Two Lives of Charlemagne

You will write one essay for this course based on your reading of Two Lives of Charlemagne. This project counts for 25% of your grade.

Two Lives of Charlemagne perpetuates the memory of one of Europe’s greatest kings. Einhard’s biography is an absorbing chronicle of one of the most powerful and dynamic of all medieval rulers, written by a close friend and advisor. By contrast, Notker’s account, written some decades after Charlemagne’s death, is a collection of anecdotes rather than a presentation of historical facts. Taken together, these biographies give us a sense of Charlemagne’s great influence on the development of Europe. After a careful examination of the text, provide an overview of Two Lives of Charlemagne including salient themes and key events. What do the two accounts tell us about the historical figure of Charlemagne? Some items that you may want to address in your essay include the following: What are some of the main themes/topics covered by Einhard and Notker, and how do they inform our understanding of Charlemagne as a historical figure? According to these accounts, what were Charlemagne’s greatest attributes and personal achievements? From a critical standpoint, what are the most serious weaknesses of these two sources?

A successful essay will incorporate specific evidence from the assigned readings. I will evaluate your essays on the strength and clarity of the thesis, development of the argument, use of evidence, and writing style/grammar. No outside sources are necessary, but if you do choose to integrate external analyses or interpretations into your essay, you must properly cite them. Make sure that the entire essay reflects your ideas written in your own words. All papers will checked for plagiarism through Turnitin. Use Chicago Manual of Style or MLA for your citations. A Work(s) Cited page is required even if your only source is Two Lives of Charlemagne. Be sure to number your pages.

Your essay must be at least four (4) full pages in length, double-spaced, 1 inch margins, and 12 point Times New Roman font. Only your name should appear at the top of the page. Papers that are below required length (even by half a page) will lose significant points from the total score. The Work(s) Cited page does not count toward the page total.

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