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The Life of Charlemagne the Great

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Charlemagne was a great emperor who joined together much of the Western Roman Empire in the Early Middle Ages. His life is told in the Two Lives of Charlemagne written by Einhard, a friend of Charlemagne, and Notker, a scholar who wrote fifty years after Charlemagne's death. Charlemagne was a great man who set out to expand and convert the Frankish empire.

Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, was born in about 742 and died in 814. He was one of the most powerful rulers of his time and is known as the Father of Europe. Charlemagne was a friendly, intelligent, active, and confident man. Because of a shortage of schools in Charlemagne's time, historians say that he received very little education.

Pepin the Short, Charlemagne's father, died in 768 leaving the Frankish kingdom to his two sons Charlemagne and Carloman II. After Charlemagne's brother died in 771, he was left to rule all of the Frankish Empire. Charlemagne was a devout Christian who set out on a conquest to convert all the nation to Christianity. After battling the Saxons, Saracens, and Lombardians, for many years, he was crowned Emperor of the Western World in 800.

After Charlemagne was crowned emperor, he enriched life for even the lowest class citizens in his kingdom. He helped them by improving the military, administration, commerce, and schooling which he made freely available to everyone in his empire. Charlemagne also kept the empire safe from invaders, because of his great military success his reputation played a major part in this defense.

Charlemagne converted and expanded the Frankish empire. Even with little schooling, he was still able to impact the world for generations. Charlemagne's leadership abilities, morality, and his accomplishments made him into a great emperor who is admired to this day.



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