Free The Life of Charlemagne Essay Sample
This is an analysis paper which attempts to make deep analysis of a biography written by Einhard on the life of Charlemagne. Charlemagne was a great King who is reported to have been born onb April, 2, 742 in Northern Europe. He was referred to by other names such as Charles the great by the English, Karl der Grosse by the Germany and Karel de Grote by the Dutch. At the age of 26 years this king is reported to have launched a military campaign which saw become a great ruler of western Europe (Luicidcafe 1). Shortly after the death of King Charles the great Einhard wrote a biography on this great king. This paper is an attempt to examine whether clams made in the biography as authored by Einhard can be relied on. In order to accomplish, this paper examines who Einhard was and further looks deep into the intent of the author writing the King's biography. In the discussion the paper will bring out the relationship between the relationship between Einhard and the King.
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Born in 770 AD and died in 840 AD, Einhard was a roman catholic. He was also referred to by other names: Einhartus, Ainhardus or Heinhardus. He was a Germany. It is reported that he was very intelligent and this earned him a place at the palace of the great King. It is reported that the he received his earliest training at the monastery of Fulda. It was at this place that he showed great skill and extra ordinary intelligence that he was chosen and sent to the court of the King. He went through the palace school and was found to be intelligent enough to be one of the Kings advisors. It is reported that he was among the King's most trusted advisors meaning that he must have been close to the King to have attained that trust from the King. It is reported that the King had Einhard in charge of significant construction projects which included public buildings. Einhard was also used in diplomatic missions for instance in 802 he was involved in the negotiation of the release of distinguished Saxon hostage (New Advent 1). Having briefly examined who Einhard, attention is now turned to the biography that he wrote.
There are many convincing reasons that are compelling to view the biography written by Einhard as a reliable and true depiction of the events that took place in the life of the King. It has be en shown that he was very close to the King. Closeness to the King means he could access information which he wrote down in the biography. He is depicted as one who was highly trusted and could be sent on sensitive mission such as to the Pope and to negotiate issues on behalf of the King (NNDB 1). This shows that he had rich information about the King and the Kingdom. This depicts a person with rich knowledge which could be easily put down. It is correct therefore to argue that the biography was written by a person who had a rich and first hard information on what was going in the kingdom.
It is also worth noting that the author this biography was a renowned scholar of his time. This was the first biography that he had written. It reported that he was constantly writing and thus was a person skilled in writing. His other works are reported to works of great popularity (NNDB 1). This implies that Einhard was not a new person to authorship but a person who had gotten used to writing for he had written on various issues. T his renders this biography some level of credibility by the fact that it was written by an author who was quite familiar with writing skills. The fact that the biography was written shortly after the death of the King could help to make the author write on only reliable information about the King taking into consideration the fact that memories were still fresh about the exploits of the King.
The Intention of Einhard
At the preface to the biography the author claims the King to be his foster father. Afterwards the author mentions about some challenges that he faced when he wanted to write the biography. However he braved through and wrote the biography. The opposition that he talks about was to come from people who were expertise in the literary world and he says that he did his best not write in a manner that will be disgusting to these people. The author said that he was compelled despite likely opposition which would be forthcoming, "made up my mind that it was better to risk the opinions of the world, and put my little talents for composition to the test" (Einhard 1). This can be taken to be the checks which were virtually in place to check the document and see that it was written well. The author was very much aware of the likely criticism which would be forthcoming from people. This would in itself made the author to take an extra care in writing the biography in order to save it from possible criticism which would render it useless and thus risky the very reason that he had engaged himself to write about.
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The author also makes a bold claim that he had to engage himself in writing the biography because no one else was placed in a better place to do the same: "no man can write with more accuracy than I of events that took place about me, and of facts concerning which I had personal knowledge" (Einhard 1). This once confirms that Einhard was better placed to write because of the massive knowledge he had about the King some of which could not be found in the public domain but only in Einhard. It should be noted that they had very close association with the King making it possible for him to have very confidential information about the King.
The author in general argues that he was forced to write the biography because the King was such a great hero and he could not just die without his name being remembered. He then embarks on how he found the King to be quite caring and probably that is why he used the terms father to refer to him. Einhard viewed it as a betrayal for him to keep quite and not write about the King because of the way the king had endeared himself to Einhard.
Taking into considerations the circumstances and the person who wrote this biography it is prudent to view it as a reliable primary source of information. It has been shown that the author was indeed in a position of accessing information both in the public domain and confidential about the King and therefore making the author possibly the best to write the biography. It has also been shown that writing was not a thing to the author as he had written a number of documents before writing the biography. The fact that the author was possibly facing an eminent opposition about his writing can be viewed as a cross check which existed to help him come up with a document which could be relied on.