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Essay Is About Charles The Great's Accomplishments

853 words - 3 pages

Einhard's biography portrays Charlemagne as a strong leader who unified Western Europe through his military prowess and the support of the church. His belief in the need for education among the Frankish people was to bring about religious, political, and educational reform throughout his empire.A tough military leader, Charlemagne more than doubled the size of his kingdom before his death. Throughout most of his adult life, he was constantly occupied with wars and extending the borders of his empire. Einhard takes up more than half of his biography writing about various battles that Charlemagne was involved in. Whether it be a battle against the Saxons or the Bretons or whoever his enemy was at the time, Charlemagne was ruthless and nothing could "daunt him from anything that had to be taken up or carried through, for he had trained himself to bear and endure whatever came" (286).One of the reasons why Charlemagne undertook so many wars was for religious reasons. In Einhard's biography it says that Charlemagne's father, Pepin, had waged a war against the Lombards "at the request of Pope Stephen" (284). A few lines later, it explains that Charlemagne continued this war after his father's death for the same reasons his father had started the war. The sole reason why this battle against the Lombards ensued was because a religious leader requested it. This shows that the Pope clearly had a lot of influence over Charlemagne and that the king of the Franks would take orders from one of God's servants. In another example, Einhard writes about the battle against the Saxons. He says that the Saxons were "given to the worship of devils, and hostile to our religion" (285). Because the Saxons religious beliefs were different from the Franks, Charlemagne wanted to conquer these people. He found the Saxons a threat to Christianity and wished to destroy them and their religion. We see further evidence of this when reading about the terms that ended the war: "renunciation of their national religious customs and the worship of devils, and acceptance of the sacraments of the Christian faith and religion, and union with the Franks to form one people" (286).Charlemagne was also a devout Christian who tried to spread the glory of God peacefully. One of the ways he did this was by building a basilica at Aix-la-Chapelle. This beautiful building was beautifully adorned with precious metals and the columns and marble were shipped in from Rome and Ravenna. Charlemagne frequently came to the basilica to worship and tried to improve...

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