Eastern Francia

Eastern Francia

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East Francia also known as the Kingdom of the East Franks or Francia Orientalis, was the realm allotted to 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...

 by the 843 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...

. It is the precursor of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.
After the death of Emperor Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious
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 with his father, Charlemagne, from 813...

 his sons divided the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire is a historiographical term which has been used to refer to the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty in the Early Middle Ages. This dynasty is seen as the founders of France and Germany, and its beginning date is based on the crowning of Charlemagne, or Charles the...

 of the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 by the Verdun treaty into East, West, and Middle
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...

 Kingdoms. As all parts remained under the rule of the Carolingian dynasty with Louis' eldest son Lothair I
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) retaining the Imperial title, this agreement did not abolish the entity of Francia itself.

Louis the German (843-876)


In the course of the 817 Ordinatio Imperii, Louis the German had already received the territory of the former Bavarian
History of Bavaria
The history of Bavaria stretches from its earliest settlement and its formation as a stem duchy in the 6th century through its inclusion in the Holy Roman Empires to its status as an independent kingdom and, finally, as a large and significant Bundesland of the modern Federal Republic of...

 stem duchy from his father and thereafter had assumed the title of a "King of Bavaria". After his accession to the throne, he unsuccessfully attacked the neighbouring Great Moravia
Great Moravia
Great Moravia was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe and lasted for nearly seventy years in the 9th century whose creators were the ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks. It was a vassal state of the Germanic Frankish kingdom and paid an annual tribute to it. There is some controversy as...

 and struggled with plundering Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

s and Magyars, though he managed to keep his artificial realm between the Rhine and Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 rivers together. When the son of his brother Lothair, Lothair II of Lotharingia
Lothair II of Lotharingia
Lothair II was the second son of Emperor Lothair I and Ermengarde of Tours. He was married to Teutberga, daughter of Boso the Elder. He is the namesake of the Lothair Crystal, which he probably commissioned, and of the Cross of Lothair, which was made over a century after his death but...

 died in 869, he also received large parts of his kingdom (Lotharii
Lotharingia
Lotharingia was a region in northwest Europe, comprising the Low Countries, the western Rhineland, the lands today on the border between France and Germany, and what is now western Switzerland. It was born of the tripartite division in 855, of the kingdom of Middle Francia, itself formed of the...

)
west of the Rhine by the 870 Treaty of Meerssen
Treaty of Meerssen
The Treaty of Meerssen or Mersen was a partition treaty of the Carolingian Empire concluded on 8 August 870 by the two surviving sons of Emperor Louis the Pious, King Charles the Bald of West Francia and Louis the German of East Francia, at Meerssen north of Maastricht, in the present-day...

.

Lothair's eldest son Louis II of Italy, though nominally Emperor upon the death of his father, had failed to assure the Lotharingian heritage. When he died in 875, Louis and his younger half-brother King 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...

 of West Francia quarrelled about the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (medieval)
The Kingdom of Italy was a political entity under control of Carolingian dynasty of Francia first, after the defeat of the Lombards in 774. It was finally incorporated as a part of the Holy Roman Empire in 962....

 including Burgundy and the Imperial crown. Both were inherited by Charles, backed by Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII was pope from December 13, 872 to December 16, 882. He is often considered one of the ablest pontiffs of the ninth century and the last bright spot on the papacy until Leo IX two centuries later....

, ending the existence 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...

.

Louis' sons (876-887)


Within East Francia four stem duchies
Stem duchy
Stem duchies were essentially the domains of the old German tribes of the area, associated with the Frankish Kingdom, especially the East, in the Early Middle Ages. These tribes were originally the Franks, the Saxons, the Alamanni, the Burgundians, the Thuringii, and the Rugii...

 had (re-)developed: Swabia
Duke of Swabia
The following is a list of Dukes of Swabia in southwest Germany.Swabia was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German kingdom, and its dukes were thus among the most powerful magnates of Germany. The most notable family to hold Swabia were the Hohenstaufen, who held it, with a brief...

 (Alamannia
Alamannia
Alamannia or Alemannia was the territory inhabited by the Germanic Alamanni after they broke through the Roman limes in 213.The Alamanni expanded from the Main basin during the 3rd century, raiding the Roman provinces and settling on the left bank of the Rhine from the 4th century.Ruled by...

), Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

 (the eastern part of former 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...

), Saxony
Duchy of Saxony
The medieval Duchy of Saxony was a late Early Middle Ages "Carolingian stem duchy" covering the greater part of Northern Germany. It covered the area of the modern German states of Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Saxony-Anhalt and most of Schleswig-Holstein...

 and 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...

. In 865 Louis was forced by his sons to divide his realm along the boundaries of these duchies:
  • Carloman
    Carloman of Bavaria
    Carloman was the eldest son of Louis the German, king of East Francia , and Hemma, daughter of the count Welf...

     (830-880) inherited Louis' original Kingdom of Bavaria and the adjacent eastern territories.
  • Louis the Younger
    Louis the Younger
    Louis the Younger , sometimes Louis III, was the second eldest of the three sons of Louis the German and Emma. He succeeded his father as the King of Saxony on 28 August 876 and his elder brother Carloman as King of Bavaria from 880...

     (835-882) received Saxony and Franconia. His territories were again significantly enlarged by the Meerssen treaty, however after the death of his father, his uncle Charles the Bald campaigned eastern Lotharingia. He was rejected by Louis the Younger at a 876 battle near Andernach
    Andernach
    Andernach is a town in the district of Mayen-Koblenz, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, of currently about 30,000 inhabitants. It is situated towards the end of the Neuwied basin on the left bank of the Rhine between the former tiny fishing village of Fornich in the north and the mouth of the...

    .
  • Charles the Fat
    Charles the Fat
    Charles the Fat was the King of Alemannia from 876, King of Italy from 879, western Emperor from 881, King of East Francia from 882, and King of West Francia from 884. In 887, he was deposed in East Francia, Lotharingia, and possibly Italy, where the records are not clear...

     (839-888) became King of Alamannia.

After the death of their father, Louis's sons ruled jointly. When Charles the Bald of West Francia died in 877, they again claimed the heritage of Lothair I
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...

 as well as the Imperial title from Charles' son Louis the Stammerer
Louis the Stammerer
Louis the Stammerer was the King of Aquitaine and later King of West Francia. He was the eldest son of Charles the Bald and Ermentrude of Orléans. He succeeded his younger brother in Aquitaine in 866 and his father in West Francia in 877, though he was never crowned Emperor...

. Practising upon the weakness of West Francia, Carloman became King of Italy while Louis the Younger invaded western Lotharingia, which in 880 Charles' grandsons Louis III
Louis III of France
Louis III was the King of France, still then called West Francia, from 879 until his death. The second son of Louis the Stammerer and his first wife, Ansgarde, he succeeded his father to reign jointly with his younger brother Carloman II, who became sole ruler on Louis's death...

 and Carloman II had to cede to him by the Treaty of Ribemont
Treaty of Ribemont
There are two Treaties of Ribemont, the first is from 880 and the second is from 1179.-The treaty of 880:The Treaty of Ribemont in 880 was the last treaty on the partitions of the Frankish Empire...

. The border with France was overall determined until the conflict over the Burgundian
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 succession broke out in 1477.

Carloman was hit by a stroke in 879 and incapacitated he gave Bavaria (including the Margraviate of Carantania) to Louis the Younger, while Charles the Fat received the Italian crown. In this respect the successor of the Emperors Lothair I
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 Lothair II of Italy
Lothair II of Italy
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...

, he himself in 881 was crowned Emperor – as Charles III – by Pope John VIII, the former opponent of his father. Upon the death of Louis the Younger, Charles also became sole ruler of the entire East Frankish realm and in 884 was even appointed King of West Francia by the local nobility. His attempts to reunite all Francia however were increasingly affected by his mental decay. At the 887 Reichstag
Reichstag (Holy Roman Empire)
The Imperial Diet was the Diet, or general assembly, of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire.During the period of the Empire, which lasted formally until 1806, the Diet was not a parliament in today's sense; instead, it was an assembly of the various estates of the realm...

at Trebur
Trebur
Trebur is a community in Groß-Gerau district in Hesse, Germany. It is 13 km southeast of Mainz, and 8 km south of Rüsselsheim.-Location:Trebur is located in the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Region...

 he was finally forced to resign.

Arnulf of Carinthia (887-899)


The prime mover behind Charles' deposition was Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia was the Carolingian King of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death.-Birth and Illegitimacy:...

 (850-899), an illegitimate son of Carloman, who had grown up in the Carantanian march of Bavaria. After the Bavarian kingdom had passed to his uncle Louis the Younger he assumed the title of a Duke of Carinthia
March of Carinthia
The March of Carinthia was a frontier district of the Carolingian Empire created in 889. Before it was a march, it had been a principality or duchy ruled by native-born Slavic princes at first independently and then under Bavarian and subsequently Frankish suzerainty...

 in 880. In 887 he inherited Bavaria and was elected King of East Francia, after which he approved the implementation of Count Odo of Paris as West Frankish king.

Meanwhile Berengar
Berengar I of Italy
Berengar of Friuli was the Margrave of Friuli from 874 until no earlier than 890 and no later than 896, King of Italy from 887 until his death, and Holy Roman Emperor from 915 until his death.Berengar rose to become one of the most influential laymen in the empire of Charles the Fat before he...

, the Margrave of Friuli
March of Friuli
The March of Friuli was a Carolingian frontier march against the Slavs and Avars in the ninth and tenth centuries. It was a successor to the Lombard Duchy of Friuli....

 had taken the opportunity to take the title of an Italian king, but had to submit himself to Arnulf, after the Carolingian had threatened to invade the country. Arnulf nevertheless was stuck in the ongoing conflict with the Vikings and in 891 Berengar's rival Duke Guy III of Spoleto
Guy III of Spoleto
Guy of Spoleto , sometimes known by the Italian version of his name, Guido, or by the German version, Wido, was the Margrave of Camerino from 880 and then Duke of Spoleto and Camerino from 883. He was crowned King of Italy in 889 and Holy Roman Emperor in 891...

 had declared himself King of Italy and even forced Pope Stephen V
Pope Stephen V
Pope Stephen V was pope from 885 to 891. He succeeded Pope Adrian III, and was in turn succeeded by Pope Formosus. In his dealings with Constantinople in the matter of Photius, as also in his relations with the young Slavonic church, he pursued the policy of Pope Nicholas I.His father, Hadrian, who...

 to crown him as the new Emperor. King Arnulf however had no intention to relinquish his claims neither to the rule over Francia as a whole nor to the Imperial crown. After defeating the Norsemen at the 891 Battle of Leuven
Leuven
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

, he campaigned Italy and in 896 was crowned Emperor by Pope Formosus
Pope Formosus
Pope Formosus was Pope of the Catholic Church from 891 to 896. His brief reign as Pope was troubled, and his remains were exhumed and put on trial in the notorious Cadaver Synod.-Biography:...

.

Decline


Arnulf's son Louis the Child
Louis the Child
Louis the Child , sometimes called Louis IV or Louis III, was the last Carolingian ruler of East Francia....

 (893-911) followed his father as King of East Francia at the age of seven. While Louis the Blind
Louis the Blind
Louis the Blind was the king of Provence from January 11, 887, King of Italy from October 12, 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 the Emperor Louis II. Through his father, he was...

, the King of Provence became King of Italy and even Emperor in 901, Louis the Child had to deal with the fierce feud between the Babenberg dynasty and Duke Conrad the Elder
Conrad, Duke of Thuringia
Conrad , called the Old or the Elder, was the Duke of Thuringia from 892 until his death. He was the namesake of the Conradiner family and son of Udo of Neustria. His mother was a daughter of Conrad I of Logenahe . He was the count of the Oberlahngau , Hessengau , Gotzfeldgau , Wetterau , and...

 over the stem duchy of Franconia. The king, influenced by his councillors, had the Babenberg duke executed and appointed Conrad's son Conrad the Younger
Conrad I of Germany
Conrad I , called the Younger, was Duke of Franconia from 906 and King of Germany from 911 to 918, the only king of the Conradine dynasty...

 Duke of Franconia in 906. Meanwhile East Francia was devastated several times by the troops of Grand Prince Árpád of Hungary
Árpád
Árpád was the second Grand Prince of the Hungarians . Under his rule the Hungarian people settled in the Carpathian basin. The dynasty descending from him ruled the Hungarian tribes and later the Kingdom of Hungary until 1301...

.

Upon the early death of Louis, the male line of the East Frankish Carolingians became extinct. The election of Conrad the Younger of Franconia as King by the Dukes of Saxony, Bavaria and Swabia at the diet of Forchheim
Forchheim
Forchheim may refer to the following places in Germany:*Forchheim, capital of the district of Forchheim, Bavaria*Forchheim am Kaiserstuhl, a municipality in Baden-Württemberg*Forchheim , part of Rheinstetten, Baden-Württemberg...

 on November 10, 911 was a decisive step away from Francia and toward a German kingdom, as instead of a member of the Carolingian dynasty, the East Frankish dukes chose one of their kind. King Conrad however did not prevail as primus inter pares and even lost Lotharingia to the Western Frankish kingdom. It was his successor Henry the Fowler, who was able to enforce his royal overlordship against the dukes, whose duchies decomposed over the next centuries, recently Swabia after the end of the Hohenstaufen
Hohenstaufen
The House of Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings in the High Middle Ages, lasting from 1138 to 1254. Three of these kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1194 the Hohenstaufens also became Kings of Sicily...

 dynasty in 1268.

Succession


The rise of the Holy Roman Empire is taken to coincide with the rise of the Ottonian dynasty of Henry. In consequence the Kingdom of East Francia would have lasted from 843 to the coronation of Duke Henry I of Saxony in 919; though more commonly, the Holy Roman Empire is thought to begin with the Coronation of Emperor Otto I
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I the Great , son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda of Ringelheim, was Duke of Saxony, King of Germany, King of Italy, and "the first of the Germans to be called the emperor of Italy" according to Arnulf of Milan...

 in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 on February 2, 962 as a translatio imperii
Translatio imperii
Translatio imperii, Latin for "transfer of rule", is a concept invented in the Middle Ages for describing history as a linear succession of transfers of imperium, that is of supreme power concentrated with a series of single rulers .-Origin:...

from the Frankish Empire.

From the early 10th century, East Francia became also known as Regnum Teutonicorum ("Theodisc kingdom" or "Kingdom of Germany
Kingdom of Germany
The Kingdom of Germany developed out of the eastern half of the former Carolingian Empire....

") as mentioned in the Annales Iuvavenses
Annales Iuvavenses
The Annales iuvavenses or Annals of Salzburg were a series of annals written in the 9th and 10th centuries at Salzburg in the East Frankish stem duchy of Bavaria...

 in the course of the election of Henry I. The denotation Rex teutonicorum was often used by the Papacy during the Investiture Controversy
Investiture Controversy
The Investiture Controversy or Investiture Contest was the most significant conflict between Church and state in medieval Europe. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a series of Popes challenged the authority of European monarchies over control of appointments, or investitures, of church officials such...

, perhaps as a polemical tool by Pope Gregory VII
Pope Gregory VII
Pope St. Gregory VII , born Hildebrand of Sovana , was Pope from April 22, 1073, until his death. One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor affirming the primacy of the papal...

 against the Emperor Henry IV in the late eleventh century.