Charlemagne was born in (742-814) close to Liege, modern-day Belgium. Charlemagne was the son of Frankish king Pepin the Short. On his father’s death in 768, the kingdom was split between Charlemagne and his younger brother, Carloman. However, Carloman soon died leaving Charlemagne as the sole ruler. Charlemagne was king of the Franks and later King of Italy. He became the first Roman Emperor since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three hundred years earlier. His strong leadership and successful military campaigns played a key role in strengthening the position of Christianity and the Papacy in Western Europe.