Monday, July 7, 2008

A Moment from History

So I'm gathering trivia for games for the staff party and I come across this on Wikipedia:

King of the Franks from 768 to his death. He expanded the Frankish kingdoms into a Frankish Empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800 as a rival of the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople. His rule is also associated with the Carolingian Renaissance, a revival of art, religion, and culture through the medium of the Catholic Church. Through his foreign conquests and internal reforms, Charlemagne helped define both Western Europe and the Middle Ages. He is numbered as Charles I in the regnal lists of France, Germany, and the Holy Roman Empire.

So, like, very impressive and all, right? So then the next sentence begins, :The son of King Pippin the Short....

And that gets me to laughing. King Pippin the Short? FIERCE! Oh, no, we're being attacked by King Pippin the Short! AIEEEEEEEEE!!!!! And how short do you have to be in the 700s to be given the moniker, "The Short."

Just to be thorough (and because I really wanted to find out his height), I did look into it more and found this:

Pepin's name can be very confusing. Historically, historians have vacillated between preference for Pepin, derived from the French P├ępin, and the German Pippin. His nickname is also subject to whims, le Bref being translated as either "the Short" or "the Younger". The Younger is explained as referring to the fact that he was the younger of the two Arnulfing Pepins who ruled as mayors of the palace; the Short as deriving from the tales of Notker Balbalus regarding the King's diminutive size. More novel suggestions include a suggestion that "the Short" referred to his hair—since he was the first Frankish king to wear his hair shorn short. Dutton, PE, Charlemagne's Mustache.

So the mystery is explained. But I still have an image in my head of this little king running to attack the knees of his opponents.

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