The kingship style of Charlemagne is well brought out in the twenty-first and thirty-first topics. From the twenty-first topic, it is evident that the biographer discusses how Charlemagne treated foreigners in his kingdom. In that regard, the chapter exhibits several traits of the king. Consequently, the thirty-first chapter discusses the mode of send-off given to King Charlemagne as his subjects paid him their last respects. Several other traits can, therefore, be attached to Charlemagne based on his burial. The two chapters suggest that King Charles possessed many admirable and commendable leadership qualities, including; generosity, human empathy, love, understanding, gratitude, religion, and God-fearing.
Charlemagne was loving, empathic, and understanding. It is categorically mentioned that he liked foreigners (Chapter 21). The biographer states that foreigners existed everywhere within the kingdom. They were not only present around the kingdom, but they also dwelled in the highly guarded palace of the king. The foreigners exploited Charlemagne’s kingdom to the extent that it would be understandable to ignore their presence or even deport them back to their origins (Chapter 21). Interestingly, Charles was neither annoyed nor disturbed. He was so comfortable with the presence of foreigners in his kingdom that someone would imagine he was rewarded for accepting them. Interestingly, the only rewards he gained from this act were praises from his subjects and the foreigners for being generous (Chapter 21). Doubtlessly King Charles loved the foreigners even though they did not belong to his kingdom. He understood and accepted their situation with outstanding kindness and human empathy.
In the thirty-first chapter, it is also evident that Charlemagne was God-fearing, religious, and generous. Additionally, he practiced gratitude during his reign as the king. His subjects reciprocate his love during his burial. The biographer mentions that everyone lamented as his body was carried to the church (Chapter 31). His subjects would not have lamented so much during his demise if he had not been a loving king. His religiousness and God-fearing nature are well manifested on the eve of his burial. Immediately after his lifeless body had been cleaned, he was taken to the church, where a decision was made on where to lay him to rest (Chapter 31). The words scripted on his tomb also indicate how close he was to God. The inscription reads, “In this tomb lies the body of Charles, the Great and Orthodox Emperor, who gloriously extended the kingdom of the Franks, and reigned prosperously for forty-seven years. He died at the age of seventy, in the year of our Lord 814, the 7th Indiction, on the 28th day of January” (Chapter 31). In addition, he spent his own money to build a basilica in town. That was an indication of his endless love for God and generosity to his people.
For the forty-seven years he ruled as the king, Charlemagne proved his worthiness to be king in many ways. According to Charlemagne’s biography, in the medieval period, kings were considered God’s representatives on earth. That is, kings were valued as special individuals who were sent to earth by God to exhibit the image of God upon His children. Therefore, kings were expected to lead with ultimate righteousness and blamelessness. This is purely reflected in Charlemagne’s kingship. By several examples, he taught his subjects to live with love, generosity, gratitude, kindness, humanity, and equity, among other Godly traits. In that regard, it is relevant to conclude that Charlemagne was a perfect example of a king during the medieval period.
Einhard. The life of Charlemagne. Fordham University, 1880.