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A History of Germany by Bayard Taylor

He had made the former Duke of Carinthia


Ludwig

the German had also, like his father, serious trouble with his sons, Karlmann and Ludwig. He had made the former Duke of Carinthia, but ere long discovered that he had entered into a conspiracy with Rastitz, king of the Moravian Slavonians. Karlmann was summoned to Regensburg (Ratisbon), which was then Ludwig's capital, and was finally obliged to lead an army against his secret ally, Rastitz, who was conquered. A new war with Zwentebold, king of Bohemia, who was assisted by the Sorbs, Wends, and other Slavonic tribes along the Elbe, broke out soon afterwards. Karlmann led his father's forces against the enemy, and after a struggle of four years forced Bohemia, in 873, to become tributary to Germany.

[Sidenote: 876. DEATH OF LUDWIG THE GERMAN.]

In 875, the Emperor, Ludwig II. (Lothar's son), who ruled in Italy, died without heirs. Karl the Bald and Ludwig the German immediately called their troops into the field and commenced the march to Italy, in order to divide the inheritance or fight for its sole possession. Ludwig sent his sons, but their uncle, Karl the Bald, was before them. He was acknowledged by the Lombard nobles at Pavia, and crowned in Rome by the Pope, before it could be prevented. Ludwig determined upon an instant invasion of France, but in the midst of the preparations he died at Frankfort, in 876. He was seventy-one years old; as a child he had sat on the knees of Charlemagne; as an independent

king of Germany, he had reigned thirty-six years, and with him the intelligence, prudence and power which had distinguished the Carolingian line came to an end.

Again the kingdom was divided among three sons, Karlmann, Ludwig the Younger, and Karl the Fat; and again there were civil wars. Karl the Bald made haste to invade Germany before the brothers were in a condition to oppose him; but he was met by Ludwig the Younger and terribly defeated, near Andernach on the Rhine. The next year he died, leaving one son, Ludwig the Stammerer, to succeed him.

The brothers, in accordance with a treaty made before their father's death, thus divided Germany: Karlmann took Bavaria, Carinthia, the provinces on the Danube, and the half-sovereignty over Bohemia and Moravia; Ludwig the Younger became king over all Northern and Central Germany, leaving Suabia (formerly Alemannia) for Karl the Fat. Karlmann's first act was to take possession of Italy, which acknowledged his rule. He was soon afterwards struck with apoplexy, and died in 880. Karl the Fat had already crossed the Alps; he forced the Lombard nobles to accept him, and was crowned Emperor at Rome, as Karl III., in 881. Meanwhile the Germans had recognized Ludwig the Younger as Karlmann's heir, and had given to Arnulf, the latter's illegitimate son, the Duchy of Carinthia.

[Sidenote: 882.]

Ludwig the Younger died, childless, in 882, and thus Germany and Italy became one empire under Karl the Fat. By this time Friesland and Holland were suffering from the invasions of the Norsemen, who had built a strong camp on the banks of the Meuse, and were beginning to threaten Germany. Karl marched against them, but, after a siege of some weeks, he shamefully purchased a truce by giving them territory in Holland, and large sums in gold and silver, and by marrying a princess of the Carolingian blood to Gottfried, their chieftain. They then sailed down the Meuse, with 200 vessels laden with plunder.


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