Charlemagne: from the Hammer to the Cross
by Richard Winston
Published in 1960
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
Another kinda dull biography of Charlemagne. This is the 3rd or 4th I’ve read, I can’t keep track of them. Charlemagne’s reign is very… dull. Far from my favorite period in history.
I don’t know why, but for some reason I always have trouble keeping track of who is who and what is what when studying Charlemagne.
This book focuses especially on one interesting aspect of Charlemagne’s reign: how he slowly went from a warrior into a Christian figure.
The book highlights several key tragic events which, Winston argues, lead Charlemagne to become a pious Christian.
First, the Battle of Roncevaux Pass, where Roland and all of Roland’s knights died fighting the Arabs. Later, the death of his wife and children sent Charlemagne into a deep depression. When he emerged, he had become a die hard Christian. He took the religious institutions which he had built up to bolster his reign, and became a die hard believer.
I can’t say I recommend this book, but it’s not bad by any means.
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