in History, Literature

Bedtime Reading

According to Plutarch’s Life of Alexander 8, Alexander the Great slept with a copy of the Iliad (along with his dagger) beneath his pillow. In reading Charles Norris Cochrane’s Christianity and Classical Culture a few minutes ago, I came across the following: “[I]t is recorded that Charlemagne habitually slept with a copy of [Augustine’s City of God] beneath his pillow” (377). This seems to be in imitation of the practice of Alexander, transposed into a Christian key. Does anyone know the source(s) of this claim about Charlemagne?

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  1. Einhard says he loved St Augustine’s City of God, and that he kept tablets to practice his letters under his pillow. Your source must have conflated these two. Sorry about the split comment, tablet woes.