Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald was the King of West Francia, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor. After a series of wars during the reign of his father, Louis the Pious. He was a grandson of Charlemagne and the youngest son of Louis the Pious by his second wife and he was born on 13 June 823 in Frankfurt, when his elder brothers were already adults and had been assigned their own regna, or subkingdoms, by their father. The attempts made by Louis the Pious to assign Charles a subkingdom, first Alemannia, at a diet in Aachen in 837, Louis the Pious bade the nobles do homage to Charles as his heir. Pepin of Aquitaine died in 838, whereupon Charles at last received that kingdom, which angered Pepins heirs, the death of the emperor in 840 led to the outbreak of war between his sons. In the following year, the two confirmed their alliance by the celebrated Oaths of Strasbourg. The war was brought to an end by the Treaty of Verdun in August 843, Louis received the eastern part of the Carolingian Empire, known as East Francia and as Germany.
Lothair retained the title and the Kingdom of Italy. He received the regions from Flanders through the Rhineland. The first years of Charless reign, up to the death of Lothair I in 855, were comparatively peaceful, during these years the three brothers continued the system of confraternal government, meeting repeatedly with one another, at Koblenz, at Meerssen, and at Attigny. In 858, Louis the German, invited by disaffected nobles eager to oust Charles, Charles was so unpopular that he was unable to summon an army, and he fled to Burgundy. He was saved only by the support of the bishops, who refused to crown Louis the German king, and by the fidelity of the Welfs, in 860, he in his turn tried to seize the kingdom of his nephew, Charles of Provence, but was repulsed. On the death of his nephew Lothair II in 869, Charles tried to seize Lothairs dominions, besides these family disputes, Charles had to struggle against repeated rebellions in Aquitaine and against the Bretons. Led by their chiefs Nomenoë and Erispoë, who defeated the king at the Battle of Ballon and the Battle of Jengland, the Bretons were successful in obtaining a de facto independence.
Charles fought against the Vikings, who devastated the country of the north, the valleys of the Seine and Loire, at the Vikings successful siege and sack of Paris in 845 and several times thereafter Charles was forced to purchase their retreat at a heavy price. By the same edict, he ordered fortified bridges to be put up at all rivers to block the Viking incursions, two of these bridges at Paris saved the city during its siege of 885–886. In 875, after the death of the Emperor Louis II, Charles the Bald, supported by Pope John VIII, traveled to Italy, receiving the crown at Pavia. Louis the German, a candidate for the succession of Louis II, revenged himself by invading and devastating Charles dominions, and Charles had to return hastily to West Francia
Childeric III was King of Francia from 743 until he was deposed by Pope Zachary in March 751 at the instigation of Pepin the Short. Although his parentage is uncertain, he is considered the last Frankish king from the Merovingian dynasty, once Childeric was deposed, Pepin the Short, who was the father of emperor Charlemagne, was crowned the first king of the Franks from the Carolingian dynasty. In 718, Charles Martel combined the roles of mayor of the palace of Neustria and mayor of the palace of Austrasia, after the death of king Theuderic IV in 737, the throne remained vacant, and Charles Martel became de facto king. After Charles Martels death in 741, Carloman and Pepin the Short, his sons by his first wife Rotrude, they soon faced revolts from their younger half-brother Grifo and their brother-in-law Odilo, Duke of Bavaria. These revolts may have played a part in their decision to fill the throne with a Merovingian king after a vacancy to add legitimacy to their reigns. Childerics parentage and his relation to the Merovingian family are uncertain and he may have been either the son of Chilperic II or Theuderic IV.
Childeric took no part in business, which was directed, as previously. Once a year, he would be brought in an ox cart led by a peasant and preside at court, after Carloman retired to a monastery in 747, Pepin resolved to take the royal crown for himself. Pepin sent letters to Pope Zachary, asking whether the title of king belonged to the one who had exercised the power or the one with the royal lineage, the pope responded that the real power should have the royal title as well. In early March 751 Childeric was dethroned by Pope Zachary and tonsured and his long hair was the symbol of his dynasty and thus the royal rights or magical powers, by cutting it, they divested him of all royal prerogatives. Once dethroned, he and his son Theuderic were placed in the monastery of Saint-Bertin or he in Saint-Omer, there are conflicts in information of when he exactly died with some references citing as early as 753 and other references saying it was as late as 758. Under the Carolingians, he received bad press, being called a rex falsus, false king, despite the fact that it was Pepin through Popes Zachary, junghans, W.
Die Geschichte der fränkischen Konige Childerich und Clodovech. Chiflet, J. J. Anastasis Childerici I Francorum regis, le Tombeau de Childeric I, roi des Francs. Lavisse, E. Histoire de France, Vol. II, the Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations
Pepin I of Aquitaine
Pepin I or Pepin I of Aquitaine was King of Aquitaine and Duke of Maine. Pepin was the son of Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife. When his father assigned to each of his sons a kingdom in August 817, he received Aquitaine, ermoldus Nigellus was his court poet and accompanied him on a campaign into Brittany in 824. Pepin rebelled in 830 at the insistence of his brother Lothairs advisor Wala and he took an army of Gascons with him and marched all the way to Paris, with the support of the Neustrians. His father marched back from a campaign in Brittany all the way to Compiègne, in 832, Pepin rebelled again and his brother Louis the German soon followed. Louis the Pious was in Aquitaine to subdue any revolt, but was drawn off by the Bavarian insurrection of the younger Louis, Pepin took Limoges and other Imperial territories. The next year, Lothair joined the rebellion and, with the assistance of Ebbo, archbishop of Reims, Lothairs behaviour alienated Pepin, and the latter was at his fathers side when Louis the Pious was reinstated on 1 March 834.
Pepin was restored to his former status, Pepin died scarcely four years and was buried in the Church of St. Radegonde in Poitiers. In 822, Pepin had married Ingeltrude, daughter of Theodobert, count of Madrie, both were minors when Pepin died, so Louis the Pious awarded Aquitaine to his own youngest son, Pepins half-brother Charles the Bald. The Aquitainians, elected Pepins son as Pepin II and his brother Charles briefly claimed the kingdom. Pippin I and the Kingdom of Aquitaine, Charlemagnes Heir, New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious, edd. Reprinted in Law and Regionalism in Early Medieval Spain
Pepin the Short
Pepin the Short was the King of the Franks from 751 until his death. He was the first of the Carolingians to become king, the younger son of the Frankish prince Charles Martel and his wife Rotrude, Pepins upbringing was distinguished by the ecclesiastical education he had received from the monks of St. Denis. Succeeding his father as the Mayor of the Palace in 741, Pepin ruled in Neustria and Provence, while his brother Carloman established himself in Austrasia and Thuringia. The brothers were active in suppressing revolts led by the Bavarians, Saxons, in 743, they ended the Frankish interregnum by choosing Childeric III, who was to be the last Merovingian monarch, as figurehead king of the Franks. After Carloman, who was a pious man, retired to religious life in 747. He suppressed a revolt led by his half-brother Grifo, and succeeded in becoming the master of all Francia. Giving up pretense, Pepin forced Childeric into a monastery and had himself proclaimed king of the Franks with support of Pope Zachary in 751.
The decision was not supported by all members of the Carolingian family and Pepin had to put down a revolt led by Carlomans son, Drogo, as King, Pepin embarked on an ambitious program to expand his power. He reformed the legislation of the Franks and continued the reforms of Boniface. Pepin intervened in favour of the Papacy of Stephen II against the Lombards in Italy and he was able to secure several cities, which he gave to the Pope as part of the Donation of Pepin. This formed the basis for the Papal States in the Middle Ages. The Byzantines, keen to make good relations with the power of the Frankish empire. Pepin was, troubled by the revolts of the Saxons. He campaigned tirelessly in Germany, but the final subjugation of tribes was left to his successors. Pepin died in 768 and was succeeded by his sons Charlemagne, although unquestionably one of the most powerful and successful rulers of his time, Pepins reign is largely overshadowed by that of his more famous son. Pepins father Charles Martel died in 741, Charless son by his second wife, demanded a share in the inheritance, but he was imprisoned in a monastery by his two half-brothers.
In the Frankish realm the unity of the kingdom was connected with the person of the king. So Carloman, to secure this unity, raised the Merovingian Childeric to the throne, in 747 Carloman either resolved to or was pressured into entering a monastery
Middle Francia was allocated to emperor Lothair I, the eldest son and successor of emperor Louis the Pious. Following the 855 partition, Middle Francia became only a geographic term, in 855, on his deathbed at Prüm Abbey, Emperor Lothair I with the Treaty of Prüm divided Middle Francia among his three sons. The lands in northern Italy, which extended as far south as Rome and Spoleto, were left to the eldest son Louis II the Younger, crowned co-Emperor in 850 and this eventually became the Kingdom of Italy. Charles received Kingdom of Burgundy and Provence, which became the Kingdom of Arles, Charles died early and without sons in 863. According to a Frankish custom, his brothers Louis II and Lothair II divided his realm, Lothair II received the western Lower Burgundian parts which were bordering his western Upper Burgundy which were incorporated into Lotharingia, while Louis II received the Kingdom of Provence. When Lothair II died in 869, his only son Hugh by his mistress Waldrada, was declared illegitimate, so his legal heir was his brother.
If Louis II had inherited Lotharingia, Middle Francia would have been reunited, however, as Louis II was at that time campaigning against the Emirate of Bari, Lotharingia was partitioned between his uncles Charles the Bald and Louis the German by the Treaty of Meerssen in 870. Louis the German took Upper Burgundy, territory north of the Jura mountains, in 875 the last of Lothair Is children Louis II died without sons and named as his successor in Italy his cousin Carloman of Bavaria, eldest son of Louis the German. However, Pope John VIII, dealing with the constant threat of raiders from the Emirate of Sicily, after much confusion and conflict, Charles the Bald took Louis realm in Italy. Charles was crowned Emperor by Pope John VIII in 881 and thus he reunited the entire Carolingian Empire in 884, John M. Riddle, A History of the Middle Ages, 300–1500. Timothy Reuter, The New Cambridge Medieval History, Volume 3, c, Fred E. Pope John the Eighth and the Arabs
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious, called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was King of the Franks and co-Emperor with his father, during his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the empires southwestern frontier. He conquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona, as emperor he included his adult sons, Lothair and Louis, in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm among them. In the 830s his empire was torn by war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louiss attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans. Though his reign ended on a note, with order largely restored to his empire. Louis is generally compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a different sort. He was the son of Charlemagne by his wife Hildegard. His grandfather was King Pepin the Younger, Louis was crowned King of Aquitaine as a child in 781 and sent there with regents and a court.
Charlemagne wanted his son Louis to grow up in the area where he was to reign, Charlemagnes intention was to see all his sons brought up as natives of their given territories, wearing the national costume of the region and ruling by the local customs. Thus were the children sent to their respective realms at so young an age, each kingdom had its importance in keeping some frontier, Louiss was the Spanish March. In 797, the greatest city of the Marca, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, the Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. Louis campaigned in the Italian Mezzogiorno against the Beneventans at least once, Louis was one of Charlemagnes three legitimate sons to survive infancy. He had a brother, Lothair who died during infancy. According to Frankish custom, Louis had expected to share his inheritance with his brothers, Charles the Younger, King of Neustria, to Louiss kingdom of Aquitaine, he added Septimania and part of Burgundy. However, Charlemagnes other legitimate sons died – Pepin in 810 and Charles in 811 –, on his fathers death in 814, he inherited the entire Frankish kingdom and all its possessions.
While at his villa of Doué-la-Fontaine, Louis received news of his fathers death and he rushed to Aachen and crowned himself emperor to shouts of Vivat Imperator Ludovicus by the attending nobles. From start of his reign, his coinage imitated his father Charlemagnes portrait and he quickly sent all of his unmarried sisters to nunneries, to avoid any possible entanglements from overly powerful brothers-in-laws. Sparing his illegitimate half-brothers, he forced his fathers cousins and Wala to be tonsured, placing them in Noirmoutier and Corbie and his chief counsellors were Bernard, margrave of Septimania, and Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name Carolingian derives from the Latinised name of Charles Martel, the Carolingian dynasty reached its peak in 800 with the crowning of Charlemagne as the first Emperor of Romans in over three centuries. His death in 814 began a period of fragmentation of the Carolingian empire and decline that would eventually lead to the evolution of the Kingdom of France. This picture, however, is not commonly accepted today, the greatest Carolingian monarch was Charlemagne, who was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III at Rome in 800. His empire, ostensibly a continuation of the Western Roman Empire, is referred to historiographically as the Carolingian Empire, the Carolingian rulers did not give up the traditional Frankish practice of dividing inheritances among heirs, though the concept of the indivisibility of the Empire was accepted. The Carolingians had the practice of making their sons kings in the various regions of the Empire.
The Carolingians were displaced in most of the regna of the Empire by 888 and they ruled in East Francia until 911 and held the throne of West Francia intermittently until 987. One chronicler of Sens dates the end of Carolingian rule with the coronation of Robert II of France as junior co-ruler with his father, Hugh Capet, the dynasty became extinct in the male line with the death of Eudes, Count of Vermandois. His sister Adelaide, the last Carolingian, died in 1122, the Carolingian dynasty has five distinct branches, The Lombard branch, or Vermandois branch, or Herbertians, descended from Pepin of Italy, son of Charlemagne. Though he did not outlive his father, his son Bernard was allowed to retain Italy, Bernard rebelled against his uncle Louis the Pious, and lost both his kingdom and his life. Deprived of the title, the members of this branch settled in France. The counts of Vermandois perpetuated the Carolingian line until the 12th century, the Counts of Chiny and the lords of Mellier, Neufchâteau and Falkenstein are branches of the Herbertians.
With the descendants of the counts of Chiny, there would have been Herbertian Carolingians to the early 14th century, the Lotharingian branch, descended from Emperor Lothair, eldest son of Louis the Pious. At his death Middle Francia was divided equally between his three surviving sons, into Italy and Lower Burgundy, the sons of Emperor Lothair did not have sons of their own, so Middle Francia was divided between the western and eastern branches of the family in 875. The Aquitainian branch, descended from Pepin of Aquitaine, son of Louis the Pious, since he did not outlive his father, his sons were deprived of Aquitaine in favor of his younger brother Charles the Bald. The German branch, descended from Louis the German, King of East Francia, since he had three sons, his lands were divided into Duchy of Bavaria, Duchy of Saxony and Duchy of Swabia. His youngest son Charles the Fat briefly reunited both East and West Francia — the entirety of the Carolingian empire — but it again after his death.
With the failure of the lines of the German branch, Arnulf of Carinthia
The Merovingians were a Salian Frankish dynasty that ruled the Franks for nearly 300 years in a region known as Francia in Latin, beginning in the middle of the 5th century. Their territory largely corresponded to ancient Gaul as well as the Roman provinces of Raetia, Germania Superior and the southern part of Germania. The Merovingian dynasty was founded by Childeric I, the son of Merovech, leader of the Salian Franks, after the death of Clovis there were frequent clashes between different branches of the family, but when threatened by its neighbours the Merovingians presented a strong united front. During the final century of Merovingian rule, the kings were increasingly pushed into a ceremonial role, the Merovingian rule ended in March 752 when Pope Zachary formally deposed Childeric III. Zacharys successor, Pope Stephen II, confirmed and anointed Pepin the Short in 754, the Merovingian ruling family were sometimes referred to as the long-haired kings by contemporaries, as their long hair distinguished them among the Franks, who commonly cut their hair short.
The Merovingian dynasty owes its name to the semi-legendary Merovech, leader of the Salian Franks, the victories of his son Childeric I against the Visigoths and Alemanni established the basis of Merovingian land. Childerics son Clovis I went on to unite most of Gaul north of the Loire under his control around 486, when he defeated Syagrius, the Roman ruler in those parts. He won the Battle of Tolbiac against the Alemanni in 496, at time, according to Gregory of Tours. He subsequently went on to defeat the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé in 507. After Cloviss death, his kingdom was partitioned among his four sons, leadership among the early Merovingians was probably based on mythical descent and alleged divine patronage, expressed in terms of continued military success. In 1906 the British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie suggested that the Marvingi recorded by Ptolemy as living near the Rhine were the ancestors of the Merovingian dynasty, upon Cloviss death in 511, the Merovingian kingdom included all of Gaul except Burgundy and all of Germania magna except Saxony.
To the outside, the kingdom, even when divided under different kings, maintained unity, after the fall of the Ostrogoths, the Franks conquered Provence. After this their borders with Italy and Visigothic Septimania remained fairly stable, the kingdom was divided among Cloviss sons and among his grandsons and frequently saw war between the different kings, who quickly allied among themselves and against one another. The death of one king created conflict between the brothers and the deceaseds sons, with differing outcomes. Later, conflicts were intensified by the personal feud around Brunhilda, yearly warfare often did not constitute general devastation but took on an almost ritual character, with established rules and norms. Eventually, Clotaire II in 613 reunited the entire Frankish realm under one ruler, divisions produced the stable units of Austrasia, Neustria and Aquitania. The frequent wars had weakened royal power, while the aristocracy had made great gains and these concessions saw the very considerable power of the king parcelled out and retained by leading comites and duces.
Very little is in fact known about the course of the 7th century due to a scarcity of sources, clotaires son Dagobert I, who sent troops to Spain and pagan Slavic territories in the east, is commonly seen as the last powerful Merovingian King
Treaty of Verdun
The treaty signed in Verdun-sur-Meuse ended the three-year Carolingian Civil War. Lothairs brother Louis the German and his half-brother Charles the Bald refused to acknowledge Lothairs suzerainty, each of the three brothers was already established in one kingdom, Lothair in Italy, Louis the German in Bavaria, and Charles the Bald in Aquitaine. In the settlement, Lothair retained his title as emperor and, Lothair received Middle Francia and his domain became the Low Countries, Alsace, Burgundy and the Kingdom of Italy. He received the two cities and Rome, and the imperial title, but it conferred only nominal overlordship of his brothers lands. Louis the German received the eastern portion, Charles the Bald received the western portion, which became France. Pepin II was granted the kingdom of Aquitaine, but only under the authority of Charles, Charles received all lands west of the Rhône, which was called West Francia. Lothairs eldest son, Louis II inherited Italy and his fathers claim to the Imperial, the division of the Frankish realm by the Treaty of Verdun, carried out without any regard to linguistic and cultural continuities, resulted in conflicts in Western Europe until the 20th century.
Since the Middle Frankish Kingdom combined lengthy and vulnerable borders with poor internal communications as it was severed by the Alps, it was not a viable entity. This made it difficult for a ruler to reassemble Charlemagnes empire. Only Charles the Fat achieved this briefly, in 855, the northern section became fragile Lotharingia, which became disputed by the more powerful states that evolved out of West Francia and East Francia. Generations of kings of France and Germany were unable to establish a rule over Lothair’s kingdom. In 1766, it passed to France after the death of Stanislaw Leszcyznski, in 1871, Alsace-Lorraine became German, after the victory of Prussia and its German allies over the French in the Franco-Prussian War. In 1919, it became French again by the Treaty of Versailles, in 1940, Germany reannexed Alsace-Lorraine following Germanys successful invasion of France. Finally, in 1945, after World War II, Alsace-Lorraine was solidified as French territory, the collapse of the Middle Frankish Kingdom compounded the disunity of the Italian Peninsula, which persisted into the 19th century.
Oaths of Strasbourg Treaty of Prüm Treaty of Meerssen Treaty of Ribemont Media related to Treaty of Verdun at Wikimedia Commons
Laon is the capital city of the Aisne department in Hauts-de-France, northern France. As of 2012 its population was of 25,317, the holy district of Laon, which rises a hundred metres above the otherwise flat Picardy plain, has always held strategic importance. In the time of Julius Caesar there was a Gallic village named Bibrax where the Remis had to meet the onset of the confederated Belgae. Whatever may have been the locality of that battlefield, Laon was fortified by the Romans. At that time it was known as Alaudanum or Lugdunum Clavatum, archbishop Remigius of Reims, who baptised Clovis, was born in the Laonnais, and it was he who, at the end of the fifth century, instituted the bishopric of Laon. Thenceforward Laon was one of the towns of the kingdom of the Franks. Charles the Bald had enriched its church with the gift of very numerous domains, in about 847 the Irish philosopher John Scotus Eriugena appeared at the court of Charles the Bald, and was appointed head of the palace school. Eriugena spent the rest of his days in France, probably at Paris, early in the twelfth century the communes of France set about emancipating themselves, and the history of the commune of Laon is one of the richest and most varied.
Anselm of Laons school for theology and exegesis rapidly became the most famous in Europe, the consequence was a revolt, in which the episcopal palace was burnt and the bishop and several of his partisans were put to death on 25 April 1112. The fire spread to the cathedral, and reduced it to ashes, uneasy at the result of their victory, the rioters went into hiding outside the town, which was anew pillaged by the people of the neighbourhood, eager to avenge the death of their bishop. The king alternately intervened in favour of the bishop and of the inhabitants till 1239, after that date the liberties of Laon were no more contested till 1331, when the commune was abolished. During the Hundred Years War it was attacked and taken by the Burgundians, under the League, Laon took the part of the Leaguers, and was taken by Henry IV. At the Revolution Laon permanently lost its rank as a bishopric, during the campaign of 1814, Napoleon tried in vain to dislodge Blücher and Bülow from it in the Battle of Laon.
In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, an engineer blew up the magazine of the citadel at the moment when the German troops were entering the town. Many lives were lost, and the cathedral and the old palace were damaged. It surrendered to a German force on 9 September 1870, in the fall of 1914, during World War I, German forces captured the town and held it until the Allied offensive in the summer of 1918. It is 55 km from Reims,131 km from Amiens, the city contains numerous medieval buildings, including the cathedral Notre-Dame of Laon, dating mostly from the 12th and 13th centuries. The chapter-house and the cloister contain specimens of early 13th century architecture, the old episcopal palace, contiguous to the cathedral, is now used as a court-house
Pepin of Landen
Pepin I of Landen, called the Elder or the Old, was the Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia under the Merovingian king Dagobert I from 623 to 629. He was the mayor for Sigebert III from 639 until his death, pepins father is named Carloman by the Chronicle of Fredegar, the chief source for his life. His byname comes from his birthplace, modern Belgium. However, according to Godefroid Kurth, it was only in the century that the chroniclers of Brabant began to associate him with that locality. He is sometimes called Pepin I and his other nicknames come from his position at the head of the called the Pippinids after him. He was lord of a part of Brabant, and governor of Austrasia. King of that country was defeated by Theodoric II, king of Burgundy, chief among these leading men were Warnachar II, Rado and Pepin. The latter two were described by Fredegar as the two most powerful barons of Austrasia and they made agreement with Chlothar at Andernach. Arnulf, his friend, was appointed adviser to the new king alongside him.
Pepin was praised by his contemporaries for his government and wise counsel. Sigeberts share of the inheritance was amicably surrendered, partly because of the friendship between Pepin and the Burgundian mayor of the palace, Aega. Pepin and Arnulfs successor as chief counselor to the king, Bishop of Cologne, received the treasure at Compiègne and he was so popular in Austrasia that, though he was never canonized, he was listed as a saint in some martyrologies. His feast day was 21 February, the Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations