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Ogier The Dane - Pledge To Charlemagne
King Geoffrey of Denmark, who gave up his son to Charlemagne as hostage, came very close to being destroyed by the emperor's army. The reason he put his own son up as hostage was because he had not paid tribute to his sovereign lord, Charlemagne. He then once again refused to pay tribute and could have been wiped out had Charlemagne not received an urgent call from Pope Leo IV. This is where Ogier came into his own and saved the life of his lord and master, Charlemagne, and gave a pledge to the Emperor.
The Saracens, Arab raiders, invaded Rome in 846. This incident in history is termed The Sack of Rome. Old St. Peter's and St. Paul's-Outside-the-Walls had already been sacked and the Vatican was then in danger of being attacked. The Pope called upon Charlemagne for assistance.The many legends of Charlemagne and Ogier the Dane were born from actual historical battles.
Ogier, Duke Namo's adopted son and squire, accompanied Namo to Italy under Charlemagne and his army. As his own father, Pepin, had been, Charlemagne was the protector of the Holy See and did not hesitate to go when called upon.
Ogier, not yet received into the order of knighthood, could not bear arms and stayed in the rear with other young men who were squires to their lords. As the battle raged on, Ogier felt the strong desire to be in among the warriors and fight for Charlemagne.
Duke Namo was commander of the advance army and therefore had near him at all times the knight Alory, who bore the royal standard, the Oriflamme, of Charlemagne. Ogier watched from a distance and was outraged when he saw Alory lower the standard, turn in fear and cowardice to abandon Duke Namo and the advance forces.
As Alory passed near the squires in the rear, Ogier seized a club and struck Alory from his horse. With the help of other squires, Ogier took Alory's clothing to put on himself. Taking Alory's arms and the Oriflamme, Ogier mounted Alory's horse and rushed to the front to be near Duke Namo to help drive back the Saracens, carrying the royal standard high through broken ranks of the enemy.
Namo was amazed at the courage and valor of the young knight, thinking it was Alory. The other squires in the rear took courage from Ogier's actions and armed themselves and donned clothing of their fallen warriors. Rushing up to the front lines, the squires joined forces with Ogier till the Saracens fell back in defeat.
When Duke Namo ordered a retreat, Charlemagne was advancing to help them. Charlemagne was in the midst of heavy fighting and had taken down Corsuble, the leader of the Saracens. As he drew his sword to finish Corsuble, Charlemagne was attacked by two enemy warriors and his horse was killed. Charlemagne lay on the ground and was about to be killed when Ogier and his youthful band fell upon the Saracens. Ogier took the two enemy warriors out and helped Charlemagne onto another horse. Charlemagne, recognizing Alory's helmet and seeing his own royal standard, called out to whom he thought was Alory and told him he owed the knight honor and his life.
When the battle was won, and as the Archbishop Turpin came to bless Charlemagne and the knight who saved him, Ogier approached Charlemagne and lay down the Oriflamme at the emperor's feet.
As Ogier knelt to pledge himself to his sovereign lord, his friends came forward and removed the helmet of Alory from the young warrior's head. Charlemagne was stunned. He reached down, raised Ogier to his feet and hugged him, then bestowed knighthood on Ogier and the other youthful warriors who helped win the battle. Charlemagne made a vow to love Ogier as a son and Ogier gave Charlemagne the devotion and love of a son.
Author's note: For the next phase in the life of Ogier, please click on the related link below: Ogier The Dane - Treachery. Thank you.
Content copyright © 2013 by Phyllis Doyle Burns. All rights reserved.
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