Were the world all mine,
From the sea to the Rhine,
I'd give it all
If so be the King of England
lay in my arms.
On this day
Were the world all mine,
Here, I beg thee, pause for a while, traveler,
And ponder my words in thy heart,
That thou mayest understand thy fate in my shadow:
The form of thy body will be changed as was mine.
Alcuin was born in Northumbria sometime around around 735 and about the only thing known about his family is that his father's name also started with an "A". He was educated at York by Ecgbert who had been a student of Bede; and Alcuin eventually became a deacon.
On this day in 1011, Henry V was crowned Emperor.
The young Henry (Heinrich) gained papal support in the traditional manner: by rebelling against the Emperor (in this case, his father, Henry IV). But once his father was dead, he decided -- in the traditional manner -- that perhaps papal support wasn't that important.
On this day in 1229, Emperor Frederick II showed the crown in Jerusalem.
The city of Jerusalem had been won for Latin Christendom by Godfrey of Bouillon and the crusading army in 1099. Until its capture by Saladin in 1187, it had been the capital of a new, Latin kingdom in the Levant. Whilst the Third Crusade had shored up the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Richard the Lionheart did not even attempt to re-take the city. Thus the Kingdom of Jerusalem struggled on, a thin strip of land clinging to the east coast of the Mediterranean, perpetually in search of a king.
On this day in 840 died Einhard.
You, O reader, being wise will know that magnificent Einhard
Wrote this account of the deeds of Charles the Great1
On this day in 962, Otto the Great was crowned Roman Emperor.
Born on the 23rd of November 912, Otto was the eldest son of King Heinrich the Fowler (remember him?). Heinrich was keen to improve his standing, so he had Otto married to Eadgyth, daughter of Aethelstan of England. Otto earned his spurs at a young age, and on Heinrich's death was made King of Germany.
Pope Celestine V abdicated on this Day in 1294.
Normally, Popes only give up the triple crown when it's pried from their cold, dead hands; but every few centuries one gives it up voluntarily.
On this day in 511 died Clovis, King of the Franks.
On this day in 1035 died Cnut the Great.
In some ways Cnut had it easy, as far as conquerors go. His father, the awesomely named Sweyn Forkbeard, had already conquered England for him. However, when Sweyn died, Cnut's brother, Harald, got Denmark; and England south of the Danelaw rebelled. Aethelred Unraed returned from exile in
Normandy and Cnut fled.
Today is Martinmas.
Martinmas was one of the most important days in the medieval calendar, effectively being the start of Advent.
St Martin was born in Pannonia in 316. Following family tradition he joined the army, which sent him to Gaul. There he performed his most famous act: seeing a beggar freezing in the street, Martin sliced his own cloak in two, giving one half to the beggar. Whilst some laughed to see Martin in his ruined cloak, others were shamed by their own failure to act. That night, in a dream, Martin saw Jesus wearing the half