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This essay will explore the history of Western civilizations through the works of Einhard in his famous book titled “The Life of Charlemagne”. Einhard was conceived to a family of considerably inferior status in society. His parents took him to the monks of Fulda.
This was one of the most prestigious learning institutions within the Frank region. Under the guidance and mentorship of the monks, he acquired a lot of knowledge and intellectual skills. Basically, this book is an autobiography of Einhard’s master and foster parent known as Charlemagne.
He is revered as one of the most successful rulers of the ancient western civilizations. This essay discusses the life of Charlemagne based on his military conquest, association with the church, and the reforms instituted in his administration.
Charlemagne waged war on the Saxons with a lot of passion, emotion, anger, and determination that he had never displayed in any other conflicts. This was as a result of the Saxons religious beliefs. Most of the German sub-tribes were known to engage in the worship of evil spirits.
They were particularly hostile towards Christianity, a religion in which Charlemagne was a strong believer. The conflict between the Franks and Saxons took more than 30 years to be settled. The war could have ended earlier, but it was extended due to duplicity from the Saxons.
Each time the Saxons were conquered, they promised to denounce their worship of the devil and obey the king. However, they would breach these terms as quickly as they accepted them. These scenarios were replicated each year as Charlemagne fought the Saxons. Regardless of these occurrences, Charlemagne remained steadfast in his quest to defeat evil and spread Christianity (Einhard, 5).
When Charlemagne finally conquered the Saxons, he created settlements in Gaul and Germany. He later offered these settlements to his citizens. Ultimately, the Saxons finally submitted to Charlemagne’s orders and renounced their worship of the devil.
They abandoned their religious customs, embraced Christianity, and fused with the Franks to form a united nation. Charlemagne skillfully planned and executed his war strategies, which made him the most prosperous king of his time. During his reign, he significantly expanded the boundaries of the Frank kingdom. When Charlemagne died the kingdom was twice what he inherited from his father.
Church in society
Charlemagne was vehemently devoted to the Christian faith. He was introduced to Christianity from a very tender age by his father. Charlemagne constructed churches such as the Aix-la-Chapelle. The church was decorated with gold lamps. It also has solid brass doors and the floor was finished with marbles.
The marbles and columns in the church were specifically imported. They were brought in from Rome and Ravenna because they were not locally available. Charlemagne was fond of this church, and it is reported that he used to worship there regularly.
He was a constant guest of the church so long as his health permitted him. Apart from the regular mass service Charlemagne also made frequent nightly visits to the church, not excluding his usual dawn and evening visits. Charlemagne ensured that the mass was celebrated properly and also issued a directive that nothing offensive to the Christian faith should be allowed into the church.
Charlemagne donated a lot of clerical robes and sacred vases to the church. He went to great lengths to enhance the quality of reading and singing, activities which he was passionate about. Einhard argues that Charlemagne was a very talented singer and had an excellent command of language. He was well educated and read the biblical verses with eloquence (Einhard, 4-6).
Reforms in administration
After being ordained as the roman emperor, Charlemagne discovered that his people’s constitution or regulations were not appropriate. The Franks governance system was comprised of two mutually exclusive sections of law. After a long deliberation and consultation with his advisers, Charlemagne finally chose to include what he considered being the missing clauses.
This was done in an attempt to address the discrepancies and rectify what was considered inappropriate. However, these reforms did not achieve their intended outcomes. It is important to note that even though these reforms were not successful, Charlemagne was able to consolidate all the laws from his subjects’ sub-tribes. He later ensured that the laws were recorded in hard copies.
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In recognition of the ancient rulers before him, Charlemagne ordered that all the dirges which acknowledged the work and wars fought by the previous rulers be recorded for future generations. Charlemagne is also credited with starting formal education in his native language.
The translated the name given to the months into his own language. This was contrary to the Latin names that were accustomed to Franks. Charlemagne also allocated names to the winds, which he classified as 12 distinct winds. Before his classification, only 4 types of wind were classified (Einhard, 37).
This essay discusses the life of Charlemagne based on his military conquest, association with the church, and the reforms instituted in his administration. This paper exemplifies the significance of history, how it has shaped the current world, and how it will influence the future.
Einhard, and A J. Grant. The Life of Charlemagne. San Ramon, Calif.: ReadHowYouWant.com, 2006. Print.