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Death: Karl the Bald (877)

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on October 6, 2014 - 12:00am

On this day in 877 died Karl the Bald.  Karl (Charles) was a grandson of Charlemagne (Big Charles), the son of Ludwig the Pious and his second wife Judith of Bavaria.  As the youngest son, his arrival caused some trouble regarding inheritance.  After some fighting and premature death, Ludwig's empire was divided amongst Karl, who got (more or less) France, Ludwig the German, who got (more or less) Germany (der!) and the Emperor Lothar, who got the bit in between: the land between the Rhone and the Rhine (Lotharingia = Lorraine). Lothar is thus remembered for his quiche.

This arrangement was a result of the battle of Fontenoy, commemorated in verse by (the otherwise unknown) Angilbert.  Apparently there's music: I totally have to learn it!

Even after Lothar died (in 855) there was no peace.  Vikings invaded from the north, Ludwig invaded from the east, and the Pope urged Karl to come to Italy to deal with a nasty case of Saracens.  Dithering about in the Alps, Karl died.  Stuck with a crap name (seriously, all they could say about him was that he was bald?!), beset by crap family, he bequeathed the world some crappy progeny: Ludwig the Stammerer, Karl the Child, Lothar the Lame.  The Carolingian dynasty had definitely peaked.

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