Words through the centuries

Two Lives of Charlemagne 
Einhard & Notker the Stammerer
 This is an interesting read as you have two writers presenting their version of the life of Charlemagne. They could be called biographies but that does not seem to really characterise what that they write. The first is written by Einhard who was present in Charlemagne's reign and the second some years later by a monk named Notker the Stammerer.
Charlemagne also known as Charles the Great or Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768, the King of Italy from 774, and from 800 the first emperor in western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state he founded is called the Carolingian Empire.
Charlemagne was the oldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon and was initially co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. Charlemagne continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death, at times leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden. Charlemagne reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned as "Emperor" by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Old St. Peter's Basilica.
That is the historical side of Charlemagne and a bit droll. Mind you Einhard is extremely droll in his explantion and you have no sense of who the King was. Notker does not provide any real insight into Charlemagne either but his anecdotes about priests and bishops in the order is the best parts.
What I found really interesting was both author's focus was on Charlemagne's pious nature and his work for the Church, anytime there was an incident that cast doubt on his character the behaviour was blamed on the influence of a woman.
Both documents expose no fault in Charlemagne's character and he is almost portrayed as a Saint.
I enjoyed the read and I am always amazed that these words exist after all these years.

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