Treaty of Verdun
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The Treaty of Verdun (), agreed in , divided 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
into three kingdoms among the surviving sons of the emperor
Louis I Louis I may refer to: * Louis the Pious, Louis I of France, "the Pious" (778–840), king of France and Holy Roman Emperor * Louis I, Landgrave of Thuringia (ruled 1123–1140) * Ludwig I, Count of Württemberg (c. 1098–1158) * Louis I of Blois ( ...

Louis I
, the son and successor of
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
. The treaty was concluded following almost three years of civil war and was the culmination of negotiations lasting more than a year. It was the first in a series of partitions contributing to the dissolution of the empire created by Charlemagne and has been seen as foreshadowing the formation of many of the modern countries of
western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...

western Europe
. The treaty was the first of the four partition treaties 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 ...
, followed by the Treaties of
Prüm Prüm () is a town in the Westeifel (Rhineland-Palatinate), Germany. Formerly a district capital, today it is the administrative seat of the ''Verbandsgemeinde'' ("collective municipality") Prüm (Verbandsgemeinde), Prüm. Geography Prüm lies o ...
(855), Meerssen (870), and Ribemont (880).


Background

Following Charlemagne's death, Louis was made ruler of the Frankish Empire. During his reign, he divided the empire so that each of his sons could rule over their own kingdom under the greater rule of their father.
Lothair I Lothair I or Lothar I (Dutch language, Dutch and Medieval Latin: ''Lotharius''; German language, German: ''Lothar''; French language, French: ''Lothaire''; Italian language, Italian: ''Lotario'') (795 – 29 September 855) was Holy Roman Emper ...
was given the title of emperor but because of several re-divisions by his father and the resulting revolts, he became much less powerful. When Louis the Pious died in 840, his eldest son,
Lothair I Lothair I or Lothar I (Dutch language, Dutch and Medieval Latin: ''Lotharius''; German language, German: ''Lothar''; French language, French: ''Lothaire''; Italian language, Italian: ''Lotario'') (795 – 29 September 855) was Holy Roman Emper ...
, claimed overlordship over the entirety of his father's kingdom in an attempt to reclaim the power he had at the beginning of his reign as
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), ...

emperor
. He also supported his nephew, Pepin II's claim to
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 ...

Aquitaine
, a large province in the west of the
Frankish realm 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 ...
. Lothair's brother, Louis II, and his half-brother
Charles II
Charles II
refused to acknowledge Lothair's
suzerainty Suzerainty () is the rights and obligations of a person, state or other polity who controls the foreign policy and relations of a tributary state, while allowing the tributary state to have internal autonomy. While the subordinate party is ca ...
and declared war against him. After a bloody civil war, they defeated Lothair at the
Battle of Fontenoy The Battle of Fontenoy was a major engagement of the War of the Austrian Succession, fought on 11 May 1745 near Tournai in modern Belgium. A French army of 50,000 under Marshal Saxe defeated a Pragmatic Army of roughly the same size, led by ...
in 841 and sealed their alliance in 842 with the Oaths of Strasbourg which declared Lothair unfit for the imperial throne, after which he became willing to negotiate a settlement. The meeting happened shortly before August 10, as confirmed by a contemporary letter.


Provisions

Each of the three brothers was already established in one kingdom: Lothair in the
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 ...
; Louis the German in the
Kingdom of Bavaria The Kingdom of Bavaria (german: Königreich Bayern; ; spelled ''Baiern'' until 1825) was a German state that succeeded the former Electorate of Bavaria in 1805 and continued to exist until 1918. With the unification of Germany into the German E ...
; and Charles II in the . *
Lothair I Lothair I or Lothar I (Dutch language, Dutch and Medieval Latin: ''Lotharius''; German language, German: ''Lothar''; French language, French: ''Lothaire''; Italian language, Italian: ''Lotario'') (795 – 29 September 855) was Holy Roman Emper ...
received ''Francia Media'' (the Middle Frankish kingdom). ::In the settlement, Lothair (who had been named co-emperor in 817) retained his title as emperor, but it conferred only nominal overlordship of his brothers' lands. His domain later became the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas, lb, déi Niddereg Lännereien) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, is a coastal lowland region in N ...
, the Rhineland west of the Rhine,
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 ...
,
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 ...

Alsace
,
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 ...
,
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 ...

Provence
, and the Kingdom of Italy (which covered the northern half of the Italian Peninsula). He also received the two imperial cities,
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 ...

Aachen
and
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...

Rome
. * Louis II received ''Francia Orientalis'' (the East Frankish kingdom). ::He was guaranteed the kingship of all lands to the east of the
Rhine The Rhine ; french: Rhin ; nl, Rijn ; wa, Rén ; li, Rien; rm, label=Sursilvan, Rein, rm, label=Sutsilvan and Surmiran, Ragn, rm, label=Rumantsch Grischun, Vallader and Puter, Rain; it, Reno ; gsw, Rhi(n), including in Alsatian dialect, Al ...

Rhine
(although not the Netherlands to the north of the Rhine) and to the north and east of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...

Italy
, altogether called East Francia. It eventually became the
High Medieval 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 ...
Kingdom of Germany The Kingdom of Germany or German Kingdom ( la, regnum Teutonicorum "kingdom of the Germans", "German kingdom", "kingdom of Germany") was the mostly Germanic-speaking East Francia, East Frankish kingdom, which was formed by the Treaty of Verdun ...
, the largest component of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, dissolution i ...
. * received ''Francia Occidentalis'' (the West Frankish kingdom). :: Pepin II was granted the , but only under the authority of Charles. Charles received all lands west of the
Rhône The Rhône ( , ; wae, Rotten ; frp, Rôno ; oc, Ròse ) is a major river in France and Switzerland, rising in the Alps and flowing west and south through Lake Geneva and southeastern France before discharging into the Mediterranean Sea. At Ar ...

Rhône
, called West Francia. It eventually became 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 ...
. After Lothair's death in 855, his eldest son, , inherited Italy and his father's claim to the Imperial throne.
Upper Burgundy The Kingdom of Upper Burgundy was a Frankish dominion established in 888 by the Welf king Rudolph I of Burgundy on the territory of former Middle Francia. It grew out of the Carolingian Empire, Carolingian margraviate of Transjurane Burgundy ...
and Lower Burgundy (
Arles Arles (, , ; oc, label= Provençal, Arle ; Classical la, Arelate) is a coastal city and commune in the South of France, a subprefecture in the Bouches-du-Rhône department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in the former provinc ...

Arles
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 ...

Provence
) passed to Lothair's third son, Charles of Provence. The remaining territory north of the
Alps The Alps () ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps ; sl, Alpe . are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately across seven Alpine countries (from west to east): France, Swi ...

Alps
, which did not previously have a name, was inherited by Lothair's second son, Lothair II, and was then named
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 ...
(present day
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 ...
) after him.


Legacy

The division reflected an adherence to the old custom of partible or divisible inheritance amongst a ruler's sons, rather than
primogeniture Primogeniture ( ) is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate child to inheritance, inherit the parent's entire or main estate (law), estate in preference to shared inheritance among all or some children, any illegitimate child ...
(i.e., inheritance by the eldest son) which would soon be adopted by both Frankish kingdoms. Since Lotharingia combined lengthy and vulnerable land borders with poor internal communications as it was severed by the
Alps The Alps () ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps ; sl, Alpe . are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately across seven Alpine countries (from west to east): France, Swi ...

Alps
, it was not a viable entity and soon fragmented. This made it difficult for a single ruler to reassemble Charlemagne's empire. Only
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 ...

Charles the Fat
achieved this briefly. In 855, the northern section became fragile Lotharingia, which became disputed by the more powerful states that evolved out of Francia Occidentalis (present day ''
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...

France
'') and Francia Orientalis (present day ''
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...

Germany
''). Generations of kings of France and Germany were unable to establish a firm rule over Lothair's kingdom. While the north of Lotharingia was then composed of , the , , was traded back and forth between
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...

France
and
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...

Germany
from the 18th to the 20th century. In 1766, it passed to France after the death of
Stanisław Leszczyński Stanisław I Leszczyński (; lt, Stanislovas Leščinskis; french: Stanislas Leszczynski; 20 October 1677 – 23 February 1766), also Anglicization, Anglicized and Latinisation of names, Latinized as Stanislaus I, was twice King of Poland ...

Stanisław Leszczyński
, who had acquired the region from the German
Habsburgs The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in Englishgerman: Haus Habsburg, ; es, Casa de Habsburgo; hu, Habsburg család, it, Casa di Asburgo, nl, Huis van Habsburg, pl, dom Habsburgów, pt, Casa de Habsburgo, la, Domus Hab ...
by the Treaty of Vienna (1738) ending the War of Polish Succession (1733–1738). In 1871, Alsace-Lorraine became German, after the victory of
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...

Prussia
and its German allies over the French in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). In 1919, it became French again by the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the Peace treaty, peace treaties of World War I. It ended the declaration of war, state of war between Germany and the Allies of ...
(1919), following the French victory over the Germans in
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...

World War I
(1914–1918). In 1940, Germany reannexed Alsace-Lorraine following Germany's successful invasion of France. Finally, in 1945, after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
(1939–1945), Alsace-Lorraine was solidified as French territory, which it remains to this day, more than a thousand years after the Treaty of Verdun. The collapse of the Middle Frankish Kingdom also compounded the disunity of the Italian Peninsula, which persisted into the 19th century.


See also

* Oaths of Strasbourg (842) * Treaty of Coulaines (843) * Treaty of Prüm (855) *
Treaty of Meerssen The Treaty of Mersen or Meerssen, concluded on 8 August 870, was a treaty to partition the realm of Lothair II, known as Lotharingia, by his uncles Louis the German of East Francia and Charles the Bald of West Francia, the two surviving sons of E ...
(870) * Treaty of Ribemont (880)


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Verdun, Treaty Of 843 treaties 9th century in Francia Changes in political power Partition (politics) Treaties involving territorial changes