Historical Overview Section

The Carolingian Empire refers to the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty - seen as the founders of France and Germany. Depending on one's perspective, this Empire can be seen as the later history of the Frankish Realm or the early history of France and of the Holy Roman Empire.

The father of the dynasty was Charles Martel - absolute ruler of virtually all of today's continental Western Europe north of the Pyrenees. Only the remaining Saxon realms, which he partly conquered, Lombardy, and the Marca Hispanica north of the Pyrenees were significant additions to the Frankish realms after his death. Martel was also the founder of all the feudal systems that marked the Carolingian Empire, and Europe in general during the Middle Ages, though his son Pepin and grandson Charlemagne would gain credit for his innovations. This lists starts when his son Pepin III accepted the nomination as king by Pope Zachary in about 751. Charlemagne's rule began in 768 at Pepin's death. He proceeded to take control over the kingdom of his brother, which was also inherited from Pepin, and was crowned Roman Emperor in the year 800.

Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 to his death. He expanded the Frankish kingdoms into a Frankish Empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800 which temporarily made him a rival of the Thematic Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople. He fought the Lombards, Early Slavics, Thematic Byzantines, Andalusians, the Avars and famously the ((Early Navarrese) - he also spent some 30 years and 18 battles fighting against the Saxons, who despite this don't appear to have the honour of their own list - that's what good PR can do for you eh?

The Carolingian Empire at the death of Charlemagne in 814 covered most of Western Europe as Charlemagne crushed all Germanic resistance and extended his realm completely to the Elbe, and influenced events almost to the Russian Steppes. But the Carolingians had a policy of dividing the kingdom amongst their sons and so things then got really messy and by the 850's as the empire got increasingly fractious, the dynasty had even started to run out of sensible or imaginative names for each member called Charles or Louis. This came to a head when Louis the German died, and another Charles tried to annex his realm too, but was defeated decisively at Andernach, and the Kingdom of the Eastern Franks was divided between Louis the Younger, Carloman of Bavaria and Charles the Fat.

Another one, Charles the Bald, died in 877 crossing the Pass of Mont Cenis, and was succeeded by his son, Louis the Stammerer as King of the Western Franks, but the title of Holy Roman Emperor lapsed. Louis the Stammerer was physically weak (doh!) and died two years later, his realm being divided between his eldest two sons: Louis III gaining Neustria and Francia, and Carloman gaining Aquitaine and Burgundy. The Kingdom of Italy was finally granted to King Carloman of Bavaria, but a stroke forced him to abdicate Italy to his brother Charles the Fat and Bavaria to Louis of Saxony. Also in 879, Boso, Count of Arles founded the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy in Provence.

In 881, Charles the Fat was crowned the Early Medieval German and Early Medieval French Holy Roman Emperor and Saxony and Bavaria were united with Charles the Fat's Kingdom, and Francia and Neustria were granted to Carloman of Aquitaine who also conquered Lower Burgundy. Carloman died in a hunting accident in 884 after a tumultuous and ineffective reign, and his lands were inherited by Charles the Fat, effectively recreating the Empire of Charlemagne. But Fat Charles, suffering what is believed to be epilepsy, could not secure the kingdom against Viking raiders and after buying their withdrawal from Paris in 886 was rightly perceived by the court as being cowardly and incompetent (as well as somewhat overfond of the pies). The following year his nephew Arnulf raised the standard of rebellion. Instead of fighting Charles fled to Neidingen then died. The Empire was divided: Arnulf the Early Medieval German picked up Carinthia, Bavaria, Lorraine and Germany; Count Odo of Paris drew Western Francia Early Medieval French out of the hat, Ranulf II lucked out with Aquitaine, Italy went to Lombard Count Berengar, Upper Burgundy to Rudolph I (who wasn't actually related, but just happened to be passing when they drew lots and got included by accident), and Lower Burgundy went to Louis the Blind, who sadly (but unsurprisingly) never managed to actually find it.

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

200 Points - Worlds 2019

  • Saxon Ally - Ordinary Included General with Elite HI Swordsman Impetuous
  • 4 HI Impetuous
  • 1 LJ Javelin


  • CinC Strategist
  • 4 HI Spear
  • 2 Bowmen
  • 1 LH Javelin

4 HCv Impetuous Elite

  • 3 HCv Impetuous Elite
  • Ordinary General
  • 1 LH javelin

2 LF Bow in ambush