Treaty of Verdun

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Lothair I (795—855)

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Carolingian Empire


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The peace made between the Frankish kings Lothar, Louis, and Charles, the grandsons of Charlemagne, who had been fighting a civil war. When their father, Louis the Pious, died in 840 he bequeathed them the united Carolingian empire, but the brothers could not agree on how to divide the inheritance and they fought until 842. Long negotiations then culminated in the meeting in Verdun where the empire was divided into three kingdoms. Charles and Louis received West and East Francia (roughly, present-day France and Germany), while Lothar held the middle kingdom, a long strip of territory stretching from the North Sea over the Alps to Rome and bordered in the west by the rivers Scheldt, Meuse, and Saône and in the east by the Rhine. The treaty was not governed by geographical factors but was an attempt to satisfy the claims of each brother for a share in the Carolingian family estates, many of which were in the fertile lands of the middle kingdom, Lotharingia. Lotharingia soon lost its own identity and became a battleground for the embryonic kingdoms of France and Germany.

Subjects: World History — Literature.

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