Pope Leo crowns Emperor Charlemagne
800 Dec 25

Pope Leo crowns Emperor Charlemagne

St. Peter's Basilica, Piazza S
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Pope Leo III—already seeking to break links with the Byzantine East—used Irene's alleged unprecedented status as a female ruler of the Roman Empire to proclaim Charlemagne emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas Day of 800 under the pretext that a woman could not rule and so the throne of the Roman Empire was actually vacant. For the first time in 300 years, there is an emperor of the "East" and an emperor of the "West".