Hadrian Sends for Charlemagne

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The pope now sent messages in the utmost haste to entreat immediate help from Charles; at the same time diligently superintending in person the military preparations for the defense of the city and the security of its treasures. And, according to an old strategy of Rome, Hadrian sent three bishops to overawe the king and to threaten him with excommunication if he dared to violate the property of the church. The pope thus gained time; and Charles, with his usual rapidity, assembled his forces, crossed the Alps, and laid siege to Pavia. During the siege, which continued several months, Charles paid a visit to the pope in great state, and was received with every honor. He was hailed by nobles, senators and citizens, as patrician of Rome and the dutiful son of the church, who had so speedily obeyed the summons of his spiritual father, and had come to deliver them from the hated and dreaded Lombards. When the holy season was over, Charles and his officers returned to the army.
Pavia at length fell. Desiderius, successor of the great and wise Luitprand, was dethroned, and took refuge in a monastery—the usual asylum of dethroned kings; his valiant son, Adekhis, fled to Constantinople; and thus expired the kingdom of the Lombards, the deadly enemies of the Italians, and the great hindrance to the papal aggression. The way was now clear for the conqueror to give the pope a kingdom, not on paper merely, like his father Pepin, but in cities, provinces, and revenues. And so he did, and thereby ratified the munificent gift of his father. As lord by conquest, Charlemagne presented to the successors of St. Peter, by an absolute and perpetual grant, the kingdom of Lombardy; some say, the whole of Italy. At the same time Charles claimed the royal title, and exercised a kind of sovereignty over all Italy and even over Rome itself. But the pope, being now secure in the possession of the territory, could well afford to allow all royal honors to his great benefactor.