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Essay on Einhard's Charlemagne and Ibn Battuta's Mansa Sultaiman

Decent Essays
Einhard, in his account of Charlemagne, and Ibn Battuta, in his account of Mansa Sulaiman, give witness to the way these two kings ruled their lands and provide an insight on how culture has an effect on people’s views of their leaders. Although each one lived in different cultures, each ruler embodied similar characteristics, such as the influence of religion on their realms. However, there are several distinct differences as well, and each narrative contains cultural bias that cannot be ignored. Overall, each account thoroughly analyzes each ruler and infuses their observations with the culture of the time, which is integral in order to gain an accurate depiction of who these men were. First, each ruler embodied an aspect of his…show more content…
In a similar vein, Mansa Sulaiman is portrayed as embodying his religion, except within the context of the Islamic religion. Like Charlemagne, the sultan was involved with religious ceremonies. Since he lived in a place governed by Sharia Law, there was no separation of Church and State. Thus, unlike in Einhard, there was an established religious hierarchy in this realm. Mansa Sulaiman participated in religious festivals and services, such as the Feast of Sacrifices and the Feast of Fast-breaking. In his domain, strict observance of times of prayer and memorization of the Quran were a top priority. Children who appeared to be falling short of learning the Quran by heart had fetters made for them, and people must come early to pray at the mosque or they will not be able to find a spot because of the multitude that will be gathered there. However, Ibn Battuta witnessed some characteristics that he perceived as unbecoming of a Muslim ruler. For instance, he was uncharitable, even to the point that his subjects became angry about his miserliness. Ibn Battuta was personally affected by this quality when he arrived in the sultan’s city, and received no hospitality from the sultan, save a small amount of food. There were also aspects of paganism that survived from the culture preceding Islam in this country. For instance, the people ate animals that were not ritually slaughtered, and the sultan provided a slave woman to cannibals for food. Another pagan aspect,
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