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Einhard's Life of Charlemagne

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After reading Einhard's Life of Charlemagne, I concluded that Charlemagne thought and acted like a Roman emperor.

Charlemagne, known as the father of Europe, showed military success as one of the most powerful and dynamic of all medieval rulers. At age 26, Charlemagne and his younger brother Carloman inherited the Kingdom of the Franks in 768. After the death of his brother, the Franks slowly leaned back to their barbarian ways, neglecting their education and religion (Einhard, 59). Under his reign, he ruled large parts of Western Europe and in 800 he gained the title Roman Emperor from Pope Leo III. Charlemagne established a central government over Western Europe and eventually unified the Old Roman Empire (79). He strove for achievement of a unified state for his people and pressed on energetically no matter the cost, a frame of mind very effective in the Roman Empire.

In 796 he marched to Hungry, fought and crushed the tribe of the Huns, the Avars (67). He also campaigned against the peoples to his east in 803, especially the Saxons, and after a protracted war subjected them to his rule (64). After Saxony was exterminated and fully submitted to Frankish rule, Charlemagne proceeded with the conversion to Christianity. Charlemagne's ability help him acquire such a large territory, which proved his dominance in history as one of the best leaders of all time. Charlemagne existed as a well-rounded roman citizen, embracing many qualities of a renaissance man. This, however, separated from his people based on the fact that he grew up in a German background. Einhard explains that Charlemagne paid a great amount of attention to liberal arts (74). Charlemagne enjoyed receiving steam baths and exercising; two major aspects of Roman culture which also set him apart from other leaders of that time. He spent the majority of his time on horseback or hunting (77). Unlike the barbarian leaders, Charlemagne could read and write. He also studied astrology and for the most part Germans could not read or write, so for a leader of German decent containing such an education didn't occur as frequently (77). Einhard describes that Charlemagne wore the traditional costume of the Frankish people, always wearing a blue cloak, fancy jewelry, and carrying a sword (77).

After the Pope complained about the Lombard pushing on his territories, Charlemagne entered and easily defeated the Lombard King. Later, he moved to North into Southern Germany and took over Bavaria by marrying the daughter of the Bavarian Chief (72). His charismatic tone won over the people and allowed him expression od his thoughts freely without the disproval of the crowd. Charlemagne also practiced Christianity "with great devotion and piety" (79). Charlemagne's military skills allowed construction of his territory up to an immense state such as the old Roman Empire. In order, for restoration of Jerusalem

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