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The Carolingian Legends, also referred to as the Carolingian cycle, are a collection of legends and literature based around the king of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, associated with the history of France.


The Carolingian cycle forms a large part of the Matter of France, a name given to about 80 medieval epic poems in Old French. They are epics and romances mainly based on the life of the historical Charlemagne (Charles the Great) (742–814), king of the Franks and emperor of the West, and his court.

The romances about Arthur and his knights of the Round Table deal with a world of chivalry, love, and adventure, in which magic occurs frequently. The chansons de geste about Charlemagne and his paladins, on the other hand, exalt French nationalism in the struggle against the infidel and stress the conflicts arising between feudal obligations to the suzerain and personal concepts of honor.

Although the historic Charlemagne waged long and successful wars against the Saxons, the Slavs, the Huns, and the Danes, legend made his chief enemy the Saracens, the wars in Spain becoming the center of the early Carolingian legend since they presented Charlemagne as the divinely ordained defender of Christianity against the infidel and as a king of justice and piety. A far smaller number of chansons de geste deal with Charlemagne's wars against foes in Italy and against the Saxons, though historically these conquests were more significant than the Spanish expedition. Later, other legends developed about his relationship with his vassals and these offer a less idealized image of Charlemagne.


This section requires expansion
Historical Charlemagne, Medieval works, Connection to the history of France

Unlike King Arthur, who is known almost exclusively through the legendary material, reliable historical sources attest much more about the historical personage of Charlemagne and so there was never any question about Charlemagne's historicity, and his conquests of most of western Europe were real, not fictional. However, the king assumed almost legendary status even before his death in 814, with legends about him having circulated even in his lifetime. Court poets composed songs about him in a rhetorical style that made him a majestic, almost superhuman figure, and even generally trustworthy biographies seemed to owe as much to popular anecdotes and oral tradition as historical facts.

The core of Charlemagne legends is contained in the chansons de geste, with the mutation of history into legend best observed in The Song of Roland (c. 1100), the earliest and most famous of these epics, based loosely on an actual event in 778.

The legends spread from France into the other vernacular literatures of medieval Europe, into Germany, the Low Countries, Scandinavia, England, Italy, and Spain.


Toaru Majutsu no Index[]

British Royal Family Arc[]

Main article: British Royal Family Arc

During the Battle of Folkestone, the Knight Leader included the culture of Charlemagnic knights among the various knight and warrior cultures and mythologies which he studied and derived his Pattern Magic from. He also refer to Charlemagne inserted a shard of the holy spear into his own sword, with regards to how fragments of powerful weapons hold great power themselves and the use of such fragments for Hrungnir's long-range attacks.[1][2]

World War III Arc[]

Main article: World War III Arc

During the Battle of Dover Strait, Carissa and the Knight Leader recognized knight-based magic mixed in with the Roman Catholic magicians among the invaders, noting that Christian-style French knights would probably be Charlemagnic. When facing the Maiden of Versailles wielding Durandal and using shards of the Curtana Second to form her own sword, Carissa refers to how Charlemagne inserted a shard of the holy spear into his own sword.[3]

Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index[]

Magic God Othinus Arc[]

Main article: Magic God Othinus Arc

While scolding Touma for groping her during the manhunt in Denmark, Index mentions The Song of Roland as one of the works Touma should read to learn he should not use any means to win.[4]

Uses of Charlemagne legends in the story[]

Name Description Usage in Toaru Majutsu no Index
Bayard A magical bay horse that could adjust his size depending on his riders. A staple of French folklore, it first appeared, and is more prominent, in Charlemagne legends as the horse of the Paladin Renaud de Montauban. A Spiritual Item in the form of an autonomous metal horse, which, while lacking the abilities of the horse it was named after, is capable of evading magical detection.[5]
Charlemagne King of the Franks and first Holy Roman Emperor Both the Knight Leader and Carissa refer to how Charlemagne inserted a shard of the holy spear into his own sword.[2][3]
Durandal A sword wielded by Roland, given to him by Charlemagne The Maiden of Versailles wields a sword bearing the name Durandal.[3]
Roland A Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who appears in stories as the foremost of his Twelve Paladins During the manhunt in Denmark, Index refers to The Song of Roland when scolding Touma.[4]

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