Charles the Fat
Charles III known as Charles the Fat, was the Carolingian Emperor from 881 to 888. The youngest son of Louis the German and Hemma, Charles was a great-grandson of Charlemagne, he was the second-to-last emperor of the Carolingian dynasty and the last to rule over a re-united Frankish empire. Over his lifetime, Charles became ruler of the various kingdoms of Charlemagne's former empire. Granted lordship over Alamannia in 876, following the division of East Francia, he succeeded to the Italian throne upon the abdication of his older brother Carloman of Bavaria, incapacitated by a stroke. Crowned Emperor in 881 by Pope John VIII, his succession to the territories of his brother Louis the Younger the following year reunited the kingdom of East Francia. Upon the death of his cousin Carloman II in 884, he inherited all of West Francia, thus reuniting the entire Carolingian Empire. Considered lethargic and inept—he is known to have had repeated illnesses and is believed to have suffered from epilepsy—he twice purchased peace with Viking raiders, including the infamous Siege of Paris which led to his downfall.
The reunited empire did not last. During a coup led by his nephew Arnulf of Carinthia in November 887, Charles was deposed in East Francia and Kingdom of Italy. Forced into quiet retirement he died of natural causes in January 888, just a few weeks after his deposition; the Empire fell apart after his death, splintering into five separate successor kingdoms. The nickname "Charles the Fat" is not contemporary, it was first used by the Annalista Saxo in the twelfth century. There is no contemporary reference to Charles's physical size, but the nickname has stuck and is the common name in most modern European languages, his numeral is contemporary. Regino of Prüm, a contemporary of Charles's recording his death, calls him "Emperor Charles, third of that name and dignity". Charles was the youngest of the three sons of Louis the German, first King of East Francia, Hemma from the House of Welf. An incident of demonic possession is recorded in his youth, in which he was said to have been foaming at the mouth before he was taken to the altar of the church.
This affected him and his father. He was described as: "… a Christian prince, fearing God, with all his heart keeping His commandments devoutly obeying the orders of the Church, generous in alms-giving, practising unceasingly prayer and song, always intent upon celebrating the praises of God."In 859, Charles was made Count of the Breisgau, an Alemannic march bordering southern Lotharingia. In 863 his rebellious eldest brother Carloman revolted against their father; the next year Louis the Younger followed Carloman in revolt and Charles joined him. Carloman received rule over the Duchy of Bavaria. In 865 the elder Louis was forced to divide his remaining lands among his heirs: Duchy of Saxony went to Louis. Lotharingia was to be divided between the younger two; when in 875 the Emperor Louis II, King of Italy, died having agreed with Louis the German that Carloman would succeed him in Italy, Charles the Bald of West Francia invaded the peninsula and had himself crowned king and emperor. Louis the German sent first Charles and Carloman himself, with armies containing Italian forces under Berengar of Friuli, their cousin, to the Italian kingdom.
These wars, were not successful until the death of Charles the Bald in 877. In 876 Louis the German died and the inheritance was divided as planned after a conference at Ries, though Charles received less of his share of Lotharingia than planned. In his charters, Charles' reign in Germania is dated from his inheritance in 876. Three brothers ruled in cooperation and avoided wars over the division of their patrimony: a rare occurrence in the Early Middle Ages. In 877, Carloman inherited Italy from his uncle Charles the Bald. Louis offered a third to Carloman and a third to Charles. In 878, Carloman returned his Lotharingian share to Louis, who divided it evenly with Charles. In 879, Carloman was incapacitated by a stroke and divided his domains between his brothers: Bavaria went to Louis and Italy to Charles. Charles dated his reign in Italia from this point, from he spent most of his reign until 886 in his Italian kingdom. In 880, Charles joined Louis III of France and Carloman II, the joint kings of West Francia, in failed siege of Boso of Provence in Vienne from August to September.
Provence a part of the Italian kingdom from 863, had rebelled under Boso. In August 882, Charles sent Richard, Duke of Burgundy, Count of Autun, to take the city, which he did in September. After this, Boso was restricted to the vicinity of Vienne. On 18 July 880, Pope John VIII sent a letter to Guy II of Spoleto seeking peace, but the duke ignored him and invaded the Papal States. John responded by begging the aid of Charles in his capacity as King of Italy and crowned Charles Emperor on 12 February 881; this was accompanied by hopes of a general revival in western Europe, but Charles proved to be unequal to the task. Charles did little to help against Guy II. Papal letters as late as November were still petitioning Charles for action; as emperor, Charles began the construction of a palace at Sélestat in Alsace. He modelled it after the Palace at Aachen, built by Charlemagne, whom he cons
Authari was king of the Lombards from 584 to his death. He was considered as the first Lombard king to have adopted some level of "Roman-ness" and introduced policies that led to drastic changes in the treatment of the Romans and Christianity. Authari was the son of King of the Lombards; when the latter died in 574, the Lombard nobility refused to appoint a successor, resulting in a ten-years-long interregnum known as the Rule of the Dukes. In 574 and 575 the Lombards invaded Provence part of the kingdom of Burgundy of the Merovingian Guntram; the latter, in alliance with his nephew, the king of Austrasia Childebert II, replied by invading Northern Italy. The Austrasian army took Trent; the Byzantine emperor, Tiberius II, began to negotiate an alliance with the Franks, so the Lombards, fearful of a pincer movement, elected another king. In 584, they elected Duke Authari and ceded him the capital of Pavia as well as half of their ducal domains as a demesne, he spent his entire reign in wars with the Franks, the Byzantines, Lombard rebels.
His first major test was the quashing of the rebel duke Droctulf of Brescello, who had allied with the Romans and was ruling the Po valley. Having expelled him, he spent most of the rest of his six years on the throne fighting the exarch of Ravenna, Smaragdus, or the Merovingian kings. Guntram and Childebert were still not satisfied with their successes in Italy and they many times threatened invasion, following through on their threats twice; the memory of Theudebert I of Austrasia's campaigns in Italy, the urging of Childebert's warlike mother Brunhilda and the Byzantine emperor and exarch, as well as the wrongs done Guntram in the past undoubtedly fueled their quarrelsomeness. In 588, Authari defeated them handily, but in 590, the uncle and nephew led two armies across the Alps over Mont Cenis and the Brenner to Milan and Verona. Though Authari shut himself up in Pavia, the Franks accomplished little as the exarch's army did not meet them and they could not join up with each other. Pestilence turned them around and they left the Lombards much chastened, but hardly defeated.
Authari, when not controlled by foreign armies, expanded the Lombard dominion at the expense of Byzantium. He cut off communication between Padua and Ravenna. Faroald, duke of Spoleto, utterly devastated it. Authari swept through the peninsula all the way to Reggio, vowing to take Calabria — a vow never to be kept by any Lombard. Authari married Theodelinda, daughter of the Bavarian duke Garibald I, on 15 May 589 at Verona. A Catholic, she had great influence among the Lombards for her virtue. A detailed account of the courtship by the eighth-century historian Paul the Deacon revealed that the marriage was a political alliance designed to provide additional sanction to Authari's royal position. In addition, Theodelinda was chosen due to the long-standing ties between the Lombards and the Bavarians as well as their mutual hostility toward the Franks, she claimed descent from the ancient Lombard royal line. When Authari died in Pavia in 590 by poison, he was succeeded as king by Agilulf, duke of Turin, on the advice, sought by the dukes, of Theodelinda, who married the new king.
Jarnut, Jörg. Geschichte der Langobarden. Stuttgart
The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. The Lombard historian Paul the Deacon wrote in the Historia Langobardorum that the Lombards descended from a small tribe called the Winnili, who dwelt in southern Scandinavia before migrating to seek new lands. In the 1st century AD, they formed part of the Suebi, in north-western Germany. By the end of the 5th century, they had moved into the area coinciding with modern Austria and Slovakia north of the Danube river, where they subdued the Heruls and fought frequent wars with the Gepids; the Lombard king Audoin defeated the Gepid leader Thurisind in 551 or 552. Following this victory, Alboin decided to lead his people to Italy, which had become depopulated and devastated after the long Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom there. In contrast with the Goths and the Vandals, the Lombards left Scandinavia and descended due south through Germany and Slovenia, only leaving Germanic territory a few decades before reaching Italy.
The Lombards would have remained a predominantly Germanic tribe by the time they invaded Italy. The Lombards were joined by numerous Saxons, Gepids, Bulgars and Ostrogoths, their invasion of Italy was unopposed. By late 569 they had conquered all of northern Italy and the principal cities north of the Po River except Pavia, which fell in 572. At the same time, they occupied areas in southern Italy, they established a Lombard Kingdom in north and central Italy named Regnum Italicum, which reached its zenith under the 8th-century ruler Liutprand. In 774, the Kingdom was integrated into his Empire. However, Lombard nobles continued to rule southern parts of the Italian peninsula, well into the 11th century when they were conquered by the Normans and added to their County of Sicily. In this period, the southern part of Italy still under Longobardic domination was known to the foreigners, by the name Langbarðaland, in the Norse runestones, their legacy is apparent in the regional name Lombardy. The fullest account of Lombard origins and practices is the Historia Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon, written in the 8th century.
Paul's chief source for Lombard origins, however, is the 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum tells the story of a small tribe called the Winnili dwelling in southern Scandinavia; the Winnili were split into three groups and one part left their native land to seek foreign fields. The reason for the exodus was overpopulation; the departing people were led by the brothers Ybor and Aio and their mother Gambara and arrived in the lands of Scoringa the Baltic coast or the Bardengau on the banks of the Elbe. Scoringa was ruled by the Vandals and their chieftains, the brothers Ambri and Assi, who granted the Winnili a choice between tribute or war; the Winnili were young and brave and refused to pay tribute, saying "It is better to maintain liberty by arms than to stain it by the payment of tribute." The Vandals prepared for war and consulted Godan, who answered that he would give the victory to those whom he would see first at sunrise. The Winnili were fewer in number and Gambara sought help from Frea, who advised that all Winnili women should tie their hair in front of their faces like beards and march in line with their husbands.
At sunrise, Frea turned her husband's bed so that he was facing east, woke him. So Godan spotted the Winnili first and asked, "Who are these long-beards?," and Frea replied, "My lord, thou hast given them the name, now give them the victory." From that moment onwards, the Winnili were known as the Longbeards. When Paul the Deacon wrote the Historia between 787 and 796 he was a Catholic monk and devoted Christian, he thought the pagan stories of his people "silly" and "laughable". Paul explained. A modern theory suggests that the name "Langobard" comes from a name of Odin. Priester states that when the Winnili changed their name to "Lombards", they changed their old agricultural fertility cult to a cult of Odin, thus creating a conscious tribal tradition. Fröhlich inverts the order of events in Priester and states that with the Odin cult, the Lombards grew their beards in resemblance of the Odin of tradition and their new name reflected this. Bruckner remarks that the name of the Lombards stands in close relation to the worship of Odin, whose many names include "the Long-bearded" or "the Grey-bearded", that the Lombard given name Ansegranus shows that the Lombards had this idea of their chief deity.
The same Old Norse root Barth or Barði, meaning "beard", is shared with the Heaðobards mentioned in both Beowulf and in Widsith, where they are in conflict with the Danes. They were a branch of the Langobards. Alternatively some etymological sources suggest an Old High German root, meaning “axe”, while Edward Gibbon puts forth an alternative suggestion which argues that: …Börde still signifies “a fertile plain by the side of a river,” and a district near Magdeburg is still called the lange Börd
Desiderius was a king of the Lombard Kingdom of northern Italy, ruling from 756 to 774. He is chiefly known for his connection to Charlemagne, who married his daughter and conquered his realm. Born in Brescia, Desiderius was a royal officer, the dux Langobardorum et comes stabuli, "constable and duke of the Lombards," an office similar to the contemporaneous Frankish office of dux Francorum. King Aistulf made him duke of Istria and Tuscany and he became king after the death of Aistulf in 756. At that time, Aistulf's predecessor, left his monastic retreat of Montecassino and tried to seize the kingdom, but Desiderius put his revolt down with the support of Pope Stephen II. At his coronation, Desiderius promised to restore many lost papal towns to the Holy See, in return for the papacy's endorsement of his claim. Conflict with the Holy See under Pope Stephen III arose, for Stephen opposed Charlemagne's marriage to Desiderius' daughter. Desiderius ceased delivery of the towns after only a few. Seeking, like his predecessors, to extend the Lombard power in Italy, he came into collision with the papacy and the southern duchies.
In the same year Desiderius associated to his kingdom his son Adelchis. Alboin, the duchy of Benevento and Liutprand, that of Spoleto were coaxed by Pope Stephen to commend themselves to the Franks and thus separate themselves again from monarchy, they placed themselves under the protection of Pippin, the king of Franks. In 758, Duke Liutprand of Benevento rebelled. Desiderius defeated him and granted his duchy to one Arechis, tying the duchy more to Pavia than it had been since Grimoald's time. In that same year, Desiderius deposed Alboin of Spoleto and exercised himself the ducal powers there. Intervening in the crisis that ensued after the death of Pope Paul I in 767, Desiderius seized a priest named Philip from the Monastery of St. Vitus on the Esquiline Hill in Rome on Sunday, July 31, 768, summarily appointed him pope. Antipope Philip was never recognized nor gained a significant following, so he left the same day and returned to his monastery where he was never heard from or seen again.
Stephen III opposed Charlemagne's marriage to Desiderius' daughter, Desiderata, in 768, but by Stephen III death in 772, he had made peace with the Lombards. The new pope, Adrian I, implored the aid of Charlemagne against him, for the marriage of dynasties was dissolved by Charlemagne's repudiation of Desiderata in 771. Charles sent her back to her father. Moreover, the widow of Charlemagne's brother Carloman, sought the protection of the Lombard king after her husband's death in 771; the embassies of Adrian and Desiderius met at Thionville and Charlemagne favored the pope's case. Such was the position when Charlemagne and his uncle Bernard led troops across the Alps in 773; the Lombards were defeated at Mortara and soon besieged in their capital of Ticinum, the modern Pavia. Desiderius' son Adelchis was raising an army at Verona, but the young prince was chased to the Adriatic littoral and fled to Constantinople when Charlemagne approached; the siege lasted until June 774, when, in return for the lives of his soldiers and subjects, Desiderius surrendered and opened the gates.
Desiderius was exiled to Corbie Abbey, where he died, his son Adelchis spent his entire life in futile attempts to recover his father's kingdom. Some sources state that his family were banished to a monastery at Liège, Belgium. Desiderius died sometime around 786; the name Desiderius appears in the romances of the Carolingian period. Charlemagne took the title rex Langobardorum, the first time a Germanic king adopted the title of a kingdom he had conquered; as stated by Paul the Deacon in the Historia Langobardorum, Charlemagne's father Pepin the Short was formally adopted by Lombard king Liutprand, thanks to the alliance, personal friendship, between the latter and Pepin's father Charles Martel. This fact would have legitimized both the ascent of Pepin to the throne of the Franks, as he was the son of a king, the claim of his son Charlemagne to be the King of the Lombards, he married Ansa and, as well as a son, had four daughters: Anselperga, abbess of San Salvatore monastery of Brescia Adelperga, married Arechis II of Benevento Liutperga, married Tassilo III of Bavaria Desiderata, married Charlemagne in 770, was repudiated in 771 Adelchis, patrician in Constantinople Davis, Jennifer R..
Charlemagne's Practice of Empire. Cambridge University Press
Aripert I was king of the Lombards in Italy. He was the son of Gundoald, Duke of Asti, who had crossed the Alps from Bavaria with his sister Theodelinda; as a relative of the Bavarian ducal house, his was called the Bavarian Dynasty. He was the first Chalcedonian Christian king of the Lombards, elected after the assassination of the Arian Rodoald. Not a warrior, he is renowned for his church foundings, he spread Catholicism over the whole Lombard realm and built the Church of the Saviour in Pavia, the capital. He left the kingdom in a state of peace, asking the nobles to elect jointly his two sons and Godepert, which they did
Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia was the duke of Carinthia who overthrew his uncle, Emperor Charles the Fat, became the Carolingian king of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death at Regensburg, Bavaria. Arnulf was the illegitimate son of Carloman of Bavaria, Liutswind, who may have been the sister of Ernst, Count of the Bavarian Nordgau Margraviate in the area of the Upper Palatinate, or the burgrave of Passau, according to other sources. After Arnulf's birth, Carloman married, before 861, a daughter of that same Count Ernst, who died after 8 August 879; as it is West-Franconian historiography that speaks of Arnulf's illegitimacy, it is quite possible that the two females are one and the same person and that Carloman married Arnulf's mother, thus legitimizing his son. Arnulf was granted the rule over the Duchy of Carinthia, a Frankish vassal state and successor of the ancient Principality of Carantania by his father Carloman, after Carloman reconciled with his own father, king Louis the German and was made king in Duchy of Bavaria.
Arnulf spent his childhood in Mosaburch or Mosapurc, believed to be Moosburg in Carinthia, a few miles away from one of the Imperial residences, the Carolingian Kaiserpfalz at Karnburg, the residence of the Carantanian princes. Arnulf kept his seat here and from events it may be inferred that the Carantanians, from an early time, treated him as their own Duke. After he had been crowned King of East Francia, Arnulf turned his old territory of Carinthia into the March of Carinthia, a part of the Duchy of Bavaria. After King Carloman was incapacitated by a stroke in 879, Louis the Younger inherited Bavaria, Charles the Fat was given the Kingdom of Italy and Arnulf was confirmed in Carinthia by an agreement with Carloman. However, Bavaria was less ruled by Arnulf. Arnulf ruled Bavaria during the summer and autumn of 879 while his father arranged his succession and he himself was granted "Pannonia," in the words of the Annales Fuldenses, or "Carantanum," in the words of Regino of Prüm; the division of the realm was confirmed in 880 after Carloman's death.
When Engelschalk II of Pannonia in 882 rebelled against Aribo, Margrave of Pannonia and ignited the Wilhelminer War, Arnulf supported him and accepted his and his brother's homage. This ruined Arnulf's relationship with his uncle the Emperor and put him at war with Svatopluk of Moravia. Pannonia was invaded. Arnulf did not make peace with Svatopluk until late 885, by which time Moravian ruler was loyal to the emperor; some scholars see this war as destroying Arnulf's hopes at succeeding Charles the Fat. Arnulf took the leading role in the deposition of Emperor Charles the Fat. With the support of the Frankish nobles, Arnulf called a Diet at Tribur and deposed Charles in November 887, under threat of military action. Charles peacefully agreed to this involuntary retirement, but not without first chastising his nephew for his treachery and asking for a few royal villas in Swabia, which Arnulf granted him, on which to live out his final months. Arnulf, having distinguished himself in the war against the Slavs, was elected king by the nobles of East Francia.
West Francia, the Kingdom of Burgundy and the Kingdom of Italy at this point elected their own kings from the Carolingian family. Like all early Germanic rulers, he was involved in ecclesiastical disputes. In 895, at the Diet of Tribur, he presided over a dispute between the Episcopal sees of Bremen and Cologne over jurisdictional authority, which saw Bremen and Hamburg remain a combined see, independent of the see of Cologne. Arnulf was a fighter, not a negotiator. In 890 he was battling Slavs in Pannonia. In early/mid-891, Vikings invaded Lotharingia, crushed an East Frankish army at Maastricht. Terms such as "Vikings", "Danes", "Northmen" and "Norwegians" have been used loosely and interchangeably to describe these invaders. At the subsequent Battle of Leuven, in Lotharingia, Arnulf repelled the Vikings, ended their attacks on that front; the Annales Fuldenses report that there were so many dead Northmen that their bodies blocked the run of the river. After this victory Arnulf built a new castle on an island in the Dijle river.
Arnulf took advantage of the problems in West Francia after the death of Charles the Fat to secure the territory of Lotharingia, which he converted into a kingdom for his son Zwentibold. In 889 Arnulf supported the claim of Louis the Blind to the kingdom of Provence, after receiving a personal appeal from Louis' mother, who came to see Arnulf at Forchheim in May 889. Recognising the superiority of Arnulf's position, in 888 king Odo of France formally accepted the suzerainty of Arnulf. In 893 Arnulf switched his support from Odo to Charles the Simple after being persuaded by Fulk, Archbishop of Reims, that it was in his best interests. Arnulf took advantage of the following fighting between Odo and Charles in 894, taking more territory from West Francia. At one point, Charles the Simple was forced to ask for his protection, his intervention soon forced Pope Formosus to get involved, as he was worried that a divided and war weary West Francia would be easy prey for the Vikings. In 895 Arnulf summoned both Odo to his residence at Worms.
Charles's advisers convinced him not to go, he sent a representative in his place. Odo, on the other hand attended, together with a large retinue, bearing many gifts for Arnulf. Angere