“They make you believe it’s the status quo…”

The well-informed readers of this blog know that Charlemagne was famously supportive of commerce and trade. First as king and later as emperor, he enacted policies he hoped would nurture the feeble European economy and generate wealth. “Share it fairly,” he wittily decreed in the Capitula obscuri lateris lunae, “but don’t take a slice of my pie.”

So while I’ve never thought it peculiar to see the Frankish king shilling for shower gel, Plexo Suspenders, and Budweiser, I confess I was a little surprised by this: Charlemagne starring in his own cigarette commercial.

(Link via the Houston Press, which notes that this same series of ads included Catherine the Great, Genghis Khan, and an oddly un-threatening Ivan the Terrible. Am I seeing things, or does the mighty Temujin look and sound a little bit like Michael Palin?)

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