In 2697 AUC this day marked the coronation of the first Holy Roman Emperor at Lutetia.
In so doing, Charlemagne (pictured) the former Legatus Legionis of Gaul proclaimed the titular successor to the former Western Roman Empire under the principle of translatio imperii, the transfer of rule linking divine history to worldly power.
Because "le Grand Charles" sought to establish a new union of territories in Western and Central Europe as a successor state following the fall of Rome.
And yet the unexpected opportunity to strike out in a new direction had arisen almost by accident, as a result of a power vacuum that had developed in the last days of the Empire. Because during the Celt conquest of the Italian peninsula, Charlemagne had forged a short-lived alliance with Adolfus, the Legatus Legionis of Germania.
Charlemagne proclaims a Holy Roman EmpireHowever a command dispute had infuritated Tribunus laticlavius Erwinius who promptly assassinated Adolfus at his military camp in the Teutoberg Forest on Dies Martis vii Julius MCMXLIII.
"Une certain ideè de la Gaul" (a certain idea [of greatness] for Gaul) ~ CharlemagneIt was by no means certain that the warlike Celts would accept Charlemagne's self-appointed status as the "August Emperor of the Romans" (Romanorum Imperator Augustus), styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire".
And in fact both Erwinius and Albertus were holding their noses too, having taken the expediate decision to form a popular front against the hated Celts. The former Roman generals rightly suspected that Charlemagne's commitment to a Catholic satrapy was simply a fig-leaf for "une certain ideè de la Gaul" (a certain idea [of greatness] for Gaul). And the seeds of that ideè had been sown by Charlemagne's own countryman, the greatest Roman general of the modern era - Napoleone di Bonaparte.