Portrait of Charlemagne, whom the Song of Roland names the King with the Grizzly Beard.--Fac-simile of an Engraving of the End of the Sixteenth Century.
Charlemagne was the first who recognised that social union, so admirable an example of which was furnished by Roman organization, and who was able, with the very elements of confusion and disorder to which he succeeded, to unite, direct, and consolidate diverging and opposite forces, to establish and regulate public administrations, to found and build towns, and to form and reconstruct almost a new world. We hear of him assigning to each his place, creating for all a common interest, making of a crowd of small and scattered peoples a great and powerful nation; in a word, rekindling the beacon of ancient civilisation. When he died, after a most active and glorious reign of forty-five years, he left an immense empire in the most perfect state of peace
The art of slinging of stones was well known and practised at a very early period in Europe, but we have no authority to prove that it was carried to so high a pitch of perfection in this part of the globe, as it appears to have been among the Asiatic nations. It is altogether uncertain, whether the ancient inhabitants of Britain were acquainted with the use of the sling or not; if the negative be granted, which hardly seems reasonable, we must admit the probability of their being taught the properties of such an instrument by the Romans, who certainly used it as a military weapon.
We can speak more decidedly on the part of our ancestors the Saxons, who seem to have been skilful in the management of the sling; its form is preserved in several of their paintings, and the manner in which it was used by them, as far back as the eighth century, may be seen below, from a manuscript of that age in the Cotton Library. It is there represented with one of the ends unloosened from the hand and the stone discharged. In the original the figure is throwing the stone at a bird upon the wing, which is represented at some distance from him.
This engraving represents two persons dancing to the music of the horn and the trumpet, and it does not appear to be a common dance in which they are engaged; on the contrary, their attitudes are such as must have rendered it very difficult to perform
Two Saxon Archers
The one accompanied by his dog, is in search of the wild deer; the other has no companion, but is depicted in the act of shooting at a bird; and from the adornment of his girdle, appears to have been no bad marksman.
The first represents Esau going to seek venison for his father, and the second, Ishmael, after his expulsion from the house of Abraham, and residing in the desert.
The Moslem Empire 750 AD
Coronation of Charlemagne.--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the "Chroniques de Saint-Denis," Manuscript of the Fourteenth Century (Imperial Library of Paris).
Costume of the Prelates from the Eighth to the Tenth Centuries--After Miniatures in the "Missal of St. Gregory," in the National Library of Paris.
Costume of the Franks in the Eighth Century