2014 marks the passing of 1,200 years since the death of Charlemagne, King of the Franks and first medieval Roman Emperor. Because of his deeds, this ruler became known as the father of Europe. His exceptional military prowess and kingly qualities gave him mythical stature during his own lifetime. Even after so many years, his legacy still shines bright and is rightfully deserving of another tribute - a beautiful silver medal from the series History of Warfare from the Czech Mint.
Part of the legacy Charlemagne left for following generations is the artistic style known as the Carolingian Renaissance. He also built the city of Aachen, in its day an important center of European power. He was devoutly religious and was canonized after his death. He also supported education in his realm. But of course, his name is typically associated with war campaigns which gained vast lands for the Frank empire – its territory stretched from the North Sea to Central Italy, bordered the Pyrenees and reached all the way to present day Hungary, where Charlemagne defeated the Avars. During his storied life, the ruler was married four times and fathered 11 children in wedlock as well as numerous illegitimate children.
The design for the medal of pure silver was created for the Czech Mint by academic painter Karel Zeman.Based on his remains, the famed leader was unusually tall, towering at an estimated 195 cm (nearly 6’5”), and his likeness on the medal shows very robust features. Karel Zeman drew inspiration for his work from coins issued by Charlemagne and bronze statues of the period. The portrait shows the ruler at an older age and is placed in a beautifully worked relief of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen. The decoration on the reverse is dominated by a Frank sword with Charlemagne’s initials. Above and below this are riders from Charlemagnes military entourage. The scene is rounded out with the year of the ruler’s demise 814 and the anniversary year of 2014. The popular collector’s series History of Warfare now features another fabulous addition with great artistic value. Now you too can get this wonderful piece to liven up your collection!