Collectors and investors will be pleased to hear that the Czech Mint has just released the second mintage from the popular series History of Warfare. The King of the Franks and first medieval Roman Emperor Charlemagne is one of history’s great figures who significantly changed the map of Europe with his military expeditions. This medal made of pure gold weighing one ounce is a valuable reminder of his deeds.
Charlemagne was born around 742 to the major domus and subsequent King of the Franks Pipin III. After his father’s death in 768, he initially began to govern at the side of his brother, who died in 771. Charlemagne then became the sole ruler of the Frankish Empire. The greatness of his legacy was not only due to his exceptional military achievements. He was also a skilled ruler and wise legislator He was renowed for his piety and support of education.
During his campaigns he conquered numerous territories for the Frankish Empire. For more than three decades, from 772–804 to be precise, his armies fought with Germanic Saxons, whom he wanted to subjugate and Christianize. In 774 Charlemagne conquered Pavia and became the King of Lombardy. Between 791 and 803 he toppled the Avar Empire in the area of present day Hungary. His incursions against the Slavs were repelled and Charlemagne received only tribute from them. Another partial failure was his attempt to conquer the Iberian Peninsula - this expedition was a genuine tragedy for the military leader - the Frankish army was ambushed and looted by Basques on their return home through the mountains. Towards the south however, Charlemagne was able to expand his empire into part of Italy. The Frankish Empire of Charlemagne became the great power of Western Europe, equalling the importance of Eastern Byzantium. On December 25th, Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III.
This medal was the perfect vehicle for the considerable talent of academic painter Karel Zeman, who created a genuine artistic masterpiece. Charlemagne’s likeness is set in a magnificent relief of the interior of Paladin Chapel in Aachen. The reverse of the medal depicts a Frankish sword with two members of the renowned emperor and king’s retinue. Over 1,200 years have passed since 814, the year of his death. At first glance this is a medal which simply cannot be missing from your cherished collection!