The Life of Charlemagne

The Life of Charlemagne A vivid life of Charlemagne written ca A D by a member of his court ForewordEinhard s PrefaceThe Life of the Emperor CharlesNotesGenealogical TableMap

  • Title: The Life of Charlemagne
  • Author: Einhard Sidney Painter Samuel Epes Turner
  • ISBN: 9780472060351
  • Page: 443
  • Format: Paperback
  • A vivid life of Charlemagne, written ca A.D 830 by a member of his court.ForewordEinhard s PrefaceThe Life of the Emperor CharlesNotesGenealogical TableMap

    One thought on “The Life of Charlemagne”

    1. This is such a lovely little biography, and a lot of fun to read. The middle section, especially, is so personal and filled with little details that you don't find all that frequently in medieval sources. Thanks to Einhard we get to hear about Charlemagne's elephant, his hatred of doctors (they told him it would be healthier for him to eat boiled meat, instead of roasted), the fact that he like to listen to readings from Augustine's City of God, he didn't want to marry off any of his daughters, [...]

    2. Ce livre est une édition critique bilingue très récente de la « Vie de Charlemagne », écrite en latin par Eginhard, un érudit franc ayant vécu à la fin du huitième et au début du neuvième siècle. Cette biographie m’a beaucoup plu : quelle différence avec la lamentable situation relatée par Grégoire de Tours dans son Histoire des Francs. Il semble que la situation s’améliore. On retrouve au début la description fameuse des « rois fainéants », les derniers des Mérovingien [...]

    3. Not quite the vivid and personal detail of the backcover blurb, still, Einhard was writing centuries ago. He did have the model of the ancient Greeks and he didn't quite hit their standard, but different times call for different measures. He writes:I have been careful not to omit any facts that could come to my knowledge, but at the same time not to offend by a prolix style those minds that despise everything modernI love how in every time period there have been those who have despised everythin [...]

    4. Looking for a bedtime book, I found this little thing tucked away amongst the biographies in the hallway--just the right length for the purpose. It's old and was probably picked up simply because it's the translation of a primary source.As it happens, it is the primary source for the life of Charles the Great, putative first king of France. Other sources, such as that of the one called "The Stammerer", are either later or written by ones more distant from the man and the events described. Parent [...]

    5. I am a bit of a history buff (RE: nut) and thoroughly enjoyed this short, well, biography I suppose. The best part of this text is the insight into the life and times of Charlemagne from the most contemporary of sources: a man within Charlemagne’s inner circle. Einhard also lays this book out in a most wonderful format - chronologically. If you’ve read any other contemporary texts, from this period or before, you will know that chronological writing seems to be something of a recent developm [...]

    6. There are many battles at the beginning and they are redundant and overly detailed, although a footnote will flesh out some of Einhard's facts. For example, Einhard says "Charlemagne didn't like the Saxons' inconstancy." The book informs us that "Charlemagne beheaded 4,500 Saxons in one day." Charlemagne also battled the Huns and won.The 22 pages of personal description of Charlemagne, for example, "he had three daughterso by his third wife, Fastrada, a woman of East Frankish (German) origin, an [...]

    7. This biography of Charles the Great was written by a close confidante of his not long after Charles' death, which makes it an extremely valuable primary source. The short book reads well, just like a story, because Einhard's language is simple yet packed with meaning. I enjoyed the anecdotes in which Einhard casually references Charles' failures the best, because they're so dry and funny. This book is not long at all, it only takes a couple of hours to read, but the reader certainly learns a lot [...]

    8. Wonderfully matter of fact (especially after the Life of St Benedict) with interesting personal details, such as that he did not give away his daughters in marriage as was the custom, because he loved them too much. Learned much I didn't know about Charlemagne. Glad this man took the trouble, over a millennium ago to write it down.

    9. Just finished “The life of Charlemagne” written by Einhard, who was alive and know Charlemagne (died 814) personally. I read it in an English translation by Lewis Thorpe. It was a significant read for me because my family trace their heritage back on my mother’s side with some probability back to him, and through him back to Pepin the short, who died in 768CE. The link for me was a tangible inspiration as I had read about the Carolingian Renaissance, through which many Roman texts were cop [...]

    10. The book, with preface, is 52 pages long. The battles at the beginning are kinda boring, although a footnote will flesh out some of Einhard's facts. For example, Einhard says "Charlemagne didn't like how the Saxons kept being fickle." The footnote says "Charlemagne beheaded 4,500 Saxons in one day." Heh. Also, um, Charlemagne beat the Huns? I didn't know that.The 22 pages of personal description of Charlemagne is easy to read and includes stuff like "he had three daughterso by his third wife, Fa [...]

    11. This is just a short little history of Charlemagne written by a man who was actually there and knew him, which is why I picked it up in the first place. I definitely would have enjoyed this more if I would have had more of a historical background surrounding the 9th century. I have only read a little bit about Charlemagne and his father so for the most part I was pretty blind as to what was going on and who the political players of the time were. The first little bit is about the different wars [...]

    12. I have no more idea how to rate a book like this than any document I might find in an archive or museum, so I won't. It reads as one attempting to put down, to the best of his memory and the documents available to him, the highlights of a major figure's life, which means it is a very quick read touching on major themes in only the briefest of detail. However, because the author was not only a contemporary of Charlemagne but knew him personally, the account is written with both an affection and a [...]

    13. A charming, if biased, period source. Probably not for anyone who doesn't already have a good background on the era and people involved, and definately not for anyone doing serious research (due to the afore-mentioned bias). It is, however, a quick read, and does provide a personal view of Charlemagne, so I'd recommend it to anyone who is a student of the period or of the man. And if I'm ever eulogised even half as well, I'll rest happy.

    14. The author of this biography, one of the first written after the fall of the Roman Empire, was a member of the royal court of Charlemagne. Therefore, there is nothing in the way of criticism of the man Einhard considered a great king and emperor.The book is a very short compilation of Charlemagne’s achievements as the ruler of the Franks, most of the content is a series of brief descriptions of the almost constant warfare during his reign. Written of course from the perspective of the victor a [...]

    15. An interesting biographical approach to history comes from the mists of the Middle Ages. Although written in an obvious hagiographic key, Einhard's initiative to report (even subjectively) the most important and relevant happenings in the life of Charlemagne, just - seemingly - a couple of decades after his death, represents a milestone in historiography (and also literature) thanks to paving the way towards biographical accounts (too little critical and analytical, at first, to be honest) of th [...]

    16. "He therefore came to Rome to restore the condition of the church, which was terribly disturbed, and spent the whole of the winter there. It was then that he received the title of Emperor and Augustus, which he so disliked at first that he affirmed that he would not have entered the church on that day — though it was the chief festival of the church — if he could have foreseen the design of the Pope. But when he had taken the title he bore very quietly the hostility that it caused and the in [...]

    17. I loved reading the prose from one who lived so long ago. I think he did a great job detailing the main events of Charlemagne's life. It was definitely a one sided point of view, as Einhard was part of the household and quite obviously thought highly of him. Still, he did enlighten on Charlemagne's character and gave brief descriptions of his conquests and enlarging the Frankish kingdom. I will still need to read other sources to find out more about his accomplishments in other areas outside of [...]

    18. There is a place in time after Rome falls, but before France and Germany are separate places in the way we think of them today. I could never recommend a book like this for pleasure reading, except for the fact that it is very short. What I love about this book, and the few books like it, is that it represents one of a very few windows into what most people call the Dark Ages. Much of what we know about Charlemagne comes from this tiny little book, which was self-consciously modeled on Suetonius [...]

    19. I read this many years ago as an undergraduate. It is really a cut and paste job by a monk who lived in the royal court. He takes bits and pieces from Roman classics and write a hagiography of the emperor. The amazing fact is that it was written at all. In a society where less than 3% of the population were literate, it qualifies as a masterpiece. Charlemagne himself was illiterate but had monks read him stories from their manuscripts. But for his program of encouraging monasticism in Europe, mu [...]

    20. Wow an amazingly hard read for being only 67 pages long. took a couple read through to get it but in the end I still had to go to my professor for some clarification. This book is a biography (not auto) of what most historians would call the key figure of the middle ages. Read if you have an interest in it.

    21. Was it really that good, four stars-good? No. But I did like it that much. It's something about reading a text (is it long enough to really be called "a book"?) so old, out of a society so foreign it's almost like reading fantasy, written by an individual who actually knew Karlamagnus, which is truly great to me. It leaves me wanting more of it.

    22. مصدر مهم للمهتم بالتاريخ الأوروبي في العصور الوسطى، وفيه خبر عن علاقة شارلمان بهارون الرشيد. ومؤلف الكتاب مستشار شارلمان ومن كبار رجال بلاطه، ولذلك لن تجد فيه الحقيقة كاملة، بل إن مؤلفه يصرّح بأنه يكتب في هذا الكتاب فقط الذكر الحسن لشارلمان وابنه من بعده، ليرد بعض فضله عليه. [...]

    23. It's an interesting biography of Charlemagne and of France, but the way it's written could've been better. There are chapters but you can't tell. It's confusing in a way because the topics jump from one thing to another without the introducing what the paragraph is all about. The name identities are puzzling.

    24. This has been on my list since I read so many books that had Charlemagne as a character of influence. Einhard is a contemporary and he tells the story so that history understands the greatness of this man. Einhardt sees him as almost infallible. Mostly it involves his conquest of Europe, and some about his troubles with his sons, in particular, Pippin.

    25. Colorful and concise; Einhard speaks of Charlemagne with such admiration and reverence. You really get a sense of the the latter's personality and habits--his love of learning, his valor, and his generosity. Also provided is a thorough account of Charlemagne's involvement in Frankish military ventures, including the legendary Battle of Roncevaux Pass, during which the fabled Roland perishes.

    26. An interesting, and very readable, account of the life of Charles I. It's funny, some writing at that time comes across as quite cute. Einhard apologises that he isn't a talented writer in the prologue to this account, which made me laugh a little, especially as he isn't really a bad writer at all.

    27. This blast from the past (written by Einhard circa 814 AD) is a quick and fun glimpse into the life of Charlemagne as written by one of his close contemporaries. You'll get through it in less than an hour, but it's certainly a worthwhile detour - surprisingly vibrant for such an old work

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