The Founding of the Holy Roman Empire
Charlemagne was one of the most fascinating people in history. A man who rose from a relatively minor lord to rule over a freshly founded empire in the space of a life time. In the 9th Century, he was a force which swept through Europe, conquering territory in a fashion not seen since the fall of the Roman Empire.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the political dynasty that he founded became known as the Holy Roman Empire. They were not really connected to their Italian forebears (who had long since moved east to Byzantine) aside from their endorsement from the Pope. When the leader of the church crowed one of Charlemagne’s descendants as the Holy Roman Emperor, they were putting into motion a course of history which would shape Europe for the next few centuries.
Even today, in the disputed territories in central Europe, we see the lasting legacy of this empire. Its founding, resting so heavily on the shoulders of one man, just goes to show how much of an impact an individual can have on the most important events in all of history.