Reims, a city in the Grand Est region of France, lies 129 km east-northeast of Paris. The 2013 census recorded 182,592 inhabitants in the city of Reims proper, 317,611 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, its primary river, the Vesle, is a tributary of the Aisne. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire. Reims played a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France; the Cathedral of Reims housed the Holy Ampulla containing the Saint Chrême brought by a white dove at the baptism of Clovis in 496. It was used for the most important part of the coronation of French kings. Reims functions as a subprefecture of the department of Marne, in the administrative region of Grand Est. Although Reims is by far the largest commune in its department, Châlons-en-Champagne is the prefecture. Before the Roman conquest of northern Gaul, founded circa 80 BC as *Durocorteron, served as the capital of the tribe of the Remi — whose name the town would subsequently echo.
In the course of Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul, the Remi allied themselves with the Romans, by their fidelity throughout the various Gallic insurrections secured the special favour of the imperial power. At its height in Roman times the city had a population in the range of 30,000 - 50,000 or up to 100,000. Christianity had become established in the city by 260, at which period Saint Sixtus of Reims founded the bishopric of Reims; the consul Jovinus, an influential supporter of the new faith, repelled the Alamanni who invaded Champagne in 336. In 496 – ten years after Clovis, King of the Salian Franks, won his victory at Soissons — Remigius, the bishop of Reims, baptized him using the oil of the sacred phial – purportedly brought from heaven by a dove for the baptism of Clovis and subsequently preserved in the Abbey of Saint-Remi. For centuries the events at the crowning of Clovis I became a symbol used by the monarchy to claim the divine right to rule. Meetings of Pope Stephen II with Pepin the Short, of Pope Leo III with Charlemagne, took place at Reims.
King Louis IV gave the city and countship of Reims to the archbishop Artaldus in 940. King Louis VII gave the title of duke and peer to William of Champagne, archbishop from 1176 to 1202, the archbishops of Reims took precedence over the other ecclesiastical peers of the realm. By the 10th century Reims had become a centre of intellectual culture. Archbishop Adalberon, seconded by the monk Gerbert, founded schools which taught the classical "liberal arts"; the archbishops held the important prerogative of the consecration of the kings of France – a privilege which they exercised from the time of Philippe II Augustus to that of Charles X. Louis VII granted the city a communal charter in 1139; the Treaty of Troyes ceded it to the English, who had made a futile attempt to take it by siege in 1360. Louis XI cruelly suppressed a revolt at Reims, caused in 1461 by the salt tax. During the French Wars of Religion the city sided with the Catholic League, but submitted to King Henri IV after the battle of Ivry.
In the invasions of the War of the Sixth Coalition in 1814, anti-Napoleonic allied armies captured and re-captured Reims. In August 1909 Reims hosted the first international aviation meet, the Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne. Major aviation personages such as Glenn Curtiss, Louis Blériot and Louis Paulhan participated. Hostilities in World War I damaged the city. German bombardment and a subsequent fire in 1914 did severe damage to the cathedral; the ruined cathedral became one of the central images of anti-German propaganda produced in France during the war, which presented it, along with the ruins of the Cloth Hall at Ypres and the University Library in Louvain, as evidence that German aggression targeted cultural landmarks of European civilization. From the end of World War I to the present day an international effort to restore the cathedral from the ruins has continued; the Palace of Tau, St Jacques Church and the Abbey of St Remi were protected and restored. The collection of preserved buildings and Roman ruins remains monumentally impressive.
During World War II the city suffered additional damage. But in Reims, at 2:41 on the morning of 7 May 1945, General Eisenhower and the Allies received the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht. General Alfred Jodl, German Chief-of-Staff, signed the surrender at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force as the representative for German President Karl Dönitz; the British statesman Leslie Hore-Belisha died of a cerebral haemorrhage while making a speech at the Reims hôtel de ville in February 1957. The principal squares of Reims include the
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family founded by Charles Martel with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The dynasty consolidated its power in the 8th century making the offices of mayor of the palace and dux et princeps Francorum hereditary, becoming the de facto rulers of the Franks as the real powers behind the Merovingian throne. In 751 the Merovingian dynasty which had ruled the Germanic Franks was overthrown with the consent of the Papacy and the aristocracy, a Carolingian Pepin the Short was crowned King of the Franks; the Carolingian dynasty reached its peak in 800 with the crowning of Charlemagne as the first Emperor of Romans in the West in over three centuries. His death in 814 began an extended period of fragmentation of the Carolingian empire and decline that would lead to the evolution of the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire; the Carolingian dynasty takes its name from Carolus, the Latinised name of Charles Martel, de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death.
The name "Carolingian" or "the family of Charles." Traditional historiography has seen the Carolingian assumption of the Frank kingship as the product of a long rise to power, punctuated by a premature attempt to seize the throne through Childebert the Adopted. This picture, however, is not accepted today. Rather, the coronation of 751 is seen as a product of the aspirations of one man, whose father, dynastic founder Charles Martel, had been a Frankish high court official military commander, of the Roman Catholic Church, always looking for powerful secular protectors and for the extension of its spiritual and temporal influence; the greatest Carolingian monarch was Pepin's son. Charlemagne 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 minor kings in the various regions of the Empire, which they would inherit on the death of their father, which Charlemagne and his son Louis the Pious both did for their sons. Following the death of the Emperor Louis the Pious in 840, his surviving adult sons, Lothair I and Louis the German, along with their adolescent brother Charles the Bald, fought a three-year civil war ending only in the Treaty of Verdun in 843, which divided the empire into three regna while according imperial status and a nominal lordship to Lothair who at 48, was the eldest; the Carolingians differed markedly from the Merovingians in that they disallowed inheritance to illegitimate offspring in an effort to prevent infighting among heirs and assure a limit to the division of the realm. In the late ninth century, the lack of suitable adults among the Carolingians necessitated the rise of Arnulf of Carinthia as the king of East Francia, a bastard child of a legitimate Carolingian king, Carloman of Bavaria, himself a son of the First King of the Eastern division of the Frankish kingdom Louis the German.
It was after Charlemagne's death that the dynasty began to crumble. His kingdom would end up splitting into three, each being ruled over by one of his grandsons. Only the kingdoms of the eastern and western portions survived, would go on to become the countries known today as Germany and France; the Carolingians were displaced in most of the regna of the Empire by 888. They ruled in East Francia until 911 and held the throne of West Francia intermittently until 987. Carolingian cadet branches continued to rule in Vermandois and Lower Lorraine after the last king died in 987, but they never sought thrones of principalities and made peace with the new ruling families. 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, thus beginning the Capetian dynasty; the dynasty became extinct in the male line with the death of 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, lost both his kingdom and his life. Deprived of the royal title, the members of this branch settled in France, became counts of Vermandois, Valois and Troyes; 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 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. Pepin'
In medieval historiography, West Francia or the Kingdom of the West Franks was the western part of Charlemagne's Empire, ruled by the Germanic Franks that forms the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting from about 840 until 987. West Francia was formed out of the division of the Carolingian Empire in 843 under the Treaty of Verdun after the death of Emperor Louis the Pious and the east–west division which "gradually hardened into the establishment of separate kingdoms of what we can begin to call Germany and France."West Francia extended further south than modern France, but it did not extend as far east. West Francia did not include such future French holdings as Lorraine, Burgundy and Provence in the east and southeast. In addition, by the 10th century the rule of its kings was reduced within the West Frankish realm by the increase in power of great territorial magnates over their large and territorially contiguous fiefs; this process was compounded by wars among those magnates, including against or alongside the Crown, by foreign invasion.
Notably, Normandy was given to the rule of Norse invaders under Rollo as a county and duchy in return for their willingness to end their raids, like other great fiefs became autonomous of, more powerful than, the Crown. In Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the West Frankish king was felt. West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, for the half-century between 888 and 936 they chose alternately from the Carolingian and Robertian houses. By this time the power of king became weaker and more nominal, as the regional dukes and nobles became more powerful in their semi-independent regions; the Robertians, after becoming counts of Paris and dukes of France, became kings themselves and established the Capetian dynasty. In August 843, after three years of civil war following the death of Louis the Pious on 20 June 840, the Treaty of Verdun was signed by his three sons and heirs; the youngest, Charles the Bald, received western Francia. The contemporary West Frankish Annales Bertiniani describes Charles arriving at Verdun, "where the distribution of portions" took place.
After describing the portions of his brothers, Lothair the Emperor and Louis the German, he notes that "the rest as far as Spain they ceded to Charles". The Annales Fuldenses of East Francia describe Charles as holding the western part after the kingdom was "divided in three". Since the death of King Pippin I of Aquitaine in December 838, his son had been recognised by the Aquitainian nobility as King Pippin II of Aquitaine, although the succession had not been recognised by the emperor. Charles the Bald was at war with Pippin II from the start of his reign in 840, the Treaty of Verdun ignored the claimant and assigned Aquitaine to Charles. Accordingly, in June 845, after several military defeats, Charles signed the Treaty of Benoît-sur-Loire and recognised his nephew's rule; this agreement lasted until 25 March 848, when the Aquitainian barons recognised Charles as their king. Thereafter Charles's armies had the upper hand, by 849 had secured most of Aquitaine. In May, Charles had himself crowned "King of the Aquitainians" in Orléans.
Archbishop Wenilo of Sens officiated at the coronation, which included the first instance of royal unction in West Francia. The idea of anointing Charles may be owed to Archbishop Hincmar of Reims, who composed no less than four ordines describing appropriate liturgies for a royal consecration. By the time of the Synod of Quierzy, Hincmar was claiming that Charles was anointed to the entire West Frankish kingdom. With the Treaty of Mersen in 870 the western part of Lotharingia was added to West Francia. In 875 Charles the Bald was crowned Emperor of Rome; the last record in the Annales Bertiniani dates to 882, so the only contemporary narrative source for the next eighteen years in West Francia is the Annales Vedastini. The next set of original annals from the West Frankish kingdom are those of Flodoard, who began his account with the year 919. After the death of Charles's grandson, Carloman II, on 12 December 884, the West Frankish nobles elected his uncle, Charles the Fat king in East Francia and Kingdom of Italy, as their king.
He was crowned "King in Gaul" on 20 May 885 at Grand. His reign was the only time after the death of Louis the Pious that all of Francia would be re-united under one ruler. In his capacity as king of West Francia, he seems to have granted the royal title and regalia to the semi-independent ruler of Brittany, Alan I, his handling of the Viking siege of Paris in 885–86 reduced his prestige. In November 887 his nephew, Arnulf of Carinthia revolted and assumed the title as King of the East Franks. Charles retired and soon died on 13 January 888. In Aquitaine, Duke Ranulf II may have had himself recognised as king, but he only lived another two years. Although Aquitaine did not become a separate kingdom, it was outside the control of the West Frankish kings. Odo, Count of Paris was elected by nobles as the new king of West Francia, was crowned the next month. At this point, West Francia was composed of Neustria in the west and in the east by Francia proper, the region between the Meuse and the Seine.
After the 860s, Lotharingian noble Robert the Strong became powerful as count of Anjou and Maine. Robert's brother Hugh, abbot of Saint-Denis, was given control over Austrasia by Charles the Bald. Robert's son Odo was elected king in 888. Odo's brother Robert I ruled between 922 and 923 and was followed by Rudolph from 923 until 936. Hugh the Great, son of Robert I, was elevated to the title "duke of the Franks" b
Battle of Fontenoy (841)
The three year Carolingian Civil War culminated in the decisive Battle of Fontenoy-en-Puisaye called the battle of Fontenoy, fought at Fontenoy, near Auxerre, on the 25 June 841. The war was the contention over the territorial inheritances —the division of the unified lands of Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire between his grandsons, the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious. Despite provisions by Louis the Pious, war nephews; the battle, although known to have been large in scale, was not well documented, therefore only modern estimates on the size of armies and number of casualties exist. Defeat at Fontenoy has been described as a major one for the allied forces of Lothair I of Italy and Pepin II of Aquitaine and a victory for Charles the Bald and Louis the German. While hostilities continued until another two years into 843, the Treaty of Verdun ending the war shaped and influences history in Europe to this late modern date. Louis the Pious throughout his long reign had entreated to divide his empire meritoriously amongst his sons—all his sons—as it was required by the Salic Law of the Franks.
With the late-born Charles, his attempts led to civil wars which culminated in his vindicating defeat of his last rebellious son, Louis, in 839. At Worms, on 30 May that year, he divided his empire for the last time, giving Lothair the kingdom he held and the imperial title, with all the other lands of the east and Charles receiving all the lands of the west. Louis was left with Bavaria while his grandson, was left out of the inheritance. On 24 July 840 in Strasbourg, Lothair precipitated a new civil war by declaring his imperium over all the lands of the empire and, joining with his nephew Pepin, attacked the Loire Valley; the barons of Burgundy divided over allegiance to Lothair. Ermenaud III of Auxerre, Arnoul of Sens, Audri of Autun pledged themselves for Lothair, while Guerin of Provence and Aubert of Avallon remained with Charles. Girard II, Count of Paris, Lothair's brother-in-law, joined Lothair also. In March 841, the Burgundians faithful to Charles accompanied Guerin to join him and in May, Louis of Bavaria and his troops met Charles army at Châlons-sur-Marne.
In June, Pepin joined with Lothair in Auxerre. The two armies met on 25 June. According to tradition, Charles established his camp on the hill of Roichat. Lothair and Pepin initiated battle and took the upper hand until the arrival of Guerin and his army of Provençals. While Pepin and his contingent continued to push back Charles' men, Lothair was pushed back by Louis the German and the Provençals; when victory seemed sure for Charles, Bernard of Septimania entered the conflict on his side and the victory became a rout. According to Andreas Agnellus of Ravenna a total of 40,000 men died, including Gerard of Auvergne and Ricwin of Nantes, who fell at Charles' side. "Neither dew nor showers nor rain fell again on that field where the most battle-hardened warriors had perished mourned by their mothers, their sisters, their brothers, their friends. On Charles' side and Louis too, the fields were white with the linen habits of the dead as they might have been with birds in the autumn."In spite of his personal gallantry, Lothair was defeated and fled to his capital of Aachen.
With fresh troops he entered upon a war of plunder, but the forces of his brothers were too strong for him, taking with him such treasure as he could collect, he abandoned to them his capital. Verses by Angilbert, who fought the battle on the side of Lothar are cited by historian Eleanor Shipley Duckett as the "Most striking of all these Latin records of the battle"; the verses in English are... Oath of Strasbourg Treaty of Verdun Angelbert Initial text adapted from the entry for Lothair I in the 1911 Encyclopedia
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
The Carolingian Empire was a large empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of the Lombards of Italy from 774. In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III in an effort to revive the Roman Empire in the west during a vacancy in the throne of the eastern Roman Empire. After a civil war following the death of Emperor Louis the Pious, the empire was divided into autonomous kingdoms, with one king still recognised as emperor, but with little authority outside his own kingdom; the unity of the empire and the hereditary right of the Carolingians continued to be acknowledged, preceding the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806. In 884, Charles the Fat reunited all the kingdoms of Francia for the last time, but he died in 888 and the empire split up. With the only remaining legitimate male of the dynasty a child, the nobility elected regional kings from outside the dynasty or, in the case of the eastern kingdom, an illegitimate Carolingian.
The illegitimate line continued to rule in the east until 911, while in the western kingdom the legitimate Carolingian dynasty was restored in 898 and ruled until 987 with an interruption from 922 to 936. The size of the empire at its inception was around 1,112,000 square kilometres, with a population of between 10 and 20 million people. To the south it bordered the Emirate of Córdoba and, after 824, the Kingdom of Pamplona. In southern Italy, the Carolingians' claims to authority were disputed by the Byzantines and the vestiges of the Lombard kingdom in the Principality of Benevento. Use of the term "Carolingian Empire" is a modern convention; the language of official acts in the empire was Latin. The empire was referred to variously as universum regnum, Romanorum sive Francorum imperium, Romanum imperium or imperium christianum. Though Charles Martel chose not to take the title king he was absolute ruler of all of today's continental Western Europe north of the Pyrenees. Only the remaining Saxon realms, which he conquered and the Marca Hispanica south of the Pyrenees were significant additions to the Frankish realms after his death.
Martel was the founder of all the feudal systems and merit system that marked the Carolingian Empire, Europe in general during the Middle Ages, though his son and grandson would gain credit for his innovations. Further, Martel cemented his place in history with his defense of Christian Europe against a Muslim army at the Battle of Tours in 732; the Iberian Saracens had incorporated Berber light horse cavalry with the heavy Arab cavalry to create a formidable army that had never been defeated. Christian European forces, lacked the powerful tool of the stirrup. In this victory, Charles earned the surname Martel. Edward Gibbon, the historian of Rome and its aftermath, called Charles Martel "the paramount prince of his age". Pepin III accepted the nomination as king by Pope Zachary in about 751. Charlemagne's rule began in 768 at Pepin's death, he proceeded to take control of the kingdom following his brother Carloman's death, as the two brothers co-inherited their father's kingdom. Charlemagne was crowned Roman Emperor in the year 800.
The Carolingian Empire during the reign of Charlemagne covered most of Western Europe, as the Roman Empire once had. Unlike the Romans, who ventured to Germania beyond the Rhine only for vengeance after the disaster at Teutoburg Forest, Charlemagne decisively crushed all Germanic resistance and extended his realm to the Elbe, influencing events to the Russian Steppes. Charlemagne's reign was one of near-constant warfare leading many of his campaigns, he seized the Lombard Kingdom in 774, led a failed campaign into Spain in 778, extended his domain into Bavaria in 788, ordered his son Pepin to campaign against the Avars in 795, conquered Saxon territories in wars and rebellions fought from 772 to 804. Prior to the death of Charlemagne, the Empire was divided among various members of the Carolingian dynasty; these included son of Charlemagne, who received Neustria. Pepin died with an illegitimate son, Bernard, in 810, Charles died without heirs in 811. Although Bernard succeeded Pepin as King of Italy, Louis was made co-Emperor in 813, the entire Empire passed to him with Charlemagne's death in the winter of 814.
Louis the Pious had to struggle to maintain control of the Empire. King Bernard of Italy died in 818 in imprisonment after rebelling a year earlier, Italy was brought back into Imperial control. Louis' show of penance for Bernard's death in 822 reduced his prestige as Emperor to the nobility. Meanwhile, in 817 Louis had established three new Carolingian Kingships for his sons from his first marriage: Lothar was made King of Italy and co-Emperor, Pepin was made King of Aquitaine, Louis the German was made King of Bavaria, his attempts in 823 to bring his fourth son, Charles the Bald into the will was marked by the resistance of his eldest sons, the last years of his reign were plagued by civil war. Lothar was stripped of his co
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between Spain and France. Reaching a height of 3,404 metres altitude at the peak of Aneto, the range separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, extends for about 491 km from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. For the most part, the main crest forms a divide between Spain and France, with the microstate of Andorra sandwiched in between; the Principality of Catalonia alongside with the Kingdom of Aragon in the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre have extended on both sides of the mountain range, with smaller northern portions now in France and larger southern parts now in Spain. In Greek mythology, Pyrene is a princess; the Greek historian Herodotus says. According to Silius Italicus, she was the virgin daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitality during his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon during his famous Labours.
Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host's daughter. Pyrene runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention of wild beasts who tear her to pieces. After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl's lacerated remains; as is the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name: "struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges. … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages." Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, but rejects it as fabulosa fictional. Other classical sources derived the name from the Greek word for fire, Ancient Greek: πῦρ. According to Greek historian Diodorus Siculus "..in ancient times, we are told, certain herdsmen left a fire and the whole area of the mountains was consumed.
The Spanish Pyrenees are part of the following provinces, from east to west: Girona, Lleida, Huesca and Gipuzkoa. The French Pyrenees are part of the following départements, from east to west: Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Atlantiques; the independent principality of Andorra is sandwiched in the eastern portion of the mountain range between the Spanish Pyrenees and French Pyrenees. Physiographically, the Pyrenees may be divided into three sections: the Atlantic, the Central, the Eastern Pyrenees. Together, they form a distinct physiographic province of the larger Alpine System division. In the Western Pyrenees, from the Basque mountains near the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean, the average elevation increases from west to east; the Central Pyrenees extend eastward from the Somport pass to the Aran Valley, they include the highest summits of this range: Pico d'Aneto 3,404 metres in the Maladeta ridge, Pico Posets 3,375 metres, Monte Perdido 3,355 metres.
In the Eastern Pyrenees, with the exception of one break at the eastern extremity of the Pyrénées Ariègeoises in the Ariège area, the mean elevation is remarkably uniform until a sudden decline occurs in the easternmost portion of the chain known as the Albères. Most foothills of the Pyrenees are on the Spanish side, where there is a large and complex system of ranges stretching from Spanish Navarre, across northern Aragon and into Catalonia reaching the Mediterranean coast with summits reaching 2,600 m. At the eastern end on the southern side lies a distinct area known as the Sub-Pyrenees. On the French side the slopes of the main range descend abruptly and there are no foothills except in the Corbières Massif in the northeastern corner of the mountain system; the Pyrenees are older than the Alps: their sediments were first deposited in coastal basins during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Between 100 and 150 million years ago, during the Lower Cretaceous Period, the Bay of Biscay fanned out, pushing present-day Spain against France and applying intense compressional pressure to large layers of sedimentary rock.
The intense pressure and uplifting of the Earth's crust first affected the eastern part and moved progressively to the entire chain, culminating in the Eocene Epoch. The eastern part of the Pyrenees consists of granite and gneissose rocks, while in the western part the granite peaks are flanked by layers of limestone; the massive and unworn character of the chain comes from its abundance of granite, resistant to erosion, as well as weak glacial development. The upper parts of the Pyrenees contain low-relief surfaces forming a peneplain; this peneplain originated no earlier than in Late Miocene times. It formed at height as extensive sedimentation raised the local base