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Charlemagne VS King Arthur by cabepfir Charlemagne VS King Arthur by cabepfir
The two grandfathers of Medieval Europe
King Arthur and Charlemagne are the founding figures at the origin of the two main cycles of epic/romance poetry, the Arturian cycle (or matter of Britain) and the Carolingian cycle (or matter of France.) The Carolingian cycle continued to be developed until the beginning of XVII century, producing masterpieces from the Song of Roland to the Orlando Furioso. The Arthurian cycle was rekindled during the XIX century and continues to present days; I'd like to see a similar attention for the Carolingian cycle.

King Arthur and Charlemagne playing chess was a very old idea of mine... dating back some three years at least. I finally did it for the Historical Characters series.

For the first time, I show you something I inked with a tablet! :)
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:iconredneckdourden:
RedneckDoUrden Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014
The song of Roland has been made available as an Ebook by Paradox for 1.99 along with the new Charlemagne dlc for Crusader Kings 2! Yippie!!!
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for th news, I've already read The Song of Roland ;)
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:iconmonguin:
Monguin Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If any of you are Dungeons and Dragons fans, Charlemagne is where the term, Paladin came from. There was a legend called Charlemagne and the 12 Paladins, a French legend.
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Erh... Charlemagne was a real king and he really did have knights at his service, called paladins (from Latin comes Palatinus "earl of the Palace", from Palatium Imperial court). It is not a legend. Roland's death at Roncevaux was then turned into a legend, but it started with an historical event.
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:iconmonguin:
Monguin Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, that's kind of what legends are according to some people. They're stories based on actual events.
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Your previous message seemed to imply that Charlemagne was a legend.
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:iconmonguin:
Monguin Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had little knowledge of the story. Thank you.
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Charles (then called "magne" = the Great) became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire around year 800 AD. It was the first time someone succeeded in recreating a European empire, although not as large as the Roman empire, but large enough to include France, Germany and a part of Italy. Charlemagne was a genius king who introduced lots of political and social renovations; his kingdom prompted a philosophical and cultural renaissance.

At the beginning of his rule, he fought for years agains the Moors (who, at that time, controlled Spain and other parts of Southern Europe.) He tried to invade Spain but was kicked out. During his retreat, his army was attacked by the Moors at Roncevaux, on the Pyrenees. Even if Charles passed safely, a part of his rearguard was crushed and many paladins were killed, among whom a paladin called Roland. The fact inspired the Song of Roland, which is one of the main epic poems of the Middle Ages.

From the Song of Roland onward, the matter of France (the cycle of stories about Charlemagne and his knights, while the matter of Britain was about king Arthur) was super famous in all Europe. Many many poems and novels were told and written about Roland and his companions. It was in fact, for a while, much more famous than the arthurian cycle. (That the arthurian cycle is more famous, now, depends from the fact that in XIX cent. Romantic poets and painters started an arthurian revival.) But consider that for centuries, until the end of XVI century at least, Roland was the protagonist of dozen of tales. Imagine him as the Superman of that time.

So yes, absolutely, the battle of Roncevaux was turned into a legend, and the fictional character of Roland bears little to no connection to the historical Roland beneath, but Charlemagne was absolutely a real and great king.
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:iconmonguin:
Monguin Featured By Owner Edited Sep 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Also, more importantly, I portrayed the Paladin as a heavenly organization. Spirits of the dead come down to visit a suitable candidate in his/her sleep and grant him/her the power to serve the world with much kindness to whatever bitter end, even if it means through violence or tradgedy. According to my fictional character, Sir Gabriel, the most notable example of one that has been visited by a heavenly servant of Charlemagne in a dream is Joan De Arc. I recently watched a movie about her and I was like, "Yep, definitely reminds me of Sir Gabriel."

Also, the Illuminati, which exist in this story I'm writing, is the largest group of Fallen Paladins, and Sir Gabriel's first task after taking the responsibility as a Paladin is to search every criminal, tyrant, or spoiled rich man for the Knights Templar and challenge each and every one of them to a sacred duel, for the world shall know of justice.

This was inspired by what Sir Gabriel is supposed to be an allegory of: the Indignation of God. Also, in Dungeons and Dragons, the leader of the Paladins, Heironeous, is the archenemy of his half-brother, Hextor, Lawful Evil God of Tyranny.
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:iconmonguin:
Monguin Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you. I'll take it to an account. I need the influence. As you can see, I faved this picture in Sir Gabriel's Legacy folder. That same folder contains illustrations of classic Old Testament stories because of Sir Gabriel's influence.
Also, I have a DVD about Joan de Arc I could probably watch.
This is the picture of Sir Gabriel himself: monguin.deviantart.com/art/Sir…
monguin.deviantart.com/art/Ele…
He's more of a SPACE fantasy character, though, using a combination of divine influence and futuristic technology to hunt down his enemies. I'm currently working on his story inspired by scripture. He's the Spirit of Justice.
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:iconugtpwnd:
ugtpwnd Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014
If only the matters of France (Song of Roland, Orlando Innamorato, and Orlando Furioso) were as popular as King Arthur.

I want my Bradamant fanart, dammit!
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Indeed!

Who knows if I'll have the inspiration for a Bradamante fanart, but that's a cool idea!
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:iconugtpwnd:
ugtpwnd Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014
Bradamante's definitely somebody you think would be more popular.

She's like a medieval Samus from Metroid.

(but without all that Other M bullshit).
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
She was definitely popular between 1400-1600 ;)

I didn't know who Samus was. Thanks for the reference!
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:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
 Now this is a match for the ages, but all things being equal I'm backing The Wart because bigad I'm British and proud of it!;) (Wink) 
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:iconchaosfive-55:
Chaosfive-55 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love it!!!  :iconknightplz:
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks! :)
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:iconchaosfive-55:
Chaosfive-55 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm currently reading The Carolingians by Pierre Riché--I've always wanted to learn as much as I can about this period in history!
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:iconhusk55:
husk55 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Arthur thinks he's going to win, but little does he know that Charlemagne is enacting the first step in his master plan...
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ahah - they're full of resources!
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:iconveronica-art:
Veronica-Art Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Professional General Artist
Oh Ceci!!! Digital!!! Nice to see something digital from you... I love drawing gold, you have the perfect base tone... play around with the burn and dodge tool to achieve the shine and darkness of gold! But only use that for jewels... Love their expressions!!!!! Kings and chess!!!! :thumbsup:
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :hug: This was an old idea for a watercolour - but as I doodled this it came to me that I could colour it digitally.
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:iconveronica-art:
Veronica-Art Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
I love digital, it never "dries" and lets you work for years if you want!!!!
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:icontiberius111:
Tiberius111 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012
Charlemagne's got this
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Charlemagne may have been a more successful king, but Arthur won with his legends! ;)
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:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
I've read just about every version of the Arthurian legend and the Song of Roland. I haven't read a lot of the Carolingian cycle--anything good to recommend? Oh, and I love your portrayal of the two kings! :)
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I fear there's not much of Carolingian cycle in translation - also because there are few contemporary novels retelling it. The founding piece is of course the Song of Roland, and there are a *lot* of poems written in Old French in this cycle, which also began to be split in subdivisions (works about the war against the Moors; about domestic fights between rebellious barons and the king; etc). But I suppose that many of these works are now matter for specialists and that they cannot be found in translation. But you can find an introduction here [link] for example. Or look at this: [link]

The cycle had an enormous fortune in Italy, and we've written about Roland and Olivier, Renaud and Ogier for centuries. Our own masterpieces are the Orlando innamorato (Roland in love) and Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Roland) which are both translated into English. [link] [link]

Of recent works, The Nonexistent Knight by Italo Calvino is set in Charlemagne's camp. I've also read a fabulous retelling of the death of Roland in Carlo Magno pensava a ben altro, but that's in Italian. I'm sorry!
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:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
Thanks for the links! For some reason the Carolingian cycle has been neglected by English writers!
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
You're very welcome! I hope that you find something interesting.
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:iconnachan:
Nachan Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
amo la stilizzazioneeeee *__* ed il concept... bravissima
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Grazie milleeeeeee :heart:
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:iconepicfangirl:
epicfangirl Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
We just read a part of the Song of Roland in my French class. It was really good. Anyway nice picture:)
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
The Song of Roland is awesome! Also because it gives also the POV of the Moors. Great stuff.
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:iconepicfangirl:
epicfangirl Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
Yah it is. But unfortunately we only got to read the part where Roland dies. But I loved it anyway:)
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:iconsir-heartsalot:
Sir-Heartsalot Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
I love it! William the Conqueror is more into checkers, I guess.
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm afraid I don't completely understand... You mean that he's a lesser king among those two?
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:iconsir-heartsalot:
Sir-Heartsalot Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
I really meant of the handful of historic figures I know I chose William the Conqueror to make light of. I dunno how he stacks up against these two
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
You know, I don't have any personal attachment towards William the Conqueror... He means very little to me, personally. I'm not judging his historical role, just saying that I'm not very interested. :P Sorry! I'm trying to include in this series some people I'm interested into, that's all.
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:iconsir-heartsalot:
Sir-Heartsalot Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
haha I could understand that. Charlemagne I do know. Who else do you expect to feature? Any Popes?
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
No, I'd like to keep out religious figures. Next ones planned are Murasaki Shikibu (Japanese writer - around 1000 AD), John Lackland, and Frederick II.
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:iconsir-heartsalot:
Sir-Heartsalot Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012
I dunno if some popes even count as religious figures but, I take your meaning. John Lackland is...Prince John from Robin Hood, am I right?
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:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ahah sure (about the popes) ;)

Yeah that's him, the king that signed the Magna Carta.
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