(ORDO NEWS) — Charlemagne (742-814 AD) had a problem with the Saxons. Who doesn’t have them, right? Just ask 5th century Britain. It’s hard enough to be King of the Franks, but when your goal is to become the first emperor in Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, you really need to get down to business seriously.
Charlemagne’s father, Pepin the Short, started the Carolingian dynasty, expanding the Frankish kingdom from France to Germany, but Charlemagne had broader ambitions. Unfortunately, no one truly appreciates the aspirations of an emperor until he becomes emperor. Thus, he had to deal with the rebellion in Aquitaine, the uneasy relationship with Lombardy (which he eventually settled through conquest), as well as thirty years of mutinies and open wars in Saxony (northwestern Germany), starting in 772. This is a lot, even with the blessing of the Pope. The last thing you need is an invasion of unidentified flying objects.
Sigiburg Castle (or Siburg) was a Saxon stronghold erected by the Westphalian Saxons around 700 AD. After the Saxon raiders looted and burned a church in Frankish territory (in Deventer in the Netherlands), Charlemagne decided he had enough. In 772, he launched a campaign into Saxon territory, expanding the borders of Frankia to the Weser River, and captured Sigiburg along the way.
By 774, he was forced to return to war with the Lombards in northern Italy. The Saxons, taking advantage of his absence, destroyed his fortress Eresburg and captured the castle of Sigiburg. As soon as Charlemagne dealt with the Lombards in 775, he invaded Saxony again, reclaimed his strongholds and left large military camps to intimidate these pesky Saxons. But you know how rebellious the Saxons are. As soon as he had to flee to suppress a small uprising of the Lombards, the Saxons destroyed his fortress in Eresburg and took up the siege of Sigiburg. Then everything went in a strange way.
Annales regni Francorum (Royal Frankish Annals) is an annual report on the state of the monarchy from 741-829. AD, compiled by various court officials close to the Frankish king, and one of the main sources on the political and military history of Charlemagne. Considering that the Annals were primarily a work of Carolingian propaganda and devoted much time to praising the righteousness of the Franks and their project to Christianize all of pagan Europe, in the 776 AD entry. it is mentioned that during the siege of Sigiburg (apart from the fact that it characterizes the Saxon military operations), strange things happened:
“A messenger arrived with the news that the Saxons rebelled, abandoned all their hostages, broke the oath and by cunning and false treaties forced the Franks to surrender the castle of Eresburg. After Eresburg was abandoned by the Franks, the Saxons destroyed buildings and walls. Going further from Eresburg, they wanted to do the same with the castle of Siburg, but they did not succeed, since the Franks, with God’s help, showed courageous resistance.
When they failed to persuade the guards to surrender, as was the case in another castle, they began to set up military vehicles to storm the castle. By the will of God, the catapults they prepared did more harm to themselves than to those inside.
When the Saxons saw that their assault vehicles were useless to them, they prepared bassoons to take the fortress in one blow. But God’s power, as befits the just, prevailed over them. Once, when they were preparing to fight the Christians in the fortress, God’s glory was manifested above the fortress church in front of the gaze of a huge number of people, both outside and inside, many of whom are still with us.
They reportedly saw a similarity of two shields flying over the church, red with flames. When the pagans outside saw this miracle, they immediately became confused and in horror began to run away to their camp.
As they were all seized by panic, one man crushed another and was killed in response, because those who looked back in fear ran into the spears carried on their shoulders by those who ran in front of them.
Some struck each other aimless blows and thus suffered divine retribution. How much God’s power worked against them for the salvation of Christians, no one can say. But the more the Saxons were seized with fear, the more the Christians were comforted and praised the almighty God, who deigned to show his power over his servants.
When the Saxons fled, the Franks followed on their heels to the Lippe River, exterminating them. After the castle was safe, the Franks returned home in victory “- (Annales regni Francorum, 776 AD).
Thus,” the likeness of two shields, red with flame, sweeping over the church “in Sigiburg, which caused Saxons flee in confusion – this is exactly the case that can be taken into account and saved for future generations.
The Franks reacted calmly to this, as it was clearly a sign of divine favor, and they were determined to do justice. Of course, it’s hard to say what people could see. After all, this was the Middle Ages. Historical astronomers have long interpreted this phenomenon as another in a long line of European Aurors dating back to the 1970s, extrapolating that red crucifixes and shields in the sky (usually reported during major battles) and strong fluctuations in carbon -14 in trees around this time period is similarly indicative of solar superrays. Sounds good, right?
But not all astronomers and dendrochronologists agree with this, pointing out that 776 is too late to explain the increase in carbon-14 that began before 775, and it is fairly clear to everyone that the Sigiburg event took place in the daytime, and therefore, it is concluded that this phenomenon was not an aurora (a general term for cases where the Earth’s magnetosphere is strongly perturbed by the solar wind to cause cold light manifestations) – “halo” or “solar dogs”.
Charlemagne had a busy schedule, so he couldn’t hang around wondering what the hell had just happened. He had to get to work to suppress the remaining resistance of the Saxons.
But, this was not the last meeting of Charlemagne with an unidentified flying object. Some people are simply attracted to these objects.
“Charlemagne’s biographer, author of The Life of Charlemagne, states in chapter thirty-two of his work that in 810, when Charles was leaving Aachen, he saw a large sphere descending from the sky like lightning. It moved from east to west and was so bright that it made the monarch’s horse back away, so that Charlemagne fell and was badly hurt.”
If you read the information in the original source, the “Life of Charlemagne” (Vita Karoli Magni), which was written by the Frankish scholar Einhard after about 814 AD. And it turned out that Einhard did indeed mention a small incident with an unidentified flying object in 810.
“One day, during his last campaign in Saxony against Godfred, King of the Danes, Karl himself saw a fireball suddenly falling from the sky with a strong light, just as he left camp before dawn to go on a campaign. He swept across the clear sky from right to left , and everyone wondered what this sign meant, when the horse on which he was riding jerked forward with his head, fell and knocked him to the ground with such force that the buckle of his cloak was broken, and the belt of his sword was smashed to smithereens; and after that, as his servants hurried to him and freed him from his weapons, he could not get up without their help.At the moment of the throw, he had a spear in his hand, which escaped from his hands with such force that he was found lying twenty or more feet from scene”- (Einhard, translation of 1880, p73-74).
Charlemagne was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor in 800 CE and is considered by many to be the “Father of Western Europe” who united most of it for the first time since the Roman Empire, but unfortunately he enjoyed it for only fourteen years, dying in 814 from pneumonia.
Royal power does not grant immortality, except in the literary sense, and, obviously, does not exclude collisions with strange phenomena in the form of unidentified flying objects. It seems that even emperors cannot just take and cancel all the oddities. Anomaly, as Horace said, “knocks on the huts of the poor and the towers of kings with an impartial step.”
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