Two Lives of Charlemagne

Two Lives of Charlemagne Two revealingly different accounts of the life of the most important figure of the Roman EmpireCharlemage known as the father of Europe was one of the most powerful and dynamic of all medieval ruler

  • Title: Two Lives of Charlemagne
  • Author: Einhard Notker the Stammerer Lewis Thorpe
  • ISBN: 9780140442137
  • Page: 318
  • Format: Paperback
  • Two revealingly different accounts of the life of the most important figure of the Roman EmpireCharlemage, known as the father of Europe, was one of the most powerful and dynamic of all medieval rulers The biographies brought together here provide a rich and varied portrait of the king from two perspectives that of Einhard, a close friend and adviser, and of Notker, a moTwo revealingly different accounts of the life of the most important figure of the Roman EmpireCharlemage, known as the father of Europe, was one of the most powerful and dynamic of all medieval rulers The biographies brought together here provide a rich and varied portrait of the king from two perspectives that of Einhard, a close friend and adviser, and of Notker, a monastic scholar and musician writing fifty years after Charlemagne s death.

    One thought on “Two Lives of Charlemagne”

    1. Exactly as the title says. Two biographies of Charlemagne, written in the 9th century.Einhard's story is direct, precise, and lists the man's achievements and wars in order. It's like an encyclopedia entry, and all the more remarkable that we have something like it from someone who knew the man. Notker the Stammerer's account, written a few decades later, somehow has a more personal account. He lists anecdotes, not military campaigns, and he ventures out of chronological order. Charlemagne of co [...]

    2. Einhard and Notker the Stammerer. TWO LIVES OF CHARLEMAGNE. (1969). ****. Here are two translations from early German manuscripts, both purporting to be “biographies” of Charlemagne. Neither is a biography in the strict sense, but both are interesting to read for a sense of the times. Einhard (b. 770) wrote his tale between 829 and 836. He became the advisor and personal friend of Charlemagne and remained so until the Emperor’s death in 814. He was also in high favor with Lewis the Pious, [...]

    3. This volume contains two of the more important contemporary biographies of the most famous monarch of the Middle Ages, Charlemagne. The first, "Vito Caroli," was written in the early ninth century by Charlemagne's clerk Einhard, who modeled his account after Suetonius's TWELVE CAESARS (minus that author's salacious details). It is a matter-of-fact narrative of Charlemagne's wars against the Saxons, Avars, and Longobards (apropos of which Einhard quotes the Greek saying, “If a Frank is your fri [...]

    4. There's not much to say about these two 'biographies' of Charlemagne. The first, written by Einhard, a contemporary of Charlemagne, is brief and barren. His military exploits and his dress and manners are detailed, but one gets little indication of what the man was really like. Fine, but boring. The second, written by Notker the Stammerer, a monk at the monastery of Saint Gall, was much more interesting. However, I learned far less about Charlemagne, than about the inept and corrupt bishops of t [...]

    5. Two hagiographies of Charlemagne, one of the forerunners of the European Union-he, in fact established the mediaeval EU with such means that would be more than spurned today. Although these two totally different biographies were written in order to adulate one of the greatest, if not the greatest, ruler of all times, they are interesting because of the information they give the modern reader (not just about Charlemagne himself, but also on the ordinary aspects of the daily life back in the 8th a [...]

    6. I particularly liked Notker the Stammerer's anecdotes for the glimpses into various parts of 8th-century life-- congregational singing, making fun of red-haired people, the difficulty of exchanging envoys and legates, etc. I also thought it fascinating when he said that the quote he just gave from Charlemagne he actually pulled from the Life of Ambrose because Charlemagne said it in Frankish which didn't translate into Latin well.I'm afraid some of the things that puzzle me most the academics wi [...]

    7. Interesting somewhat. Started the book with no knowledge of Carolingian Renaissance ; had to BS a quick 8 pg paper in 6 hrs. Would def recommend for those interesting in learning about a ruler who was sought by posterity as a model for rulership , Christian virtues, etc --- would probably not read it again =p

    8. Contrast Einhard's life based on the Suetonius model and the anecdotal semi-folktale collection of Noktar the Stammerer.

    9. I'm the kind of reader who digs reading ancient history and especially primary sources, but generally my knowledge is limited to ancient Rome and Greece, not to medieval history. So this collection of Charlemagne stories was something of a start point for me. I think it’s a good one for anyone, too.In a nutshell, Charlemagne was a Frankish king who lived in the eighth century. He didn’t quite found the Carolingian Empire, but he greatly expanded it to include most of modern-day France German [...]

    10. Pretty Good. I honestly enjoyed Einhard's account over Notker's, but both summarized Charlemagne's life very well (thank goodness). He was indeed an awesome Christian king.

    11. 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 [...]

    12. If you have any interest in Carolingians and Charlemagne -- Charles the Great -- this book is well worth reading. After an interesting and detailed introduction by Thorpe, we are presented with Einhard's Life of Charlemagne, modelled both in content and Latin style upon Suetonius' life of Augustus. Despite its literary endebtedness, it is nevertheless an interesting and fairly accurate portrayal of a long-reigning monarch who forged and consolidated much of the West's legacy, as seen through the [...]

    13. An interesting look at how the people of early medieval europe thought of the famous Charlemagne, and how the facts even then were vague and unanswerable. These predate a lot of the mythology that enveloped him in the centuries after his death.It is tough for me to review a manuscript (or two) written so long ago, as I am tempted to use modern standards to criticize the authors for what they may not have attempted to do. Historians don't look on Notker kindly, as he messes up the facts and creat [...]

    14. This book, containing the two earliest biographies (really, nearly hagiographies) of Charlemagne, was a very interesting read. Charlemagne is, of course, one of the most important figures in the history of Europe and understanding the life and especially the legend of Charlemagne is essential to understanding medieval culture and the entire history and mythology of knights, nobility, and courtly life. Both of these short lives of Charlemagne were interesting not necessarily for the light they sh [...]

    15. Chronicles of Charlemagne's life by his courtier Einhard and a monk named Notker the Stammerer are presented in this book. Both presented Charlemagne as a fearsome warrior and a man of great Christian piety. Classical and Biblical references peppered both texts, especially Notker's. Notker made parallels with King David's life multiple times. You can also see, especially in Notker's first book, the leadership that Charlemagne had over the church in his domains and the seeds of the Investiture Co [...]

    16. A nice read for people who like reading about historical figures. The book is split into 2 halves (aside from the hefty intro) by two authors. The first author is the best for a more accurate historical source, while the other, written by a monk, serves as an example of the legend Charlemagne would become. I didn't know much about Charlemagne prior to this reading, and came out with more knowledge than the average person, I suppose.

    17. The essential biographies of one of the most important characters in medieval history. Both are written for the moral improvement of the reader; Einhard draws more on first-hand material, while Notker uses numerous entertaining anecdotes. While there are some inaccuracies (detailed in the endnotes), these chronicles show why Charlemagne deserves to be known as the man who "made" Western Europe.

    18. Surprisingly good. Einhard gives a very concise, solid version of Charlemagne's deeds. He can stand proudly among current authors, due to his brevity, references, and his admission of his own bias. Notker is something else entirely. His book is not cohesive, nor is it history. Rather, it is a series of sycophantic anecdotes about a wise king catching wicked bishops, pagans, and other bandits red-handed. Notker does a good job, but it's not the sort of thing that will appeal to most readers.

    19. I only read the Einhard version of Charlemagne's life, but I found his narration interesting for its reflection on medieval society. Because Einhard was indebted to Charlemagne for his prestige, and still living off of his successor's kindness at the time of writing, it is no surprise that this is a biased piece. What we do learn about the great king (namely, that he was a womanizer and a patron of the liberal arts) makes him an intriguing, albeit mysterious, character.

    20. So Einhard writes about Charlemagne. And he also appears to have been the first to record what really happened at Roncevaux, but his account is frustratingly brief. From his single reference to "Roland, Lord of the Briton Marches", we get the Song of Roland as we know it today. Einhard paid more attention to Charlemagne's clothes and stuff (apparently, he wore a blue cloak).

    21. Einhard, writing in the manner of Suetonious, gives us the new Roman emperor, Charlemagne. It seems so innocent at times, despite the constant warfare. I especially appreciate the descriptions of Charlemagne trying to learn to write. The story of a man who did change history, both through his battles and through his conservation and advancement of learning.

    22. Charlemagne was the first European, and understanding who he was and what it meant to be Christian and European during his time is critical in understanding the formation of Europe, the Catholic Church and the modern world. There, isn't that enough reason to pick up this book? How about his questionable relations with his sister, daughters, wives and concubines?

    23. I bought this -- or was given it -- in Florence. I read it before going to Aachen the first time. Thanks to Notker the Stammerer, we know that Pippin the younger, in the earliest days of unsettled Aachen, slew a demon in the hot springs. "Do not mind this little affair"

    24. I preferred Notker the Stammerer's biography to Einhard's, but was struck by both as being very true and friendly accounts of what Charlemagne was really like. There are more complete, more accurate histories out there, but to hear it in the words of those who knew him was fascinating.

    25. There are three parts to this book. There is an introduction by the translator and editor which places the original works in context; it also includes appropriate criticism of the veracity of many of the passages, and endnotes suggesting the origins of many of the passages have little to do with the life of Charlemagne. There is a memoir of Charlemagne by a younger advisor who apparently knew him fairly well. The third part is a biographical sketch by a monk written from secondary material a lif [...]

    26. This is another of the classics of early medieval history that I faked reading in grad school. It is a delightful volume. It was pooh-poohed in class because of Notker's poor Latin. Einhard's Life of Charlemagne was preferred. Notker was writing almost one hundred years after Charlemagne. His work shines as an example of the world view of what passed for an educated cleric in the time of the invasions of the Northmen and the Magyars. Consider it a piece of war reportage from the front lines and [...]

    27. Wonderful accounts explaining Charlemagne’s life. Moreover, the introduction gives a good overview of his accomplishments and failings during his reign as emperor.

    28. Very interesting. Dry and tough like a bad steak. Inconsistent anything but reliable and concise. Interesting though.

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