Charles / Carolus Magnus / Karl der Große, Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum - Charles / Carolus Magnus / Karl der Große, Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum is your 34th great grandfather

Started by Aimee C. Speidel von Ofterdingen on Sunday, July 21, 2013
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His English Display Name is Charlemagne.

Since when do most of us on this site speak Latin?

His profile name has been changed not that long ago because I can remember seeing it as Charlemagne

"Charles / Carolus Magnus / Karl der Große, Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum "

He was from Germany so why not use his German name?

He started the Holy Roman Empire hence the title "Emperor" and he was also known as King of the Franks. I don't see that in his profile title name either. All I see is a mix-up of Latin , Germen and English . That is far from being as close to his real name.

If your going to attempt to get as close an approximation of names from the time as we can, Then you should change all the names of his children and ancestors too. Just saying

Take closer look, his name is listed in several languages, - I would protest loudly if the US only name Charlemagne was forced on everyone. Actually it was on Geni the first time I saw that name, and you should remember that he definitely has not had an US name, - that is a fabrication.

> He was from Germany so why not use his German name?

He was from what is now Germany. Germany did not exist in his time. He did not speak German. He spoke a Germanic dialect called Frankish. His biographer Einhard said, "Charles had the gift of ready and fluent speech, and could express whatever he had to say with the utmost clearness. He was not satisfied with command of his native language merely, but gave attention to the study of foreign ones, and in particular was such a master of Latin that he could speak it as well as his native tongue; but he could understand Greek better than he could speak it." (Life of Charlemagne (section 25).

His name in the vernacular probably varied according to the local language. Einhard wrote in Latin, as did all educated people of his time. Therefore we have Charlemagne's name attested in contemporary sources only as Carolus and Karolus, translated in English as Charles.

> He started the Holy Roman Empire

No. This is a common misconception. He was crowned as Western Emperor, but his claim was hotly disputed by the Eastern Emperor, who claimed the whole empire. The Holy Roman Empire is generally considered to have begun in 962 with the coronation of Otto the Great.

On every site including this
refer to him as Charlemagne. So why use the Latin names?

A quote from Wikipedia

"From 800, he became the first Holy Roman Emperor—the first recognised emperor in Western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. "

" was the king of the Franks who started the Holy Roman Empire. He was crowned as the Emperor in 800. He was the older son of King Pippin III of the Carolingian dynasty. When Pippin died, Charlemagne and his brother Carloman ruled together. When Carloman died in 771 Charlemagne became the only ruler of the Franks. In 800, on Christmas Day, Pope Leo III made him an emperor."

"charlemagne, also called Charles I, byname Charles the Great (born April 2, 747?—died January 28, 814, Aachen, Austrasia [now in Germany]) king of the Franks (768–814), king of the Lombards (774–814), and first emperor (800–814) of the Romans and of what was later called the Holy Roman Empire."

That is just 3 sites that say he was the First emperor of the romans ... it was later called "the Holy Roman Empire."

Try finding none-english references. He was NOT english, - Charlemagne, Charles etc is fabricated names.

All I am saying is, here on Geni the name given for him is in "Latin" yet his fathers name is not nor is his grandfatherand so on.

On Geni his fathers name is in English and Greman "Pépin III, King of the Franks" his father is in just English "Charles Martel, Prince of the Franks; Mayor of the Palace and Charles Martel "The Hammer" "


Charlemagne...Alternative Titles: Charles I, Charles le Grand, Charles the Great, Karl der Grosse (Latin: Carolus or Karolus Magnus) or Charles I (Frankish: *Karl),

Pepin III ... Alternative Titles: (French " Pépin III, dit le Bref" (English Pippin the Short, (German: Pippin der Kleine und die grosse Welt

Charles Martel Alternative Titles: (Latin Carolus Martellus, (German Karl Martell

If you want to "attempt to get as close an approximation of names from the time as we can." then change his ancestors names too. Why just have his name in Latin.?

Charlemagne comes to English from a medieval French form. To call him anything else in English would invite confusion in exactly the same way that calling him Charlemagne in any other language would be wrong.

Dorothy, you might not know that Wikipedia is not a good reference for technical questions like this one, unless of course it cites a source that is exactly on point. Wikipedia's editors often -- as here -- simplify a complex subject for the sake of easy understanding.

If Wikipedia persuades you more than academic sources, take a look at the English Wikipedia article on the Holy Roman Empire:

It has a good, but still simplified account. This is the best high-level view -- "The title [of emperor] was revived in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne[11] and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.[12][13][14] Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire,[15][16] while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning.[17][18] Scholars generally concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role.[9][15]

"The precise term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii,[d] the notion that he held supreme power inherited from the emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor.[9]"

In the simplest terms what happened was that Otto the Great claimed his empire was a continuation of Charlemagne's empire, and Charlemagne claimed his empire was a continuation of ancient Rome. Otto's Habsburg successors in 1800 thought it was worth celebrating 1000 years without waiting for 1962. Good thing, too. They dissolved the empire 6 years later and turned what was left of it into the Austrian Empire.

When you read someone who says Charlemagne was really the 1st Holy Roman Emperor alarm bells should be going off in your head. That's political propaganda, not history. Perhaps someone, someday will revive the empire again and claim with a straight face to be the heir of Rome through Charlemagne.

In any event, we shouldn't make too much of Grandpa Chuck's so-called empire or his title. Yes, it was a remarkable achievement but for the real emperor in Constantinople Chuck was no more than usurper. His true status was minor king of a motley bunch of kingdoms off in the west who owned nominal allegiance to Byzantium. And, to top the insult, the envoys of the Caliph at Baghdad had a hard time restraining their laughter at his imperial pretensions and the ramshackle farmhouse he called a palace.

I have not just quoted Wikipedia .. lmao
Have you read anything I've posted?

My question still remains ..... Why the spelling of his name written ONLY in Latin (or rather a mixture languages ) for him but not for his father or grandfather etc... ? They weren't English either!

I've given you alternatives for them as well. So change his ancestors names too.

You say Charlemagne comes to English from a medieval French form. To call him anything else in English would invite confusion in exactly the same way that calling him Charlemagne in any other language would be wrong.

""" Charlemagne became king of the Franks, a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and western Germany. """

I disagree with "calling him Charlemagne in any other language would be wrong."

Charlemagne IS the most commonly known name for him on the majority of sites over the internet. You should add either "AKA" or "Alternative Titles" and NOT just in this mixed up Latin you've got going on here

type in.... "Charles / Carolus Magnus / Karl der Große, Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum" this is what you'll get .....About 982 results (0.60 seconds) for that given name

type in... "Charlemagne" this is what you'll get ...About 15,200,000 results (0.43 seconds) for that given name
See the difference?

So calling him just "Charles / Carolus Magnus / Karl der Große, Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum" would be incorrect

The title of Charles in his own documents was Imperator Augustus Romanum gubernans Imperium (emperor Augustus governing the Roman empire) or serenissimus Augustus a Deo coronatus, magnus pacificus Imperator Romanorum gubernans Imperium (most serene Augustus crowned by God, great peaceful emperor governing the empire of the Romans; These styles tactfully left open the interpretation that Charles was simply a co-Emperor of the Byzantine emperor. At the same time, the Byzantine emperor assumed the title of "Emperor of the Romans" to make clear his precedence.

on this same site it says ....

Charles, king of the Franks, received the title of Emperor on Christmas Day 800 from Leo III in St. Peter's in Rome. According to his biographer Einhard (Vita Karoli Magni, par. 28) Charlemagne was taken by surprise and would never had entered the church that day had he known was the pope was up to. Nevertheless, he accepted the title. His official style in documents, as emperor, was: Imperator Augustus Romanum gubernans Imperium or serenissimus Augustus a Deo coronatus, magnus pacificus Imperator Romanorum gubernans Imperium. (All the Western original sources on Charlemagne's coronation are available). The title of Emperor was confirmed by Byzantium in 812.

The Display name is set to "Charlemagne" so a Geni Search (or a Google search) for Charlemagne will return the profile with no problem.

Currently there are seven language settings in use on the profile.

Note that French tab is the only language with the Last Name field in use: "Roi des Francs". I have no idea how historically accurate or useful that term is but it certainly is not a Last Name. Because it is the only Last Name in any language it becomes the Default and displays regardless of which language a user is displaying.

Most of the other language tabs are basically empty except for the Display Name fields. Questionable is that First Name in English(Default) is "Karolus" which is hardly an English name. To my eye it looks like a Latinised German name, Karol.

Things might make more sense if First Name in English(Default) was Charlemagne with the other language tabs filled out more completely?

As for the profiles around this one i think the point Dorothy is making is that there is a lack of consistency, for Pépin III, King of the Franks there are 4 language tabs, but some of these are again only used for display names. The English (default) is "Pépin" which again is not an English name but this time looks French, only the Nederlands tab actually looks to have a language appropriate spelling but the Deutsch tab does have what looks like an appropriate name in the AKA field.

Does that satisfy you that we hear what you are saying Dorothy :)

I changed up the name fields and display names of Charles Martel, sorry Sharon revert if not appropriate.

Ian Martel looks a little out of place. Admittedly my first thought was "Martel" is a nickname not a family nae so is not hereditary". My second thought was "hang on a second, IAN??"

A Google search turns up exactly 0.00 useful results.

I prefer the change to " Imperator Augustus Romanum gubernans Imperium meaning (emperor Augustus governing the Roman empire)" NOT "Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum "

King of the Romans meaning was (Latin: Romanorum Rex; German: Römisch-deutscher König) that was the title used by the German king following his election by the princes from the time of Emperor Henry II (1014–1024)

Charles himself called himself " Imperator Augustus Romanum gubernans Imperium "

Can we agree to change it to that?

Alex I agree Ian Martel is not one of his sons

Charles Martel

Family and children

Charles had an active family life, about which accounts have been written. Charles Martel married twice, his first wife being Rotrude of Treves, daughter either of Lambert II, Count of Hesbaye, or of Leudwinus, Count of Treves. They had the following children:
Landrade, also rendered Landres,
Auda, also called Aldana or Alane, and
Pepin the Short, also called Pippin,[27]:50

whose further information can be found at their corresponding articles here. Most of the children married, and had children in those marriages, and so Charles' line was carried on. For instance, Hiltrud married Odilo I (a Duke of Bavaria). Landrade had been believed to have married a Sigrand (Count of Hesbania) but Sigrand's wife is more likely the sister of Rotrude. Auda married Thierry IV (a Count of Autun and Toulouse). Charles also married a second time, to Swanhild, and they had a single child, Grifo

Finally, Charles Martel also had known a mistress, Ruodhaid, with whom he had the children Bernard, Hieronymus, and Remigius, the latter who became an archbishop of Rouen.

Alex, Anne Brannen and I have been joking about Ian Martel. She urged me to delete him but I said I wanted to wait and see how long before someone notices. It's been 8 years now and this is the first objection I've heard ;)

He is the Patty Sue Milk (born 1340, according to the profile I axed) of the Franks.

Dorothy what of my first post?
I didn't specifically address it to you but i was responding to the issue you raised.

Which field would you like to see " Imperator Augustus Romanum gubernans Imperium " in? The latin Suffix field, the English (default) field? Others?

How he ended up with 7 managers is the question that springs into my mind, that's 6 duplicates that have been merged in at some point. Or are people requesting management out of curiosity?

Dorothy, this is a complex subject. It's clear you are new to these arguments but you are making it more difficult than it needs to be. I agree there could be more consistency in the way names are presented in this area of the tree but the fact you are making some of these arguments shows the exceptional difficulty of finding a presentation that is understandable to amateurs but still close enough to being technically correct that people with a stronger background aren't cringing.

1. There is no doubt that Charlemagne got the title Emperor from the Pope, or that the Pope claimed to have the power to confer that title. The problem is what that means in an historic context. Notice Charlemagne himself did not use the title Holy Roman Emperor. That's a title invented much later, projected back into the past by an older generation of historians, then abandoned by modern historians. When someone says Charlemagne was the 1st Holy Roman Emperor they are committing the sin of inventing information -- it's not how he saw himself, it's how other emperors hundreds of years later interpreted him.

2. We don't call him "Imperator Augustus Romanum gubernans Imperium" or "Serenissimus Augustus a Deo coronatus, magnus pacificus Imperator Romanorum gubernans Imperium" for the same reason we don't call Elizabeth II "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith". It's a style, not a title. He was Rex Francorum, then also Rex Langobardorum, then Imperator Romanorum.

3. If you think the evidence of a Google search shows overwhelmingly that his name was Charlemagne, you should change your search settings and search in other specific languages. Or, just look at some different language versions of Wikipedia:

BTW, if anyone is interested in the subject of actual Frankish titles (not just 2nd hand info), you won't do better than reading Ildar Garipzanov, The Symbolic Language of Authority in the Carolingian World (c.751-877) (2008).

Thanks Justin, nobody explains better than you.

Dorothy, please search the Discussions on Charlemagne's profile for those that have been had already about his naming fields. It is impossible to please everyone - and this was the consensus decision after very lengthy discussion and many people's input.

For those of you not seeing the 'Charlemagne' in his Display Name, it is likely that you should adjust your viewing preferences so that you're not ignoring Display Names.

The difficulty with naming was greatly improved when Geni gave us fields to transliterate between languages. But what is not always understood is the fact that in the case of ancient profiles, translation /transliteration is taking place across two axes:
1. Horizontal - between modern languages
2. Vertical - Over time from the ancient, original name to the modern name

So, at the moment, the profile shows:
1. In the Display Name field: the modern name he is known by in your language of preference eg English= <Charlemagne> ; Deutsch =<Karl der Große, Kaiser von Römisches Deutsch Reich> etc
2. In the Naming Fields (where default happens to be called English because Geni is default English): the most original written name we can find that he was known by ie <Karolus 'Magnus', Rex Francorum & Imperator Romanorum>

This is in accordance with how the medieval profiles on the tree were originally filled in.
-The Modernised version in the Display field (according to the language – so Anglicised in the case of English speakers)
- and the actual name (as original as we can get it) in the Naming Fields – ie there should be only one, filled into all the language option fields.

Not everyone who translates into other languages is following that policy, but, as Geni is a collective – it seems petty to be making it a problem if they don’t find it so.

On Ian Martel :-) Thanks Alex Moes. I deleted that profile - it was created by Bertha Broadfoot! I reverted to my original naming, because your update had removed the translations between languages, but kept the suffixes yours had in different languages :-)
I haven't worked much on Chuckie's parents - inherited Curatorship (& I'm very glad for another active Curator to take him over) - so no research into most original name. You guys are welcome to establish what it was. That would be useful.

Sharon Doubell, I am not clear what is going on. When i edited earlier i noticed that "Martel(sp)" was appearing in Middle Name fields in several different language tabs, originally i moved it to the Last Name fields but reading a bit further I discovered that Martellus is latin for "hammer" so Charles "the hammer" Martel is actually a double up. I can't honestly remember how i resolved it at the time (been a busy afternoon) but i certainly didnt leave Martel in the Middle Name fields. I should think that First Name = Charles , Middle & Last = blank, Suffix = prince etc Display= Charles "the Hammer" or Charles "Martel(lus)"?

Hail and farewell, Ian Martel!

I'm going to miss Ian. He has been a talisman, reminding us the tree needs more work.


When I was learning medieval history, we always called him Martel. I don't think any of us found it odd that he, Charlemagne, and Louis IV d'Outremer had French nicknames, whereas all the rest were translated into English. I suppose there was a logic for this in d'Outremer, because he came from our side of the sea.

And I seem to remember that in the eighteenth century Louis was almost always anglicised into Lewis.


:-) Perhaps I should have given you guys more warning? :-)

Alex - Martel was a nickname - as you note - not his surname, but it appears he was known by it in those times, so leaving it out altogether seemed misleading - Hence we'd resolved it by putting it in the middle name field.
I'd kept 'The Hammer' English translation in his Display Name, for ease of recognition.

I suppose we could put it in Latin - Carolus Martelus.
We could get the two Medievalists Anne and Justin to weigh in here. (We might even convince Anne to come and Curate him, if this is an area she's interested in :-))

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