BALD, Emperor Charles II - I31787

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Charles the Bald.jpg
[1] - Charles II arranged with his half brothers Louis the German and Lothair for the division of the great empire of their grandfather, Charlemagne. This was accomplished by the Treaty of Verdun in 843. Charles received most of what is now France, thus becoming King of the ancient kingdom of Provence. Charles was the first to rule present day France as a separate kingdom. Charles II the Bald was occupied with the struggle against the Danes (Normans), who ravaged the countryside around the Seine, Loire and Schelde Rivers. His perils from the Danes had constantly linked him with England's Alfred the Great (a fellow ancestor). [2]

Frequently Charles had to pay for the Normans' departure with silver. By accumulating countships and creating dynastics, Charles the Bald succeeded in carving out vast principalities at the still unstable borders. One of those areas would have been that one created with the marriage of our ancestor, Charles' daughter Judith, with Baldwin I of Flanders. In 875, Charles appeared to be the most powerful sovereign in the West, and Pope John VIII bestowed on him the imperial crown. At the request of the pope, Charles organized an expedition in Italy that was abruptly terminated. His health had long been failing, and as he fled toward the Alpine passes, sudden sickness came upon him. For eleven days, he lay in a wretched hut, the only shelter he could reach. On 6 Oct 877, he died in agony, leaving his son Louis II (the Stamerer) to reign.


  1. Duckett, Alfred the Great, p. 76
  2. The World Book Encyclopedia, 1985 ed. S.v. William C. Bark, "Charles II." Encyclopedia Britannica Macropedia, 1989 ed. S.v. "France, the Partitioning of the Carolingian Empire." Duckett, Alfred the Great, p. 77-78.