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Western Civilization 10, Lesson 85, Essay 2 – Einhard’s Biography on Charlemagne

This week in class, one of my reading assignments was Charlemagne’s biography written by an 8th century scholar known as Einhard.  In this essay, I am going to show how Einhard portrayed the Frank king.

Einhard seemed to portray Charlemagne as a man of two personalities.  The kind and generous king, and the fun, spirited family man.

For example, Einhard described how Charlemagne would share his riches with the poor and do his best to provide good living conditions for them.  He was a devout Christian, and made sure all religious rituals were carried out in the proper order.  He was also said to have donated to Christians who lived in poverty in other nations that were not his own.  Charlemagne seemed to have good diplomatic skills because of how strong and friendly his relationships with other kingdoms were.  Overall, he seemed to be a kind and competent leader.

However, in his private life he was described as a fun, and rather hyper, man.  Einhard described how he loved to swim, and would wake up the house (or castle) in the middle of the night to go swimming with him.  He loved to indulge in a good feast, like any normal person, but hated drinking to the point of sickness.  He believed in self-indulgence to a certain extent.  Charlemagne also seemed to have a strong bond with his children.  He made sure they were well educated and even took them along with him on journeys.

As you can see, Charlemagne seemed to be a good, kind man.  He was a competent king and a loving family man.  I am not sure how accurate the biography is, but it is certainly fun to imagine a king being as kind-hearted as he was.

Thanks for reading!


Author: sophiaelahirpc

10th Grade student in the Ron Paul Curriculum. Full-time teen writer living in Singapore.

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