Louis I, son of Charlemagne & Hildegard

Metz, France

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Louis

Also Known As: "le Debonnaire", "Hludowic", "le Pieux", "the Pious", "the Fair", "the Debonair", "Aquitaine", "Lodewijk de Vrome", "der Franken", "il Pio", "Louis the Pious", ""The Pious"", "Louis the Pious; Louis the Fair", "called the Fair", "and the Debonaire", ""de Vrome"", "" The Pious "", "" Emp..."
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Casseneuil, Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine, Carolingian Empire (within present France)
Death: Died in Ingelheim, (Present Rheinhessen), Austrasia (Present Hesse), Carolingian Empire (within present Germany)
Cause of death: Illness
Place of Burial: Eglise abbatiale de St-Arnoul, Metz, (Present département de la Moselle), Austrasia (Present région Lorraine), Carolingian Empire (Present France)
Immediate Family:

Son of Charlemagne, Emperor of the West and Hildegard of Vinzgouw, wife of Charlemagne
Husband of Ermengard le Pieux de Hesbaye; Ermengarde de Hesbaye and Judith of Bavaria
Partner of Theodelinde, of Sens
Father of Emperor Lothair I; Pépin I son of Louis I & Ermengard, Roi d'Aquitaine; Hildegarde de Van TEISTERBANT, of Provence & Geneva; Rotrude, daughter of Louis I the Pious and Ermengard; Louis II, 'The German' and 8 others
Brother of "Pépin" Carloman, King of Italy, son of Charlemagne & Hildegard; Rotrude, daughter of Charlemagne & Hildegard; Bertha, daughter of Charlemagne & Hildegard; Lothair, twin of Louis, son of Charlemagne & Hildegard - who died young; Hildegarde, daughter of Charlemagne & Hildegard - who died young and 3 others
Half brother of Amaudra daughter of Charlemagne & Himiltrude; Pippin the Hunchback, son of Charlemagne & Himiltrude; Adeltrude, daughter of Charlemagne & Gersuinda; Ruodhaid, Abbess of Faremoutiers, daughter of Charlemagne & Madelgard; Theodrada, Abbess of Argenteuil, daughter of Charlemagne & Fastrada and 6 others

Occupation: Louis I 'The Pious', Emperor Of The Holy Roman Empire in 814 succeeded his father Charlemagne. In 817, he arranged for the succession after his death by dividing the empire among his three sons. After his first wife died, Louis married again, and a fourth
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Louis I, son of Charlemagne & Hildegard

Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne & Hildegard

Please see Charlemagne Project for Source Details

Wikipedia

* English Louis the Pious

* Nederlands Lodewijk de Vrome

* Français Louis le Pieux

* Deutsch Ludwig der Fromme

* Español Ludovico Pío

Louis I "the Pious": Emperor of the Romans

(Please note: NOT Holy Roman Empire)

August 778--20 June 840

Father; Charlemagne/Charles I/Karl der Grosse (768-814) Mother: Hildegard of Vinzgouw (758-783)

Wife 1: Ermengard (775/780 - 818)

Children with Ermengard

  • 1. Lothaire (Lothar) I (795 - 855) King of Lotharingia
  • 2. Pepin I (797 - 838), King of Aquitaine
  • 3. Hrotrud (Rotrude) (b. c800)
  • 4. Berta
  • 5. Hildegard (802/804 - 857/860), Abbess of St_Jean de Laon
  • 6. Louis (Ludwig) II "le Germanique/der Deutsche/the German" (806 - 876), King of Eastern Franconia

Wife 2: Judith (805 - 843)

Children with Judith:

  • 7. Gisela (819/822 - 874) m. 836 to Eberhard, Marchese di Friula (d. 866)
  • 8. Charles II "le Chauve/the Fat" (823 - 877) King of Western Franconia
  • 9. Unknown mother of Udalrich III (820/25 - 896/900)

Unknown mistress

Children:

  • 10. Alpais (Elphaid) (793/794 - 852), wife of Bego de Paris (755/760 - 816), Marchio of Septimania. Comte de Paris
  • 11. Arnoul (Arnulf) (794 - 841) Comte de Sens

Basic information and justifications

Birth: (from FMG) 16 April/September 778, fifth born - (from Wikipedia) Cassinogilum, Aquitaine, Carolingian Empire; present Chasseneuil-du-Poitou, departement du Vienne, region Poitou-Charentes, France Death: (from FMG) 20 June 840 - island in the Rhine near Ingelheim Buried: Eglise abbatiale de St-Arnoul in Metz

Married to Ermengard in 794 Married to Judith at Aix-la-Chapelle/Aachen February 819

Occupation: King of Aquitaine (15 April 781-2 February 814), King of the Franks (2 February 814- 20 June 840), Joint Emperor of the Romans (with Charlemagne, 11 September 813-2 February 814), Emperor of the Romans (2 February 814 - 20 June 840)

Alternate names: Louis: Louis "the Pious", Louis "the Debonaire", Louis "the Fair", Louis "le Pieux", Louis "le Debonnaire"; Ludwig: Ludwig "der Fromme", Ludwig "der Gutmütige", Ludwig "der Gerechtigkeit"; Hludowic, Hludowicus Pius, Hludowicus Piissimus, Hludowicus Iustitia

------------------------

From the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy page on Carolingian Kings http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/CAROLINGIANS.htm

LOUIS I 814-840


LOUIS [Hludowic], son of CHARLES I King of the Franks & his second wife Hildegard (Chasseneuil-du-Poitou {Vienne} [16 Apr/Sep] 778-island in the Rhine near Ingelheim 20 Jun 840, bur Metz, église abbatiale de Saint-Arnoul[178]).

  • He is named, and his parentage recorded, in the Gesta Mettensium, which specifies that he was his parents' third son, born a twin with Hlothar[179].
  • Crowned King of the Aquitainians in Rome 15 Apr 781 by Pope Hadrian I. His armies occupied Girona, Urgel and Cerdanya in 785 and besieged Barcelona 802, establishing the "March of Spain"[180].
  • At the partition of territories agreed at Thionville in 806, he was designated sovereign of Aquitaine, Gascony, Septimania, Provence and southern Burgundy. His father named him as his successor at Aix-la-Chapelle, crowning him as joint emperor 11 Sep 813[181]. On his father's death, he adopted the title Emperor LOUIS I “der Fromme/le Pieux” 2 Feb 814, and was crowned at Reims [Jul/Aug] 816 by Pope Stephen IV. He did not use the titles king of the Franks or king of Italy so as to emphasise the unity of the empire[182].
  • He promulgated the Ordinatio Imperii at Worms in 817, which established his eldest son as his heir, his younger sons having a subordinate status, a decision which was eventually to lead to civil war between his sons. His nephew Bernard King of Italy, ignored in the Ordinatio Imperii, rebelled against his uncle, but was defeated and killed. After his death, Italy was placed under the direct rule of the emperor.
  • Emperor Louis crowned his son Lothaire as joint emperor at Aix-la-Chapelle in Jul 817, his primary status over his brothers being confirmed once more at the Assembly of Nijmegen 1 May 821. In Nov 824, Emperor Louis placed Pope Eugene II under his protection, effectively subordinating the papal role to that of the emperor.
  • The birth of his son Charles by his second marriage in 823 worsened relations with his sons by his first marriage, the tension being further increased when Emperor Louis invested Charles with Alemannia, Rhætia, Alsace and part of Burgundy at Worms in Aug 829, reducing the territory of his oldest son Lothaire to Italy. His older sons revolted in Mar 830 and captured their father at Compiègne, forcing him to revert to the 817 constitutional arrangements.
  • However, Emperor Louis reasserted his authority at the assemblies of Nijmegen in Oct 830 and Aix-la-Chapelle in Feb 831, depriving Lothaire of the imperial title and relegating him once more to Italy. A further revolt of the brothers followed.
  • Emperor Louis was defeated and deposed by his sons at Compiègne 1 Oct 833. He was exiled to the monastery of Saint-Médard de Soissons. His eldest son Lothaire declared himself sole emperor but was soon overthrown by his brothers Pepin and Louis, who freed their father.
  • Emperor Louis was crowned once more at Metz 28 Feb 835. He proposed yet another partition of territories in favour of his son Charles at the assembly of Aix-la-Chapelle in 837, implemented at the assembly of Worms 28 May 839 when he installed his sons Lothaire and Charles jointly, setting aside the claims of his sons Pepin and Louis. This naturally led to revolts by Pepin in Aquitaine and Louis in Germany, which their father was in the process of suppressing when he died[183].
  • The Annales Fuldenses record the death "in insulam quondam Rheni fluminis prope Ingilenheim XII Kal Iul 840" of Emperor Louis and his burial "Mettis civitatem…in basilica sancti Arnulfi"[184]. The necrology of Prüm records the death "840 12 Kal Iul" of "Ludvicus imperator"[185]. The necrology of St Gall records the death "XII Kal Jul" of "Hludowicus imperator in insula Rheni quiæ est sita iuxta palatium Ingelheim"[186]. The Obituaire de Notre-Dame de Paris records the death "XII Kal Jul" of "Ludovicus imperator"[187]. The necrology of the abbey of Saint-Denis records the death "XII Kal Jul" of "Ludovicus imperator"[188].

m firstly ([794]) ERMENGARD, daughter of ENGUERRAND Comte [de Hesbaye] & his wife --- ([775/80]-Angers 3 Oct 818[189], bur Angers).

  • Thegan's Vita Hludowici Imperatoris names the wife of Emperor Ludwig "filiam nobilissimi ducis Ingorammi…Irmingarda"[190]. The Gesta Francorum records the death "818 V Non Oct" of "Irmingardis regina"[191]. The Vita Hludowici Imperatoris records the death "V Non Oct" of "Hirmingardis regina" three days after falling ill[192].

m secondly (Aix-la-Chapelle Feb 819) JUDITH, daughter of WELF [I] Graf [von Altdorf] & his wife Heilwig --- ([805]-Tours 19 Apr 843, bur Tours Saint-Martin).

  • The Annales Xantenses record the marriage in Feb 819 of "Ludewicus imperator" and "Iudith"[193]. Thegan names "filiam Hwelfi ducis sui, qui erat de nobolissima progenie Bawariorum…Iudith…ex parte matris…Eigilwi nobilissimi generic Saxonici" as second wife of Emperor Ludwig, specifying that she was "enim pulchra valde"[194]. Einhard's Annales record that Emperor Louis chose "Huelpi comitis filiam…Judith" as his wife in 819 after "inspectis plerisque nobelium filiabus"[195].
  • Judith was influential with her husband, which increased the tensions with the emperor's sons by his first marriage. Thegan's Vita Hludowici Imperatoris records that "quondam duce Bernhardo, qui erat de stirpe regali" was accused of violating "Iudith reginam" but comments that this was all lies[196].
  • Judith was exiled to the monastery of Sainte-Croix de Poitiers during the first rebellion of her stepsons in 830, was released in 831, but exiled again to Tortona in Italy in 833 from where she was brought back in Apr 834[197].
  • The necrology of the abbey of Saint-Denis records the death "XIII Kal Mai" of "Judith regina"[198]. The Annales Xantenses record the death in 843 of "Iudhit imperatrix mater Karoli" at Tours[199].

Mistress (1): ---. The name of Emperor Lothar's mistress or mistresses is not known.

Emperor Louis I & his first wife had six children:

1. LOTHAIRE [Lothar] (795-Kloster Prüm 29 Sep 855, bur Kloster Prüm). Thegan's Vita Hludowici Imperatoris names (in order) "Hlutharius, Pippinus, Hludowicus" as sons of Emperor Ludwig I & his wife Ermengard[200]. He was crowned joint Emperor LOTHAIRE I, jointly with his father, in Jul 817 at Aix-la-Chapelle.

2. PEPIN ([797]-Poitiers 13 Dec 838, bur Poitiers, église collégiale de Sainte-Radégonde). Thegan's Vita Hludowici Imperatoris names (in order) "Hlutharius, Pippinus, Hludowicus" as sons of Emperor Ludwig I & his wife Ermengard[201]. Under the Ordinatio Imperii promulgated by his father at Worms in 817, he became PEPIN I King of Aquitaine.

3. HROTRUD [Rotrude] ([800]-). The Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis names (in order) "Hlotharium Pipinum et Hludovicum Rotrudim et Hildegardim" as children of "Hludovicus ymperator…ex Yrmingardi regina"[202].

4. BERTA . Settipani cites charters which name Berta as the daughter of Emperor Louis[203].

5. HILDEGARD ([802/04]-857, or maybe after [23 Aug 860]). The Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis names (in order) "Hlotharium Pipinum et Hludovicum Rotrudim et Hildegardim" as children of "Hludovicus ymperator…ex Yrmingardi regina"[204]. Hildegard is named as sister of Charles by Nithard[205]. Abbess of Notre-Dame and Saint-Jean at Laon. She supported her brother Lothaire against her half-brother Charles and, in Oct 841, imprisoned Adalgar at Laon. After Laon was besieged, she surrendered Adalgar but was herself released by her half-brother205. The Annales Formoselenses record the death in 857 of "Hildegard, Lothawici regis filia"[206], corroborated in the Annales Alemannici[207].

6. LOUIS ([806]-Frankfurt-am-Main 28 Aug 876, bur Kloster Lorsch). Thegan's Vita Hludowici Imperatoris names (in order) "Hlutharius, Pippinus, Hludowicus" as sons of Emperor Ludwig I and his wife Ermengardis[208]. Under the Ordinatio Imperii promulgated by his father at Worms in 817, he became King of Bavaria and Carinthia. Under the partition of territories agreed by the Treaty of Verdun 11 Aug 843, Louis was installed as LUDWIG II "le Germanique/der Deutsche" King of the East Franks.

Emperor Louis I & his second wife had [three] children:

7. GISELA ([819/822]-after 1 Jul 874, bur Cysoing, Abbey of St Calixtus). The Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis names (in order) "Karolum et Gislam" children of "Hludovicus ymperator…ex Iudith ymperatrice"[209]. Her marriage is deduced from a charter in which Gisela states that their eldest son Unruoch brought back the body of Eberhard from Italy[210]. She founded the abbey of St Calixtus at Cysoing, Flanders, where she lived as a widow. "Gisle" granted "le fisc de Somain en Ostrevant" to "filii…Adelarde" by charter dated 14 Apr 869, which names "rex Karolus meus…germanus…senioris mei dulcis memorie Evrardi…tres infantes meos Rodulfum…et Berengarium…et…Adelarde"[211]. The Historia Ecclesiæ Cisoniensis records that “Gisla” donated property to Cysoing abbey for her burial next to “coniugis mei dulcis memoriæ Evrardi”, by charter dated 2 Apr 870 which names “filiæ meæ Ingiltrudis…filius meus Rodulfus”, and by charter dated “Kal Jul anno XXXV regnante Carolo Rege”, naming “filii mei Unroch…filiorum meorum Adalardo atque Rodulfo” and signed by “Odelrici Comitis”[212]. "Gisle" donated property to Cysoing for the anniversaries of "Ludovico imperatore patre meo et…Judith imperatrice matre mea et…rege Karolo…germano et…prole mea…Hengeltrude, Hunroc, Berengario, Adelardo, Rodulpho, Hellwich, Gilla, Judith" by charter dated to [874][213]. m ([836]) EBERHARD Marchese di Friulia, son of UNRUOCH Comte [en Ternois] & his wife Engeltrude (-in Italy 16 Dec 866, bur Cysoing, Abbey of St Calixtus).

8. CHARLES (Frankfurt-am-Main 13 Jun 823-Avrieux or Brides-les-Bains, Savoie 6 Oct 877, bur Nantua Abbey, transferred to église de l'abbaye royale de Saint-Denis). The Annales S. Benigni Divisionensis record the birth of "Karolus filius Ludowici" in Frankfurt "Idus Iun 824"[214]. Thegan's Vita Hludowici Imperatoris names Charles as son of his father by his second wife[215]. Under the division of Imperial territories by the Treaty of Verdun 11 Aug 843, he became CHARLES II “le Chauve” King of the West Franks.

9. [daughter .

  • The Casus Monasterii Petrishusensis records that "rex Francorum qui et imperator Romanorum" (which appears to indicate Charles II "le Chauve") gave his sister in marriage to "vir nobilissimo genere decoratus", that the couple had two sons to whom their uncle gave "in Alemannia loca…Potamum et Brigantium, Ubirlingin et Buochorn, Ahihusin et Turingen atque Heistirgou, Wintirture…et in Retia Curiensi Mesouch", and that one of the sons returned to France while the other "Oudalricus" retained all the property in Alamannia[216]. The editor of the MGH SS compilation dates this source to the mid-12th century[217]. The information has not been corroborated in any earlier primary source, although it is not known what prior documentation may have been available to the compiler of the Casus.
  • There are several other difficulties with this marriage which suggest that the report in the Casus should be treated with caution. If the information is accurate, it is likely that the bride was a full sister of King Charles, although if this is correct her absence from contemporary documentation is surprising. If she had been Charles's half-sister, it is difficult to see how Charles would have had much influence on her marriage, which would have been arranged by one of her full brothers.
  • In any case, it is unlikely that Emperor Louis's first wife would have had further children after [812/15] at the latest, given the birth of her eldest son in 795. If that estimated birth date is correct, then it is more likely that this daughter's marriage would have been arranged by her father Emperor Louis before his death in 840.
  • Another problem is the potential consanguinity between the parties. Although the precise relationship between the couple's son Udalrich [III] and the earlier Udalrichinger cannot be established from available documentation, it is probable that he was closely related to Hildegard, first wife of Emperor Charles I, who was the paternal grandmother of Emperor Louis's children.
  • Lastly, Udalrich [III] is recorded in charters dated 847 and 854, suggesting a birth date in the 820s assuming that he was adult at the time, which is inconsistent with Charles II "le Chauve" (born in 823) having arranged his parents' marriage.
  • m --- [Udalrichinger].]

Emperor Louis I had [two] illegitimate children by Mistress (1):

10. [ALPAIS ([793/94]-23 Jul 852 or after, bur [Reims]).

  • Flodoard refers to "Ludowicus Alpheidi filie sue uxori Begonis comitis"[218]. The Annales Hildesheimenses name "filiam imperatoris…Elpheid" as the wife of "Bicgo de amici regis" when recording the death of her husband[219].
  • Settipani discusses the debate about the paternity of Alpais, preferring the theory that Emperor Charles I was her father[220]. If Emperor Louis was her father, it is unlikely that she was born before [793/94], given his known birth date in 778. It would therefore be chronologically tight for her to have had [three] children by her husband before his death in 816. However, no indication has been found in primary sources of the age of these children when their father died.
  • The question of Alpais's paternity is obviously not beyond doubt, but it is felt preferable to show her as the possible daughter of Emperor Louis in view of the clear statement in Flodoard. No indication has been found of the name of Alpais's mother. If Alpais was the daughter of Emperor Louis, it is likely that she was not her husband's only wife in view of Bego's estimated birth date.
  • After her husband died, she became abbess of Saint-Pierre-le-Bas at Reims in [817]. She was still there 29 May 852.
  • m ([806]) [as his second wife,] BEGO, son of [GERARD [I] Comte de Paris & his wife Rotrud] ([755/60]-28 Oct 816).
  • He governed the county of Toulouse as "marchio" for Septimania in 806.
  • Comte de Paris in [815], succeeding comte Stephanus.]

11. ARNOUL ([794]-after [Mar/Apr] 841).

  • The Chronicon Moissacense names "quartum…filium [Ludovici]…ex concubina…Arnulfum" recording that his father gave him the county of Sens[221].
  • Comte de Sens 817.
  • He was a supporter of his half-brother Emperor Lothaire in [Mar/Apr] 841[222].

References

[178] Nithard I.8, p. 140.

[179] Pauli Gesta Episcop. Mettensium, MGH SS II, p. 265.

[180] Settipani (1993), p. 250.

[181] RFA 813, p. 95.

[182] Settipani (1993), p. 252.

[183] Settipani (1993), pp. 252-3.

[184] Annales Fuldensium Pars Secunda, auctore Euodolfo 840, MGH SS I, p. 362.

[185] Annales Necrologici Prumienses, MGH SS XIII, p. 219.

[186] Libri Anniversariorum et Necrologium Monasterii Sancti Galli, Konstanz Necrologies, p. 462.


[187] Obituaires de Sens Tome I.1, Obituaire de Notre-Dame de Paris, p. 227.

      

[188] Obituaires de Sens Tome I.1, Abbaye de Saint-Denis, p. 320.

  

[189] RFA 818, p. 104.

[190] Thegani Vita Hludowici Imperatoris 4, MGH SS II, p. 591.

[191] Gesta quorundam regum Francorum 818, MGH SS I, p. 356.

[192] Vita Hludowici Imperatoris 31, MGH SS II, p. 623.

[193] Annales Xantenses 819, MGH SS II, p. 224.

[194] Thegani Vita Hludowici Imperatoris 26, MGH SS II, p. 596.

[195] Einhardi Annales 819, MGH SS I, p. 206.

[196] Thegani Vita Hludowici Imperatoris 36, MGH SS II, p. 597.

[197] Settipani (1993), pp. 254-5.

[198] Obituaires de Sens Tome I.1, Abbaye de Saint-Denis, p. 315.


[199] Annales Xantenses 843, MGH SS II, p. 227.

[200] Thegani Vita Hludowici Imperatoris 4, MGH SS II, p. 591.

[201] Thegani Vita Hludowici Imperatoris 4, MGH SS II, p. 591.

[202] Genealogiæ Comitum Flandriæ, Witgeri Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis MGH SS IX, p. 303.


[203] Settipani (1993), p. 255 footnote 446, citing MGH Dipl Carol, no. 48, p. 143, 101, 241, 197, p. 353, spur. 34, p. 441.

[204] Genealogiæ Comitum Flandriæ, Witgeri Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis MGH SS IX, p. 303. [205] Nithard III.4, p. 160.

[206] Annales Formoselenses 857, MGH SS V, p. 35.

[207] Annales Alemannici 857, MGH SS I, p. 50 "Hludovici regis filia Hiltikart", footnote 1 referring to "Necrolog S Galli" recording "X Kal Dec".

[208] Thegani Vita Hludowici Imperatoris 4, MGH SS II, p. 591.

[209] Genealogiæ Comitum Flandriæ, Witgeri Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis MGH SS IX, p. 303.

[210] Coussemaker, I. de (ed.) (1886) Cartulaire de l´abbaye de Cysoing et de ses dépendances (Lille) ("Cysoing"), V, p. 10.

[211] Cysoing III, p. 7.

[212] Historia Ecclesiæ Cisoniensis, Spicilegium II, pp. 878 and 879, and Cysoing IV and V, pp. 8 and 10.

[213] Cysoing VI, p. 11.

[214] Annales S. Benigni Divionensis 824, MGH SS V, p. 39.

[215] Thegani Vita Hludowici Imperatoris 35, MGH SS II, p. 597.

[216] Casus Monasterii Petrishusensis I.2, MGH SS XX, p. 628.

[217] MGH SS XX, pp. 622-25.

[218] Flodoardus Remensis Historia Remensis Ecclesiæ IV, XLVI, MGH SS XXXVI, p. 448.

[219] Annales Hildesheimenses 815, MGH SS III, p. 42.

[220] Settipani (1993), pp. 200-02.

[221] Chronicon Moissacense 817, MGH SS I, p. 312.

[222] Settipani (1993), p. 255.

---------------------------

Compiler: David Walker, Edwards, Ontario, Canada:

Louis I "The Pious", Emperor of the Romans M, b. August 778, d. 20 June 840

Father; Charlemagne (Charles The Great) Emperor of the Romans b. 2 Apr 742, d. 28 Jan 814 Mother: Hildegarde Countess of Swabia (Linzgau), Empress of the Romans b. c 757, d. 30 Apr 783

Marriage* Louis I "The Pious", Emperor of the Romans married Judith 'The Fair", Princess of Bavaria. Birth* Louis I "The Pious", Emperor of the Romans was born in August 778 in Casseneuil, France.

He was the son of Charlemagne (Charles The Great) Emperor of the Romans and Hildegarde Countess of Swabia (Linzgau), Empress of the Romans Death* Louis I "The Pious", died on 20 June 840 in or near, Ingelheim, Rhinehessen, Hesse, Germany, at age 61.

Family Judith 'The Fair", Princess of Bavaria b. circa 800, d. 19 April 843

Child

Adelaide De Tours, De Aquitane+ b. bt 822 - 824

Updated on 25 Jun 2009 -------------------- From the English Wikipedia page on Louis the Pious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_the_Pious

Louis the Pious (778 – 20 June 840), also called the Fair, and the Debonaire,[1] was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor (as Louis I) with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. As the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed.

During his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the Empire's southwestern frontier. He reconquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and re-asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona and the Basques south of the Pyrenees in 813.

As emperor he included his adult sons—Lothair, Pepin, and Louis—in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm between them. The first decade of his reign was characterised by several tragedies and embarrassments, notably the brutal treatment of his nephew Bernard of Italy, for which Louis atoned in a public act of self-debasement.

In the 830s his empire was torn by civil war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louis's attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans.

Though his reign ended on a high note, with order largely restored to his empire, it was followed by three years of civil war. Louis is generally compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a distinctly different sort.

Birth and rule in Aquitaine

Louis was born while his father Charlemagne was on campaign in Spain, at the Carolingian villa of Cassinogilum, according to Einhard and the anonymous chronicler called Astronomus; the place is usually identified with Chasseneuil, near Poitiers.[2] He was the third son of Charlemagne by his wife Hildegard.

Louis was crowned king of Aquitaine as a child in 781 and sent there with regents and a court. Charlemagne constituted the sub-kingdom in order to secure the border of his kingdom after his devastating defeat at the hands of Basques in Roncesvalles in (778).

In 794, Charlemagne settled four former Gallo-Roman villas on Louis, in the thought that he would take in each in turn as winter residence: Doué-la-Fontaine in today's Anjou, Ebreuil in Allier, Angeac-Charente, and the disputed Cassinogilum.

Charlemagne's intention was to see all his sons brought up as natives of their given territories, wearing the national costume of the region and ruling by the local customs. Thus were the children sent to their respective realms at so young an age.

Each kingdom had its importance in keeping some frontier, Louis's was the Spanish March. In 797, Barcelona, the greatest city of the Marca, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, failing, handed it to them. The Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis marched the entire army of his kingdom, including Gascons with their duke Sancho I of Gascony, Provençals under Leibulf, and Goths under Bera, over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated.

The sons were not given independence from central authority, however, and Charlemagne ingrained in them the concepts of empire and unity by sending them on military expeditions far from their home bases. Louis campaigned in the Italian Mezzogiorno against the Beneventans at least once.

Louis was one of Charlemagne's three legitimate sons to survive infancy, and, according to Frankish custom, Louis had expected to share his inheritance with his brothers, Charles the Younger, King of Neustria, and Pepin, King of Italy. In the Divisio Regnorum of 806, Charlemagne had slated Charles the Younger as his successor as emperor and chief king, ruling over the Frankish heartland of Neustria and Austrasia, while giving Pepin the Iron Crown of Lombardy, which Charlemagne possessed by conquest. To Louis's kingdom of Aquitaine, he added Septimania, Provence, and part of Burgundy.

But in the event, Charlemagne's other legitimate sons died — Pepin in 810 and Charles in 811 — and Louis alone remained to be crowned co-emperor with Charlemagne in 813. On his father's death in 814, he inherited the entire Frankish kingdom and all its possessions (with the sole exception of Italy, which remained within Louis's empire, but under the direct rule of Bernard, Pepin's son).

Emperor

He was in his villa of Doué-la-Fontaine, Anjou, when he received news of his father's passing. Hurrying to Aachen, he crowned himself and was proclaimed by the nobles with shouts of Vivat Imperator Ludovicus.

In his first coinage type, minted from the start of his reign, he imitated his father Charlemagne's portrait coinage, giving an image of imperial power and prestige in an echo of Roman glory.[3]

He quickly enacted a "moral purge", in which he sent all of his unmarried sisters to nunneries, forgoing their diplomatic use as hostage brides in favour of the security of avoiding the entanglements that powerful brothers-in-law might bring. He spared his illegitimate half-brothers and tonsured his father's cousins, Adalard and Wala, shutting them up in Noirmoutier and Corbie, respectively, despite the latter's initial loyalty.

His chief counsellors were Bernard, margrave of Septimania, and Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims. The latter, born a serf, was raised by Louis to that office, but ungratefully betrayed him later. He retained some of his father's ministers, such as Elisachar, abbot of St. Maximin near Trier, and Hildebold, Archbishop of Cologne. Later he replaced Elisachar with Hildwin, abbot of many monasteries.

He also employed Benedict of Aniane (the Second Benedict), a Septimanian Visigoth and monastic founder, to help him reform the Frankish church. One of Benedict's primary reforms was to ensure that all religious houses in Louis' realm adhered to the Rule of Saint Benedict, named for its creator, Benedict of Nursia (480–550), the First Benedict. In 816, Pope Stephen IV, who had succeeded Leo III, visited Reims and again crowned Louis. The Emperor thereby strengthened the papacy by recognising the importance of the pope in imperial coronations.

Ordinatio imperii

On Maundy Thursday 817, Louis and his court were crossing a wooden gallery from the cathedral to the palace in Aachen when the gallery collapsed, killing many. Louis, having barely survived and feeling the imminent danger of death, began planning for his succession; three months later he issued an Ordinatio Imperii, an imperial decree that laid out plans for an orderly succession. In 815, he had already given his two eldest sons a share in the government, when he had sent his elder sons Lothair and Pepin to govern Bavaria and Aquitaine respectively, though without the royal titles. Now, he proceeded to divide the empire among his three sons and his nephew Bernard of Italy:

Lothair was proclaimed and crowned co-emperor in Aix-la-Chapelle by his father. He was promised the succession to most of the Frankish dominions (excluding the exceptions below), and would be the overlord of his brothers and cousin. Bernard, the son of Charlemagne's son Pippin of Italy, was confirmed as King of Italy, a title he had been allowed to inherit from his father by Charlemagne.

Pepin was proclaimed King of Aquitaine, his territory including Gascony, the march around Toulouse, and the counties of Carcassonne, Autun, Avallon and Nevers. Louis, the youngest son, was proclaimed King of Bavaria and the neighbouring marches.

If one of the subordinate kings died, he was to be succeeded by his sons. If he died childless, Lothair would inherit his kingdom. In the event of Lothair dying without sons, one of Louis the Pious' younger sons would be chosen to replace him by "the people".

Above all, the Empire would not be divided: the Emperor would rule supreme over the subordinate kings, whose obedience to him was mandatory.

With this settlement, Louis tried to combine his sense for the Empire's unity, supported by the clergy, while at the same time providing positions for all of his sons. Instead of treating his sons equally in status and land, he elevated his first-born son Lothair above his younger brothers and gave him the largest part of the Empire as his share.

Bernard's rebellion and Louis's penance

The ordinatio imperii of Aachen left Bernard of Italy in an uncertain and subordinate position as king of Italy, and he began plotting to declare independence upon hearing of it. Louis immediately directed his army towards Italy, and betook himself to Chalon-sur-Saône.

Intimidated by the emperor's swift action, Bernard met his uncle at Chalon, under invitation, and surrendered. He was taken to Aix-la-Chapelle by Louis, who there had him tried and condemned to death for treason. Louis had the sentence commuted to blinding, which was duly carried out; Bernard did not survive the ordeal, however, dying after two days of agony.

Others also suffered: Theodulf of Orléans, in eclipse since the death of Charlemagne, was accused of having supported the rebellion, and was thrown into a monastic prison, where he died soon after - poisoned, it was rumoured.[4]

The fate of his nephew deeply marked Louis's conscience for the rest of his life.

In 822, as a deeply religious man, Louis performed penance for causing Bernard's death, at his palace of Attigny near Vouziers in the Ardennes, before Pope Paschal I, and a council of ecclesiastics and nobles of the realm that had been convened for the reconciliation of Louis with his three younger half-brothers, Hugo whom he soon made abbot of St-Quentin, Drogo whom he soon made Bishop of Metz, and Theodoric.

This act of contrition, partly in emulation of Theodosius I, had the effect of greatly reducing his prestige as a Frankish ruler, for he also recited a list of minor offences about which no secular ruler of the time would have taken any notice. He also made the egregious error of releasing Wala and Adalard from their monastic confinements, placing the former in a position of power in the court of Lothair and the latter in a position in his own house.

Frontier wars

At the start of Louis's reign, the many tribes — Danes, Obotrites, Slovenes, Bretons, Basques — which inhabited his frontierlands were still in awe of the Frankish emperor's power and dared not stir up any trouble.

In 816, however, the Sorbs rebelled and were quickly followed by Slavomir, chief of the Obotrites, who was captured and abandoned by his own people, being replaced by Ceadrag in 818. Soon, Ceadrag too had turned against the Franks and allied with the Danes, who were to become the greatest menace of the Franks in a short time.

A greater Slavic menace was gathering on the southeast. There, Ljudevit Posavski, duke of Pannonia, was harassing the border at the Drava and Sava rivers. The margrave of Friuli, Cadolah, was sent out against him, but he died on campaign and, in 820, his margarvate was invaded by Slovenes.

In 821, an alliance was made with Borna, duke of the Dalmatia, and Ljudevit was brought to heel. In 824 several Slav tribes in the north-western parts of Bulgaria acknowledged Louis's suzerainity and after he was reluctant to settle the matter peacefully with the Bulgarian ruler Omurtag, in 827 the Bulgarians attacked the Franks in Pannonia and regained their lands.

On the far southern edge of his great realm, Louis had to control the Lombard princes of Benevento whom Charlemagne had never subjugated. He extracted promises from Princes Grimoald IV and Sico, but to no effect.

On the southwestern frontier, problems commenced early when, in 815, Séguin, duke of Gascony, revolted. He was defeated and replaced by Lupus III, who was dispossessed in 818 by the emperor.

In 820 an assembly at Quierzy-sur-Oise decided to send an expedition against the Cordoban caliphate. The counts in charge of the army, Hugh, count of Tours, and Matfrid, count of Orléans, were slow in acting and the expedition came to naught.

First civil war

In 818, as Louis was returning from a campaign to Brittany, he was greeted by news of the death of his wife, Ermengarde. Ermengarde was the daughter of Ingerman, the duke of Hesbaye.

Louis had been close to his wife, who had been involved in policymaking. It was rumoured that she had played a part in her nephew's death and Louis himself believed her own death was divine retribution for that event. It took many months for his courtiers and advisors to convince him to remarry, but eventually he did, in 820, to Judith, daughter of Welf, count of Altdorf. In 823 Judith gave birth to a son, who was named Charles.

The birth of this son damaged the Partition of Aachen, as Louis's attempts to provide for his fourth son met with stiff resistance from his older sons, and the last two decades of his reign were marked by civil war.

At Worms in 829, Louis gave Charles Alemannia with the title of king or duke (historians differ on this), thus enraging his son and co-emperor Lothair,[5] whose promised share was thereby diminished. An insurrection was soon at hand.

With the urging of the vengeful Wala and the cooperation of his brothers, Lothair accused Judith of having committed adultery with Bernard of Septimania, even suggesting Bernard to be the true father of Charles. Ebbo and Hildwin abandoned the emperor at that point, Bernard having risen to greater heights than either of them. Agobard, Archbishop of Lyon, and Jesse, bishop of Amiens, too, opposed the redivision of the empire and lent their episcopal prestige to the rebels.

In 830, at Wala's insistence that Bernard of Septimania was plotting against him, Pepin of Aquitaine led an army of Gascons, with the support of the Neustrian magnates, all the way to Paris. At Verberie, Louis the German joined him.

At that time, the emperor returned from another campaign in Brittany to find his empire at war with itself. He marched as far as Compiègne, an ancient royal town, before being surrounded by Pepin's forces and captured. Judith was incarcerated at Poitiers and Bernard fled to Barcelona.

Then Lothair finally set out with a large Lombard army, but Louis had promised his sons Louis the German and Pepin of Aquitaine greater shares of the inheritance, prompting them to shift loyalties in favour of their father. When Lothair tried to call a general council of the realm in Nijmegen, in the heart of Austrasia, the Austrasians and Rhinelanders came with a following of armed retainers, and the disloyal sons were forced to free their father and bow at his feet (831).

Lothair was pardoned, but disgraced and banished to Italy. Pepin returned to Aquitaine and Judith - after being forced to humiliate herself with a solemn oath of innocence - to Louis's court. Only Wala was severely dealt with, making his way to a secluded monastery on the shores of Lake Geneva. Though Hilduin, abbot of Saint Denis, was exiled to Paderborn and Elisachar and Matfrid were deprived of their honours north of the Alps; they did not lose their freedom.

Second civil war

The next revolt occurred a mere two years later (832). The disaffected Pepin was summoned to his father's court, where he was so poorly received he left against his father's orders. Immediately, fearing that Pepin would be stirred up to revolt by his nobles and desiring to reform his morals, Louis the Pious summoned all his forces to meet in Aquitaine in preparation of an uprising, but Louis the German garnered an army of Slav allies and conquered Swabia before the emperor could react.

Once again the elder Louis divided his vast realm. At Jonac, he declared Charles king of Aquitaine and deprived Pepin (he was less harsh with the younger Louis), restoring the whole rest of the empire to Lothair, not yet involved in the civil war.

Lothair was, however, interested in usurping his father's authority. His ministers had been in contact with Pepin and may have convinced him and Louis the German to rebel, promising him Alemannia, the kingdom of Charles.

Soon Lothair, with the support of Pope Gregory IV, whom he had confirmed in office without his father's support, joined the revolt in 833. While Louis was at Worms gathering a new force, Lothair marched north. Louis marched south. The armies met on the plains of the Rothfeld. There, Gregory met the emperor and may have tried to sow dissension amongst his ranks. Soon much of Louis's army had evaporated before his eyes, and he ordered his few remaining followers to go, because "it would be a pity if any man lost his life or limb on my account."

The resigned emperor was taken to Saint Médard at Soissons, his son Charles to Prüm, and the queen to Tortona. The despicable show of disloyalty and disingenuousness earned the site the name Field of Lies, or Lügenfeld, or Campus Mendacii, ubi plurimorum fidelitas exstincta est[6]

On 13 November 833, Ebbo of Rheims presided over a synod in the Church of Saint Mary in Soissons which deposed Louis and forced him to publicly confess many crimes, none of which he had, in fact, committed. In return, Lothair gave Ebbo the Abbey of Saint Vaast. Men like Rabanus Maurus, Louis' younger half-brothers Drogo and Hugh, and Emma, Judith's sister and Louis the German's new wife, worked on the younger Louis to make peace with his father, for the sake of unity of the empire.

The humiliation to which Louis was then subjected at Notre Dame in Compiègne turned the loyal barons of Austrasia and Saxony against Lothair, and the usurper fled to Burgundy, skirmishing with loyalists near Chalon-sur-Saône. Louis was restored the next year, on 1 March 834.

On Lothair's return to Italy, Wala, Jesse, and Matfrid, formerly count of Orléans, died of a pestilence and, on 2 February 835, the Synod of Thionville deposed Ebbo, Agobard, Bernard, Bishop of Vienne, and Bartholomew, Archbishop of Narbonne. Lothair himself fell ill; events had turned completely in Louis favour once again.

In 836, however, the family made peace and Louis restored Pepin and Louis, deprived Lothair of all save Italy, and gave it to Charles in a new division, given at the diet of Crémieu.

At about that time, the Vikings terrorised and sacked Utrecht and Antwerp. In 837, they went up the Rhine as far as Nijmegen, and their king, Rorik, demanded the wergild of some of his followers killed on previous expeditions before Louis the Pious mustered a massive force and marched against them. They fled, but it would not be the last time they harried the northern coasts. In 838, they even claimed sovereignty over Frisia, but a treaty was confirmed between them and the Franks in 839. Louis the Pious ordered the construction of a North Sea fleet and the sending of missi dominici into Frisia to establish Frankish sovereignty there.

Third civil war

In 837, Louis crowned Charles king over all of Alemannia and Burgundy and gave him a portion of his brother Louis' land. Louis the German promptly rose in revolt, and the emperor redivided his realm again at Quierzy-sur-Oise, giving all of the young king of Bavaria's lands, save Bavaria itself, to Charles.

Emperor Louis did not stop there, however. His devotion to Charles knew no bounds. When Pepin died in 838, Louis declared Charles the new king of Aquitaine. The nobles, however, elected Pepin's son Pepin II.

When Louis threatened invasion, the third great civil war of his reign broke out. In the spring of 839, Louis the German invaded Swabia, Pepin II and his Gascon subjects fought all the way to the Loire, and the Danes returned to ravage the Frisian coast (sacking Dorstad for a second time).

Lothair, for the first time in a long time, allied with his father and pledged support at Worms in exchange for a redivision of the inheritance. By a final placitum issued there, Louis gave Bavaria to Louis the German and disinherited Pepin II, leaving the entire remainder of the empire to be divided roughly into an eastern part and a western. Lothair was given the choice of which partition he would inherit and he chose the eastern, including Italy, leaving the western for Charles.

The emperor quickly subjugated Aquitaine and had Charles recognised by the nobles and clergy at Clermont-en-Auvergne in 840. Louis then, in a final flash of glory, rushed into Bavaria and forced the younger Louis into the Ostmark. The empire now settled as he had declared it at Worms, he returned in July to Frankfurt am Main, where he disbanded the army. The final civil war of his reign was over.

Death

Louis fell ill soon after his final victorious campaigns and went to his summer hunting lodge on an island in the Rhine, by his palace at Ingelheim. On 20 June 840, he died, in the presence of many bishops and clerics and in the arms of his half-brother Drogo, though Charles and Judith were absent in Poitiers.

Soon dispute plunged the surviving brothers into a civil war that was only settled in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun, which split the Frankish realm into three parts, to become the kernels of France and Germany, with Burgundy and the Low Countries between them. The dispute over the kingship of Aquitaine was not fully settled until 860.

Louis the Pious, along with his half-brother Drogo, were buried in Saint Pierre aux Nonnains Basilica in Metz.

Marriage and issue

By his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye (married ca 794-98), he had three sons and three daughters:

1. Lothair (795–855), king of Middle Francia 2. Pepin (797–838), king of Aquitaine 3. Adelaide (b. c. 799) 4. Rotrude (b. 800), married Gerard 5. Hildegard (or Matilda) (b. c. 802), married Gerard, Count of Auvergne 6. Louis the German (c. 805–875), king of East Francia

By his second wife, Judith of Bavaria, he had a daughter and a son:

1. Gisela, married Eberhard I of Friuli 2. Charles the Bald, king of West Francia

By Theodelinde of Sens[citation needed], he had two illegitimate children:

1. Arnulf of Sens 2. Alpais

Notes

1. ^ German: Ludwig der Fromme, French: Louis le Pieux or Louis le Débonnaire, Italian: Luigi il Pio or Ludovico il Pio, Spanish: Luis el Piadoso or Ludovico Pío.

2. ^ Einhard gives the name of his birthplace as Cassanoilum. In addition to Chasseneuil near Poitiers, scholars have suggested that Louis may have been born at Casseneuil (Lot et Garonne) or at Casseuil on the Garonne near La Réole, where the Dropt flows into the Garonne.

3. ^ S. Coupland, "Money and coinage under Louis the Pious", Francia 17.1 (1990), p 25.

4. ^ McKitterick, Rosamond, The New Cambridge Medieval History, 700-900

5. ^ Paired gold medallions of father and son had been struck on the occasion of the synod of Paris (825) that asserted Frankish claims as emperor, recently denigrated by the Byzantines; see Karl F. Morrison, "The Gold Medallions of Louis the Pious and Lothaire I and the Synod of Paris (825)" Speculum 36.4 (October 1961:592-599).

6. ^ Intratext Library: "Vita Hludowici imperatoris" by Theganus Trevirensis, Part 42 http://www.intratext.com/IXT/LAT0459/_P16.HTM

7. ^ Medieval European Coinage by Philip Grierson, Mark Blackburn, Lucia Travaini, p.329 http://books.google.com/books?id=TGkz9NGFXIMC&pg=PA327&dq=manqush+coin#v=onepage&q=manqush%20coin&f=false

Sources

"Vita Hludovici Imperatoris", the main source for his reign, written c. 840 by an unknown author usually called "the Astronomer" (Wikipedia article explaining text): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vita_Hludovici

Vita Hludowici Imperatoris by Thegan of Trier (on-line Latin text): http://www.intratext.com/X/LAT0459.HTM

Further reading

Depreux, Philippe. Prosopographie de l'entourage de Louis le Pieux (781-840). Sigmaringen: Thorbecke, 1997. A useful prosopographical overview of Louis' household, court and other subordinates.

Ganshof, F.L. The Carolingians and the Frankish Monarchy. 1971.

Oman, Charles. The Dark Ages 476-918. London, 1914. Godman, Peter, and Roger Collins (eds.). Charlemagne's Heir. New perspectives on the reign of Louis the Pious (814-840). Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 1990. Eichler, Daniel. Fränkische Reichsversammlungen unter Ludwig dem Frommen. Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2007 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica Studien und Texte, 45).

Booker, Courtney M. Past Convictions : The Penance of Louis the Pious and the Decline of the Carolingians, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009, ISBN 9780812241686

External links

Cassinogilum: an argument for Casseneuil as Louis' birthplace (Fr): http://mariefb.pagesperso-orange.fr/casseneuil/palais_charlemagne.htm

Chasseneuil-du-Poitou and not Casseuil by Camille Jullian Emperor Louis I the Pious http://www.valleedudropt.com/historic/cassinogilum1.pdf --- Regnal titles

King of Aquitaine 781–814 Preceded by Charles I as King of the Franks Succeeded by Pippin I of Aquitaine

Emperor of the Romans 813–840 with Lothair I (817–840) Preceded by Charles I Succeeded by Lothair I Coronation By Pope Stephen IV: 5 October 816, Reims

King of the Franks 814–840 Preceded by Charles I Succeeded by Lothair I in Middle Francia Succeeded by Louis II in East Francia Succeeded by Charles II in West Francia Coronation By his father: 13 September 813, Aachen

Spouses: 1. Ermengarde of Hesbaye 2. Judith of Bavaria

Issue: 1. Lothair I 2. Pepin of Aquitaine 3. Louis the German 4. Charles the Bald

House: Carolingian Father: Charlemagne Mother: Hildegarde Born: 778 - Cassinogilum Died: 20 June 840 (aged 61–62) - Ingelheim Burial: Saint Pierre aux Nonnains Basilica -------------------- From the German Wikipedia page on Ludwig der Fromme: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_der_Fromme

Ludwig I., genannt Ludwig der Fromme, frz. Louis le Pieux (* Juni/August 778 in Chasseneuil bei Poitiers; † 20. Juni 840 in Ingelheim am Rhein), war König des Fränkischen Reiches (in Aquitanien seit 781, im Gesamtreich seit 814) und Kaiser (813–840). Er war Sohn und Nachfolger Karls des Großen und führte dessen Reformpolitik zunächst erfolgreich weiter. In Auseinandersetzungen mit seinen eigenen Söhnen zweimal vorübergehend abgesetzt (830, 833/34), gelang es Ludwig dem Frommen jedoch nicht, ein überlebensfähiges fränkisches Großreich zu schaffen – drei Jahre nach seinem Tod wurde das Frankenreich im Vertrag von Verdun (843) aufgeteilt.

Leben

Geburt und Namensgebung

Während Karl der Große sich auf seinem Spanienfeldzug befand, gebar seine Frau Hildegard, die er in der Pfalz Chasseneuil bei Poitiers zurückgelassen hatte, im Juni/August 778 Zwillinge. Nach Karls Rückkehr wurden sie auf die Namen Ludwig und Lothar getauft. Die karolingischen Königsnamen Karl, Karlmann und Pippin waren bereits an Karls zuvor geborene Kinder vergeben, und so entschied man sich für den Rückgriff auf die Namen der beiden bedeutendsten merowingischen Könige Chlodwig I. und Chlothar I. Der kleine Lothar starb schon 779, aber Ludwig – der spätere Ludwig der Fromme – überlebte.

Unterkönigtum in Aquitanien

Am Ostersonntag, dem 15. April 781, wurde Ludwig durch Papst Hadrian I. in Rom zum Unterkönig von Aquitanien, sein älterer Bruder Pippin zum Unterkönig von Italien gesalbt. Trotz ihres geringen Alters von vier bzw. drei Jahren wurden die beiden Brüder zu ihrer weiteren Erziehung in die jeweiligen Unterkönigreiche geschickt. Bei seinem Aufbruch hat Ludwig seine 783 verstorbene Mutter Hildegard wohl zum letzten Mal gesehen. Um die Erziehung des Knaben kümmerten sich von nun an ein Hofmeister und weitere Helfer, die Karl seinem Sohn Ludwig mitgab. Mit der Errichtung des Unterkönigtums Aquitanien verfolgte Karl in erster Linie defensive Zwecke, so musste Ludwig beispielsweise 812/13 einen Aufstand der Basken niederschlagen. 801/803 gelang ihm mit Wilhelm von Aquitanien und dessen Sohn Berà die Eroberung des von den Mauren besetzten Barcelona. Die Kultivierung des Landes und der Ausbau der kirchlichen Struktur waren weitere wichtige Aufgaben Ludwigs in Aquitanien. Auf einer Synode im Jahr 813 ließ der König den Michaelstag anstelle eines Festes des germanischen Gottes Wotan festlegen.[1] Der Erzengel Michael wurde so zum Schutzpatron des sich langsam bildenden Römischen Reiches und später Deutschlands.

Nachrücken in die Nachfolge

Karl der Große und der junge Ludwig der Fromme. Miniatur aus einer Handschrift der Grandes Chroniques de France, 14. Jahrhundert.

Wenn es bei Karls Reichsteilungsplan (Divisio Regnorum) von 806 geblieben wäre, hätte Ludwig allenfalls eine spätere Erweiterung seines Unterkönigtums auf Septimanien, die Provence und Burgund erhoffen können. Jedoch verstarben Ludwigs ältere Brüder Pippin und Karl der Jüngere überraschend 810 bzw. 811. Ludwig blieb damit als einziger legitimer Sohn und Erbe übrig. Doch offenbar bestanden bei Karl und Teilen seines Hofes zunächst Vorbehalte gegenüber einer künftigen Alleinherrschaft Ludwigs. 812 wurde erst der Sohn des verstorbenen Pippin, Bernhard, zum Unterkönig in Italien bestellt. Schließlich wurde am 11. September 813 Ludwig der Fromme in Aachen während einer eigens einberufenen Reichsversammlung von seinem Vater zum Mitkaiser gekrönt. Ludwigs Biograph Thegan berichtet als einziger, dass Ludwig sich dabei selbst die Krone aufgesetzt habe, was allenfalls mit Gebrechlichkeit Karls zu erklären wäre. Die heutige Forschung schenkt jedoch den Reichsannalen mehr Glauben, denen zufolge Karl der Große persönlich seinem Sohn Ludwig die Krone aufs Haupt gesetzt hat.[2]

Die Krönung Ludwigs zum Mitkaiser entsprach oströmisch-byzantinischem Brauch. Nur durch die Aufnahme des römischen Rechtsinstituts „Mitkaisertum“ war es möglich, Ludwig den Kaisertitel zu übertragen, ohne ihn sogleich an der Herrschaft im Gesamtreich partizipieren zu lassen. So kehrte Ludwig nach dem Erhebungsakt nach Aquitanien zurück und nahm weiter seine Aufgaben als Unterkönig wahr. Nach dem Tod seines Vaters Karl am 28. Januar 814 zog er dann unverzüglich nach Aachen und trat die Herrschaft im Gesamtreich an. Da er bereits Kaiser war, erübrigte sich 814 ein weiterer Erhebungsakt, von welchem die Quellen auch nichts berichten.[3] Zwar wurde Ludwig der Fromme 816 (wohl am 5. Oktober) in Reims von Papst Stephan IV. gesalbt und nochmals gekrönt, doch hatte dieser Akt keine konstitutive Bedeutung, sondern sollte die Sakralität von Ludwigs Herrschaft betonen.[4]

Anfangsjahre als Kaiser

Ludwigs Herrschaftsübernahme verlief mühelos, aber nicht bruchlos. Ludwig brachte sein eigenes Personal aus Aquitanien mit und besetzte damit den Hofstaat größtenteils neu. Seine unverheirateten, aber nicht entsprechend lebenden Schwestern verwies er vom Hof. Seine illegitimen Halbbrüder Hugo, Drogo und Theoderich behielt er zunächst in seiner unmittelbaren Umgebung, zwang sie aber nach Rebellion seines Neffen Bernhard von Italien 818 in den Dienst der Kirche: Drogo wurde 823 Bischof von Metz, Hugo 822/23 Abt von Saint-Quentin und der offenbar früh verstorbene Theoderich wurde vielleicht Abt von Moyenmoutier, doch ist dies nicht sicher.[5]

Die ersten Jahre der Herrschaft Ludwigs des Frommen waren, ganz in der Tradition seines Vaters, von einem großen Reformwillen geprägt: Zahlreiche Kapitularien wurden herausgegeben, missi dominici (Königsboten) legten teilweise erschreckende Missstände im Reich offen (Amtsmissbrauch, Rechtsbeugung usw., was Ludwig dann abstellte) und auf verschiedenen Synoden wurde das Kirchenrecht reformiert. So wurden beispielsweise im Jahr 816 durch den Beschluss einer großen Aachener Reichssynode die benediktinischen Regeln für alle im Frankenreich lebenden Mönche verbindlich, ebenso wurde mit der Institutio canonicorum Aquisgranensis („Aachener Kanoniker-Vorschrift“) für den gesamten nichtmonastischen Klerus eine einzige Norm in Liturgie und Lebensführung für verbindlich erklärt.[6]

Eine weitere wesentliche Reform betraf das Prozessrecht: einige Formen des Gottesurteils wurden abgeschafft, dafür wurde der Zeugenbeweis eingeführt.[7] Stark war der Einfluss kirchlicher Berater, wie des Abts Benedikt von Aniane, den Ludwig aus Aquitanien mitgebracht hatte und dem er in der Nähe Aachens das Kloster Inda (auch: Inden, heute Kornelimünster) erbauen ließ, oder Markwards, des Abts von Prüm. Daneben ist insbesondere sein ehemaliger Milchbruder, Erzbischof Ebo von Reims, zu nennen, der allerdings später eine führende Rolle bei der Entmachtung Ludwigs 833 spielte.

Der Reichsteilungsplan von 817

Vielleicht durch einen Unfall gedrängt, den der Kaiser wie durch ein Wunder fast unverletzt überlebte, regelte er schon 817, im dritten Jahr seiner Herrschaft, seine Nachfolge. In der Ordinatio imperii teilte er das Reich nicht – wie es fränkischem Brauch entsprochen hätte und wie es auch Karl der Große ähnlich in seiner Divisio Regnorum von 806 vorgesehen hatte – einfach unter seinen drei Söhnen auf, sondern fand eine Sonderregel für das Kaisertum. Lothar, der älteste Sohn aus der 794 geschlossenen ersten Ehe mit Irmingard, wurde durch Ludwig den Frommen in Aachen zum Mitkaiser gekrönt. Ihm stand die Nachfolge im Kaisertum zu, und er sollte eine Art „außenpolitische“ Hoheit über das Gesamtreich erhalten. Die nachgeborenen Söhne Pippin und Ludwig wurden ihm untergeordnet, konnten nur auf „innenpolitischer“ Ebene in ihren Teilreichen entscheiden. Pippin bekam Aquitanien und Ludwig den östlichen Teil des Fränkischen Reichs. Wegen dieses grundlegend neuen Konzeptes der Ordinatio imperii, bei dem das Abendland nahe daran war, sich bewusst als politische Einheit zu formen, nannte Theodor Schieffer das Jahr 817 „den absoluten Höhepunkt des karolingischen Zeitalters und der fränkischen Geschichte“.[8]

Der 812 eingesetzte König Bernhard von Italien, ein Neffe Ludwigs des Frommen, wehrte sich gegen die Bestimmungen der Ordinatio imperii, da er seine Herrschaft über Italien gefährdet sehen musste. Der Aufstand wurde niedergeschlagen, der zunächst durch die Fürsten zum Tode verurteilte Bernhard wurde von Ludwig zur Blendung begnadigt. Bernhard starb an den Folgen der Prozedur − dies bedeutete für Ludwig "eine fühlbare moralische Belastung"[9].

Der Weg in die Krise: die 820er Jahre

Benedikt von Aniane, Ludwigs wichtigster Berater, verstarb 821; die kirchliche Reformbewegung erlahmte seitdem. Ludwig der Fromme führte wegen seines harten Vorgehens gegen Familienangehörige, vor allem den verstorbenen Bernhard, auf dem Reichstag von Attigny 822 einen öffentlichen Bußakt aus. Damit erfüllte er einen Wunsch führender Geistlicher, die ihrerseits Pflichtvernachlässigung einräumten; trotzdem bedeutete seine Kirchenbuße einen Prestigeverlust. Blieb das Itinerar Ludwigs des Frommen bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt ganz auf Aachen konzentriert, war in den darauffolgenden Jahren eine stärkere Reisetätigkeit zu beobachten, z. B. zu den Pfalzen nach Frankfurt und Ingelheim. Ludwigs Sohn Lothar war von 825 bis 829 offiziell Mitregent. 826 hatte Ludwig den Dänenkönig Harald Klak und dessen 400-köpfiges Gefolge zur Taufe in Ingelheim zu Gast; Ansgar, Bischof von Bremen und Erzbischof von Hamburg, begann in der Folgezeit seine Missionstätigkeit in Skandinavien.

Neue Probleme entstanden durch Ludwigs 819 geschlossene zweite Ehe mit Judith, der ebenso schönen wie willensstarken Tochter des schwäbischen Grafen Welf I. Für sie verstieß Ludwig gegen die von ihm selbst 817 aufgestellte Nachfolgeregelung, als er für Karl, den 823 geborenen Sohn aus seiner zweiten Ehe, mit Schwaben ein neues Teilreich schaffen wollte. Zugleich regte sich am Hof Unmut über den starken Einfluss Judiths auf den Kaiser. So schickte Ludwig 829 sicherlich auch auf ihr Drängen hin seinen erstgeborenen Sohn und Mitkaiser Lothar nach Italien und verwies Abt Wala von Corbie vom Hof.

Die zweimalige Entmachtung 830/33

Als Ludwig der Fromme ausgerechnet während der Fastenzeit 830 zu einem nicht akut notwendigen Feldzug gegen die Bretonen aufrief, der von den innenpolitischen Schwierigkeiten ablenken sollte, kam es im April 830 zum offenen Aufstand. Mühlbacher, Th. Schieffer und Boshof deuten diesen als „loyale Revolution“ bzw. „loyale Palastrebellion“, d. h. führende Große am Hof des Königs stellen sich aus Loyalität gegen Ludwig – im Bewusstsein, ihn damit vor schlechten Ratgebern zu schützen und die Reichseinheit zu retten.[10] Sein Sohn Lothar wurde aus Italien zurückgeholt und wieder zum Mitregenten gemacht, Ludwig der Fromme in leichter Haft gehalten, und die Kaiserin Judith, die des Ehebruchs mit Bernhard von Septimanien bezichtigt wurde, in ein Kloster bei Poitiers verbannt.

Lothars Regime enttäuschte jedoch rasch, denn die „loyalen Rebellen“ schienen in erster Linie doch nur ihre eigenen Machtinteressen zu verfolgen.[11] So kam es auf der Reichsversammlung von Nimwegen im Oktober 830 wieder zum Umschwung zugunsten Ludwigs. Ludwig der Fromme wurde wieder in seine Herrschaft eingesetzt, die Häupter der Verschwörung in der Folgezeit verhaftet oder verbannt, Judith nach Aachen zurückgeholt, Lothar dagegen 831 erneut nach Italien geschickt. Dessen aufständische Brüder Ludwig der Deutsche und Pippin konnten von ihrem Vater Ludwig dem Frommen 832 zur Unterwerfung gezwungen werden.

Damit begann ein neuer Akt des Familiendramas, denn nun verbündeten sich alle drei Söhne Ludwigs aus erster Ehe, die eine Schmälerung ihrer Reichsteile zugunsten ihres Halbbruders Karls des Kahlen befürchteten. Wiederum zog Ludwig gegen seine Söhne zu Felde. Ende Juni 833 standen sich die Parteien auf dem Rotfeld bei Colmar gegenüber, bis durch Druck und Versprechungen alle Getreuen und Soldaten von Ludwig abgefallen waren und Ludwig am 30. Juni gezwungen war, sich zu ergeben und faktisch abzudanken. Das Colmarer Rotfeld wurde aufgrund der von Ludwigs Söhnen und Getreuen gebrochenen Eide bald nur noch als Lügenfeld bezeichnet. Ludwig wurde ins Kloster Saint-Médard bei (heute in) Soissons verbannt, wo er sich einer demütigenden öffentlichen Buße unterwerfen musste; dabei bekam er ein „Sündenregister“ überreicht, musste er seine Waffen ablegen und ein Büßergewand anziehen. Die Kaiserin Judith wurde diesmal nach Tortona in Italien verbannt, ihr Sohn Karl der Kahle in strenge Haft ins Kloster Prüm überführt.

Abermals kam es zu einem Umschwung, diesmal wohl maßgeblich ausgelöst durch die unwürdige Behandlung des alten Kaisers. Als Anfang 834 Ludwigs Söhne Pippin, von Westen kommend, und Ludwig der Deutsche, aus dem Osten kommend, gegen ihren Bruder Lothar vorrückten, fand dieser keine Unterstützung mehr und konnte sich nur noch nach Italien absetzen. Am 1. März 834 wurde Ludwig der Fromme in der Abteikirche von Saint-Denis feierlich mit Waffen und Krone geschmückt und wieder als Kaiser anerkannt. Lothars Macht wurde auf Italien beschränkt, die Kaiserin Judith aber von dort wieder nach Aachen zurückgeholt.

Die letzten Jahre

Die fränkischen Reichsteilungen von 843 (Vertrag von Verdun) und 870 (Vertrag von Meersen)

Ein neuer Reichsteilungsplan 837 zugunsten Karls des Kahlen, des Sohnes Ludwigs aus zweiter Ehe, der dessen Herrschaft über Friesland und das Gebiet zwischen Maas und Seine vorsah, führte zu neuen Unruhen, die erst durch den Vertrag von Verdun 843 mit der endgültigen Teilung des Frankenreiches beendet wurden. Dabei ebnete der plötzliche Tod von Ludwigs Sohn Pippin 838 den Weg zu einer einigermaßen ausgewogenen Dreiteilung des Reiches unter die drei verbleibenden Söhne Lothar, Ludwig den Deutschen und Karl den Kahlen.

Bevor es dazu kommen sollte, hatte Ludwig der Fromme allerdings seinen Sohn Ludwig den Deutschen gegen sich aufgebracht, indem er ihm nur noch Bayern als Herrschaftsgebiet zugestehen wollte. Der Widerstand des Sohnes machte eine Strafexpedition notwendig, auf deren Rückkehr Ludwig der Fromme am 20. Juni 840 auf einer Rheininsel bei Ingelheim verstarb. Ursache war vermutlich ein Magen- oder Speiseröhrenkrebs in Verbindung mit einer Bronchitis.[12] Nach dem Bericht seines Biographen Astronomus, Vita Hludowici, Kap. 64, lauteten Ludwigs letzte Worte „Huz, huz“, fränkisch für „Hinaus, hinaus!“. So sprach er mit zur Seite gewandtem Haupt, denn offenbar hatte er dort einen bösen Geist zu sehen geglaubt; dann blickte er heiter zum Himmel und verschied lächelnd.

Ludwig hatte sich ursprünglich in dem von ihm gegründeten Kloster Inden, dem späteren Kornelimünster, bestatten lassen wollen. Im Westbau der heutigen Propsteipfarrkirche Kornelimünster gibt es noch heute die vorbereitete Grabstelle Ludwigs des Frommen. Jedoch veranlasste Ludwigs Halbbruder Drogo als Bischof von Metz, dass Ludwig der Fromme in der Abtei St. Arnulf in Metz beigesetzt wurde, wo auch seine Mutter Hildegard und andere Karolinger bestattet waren. Im 11. und 16. Jh. neu gestaltet, wurde Ludwigs Grabmal 1793 während der Französischen Revolution zerstört und seine Gebeine verstreut. Von Ludwigs wertvollem spätantiken Sarkophag, der den Zug des von den Ägyptern verfolgten Volkes Israel durch das Rote Meer darstellte, sind im Musée de la ville in Metz noch einige Fragmente erhalten.[13]

Nachwirkung

Romantisierendes Fantasieporträt Ludwigs aus einem Buch von 1888; vgl. auch das zugehörige Gedicht von Max Barack unter wikisource

Stellung zur heidnischen Kultur

Ludwig dem Frommen wurde in der Neuzeit manchmal vorgeworfen, für den Untergang germanischer Überlieferungen verantwortlich zu sein. Solche Behauptungen entbehren aber jeder Quellengrundlage. Es gibt lediglich einen einzigen Satz bei dem Ludwig-Biografen Thegan, Gesta Hludowici, Kap. 19, wo es heißt: „Die heidnischen Lieder [oder: Gedichte], die er [Ludwig] in seiner Jugend gelernt hatte, verachtete er und wollte sie weder lesen noch hören noch lehren.“ Es ist aber nicht einmal sicher, ob damit germanische Heldenlieder gemeint sind, wie sie Karl der Große laut Einhards Vita Karoli Magni, Kap. 29, hatte sammeln lassen – die „heidnischen Gedichte“ könnten sich genauso gut auf antike lateinische Gedichte beziehen wie z. B. Vergils römisches Nationalepos Aeneis, das mit Sicherheit in Ludwigs Jugend in seinem Unterricht behandelt worden war; zum möglichen Bezug der Stelle auf lateinische Gedichte vgl. auch Tremp.[14] Vor allem aber ist nur von Ludwigs persönlicher Geringschätzung dieser Lieder/Gedichte (worum auch immer es sich dabei handelte) die Rede, nirgends jedoch, auch nicht in anderen Quellen, von irgendwelchen Anweisungen Ludwigs zu deren Vernichtung, vgl. auch Boshof.[15]

Andererseits sah Ludwig der Fromme aber unbestritten in der „Verchristlichung“ des Frankenreiches eine seiner wichtigsten Aufgaben.[16] In seiner Missionspolitik ging er sogar noch über dessen Grenzen hinaus: 831 gründete Ludwig das Erzbistum Hamburg, von dem aus ganz Skandinavien missioniert werden sollte; Ebo von Reims und Ansgar, Bischof von Bremen-Hamburg wurden in seinem Auftrag zu den Initiatoren der nordischen Mission.[17]

Der Beiname „der Fromme“

Ein Denar Ludwigs des Frommen, geprägt 822–840. Inschrift: Avers: + HLVDOVVICVS IMP (Kaiser Ludwig), in der Mitte ein Kreuz; Revers: + XPISTIANA RELIGIO (christliche Religion), in der Mitte ein Tempel.

Während Ludwigs Vater Karl seinen Beinamen „der Große“ bereits zeitgenössisch erhielt, setzte sich Ludwigs Beiname „der Fromme“ erst im Laufe des 10. Jahrhunderts durch. Zwar wurde Ludwig auch schon zu Lebzeiten als pius (der Fromme) oder piissimus (der sehr Fromme) bezeichnet, doch war dies noch nicht als individueller Beiname gemeint. Iustitia (Gerechtigkeit) und pietas (in diesem Zusammenhang ein ganzer Begriffskomplex im Sinne von Frömmigkeit, Pflichttreue, Milde) galten als die beiden klassischen Herrschertugenden schlechthin. Die Vieldeutigkeit des Begriffes pius zeigt sich auch daran, dass Ludwig im Französischen zwei Beinamen hat: „Louis le Pieux“ (Ludwig der Fromme) und „Louis le Débonnaire“ (Ludwig der Gutmütige).

Auf Münzen nannte sich noch nicht der hier behandelte Ludwig, sondern sein heute als Ludwig der Deutsche bekannter Sohn „HLVDOVVICVS PIVS“, ebenso der letzte ostfränkische Karolinger Ludwig das Kind (900–911): Bis dahin erschien also der Beiname pius noch nicht fest an einen früheren Ludwig vergeben. Erst ab etwa 960 finden sich zunehmend Belege, die dem Ludwig dieses Artikels den eindeutig individuellen Beinamen „der Fromme“ zuweisen. Zudem kam erst im 19. Jahrhundert eine negative Interpretation von Ludwigs Beinamen auf – etwa im Sinne eines weltfernen Frömmlers –, doch ist diese Sichtweise von der modernen Geschichtswissenschaft korrigiert worden.[18]

Bilanz aus heutiger Perspektive

Für Ludwig den Frommen war es von vornherein nicht leicht, aus dem Schatten seines großen Vaters herauszutreten. Da nach Karls Eroberungen keine großen expansiven Erfolge mehr möglich waren, war es Ludwig von Anfang an vorgezeichnet, sich auf die weniger spektakuläre innere Konsolidierung des Reiches konzentrieren zu müssen. Früher kritisierte man Ludwig den Frommen für seine angeblich zu große Abhängigkeit von Beratern, doch relativiert Boshof heute diesen Vorwurf: Zu Ludwigs Zeit gab es keine Alternative mehr zu einer auf personalen Bindungen gegründeten Herrschaft; ein Gewaltregime hätte erst recht nicht funktioniert.[19] Auch kann von einer geistig-kulturellen Stagnation unter Ludwig dem Frommen keine Rede sein.[20]

Ludwigs Tragik war es, dass sein oben beschriebener, von ihm bis zuletzt modifiziert aufrechterhaltener Plan zur Wahrung der Reichseinheit keinen Erfolg haben sollte: Lothar und zeitweise auch einer „Reichseinheitspartei“ aus führenden Adligen gingen seine Pläne zu weit, seinen nachgeborenen Söhnen, die sich nicht der Oberhoheit des erstgeborenen Lothar beugen wollten, dagegen nicht weit genug. Hinzu kamen die Rivalität der Söhne aus erster Ehe gegen den Sohn Karl aus der zweiten Ehe sowie strukturelle Probleme der Adelsgesellschaft überhaupt. So lastet es die heutige Forschung nicht mehr allein Ludwig dem Frommen an, dass mit seiner Herrschaft die Aufteilung des Karolingerreiches ihren Anfang nahm.[21]

Nachkommen

Vor seiner ersten Ehe hatte Ludwig bereits aus einer Verbindung um das Jahr 793 zwei Kinder:

1. Alpais (Elpheid) (* wohl 794, † 23. Juli eines unbekannten Jahres, wohl nach dem 29. Mai 852), als Witwe Äbtissin von St-Pierre-le-Bas in Reims, ∞ um 806 Graf Bego († 28. Oktober 816) (Matfriede) 2. Arnulf (* wohl 794, † nach März/April 841), Graf von Sens

Erste Ehe: Ludwig heiratete 794 Irmingard (780–818), Tochter des Grafen Ingram.

1. Lothar I. (795–855), Kaiser 2. Pippin I. (803–838), König von Aquitanien 3. Rotrud, * wohl 800 4. Hildegard, * wohl 802/804, † nach Oktober 841, wohl am 23. August 860, Äbtissin von Notre-Dame (wohl in Laon) 5. Ludwig „der Deutsche“ (806–876), König des ostfränkischen Reiches

Eine seiner beiden Töchter von Irmingard heiratete Ratger, Graf von Limoges, oder Gerhard Graf von Auvergne, (Ramnulfiden) die wohl beide am 25. Juni 841 starben.

Zweite Ehe: Ludwig heiratete 819 Judith (795–843), Tochter des Grafen Welf.

1. Gisela (820–874), heiratete um 836 Eberhard, Markgraf von Friaul (Unruochinger) († 16. Dezember 864); beide wurden in Cysoing begraben 2. Karl II. „der Kahle“ (823–877), König des westfränkischen Reiches, Kaiser

Siehe auch

Innerdynastische Kämpfe der Karolinger 830–842

Quellen

Die wichtigsten Quellen über Ludwig dem Frommen sind zwei Biographien: die Gesta Hludowici („Die Taten Ludwigs“) des Thegan, verfasst 835/36, und die Vita Hludowici („Das Leben Ludwigs“) des so genannten Astronomus, verfasst 840/41, beide zuletzt ediert von Tremp:

Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Ernst Tremp (Hrsg.): Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum separatim editi 64: Thegan, Die Taten Kaiser Ludwigs (Gesta Hludowici imperatoris). Astronomus, Das Leben Kaiser Ludwigs (Vita Hludowici imperatoris). Hannover 1995 (Digitalisat)

Bis 829 reichen die fränkischen Reichsannalen[22]; für die Jahre ab 830 können die Annales Bertiniani[23] und die Annales Fuldenses[24] herangezogen werden.

Wichtige rechts- und verfassungsgeschichtliche Quellen sind die Kapitularien Ludwig des Frommen[25] sowie seine über 400 Urkunden, deren bislang fehlende wissenschaftliche Edition zur Zeit an der Universität Bonn erstellt wird.[26] Dazu kommen über 50 Urkundenformeln (so genannte Formulae imperiales) Ludwigs des Frommen.[27] Schließlich dichtete der Kleriker Ermoldus Nigellus 826/28 das 2649 Verse lange panegyrische Epos über Ludwig den Frommen „In honorem Hludowici christianissimi Caesaris augusti“.[28]

Das einschlägige Regestenwerk zu Ludwig dem Frommen ist der „Böhmer–Mühlbacher“:

Böhmer – Mühlbacher: Regesta Imperii I. Die Regesten des Kaiserreichs unter den Karolingern 751-918. Nach Johann Friedrich Böhmer neubearbeitet von Engelbert Mühlbacher. Nach Mühlbachers Tode vollendet von Johann Lechner. Georg Olms, Hildesheim 1966. Darin S. 239–412 Nr. 519e–1014c. (Digitalisat)

Literatur

Egon Boshof: Ludwig der Fromme. Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 3-89678-020-4 (derzeit vergriffen, aber als Book-on-Demand bei der WBG erhältlich) Rezension (maßgebliches Werk)

Egon Boshof: Kaiser Ludwig der Fromme. Überforderter Erbe des großen Karl? In: Zeitschrift des Aachener Geschichtsvereins. 103 (2001), S. 7–28.

Philippe Depreux: Prosopographie de l'entourage de Louis le Pieux (781–840). Sigmaringen 1997, ISBN 3-7995-7265-1

Ivan Gobry: Louis premier. Fils de Charlemagne. Paris 2002, ISBN 2-85704-736-3 Kritische Besprechung, PDF

Peter Godman/ Roger Collins (Hrsg.): Charlemagne's heir. New perspectives on the reign of Louis the Pious (814–840), Oxford 1990, ISBN 0-19-821994-6.

Mayke de Jong: The Penitential State. Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814–840. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2009, ISBN 978-0521881524.[29]

Theo Kölzer: Kaiser Ludwig der Fromme (814–840) im Sp -------------------- Louis the Pious (778 – 20 June 840), also called the Fair, and the Debonaire,[1] was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor (as Louis I) with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. As the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed.

During his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the Empire's southwestern frontier. He reconquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and re-asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona and the Basques south of the Pyrenees in 813. As emperor he included his adult sons—Lothair, Pepin, and Louis—in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm between them. The first decade of his reign was characterised by several tragedies and embarrassments, notably the brutal treatment of his nephew Bernard of Italy, for which Louis atoned in a public act of self-debasement. In the 830s his empire was torn by civil war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louis's attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans. Though his reign ended on a high note, with order largely restored to his empire, it was followed by three years of civil war. Louis is generally compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a distinctly different sort.

Birth and rule in Aquitaine

Louis was born while his father Charlemagne was on campaign in Spain, at the Carolingian villa of Cassinogilum, according to Einhard and the anonymous chronicler called Astronomus; the place is usually identified with Chasseneuil, near Poitiers.[2] He was the third son of Charlemagne by his wife Hildegard.

Louis was crowned king of Aquitaine as a child in 781 and sent there with regents and a court. Charlemagne constituted the sub-kingdom in order to secure the border of his kingdom after his devastating defeat at the hands of Basques in Roncesvalles in (778).

In 794, Charlemagne settled four former Gallo-Roman villas on Louis, in the thought that he would take in each in turn as winter residence: Doué-la-Fontaine in today's Anjou, Ebreuil in Allier, Angeac-Charente, and the disputed Cassinogilum. Charlemagne's intention was to see all his sons brought up as natives of their given territories, wearing the national costume of the region and ruling by the local customs. Thus were the children sent to their respective realms at so young an age. Each kingdom had its importance in keeping some frontier, Louis's was the Spanish March. In 797, Barcelona, the greatest city of the Marca, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, failing, handed it to them. The Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis marched the entire army of his kingdom, including Gascons with their duke Sancho I of Gascony, Provençals under Leibulf, and Goths under Bera, over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated. The sons were not given independence from central authority, however, and Charlemagne ingrained in them the concepts of empire and unity by sending them on military expeditions far from their home bases. Louis campaigned in the Italian Mezzogiorno against the Beneventans at least once.

Louis was one of Charlemagne's three legitimate sons to survive infancy, including his twin brother, Lothair. According to Frankish custom, Louis had expected to share his inheritance with his brothers, Charles the Younger, King of Neustria, and Pepin, King of Italy. In the Divisio Regnorum of 806, Charlemagne had slated Charles the Younger as his successor as emperor and chief king, ruling over the Frankish heartland of Neustria and Austrasia, while giving Pepin the Iron Crown of Lombardy, which Charlemagne possessed by conquest. To Louis's kingdom of Aquitaine, he added Septimania, Provence, and part of Burgundy.

But in the event, Charlemagne's other legitimate sons died — Pepin in 810 and Charles in 811 — and Louis alone remained to be crowned co-emperor with Charlemagne in 813. On his father's death in 814, he inherited the entire Frankish kingdom and all its possessions (with the sole exception of Italy, which remained within Louis's empire, but under the direct rule of Bernard, Pepin's son).

Emperor

He was in his villa of Doué-la-Fontaine, Anjou, when he received news of his father's passing. Hurrying to Aachen, he crowned himself and was proclaimed by the nobles with shouts of Vivat Imperator Ludovicus.

In his first coinage type, minted from the start of his reign, he imitated his father Charlemagne's portrait coinage, giving an image of imperial power and prestige in an echo of Roman glory.[3] He quickly enacted a "moral purge", in which he sent all of his unmarried sisters to nunneries, forgoing their diplomatic use as hostage brides in favour of the security of avoiding the entanglements that powerful brothers-in-law might bring. He spared his illegitimate half-brothers and tonsured his father's cousins, Adalard and Wala, shutting them up in Noirmoutier and Corbie, respectively, despite the latter's initial loyalty.

His chief counsellors were Bernard, margrave of Septimania, and Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims. The latter, born a serf, was raised by Louis to that office, but ungratefully betrayed him later. He retained some of his father's ministers, such as Elisachar, abbot of St. Maximin near Trier, and Hildebold, Archbishop of Cologne. Later he replaced Elisachar with Hildwin, abbot of many monasteries.

He also employed Benedict of Aniane (the Second Benedict), a Septimanian Visigoth and monastic founder, to help him reform the Frankish church. One of Benedict's primary reforms was to ensure that all religious houses in Louis' realm adhered to the Rule of Saint Benedict, named for its creator, Benedict of Nursia (480–550), the First Benedict.

In 816, Pope Stephen IV, who had succeeded Leo III, visited Reims and again crowned Louis. The Emperor thereby strengthened the papacy by recognising the importance of the pope in imperial coronations.

Ordinatio imperii

On Maundy Thursday 817, Louis and his court were crossing a wooden gallery from the cathedral to the palace in Aachen when the gallery collapsed, killing many. Louis, having barely survived and feeling the imminent danger of death, began planning for his succession; three months later he issued an Ordinatio Imperii, an imperial decree that laid out plans for an orderly succession. In 815, he had already given his two eldest sons a share in the government, when he had sent his elder sons Lothair and Pepin to govern Bavaria and Aquitaine respectively, though without the royal titles. Now, he proceeded to divide the empire among his three sons and his nephew Bernard of Italy:

   * Lothair was proclaimed and crowned co-emperor in Aix-la-Chapelle by his father. He was promised the succession to most of the Frankish dominions (excluding the exceptions below), and would be the overlord of his brothers and cousin.
   * Bernard, the son of Charlemagne's son Pippin of Italy, was confirmed as King of Italy, a title he had been allowed to inherit from his father by Charlemagne.
   * Pepin was proclaimed King of Aquitaine, his territory including Gascony, the march around Toulouse, and the counties of Carcassonne, Autun, Avallon and Nevers.
   * Louis, the youngest son, was proclaimed King of Bavaria and the neighbouring marches.

If one of the subordinate kings died, he was to be succeeded by his sons. If he died childless, Lothair would inherit his kingdom. In the event of Lothair dying without sons, one of Louis the Pious' younger sons would be chosen to replace him by "the people". Above all, the Empire would not be divided: the Emperor would rule supreme over the subordinate kings, whose obedience to him was mandatory.

With this settlement, Louis tried to combine his sense for the Empire's unity, supported by the clergy, while at the same time providing positions for all of his sons. Instead of treating his sons equally in status and land, he elevated his first-born son Lothair above his younger brothers and gave him the largest part of the Empire as his share.

Bernard's rebellion and Louis's penance

The ordinatio imperii of Aachen left Bernard of Italy in an uncertain and subordinate position as king of Italy, and he began plotting to declare independence upon hearing of it. Louis immediately directed his army towards Italy, and betook himself to Chalon-sur-Saône. Intimidated by the emperor's swift action, Bernard met his uncle at Chalon, under invitation, and surrendered. He was taken to Aix-la-Chapelle by Louis, who there had him tried and condemned to death for treason. Louis had the sentence commuted to blinding, which was duly carried out; Bernard did not survive the ordeal, however, dying after two days of agony. Others also suffered: Theodulf of Orléans, in eclipse since the death of Charlemagne, was accused of having supported the rebellion, and was thrown into a monastic prison, where he died soon after - poisoned, it was rumoured.[4] The fate of his nephew deeply marked Louis's conscience for the rest of his life.

In 822, as a deeply religious man, Louis performed penance for causing Bernard's death, at his palace of Attigny near Vouziers in the Ardennes, before Pope Paschal I, and a council of ecclesiastics and nobles of the realm that had been convened for the reconciliation of Louis with his three younger half-brothers, Hugo whom he soon made abbot of St-Quentin, Drogo whom he soon made Bishop of Metz, and Theodoric. This act of contrition, partly in emulation of Theodosius I, had the effect of greatly reducing his prestige as a Frankish ruler, for he also recited a list of minor offences about which no secular ruler of the time would have taken any notice. He also made the egregious error of releasing Wala and Adalard from their monastic confinements, placing the former in a position of power in the court of Lothair and the latter in a position in his own house.

Frontier wars

At the start of Louis's reign, the many tribes — Danes, Obotrites, Slovenes, Bretons, Basques — which inhabited his frontierlands were still in awe of the Frankish emperor's power and dared not stir up any trouble. In 816, however, the Sorbs rebelled and were quickly followed by Slavomir, chief of the Obotrites, who was captured and abandoned by his own people, being replaced by Ceadrag in 818. Soon, Ceadrag too had turned against the Franks and allied with the Danes, who were to become the greatest menace of the Franks in a short time.

A greater Slavic menace was gathering on the southeast. There, Ljudevit Posavski, duke of Pannonia, was harassing the border at the Drava and Sava rivers. The margrave of Friuli, Cadolah, was sent out against him, but he died on campaign and, in 820, his margarvate was invaded by Slovenes. In 821, an alliance was made with Borna, duke of the Dalmatia, and Ljudevit was brought to heel. In 824 several Slav tribes in the north-western parts of Bulgaria acknowledged Louis's suzerainity and after he was reluctant to settle the matter peacefully with the Bulgarian ruler Omurtag, in 827 the Bulgarians attacked the Franks in Pannonia and regained their lands.

On the far southern edge of his great realm, Louis had to control the Lombard princes of Benevento whom Charlemagne had never subjugated. He extracted promises from Princes Grimoald IV and Sico, but to no effect.

On the southwestern frontier, problems commenced early when, in 815, Séguin, duke of Gascony, revolted. He was defeated and replaced by Lupus III, who was dispossessed in 818 by the emperor. In 820 an assembly at Quierzy-sur-Oise decided to send an expedition against the Cordoban caliphate. The counts in charge of the army, Hugh, count of Tours, and Matfrid, count of Orléans, were slow in acting and the expedition came to naught.

First civil war

In 818, as Louis was returning from a campaign to Brittany, he was greeted by news of the death of his wife, Ermengarde. Ermengarde was the daughter of Ingerman, the duke of Hesbaye. Louis had been close to his wife, who had been involved in policymaking. It was rumoured that she had played a part in her nephew's death and Louis himself believed her own death was divine retribution for that event. It took many months for his courtiers and advisors to convince him to remarry, but eventually he did, in 820, to Judith, daughter of Welf, count of Altdorf. In 823 Judith gave birth to a son, who was named Charles.

The birth of this son damaged the Partition of Aachen, as Louis's attempts to provide for his fourth son met with stiff resistance from his older sons, and the last two decades of his reign were marked by civil war.

At Worms in 829, Louis gave Charles Alemannia with the title of king or duke (historians differ on this), thus enraging his son and co-emperor Lothair,[5] whose promised share was thereby diminished. An insurrection was soon at hand. With the urging of the vengeful Wala and the cooperation of his brothers, Lothair accused Judith of having committed adultery with Bernard of Septimania, even suggesting Bernard to be the true father of Charles. Ebbo and Hildwin abandoned the emperor at that point, Bernard having risen to greater heights than either of them. Agobard, Archbishop of Lyon, and Jesse, bishop of Amiens, too, opposed the redivision of the empire and lent their episcopal prestige to the rebels.

In 830, at Wala's insistence that Bernard of Septimania was plotting against him, Pepin of Aquitaine led an army of Gascons, with the support of the Neustrian magnates, all the way to Paris. At Verberie, Louis the German joined him. At that time, the emperor returned from another campaign in Brittany to find his empire at war with itself. He marched as far as Compiègne, an ancient royal town, before being surrounded by Pepin's forces and captured. Judith was incarcerated at Poitiers and Bernard fled to Barcelona.

Then Lothair finally set out with a large Lombard army, but Louis had promised his sons Louis the German and Pepin of Aquitaine greater shares of the inheritance, prompting them to shift loyalties in favour of their father. When Lothair tried to call a general council of the realm in Nijmegen, in the heart of Austrasia, the Austrasians and Rhinelanders came with a following of armed retainers, and the disloyal sons were forced to free their father and bow at his feet (831). Lothair was pardoned, but disgraced and banished to Italy. Pepin returned to Aquitaine and Judith - after being forced to humiliate herself with a solemn oath of innocence - to Louis's court. Only Wala was severely dealt with, making his way to a secluded monastery on the shores of Lake Geneva. Though Hilduin, abbot of Saint Denis, was exiled to Paderborn and Elisachar and Matfrid were deprived of their honours north of the Alps; they did not lose their freedom.

Second civil war

The next revolt occurred a mere two years later (832). The disaffected Pepin was summoned to his father's court, where he was so poorly received he left against his father's orders. Immediately, fearing that Pepin would be stirred up to revolt by his nobles and desiring to reform his morals, Louis the Pious summoned all his forces to meet in Aquitaine in preparation of an uprising, but Louis the German garnered an army of Slav allies and conquered Swabia before the emperor could react. Once again the elder Louis divided his vast realm. At Jonac, he declared Charles king of Aquitaine and deprived Pepin (he was less harsh with the younger Louis), restoring the whole rest of the empire to Lothair, not yet involved in the civil war. Lothair was, however, interested in usurping his father's authority. His ministers had been in contact with Pepin and may have convinced him and Louis the German to rebel, promising him Alemannia, the kingdom of Charles.

Soon Lothair, with the support of Pope Gregory IV, whom he had confirmed in office without his father's support, joined the revolt in 833. While Louis was at Worms gathering a new force, Lothair marched north. Louis marched south. The armies met on the plains of the Rothfeld. There, Gregory met the emperor and may have tried to sow dissension amongst his ranks. Soon much of Louis's army had evaporated before his eyes, and he ordered his few remaining followers to go, because "it would be a pity if any man lost his life or limb on my account." The resigned emperor was taken to Saint Médard at Soissons, his son Charles to Prüm, and the queen to Tortona. The despicable show of disloyalty and disingenuousness earned the site the name Field of Lies, or Lügenfeld, or Campus Mendacii, ubi plurimorum fidelitas exstincta est[6]

On 13 November 833, Ebbo of Rheims presided over a synod in the Church of Saint Mary in Soissons which deposed Louis and forced him to publicly confess many crimes, none of which he had, in fact, committed. In return, Lothair gave Ebbo the Abbey of Saint Vaast. Men like Rabanus Maurus, Louis' younger half-brothers Drogo and Hugh, and Emma, Judith's sister and Louis the German's new wife, worked on the younger Louis to make peace with his father, for the sake of unity of the empire. The humiliation to which Louis was then subjected at Notre Dame in Compiègne turned the loyal barons of Austrasia and Saxony against Lothair, and the usurper fled to Burgundy, skirmishing with loyalists near Chalon-sur-Saône. Louis was restored the next year, on 1 March 834.

On Lothair's return to Italy, Wala, Jesse, and Matfrid, formerly count of Orléans, died of a pestilence and, on 2 February 835, the Synod of Thionville deposed Ebbo, Agobard, Bernard, Bishop of Vienne, and Bartholomew, Archbishop of Narbonne. Lothair himself fell ill; events had turned completely in Louis favour once again.

In 836, however, the family made peace and Louis restored Pepin and Louis, deprived Lothair of all save Italy, and gave it to Charles in a new division, given at the diet of Crémieu. At about that time, the Vikings terrorised and sacked Utrecht and Antwerp. In 837, they went up the Rhine as far as Nijmegen, and their king, Rorik, demanded the wergild of some of his followers killed on previous expeditions before Louis the Pious mustered a massive force and marched against them. They fled, but it would not be the last time they harried the northern coasts. In 838, they even claimed sovereignty over Frisia, but a treaty was confirmed between them and the Franks in 839. Louis the Pious ordered the construction of a North Sea fleet and the sending of missi dominici into Frisia to establish Frankish sovereignty there.

Third civil war

In 837, Louis crowned Charles king over all of Alemannia and Burgundy and gave him a portion of his brother Louis' land. Louis the German promptly rose in revolt, and the emperor redivided his realm again at Quierzy-sur-Oise, giving all of the young king of Bavaria's lands, save Bavaria itself, to Charles. Emperor Louis did not stop there, however. His devotion to Charles knew no bounds. When Pepin died in 838, Louis declared Charles the new king of Aquitaine. The nobles, however, elected Pepin's son Pepin II. When Louis threatened invasion, the third great civil war of his reign broke out. In the spring of 839, Louis the German invaded Swabia, Pepin II and his Gascon subjects fought all the way to the Loire, and the Danes returned to ravage the Frisian coast (sacking Dorstad for a second time).

Lothair, for the first time in a long time, allied with his father and pledged support at Worms in exchange for a redivision of the inheritance. By a final placitum issued there, Louis gave Bavaria to Louis the German and disinherited Pepin II, leaving the entire remainder of the empire to be divided roughly into an eastern part and a western. Lothair was given the choice of which partition he would inherit and he chose the eastern, including Italy, leaving the western for Charles. The emperor quickly subjugated Aquitaine and had Charles recognised by the nobles and clergy at Clermont-en-Auvergne in 840. Louis then, in a final flash of glory, rushed into Bavaria and forced the younger Louis into the Ostmark. The empire now settled as he had declared it at Worms, he returned in July to Frankfurt am Main, where he disbanded the army. The final civil war of his reign was over.

Death

Louis fell ill soon after his final victorious campaigns and went to his summer hunting lodge on an island in the Rhine, by his palace at Ingelheim. On 20 June 840, he died, in the presence of many bishops and clerics and in the arms of his half-brother Drogo, though Charles and Judith were absent in Poitiers. Soon dispute plunged the surviving brothers into a civil war that was only settled in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun, which split the Frankish realm into three parts, to become the kernels of France and Germany, with Burgundy and the Low Countries between them. The dispute over the kingship of Aquitaine was not fully settled until 860.

Louis the Pious, along with his half-brother Drogo, were buried in Saint Pierre aux Nonnains Basilica in Metz.

Marriage and issue

By his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye (married ca 794-98), he had three sons and three daughters:

   * Lothair (795–855), king of Middle Francia
   * Pepin (797–838), king of Aquitaine
   * Adelaide (b. c. 799)
   * Rotrude (b. 800), married Gerard
   * Hildegard (or Matilda) (b. c. 802), married Gerard, Count of Auvergne
   * Louis the German (c. 805–875), king of East Francia

By his second wife, Judith of Bavaria, he had a daughter and a son:

   * Gisela, married Eberhard I of Friuli
   * Charles the Bald, king of West Francia

By Theodelinde of Sens[citation needed], he had two illegitimate children:

   * Arnulf of Sens
   * Alpais

-------------------- 7. Louis I Emperor of The West, [The Pious], b. Aug 778, Casseneuil, L-Grnn, France, d. 20 Jun 840, near, Ingelheim, Rhnhss, Hesse Family 2 Judith Empress of The West, [The Fair], b. Abt 800, of, Bavaria, d. 19 Apr 843, Tours, I-Lr, France

Ludvig I den Fromme - Louis I the Pious - Louis of Aquitaine = Louis le Pieux = Louis le Débonnaire = Ludwig der Fromme = Louis the Fair;;

King of Aquitania from 15/4 781; King of the Franks and Italy from 814 to 833 and 834 to 840; Co-emperor from 813, Emperor from 28/1 814 after Pepin and Charles have died. Louis reunited the three parts of the country.

Vedi padre "Karl den store". ("Carlo Magno").

-------------------- . Louis I Emperor of The West, [The Pious], b. Aug 778, Casseneuil, L-Grnn, France, d. 20 Jun 840, near, Ingelheim, Rhnhss, Hesse Family 2 Judith Empress of The West, [The Fair], b. Abt 800, of, Bavaria, d. 19 Apr 843, Tours, I-Lr, France -------------------- http://www.celtic-casimir.com/webtree/2/2515.htm -------------------- Koning van Acquitanie, Roi, Empereur, koning van Aquitanië, keizer, keizer en mederegent van het West-Romeinse rijk, keizer van Duitsland

  1. Geboren op 20 april 778 - Chasseneuil bij Poitiers
  2. Overleden op 24 juni 840 - eiland in de rijn bij Ingelheim
  3. Leeftijd bij overlijden: 62 jaar oud
  4. Begraven op 5 juli 874 - Saint-Arnould bij Metz

-------------------- Reigned Between 814 and 840

AKA: Empereur d'Occident, Emperor of the HRE, King Of France, Lothaire Carolingian, and Louis I of the Franks -------------------- Son of Charlemagne & Hildegarde of Swabia -------------------- Louis the Pious (778 – 20 June 840), also called the Fair, and the Debonaire,[1] was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor (as Louis I) with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. As the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed.

During his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the Empire's southwestern frontier. He conquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona and the Basques south of the Pyrenees in 812. As emperor he included his adult sons, Lothair, Pepin, and Louis, in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm among them. The first decade of his reign was characterised by several tragedies and embarrassments, notably the brutal treatment of his nephew Bernard of Italy, for which Louis atoned in a public act of self-debasement. In the 830s his empire was torn by civil war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louis's attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans. Though his reign ended on a high note, with order largely restored to his empire, it was followed by three years of civil war. Louis is generally compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a distinctly different sort.

Louis was born while his father Charlemagne was on campaign in Spain, at the Carolingian villa of Cassinogilum, according to Einhard and the anonymous chronicler called Astronomus; the place is usually identified with Chasseneuil, near Poitiers.[2] He was the third son of Charlemagne by his wife Hildegard. His grandfather was Pepin the Short.

Louis was crowned King of Aquitaine as a child in 781 and sent there with regents and a court. Charlemagne constituted the sub-kingdom in order to secure the border of his kingdom after the destructive war against the Aquitanians and Basques under Waifer (capitulated c. 768) and later Hunald II, which culminated in the disastrous Battle of Roncesvalles (778). Charlemagne wanted his son Louis to grow up in the area where he was to reign. However, in 785, wary of the customs his son may have been taking in Aquitaine, Charlemagne sent for him to Aquitaine and Louis presented himself at the Royal Council of Paderborn dressed up in Basque costumes along with other youths in the same garment, which may have made a good impression in Toulouse, since the Basques of Vasconia were a mainstay of the Aquitanian army.

In 794, Charlemagne settled four former Gallo-Roman villas on Louis, in the thought that he would take in each in turn as winter residence: Doué-la-Fontaine in today's Anjou, Ebreuil in Allier, Angeac-Charente, and the disputed Cassinogilum. Charlemagne's intention was to see all his sons brought up as natives of their given territories, wearing the national costume of the region and ruling by the local customs. Thus were the children sent to their respective realms at so young an age. Each kingdom had its importance in keeping some frontier, Louis's was the Spanish March. In 797, Barcelona, the greatest city of the Marca, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, failing, handed it to them. The Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis marched the entire army of his kingdom, including Gascons with their duke Sancho I of Gascony, Provençals under Leibulf, and Goths under Bera, over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated. The sons were not given independence from central authority, however, and Charlemagne ingrained in them the concepts of empire and unity by sending them on military expeditions far from their home bases. Louis campaigned in the Italian Mezzogiorno against the Beneventans at least once.

Louis was one of Charlemagne's three legitimate sons to survive infancy, including his twin brother, Lothair. According to Frankish custom, Louis had expected to share his inheritance with his brothers, Charles the Younger, King of Neustria, and Pepin, King of Italy. In the Divisio Regnorum of 806, Charlemagne had slated Charles the Younger as his successor as emperor and chief king, ruling over the Frankish heartland of Neustria and Austrasia, while giving Pepin the Iron Crown of Lombardy, which Charlemagne possessed by conquest. To Louis's kingdom of Aquitaine, he added Septimania, Provence, and part of Burgundy.

But in the event, Charlemagne's other legitimate sons died – Pepin in 810 and Charles in 811 – and Louis alone remained to be crowned co-emperor with Charlemagne in 813. On his father's death in 814, he inherited the entire Frankish kingdom and all its possessions (with the sole exception of Italy, which remained within Louis's empire, but under the direct rule of Bernard, Pepin's son).

He was in his villa of Doué-la-Fontaine, Anjou, when he received news of his father's death. Hurrying to Aachen, he crowned himself and was proclaimed by the nobles with shouts of Vivat Imperator Ludovicus.

In his first coinage type, minted from the start of his reign, he imitated his father Charlemagne's portrait coinage, giving an image of imperial power and prestige in an echo of Roman glory.[3] He quickly enacted a "moral purge", in which he sent all of his unmarried sisters to nunneries, forgoing their diplomatic use as hostage brides in favour of the security of avoiding the entanglements that powerful brothers-in-law might bring. He spared his illegitimate half-brothers and tonsured his father's cousins, Adalard and Wala, shutting them up in Noirmoutier and Corbie, respectively, despite the latter's initial loyalty.

His chief counsellors were Bernard, margrave of Septimania, and Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims. The latter, born a serf, was raised by Louis to that office, but ungratefully betrayed him later. He retained some of his father's ministers, such as Elisachar, abbot of St. Maximin near Trier, and Hildebold, Archbishop of Cologne. Later he replaced Elisachar with Hildwin, abbot of many monasteries.

He also employed Benedict of Aniane (the Second Benedict), a Septimanian Visigo

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Louis I, son of Charlemagne & Hildegard's Timeline

778
April 16, 778
Casseneuil, Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine, Carolingian Empire (within present France)
October 6, 778
778
Casseneuil France
781
April 12, 781
Age 3
Rome, , Italy
April 12, 781
Age 3
Rome, Italy
April 12, 781
Age 3
Rome, , Italy
April 12, 781
Age 3
Rome, , Italy
April 12, 781
Age 3
Rome, , Italy
April 12, 781
Age 3
Rome, , Italy
April 12, 781
Age 3
Rome City, Italy