MALE Robert "le Fort" (Rotbertus Fortis, Robert "the Strong")

Marquis in Neustria, ca. 861-866.
Count of Anjou, before 853?-865.
Count of Blois, 865.
Count of Auxerre and Nevers, 865-866.
Count of Autun.
Lay-abbot of Marmoutier, 852.
Lay-abbot of Saint-Martin de Tours, 866.

Robert, commonly called "le Fort" ("the Strong"), is well known as the earliest solidly documented ancestor of the "Robertinian" or "Capetian" dynasty of kings of France. Robert probably first appears in the records in 836×7 as Robert, son of count Robert, when he donated two manses in Mettenheim in Wormsgau with appurtenances to the monastery of Lorsch ["Ego in Dei nomine Rubertus, filius Ruberti comitis, dono ad sanctum Nazarium &c. jj mansos cum hubis in pago Wormat. in Mettenheimer marca, & quidquid ad ipsos mansos pertinet, & de terra aratoria jurnales xlvjjj, & de vineis jurnales xjjj, & prata ad carradas vj, stipulatione subnixa. Actum in monasterio Laurisham, anno XXIII Ludowici inperatoris." Codex Lauresh., 2: 306-7 (#1826)]. He was probably also the count Robert who on 10 April 837 witnessed the donation of a certain Badagis for the soul of a count Guntram [Codex Lauresh., 1: 316 (#219), see below]. The identification of this Robert with Robert le Fort, now widely accepted, is discussed below in the Commentary section.

When Robert again emerges in the records on 3 April 852 as lay-abbot of Marmoutier, he was in the western kingdom of king Charles le Chauve ("the Bald") of France ["... illustris viri Rotberti rectoris monasterii S. Martini, quod Majus Monasterium dicitur, ..." RHF 8: 520 (#109)]. Along with bishop Dodo and Osbert, Robert appears as a missus in the Capitulary of Servais in November 853 ["Dodo episcopus, Hrotbertus, et Osbertus, missi in Cinnomannio, Andegavensi, atque Turonico, Corboniso, et Sagiso." MGH Leg. 1: 426]. Since missi (other than bishops) were usually counts over one of the districts involved, and he is known to have been count of Anjou at a later date, Robert was probably already count of Anjou at this time. In 858, a revolt against king Charles broke out, and Robert is mentioned first among the leaders of the revolt in a letter addressed in 859 to the rebels by the council of Savonnières ["Universalis synodus ex diversis partibus in nomine Domini ad vicinum locum Tullensi urbi, qui dicitur Saponarias, congregata, utinam bonis filiis Rotberto, Odoni, Heriveo, Truando, Ingelboldo, Frotmundo, item Heriveo, Magenardo, Cadoloni et ceteris in vestra societate conjunctis, salutarem conversionem." RHF 7: 584]. In 859, he was allied with Pépin II of Aquitaine and the Bretons ["Pippinus Rotberto comiti et Brittonibus sociatur." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 859, 52]. Robert was received back in the king's favor in 861 ["[Karolus] ... Et Sequanam transiens, Meidunum super Ligerim adit, Rodbertum cum placitis honoribus recipit." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 861, 55]. At about the same time, according to Regino, Charles made Robert dux of the region between the Loire and the Seine (i.e., Neustria) ["Carolus placitum habuit in Compendio ibique cum optimatum consilio Rodberto comiti ducatum inter Ligerim et Sequanam adversum Brittones commendavit, quem cum ingenti industria per aliquod tempus rexit." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 861, 79]. In 862, Robert was fighting against Salomon, ruler of the Bretons, and against Louis, son of king Charles, then in rebellion against his father [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 862, 57-8]. In 864, the king deprived Bernard, son of Bernard, of the honores which he had given him, and granted them to his faithful man Robert ["Unde iudicio suorum fidelium honores quos ei dederat rex recepit et Rotberto, fideli suo, donavit." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 864, 73]. This evidently included the county of Autun. In the same year, Robert was wounded in a fight against Vikings based on the Loire, but recovered after a few days ["Rodbertus comes Andegavensis adgrediens duos cuneos de Northmannis qui in Ligeri fluvio residebant, unum quidem, exceptis paucis evadentibus, interfecit, et altero maiore retro superveniente, vulneratur. Unde, paucis suorum amissis, sibi secessu consuluit et post paucos dies convaluit." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 864, 74]. In March 865, Robert was acting as count of Blois, and exchanged lands in the county of Blois with bishop Actard of Nantes ["Dedit igitur illustris vir Robertus comes partibus Actardi episcopi, de terra comitatis Blesensis ...; ... partibus illustrissimi viri Roberti comitis, comitatui videlicet Blesensi, ...; ... Actum Bleso castro publice. Signum Roberti comitis, qui hanc commutationem fieri vel firmare rogavit." Mabille (1871), lxxxix-xci (Pièces justificatives #1); Werner (1959), 147-150]. In 865, king Charles gave the county of Anjou to his son Louis. To Robert, who had been marchio in Anjou, he then gave the counties of Auxerre and Nevers in addition to his other honores ["Rodberto autem, qui marchio in Adegavo fuerat, cum aliis honoribus quos habebat comitatum Autisiodorensem et comitatum Nivernensem donavit." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 865, 79]. In 866, Robert and count Eudes (for whom see below) appear as leaders of one group of the Frankish army which was put to flight by the Viking army [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 81]. Also in 866, the king gave Robert the lay-abbacy of Saint-Martin de Tours, which had been taken away from Engilwin, and on Robert's advice divided honores beyond the Seine among Robert's followers. Also by Robert's advice, Charles gave the county of Autun to his son Louis, because Bernard, son of Bernard, had been holding onto it against Robert ["Karolus Rotberto comiti abbatiam Sancti Martini ab Engilwino ablatam donat et eius consilio honores qui ultra Sequanam erant per illius complices dividit, comitatum quoque Augustidunensem, a Bernardo, filio Bernardi, super Rodbertum occupatum, Hludowico, filio suo, ipsius Rotberti consilio ad eum ditandum committit." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 81]. This establishment of Robert's followers west of the Seine was probably one of the foundations of the later power of his family there [see Werner (1959)].

Later the same year, Vikings allied with Bretons were returning from having attacked and sacked Le Mans when they encountered Robert and several other counts with a large force. Robert was killed in the ensuing battle ["Nortmanni commixti Brittonibus, circiter quadringenti de Ligeri cum caballis egressi, Cimnomannis civitatem adeunt. Qua depraedata, in regressu suo usque ad locum qui dicitur Brieserta veniunt; ubi Rotbertum et Ramnulfum, Gozfridum quoque et Heriveum comites cum valida manu armatorum, si Deus cum eis esset, offendunt. Et conserto praelio, Rotbertus occiditur, ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 84; "Ruotbertus Karoli regis comes apud Ligurim fluvium contra Nordmannos fortiter dimicans occiditur, alter quodammodo nostris temporibus Machabeus; cuius proelia, quae cum Brittonibus et Nordmannis gessit, si per omnia scripta fuissent, Machabei gestis aequiperari potuissent." Ann. Fuld., s.a. 867, 66; "Eo anno ingens bellum inter Gallos et paganos geritur in Gallia, et cecidit ex utraque parte innumerabilis multitudo. Ibique Ruodbertus, vir valde strenuus, ortus de Frantia, dux Karoli, interfectus est." Ann. Xant., s.a. 867 (recté 866), 24-5; "Ruotbertus absque galea et lorica accurrens, cum incautius dimicaret et inimicos ultro insequeretur, interfectus est in introitu ipsius ecclesiae; eius corpus iam exanime Nortmanni intrinsecus trahunt." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 867, 92-3; "Rhothbertus quoque atque Ramnulfus viri mirae potentiae, armisque strenui, et inter primos ipsi priores, Northmannorum gladio necantur." Annales Floriacenses, s.a. 866, MGH SS 2: 254]. After Robert's death, the king granted the counties of Tours and Anjou and the abbacy of Saint-Martin to Hugues "the Abbot", the son of his (i.e., the king's) uncle Conrad, and sent him to Neustria in Robert's place. At that time, Robert's sons Eudes and Robert, both of whom later became kings of France, were still young ["... Hugoni clerico, avunculi sui Chonradi filio, comitatum Turonicum et comitatum Andegavensem cum abbatia Sancti Martini et cum aliis etiam abbatiis donat eumque in Neustriam loco Rotberti dirigit; ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 84; "Non multo post interiecto tempore Hugo abba in locum Ruotberti substitutus est, vir strenuus, humilis, iustus, pacificus et omni morum honestate fundatus; siquidem Odo et Ruotbertus, filii Ruotberti, adhuc parvuli erant, quando pater extinctus est, et idcirco non est illis ducatus commissus." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 867, 93].

The epithet of "le Fort" ("the Strong") which has been given to Robert is not contemporary, but is now widely used. In the beginning of the eleventh century, Hermann of Reichenau, in an annal entry based on Annales Fuldenses (and evidently drawing on the word fortiter which appears there), refers to Robert as "Roudpertus fortissimus de regno Karoli comes" [Hermann of Reichenau, Chronicon, s.a. 867, MGH SS 5: 106]. The nickname is also used by Sigebert of Gembloux, writing about 1100 ["Ruotbertus fortis marchio", Sigebert, Chronicon, s.a. 866, MGH SS 6: 341], and by Aubry de Troisfontaines in the thirteenth century ["comes Robertus Fortis"Aubry de Troisfontaines, Chronica, s.a. 988, MGH SS 23: 774].

Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.

Date of Death: 866, possibly 15 September.
A number of sources give 867 as the date of Robert's death [Ann. Fuld., s.a. 867, 66; Ann. Xant., s.a. 867, 25; Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 867, 92-3], and some scholars have followed this date [e.g. Barthélemy (1873)]. However, the annal for 867 in Annales Fuldenses contains some events from 866 (and even 865), the entries in Annales Xantenses during this period are typically off by a year (so their testimony actually favors 866), and the chronology of Regino is well known to be unreliable during this period. Thus, the contemporary testimony of Hincmar argues strongly for 866 as the date [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 84]. See the discussion of Robert's date of death by Ferdinand Lot [Lot (1902), 430-1; Lot (1915), 507, n. 4]. Lot gives a date of 15 September, based on a count Robert who appears in a tenth century addition to the necrology of Saint-Germain-des-Prés ["XVII kal. ... et Rotberti comitis" Obit. Sens, 1, pt. 1: 272].
Place of Death: Battle of Brissarthe.

Probable father: Robert, d. before 19 February 834, count in Wormsgau.
Probable mother:
Waldrade (Wialdrut), living 19 February 834.
The evidence which would accept the identification of Robert le Fort with a Robert, son of Robert and Waldrade, who appears in 836, is now widely accepted. See the Commentary section for a detailed discussion.

Spouse(s): Unknown.
Robert's wife (or wives) cannot be unambiguously identified. See the Commentary section for a discussion of the possibilities.

Children:
The relationship of Robert to his sons Eudes and Robert is abundantly documented [e.g., "... siquidem Odo et Ruotbertus, filii Ruotberti, adhuc parvuli erant, quando pater extinctus est, ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 867, 93; "Odo filius Rodberti usque ad Ligerim fluvium vel Aquitanicam provinciam sibi in usum usurpavit." Ann. Fuld., s.a. 888, 116; "... et terram patris sui Rothberti Odoni comiti concessam, ..." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 886, 62; "Rothbertus comes, frater regis Odoni" Ann. Vedast., s.a. 898, 79].

MALE Eudes, d. 1 January 898, count of Paris, 882×3-888; marquis of Neustria, 886-888; king of France, 888-898;
m. Théodrade, fl. 890.
Eudes was young ("parvulus") at the death of his father, but evidently old enough to receive at least some of his honores (thus probably in his teens), of which he was deprived in 868 ["Ablatis denique a Rotberti filio his quae post mortem patris de honoribus ipsius ei concesserat et per alios divisis, ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 868, 91; however, Chaume would identify this as an otherwise unknown elder son of Robert le Fort, Chaume (1925), 237, n. 2, 537 (table 5)]. Eudes appears to have spent some time with his father's relatives in the neighborhood of Worms, for he was apparently the Uodo, nepos of count Meingaud (Mengoz), who in 876 ceded to Lorsch a manse with all appurtenances at Mettenheim in Wormsgau ["Anno XXXVI Ludowici regis, Mengoz comes et nepos ejus Vodo tradiderunt ad sanctum Nazarium in pago Worm., in Mettenheim j mansum cum omnibus appenditiis suis, praesente Titrocho abbate &c." Codex Lauresh. 2: 309 (#1835)]. As count of Paris, Eudes distinguished himself in the siege of Paris against the Normans (October 885 - November 886). After the deaths of Hugues "the Abbot" and of marquis Henri (Heinrich, ancester of the Babenbergs) in 886, Eudes received the lands of his father ["... et terram patris sui Rothberti Odoni comiti concessam ..." Ann. Vedast, s.a. 886, 62]. After the death of Charles the Fat in January 888, Eudes was crowned as king at the palace of Compiègne by archbishop Gautier of Sens on 29 February 888 ["Convenerunt itaque qui Odonem advocarunt Compendio palatio atque cum consensu eorum qui sibi consentiebant per manu Waltheri archiepiscopi benedicti sibi in regnum fecerunt." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 888, 64; "Odo filius Rodberti usque ad Ligerim fluvium vel Aquitanicam provinciam sibi in usum usurpavit; ..." Ann. Fuld., s.a. 888, 116; "Interea Galliarum populi in unum congregati cum consensu Arnulfi Odonem ducem, filium Rotberti, de quo paulo superius mentionem fecimus, virum strenuum, cui pre ceteris formae pulchitrudo et proceritas corporis et virium sapientiaeque magnitudo inerat, regem super se pari consilio et voluntate creant;" Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 888, 129-130; "Odo rex a Francis elevatur 2. Kal. Mart." Annales Sancti Germani minores, s.a. 888, MGH SS 4: 3; "Anno itaque incarnationis dominicae 888. [16. Kal.] Mart. quinta feria communi decreto, Odonem virum militarem ac strenuum in basilica sancti ... regem creant." (the words in brackets are crossed out) Richer, Historia, i, 5, MGH SS 3: 570; 16 February was a Wednesday in 888, 29 February was a Thursday; Dümmler (1862-88), 3: 316 & n. 2 (quoting Richer as giving [II Kal.] instead of [16. Kal.])]. Eudes died on 1 January 898, being succeeded by the Carolingian Charles III the Simple ["Obiit ipse in eodem loco Kalendis Ianuarii, corpusque eius apud Sanctum Dionisium delatum ibique honorifice humatum." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 898, 79; "898. Odo rex obiit Kal. Ianuar. Karolus regnum recepit." Annales Sanctae Columbae Senonensis, MGH SS 1: 104; Dümmler (1862-88), 3: 436, n. 1]. His wife Théoderade appears in an act of 890 ["... carissima conjux nostra Theoderada ..." RHF 9: 452]. Favre suggests that she was a daughter of Aleran II, count of Troyes [Favre (1893), 203, see below].

MALE Robert I, d. 15 June 923, marquis of Neustria, 888-922; king of France, 922-3;
m. (1)
Béatrix;
[probably m. (2) Adèle.]

Probable relatives:
Six of the seven individuals listed here are stated to have been related to one of Robert's sons. Robert's grandson Hugues le Grand was an heir of the seventh in some unspecified way. In none of these cases is the exact relationship solidly documented. All of these relationships are potentially valuable clues, and in the case of Meingaud, the statement of relationship is an important piece of evidence in determining the probable parentage of Robert. Another likely relative of Robert, Eudes of Troyes and Châteaudun, is not explicitly called a relative of Robert or of his sons in the sources, and is covered in the Commentary section.

Meingaud/Megingoz (II), d. 28 August 892, count in Wormsgau and Maiengau, lay-abbot of Saint-Maximin.
["Item eodem anno mense Augusto, V. Kalendas Septembr., Megingaudus comes, nepos supradicti Odonis regis, dolo interfectus est ab Alberico et sociis eius in monasterio sancti Xisti, quod vocatur Rotila." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 892, 140] Meingaud is discussed in detail in the Commentary section.

Alleaume/Adalhelm, count of Laon.
Gautier/Waltger, d. July 892,
son of Alleaume.
["... Waltgarius comes, nepos Odonis regis, filius scilicet avunculi eius Adalhelmi, ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 892, 139; "Walkerus eius consobrinus", Ann. Vedast., s.a. 892, 72 (where eius refers to king Eudes); "Unde nepos eius nimium tristans Adalaelmus" Abbo, De Bello Parisiaco, i, 452, MGH SS 2: 787 (where eius refers to Eudes)] Kalckstein and Favre suggested that Robert married a sister of Alleaume [Kalckstein (1871), 114; Kalckstein (1877), 466; Favre (1893), 201]. Depoin & Chaume made Alleaume a younger paternal half-brother of Robert [Depoin (1908), 330; Chaume (1925), 537 (table 5)]

Adémar, d. 926, count of Poitou, 893-902.
["Odo, consanguineus sua" (i.e., of Ademarus), Abbo, De Bello Parisiaco, ii, 540-1, MGH SS 2: 800] Adémar was a son of Emenon, d. 866, count of Poitou, Périgueux, and Angoulême [Adémar Chab., iii, 19 (p. 137); iii, 20 (p. 139n.)]. Adémar appears to have had a brother named Alleaume/Adalhelm ["Frater Ademari comitis Adalelmus ..." Eudes de Cluny, Vita S. Geraldi, c. 46, AASS Oct., 6: 312]. Because of this, Kalckstein suggested that Adémar was related to Alleaume of Laon [Kalckstein (1877), 466]. The brother Alleaume was identified by Saint-Phalle as Alleaume, count of Troyes, nephew of Robert (d. 886), count of Troyes (see below) [Saint-Phalle (2000), 154-6, 169]. If this identification is correct, Adémar's mother would then probably be a sister of Robert of Troyes, and Adémar's relationship to Robert le Fort would be via whatever unknown connection probably links the families of Robert le Fort and Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes (see below in the Commentary section).

Berengario I, d. 924, king of Italy, emperor.
Robert le Fort's son Robert appears as propinquus of Berengario in a document of 15 February 913 ["... Rotberti specialiter abbatis propinqui quidem nostri ..." Dümmler (1871), 18 n. 3, 176-7; Pancarte S.-Martin de Tours, 123 (#115)]. Barthélemy attempts to explain this relationship via Robert's wife Béatrix [Barthélemy (1873), 123]. If Béatrix were indeed a daughter of Heribert (and this is doubtful, as indicated on the page of Béatrix), then it would make Berengario and Béatrix second cousins twice removed (with Béatrix in the more remote generation). Since this relation (if correct) would only be a distant in-law relation, it seems like an improbable explanation of the evidence. A more likely explanation would be the possibility that Robert I' s mother was a close relative of Hugues the Abbot, a nephew of the empress Judith, Berengario's maternal grandmother.

Charles III "the Simple", d. 929, king of France 898-922.
In an act of 28 May 917, Charles refers to abbot Robert (the later king Robert I) as consanguineus noster ["... pro stabilitate salutis nostræ et consanguinei nostri Rotberti abbatis, ..." RHF 9: 532 (#65)]. Although the nature of the relationship is unknown, possible explanations would include a connection through Hugues the Abbot, or some relationship through count Eudes of Orléans, whose daughter Ermentrude was paternal grandmother of Charles the Simple.

Aleran II, fl. 868-900, count (of Troyes?).
The basis of the supposition that Robert was related to Aleran II is an act of Saint-Martin de Tours of 937 by which Hugues le Grand (Robert's grandson) donated to that abbey his allod of Lachy, which he held in inheritance from count Aleran, who had obtained it from king Carloman ["... alodum nuncupatum Lapchiacum quamque Aledramnus comes par auctoritatis præceptum a domno Karolomanno rege obtinuerat, veluti heres illius in eo existens idoneus et iterum per rememoratæ auctoritatis preceptum possidere videmur ..." Lot (1904b), 153, n. 2]. This Aleran has sometimes been identified with Aleran I (d. bef. 25 April 854) [Pancarte S.-Martin de Tours, 95-6 (#58); Barthélemy (1873), 130-1; Merlet (1895), 106 & n. 7; Merlet (1897a), 36, n. 2]. However, as pointed out by Lot, this was a result of misreading Karlomannus as "Charlemagne" [Lot (1904b), 153, n. 2]. It should be noted that the fact that Hugues le Grand held something in inheritance from Aleran does not necessarily mean that Robert and Aleran were related, for the inheritance could have come through the wife of Robert, for example. In fact, Favre hypothesized an even more indirect route, suggesting that king Eudes inherited Lachy by marrying a daughter of Aleran II [Favre (1893), 203]. [For conjectured genealogical affiliations of Aleran II, see Kalckstein (1871), 470-2; Favre (1893), 202-3]

Possible relatives:
According to Christian Settipani, this relationship has been recently revealed by a letter of Adèle, widow of the lay-abbot of Saint-Symphorien d'Orléans, to Gautier, bishop of Orléans, complaining about unkept promises of their common cousin Eudes ["Sperabam itaque quod Odo comes et consanguineus noster ne suis, ut nobiliter decuerat, per omnia juvaret ac fulciretur auxiliis" Settipani (1993), 403, n. 19, citing Bischoff (1984), 131-2 (#5) (not seen by me)]. Gautier, archbishop of Sens, was a nepos of Gautier, bishop of Orléans ["Waltarius, nepos Waltarii Aurelianensis urbis episcopi" Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 887, 131]. Referring to the forthcoming second part of his work, Settipani suggested that the relationship was due to a common descent from Hadrien of Wormsgau and his wife Waldrade (for those individuals, see the page of Eudes, count of Orléans).

Adèle, m. NN, lay-abbot of Saint-Symphorien d'Orléans.
Gautier, bishop of Orléans, ca. 869-ca. 891.
Gautier, d. 19 November 923, archbishop of Sens, 887-923.



Commentary

Theories about the origin of Robert le Fort

Contemporary writers did not offer the parentage of Robert le Fort. Nevertheless, as would be expected for the ancestor of a family that gained such prominence, a number of theories have been advanced regarding his parentage. By the eighteenth century, there were no less than five hypotheses on the ancestry of Robert, as reported in the third edition of Anselme's monumental work [Anselme, 1: 65-7]. A similar report in the tenth volume of Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France gave the same scenarios plus a sixth (which varied from one of the others only in earlier generations) [RHF 10: i-xiii]. The fathers attributed to Robert in these theories, with their supposed ancestries (which are discussed individually in more detail below), are:

These theories can be contrasted with the scholarship of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which often went in quite different directions. The candidates for the father of Robert suggested in these more modern works show very little overlap with the earlier theories.

Robert le Fort's origins in East Francia

The other theories will be discussed in due course, but we start with the last (and most widely accepted) of these scenarios. The case for identifying Robert le Fort with a Robert son of Robert who appears in the year 836×7 can be briefly summarized by the following points which will then be discussed in further detail.

Few sources have anything to say about the origin of Robert le Fort. As noted by René Merlet and Ferdinand Lot, what evidence there is points strongly to an origin in East Francia [Merlet (1895), 98-100; Lot (1902), 430-2]. The earliest to offer anything on his origin, Annales Xantenses, compiled not long after the events it records, state that he was "ortus de Frantia" ["Ibique Ruodbertus, vir valde strenuus, ortus de Frantia, dux Karoli, interfectus est." Ann. Xant., s.a. 866, 25]. Before 843, Francia would refer to a wide region between the Seine, the Manche, Saxony, Thuringia, Alamannia, and Burgundy. After 843, Lothair's part of the empire quickly became known as Lotharii regnum (Lotharingia, Lorraine), and Francia came to refer only to the remaining parts, now separated, one in the west and one in the east. Of these the author of Annales Xantenses was probably referring to East Francia, the region along the Rhine river around the towns of Mainz, Worms, and Speier [see Merlet (1895), 99-100]. Support for this comes from the tenth century Saxon historian Widukind, who places the origin of king Eudes specifically in East Francia ["Hunc quidam ex orientalibus Francis adiens, nomine Oda, vir fortis et prudens, ..." Widukind, i, 29, MGH SS 3: 430]. Apparently contradicting this is the testimony of Abbo, writing in the last years of the ninth century, who indicates that Eudes was from Neustria ["Francia laetatur, quamvis is Nustricus esset," (i.e., Eudes), Abbo, De Bello Parisiaco, ii, 447, MGH SS 2: 798]. This apparent contradiction is easily resolved, however, for there is every reason to believe that Eudes was born in Neustria, a region where his father was active for many years. Thus, if it is assumed that Abbo was referring to the birthplace of Eudes, while Widukind was referring to the origin of Eudes's family (in testimony agreeing well with Annales Xantenses), then there is no contradiction between Annales Xantenses, Abbo, and Widukind. Adding force to this conclusion is the fact, emphasized by Lot and Werner, that the early annalistic accounts which emphasize the heroic nature of Robert le Fort's fall at Brissarthe [Ann. Xant.; Ann. Fuld. (with the Biblical comparison to the Maccabees); Regino; see above for quotes] are exactly those which were written in the neighborhood of East Francia [Lot (1902), 431-2; Lot (1915), 507-9; Werner (1997), 10-12].

Much attention has been attracted by the account of Richer of Reims, writing in the 990's, who is the only early author to give a supposed name for the father of Robert. Richer states that Robert was of the knightly class and that Robert's father (literally, the paternal grandfather of king Eudes) was a German named Witichinus ["Hic patrem habuit ex equestri ordine Rotbertum; avum vero paternum, Witichinum advenam Germanem." Richer, i, 5, MGH SS 3: 570]. The name Widukind (Witichinus) is a name of Saxon origin, borne not only by the above historian, but also the name of the principal leader of the Saxons who fought against Charlemagne. Thus, in apparent support of Richer, we have the account of Aimoin of Fleury, writing just after 1000, who states that Robert was of Saxon origin ["... Rotbertus Andegavensis comes, Saxonici generis vir, ..." Aimoin, Miracula S. Benedicti, i, 1, MGH SS 9: 374]. Against a Saxon origin for Robert we have not only the early evidence mentioned above, but the specific evidence of Widukind, the historian of the Saxons, who was writing a generation before Richer and Aimoin, and who, as noted above, indicates nothing of a Saxon origin for Robert's dynasty. As was pointed out by Lot, it is also possible here that Aimoin's "Saxon" did not refer to ethnic origin, but just indicated that the geographical origin of the family was from Germany, ruled by a Saxon dynasty at the time that Aimoin was writing [Lot (1902), 432, n. 1; Werner (1997), 12].

As for the additional information given by Richer, further reasons will be given below for mistrusting his account, but we can immediately reject Richer's claim that Robert was only of the knightly class. In his history of the church at Reims, Flodoard mentions a letter of Foulques, archbishop of Reims to king Arnulf, which states that king Eudes was a stranger to royal blood ["... qui ab stirpe regia existens alienus ..." (i.e., Eudes), Flodoard, Historia Remensis ecclesiae, iv, 5, MGH SS 13: 563], but the obvious interpretation of that statement is that he was not of Carolingian descent, and we need not doubt that Robert was a member of the nobility, as stated by Regino ["... Ruotbertum et Ramnulfum et alios nonnullos generosae stirpis viros, ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 873, 105].

Robert's family

The reasons for identifying Robert le Fort with the Robert, son of count Robert who appears in 836×7 [Codex Lauresh., 2: 306-7 (#1826)] have been outlined above. The father Robert can be further identified with a high degree of probability with the count Robert whose widow Waldrade appears in 834.

Probable father: Robert, d. before 19 February 834, count in Wormsgau.
Probable mother:
Waldrade (Wialdrut), living 19 February 834.
Robert was deceased by 19 February 834, when his widow Waldrade and a certain Guntram gave land in Bönsheim in Rheingau for his soul to the monastery in Lorsch ["Ego in Dei nomine Wialdrud & Guntram pariter mecum pro remedio animæ nostræ & pro anima Ruperti comitis, quondam viri mei, ... Signum Wialdrut, quæ hanc donationem fecit, ..." Codex Lauresh., 1: 350 (#271)]. He was evidently the count Robert whose son Robert donated two manses in Mettenheim in 836×7 [Codex Lauresh., 2: 306-7 (#1826), see above]. Attempts at further identification of this Robert suffer from the possibility of confusing different men with the same name. On 8 March 812, a count Rotbertus appears with several other counts in a court record of Charlemagne [MGH DD KdG, 289 (#216)]. After 816, at the request of archbishop Ebbo of Reims, a count Robert was ordered by emperor Louis to defend the property of the church ["Ab imperatore quoque Ludowico litteras ad Rotbertum comitem pro ecclesiasticarum rerum defensione, quas quidam pervadere moliebantur, impetravit." Flodoard, Historia Remensis ecclesiae, ii, 19, MGH SS 13: 467]. A count Robert appears as a witness on 29 May 817 (or 819) ["+ Ruadperahti comitis" Codex Fuld., 175 (#387)]. In 819 and 823, a count Robert appears appears in the record of restitution of lands to the monastery of Hornbach [Glöckner (1936), 306, citing Zeuß, Trad. Wizenburg. #69]. In a capitulary of emperor Louis the Pious in 825, a count Robert appears with archbishop Haistulf as a missus in the diocese of Mainz ["In Mogontia, quae est diocesis Heistulfi archiepiscopi, idem Heistulfus episcopus et Ruodbertus comes." MGH Leg. 1: 246]. Glöckner would identify all of these with the Robert of 19 February 834 (whom he would call Robert "III"), mentioning doubt only in the case of the capitulary [Glöckner (1936), 305-6]. Siegwart would also identify Robert with a vassal of emperor Louis the Pious ("Ruodpertus quidam nomine, Ludowici imperatoris vassallus") who briefly held Churrätien against Adalbert, son of Hunfrid, and was killed as a result [Translatio sanguinis Domini, c. 15, MGH SS 4: 448; Siegwart (1958), 180-3].

The cartulary of Lorsch shows a count Robert in Wormsgau on 12 June 795 ["... ego Rubertus comes ...", Codex Lauresh., 2: 236 (#1541)] and in Rheingau on 25 March 804 ["... signum Rutperti comitis, ..." ibid., 1: 318 (#222)] and on 20 February 807 ["... signum Rutperti comitis..." ibid., 1: 319 (#224)]. Glöckner would identify him as Robert "II" and make him the father of Robert "III" (with no direct evidence for the affiliation). This Robert "II" would then be identified by Glöckner as "probably" the same as the Robert son of Turimbert who appears in the Lorsch cartulary in 769×770 ["... ego Turinebertus, & filius meus Ruotpertus, ..." ibid., 1: 285 (#168)]. Although Turimbert does not have a title in the documents in which he appears, and Robert son of Turimbert also appears without a title, Turincbert was the son of a count Robert "I", whose son Cancor and widow Williswinte founded Lorsch in 764 [see Glöckner (1936), 303-5; Codex Lauresh., 1: 2], which is why Glöckner would identify Turimbert's son as Robert "II" [Glöckner (1936), 305]. On the other hand, Siegwart does not accept the identification of Robert "II" with Robert son of Turimbert, and instead makes Robert "II" the son of a Robert "I" (different from the Robert "I" of Glöckner), son of count Hnabi who was the maternal grandfather of Hildegard, wife of Charlemagne [Siegwart (1958), 157]. Chaume regarded the Robert "II" and "III" of Glöckner as a single count Robert of Rheingau (fl. 795-834, whose son Robert, fl. 836-7, he regarded as distinct from Robert le Fort), in turn a conjectured son of count Heimrich, son of count Cancor, son of count Robert and Williswinte [Chaume (1925), 537 (table #5)]. While onomastics and geography present us with a plausible enough case that Robert (husband of Waldrade) was of the same family as the earlier Robert (husband of Williswinte), there does not appear to be any solid evidence for the parentage of Waldrade's husband.

Possible relative (brother?): Guntram, count, living 19 February 834, probably d. before 10 April 837;
m. Badagis, living 10 April 837.

Guntram was a party to the donation of Waldrade for the soul of count Robert on 19 February 834, and was apparently deceased on 10 April 837, when his widow gave a donation in Pfungstadt in the Rheingau for his soul, in an act witnessed by the younger count Robert ["Ego in Dei nomine Batdagis pro remedio animæ meæ & domini mei Guntrami comitis ... Signum Badagis, qui hanc donationem fecit, signum Ruotberti comitis, Alberti, Rudingi, Rutberti, Rathfridi, Eringi, Erkenberti, Heriradi, Eigelwardi, Ekkehardi, Ridandi, Meginoldi. Altwinus scripsit." Codex Lauresh., 1: 316 (#219)]. This suggests that Guntram was a relative. Glöckner conjectures that Guntram was a son of the older Robert and brother of the younger Robert (le Fort) [Glöckner (1936), 307 (on table, with a "dotted line")].

Relative: Meingaud/Megingoz I, d. 876×882?, count in Wormsgau.
A count Meingaud in Wormsgau appears on 21 August 868 and again on 12 April 870 [Depoin (1908), 15: 262; Dümmler (1862-88), 3: 358, n. 1; Parisot (1898), 492, n. 1; Glöckner (1936), 342, n. 3; Mühlbacher, 626-7 (#1479 (1436)); they cite Beyer i, 115, 117 (#110-1)]. In 876, Meingaud appears as an ambassador of Ludwig der Deutscher (Louis the German) to Charles le Chauve [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 876, 130]. In 876, count Meingaud (Mengoz) and his nepos Uodo (who can probably be identified as the later king Eudes) ceded to Lorsch a manse with all appurtenances at Mettenheim in Wormsgau ["Anno XXXVI Ludowici regis, Mengoz comes et nepos ejus Vodo tradiderunt ad sanctum Nazarium in pago Worm., in Mettenheim j mansum cum omnibus appenditiis suis, praesente Titrocho abbate &c." Codex Lauresh. 2: 309 (#1835)]. Meingaud I appears to have died by 22 September 881×2, when a count Walo/Walaho appears as count in Wormsgau ["in pago nuncupato Wormazfeld, in comitatu Walonis" Codex Lauresh., 1: 82 (#43) (gives 882); Chronicon Laureshamense, MGH SS 21: 375 (gives 881)]. There is a tomb of a Meingaud at St. Alban at Mainz [The epitaph is printed by Depoin (1908-10), 15: 264 and Favre (1893), 244-5], who was evidently Meingaud I. For the probable identification of Meingaud I and Meingaud II as separate individuals, see below.

Relative: Meingaud/Megingoz II, d. 28 August 892, count in Wormsgau & Mayenfeld, lay-abbot of Saint-Maximin;
m. Gisèle, who m. (2) Burchard,
son of Walacho.
While it would be natural to conjecture that Meingaud I and Meingaud II were father and son, the exact relationship is undocumented. On 23 January 888, emperor Arnulf mentioned Meingaud II as count in Mayenfeld ["... quidam fidelis noster comes nomine Megingoz ... in pago Meinifeld dicto in comitatu ipsius" Dümmler (1862-88), 3: 358; Parisot (1898), 486; Glöckner (1936), 342, n. 3; Mühlbacher, 730 (#1775 (1727)); they cite Beyer i, 131 (#125)]. On 21 July 889, Meingaud II is mentioned as count in Wormsgau ["in pago qui uocatur Uuormazfelda in comitatu Megingaudi" Codex Fuld., 289 (#633); Mühlbacher, 742 (#1824 (1775))], having apparently just succeeded count Walaho, who appears as count on
8 November 888 ["in pago Wormazueldan, in comitatu Walahonis" Codex Lauresh., 1: 91 (#49); Chronicon Laureshamense, MGH SS 21: 378]. Meingaud II, a nepos of king Eudes, was killed on 28 August 892 ["Item eodem anno mense Augusto V. Kalendas Septembr. Megingaudus comes, nepos supradicti Odonis regis, dolo interfectus est ab Alberico et sociis eius in monasterio sancti Xisti, quod vocatur Rotila." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 892, 140], and emperor Arnulf gave some of Meingaud's honores to his own son Zwentibold ["Arnulfus Zuendibolcho filio honores Megingaudi comitis ex parte largitur." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 892, 140]. A Meingaud who appears as count in Mayenfeld in 894×5 may have been a son of the Meingaud who died in 892 [Parisot (1898), 492, n. 1, citing Beyer ii, #30]. According to Sigehard, writing in the next century, Meingaud was duke of Lorraine under Arnulf ["... cuidam Megingaudo, regni huius duci, ..." Sigehard, Miracula S. Maximini, c. 8, MGH SS 4: 231]. However, this is not confirmed by any other source. The marriage of Meingaud is discussed below.

Relative: Robert, count in Nahegau, brother of Meingaud II.
["Comes quidam, nomine Ruobertus, germanus illius, de quo supra retulimus, Megingaudi fuit, cuius praedia in pago Naachgowe Maximini ac Remigii conlimitantia praediis adiacebant." Sigehard, Miracula S. Maximini, c. 13, MGH SS 4: 232] He may have been the Robert who was lay-abbot of Echternach, from 890 to 897 according to one catalogue ["... ac 3. anno Arnulfi regis, ..., qui est annus incarnationis Domini 890, indict. 8, locus iste delegatus est cuidam Ruberto comiti ad regendum; ... Robertus cum 8 annis huic loco prefuisset, 10 anno Arnoldi regis ac incarnationis Domini 897, indict. 15 Reinerus comes adeptus est ..." Catalogi abbatum Epternacensium, Catalogue 1, MGH SS 13: 739], 890-2 according to another ["Robertus comes et abbas praefuit huic loco 3 annis temporibus Arnulfi imperatoris usque ad annum incarnationis Domini 892." ibid., Catalogue 2, MGH SS 13: 741].

The identification of the two Meingauds is complicated by the fact that Glöckner would identify the Meingaud who appears from 868 to 876 and the Meingaud who appears from 888 to 892 as the same individual (although allowing the possibility that they were different) [Glöckner (1936), 346-8]. Most authors identify them as two distinct individuals [e.g. Kalckstein (1877), 466; Depoin (1908-10), 15: 221ff.; Chaume (1925), 1: 555 (table 12); Settipani (1993), 402, n. 18]. The are two basic pieces of evidence that have been put forward in support of this. One is the appearance of a count Walaho in Wormsgau in the 880's (already mentioned above), which gives a natural break between the Meingaud who appears from 868 to 876 and the Meingaud who appears from 888 to 892. Another is the epitaph of a Meingaud at Mainz, which indicate that that Meingaud died at an advanced age, using words which are unlikely in an epitaph of a man killed in battle ["... postquam meritis maturus et annis, / Illius huic animam qui dedit, ipse tulit." Depoin (1908-10), 15: 264; Glöckner (1936), 347]. There is also a source which states that the Meingaud who died in 892 was buried at Saint-Maximin in Trèves [Depoin (1908-10), 15: 300, citing "Wiltheim, Annales S. Maximini, I, 629. Bibl. de Bruxelles"]. Thus, there appear to have been two counts named Meingaud. Settipani has also pointed out that in the acts of 868 and 870 there appears a second Meingaud, qualified as vicedomnus, in whom one might recognize the future Meingaud II [Settipani (1993), 402, n. 18].

As would be expected, there have been a number of attempts to give more precise genealogical affiliations to the two Meingauds, and to explain the connection of Meingaud to Robert le Fort. We can be reasonably certain that the two Meingauds were closely related, and the appearance of the name Robert as a brother of Meingaud II, along with the description of Meingaud II as a nepos of king Eudes, makes it highly likely that Meingaud II was a close blood relative of Robert. Some suggest that Meingaud II was probably a son of Robert's sister [Barthélemy (1873), 127; Kalckstein (1877), 466; Pinoteau (1958), table (between pp. 256-7)]. Based on a letter of pope John VIII to Charles the Fat on 16 August 879, Depoin and Wampach would make Meingaud I the son of an Adalbert ["... obnixe orecamur ut nobis dirigatis Liutbardum venerabilem episcopum, Manigoldum filium Adalberti, et Adalbertum protopincernam." Depoin (1908-10), 15: 221-2, 260-1; Wampach (1935), 122-4 (with attempts to further identify Adalbert in both); PL 126: 883]. The very legendary life of Meingaud II (worthless as a historical source) makes him a son of a nonexistent king Hugh of England by a sister of emperor Arnulf [Vita Meingoldi comitis, c. 1-2, MGH SS 15: 557]. Chaume makes Meingaud I a brother of Robert le Fort and makes Meingaud II a son of Meingaud I [Chaume (1925), 537 (table 5), 551 (table 12)]. Although there are other possibilities, Chaume's theory does have the merit of offering a simple explanation of the available evidence.

The elaborate scenario of Joseph Depoin involves two different connections to the family of Robert le Fort. Meingaud I is made to be a uterine brother of Robert le Fort. The reason behind this is typical of the often unconvincing logic used by Depoin. Having already determined the parentage of Meingaud I (as son of Adalbert, see above) and Robert le Fort (as son of Guiguin, see below) to his own satisfaction, and having decided that king Eudes was a nephew of Meingaud I (based on the above 876 record with "Mengoz comes et nepos ejus Vodo"), the only way left to make Meingaud I and Robert le Fort brothers was to give them a common mother. This supposed common mother of Robert le Fort and Meingaud I was then conjectured by Depoin to be a daughter of a count Eudes (Uoto) who appears in 821-4 [Depoin (1908-10), 261-2; for this count Eudes, see the page of Eudes of Orléans for further details]. Meingaud II was assigned by Depoin as a son of Meingaud I based on an onomastic guess. Depoin was then left with the problem of making Meingaud II a nephew of king Eudes, based on Regino's chronicle for 892. (Note that Depoin here insisted on interpreting the often more general nepos as meaning specifically nephew in both cases.) The only remotely plausible way to do this was to make the mother of Meingaud II a uterine sister of king Eudes. Since Depoin was operating under the common (but most probably mistaken) assumption that the mother of Eudes was Adélaïde (see below), formerly married to count Conrad, he concluded that the wife of Meingaud I was a daughter of Conrad and Adélaïde [Depoin (1908-10), 15: 261, 263].

The situation has been complicated further by an unfortunate mistake which can be traced back to Parisot, in which Meingaud II has been said to be the son of a count Walaho [Parisot (1898), 492, n.1, citing "Miracula S. Walburgis, liv. III, ch. 15, SS., t. XV, p. 549"]. Parisot's citation is to a nonexistent chapter of the miracles of St. Walburgis (Book 3 ends with Chapter 12), and a search of Miracula S. Walburgis [MGH SS 15: 535-555] turned up only one sentence (here quoted in full) which mentions a Meingaud or a Walaho ["Pari etiam modo, dum Gisala matrona pernobilis, uxor Burchardi, Walochonis comitis filii, quae antea matrimonio iuncta fuerat comitis Megingaudi, causa orationis, ut solita est, cellam virginis adiisset, inprimis pro se suisque omnibus Dominum supplicavit; dein erigens se et signo dominico muniens, eas quas secum detulerat optulit eulogias." Miracula S. Waldburgis, iii, 5, MGH SS 15: 549]. This does not make Meingaud the son of a Walaho, but states that Gisèle, wife of Burchard, son of Walaho, had been previously married to Meingaud. Just after the false citation, Parisot again cites Miracula S. Waldburgis as the source for the name of Meingaud's wife (this time correctly citing Book 3, Chapter 5). Thus, it is clear that "ch. 15" was a misprint for "ch. 5", and it appears that making Meingaud the son of a Walaho was an error of Parisot caused by a misreading of this source. A few years later, the claim that Meingaud was son of a Walaho was made by Vanderkindere [Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 402, no source cited for the parentage, but he was evidently using Parisot]. The statement that Meingaud was the son of a Walaho is repeated by Glöckner, who on two occasions gives the same nonexistent citation from Book 3, Chapter 15 of Miracula S. Waldburgis [Glöckner (1936), 346, n. 1; 348, n.1]. Thus, it appears that Glöckner took this statement along with the citation directly from Parisot's book, without checking it for himself. Following Glöckner, Pinoteau makes the same error [Pinoteau (1958), table (between pp. 256-7), 258, n. 17]. Glöckner also offered an alternate scenario in which a Meingaud II was son of Walaho and grandson (via a daughter) of a Meingaud I [Glöckner (1936), 347, offered only as one possibility, not as a firm conclusion].

Robert le Fort and Richer of Reims

Before the nineteenth century, Conrad of Ursperg or of Lichtenow (d. 1240) was the earliest known author to make Robert le Fort the son of a German named Widukind [Anselme, 1: 65; RHF 10: iii, v-vii; Barthélemy (1873), 410]. Then, in 1833, Pertz found the manuscript of the historical work of Richer of Reims, written during the last decade of the tenth century. For the first time in modern scholarship, there was an early (if not contemporary) source which claimed to give the name of the grandfather of king Eudes, said to be a German stranger named Widukind (Witichinus). Richer also stated that Robert (father of Eudes) was of the kinghtly class ["Hic patrem habuit ex equestri ordine Rotbertum; avum vero paternum, Witichinum advenam Germanem." Richer, i, 5, MGH SS 3: 570]. Not surprisingly, the new information was adopted by a number of historians, despite problems with the narrative of Richer which were overlooked or ignored. Among those authors who treat this information from Richer as reliable, there have been two major genealogical variations. Some have accepted the information as it stands, while Depoin and Chaume adopted an ingenious (but ultimately unconvincing) interpretation of Richer's evidence.

Falsely attributed father (probably mythical): Widukind, a Saxon.
While some genealogies have made this Widukind a descendant of the Saxon leader of that name who fought Charlemagne, Kalckstein and Favre follow Richer in making Robert's father a stranger of unknown descent [Kalckstein (1871), 9-11, 117-120; Kalckstein (1877), 1; Favre (1893), 199-201]. The author most often cited in further support for this thesis is Aimoin of Fleury, who was writing a little after 1000, and stated that Robert was of Saxon descent ["... Rotbertus Andegavensis comes, Saxonici generis vir, ..." Aimoin, Miracula S. Benedicti, i, 1, MGH SS 9: 374]. The most obvious reason for doubting the testimony of Richer and Aimoin is that they were both writing well over a hundred years after the death of Robert le Fort. Richer's reputation as a source for the ninth century has suffered considerably since the initial euphoria felt by historians at discovering such an important manuscript. While he is a valuable source for those events for which he is a contemporary witness, his earlier material is often legendary and unreliable. His statement regarding the parentage of Robert le Fort has every appearance of falling into this legendary category. The claim that Robert was of the knightly class is scarcely believable, and Richer's bias toward the Carolingians raises the suspicion that he was deliberately denigrating the new dynasty by making them descend from a non-noble foreigner. Barthélemy pointed out that Richer's contemporary Hugues Capet was in fact of Saxon descent through his mother (daughter of the German king Heinrich I), and indeed a descendant of the Saxon leader Widukind (through Heinrich's wife Mathilde) [Barthélemy (1873), 113].

Falsely attributed father: Guiguin or Guy the Younger, count of Saonois.
This version is based on a reinterpretation of the evidence of Richer, in which the -chinus of the name Witichinus given by Richer is seen as indicating a diminutive of the name Guy (Wito), resulting in the claim that Richer was making Robert le Fort the son of a Guiguin, or Guy the Younger [Depoin (1908), 324; Chaume (1925), 536-7 (table V)]. Regarding the description "Saxonici generis vir" by Aimoin, Depoin and Chaume also adopted a hypothesis which had been proposed by Rioult de Neuville, who suggested that the reference to "Saxons" may have been referring to Saosnois (pagus Sagonensis, or pagus Saxonensis), a region in Maine around the city of Séez (Saxia, civitas Saxonum) [Rioult de Neuville (1872-3), 120, n. 2; however, see Barthélemy (1873), 114]. This Guy the Younger was then identified by Depoin and Chaume with a Guy who was active in Maine in the years 825-844 (and could be thought of as "the Younger" because there was a Guy who was marquis in Brittany and died in 834). Chaume's table makes Robert le Fort's mother a sister of Eudes of Orléans, no doubt for the same reasons that others have thought Robert and Eudes to be related (see below). The conjectured patrilineal ancestry given by Chaume for Guiguin goes back to a different branch of the "Robertinian" family (with numerous differences in details) from whom Glöckner would trace Robert's ancestry [Glöckner (1936), see above].

Robert le Fort and Eudes of Orléans

Supposed uncle (avunculus): Eudes, d. 834, count of Orléans.
This relationship is based on a supposed charter of Robert for Saint-Martin de Tours dated 20 February 867, which states the following: "In nomine sanctae et individuae Trinitatis, nos quidem Robertus, gratia omnipotentis Dei, incliti gregis confessoris Christi beati Martini abbas et comes, ad petitionem canonicorum ejusdem basilicae, confirmavimus donationem bonorem olim donatorum eidem ecclesiae ab Odone quondam comite Aurelianensi, avunculo nostro, et Willelmo ejus filio ... Data X kalen. Martii, anno XXVII regnante domno Carolo gloriosissimo rege, indict. XV" [Levillain (1937a), 261-2; see also Barthélemy (1873), 121, n. 3]. The most obvious reason for objecting to this charter is that the date is after the probable date of death of Robert, but Levillain gave other reasons for being suspicious [Levillain (1937a), 261-271]. He noted that some of the information given in the charter is otherwise known only from Annales Bertiniani, for example the fact that Robert was lay-abbot of Saint-Martin de Tours [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 81, see above] and the fact that Eudes of Orléans had a son named Guillaume ["Karolus Willelmum, sobrinum suum, Odonis quondam comitis Aurelianensis filium, a quibusdam suorum in Burgundia captum, quasi contra rem publicam agentem secus Silvanectum civitatem decollari fecit." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 84]. Indeed, as Levillain pointed out, the words "Odone quondam comite Aurelianensi" in the supposed charter could have been lifted directly from Annales Bertiniani.

Genealogically, the important question is whether or not the information that Eudes was an avunculus of Robert can be accepted. For those who accept the information, the most common conclusion in the modern literature is that Waldrade, the probable mother of Robert, was a sister of Eudes [e.g., Jackman (1997), 116, table 4; Settipani (2004), 196; both have a dotted line indicating conjecture]. Onomastically, this would explain the name of Robert's son Eudes, later king of France. However, even though a close relationship between Robert and Eudes is plausible enough, the points raised by Levillain give good reason to regard the supposed charter as a flimsy basis for such a relationship.

Falsely attributed father: Guillaume, d. 834, count of Blois (and Châteaudun?), brother of Eudes, count of Orléans.
This parentage was argued by Barthélemy, Rioult de Neuville, and Merlet [Barthélemy (1873), 119-122; Rioult de Neuville (1872-3), 229ff; Merlet (1895), 105-9; Merlet (1897a), 26-7]. Barthélemy's argument is based largely on a claim that the oldest personal property of Robert le Fort was located in the county of Blois. This claim is based on the act of March 865 in which Robert exchanged lands in the county of Blois with bishop Actard of Nantes (see above), on an act of 895 in which king Eudes gave land in the region to his viscount Guarnegaud [Favre (1893), 243-4 (Pièces justificatives #6); Barthélemy (1873), 120], and on the episode in Richer's history in which Eudes gave a certain Ingon the county of Blois [Richer, Historia, i, 9-11, MGH SS 3: 571-2; Barthélemy (1873), 120]. The last of these pieces of evidence can be rejected as legendary, and there is no clear reason for singling out Blois as the earliest possession of Robert. Barthélemy also mentioned the above supposed uncle-nephew relationship between Eudes of Orléans and Robert le Fort as possible supporting evidence. In arguing for the same affiliation, Merlet emphasizes the connection of Robert le Fort to count Eudes of Troyes and Châteaudun. Arguing that Robert and Eudes were probably brothers [Merlet (1895), 107], Merlet argues that they were sons of Guillaume, with Eudes inheriting Châteaudun and Robert inheriting Blois from Guillaume. While there is direct evidence that Guillaume was count of Blois ["... Willelmum comitem Blesensium, ..." Miracula sancti Benedicti, c. 21, MGH SS 15: 489], Merlet's evidence that he was also count of Châteaudun comes from an act of Louis the Pious of 19 November 832, which suggests that the regions of Châteaudun and Blois were then united as a single county ["... in pago Blisense vel Dunense ..." RHF 6: 583 (#179); Merlet (1895), 108; Merlet (1897), 14 & n. 3]. Further details regarding Guillaume can be found on the page of Eudes of Orléans. Although this conjectured parentage of Robert could have been regarded as plausible enough in the early twentieth century before the work of Glöckner appeared, there is a notable lack of direct evidence, and the case is too weak to stand against Glöckner's convincing alternative.

Another conjectured connection between Robert le Fort and Eudes of Orléans is that Robert was married to a daughter of Eudes. This is discussed below under the various conjectures involving the wife or wives of Robert.

Robert le Fort and Hugues the Abbot

Possible relative: Hugues "the Abbot", d. 12 May 886, abbot of Saint-Germain d'Auxerre and Saint-Martin de Tours, count of Anjou and Tours, marquis of Neustria, 866-886.
Hugues appears as abbot of Saint-Germain d'Auxerre on 30 June 853 [Kalckstein (1874), 41; Poupardin (1907), 361, n. 2]. He became count of Tours and Anjou and abbot of Saint-Martin on the death of Robert le Fort in 866 ["... Hugoni clerico, avunculi sui Chonradi filio, comitatum Turonicum et comitatum Andegavensem cum abbatia Sancti Martini et cum aliis etiam abbatiis donat eumque in Neustriam loco Rotberti dirigit; ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 84; "Non multo post interiecto tempore Hugo abba in locum Ruotberti substitutus est, vir strenuus, humilis, iustus, pacificus et omni morum honestate fundatus; ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 867, 93]. He died on 12 May 886 ["Interea Hugo et Gozilin, abbates et duces praecipui Galliae regionis, in quibus omnis spes Gallorum contra Nordmannos posita erat, defuncti sunt." Ann. Fuld., s.a. 886, 104; "Hugo, venerabilis abba ex hac vita decessit sepeliturque in monasterio sancti Germani Autisiodoro." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 886, 60; "Hugo abbas inclitus obiit." Annales Lemovicenses, s.a. 886, MGH SS 2: 251; "Eodem tempore Hugo abba, magnae potestatis vir et magnae prundentiae, Aurelianis moritur et apud sanctum Germanum Autisiodoro tumulatur." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 887, 126; Kalckstein (1874), 127 & n. 3; Dümmler (1862-88), 3: 267, n. 2]. For a detailed account of Hugues the Abbot, see Kalckstein (1874).

The earliest explicit statement of a relationship between Hugues the Abbot and the family of Robert le Fort comes from the mid-eleventh century Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon ["Supererant duo filii Rotberti Andegavorum comitis, frs. Hugonis abbatis. Senior Odo dicebatur, Robertus alter patrem nomine referens." Chron. S.-Bénigne, 109]. Caution is dictated by the fact that the passage was partially taken from a passage in the work of Aimoin de Fleury which does not contain the key words "frs. Hugonis abbatis" ["Supererant duo filii Rotberti, senior Odo dicebatur, Rotbertus alter patrem nomine referens." Aimoin, Miracula S. Benedicti, i, 1, MGH SS 9: 374]. Another problem is the abbreviated word frs. (which appears in Bougaud's printed edition with a bar over the rs), which could be an abbreviation either for fratris (in apposition to Rotberti) or for fratres (in apposition to filii). Thus, the passage is stating either that abbot Hugues was a brother of Robert le Fort, or that Hugues was a brother of both Eudes and Robert I. Not surprisingly, this has led to different interpretations, one of which would apparently give the parentage of Robert le Fort:

Falsely attributed father: Conrad, d. after 862, count, brother of the empress Judith.
Falsely attributed mother: Adélaïde, daughter of Hugues, count of Tours (also falsely called a daughter of Louis the Pious).
These were the parents of Hugues the Abbot. Some have interpreted the frs. in the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon as reading fratris, and made Robert le Fort also a son of Conrad and Adélaïde. That was the opinion of Bougaud in his notes to the chronicle [Chron. S.-Bénigne, 109, n. 2]. However, as noted by Barthélemy, the word fratris is abbreviated as fris. elsewhere in the manuscript, suggesting strongly that fratres is the intended reading of frs [Barthélemy (1873), 116-7]. Also, in this case, the silence of the contemporary sources is a strong negative argument, for if Robert really were a nephew of the empress Judith and a brother of Hugh the Abbot, it is very difficult to believe that this would not have been noted in any of the contemporary sources. The alternate reading of fratres would, if reliable, lead to information about the marriage of Robert le Fort, for the sons of Robert could be brothers of Hugues only through their mother, since they had a different father. As is covered further in the discussion below of Robert le Fort's possible marriages, there is also good reason to doubt that Robert was ever married to Adélaïde, the mother of Hugues. Thus, there is good reason to set aside the testimony of the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon, at least with regard to the exact connection between Robert and Hugues.

However, even in the absence of Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon, there would be several good reasons to believe that there was some family connection between Hugues the Abbot and Robert le Fort and his sons:

Thus, a close relationship between Hugues the Abbot and the children of Robert le Fort is probable. The simplest way to explain the above evidence would be if the wife of Robert le Fort were a sister of Hugues the Abbot. See the discussion below regarding Robert's wife or wives.

Robert le Fort's supposed descent from Charles Martel

The main scenarios given in this section are based on the miracles of St. Genulf, which mention a Robert who married Agane, daughter of Wicfrid, count of Bourges, and whose sister married king Pépin I of Aquitaine ["Huius itaque Pii augustii Ludovici temporibus, quibus filius eius Pipinus rem publicam regebat Aquitaniae, quidam Byturicensium comes extitit vocabulo Wifredus. ... Cui non impari, verum aeque generoso stemmate celebris, ex clarissimo genere Francorum Oda nomine coniunx fuit. Quibus alii praeter filiam fuerintne liberi, parum comperimus. Quae videlicet illorum filia nomine Agana Roberto cuidam, insignis honestaeque potentiae viro primoque palatii Pipini regis, nupta fuit. Qui Robertus ad suae nobilitatis excellentiam regalis etiam stemmatis per sororem adeptus erat consortia; quam isdem domnus Pipinus uxorem duxit, de qua Pipinum et Karolum liberos totidemque filias habuit." Miracula S. Genulfi, c. 6, MGH SS 15: 1206]. It is known from the Frankish annals that Pépin's wife was a daughter of Teudbert, count of Madrie ["Pippinum autem in Aquitaniam ire praecepit, quem tamen prius filiam Theotberti comitis Matricensis in coniugium fecit accipere et post nuptias celebratas ad occiduas partes proficisci.", ARF, s.a. 822, 159], who has a conjectured line of descent back to Childebrand, brother of Charles Martel [see Settipani (1993), 341-5, 352-4]. There are two variant scenarios, one which identifies Robert le Fort with the husband of Agane, and one in which Robert let Fort is made a son of the other Robert and Agane, plus another later variant which differs only in the earlier generations in making Childebrand a descendant of Lombard kings rather than Charles Martel [RHF 10: iv, xi-xiii]. The claim first appeared in a 1581 work by Matteo Zampini [not seen by me, cited by Anselme, 1: 66; RHF 10: iii, vii-viii; Barthélemy (1873), 114-5; Levillain (1937a), 266].

Variation #1:
Falsely attributed father: Teudbert, count of Madrie.
Falsely attributed wife: Agane, daughter of Wicfrid, count of Bourges, by his wife Oda.
Falsely attributed sister: Ringart, m. Pépin I, d. 838, king of Aquitaine, son of emperor Louis "the Pious".
However, the Robert who was a son of Teudbert appears to have lived a generation earlier than Robert le Fort, and the identification is not feasible [Settipani (1993), 354].

Variation #2:
Falsely attributed father: Robert, son of Teudbert, count of Madrie.
Falsely attributed mother: Agane, daughter of Wicfrid, count of Bourges, by his wife Oda.
This attempt to make the previous scenario chronologically believable by adding a generation still lacks any reasonable supporting evidence.

Variation #3:
Falsely attributed father: Nivelon II, count of Autun, supposed descendant of Charles Martel.
[Anselme, 1: 66; RHF 10: iii, viii] This variation, for which there is no good evidence, traces an alternate line of alleged descent from Charles Martel.

Robert le Fort's supposed Lombard descent

This theory comes from Helgaud's life of king Robert II, which refers in poetic terms ("ab Ausoniæ partibus") to an apparent Italian descent of Robert II ["... fuit rex Francorum Rotbertus origine natus nobilissima, patre illustri Hugone, matre Adhelaide vocitata, quæ adeo bene laudata tanti filii digna extitit prærogativa. Ejus inclyta progenies, sicuti ipse suis sanctis et humillimis asserebat verbis, ab Ausoniæ partibus descenderat." Helgaud, Vita Roberti regis, RHF 10: 99]. This has been difficult to interpret because of the lack of any known Italian ancestors for Robert II. Helgaud's passage could be a reference to ancient Italy and Rome, and might refer to vague claims of ancient Roman descent [Settipani (1993), 417]. For the suggestion that Helgaud was referring to the descent of the mother of Robert II, see the page of Robert's mother Adélaïde.

Other supposed ancestries of Robert le Fort

Falsely attributed father: Robert, count, missus in the province of Tours, May 825.
Robert appears with bishop Landrand as a missus in the province of Tours in a capitulary of Louis the Pious in May 825 ["Turones Landramnus archiepiscopus, et Hruodbertus comes." MGH Leg. 1: 246]. Mabille conjectured that he was a son of Hugues, count of Tours under Charlemagne, and that he was the father of Robert le Fort [Mabille (1871), liv-lv, who gives the date 822 for the capitulary]. This conjecture was based on the possession of Tours by descendants of Robert le Fort and on the appearance of the names Robert and Hugues. However, as pointed out by Merlet, Robert was a missus in the province of Tours, and all we really know is that Robert must have been count over one of the pagi in that province (which included Tours, Angers, Nantes, Vannes, Rennes, and Le Mans). Since Hugues was still count of Tours in 825, Robert must have been count of one of the other pagi (Merlet suggests Angers) [Merlet (1897a), 16, n. 4]. Mabille's theory has found little support.

Falsely attributed father (mythical): Hugues II "the Abbot", supposed son of Hugues I "the Abbot", illegitimate son of Charlemagne.
This scenario [mentioned in Anselme, 1: 67; RHF 10: 4, 11] would also give Robert a brother Hugues III "the Abbot". This scenario may be partially due to one interpretation from the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon which would make Robert a brother of an abbot Hugues, and partially due to the confusion of this Hugues with Charlemagne's son of the same name. This attempt to conclude that there was a dynasty of men named Hugues "the Abbot" is completely unhistorical.

Robert le Fort and Eudes of Troyes and Châteaudun

Count Eudes of Troyes and Châteaudun, a contemporary of Robert le Fort, has frequently been conjectured to be a relative, even a brother, of Robert le Fort, although there is no direct evidence for such a relationship. We first give brief accounts of Eudes and his wife and their apparent sons and grandson.

Possible relatives:

Eudes, d. 10 August 870×1, count of Châteaudun, Anjou, Troyes & Mâcon;
m. Guandilmode, d. before August 871.

Count Eudes appears in a charter of 1 October 845, in which Charles le Chauve restored to the church at Reims lands which he had previously taken during the vacancy of the see for the benefit of some of his vassals, including Eudes [Flodoard, Historia Remensis ecclesiae, iii, 4, MGH SS 13: 477]. In March 846, count Eudes appears with his wife Guandilmolde, in a donation to Saint-Martin de Tours of their possession at Villa Mauro in Dunois ["Actum Duno castro publice" Pancarte S.-Martin de Tours, 118 (#101); see also Werner (1959), 152-3]. On 11 October 849, king Charles le Chauve gave to count Eudes the villa of Nogent-en-Omois [Pancarte S.-Martin de Tours, 91 (#50); RHF 8: 505 (#89)]. He is found acting as count of Anjou on 3 July 851 ["Odo illustris comes" Cart. Angers, 24 (#9)] and 16 August 851 ["... per intercessionem ipsius loci rectoris Odonis illustrisi comitis ..." RHF 8: 518 (#105)]. He appears to have exchanged Anjou for Troyes soon afterward, as Robert le Fort appears to have become count of Anjou by 853 (see above). In November 853, he was listed as a missus in the area which included Troyes, suggesting that he had already become count of Troyes at that time ["Wenilo episcopus, Odo, et Donatus, missi in pago Senonico, Trecasino, Wasteniso, Miliduniso, Morviso, Proviniso, et in tribus Arcisisis, et in duobus Brionisis." MGH Leg. 1: 426]. He had certainly replaced Aleran I as count of Troyes by 25 April 854, on which date king Charles le Chauve gave count Eudes confirmation of the foundation of the abbey of Montiéramey, established by his predecessor count Aleran ["Odo, vir inluster, comes, ad nostram accedens serenitatem, innotuit, qualiter tempore predecessoris sui Aledramni, quondam fidelis comitis nostri, ex comitatu Tricasino ..." ; Arbois de Jubainville (1859-66), 1: 440 (Pièces justificatives #9); Giry (1896), 124-5 (#4); Lot (1904a), 146-7]. Along with Robert le Fort, he was one of the leaders of the rebellion of 858, and as a result he was deprived of the counties of Châteaudun (which probably included Chartres at that time) and Troyes, which were given to Lambert (Châteaudun) and to Raoul (Troyes), uncle of the king [Merlet (1897a), 47; Lot (1904a), 147]. He was evidently among those who were received back in favor in 861 [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 861, 55]. Merlet suggested that Eudes again became count of Troyes on the death of Raoul in 866 [Merlet (1897a), 55 & n.2], and he also suggests that Eudes recovered Châteaudun late in his life [ibid., 59]. However, Eudes does not appear as count of Troyes during this time, and his activities during the last part of his life were in Burgundy [Lot (1904a), 147 & n. 7]. The primary reason for believing that Eudes recovered Châteaudun and Troyes would be the activities there later of men believed to be his sons (see below). Eudes appears in Burgundy from 863×4, when he is mentioned as receiving monks from Glanfeuil (Saint-Maur-sur-Loire) in Anjou, who, on the run from the Vikings, were looking for a refuge for the relics of St. Maur [Merlet (1897a), 49; Lot (1906), 203; Levillain (1937a), 159; "Cumque in predium inlustris viri Audonis comitis citra fluvium quem Ararim vocant devenissemus, ..." Miracula S. Mauri, MGH SS 15: 463; ibid., 471].
At an uncertain date, Eudes took back land at Sennecé-lès-Mâcon held by a certain Adalhard for the royal fisc, which was then restored by the support of count Aleran on 8 June 871 [Cart. Cluny, 1: 21 (#16)]. Lot thought that Eudes was probably deceased on 8 June 871, and places his death on 10 August 870, while Levillain thought he was alive on that date and argues for 10 August 871 as the date of death [Lot (1904a), 149, n. 2; Levillain (1937a), 155, n. 1; the date of 10 August is based on the obituary of Saint-Martin de Tours, see Merlet (1897a), 59, n. 6]. In August 871, count Boson and Bernard, testamentary executors of count Eudes, gave the villa of Nogent-en-Omois to the chapter of Saint-Martin de Tours, for the health of the souls of the said Eudes and of his wife Guendilmodis ["... ego Boso, comes, simulque Bernardus, ad vicem carissimi quondam amici nostri, piæ recordationis Odonis comitis, pro remedio animæ ejusdem Odonis, seu pro remedio animæ uxoris suæ Guendilmodis, ..." Mabille (1869), 425 (Pièces justificatives #1); for August as the month, see Levillain (1937a), 155, n. 3]. Guandilmode predeceased her husband ["... seu ab Odone possessum fuit, excepto quod jam olim dederat ad sepulturam uxoris suæ, ..." Mabille (1869), 426 (#1)]. Merlet and Levillain have both written long accounts of count Eudes [Merlet (1897a), 26-60; Levillain (1937a), where he is confused with Eudes, son of Hardouin, see below]

No source proves directly that Eudes and Guandilmode had any children. However, in 878, the Annales Bertiniani state that the sons of Geoffroy (count of Maine) invaded the castle and honores of the son of the late count Eudes (located from context to the west of the Seine) ["... quod filii Gozfridi castellum et honores filii Odonis quondam comitis invaserunt, ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 878, 140]. If this Eudes can be identified with count Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes, which is likely but not certain, then this annal entry would show that Eudes had a son living in 878. If we accept that Eudes had issue living in 878, then the following Eudes (II) and Robert would be obvious candidates. However, the claim that Eudes and Guandilmode were parents of Eudes (II) and Robert has often been stated with undue certainty, and the relationship remains an unproven conjecture. It should be noted that the brothers Eudes (II) and Robert of Troyes have sometimes been incorrectly identified with Robert le Fort's sons, the later kings Eudes and Robert I of France [Arbois de Jubainville (1859-66), 1: 62-8; Kalckstein (1877), 472].

Eudes (II), fl. 877, count, possible son of Eudes and Guandilmode.
Eudes appears as count in a document on 25 October 877×8, when he put his brother Robert in possession of the village of Chaource in Tonnerrois ["Karolus imperator Augustus, pro aeterni regis amore, dedit fideli suo Rotberto villam Cadusiam quae est in pago Tornodrinse, ... et eo donante precepit Odoni comiti fratris Rotberti consignare vel tradere. Praedictus vero comes Odo cum Turnodrensis ejusdem villae pagensibus subternominatus jam fato Rotberto publiciter tradidit in vice domni Karoli imperatoris ..." Giry (1896), 128 (#9); Arbois de Jubainville (1859-66), 1: 446 (Pièces justificatives #13)]. The region or regions over which Eudes was count is difficult to determine. Merlet states that Tonnerre was then a part of the county of Troyes, and makes Eudes count of Troyes [Merlet (1897a), 62, n. 3]. Lot states that Eudes could have been acting as count of Tonnerre or simply as an imperial missus in Burgundy [Lot (1904a), 151, n. 4]. Merlet would also make Eudes a count of Châteaudun and Chartres. This is based partly on the entry in Annales Bertiniani for 878 which shows that the "son of Eudes" had a castle and honores west of the Seine [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 878, 140, see above], added to a conjecture (reasonable, but unproven) that the castle in question was Châteaudun [Merlet (1897a), 63]. Merlet would also identify Eudes with the man of that name who was one of the counts (consules) defending Chartres against the Normans in 886 [Abbo, De bellis Parisiaco, i, 645-659, MGH SS 2: 790]. Merlet also conjectures that Eudes (II) was the father of Thibaud le Tricheur, count of Blois [Merlet (1897a), 84]. There is no good reason to believe this.

Robert, d. February 886, count of Troyes, before 882-886, possible son of Eudes and Guandilmode.
m. Gisèle, daughter of Louis II le Bègue, king of France.
Robert received possession of Chaource on 25 October 877×8, but does not appear as count on that date (see above). On 17 November 882, he appears as count in an act at Troyes ["illustres fideles nostri Rotbertus et Anscarius, dilecti nobis comites" Giry (1896), 131 (#18)]. A charter of king Carloman of France (879×884) proves that Robert was married to his sister Gisèle ["Karlomannus gratia Dei rex ... adiens genua serenitatis nostrae illuster fidelis noster Rotbertus comes, humiliter petiit ut pro anima uxoris ejus mansum unum ad monasterium Adremari concederemus. Placuit itaque jamdicti loci fratribus, pro remittendis culpis Gislae sororis nostrae, ejusque uxoris, in comitatu Trecassino, ..." Giry (1896), 130 (#17)]. Robert was killed in February 886 at the siege of Paris by the Normans ["... Quae Rotberto aderant Faretrato agnomine claro ... E quibus occidit geminos, et tertius ipse / Incubuit morti, nullo sibi subveniente. / Unde nepos eius nimium tristans Adalaelmus ..." Abbo, De bellis Parisiaco, i, 442, 450-2; the mention of the deceased Robert's nepos Alleaume confirms the identity with Robert, count of Troyes].

Alleaume, fl. 891×2-893, d. 22 April, count of Troyes, nephew of Robert, count of Troyes.
m. Ermengarde, fl. 893.
He probably appears as count and lay-abbot of Saint-Loup de Troyes on 1 March 891 ["Adelerinus, abbas Sancti Lupi, ... Adelelini, illustris comitis et abbatis S. Lupi, ... Ego Andelelinus subscripsi. Actum Augusta Trecorum civitate publice" Arbois de Jubainville (1859-66), 1: 449-450 (Pièces justificatives #16); the name is apparently corrupt, and the "-inus" could easily be a miscopying of "-mus", making the identification with Alleaume likely]. In February 893, Alleaume, count of Troyes, confirmed the donation of Chaource to the abbey of Montiéramey by his avunculus count Robert ["Ego Adalelmus, divina suffragante clementia comes ... dum constat quod venerabilis Rotbertus illustris comes, avunculus noster, ... S. Adalelmi comitis qui hanc cartam donationis fecit et firmare rogavit. S. Hirmengarae (sic) comitissae ... Actum Trecas civitate, mense febr., anno VI regnante Odone rege." Giry (1896), 133 (#23)]. Saint-Phalle would identify this Alleaume with the Alleaume who was the brother of count Adémar of Poiters (see above), and places his death on 22 April 894, 14 days after attacking the castle at Aurillac [Saint-Phalle (2000), 155].

Scholars who suggest that Robert le Fort and Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes were brothers have included Merlet, and more recently Saint-Phalle and Settipani [Merlet (1895), 105-7; Saint-Phalle (2000), 156, 169; Settipani (2004), 196]. Levillain argued against Robert and Eudes being brothers, but accepted that they were probably brothers-in-law [Levillain (1937a), 253-261]. Merlet's case for making Robert le Fort and Eudes of Troyes close relatives was based mainly on three considerations, to which Werner added an important additional point (while not agreeing that they were brothers):

Robert appears to have been the immediate successor of Eudes as count of Anjou. Both rebelled against the king at the same time, and both were taken back into favor. Robert and Eudes appear together as two leaders of the Frankish army in 866 [Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866, 81]. If Robert and Eudes also had a number of relatives in common, that would increase the chances that they were themselves related, but here the evidence is weaker than what was suggested by Merlet. Eudes succeeded Aleran I as count of Troyes. Merlet thought that Robert was an heir of Aleran I, although as has already been noted above, Robert's grandson held Lachy in (eventual) inheritance from Aleran II. As there is no evidence beyond the obvious onomastic argument for a relationship between Aleran I and Aleran II, and no direct evidence either that Eudes was related to Aleran I or that Robert was related to Aleran II, the argument that connections to the Alerans imply that Eudes and Robert were related is flimsy. As for the connection through men named Alleaume, Robert's son king Eudes had an Alleaume as an avunculus (see above), while count Robert of Troyes, apparent son of Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes, was an avunculus of count Alleaume of Troyes. However, there is still no direct evidence for a relationship between these two Alleaumes. Here, it could also be noted that if Saint-Phalle's conjecture identifying Adémar of Poitou and Alleaume of Troyes as brothers is correct, then Robert le Fort would also be a relative of Alleaume of Troyes (for Adémar of Poitou as a relative of Robert, see above). In addition, there is the onomastic evidence that the names Robert and Eudes were in use in both families, weakened by the lack of direct evidence that Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes was the father of Eudes (II) and Robert of Troyes. However, the onomastic similarity between the two families is certainly striking, assuming that the sons of Eudes of Troyes and Châteaudun are correctly attributed. Finally, there is Werner's observation that of 23 vassals of count Eudes who appear as witnesses in his donation of March 846, the names of roughly half appear later as vassals of Robert. [Werner (1959), 153, 179] (While they may not be the same individuals in all cases, the general pattern is clear.) Putting all of the evidence together, some sort of genealogical connection between the families of Robert le Fort and Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes seems likely enough, but the sibling relationship which has been so often assumed is only one possibility. Some sort of marriage alliance between the two families would also explain the evidence. Levillain suggested that Guandilmode was a sister of Robert le Fort [Levillain (1937a), 261], and Werner suggested the possibility of a double marriage alliance between the to families [Werner (1992), 18]. However, these are also just conjectures, and there is insufficient evidence to single out the specific way in which Robert and Eudes were probably related.

Levillain regarded Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes to be the same person as Eudes, son of Hardouin, and brother of Ansgarde, the wife of king Louis II le Bègue of France. Werner pointed out several reasons why Levillain's identification is improbable [Werner (1959), 154, n. 35]. First, when Louis, then aged about sixteen, married Ansgarde in 862, Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes had been active for almost twenty years, suggesting that he and Ansgarde were not in the same generation. In addition, when Louis and Ansgard were married, Eudes, son of Hardouin, was in the camp of Louis, then in rebellion against his father, while Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes appears to have rejoined Charles in 861. Also, as Levillain was aware, his identification seems to imply that count Robert of Troyes was a first cousin of his wife, and Levillain attempted to explain away this problem. As noted above Robert already was married to Gisèle during the reign of Carloman, thus by 884 at the very latest. This makes it more likely than not that Ansgarde was Gisèle's mother (see the page of Louis II). This would make Robert and Gisèle first cousins if the affiliation of Robert as a son of Eudes is correct. Levillain tries to avoid this problem by arguing that either the affiliation of Gisèle to Ansgarde or of Robert to Eudes might be wrong [Levillain (1937a), 250-3]. However, the attempt of Levillain to identify the two men named Eudes causes more problems than it solves, and the simplest explanation of the evidence is that count Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes and Eudes son of Hardouin were two different individuals.

Some of the other parentages which have been assigned to count Eudes of Châteaudun and Troyes are based on his identification as a brother of Robert le Fort, so that several authors have made Eudes the son of whomever they considered to be the father of Robert [e.g., Merlet (1895) (Guillaume of Blois); Chaume (1925) (Guiguin); Saint-Phalle (2000) and Settipani (2004) (Robert of Worms)]. More recently, Werner has considered Eudes to be a son of count Guillaume of Blois (differing from Merlet in that he does not also give this parentage to Robert le Fort) [Werner (1997), 21, 52 n. 74], changing a more skeptical earlier opinion [Werner (1959), 155, n. 36, where he states that other relationships are also possible; Werner (1992), 16, where he suggests that Eudes was son of either Guillaume or Eudes of Orléans]. Although plausible enough, this remains a conjecture.

Supposed wives of Robert le Fort

There is no direct evidence regarding the wife or wives of Robert le Fort, but a number of scenarios have been put forward. Some of these can be rejected outright. Others are possible, but lack clear supporting evidence. In my opinion, the most likely scenario is the one in which Robert married a sister of Hugues the Abbot, but the evidence is not conclusive.

Supposed wife (very improbable): Adélaïde, daughter of Hugues, count of Tours, widow of count Conrad, and mother of Hugues the Abbot.
["Chuonradus, princeps famosissimus, ... Coniunx illi erat Adheleid nomine, ..." Heiricus, Mirac. S. Germani, ii, 2, MGH SS 13: 401; "... Hugoni, Chuonradi, Karoli regis avunculi, et materterae suae filio, ..." (suae refers to king Lothair II) Ann. Bertin., s.a. 864, 71]

The claim that Adélaïde married Robert le Fort as her second husband was often accepted in the past [e.g., Barthélemy (1873), 116-7 (who, however, places Robert's children as being by an earlier marriage), 122; Chaume (1925), 1: 237, n. 2; Levillain (1947), 175-180; Pinoteau (1958), 264]. This theory is based on one reading of the passage in the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon mentioned above ["Supererant duo filii Rotberti Andegavorum comitis, frs. Hugonis abbatis. Senior Odo dicebatur, Robertus alter patrem nomine referens." Chron. S.-Bénigne, 109]. If the abbreviated frs. is interpreted as fratres (which, as Barthélemy noted, is the probable reading), the only way the Eudes and Robert I could be brothers of abbot Hugues is for them to have the same mother, and that is the origin of the statement that Robert married Conrad's widow.

However, the theory has serious problems which go beyond the fact that the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon is a late source whose value is dubious for this early period. It has often been criticised [e.g., Kalckstein (1871), 113-4; Tellenbach (1957), 337-8], especially in recent years [e.g., Settipani (1993), 400, n. 13; Werner (1997), 53 n. 77; Hlawitschka (2006), 2: 127]. One problem is chronological. Since Conrad was still living in 862 ["Chuonradi, sui consiliarii, Karoli autem avunculi" Ann. Bertin., s.a. 862, 60], this would require that any alleged sons that Robert had by Adélaïde be born after that year. On the other hand, Adélaïde's sister Ermengarde was married in 821 [ARF, s.a. 821, 156]. Adélaïde's son Hugues the Abbot was an abbot by 853, and was given an important military command in 866, and is therefore unlikely to have had a mother in common with men born after 862. Also, as noted above, it is unlikely that king Eudes was born as late as 862, which further undermines the testimony of the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon.

The suggestion that Adélaïde was the mother of king Robert I is also made improbable by a consanguinity argument. Robert I's daughter Emme was married to Raoul, duke of Burgundy and Robert's successor as king of France [see the page of Robert I]. King Raoul was a son of duke Richard of Burgundy by Adélaïde, sister of king Rudolf I of Burgundy, as is shown by a charter of Adélaïde dated 14 June 929 ["... ego Adeleydis, dono Dei comitissa, res juris mei, quæ mihi per preceptum domni Rodulfi regis, mei videlicet dulcissimi atque dilectissimi germani, ... deinde pro anima germani et dulcissimi mei domni Rodulfi regis, harum videlicet rerum largitorem; tum vero pro requie domni mei piæ memoriæ principis Richardi, ac pro Vuilla regina; dehinc pro me et domno Rodulfo rege, filio meo, et item Rodulfo rege, nepote meo; pro aliis quoque filiis meis Huguone, Bosone et Ludowico nepote, sed et pro cæteris consanguineis nostris, atque his qui servicio nostro adherent; pro genitore etiam ac genetrice mea, et domno Huguone insigni abbate, seu ceteris nostris utriusque sexus propinquis; ..." Cart. Cluny, 1: 358-9 (#379); see also Cart. Cluny, 1: 39-40 (#33)]. Rudolf I and Adélaïde were in turn childen of count Conrad, who was a brother of Hugues the Abbot, and son of count Conrad and Adélaïde ["At hi qui ultra Iurum atque circa Alpes consistunt, Tullo adunati Hrodulfum nepotem Hugonis abbatis per episcopum dictae civitatis benedici in regem petierunt; ..." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 888, 64-5; "... Ruodolfus filius Cuonradi, nepos Hugonis abbatis, de quo supra meminimus, provintiam inter Iurum et Alpes Penninas occupat ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 888, 130; "Ruodolfus vero filius Chuonradi superiorem Burgundiam apud se statuit regaliter retenere; ..." Ann. Fuld., s.a. 888, 116; "Ego Layfinus pro anima senioris nostri Rodulfi regis seu Conradi genitoris sui et Hugonis avunculi sui." Catalogi abbatum S. Eugendi Iurensis, MGH SS 13: 745; "... Hucbertus novissime a Conrado comite peremptus est iuxta castrum, quod Urba dicitur." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 866, 91; "... Hubertus clericus, ..., a filiis Cuonradi, fratris quondam Iuthit reginae, in bello occiditur." Ann. Xant., s.a. 866, 23; Hlawitschka (2006), 2: 109-110, 124-7]. Thus, king Raoul of France was a great-grandson of the elder Adélaïde, so if Robert I really were also a son of Adélaïde, then king Raoul and his wife Emme would be first cousins once-removed. Such a close relationship between Raoul and his wife is not impossible, but it is very improbable.

There is also circumstantial evidence suggesting that Adélaïde did not survive her husband. A twelfth century manuscript of the martyrology of Wandalbert of Prüm has a large number of marginal additions, of which most of the additions in one hand concern the family of Welf, and in particular the family of count Conrad and his wife Adélaïde [Tellenbach (1957), 337-8]. The entry concerning Adélaïde mentions her date of death (18 August) along with the death of a child (named Hrudulfus, a name common in the Welf family) in such a manner to suggest that Adélaïde died in childbirth ["His cum prole excessit Adelheid nempe Hrudulfo." ibid., 337]. Also, as pointed out by Tellenbach, the fact that Conrad's date of death is not included among the additions suggests that it was not present in the manuscript from which the copyist was taking his entries, suggesting that the entries can be dated before the death of Conrad [ibid., 338]. Although these arguments are not conclusive, they suggest that Adélaïde did not have a second marriage to Robert.

Since the evidence for a second marriage of Adélaïde to Robert is poor, and the evidence against such a marriage is considerable, the supposed marriage must be regarded as very improbable.

Conjectured wife: NN, daughter of count Conrad and Adélaïde, and sister of Hugues the Abbot.
This conjecture has the advantage of offering the simplest solution for the apparent close connection between Robert le Fort and Hugues the Abbot which has been discussed above. It was conjectured by Rioult de Neuville [Rioult de Neuville (1872-3), 228-9] and is mentioned as a possibility by Settipani [Settipani (1993), 400, n. 13]. Although not supported by any direct evidence, this conjecture would have the advantage of being chronologically more plausible than the attempts to make Robert le Fort's sons brothers of Hugues the Abbot. It would also offer a convenient explanation of the relationships between Robert I and kings Berengario I of Italy and Charles the Simple of France. This conjecture has a consanguinity problem similar to the one above involving Adélaïde, i.e., if Robert I were a grandson of Adélaïde, then king Raoul would be a second cousin of his wife Emme. However, this objection is less serious than one involving a first cousin once-removed.

Conjectured name of wife: Emme/Emma.
This conjecture [Bouchard (1988), 16, n. 27] is based on the fact that both Robert I and Hugues le Grand (son and grandson of Robert le Fort) had daughters named Emme. This conjecture is consistent with the other conjectures which do not specify a name for Robert's wife. While it is a reasonable conjecture, the appearance of the name Emme in the family could also be explained in other ways.

Conjectured wife: NN, sister of Alleaume/Adalhelm, count of Laon.
[e.g., Kalckstein (1877), 466; Favre (1893), 201] For Alleaume, see above. This relationship would be the case if the word avunculus from Regino's account (see above) were interpreted in the most literal sense as maternal uncle. It remains a possibility, but there is no evidence for the exact nature of the relationship between king Eudes and Alleaume.

Conjectured wife: NN, daughter of Eudes, count of Orléans.
[Werner (1997), 21-2, 53 n. 77] Werner places Robert's wife as a sister of Ermentrude, wife of Charles the Bald, partly in order to explain the kinship between Charles III and Robert I (see above), and partly because of a claim that king Eudes must have received his name from his mother's side of the family. This is not an acceptable argument, because too little is known about the immediate family of Robert to rule out the possibility that the name came from his side of the family. Nevertheless, the conjecture would be one possible explanation of the evidence.

Conjectured wife: NN, of Italy.
The marriage of Robert le Fort to an Italian wife (emperor Lothair I was mentioned as a possible father) was suggested by Barthélemy [Barthélemy (1873), 127-8], based on an act of 16 June 887 of emperor Charles le Gros, in which Robert's son Eudes asked Charles to restore to the abbey of Saint-Martin de Tours certain property in Italy which had been usurped ["... præstantissimus vir Odo religiosus abbas basilicæ eximii confessoris Christi B. Martini in suburbio Turonensis civitatis sitæ, reverenter exposcens ut res in Italia sitas, ... pro remedio animæ suæ suique genitoris Roberti, ejusdem loci quondam abbatis, necno pro remedio animæ suæ genetricis reddidit, ..." RHF 9: 359 (#26)]. However, a daughter of Lothair would make an unlikely mother of kings Eudes and Robert I, because such a Carolingian descent of Eudes and Robert I probably would have been noted in the sources.

Falsely attributed wife: Regina, concubine of Charlemagne.
This mistake is the result of a careless "deduction" of Aubry de Troisfontaines (13th century). Starting with the claim that kings Eudes and Robert I were brothers of the abbot Hugues (from the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon, as above), combined with an incorrect identification of abbot Hugues with the son of Charlemagne of that name (see the page of Charlemagne), Aubry arrived at the false conclusion that Regina, mother of Hugues by Charlemagne, was also the mother of Eudes and Robert I ["Matrem vero regis Odonis et ducis Roberti, uxorem videlicet Roberti Fortis marchionis, credimus fuisse illam que dicta est proprio nomine Regina, que cum esset iuvencula, fuit concubina Karoli Magni iam senioris, cui peperit episcopum Drogonem Metensem et abbatem Hugonem, et hanc opinionem habemus ex collectaneo Sancti Benigni, ubi dicitur, quod rex Odo et Robertus fratres fuerunt abbatis Hugonis." Aubry de Troisfontaines, Chronica, s.a. 988, MGH SS 23: 774]. The relationship is chronologically impossible.

Falsely attributed wife: Agane, daughter of Wicfrid, count of Bourges, by his wife Oda.
This error is discussed above under Robert le Fort's supposed descent from Charles Martel.

Supposed additional children of Robert le Fort

Supposed additional elder son (doubtful):
MALE NN, living 868.
Chaume would identify the unnamed son of Robert who appears in Annales Bertiniani in 868 as an otherwise unknown elder brother of kings Eudes and Robert I ["Ablatis denique a Rotberti filio his quae post mortem patris de honoribus ipsius ei concesserat et per alios divisis, ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 868, 91; Chaume (1925), 237, n. 2, 537 (table 5)]. This interpretation is forced upon him because he is assuming that Eudes and Robert were the children of Adélaïde, mother of Hugues the Abbot, and therefore born after 862. However, it is much more likely that Annales Bertiniani were referring to the future king Eudes, the eldest known son of Robert le Fort.

Conjectured daughter:
FEMALE Régilende, m. ca. 892, Guillaume I, count of Périgueux and Agen.
Based on a passage of the Historia pontificum et comitum Engolismensium [not seen by me] which states that Guillaume's son Bernard was the nepos of an Odo ("... Bernardo nepote Odonis, ...") , this relationship was conjectured by Depoin, who assumed that the passage was referring to king Eudes [Depoin (1905), 10], and tentatively accepted by Settipani [Settipani (1993), 401]. However, not only can the word nepos have wider meanings than "nephew", but the Eudes in question is not specifically identified. Settipani later reconsidered the matter, and concluded that the passage was more likely to refer to Eudes, count of Toulouse [Settipani (2004), 12-13, 43-4, 339].

Falsely attributed daughter:
FEMALE Richilde, mother of Thibaud "le Tricheur", count of Blois.
[Anselme, 1: 68; Barthélemy (1873), 122-3] The basis of this claim is a supposed extract from a chronicle given in 1646 by Du Bouchet, which would evidently make Richilde's son Richard a maternal nephew of king Eudes ["Anno 969 obiit Richardus archiepiscopus nepos ex sorore Odonis regis." see Arbois de Jubainville (1859-66), 69, n. 1; Lot (1907), 186-7, who rejected the hypothesis]. However, the connection would be extremely improbable on chronological grounds alone, and there is no good reason to accept this late and dubious source.

Other supposed relatives of Robert le Fort

Conjectured sister: Guandilmode, m. Eudes, d. 870×1, count of Châteaudun, Anjou, Troyes, Mâcon.
[Levillain (1937a), 261; see above]

Conjectured sister: Waremburgis, m. Hardouin, count.
Depoin states that she was apparently a daughter of Guy II/Guiguin, count of Saosnois, and sister of Robert le Fort [Depoin (1915), 46].

Falsely attributed brother: Wichard, abbot.
In 853, this Wichard divided his paternal inheritance with his brother the dux Robert, with the permission of king Ludwig der Deutscher (Louis the German), their relative ["... ego Wichardus et frater meus Ruopertus dux militum regis Luodewici, qui nobis ex consanguinitate coniunctus est, omnia predia nostra, que nobis ex paterna heriditate advenerunt, ex illius permissione et iuvamine dividimus." Siegwart (1958), 146, n. 3, citing Urkundenbuch der Stadt und Landschaft Zürich, vol. 1, #67]. Siegwart compares this to a Lorsch document of 20 February 807 in which a count Robert is followed as a witness by a Wichard (Wigchradus), and suggests that there was a relationship ["... signum Rutperti comitis, Wigchradi, ..." Codex Lauresh., 1: 319 (#224); Siegwart (1958), 150-1]. Citing the work of Glöckner in which this count Robert of 807 is made to be the grandfather of Robert le Fort, Siegwart then identifies Robert le Fort as Wichard's brother [Glöckner (1936); Siegwart (1958), 155]. Not only is this logic flimsy, but enough is known about Robert le Fort to know that he was not a follower of Ludwig in 853 [see above regarding Robert's appearance as a missus of Charles in the Capitulary of Servais in that year].

Conjectured sisters:
NN
, m. Alleaume/Adalhelm, count of Laon.
NN,
mother of Meingaud II.
[Barthélemy (1873), 127, given as an alternative to a marriage between Robert le Fort and a sister of Alleaume] Glöckner's conjecture that a sister of Robert married count Walaho is a combination of this conjecture along with the false parentage of Meingaud as a son of Walaho [Glöckner (1936), 346, see above].


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MGH SRG = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Germanicarum (separate editions).

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Mühlbacher = E. Mühlbacher, Die Regesten des Kaiserreichs unter den Karolingern (Innsbruck, 1889).

Obit. Sens = Obituaires de la Province de Sens (2 vols. in 3, Paris, 1902-6).

Pancarte S.-Martin de Tours = Émile Mabille, ed., La Pancarte noire de Saint-Martin de Tours (Paris, 1866).

Parisot (1898) = Robert Parisot, Le Royaume de Lorraine sous les Carolingiens (1898, reprinted Geneva, 1975).

Pinoteau (1958) = Hervé Pinoteau, "Les origines de la maison capétienne", Recueil du IVe congrès international des sciences généalogique et héraldique (Bruxelles, 1958), 240-276.

PL = P. Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, series Latina, 221 vols. (Paris, 1844-1859).

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

Regino, Chronicon = Friedrich Kurze, ed., Reginonis abbatis Prumiensis Chronicon cum continuatione Treverensi (MGH SRG, Hannover, 1890).

Rioult de Neuville (1872-3) = Louis Rioult de Neuville, "Robert le Fort. Sa famille et son origine", Mémoires de la Société Archéologique du Midi de la France 2ser. 10 (1872-3): 217-248.

Saint-Phalle (2000) = Edouard de Saint-Phalle, "Comtes de Troyes et de Poitiers au IXe siècle: histoire d'un double échec", in Keats-Rohan & Settipani, eds., Onomastique et Parenté dans l'Occident médiéval (Oxford, 2000), 154-170.

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

Settipani (2004) = Christian Settipani, La Noblesse du Midi Carolingien (Prosopographia et Genealogica 5, 2004).

Siegwart (1958) = Josef Siegwart, "Zur Frage des alemannischen Herzogsgutes um Zürich", Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte 8 (1958), 145-192.

Tellenbach (1957) = Gerd Tellenbach, "Exkurs über die ältesten Welfen im West- und Ostfrankreich", in Gerd Tellenbach, ed., Studien und Vorarbeiten zur Geschichte des großfränkischen und frühdeutschen Adels (Forschungen zur oberrheinischen Landesgeschichte 4, Freiburg, 1957), 335-340, reprinted in Gerd Tellenbach, Ausgewählte Abhandlungen und Aufsätze, 5 vols. (Stuttgart, 1988), 3: 826-832.

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

Werner (1959) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Untersuchungen zur Frühzeit des französischen Fürstentums (9.-10. Jahrhundert): IV. Rotberti complices. Die Vasallen Roberts des Tapferen", Die Welt als Geschichte 19 (1959): 146-193.

Werner (1992) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Les Robertiens", in M. Parisse & X. Barral i Altet, eds., Le roi de France et son royaume autour de l'an mil (Picard, 1992).

Werner (1997) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Les premiers Robertiens et les premiers Anjou (IXe siècle - début Xe siècle)", in Guillot & Favreau, eds., Pays de Loire et Aquitaine de Robert le Fort aux premiers Capétiens (Mémoires de la Société des antiquaires de l'ouest et des Musées de Poitiers, 5th ser., vol. 4), 9-67.

Lack of availability of sources has forced me to make a large number of indirect citations on this page. In such citations, it should be assumed that I have not seen the work in question.


Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 26 July 2008.

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