Einhard sought to portray Charlemagne as a great ruler. Provide at least three distinct examples showing how he thought Charlemagne lived up to this greatness.

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Einhard was the subject, foster son, and admirer of Charlemagne, and therefore he desired to present Charlemagne to the world in all his greatness, complete with his “most glorious and illustrious deeds.” Let's look at some of the illustrations Einhard provides to support Charlemagne’s greatness.

Einhard places much emphasis on Charlemagne’s wars. The king conducted the Aquitanian war, for instance, with “the greatest vigor,” and he “gained his ends,” pursuing his enemy and achieving the allegiance of the duke who had been harboring the culprit. In the Lombard War, too, Charlemagne, at the request of the Pope, laid siege to his enemies and forced their surrender, driving the Lombards from Italy. The Saxon Wars were costly, but Charlemagne and his men persevered, and eventually the Saxons were conquered and converted to Christianity.

Einhard continues in this fashion, outlining Charlemagne’s primary accomplishments as king, but he also focuses on Charlemagne’s Christian devotion, mentioning how he visited holy places, read spiritual books, cared for the poor, and made sure to practice his faith to the best of his ability. Einhard also speaks about how Charlemagne was often able to gain the “good will” and allegiance of his neighbors without violence but rather through trade and beneficence. Charlemagne also provided “many works calculated to adorn and benefit his kingdom,” including basilicas, bridges, and a fleet of ships. The king was also a promoter of education, a reformer of law, and a caring father and grandfather who sought the best for his family.

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