(ca. 770–840)
   The life of the Frankish emperor CHARLEMAGNE is best recorded by the Benedictine monk Einhard in his biography, Vita Karoli Magni Imperatoris (ca. 830). Einhard was born around 770 in Seligenstadt in the area of the Maingau as the son of an East Frankish aristocratic family.He received his education in the famous monastery of Fulda, which had been founded by St. Boniface in 744.Working in the scriptorium, between 788 and 791, Einhard copied a number of manuscripts. To further his education, Einhard was sent to the court of Charlemagne, where he became the student of ALCUIN who gave him the nickname Nardulus (Little Nard) because of his small stature.His outstanding abilities in the areas of architecture and painting were soon recognized since he was put in charge of building palatial residences in Aachen and elsewhere, and accepted into the group of the king’s intimate advisers in 996 or 997. Charlemagne also employed him as his spokesperson and diplomat. For instance, in 813 Einhard went to Rome to get the pope’s approval for the elevation of Charlemagne’s son Louis the Pious, who had been his own student, to the rank of co-emperor. After Charlemagne’s death in 814, Einhard continued to serve in his highly esteemed functions at court and received from Louis, together with his wife Imma (who died in 836), an estate in Michelstadt in 815. In 827 he had the relics of the saints Marcellinus and Peter transferred from Rome to his abbey in Michelbach in the Odenwald, and later to Mühlhaim (today east of Frankfurt). This transfer, which basically amounted to theft, Einhard discussed in 830 in his Translatio et Miracula S. Marcellini et Petri (The translation of the saints Marcellinus and Peter). Einhard also seems to have composed a number of poems while he studied under Alcuin, but none has survived.
   Einhard is most famous for his Vita Karoli Magni Imperatoris, which he based on the Annales royals (The royal annals), diplomatic, and juridical writings, and, of course, on his personal experiences with the emperor. This Vita was the first of its kind in the Middle Ages and was highly praised by Einhard’s contemporaries WALAFRID STRABO and Lupus of Ferriore, and was copied throughout the entire Middle Ages. Einhard glorifies Charlemagne and praises him above all for his magnanimitas (generosity) and constantia (constancy). The author drew much rhetorical material from classical sources, such as Suetonius’s lives of the emperors, but the Vita still offers a detailed and more or less realistic portrait of Charlemagne and his life, discussing his military accomplishments, his family, his hospitality to foreigners, his personal lifestyle, his patronage of the liberal arts, his religiosity, charity, building programs, his coronation as emperor in 800, and finally Charlemagne’s death in 814, along with his last will. Einhard also composed many letters, 58 of which have survived, the earliest dating from 823. He continued to write treatises and other texts until his old age, such as his Questio de adoranda cruce (On worshiping the cross).He died in 840 in Seligenstadt.
   ■ Einhard. Charlemagne’s Courtier: The Complete Einhard. Edited and translated by Paul Edward Dutton. Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures 3. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1998.
   ■ Tischler,Matthias M. Einharts Vita Karoli: Studien zur Entstehung, Überlieferung und Rezeption. 2 vols. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Schriften 48. Hannover, Germany: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2001.
   Albrecht Classen

Encyclopedia of medieval literature. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Einhard — in den Grandes Chroniques de France, 14. Jahrhundert Einhard (nach eigener Schreibung Einhart; auch Einhardt, in den romanischen Sprachen (mit nicht palatalisiertem g ) Eginhard, Eginardo usw., * um 770 im Maingau; † 14. März 840 Kloster… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Einhard — (also Eginhard or Einhart) (c. 775 ndash; March 14, 840 in Seligenstadt, Germany) was a Frankish courtier, a dedicated servant of Charlemagne, of whom he wrote his famous biography, and Louis the Pious. Public Life Einhard was from the eastern… …   Wikipedia

  • Einhard — • Historian, born c. 770 in the district watered by the River Main in the eastern part of the Frankish Empire; d. 14 March, 840, at Seligenstadt Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Einhard     Einhard …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Einhard — (Eginhart, Einhart), der Biograph Karls d. Gr., der bedeutendste Geschichtschreiber jener Zeit, um 770 im Maingau in Ostfranken geboren, gest. 14. März 840, ward im Kloster zu Fulda gebildet und von dort seiner hervorragenden Befähigung wegen an… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Einhard — Einhard, so v.w. Eginhard …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Einhard — (nicht Eginhard), Biograph Karls D. Gr., Geheimschreiber und steter Begleiter desselben, Oberaufseher der öffentlichen Bauten, geb. um 770 im Maingau, zog sich nach Karls Tode mit seiner Gemahlin Imma (gest. 836) nach Michelstadt im Odenwald… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Einhard — Einhard,   nichtzeitgenössische Namensform Eginhard, fränkischer Geschichtsschreiber und Gelehrter, * im Maingebiet um 770, ✝ Seligenstadt 14. 3. 840; kam um 794 aus dem Kloster Fulda an den Hof Karls des Großen (dort Schüler Alkuins) und wurde… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Einhard — (c. 770 840)    Frankish writer and biographer who was a member of Charlemagne s court school. One of the great success stories of Charlemagne s efforts to revive learning in his empire, Einhard is best know for his Vita Karoli (Life of… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Einhard — or Eginhard born с 770, Maingau, Franconia died March 14, 840, Seligenstadt, Franconia Frankish historian and scholar. An adviser to Charlemagne and to Louis I the Pious, Einhard was made abbot of several monasteries and held extensive lands. His …   Universalium

  • Einhard — althochdeutscher Ursprung, Bedeutungszusammensetzung aus: »allein« und »stark«. Namensträger: Einhard von Mainfranken, Künstler am Hofe Karls des Großen …   Deutsch namen

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