Louis the Pious
Overview
 
Louis the Pious also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 (as Louis I) with his father, Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, from 813. 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.
Encyclopedia
Louis the Pious also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 (as Louis I) with his father, Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, from 813. 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
Pamplona
Pamplona is the historial capital city of Navarre, in Spain, and of the former kingdom of Navarre.The city is famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, from July 6 to 14, in which the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions...

 and the Basques south of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 in 812. As emperor he included his adult sons, Lothair
Lothair I
Lothair I or Lothar I was the Emperor of the Romans , co-ruling with his father until 840, and the King of Bavaria , Italy and Middle Francia...

, Pepin
Pepin I of Aquitaine
Pepin I was King of Aquitaine.-Biography:He was the second son of Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye....

, and Louis
Louis the German
Louis the German , also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian, was a grandson of Charlemagne and the third son of the succeeding Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye.He received the appellation 'Germanicus' shortly after his death in recognition of the fact...

, 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
Bernard of Italy
Bernard was the King of the Lombards from 810 to 818. He plotted against his uncle, Emperor Louis the Pious, when the latter's Ordinatio Imperii made Bernard a vassal of his cousin Lothair...

, 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
Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald , Holy Roman Emperor and King of West Francia , was the youngest son of the Emperor Louis the Pious by his second wife Judith.-Struggle against his brothers:He was born on 13 June 823 in Frankfurt, when his elder...

 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.

Birth and rule in Aquitaine

Louis was born while his father Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 was on campaign in Spain, at the Carolingian villa
Roman villa
A Roman villa is a villa that was built or lived in during the Roman republic and the Roman Empire. A villa was originally a Roman country house built for the upper class...

 of Cassinogilum, according to Einhard
Einhard
Einhard was a Frankish scholar and courtier. Einhard was a dedicated servant of Charlemagne and his son Louis the Pious; his main work is a biography of Charlemagne, the Vita Karoli Magni, "one of the most precious literary bequests of the early Middle Ages."-Public life:Einhard was from the eastern...

 and the anonymous chronicler called Astronomus; the place is usually identified with Chasseneuil
Chasseneuil-du-Poitou
-External links:* *...

, near Poitiers. He was the third son of Charlemagne by his wife Hildegard.

Louis was crowned King of Aquitaine as a child in 781 and sent there with regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

s and a court. Charlemagne constituted the sub-kingdom in order to secure the border of his kingdom after the destructive war against the Aquitanians and Basques under Waifer
Waifer of Aquitaine
Waifer was the duke of Aquitaine from 748 to 768, succeeding his newly-monastic father Hunold....

 (capitulated c. 768) and later Hunald II, which culminated in the disastrous Battle of Roncesvalles (778). Charlemagne wanted his son Louis to grow up in the area where he was to reign. However, in 785, wary of the customs his son may have been taking in Aquitaine, Charlemagne sent for him to Aquitaine and Louis presented himself at the Royal Council of Paderborn
Council of Paderborn
The Council of Paderborn of 785, debating the matter of the Christianization of the Saxons, resolved to make punishable by law all sorts of idolatry, as well as the belief in the existence of witchcraft. It ordered the death penalty for self-appointed witch-hunters who had caused the death of...

 dressed up in Basque costumes along with other youths in the same garment, which may have made a good impression in Toulouse, since the Basques of Vasconia
Duchy of Vasconia
The Duchy of Vasconia , or Wasconia, was originally a Frankish march formed by 602 to keep the Basques in check. It comprised the former Roman province of Novempopulania and, at least in some periods, also the lands south of the Pyrenees centred on Pamplona.In the ninth century, civil war within...

 were a mainstay of the Aquitanian army.

In 794, Charlemagne settled four former Gallo-Roman villas on Louis, in the thought that he would take in each in turn as winter residence: Doué-la-Fontaine
Doué-la-Fontaine
Doué-la-Fontaine is a commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France.It is located in the heart of Anjou, a few kilometres from the great châteaux of the Loire Valley.-Sights:...

 in today's Anjou
Anjou
Anjou is a former county , duchy and province centred on the city of Angers in the lower Loire Valley of western France. It corresponds largely to the present-day département of Maine-et-Loire...

, Ebreuil
Ébreuil
Ébreuil is a commune in the Allier department in central France.-Population:-References:*...

 in Allier, Angeac-Charente
Angeac-Charente
Angeac-Charente is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France.-Population:-References:*...

, and the disputed Cassinogilum. Charlemagne's intention was to see all his sons brought up as natives of their given territories, wearing the national costume of the region and ruling by the local customs. Thus were the children sent to their respective realms at so young an age. Each kingdom had its importance in keeping some frontier, Louis's was the Spanish March. In 797, Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, the greatest city of the Marca, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, failing, handed it to them. The Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis marched the entire army of his kingdom, including Gascons with their duke Sancho I of Gascony
Sancho I of Gascony
Sancho I López or Lupus Sancho was a Duke of Gascony between the years 801 and 812....

, Provençals
Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

 under Leibulf
Leibulf of Provence
Leibulf, Leybulf, or Letibulf was the Count of Provence in the early ninth century. Along with Gaucelm, who ruled Gothia, and Bera, who ruled Catalonia, he was one of the three most important magnates in the south during the early reign of Louis the Pious, during which the emperor reorganised that...

, and Goths under Bera
Bera, Count of Barcelona
Bera was the first count of Barcelona from 801 until his deposition in 820.He was also the count of Girona and Besalú from 812 or 817 and count of Razès and Conflent from 790 until his deposition.-Origins:...

, over the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated. The sons were not given independence from central authority, however, and Charlemagne ingrained in them the concepts of empire and unity by sending them on military expeditions far from their home bases. Louis campaigned in the Italian Mezzogiorno
Mezzogiorno
The Midday is a wide definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the southern half of the Italian state, encompassing the southern section of the continental Italian Peninsula and the two major islands of Sicily and Sardinia, in addition to a large number of minor islands...

 against the Beneventans
Duchy of Benevento
The Duchy and later Principality of Benevento was the southernmost Lombard duchy in medieval Italy, centred on Benevento, a city central in the Mezzogiorno. Owing to the Ducatus Romanus of the popes, which cut it off from the rest of Lombard Italy, Benevento was from the first practically...

 at least once.

Louis was one of Charlemagne's three legitimate sons to survive infancy, including his twin brother, Lothair. According to Frankish custom, Louis had expected to share his inheritance with his brothers, Charles the Younger, King of Neustria, and Pepin, King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Italy is a title adopted by many rulers of the Italian peninsula after the fall of the Roman Empire...

. In the Divisio Regnorum of 806, Charlemagne had slated Charles the Younger as his successor as emperor and chief king, ruling over the Frankish heartland of Neustria
Neustria
The territory of Neustria or Neustrasia, meaning "new [western] land", originated in 511, made up of the regions from Aquitaine to the English Channel, approximating most of the north of present-day France, with Paris and Soissons as its main cities...

 and Austrasia
Austrasia
Austrasia formed the northeastern portion of the Kingdom of the Merovingian Franks, comprising parts of the territory of present-day eastern France, western Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Metz served as its capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Rheims, Trier, and...

, while giving Pepin the Iron Crown of Lombardy
Iron Crown of Lombardy
The Iron Crown of Lombardy is both a reliquary and one of the most ancient royal insignia of Europe. The crown became one of the symbols of the Kingdom of Lombards and later of the medieval Kingdom of Italy...

, which Charlemagne possessed by conquest. To Louis's kingdom of Aquitaine, he added Septimania
Septimania
Septimania was the western region of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis that passed under the control of the Visigoths in 462, when Septimania was ceded to their king, Theodoric II. Under the Visigoths it was known as simply Gallia or Narbonensis. It corresponded roughly with the modern...

, Provence, and part of Burgundy.

But in the event, Charlemagne's other legitimate sons died – Pepin in 810 and Charles in 811 – and Louis alone remained to be crowned co-emperor with Charlemagne in 813. On his father's death in 814, he inherited the entire Frankish kingdom and all its possessions (with the sole exception of Italy, which remained within Louis's empire, but under the direct rule of Bernard
Bernard of Italy
Bernard was the King of the Lombards from 810 to 818. He plotted against his uncle, Emperor Louis the Pious, when the latter's Ordinatio Imperii made Bernard a vassal of his cousin Lothair...

, Pepin's son).

Emperor

He was in his villa of Doué-la-Fontaine
Doué-la-Fontaine
Doué-la-Fontaine is a commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France.It is located in the heart of Anjou, a few kilometres from the great châteaux of the Loire Valley.-Sights:...

, Anjou, when he received news of his father's passing. Hurrying to Aachen
Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

, he crowned himself and was proclaimed by the nobles with shouts of Vivat Imperator Ludovicus.

In his first coinage type, minted from the start of his reign, he imitated his father Charlemagne's portrait coinage, giving an image of imperial power and prestige in an echo of Roman glory. He quickly enacted a "moral purge", in which he sent all of his unmarried sisters to nunneries, forgoing their diplomatic use as hostage brides in favour of the security of avoiding the entanglements that powerful brothers-in-law might bring. He spared his illegitimate half-brothers and tonsured his father's cousins, Adalard and Wala
Wala of Corbie
Wala of Corbie was the son of Bernard, son of Charles Martel, and one of the principal advisers of his cousin Charlemagne, Charlemagne's son Louis the Pious, and his son Lothair I...

, shutting them up in Noirmoutier and Corbie
Corbie
Corbie is a commune of the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:The small town is situated up river from Amiens, in the département of Somme and is the main town of the canton of Corbie. It lies in the valley of the River Somme, at the confluence of the River Ancre. The town...

, respectively, despite the latter's initial loyalty.

His chief counsellors were Bernard, margrave of Septimania, and Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims
Archbishop of Reims
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Reims is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. Erected as a diocese around 250 by St. Sixtus, the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese around 750...

. The latter, born a serf, was raised by Louis to that office, but ungratefully betrayed him later. He retained some of his father's ministers, such as Elisachar, abbot of St. Maximin near Trier
Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

, and Hildebold, Archbishop of Cologne. Later he replaced Elisachar with Hildwin, abbot of many monasteries.

He also employed Benedict of Aniane
Benedict of Aniane
Saint Benedict of Aniane , 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...

 (the Second Benedict), a Septimanian Visigoth and monastic founder, to help him reform the Frankish church. One of Benedict's primary reforms was to ensure that all religious houses in Louis' realm adhered to the Rule of Saint Benedict, named for its creator, Benedict of Nursia
Benedict of Nursia
Saint Benedict of Nursia is a Christian saint, honored by the Roman Catholic Church as the patron saint of Europe and students.Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, about to the east of Rome, before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. There is no...

 (480–550), the First Benedict.

In 816, Pope Stephen IV
Pope Stephen IV
Pope Stephen IV was Pope from June 816 to January 817.He succeeded Leo III, whose policies favoring clergy over lay aristocracy he did not continue. Immediately after his consecration he ordered the Roman people to swear fidelity to the Frankish king Louis the Pious, to whom he went personally in...

, who had succeeded Leo III
Pope Leo III
Pope Saint Leo III was Pope from 795 to his death in 816. Protected by Charlemagne from his enemies in Rome, he subsequently strengthened Charlemagne's position by crowning him as Roman Emperor....

, visited Reims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

 and again crowned Louis. The Emperor thereby strengthened the papacy by recognising the importance of the pope in imperial coronations.

Ordinatio imperii

On Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels...

 817, Louis and his court were crossing a wooden gallery from the cathedral to the palace in Aachen when the gallery collapsed, killing many. Louis, having barely survived and feeling the imminent danger of death, began planning for his succession; three months later he issued an Ordinatio Imperii, an imperial decree that laid out plans for an orderly succession. In 815, he had already given his two eldest sons a share in the government, when he had sent his elder sons Lothair
Lothair I
Lothair I or Lothar I was the Emperor of the Romans , co-ruling with his father until 840, and the King of Bavaria , Italy and Middle Francia...

 and Pepin
Pepin I of Aquitaine
Pepin I was King of Aquitaine.-Biography:He was the second son of Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye....

 to govern Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 and Aquitaine respectively, though without the royal titles. Now, he proceeded to divide the empire among his three sons and his nephew Bernard of Italy
Bernard of Italy
Bernard was the King of the Lombards from 810 to 818. He plotted against his uncle, Emperor Louis the Pious, when the latter's Ordinatio Imperii made Bernard a vassal of his cousin Lothair...

:
  • Lothair was proclaimed and crowned co-emperor in Aix-la-Chapelle by his father. He was promised the succession to most of the Frankish dominions (excluding the exceptions below), and would be the overlord of his brothers and cousin.
  • Bernard, the son of Charlemagne's son Pippin of Italy
    Pippin of Italy
    Pepin was the son of Charlemagne and king of the Lombards under the authority of his father.Pepin was the second son of Charlemagne by his then-wife Hildegard. He was born Carloman, but when his half-brother Pepin the Hunchback betrayed their father, the royal name Pepin passed to him...

    , was confirmed as King of Italy, a title he had been allowed to inherit from his father by Charlemagne.
  • Pepin was proclaimed King of Aquitaine, his territory including Gascony, the march around Toulouse, and the counties of Carcassonne, Autun, Avallon and Nevers.
  • Louis
    Louis the German
    Louis the German , also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian, was a grandson of Charlemagne and the third son of the succeeding Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye.He received the appellation 'Germanicus' shortly after his death in recognition of the fact...

    , the youngest son, was proclaimed King of Bavaria and the neighbouring marches.


If one of the subordinate kings died, he was to be succeeded by his sons. If he died childless, Lothair would inherit his kingdom. In the event of Lothair dying without sons, one of Louis the Pious' younger sons would be chosen to replace him by "the people". Above all, the Empire would not be divided: the Emperor would rule supreme over the subordinate kings, whose obedience to him was mandatory.

With this settlement, Louis tried to combine his sense for the Empire's unity, supported by the clergy, while at the same time providing positions for all of his sons. Instead of treating his sons equally in status and land, he elevated his first-born son Lothair above his younger brothers and gave him the largest part of the Empire as his share.

Bernard's rebellion and Louis's penance

The ordinatio imperii of Aachen left Bernard of Italy in an uncertain and subordinate position as king of Italy, and he began plotting to declare independence upon hearing of it. Louis immediately directed his army towards Italy, and betook himself to Chalon-sur-Saône
Chalon-sur-Saône
Chalon-sur-Saône is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department. It is the largest city in the department; however, the department capital is the smaller city of Mâcon....

. Intimidated by the emperor's swift action, Bernard met his uncle at Chalon, under invitation, and surrendered. He was taken to Aix-la-Chapelle by Louis, who there had him tried and condemned to death for treason. Louis had the sentence commuted to blinding, which was duly carried out; Bernard did not survive the ordeal, however, dying after two days of agony. Others also suffered: Theodulf of Orléans
Theodulf of Orléans
Theodulf of Orléans , was the Bishop of Orléans during the reign of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious...

, in eclipse since the death of Charlemagne, was accused of having supported the rebellion, and was thrown into a monastic prison, where he died soon after – poisoned, it was rumoured. The fate of his nephew deeply marked Louis's conscience for the rest of his life.

In 822, as a deeply religious man, Louis performed penance for causing Bernard's death, at his palace of Attigny
Attigny, Ardennes
Attigny is a commune on the river Aisne in the arrondissement of Vouziers in the département of Ardennes in the Champagne-Ardenne region in northern France.-Councils of Attigny:In 765, St...

 near Vouziers in the Ardennes
Ardennes
The Ardennes is a region of extensive forests, rolling hills and ridges formed within the Givetian Ardennes mountain range, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France , and geologically into the Eifel...

, before Pope Paschal I
Pope Paschal I
Pope Saint Paschal I was pope from January 25, 817 to February 11, 824. A native of Rome and son of Bonosus, he was raised to the pontificate by the acclamation of the clergy, shortly after the death of Pope Stephen IV, and before the sanction of the emperor Louis the Pious had been obtained - a...

, and a council of ecclesiastics and nobles of the realm that had been convened for the reconciliation of Louis with his three younger half-brothers, Hugo
Hugh, son of Charlemagne
Hugh was the illegitimate son of Charlemagne and his concubine Regina, with whom he had one other son: Bishop Drogo of Metz .Hugh was the abbot of several abbacies: Saint-Quentin , Lobbes , and Saint-Bertin...

 whom he soon made abbot of St-Quentin, Drogo
Drogo of Metz
Drogo , also known as Dreux or Drogon, was an illegitimate son of Frankish emperor Charlemagne by the concubine Regina....

 whom he soon made Bishop of Metz, and Theodoric. This act of contrition, partly in emulation of Theodosius I
Theodosius I
Theodosius I , also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland...

, had the effect of greatly reducing his prestige as a Frankish ruler, for he also recited a list of minor offences about which no secular ruler of the time would have taken any notice. He also made the egregious error of releasing Wala and Adalard from their monastic confinements, placing the former in a position of power in the court of Lothair and the latter in a position in his own house.

Frontier wars

At the start of Louis's reign, the many tribes – Danes, Obotrites
Obotrites
The Obotrites , also commonly known as the Obodrites, Abotrites, or Abodrites, were a confederation of medieval West Slavic tribes within the territory of modern Mecklenburg and Holstein in northern Germany . For decades they were allies of Charlemagne in his wars against Germanic Saxons and Slavic...

, Slovenes, Bretons, Basques – which inhabited his frontierlands were still in awe of the Frankish emperor's power and dared not stir up any trouble. In 816, however, the Sorbs
Sorbs
Sorbs are a Western Slavic people of Central Europe living predominantly in Lusatia, a region on the territory of Germany and Poland. In Germany they live in the states of Brandenburg and Saxony. They speak the Sorbian languages - closely related to Polish and Czech - officially recognized and...

 rebelled and were quickly followed by Slavomir, chief of the Obotrites, who was captured and abandoned by his own people, being replaced by Ceadrag in 818. Soon, Ceadrag too had turned against the Franks and allied with the Danes, who were to become the greatest menace of the Franks in a short time.

A greater Slavic menace was gathering on the southeast. There, Ljudevit Posavski
Ljudevit Posavski
Ljudevit Posavski was a Croatian Duke of Pannonian Croatia from 810 to 823. The capital of his realm was in Sisak. As the ruler of the Pannonian Slavs, he led an unsuccessful resistance to Frankish domination. He held close ties with the Carantanian and Carniolan tribes and with the Serbian tribe...

, duke of Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

, was harassing the border at the Drava
Drava
Drava or Drave is a river in southern Central Europe, a tributary of the Danube. It sources in Toblach/Dobbiaco, Italy, and flows east through East Tirol and Carinthia in Austria, into Slovenia , and then southeast, passing through Croatia and forming most of the border between Croatia and...

 and Sava rivers. The margrave of Friuli, Cadolah, was sent out against him, but he died on campaign and, in 820, his margarvate was invaded by Slovenes. In 821, an alliance was made with Borna
Borna
Borna is a town in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, capital of the Leipzig district. It is situated approx. 30 km southeast of Leipzig. It has approx. 21,000 inhabitants.-History:Borna as a town is more than 750 years old....

, duke of the Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

, and Ljudevit was brought to heel. In 824 several Slav tribes in the north-western parts of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 acknowledged Louis's suzerainity and after he was reluctant to settle the matter peacefully with the Bulgarian ruler Omurtag
Omurtag of Bulgaria
Omurtag was a Great Khan of Bulgaria from 814 to 831. He is known as "the Builder".In the very beginning of his reign he signed a 30-year peace treaty with the neighboring Eastern Roman Empire which remained in force to the end of his life...

, in 827 the Bulgarians attacked the Franks in Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 and regained their lands.

On the far southern edge of his great realm, Louis had to control the Lombard princes of Benevento whom Charlemagne had never subjugated. He extracted promises from Princes Grimoald IV
Grimoald IV of Benevento
Grimoald IV , son of Ermenrih, called Falco, was the Lombard Prince of Benevento from 806 until his death. He was a thesaurarius or stolesayz/stoleseyz before becoming prince on the death of Grimoald III, over Grimoald's own son, Ilderic, another stoleseyz.In 812, he was forced to pay 25,000 solidi...

 and Sico, but to no effect.

On the southwestern frontier, problems commenced early when c. 812, Louis the Pious crossed the western Pyrenees 'to settle matters' in Pamplona. The expedition made its way back north, where it narrowly escaped an ambush attempt arranged by the Basques in the pass of Roncevaux thanks to the precautions he took, i.e. hostages. Séguin, duke of Gascony
Duchy of Vasconia
The Duchy of Vasconia , or Wasconia, was originally a Frankish march formed by 602 to keep the Basques in check. It comprised the former Roman province of Novempopulania and, at least in some periods, also the lands south of the Pyrenees centred on Pamplona.In the ninth century, civil war within...

, was then deposed by Louis in 816, possibly for failing to suppress or collaborating with the Basque revolt south of the western Pyrenees, so sparking off a Basque uprising that was duly put down by the Frankish emperor in Dax. Seguin was replaced by Lupus III, who was dispossessed in 818 by the emperor. In 820 an assembly at Quierzy-sur-Oise
Quierzy-sur-Oise
Quierzy is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France, straddling the Oise River between Noyon and Chauny.-History:...

 decided to send an expedition against the Cordoban caliphate (827). The counts in charge of the army, Hugh
Hugh of Tours
Hugh was the count of Tours and Sens during the reigns of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, until his disgrace in February 828. He was probably a son of Count Haicho of the House of the Etichonen....

, count of Tours
Tours
Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

, and Matfrid
Matfrid of Orléans
Matfrid was Count of Orléans in the reign of Emperor Louis the Pious. Historians presume that he was the first of Frankish noble clan known as the Matfridings, Matfridinger or Matfriede.-Matfrid:...

, count of Orléans
Orléans
-Prehistory and Roman:Cenabum was a Gallic stronghold, one of the principal towns of the Carnutes tribe where the Druids held their annual assembly. It was conquered and destroyed by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, then rebuilt under the Roman Empire...

, were slow in acting and the expedition came to naught.

First civil war

In 818, as Louis was returning from a campaign to Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, he was greeted by news of the death of his wife, Ermengarde
Ermengarde of Hesbaye
Ermengarde of Hesbaye was Queen of the Franks and Holy Roman Empress as the wife of Emperor Louis I. She was Frankish, the daughter of Ingeram, count of Hesbaye, and Hedwig of Bavaria...

. Ermengarde was the daughter of Ingerman, the duke of Hesbaye. Louis had been close to his wife, who had been involved in policymaking. It was rumoured that she had played a part in her nephew's death and Louis himself believed her own death was divine retribution for that event. It took many months for his courtiers and advisors to convince him to remarry, but eventually he did, in 820, to Judith
Judith, daughter of Welf
Queen Judith , also known as Judith of Bavaria, was the daughter of Count Welf and a Saxon noblewoman named Hedwig, Duchess of Bavaria...

, daughter of Welf
Welf (father of Judith)
Welf I of Altorf was the son of the 9th century Frankish count Rothard of Metz, to whom the sons of Charles Martel entrusted half of Alemannia. Welf was master of several counties in the southern Rhineland & Bavaria. His family became politically powerful when Louis the Pious chose his oldest...

, count of Altdorf. In 823 Judith gave birth to a son, who was named Charles
Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald , Holy Roman Emperor and King of West Francia , was the youngest son of the Emperor Louis the Pious by his second wife Judith.-Struggle against his brothers:He was born on 13 June 823 in Frankfurt, when his elder...

.

The birth of this son damaged the Partition of Aachen, as Louis's attempts to provide for his fourth son met with stiff resistance from his older sons, and the last two decades of his reign were marked by civil war.

At Worms
Worms, Germany
Worms is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on the Rhine River. At the end of 2004, it had 85,829 inhabitants.Established by the Celts, who called it Borbetomagus, Worms today remains embattled with the cities Trier and Cologne over the title of "Oldest City in Germany." Worms is the only...

 in 829, Louis gave Charles Alemannia with the title of king or duke (historians differ on this), thus enraging his son and co-emperor Lothair, whose promised share was thereby diminished. An insurrection was soon at hand. With the urging of the vengeful Wala and the cooperation of his brothers, Lothair accused Judith of having committed adultery with Bernard of Septimania, even suggesting Bernard to be the true father of Charles. Ebbo and Hildwin abandoned the emperor at that point, Bernard having risen to greater heights than either of them. Agobard
Agobard
Agobard of Lyon 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...

, Archbishop of Lyon, and Jesse, bishop of Amiens, too, opposed the redivision of the empire and lent their episcopal prestige to the rebels.

In 830, at Wala's insistence that Bernard of Septimania was plotting against him, Pepin of Aquitaine led an army of Gascon
Gascony
Gascony is an area of southwest France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; sometimes they are considered to overlap, and sometimes Gascony is considered a...

s, with the support of the Neustrian magnates, all the way to Paris. At Verberie
Verberie
Verberie is a village in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune within the département of Oise.It lies southwest of Compiègne on the main road to Senlis and Paris. The railway station is on the line from Compiegne to Crépy-en-Valois. It has an average income of €20,442...

, Louis the German joined him. At that time, the emperor returned from another campaign in Brittany to find his empire at war with itself. He marched as far as Compiègne
Compiègne
Compiègne is a city in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune within the département of Oise.The city is located along the Oise River...

, an ancient royal town, before being surrounded by Pepin's forces and captured. Judith was incarcerated at Poitiers
Poitiers
Poitiers is a city on the Clain river in west central France. It is a commune and the capital of the Vienne department and of the Poitou-Charentes region. The centre is picturesque and its streets are interesting for predominant remains of historical architecture, especially from the Romanesque...

 and Bernard fled to Barcelona.

Then Lothair finally set out with a large Lombard army, but Louis had promised his sons Louis the German and Pepin of Aquitaine greater shares of the inheritance, prompting them to shift loyalties in favour of their father. When Lothair tried to call a general council of the realm in Nijmegen, in the heart of Austrasia
Austrasia
Austrasia formed the northeastern portion of the Kingdom of the Merovingian Franks, comprising parts of the territory of present-day eastern France, western Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Metz served as its capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Rheims, Trier, and...

, the Austrasians and Rhinelanders came with a following of armed retainers, and the disloyal sons were forced to free their father and bow at his feet (831). Lothair was pardoned, but disgraced and banished to Italy. Pepin returned to Aquitaine and Judith – after being forced to humiliate herself with a solemn oath of innocence – to Louis's court. Only Wala was severely dealt with, making his way to a secluded monastery on the shores of Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva or Lake Léman is a lake in Switzerland and France. It is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe. 59.53 % of it comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland , and 40.47 % under France...

. Though Hilduin
Hilduin
Hilduin was Bishop of Paris, chaplain to Louis I, reforming Abbot of the Abbey of St. Denis and an author.-Background:...

, abbot of Saint Denis, was exiled to Paderborn
Paderborn
Paderborn is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, capital of the Paderborn district. The name of the city derives from the river Pader, which originates in more than 200 springs near Paderborn Cathedral, where St. Liborius is buried.-History:...

 and Elisachar and Matfrid were deprived of their honours north of the Alps; they did not lose their freedom.

Second civil war

The next revolt occurred a mere two years later (832). The disaffected Pepin was summoned to his father's court, where he was so poorly received he left against his father's orders. Immediately, fearing that Pepin would be stirred up to revolt by his nobles and desiring to reform his morals, Louis the Pious summoned all his forces to meet in Aquitaine in preparation of an uprising, but Louis the German garnered an army of Slav
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 allies and conquered Swabia
Swabia
Swabia is a cultural, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany.-Geography:Like many cultural regions of Europe, Swabia's borders are not clearly defined...

 before the emperor could react. Once again the elder Louis divided his vast realm. At Jonac, he declared Charles king of Aquitaine and deprived Pepin (he was less harsh with the younger Louis), restoring the whole rest of the empire to Lothair, not yet involved in the civil war. Lothair was, however, interested in usurping his father's authority. His ministers had been in contact with Pepin and may have convinced him and Louis the German to rebel, promising him Alemannia, the kingdom of Charles.

Soon Lothair, with the support of Pope Gregory IV
Pope Gregory IV
Pope Gregory IV was chosen to succeed Valentine in December 827, on which occasion he recognized the supremacy of the Frankish emperor Louis the Pious in the most unequivocal manner....

, whom he had confirmed in office without his father's support, joined the revolt in 833. While Louis was at Worms gathering a new force, Lothair marched north. Louis marched south. The armies met on the plains of the Rothfeld. There, Gregory met the emperor and may have tried to sow dissension amongst his ranks. Soon much of Louis's army had evaporated before his eyes, and he ordered his few remaining followers to go, because "it would be a pity if any man lost his life or limb on my account." The resigned emperor was taken to Saint Médard at Soissons
Soissons
Soissons is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France, located on the Aisne River, about northeast of Paris. It is one of the most ancient towns of France, and is probably the ancient capital of the Suessiones...

, his son Charles to Prüm
Prüm
Prüm is a town in the Westeifel , Germany. Formerly a district capital, today it is the administrative seat of the Verbandsgemeinde Prüm.-Geography:...

, and the queen to Tortona
Tortona
Tortona is a comune of Piemonte, in the Province of Alessandria, Italy. Tortona is sited on the right bank of the Scrivia between the plain of Marengo and the foothills of the Ligurian Apennines.-History:...

. The despicable show of disloyalty and disingenuousness earned the site the name Field of Lies, or Lügenfeld, or Campus Mendacii, ubi plurimorum fidelitas exstincta est

On 13 November 833, Ebbo of Rheims presided over a synod in the Church of Saint Mary in Soissons which deposed Louis and forced him to publicly confess many crimes, none of which he had, in fact, committed. In return, Lothair gave Ebbo the Abbey of Saint Vaast. Men like Rabanus Maurus
Rabanus Maurus
Rabanus Maurus Magnentius , also known as Hrabanus or Rhabanus, was a Frankish Benedictine monk, the archbishop of Mainz in Germany and a theologian. He was the author of the encyclopaedia De rerum naturis . He also wrote treatises on education and grammar and commentaries on the Bible...

, Louis' younger half-brothers Drogo and Hugh, and Emma, Judith's sister and Louis the German's new wife, worked on the younger Louis to make peace with his father, for the sake of unity of the empire. The humiliation to which Louis was then subjected at Notre Dame in Compiègne turned the loyal barons of Austrasia and Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 against Lothair, and the usurper fled to Burgundy, skirmishing with loyalists near Chalon-sur-Saône
Chalon-sur-Saône
Chalon-sur-Saône is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department. It is the largest city in the department; however, the department capital is the smaller city of Mâcon....

. Louis was restored the next year, on 1 March 834.

On Lothair's return to Italy, Wala, Jesse, and Matfrid, formerly count of Orléans, died of a pestilence and, on 2 February 835, the Synod of Thionville
Synod of Thionville
The Synod of Thionville was an important synod of ecclesiastic dignitaries of the Carolingian Empire in 835.Three years after the sons of the emperor rose in rebellion against their father, Emperor Louis the Pious, in 830, Ebbo, Archbishop of Rheims, had turned against him and on 13 November, 833,...

 deposed Ebbo, Agobard, Bernard, Bishop of Vienne, and Bartholomew, Archbishop of Narbonne. Lothair himself fell ill; events had turned completely in Louis favour once again.

In 836, however, the family made peace and Louis restored Pepin and Louis, deprived Lothair of all save Italy, and gave it to Charles in a new division, given at the diet of Crémieu
Crémieu
Crémieu is a commune in the Isère department in south-eastern France.It is located near Bourgoin-Jallieu, about 25 miles east of Lyon.-Early history:...

. At about that time, the Vikings terrorised and sacked Utrecht
Utrecht (city)
Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

 and Antwerp. In 837, they went up the Rhine as far as Nijmegen, and their king, Rorik, demanded the wergild of some of his followers killed on previous expeditions before Louis the Pious mustered a massive force and marched against them. They fled, but it would not be the last time they harried the northern coasts. In 838, they even claimed sovereignty over Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

, but a treaty was confirmed between them and the Franks in 839. Louis the Pious ordered the construction of a North Sea fleet and the sending of missi dominici
Missus dominicus
A missus dominicus , Latin for "envoy[s] of the lord [ruler]", also known in Dutch as Zendgraaf , meaning "sent Graf", was an official commissioned by the Frankish king or Holy Roman Emperor to supervise the administration, mainly of justice, in parts of his dominions too far for frequent personal...

 into Frisia to establish Frankish sovereignty there.

Third civil war

In 837, Louis crowned Charles king over all of Alemannia and Burgundy and gave him a portion of his brother Louis' land. Louis the German promptly rose in revolt, and the emperor redivided his realm again at Quierzy-sur-Oise
Quierzy-sur-Oise
Quierzy is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France, straddling the Oise River between Noyon and Chauny.-History:...

, giving all of the young king of Bavaria's lands, save Bavaria itself, to Charles. Emperor Louis did not stop there, however. His devotion to Charles knew no bounds. When Pepin died in 838, Louis declared Charles the new king of Aquitaine. The nobles, however, elected Pepin's son Pepin II
Pepin II of Aquitaine
Pepin II, called the Younger , 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...

. When Louis threatened invasion, the third great civil war of his reign broke out. In the spring of 839, Louis the German invaded Swabia, Pepin II and his Gascon subjects fought all the way to the Loire
Loire
Loire is an administrative department in the east-central part of France occupying the River Loire's upper reaches.-History:Loire was created in 1793 when after just 3½ years the young Rhône-et-Loire department was split into two. This was a response to counter-Revolutionary activities in Lyon...

, and the Danes returned to ravage the Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

n coast (sacking Dorstad for a second time).

Lothair, for the first time in a long time, allied with his father and pledged support at Worms in exchange for a redivision of the inheritance. By a final placitum issued there, Louis gave Bavaria to Louis the German and disinherited Pepin II, leaving the entire remainder of the empire to be divided roughly into an eastern part and a western. Lothair was given the choice of which partition he would inherit and he chose the eastern, including Italy, leaving the western for Charles. The emperor quickly subjugated Aquitaine and had Charles recognised by the nobles and clergy at Clermont-en-Auvergne
Clermont-Ferrand
Clermont-Ferrand is a city and commune of France, in the Auvergne region, with a population of 140,700 . Its metropolitan area had 409,558 inhabitants at the 1999 census. It is the prefecture of the Puy-de-Dôme department...

 in 840. Louis then, in a final flash of glory, rushed into Bavaria and forced the younger Louis into the Ostmark
March of Pannonia
The March of Pannonia was a frontier march of the Carolingian Empire erected in the mid-ninth century against the threat of Great Moravia and lasting only as long as the strength of that state....

. The empire now settled as he had declared it at Worms, he returned in July to Frankfurt am Main, where he disbanded the army. The final civil war of his reign was over.

Death

Louis fell ill soon after his final victorious campaigns and went to his summer hunting lodge on an island in the Rhine, by his palace at Ingelheim. On 20 June 840, he died, in the presence of many bishops and clerics and in the arms of his half-brother Drogo, though Charles and Judith were absent in Poitiers. Soon dispute plunged the surviving brothers into a civil war that was only settled in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun
The Treaty of Verdun was a treaty between the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious, the son and successor of Charlemagne, which divided the Carolingian Empire into three kingdoms...

, which split the Frankish realm into three parts, to become the kernels of France and Germany, with Burgundy and the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 between them. The dispute over the kingship of Aquitaine was not fully settled until 860.

Louis the Pious, along with his half-brother Drogo, were buried in the Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains basilica
Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains basilica
The basilica of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains is a historic pre-medieval church building in Metz, France. It began life as a Roman gymnasium in 380 AD, making it one of the oldest churches in Europe.-History:...

 in Metz
Metz
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

.

Marriage and issue

By his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye
Ermengarde of Hesbaye
Ermengarde of Hesbaye was Queen of the Franks and Holy Roman Empress as the wife of Emperor Louis I. She was Frankish, the daughter of Ingeram, count of Hesbaye, and Hedwig of Bavaria...

 (married ca 794-98), he had three sons and three daughters:
  • Lothair
    Lothair I
    Lothair I or Lothar I was the Emperor of the Romans , co-ruling with his father until 840, and the King of Bavaria , Italy and Middle Francia...

     (795–855), king of Middle Francia
    Middle Francia
    Middle Francia was an ephemeral Frankish kingdom created by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, which divided the Carolingian Empire among the sons of Louis the Pious...

  • Pepin
    Pepin I of Aquitaine
    Pepin I was King of Aquitaine.-Biography:He was the second son of Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye....

     (797–838), king of Aquitaine
    Aquitaine
    Aquitaine , archaic Guyenne/Guienne , is one of the 27 regions of France, in the south-western part of metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It comprises the 5 departments of Dordogne, :Lot et Garonne, :Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes...

  • Adelaide (b. c. 799)
  • Rotrude (b. 800), married Gerard
    Gerard, Count of Auvergne
    Gerard, Count of AuvergneGerard was Count of Auvergne from 839 until his death on 25 June 841.-Marriage and issue:He married first Rotrude, daughter of Louis the Pious...

  • Hildegard (or Matilda) (b. c. 802), married Gerard, Count of Auvergne
    Gerard, Count of Auvergne
    Gerard, Count of AuvergneGerard was Count of Auvergne from 839 until his death on 25 June 841.-Marriage and issue:He married first Rotrude, daughter of Louis the Pious...

  • Louis the German
    Louis the German
    Louis the German , also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian, was a grandson of Charlemagne and the third son of the succeeding Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye.He received the appellation 'Germanicus' shortly after his death in recognition of the fact...

     (c. 805–875), king of East Francia


By his second wife, Judith of Bavaria, he had a daughter and a son:
  • Gisela
    Gisela, daughter of Louis the Pious
    Gisela was the youngest daughter of Louis the Pious and his second wife, Judith of Bavaria. She married the powerful and influential Evrard, Duke of Friuli, later canonized as Saint Evrard, with whom she had several children including King Berengar I of Italy, Margrave of Friuli, and Ingeltrude...

    , married Eberhard I of Friuli
  • Charles the Bald
    Charles the Bald
    Charles the Bald , Holy Roman Emperor and King of West Francia , was the youngest son of the Emperor Louis the Pious by his second wife Judith.-Struggle against his brothers:He was born on 13 June 823 in Frankfurt, when his elder...

    , king of West Francia


By Theodelinde of Sens, he had two illegitimate children:
  • Arnulf of Sens
  • Alpais

Sources

  • Vita Hludovici Imperatoris
    Vita Hludovici
    Vita Hludovici or Vita Hludovici Imperatoris is an anonymous biography of Louis the Pious, Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks from AD 814 to 840.-Author:...

     , the main source for his reign, written c. 840 by an unknown author usually called "the Astronomer"
  • Vita Hludowici Imperatoris by Thegan of Trier
    Thegan of Trier
    Thegan of Trier was a Frankish Roman Catholic prelate and the author of Gesta Hludowici imperatoris which is a principal source for the life of the Holy Roman Emperor Louis the Pious, the son and successor of Charlemagne.-Biography:Very little is known of Thegan's life; he appears to have come...

     on-line Latin text

Further reading

  • Booker, Courtney M. Past Convictions: The Penance of Louis the Pious and the Decline of the Carolingians, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009, ISBN 9780812241686
  • De Jong, Mayke. The Penitential State: Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814–840. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Depreux, Philippe. Prosopographie de l'entourage de Louis le Pieux (781–840). Sigmaringen: Thorbecke, 1997. A useful prosopographical overview of Louis' household, court and other subordinates.
  • Eichler, Daniel. Fränkische Reichsversammlungen unter Ludwig dem Frommen. Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2007 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica Studien und Texte, 45).
  • Ganshof, François-Louis
    François-Louis Ganshof
    François-Louis Ganshof was a Belgian medievalist. After studies at the Athénée Royal, he came to the University of Ghent, where he came under the influence of Henri Pirenne. After studies with Ferdinand Lot, he practiced law for a period, before returning to the University of Ghent...

     The Carolingians and the Frankish Monarchy. 1971.
  • Godman, Peter, and Roger Collins (eds.). Charlemagne's Heir: New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious (814–840). Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 1990.
  • Oman, Charles
    Charles Oman
    Sir Charles William Chadwick Oman was a British military historian of the early 20th century. His reconstructions of medieval battles from the fragmentary and distorted accounts left by chroniclers were pioneering...

    . The Dark Ages 476–918. London, 1914.

External links


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