Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Charlemagne, (Carolus Magnus) emperor of Holy Roman Empire in Germany

dead elephant ☨ ♂ Abul-Abbas  dead elephant



Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Male ♂
Born:* wild
Birth place:
Dead: 0810
Death reason: disease: Pneumonia?
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Charlemagne, (Carolus Magnus) emperor of Holy Roman Empire, in Germany

Date of arrival

0802-07-20Charlemagne, (Carolus Magnus) emperor of Holy Roman Empire
from Harun al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad

Record history
History of updates2020-09-27

Latest document update2020-10-18 06:25:24
Random literature

† Abul-Abbas is a dead Male ♂ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died 0810 at Charlemagne, (Carolus Magnus) emperor of Holy Roman Empire, in Germany, . Official death reason described as Pneumonia?.


Abul-Abbas was born wild .

Comments / pictures

Abul-Abbas in Charlemagne, (Carolus Magnus) emperor of Holy Roman Empire

Becoming Charlemagne: Europe, Baghdad, and the Empires of A.D. 800

Jeff Sypeck

More info?
Abul-Abbas was an Asian elephant given to Emperor Charlemagne by the caliph of Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid, in 798. Abul-Abbas was a white elephant, a rare and impressive gift.

Abul-Abbas's journey from the Abbasid empire to Europe started with a crossing of the Mediterranean Sea by ship, which landed at Portovenere in October 801.

The embassy to the Frankish court was led by the governor of Egypt, Ibrahim Ibn al-Aghlab, (in response to a mission despatched by Charlemagne to the caliph's court in 797) the elephant and his mahout, a Jewish North African named Isaac, spent the winter in Vercelli, and in the spring they started the march over the Alps to the Emperor's residence in Aachen, arriving on July 1, 802.

Abul-Abbas was exhibited on various occasions when the court was assembled, and was eventually housed in Augsburg in southern Bavaria.

In 804 the Danish king Godfred attacked a trading village near Denmark and moved the people by force to his newly-built trading village in Hedeby; his goal was to secure Denmark's part of the trade in the northern countries. Charlemagne mobilized his troops against the Danes, and sent for his elephant to join in the mighty battle.

In 810, when he was in his forties, Abul-Abbas died at Lippeham on Luneburg heath, probably of of pneumonia after crossing the cold water in the Rhine.

It should take another 400 years before next elephant in Europe, known as The Cremona elephant came to Germany in 1229.

[802] DCCCII. Herena imperatrix de Constantinopoli misit legatum nomine Leonem spatarium de pace confirmanda inter Francos et Grecos, et imperator vicissim propter ipsum absoluto illo misit Iesse episcopum Ambianensem et Helmgaudum comitem Constantinopolim, ut pacem cum ea statuerent. Celebratum est pascha Aquisgrani palatio.

Ipsius anni mense Iulio, XIII. Kal. Aug., venit Isaac cum elefanto et ceteris muneribus, quae a rege Persarum missa sunt, et Aquisgrani omnia imperatori detulit; nomen elefanti erat Abul Abaz.

Ortona civitas in Italia in deditionem accepta, Luceria quoque frequenti obsidione fatigata et ipsa in deditionem venit, praesidiumque nostrorum in ea positum.

Imperator aestatis tempore in Arduenna venatibus operam dedit et misso Saxonum exercitu Transalbianos Saxones vastavit.

Grimoaldus Beneventanorum dux in Luceria Winigisum comitem Spoletii, qui praesidio praeerat, adversa valitudine fatigatum obsedit et in deditionem accepit captumque honorifice habuit.

Imperator Aquisgrani natalem Domini celebravit. Et inmutavit se numerus annorum in

Annales regni francorum 802
Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). Abul-Abbas, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Charlemagne, (Carolus Magnus) emperor of Holy Roman Empire in Germany. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 7 December 2023 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1814. (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categories0810 deaths | Elephants from Charlemagne, (Carolus Magnus) emperor of Holy Roman Empire | Germany | Asian elephants

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