Louis the German

Louis (also Ludwig or Lewis) "the German" (c. 806[1][2] – 876), also known as Louis II, was the first king of East Francia, and ruled from 843-876 AD. Grandson of emperor Charlemagne and the third son of emperor of Francia, Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye,[3] he received the appellation Germanicus shortly after his death in recognition of Magna Germania of the Roman Empire, reflecting the Carolingian's assertions that they were the rightful descendants of the Roman Empire

East Francia 843
Kingdom of East Francia

After protracted clashes with his father and his brothers, Ludwig received the East Frankish Empire in the 843 Treaty of Verdun. His attempts to conquer the West Frankish Empire of his half-brother Charles the Bald in 858-59 were unsuccessful. The 860s were marked by a severe crisis, with the East Frankish rebellions of the sons, as well as struggles to maintain supremacy over his realm. In the Treaty of Meerssen he acquired Lotharingia for the East Frankish Empire in 870. On the other hand, he tried and failed to claim both the title of Emperor and Italy. In the East, Ludwig was able to reach a longer-term peace agreement in 874 after decades of conflict with the Moravians. Due to a decline in the written form in administration and government, Ludwig's reign predates Ottonian times.[4]

Louis the German
Ludwig der Deutsche
Seal with Louis' inscription and effigy.
King of Germany
ReignKing of Bavaria: 817–843;
King of East Francia: 843–876
PredecessorLouis the Pious
SuccessorCarloman of Bavaria (Bavaria)
Louis the Younger (Saxony)
Charles the Fat (Francia)
Bornc. 806
Died28 August 876
Frankfurt
SpouseEmma of Altdorf
(m. 827; d. 876)
IssueCarloman of Bavaria
Louis the Younger
Charles the Fat
DynastyCarolingian
FatherLouis the Pious
MotherErmengarde of Hesbaye

Early life

His early years were partly spent at the court of his grandfather, Charlemagne, whose special affection he is said to have won. When the emperor Louis the Pious divided his dominions between his sons in 817, Louis was made the ruler of Duchy of Bavaria, following the practice of emperor Charlemagne of bestowing a local kingdom to a close family member who then would serve as his lieutenant and local governor.[5] Louis ruled from Regensburg, the old capital of the Bavarii. In 825 he became involved in wars with the Wends and Sorbs on his eastern frontier. In 827 he married Hemma, sister of his stepmother Judith of Bavaria, both daughters of Welf, whose possessions ranged from Alsace to Bavaria.

It was not until 826 that Ludwig first came to rule Bavaria. In 827 he married the Welf Hemma, a sister of the Empress Judith - his stepmother who had married his father in his second marriage. In 828 and 829 he undertook two campaigns against the Bulgarians who wanted to penetrate into Pannonia without great success. During his time as Unterkönig, he tried to extend his rule to the Rhine-Main area.[6]

Rebellious son

His involvement in the first civil war against his father's reign was limited, but in the second his elder brothers, Lothair I, then King of Italy, and Pepin I, Duke of Aquitaine, persuaded him to invade Alamannia which their father had given to their young half-brother Charles the Bald; by promising to give him the land in the new partition they would make after a victory. In 832 he led an army of Slavs into Alamannia, but was driven back by his father.[7] Louis the Pious disinherited him, but to no effect; the emperor was soon captured by his own rebellious sons and deposed. Upon his swift reinstatement, however, the emperor Louis made peace with his son Louis and legally restored Bavaria (never actually lost) to him in 836.

Louis was the instigator of the third civil war, which began in 839. A strip of his land having been given to the young half-brother Charles, Louis invaded Alamannia again. This time emperor Louis responded quickly, and soon the younger Louis was forced into the far southeastern corner of his realm, the March of Pannonia. Peace was then made by force of arms.

Civil war, 840–843

After the civil war which followed the death of emperor Louis the Pious, the empire was divided in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun in three parts, with Louis becoming the King of East Francia, a region that spanned the Elbe drainage basin from Jutland southeasterly through the Thuringian Forest into modern Bavaria.

When the emperor Louis died in 840, and Lothair I claimed the whole Empire, Louis allied with Charles the Bald, and defeated Lothair I and their nephew Pepin II of Aquitaine, son of Pepin I of Aquitaine, at the Battle of Fontenoy in June 841.[8]

In June 842 the three brothers met on an island in the river Saône to negotiate a peace, and each appointed forty representatives to arrange the boundaries of their respective kingdoms. This developed into the Treaty of Verdun, concluded in August 843, by which Louis received the bulk of the lands lying east of the Rhine (East Francia), together with a district around Speyer, Worms, and Mainz, on the left bank of the river (see also Oaths of Strasbourg 842). His territories included Bavaria (where he made Regensburg the centre of his government), Thuringia, Franconia, and Saxony.

Louis may be called the founder of the German kingdom, though his attempts to maintain the unity of the Empire proved futile. Having in 842 crushed the Stellinga rising in Saxony,[9] in 844 he compelled the Obotrites[10] to accept his authority and put their prince, Gozzmovil, to death. Thachulf, Duke of Thuringia, then undertook campaigns against the Bohemians, Moravians, and other tribes, but was not very successful in resisting the ravaging Vikings.

Treaty of Verdun

Treaty of Verdun 843
Lands divided by the Treaty of Verdun

After the death of Emperor Louis the Pious, Lothar laid claim to all the imperial rights established in the Ordinatio of 817. As a result, Louis the German and Charles the Bald forged an alliance. Lothar I offered his nephew Pippin II, the son of 838 deceased Pippin I., an alliance. At the Battle of Fontenoy, Ludwig the German and Charles the Bald fought successfully against Lothar I and Pippin II in June 841. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. According to the Annals of Fulda, it was the biggest bloodbath the Franks had experienced since time immemorial.[11][12] At the same time, it was Louis's last battle in the struggle for the unification of the kingdom.

Conflicts with Charles the Bald

In 852 Louis sent his son Louis the Younger to Aquitaine, where nobles had grown resentful of Charles the Bald's rule.[13] The younger Louis did not set out until 854, and returned the following year.[14]

Starting from 853 Louis made repeated attempts to gain the throne of West Francia, which, according to the Annals of Fulda (Annales Fuldenses), the people of that country offered him in their disgust with the cruel misrule of Charles the Bald. Encouraged by his nephews Peppin II and Charles of Provence, Louis invaded in West Francia in 858. Charles the Bald could not even raise an army to resist the invasion and fled to Burgundy. Later that year Louis issued a charter dated "the first year of the reign in West Francia." However, treachery and desertion in his army, and the continued loyalty of the Aquitanian bishops to Charles the Bald, brought about the failure of the whole enterprise. As such on 7 June 860 at Koblenz, both Louis and Charles made public vows to uphold the peace.[15]

After the emperor Lothair I died in 855, Louis and Charles for a time cooperated in plans to divide Lothair's possessions among themselves, the only impediments to this being Lothair's sons and heirs – Lothair II (who received Lotharingia), Louis II of Italy (who held the imperial title and the Iron Crown of Lombardy) and Charles of Provence. In 868 at Metz Louis and Charles agreed to partition Lotharingia. When Lothair II died in 869, Louis was lying seriously ill, and his armies were engaged in a war with the Moravians. Charles the Bald quickly seized Lothair's lands; but Louis, having recovered, compelled him by a threat of war to agree to the Treaty of Meerssen, which divided Lothair's lands between all the claimants.[16]

Divisio regni among the sons

Torhalle Kloster Lorsch
Carolingian gatehouse (Torhalle) to Lorsch Abbey, where Louis the German was buried

The later years of Louis the German were troubled by rebellions of his sons. The eldest, Carloman of Bavaria, revolted in 861 and again two years later. This was followed by the second son Louis the Younger, who was joined by his brother Charles the Fat. In 864 Louis was forced to grant Carloman the kingdom of Bavaria, which he himself had once held under his father. In 865 he divided the remainder of his lands – Saxony with Franconia and Thuringia went to Louis the Younger and Swabia with Raetia to Charles the Fat.

A report that the emperor Louis II of Italy had died led to a peace between father and sons and attempts by Louis the German to gain the imperial crown for his oldest son Carloman. These efforts were thwarted by Louis II of Italy who was in fact not dead, and Louis' old adversary, Charles the Bald.

Louis was preparing for a new war when he died on August 28, 876 in Frankfurt. He was buried at the abbey of Lorsch, leaving three sons and three daughters. His sons, unusual for their earlier behaviour, respected the divisions made a decade earlier and each contented himself with his own kingdom.

Later Life

Grave plate Ludwig III
Commemorative plaque for Ludwig III

In the years 872 and 873, ambassadors of the Eastern Roman Emperor Basil I came to Ludwig in Regensburg and showed that his rule was perceived as far as Constantinople. After the death of Emperor Ludwig II in August 875, Ludwig tried to win the emperorship for himself and his descendants. For this purpose, Abbot Sigihard von Fulda undertook a trip to Rome to Pope John VIII. On 18 May 876 he returned to Ingelheim and reported to Ludwig that, in December 875, Charles the Bald had been able to obtain the title of emperor by a swift move to Rome.[17]

His wife Hemma visited Ludwig for the last time in May 875. In 874 she had lost her voice as a result of a stroke. During his stay, he donated the Berg im Donaugau Abbey as a donation to the Marienkapelle, which he built.[18] Hemma died at the end of January 876 in Regensburg. A few months later, Ludwig died after a short illness on 28 August 876 in his palace in Frankfurt. The following day he was buried by his son Ludwig in Lorsch Abbey. According to Wilfried Hartmann, however, it can not be determined with certainty whether the dead man in his sarcophagus is the Carolingian king.[19] After Ludwig's death, Charles the Bald tried to win over the East Reich as well. However, Ludwig the Younger defeated him on 8 October 876 at Andernach with a squad of Franks, Saxons and Thuringians. One year later, Charles the Bald died.

Ludwig's Rule

Due to the small number of 172 royal documents from 50 years of reign, it is impossible to create a detailed picture of Ludwig's whereabouts in the East Frankish empire. For comparison, Ludwig the Pious had 18 certificates created a year, and his stepbrother Karl the Bald had 12 produced per year.[20] This tradition of not producing many documents lasts for several months at certain times. For example, it is completely uncertain where the East Frankish king stayed between June 849 and July 850.[21] At least 52 documents are addressed to Bavarian beneficiaries. However, the intensity of the documentary production for Bavarian recipients steadily decreased during his reign.

As former stem-duchy, the Rhine-Main area contained Frankfurt, Mainz and Worms. It had plenty of Imperial Palaces and treasuries . Since it was located in the geographic centre of the East Frankish Empire, it was easily accessible by road. As a result, it was the region in which most East Frankish synods and imperial assemblies were hosted.[22]

Nickname "The German"

Ludwig was only nicknamed "the German" in the 18th century.[23] Contemporary West Frankish sources called Ludwig rex Germaniae ("King of Germania") or rex Germanorum ("King of the Teutons"). However, in this context, Germania or Germani does not mean "Germany" or "the Germans", but, as in ancient Latin, the area on the right bank of the Rhine outside the former Roman Empire and its inhabitants.[24] Contemporaries considered Ludwig with the epithet pius (pious) or piissimus (very pious). The contemporary coinage called him HLUDOVICUS PIUS REX.

Marriage and children

Louis was married to Hemma (died 31 January 876).,[25] and they had:

Notes

  1. ^ a b Dutton 1990, p. 92.
  2. ^ Costambeys, Innes & Maclean 2011, p. xx.
  3. ^ Riche 1993, p. 145.
  4. ^ Prudentius (861). Annals of St. Bertin.
  5. ^ Riche 1993, p. 147.
  6. ^ Deutinger, Roman. Hludovicus rex Baioariae. Zur Rolle Bayerns in der Politik Ludwigs des Deutschen. Darmstadt. pp. 47–66.
  7. ^ Riche 1993, p. 154.
  8. ^ Riche 1993, p. 161–162.
  9. ^ Goldberg 2006, p. 112.
  10. ^ Gwatkin et al., p. 31.
  11. ^ Goldberg, Eric Joseph (1995). Popular revolt, dynastic politics, and aristocratic factionalism in the early Middle Ages. The Saxon Stellinga reconsidered. Speculum. pp. 467–501.
  12. ^ Disputed Author, (841). Annales Fuldenses. Abbey House of Fulda.
  13. ^ a b McKitterick 1999, p. 175.
  14. ^ Reuter 2013, p. 71.
  15. ^ Riche 1993, p. 174.
  16. ^ Riche 1993, p. 199.
  17. ^ Hartmann, Wilfried (Darmstadt). Ludwig der Deutsche. pp. 120–122. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ Wilfried Hartmann: Ludwig der Deutsche – Portrait eines wenig bekannten Königs. In: Wilfried Hartmann (Hrsg.): Ludwig der Deutsche und seine Zeit. Darmstadt 2004, S. 1–26, hier: S. 7f.
  19. ^ Wilfried Hartmann: Ludwig der Deutsche. Darmstadt 2002, S. 62.
  20. ^ Hartmann, Wilfried (2002). Ludwig der Deutsche. Darmstadt.
  21. ^ Deutinger, Roman (2002). Hludovicus rex Baioariae. Zur Rolle Bayerns in der Politik Ludwigs des Deutschen. Darmstadt. p. 55.
  22. ^ Deutinger, Roman (2006). Königsherrschaft im Ostfränkischen Reich. Eine pragmatische Verfassungsgeschichte der späten Karolingerzeit. Ostfildern.
  23. ^ Hartmann, Wilfried (2002). Ludwig der Deutsche. Darmstadt. p. 1.
  24. ^ Geuenich, Deiter (2000). Ludwig „der Deutsche“ und die Entstehung des ostfränkischen Reiches.
  25. ^ Geary 2006, p. 46.
  26. ^ Walsh 2007, p. 282.
  27. ^ Riche 1993, p. 187.

References

  • Costambeys, Marios; Innes, Matthew; MacLean, Simon (2011). The Carolingian World. Cambridge University Press.
  • Dutton, Paul Edward (1990). "Beyond the Topos of Senescense: The Political Problems of Aged Carolingian Rulers". In Sheehan, Michael M. (ed.). Aging and the Aged in Medieval Europe. Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies.
  • Geary, Patrick J. (2006). Women at the Beginning: Origin Myths from the Amazons to the Virgin Mary. Princeton University Press.
  • Goldberg, Eric Joseph (2006). Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict Under Louis the German, 817-876. Cornell University Press.
  • Gwatkin, Henry Melvill; Whitney, James Pounder; Tanner, Joseph Robson; Previté-Orton, Charles William; Brooke, Zachary Nugent, eds. (1957). The Cambridge Medieval History. Volume 3. Macmillan.
  • McKitterick, Rosamond (1999). The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians. Longman.
  • Reuter, Timothy (2013). Germany in the Early Middle Ages C. 800-1056. Routledge.
  • Riche, Pierre (1993). The Carolingians: A Family who Forged Europe. Translated by Allen, Michael Idomir. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Walsh, Michael J. (2007). A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West. Liturgical Press.

External links

Louis II of East Francia
Born: c. 806 Died: 28 August 876
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles the Younger
Duke of Maine
811–817
Succeeded by
Lothair I
Preceded by
Louis the Pious
as King of the Franks
King of Bavaria
817–843
Succeeded by
Carloman
as King of Bavaria
King of East Francia
843–876
Succeeded by
Louis the Younger
as King of Saxony
Succeeded by
Charles the Fat
as King of Swabia
Carloman of Bavaria

Carloman (German: Karlmann, Latin: Karlomannus; c. 830 – 22 March 880) was a Frankish king of the Carolingian dynasty. He was the eldest son of Louis the German, king of East Francia, and Hemma, daughter of a Bavarian count. His father appointed him margrave of Pannonia in 856, and upon his father's death in 876 he became King of Bavaria. He was appointed by King Louis II of Italy as his successor, but the Kingdom of Italy was taken by his uncle Charles the Bald in 875. Carloman only conquered it in 877. In 879 he was incapacitated, perhaps by a stroke, and abdicated his domains in favour of his younger brothers: Bavaria to Louis the Younger and Italy to Charles the Fat.

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. 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 ("empire of the Romans and Franks"), Romanum imperium ("Roman empire") or even imperium christianum ("Christian empire").

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 Bald

Charles the Bald (13 June 823 – 6 October 877) was the king of West Francia (843–877), king of Italy (875–877) and emperor of the Carolingian Empire (875–877). After a series of civil wars during the reign of his father, Louis the Pious, Charles succeeded by the Treaty of Verdun (843) in acquiring the western third of the Carolingian Empire. He was a grandson of Charlemagne and the youngest son of Louis the Pious by his second wife, Judith.

Charles the Fat

Charles III (13 June 839 – 13 January 888), also known as Charles the Fat, was the Holy Roman Emperor from 881 to 888. A member of the Carolingian dynasty, Charles was the youngest son of Louis the German and Hemma, and a great-grandson of Charlemagne. He was the last Carolingian emperor of legitimate birth and the last to rule over all the realms of the Franks.

Over his lifetime, Charles became ruler of the various kingdoms of Charlemagne's former empire. Granted lordship over Alamannia in 876, following the division of East Francia, he succeeded to the Italian throne upon the abdication of his older brother Carloman of Bavaria who had been incapacitated by a stroke. Crowned Emperor in 881 by Pope John VIII, his succession to the territories of his brother Louis the Younger (Saxony and Bavaria) the following year reunited the kingdom of East Francia. Upon the death of his cousin Carloman II in 884, he inherited all of West Francia, thus reuniting the entire Carolingian Empire.

Usually considered lethargic and inept—he is known to have had repeated illnesses and is believed to have suffered from epilepsy—he twice purchased peace with Viking raiders, including at the infamous Siege of Paris (885–886) which led to his downfall.

The reunited empire did not last. During a coup led by his nephew Arnulf of Carinthia in November 887, Charles was deposed in East Francia, Lotharingia, and Kingdom of Italy. Forced into quiet retirement he died of natural causes in January 888, just a few weeks after his deposition. The Empire quickly fell apart after his death, splintering into five separate successor kingdoms; the territory it had occupied was not entirely reunited under one ruler until the conquests of Napoleon.

East Francia

East Francia (Latin: Francia orientalis) or the Kingdom of the East Franks (regnum Francorum orientalium) was a precursor of the Holy Roman Empire. A successor state of Charlemagne's empire, it was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911. It was created through the Treaty of Verdun (843) which divided the former empire into three kingdoms.The east–west division, enforced by the German-Latin language split, "gradually hardened into the establishment of separate kingdoms", with East Francia becoming the Kingdom of Germany and West Francia the Kingdom of France.

Fraumünster

The Fraumünster Church (lit. in English: Women's Minster, but often wrongly translated to [Our] Lady Minster) in Zürich is built on the remains of a former abbey for aristocratic women which was founded in 853 by Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard. He endowed the Benedictine convent with the lands of Zürich, Uri, and the Albis forest, and granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority. Today, it belongs to the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich and is one of the four main churches of Zürich, the others being the Grossmünster, Prediger and St. Peter's churches.

Hemma

Emma of Altdorf, also known as Hemma (c.  803 – 31 January 876), a member of the Elder House of Welf, was Queen consort of East Francia by marriage to King Louis the German, from 843 until her death.

Lothair I

Lothair I or Lothar I (Dutch and Medieval Latin: Lotharius, German: Lothar, French: Lothaire, Italian: Lotario) (795 – 29 September 855) was the Holy Roman Emperor (817–855, co-ruling with his father until 840), and the governor of Bavaria (815–817), King of Italy (818–855) and Middle Francia (840–855).

Lothair was the eldest son of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious and his wife Ermengarde of Hesbaye, daughter of Ingerman the duke of Hesbaye. On several occasions, Lothair led his full-brothers Pepin I of Aquitaine and Louis the German in revolt against their father to protest against attempts to make their half-brother Charles the Bald a co-heir to the Frankish domains. Upon the father's death, Charles and Louis joined forces against Lothair in a three-year civil war (840–843). The struggles between the brothers led directly to the breakup of the Frankish Empire assembled by their grandfather Charlemagne, and laid the foundation for the development of modern France and Germany.

Louis the Pious

Louis the Pious (778 – 20 June 840), also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of the Franks and co-emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. He was also King of Aquitaine from 781.

As the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed.

During his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the empire's southwestern frontier. He conquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona and the Basques south of the Pyrenees in 812. As emperor he included his adult sons, Lothair, Pepin, and Louis, in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm among them. The first decade of his reign was characterised by several tragedies and embarrassments, notably the brutal treatment of his nephew Bernard of Italy, for which Louis atoned in a public act of self-debasement.

In the 830s his empire was torn by civil war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louis's attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans. Though his reign ended on a high note, with order largely restored to his empire, it was followed by three years of civil war. Louis is generally compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a distinctly different sort.

Louis the Younger

Louis the Younger (830/835 – 20 January 882), sometimes Louis III, was the second eldest of the three sons of Louis the German and Emma. He succeeded his father as the King of Saxony on 28 August 876 and his elder brother Carloman as King of Bavaria from 880 to 882. He died in 882 and was succeeded in all his territories, which encompassed most of East Francia, by his younger brother, Charles the Fat, already king of Italy and emperor.

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.

Pepin II of Aquitaine

Pepin II, called the Younger (823 – after 864 in Senlis), was King of Aquitaine from 838 as the successor upon the death of his father, Pepin I. Pepin II was eldest son of Pepin I and Ingeltrude, daughter of Theodobert, count of Madrie. He was a grandson of the Emperor Louis the Pious.

Pepin was elected king upon his father's death by the nobles of Aquitaine who were keen to establish their independence from the Empire. However, his grandfather Louis the Pious had appointed his son Charles the Bald, Pepin's uncle who was about the same age, as King of Aquitaine in 832 when he (nominally) dispossessed Pepin’s father Pepin I, and eventually contested the kingship on Pepin I’s death in 838. Pepin had thereafter been at war with his half-uncle Charles. Louis the Pious fully disinherited him at Crémieu and then at Worms in two subsequent divisions of the empire.

Louis demanded the Aquitainians send Pepin to Aachen to learn the ways of good governance, which they refused. Pepin was in total control of Aquitaine until 841 when he went to his uncle Lothair I's aid at the Battle of Fontenoy (a year after his aging grandfather died at age 62). Pepin defeated Charles the Bald, but Lothair was routed by Louis the German, another son of Emperor Louis. Pepin returned to Aquitaine and continued war with Charles the Bald.

In 844 Pepin made the fatal error of asking for help from Jarl Oscar, a Viking adventurer. He guided Oscar's forces up the Garonne to Toulouse, giving them an opportunity to scout the land for plundering. In 845 Pepin welcomed Seguin of Bordeaux who had defected from the Emperor's side. Pepin made him dux Wasconum, to help his fight against Sans II Sancion of Gascony, who had been at war with his father Pepin I.

Bordeaux, the largest city in Aquitaine and then controlled by Charles, was seized by Oscar in 847, with the aid of disaffected citizens. These were either Jews or partisans of Pepin. The loss of this city to a heathen pirate, coupled with Pepin's heavy drinking and loose living, eroded his support in the nobility until 848 he was left with no support. His younger brother, Charles then tried to claim the Aquitainian Kingdom for himself.

Pepin II's rule finally ended in 851 or 852 when he was captured by Sans II Sancion, and handed over to Charles. He was detained in the monastery of Saint Médard in Soissons. As reward Sans was awarded the status of Duke.

Louis the German, who was at war with Charles the Bald, sent his son Louis the Younger, to claim Aquitaine. He marched as far as Limoges in 855 before returning east.

Pepin escaped and recovered some of his old authority and lands in 854. The Vikings now established in the Loire Valley ravaged Poitiers, Angoulême, Périgueux, Limoges, Clermont, and Bourges while Charles the Bald was busy trying to subdue Pepin. In 864 Pepin joined the Vikings and is rumored to have turned from Christianity to worship Woden and "lived like one of them [the Vikings]". He joined the Vikings in an attack on Toulouse. He was captured again later in 864, deposed by the Edict of Pistres, and imprisoned in Senlis, where he would die.

Pribina

Pribina (c. 800 – 861) was a Slavic prince whose adventurous career, recorded in the Conversion of the Bavarians and the Carantanians (a historical work written in 870), illustrates the political volatility of the Franco–Slavic frontiers of his time. Pribina was the first ruler of Slavic origin to build a Christian church on Slavic territory in Nitra, and also the first to accept baptism.He was attacked and expelled from his homeland by Mojmir I, duke of Moravia. Pribina first fled to Ratpot, one of the border lords in East Francia. Thereafter he was wandering in Central and Southeastern Europe for several years. Finally, in the late 830s, Louis the German, king of East Francia granted Pribina lands near Lake Balaton (now in Hungary) where he set up his own principality under the king's suzerainty. He died fighting against the Moravians.

Rastislav of Moravia

Rastislav or Rostislav, also known as St. Rastislav, (Latin: Rastiz, Greek: Ῥασισθλάϐος / Rhasisthlábos) was the second known ruler of Moravia (846–870). Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks. Upon his initiative two brothers, Cyril and Methodius sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 863, translated the most important Christian liturgical books into Slavonic in his realm. Rastislav was dethroned by his nephew Svatopluk I of Moravia who handed him over to the Franks.

Robert the Strong

Robert the Strong (c. 830 – 866) was the father of two kings of West Francia Odo (or Eudes) and Robert I of France. His family is named after him and called the Robertians. In 853 he was named missus dominicus by Charles the Bald, King of West Francia. Robert the Strong was the great-grandfather of Hugh Capet and thus the ancestor of all the Capetians.

Timeline of German history

This is a timeline of German history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Germany and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Germany. See also the list of German monarchs and list of Chancellors of Germany and the list of years in Germany.

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.

East Francia within the
Carolingian Empire (843–911)
East Francia (911–962)
Kingdom of Germany within the
Holy Roman Empire (962–1806)
Confederation of the Rhine (1806–1813)
German Confederation (1815–1848)
German Empire (1848/1849)
German Confederation (1850–1866)
North German Confederation (1867–1871)
German Empire (1871–1918)

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