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Widukind

Widukind (wĭdˈōkĭnd) [key] or Wittekind wĭtˈə–, d. 807?, leader of the Saxons against the Frankish king Charlemagne (later emperor of the West). In 782, when Charlemagne organized Saxony as a Frankish province and ordered forced conversion of the pagan Saxons, the Saxons under Widukind resumed warfare against the Franks. In the course of the war Charlemagne is said to have ordered the massacre (783) of 4,500 Saxon prisoners. Widukind fled to Denmark, but the Saxons fought on all the more fiercely. In 785, Charlemagne offered Widukind a safe-conduct in order to negotiate peace. Widukind met the emperor and accepted baptism; Charlemagne was his godfather. Sporadic Saxon uprisings continued until 804.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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