What's interesting about post #7 is that although Charlemagne was indeed the ruler over what later became France and Germany, it was the division of his empire that began the centuries-old Franco-Prussian conflicts. Being crowned by the Pope on Christmas Day in the year 800, he was considered to be the ruler of the "Roman" empire. Because Gaul (Later to become France) was under Roman rule for centuries, and concurrently, most of Germany remained free from Rome, huge governmental and administrative and cultural differences existed. If Charlemagne's three grandsons, instead of fighting over their respective portions, had managed to keep his kingdom unified, maybe over several centuries Germany and France would have become more like one people, but that ancient division caused the familiar conflicts, even into relatively recent times. In fact, Charlemagne's son, Louis, may have been the inspiration for Shakespeare's King Lear!