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Charlemagne’s name means “Charles the Great,” a title he earned after an impressive life filled with military conquests. After the fall of the Roman Empire, invaders came from all sides, and Charlemagne fought out of loyalty to his people and the Catholic church. While he led many campaigns that helped to reunite Europe during the “Migratory Period,” Charlemagne primarily aimed just to claim land where he and his people—the Franks—could live in peace. His life inspired countless tales, including the legends that he was twenty feet tall, that he slept under the guard of 100 armed knights, and that he rose from the dead to aid in the Crusades. While these fantastical tales are false, the truth is equally fantastic: by the end of his life, Charlemagne had been king of the Franks, king of the Lombards, and the first emperor of the newly formed Holy Roman Empire.