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Asdf Essay

1274 words - 6 pages

Einhard, in his account of Charlemagne, and Ibn Battuta, in his account of Mansa Sulaiman, give witness to the way these two kings ruled their lands and provide an insight on how culture has an effect on people’s views of their leaders. Although each one lived in different cultures, each ruler embodied similar characteristics, such as the influence of religion on their realms. However, there are several distinct differences as well, and each narrative contains cultural bias that cannot be ignored. Overall, each account thoroughly analyzes each ruler and infuses their observations with the culture of the time, which is integral in order to gain an accurate depiction of who these men were.
First, each ruler embodied an aspect of his religion, which stemmed from their respective cultures. Einhard has many references to the way the Frankish king portrayed himself as a Christian ruler, for example, he affords the reader with a detailed account of Charlemagne’s worship habits. On pages 54 and 55, he writes, “He (Charlemagne) was a constant worshipper at this church. . . going morning and evening, even after nightfall…”. In addition to his personal participation in worship, he was also extremely charitable in his own country, and even beyond his own realm. Upon hearing of the impoverished Christians living in Syria, Egypt, and Africa, he immediately became sympathetic and attempted to send money to them. In accordance with the charity within his country, he once donated such a vast number of clerical robes that even those in the least important positions of the Church were obligated to wear them. He undertook maintenance and building projects for the Churches, such as the basilica at Aix-la-Chapelle. Charlemagne also had special ties to the pope and was able to send envoys to the Holy Land. In sort of a precursor to the Crusades, he fought with the pagan Saxons and forced them to convert, and thus spread the Christian religion. Through all of this, Einhard gives the reader a picture of a Christian leader whose political affairs were influenced by his religion.
In a similar vein, Mansa Sulaiman is portrayed as embodying his religion, except within the context of the Islamic religion. Like Charlemagne, the sultan was involved with religious ceremonies. Since he lived in a place governed by Sharia Law, there was no separation of Church and State. Thus, unlike in Einhard, there was an established religious hierarchy in this realm. Mansa Sulaiman participated in religious festivals and services, such as the Feast of Sacrifices and the Feast of Fast-breaking. In his domain, strict observance of times of prayer and memorization of the Quran were a top priority. Children who appeared to be falling short of learning the Quran by heart had fetters made for them, and people must come early to pray at the mosque or they will not be able to find a spot because of the multitude that will be gathered there. However, Ibn Battuta witnessed some...

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