|King of Italy|
|Reign||926 – 947|
Arles, Kingdom of Provence
|Died||10 April 947 (aged 66–67)|
Arles, Kingdom of Provence
|Father||Theobald, Count of Arles|
|Mother||Bertha of Lotharingia|
Hugh (c. 880–947), known as Hugh of Arles or Hugh of Provence, was the King of Italy from 924 until his death. He belonged to the Bosonid family. During his reign, he empowered his relatives at the expense of the aristocracy and tried to establish a relationship with the Byzantine Empire. He had success in defending the realm from external enemies, but his domestic habits and policies created many internal foes and he was removed from power before his death.
Hugh of Arles was born in 880/1,the eldest surviving son of Theobald, Count of Arles, and Bertha of Lotharingia. By inheritance, he was Count of Arles and Vienne, which made him one of the most important and influential nobles in the Kingdom of Provence. After the Emperor Louis III, who was also King of Provence, was captured, blinded, and exiled from Italy in 905, Hugh became his chief adviser and regent. By 911, most of the royal prerogatives were exercised by Hugh and Louis ceded him the titles dux of Provence and marchio of the Viennois. He moved the capital to his family's chief seat of Arles and in 912 married Willa, widow of Rudolph I of Burgundy. Hugh would then unsuccessfully attempt to take Burgundy from Rudolph's son, Rudolph II of Burgundy.
At an unknown date, a Provençal army led by Hugh, his brother Boso, and Hugh Taillefer invaded Lombardy with the support of Hugh's mother. On the basis of the account of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, this event has been dated to as late as 923–924, but the account of Liutprand of Cremona dates the event much earlier, between 917 and 920.
About 922, a sizable faction of Italian nobles revolted against the by-then Emperor Berengar and elected Rudolph II of Burgundy King of Italy.This started a civil war, which resulted in Berengar's death in 924.
Rather than accept Rudolph, Berengar's partisans now elected Hugh as king (925).Rudolph was ejected from Italy in 926 and Hugh crossed the Alps to be crowned. In his absence, Louis of Provence transferred his county of Vienne to Charles-Constantine. Louis died on 5 June 928 and Hugh returned to Provence to sort out a succession.
For whatever reasons,[ vague ] neither Charles Constantine nor Hugh was elected king, but Hugh annexed the kingdom to Italy de facto, issuing diplomata concerning Provence from his Italian chancery in a royal style. He also took control of the right to grant fiefs in Provence.
During his early years of reign, Hugh somewhat improved the central administration of the kingdom, achieving rather more (though not total) success against the Magyar raids that had been plaguing Italy for several decades.
In September 928, Hugh met with Rudolph of France and Herbert II of Vermandois in Burgundy. Hugh granted Herbert's son Odo Vienne in opposition to Charles Constantine. He was still in conflict with Rudolph of Burgundy and hoped to ally with the King of France against the Burgundian monarch. By 930, however, Charles was in complete control of Vienne and by 931, Rudolph of France was claiming suzerainty over the Viennois and Lyonnais. In light of these reverses in his transalpine policy, Hugh turned his attention towards securing his rule in Italy and receiving the imperial crown. He induced the Italian nobility to recognise his son Lothair as their next king and crowned him in April 931. That same year, he accused his half-brother Lambert of Tuscany of conspiring for the crown — perhaps with the support of a faction of nobles — and deposed him, bestowing the March of Tuscany on his brother Boso. Hugh, however, had other reasons for deposing Lambert, who presented an obstacle to his second marriage to Marozia. Lambert's supporters called in Rudolph of Burgundy, whom Hugh bribed off with the gift of the Viennois and Lyonnais, which Rudolph successfully occupied. In 933, Rudolph relinquished all his rights to Italy.
In 936, Hugh replaced Boso of Tuscany with his own son Humbert. He granted Octavion in the Viennois to Hugh Taillefer and patched up his relations with Charles Constantine in a final effort to save influence in Provence.
However, Hugh's attempt to strengthen his power further by a second marriage failed disastrously. His bride was Marozia, senatrix and effective ruler of Rome and widow first of Alberic I of Spoleto and then of Hugh's own half-brother Guy of Tuscany. This last fact, though, meant that the marriage was illegal under canon law, because of the relationship of affinity between them — a matter that Hugh tried to circumvent by disowning and eliminating the descendants of his mother's second marriage and giving Tuscany to a relative on his father's side of the family, Boso. This in turn, however, alarmed Alberic II, Marozia's teenage son or stepson from her first marriage, who, appealing to Roman distrust of the foreign troops Hugh had brought with him, launched a coup d'état during the wedding festivities. Hugh managed to flee the castle by sliding down a rope and rejoining his army, but Marozia was imprisoned until her death a few years later.
Hugh's power in Italy was damaged but not destroyed by these events. To strengthen his hand in the affairs of Milan, he tonsured his younger illegitimate son, Tebald, to groom him for the position of Archbishop of Milan; however, the ancient cleric, Arderic, whom he installed pro tem lived another twenty-two years. He continued to organise the fight against the Magyars and the Andalusian pirates based at Fraxinet in Provence. Active, if sometimes dubious, diplomacy paid off. He concluded a treaty with Rudolph in 933 by which Rudolf abandoned his claims to Italy in return for being handed Provence over the heads of Louis the Blind's heirs and the marriage of Rudolph's daughter Adelaide to Hugh's son Lothair. Friendly relations were maintained with the Byzantine Empire and, in 942, Hugh even came to terms with Alberic, who married one of Hugh's daughters.
Within the kingdom, Hugh intensified his existing habit of giving any available offices or lands to relations, including his numerous legitimate and illegitimate progeny, and a small circle of old and trusted friends. The effect this had on Italian nobles who saw this as a threat eventually resulted in rebellion. In 941, Hugh expelled Berengar of Ivrea from Italy and abolished the March of Ivrea. In 945, Berengar returned from exile in Germany and defeated Hugh in battle. By a diet Berengar held at Milan, Hugh was deposed, though he managed to come to terms by which he nominally kept the crown and the title rex (king) but returned to Provence, leaving Lothair as nominal king, but with all real power in Berengar's hands.
Hugh retired to Provence, but continued to carry the royal title until 947.
By four wives and at least four mistresses, he left eight children.
With his first wife, Willa of Provence, Hugh had no children.
His only legitimate children were both from his second wife, Alda or Hilda, of German origin, whom he married before 924.
By his third wife, Marozia, and his fourth, Bertha of Swabia, widow of Rudolph II, Hugh had no children.
Hugh had several illegitimate children with several mistresses.
By a noblewoman named Wandelmoda:
By low-born mistress named Pezola, and whom the people called Venerem:
By Rotruda of Pavia, called Iunonem by the people and widow of Giselbert I of Bergamo:
By a Roman woman named Stephanie, to whom the people gave the nickname Semelen:
By an unknown mistress:
A young page educated at Hugh's court at the traditional Lombard capital, Pavia, grew up to be Liutprand, Bishop of Cremona and chronicler of the 10th century; his loyalty to the memory of Hugh may have helped fuel some of his partisan bitterness in chronicling Hugh's heirs.
Marozia, born Maria and also known as Mariuccia or Mariozza, was a Roman noblewoman who was the alleged mistress of Pope Sergius III and was given the unprecedented titles senatrix ("senatoress") and patricia of Rome by Pope John X.
Pope John X was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States from March 914 to his death. A candidate of the counts of Tusculum, he attempted to unify Italy under the leadership of Berengar of Friuli, and was instrumental in the defeat of the Saracens at the Battle of Garigliano. He eventually fell out with Marozia, who had him deposed, imprisoned, and finally murdered. John’s pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.
Louis the Blind was the king of Provence from 11 January 887, King of Italy from 12 October 900, and briefly Holy Roman Emperor, as Louis III, between 901 and 905. He was the son of Boso, the usurper king of Provence, and Ermengard, a daughter of Emperor Louis II. Through his father, he was a Bosonid, but through his mother, a Carolingian. He was blinded after a failed invasion of Italy in 905.
Rudolph II, a member of the Elder House of Welf, was King of Burgundy from 912 until his death. He initially succeeded in Upper Burgundy and also ruled as King of Italy from 922 to 926. In 933 Rudolph acquired the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy (Provence) from King Hugh of Italy in exchange for the waiver of his claims to the Italian crown, thereby establishing the united Burgundian Kingdom of Arles.
Berengar I was the king of Italy from 887. He was Holy Roman Emperor between 915 and his death in 924. He is usually known as Berengar of Friuli, since he ruled the March of Friuli from 874 until at least 890, but he had lost control of the region by 896.
The Kingdom of Lower Burgundy, or Cisjurane Burgundy, was a historical kingdom in what is now southeastern France, so-called because it was lower down the Rhône Valley than Upper Burgundy. It included some of the territory of the Kingdom of Arelat.
Lothair II, often Lothair of Arles, was the King of Italy from 948 to his death. He was of the noble Frankish lineage of the Bosonids, descended from Boso the Elder. His father and predecessor was Hugh of Provence, great grandson of Lothair II, King of Lotharingia, and his mother was a German princess named Alda.
Kingdom of Burgundy was a name given to various states located in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The historical Burgundy correlates with the border area of France, Italy and Switzerland and includes the major modern cities of Geneva and Lyon.
The Kingdom of Arles was a dominion established in 933 by the merger of the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Burgundy under King Rudolf II. The kingdom came to be named after the Lower Burgundian residence at Arles. It is alternatively known as the "Kingdom of the Two Burgundies", or as the "Second Kingdom of Burgundy", in contrast to the Kingdom of the Burgundians of Late Antiquity.
The Kingdom of Upper Burgundy was a Frankish dominion established in 888 by the Welf king Rudolph I of Burgundy on the territory of former Middle Francia. It grew out of the Carolingian margraviate of Transjurane Burgundy southeast of ('beyond') the Jura Mountains together with the adjacent County of Burgundy (Franche-Comté) in the northwest. The adjective 'upper' refers to its location further up the Rhône river, as distinct from Lower Burgundy and also from the Duchy of Burgundy west of the Saône river. Upper Burgundy was reunited with the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy in 933, and eventually merged into the Imperial Kingdom of Arles (Arelat).
Charles-Constantine was the Count of Vienne and son of Louis the Blind, the latter of whom was King of Provence and Holy Roman Emperor.
Boso was a Burgundian nobleman who spent much of his career in Italy, where he became Margrave of Tuscany about 932. He ruled semi-autonomously and was a benefactor of the churches of his region. He lost his office in 936 and probably returned to Burgundy.
Hubert was the illegitimate son of King Hugh of Italy and his concubine Wandelmoda. He became Margrave of Tuscany in 936 and Duke of Spoleto and Margrave of Camerino in 943.
Ermengard of Italy, also Ermengarda, Ermengarde, or Irmingard was a queen and regent of Provence. She was the only surviving daughter of Louis II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Bertha was countess of Arles by marriage to Theobald of Arles, and margravine of Tuscany by marriage to Adalbert II of Tuscany. She served as regent of Lucca and Tuscany from 915 until 916 during the minority of her son Guy of Tuscany. She was described as beautiful, spirited, and courageous, and her influence over her spouse was, coupled with ambition, attributed to have involved her husbands in many wars.
The Bosonids were a dynasty of Carolingian era dukes, counts, bishops and knights descended from Boso the Elder. Eventually they married into the Carolingian dynasty and produced kings and an emperor of the Frankish Empire.
The Count of Vienne was the ruler of the Viennois, with his seat at Vienne, during the period of the Carolingian Empire and after until 1030, when the county of Vienne was granted to the Archdiocese of Vienne.
Anscar was a magnate in the Kingdom of Italy who served as Count of Pavia, Margrave of Ivrea (929–36) and Duke of Spoleto (936–40). He is sometimes numbered "Anscar II" to distinguish him from his grandfather, Anscar I of Ivrea. Described by Liutprand of Cremona as courageous and impulsive, he died in the battle of Spoleto.
Ermengarde of Tuscany was a medieval Italian noblewoman. She was the daughter of Bertha of Lotharingia and Adalbert II, Margrave of Tuscany. She was countess of Ivrea through marriage to Adalbert I of Ivrea. Alongside her half-brother Hugh of Italy Ermengarde was an important opponent of Rudolf II of Burgundy’s rule in Italy.
Willa of Burgundy was a member of the Elder House of Welf. By birth she was a daughter of Rudolph I of Burgundy, king of Upper Burgundy. Through marriage Boso Willa became countess of Avignon and Arles, and then margravine of Tuscany.
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