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Charlemagne: A Life From Beginning to End

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Charlemagne It is possible that no man has ever dominated a time as much as Charles the Great dominated the Early Middle Ages. It is true that the era had its kings, warriors, scholars, and religious leaders, but in many ways, Charlemagne was all of these things. Inside you will read about... ✓ Charles the Carolingian ✓ Charles the Conqueror ✓ Charles the King ✓ Charl Charlemagne It is possible that no man has ever dominated a time as much as Charles the Great dominated the Early Middle Ages. It is true that the era had its kings, warriors, scholars, and religious leaders, but in many ways, Charlemagne was all of these things. Inside you will read about... ✓ Charles the Carolingian ✓ Charles the Conqueror ✓ Charles the King ✓ Charles the Man ✓ Charles the Holy Roman Emperor ✓ The End of Charlemagne He conquered land for the Franks and sent in missionaries to convert the pagans to Christianity. He was probably illiterate, but he brought in Europe’s most renowned scholar, Alcuin of York, to transform education for both clergy and laity. He was much-married and virile, but he cherished his children and provided education for both his sons and his daughters. When he was named the Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III, his title was a Christian benediction for the conquest that unified Western Europe. The unification did not last, but the legend never faded.


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Charlemagne It is possible that no man has ever dominated a time as much as Charles the Great dominated the Early Middle Ages. It is true that the era had its kings, warriors, scholars, and religious leaders, but in many ways, Charlemagne was all of these things. Inside you will read about... ✓ Charles the Carolingian ✓ Charles the Conqueror ✓ Charles the King ✓ Charl Charlemagne It is possible that no man has ever dominated a time as much as Charles the Great dominated the Early Middle Ages. It is true that the era had its kings, warriors, scholars, and religious leaders, but in many ways, Charlemagne was all of these things. Inside you will read about... ✓ Charles the Carolingian ✓ Charles the Conqueror ✓ Charles the King ✓ Charles the Man ✓ Charles the Holy Roman Emperor ✓ The End of Charlemagne He conquered land for the Franks and sent in missionaries to convert the pagans to Christianity. He was probably illiterate, but he brought in Europe’s most renowned scholar, Alcuin of York, to transform education for both clergy and laity. He was much-married and virile, but he cherished his children and provided education for both his sons and his daughters. When he was named the Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III, his title was a Christian benediction for the conquest that unified Western Europe. The unification did not last, but the legend never faded.

30 review for Charlemagne: A Life From Beginning to End

  1. 4 out of 5

    Charles van Buren

    Awkwardly written Review of Kindle edition Publication date: December 5, 2016 Language: English ASIN: B01MQT4OOH A very awkwardly written little booklet which suffers from several problems probably beginning with being written by a committee or a staff writer. One reviewer commented that the middle portion of the book is befuddling and that the last quarter improves. I too noticed this which leads me to suspect authorship by committee or by cut and paste from several sources The major formatting prob Awkwardly written Review of Kindle edition Publication date: December 5, 2016 Language: English ASIN: B01MQT4OOH A very awkwardly written little booklet which suffers from several problems probably beginning with being written by a committee or a staff writer. One reviewer commented that the middle portion of the book is befuddling and that the last quarter improves. I too noticed this which leads me to suspect authorship by committee or by cut and paste from several sources The major formatting problem is that paragraphs are not clearly delineated particularly when reading using large type. At first, I thought that there were no paragraphs or any other method of separating themes. Thus the already awkward and frequently convoluted prose is made even more difficult to read and understand. Here is a sample, chosen almost at random, of the writing style: "Pepin was more religious than his father had been, and since such his views merged perfectly with what the popes themselves believed, it was small wonder that papal approval of the rising Carolingians would be an asset to building their strength." This isn't the worst example, merely the first which I came across while looking for a sample. The book uses both AD and CE for dates then soon drops both. Sentences, thoughts and subjects are frequently run together in a seemingly haphazard manner. I think that at least part of the problem is the publisher's effort to cram too much information into too short a book. This seems to be my month for finding weird reviews. Here is a three star review for this book posted on Amazon, "I have studied the dog cages extensively and read any book showing Charlemagne I found this book doable but we're not read it again". That's it, the whole review. I will be charitable and suppose that the reviewer meant dark ages instead of dog cages. But...who knows?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Otherwyrld

    Of all the Hourly History biographies I have read, Charlemagne was the person I probably knew the least about. My expectation was therefore pretty high for getting an good concise introduction to one of the founding fathers of modern Europe. Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed in that I really didn't feel like I learned anything. The biggest flaw was in the construction of the book - one chapter consisted of pretty much a list of battles, the context of which was entirely missing so that I h Of all the Hourly History biographies I have read, Charlemagne was the person I probably knew the least about. My expectation was therefore pretty high for getting an good concise introduction to one of the founding fathers of modern Europe. Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed in that I really didn't feel like I learned anything. The biggest flaw was in the construction of the book - one chapter consisted of pretty much a list of battles, the context of which was entirely missing so that I had no idea who any of these enemies were. This is one place where a map would have been useful. Much was made of Charlemagne's championship of Christianity, so much so that some of the more salient points were repeated in two different chapters. Charlemagne had such a huge influence (literally, he was apparently 6'5") that it needed a much better book than this to give him a proper introduction. If the Hourly Histories are designed to introduce people to a subject who had no prior knowledge, then this volume failed pretty badly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rona

    I remember reading about Charlemagne, when I was a kid but to be honest I had forgotten most of his story. I decided to pick this up and give it a read to refresh my memory. It was OK, I felt that there was too much emphasis on war but it served it purpose in that, it introduced you to the main aspects of his life, without going into too much detail. It wasn't the worst book that I have read, but I felt that it could have somehow been better. One good thing about this book is, that has whetted my I remember reading about Charlemagne, when I was a kid but to be honest I had forgotten most of his story. I decided to pick this up and give it a read to refresh my memory. It was OK, I felt that there was too much emphasis on war but it served it purpose in that, it introduced you to the main aspects of his life, without going into too much detail. It wasn't the worst book that I have read, but I felt that it could have somehow been better. One good thing about this book is, that has whetted my appetite for wanting to read more about the Carolingians and their lifestyle.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Great overview on Charles the Great's life and accomplishments. He achieved much during his reign, both through military conquests and religious reform. His kingdom, while short-lived after his death, helped drag Europe out of the Dark Ages and into a period of enlightenment. Great overview on Charles the Great's life and accomplishments. He achieved much during his reign, both through military conquests and religious reform. His kingdom, while short-lived after his death, helped drag Europe out of the Dark Ages and into a period of enlightenment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thom Swennes

    Charlemagne is the French name of one of the most proficient conquers and administrators ever to rule vast portions of Western Europe. His accomplishments prove that he was no neophyte when it came to waging war. At its peak, the Franks controlled territories spanning from the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. This includes present day Italy (including Corsica), France, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. This feat was accomplished at the end of the first Millennium and Charlemagne is the French name of one of the most proficient conquers and administrators ever to rule vast portions of Western Europe. His accomplishments prove that he was no neophyte when it came to waging war. At its peak, the Franks controlled territories spanning from the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. This includes present day Italy (including Corsica), France, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. This feat was accomplished at the end of the first Millennium and wouldn’t be surpassed for another thousand years. Although war was waged throughout his reign, he, like Napoleon Bonaparte ten centuries later, made many improvements in and for the lands he conquered. Some of these improvements were the stimulation of trade and creating one standard value for gold and silver, making financial transactions between different lands and peoples possible on a fair field. A legal system was established where many laws, rights, and privileges were codified and recorded. The spreading of Christianity was his primary goal and was prepared to do it with bloodshed if all else failed. When all is said and done, Charles the Great proved to be one vital stepping stone to the world we live in today. I would be amiss if I didn’t note a small but (considering the brevity of the book) critical item. The author occasionally repeats himself. In a larger work this would probably go completely unnoticed, but in this one, it stands out like the proverbial sore thumb. I must admit that Dark Age history isn’t my forte but I found this introduction inspiring enough to dig further into this fascinating ruler of the distant past. The books in this series are short but provide the reader with a spark that ignites a flame of curiosity that could grow into a roaring fire. Considering that the place he called home was Aachen, Germany, and that is just an hour from where I call home, I will make a point to visit there and see if there is still a little Charlemagne ambiance there.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Young Kim

    This book definitely should have waited for some more studying, pondering and editing before the publication. (Kindle Location 406) He had maintained the traditions of the Franks while modernizing them into a European system of politics, social order, and governance. What European system? There wasn't anything called the "European" ID'entity until the Renaissance era, but only that of "Christendom." The book is definitely interpreting the events of the 8th to 9th century through the glasses of our This book definitely should have waited for some more studying, pondering and editing before the publication. (Kindle Location 406) He had maintained the traditions of the Franks while modernizing them into a European system of politics, social order, and governance. What European system? There wasn't anything called the "European" ID'entity until the Renaissance era, but only that of "Christendom." The book is definitely interpreting the events of the 8th to 9th century through the glasses of our modern standards. This book is another example of our “wrong” intelligence that's been causing our pathetic memory-loss. The book's a typical school history textbook, nothing more. At least it delivers a lot of information in such a small number of pages for the history beginners’ convenience. (Kindle Location 252) Alcuin, who was educated at the cathedral school at York, because a monk, teacher, and deacon. What? Definitely a subject to be edited. (Kindle Locations 28-39) Many centuries have passed since Charlemagne dominated Europe. As Europe reacts to the exit of Great Britain from the European Union, it’s worth the effort to hearken back to a time when a single man forged his own European Union, also without the inclusion of the English—and left a lasting mark on history. Yet, these are the lines why the book still deserves an average rate, minimum 3 stars, despite its outdated textbook research and information. (Kindle Location 42) The seamless tapestry of Rome had frayed after 476 CE, forcing the nascent countries to fend for themselves without the protection of the storied Roman legions. (Kindle Location 219) ...Laws needed some spring cleaning after legal housekeeping... The author's choice of words in these lines is outstanding, which also earns him more credit. If you want to read the full review, google young kim's blog: gibraltar, suez, panama, malacca and bering - charlemagne, or just click here.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anirudh

    This is a short biography on the 9th Century Frankish King, the First Holy Roman Emperor (the first Emperor in Europe since the fall of Rome) and the first person who had attempted to unify all Germanic people under one kingdom. The book starts with his early life and how his family was committed to the spread of  Christianity throughout Europe, especially in the central regions such as Saxony and Bavaria and there was also the mention of the famous Battle of Tours led by his grandfather Charles This is a short biography on the 9th Century Frankish King, the First Holy Roman Emperor (the first Emperor in Europe since the fall of Rome) and the first person who had attempted to unify all Germanic people under one kingdom. The book starts with his early life and how his family was committed to the spread of  Christianity throughout Europe, especially in the central regions such as Saxony and Bavaria and there was also the mention of the famous Battle of Tours led by his grandfather Charles Martel in which he defeated the Saracens, leading to a stop in spread of Islam in Europe beyond the Iberian peninsula. It the talks about how Charlemagne systematically established alliances with the clergy, his focus on having a learned kingdom and also, how he helped spread Christianity, often by allowing his vanquished to retain power and convert or lose power and retain their religion. The book then talks about his various conquests, and his expansion to the extent of the Slavic Kingdoms. The book then talks about his personal life, his interests, habits and his eventual death and a word on his successors. To say it in a sentence, I would say that this was the dullest biography from Hourly History that I have read so far and in fact the first Hourly History book which has taken me more than an hour. The book, lacked a sequence, for instance, while mentioning about Charlemagne's family, the book already mentions what happened post his death and then, eventually gets back to what he did during his life. Moreover, I felt, the campaigns against Saracens in Iberia were given very little/ negligible focus in the book. I am fairly read on history post industrial revolution and with Charlemagne being a personality nearly eight centuries ago, I expected to return with considerable knowledge post the read but then, instead, I got very little. There was excessive focus on how he spread Christianity rather than how he built the society or controlled the army and led campaigns. To conclude, I would rate the book a two on five.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark Laufenberg

    I didn't know anything about Charlemagne other than hearing his name and when reading about a Leader at this period of time in the Hourly History series, I was more or less expecting to read about one conquest after another. It turned out that there was a lot more to his leadership than that. The book covered the ways in which he sought to better the lives of the people over which he ruled. Some of these included his strong belief in education, promoting religion not only because of his belief in I didn't know anything about Charlemagne other than hearing his name and when reading about a Leader at this period of time in the Hourly History series, I was more or less expecting to read about one conquest after another. It turned out that there was a lot more to his leadership than that. The book covered the ways in which he sought to better the lives of the people over which he ruled. Some of these included his strong belief in education, promoting religion not only because of his belief in it, but as a way to encourage people to live more moral lives, and also supporting the arts and other forms of culture. He really presided as a true leader over his subjects rather than just being a conqueror. I found it to be a more interesting read than I had expected.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Irene m. carey

    A focused view of Charlemagne This work delivers numerous examples of the great achievements of the man who unified the Europe of the Middle Ages. The reader is presented with a focused sense of a portion of the ruler’s constant and successful efforts to unify Europe of his day and act for the good of his subjects and the creation of a vital continent. Every reader will feel some enlightenment from this look at one of the Greats of History.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Perfect Beginning Biography The more I read from thus series the more I am liking them. For stundents or adults just learning about Carlemagne or Charles I this is a perfect book for a jumping off point. It is split into easy to read chapters. Each telling about an aspect of his life. Beginning... Childood... Manhood..decline (death). While there is some bouncing back and forth in the time line, it is easy to follow. Suggest for 10 and up.

  11. 4 out of 5

    William

    I have a bunch of these “Hourly History” biographies on my kindle. I really hope they’re all this good. Rather than going off on tangents, this book made each chapter easy to process by making multiple passes on Charlemagne’s life. Each chapter covered the whole of his life from a different perspective: as he relates to his family, to war, to the Church, etc. The end result is several micro-biographies which are hyper-focused. I love the effect.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Author ...very well written! So often history is only recorded for deeds done - battles, etc. This author "drew a picture for the mind". I can almost see the man, his personality, and his dreams. I get a sense of the time in which he lived! Congratulations to the author and I look forward to reading more of his work! Thank you Author ...very well written! So often history is only recorded for deeds done - battles, etc. This author "drew a picture for the mind". I can almost see the man, his personality, and his dreams. I get a sense of the time in which he lived! Congratulations to the author and I look forward to reading more of his work! Thank you

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anil Swarup

    Hourly History comes out with yet another offering that truly describes the life of Charlemagne who changed the history of Europe. His relationship with the church and the manner of his conquests in Europe have described quite elaborately in the book. Charlemagne's focus on literacy, though himself uneducated, marks the highlight of the book Hourly History comes out with yet another offering that truly describes the life of Charlemagne who changed the history of Europe. His relationship with the church and the manner of his conquests in Europe have described quite elaborately in the book. Charlemagne's focus on literacy, though himself uneducated, marks the highlight of the book

  14. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    I didn't overly like this one as it spoke a lot of war and conquering, stuff I don't particularly like. What I DID like, however, was the way it described what he did for his people. It's something that you don't see now, in many leaders. Another fascinating book... I didn't overly like this one as it spoke a lot of war and conquering, stuff I don't particularly like. What I DID like, however, was the way it described what he did for his people. It's something that you don't see now, in many leaders. Another fascinating book...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Neha

    I knew nothing about Charlemagne before reading this; after, I learned a lot. However, the general quality of the writing was poor. One chapter was essentially “this happened, then this happened, then this other thing happened.”

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reda Henein

    Very well written concise book,has most of the information you need to know about Charlemagne.I strongly recommend it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Stout

    Primer As a descendent of Charlemagne I wanted a short easy primer to give family members to read. This worked nicely.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sbijapure

    It is a very good book if you want to know about the major events in the life of the great man Charlemagne and the circumstances he lived in.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gian Andrea

    It's a quick, informative, tale of the life and successes of Charles the Great, definitely one of the most influential figure in European History. It's a quick, informative, tale of the life and successes of Charles the Great, definitely one of the most influential figure in European History.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    I am surprised that I wasn't taught more about this man. He was an extraordinary leader. I am surprised that I wasn't taught more about this man. He was an extraordinary leader.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karunakaran N.

    Charlemagne: A Life From Beginning to End.... A crisp and short account of the Roman Emperor Charlemagne, A quick read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Great Summary A quick read and hard to put down while traversing the era of Charlemagne. Strongly recommended if you need an overview or refresher on Charlemagne.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma Dargue

    Interesting look at a figure from the medieval times that didn't engage me as much as I thought it would. Interesting look at a figure from the medieval times that didn't engage me as much as I thought it would.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alayne

    A small book which gives a very basic history of Charlemagne. Not too bad, and a way of getting into history.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amalie

    The book was mostly about how Charlemagne saved and civilized all of Europe by force christening them...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jacques Coulardeau

    He started the reform that brought feudalism The book is well written and interesting. Charles the Great was the first Christian Emperor after the Roman Empire. He unified western Europe under his own rule by the genius of his military campaigns. He was also able to protect western Europe against the Islamic rulers that had taken over Spain and Portugal. His Grandfather Charles Martel had stopped them in Tours or Poitiers in 732. Charles the Great consolidated the Pyrenean border by establishing He started the reform that brought feudalism The book is well written and interesting. Charles the Great was the first Christian Emperor after the Roman Empire. He unified western Europe under his own rule by the genius of his military campaigns. He was also able to protect western Europe against the Islamic rulers that had taken over Spain and Portugal. His Grandfather Charles Martel had stopped them in Tours or Poitiers in 732. Charles the Great consolidated the Pyrenean border by establishing the march of Spain along the South side of the Pyrenees. But he also unified Western Europe by imposing Latin as the only administrative and judicial language. He also built an educational system that trained the cadres and engineers of the empire. To do that he used the Church on which he leant heavily. He summoned Alcuin of York to come to Aachen and establish the first school system in Western Europe after the Roman Empire. He also had a whole body of missi dominici at his disposal to go all other the empire to inspect, manage and promote the numerous reforms brought about by Charles the Great, hence by himself. At the same time, he collected in Aachen, in the local languages various popular songs and stories. Latin was the administrative language but Charles the Great respected the vernacular languages. He also encouraged traditional arts and the famous Song of Roland was the archetype and the model of medieval epic “chansons de geste,” meaning song that told the exploits of military heroes? Note the English have Anglo-Saxon songs of the same type, like Boewulf, though less martial, more supernatural. Of course Charles the Great unified the empire with trade and commerce but to do that he had to unify it first at the religious level. His originality is that he started the most important religious reform that was to bring feudalism in Europe. The reform was in building the new churches that started being built in stone with vaults and that new style was to become the Romanesque style. The christening fonts were also modified to abandon christening by full immersion and replace it by the modern practice: a few drops on the babies scalp. The old christening pools that were man-deep were filled to be replaced by a simple font. There is still one standing, though filled in Le Puy en Velay, behind the cathedral. It is also in this period the evolution of the church started with a clarification of the various rites and the beginning of a long reflection on celibate priests. He encouraged monasteries and monasteries controlled important areas of land. But the most important reform is the strict rules about Sunday: no work on Sunday. If you add to this the three religious week long festivities or celebrations of Nativity, Passion and Assumption, you come to something like 75 days when working was absolutely banned every year. To impose that reform the ownership of the land was to be changed to have the control of it, the peasants and other agricultural workers changed statuses and serfdom was introduced unifying statuses that ran from pure slavery to independent small farmers who owned their land and all types of sharecroppers in-between. This enabled, starting in the 9th and 10th centuries the installation of feudalism founded on the first green revolution with one invention, the horse’s collar, and many other techniques recuperated by the Benedictines from the Roman libraries they were conserving. And still more had to come, starting in the 11th century, to replace human work they recuperated and multiplied a Roman invention that had hardly been used in slavery times: the water mill. This brought the proto-industrial revolution of the 11th century. The religious reform introduced under Charles the Great was far-reaching and extremely important. The book only gives the premises of this evolution. It is true the scattering of the empire after Charles the Great’s death will bring a lot of wars and at the end of the 10th century a vast movement, the Peace of God, was introduced and preached and animated by the church to impose peace in Christian land, which boosted trade and commerce all over Europe. That too is a consequence not of Charles the Great management of the empire but of the ridiculous rule to share any kingdom or territory equally or nearly among the various sons of a king or a man. It will take some time before western European kingdoms learned how to transmit a kingdom to one person only. Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sourav Nath Ghosh

  28. 5 out of 5

    HJ

  29. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

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