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dealings of Charles with Italy. He never succeeded in fully subduing the duchy of Benevento, though its dukes were several times compelled to do him homage when he marched in person against them. Italy was finally put under charge of Pippin, the king's second son, who was given the royal title and authority there as his father's delegate. Pippin, besides the task of striving to hold down Benevento, had also to cope with the intrigues of the East Romans in Italy. The Constantinopolitan emperor had still a foot-hold in the peninsula at Naples, Reggio, and Brindisi, and still enjoyed the homage of the half-independent peoples of Venice and Istria. Luckily for the Franks the Eastern realm was during the most important years of Charles's reign, under the weak hands of the empress Irene (780-90 and 797-802) and the usurper Nicephorus I. (802-11.) They bitterly resented the establishment of a new power in Italy, and the assumption of the imperial title by the Frankish king, which they regarded as the worst insult that could be put upon the majesty of the Eastern Empire, which claimed to be the sole and legitimate heir wars with the of Augustus and Constantine. But their efforts East Romans. went little further than endeavouring to stir up trouble in Italy by means of the Lombard prince Adelchis, the son of king Desiderius, who had fled to Constantinople and become a Byzantine patrician. He tried to make more than one descent on Italy, but met with uniform ill-success. The only serious fighting between Frank and East Roman was in the years 804-10, when Nicephorus I. undertook several expeditions against Italy to avenge the revolt of Venice. In the firstnamed year, a party among the Venetians, who were torn by civil strife, called in the Franks and transferred their allegiance to Charles. Nicephorus sent out a fleet which harried the coasts of Tuscany and the Exarchate, but could make no solid impression on the Lombard kingdom. A little later the East Roman party in Venice got the upper hand, and once more handed the city over to the Byzantines. Contented with the recovery of his vassal-state, Nicephorus then made peace with Charles. The only net result of the war had been that the Franks got permanent possession of Pola and the other coast-cities of Istria, which had hitherto been East Roman. Michael Rhangabe, the successor of Nicephorus, went so far in allying himself with Charles, that he consented to recognise him as Emperor of the West, a concession accepted with pride by the Franks, and regarded as a lamentable token of weakness by the Constantinopolitans (812).
One of the consequences of the conquests of Charles in Italy was to bring the Franks into collision with the Saracen pirates, who infested the central Mediterranean, making their harbourage in the ports of the islands which face the western coast of the peninsula. At a date which cannot be accurately fixed, the Franks took possession of Corsica and Sardinia, hunting out the Saracen colonists who had conquered the Wars with islands from the East-Romans some fifty or sixty Saracen years before. In 799 the Franks also took pospirates. session of the Balearic islands. These distant dependencies were attacked and ravaged by fleets from Spain on more than one occasion, but they were held down to the close of the reign of Charles. They were given in charge to the counts of Genoa and Tuscany, who seem to have been able to raise a considerable fleet, and more than once gained naval victories over the plundering Moor.
But the most serious struggle between Charles and the Moslems took place in Spain, where during the whole of the second period of his reign the fighting was almost continuous. The permanent advance of the Christians beyond the Pyrenees began with the capture of Gerona in 785. The conduct of the war fell mainly into the hands of Lewis, the third son of Charles, whom his father had named king of Aquitaine, and trusted with all the affairs of the south-west. He and his chief captain and councillor William, count of Toulouse—a great hero in the Frankish romances—had to deal with the two first Ommeyad kings of Cordova, Abderahman (755-88) and ,
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Frankish aid. In 795 the ^W^C&T&OW Urgel, and Pyrenees — around the towns of Geronltt. | , March of Ausona — was made into a separate governmenli^^'^^^^^ Spain, and intrusted to a Margrave of its own, instead of forming a dependency of the duchy of Septimania. Barcelona, the greatest town of Catalonia, was added to the March in 797, by the treachery of its governor Zeid, who, failing in a rebellion against his master at Cordova, handed the place over to the Franks. The Moors recovered it for a moment in 799, but king Lewis then came over the Pyrenees with the whole levy of Aquitaine, and laid siege to the town. It held out for nearly two years, but fell in 801, conquered by famine, after the Franks had walled it in with a circumvallation, and sat before it in their huts for the whole winter of 800-801. The Moorish population departed en masse after the surrender, and the great city was re-populated with 'Goths' from Septimania. The Franks were now firmly established beyond the Pyrenees, and in the last ten years of Charles's reign subdued the whole southern slope of the mountains from Pampeluna as far as the mouth of the Ebro. Tarragona, the second town of Catalonia, fell in 809, and Tortosa, the great fortress which commanded the lower course of the Ebro, in 811. After this the Franks were able to cross the river, and ravage the wide plains of Valencia . it was probably their advance in this direction that induced Al-Hakem, the third Ommeyad ruler of Cordova, to sue for peace in 812, ceding to the Christians all that they had gained beyond the Pyrenees. The Franks were not destined to hold permanently the entirety of their conquests, but Barcelona and all the towns north of it were lost to Islam and won for Christendom: these strongholds guarded the Aquitanian frontier against Saracen inroads with success, and were was shed ,
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conqu^^ of Charles the Great. But ; the only wars in which blood -s of his reign. There were also -atively insignificant scope, within have already alluded to two Bretons of Armorica to resume their These were easily crushed, but not so the later Saxon rebellions. It was seven years after the pacification of 785 before the unruly dwellers by the Elbe and Later Saxon Weser rose again, but in the eighth summer some revolts. of the districts of the extreme north took arms again and relapsed into their ancestral heathendom, 'returning like the dog to his vomit,' in the words of the contemporary chronicler. The insurrection spread widely among the Eastphalians and Nordalbingians in the following year (793), and was not finally put down till 794, though it never extended over the whole land, as did the great risings of the early part of the reign of Charles. Ere two years more were passed there were new troubles among the Engrians and Nordalbingians, which required the presence of Charles: but it says much for the growing strength of his power in the country that he was able to suppress them by means of armies composed partly of Christian Saxons, and partly of the loyal Slavs of the Abotrite tribe. The last outbreak in the land was as late as 804: it extended only over the northern tribes, and was suppressed by the summary transportation to Gaul of the whole of the unruly Nordalbingian race, the greatest offenders among the rebels. Charles settled 10,000 of their families in small colonies among the Neustrians, and gave their vacant lands as a gift to his vassal, the king of the Abotrites. This was the last Saxon rebellion: henceforth ' they abandoned the worship of evil spirits, and gave up the wicked customs of their fathers, and received the sacrament of Christian baptism, mingling with the Franks till at last they were reckoned one race with them.' The complete subjection and conversion of Saxony is marked by the creation of the first bishoprics in the Completc sub_ country at this period. Charles established jection of bishops at Bremen, Miinster, and Paderborn in Saxony. 804-6, to serve respectively as the religious centres of northern, western, and southern Saxony. Others were afterwards added at Hamburg, Osnabruck, Verden, Hildesheim, Minden, and Magdeburg, but these foundations belong to the next generation. Round these bishops' sees grew up the first towns of Saxony, for hitherto its inhabitants had lived a purely rural life, and never gathered within walls.
The possession of Saxony brought Charles in the end of his reign into hostile contact with a race almost unknown to his ancestors, but destined to be only too well known to his sons —the Danes of the Jutland peninsula and the Scandinavian isles, who dwelt beyond the Eider on the Nordalbingian border. The advent of a new and militant Christian power into the recesses of the unknown North seems to have stirred up the Danes to unwonted activity. They must have heard from Witikind, and the other Saxon exiles who took refuge with them, many tales of the untiring energy and unrelenting severity of the great king of the Franks, and feared lest his strong hand would be stretched out beyond the Eider to add them to the list of his tributaries, and force them Wars with to accept his religion. To guard against the the uanes. further advance of the Franks, king Godfred built in 808 all along his frontier, at the narrowest point of the isthmus of Schleswig, a great earthwork from sea to sea, long known as the Dannewerk, and famed in wars down to the last conflict of German and Dane in 1863. But Godfred did not confine himself to defensive works ; he began to make piratical descents all along the Frisian and Flemish coasts as far as the mouth of the Seine, and at the same time attacked the Abotrites and Wiltzes, the Slavonic vassals of Charles on the Baltic. Godfred did much damage in Frisia, and actually succeeded for a moment in crushing the Abotrites and subduing the Wiltzes.