Charlemagne is another ambiguous character. After he becomes Holy Roman Emperor in 800, he revives the Latin language and rescues ancient manuscripts from oblivion. But he also makes blasphemy a capital crime and converts heathens by the sword.
“Ah, woe is me! that I was not thought worthy to see my Christian hands dabbling in the blood of those dog-headed fiends.”
– Charlemagne on the Scandinavian Vikings recorded by Notker the Stammerer in De Carolo Magno, 9th century.