Two Great Leaders that Changed the Course of History

Charlemagne and Augustus Caesar are two great names in the history of men. Their achievement and accomplishment is far from emulation. They have left a mark in the history for what they did are worth to be remembered forever. It has been said that these two great men were considered as two great leaders that the mankind has ever produced.

            However, much we know of them is more on the fact that they were not contemporaries and we tend to separate one another. It is the now the purpose of this essay to present that the two great men of history namely, Charlemagne and Caesar Augustus, do have similarities and some extent of deviation from one another. The main reference of this essay is the Life of Charlemagne by Einhard and and Augustus Caesar’s Res Gestae Divi Augusti, in "Discovering the Western Past". To proceed I would like to cite specific satge in our two great men’s lives as society’s highest leader and how are they similar and how do they differ in that specific stage.

The accession to the throne

            In order to start this essay, let me begin by describing how Charlemagne and Caesar Augustus ascend to the throne fit for a king. What have they done to deserve such honor and title? Is the born innate to them since the day they’re born? Or had they work for it?

            The Augustus Caesar’s Res Gestae Divi Augusti had revealed that Caesar Augustus ascended to the throne by working on it and gaining the people’s trust specially those who compose the council. Thus, Caesar assumed the highest office through public approval which was after he had proven his worth as a leader. While Einhard revealed that Charlemagne inherited the throne from his father. But whichever reason paved the way to the throne for these two great men, I think that the two texts both agreed that Charlemagne and Caesar Augustus both proven and shown their capacity and worth as the highest leader of their country in their times.

On war and in pursuit of kingdom expansion

            As a leader on those times of Charlemagne and Caesar Augustus, one main concern of the state is to protect the state from being invaded by other expanding state and to expanding by invading other states. Thus army and defenses were priorities of the state during that time.
            Just like Caesar Augustus, Charlemagne had done this army thing. He managed to led his army against different foes and he emerged victorious. Thus, during his time, there is apparent expansion of the state. More properties were grabbed. Many resources were gained. Through this, the state became richer and richer than ever. According to the two texts which is the Life of Charlemagne and Augustus Caesar’s Res Gestae Divi Augusti showed the greatness of the two in terms of facing war and making tough decisions when a need arises.

            The two great leaders had a clear program on what to extend, why extending land and the ways and means to implement such program. Einhard clearly expressed the aggressiveness of Charlemagne in war. He did not mention that Charlemagne take a second thought in his participation in war. He’s confident in every war he’s into and he took sure steps. He’s ambitious in expanding his territory.

            Just like Charlemagne, Caesar Augustus seemed to be ambitious too in expanding his kingdom. However, Caesar sought peace in his war. It is evident in his writings, “ I extended the frontiers of all the provinces….I restored peace to Gallic and Spanish provinces…”. Charlemagne too created an atmosphere of peace in his territory since he tried to settle public and political dispute by letting the captives choose, death or Christianity.

On public and social works

            Leader as they were, they’re ought to perform social task that will bring forth benefit for the people. They must fulfill their duty in caring and giving what’s best for his society. Thus, Charlemagne and Caesar Augustus were subject to social and political responsibilities and obligations.

            Einhard mentioned that Charlemagne although occupied by the thought of subduing the other nations, he had devised plans about programs that will benefit his constituents and some were completed. These projects range from bridges to landmarks and basilicas. While Caesar Augustus focused on sensible games of Olympics and honoring such using his name. thus  Augustus concerns more in improving physical aspect of public life. He is more concern of amusement. Although being more focus in the Olympics and the development of physical prowess, Augustus took time in managing the engineering of different structures that became the landmarks of the ancient Rome. Thus, we here the similarity of the two in giving time for public works but Augustus focus more on amusements and the development of physical prowess of his constituent.

On democracy

            Let us be aware that the contemporary of Augustus is the birth of the concept of democracy and Augustus was completely aware of that. He completely understands that his power emanates from the voice of people who voted him thus he was well guided throughout his reign that no one stood higher than the mass who elected him. Thus, a primary concept of democracy was visible in Augustus leadership.

             One event that provides the proof that Augustus was indeed a democratic leader is that he transferred his power to Roman senate and people. This action is greatly a breakthrough in other astronomical studies.

            Unlike Caesar Augustus, Charlemagne’s reign is a monarchial format where there is only one leader in the group and all decision emanates from her. This is due to the fact that democracy that time is not popular and just a fresh idea that needs to be tested. Thus, many have doubted that album.


            Einhard’s depiction of Charlemagne’s life and leadership skills contains similarities and some differences with how Caesar Augustus described his character in his Caesar’s Res Gestae Divi Augusti. And  I would like to sum up the similarities and differences of two great men ever written in pages of history. In order to present this MCQ, allow me to deliver this in numbered form.

  1. The two leaders share a common thirst. A thirst for territorial expansion. As a result, they have used war as a tool in attaining this goal. However, Augustus considers establishing peace in different provinces where civil disputes occur.
  2. The two leaders provided public works which involves building infrastructure which will benefit the society where they’re living. However, August put more emphasis in public entertainment and to the development of physical prowess among its faculty.
  3. Charlemagne’s leadership is more on monarchial while Augustus performance is very good and he is more adapting the democracy way of teaching.

            Comparing the two great leaders in history will leave us a question, who is the better of the two? Which leader did more in the society?

            Let us recall that the two leaders were born in different time frame with different existing social condition. It is said that Charlemagne did small things compare to Caesar’s achievement. Let us note that during Charlemagne’s regime, the civilization is still at low. Only few were given a chance to educate themselves. Unlike during Caesar’s time, the civilization is at top or high level of literacy and mental activities are present. We cannot compare whose contribution is best since each contribution is serving the very purpose of the time it was served. 

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