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Einhard

EINHARD

The biographer and royal counselor of charlemagne; b. c. 770; d. Seligenstadt, March 14, 840. Einhard, educated first at Fulda, was eventually sent to Charlemagne's palace school at Aachen, where he continued his education under alcuin. His talent and industry won the favor of Charlemagne, who entrusted him with supervision of the royal building program and with important diplomatic missions. After Louis the Pious became emperor in 814, Einhard remained as a trusted court official, serving especially as adviser to Louis's son lothair. In 830 Einhard retired from the court and devoted himself to founding a monastery at Seligenstadt.

In addition to his active career, Einhard wrote extensively. His chief work was his Life of Charlemagne, the best biography written in the early Middle Ages. Modeling his work after Suetonius and injecting into it his intimate personal knowledge of Charlemagne, Einhard produced a biography that lauded the great emperor in a dignified, sober fashion. His Translatio SS. Marcellini et Petri, describing the events surrounding the bringing of relics from Rome to Seligenstadt, provides remarkable insight into the religious sentiments of the Carolingian age. A considerable number of his letters also survive and are useful in reconstructing the history of the age of Louis the Pious. All of Einhard's writings reflect the cultural effect of the carolingian renaissance.

Bibliography: Sources. einhard, Vita Karoli Magni, ed. o. holder-egger, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Germanicarum 24, tr. s. e. turner (Ann Arbor 1960); Translatio et miracula Ss. Marcellini et Petri, ed. g. waitz, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 15:238264, Eng. The History of the Translation of the Blessed Martyrs of Christ, tr. b. wendell (Cambridge, Mass. 1926). Epistolae, ed. k. hampe, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Epistolae (Berlin 1826) 5:105149. Literature. l. halphen, Études critiques sur l'histoire de Charlemagne (Paris 1921). m. buchner, Einhards Künstlerund Gelehrtenleben (Bonn 1922). a. j. kleinclausz, Éginhard (Paris 1942). w. wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtesquellen im Mittelalter. Vorzeit und Karolinger, ed. w. levison and h. lÖwe, 2:266280. e. s. duckett, Carolingian Portraits: A Study in the Ninth Century (Ann Arbor 1962).

[r. e. sullivan]

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