Every historian interprets the past differently and with distinctive perspectives, resulting in many sides to one story. Often the reader must decide which perspective is more logical, likely, or coherent. Recounting one war took a lot of time and effort because of the necessity to include all sides of the story. Becher, Barbero, Collins and Backman have approached the life of Charlemagne with different points of view; however, Barbero seems to have the strongest argument for the cause of the Saxon War. The other historians were less willing to see the Saxon war as a religious war. The life of Charlemagne was interesting to historians because it was filled with many vigorous wars that he fought including the infamous Saxon War. From the beginning of his life, Charlemagne was destined to rule a nation and lead his people into war, achieving both triumphant victories and devastating defeats. He died of sickness in old age, thus leaving the kingdom in the hands of his son. The Saxon war was the most persistent, yet hostile war he fought because of the determination and severity of the enemy. However, the questions remain: “What actually caused the Saxon war? What gave it life? What are all the different events that occurred during this war? What are some of the strategies used during this war?” The wars he fought resulted in his success as a ruler and as a historical figure to reflect on when considering the greatness of kings.
Charlemagne’s father, Pepin, died of dropsy on 24 September, 768 and left his two sons, Charlemagne and Carloman, with William, the Duke of Aquitania. After Pepin died, the whole kingdom was divided evenly between the two sons. It was split in such a way that Charlemagne would govern the part that belonged ...
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...become great and victorious. There is the concept of how everything that Charlemagne did was for his enemies to be converted to Christianity and nothing else. Through the different interpretations, the argument for religious motives was the strongest. Charlemagne used military tactics in a misguided attempt to further the kingdom of God.
Samuel Epes Turner, Einhard: The Life of Charlemagne, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1880. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/einhard.asp#Saxon War
Alessandro Barbero, Charlemagne: Father of a Continent. Berkeley: University of California, 2004.
Matthias Becher, Charlemagne. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003.
Clifford R. Backman, The Cultures of the West: A History. Volume 1: To 1750. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Roger Collins, Charlemagne. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1998.
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The two most popular primary sources available are going to be the works published in The Two Lives of Charlemagne: The Life of Charlemagne written by Einhard and The Deeds of Charlemagne written by Notker the Stammerer. In addition to these The Capitulary of Charlemagne is also available and helps to provide a more political background to Charlemagne. You can also go a bit more in depth to find some primary sources that are not as obvious. The two that I found most interesting being Asnapium: An Inventory of One of Charlemagne's Estates, which provides us with information about the way Charlemagne may have lived and allow us to glimpse what life was like for Charlemagne (even down to what things were growing in his garden!), and De Litteris Colendis: a letter from Charlemagne to Baugaulf of Fulda which shows us Charlemagne's true concern with education in his empire.
The two lives of Charlemagne as told by Einhard and Notker are two medieval sources about the accounts of the life Charlemagne. Modern sources by Matthew Innes and Rosamond Mckitterick discuss how history was recorded during the medieval period and how it was suppose to be viewed in the early ages. Observing each of these sources helps get an understanding of how the writing of history is important in recorded history and how it affected how the history of Charlemagne was recorded.
Charlemagne was also instrumental in establishing an educational system for his people. The emperor would send ...
At Charlemagne's death in 1814 only one of his three sons, Louis, was living. Louis's weak rule brought on the rise of civil wars and revolts. After his death his three quarreling sons split the empire between them by the Partition of Verdun in 1843.
After life as a King, emperor, husband and father Charlemagne’s last final 4 years of life, suffered from fevers and a limp. He divided up his empire among his heirs, but by the late 800s it dissolved. Charles the great will be remembered in history for many things, both good and bad. If there was one thing that he knew he did right, it would have been being a great father to his 18 or more
In the essay "The Emperor Charlemagne," Einhard discussed the rise and greatness of this ruler, and gave an in-depth look into who the King truly was. After receiving the Frank kingdom from his father, he more than doubled the previous territory that the Franks already pos...
Einhard--- having received a solid education in biblical studies and Latin classics, at monastery whose founder was closely tied to the Carolingians--- came to serve under Charlemagne--- Charles the Great, in English--- when the writer was quite young. Growing up in his servitude, Einhard gained a strong admiration for the king, practicing a kind of hero-worship. Charlemagne was more than a king; he was a king of kings, strong, dependable, wise and worthy. In Einhard’s eyes, he could do no wrong. His chronicles of the ruler’s life, Life of Charlemagne was done in the style of The Lives of the Caesars, the first Roman emperors. According to Einhard, Charlemagne successfully led his kingdom with a contradictory combination of brute force, and
When Charles was six he started military training. At the age of fifteen his father allowed him to be the overlordship in Austrasian. When his father died in 768, the empire was divided between him and his brother. The Charlemagne learned how to be an Emperor because he watched how his father led the Franks. It was in 741, that Charlemagne got to be a leader, but he was not the only Carolingian leader. The land was split between him an...
Charlemagne's source of power can be found primarily in the way he was born. Charles was born somewhere (possibly Aachen, or Liège) in the Frankish Kingdom, around from 742-748. He was born to Pepin the Short, Mayor of the Palace, and Bertrada of Laon. Pepin's status as Mayor of the Palace gave him more actual power than the current King, Childeric III, the last of the Merovingians, a failing dynasty that had ruled the Frankish Kingdom for a long time. The reason the Mayor had more power than the King was because the last few monarchs had done little to manage the Frankish Kingdom. Soon, the other nobles started to respond to the Mayor, instead of the King. In other words, Childeric and his most recent forefathers were little more than figureheads. Eventually, Childeric
Coffin, Judith G., and Robert C. Stacey. "CHAPTER 18 PAGES 668-669." Western Civilizations: Their History & Their Culture. 16TH ed. Vol. 2. New York, NY: W. W. Norton &, 2008. N. pag. Print.
In order for the crusades to begin, the Christians needed to gather an army to travel and fight the forces of Muslims. With all the power being held by monarchies at this time, the church needed to be cleaver in order to gain troops to put their lives on the line. To gain the support of these warriors and dedication of men, Pope Urban II (1088-1099) challenged those morals of men by telling them to grab their weapons and join the holy war to recover the land of Jerusalem. It was not the challenge that convinced men to take part in this war. The promise of “immediate remission of sins” attracted the men to stand up for their religion and beliefs while at the same time, promising them a trip to heaven when life comes to an end. With this statement, men instantly prepared for battle which in a very short period of time gave the church power which has been held by the monarchies. Men of rich and poor prepared for battle, some wearing ...
In the epic poem of Beowulf, written by an unknown monk in about 725 AD, the Anglo-Saxon virtue of comitatus is displayed as a slowly dying aspect of life. Comitatus is the basic idea that everyone protects the king at all costs even if it means a warrior giving up his own life, and if a king is killed, the warriors must avenge the death of the king or they can no longer serve as warriors for the next king. This value of comitatus is displayed mostly through the three battles that Beowulf encounters during the epic poem. An analysis of the three battles is important because Beowulf’s choice of weapons, behavior of the Thanes, and preparation for and attitude toward battle all emphasize the death of the Anglo-Saxon virtue of comitatus.
1. King William I, The Conqueror (1066-1087), and his Queen Consort Matilda of Flanders, parents of—