Charlemagne and the Saxon War

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Every historian interprets the past differently and with distinctive perspectives, resulting in many sides to one story. Often the reader must decide which perspective is more logical, likely, or coherent. Recounting one war took a lot of time and effort because of the necessity to include all sides of the story. Becher, Barbero, Collins and Backman have approached the life of Charlemagne with different points of view; however, Barbero seems to have the strongest argument for the cause of the Saxon War. The other historians were less willing to see the Saxon war as a religious war. The life of Charlemagne was interesting to historians because it was filled with many vigorous wars that he fought including the infamous Saxon War. From the…show more content…
Even with the threats of destruction, the stubbornness of the Saxons continued. When war began, the Saxons sacrificed their prisoners of war to their gods, and the Franks killed anyone unwilling to be baptized. Eventually, there was no place that was safe and massacres had begun that were inspired by the Bible: “Charlemagne wanted to act like a true king of Israel. The Amalekites had dared raise their hand to betray God’s people, and it was therefore right that every last one of them should be exterminated” (47). Charlemagne then imposed a law saying anyone who offended the Christian religion and its clergy would be put to death or forced to convert. The final act of the war was the deportation of the Saxons and granting their land to close-by Slavic community.

On the other hand, the Einhard came up with a different instigation of the war. He did not relate it to Christianity as strongly as Barbero did. His view of the cause of the war was because the peace between the people was not sustaining. This eventually led to the Franks refusing to make any comebacks, but instead going to war with the Saxons. This war was thought to be a thirty-three year war with the advantage for the Franks. However, Einhard does state that the war was based on a religious disagreement, but only slightly. The Saxons were conquered many times over the years
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