Kingdom of Lotharingia / Duchy of Lotharingia
The Kingdom of Lotharingia ( purple) and other Carolingian kingdoms following the Treaty of Prüm, 855
|Common languages||Old Franconian, Old Frisian, Old Dutch, Old High German, Old Saxon, Old French, Yiddish, Medieval Latin|
|King or Duke|
|Bruno the Great|
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Flag of Lorraine since the 13th century
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Lotharingia (Latin: regnum Lotharii, regnum Lothariense, Lotharingia, French: Lotharingie, German: Reich des Lothar, Lotharingien, Mittelreich) was a medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire and a later duchy of the Ottonian Empire, comprising the present-day Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), Saarland (Germany), and Lorraine (France). It was named after King Lothair II who received this territory after the kingdom of Middle Francia of his father Lothair I was divided among his sons in 855.
Lotharingia was born out of the tripartite division in 855 of the kingdom of Middle Francia, which itself was formed after the threefold division of the Carolingian Empire by the Treaty of Verdun of 843. Conflict between East and West Francia over Lotharingia was based on the fact that these were the old Frankish homelands of Austrasia, so possession of them was of great prestige.
Because Lotharingia lacked a single historic or ethnic identity, contemporaries were unsure what to call it and so it became regnum quondam Lotharii or regnum Lotharii ("kingdom [once] Lothair's") and its inhabitants Lotharii (from Lotharius), Lotharienses (from Lothariensis), or Lotharingi (which gives the modern Dutch, German, and Luxembourgish names for the province Lotharingen, Lothringen, and Lothringen respectively). The latter term, formed with the Germanic suffix -ing, indicating ancestral or familial relationships, gave rise to the Latin term Lotharingia (from the Latin suffix -ia, indicating a country) in the tenth century. Later French terms like "Lorraine" and "Lothier" are derived from this Latin term.
In 817, emperor Louis the Pious made plans for division of the Carolingian Empire among his three sons after his death. Unforeseen in 817 was a further heir besides Louis's three grown sons. A fourth son, Charles the Bald, was born to Louis's second wife Judith of Bavaria in 823. When Louis tried in 833 to re-divide the empire for the benefit of Charles, he met with opposition from his adult sons, Lothair, Pepin, and Louis. A decade of civil war and fluctuating alliances followed, punctuated by brief periods of peace.
Pepin died in 838, and Louis the Pious in 840. The remaining three brothers made peace and divided the Empire with the 843 Treaty of Verdun. Lothair, as the eldest, kept the imperial title and received a long strip of territories stretching from the North Sea to southern Italy. The logic of the division was that Lothair had the crown of Kingdom of Italy, which had been his subkingdom under Louis the Pious, and that as emperor he should rule in Aachen, the capital of the first Carolingian emperor, Charlemagne, and in Rome, the ancient capital of emperors. Middle Francia (Latin Francia media) thus included all the land between Aachen and Rome and it has sometimes been called by historians the "Lotharingian axis".
In 855, when Lothair I was dying in Prüm Abbey, he divided his kingdom between his three sons with the Treaty of Prüm. To the eldest son, Louis II, went Italy, with the imperial title. To the youngest, Charles, still a minor, went Provence. To the middle son, Lothair II, went the remaining territories to the north of Provence, a kingdom which lacked ethnic or linguistic unity.
Lothair II ruled from Aachen and did not venture outside his kingdom. When he died in 869, Lothair II left no legitimate children, but one illegitimate son - Hugh, Duke of Alsace. His uncles, king of East Francia Louis the German and West Francia Charles the Bald (who wanted to rule the whole of Lotharingia) agreed to divide Lotharingia between them with the 870 Treaty of Meerssen - the western half went to West Francia and the eastern half to East Francia. Thus, Lotharingia, as a united kingdom, ceased to exist for some years. In 876, Charles the Bald invaded eastern Lotharingia with the intent to capture it, but was defeated near Andernach by Louis the German.
In 879, Louis's son, king Louis the Younger, was invited by a faction of the West Frankish nobility to succeed king Louis the Stammerer, Charles's son, on the throne of West Francia. After a brief war, Louis the Stammerer's young sons, Carloman II and Louis III, ceded western Lotharingia to Louis. The border between the two kingdoms was established at Saint-Quentin in 880 by the Treaty of Ribemont.
In November 887, Arnulf of Carinthia called a council of East Frankish nobility to depose emperor Charles the Fat, who by 884 had succeeded to the thrones of all the kingdoms of the Empire. The Lotharingian aristocracy, in an attempt to assert its right to elect a sovereign, joined the other East Frankish nobles in deposing Charles the Fat in 887 and elected Arnulf as their king. The rule of Arnulf in East Francia was initially opposed by Guy III of Spoleto, who became king of Italy, and by Rudolph I of Burgundy, who was elected king in the southern half of former Middle Francia - Upper Burgundy. Rudolph had intended to make himself king over the whole of Lothair II's former kingdom, but had to be content with Burgundia.
Arnulf defeated the Vikings in 891 and dislodged them from their settlements at Louvain. In 895, he appointed his illegitimate son Zwentibold as the king of Lotharingia who ruled semi-independently until he was overthrown and killed by Reginar on August 13, 900. The kingdom then ceased to exist and became a duchy.
The young king of East Francia Louis the Child appointed Gebhard to be the duke of Lotharingia in 903. His title was recorded in contemporary Latin as dux regni quod a multis Hlotharii dicitur: "duke of the kingdom that many call Lothair's". He died in 910 fighting Hungarian invaders.
When non-Carolingian Conrad I of Germany was elected king of East Francia in 911, Lotharingian nobles under the new duke Reginar voted to attach their duchy to West Francia, still ruled by the Carolingian dynasty. In 915, Charles rewarded him by granting him the title of margrave. Reginar was succeeded by his son Gilbert who used the title dux Lotharingiae: "duke of Lotharingia".
When the West Franks deposed Charles the Simple in 922, he remained king in Lotharingia, from where he attempted to reconquer his kingdom in 923. He was captured and imprisoned by Heribert II of Vermandois until his death in 929. In 923, king Henry the Fowler of East Francia used this opportunity and invaded Lotharingia (including Alsace). In 925, Lotharingians under Gilbert elected Henry the Fowler to be their king. In 930, Gilbert's loyalty was rewarded and he received the prestigious hand of Henry's daughter Gerberga in marriage.
On Henry's death in 936, Gilbert rebelled and tried to swap Lotharingian allegiance to the West Franks, since their king Rudolph was weak and would interfere less in local affairs. In 939, Henry's son and successor, Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, invaded Lotharingia, and at the Battle of Andernach defeated Gilbert who drowned trying to flee across the Rhine.
The dukes of Lotharingia were thereafter royal appointees. Henry I, Duke of Bavaria was duke for two years, followed in 941 by duke Otto, who, in 944, was followed by Conrad. Lotharingia was turned into a junior stem duchy whose dukes had a vote in royal elections. While the other stem duchies had tribal or historic identities, Lotharingia's identity was solely political.
King Louis IV of West Francia tried to maintain a claim to Lotharingia by marrying Gilbert's widow and Otto's sister Gerberga. In his turn, Otto I accepted homage from West Francia's Hugh the Great and Herbert II, Count of Vermandois at Attigny in 942. The weak Louis IV had no choice but to agree to Otto's continued suzerainty over Lotharingia.In 944, West Francia invaded Lotharingia, but retreated after Otto I responded with mobilization of a large army under Herman I, Duke of Swabia.
In 953, duke Conrad rebelled against Otto I, was removed from power and replaced by Otto's brother Bruno the Great who finally pacified Lotharingia in 959 by dividing it in Lotharingia superior (Upper Lorraine or Southern Lorraine) under Frederick I and Lotharingia inferior (Lower Lotharingia, Lower Lorraine or Northern Lotharingia) under Godfrey I.
In 978, king Lothair of West Francia invaded the region and captured Aachen, but Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor, counterattacked and reached the walls of Paris. In 980, Lothair renounced his rights to Lotharingia.
Except for one brief period (1033–44, under Gothelo I), the division was never reversed and the margraves soon raised their separate fiefs into duchies. In the twelfth century the ducal authority in Lower Lotharingia (or Lower Lorraine) fragmented, causing the formation of the Duchy of Limburg and the Duchy of Brabant, whose rulers retained the title Duke of Lothier (derived from "Lotharingia"). With the disappearance of a "lower" Lorraine, the duchy of Upper Lorraine became the primary referent for "Lorraine" within the Holy Roman Empire.
After centuries of French invasions and occupations, Lorraine was finally ceded to France at the close of the War of the Polish Succession (1737). In 1766, the duchy was inherited by the French crown and became Lorraine. In 1871, after the Franco-Prussian War, the northern portions of Lorraine were merged with Alsace to become the province of Alsace-Lorraine in the German Empire. Today the greater part of the French side of the Franco-German border belongs to the Lorraine region of France.
The Duchy of Lorraine, originally Upper Lorraine, was a duchy now included in the larger present-day region of Lorraine in northeastern France. Its capital was Nancy.
Hugh Capet was the King of the Franks from 987 to 996. He is the founder and first king from the House of Capet. The son of the powerful duke Hugh the Great and his wife Hedwige of Saxony, he was elected as the successor of the last Carolingian king, Louis V. Hugh was descended from Charlemagne's sons Louis the Pious and Pepin of Italy through his mother and paternal grandmother, respectively, and was also a nephew of Otto the Great.
Charles III, called the Simple or the Straightforward, was the king of West Francia from 898 until 922 and the king of Lotharingia from 911 until 919–23. He was a member of the Carolingian dynasty.
The Carolingian dynasty 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 Pepin the Short, son of Martel, 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 III, also known as Charles the Fat, was the emperor of the Carolingian Empire 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.
Conrad I, called the Younger, was the king of East Francia from 911 to 918. He was the first king not of the Carolingian dynasty, the first to be elected by the nobility and the first to be anointed. He was chosen as the king by the rulers of the East Frankish stem duchies after the death of young king Louis the Child. Ethnically Frankish, prior to this election he had ruled the Duchy of Franconia from 906.
The Treaty of Mersen or Meerssen, concluded on 8 August 870, was a treaty of partition of the realm of Lothair II, known as 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. The treaty followed an earlier treaty of Prüm which had split Middle Francia between Lothair I's sons after his death in 855.
Lothair, sometimes called Lothair III or Lothair IV, was the penultimate Carolingian king of West Francia, reigning from 10 September 954 until his death in 986.
The Counts of Louvain were a branch of the Lotharingian House of Reginar which from the late 10th century ruled over the estates of Louvain (French) or Leuven (Dutch) in Lower Lorraine.
The County of Holland was a State of the Holy Roman Empire and from 1432 part of the Burgundian Netherlands, from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands and from 1581 onward the leading province of the Dutch Republic, of which it remained a part until the Batavian Revolution in 1795. The territory of the County of Holland corresponds roughly with the current provinces of North Holland and South Holland in the Netherlands.
Zwentibold, a member of the Carolingian dynasty, was the illegitimate son of Emperor Arnulf. In 895, his father, then king of East Francia, granted him the Kingdom of Lotharingia, which he ruled until his death. After his death he was declared a saint and martyr by the Catholic Church.
East Francia or the Kingdom of the East Franks was a successor state of Charlemagne's empire 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 Duchy of Lower Lotharingia, also called Northern Lotharingia, Lower Lorraine or Northern Lorraine, was a stem duchy established in 959, of the medieval Kingdom of Germany, which encompassed almost all of the modern Netherlands, central and eastern Belgium, Luxemburg, the northern part of the German Rhineland province and the eastern parts of France's Nord-Pas de Calais region.
The terms Kingdom of Germany or German Kingdom denote the mostly Germanic-speaking Eastern Frankish kingdom, which was formed by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, especially after the kingship passed from Frankish kings to the Saxon Ottonian dynasty in 919. The king was elected, initially by the rulers of the stem duchies, who generally chose one of their own. After 962, when Otto I was crowned emperor, East Francia formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire, which also included the Kingdom of Italy and, after 1032, the Kingdom of Burgundy.
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).
In medieval history, West Francia or the Kingdom of the West Franks refers to the western part of the Frankish Empire established by Charlemagne. It represents the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting from about 840 until 987. West Francia emerged out of the partition of the Carolingian Empire in 843 under the Treaty of Verdun following the death of Charlemagne's son, Louis the Pious.
Reginar Longneck or Reginar I, Latin: Rainerus or Ragenerus Longicollus, was a leading nobleman in the kingdom of Lotharingia, variously described in contemporary sources with the titles of count, margrave, missus dominicus and duke. He stands at the head of a Lotharingian dynasty known to modern scholarship as the Reginarids, because of their frequent use of the name "Reginar".
The Reginarids or House of Reginar were a family of magnates in Lower Lotharingia during the Carolingian and Ottonian period. Their modern name is derived from the personal name which many members of the family bore, and which is seen as a Leitname of the family. At least two Dukes of Lotharingia in the 10th century belonged to this family. After a period of exile and rebellion, the two brothers who returned to power founded the first dynasties of the County of Hainault and County of Louvain. The latter were ancestors of the House of Brabant, Landgraves and later Dukes of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg. The Reginarid Brabant dynasty ended in 1355, leaving its duchies to the House of Luxembourg which in turn left them to the House of Valois-Burgundy in 1383. Junior branches of the male line include the medieval male line of the English House of Percy, Earls of Northumberland, and the German House of Hesse which ruled Hesse from 1264 until 1918 and still exists today.
The Treaty of Prüm, concluded on 19 September 855, was the second of the partition treaties of the Carolingian Empire. As Emperor Lothair I was approaching death, he divided his realm of Middle Francia among his three sons.