Charlemagne, Patron of Scholars: Examining the Role of Carolingian Learning and the Motives Behind Einhard's Portrayal of the Emperor

Christopher Winsor

Abstract


The Carolingian Renaissance fostered a renewed interest in learning and education during the eighth and ninth centuries. This paper aims to examine the function of this learning for Carolingian administration and society, particularly under Charlemagne. Scholarship allowed the Carolingians to improve the government of their realms and enhance the Christian faith. To aid in this investigation Einhard's biography of the emperor, The Life of Charlemagne, is analyzed. Being a court scholar, and later a lay abbot, Einhard was completely immersed in the scholarly world of his liege. As such, both his comments on Charlemagne's scholarship and the motives behind his portrayal are inspected. Placing Einhard in this context provides a clearer picture of learning and education in the Carolingian world.


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References


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