· Alcuin, a monk from York

Educator, theologian, a man of science and culture, Alcuin was born in York in Great Britain in 735.
He distinguished himself, as a young man, for his humanity, intelligence and the dedication shown at the cathedral school of his native city.
In March 787, back from a journey to Rome, he met Charlemagne in Parma and was greatly impressed.
The Emperor called him to his court in Aachen appointing him Master of the Schola Palatina.
He participated to the Frankfurt synod in 794 in which "adoptionism" was condemned as heresy: it saw in Christ two natures, the divine and the human one, and said that Christ was son of the Father only because "adopted" and not because "consubstantial" (of the same nature as God).
He also laid down a scheme for a "basic education open to all".
In 796 he was appointed by Charlemagne Abbot of St. Martin in Tours, a church the king had a special affection for; it had been Charlemagne's grandfather, Charles Martel, who saved the abbey by stopping the Arabs at Poitiers, just a few miles from Tours.
"Disce ut doceas" (Learn in order to teach), was the motto of this noble monk who dared to reproach Charlemagne for the Saxons massacre, telling him plainly that "faith cannot be imposed by force".
He died in 804 causing the Emperor, who was very fond of him, great sorrow.
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· Angilbert, the meddling abbot

Powerful abbot of the lavish Saint Riquier abbey in Picardy, he was called to Charlemagne's court by Alcuin.
A man of great culture and rare intelligence, he also appreciated the good things in life.
A meddling monk, he was not scornful of life's pleasures and it is said that he had a liaison with Bertha, one of Charlemagne's daughters, who gave him two children.
Before he died in 814, Angilbert deeply repented as St. Brixio, St. Martin's successor, had done before him, and he atoned for his sins, to the point that his biographers claim his body was found intact many years after his death.
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· Einhard, Charlemagne's biographer

Much of what we know on Charlemagne comes from Einhard's "Vita Caroli Magni", written following the death of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
Much younger than his Master, Einhard was born in 770 in a well to do family, in a village on the Rhine estuary.
He was one of the best Latinists of his times and had a great talent for art and engineering. He took part in the building of the splendid Palatine Chapel in Aachen, the capital of the Frankish reign, which is today in German territory, on the border with Netherlands and Belgium.
Very close to the king and his family, he belonged, together with Alcuin, to the so called "Schola Palatina", gathering in Aachen the best minds of the time.
The king sent him on numerous important and delicate diplomatic missions where he showed caution and great capacity both in dealing with the Saxons and the Pope in Rome.
He spoke of the life, the work and even the character of the Frankish king, celebrating his deeds but also giving a great amount of information for which posterity must thank him.
He died in Seligenstadt in 840, 26 years after Charlemagne's death, in a Benedictine monastery where he had retired when his wife Imma died.
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· St. Glisente, soldier hermit

The legend of St.Glisente has been told in Valcamonica for many centuries.
A gallant soldier in Charlemagne's army, Glisente took part in the fighting on Mortirolo (martyrs mount) between Franks and Longobards in which died many "believers and unbelievers", as said in the Privilege of St. Stephen in Rendena.
Then, weary of the "holy slaughter", he retired to the Berzo mountains to lead a hermit life.
His brothers Fermo and Cristina did the same.
Every evening the three hermits would light up a fire so that they could communicate with each other from the mountains; in time, one by one the brothers fires stopped and in the end even Glisente's fire died out.
It is said that a she-bear would bring the saint some apples and a raven the bread to feed him; the hermit would also live on wild honey and on the milk of a tame sheep who let him milk her every day.
After his death, he was taken by the faithful to the St. Lawrence church in Benzo, to prevent the Valtrompia inhabitants from trying again to abduct the body despite having been blinded for having done so.
The cave where he lived is still a place of pilgrimage and the stone of the old hermit is said to emit some kind of energy that can heal, especially toothache.
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Antonio de Solerio, a valet of Charlemagne's

in the Privilege of St. Stephen is written that a certain Antonio de Solario, valet to Charles for 7 years, "was granted" 1,500 years indulgence for this church. A very high figure for a small church, then only a chapel.
This means that Antonio de Solerio was much more than a valet, he was probably also a confidant or advisor to the King.
It must be noticed that the number 7, found in the Apocalypse, and on which is based the construction of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen, comes up many times in connection with Charlemagne.
Seven were the bishops who accompanied him, seven the "sleeping" companions of St. Martin buried in Marmoutier, near the Tours Abbey.
Solero is a small village in the Alessandria province that, together with Valle Camonica, Sirmione and Peschiera sul Garda, was donated by Charlemagne to the Tours abbey.
It is located on one of the side roads of the Frankish Route that used to come down from the Val di Susa towards Pavia.
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· Pope Adrian, Charlemagne's great friend

Pope Adrian, threatened by Longobard expansion, turned to Charlemagne to avoid losing the Ravenna Exarchate and the Church's territories, invoking the old treaty between Charlemagne's father and Pope Stephen II.
Pipin the Short had guaranteed the defence of Church territories, an essential condition for Church autonomy in those times.
In 773 Charlemagne came to Italy for the first time passing through Moncenisio and laying a long siege to Pavia (773-774) where reigned Desiderius, who surrendered only after many months.
Pope Adrian came to know Charlemagne personally and he became his best friend, almost like a brother.
At his death, in 795, the emperor was grief-stricken. Adrian's successor was also saved by Charlemagne, this time from enemies inside, and he crowned him emperor in the year 800, on Christmas night.
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· Turpin, bishop of Reims

he was Charlemagne Secretary, and a close companion in many of his undertakings, in particular the campaign against Spain unbelievers.
Author of "Historia Caroli Magni et Rotholandi", built on imaginary tales that were, however, based on a fabric of historic truths, Turpin, so the legend goes, died in Roncisvalle together with the valiant Orlando and another paladin, Ulivieri.
The three of them were buried in the St. Roman church in Blaye, France, a place quoted in the Privilege of St. Stephen in Rendena, where Turpin is portrayed holding the cross flag.
This figure, who really lived in Charlemagne times, attended the Rome Council (769) as a mediator between the Emperor and Pope Adrian I.
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· Teodulf, bishop of Orleans

Born in Spain in 760 AD, he died in Angers, France, in 821.
A man of letters and a poet, he was called to Charlemagne court to work with Alcuin on important ecclesiastical and popular reforms.
He was one of the "missi dominici" sent by Charles to the south of France, to the judges operating in the area, with a call for greater fairness.
He took part in disputes against heretical theories that questioned the Holy Trinity and wrote a treaty on the "Holy Spirit" that "proceeds" from the Father to the Son.
When Charlemagne died, he remained at court of his son Louis the Pious but later, accused of conspiring together with Bernardo, the king of Italy, he was exiled to Angers.
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· Pagans, Arian heretics or iconoclasts

In the legendary Charlemagne expedition found in the Privilege of St. Stephens in Rendena the word "pagans" comes up several times.
The term comes from "pagus", which in Latin means rural settlement and therefore may indicate uncultured people.
With the advent of Christianity, it came to mean people who worshipped other gods or, anyway, heretics.
Indeed Charlemagne went to Italy several times to fight the Longobards who backed the Arian heresy in its various forms, like the "adoptionism-of-two natures" one that in his times had spread to Europe and especially to Spain.
These theories denied the divine nature of Christ and were ready to agree, at the most, with two natures for the Messiah, the human and a divine one due not to generation but to "adoption" by God.
There was a famous public debate on Aachen (Aquisgrana) main square between Alcuin of York, the scholar at Charlemagne court and Felix, bishop of Urgel in Spain, lasting a good seven days and ending with the condemnation of the adoptionist heresy.
The Holy Trinity cult was actively encouraged by the Franks to reaffirm the Credo orthodoxy, where it is proclaimed that Christ is "consubstantial" (homoosius) with the Father.
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