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Pepin (April 773 – 8 July 810) was the son of Charlemagne and king of Italy (781-810) under the authority of his father.

Pepin was the second son of Charlemagne by his then-wife Hildegard.[1] He was born Carloman, but when his half-brother Pepin the Hunchback betrayed their father, the royal name Pepin passed to him. He was made king of Italy after his father's conquest of the Lombards, in 781, and crowned by Pope Hadrian I with the Iron Crown of Lombardy.

He was active as ruler of Italy and worked to expand the Frankish empire. In 791, he marched a Lombard army into the Drava valley and ravaged Pannonia, while his father marched along the Danube into Avar territory. Charlemagne left the campaigning to deal with a Saxon revolt in 792. Pepin and Duke Eric of Friuli continued, however, to assault the Avars' ring-shaped strongholds. The great Ring of the Avars, their capital fortress, was taken twice. The booty was sent to Charlemagne in Aachen and redistributed to all his followers and even to foreign rulers, including King Offa of Mercia. A celebratory poem, De Pippine regis Victoria Avarica, was composed after Pepin forced the Avar khagan to submit in 796.[2] This poem was composed at Verona, Pepin's capital after 799 and the centre of Carolingian Renaissance literature in Italy. The Versus de Verona (c.800), an urban encomium of the city, likewise praises king Pepin.[3]

His activities included a long, but unsuccessful siege of Venice in 810. The siege lasted six months and Pepin's army was ravaged by the diseases of the local swamps and was forced to withdraw. A few months later Pepin died.

He married Bertha, whose ancestry is not known from any reliable source although spuriously she has been called the daughter of William of Gellone, count of Toulouse. He and Bertha had five daughters : (Adelaide, married Lambert I of Nantes; Atala; Gundrada; Bertha; and Tetrada), all of whom but the eldest were born between 800 and Pepin's death and died before their grandfather's death in 814. Pepin also had an illegitimate son Bernard. Pepin was expected to inherit a third of his father's empire, but he predeceased him. The Italian crown passed on to his son Bernard, but the empire went to Pepin's younger brother Louis the Pious.



  1. ^ "Carolingians", Medlands by Charles Cawley citing the Gesta Mettensium
  2. ^ Peter Godman (1985), Latin Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press), 186–191.
  3. ^ Godman, 180–187.
Pepin of Italy
Born: April 773 Died: 8 July 810
Regnal titles
Preceded by
as King of the Lombards
King of Italy
781 – 810
with Charlemagne as King of the Lombards (781 – 810)
Succeeded by


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