Page 1169

1169 THE AGE OF CHARLEMAGNE-THE FIRST CARLOVINGIANS.

was necessary to keep them in tolerable subordination to authority. The Frisians had to

be reduced by force of arms, and only then

consented to a sullen peace. On the distant

horizon of the north arid east lay the still

more savage peoples-the Avars, the Huns,

the Slavonians, the Bulgarians, and the

Danes-all bearing down from their several

quarters of the compass upon the frontiers of

the Frankish empire. Nothing less than the

most strenuous activity and warlike genius of

Charlemagne was requisite to hurl back the

barbarian races to their own dominions, and

to keep a solid front on the side of barbarism.

The monarch proved equal to every emergency. In his contest with the more distant

nations he had the advantage of a Germanic

barrier between himself and the foe. Before

a barbarian army could inflict a wound on

any vital part of the dominion it must traverse Saxony or some other frontier state

which the king had established as a break water between himself and the wild ocean

beyond. He thus was enabled to carry on

successful warfare with the savage races who

came upon him from the north and east, and

to give them a permanent check. Viewed

with respect to the general destinies of his

age, the king of the Franks may properly be

called the Stayer of Barbarism.

In the year 781 Charlemagne found a conspicuous occasion on which again to recognize

and honor the majesty of the Pope. Four

years previously Queen Hildegarde had

brought to her lord a royal son, who received the name of Pepin, and who was now

presented to Pope Adrian for baptism. The

rite was administered to the Carlovingian

son, and he was anointed by the Holy

Father as King of Italy-this title being conferred out of deference to the Pope's advice

that Lombardy should not be incorporated

with the kingdom of the Franks.

Meanwhile, on the southwest, events had

taken place of but little less importance than

those which were happening on the Elbe, the

Rhine, and the Weser. The forty years following the battle of Poitiers had witnessed