Charlemagne, Charles the Bald, East Francia, Emperor, Holy Roman Emperor, Holy Roman Empire, Judith of Bavaria, King of Aquitaine, Lothair I, Louis I the Pious, Louis the german, Middle Francia, West Francia
Louis I the Pious (778 – June 20, 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 and Emperor 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.
Louis I the Pious, Emperor and King of the Franks.
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, Judith of Bavaria, was the daughter of Count Welf of Bavaria and Saxon noblewoman, Hedwig, 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.
The Treaty of Verdun, signed in August 843, was the first of the treaties that divided the Carolingian Empire into three separate 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 840-843.
(Orange ~ Kingdom of West Francia; Purple ~ Kingdom of Middle Francia; Green ~ Kingdom of East Francia).
Following Charlemagne’s death, Louis was made ruler of the Carolingian empire. During his reign, he divided the empire so that each of his sons could rule over their own kingdom under the greater rule of their father. Lothair I was given the title of emperor but because of several re-divisions by his father and the resulting revolts, he became much less powerful. When Louis the Pious died in 840, his eldest son, Lothair I, claimed overlordship over the entirety of his father’s kingdom in an attempt to reclaim the power he had at the beginning of his reign as emperor.
Lothair also supported his nephew, Pepin II’s claim to the crown of Aquitaine, a large province in the west of the Frankish realm. Lothair’s brother, Louis the German, and his half-brother Charles the Bald refused to acknowledge Lothair’s suzerainty and declared war against him. After a bloody civil war, they defeated Lothair at the Battle of Fontenay in 841 and sealed their alliance in 842 with the Oaths of Strasbourg which declared Lothair unfit for the imperial throne, after which he became willing to negotiate a settlement.
Provisions of the treaty
Each of the three brothers was already established in one kingdom: Lothair in the Kingdom of Italy; Louis the German in Kingdom of Bavaria; and Charles the Bald in the Kingdom of Aquitaine:
* Lothair I received Middle Francia, the central portion of the empire.
Lothair I. Emperor King of Middle Francia.
In the settlement, Lothair (who had been named co-emperor in 817) retained his title as emperor, but it conferred only nominal overlordship of his brothers’ lands.
His domain later became the Low Countries, Lorraine, Alsace, Burgundy, Provence, and the Kingdom of Italy (which covered the northern half of the Italian Peninsula). He also received the two imperial cities, Aachen and Rome.
* Louis the German received the East Francia portion of the empire.
Louis the German. King of East Francia.
He was guaranteed the kingship of all lands to the east of the Rhine and to the north and east of Italy, called East Francia. It eventually became the High Medieval Kingdom of Germany, the largest component of the Holy Roman Empire.
* Charles the Bald received the West Francia portion of the empire, which later became the Kingdom of France.
Charles the Bald. King of West Francia.
Pepin II was granted the Kingdom of Aquitaine, but only under the authority of Charles. Charles received all lands west of the Rhône, called West Francia.
After Lothair’s death in 855, Upper Burgundy and Lower Burgundy (Arles and Provence) passed to his third son, Charles of Provence, and the remaining territory north of the Alps to his second son, Lothair II, after whom the hitherto nameless territory was called Lotharingia. It would then become modern Lorraine. Lothair’s eldest son, Louis II, inherited Italy and his father’s claim to the Imperial throne.