Battle of Bouvines
The Battle of Bouvines was fought on 27 July 1214 near the town of Bouvines in the County of Flanders. It was the concluding battle of the Anglo-French War of 1213–1214. A French army of 7,000 men commanded by King Philip Augustus defeated an Allied army of 9,000 commanded by Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV. In early 1214, a coalition was assembled against King Philip Augustus of France, consisting of Otto IV, King John of England, Count Ferrand of Flanders, Duke Henry I of Brabant, Count William I of Holland, Duke Theobald I of Lorraine, Duke Henry III of Limburg, its objective was to reverse the conquests made by Philip earlier in his reign. After initial manoeuvring in late July, battle was offered near Bouvines on 27 July; the long allied column deployed into battle order, leaving the Allies at a disadvantage. The superior discipline and order of the French knights allowed them to carry out a series of devastating charges, shattering the Flemish knights on the allied left wing. In the centre, the Allied knights and infantry under Otto enjoyed initial success, scattering the French urban infantry and nearly killing Philip.
A counterattack by French knights smashed the isolated Allied infantry and Otto's entire centre division fell back. Otto fled the battle and his knightly followers were defeated by the French knights, who went on to capture the Imperial eagle standard. With the Allied centre and left wing routed, only the soldiers of the right wing under Renaud of Boulogne and William de Longespee held on, they were captured or driven from the field. A pursuit was not conducted; the crushing French victory dashed Flemish hopes of regaining lost territories. Frederick II Hohenstaufen deposed Otto as emperor after the battle. King John was forced to agree to the Magna Carta in 1215 by his discontented barons and hand over English-occupied Anjou to Philip in a peace settlement. Counts Ferrand and Longespee were captured and imprisoned; the balance of power in Europe shifted, with the popes of the 13th century seeking the support of a powerful France. In 1214, Infante of Portugal, Count of Flanders desired the return of the cities of Aire-sur-la-Lys and Saint-Omer, which he had lost to Philip II, King of France in the Treaty of Pont-à-Vendin.
He thus broke allegiance with Philip and assembled a broad coalition including Emperor Otto IV, King John I of England, Duke Henry I of Brabant, Count William I of Holland, Duke Theobald I of Lorraine, Duke Henry III of Limburg. The campaign was planned by John, the fulcrum of the alliance. John's plan was followed but the Allies in the north moved slowly. John, after two encounters with the French, retreated to Aquitaine on 3 July. On 23 July, having summoned his vassals, Philip had an army consisting of 6,000 to 8,000 soldiers; the Emperor succeeded in concentrating his forces at Valenciennes, although this did not include John, in the interval Philip had counter-marched northward and regrouped. Philip now took the offensive himself, after manoeuvring to obtain good ground for his cavalry he offered battle on 27 July, on the plain east of Bouvines and the river Marque. Otto was surprised by the speed of his enemy and was thought to have been caught unprepared by Philip, who deliberately lured Otto into his trap.
Otto decided to launch an attack on what was the French rearguard. The Allied army drew up facing south-west towards Bouvines, the heavy cavalry on the wings, the infantry in one great mass in the centre, supported by a cavalry corps under Otto himself; the French army formed up opposite in a similar formation, cavalry on the wings, including the town militias, in the centre. Philip, with the cavalry reserve and the royal standard, the Oriflamme, positioned himself to the rear of the men on foot, it is said by William the Breton, chaplain to Philip at the battle, that the soldiers stood in line in a space of 40,000 steps, which leaves little clearance and predisposes to hand-to-hand fighting. William the Breton says in his chronicle that "the two lines of combatants were separated by a small space"; the French army contained 1,200–1,360 knights and 300 mounted sergeants. Philip had launched an appeal to the municipalities in northern France, in order to obtain their support. 16 of the 39 municipalities of the royal demesne answered the call to arms.
They provided 3,160 infantry, broken down as: Amiens 250, Arras 1000, Beauvais 500, Compiegne 200, Corbie 200, Bruyeres 120, Cerny and Crepy-en-Laonnais 80, Crandelain 40, Hesdin 80, Montreuil-sur-Mer 150, Noyon 150, Roye 100, Soissoins 160, Vailly 50. The balance of the infantry another 2,000 men, were composed of mercenaries; the other communes of the royal demesne were supposed to provide a further 1,980 infantry, but it is doubtful that they did. In total, the royal army totalled 6,000–7,000 men; the royal army was divided into three parts, or "battles": The right wing, composed of the knights of Champagne and Burgundy, was commanded by Eudes, Duke of Burgundy, his lieutenants: Gaucher of Châtillon, Count of Saint-Pol, Count Wilhelm I of Sancerre, Count of Beaumont, Mathieu of Montmorency and Adam II Viscount of Melun. In the front of the right wing were men-at-arms and militia from Burgundy and Picardy led by 150 mounted sergeants from Soissons; the central battle was led by Philip Augustus and his chief knights – William des Barres, Bartholomew of Roye, Girard Scophe, William of Garland, Enguerrand of Coucy and Gautier of
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
Basilica of Saint-Denis
The Basilica of Saint-Denis is a large medieval abbey church in the city of Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris. The building is of singular importance and architecturally as its choir, completed in 1144, shows the first use of all of the elements of Gothic architecture; the site originated as a Gallo-Roman cemetery in late Roman times. The archeological remains still lie beneath the cathedral. Around 475 St. Genevieve built Saint-Denys de la Chapelle. In 636 on the orders of Dagobert I the relics of Saint Denis, a patron saint of France, were reinterred in the basilica; the relics of St-Denis, transferred to the parish church of the town in 1795, were brought back again to the abbey in 1819. The basilica became a place of pilgrimage and the burial place of the French Kings with nearly every king from the 10th to the 18th centuries being buried there, as well as many from previous centuries. "Saint-Denis" soon became the abbey church of a growing monastic complex. In the 12th century the Abbot Suger rebuilt portions of the abbey church using innovative structural and decorative features.
In doing so, he is said to have created the first Gothic building. The basilica's 13th-century nave is the prototype for the Rayonnant Gothic style, provided an architectural model for many medieval cathedrals and abbeys of northern France, England and a great many other countries; the abbey church became a cathedral in 1966 and is the seat of the Bishop of Saint-Denis, Pascal Michel Ghislain Delannoy. Although known as the "Basilica of St Denis", the cathedral has not been granted the title of Minor Basilica by the Vatican. Saint Denis, a patron saint of France, became the first bishop of Paris, he was decapitated on the hill of Montmartre in the mid-third century with two of his followers, is said to have subsequently carried his head to the site of the current church, indicating where he wanted to be buried. A martyrium was erected on the site of his grave, which became a famous place of pilgrimage during the fifth and sixth centuries. Dagobert, the king of the Franks, refounded the church as the Abbey of Saint Denis, a Benedictine monastery.
Dagobert commissioned a new shrine to house the saint's remains, created by his chief councillor, Eligius, a goldsmith by training. An early vita of Saint Eligius describes the shrine: Above all, Eligius fabricated a mausoleum for the holy martyr Denis in the city of Paris with a wonderful marble ciborium over it marvelously decorated with gold and gems, he composed a crest and a magnificent frontal and surrounded the throne of the altar with golden axes in a circle. He placed golden apples there and jeweled, he made a roof for the throne of the altar on silver axes. He made a covering in the place before the tomb and fabricated an outside altar at the feet of the holy martyr. So much industry did he lavish there, at the king's request, poured out so much that scarcely a single ornament was left in Gaul and it is the greatest wonder of all to this day. None of this work survives; the Basilica of St Denis ranks as an architectural landmark—as the first major structure of which a substantial part was designed and built in the Gothic style.
Both stylistically and structurally, it heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture. Before the term "Gothic" came into common use, it was known as the "French Style"; as it now stands, the church is a large cruciform building of "basilica" form. It has an additional aisle on the northern side formed of a row of chapels; the west front has three portals, a rose one tower, on the southern side. The eastern end, built over a crypt, is apsidal, surrounded by an ambulatory and a chevet of nine radiating chapels; the basilica retains stained glass of many periods, including exceptional modern glass, a set of twelve misericords. The basilica measures 108 meters long, its width is 39 meters. Little is known about the earliest buildings on the site; the first church mentioned in the chronicles was begun in 754 under Pepin the Short and completed under Charlemagne, present at its consecration in 775. By 832 the Abbey had been granted a remunerative whaling concession on the Cotentin Peninsula.
Most of what is now known about the Carolingian church at St Denis resulted from a lengthy series of excavations begun under the American art historian Sumner McKnight Crosby in 1937. The building was about 60m long, with a monumental westwork, single transepts, a crossing tower and a lengthy eastern apse over a large crypt. According to one of the Abbey's many foundation myths a leper, sleeping in the nearly completed church the night before its planned consecration, witnessed a blaze of light from which Christ, accompanied by St Denis and a host of angels, emerged to conduct the consecration ceremony himself. Before leaving, Christ healed the leper, tearing off his diseased skin to reveal a perfect complexion underneath. A misshapen patch on a marble column was said to be the leper's former skin, which stuck there when Christ discarded it. Having been consecrated by Christ, the fabric of the bui
Gaul was a historical region of Western Europe during the Iron Age, inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Belgium, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC. Roman control of Gaul lasted for five centuries, until the last Roman rump state, the Domain of Soissons, fell to the Franks in AD 486.
While the Celtic Gauls had lost their original identities and language during Late Antiquity, becoming amalgamated into a Gallo-Roman culture, Gallia remained the conventional name of the territory throughout the Early Middle Ages, until it acquired a new identity as the Capetian Kingdom of France in the high medieval period. Gallia remains a name of France in modern modern Latin; the Greek and Latin names Galatia and Gallia are derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. The Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians to the "milk-white" skin of the Gauls. Modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, "capacity, power", thus meaning "powerful people"; the English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, despite superficial similarity. The name Gaul is derived from the Old Frankish *Walholant "Land of the Foreigners/Romans", in which *Walho- is reflex of Proto-Germanic *walhaz, "foreigner, Romanized person", an exonym applied by Germanic speakers to Celts and Latin-speaking people indiscriminately, making it cognate with the names Wales and Wallachia.
The Germanic w- is rendered as gu- / g- in French, the historic diphthong au is the regular outcome of al before a following consonant. French Gaule or Gaulle cannot be derived from Latin Gallia, since g would become j before a, the diphthong au would be unexplained. Proto-Germanic *walha is derived from the name of the Volcae. Unrelated, in spite of superficial similarity, is the name Gael; the Irish word gall did mean "a Gaul", i.e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to "foreigner", to describe the Vikings, still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, for instance in the 12th-century book Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib; as adjectives, English has the two variants: Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as "pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls", although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish. There is little written information concerning the peoples that inhabited the regions of Gaul, save what can be gleaned from coins.
Therefore, the early history of the Gauls is predominantly a work in archaeology and the relationships between their material culture, genetic relationships and linguistic divisions coincide. Before the rapid spread of the La Tène culture in the 5th to 4th centuries BC, the territory of eastern and southern France participated in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture out of which the early iron-working Hallstatt culture would develop. By 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. Out of this Hallstatt background, during the 7th and 6th century representing an early form of Continental Celtic culture, the La Tène culture arises under Mediterranean influence from the Greek and Etruscan civilizations, spread out in a number of early centers along the Seine, the Middle Rhine and the upper Elbe. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads across the entire territory of Gaul; the La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia and Hungary.
Farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. The major source of materials on the Celts of Gaul was Poseidonios of Apamea, whose writings were quoted by Timagenes, Julius Caesar, the Sicilian Greek Diodorus Siculus, the Greek geographer Strabo. In the 4th and early 3rd century BC, Gallic clan confederations expanded far beyond the territory of what would become Roman Gaul, into Pannonia, northern Italy and Asia Minor. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans descr
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lyon
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lyon the Archdiocese of Lyon–Vienne–Embrun, is a Roman Catholic Metropolitan archdiocese in France. The current Archbishop is His Eminence Philippe Cardinal Barbarin, he is the successor of Saint Pothinus and Saint Irenaeus, the first and second bishops of Lyon and is called Primate of the Gauls. It is one of the more prestigious archbishoprics within the French church, its holder is promptly elevated to being a Cardinal; the "Deacon of Vienne", martyred at Lyon during the persecution of 177, was a deacon installed at Vienne by the ecclesiastical authority of Lyon. The confluence of the Rhône and the Saône, where sixty Gallic tribes had erected the famous altar to Rome and Augustus, was the centre from which Christianity was propagated throughout Gaul; the presence at Lyon of numerous Asiatic Christians and their daily communications with the Orient were to arouse the susceptibilities of the Gallo-Romans. A persecution arose under Marcus Aurelius, its victims at Lyon numbered forty-eight, half of them of Greek origin, half Gallo-Roman, among others Saint Blandina, Saint Pothinus, first Bishop of Lyon, sent to Gaul by Saint Polycarp about the middle of the 2nd century.
The legend according to which he was sent by Saint Clement dates from the 12th century and is without foundation. The letter addressed to the Christians of Asia and Phrygia in the name of the faithful of Vienne and Lyon, relating the persecution of 177, is considered by Ernest Renan as one of the most extraordinary documents possessed by any literature; the successor of Saint Pothinus was the illustrious Saint Irenaeus. The discovery on the Hill of Saint Sebastian of ruins of a naumachia capable of being transformed into an amphitheatre, of some fragments of inscriptions belonging to an altar of Augustus, has led several archæologists to believe that the martyrs of Lyon suffered death on this hill. Ancient tradition, represents the church of Ainay as erected at the place of their martyrdom; the crypt of Saint Pothinus, under the choir of the church of St. Nizier was destroyed in 1884, but there are still revered at Lyon the prison cell of Saint Pothinus, where Anne of Austria, Louis XIV, Pius VII came to pray, the crypt of Saint Irenaeus built at the end of the 5th century by Saint Patiens, which contains the body of Saint Irenaeus.
There are numerous funerary inscriptions of primitive Christianity in Lyon. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the See of Lyon enjoyed great renown throughout Gaul, witness the local legends of Besançon and of several other cities relative to the missionaries sent out by Saint Irenaeus. Faustinus, bishop in the second half of the 3rd century, wrote to Saint Cyprian and Pope Stephen I, in 254, regarding the Novatian tendencies of Marcian, Bishop of Arles, but when Diocletian's new provincial organization had taken away from Lyon its position as metropolis of the three Gauls, the prestige of Lyon diminished for a time. At the end of the empire and during the Merovingian period several saints are counted among the Bishops of Lyon: Saint Justus who died in a monastery in the Thebaid and was renowned for the orthodoxy of his doctrine in the struggle against Arianism, Saint Alpinus and Saint Martin; the prestige of Saint Nicetius was lasting. At the end of the 5th century Lyon was the capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy, but after 534 it passed under the domination of the kings of France.
Ravaged by the Saracens in 725, the city was restored through the liberality of Charlemagne who established a rich library
Treaty of Verdun
The Treaty of Verdun, signed in August 843, was the first of the treaties that divided the Carolingian Empire into three kingdoms among the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious, the son of Charlemagne. The treaty, signed in Verdun-sur-Meuse, ended the three-year Carolingian Civil War. Following Charlemagne's death, Louis was made ruler of the Carolingian empire. During his reign, he divided the empire so that each of his sons could rule over their own kingdom under the greater rule of their father. Lothair I was given the title of emperor but because of several re-divisions by his father and the resulting revolts, he became much less powerful; when Louis the Pious died in 840, his eldest son, Lothair I, claimed overlordship over the entirety of his father's kingdom in an attempt to reclaim the power he had at the beginning of his reign as emperor. He supported his nephew, Pepin II's claim to Aquitaine, a large province in the west of the Frankish realm. Lothair's brother, Louis the German, his half-brother Charles the Bald refused to acknowledge Lothair's suzerainty and declared war against him.
After a bloody civil war, they defeated Lothair at the Battle of Fontenay in 841 and sealed their alliance in 842 with the Oaths of Strasbourg which declared Lothair unfit for the imperial throne, after which he became willing to negotiate a settlement. Each of the three brothers was established in one kingdom: Lothair in the Kingdom of Italy. Lothair I received the central portion of the empire. In the settlement, Lothair retained his title as emperor, but it conferred only nominal overlordship of his brothers' lands, his domain became the Low Countries, Alsace, Burgundy and the Kingdom of Italy. He received the two imperial cities and Rome. Louis the German received the East Francia portion of the empire, he was guaranteed the kingship of all lands to the east of the Rhine and to the north and east of Italy, called East Francia. It became the High Medieval Kingdom of Germany, the largest component of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles the Bald received the West Francia portion of the empire, which became the Kingdom of France.
Pepin II was granted the Kingdom of Aquitaine, but only under the authority of Charles. Charles received all lands west of the Rhône, called West Francia. After Lothair's death in 855, Upper Burgundy and Lower Burgundy passed to his third son, Charles of Provence, the remaining territory north of the Alps to his second son, Lothair II, after whom the hitherto nameless territory was called Lotharingia, it would become modern Lorraine. Lothair's eldest son, Louis II, inherited his father's claim to the Imperial throne; the division reflected an adherence to the old Frankish custom of partible or divisible inheritance amongst a ruler's sons, rather than primogeniture which would soon be adopted by both Frankish kingdoms. Since the Middle Frankish Kingdom combined lengthy and vulnerable land borders with poor internal communications as it was severed by the Alps, it was not a viable entity and soon fragmented; this made it difficult for a single ruler to reassemble Charlemagne's empire. Only Charles the Fat achieved this briefly.
In 855, the northern section became fragile Lotharingia, which became disputed by the more powerful states that evolved out of West Francia and East Francia. Generations of kings of France and Germany were unable to establish a firm rule over Lothair's kingdom. While the north of Lotharingia was composed of independent countries, the southern third of Lotharingia, Alsace-Lorraine, was traded back and forth between France and Germany from the 18th to the 20th century. In 1766, it passed to France after the death of Stanislaw Leszcyznski, who had acquired the region from the German Habsburgs by the Treaty of Vienna ending the War of Polish Succession. In 1871, Alsace-Lorraine became German, after the victory of Prussia and its German allies over the French in the Franco-Prussian War. In 1919, it became French again by the Treaty of Versailles, following the French victory over the Germans in World War I. In 1940, Germany reannexed Alsace-Lorraine following Germany's successful invasion of France.
In 1945, after World War II, Alsace-Lorraine was solidified as French territory, which it remains to this day, more than a thousand years after the Treaty of Verdun. The collapse of the Middle Frankish Kingdom compounded the disunity of the Italian Peninsula, which persisted into the 19th century. Oaths of Strasbourg Treaty of Prüm Treaty of Meerssen Treaty of Ribemont Media related to Treaty of Verdun at Wikimedia Commons
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