Charles the Bald (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Reigning during one of the most turbulent periods in European history, Charles managed to survive and pass the crown of the West Frankish kingdom to his posterity.
Charles the Bald was the grandson of Charlemagne and the son of the Frankish emperor Louis the Pious and his second wife, Judith. At the time of Charles’s birth, the emperor already had three sons: Lothair, the eldest; Louis II the German; and Pepin. Indeed, in 817 Louis had published a decree establishing the method by which the empire would be divided among the three at his death. Lothair was to succeed as emperor and Louis the German and Pepin were to hold kingdoms under his rule. Louis the German and Pepin had already been invested with the kingdoms they were to hold.
This situation was further complicated by the fact that the new empress, Judith, was of the Welf family, a noble family prominent in that section of the empire known as Alamannia (modern Alsace). This portion of the realm had been very difficult for the Carolingian Frankish rulers to control, and Louis the Pious, in marrying a daughter of this aristocratic family, believed that he could establish closer and more friendly ties. When Judith and Louis had a son, the future of Alamannia seemed secure. The elder brothers of the new prince, however, had no intention of allowing their portions of the territory to diminish. Since Judith did not want the...
(The entire section is 1329 words.)
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