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Einhard: Life of Charlemagne

Coin of Charlemagne. Image by Wikipedian PHGCOM

The Life of Charlemagne or Life of Charles the Great (Latin: Vita Karoli Magni) is a biography of the great Frankish ruler and founder of the Holy Roman Empire. It was completed some time between the death of its subject in 814 CE and the death of its author in 840.

Einhard was a prominent member of the Frankish court, and adhered closely to classical models in a way which vindicated Charlemagne's imperial status. His work is nevertheless still well-regarded as providing a wealth of authentic detail.

The Life of Charlemagne at online book stores
Amazon | bookshop.org (US) | bookshop.org (UK)
Free online texts
English translations
Gutenberg: Early Lives of Charlemagne, translated by A. J. Grant. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: Life of the Emperor Karl the Great, translated by William Glaister (1877 edition). EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: Early Lives of Charlemagne by Einhard and the Monk of St Gall, translated by A. J. Grant. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Wikisource: Vita Karoli Magni, translated by A. J. Grant. HTML and other formats.
Latin texts
Internet Archive: Einhard's Life of Charlemagne (1915 Clarendon edition). EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Wikisource: Vita Karoli Magni. HTML and other formats.


Other Resources
Librivox: The Life of Charlemagne, translated by Charles Epes Turner. Free public domain audiobook.
Wikipedia: Einhard - Vita Karoli Magni
Further reading
Suetonius: Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Einhard took the life of Augustine as a model.
Notker the Stammerer: Gesta Caroli Magni .
Turold: The Song of Roland. Loosely based on events of Charlemagne's reign.

 

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