Charlemagne in the Book “Song of Roland”

Last Updated: 13 Jan 2021
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The textbook displays Charlemagne as an astounding and great military leader but examines a few of his flaws as well. The Song of Roland creates the image of Charlemagne that is an extraordinary, legendary leader. They both tell about what great things he accomplished in his life, the many wars he won and how his bravery carried him through everything. The Song of Roland praised him in such a legendary way to create the impression of a heroic leader.

By doing this it establishes a strong positive view of the Frankish Empire. In the ninth chapter of the Making of the West, the authors describe the Carolingian king, Charlemagne and the various views of his life that historians have. While admiring his greatness the authors analyze a few negatives about Charlemagne. For example, he liked the Pope but hated that the Pope crowned him emperor. He liked being king and calling himself king but at first didn’t want the title of Emperor.

Another criticism to Charlemagne’s great work as a military leader is that he did all of his work winning wars and conquering lands that he destroyed the states surrounding his original empire and gaining control of them but by doing that, he lost his buffer. So soon after all the wars were finally over for Charlemagne, hew invasions started occurring on the borders of his new kingdoms. One more concern historians claim he did was what he had done when he arrived at the Saragossa Town after the winning the war with the Saxons.

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Apparently when he got to the city, the citizens were resisting conversion to Christianity and he wasn’t happy about it. He forced mass conversion of the Muslim citizens with the threat of his sword. This act goes against the whole idea of Christianity to be accepting of other faiths and tolerant of them. These examples only demonstrate a few criticisms to Charlemagne’s leadership but still explain that he was a great emperor overall. The Song of Roland describes Charlemagne as an amazing military leader.

He had Counts and Bishops in charge of leading wars to gain lands for the Franks in every direction and he was successful in doing so. He was a very emotional man, he wept over the deaths of fellow comrades and warriors, friends and relatives. Charlemagne was also a spiritual man in that he prayed everyday and asked for God to protect the bodies of the fallen soldiers and keep them safe. The angel St. Gabriel came down to him many times to give Charlemagne advice or to encourage him to continue his missions and to fight.

He fought with courage and bravery, he was afraid of nothing. After his victory against Emir, he still felt the need to serve God and all his kingdom respected him for that and obeyed his power. Charlemagne is described as a courageous, spiritual, loyal and extraordinary emperor and leader full of pride for his kingdom. All of the words Charlemagne can be indentified with help bring about the view of the Frankish Empire. Because of the things Charlemagne did and more importantly they way he went about them, the Frankish kingdoms were viewed as prestigious and in control.

They gave off the impression of high power and other kingdoms were going to have a challenge if they wanted to fight the Franks. The Making of the West textbook and the book The Song of Roland discuss how great Charlemagne was and how what he did made a difference in the view of the Frankish Empire. Although he had some flaws or contradictory actions, he was still an astounding emperor. He expanded his kingdoms and defeated many enemies. He had become a heroic military leader for the Franks and the Frankish Empire.

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Charlemagne in the Book “Song of Roland”. (2018, Sep 14). Retrieved from

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