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    Available in PDF Format | Charlemagne.pdf | English
    Matthias Becher(Author)
Charlemagne, ruler of the vast Frankish kingdom from 768 to his death in 814 and emperor from the year 800, is considered the father of Europe. He founded the first empire in western Europe after the fall of Rome, and his court at Aix-la-Chapelle was a centre of classical learning and a focus of the Carolingian Renaissance. This book is an introduction to Charlemagne's life and legend. Matthias Becher describes Charlemagne's rise to emperor and traces his political and military manoeuvering against the Saxons, the Lombards, and others, as Charlemagne incorporated these lands into his own realm. Becher points out that under Charlemagne, jury courts were introduced, the laws of the Franks revised and written down, new coinage introduced, weights and measures reformed, and a Frankish grammar begun. Charlemagne tried to give his kingdom a spiritual basis by referring to antique traditions, says Becher, and he explores the tensions that existed in Charlemagne's court between modern ideas and traditional thinking. He concludes by discussing Charlemagne's kinship network, the evolving arrangements for his succession, the effects of his reign, and his posthumous fame. Concise, insightful, and readable, this life of Charlemagne provides useful information about a remarkable man and his times.

"…a masterful account of the life stages of the "powerful figure" and the myth of Charlemagne…" -- Die Zeit

4.4 (12640)
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Book details

  • PDF | 176 pages
  • Matthias Becher(Author)
  • Yale University Press; First Edition / First Impression edition (1 Aug. 2003)
  • English
  • 5
  • Biography
Read online or download a free book: Charlemagne

Review Text

  • By SimonP-B on 21 March 2016

    One of the most badly written books I have ever read. It skips around the facts constantly introducing new subjects without explanation.Tedious and tiresome, I had to give up reading it and I am really interested In the subject.

  • By Barry from Fareham on 8 May 2005

    With only 141 pages of actual text this is more a brief synopsis of the a life that altered European history and culture.Well informed it suffers from the feeling that it is a translation with it's use of English. That said it will form part of the newer reference books on the subject along with Barbero's "Father of a Continent".Both books opt for a subject driven style and not a historical progession which ristricts the biographical feel for Charlemagne. The Emperor's motivations and rationals are explored but in our terms, there is no sense of empathy with the man by the books end.The questions first raised in Charles Edward Russell's "First of the Moderns" still remain but Russell is still the more entertaining read.

  • By a_shopper on 28 November 2014

    excellent service and product

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