What are the rumors about Charlemagne?
Charlemagne received similar submissions from the southernmost Saxon confederacy, the Angrarii, on his return journey west. He had sent a separate detachment of his forces to face the Westphalians. The Annals of the Kingdom of the Franks suggests that this army won a great victory in which many Saxons were killed. However, by contrast, the anonymous author of the revised version which was probably produced after the death of Charlemagne suggests that the overconfident Franks were stormed by Saxons and taken by surprise. When Charlemagne arrived with the main body of the army, the Westphalian Saxons were defeated and forced to come to terms with the Frankish King. The humiliating submissions made by the Eastphalian, Westphalian and Agrarian Saxons were only effective provided that Charlemagne and the main body of the Frankish army were present to enforce them, and the fact shows this in 776 when Charlemagne returned to Italy, the southern Saxons attacked and destroyed Eresburg, and threatened Syburg. During the autumn, Charlemagne launched another expedition to recover the lost territory, and the Saxons again submitted to him. At the source of the River Lippe, the Saxons promised to become subjects of the Frankish King and to accept Christianity, and in 777 many Saxons appeared before Charlemagne at his new settlement in Paderborn to receive Christian baptism. English historian, Chris Wickham, believes that Saxony was difficult to conquer because it was disunited. Importantly, Saxony was not a single polity but rather a collection of small tribal territories which met in a single annual assembly and fought in smaller or larger groupings according to choice and need. As a result, the Saxons were not incapacitated by the defeat of a single leader, and the capture or destruction of key Saxon settlements did not result in rapid military conquest. Therefore, the fact that Charlemagne was ultimately able to overcome the Saxons suggests that he deserves to be called Charles the Great.