Charlemagne Essay

1607 words - 6 pages

What makes ‘a' king into ‘the' king and then onto Emperor and Augustus? What made King Charles, Charles the Great? In Einhard's Life of Charlemagne, a very succinct description of King Charles' ideals, beliefs, attitudes and traits are depicted along with his life's territorial as well as mental conquests illustrated. Charlemagne was a man with a vision of a utopian society united under Christianity in its glorious form in an almost Camelot like kingdom. Einhard's literary work gives society an insight into King Charles and what made him capable of being Augustus.
As indicated by Einhard, Charlemagne was a man of all talents but few beliefs and traits truly molded him. Charlemagne ruled over an empire and Christianity ruled over and guided his life. Whether in concern to his public works, his personal habits or even his foreign relations, Christianity was the center of focus. He not only spent time trying to promote Christianity and convert, in lands he conquered, but in his own kingdom as well. "But his chief concern was for the churches, when he discovered in any part of his kingdom that was old and ready to collapse he charged the responsible bishops and priests with restoring it. And he made sure his instructions were carried out…" (Einhard 2004, 209). He spent time raising the religion to this high platform by creating great religious structures and embellishing and reconstructing churches all over. He himself practiced the religion to a deep extent, as Einhard explains the King's habits and piety, " As long as his health permitted, the king attended church regularly in the morning and evening and took part in the late-night and early morning mass" (Einhard 2004, 214). Promoting the religion and protecting fellow Christians drove his actions. His devotion and great piety implies his characteristics of being conscious of his beliefs and staying true to what he believed was right.
In addition, Charlemagne was a man devoted to his beliefs who was essentially kind, friendly, very patriotic and, also, trying to be known for his acts and create a good reputation for himself. Over the course of his life Charlemagne was able to create great ties with fellow leaders around the world and through various empires, and although he was also trying to aid Christians who needed help in foreign lands, he seemed to have this need to have good relations with everyone. According to Einhard, he had great friendships all around the world and always welcomed foreigners in his kingdom and palace for only one simple thing in return. "For he felt that he would be rewarded for his troubles if they [foreigners] praised his generosity and gave him a good reputation" (Einhard 2004, 212). He was a great king who wanted to go down in history. As per Einhard, that seems to be Charlemagne's only selfish trait. He apparently only wore the national dress of the Frankish with few exceptions, which can only imply his great patriotism. Although he appreciated foreign customs,...

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