Louis the Younger
Louis the Younger, sometimes Louis III, was the second eldest of the three sons of Louis II the German and Emma. He succeeded his father as the King of Saxony on 28 August 876 and his elder brother Carloman as King of Bavaria from 880 to 882, he died in 882 and was succeeded in all his territories, which encompassed most of East Francia, by his younger brother, Charles the Fat King of Italy and Emperor. As a young man, Louis was deployed in military operations against the Abodrites to the east in 858 and 862. In 854, at the invitation of the nobles of Aquitaine opposed to Charles the Bald and Pepin II, coaxed by his father and his cousin Charles, Archbishop of Mainz, he crossed into Gaul at the head of an army, intent on receiving the Aquitainian crown, he marched as far as Limoges before turning back. Back home, Louis forged close ties with the nobles of the East Francia and became independent from his father, he engaged himself to the daughter of Count Adalard and, in 865, he and his brother Charles joined in rebellion against their father.
This flirtation with revolt was brief and Louis, their father were reconciled that year, though the elder Louis was forced to make a division of the remainder of his territories between his two sons. Carloman had been given the subregulus of Bavaria in 864, now Louis received Saxony and Franconia and Charles Alemannia and Rhaetia. In 869, Louis married daughter of Liudolf, Duke of Eastphalia, at Aschaffenburg. Luitgard was a strong-willed and politically ambitious woman and on spurred her husband to pursue ambitious goals; this match increased dissension between father and son and in 871 and in 873, Louis rebelled, but each time he was reconciled. Upon his father's death in 876, Louis inherited his subkingdoms, bearing the title rex Francorum. Louis the Younger considered himself the true heir of Louis the German and as his father died in 876, Louis buried him in the abbey of Lorsch, in his own territories, in order to emphasise his primacy to his brothers. Louis retained his father's chief advisor, Archbishop of Mainz.
He and his brother ruled their kingdoms independently but never at war. Louis's rule was threatened by Charles the Bald, who tried to annex the eastern parts of Lotharingia and maybe to achieve supremacy over his nephew. Louis brought war on Charles and, on 8 October 876 at Andernach, he defeated the much larger host of West Francia with a smaller army; the East Frankish army displayed superiority in both unity and tactics, the young king had dressed his soldiers in white garments so that they appeared as an army of dead spirits. After this victory, Louis the German's three sons met in November at Nördlingen to discuss the division of their father's kingdom and to have their hosts swear allegiance. According to the plan drawn up in 865, which their father, despite all his sons' rebellions, had confirmed in 872, Carloman received Bavaria, Charles Swabia, Louis Saxony and Thuringia. Throughout his reign, though he is always called "King of Saxony" by historians, he never visited Saxony proper, though it formed the bulk of his territory.
At the end of 877, the brothers assembled again to discuss the administration of their half of Lotharingia. After Carloman relinquished his claim, the realm was divided between Louis and Charles, who again met in September 878 in Alsatia. In 879, Carloman was incapacitated by a stroke and partitioned named Louis as his successor in Bavaria. Louis received it a year when Carloman expired. In November 878 after the death of Charles the Bald, his heir, Louis the Stammerer, the latter's cousin Louis the Younger promised each other to respect the succession of their respective sons and to issue no claims contrary to that, at Voeren; this Treaty of Fouron was soon put to the test, when Louis the Stammerer died in April 879. A party of western nobles led by Abbot Joscelin invited Louis the Younger to succeed to the rule of the western kingdom. Since his wife Luitgard advocated heeding this call, Louis invaded West Francia, he marched as far as Verdun, but after the new kings Louis III and Carloman ceded their part of Lotharingia to the invader, Louis retreated.
In February 880, this gain was confirmed by the Treaty of Ribemont, signed near Saint Quentin. This treaty determined the border of the two kingdoms that were to remain unchanged until the fourteenth century. In contrast to his father, Louis the Younger preferred reconciling royal interests with those of the nobility and avoided confrontation, he managed to bind powerful families to the king, including the Luidovingian relatives of his wife, that themselves became kings and emperors. Louis stayed in the Rhineland, avoiding Saxony or his eastern borders. Louis did visit Bavaria on two occasions, but left it to the government of his illegitimate nephew, Carloman's son, Duke of Carinthia. Since the summer of 879, Vikings had been increasing their attacks on the Frankish kingdom and penetrated into the interior of the land. Louis's kingdom was the most hard-hit after that of West Francia. In February 880, Louis defeated a Norse host at the Battle of Thimeon, his son Hugh, was killed in this battle.
The next year, Louis defeated the Norse again at the battle of Saucourt. Louis drove the Norse out of the royal palace of Nijmegen, which they had occupied. In the same month, a Saxon host commanded by Duke Bruno, the king's brother-in-law, suffered a heavy defeat near Hamburg and Bruno and many other Saxon nobles fell. Louis fell sick in 881 and died in Frankfurt on 20 Janua
Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald was the King of West Francia, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor. After a series of civil wars during the reign of his father, Louis the Pious, Charles succeeded by the Treaty of Verdun in acquiring the western third of the Carolingian Empire, he was the youngest son of Louis the Pious by his second wife, Judith. He was born on 13 June 823 in Frankfurt, when his elder brothers were 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 and the country between the Meuse and the Pyrenees were unsuccessful. The numerous reconciliations with the rebellious Lothair and Pepin, as well as their brother Louis the German, King of Bavaria, made Charles's share in Aquitaine and Italy only temporary, but his father did not give up and made Charles the heir of the entire land, once Gaul. At a diet in Aachen in 837, Louis the Pious bade. Pepin of Aquitaine died in 838, whereupon Charles at last received that kingdom, which angered Pepin's heirs and the Aquitainian nobles.
The death of the emperor in 840 led to the outbreak of war between his sons. Charles allied himself with his brother Louis the German to resist the pretensions of the new Emperor Lothair I, the two allies defeated Lothair at the Battle of Fontenoy-en-Puisaye on 25 June 841. In the following year, the two brothers confirmed their alliance by the celebrated Oaths of Strasbourg; the war was brought to an end by the Treaty of Verdun in August 843. The settlement gave Charles the Bald the kingdom of the West Franks, which he had been up until governing and which corresponded with what is now France, as far as the Meuse, the Saône, the Rhône, with the addition of the Spanish March as far as the Ebro. Louis received the eastern part of the Carolingian Empire, known as East Francia and as Germany. Lothair retained the Kingdom of Italy, he received the central regions from Flanders through the Rhineland and Burgundy as king of Middle Francia. The first years of Charles's 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 with one another, at Koblenz, at Meerssen, at Attigny. In 858, Louis the German, invited by disaffected nobles eager to oust Charles, invaded the West Frankish kingdom. Charles was so unpopular that he was unable to summon an army, he fled to Burgundy, he was saved only by the support of the bishops, who refused to crown Louis the German king, by the fidelity of the Welfs, who were related to his mother, Judith. 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 Lothair's dominions by having himself consecrated as King of Lotharingia at Metz, but he was compelled to open negotiations when Louis found support among Lothair's former vassals. Lotharingia was partitioned between Louis in the resulting treaty. 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, up to the borders of Aquitaine. 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. Charles led various expeditions against the invaders and, by the Edict of Pistres of 864, made the army more mobile by providing for a cavalry element, the predecessor of the French chivalry so famous during the next 600 years. 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 royal crown at Pavia and the imperial insignia in Rome on 29 December.
Louis the German a candidate for the succession of Louis II, revenged himself by invading and devastating Charles' dominions, Charles had to return hastily to West Francia. After the death of Louis the German, Charles in his turn attempted to seize Louis's kingdom, but was decisively beaten at the Battle of Andernach on 8 October 876. In the meantime, John VIII, menaced by the Saracens, was urging Charles to come to his defence in Italy. Charles again crossed the Alps, but this expedition was received with little enthusiasm by the nobles, by his regent in Lombardy and they refused to join his army. At the same time Carloman, son of Louis the German, entered northern Italy. Charles, ill and in great distress, started on his way back to Gaul, but died while crossing the pass of Mont Cenis at Brides-les-Bains, on 6 October 877. According to the Annals of St-Bertin, Charles was hastily buried at the abbey of Nantua, Burgundy because the bearers were unable to withstand the stench of his decaying body.
He was to have been may have been transferred there later. It was recorded that there was a memorial brass there, melted down at the Revolution. Charles was succeeded by Louis. Charles was
The First Crusade was the first of a number of crusades that attempted to recapture the Holy Land, called for by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095. Urban called for a military expedition to aid the Byzantine Empire, which had lost most of Anatolia to the Seljuq Turks; the resulting military expedition of Frankish nobles, known as the Princes' Crusade, not only re-captured Anatolia but went on to conquer the Holy Land, which had fallen to Islamic expansion as early as the 7th century, culminated in July 1099 in the re-conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The expedition was a reaction to the appeal for military aid by Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Urban's convocation of the Council of Clermont was dedicated to this purpose, proposing siege warfare against the occupied cities of Nicaea and Antioch though Urban's speech at Clermont in the testimony of witnesses writing after 1100 was phrased to allude to the re-conquest of Jerusalem and the Holy Land as additional goals.
The successful Princes' Crusade was preceded by the "people crusade", a popular movement instigated by Peter the Hermit in the spring of 1096. Mobs of peasants and laymen travelled to Anatolia where they came up against the Turks, on the way attacking populations of Jews in the Rhineland, they were decisively defeated at the Battle of Civetot in October. The Princes' Crusade, by contrast, was a well-organized military campaign, starting out in late summer of 1096 and arriving at Constantinople between November 1096 and April 1097; the crusaders marched into Anatolia, capturing Nicaea in June 1097 and Antioch in June 1098. They arrived at Jerusalem in June 1099 and took the city by assault on 7 July 1099, massacring the defenders. A brief attempt by the Saracens to recapture Jerusalem was repulsed at the Battle of Ascalon. During their conquests, the crusaders established the Latin Rite crusader states of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Edessa.
This was contrary to the wishes of the Eastern Rite Byzantines, who wanted the land that the Muslims took from them returned, rather than occupied by Latin Catholics. After the retaking of Jerusalem, most of the crusaders returned home; this left the crusader kingdoms vulnerable to Muslim reconquest during the Second and Third Crusades. The causes of the Crusades in general, of the First Crusade, is debated among historians. While the relative weight or importance of the various factors may be the subject of ongoing disputes, it is clear that the First Crusade came about from a combination of factors in both Europe and the Near East, its origin is linked both with the political situation in Catholic Christendom, including the political and social situation in 11th-century Europe, the rise of a reform movement within the papacy, as well as the military's and religious confrontation of Christianity and Islam in the East. Christianity had been adopted throughout the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, but in the 7th to 8th centuries, the Umayyad Caliphate had conquered Syria and North Africa from the predominantly Christian Byzantine Empire, Hispania from the Visigothic Kingdom.
In North Africa, the Umayyad empire collapsed and a number of smaller Muslim kingdoms emerged, such as the Aghlabids, who attacked Italy in the 9th century. Pisa and the Principality of Catalonia began to battle various Muslim kingdoms for control of the Mediterranean Basin, exemplified by the Mahdia campaign of 1087 and battles at Majorca and Sardinia. Between the years of 1096 and 1101, the Byzantine Greeks experienced the crusade as it arrived in Constantinople in three separate waves. In the early summer of 1096, the first large unruly group arrived on the outskirts of Constantinople; this wave was reported to be ill-equipped as an army. This first group is called the Peasants' Crusade or the People's Crusade, it was led by Walter Sans Avoir. The second wave was not under the command of the Emperor and was made up of a number of armies with their own commanders. Together, this group and the first wave numbered an estimated 60,000; the second wave was led by Count of Vermandois, the brother of King Philip I of France.
Among the second wave were Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse and the army of Provençals. "It was this second wave of crusaders which passed through Asia Minor, captured Antioch in 1098 and took Jerusalem 15 July 1099."The third wave, composed of contingents from Lombardy and Bavaria, arrived in Jerusalem in the early summer of 1101. At the western edge of Europe and of Islamic expansion, the Reconquista in the Iberian Peninsula was well underway by the 11th century, it was intermittently ideological, as evidenced by the Codex Vigilanus compiled in 881. In the 11th century foreign knights from France, visited Iberia to assist the Christians in their efforts. Shortly before the First Crusade, Pope Urban II had encouraged the Iberian Christians to reconquer Tarragona, using much of the same symbolism and rhetoric, used to preach the crusade to the people of Europe; the heart of Western Europe had been stabilized after the Christianization of the Saxon and Hungarian peoples by the end of the 10th century.
However, the breakdown of the Carolingian Empire gave rise to an entire class of warriors who now had little to do but fight among themselves. The random violence of the knightly class was condemned by the church, in response, it established the Peace and Truce of God to prohibit fighting on certain days of the year. At the same time, the reform-minded papacy came into conflict with the Holy Roman E
Godfrey II, Count of Louvain
Godfrey II was the count of Louvain, landgrave of Brabant by inheritance from 23 January 1139. He was the son of Godfrey Ida of Chiny, he was the duke of Lower Lorraine, as such margrave of Antwerp, by appointment in 1139 after the death of Duke Waleran. He was first associated with his father in 1136; this was confirmed by Conrad III of Germany. Waleran left Henry II of Limburg, who asserted his father's ducal rights. Godfrey and Henry entered into a war in which the latter was decisively and destroyed. Godfrey did not long enjoy his victory, he was killed by a disease of the liver two years thence. He was buried in St. Peter's Church in Leuven, he married Luitgarde, daughter of Berengar II of Sulzbach and sister of Gertrude von Sulzbach, wife of Conrad III of Germany, Bertha, wife of Manuel I Comnenus, the emperor of Byzantium. He was succeeded by his son Godfrey III in the duchy. Source: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Line 155-24.
Chronique des Ducs de Brabant, Adrian van Baerland, Antwerp. Available at the online library of Geneanet
Conrad, Duke of Lorraine
Conrad, called the Red, was Duke of Lorraine from 944 until 953. He became the progenitor of the Imperial Salian dynasty, he was the son of Werner V, a Franconian count in the Nahegau and Wormsgau territories on the Upper Rhine. His mother was Hicha, a daughter of the Hunfriding duke Burchard II of Swabia and his wife Regelinda of Zürich; the descent of Count Werner V, the first documented Salian, is uncertain. In 941, Conrad appeared as his father's successor in the Rhenish counties and obtained additional territory in the Wetterau on the right bank of the Rhine. Conrad took his residence at Worms and rivalled with Archbishop Frederick of Mainz for supremacy in Rhenish Franconia; the Salian counts had been able to strengthen their position in the Franconian lands, while their Conradine relatives had failed to maintain the royal dignity upon King Conrad's death in 918 and the rise of the Ottonian dynasty. The late king's younger brother Eberhard was able to succeed him as Duke of Franconia and was temporarily enfeoffed with the Lotharingian duchy he joined the revolt of Duke Gilbert of Lorraine against the rule of King Otto I of Germany and was killed at the 939 Battle of Andernach.
While Lotharingia passed to Otto's younger brother Henry, Conrad the Red remained a loyal supporter of King Otto and acted as Franconian regent after Duke Eberhard's death, with some chance to obtain the ducal title. He helped to ensure the waiver of Lotharingia by the West Frankish king Louis IV and to uncover a plot by the king's brother Henry on Otto's life. In turn, the adolescens was vested with Lotharingia in 944. Rejected by the local nobility, however, he remained dependent on the king's support. About three years he married Liutgarde, Otto's daughter with his first wife Edith of Wessex, a daughter of the English king Edward the Elder, he and Liutgard had one son, Otto of Worms, born in 948 Duke of Carinthia. Conrad proved his talent, in 951 he accompanied King Otto on his first Italian campaign and entered into negotiations with King Berengar II, who by his agency appeared at the 952 Imperial Diet in Augsburg and paid homage to the German king. Conrad, was duped by his king, when Otto took the occasion to additionally enforce the cession of the Italian March of Verona to his brother Henry.
The next year, Conrad therefore joined his brother-in-law, Duke Liudolf of Swabia, in rebellion against King Otto, according to the chronicler Widukind of Corvey, bitterly complained about Conrad's ingratitude. The revolt reached large circles, it was quashed after the insurgents began to deal with hostile Hungarian forces. Liudolf and Conrad were deprived of their duchies at the Diet of Fritzlar and Lotharingia was instead granted to the king's own brother, Archbishop Bruno of Cologne, while Conrad was driven out by the local nobles; the Salian submitted to Otto at Langenzenn and both were reconciled. In 954 he participated in a successful campaign of Margrave Gero against the Slavic Ukrani tribes in the Uckerland. Conrad the Red was killed in the 955 Battle of Lechfeld near Augsburg, while fighting alongside King Otto as commander of the Franconian contingent against the invading Hungarian forces. According to Widukind of Corvey: "Duke Conrad, the foremost of all in combat, suffering from battle fatigue caused by an unusually hot sun, loosened the straps of his armor to catch his breath when an arrow pierced his throat and killed him instantly."
Conrad's body was carried in state to Worms, where he was given a lavish funeral and buried at Worms Cathedral by his son and heir Otto. This kind of extraordinary burial was at this time a privilege of kings. Conrad was the great-grandfather of Holy Roman Emperor. Widukind. Deeds of the Saxons. Translated by Bachrach, Bernard S.. The Catholic University of America Press. Wolfram, Herwig. "Conrad II, the First Medieval Emperor of Three Kingdoms". In Halfond, Gregory I; the Medieval Way of War: Studies in Medieval Military History in Honor of Bernard S. Bachrach. Ashgate Publishing Limited
Kingdom of Jerusalem
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a crusader state established in the Southern Levant by Godfrey of Bouillon in 1099 after the First Crusade. The kingdom lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, was destroyed by the Mamluks, its history is divided into two distinct periods. The sometimes so-called First Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted from 1099 to 1187, when it was entirely overrun by Saladin. After the subsequent Third Crusade, the kingdom was re-established in Acre in 1192, lasted until that city's destruction in 1291, except for a brief two decades in which Frederick II of Hohenstaufen reclaimed Jerusalem back into Christian hands after the Sixth Crusade; this second kingdom is sometimes called the Second Kingdom of Jerusalem or the Kingdom of Acre, after its new capital. Most of the crusaders who settled there were of French origin. At first the kingdom was little more than a loose collection of towns and cities captured during the crusade, but at its height in the mid-12th century, the kingdom encompassed the territory of modern-day Israel and the southern parts of Lebanon.
From the Mediterranean Sea, the kingdom extended in a thin strip of land from Beirut in the north to the Sinai Desert in the south. Three other crusader states founded during and after the First Crusade were located further north: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Tripoli. While all three were independent, they were tied to Jerusalem. Beyond these to the north and west lay the states of Armenian Cilicia and the Byzantine Empire, with which Jerusalem had a close relationship in the twelfth century. Further east, various Muslim emirates were located which were allied with the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad; the fragmentation of the Muslim east allowed for the initial success of the crusade, but as the 12th century progressed, the kingdom's Muslim neighbours were united by Nur ad-Din Zangi and Saladin, who vigorously began to recapture lost territory. Jerusalem itself fell to Saladin in 1187, in the 13th century the kingdom was reduced to a few cities along the Mediterranean coast.
In this period, the kingdom was ruled by the Lusignan dynasty of the Kingdom of Cyprus, another crusader state founded during the Third Crusade. Dynastic ties strengthened with Tripoli and Armenia; the kingdom was soon dominated by the Italian city-states of Venice and Genoa, as well as the imperial ambitions of the Holy Roman Emperors. Emperor Frederick II claimed the kingdom by marriage, but his presence sparked a civil war among the kingdom's nobility; the kingdom became little more than a pawn in the politics and warfare of the Ayyubid and Mamluk dynasties in Egypt, as well as the Khwarezmian and Mongol invaders. As a minor kingdom, it received little financial or military support from Europe; the Mamluk sultans Baibars and al-Ashraf Khalil reconquered all the remaining crusader strongholds, culminating in the destruction of Acre in 1291. The kingdom was ethnically and linguistically diverse, although the crusaders themselves and their descendants were an elite Catholic minority, they imported many customs and institutions from their homelands in Western Europe, there were close familial and political connections with the West throughout the kingdom's existence.
The kingdom inherited "oriental" qualities, influenced by the pre-existing customs and populations. The majority of the kingdom's inhabitants were native Christians Greek and Syriac Orthodox, as well as Sunni and Shi'a Muslims; the native Christians and Muslims, who were a marginalized lower class, tended to speak Greek and Arabic, while the crusaders, who came from France, spoke French. There were a small number of Jews and Samaritans. According to the Jewish writer Benjamin of Tudela, who travelled through the kingdom around 1170, there were 1,000 Samaritans in Nablus, 200 in Caesarea and 300 in Ascalon. Since sets a lower bound for the Samaritan population at 1,500, since the contemporary Tolidah, a Samaritan chronicle mentions communities in Gaza and Acre. Benjamin of Tudela estimated the total Jewish population of 14 cities in the kingdom to be 1,200, making the Samaritan population of the time larger than the Jewish for the only time in history; the First Crusade was preached at the Council of Clermont in 1095 by Pope Urban II, with the goal of assisting the Byzantine Empire against the invasions of the Seljuk Turks.
However, the main objective became the control of the Holy Land. The Byzantines were at war with the Seljuks and other Turkish dynasties for control of Anatolia and Syria; the Sunni Seljuks had ruled the Great Seljuk Empire, but this empire had collapsed into several smaller states after the death of Malik-Shah I in 1092. Malik-Shah was succeeded in the Anatolian Sultanate of Rûm by Kilij Arslan I, in Syria by his brother Tutush I, who died in 1095. Tutush's sons Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan and Duqaq inherited Aleppo and Damascus further dividing Syria amongst emirs antagonistic towards each other, as well as Kerbogha, the atabeg of Mosul; this disunity among the Anatolian and Syrian emirs allowed the crusaders to overcome any military opposition they faced on the way to Jerusalem. Egypt and much of Palestine were controlled by the Arab Shi'ite Fatimid Caliphate, which had extended further into Syria before the arrival of the Seljuks. Warfare between
The Low Countries, the Low Lands, or also the Netherlands, is a coastal lowland region in northwestern Europe, forming the lower basin of the Rhine and Scheldt rivers, divided in the Middle Ages into numerous semi-independent principalities that consolidated in the countries of Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as today's French Flanders. The regions without access to the sea have linked themselves politically and economically to those with access to form various unions of ports and hinterland, stretching inland as far as parts of the German Rhineland; that is why nowadays some parts of the Low Countries are hilly, like Luxembourg and the south of Belgium. Within the European Union the region's political grouping is still referred to as the Benelux. During the Roman empire the region contained a militarised frontier and contact point between Rome and Germanic tribes. With the collapse of the empire, the Low Countries were the scene of the early independent trading centres that marked the reawakening of Europe in the 12th century.
In that period, they rivalled northern Italy as one of the most densely populated regions of Western Europe. Most of the cities were governed by councils along with a figurehead ruler. All of the regions depended on trade and the encouragement of the free flow of goods and craftsmen. Dutch and French dialects were the main languages used in secular city life; the term Low Countries arose at the Court of the Dukes of Burgundy, who used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for the Duchy of Burgundy and the Free County of Burgundy, which were part of their realm but geographically disconnected from the Low Countries. Governor Mary of Hungary used both the expressions les pays de par deça and Pays d'Embas, which evolved to Pays-Bas or Low Countries. Today the term is fitted to modern political boundaries and used in the same way as the term Benelux; the name of the country of the Netherlands has the same etymology and origin as the name for the region Low Countries, due to "nether" meaning "low".
In the Dutch language itself De Lage Landen is the modern term for Low Countries, De Nederlanden is in use for the 16th century domains of Charles V, the historic Low Countries, while Nederland is in use for the country of the Netherlands. However, in official use, the name of the Dutch kingdom is still Kingdom of the Netherlands, Koninkrijk der Nederlanden; this name derives from the 19th-century origins of the kingdom which included present-day Belgium. In Dutch, to a lesser extent in English, the Low Countries colloquially means the Netherlands and Belgium, sometimes the Netherlands and Flanders—the Dutch-speaking north of Belgium. For example, a Low Countries derby, is a sports event between Belgium and the Netherlands. Belgium separated in 1830 from the Netherlands; the new country took its name from Belgica, the Latinised name for the Low Countries, as it was known during the Eighty Years' War. The Low Countries were in that war divided in two parts. On one hand, the northern Federated Netherlands or Belgica Foederata rebelled against the Spanish king.
This divide laid the early foundation for the modern states of Belgium and the Netherlands. The region politically had its origins in the Carolingian empire. After the disintegration of Lower Lotharingia, the Low Countries were brought under the rule of various lordships until they came to be in the hands of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy. Hence, a large part of the Low Countries came to be referred to as the Burgundian Netherlands. After the reign of the Valois Dukes ended, much of the Low Countries were controlled by the House of Habsburg; this area was referred to as the Habsburg Netherlands, called the Seventeen Provinces up to 1581. After the political secession of the autonomous Dutch Republic in the north, the term "Low Countries" continued to be used to refer collectively to the region; the region was temporarily united politically between 1815 and 1839, as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, before this split into the three modern countries of the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The Low Countries were part of the Roman provinces of Germania Inferior.
They were inhabited by Germanic tribes. In the 4th and 5th century, Frankish tribes had entered this Roman region and came to run it independently, they came to be ruled by the Merovingian dynasty, under which dynasty the southern part was re-Christianised. By the end of the 8th century, the Low Countries formed a core part of a much expanded Francia and the Merovingians were replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. In 800, the Pope appointed Charlemagne Emperor of the re-established Roman Empire. After the death of Charlemagne, Francia was divided in three parts among his three grandsons; the middle slice, Middle Francia, was ruled by Lothair I, thereby came to be referred to as "Lotharingia" or "Lorraine". Apart from the original coastal County of Flanders, within West Francia, the rest of the Low Countries were within the lowland part of this, "Lower Lorrain