Carolingian Empire

The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of the Lombards of Italy from 774. In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III in an effort to revive the Roman Empire in the west during a vacancy in the throne of the eastern Roman Empire. After a civil war (840–43) following the death of Emperor Louis the Pious, the empire was divided into autonomous kingdoms, with one king still recognised as emperor, but with little authority outside his own kingdom. The unity of the empire and the hereditary right of the Carolingians continued to be acknowledged, preceding the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806.

In 884, Charles the Fat reunited all the kingdoms of Francia for the last time, but he died in 888 and the empire immediately split up. With the only remaining legitimate male of the dynasty a child, the nobility elected regional kings from outside the dynasty or, in the case of the eastern kingdom, an illegitimate Carolingian. The illegitimate line continued to rule in the east until 911, while in the western kingdom the legitimate Carolingian dynasty was restored in 898 and ruled until 987 with an interruption from 922 to 936.

The size of the empire at its inception was around 1,112,000 square kilometres (429,000 sq mi), with a population of between 10 and 20 million people.[2] To the south it bordered the Emirate of Córdoba and, after 824, the Kingdom of Pamplona; to the north it bordered the kingdom of the Danes; to the west it had a short land border with Brittany, which was later reduced to a tributary; and to the east it had a long border with the Slavs and the Avars, who were defeated and their land incorporated into the empire. In southern Italy, the Carolingians' claims to authority were disputed by the Byzantines (eastern Romans) and the vestiges of the Lombard kingdom in the Principality of Benevento.

Use of the term "Carolingian Empire" is a modern convention. The language of official acts in the empire was Latin. The empire was referred to variously as universum regnum ("the whole kingdom", as opposed to the regional kingdoms), Romanorum sive Francorum imperium[a] ("empire of the Romans and Franks"), Romanum imperium ("Roman empire") or even imperium christianum ("Christian empire").[3]

Empire of the Romans and Franks

Romanorum sive Francorum imperium  (Latin)
800–888
The Carolingian Empire at its greatest extent in 814 *   Frankish realms and marches *   Tributary states
The Carolingian Empire at its greatest extent in 814
  •   Frankish realms and marches
  •   Tributary states
CapitalMetz[1], Aachen
GovernmentMonarchy
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Coronation of Charlemagne
800
• Division
843
• Death of Charles the Fat
888
Area
8001,112,000 km2 (429,000 sq mi)
Population
• 800
10,000,000–20,000,000
Succeeded by
West Francia
Middle Francia
East Francia

History

Rise of the Carolingians (c. 732 – 768)

Though Charles Martel chose not to take the title king (as his son Pepin III would, or emperor, as his grandson Charlemagne) he was absolute ruler of virtually all of today's continental Western Europe north of the Pyrenees. Only the remaining Saxon realms, which he partly conquered, Lombardy, and the Marca Hispanica south of the Pyrenees were significant additions to the Frankish realms after his death.

Martel was also the founder of all the feudal systems and merit system that marked the Carolingian Empire, and Europe in general during the Middle Ages, though his son and grandson would gain credit for his innovations. Further, Martel cemented his place in history with his defense of Christian Europe against a Muslim army at the Battle of Tours in 732. The Iberian Saracens had incorporated Berber light horse cavalry with the heavy Arab cavalry to create a formidable army that had almost never been defeated. Christian European forces, meanwhile, lacked the powerful tool of the stirrup. In this victory, Charles earned the surname Martel ("the Hammer").[4] Edward Gibbon, the historian of Rome and its aftermath, called Charles Martel "the paramount prince of his age".

Pepin III accepted the nomination as king by Pope Zachary in about 751. Charlemagne's rule began in 768 at Pepin's death. He proceeded to take control of the kingdom following his brother Carloman's death, as the two brothers co-inherited their father's kingdom. Charlemagne was crowned Roman Emperor in the year 800.[5]

During the reign of Charlemagne (768–814)

Dorestad Brooch AvL
The Dorestad Brooch, Carolingian-style cloisonné jewelry from c. 800. Found in the Netherlands, 1969.

The Carolingian Empire during the reign of Charlemagne covered most of Western Europe, as the Roman Empire once had. Unlike the Romans, who ventured to Germania beyond the Rhine only for vengeance after the disaster at Teutoburg Forest (9 AD), Charlemagne decisively crushed all Germanic resistance and extended his realm to the Elbe, influencing events almost to the Russian Steppes.

Charlemagne's reign was one of near-constant warfare, personally leading many of his campaigns. He seized the Lombard Kingdom in 774, led a failed campaign into Spain in 778, extended his domain into Bavaria in 788, ordered his son Pepin to campaign against the Avars in 795, and conquered Saxon territories in wars and rebellions fought from 772 to 804.[4][6]

Prior to the death of Charlemagne, the Empire was divided among various members of the Carolingian dynasty. These included King Charles the Younger, son of Charlemagne, who received Neustria; King Louis the Pious, who received Aquitaine; and King Pepin, who received Italy. Pepin died with an illegitimate son, Bernard, in 810, and Charles died without heirs in 811. Although Bernard succeeded Pepin as King of Italy, Louis was made co-Emperor in 813, and the entire Empire passed to him with Charlemagne's death in the winter of 814.[7]

Reign of Louis the Pious and the civil war (814–843)

Louis the Pious often had to struggle to maintain control of the Empire. King Bernard of Italy died in 818 in imprisonment after rebelling a year earlier, and Italy was brought back into Imperial control. Louis' show of penance for Bernard's death in 822 greatly reduced his prestige as Emperor to the nobility. Meanwhile, in 817 Louis had established three new Carolingian Kingships for his sons from his first marriage: Lothar was made King of Italy and co-Emperor, Pepin was made King of Aquitaine, and Louis the German was made King of Bavaria. His attempts in 823 to bring his fourth son (from his second marriage), Charles the Bald into the will was marked by the resistance of his eldest sons, and the last years of his reign were plagued by civil war.

Lothar was stripped of his co-Emperorship in 829 and was banished to Italy, but the following year his sons attacked Louis' empire and dethroned him in favor of Lothar. The following year Louis attacked his sons' Kingdoms, stripped Lothar of his Imperial title and granted the Kingdom of Italy to Charles. Pepin and Louis the German revolted in 832, followed by Lothar in 833, and together they imprisoned Louis the Pious and Charles. In 835, peace was made within the family, and Louis was restored to the Imperial throne. When Pepin died in 838, Louis crowned Charles king of Aquitaine, whilst the nobility elected Pepin's son Pepin II, a conflict which was not resolved until 860 with Pepin's death. When Louis the Pious finally died in 840, Lothar claimed the entire empire irrespective of the partitions.

Droysens-21a
The division of 843

As a result, Charles and Louis the German went to war against Lothar. After losing the Battle of Fontenay, Lothar fled to his capital at Aachen and raised a new army, which was inferior to that of the younger brothers. In the Oaths of Strasbourg, in 842, Charles and Louis agreed to declare Lothar unfit for the imperial throne. This marked the East-West division of the Empire between Louis and Charles until the Verdun Treaty. Considered a milestone in European history, the Oaths of Strasbourg symbolize the birth of both France and Germany.[8] The partition of Carolingian Empire was finally settled in 843 by and between Louis the Pious' three sons in the Treaty of Verdun.[9]

After the Treaty of Verdun (843–877)

Lothar received the Imperial title, the Kingship of Italy, and the territory between the Rhine and Rhone Rivers, collectively called the Central Frankish Realm. Louis was guaranteed the Kingship of all lands to the east of the Rhine and to the north and east of Italy, which was called the Eastern Frankish Realm which was the precursor to modern Germany. Charles received all lands west of the Rhone, which was called the Western Frankish Realm.

Lothar retired Italy to his eldest son Louis II in 844, making him co-Emperor in 850. Lothar died in 855, dividing his kingdom into three parts: the territory already held by Louis remained his, the territory of the former Kingdom of Burgundy was granted to his third son Charles of Burgundy, and the remaining territory for which there was no traditional name was granted to his second son Lothar II, whose realm was named Lotharingia.

Louis II, dissatisfied with having received no additional territory upon his father's death, allied with his uncle Louis the German against his brother Lothar and his uncle Charles the Bald in 858. Lothar reconciled with his brother and uncle shortly after. Charles was so unpopular that he could not raise an army to fight the invasion and instead fled to Burgundy. He was only saved when the bishops refused to crown Louis the German King. In 860, Charles the Bald invaded Charles of Burgundy's Kingdom but was repulsed. Lothar II ceded lands to Louis II in 862 for support of a divorce from his wife, which caused repeated conflicts with the Pope and his uncles. Charles of Burgundy died in 863, and his Kingdom was inherited by Louis II.

Lothar II died in 869 with no legitimate heirs, and his Kingdom was divided between Charles the Bald and Louis the German in 870 by the Treaty of Meerssen. Meanwhile, Louis the German was involved in disputes with his three sons. Louis II died in 875, and named Carloman, the eldest son of Louis the German, his heir. Charles the Bald, supported by the Pope, was crowned both King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor. The following year, Louis the German died. Charles tried to annex his realm too, but was defeated decisively at Andernach, and the Kingdom of the eastern Franks was divided between Louis the Younger, Carloman of Bavaria and Charles the Fat.

Decline (877–888)

Ludwigslied
Copy of the Ludwigslied, an epic poem celebrating the victory of Louis III of West Francia over the Vikings

The Empire, after the death of Charles the Bald, was under attack in the north and west by the Vikings and was facing internal struggles from Italy to the Baltic, from Hungary in the east to Aquitaine in the west. Charles the Bald died in 877 crossing the Pass of Mont Cenis, and was succeeded by his son, Louis the Stammerer as King of the Western Franks, but the title of Holy Roman Emperor lapsed. Louis the Stammerer was physically weak and died two years later, his realm being divided between his eldest two sons: Louis III gaining Neustria and Francia, and Carloman gaining Aquitaine and Burgundy. The Kingdom of Italy was finally granted to King Carloman of Bavaria, but a stroke forced him to abdicate Italy to his brother Charles the Fat and Bavaria to Louis of Saxony. Also in 879, Boso, Count of Arles founded the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy in Provence.

In 881, Charles the Fat was crowned the Holy Roman Emperor while Louis III of Saxony and Louis III of Francia died the following year. Saxony and Bavaria were united with Charles the Fat's Kingdom, and Francia and Neustria were granted to Carloman of Aquitaine who also conquered Lower Burgundy. Carloman died in a hunting accident in 884 after a tumultuous and ineffective reign, and his lands were inherited by Charles the Fat, effectively recreating the Empire of Charlemagne.

Charles, suffering what is believed to be epilepsy, could not secure the kingdom against Viking raiders, and after buying their withdrawal from Paris in 886 was perceived by the court as being cowardly and incompetent. The following year his nephew Arnulf of Carinthia, the illegitimate son of King Carloman of Bavaria, raised the standard of rebellion. Instead of fighting the insurrection, Charles fled to Neidingen and died the following year in 888, leaving a divided entity and a succession mess.

Divisions in 887–88

The Empire of the Carolingians was divided: Arnulf maintained Carinthia, Bavaria, Lorraine and modern Germany; Count Odo of Paris was elected King of Western Francia (France), Ranulf II became King of Aquitaine, Italy went to Count Berengar of Friuli, Upper Burgundy to Rudolph I, and Lower Burgundy to Louis the Blind, the son of Boso of Arles, King of Lower Burgundy and maternal grandson of Emperor Louis II. The other part of Lotharingia became the duchy of Burgundy.[10]

Demographics

The largest cities in the Carolingian Empire around the year 800:

Rome 50,000. Paris 25,000. Regensburg 25,000. Metz 25,000. Mainz 20,000. Speyer 20,000. Tours 20,000. Trier 15,000. Cologne 15,000. Lyon 12,000. Worms 10,000. Poitiers 10,000. Provins 10,000. Rennes 10,000. Rouen 10,000.[11][12][13]

Government

The government, administration, and organization of the Carolingian Empire were forged in the court of Charlemagne in the decades around the year 800. In this year, Charlemagne was crowned emperor and adapted his existing royal administration to live up to the expectations of his new title. The political reforms wrought in Aachen were to have an immense impact on the political definition of Western Europe for the rest of the Middle Ages. The Carolingian improvements on the old Merovingian mechanisms of governance have been lauded by historians for the increased central control, efficient bureaucracy, accountability, and cultural renaissance.

The Carolingian Empire was the largest western territory since the fall of Rome, but historians have come to suspect the depth of the emperor's influence and control. Legally, the Carolingian emperor exercised the bannum, the right to rule and command, over all of his territories. Also, he had supreme jurisdiction in judicial matters, made legislation, led the army, and protected both the Church and the poor. His administration was an attempt to organize the kingdom, church, and nobility around him, however, its efficacy was directly dependent upon the efficiency, loyalty and support of his subjects.

Military

It has long been held that the dominance of the Carolingian military was based on a "cavalry revolution" led by Charles Martel in 730. However, the stirrup, which made the 'shock cavalry' lance charge possible, was not introduced to the Frankish kingdom until the late eighth century.[14] Instead, the Carolingian military success rested primarily on novel siege technologies and excellent logistics.[15] However, large numbers of horses were used by the Frankish military during the age of Charlemagne. This was because horses provided a quick, long-distance method of transporting troops, which was critical to building and maintaining such a large empire.[14]

Capitals

Aachen Germany Imperial-Cathedral-12a
Interior of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen

No permanent capital city existed in the empire, the itinerant court being a typical characteristic of all Western European kingdoms at this time. Some "main residences" can, however, be distinguished. In the first year of his reign, Charlemagne went to Aachen (French: Aix-la-Chapelle; Italian: Aquisgrana) for the first time. He began to build a palace twenty years later (788). The palace chapel, constructed in 796, later became Aachen Cathedral. Charlemagne spent most winters between 800 and his death (814) at Aachen, which he made the joint capital with Rome, in order to enjoy the hot springs. Charlemagne organized his empire into 350 counties, each led by an appointed count. Counts served as judges, administrators, and enforcers of capitularies. To enforce loyalty, he set up the system of missi dominici, meaning "envoys of the lord". In this system, one representative of the Church and one representative of the Emperor would head to the different counties every year and report back to Charlemagne on their status.

Household

The royal household was an itinerant body (until c. 802) which moved around the kingdom making sure good government was upheld in the localities. The most important positions were the chaplain (who was responsible for all ecclesiastical affairs in the kingdom), and the count of the palace (Count palatine) who had supreme control over the household. It also included more minor officials e.g. chamberlain, seneschal, and marshal. The household sometimes led the army (e.g. Seneschal Andorf against the Bretons in 786).

Possibly associated with the chaplain and the royal chapel was the office of the chancellor, head of the chancery, a non-permanent writing office. The charters produced were rudimentary and mostly to do with land deeds. There are 262 surviving from Charles’ reign as opposed to 40 from Pepin’s and 350 from Louis the Pious.

Officials

There are 3 main offices which enforced Carolingian authority in the localities:

The Comes (Latin: count). Appointed by Charles to administer a county. The Carolingian Empire (except Bavaria) was divided up into between 110 and 600 counties, each divided into centenae which were under the control of a vicar. At first, they were royal agents sent out by Charles but after c. 802 they were important local magnates. They were responsible for justice, enforcing capitularies, levying soldiers, receiving tolls and dues and maintaining roads and bridges. They could technically be dismissed by the king but many offices became hereditary. They were also sometimes corrupt although many were exemplary e.g. Count Eric of Friuli. Provincial governors eventually evolved who supervised several counts.

The Missi Dominici (Latin: dominical emissaries). Originally appointed ad hoc, a reform in 802 led to the office of missus dominicus becoming a permanent one. The Missi Dominici were sent out in pairs. One was an ecclesiastic and one secular. Their status as high officials was thought to safeguard them from the temptation of taking bribes. They made four journeys a year in their local missaticum, each lasting a month, and were responsible for making the royal will and capitularies known, judging cases and occasionally raising armies.

The Vassi Dominici. These were the king’s vassals and were usually the sons of powerful men, holding ‘benefices’ and forming a contingent in the royal army. They also went on ad hoc missions.

Legal system

Around 780 Charlemagne reformed the local system of administering justice and created the scabini, professional experts on the law. Every count had the help of seven of these scabini, who were supposed to know every national law so that all men could be judged according to it.

Judges were also banned from taking bribes and were supposed to use sworn inquests to establish facts.

In 802, all law was written down and amended (the Salic law was also amended in both 798 and 802, although even Einhard admits in section 29 that this was imperfect). Judges were supposed to have a copy of both the Salic law code and the Ripuarian law code.

Coinage

Adelchis denier 641521
A denarius minted by Prince Adelchis of Benevento in the name of Emperor Louis II and Empress Engelberga, showing the expansion of Carolingian authority in southern Italy which Louis achieved

Coinage had a strong association with the Roman Empire, and Charlemagne took up its regulation with his other imperial duties. The Carolingians exercised controls over the silver coinage of the realm, controlling its composition and value. The name of the emperor, not of the minter, appeared on the coins. Charlemagne worked to suppress mints in northern Germany on the Baltic sea.

Subdivision

The Frankish kingdom was subdivided by Charlemagne into three separate areas to make administration easier. These were the inner "core" of the kingdom (Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy) which were supervised directly by the missatica system and the itinerant household. Outside this was the regna where Frankish administration rested upon the counts, and outside this was the marcher areas where ruled powerful governors. These marcher lordships were present in Brittany, Spain, and Bavaria.

Charles also created two sub-kingdoms in Aquitaine and Italy, ruled by his sons Louis and Pepin respectively. Bavaria was also under the command of an autonomous governor, Gerold, until his death in 796. While Charles still had overall authority in these areas they were fairly autonomous with their own chancery and minting facilities.

Placitum generalis

The annual meeting, the Placitum Generalis or Marchfield, was held every year (between March and May) at a place appointed by the king. It was called for three reasons: to gather the Frankish host to go on a campaign, to discuss political and ecclesiastical matters affecting the kingdom and to legislate for them, and to make judgments. All important men had to go the meeting and so it was an important way for Charles to make his will known. Originally the meeting worked effectively however later it merely became a forum for discussion and for nobles to express their dissatisfaction.

Oaths

The oath of fidelity was a way for Charles to ensure loyalty from all his subjects. As early as 779 he banned sworn guilds between other men so that everyone took an oath of loyalty only to him. In 789 (in response to the 786 rebellion) he began legislating that everyone should swear fidelity to him as king, however in 802 he expanded the oath greatly and made it so that all men over age 12 swore it to him.

Capitularies

The five greatest capitularies of Charlemagne's reign are:

  • The Capitulary of Herstal of 779. This is a short capitulary and launched according to Ganshof in response to a crisis in Aquitaine, Italy, and Spain. It is concerned a lot with ordo, making sure that the church is working correctly, also with reinforcing the wergild and Frankish ideals. Notably forced the usage of tithes.
  • Admonitio Generalis of 789. “Blueprint for a new society” mentioning social issues for the first time. The first 58 clauses (of 82) reiterate decisions made by previous church councils and much is also to do with ordo.
  • The Capitulary of Frankfurt of 794. This is mainly to do with theology and speaks out against adoptionism and iconoclasm.
  • The Programmatic Capitulary of 802. This shows an increasing sense of vision in society.
  • The Capitulary for the Jews of 814, delineating the prohibitions of Jews engaging in commerce or money-lending.

List of emperors

This table shows only those Carolingians who were crowned as emperor by the pope in Rome. For other Carolingian kings, see King of the Franks. For the later emperors, see Holy Roman Emperor.

Later image Name Imperial coronation Death Contemporary coin
Charlemagne-by-Durer
Charles I
(Charlemagne)
25 December 800 28 January 814
Charlemagne denier Mayence 812 814
Ludwik I Pobożny
Louis I
(Louis the Pious)
1st: 11 September 813[16]
2nd: 5 October 816
20 June 840
Louis le Pieu denier Sens 818 823
Lothar I
Lothair I 5 April 823 29 September 855
Lothaire 1er denier 840 855
Louis II of Italy
Louis II 1st: Easter 850
2nd: 18 May 872
12 August 875
Carlo calvo
Charles II
(Charles the Bald)
29 December 875 6 October 877
Charles le Chauve denier Bourges after 848
Charles the Fat
Charles III
(Charles the Fat)
12 February 881 13 January 888
Sceau de Charles le gros

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Sometimes with Romanum (Roman) replacing Romanorum (of the Romans) and atque (and) replacing sive (or).

References

  1. ^ McKitterick, Rosamond (2008). Charlemagne: the formation of a European identity (Cambridge University Press. ed.). England: Cambridge University Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-521-88672-7. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ Post-Roman towns, trade and settlement in Europe and Byzantium – Joachim Henning – Google Břger. Books.google.dk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. The size of the Carolingian empire can be roughly estimated at 1,112,000 km²
  3. ^ Ildar H. Garipzanov, The Symbolic Language of Authority in the Carolingian World (c.751–877) (Leiden: Brill, 2008).
  4. ^ a b Magill, Frank (1998). Dictionary of World Biography: The Middle Ages, Volume 2. Routledge. pp. 228, 243. ISBN 9781579580414.
  5. ^ Rosamond McKitterick, Charlemagne: The Formation of a European Identity, Cambridge University Press, 2008 ISBN 978-0-521-88672-7
  6. ^ Davis, Jennifer (2015). Charlemagne's Practice of Empire. Cambridge University Press. p. 25. ISBN 9781316368596.
  7. ^ Joanna Story, Charlemagne: Empire and Society, Manchester University Press, 2005 ISBN 978-0-7190-7089-1
  8. ^ "Die Geburt Zweier Staaten – Die Straßburger Eide vom 14. February 842 | Wir Europäer | DW.DE | 21.07.2009". Dw-world.de. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  9. ^ Eric Joseph Goldberg, Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict Under Louis the German, 817–876, Cornell University Press, 2006 ISBN 978-0-8014-3890-5
  10. ^ Simon MacLean, Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century: Charles the Fat and the End of the Carolingian Empire, Cambridge University Press, 2003 ISBN 978-0-521-81945-9
  11. ^ Bachrach, B. (2013). Charlemagne's Early Campaigns (768–777): A Diplomatic and Military Analysis. Brill. p. 67. ISBN 9789004244771. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  12. ^ Dudley, L. (2008). Information Revolutions in the History of the West. Edward Elgar. p. 26. ISBN 9781848442801. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  13. ^ Claus, Edda (June 1997). "The Rebirth of a Communications Network: Europe at the Time of the Carolingians (thesis)". papyrus.bib.umontreal.ca. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  14. ^ a b Hooper, Nicholas / Bennett, Matthew. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: the Middle Ages Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 12–13 ISBN 0-521-44049-1, ISBN 978-0-521-44049-3
  15. ^ Bowlus, Charles R. The Battle of Lechfeld and its Aftermath, August 955: The End of the Age of Migrations in the Latin West Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006, pg. 49 ISBN 0-7546-5470-2, ISBN 978-0-7546-5470-4
  16. ^ Egon Boshof: Ludwig der Fromme. Darmstadt 1996, p. 89

External links

Adalard of Corbie

Saint Adalard of Corbie (Latin: Adalhardus Corbeiensis; c. 751, Huise – 2 January 827) was son of Bernard the son of Charles Martel and half-brother of Pepin; Charlemagne was his cousin.

Ado of Vienne

Ado of Vienne (Latin: Ado Viennensis, French: Adon de Vienne; died 16 December 874) was archbishop of Vienne in Lotharingia from 850 until his death and is venerated as a saint. He belonged to a prominent Frankish family and spent much his early adulthood in Italy. Several of his letters are extant and reveal their writer as an energetic man of wide sympathies and considerable influence. Ado's principal works are a martyrology, and a chronicle, Chronicon sive Breviarium chronicorum de sex mundi aetatibus de Adamo usque ad annum 869.

Agobard

Agobard of Lyon (c. 779–840) was a Spanish-born priest and archbishop of Lyon, during the Carolingian Renaissance. The author of multiple treatises, ranging in subject matter from the iconoclast controversy to Spanish Adoptionism to critiques of the Carolingian royal family, Agobard is best known for his critiques of Jewish religious practices and political power in the Frankish realm. He was succeeded by Amulo of Lyons.

Beggo, Count of Toulouse

Beggo (died 28 October 816) was the son of Gerard I of Paris. He was appointed Count of Toulouse, Duke of Septimania, Duke of Aquitaine, and Margrave of the Hispanic March in 806 and followed his father as Count of Paris in 815.

In 806, William of Gellone abdicated and Charlemagne appointed Beggo to take his place in Toulouse and the March of Gothia. He did not succeed his father in Paris, but was later placed in the comital office there, but did not live long after that.

He married Alpais or Alpheidis. Their children were:

Leuthard II, who later ruled Paris

Eberhard

Landrade

Susanna, whose son was Adalhard, eighth Count of Paris

Engeltrude, whose son was Eberhard of Friuli

Benedict of Aniane

Saint Benedict of Aniane (Latin: Benedictus Anianensis; German: Benedikt von Aniane; c. 747 – 12 February 821 AD), born Witiza and called the Second Benedict, was a Benedictine monk and monastic reformer, who left a large imprint on the religious practice of the Carolingian Empire. His feast day is February 12.

Carolingian dynasty

The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings or Karlings) was a Frankish noble family founded by Charles Martel with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The dynasty consolidated its power in the 8th century, eventually making the offices of mayor of the palace and dux et princeps Francorum hereditary, and becoming the de facto rulers of the Franks as the real powers behind the Merovingian throne. In 751 the Merovingian dynasty which had ruled the Germanic Franks was overthrown with the consent of the Papacy and the aristocracy, and a Carolingian Pepin the Short was crowned King of the Franks. The Carolingian dynasty reached its peak in 800 with the crowning of Charlemagne as the first Emperor of Romans in the West in over three centuries. His death in 814 began an extended period of fragmentation of the Carolingian empire and decline that would eventually lead to the evolution of the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire.

Charles the Younger

Charles the Younger or Charles of Ingelheim (c. 772 – 4 December 811) was a member of the Carolingian dynasty, the second son of Charlemagne and the first by his second wife, Hildegard of Swabia and brother of Louis the Pious and Pepin Carloman. When Charlemagne divided his empire among his sons, his son Charles was designated King of the Franks.

Châtelain

Châtelain (from Latin: castellanus, derived from castellum; pertaining to a castle, fortress. Middle English: castellan from Anglo-Norman: castellain and Old French: castelain), was originally the French title for the keeper of a castle.

Duchy of Saxony

The Duchy of Saxony (Low German: Hartogdom Sassen, German: Herzogtum Sachsen) was originally the area settled by the Saxons in the late Early Middle Ages, when they were subdued by Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars from 772 and incorporated into the Carolingian Empire (Francia) by 804. Upon the 843 Treaty of Verdun, Saxony was one of the five German stem duchies of East Francia; Duke Henry the Fowler was elected German king in 919.

Upon the deposition of the Welf duke Henry the Lion in 1180, the ducal title fell to the House of Ascania, while numerous territories split from Saxony, such as the Principality of Anhalt in 1218 and the Welf Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1235. In 1296 the remaining lands were divided between the Ascanian dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg and Saxe-Wittenberg, the latter obtaining the title of Electors of Saxony by the Golden Bull of 1356.

Dungal of Bobbio

Dungal of Bobbio (fl. 811–828) was an Irish monk, teacher, astronomer, and poet. He was to live at Saint-Denis, Pavia, and Bobbio.

He may be the same person as Hibernicus exul.

Ermengarde of Hesbaye

Ermengarde (or Irmingard) of Hesbaye (c. 778 – 3 October 818), probably a member of the Robertian dynasty, was Holy Roman Empress from 813 and Queen of the Franks from 814 until her death as the wife of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious.

Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire)

The Kingdom of Italy (Latin: Regnum Italiae or Regnum Italicum, Italian: Regno d'Italia) was one of the constituent kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire, along with the kingdoms of Germany, Bohemia, and Burgundy. It comprised northern and central Italy, but excluded the Republic of Venice and the Papal States. Its original capital was Pavia until the 11th century.

In 773, Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, crossed the Alps to invade the Kingdom of the Lombards, which encompassed all of Italy except the Duchy of Rome and some Byzantine possessions in the south. In June 774, the kingdom collapsed and the Franks became masters of northern Italy. The southern areas remained under Lombard control as the Duchy of Benevento is changed into the rather independent Principality of Benevento. Charlemagne adopted the title "King of the Lombards" and in 800 was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" in Rome. Members of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule Italy until the deposition of Charles the Fat in 887, after which they once briefly regained the throne in 894–896. Until 961, the rule of Italy was continually contested by several aristocratic families from both within and outside the kingdom.

In 961, King Otto I of Germany, already married to Adelaide, widow of a previous king of Italy, invaded the kingdom and had himself crowned in Pavia on 25 December. He continued on to Rome, where he had himself crowned emperor on 7 February 962. The union of the crowns of Italy and Germany with that of the so-called "Empire of the Romans" proved stable. Burgundy was added to this union in 1032, and by the twelfth century the term "Holy Roman Empire" had come into use to describe it. From 961 on, the Emperor of the Romans was usually also King of Italy and Germany, although emperors sometimes appointed their heirs to rule in Italy and occasionally the Italian bishops and noblemen elected a king of their own in opposition to that of Germany. The absenteeism of the Italian monarch led to the rapid disappearance of a central government in the High Middle Ages, but the idea that Italy was a kingdom within the Empire remained and emperors frequently sought to impose their will on the evolving Italian city-states. The resulting wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines, the anti-imperialist and imperialist factions, respectively, were characteristic of Italian politics in the 12th–14th centuries. The Lombard League was the most famous example of this situation; though not a declared separatist movement, it openly challenged the emperor's claim to power.

The century between the Humiliation of Canossa (1077) and the Treaty of Venice of 1177 resulted in the formation of city states independent of the Germanic Emperor. A series of wars in Lombardy from 1423 to 1454 reduced the number of competing states in Italy. The next forty years were relatively peaceful in Italy, but in 1494 the peninsula was invaded by France. After the Imperial Reform of 1495–1512, the Italian kingdom corresponded to the unencircled territories south of the Alps. Juridically the emperor maintained an interest in them as nominal king and overlord, but the "government" of the kingdom consisted of little more than the plenipotentiaries the emperor appointed to represent him and those governors he appointed to rule his own Italian states.

The Habsburg rule in several parts of Italy continued in various forms but came to an end with the campaigns of the French Revolutionaries in 1792–1797, when a series of sister republics were set up with local support by Napoleon and then united into the Italian Republic (Napoleonic) under his Presidency. In 1805 the Republic became a new Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic), in personal union with France.

Lotharingia

Lotharingia (Latin: Lotharii regnum) (French: Lorraine) was a medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire, comprising the present-day Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), Saarland (Germany), and Lorraine (France). It was named after King Lothair II who received this territory after the kingdom of Middle Francia of his father Lothair I was divided among his sons in 855.Lotharingia was born out of the tripartite division in 855 of the kingdom of Middle Francia, which itself was formed after the threefold division of the Carolingian Empire by the Treaty of Verdun of 843. Conflict between East and West Francia over Lotharingia was based on the fact that these were the old Frankish homelands of Austrasia, so possession of them was of great prestige.

Middle Francia

Middle Francia (Latin: Francia media) was a short-lived Frankish kingdom which was created in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun after an intermittent civil war between the grandsons of Charlemagne resulted in division of the united empire. Middle Francia was allocated to emperor Lothair I, the eldest son and successor of emperor Louis the Pious. His realm contained the imperial cities of Aachen, the residence of Charlemagne, as well as Pavia but lacked any geographic or ethnic cohesion which prevented it from surviving and forming a nucleus of a larger state, as was the case with West Francia and East Francia.

Middle Francia was situated between the realms of East and West Francia, and comprised the Frankish territory between the rivers Rhine and Scheldt, the Frisian coast of the North Sea, the former Kingdom of Burgundy (except for a western portion, later known as Bourgogne) and Provence, as well as parts of northern Italy. Following the 855 partition, Middle Francia became only a geographic term and the bulk of its territory was reorganized as Lotharingia, named after Lothair I's namesake son.

Paschasius Radbertus

Saint Paschasius Radbertus (785–865) was a Carolingian theologian and the abbot of Corbie, a monastery in Picardy founded in 657 or 660 by the queen regent Bathilde with a founding community of monks from Luxeuil Abbey. His most well-known and influential work is an exposition on the nature of the Eucharist written around 831, entitled De Corpore et Sanguine Domini.

He was canonized in 1073 by Pope Gregory VII. His feast day is April 26.

His works are edited in Patrologia Latina vol. 120 (1852).

Treaty of Meerssen

The Treaty of Mersen or Meerssen, concluded on 8 August 870, was a treaty of partition of the realm of Lothair II (Lotharingia), by his uncles Louis the German of East Francia and Charles the Bald of West Francia, the two surviving sons of Emperor Louis I the Pious.

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, who was the son of Charlemagne. The treaty, signed in Verdun-sur-Meuse, ended the three-year Carolingian Civil War.

Waldrada of Worms

Waldrada of Worms (or Waldraith; born 801, date of death unknown). She was first married to Robert III of Worms, in 819 in Wormsgau, Germany. This marriage brought in 830 a son, Robert IV the Strong. The marriage ended when Robert III died in 834. She was the second wife of Conrad II, Duke of Transjurane Burgundy. They had two known children, Adelaide of Auxerre and Rudolph I of Burgundy.

Her father was Adrian, Count of Orléans (758-824), and mother was also named Waldrada, daughter of Saint William of Gellone (William of Orange) 755-812.

West Francia

In medieval historiography, West Francia (Latin: Francia occidentalis) or the Kingdom of the West Franks (regnum Francorum occidentalium) 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, Alsace and Provence in the east and southeast. In addition, by the 10th century the rule of its kings was greatly reduced even within the West Frankish realm by the increase in power of great territorial magnates over their large and usually territorially contiguous fiefs. This process was compounded by wars among those magnates, including against or alongside the Crown, and by foreign invasion. Notably, Normandy was given to the rule of Norse invaders under Rollo as a county and later duchy in return for their willingness to end their raids, and like other great fiefs became largely autonomous of, and more powerful than, the Crown. In Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the West Frankish king was barely felt. West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, and 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.

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