AD 814: Charlemagne, the founder of the first empire in western Europe after the fall of Rome, dies at age 71 in his capital city of Aachen, now the westernmost city in Germany. He had taken to his bed a week earlier with pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs. Charlemagne (seen here to the right, mounted on a horse and wearing a crown) became king of the Franks, a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and western Germany, in AD 771 and worked to unite all Germanic people into one kingdom and to convert his subjects to Christianity. After Pope Leo III crowned him emperor of the Romans in AD 800, he encouraged the Carolingian Renaissance, a cultural and intellectual revival in Europe. During his 13-year reign as emperor, Charlemagne expanded his kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of western and central Europe, earning the nickname "Father of Europe."