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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 (Transjurania, French : Bourgogne transjurane) 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 (Cisjurane Burgundy and Provence) and also from the Duchy of Burgundy west of the Saône river. Upper Burgundy was reunited with the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy in 933 to form the Kingdom of Burgundy, later (from the 12th century) known as Kingdom of Arles or Arelat.
Transjurania originally was a duchy of the Carolingian Empire, covering the Central Plateau from the Jura Mountains up to the Great St Bernard Pass in the Western Alps. It thereby roughly corresponded to western Switzerland, i.e. the parts west of the Brünig-Napf-Reuss line, including the Romandy with the cities of Geneva, Lausanne and Sion, as well as the cantons of Aargau, Berne and Valais and adjacent parts of the French départements Haute-Savoie and Ain, as well as the Aosta Valley which today belongs to Italy. Together with the Burgundian comital estates around Besançon and Dole on the Doubs river northwest of the Jura range, the Transjurane territories became part of the short-lived Middle Frankish realm of Emperor Lothair I upon the 843 partition by the Treaty of Verdun.
Upon the second partition by the Treaty of Prüm and Emperor Lothair's death in 855, his second son Lothair II subsumed his portion of Upper Burgundy into his Middle Frankish kingdom of Lotharingia, while his younger brother Charles received Cisjurane Burgundy and the Kingdom of Provence. When Charles died in 863, Lothair II also gained some northern districts of the deceased's kingdom. The Provence territory in the south passed to the eldest brother King Louis II of Italy.
The Transjurane duchy was then ruled by Hucbert, a scion of the Bosonid dynasty, the younger son of Count Boso the Elder of Arles, and through his sister Teutberga brother-in-law to King Lothair II. Hucbert, however, fell out of favour after Lothair II divorced Teutberga, was defeated at the Battle of Orbe in 864 and replaced by Count Conrad II of Auxerre from the Elder House of Welf (Rudolfings), who from 866 ruled Transjurania as a margrave. When Lothair II died without heirs in 869, his Lotharingian realm was divided into a West and East Frankish part between his uncles Charles the Bald and Louis the German by the 870 Treaty of Meerssen.
Emperor Charles the Fat, son of Louis the German, by 884 had once again reunited all Carolingian territories, except for the Lower Burgundian Kingdom of Provence established by Boso of Vienne in 879. When Charles was deposed and died in 888, the Carolingian Empire collapsed. The nobles and leading clergy of Upper Burgundy assembled at the Abbey of St. Maurice, Agaunum and elected the Transjurane margrave Rudolph I, son of Conrad II, King of Burgundy.
At first, King Rudolph I tried to re-unite the Lotharingian realm of late Lothair II, but strong opposition by the East Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia forced him to focus on his territory of Transjurania and the western Franche-Comté estates. Arnulf acknowledged Rudolph's rule in Upper Burgundy, but finally declared his illegitimate son Zwentibold King of Lotharingia in 895.
Rudolph was married with Guilla of Provence (Willa), probably a daughter of the Lower Burgundian king Boso. After his death in 912, he was succeeded by his son Rudolph II. His widow secondly married Count Hugh of Arles, who succeeded as King of Lower Burgundy in 924.
Rudolph II attempted to enlarge his realm by attacking the adjacent territories of the German stem duchy of Swabia in the northwest. He advanced towards the Upper Rhine river and in 916 occupied the city of Basel. However, he again lost the Swabian estates of Thurgau and Zürichgau when he was defeated by the forces of Duke Burchard II in the 919 Battle of Winterthur. To make peace, he married Burchard's daughter Bertha.
From this point, Rudolph II began to campaign in the Kingdom of Italy, allied with the rebellious margrave Adalbert I of Ivrea and defeated Emperor Berengar I at Fiorenzuola in 923. The next year, he was crowned Italian king. His rule was, however, contested by insurgent nobles, and they summoned his stepfather, the Lower Burgundian king Hugh of Arles, who marched against Italy. In the tense situation, Rudolph's father-in-law Duke Burchard II of Swabia hurried to help, but was killed at Novara by the henchmen of Archbishop Lambert of Milan. Hugh had Rudolph expelled from Italy and gained the Iron Crown of Lombardy at Pavia in 926.
In 933 Rudolph II finally came to terms with Hugh: he waived all claims to Italy and in return gained Hugh's Lower Burgundian kingdom, thus re-uniting the two territories. Rudolph's descendants from the Elder House of Welf, Conrad the Peaceful (937–993) and Rudolph III (993–1032), succeeded him in this united Kingdom of Burgundy.
Upon the extinction of the Welf line in 1032, Burgundy was incorporated by Emperor Conrad II as the third constituent kingdom of the Holy Roman Empire, after Germany and Italy, having defied claims raised by Count Odo II of Blois. Thereupon the King of the Romans and Holy Roman Emperor assumed the title of a Burgundian king. The title of a Burgundian 'rectorate', referring to the former Transjuranian margraviate, was re-created for the Swabian ducal House of Zähringen by King Lothair II of Germany in 1127.
Line extinct, Burgundian kingdom united with the Holy Roman Empire
Lotharingia was a short-lived medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire. As a more durable later duchy of the Ottonian Empire, it comprised present-day Lorraine (France), Luxembourg, Saarland (Germany), the eastern half of Belgium and the southern half of Netherlands, along with parts of today's North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany) and Nord (France). It was named after King Lothair II, who received this territory after his father Lothair I's kingdom of Middle Francia was divided among his three sons in 855.
Gisela of Burgundy, a member of the royal Elder House of Welf, was Duchess of Bavaria from about 972 to 976 and again from 985 to 995, by her marriage with Duke Henry the Wrangler. She was the mother of Emperor Henry II.
The Free County of Burgundy or Franche-Comté, was a medieval county of the Holy Roman Empire, predecessor to the modern region of Franche-Comté. The name franc(he) comté derives from the title of its count, franc comte, in German Freigraf 'free count', denoting imperial immediacy. It should not be confused with the more westerly Duchy of Burgundy, a fiefdom of France since 843.
Hugh, known as Hugh of Arles or Hugh of Provence, was the king of Italy from 926 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.
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 Kingdom of Burgundy.
Rudolph III was King of Burgundy from 993 until his death. He was the last ruler of an independent Kingdom of Burgundy, and the last male member of the Burgundian group of the Elder House of Welf.
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.
The Elder House of Welf was a Frankish noble dynasty of European rulers documented since the 9th century. Closely related to the Carolingian dynasty, it consisted of a Burgundian and a Swabian group. It has not been definitively clarified, however, whether the two groups formed one dynasty or whether they shared the same name by coincidence only. While the Elder House became extinct in the male line with the death of Duke Welf of Carinthia in 1055, his sister Kunigunde married into the Italian House of Este and became the ancestor of the (Younger) House of Welf.
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 Burgundy, known from the 12th century as Kingdom of Arles, also referred to in various context as Arelat, Kingdom of Arles and Vienne, or Kingdom of Burgundy-Provence, was a realm established in 933 by the merger of the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Burgundy under King Rudolf II. It was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire in 1033 and from then on was one of the empire's three constituent realms, together with the Kingdom of Germany and the Kingdom of Italy. By the mid-13th century at the latest, however, it had lost its concrete political relevance.
Middle Francia or the first state of Lotharingia was a short-lived Frankish kingdom which was created in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun after an intermittent civil war between the grandsons of Charlemagne resulted in division of the united empire. Middle Francia was allocated to emperor Lothair I, the eldest son and successor of emperor Louis the Pious. His realm contained the imperial cities of Aachen and Pavia, but lacked any geographic or ethnic cohesion, which prevented it from surviving and forming a nucleus of a larger state, as was the case with West Francia and East Francia.
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.
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 March of Friuli was a Carolingian frontier march, established in 776 as the continuation of the Lombard Duchy of Friuli, established against the Slavs and Avars. It was ceded to the Duchy of Bavaria as the March of Verona in 952. Its territory comprised parts of modern-day Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.
Matilda of France, a member of the Carolingian dynasty, was Queen of Burgundy from about 964 until her death, by her marriage with King Conrad I.
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.