Battle of Soissons (923)

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Battle of Soissons
Part of Carolingian Civil War
Raoul roi de France.jpg
14th-century depiction of (left from right): the Battle of Soissons, imprisonment of Charles III and the coronation of Rudolph.
DateJune 15, 923
Location
Result

Robertian victory

Belligerents
Carolingians Robertians
Commanders and leaders
Charles III (POW)
Count Fulbert
Hagano
Hagrold
Normans
Robert I 
Rudolph, Duke of Burgundy
Herbert II of Vermandois
Gilbert of Lorraine
Hugh the Great
Strength
14.000 (estimated)[1] 20.000 (estimated)[2]
Casualties and losses
7,118[3] 11,969[4]

The Battle of Soissons was fought on 15 June 923 between an alliance of Frankish insurgent nobles led by Robert I, elected king in an assembly the year prior, and an army composed of Lotharingians, Normans and Carolingian forces under King Charles III's command.[5][6] The battle took place at Soissons, near Aisne.[7] Robert was killed, but his army won the war. Charles was imprisoned by Herbert II of Vermandois and held captive until his death in 929. Rudolph, Duke of Burgundy, Robert's son-in-law, succeeded him as ruler of West Francia.[8]

Background[edit]

After Charlemagne's death, the Carolingian royal authority began to decline due to the constant invasions of the Vikings, civil wars and strife with vassals, mainly the Robertians.[9][10][11] Since its beginning, the political situation of Charles's reign was fragile. Frankish nobility was unwilling to accept his authority. One of his few allies was Baldwin II of Flanders.[12] Charles' attempts to restore Carolingian power over Lotharingia, the homeland of his ancestors and first wife Frederonne, led him to be chosen as King of Lotharingia in 911 and to a conflict of interest with the local nobility such as Gilbert of Lorraine.[13][14]

After 918 the aristocracy of West Francia began to show its disagreement with Charles' governance; the main reason was the increasing power of Hagano, a Lotharingian noble who was the king's favorite counselor.[15] In 920 a group of Frankish nobles led by Robert, brother of the previous king Odo, abducted Charles, they tried to force him to dismiss Hagano, but Archbishop Herveus of Reims convinced the insurgents to free the king.[16]

The military uprising of the Frankish magnates broke out in 922. Charles had removed from his aunt Rothilde, daughter of Charles II the Bald, the benefit of the abbey of Chelles and transferred it to Hagano; this act directly affected the Robertians' interests, since Rothilde was the mother-in-law of Robert's son, Hugh the Great.[17][18] In an assembly at Soissons on June 29, the rebellious nobles deposed Charles and elected Robert as their king. Archbishop Walter of Sens crowned him the next day in Reims.[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gerald Irving Anthony Dare Draper. Reflections on Law and Armed Conflicts: The Selected Works on the Laws of War. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1998. p 26. Edited by Michael Andrew Meyer, Hilaire McCoubrey.
  2. ^ Gerald Irving Anthony Dare Draper. Reflections on Law and Armed Conflicts: The Selected Works on the Laws of War. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1998. p 26. Edited by Michael Andrew Meyer, Hilaire McCoubrey.
  3. ^ Gerald Irving Anthony Dare Draper. Reflections on Law and Armed Conflicts: The Selected Works on the Laws of War. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1998. p 26. Edited by Michael Andrew Meyer, Hilaire McCoubrey.
  4. ^ Gerald Irving Anthony Dare Draper. Reflections on Law and Armed Conflicts: The Selected Works on the Laws of War. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1998. p 26. Edited by Michael Andrew Meyer, Hilaire McCoubrey.
  5. ^ J.E.Cross. The ethic of war in Old English. In: England Before the Conquest: Studies in Primary Sources Presented to Dorothy Whitelock. Edited by Peter Clemoes, Kathleen Hughes. Cambridge University Press, 2010. p 281
  6. ^ Charles Oman. A History of the Art of War: The Middle Ages from the Fourth to the Fourteenth Century. Tales End Press, 2012. p 105
  7. ^ Tony Jaques. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: P-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007. p 719
  8. ^ François Neveux & Claire Ruelle. A brief history of the Normans: the conquests that changed the face of Europe. Robinson, 2008. p 75
  9. ^ Gerald Irving Anthony Dare Draper. Reflections on Law and Armed Conflicts: The Selected Works on the Laws of War. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1998. p 26. Edited by Michael Andrew Meyer, Hilaire McCoubrey.
  10. ^ Bernard S. Bachrach. Early Carolingian Warfare: Prelude to Empire. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. p 54.
  11. ^ Joseph Lynch. The Medieval Church: A Brief History. Routledge, 2014. p 118-120.
  12. ^ Jim Bradbury. The Capetians: Kings of France 987-1328. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2007. p 33
  13. ^ Jim Bradbury. The Capetians: Kings of France 987-1328. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2007. p 33-34
  14. ^ Pierre Riche.The Carolingians: A Family Who Forged Europe. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993. p 249-250
  15. ^ Bernard S. Bachrach & Steven Fanning.The Annals of Flodoard of Reims, 919-966. Volume 9 of Readings in medieval civilizations and cultures. University of Toronto Press, 2004. Chapter 2 (The events in Flodoard's Annals).
  16. ^ Pierre Riche. The Carolingians: A Family Who Forged Europe. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993. p 250
  17. ^ Jean Dunbabin. West Francia the Kingdom. In: The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 3, C.900-c.1024. Cambridge University Press, 1995. p 379. Edited by Rosamond McKitterick.
  18. ^ Justin Lake. Richer of Saint-Remi. Catholic University of America Press, 2013. p 157.
  19. ^ Jim Bradbury. The Capetians: Kings of France 987-1328. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2007. p 33-34
  20. ^ Pierre Riche.The Carolingians: A Family Who Forged Europe. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993. p 249-250

Coordinates: 49°22′54″N 3°19′25″E / 49.38167°N 3.32361°E / 49.38167; 3.32361