Einhard: The Life of Charlemagne [Einhardi vita Karoli Magni]

translated by Samuel Epes Turner
(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1880)
Modified by Gordd Cymru to add a short biography of Einhard and facing Latin text

  Einhard was born around 770 at Seligenstadt in the River Main area of the eastern part of the Frankish Empire. His earliest training was at the monastery of Fulda. Abbot Baugulf sent him to the court of Charlemagne to complete his training at the Palace School, where he was fortunate enough to count among his masters the great Alcuin. In spite of his ugliness, Einhard's talents made him one of the emperor's most trusted advisers. Charlemagne gave Einhard charge of his great public buildings including the construction of the Aachen cathedral and the palaces of Aachen and Ingelheim. In 802 CE, Charlemagne placed Einhard in charge of the negotiations for the exchange of distinguished Saxon hostages, and later in 806, Einhard was dispatched to Rome to obtain papal approbation for the partition of the empire the emperor had just decided upon.
   During the reign of Louis the Pious, Einhard retained his position and proved a faithful counsellor to Louis's son Lothair. In the coming years, Einhard struggled to bring a reconciliation between Louis and his sons and finally, in 1830, he withdrew to his estates at Mühlheim on the Main. In the next few years, he established a Benedictine abbey there, where, after the death of his wife, Emma, sister of Bishop Bernhar of Worms, he spent the rest of his life as abbot.


The Life of the Emperor Charles

[1] The Merovingians

[2] Charlemagne's Ancestors

[3] Charlemagne's Accession

[4] Plan of This Work

[5] Aquitanian War

[6] Lombard War

[7] Saxon War

[8] Saxon War (continued)

[9] Spanish Expedition

[10] Submission of the Bretons and Beneventans

[11] Tassilo and the Bavarian Campaign

[12] Slavic War

[13] War with the Huns

[14] Danish War

[15] Extent of Charlemagne's Conquests

[16] Foreign Relations

[17] Public Works

[18] Private Life

[19] Private Life (continued)

[20] Conspiracies Against Charlemagne

[21] Charlemagne's Treatment of Foreigners

[22] Personal Appearance

[23] Dress

[24] Habits

[25] Studies

[26] Piety

[27] Generosity

[28] Charlemagne Crowned Emperor

[29] Reforms

[30] Coronation of Louis-Charlemagne's Death

[31] Burial

[32] Omens of Death

[33] Will

Purchase the Life of Charlemagne, Einhard, Univ of Michigan Press, June 1960, ISBN: 047206035X