|King of West Francia|
|Reign||2 March 986 – 21 May 987|
|Coronation||8 June 979|
|Died||21 May 987 (aged 20-21)|
Forest of Halatte, Oise
|Spouse||Adelaide-Blanche of Anjou|
|Father||Lothair of France|
|Mother||Emma of Italy|
Louis V (c. 966 – 21 May 987), also known as Louis the Do-Nothing (French : Louis le Fainéant), was a king of West Francia from 979, co-reigning first with his father, Lothair, until 986. During his reign, the nobility essentially ruled the country. Dying childless, Louis V was the last Carolingian monarch in West Francia.
Louis was born c. 966. He was the eldest son of King Lothair of France, the Carolingian ruler of France, and Queen Emma, daughter of King Lothair II of Italy and Empress Adelaide. Louis was associated to the government by his father in 978 and crowned as co-king on 8 June 979 at the Abbey of Saint-Corneille in Compiègne by Archbishop Adalbero of Reims.
In 982 at Vieille-Brioude, Haute-Loire, the fifteen year old Louis was married to the forty-year-old Adelaide-Blanche of Anjou, sister of Count Geoffrey I and twice a widow from her previous marriage with Count Stephen of Gévaudanand Count Raymond of Toulouse, Prince of Gothia. This union was purely political and arranged by the king – following the advices of Queen Emma and Count Geoffrey I – with the double purpose of restoring the Carolingian royal power in the south of the kingdom, and (according to Richerus) to obtain the support of the local southern lords in his fight against the Robertians: being now related by marriage to two of the most powerful southern comital families of the Kingdom, Lothair believed that he could confront the power of Hugh Capet.
Immediately after their wedding, Louis and Adelaide-Blanche were crowned king and queen of Aquitaine by Adelaide's brother Bishop Guy of le Puy.From the very beginning, however, the mismatched couple was unable to peacefully live together, not only due to the notorious age difference between them, but (according to Richerus) also because of Louis' debauched lifestyle:
In 984, after two years of childless union(and according to Rodulfus Glaber), Adelaide tricked her young husband into making a visit to Aquitaine, and once there, she left him and returned to her family, marrying shortly thereafter Count William I of Provence:
However, despite being recorded by relative contemporary and later sources (Richerus, Rodulfus Glaber, the Chronicon Andegavensi and the Chronicle of Saint-Maxence, among others), the existence of this marriage was recently challenged by historian Carlrichard Brülh.
Upon his father's death on 2 March 986, the already-crowned Louis V became the undisputed king of the Franks. At that time, however, there existed in the Frankish court two factions: one led by Archbishop Adalberon of Reims and Queen Emma, who, being strongly influenced by her mother Empress Adelaide, wanted the renewal of friendly relationships with the Ottonian dynasty; the other faction wanted to continue Lothair's policy, and taking advantage of the minority of Emperor Otto III, wanted a policy of expansion to the east and the recovery of Lotharingia. In addition, the young monarch inherited a battle between his father's line of elected kings (which had been interrupted twice by Robertians and once by the Bosonids), and the Ottonian house of Emperor Otto I. As defender of Rome, Otto I had the power to name the clergy in Carolingian territory, and the clergy he had named were not supporting the Carolingians.
Initially, Queen Emma dominated the situation, but in the summer of 986 there was a reversal: the Anti-Ottonian party prevailed, after which she was forced to leave court and seek refuge with Hugh Capet. This event also put Adalberon in a predicament: having been elevated by Otto I to the powerful Archbishopric of Reims, he was forced to leave his episcopal seat and took refuge in one of his fortresses on the Meuse river, who belonged to the Ottonian sphere. The escape of the archbishop was perceived by Louis V as treason; he turned violently against Adalberon and threatened him with a siege of Reims. The matter was finally settled in a trial court at Compiègne. Before this meeting, however, Louis V changed his mind and sought a reconciliation with Adalberon, and so in the spring of 987, he planned a peace meeting with Empress Theophanu, who acted on behalf of her son Otto III. Before all these tangled events were resolved, Louis V died on 21 May 987from a fall while hunting in the Forest of Halatte near the town of Senlis, Oise. He was buried in the Abbey of Saint-Corneille in Compiègne.
Louis V left no legitimate heirs, so his uncle Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, was nominated as the hereditary successor to the throne. But the clergy, including both Adalberon and Gerbert (who later became Pope Sylvester II), argued eloquently for the election of Hugh Capet, who was not only of royal blood but had proven himself through his actions and his military might. Hugh was elected to the Frankish throne and Adalberon crowned him, all within two months of Louis V's death. Thus the rule of the Carolingian dynasty ended and the Capetian era had begun.
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.
Louis IV, called d'Outremer or Transmarinus, reigned as king of West Francia from 936 to 954. A member of the Carolingian dynasty, he was the only son of king Charles the Simple and his second wife Eadgifu of Wessex, daughter of King Edward the Elder of Wessex. His reign is mostly known thanks to the Annals of Flodoard and the later Historiae of Richerus.
Neustria, was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks.
Hugh the Great was the Duke of the Franks and Count of Paris.
Hedwige of Saxony, a member of the Ottonian dynasty, was Duchess consort of the Franks by her marriage to the Robertian duke Hugh the Great. Upon her husband's death in 956, she acted as a regent during the minority of their son Hugh Capet, the founder of the Elder House of Capet.
William IV, called Fierebras or Fierebrace, was the Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou from 963 to his retirement in 990.
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.
Adbelahide or Adele or Adelaide of Aquitaine, was queen consort of France by marriage to Hugh Capet.
Charles (953–993) was the Duke of Lower Lorraine from 977 until his death.
Adalbero was the archbishop of Reims, chancellor of Kings Lothair and Louis V of France.
Arnulf was the illegitimate son of King Lothair of France who became archbishop of Reims.
In medieval history, West Francia or the Kingdom of the West Franks was the western part of Charlemagne's Empire, ruled by the Germanic Franks that forms the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting from about 840 until 987. West Francia was formed out of the division of the Carolingian Empire in 843 under the Treaty of Verdun after the death of Emperor Louis the Pious and the east–west division which "gradually hardened into the establishment of separate kingdoms ... of what we can begin to call Germany and France".
Godfrey I, called the Prisoner or the Captive, sometimes the Old, was the count of Bidgau and Methingau from 959 and the sovereign count of Verdun 963 to his death. In 969, he obtained the Margraviate of Antwerp and Ename. Between 974 and 998, he was also the sovereign count of Hainault and Mons.He was the son of Gozlin, Count of Bidgau and Methingau, and Oda of Metz. He was the brother of Adalberon, Archbishop of Reims, who crowned Hugh Capet the king of France.
Louis of Lower Lorraine, Frankish royalty and a member of the Carolingian dynasty, was a younger son of Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, through his second wife, Adelaide.
Adelaide-Blanche of Anjou was the countess consort by marriage of Gévaudan and Forez, of Toulouse, of Provence, and of Burgundy; and queen consort of Aquitaine. She was the regent of Gevaudan during the minority of her sons in the 960s, and the regent of Provence during the minority of her stepson from 994 until 999.
Emma of France was a French princess by birth and queen by marriage. She was also known as Emma Capet, Emma of Burgundy, Emma of Neustria. She was the daughter of Robert I of France and either Aelis of Maine or Béatrice of Vermandois. Her family is known as the Robertians.
Emma of Italy was the Queen of Western Francia as the wife of King Lothair, whom she married in 965. Their son, Louis V, was the last Carolingian King.
The Robertians, or Robertines, as they are known in modern scholarship, are the proposed Frankish family which was ancestral to the Capetian dynasty, and thus to the royal families of France and many other countries. The Capetians appear first in the records as powerful nobles serving under the Carolingian dynasty in West Francia, which later became France. As their power increased they came into conflict with the older royal family and attained the crown several times before the eventual start of the continuous rule of the descendants the Capetians, the descendants of Hugh Capet.
| King of West Francia |