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In medieval history, West Francia (
Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Literary Latin used in Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Western Europe during the Middle Ages. In this region it served as the primary written language, though local languages were also written to varying deg ...
: ) or the Kingdom of the West Franks () refers to the western part of the
Frankish Empire Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire ( la, Imperium Francorum), was the largest History of the Roman Empire, post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It ...

Frankish Empire
established by
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; german: Karl der Große; 2 April 747 – 28 January 814), a member of the Carolingian dynasty, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, and the first Holy ...

Charlemagne
. It represents the earliest stage of the
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France; frm, Royaulme de France; french: link=yes, Royaume de France) is the historiographical name or umbrella term given to various political entities of France France (), officially the Fr ...
, lasting from about 840 until 987. West Francia emerged from the partition of the
Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Franks, Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe during the Early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of ...
in 843 under the
Treaty of Verdun The Treaty of Verdun (), agreed in , divided the Francia, Frankish Empire into three kingdoms among the surviving sons of the emperor Louis the Pious, Louis I, the son and successor of Charlemagne. The treaty was concluded following almost three ...

Treaty of Verdun
following the death of Charlemagne's son,
Louis the Pious Louis the Pious (german: Ludwig der Fromme; french: Louis le Pieux; 16 April 778 – 20 June 840), also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor, co-emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. He was ...

Louis the Pious
. It is considered the first polity in
French history The first written records for the history of France appeared in the Iron Age France, Iron Age. What is now France made up the bulk of the region known to the Romans as Gaul. The first writings on indigenous populations mainly start in the first ...
. West Francia extended further north and south than modern
metropolitan France Metropolitan France (french: France métropolitaine or ''la Métropole''), also known as European France (french: Territoire européen de la France) is the area of France which is geographically in Europe. This collective name for the European ...

metropolitan France
, but it did not extend as far east. It did not include such future French holdings as
Lorraine Lorraine , also , , ; Lorrain language, Lorrain: ''Louréne''; Lorraine Franconian: ''Lottringe''; german: Lothringen ; lb, Loutrengen; nl, Lotharingen is a cultural and historical region in Northeastern France, now located in the Regions of ...
, the
County A county is a geographic region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
and
Kingdom of Burgundy Kingdom of Burgundy was a name given to various states located in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The historical Burgundy correlates with the border area of France, Italy and Switzerland and includes the major modern cities of Geneva and ...
(the
duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a Middle Ages, medieval country, territory, fiefdom, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess, a ruler hierarchically second to the king or Queen regnant, queen in Western European tradition. There once exis ...

duchy
was already a part of West Francia),
Alsace Alsace (, ; ; Low Alemannic German/ gsw-FR, Elsàss ; german: Elsass ; la, Alsatia) is a cultural region and a territorial collectivity in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. In 2020, it had ...
and
Provence Provence (, , , , ; oc, Provença or ''Prouvènço'' , ) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône to the west to the France–Italy border, Italian border ...
in the east and southeast for example. It also did not include the
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula, historical country and cultural area in the west of modern France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country pri ...

Brittany
peninsula in the west. In addition, by the 10th century the authority of the West Frankish monarchs was greatly reduced. This was contrasted by the evergrowing power of their vassals over their large and usually territorially contiguous fiefs. The power vacuum left by a weak royal authority meant wars between fiefs were rampant, and so were conflicts between the vassals and the Frankish monarchs themselves. The period was also marked by endless
Viking Vikings ; non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden), who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and se ...

Viking
raids on the kingdom and clashes between the West Franks and the Norsemen. This eventually led to the establishment of the
Duchy of Normandy The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between Charles the Simple, King Charles III of West Francia and the Viking leader Rollo. The duchy was named for its inhabitants, the Normans. From 1066 until 1204, as a res ...

Duchy of Normandy
, which was granted to the Norseman
Rollo Rollo ( nrf, Rou, ''Rolloun''; non, Hrólfr; french: Rollon; died between 928 and 933) was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, today a region in northern France. He emerged as the outstanding warrior among the Norsemen who had se ...

Rollo
and his men following their unsuccessful siege at Chartres in 911 in exchange for an oath of fealty to King
Charles the Simple Charles III (17 September 879 – 7 October 929), called the Simple or the Straightforward (from the Latin ''Carolus Simplex''), was the king of West Francia from 898 until 922 and the king of Lotharingia from 911 until 919–923. He was a memb ...

Charles the Simple
. The
fiefdom A fief (; la, feudum) was a central element in medieval contracts based on feudal law. It consisted of a form of property holding or other rights granted by an Lord, overlord to a vassal, who held it in fealty or "in fee" in return for a for ...
of
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian languages) is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern ...

Normandy
was first a county then a duchy, and like other great fiefs of West Francia became largely autonomous, with magnates even more powerful than their monarch. In
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula, historical country and cultural area in the west of modern France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country pri ...
and
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an autonomous community of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, nationality'' by its Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 2006, Statute ...
the authority of the West Frankish king was barely felt. West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, and for the half-century between 888 and 936 candidates from the
Carolingian The Carolingian dynasty (; known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Franks, Frankish noble family named after Charlemagne, grandson of Mayor of the palace, mayor Charles Martel and a descendant ...
and Robertian houses were alternately chosen as monarchs.Lewis 1965, 179–180. By this time the power of king became weaker and more nominal, as the regional dukes and nobles became more powerful in their semi-independent regions. The Robertians, after becoming counts of Paris and dukes of France, became kings themselves and established the
Capetian dynasty The Capetian dynasty (; french: Capétiens), also known as the House of France, is a dynasty of Franks, Frankish origin, and a branch of the Robertians. It is among the largest and oldest dynasty, royal houses in Europe and the world, and cons ...
after 987, which is, although arbitrary, generally defined as the gradual transition towards the Kingdom of France.


Formation and borders

In August 843, after three years of civil war following the death of Louis the Pious on 20 June 840, the
Treaty of Verdun The Treaty of Verdun (), agreed in , divided the Francia, Frankish Empire into three kingdoms among the surviving sons of the emperor Louis the Pious, Louis I, the son and successor of Charlemagne. The treaty was concluded following almost three ...

Treaty of Verdun
was signed by his three sons and heirs. The youngest,
Charles the Bald Charles the Bald (french: Charles le Chauve; 13 June 823 – 6 October 877), also known as Charles II, was a 9th-century king of West Francia (843–877), king of Italy (875–877) and emperor of the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Emp ...

Charles the Bald
, received western Francia. The contemporary West Frankish ''
Annales Bertiniani ''Annales Bertiniani'' (''Annals of Saint Bertin'') are late Carolingian, Frankish annals that were found in the Abbey of Saint Bertin, Saint-Omer, France, after which they are named. Their account is taken to cover the period 830-82, thus co ...
'' describes Charles arriving at Verdun, "where the distribution of portions" took place. After describing the portions of his brothers, Lothair the Emperor (
Middle Francia Middle Francia ( la, Francia media) was a short-lived Frankish kingdom which was created in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun after an intermittent civil war between the grandsons of Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, ...
) and
Louis the German Louis the German (c. 806/810 – 28 August 876), also known as Louis II of Germany and Louis II of East Francia, was the first king of East Francia, and ruled from 843 to 876 AD. Grandson of emperor Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or ...
(
East Francia East Francia (Medieval Latin: ) or the Kingdom of the East Franks () was a successor state of Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire, empire ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911. It was created through the Treaty of Verdun (843) which divided t ...
), he notes that "the rest as far as Spain they ceded to Charles". The ''
Annales Fuldenses The ''Annales Fuldenses'' or ''Annals of Fulda'' are East Francia, East Frankish chronicles that cover independently the period from the last years of Louis the Pious (died 840) to shortly after the end of effective Carolingian rule in East Franc ...
'' of East Francia describe Charles as holding the western part after the kingdom was "divided in three". Since the death of King Pippin I of Aquitaine in December 838, his son had been recognised by the Aquitainian nobility as King Pippin II of Aquitaine, although the succession had not been recognised by the emperor. Charles the Bald was at war with Pippin II from the start of his reign in 840, and the Treaty of Verdun ignored the claimant and assigned
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France and a former regions of France, administrative region of the count ...
to Charles. Accordingly, in June 845, after several military defeats, Charles signed the Treaty of Benoît-sur-Loire and recognised his nephew's rule. This agreement lasted until 25 March 848, when the Aquitainian barons recognised Charles as their king. Thereafter Charles's armies had the upper hand, and by 849 had secured most of Aquitaine. In May, Charles had himself crowned "King of the Franks and Aquitainians" in Orléans. Archbishop Wenilo of Sens officiated at the coronation, which included the first instance of royal unction in West Francia. The idea of anointing Charles may be owed to Archbishop
Hincmar of Reims Hincmar (; ; la, Hincmarus; 806 – 21 December 882), archbishop of Reims, was a Frankish jurist and theologian, as well as the friend, advisor and propagandist of Charles the Bald Charles the Bald (french: Charles le Chauve; 13 June 823 ...
, who composed no less than four ''ordines'' describing appropriate liturgies for a royal consecration. By the time of the Synod of Quierzy (858), Hincmar was claiming that Charles was anointed to the entire West Frankish kingdom. With the Treaty of Mersen in 870 the western part of
Lotharingia Lotharingia ( la, regnum Lotharii regnum Lothariense Lotharingia; french: Lotharingie; german: Reich des Lothar Lotharingien Mittelreich; nl, Lotharingen) was a short-lived medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire. As a more durable ...
was added to West Francia. In 875 Charles the Bald was crowned Emperor of Rome. The last record in the ''Annales Bertiniani'' dates to 882, and so the only contemporary narrative source for the next eighteen years in West Francia is the ''
Annales Vedastini {{italic title The ''Annales Vedastini'' or ''Annals of St-Vaast'' are a series of annals written in the early tenth century at the Abbey of St. Vaast in Arras. They are an important source for the ninth century. The years from 874 to 900 are covere ...
''. The next set of original annals from the West Frankish kingdom are those of
Flodoard Flodoard of Reims (; 893/4 – 28 March 966) was a Frankish chronicler and priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more dei ...
, who began his account with the year 919.


Reign of Charles the Fat

After the death of Charles's grandson, Carloman II, on 12 December 884, the West Frankish nobles elected his uncle,
Charles the Fat Charles III (839 – 13 January 888), also known as Charles the Fat, was the emperor of the Carolingian Empire from 881 to 888. A member of the Carolingian dynasty, Charles was the youngest son of Louis the German and Hemma, and a great-grandson ...
, already king in
East Francia East Francia (Medieval Latin: ) or the Kingdom of the East Franks () was a successor state of Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire, empire ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911. It was created through the Treaty of Verdun (843) which divided t ...
and
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861, when Victor Emmanuel II of Kingdom of Sardinia, Sardinia was proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed King of Italy, until 1946, when civil discontent led to ...
, as their king. He was probably crowned "King in Gaul" (''rex in Gallia'') on 20 May 885 at
Grand Grand may refer to: People with the name * Grand (surname) * Grand L. Bush (born 1955), American actor * Grand Mixer DXT, American turntablist * Grand Puba (born 1966), American rapper Places * Grand, Oklahoma * Grand, Vosges, village and commun ...
. His reign was the only time after the death of Louis the Pious that all of Francia would be re-united under one ruler. In his capacity as king of West Francia, he seems to have granted the royal title and perhaps regalia to the semi-independent ruler of Brittany,
Alan I Alan I may refer to: * Alan I, King of Brittany (died 907) * Alan I, Viscount of Rohan (1084–1147) {{hndis ...
. His handling of the Viking siege of Paris in 885–86 greatly reduced his prestige. In November 887 his nephew,
Arnulf of Carinthia Arnulf of Carinthia ( 850 – 8 December 899) was the duke of Carinthia who overthrew his uncle Emperor Charles the Fat to become the Carolingian dynasty, Carolingian king of East Francia from 887, the disputed king of Italy from 894 and the disp ...
revolted and assumed the title as King of the East Franks. Charles retired and soon died on 13 January 888. In Aquitaine, Duke Ranulf II may have had himself recognised as king, but he only lived another two years. Although Aquitaine did not become a separate kingdom, it was largely outside the control of the West Frankish kings. Odo, Count of Paris was then elected by nobles as the new king of West Francia, and was crowned the next month. At this point, West Francia was composed of
Neustria Neustria was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks. Neustria included the land between the Loire and the Silva Carbonaria, approximately the north of present-day France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a ...
in the west and in the east by Francia proper, the region between the
Meuse The Meuse ( , , , ; wa, Moûze ) or Maas ( , ; li, Maos or ) is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea from the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. It has a to ...
and the
Seine The Seine ( , ) is a river in northern France. Its drainage basin is in the Paris Basin (a geological relative lowland) covering most of northern France. It rises at Source-Seine, northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, ...
.


Rise of Robertians

After the 860s, Lotharingian noble
Robert the Strong Robert the Strong (french: Robert le Fort; c. 830 – 866) was the father of two kings of West Francia: Odo of France, Odo (or Eudes) and Robert I of France. His family is named after him and called the Robertians. In 853, he was named ''missu ...
became increasingly powerful as count of Anjou, Touraine and Maine. Robert's brother Hugh, abbot of Saint-Denis, was given control over
Austrasia Austrasia was a territory which formed the north-eastern section of the Merovingian Kingdom of the Franks during the 6th to 8th centuries. It was centred on the Meuse, Middle Rhine and the Moselle rivers, and was the original territory of t ...
by Charles the Bald. Robert's son Odo was elected king in 888.The Cambridge Illustrated History of France
/ref> Odo's brother
Robert I Robert I may refer to: *Robert I, Duke of Neustria (697–748) *Robert I of France (866–923), King of France, 922–923, rebelled against Charles the Simple *Rollo, Duke of Normandy (c. 846 – c. 930; reigned 911–927) *Robert I Archbishop of R ...
ruled between 922 and 923 and was followed by Rudolph from 923 until 936.
Hugh the Great Hugh the Great (16 June 956) was the duke of the Franks and count of Paris. Biography Hugh was the son of King Robert I of France and Béatrice of Vermandois.Detlev Schwennicke, ''Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europ ...
, son of Robert I, was elevated to the title "duke of the Franks" by king Louis IV. In 987 his son
Hugh Capet Hugh Capet (; french: Hugues Capet ; c. 939 – 14 October 996) was the List of French monarchs, King of the Franks from 987 to 996. He is the founder and first king from the House of Capet. The son of the powerful duke Hugh the Great and his ...
was elected king and the
Capetian dynasty The Capetian dynasty (; french: Capétiens), also known as the House of France, is a dynasty of Franks, Frankish origin, and a branch of the Robertians. It is among the largest and oldest dynasty, royal houses in Europe and the world, and cons ...
began. At this point they controlled very little beyond the Île-de-France.


Rise of dukes

Outside the old Frankish territories and in the south local nobles were semi-independent after 887 as duchies were created:
Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and former Regions of France, administrative region and province of east-central France. The province was once home to the Duke of Burgundy, Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11 ...
,
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France and a former regions of France, administrative region of the count ...
,
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula, historical country and cultural area in the west of modern France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country pri ...
,
Gascony Gascony (; french: Gascogne ; oc, Gasconha ; eu, Gaskoinia) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provi ...
,
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian languages) is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern ...
,
Champagne Champagne (, ) is a sparkling wine originated and produced in the Champagne wine region of France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas Fra ...
and the
County of Flanders The County of Flanders was a historic territory in the Low Countries. From 862 onwards, the counts of Flanders were among the original twelve Peerage of France#Under the Monarchy: feudal period and Ancien Régime, peers of the France in the Midd ...
. The power of the kings continued to decline, together with their inability to resist the Vikings and to oppose the rise of regional nobles who were no longer appointed by the king but became hereditary local dukes. In 877 Boso of Provence, brother-in-law of Charles the Bald, crowned himself as the king of
Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and former Regions of France, administrative region and province of east-central France. The province was once home to the Duke of Burgundy, Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11 ...
and Provence. His son
Louis the Blind Louis the Blind ( 880 – 5 June 928) was the king of Provence from 11 January 887, King of Italy from 12 October 900, and briefly Holy Roman Emperor, as Louis III, between 901 and 905. His father was a Bosonid and his mother was a Carolingian ...
was king of Provence from 890 and Emperor between 901 and 905.
Rudolph II of Burgundy Rudolph II (c. 11 July 880 – 11 July 937), a member of the Elder House of Welf, was King of Burgundy from 912 until his death. He initially succeeded in Upper Burgundy and also ruled as King of Italy from 922 to 926. In 933 Rudolph acquired the ...
established the
Kingdom of Burgundy Kingdom of Burgundy was a name given to various states located in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The historical Burgundy correlates with the border area of France, Italy and Switzerland and includes the major modern cities of Geneva and ...
in 933.


Charles the Simple

After the death of East Francia's last Carolingian king
Louis the Child Louis the Child (893 – 20/24 September 911), sometimes called Louis III or Louis IV, was the king of East Francia from 899 until his death and was also recognized as king of Lotharingia after 900. He was the last East Frankish ruler of the C ...
,
Lotharingia Lotharingia ( la, regnum Lotharii regnum Lothariense Lotharingia; french: Lotharingie; german: Reich des Lothar Lotharingien Mittelreich; nl, Lotharingen) was a short-lived medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire. As a more durable ...
switched allegiance to the king of West Francia, Charles the Simple. After 911 the
Duchy of Swabia The Duchy of Swabia (German language, German: ''Herzogtum Schwaben'') was one of the five stem duchy, stem duchies of the medieval Kingdom of Germany, German Kingdom. It arose in the 10th century in the southwestern area that had been settled by ...
extended westwards and added lands of
Alsace Alsace (, ; ; Low Alemannic German/ gsw-FR, Elsàss ; german: Elsass ; la, Alsatia) is a cultural region and a territorial collectivity in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. In 2020, it had ...
. Baldwin II of Flanders became increasingly powerful after the Odo's death in 898, gaining
Boulogne Boulogne-sur-Mer (; pcd, Boulonne-su-Mér; nl, Bonen; la, Gesoriacum or ''Bononia''), often called just Boulogne (, ), is a coastal city in Hauts-de-France, Northern France. It is a Subprefectures in France, sub-prefecture of the Department ...
and Ternois from Charles. The territory over which the king exercised actual control shrank considerably, and was reduced to lands between Normandy and river Loire. The royal court usually stayed in Rheims or
Laon Laon () is a city in the Aisne Departments of France, department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. History Early history The holy district of Laon, which rises a hundred metres above the otherwise flat Picardy plain, has always held str ...
.The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 3, c.900–c.1024
/ref> Norsemen began settling in
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian languages) is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern ...

Normandy
, and from 919
Magyars Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group native to Hungary () and Kingdom of Hungary, historical Hungarian lands who share a common Hungarian culture, culture, Hungarian history, history, Magyar tribe ...
invaded repeatedly. In the absence of strong royal power, invaders were engaged and defeated by local nobles, like Richard of Burgundy and Robert of Neustria, who defeated Viking leader
Rollo Rollo ( nrf, Rou, ''Rolloun''; non, Hrólfr; french: Rollon; died between 928 and 933) was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, today a region in northern France. He emerged as the outstanding warrior among the Norsemen who had se ...

Rollo
in 911 at
Chartres Chartres () is the Prefectures in France, prefecture of the Eure-et-Loir Departments of France, department in the Centre-Val de Loire Regions of France, region in France. It is located about southwest of Paris. At the 2019 census, there were 1 ...
. The Norman threat was eventually ended, with the last
Danegeld Danegeld (; "Danish tax", literally "Dane yield" or tribute) was a tax raised to pay tribute or Protection racket, protection money to the Viking raiders to save a land from being ravaged. It was called the ''geld'' or ''gafol'' in eleventh-ce ...
paid in 924 and 926. Both nobles became increasingly opposed to Charles, and in 922 deposed him and elected
Robert I Robert I may refer to: *Robert I, Duke of Neustria (697–748) *Robert I of France (866–923), King of France, 922–923, rebelled against Charles the Simple *Rollo, Duke of Normandy (c. 846 – c. 930; reigned 911–927) *Robert I Archbishop of R ...
as the new king. After Robert's death in 923 nobles elected Rudolf as king, and kept Charles imprisoned until his death in 929. After the rule of king Charles the Simple, local dukes began issuing their own currency.


Rudolf

King Rudolf was supported by his brother Hugh the Black and son of Robert I,
Hugh the Great Hugh the Great (16 June 956) was the duke of the Franks and count of Paris. Biography Hugh was the son of King Robert I of France and Béatrice of Vermandois.Detlev Schwennicke, ''Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europ ...
. Dukes of Normandy refused to recognise Rudolf until 933. The King also had to move with his army against the southern nobles to receive their homage and loyalty, however, the
count of Barcelona The Count of Barcelona ( ca, Comte de Barcelona, es, Conde de Barcelona, french: Comte de Barcelone, ) was the ruler of the County of Barcelona and also, by extension and according with the Usages of Barcelona, usages and Catalan constitutions, of ...
managed to avoid this completely. After 925 Rudolf was involved in a war against the rebellious Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, who received support from kings
Henry the Fowler Henry the Fowler (german: Heinrich der Vogler or '; la, Henricus Auceps) (c. 876 – 2 July 936) was the Duke of Saxony from 912 and the King of East Francia from 919 until his death in 936. As the first non- Frankish king of East Francia, ...
and
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francia, East Frankish king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the olde ...
of East Francia. His rebellion continued until his death in 943.


Louis IV

King Louis IV and Duke Hugh the Great were married to sisters of East Frankish king
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francia, East Frankish king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the olde ...
who after the deaths of their husbands managed Carolingian and Robertine rule together with their brother
Bruno the Great Bruno the Great (german: Brun(o) von Sachsen, "Bruno of Duchy of Saxony, Saxony"; la, Bruno Magnus; May 925 – 11 October 965 AD) was Archbishopric of Cologne, Archbishop of Cologne''Religious Drama and Ecclesiastical Reform in the Tenth Cent ...
, archbishop of Cologne, as regent. After further victories by Herbert II, Louis was rescued only with the help of the large nobles and Otto I. In 942 Louis gave up Lotharingia to Otto I. Succession conflict in Normandy led to a new war in which Louis was betrayed by Hugh the Great and captured by Danish prince Harald who eventually released him to the custody of Hugh, who freed the king only after receiving town of
Laon Laon () is a city in the Aisne Departments of France, department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. History Early history The holy district of Laon, which rises a hundred metres above the otherwise flat Picardy plain, has always held str ...
as a compensation.


The last Carolingians: Lothair and Louis V

The 13-year old
Lothair of France Lothair (french: Lothaire; la, Lothārius; 941 – 2 March 986), sometimes called Lothair II,After the emperor Lothair I. IIICounting Lothair II of Lotharingia, who ruled over modern Lorraine and Belgium. or IV,Counting Lothair II of Italy. ...
inherited all the lands of his father in 954. By this time they were so small that the Carolingian practice of dividing lands among the sons was not followed and his brother Charles received nothing. In 966 Lothair married Emma, stepdaughter of his maternal uncle Otto I. Despite this, in August 978 Lothair attacked the old imperial capital
Aachen Aachen ( ; ; Aachen dialect: ''Oche'' ; French and traditional English: Aix-la-Chapelle; or ''Aquisgranum''; nl, Aken ) is, with around 249,000 inhabitants, the 13th-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, and the 28th-largest city of Ge ...
.
Otto II Otto II (955 – 7 December 983), called the Red (''der Rote''), was Holy Roman Emperor from 973 until his death in 983. A member of the Ottonian dynasty, Otto II was the youngest and sole surviving son of Otto the Great and Adelaide of Italy. ...
retaliated by attacking Paris, but was defeated by the combined forces of king Lothar and nobles and peace was signed in 980, ending the brief Franco-German war. Lothar managed to increase his power, but this was reversed with the coming of age of
Hugh Capet Hugh Capet (; french: Hugues Capet ; c. 939 – 14 October 996) was the List of French monarchs, King of the Franks from 987 to 996. He is the founder and first king from the House of Capet. The son of the powerful duke Hugh the Great and his ...
, who began forming new alliances of nobles and eventually was elected as king in 987 after Lothair and his son and successor Louis V of France had both died prematurely, traditionally marking the end of the French branch of Carolingian dynasty as well as the end of West Francia as a kingdom. Hugh Capet would be the first ruler of a new royal house, the
House of Capet The House of Capet (french: Maison capétienne) or the Direct Capetians (''Capétiens directs''), also called the House of France (''la maison de France''), or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, R ...
, who would rule France through the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended ...
.


List of kings

*
Charles the Bald Charles the Bald (french: Charles le Chauve; 13 June 823 – 6 October 877), also known as Charles II, was a 9th-century king of West Francia (843–877), king of Italy (875–877) and emperor of the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Emp ...

Charles the Bald
(843–877) *
Louis the Stammerer Louis II, known as Louis the Stammerer (french: Louis le Bègue; 1 November 846 – 10 April 879), was the king of Aquitaine and later the king of West Francia. He was the eldest son of Emperor Charles the Bald and Ermentrude of Orléans. Louis t ...
(877–879) *
Louis III of France Louis III (863/65—5 August 882) was King of West Francia (a precursor to the Kingdom of France) from 879 until his death in 882. He succeeded his father Louis the Stammerer, and ruled over West Francia in tandem with his brother Carloman II. L ...
(879–882) * Carloman II (882–884) *
Charles the Fat Charles III (839 – 13 January 888), also known as Charles the Fat, was the emperor of the Carolingian Empire from 881 to 888. A member of the Carolingian dynasty, Charles was the youngest son of Louis the German and Hemma, and a great-grandson ...
(885–888) *
Odo of France Odo (french: Eudes; c. 857 – 1 January 898) was the elected King of West Francia from 888 to 898. He was the first king from the Robertian dynasty. Before assuming the kingship, Odo was the count of Paris. His reign marked the definitive separa ...
(888–898) *
Charles the Simple Charles III (17 September 879 – 7 October 929), called the Simple or the Straightforward (from the Latin ''Carolus Simplex''), was the king of West Francia from 898 until 922 and the king of Lotharingia from 911 until 919–923. He was a memb ...

Charles the Simple
(898–922) *
Robert I of France The name Robert is an ancient Germanic given name, from Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language of the Germanic languages, Germanic ...
(922–923) *
Rudolph of France Rudolph (french: Rodolphe), sometimes called Ralph (; c. 890 – 14/15 January 936), was the king of France from 923 until his death in 936. He was elected to succeed his father-in-law, Robert I of France, Robert I, and spent much of his reign de ...
(923–936) *
Louis IV of France Louis IV (September 920 / September 921 – 10 September 954), called ''d'Outremer'' or ''Transmarinus'' (both meaning "from overseas"), reigned as List of French monarchs, King of West Francia from 936 to 954. A member of the Carolingian dynasty ...
(936–954) *
Lothair of France Lothair (french: Lothaire; la, Lothārius; 941 – 2 March 986), sometimes called Lothair II,After the emperor Lothair I. IIICounting Lothair II of Lotharingia, who ruled over modern Lorraine and Belgium. or IV,Counting Lothair II of Italy. ...
(954–986) * Louis V of France (986–987)


Notes


References

*
Jim Bradbury Jim Bradbury (born 27 February 1937) is a British historian specialising in the Medieval warfare, military history of the Middle Ages. Bradbury lectured in history at Brunel University. Selected works * (1975) ''Shakespeare and his Theatre'', L ...
. ''The Capetians: Kings of France, 987–1328''. London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007. *Simon Coupland
"The Coinages of Pippin I and II of Aquitaine"
''Revue numismatique'', 6th series, 31 (1989), 194–222. *Geoffrey Koziol. "Charles the Simple, Robert of Neustria, and the ''vexilla'' of Saint-Denis". ''Early Medieval Europe'' 14:4 (2006), 355–90. * Archibald R. Lewis
''The Development of Southern French and Catalan Society, 718–1050''
Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965. *Simon MacLean. ''Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century: Charles the Fat and the end of the Carolingian Empire''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. * Janet L. Nelson. "Kingship, Law and Liturgy in the Political Thought of Hincmar of Rheims". ''English Historical Review'' 92 (1977), 241–79. Reprinted in ''Politics and Ritual in Early Medieval Europe'' (London: Hambledon, 1986), 133–72. *Alfred Richard. ''Histoire des Comtes de Poitou''
vol. 1
Paris: Alphonse Picard, 1903. *Julia M. H. Smith. ''Province and Empire: Brittany and the Carolingians''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. {{Authority control Former monarchies of Europe 843 establishments 987 disestablishments States and territories established in the 840s States and territories disestablished in the 980s
West Franks In medieval history, West Francia (Medieval Latin: ) or the Kingdom of the West Franks () refers to the western part of the Francia, Frankish Empire established by Charlemagne. It represents the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting fr ...
Establishments in the Carolingian Empire 9th century in France 10th century in France Former countries