and Charlemagne disliked each other, although the reasons behind this are unclear: some historians suggest that each brother considered himself rightfully to be the sole heir of their father – Charlemagne as the elder child, Carloman as the legitimate child[4] (Charlemagne is sometimes claimed to have been born a bastard in 742, a claim not always accepted).[3] Be that as it may, Pepin the Short's disposal of his kingdom appears to have exacerbated the bad relations between the pair, since it required co-operation between the pair and left both feeling cheated.[4]

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