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We know a fair amount about Charles from the biography by Einhard a scholar at his court and an admiring friend Einhard stresses that Charles was very fond of all his family friendly to foreigners lively athletic and strong-willed Of course this view must be taken with a grain of salt due to the realization that Einhard held the king he had so loyally served in high esteem but it still serves as an excellent starting point for understanding the man who became the legend Like his father and his grandfather before him Charles expanded and consolidated the Frankish nation through force of arms His conflicts with Lombardy Bavaria and the Saxons not only expanded his national holdings but also served to strengthen the Frankish military and occupy the aggressive warrior class Moreover his numerous and impressive victories gained Charles the enormous respect of his nobility as well as the awe and even the fear of his people Few would defy such a fierce and powerful military leader Charlemagne used religion in his favor to gain respect of his people All men under Charlemagnes rule were required to swear an oath of allegiance to him Charlemagne often compared himself to a biblical king in his responsibilities He felt he had to teach and also set examples for his people Noble 291 As far as Charlemagne and his advisors were concerned they felt that God was the sole legitimate ruler in heaven and Charlemagne was the sole legitimate ruler on earth Noble 291 Although Charlemagne tried to represent Christian morality he committed brutal acts to his enemies Charlemagne was married to sister of the Lombard king but he was not interested in maintaining the marriage So while he was still a young man he sent her away claiming that the marriage was not valid This enraged Desiderius the Lombard king who immediately began to conspire to harm Charlemagne After hearing this Charlemagne invaded Italy in
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