Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Middle Ages. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility revolving around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs. A broader definition of feudalism, as described by Marc Bloch, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, the peasantry bound by manorialism. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.
There is no accepted modern definition of feudalism, at least among scholars. The adjective feudal was coined in the 17th century, the noun feudalism used in a political and propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century, from the French féodalité, itself an 18th-century creation. In a classic definition by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs, though Ganshof himself noted that his treatment related only to the "narrow, legal sense of the word". A broader definition, as described in Marc Bloch's Feudal Society, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, those living by their labour, most directly the peasantry bound by manorialism. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.
Outside a European context, the concept of feudalism is used only by analogy, most in discussions of feudal Japan under the shōguns, sometimes medieval and Gondarine Ethiopia. However, some have taken the feudalism analogy further, seeing feudalism in places as diverse as Spring and Autumn period in China, ancient Egypt, the Parthian empire, the Indian subcontinent and the Antebellum and Jim Crow American South; the term feudalism has been applied—often inappropriately or pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to prevail. Some historians and political theorists believe that the term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society; the term "féodal" was used in 17th-century French legal treatises and translated into English legal treatises as an adjective, such as "feodal government". In the 18th century, Adam Smith, seeking to describe economic systems coined the forms "feudal government" and "feudal system" in his book Wealth of Nations.
In the 19th century the adjective "feudal" evolved into a noun: "feudalism". The term feudalism is recent, first appearing in French in 1823, Italian in 1827, English in 1839, in German in the second half of the 19th century; the term "feudal" or "feodal" is derived from the medieval Latin word feodum. The etymology of feodum is complex with multiple theories, some suggesting a Germanic origin and others suggesting an Arabic origin. In medieval Latin European documents, a land grant in exchange for service was called a beneficium; the term feudum, or feodum, began to replace beneficium in the documents. The first attested instance of this is from 984, although more primitive forms were seen up to one-hundred years earlier; the origin of the feudum and why it replaced beneficium has not been well established, but there are multiple theories, described below. The most held theory was proposed by Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern in 1870, being supported by, amongst others, William Stubbs and Marc Bloch.
Kern derived the word from a putative Frankish term *fehu-ôd, in which *fehu means "cattle" and -ôd means "goods", implying "a moveable object of value." Bloch explains that by the beginning of the 10th century it was common to value land in monetary terms but to pay for it with moveable objects of equivalent value, such as arms, horses or food. This was known as feos, a term that took on the general meaning of paying for something in lieu of money; this meaning was applied to land itself, in which land was used to pay for fealty, such as to a vassal. Thus the old word feos meaning movable property changed little by little to feus meaning the exact opposite: landed property. Another theory was put forward by Archibald R. Lewis. Lewis said the origin of'fief' is not feudum, but rather foderum, the earliest attested use being in Astronomus's Vita Hludovici. In that text is a passage about Louis the Pious that says annona militaris quas vulgo foderum vocant, which can be translated as "Louis forbade that military provender (which they popular
Louis I, Duke of Orléans
Louis I of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1392 to his death. He was Duke of Touraine, Count of Valois Blois, Angoulême, Périgord and Soissons. Louis was the second son of King Charles V of France and Joanna of Bourbon and was the younger brother of Charles VI. In 1498, his legitimate agnatic progeny inherited the French throne after the extinction of the Valois main line. In 1374, Louis was betrothed to Catherine, heiress presumptive to the throne of Hungary. Louis and Catherine were expected to reign either over Hungary or over Poland, as Catherine's father, Louis I of Hungary, had no sons. Catherine's father planned to leave them his claim to the Crown of Naples and the County of Provence, which were held by his ailing and childless cousin Joanna I. However, Catherine's death in 1378 ended the marriage negotiations. In 1384, Elizabeth of Bosnia started negotiating with Louis' father about the possibility of Louis marrying her daughter Mary, notwithstanding Mary's engagement to Sigismund of Luxembourg.
If Elizabeth had made this proposal in 1378, after Catherine's death, the fact that the French king and the Hungarian king did not recognise the same pope would have presented a problem. However, Elizabeth was desperate in 1384 and was not willing to let the schism stand in the way of the negotiations. Antipope Clement VII issued a dispensation which annulled Mary's betrothal to Sigismund and a proxy marriage between Louis and Mary was celebrated in April 1385. Nonetheless, the marriage was not recognised by the Hungarian noblemen who adhered to Pope Urban VI. Four months after the proxy marriage, Sigismund invaded Hungary and married Mary, which destroyed Louis' chances to reign as King of Hungary. Louis had an important political role during the Hundred Years' War. With the increasing insanity of his elder brother Charles the Mad, Louis disputed the regency and guardianship of the royal children with John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy; the enmity between the two was public and a source of political unrest in the troubled France.
Louis had the initial advantage, being the brother rather than the first cousin of the king, but his reputation as a womaniser and the rumour of an affair with the queen consort Isabeau of Bavaria made him unpopular. For the following years, the children of Charles VI were successively kidnapped and recovered by both parties, until the Duke of Burgundy managed to be appointed by royal decree to be the guardian of Louis, the Dauphin and regent of France. Louis did not give up and took every effort to sabotage John's rule, including squandering the money raised for the relief of Calais occupied by the English. After this episode and Louis broke into open threats and only the intervention of John of Valois, Duke of Berry and uncle of both men, avoided a civil war. On Sunday 20 November 1407, the contending Dukes exchanged solemn vows of reconciliation before the court of France, but only three days Louis was brutally assassinated in the streets of Paris, by the orders of the Duke of Burgundy John the Fearless.
Louis was stabbed while mounting his horse by fifteen masked criminals led by Raoulet d'Anquetonville, a servant of the Duke of Burgundy. An attendant was wounded. John was supported by the population of the University, he could publicly admit the killing. Rather than deny it, John had the scholar Jean Petit of the Sorbonne deliver a peroration justifying the killing of tyrants. Louis' murder sparked a bloody feud and civil war between Burgundy and the French royal family which divided France for the next seventy years, only ended with the death of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1477. In 1389, Louis married daughter of Gian Galeazzo, Duke of Milan; the union produced eight children: A son, buried in Paris église Saint-Paul. Louis, buried Paris église des Célestins. John, buried Paris église des Célestins. Charles, Duke of Orléans, father of Louis XII, King of France. Philip, Count of Vertus. Left a natural son Philip Anthony, called the Bastard of Vertus who died about 1445. John, Count of Angoulême, Marie.
Margaret, married Richard of Brittany, Count of Étampes. She received the County of Vertus as a dowry. Ancestors of the Dukes of Brittany and Lords of Chalon-Arlay and Prince of Orange. By Mariette d'Enghien, his mistress, Louis had an illegitimate son: John of Dunois, ancestor of the Dukes of Longueville Kingdom of France - Duchy of Orléans: 1st Grand Master and Knight of the Order of the Porcupine he founded at the occasion of the baptism of his son Charles Adams, Tracy; the Life and Afterlife of Isabeau of Bavaria. Johns Hopkins University Press. Engel, Pal; the Realm of St. Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary, 895-1526. Vol. 19. Penn State Press. Keane, Marguerite. Material Culture and Queenship in 14th-century France: The Testament of Blanche of Navarre. Brill. Parsons, John Carmi. Medieval Queenship. Palgrave Macmillan. Potter, David. A History of France, 1460-1560: The Emergence of a Natio
Anjou is a historical province of France straddling the lower Loire River. Its capital was Angers and it was coextensive with the diocese of Angers, it bordered Brittany to Maine to the north, Touraine to the east and Poitou to the south. The adjectival form of Anjou is Angevin, inhabitants of Anjou are known as Angevins. During the Middle Ages, the County of Anjou, ruled by the Counts of Anjou, was a prominent fief of the French crown; the region takes its name from the Celtic tribe of the Andecavi, which submitted to Roman rule following the Gallic Wars. Under the Romans, the chief fortified settlement of the Andecavi became the city of Juliomagus, the future Angers; the territory of the Andecavi was organized as a civitas. Under the Franks, the city of Juliomagus became Angers. Under the Merovingians, the history of Anjou is obscure, it is not recorded as a county until the time of the Carolingians. In the late ninth and early tenth centuries the viscounts usurped comital authority and made Anjou an autonomous hereditary principality.
The first dynasty of counts of Anjou, the House of Ingelger, ruled continuously down to 1205. In 1131, Count Fulk V became the King of Jerusalem; the territories ruled by Henry and his successors, which stretched from Ireland to the Pyrenees, are called the Angevin Empire. This empire was broken up by the French king Philip II, who confiscated the dynasty's French lands, including Anjou in 1205; the county of Anjou was united to the royal domain between 1205 and 1246, when it was turned into an apanage for the king's brother, Charles I of Anjou. This second Angevin dynasty, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, established itself on the throne of Naples and Hungary. Anjou itself was united to the royal domain again in 1328, but was detached in 1360 as the Duchy of Anjou for the king's son, Louis I of Anjou; the third Angevin dynasty, a branch of the House of Valois ruled for a time the Kingdom of Naples. The dukes had the same autonomy as the earlier counts, but the duchy was administered in the same fashion as the royal domain and the royal government exercised the ducal power while the dukes were away.
When the Valois line failed and Anjou was incorporated into the royal domain again in 1480, there was little change on the ground. Anjou remained a province of crown until the French Revolution. Under the kingdom of France, Anjou was identical with the diocese of Angers, bound on the north by Maine, on the east by Touraine, on the south by Poitou and the Mauges, the west by the countship of Nantes or the duchy of Brittany, it occupied the greater part of. On the north, it further included Candé, Bazouges, Le Lude. Anjou's political origin is traced to the ancient Gallic state of the Andes. After the conquest by Julius Caesar, the area was organized around the Roman civitas of the Andecavi; the Roman civitas was afterward preserved as an administrative district under the Franks with the name first of pagus—then of comitatus or countship—of Anjou. At the beginning of the reign of Charles the Bald, the integrity of Anjou was menaced by a twofold danger: from Brittany to the west and from Normandy to the north.
Lambert, a former count of Nantes, devastated Anjou in concert with duke of Brittany. By the end of the year 851, he had succeeded in occupying all the western part as far as the Mayenne; the principality which he thus carved out for himself was occupied on his death by Erispoé, duke of Brittany. By him, it was handed down to his successors, in whose hands it remained until the beginning of the 10th century; the Normans raided the country continuously as well. A brave man was needed to defend it; the chroniclers of Anjou named a "Tertullus" as the first count, elevated from obscurity by Charles the Bald. A figure by that name seems to have been the father of the count Ingelger but his dynasty seems to have been preceded by Robert the Strong, given Anjou by Charles the Bald around 861. Robert met his death in 866 in a battle at Brissarthe against the Normans. Hugh the Abbot succeeded him in the countship of Anjou as in most of his other duties. Odo acceded to the throne of France in 888, but he seems to have delegated the country between the Maine and the Mayenne to Ingelger as a viscount or count around 870 owing to the connections of his wife Adelais of Amboise.
Their son Fulk the Red succeeded to his father's holdings in 888, is mentioned as a viscount after 898, seems to have been granted or usurped the title of count by the second quarter of the 10th century. His descendants continued to bear that rank for three centuries, he was succeeded by his son Fulk II the Good, author of the proverb that an unlettered king is a wise ass, in 938. He was succeeded in turn by his son Geoffrey I Grisegonelle around 958. Geoffrey inaugurated a policy of expansion, having as its objects the extension of the boundaries of the ancient countship and the reconquest of those parts of it, annexed by other states.
Languedoc is a former province of France. Its territory is now contained in the modern-day region of Occitanie in the south of France, its capital city was Toulouse. It had an area of 42,700 square kilometers; the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis fell to the Visigothic Kingdom from the 5th to the 8th centuries. Occupied by the Emirate of Córdoba in the 750s, it was conquered into the Kingdom of the Franks by Pippin the Short in 759 following the Siege of Narbonne. Under the Carolingians, the Counts of Toulouse were appointed by the royal court; this office became hereditary. Part of the territory where Occitan was spoken came to be called langue d'oc, Languedoc. In the 13thC, the spiritual beliefs of the area were challenged by the See of Rome and the region became attached to the Kingdom of France following the Albigensian Crusade; this crusade aimed to put an end to what the Church considered the Cathar heresy, enabled the Capetian dynasty to extend its influence south of the Loire. As part of this process, the former principalities of Trencavel were integrated into the Royal French Domain in 1224.
The Counts of Toulouse followed them in 1271. The remaining feudal enclaves were absorbed progressively up to the beginning of the 16th century; the territory falling within the jurisdiction of the Estates of Languedoc, which convened for the first time in 1346, shrank progressively, becoming known during the Ancien Régime as the province of Languedoc. The year 1359 marked a turning point in the history of the province; the three bailiwicks of Bèucaire and Tolosa had the status of bonnes villes. In that year, the three entered into a perpetual union, after which their contribution of royal officers was summoned jointly rather than separately for each of the three sénéchaussées. Towards the end of 14th century, the term "country of the three seneschalties" to become known as Languedoc, designated the two bailiwicks of Bèucaire-Nimes and Carcassona, the eastern part of Tolosa, retained under the Treaty of Brétigny. At that time, the County of Foix, which belonged to the seneschal of Carcassona until 1333 before passing to Toulouse, ceased to belong to Languedoc.
In 1542, the province was divided into two généralités: Toulouse for Haut-Languedoc, Montpellier for Bas-Languedoc. This lasted until the French Revolution in 1789. From the 17th century onward, there was only one intendance for the whole of Languedoc, with its seat in Montpellier; the traditional provinces of the kingdom of France were not formally defined. A province was a territory of common traditions and customs, but it had no political organization. Today, when people refer to the old provinces of France, they are referring to the gouvernements as they existed in 1789, before the French Revolution. Gouvernements were military regions established by the Crown in the middle of the 16th century. However, in some cases, small provinces were merged with a large one into a single gouvernement, so gouvernements are not the same as the traditional provinces; the region was called the County of Toulouse, a county independent from the kings of France. The County of Toulouse was made up of what would be called Languedoc, but it included the province of Quercy and the province of Rouergue, both to the northwest of Languedoc.
At some times it included the province of Agenais to the west of Languedoc, the province of Gévaudan, the province of Velay, the southern part of the province of Vivarais, all the northern half of Provence. After the French conquest the entire county was dismantled, the central part of it being now called Languedoc; the gouvernement of Languedoc was created in the mid-16th century. In addition to Languedoc proper, it included the three small provinces of Gévaudan and Vivarais, these three provinces being to the northeast of Languedoc; some people consider that the region around Albi was a traditional province, called Albigeois, although it is most considered as being part of Languedoc proper. The provinces of Quercy and Rouergue, despite their old ties with Toulouse, were not incorporated into the gouvernement of Languedoc, they were attached to the gouvernement of its far-away capital Bordeaux. This decision was intentional, to avoid reviving the independently spirited County of Toulouse. In the rest of this article, Languedoc refers to the territory of this gouvernement of Languedoc.
The province of Languedoc covered an area of 42,700 km² in the central part of southern France the region between the river Rhône and the Garonne, extending northwards to the Cévennes and the Massif Central. As the center of the County of Toulouse and the regional parlement, Toulouse is considered the "capital" of Languedoc. On maps (both ancient and mo
Beaujolais is a historical province and a wine-producing region in France. It is located north of Lyon, covers parts of the north of the Rhône département and parts of the south of the Saône-et-Loire département; the region is known internationally for its long tradition of winemaking, more for the enormously popular Beaujolais nouveau. See History of France The historical capital of the province is Beaujeu and the economic capital of the area is Villefranche-sur-Saône; the Beaujolais Region is located south of Burgundy and its climate is warmer. Because of the difference in region, the Pinot Noir grape grown in Burgundy would not do well here; the best soils are granite. All the wine produced in the region is red wine from the Gamay grape, of which the heavily-marketed Beaujolais Nouveau is the most famous, the village crus the most prized. Wine French wine
Auvergne is a former administrative region of France, comprising the four departments of Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal and Haute-Loire. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes; the administrative region of Auvergne is larger than the historical province of Auvergne, one of the seven counties of Occitania, includes provinces and areas that were not part of Auvergne. The Auvergne region is composed of the following old provinces: Auvergne: departments of Puy-de-Dôme, northwest of Haute-Loire, extreme south of Allier; the province of Auvergne is contained inside the Auvergne region Bourbonnais: department of Allier. A small part of Bourbonnais is contained inside the Centre-Val de Loire region. Velay: centre and southeast of department of Haute-Loire. Velay is contained inside the Auvergne region. A small part of Gévaudan: extreme southwest of Haute-Loire. Gévaudan is inside the Languedoc-Roussillon region. A small part of Vivarais: extreme southeast of Haute-Loire.
Vivarais is inside the Rhône-Alpes region. A small part of Forez: extreme northeast of Haute-Loire. Forez is inside the Rhône-Alpes region. Velay, Gévaudan, Vivarais are considered to be sub-provinces of the old province of Languedoc. Forez is often considered to be a sub-province of Lyonnais. Therefore, the modern region of Auvergne is composed of the provinces of Auvergne, major part of Bourbonnais, parts of Languedoc and Lyonnais; the region is home to a chain of volcanoes known collectively as the "chaîne des Puys". The last confirmed eruption was around 4040 BCE; the volcanoes began forming some 70,000 years ago, most have eroded, leaving plugs of hardened magma that form rounded hilltops known as puys. Auvergne has an area of 26,013 square kilometres, 4.8% of France's total area. Auvergne is one of the smallest regions in France. Auvergne is known for dormant volcanoes. Together the Monts Dore and the Chaîne des Puys include 80 volcanoes; the Puy de Dôme is the highest volcano in the region, with an altitude of 1,465 metres.
The Sancy Massif in the Monts Dore is the highest point in Auvergne. The northern part is covered in hills, while the southern portion is mountainous and dotted with pastures; the Forest of Tronçais is the largest oak forest in Europe. Auvergne has two major rivers in Auvergne: the Loire runs through the southeast and borders the northeast, the Allier runs from north to south down the center of Auvergne, with branches going east and west. Over many years the Allier river has created. Auvergne has about 50 freshwater lakes; some have volcanic origins. Lac de Guéry is the highest lake in Auvergne. Auvergne is bordered to the north by the region of Centre-Val de Loire, by five former administrative regions: Rhône-Alpes to the east, Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées to the south, Limousin to the west, Burgundy to the north; the average annual temperature is 12 °C, the region receives 510–1,020 mm of rainfall annually. There are short summers; the region of Auvergne was named after one of the most powerful Gallic tribes.
It was composed of the Gabali, the Vellavi, the Cadurci, whose sphere of influence included the regions of Languedoc and Aquitaine. Vercingetorix was elected king in 52 BC, his father, his predecessor, had been killed by his companions who opposed Celtillos' goal of making the title hereditary. In the winter of 53/52 BC, Vercingetorix created alliances with all the Celtic tribes surrounding him by holding as hostages daughters or sons of the kings of each tribe. With this threat, he gained their guarantees of faithfulness and alliance. Based on reports in 2007 of excavations by archaeologists, the capital of the Arverni is believed to have been situated between Gergovie, Corent and several other significant areas within a 35 km range. Researchers estimate a population of 150,000 inhabitants living in the centre of this area, a total of more than 400,000 inhabitants living in the region of these towns; the Arverni were one of the most powerful and wealthy tribes in ancient Gaul: They were protected by their location in a mountainous area, which provided strong defenses from outside attackers They had resources: numerous mines of gold and other precious metals The uplands had pastures available for grazing of cattle and sheep herds Their artisans mastered metalworking and complex craftwork, Vercingetorix is described with "a big armor made of many assembled silver pieces, reflecting the sun", in particular copperwork They minted their own money, had strong trade with nearby tribes They had ceramic manufacture They had influence on nearby tribes and were able to rally the Aedui during the revolt of Vercingetorix.
A shrine in Auvergne marks the Battle of Gergovia. Based on scholars' interpretation of books by Caesar, it took place about 12 km from present-day Clermont-Ferrand. Vercingetorix beat. Roman troops won a victory in Alesia in Burgundy. Roman legionaries had established over several hundred metres, they took him to Rome, where he was imprisoned. Augustoneme
Hugh Capet was the King of the Franks from 987 to 996. He is the founder and first king from the House of Capet, he was elected as the successor of the last Carolingian king, Louis V. Hugh was a descendant in illegitimate descent of Charlemagne through his mother and paternal grandmother; the son of Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks, Hedwige of Saxony, daughter of the German king Henry the Fowler, Hugh was born sometime between 938 and 941. He was born into a well-connected and powerful family with many ties to the royal houses of France and Germany. Through his mother, Hugh was the nephew of Holy Roman Emperor. Gerberga was the wife of Louis IV, King of France and mother of Lothair of France and Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, his paternal family, the Robertians, were powerful landowners in the Île-de-France. His grandfather had been King Robert I. King Odo was his granduncle and King Rudolph was his uncle by affinity. Hugh's paternal grandmother was a descendant of Charlemagne. After the end of the ninth century, the descendants of Robert the Strong became indispensable in carrying out royal policies.
As Carolingian power failed, the great nobles of West Francia began to assert that the monarchy was elective, not hereditary, twice chose Robertians as kings, instead of Carolingians. Robert I, Hugh the Great's father, was succeeded as King of the Franks by his son-in-law, Rudolph of Burgundy; when Rudolph died in 936, Hugh the Great had to decide whether he ought to claim the throne for himself. To claim the throne would require him to risk an election, which he would have to contest with the powerful Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, father of Hugh, Archbishop of Reims, allied to Henry the Fowler, King of Germany. To block his rivals, Hugh the Great brought Louis d'Outremer, the dispossessed son of Charles the Simple, from his exile at the court of Athelstan of England to become king as Louis IV; this maneuver allowed Hugh to become the most powerful person in France in the first half of the tenth century. Once in power, Louis IV granted him the title of dux Francorum. Louis officially declared Hugh "the second after us in all our kingdoms".
Hugh gained power when Herbert II of Vermandois died in 943, because Herbert's powerful principality was divided among his four sons. Hugh the Great came to dominate a wide swath of central France, from Orléans and Senlis to Auxerre and Sens, while the king was rather confined to the area northeast of Paris; the realm in which Hugh grew up, of which he would one day be king, bore little resemblance to modern France. Hugh's predecessors did not call themselves kings of France, that title was not used by his successors until the time of his descendant Philip II. Kings ruled as rex Francorum, the title remaining in use until 1190 The lands they ruled comprised only a small part of the former Carolingian Empire; the eastern Frankish lands, the Holy Roman Empire, were ruled by the Ottonian dynasty, represented by Hugh's first cousin Otto II and by Otto's son, Otto III. The lands south of the river Loire had ceased to be part of the West Francia kingdom in the years after Charles the Simple was deposed in 922.
Both the Duchy of Normandy and the Duchy of Burgundy were independent, Brittany so—although from 956 Burgundy was ruled by Hugh's brothers Otto and Henry. In 956, when his father Hugh the Great died, the eldest son, was about fifteen years old and had two younger brothers. Otto I, King of Germany, intended to bring western Francia under his control, possible since he was the maternal uncle of Hugh Capet and Lothair of France, the new king of the Franks, who succeeded Louis IV in 954, at the age of 13. In 954, Otto I appointed his brother Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne and Duke of Lorraine, as guardian of Lothair and regent of the kingdom of France. In 956, Otto gave him the same role over the Robertian principality. With these young princes under his control, Otto aimed to maintain the balance between Robertians and Ottonians. In 960, Lothair agreed to grant to Hugh the legacy of his father, the margraviate of Neustria and the title of Duke of the Franks, but in return, Hugh had to accept the new independence gained by the counts of Neustria during Hugh's minority.
Hugh's brother, Otto received only the duchy of Burgundy. Andrew W. Lewis has sought to show that Hugh the Great had prepared a succession policy to ensure his eldest son much of his legacy, as did all the great families of that time; the West was dominated by Otto I, who had defeated the Magyars in 955, in 962 assumed the restored imperial title. The new emperor increased his power over Western Francia with special attention to certain bishoprics on his border. Disappointed, King Lothair relied on Arnulf I, Count of Flanders. In 956, Hugh inherited his father's estates, in theory making him one of the most powerful nobles in the much-reduced kingdom of West Francia; as he was not yet an adult, his mother acted as his guardian, young Hugh's neighbours took advantage. Theobald I of Blois, a former vassal of Hugh's father, took the counties of Châteaudun. Further south, on the border of the kingdom, Fulk II