Massacre of Verden

Bloody Verdict of VerdenBlood court of Verdenmassacred 4,500 Saxon captives at Verdenmassacred thousandsmassacresSachsenhainVerden Massacre
The Massacre of Verden was an event during the Saxon Wars where the Frankish king Charlemagne ordered the death of 4,500 Saxons in October 782.wikipedia
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Charlemagne

Charles the GreatEmperor CharlemagneCharles
The Massacre of Verden was an event during the Saxon Wars where the Frankish king Charlemagne ordered the death of 4,500 Saxons in October 782.
He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden.

Verden an der Aller

VerdenVerden (Aller)Verden upon Aller
The massacre occurred in Verden in what is now Lower Saxony, Germany. Charlemagne ordered the execution of 4,500 Saxons near the confluence of the Aller and the Weser, in what is now Verden.
Verden is famous for a massacre of Saxons in 782, committed on the orders of Charlemagne (the Massacre of Verden), for its cathedral, and for its horse-breeding.

Widukind

WittekindWettekindWidukin
The reviser agrees about the punishment meted out on the Saxon rebels, and adds some details, such as that the Saxons blamed Widukind, that the number 4,500 was a minimum and that the executions took place in a single day:
Charlemagne ultimately prevailed, organized Saxony as a Frankish province, massacred thousands of Saxon nobles, and ordered conversions of the pagan Saxons to Roman Catholicism.

Saxon Wars

rebellionSaxon revoltSaxon War
The Massacre of Verden was an event during the Saxon Wars where the Frankish king Charlemagne ordered the death of 4,500 Saxons in October 782.
It was in response to this setback that Charlemagne, at the Blood court of Verden, ordered the beheading of 4,500 Saxons who had rebelled.

Germanic paganism

GermanicpaganGermanic mythology
Charlemagne claimed suzerainty over Saxony and in 772 destroyed the Irminsul, an important object in Saxon paganism, during his intermittent thirty-year campaign to Christianize the Saxons.
Massacres, such as the Bloody Verdict of Verden, where as many as 4,500 people were beheaded according to one of Charlemagne's chroniclers, were a direct result of this policy.

Battle of Süntel

Battle of Suntelbattle of the Süntel
An entry for the year 782 in the first version of the Royal Frankish Annals (Annales Regni Francorum) records a Saxon rebellion, followed by a Frankish victory in the battle of the Süntel before Charlemagne arrived and put down the rebellion.
Shortly following the loss, Charlemagne had 4,500 rebels beheaded on a single day, in an event sometimes known as the Verden Massacre.

Council of Cannstatt

Blood court at Cannstattblood court of CannstattCouncil at Cannstatt
Charlemagne may have found his precedent for mass execution in the Council of Cannstatt of 745/6, whereat his uncle Carloman I executed numerous leading Alemannic noblemen.

Hermann Gauch

Hermann Gauch, Heinrich Himmler's adjutant for culture, took the view that Charlemagne (known in German as Karl der Große 'Karl the Great') should be officially renamed "Karl the Slaughterer" because of the massacre.
He was instrumental in the creation of a memorial to pagans murdered by Charlemagne in the Massacre of Verden, which was erected in Verden an der Aller in 1935.

Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae

Christianizing them upon penalty of death
The Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, a law code promulgated by Charlemagne, has traditionally been dated to 782–85, in response to the Widukind's rebellion.
Scholar Pierre Riché refers to the code as a "terror capitulary" and notes that the Massacre of Verden, in which Charlemagne ordered 4,500 imprisoned Saxons massacred in 782, may be seen as a preface to the legal code.

Franks

FrankishFrankFrankish kingdom
The Massacre of Verden was an event during the Saxon Wars where the Frankish king Charlemagne ordered the death of 4,500 Saxons in October 782.

Saxons

SaxonSassenachSaxon people
The Massacre of Verden was an event during the Saxon Wars where the Frankish king Charlemagne ordered the death of 4,500 Saxons in October 782.

Irminsul

Externsteine
Charlemagne claimed suzerainty over Saxony and in 772 destroyed the Irminsul, an important object in Saxon paganism, during his intermittent thirty-year campaign to Christianize the Saxons.

Christianization

ChristianizedChristianisationChristianize
Charlemagne claimed suzerainty over Saxony and in 772 destroyed the Irminsul, an important object in Saxon paganism, during his intermittent thirty-year campaign to Christianize the Saxons.

Lower Saxony

NiedersachsenLower SaxonLower-Saxony
The massacre occurred in Verden in what is now Lower Saxony, Germany.

Germany

GermanGERFederal Republic of Germany
The massacre occurred in Verden in what is now Lower Saxony, Germany.

German nationalism

German nationalistGerman nationalistsnationalist
The massacre became particularly significant and controversial among German nationalists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and in Nazi Germany.

Nazi Germany

Third ReichGermanGermany
The massacre became particularly significant and controversial among German nationalists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and in Nazi Germany.

Schutzstaffel

SSßNazi SS
This site functioned for a period as a meeting place for the Schutzstaffel.

Adolf Hitler

HitlerFührerthe leader
Popular discussion of the massacre made Charlemagne a controversial figure in Nazi Germany until his official "rehabilitation" by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, after which Charlemagne was officially presented in a positive manner in Nazi Germany.

Joseph Goebbels

GoebbelsJosef GoebbelsGoebels
Popular discussion of the massacre made Charlemagne a controversial figure in Nazi Germany until his official "rehabilitation" by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, after which Charlemagne was officially presented in a positive manner in Nazi Germany.

Aller (Germany)

AllerRiver AllerAller River
Charlemagne ordered the execution of 4,500 Saxons near the confluence of the Aller and the Weser, in what is now Verden.

Weser

Weser RiverRiver WeserWeser estuary
Charlemagne ordered the execution of 4,500 Saxons near the confluence of the Aller and the Weser, in what is now Verden.

Royal Frankish Annals

Annales regni FrancorumFrankish AnnalsAnnales Laurissenses maiores
An entry for the year 782 in the first version of the Royal Frankish Annals (Annales Regni Francorum) records a Saxon rebellion, followed by a Frankish victory in the battle of the Süntel before Charlemagne arrived and put down the rebellion. The event is attested in contemporary Frankish sources, including the Royal Frankish Annals.

Annales sancti Amandi

Annals of Saint-Amand
A short notice under the same year in the Annales Laubacenses (Annals of Lobbes) and the related Annales sancti Amandi (Annals of Saint-Amand) reads: "The rebellious Saxons killed many Franks; and Charles, [having] gathered the Saxons together, ordered them beheaded" (Saxones rebellantes plurimos Francos interfecerunt; et Karlus, congregatos Saxones, iussit eos decollare).

Alessandro Barbero

Historian Alessandro Barbero says that, regarding Charlemagne, the massacre "produced perhaps the greatest stain on his reputation".