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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Excerpted on author's behalf:

The Carolingian period was of significant importance to the development of medieval history writing. Charlemagne (c.742-814) surrounded himself with scholars in an effort to promote learning and the arts, which had been in decline for centuries. Within this Carolingian Renaissance, there was one scholar who established his place in history by writing a concise but remarkable, and mostly accurate, biography of the greatest king and emperor of the early Middle Ages. This scholar was Einhard (c.770-840), who created impressively original works that had both an immediate and lasting influence on the writing of biographies and hagiographies. A closer look at these works reveals a great deal about the man who wrote them and the social and political climate that shaped them. From his classical education and the influence of Charlemagne’s court, Einhard developed a unique style of writing and created works which, in addition to giving him personal power, had social and political significance for the Carolingians.

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