And now for one of my very favourite stories. Pope Formosus was elected on this day in 891. Formosus' ecclesiastical career had enjoyed mixed fortune. Made Cardinal Bishop of Portus in 864 he was denounced for treachery in 872 and excommunicated. Nevertheless, Formosus is connected to today's other story, for it was he who persuaded Karl the Bald to be crowned as emperor by John VIII in 875.
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On this day
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).
Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066). Harold Godwinson was king of England, and Harald Hardrada was king of Norway (seriously, check out this guy's biography: he went everywhere and fought everyone!). So on one side was Harold, and on the other side Harald. Clear?
Pippin the Short died on this day in 768. Son of Charles "the Hammer", he inherited his father's job as Neustrian Majordomo. In 743, Pippin and his brother, Carloman, installed Childeric III as King of the Franks (it's hard to be Mayor of the Palace when there's no king to "serve") only to later have Childeric deposed. Pippin obtained permission from the Pope to have himself crowned instead (Carloman having retired into a monastery).