EAST FRANCIA (Latin :
Francia orientalis) or the KINGDOM OF THE EAST
FRANKS (regnum Francorum orientalium) was a successor state of
Charlemagne 's empire and precursor of the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire . Until
911 it was ruled by
Carolingian dynasty . It was created after the
840-43 civil war between Charlemagne's grandchildren which ended with
Treaty of Verdun which divided the former empire into three
kingdoms. By the middle of the 10th century, the kingdom had become
usually referred to as
Kingdom of Germany or the Holy Roman Empire,
therefore making it the earliest stage in the development of the
modern German state.
The east–west division, enforced by the German-Latin language
split, "gradually hardened into the establishment of separate
kingdoms", with East
Francia becoming the
Kingdom of Germany and West
Kingdom of France .
* 1 History
* 2 Terminology
* 3 Kingship
* 4 Church
* 5 List of kings
* 6 See also
* 7 Notes
* 8 References
The partition of the
Carolingian Empire by the 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 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
Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Saxony ,
Duchy of Bavaria , and
March of Carinthia .
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
Francia went to Louis's younger half-brother Charles the Bald
and between their realms a kingdom of Middle
Francia , incorporating
Italy , was given to their elder brother, the Emperor
Lothair I .
While West and Middle
Francia contained "the traditional Frankish
'heartlands'", the East consisted mostly of lands only annexed to the
Frankish empire in 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
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 lingua legibus).
Lotharingia was divided between West and East
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
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 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
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" qualified 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
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 the West
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
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 unction.
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 (843-876)
Louis the Younger (876-882)
Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat (882-887)
Arnulf of Carinthia (887-899)
Louis the Child (900-911)
Conrad I of Germany (911-918)
Henry the Fowler (919-936)
* 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 non-Franks.
* ^ 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 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 partem accepti.
* ^ 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
* ^ 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.
Bernard Bachrach and
David Bachrach . "The Saxon Military
Revolution, 912–973: Myth and Reality". Early Medieval Europe 15
(2007), 186–222. doi :10.1111/j.1468-0254.2007.00203.x
Bernard Bachrach and David Bachrach. "Early Saxon Frontier
Warfare: Henry I, Otto I, and Carolingian Military Institutions".
Journal of Medieval Military History 10 (2012), 17–60.
* David Bachrach. "Exercise of Royal Power in Early Medieval Europe:
The Case of Otto the Great, 936–973". Early Medieval Europe 17
(2009), 389–419. doi :10.1111/j.1468-0254.2009.00283.x
* David Bachrach. "The Written Word in Carolingian-Style Fiscal
Administration under King Henry I, 919–936". German History 28:4
(2010), 399–423. doi :10.1093/gerhis/ghq108
* John W. Bernhardt. Itinerant Kingship and Royal Monasteries in
Early Medieval Germany, c. 936–1075. Cambridge Studies in Medieval
Life and Thought, 21. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
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Jim Bradbury . The Capetians: Kings of France, 987–1328. London:
Hambledon Continuum, 2007.
* Eric J. Goldberg. "'More Devoted to the Equipment of Battle Than
the Splendor of Banquets': Frontier Kingship, Military Ritual, and
Early Knighthood at the Court of Louis the German". Viator 30 (1999),
41–78. doi :10.1484/J.VIATOR.2.300829
* Eric J. Goldberg. Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict Under
Louis the German, 817–876. Ithaca and London: Cornell University
* Eckhard Müller-Mertens. "The Ottonians as Kings and Emperors".
Timothy Reuter, ed. The New Cambridge Medieval History. Volume II:
c.900–c.1024. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Timothy Reuter . "The Medieval German Sonderweg? The Empire and
its Rulers in the Highe Middle Ages". In Kings nd Kingship in Medieval
Europe, ed. Anne J. Duggan (London: 1993), 179–211.
* Timothy Reuter. "The Ottonian and Carolingian Tradition". In
Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities, ed. Janet L. Nelson
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 268–83.
Susan Reynolds . Kingdoms and Communities in Western Europe,
900–1300. Oxford: Clarendon, 1997.
* Len Scales. The Shaping of German Identity: Authority and Crisis,
1245–1414. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Walter Ullmann . The Carolingian Renaissance and the Idea of
Kingship. London: Methuen, 1969.
* Karl Ferdinand Werner. "Les nations et le sentiment national dans
l'Europe médiévale". Revue Historique, 244:2 (1970),