MALE Charles "le Chauve" (the Bald) (Karolus Calvus, Karl "der Kahle")

King of Neustria, 838-840.
King of the Western Franks, 840×3-877.
King of (western) Lorraine, 870-877.
King of Italy, 875-877.
Emperor, 875-877.

The youngest son of the emperor Louis I, much of the reign of Charles involved a struggle with his brothers for fragments of the dismembered empire, a struggle which was only partially settled by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, which gave Charles the western third of the empire [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 843, 29-30]. In 870, following the death of his nephew king Lothair II of Lorraine, he came to an agreement with his brother over the division of Lorraine [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 870, 108-9]. In 875, having heard about the death of his nephew, the emperor Louis II, king of Italy, Charles advanced into Italy, where he received the submission of most of the men of Italy. He then went to Rome where he was received by the pope at St. Peter's on 17 December. Charles was then crowned as emperor by pope John VIII on Christmas day, 875 ["Karolus, quibusdam de primoribus ex Italia ad se non venientibus, pluribus autem receptis, Romam invitante papa Iohanne perrexit, et 16. Kalendas Ianuarii ab eo cum gloria magna in ecclesia sancti Petri susceptus, anno Domini 876, in die nativitatis Domini beato Petro multa et pretiosa munera offerens, in imperatorem unctus et coronatus atque imperator Romanorum appelatus est." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 875-6, 127; since the annalistic year begins on Christmas, the date is Chrsitmas 875 by the present calendar]. He was succeeded as king of France, but not as emperor, by his son Louis II.

Date of Birth: 13 June 823.
["823. Id. Iun. natus est Karolus filius Iudith." Annales Weissemburgensis, MGH SS 1: 111]
Place of Birth: Frankfurt.
[Settipani (1993), 301, no source cited]

Date of Death: 6 October 877.
Place of Death: "Brios"
["Carolus vero febre correptus, pulverem bibit, quem sibi nimium dilectus ac credulus medicus suus Iudaeus nomine Sedechias, transmisit, ut ea potione a febre liberaretur; insanabili veneno hausto, inter manus portantium, transito monte Cinisio, perveniens ad locum qui Brios dicitur, misit pro Richilde quae erat apud Moriennam, ut ad eum veniret, sicut et fecit. Et 11. die post venenum haustum in vilissimo tugurio mortuus est 2. Nonas Octobris." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 877, 136-7; the identity of Brios is uncertain]

Father: Louis/Ludwig I, d. 840, Emperor.

Mother: Judith, d. 843, daughter of count Welf.

Spouses:
[see Hyam (1990)]

(1) m. Quierzy, 13 December 842, Ermentrude, d. Saint-Denis, 6 October 869, daughter of Eudes, count of Orleans.
["Karolus Carisiacum palatium veniens, Ermendrud, neptem Adalardi comitis, uxorem ducit, ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 842, 29; "Karolus in villa Duciaco 7. Idus Octobris certo [nuntio] comperiens, obisse Hyrmentrudem uxorem suam 2. Nonas Octobris in monasterio sancti Dionysii, ubi et sepulta est, exsequente Bosone, filio Buvini quondam comitis, hoc missaticum apud matrem et materteram suam Teutbergam, Hlotharii regis relictam, sororem ipsius Bosonis nomine Richildem mox sibi adduci fecit et in concubinam accepit." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 869, 107; "Accepit quidem Karolus, uti praefatum est, in coniugio Hirmentrudem, Uodonis et Ingeltrudis filiam et neptem Adelardi." Nithard iv, 6, MGH SS 2: 671] The date of 13 December appears in two acts of Charles [RHF 8: 579, 582].

(2) m. 22 January 870, Richilde, living 910, daughter of count Bivin.
["Et in die festivitatis septuagesimae paedictam concubinam suam Richildem desponsatam atque dotatam in coniugem sumpsit." Annales Bertin., s.a. 870, 108 (see also above, s.a. 869)] Richilde was still alive in 910, when she appears in two charters donating to the abbey of Gorze [Cart. Gorze, 157-162 (#87, #88)].

Children:
["Karolus imperator genuit ex Hyrmentrudi regina quattuor filios et totidem filias, id est Hludovicum Karolum Karlomannum et Hlotharium + Iudith quoque et Hildegardim, Hirmintrudim et Gislam." Witger, Genealogia Arnulfi Comitis, MGH SS 9: 303]

(by Ermentrude)

FEMALE Judith, b. ca. 844, d. after 870;
m (1) 1 October 856,
Æthelwulf, d. 858, king of Wessex;
m. (2) 858, Æthelbald, d. 860, king of Wessex;
m. (3) 863,
Baldwin I, count of Flanders.

MALE Louis II, b. 1 November, ca. 846, d. 10 April 879; king of Neustria, 856; king of Aquitaine, 867; king of France 877-9;
m (1) March 862, Ansgard,
daughter of count Harduin;
m. (2) ca. 870, Adelaide,
daughter of count Adelard.

MALE Charles (Karolus minor), b. 847×8, d. 29 September 866, king of Aquitaine, 855-863, 865-6, m. 862, NN, widow of count Humbert.
Charles was not yet 15 when he married the widow of count Humbert ["Karolus rex Aquitanorum, Karoli regis filius, necdum quindecim annos complens, persuasione Stephani relictam Humberti comitis sine voluntate et conscientia patris in coniugem ducit." Annales Bertin., s.a. 862, 58]. His head was accidently struck by one of his companions in 864, injuring him seriously [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 864, 67] and he died in 866, having suffered from epileptic seizures for some time ["Karoli filius nomine Karolus et Aquitanorum rex, ex plaga quam in capite ante aliquot annos acceperat cerebro commoto, diutius epelemtica passione vexatus, 3. Kalendas Octobris in quadam villa secus Bosentiacas moritur, et a Karolmanno, fratre suo, atque a Vulfado in aecclesia sancti Sulpitii apud Biturigum sepelitur." [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 83].

MALE Carloman, tonsured 854, blinded 873, d. 877×8; abbot of Saint-Médard de Soissons, Moutier-Saint-Jean, Saint-Riquier (in Ponthieu), Saint-Germain d'Auxerre, Saint-Amand, and Monstier-Ramé; abbot of Echternach.
["Karlus rex Karlomannum, filium suum, tonsura ecclesiastica dedicat." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 854, 44; Ann. Bertin., s.a. 873, 121-2; Catalogi abbatum Epternacensium, MGH SS 13: 739, 741; Monumenta Epternacensia, MGH SS 23: 31; Settipani (1993), 310; Wampach (1935), 107-8 (#105)]

MALE Lothair, d. 865 (before 25 December), abbot of Saint-Germain, Auxerre.
["Karolus, dimissis custodibus contra eosdem Nortmannos, Silvanectis revertitur, nativitatis dominicae sollemnia celebraturus. Ubi ei Hlotharius, filius suus et abbas monasterii Sancti Germani, mortuus nunciatur." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 865, 80]

FEMALE Hildegard.

FEMALE Ermentrude, fl. 877, abbess of Hasnon.
She is named as abbess of Hasnon in an act of her father in 877 [RHF 8, 662]

FEMALE Gisela.

MALE Drogo (twin), d. before 866.

MALE Pépin (twin), d. before 866.
These twins are known from an epitaph ["Epitaphium Geminorum filiorum Karoli Regis: Quisque videns nostras sollerti corde figuras, / Perspice, quam subito deflaut orbis honor. / Rege sati fuimus, nomen qui nomine duxit / De magni magnus, de Karoli Karolus. / Nec licuit totum vitae complectier annum, / Sed rapuit nostras debita mors animas. / Si, genitor, nostram dignaris visere tumbam, / Rex, nostros obitus ne doleas, petimus. / Terris sublati, placida regione locati / Cum sanctis requie perpetua fruimur. / Vos nostri memores felices este, parentes: / Hoc Pipinus ego posco simulque Drogo." MGH Poet. Lat. 3, 677-8; see also Hyam (1990), 159, n. 36, for the placement of these sons as children who died before 866, correcting Werner (1967), who places them as sons of Richilde].

(by Richilde)

FEMALE Rothilde, d. not long before 929, m. Roger, count of Maine.
She is called an amita of Charles the Simple by Flodoard, who calls her socrus (mother-in-law) of Hugues le Grand ["... Rothildis, amitae suae, socrus autem Hugonis, ..." Flodoard, s.a. 922, MGH SS 3: 370]. Flodoard refers to her as recently deceased in the first entry of his annals for 929 ["Heribertus et Hugo comites contra Bosonem, Rodulfi regis fratrem, profiscuntur, propter quisdam Rothildis alodes nuper defunctae, quos a Bosone pervasos repetebat Hugo, gener ipsius Rothildis."]. Her mother is not explicitly identified, but chronology would seem to make her more likely as a daughter of Richilde. [see Werner (1967), 422-8 (Excurs I)]

MALE NN, b. 23 March 875, d. soon after birth.
["Et Richildis, uxor eius, noctu ante quartam feriam paschae aborsu filium peperit, qui baptizatus mox obiit;" Annales Bertin., s.a. 875, 126]

MALE Charles, b. 10 October 876, d. early 877.
["Richildis autem, audiens 7. Idus Octobris de fuga hostis imperialis et ipsius imperatoris, ab Heristallio movet; et fugiens, subsequenti nocte galli cantu in via peperit filium, quem post partum famulus suus ante se portans, fugiendo usque ad Antennacum detulit." Annales Bertin., s.a. 876, 133; "Ubi dum moraretur, filius eius, qui, antequam Richildis ad Antennacum veniret, in via natus fuerat, infirmatur, et a Bosone, avunculo suo, de fonte susceptus, Karolus nominatus, moritur et ad monasterium sancti Dionysii sepeliendus defertur" Annales Bertin., s.a. 877, 134]



Commentary

Supposed daughter:
FEMALE Rotrud, abbess-designate of Sainte-Radegonde, Poitiers.
[Werner (1967), 453-4; Settipani (1993), 311; however, neither explicitly states the evidence for making her a daughter of Charles]

Falsely attributed daughter:
FEMALE Hersende, m. Regnier I, d. 915, count.
[Chaume (1925), 1: 549 (table XI)] The existence of this wife of Regnier I is not certain (see the page of Regnier I), and in any case there appears to be no good reason to regard her as a daughter of Charles.


Bibliography

Ann. Bertin. = G. Waitz, ed., Annales Bertiniani (MGH SRG 5, Hannover, 1883).

Cart. Gorze = A. d'Herbomez, Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Gorze (Mettensia 2, Paris, 1898).

Hyam (1990) = Jane Hyam, "Ermentrude and Richildis", in Margaret T. Gibson & Janet L. Nelson, eds., Charles the Bald - Court and Kingdom (Variorum, 1990), 153-168.

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.

Settipani (1993) = Christian Settipani, La préhistoire des Capétiens 481-987 (Première partie - Mérovingiens, Carolingiens et Robertiens) (Villeneuve d'Ascq, 1993).

Wampach (1935) = Camillus Wampach, Urkunden- und Quellenbuch zur Geschichte der altluxemburgischen Territorien bis zur burgundischen Zeit, I (Luxemburg, 1935).

Werner (1967) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen bis um das Jahr 1000 (1.-8. Generation)", Karl der Große 4 (1967): 403-483.


Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 23 May 2007.

Minor revision uploaded 5 June 2008: added falsely attributed daughter Hersende and removed questionable identification of "Brios".

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