End of Empire: The Rise and Fall of Dynasties News

Christmas Day 800: Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emperor

Often called the “Father of Europe,” Charlemagne was a Frankish warrior king who united much of the continent under the banner of the Carolingian Empire. Beginning in the late 700s, Charlemagne forged a vast kingdom through extensive military campaigns against the Saxons, the Lombards and the Avars. A devout Catholic, he also aggressively converted his…Read more

8 Things You Might Not Know About Attila the Hun

Known as “Flagellum Dei,” or “scourge of God,” Attila the Hun was one of the most fearsome enemies the Romans ever faced. 1. His upbringing was privileged. Far from the stereotype of the unwashed, uneducated barbarian, Attila was born (probably at the beginning of the fifth century A.D.) into the most powerful family north of…Read more

Attila the Hun: Leader of the Hunnic Empire

Attila the Hun was the leader of the Hunnic Empire from 434 to 453 A.D. Also called Flagellum Dei, or the “scourge of God,” Attila was known to Romans for his brutality and a penchant for sacking and pillaging Roman cities. He’s considered one of the greatest “barbarian” rulers in history, having successfully expanded the rule of the…Read more


Charlemagne (c.742-814), also known as Karl and Charles the Great, was a medieval emperor who ruled much of Western Europe from 768 to 814. In 771, Charlemagne became king of the Franks, a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and western Germany. He embarked on a mission to unite all Germanic peoples into…Read more

Conqueror Tamerlane Dies of the Plague

On this day in 1405, Timur, known in the West as Tamerlane, the great conqueror of Central Asia, succumbed to the plague while campaigning on his empire’s eastern border. It brought to the end a reign that was characterised by bloodshed and war, but that also witnessed significant patronage of the arts and architecture, and…Read more