Francia orientalis) or the Kingdom of the East
Franks (regnum Francorum orientalium) was a precursor of the Holy
Roman Empire. A successor state of Charlemagne's empire, it was ruled
Carolingian dynasty until 911. It was created through the
Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun (843) which divided the former empire into three
The east–west division, enforced by the German-
Latin language split,
"gradually hardened into the establishment of separate kingdoms",
Francia becoming the
Kingdom of Germany
Kingdom of Germany and West
Kingdom of France.
5 List of kings
6 See also
The partition of the
Carolingian Empire by the
Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun in
843. From Histoire Et Géographie - Atlas Général Vidal-Lablache,
In August 843, after three years of civil war following the death of
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious on 20 June 840, the
Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun was
signed by his three sons and heirs. The division of lands was largely
based on the Meuse, Scheldt, Saone and Rhone rivers. While the eldest
Lothair I kept the imperial title and the kingdom of Middle
Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald received the West
Francia and Louis the
German received the eastern portion of mostly Germanic-speaking lands
of Duchy of Saxony, Austrasia, Alamannia, Duchy of Bavaria, and March
The contemporary East Frankish
Annales Fuldenses describes the kingdom
being "divided in three" and Louis "acceding to the eastern part".
The West Frankish
Annales Bertiniani describe the extent of Louis's
lands: "at the assigning of portions, Louis obtained all the land
beyond the Rhine river, but on this side of the Rhine also the cities
of Speyer, Worms and
Mainz with their counties". The kingdom of
Francia went to Louis's younger half-brother
Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald and
between their realms a kingdom of Middle Francia, incorporating Italy,
was given to their elder brother, the Emperor Lothair I.
Francia contained about a third of the traditional
Frankish heartland of Austrasia, the rest consisted mostly of lands
annexed to the Frankish empire between the fifth and the eighth
century. These included the duchies of Alemannia, Bavaria, Saxony
and Thuringia, as well as the northern and eastern marches with the
Danes and Slavs. The contemporary chronicler
Regino of Prüm
Regino of Prüm wrote
that the "different people" (diversae nationes populorum) of East
Francia, mostly Germanic- and Slavic-speaking, could be "distinguished
from each other by race, customs, language and laws" (genere moribus
Lotharingia was divided between West and East
Francia under the
Treaty of Meersen. The short lived Middle
Francia turned out to be the
theatre of Franco-German wars up until the 20th century.
All the Frankish lands were briefly reunited by Charles the Fat, but
in 888 he was deposed by nobles and in East
Francia Arnulf of
Carinthia was elected king.
The increasing weakness of royal power in East
Francia meant that
dukes of Bavaria, Swabia, Franconia, Saxony and
appointed nobles turned into hereditary rulers of their territories.
Kings increasingly had to deal with regional rebellions.
In 911 Saxon, Franconian, Bavarian and Swabian nobles no longer
followed the tradition of electing someone from
Carolingian dynasty as
a king to rule over them and on November 10, 911 elected one of their
own as the new king. Because Conrad I was one of the dukes, he found
it very hard to establish his authority over them. Duke Henry of
Saxony was in rebellion against Conrad I until 915 and struggle
Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria
Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria cost Conrad I his life. On his
deathbed Conrad I chose Henry of Saxony as the most capable successor.
This kingship changed from
Franks to Saxons, who had suffered greatly
during the conquests of Charlemagne. Henry, who was elected to
kingship by only Saxons and Franconians at Fritzlar, had to subdue
other dukes and concentrated on creating a state apparatus which was
fully utilized by his son and successor Otto I. By his death in July
936 Henry had prevented collapse of royal power as was happening in
Francia and left a much stronger kingdom to his successor Otto I.
Otto I was crowned as the Emperor in Rome in 962 the era of the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire began.
The term orientalis
Francia originally referred to
orientales Franci to its inhabitants, the ethnic
Franks living east of
the Rhine. The use of the term in a broader sense, to refer to the
eastern kingdom, was an innovation of Louis the German's court. Since
Francia could be identified with old Austrasia, the Frankish
heartland, Louis's choice of terminology hints at his ambitions.
Under his grandson, Arnulf, the terminology was largely dropped and
the kingdom, when it was referred to by name, was simply Francia.
When it was necessary, as in the
Treaty of Bonn (921) with the West
Franks, the "eastern" qualifier appeared. Henry I refers to himself as
rex Francorum orientalium, "king of the East Franks", in the
treaty. By the 12th century, the historian Otto of Freising, in
using the Carolingian terminology had to explain that the "eastern
kingdom of the Franks" (orientale Francorum regnum) was "now called
the kingdom of the Germans" (regnum Teutonicorum).
The regalia of the Carolingian empire had been divided by Louis the
Pious on his deathbed between his two faithful sons, Charles the Bald
and Lothair. Louis the German, then in rebellion, received nothing of
the crown jewels or liturgical books associated with Carolingian
kingship. Thus the symbols and rituals of East Frankish kingship were
created from scratch.
From an early date the East Frankish kingdom had a more formalised
notion of royal election than West Francia. Around 900, a liturgy
(ordo) for the coronation of a king, called the early German ordo, was
written for a private audience. It required the coronator to ask the
"designated prince" (princeps designatus) whether he was willing to
defend the church and the people and then to turn and ask the people
whether they were willing to be subject to the prince and obey his
laws. The latter then shouted, "Fiat, fiat!" (Let it be done!), an act
that later became known as "Recognition". This is the earliest known
coronation ordo with a Recognition in it, and it was subsequently
incorporated in the influential Pontificale Romano-Germanicum.
In June 888, King Arnulf convened a council at Mainz. In attendance
were the three archbishops of the East Frankish kingdom—Wilbert of
Cologne, Liutbert of
Mainz and Ratbod of Trier—and the West Frankish
archbishops of Reims (Fulk) and Rouen (John I) along with the bishops
of Beauvais and Noyon. According to Walter Ullmann, the presence of
Franks was on account of the "barren ecclesiastical thought"
of the East, and the council proceeded to adopt West Frankish ideas of
royal sacrality and anointing. It was "the first phase in the process
of assimilation of the two halves of the Carolingian inheritance".
In another church council at
Tribur in 895, the prelates declared that
Arnulf was chosen by God and not by men and Arnulf in turn swore to
defend the church and its privileges from all its enemies. When Arnulf
died in 899, his minor son, Louis IV, was crowned, but not anointed,
and placed under the tutelage of Archbishop Hatto I of Mainz. Louis's
coronation was the first in German history. When Louis died in late
September 911, Duke Conrad of
Franconia was elected to replace him on
10 November and he became the first German king to receive
The three basic services monasteries could owe to the sovereign in the
Frankish realms were military service, an annual donation of money or
work, and prayers for the royal family and the kingdom. Collectively,
these were known by the technical term servitium regis ("king's
service"). According to the evidence of the Notitia de servitio
monasteriorum, list of monasteries and the services they owed drawn up
around 817, the burden of military and monetary service was more
severe in west
Francia than in east Francia. Only four monasteries
listed as "beyond the Rhine" (ultra Rhenum) owed these services:
Lorsch, Schuttern, Mondsee and Tegernsee.
List of kings
Louis the German
Louis the German (843-876)
Louis the Younger
Louis the Younger (876-882)
Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat (882-887)
Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia (887-899)
Louis the Child
Louis the Child (900-911)
Conrad I of
Henry the Fowler
Henry the Fowler (919-936)
Otto the Great
Otto the Great (936-973)
List of Frankish kings
List of German monarchs
^ The term "Francia", land of the Franks, was commonly used to refer
to the empire. The ruling dynasty was Frankish, although its
inhabitants were mostly other non-Frankish Germanic tribes.
^ Bradbury 2007, 21: "... division which gradually hardened into the
establishment of separate kingdoms, notably East and West Francia, or
what we can begin to call
Germany and France."
^ Goldberg 2006, 6: "Louis [the German's] kingship laid the
foundations for an east Frankish kingdom that, in the eleventh
century, was transformed into the medieval kingdom of Germany".
^ Reuter 2006, 270.
^ AF a. 843: in tres partes diviso ... Hludowicus quidem orientalem
^ AB a. 843: ubi distributis portionibus, Hludowicus ultra Rhenum
omnia, citra Rhenum vero Nemetum, Vangium et Moguntiam civitates
pagosque sortitus est. The cities are Speyer, Worms and Mainz.
^ a b Goldberg 1999, 41.
^ Reynolds 1997, 257.
^ Goldberg 2006, 73.
^ Müller-Mertens 1999, 237.
^ Müller-Mertens 1999, 241.
^ Scales 2012, 158.
^ Goldberg 1999, 43.
^ Ullmann 1969, 108–09.
^ a b Ullmann 1969, 124–27.
^ Bernhardt 1993, 77.
^ Bernhardt 1993, 112 and n. 116.
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