Upon the death of his cousin Carloman II in 884, he inherited all of West Francia, reuniting the entire Carolingian Empire. Indeed, contemporary opinion of Charles is consistently kinder than later historiography, though it is a modern suggestion that his lack of apparent successes is the excusable result of near constant illness and infirmity. On 18 July 880, Pope John VIII sent a letter to Guy II of Spoleto to seek peace, but the duke ignored him and invaded the Papal States. Charles sent Henry of Saxony to Paris. Godfrey was executed and Hugh was blinded and sent to Prüm. [18] Though Geilo even developed a special West Frankish seal for him, Charles's government in the West was always very impersonal and he left most day-to-day business to the higher nobility. When the Vikings withdrew from France next spring, he gave them 700 pounds of promised silver. When the Northmen besieged Paris, he made not the least attempt to repulse them by means of the vast army which he led against them, but bought them off with disgraceful presents. [9] Based on the unfavouring attitude of the chronicler of the Mainz continuation of the Annales Fuldenses, the chief of Charles's opponents in the matter was probably Liutbert, Archbishop of Mainz. He sent the attackers up the Seine to ravage Burgundy, which was in revolt. Charles issued a number of charters for West Frankish recipients during his stay in Paris during and after the siege. He was in Italy at the time and Odo, Count of Paris, sneaked some men through enemy lines to seek his aid. Because Charles had called together the "bishops and counts of Gaul" as well as the pope to meet him at Worms, it seems likely that he planned to make Bernard King of Lotharingia. Provence was legally a part of the Italian kingdom (from 863). Louis was crowned in Provence as Charles had intended and he sought the support of Arnulf and gained it, probably through supplication to him. But he was soon found to be utterly incapable of ruling. Despite the insinuations of some modern chroniclers, no contemporary account criticises Charle's actions during this campaign.[8]. From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core, A seal of Charles III with the inscription. First, he accused his wife Richgard of having an affair with his chief minister and archchancellor, Liutward, bishop of Vercelli. Guy sought the kingship in Italy after his failures in Francia, though there Berengar had already been crowned. In 885, a huge fleet led by Sigfred sailed up the Seine, for the first time in years, and besieged Paris. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The youngest son of Louis the German and Hemma, Charles was a great-grandson of Charlemagne and was the last Carolingian to rule over a united empire. It is probable that Arnulf desired the whole empire, but the only part he received other than East Francia was Lotharingia. © 2005-19 1902 Encyclopedia. His inner circle then began to fall apart. Granted lordship over Alamannia in 876 following the division of East Francia, he succeeded to the Italian throne upon the abdication of his older brother Carloman of Bavaria who had been incapacitated by a stroke. Charles' prestige in France was greatly diminished. In 885, fearing Godfrey and his brother-in-law, Hugh, Duke of Alsace, Charles arranged for a conference at Spijk near Lobith, where the Viking leader fell into his trap. "[16] According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Charles succeeded to all of the kingdom of Carloman save Brittany, but this does not seem to have been true. When Carloman II of West Francia died on 12 December 884, the nobles of that kingdom invited Charles to assume the kingship. By 17 November, Charles was out of power, though the exact course of events is unknown. His rise to power was accompanied by hopes of a general revival in western Europe, but he proved unequal to the task. Nevertheless, at Waiblingen, Berengar, who by a brief feud with Liutward had lost the favour of the emperor, came in early May 887, made peace with the emperor, and compensated for the actions of the previous year by dispensing great gifts. [13] It is possible, however, that the agreement with Louis was only designed to engender support for Bernard's subkingship in Lotharingia. The Empire fell apart, never to be restored. While there he received news that an ambitious nephew, Arnulf of Carinthia, had fomented a general rebellion and was marching into Germany with an army of Bavarians and Slavs. In 865, the elder Louis was forced to divide his lands among his heirs: Bavaria went to Carloman; Saxony (with Franconia and Thuringia) went to Louis; and Alemannia (Swabia with Rhaetia) went to Charles. (Although he controlled France briefly, he is usually not reckoned among the kings of France). In 876, Louis died and the inheritance went as planned after a conference at Ries, though Charles received less of his share of Lotharingia than planned. On 11 November, he called an assembly to Frankfurt. He had the term proles (offspring) inserted into his charters as it had not been in previous years, probably because he desired to legitimise Bernard. He asked for a few estates in Swabia on which to live out his days and thus received Naudingen (Donaueschingen). Charles dated his reign in Italia from this point, and from then he spent most of his reign until 886 in his Italian kingdom.[5]. Charles the Fat[1] (13 June 839 – 13 January 888), also known as Charles III, was the Carolingian Emperor from 881 to 888. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-III-Holy-Roman-emperor, Fact Monster - People - Biography of Charles III. In the summer of that year, having given up on his son's succession, Charles received Odo and Berengar, Margrave of Friuli, a relative of his, at his court. Only those of Arnulf and Berengar can be certainly placed before his death. In June or July Berengar arrived in Kirchen, probably pining to be declared Charles's heir; he may in fact have been so named in Italy, where he was acclaimed (or made himself) king immediately after Charles's deposition. Charles the Fat, French king: see Charles III Charles III or Charles the Fat, 839–88, emperor of the West (881–87), king of the East Franks (882–87), and king of the West Franks (884–87); son of Louis the German, at whose death he inherited Swabia (876). It is probable that Charles granted Alan the right to be titled rex;[17] as emperor he would have had that prerogative and Alan's use of the title appears legitimate. Charles brought a large army and encircled the army of Rollo and set up a camp at Montmartre. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. https://infogalactic.com/w/index.php?title=Charles_the_Fat&oldid=161671, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2010, Commons category link is defined as the pagename, Burials at the Imperial Abbey of Reichenau, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, About Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core. AF(M), 885 (pp 98–99 and nn6–7) and AF(B), 885 (p. 111 and n2).

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