Einhard: the sinner and the saint

Julia Mary Howard Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This essay offers a major reassessment of the career of Einhard, biographer of Charlemagne, and an analysis of elite lay piety in tire Carolingian era. Einhard's life (c. 770-840) is discussed in terms of childhood, youth, marriage and old age, with emphasis on the significance of his wife, Imma. His personal relationship with the relics which he had translated from Rome to Seligenstach and his self-description as a 'sinner' offer insights into his religiosity. Einhard and Imma are also situated in a broader discussion of the religious activities of other elite married couples of their day, Monastic foundations, relic collecting, Christian household morality and close engagement with the Psalter characterise a distinctive conjugal Christianity in the Carolingian period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-77
JournalTransactions of the Royal Historical Society
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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