Viking Sources in Translation

Annals of St. Bertin

The Annals of St. Bertin is a year-by-year account of the history of the Frankis Empire. They was written in the northern parts of the empire.


In February, an assembly was held there at which he decided to undertake a campaign with all the Franks into the lands of Brittany. It was Bernard the chamberlain who was the strongest advocate of this course. Not long afterwards, on Ash Wednesday [2 March], the Emperor left Aachen, sorely troubled with pain in his feet, and he decided to make a rapid advance on Brittany by the coastal route. He left the Lady Empress behind at Aachen. The whole people were much opposed to this campaign because of its difficulties, and they refused to follow the Emperor to Brittany. Some of the magnates, knowing the people's critical attitude, summoned them to a meeting so as to wean them away from the loyalty they had sworn to the Lord Emperor. And so the whole people, who ought to have been marching to Brittany, met up at Paris, and went on to force Lothar to come from Italy and Pippin from Aquitaine to attack their father: the plan was to depose him, to destroy their stepmother and to kill Bernard. Bernard got wind of this, and fled to Barcelona. When the plot was denounced to the Lord Emperor, he immediately travelled to meet with them at Compiègne. There Pippin, who had with him a large proportion of the people, with Lothar's consent took away from the Emperor his royal power, and also his wife whom they veiled and sent to the convent of St-Radegund at Poitiers. They also tonsured her brothers, Conrad and Rudolf, and shut them up in monasteries. After Easter Week [17-24 April], Lothar arrived from Italy: there and then he held an assembly and ordered Bernard's brother Herbert to be blinded and he imprisoned various of the Lord Emperor's faithful men.

When all these events had taken place, the Lord Emperor together with his son Lothar gave notice of another assembly to meet around 1 October at Nijmegen, where the Saxons and East Franks could gather. There an army flocked together, consisting of many from each side, that is from the Lord Emperor's side and from Lothar's. The Lord Emperor had regained control of the situation. He ordered those responsible for what had been done to him, whose double-dealing had been detected and their plot exposed, to be kept in custody until the meeting of another assembly to be held at Aachen. It was adjudged, further, by all the bishops, abbots, counts and other Franks, that his wife, who had been taken away from him unjustly and without due process of law and judgement, should be brought back before this assembly that had been arranged, and if any free man wanted to charge her with any crime, either she should defend herself according to the laws, or she should undergo the judgement of the Franks. From Nijmegen the Lord Emperor hastened to winter at Aachen.


Around 1 February, he held a general assembly, as had been arranged. He ordered the attendance of those men who, the previous year, had offended against the Lord Emperor through their sedition, first at Compiègne and then at Nijmegen, so that their cases could be discussed and judgement passed. It was adjudged, first of all by his sons and then by all those present, that they should suffer the death penalty. Then the Lord Emperor, with his usual magnanimity, granted them life and limb, and sent them to be held in custody in various places. Lothar too, because he had given his sympathies to those men more than he should have done, appealed to his father's merciful nature. To this assembly came the Lady Empress, as she had been ordered to do; standing there in the sight of the Lord Emperor and his sons, she declared her willingness to purge herself on all the charges levelled against her. Then the whole assembled people were solemnly asked if anyone wanted to charge her with any crime. When no one was found who wanted to bring any wrongdoing whatsoever against her, she purged herself according to the judgement of the Franks of all the things of which she had been accused. When the assembly was over, the Lord Emperor allowed Lothar to go to Italy, Pippin to Aquitaine and Louis to Bavaria.

The Lord Emperor himself arrived at Ingelheim on about 1 May. There Lothar came to him, and he received him honourably. All those men, too, who had been sent into exile were brought before him and pardoned, and they gained the favour of the Lord Emperor.

Now he held a third general assembly at the villa of Thionville and there envoys came from the Amir al-Mamoun of Persia , seeking a treaty. They soon got what they sought, and went home again. There also came envoys of the Danes with the same request and they too went home after having their treaty confirmed. Many embassies came to him from the Slavs and were duly heard, dealt with and given leave to depart. Count Bernard presented himself and gave satisfaction on all the charges of which he had been accused, swearing an oath to the Lord Emperor and to his sons. Those of the sons who had been present returned to their own lands, the Lord Emperor waited for some time for Pippin to arrive there, and then sent special envoys to order him to come. Pippin promised to do so, but put off coming.

After Martinmas [11 November] the Lord Emperor arrived at Aachen to winter there; and there, a few days before Christmas, Pippin came to him. The Lord Emperor received him less favourably than he had been used to doing before, because of Pippin's disobedience.


Pippin, resentful because he had not been honourably received by his father, made his own plans. On the Eve of Holy Innocents' Day [27 December] at the first hour of the night, he fled with a few of his own men and made for Aquitaine as fast as he could. At this, the Lord Emperor was deeply upset and angered: he had never thought that such things could happen where his son was concerned or that he could actually flee his father's presence. He therefore summoned together his advisers from every side and took counsel with them as to what should be done about Pippin's behaviour. It was decided that the Lord Emperor's general assembly should be announced as to be held in the civitas of Orleans, and that Lothar should go to the assembly direct from Italy, while Louis should come to Aachen and go on from there in company with his father.

Everything had been thus settled, and messengers sent out everywhere to make the necessary arrangements, when it suddenly came to the ears of the most righteous Emperor that Louis with all the Bavarians, free and unfree, together with as many Slavs as he could draw to his cause, was planning to attack Alemannia, which had already, some little while ago, been given to his brother Charles by his father, to lay waste and plunder it, and annex it to his own kingdom and get all the people of that kingdom [of Alemannia] to promise loyalty to him, and when all those things had been perpetrated, he was going to attack Francia with that same army and invade and conquer as much of his father's kingdom as he possibly could. The Lord Emperor, as soon as he had found out all this, immediately changed his plans, and ordered all the West and East Franks and the Saxons too to assemble at Mainz to meet him on 18 April. On hearing this summons, everyone hastened to the Lord Emperor with all speed, wanting to offer him all the help they could. It was at this time that there was an eclipse of the moon after sunset on 19 April.

The Lord Emperor arrived at Mainz and there the whole people came to the assembly which he had fixed for them. The very next day, with a strong force of Franks and Saxons, he crossed the rivers Rhine and Main, and pitched camp in the vicinity of the villa of Tribur. His son Louis with his army was encamped near Worms at the villa called Langbardheim: his hopes were being buoyed up with empty promises, for both his own men and those of the counts and vassals of the Lord Emperor and of Charles who were with him were promising him that all the East Franks and Saxons would give their support to him. The man urging this most strongly with his treacherous plots and schemes was Matfrid , to whom the Lord Emperor the year before had granted life and limb and possession of his inheritance, after he had previously been condemned to death. When Louis learned that his father had crossed the Rhine with such a large force of faithful men, his boldness was undermined and he lost all hope of gaining the power he had so unjustly sought. He wasted no time but retreated hastily with his men to Bavaria along the same route by which they had come; and many of those with him went over again to the Lord Emperor. Hearing of Louis's sudden retreat, the Lord Emperor advanced to the place from which Louis had withdrawn, and found much devastation there. He bore all these adversities patiently, as is his usual way. He did not go in pursuit of his son but proceeded with his whole army at a slow pace into Alemannia, finally reaching Augsburg on the river Lech. There he got that son of his who had been led so much astray to come before him. But Louis promised, swearing an oath, that he would never again perpetrate such things in future nor connive with others for any such purpose.

When the assembly was over, he allowed his son peacefully to return to Bavaria, while he himself disbanded his army and came to Salz by way of Austrasia [i.e. Franconia]. There the Lady Empress came to meet him. The pair reached Mainz by a river journey, and there Lothar met his father.

It was announced again that a general assembly would be held at Orleans on 1 September, and every free man was to come there ready to go on campaign. When he arrived there, he received the annual gifts in the customary way, and soon left to hasten to Limoges. Then he summoned his son Pippin to him and reproached him asking, among other things, why he had fled from his father's presence without permission. Wishing with fatherly affection to win him over again, he ordered Pippin to go to Francia, to stay for a while in a place to which his father would assign him, until such time as he should soothe his father's feelings by mending his own ways. Pippin pretended to agree to this and set off, but he turned back from the journey, and scorned to carry out his father's orders. Meanwhile the Lord Emperor was returning through other parts of Aquitaine, to Francia. When Pippin's action was reported to him, he did not return to Francia as soon as he had planned but, on account of this news, delayed in those parts for some days longer, finally coming to Le Mans at Christmas.


When the Holy Days had been celebrated there, he reached Aachen by a direct route. He had not been staying there for many days when news arrived that his sons had again got together in an alliance to revolt against him and were aiming to attack with a large force of his enemies. After taking counsel, he reached Worms before the beginning of Lent and there he spent that period and celebrated Easter [13 April] and Pentecost [l June]. He summoned an army and made plans to advance against them, so that if he had been unable to divert them from their shameless course of action by peacemaking words, he could check them by force of arms, lest they do harm to the Christian people. At last, wanting to finish what they had begun, his sons joined forces in the region of Alsace at a place called Rotfeld. Lothar came from Italy bringing Pope Gregory with him, Pippin from Aquitaine, and Louis from Bavaria with a very large number of men. When the Lord Emperor met with them, he was completely unable to prevent them from continuing on their wilful course: rather, it was they who deceived the people who had come with the Lord Emperor, by evil persuasions and false promises, with the result that everyone deserted him. For some of his men - those against whom the rebels' anger raged most fiercely - slipped away and took themselves off to the lands of their friends and kinsmen and of their faithful men. The Lord Emperor's wife was taken away and sent into exile in Italy at the civitas of Tortona. Lothar seized royal power, and let the Pope return to Rome, Pippin to Aquitaine, and Louis to Bavaria. Lothar himself brought his father with him as a prisoner by way of Metz to Soissons, and there left him under the same strict custody in the monastery of St-Médard. He also took his father's son Charles away from him and sent him to the monastery of Pr�m, something that grieved his father very much indeed.

Then, on 1 October, Lothar held a long-planned assembly at Compiègne. The bishops, abbots, counts and all the people assembled there formally presented him with the annual gifts and promised their loyalty. Also to Compiègne came envoys from Constantinople: they had been sent to Lothar's father, but instead reached Lothar and handed over their letters and presents to him. In this assembly, they dreamed up many crimes to impute to the Lord Emperor, with Ebbo Bishop of Rheims standing out among them all as a kindler of false charges. They harrassed him for so long that they forced him to lay aside his weapons and change his garb to that of a penitent, driving him into the gates of Holy Church so that no one would dare to speak with him except those specially deputed for that purpose. But after a while they were afraid that he might be snatched away from that place by some of those who had remained loyal to him. So Lothar himself came to that monastery and took his father away with him against his will and kept him with him at Compiègne, still under sentence of excommunication. Then, when the assembly had been concluded, Lothar hastened to Aachen to winter there, and forced his father to accompany him, still under the same conditions. He reached Aachen on St Andrew's Eve [29 November]. But after a few days, it came about that Lothar and Louis had a meeting at Mainz to discuss various matters. There Louis begged his brother Lothar most earnestly to act more gently towards their father and not hold him in such strict confinement. When Lothar refused to listen, Louis left in sadness. From then on, he kept thinking over with his men how he might rescue his father from his imprisonment. Lothar reached Aachen a few days before Christmas.


The Lord Emperor was being kept at Aachen. He was not being more humanely treated in any way at all: on the contrary, his enemies raged against him much more cruelly, trying day and night to weaken his spirit with such intense sufferings that he would voluntarily renounce the world and take himself off to a monastery. But he kept saying that he would never make any such commitment as long as he had no real power over his own actions. Louis, however, when he realised that his request to Lothar to treat their father more mildly would carry no weight at all with that brother of his, sent envoys to his brother Pippin and told him of all that had been done to their father: he begged him to remember his father's affection, and the duty he owed him, and to join him [Louis] in rescuing their father from his tribulation. Pippin at once summoned an army of men from Aquitaine and from beyond the Seine while Louis summoned the Bavarians, Austrasians, Saxons, Alemans and the Franks on this side of the Ardennes; with all these troops they began to move rapidly on Aachen. When Lothar heard of this, he left Aachen and brought his father all the way to Paris, still under the same conditions. He found Pippin already arrived there with his army but prevented from crossing the Seine by exceptionally high floodwaters: much flooding of other rivers too and unheard-of bursting of their banks created great difficulties for many people. But now when Lothar learned for certain that Louis too was heading rapidly towards the same area with such a great number of troops, he was stricken with terror. Leaving his father in that same place, Lothar fled with his men. This was on 28 February. When he had gone, the bishops who had been present there came and reconciled the Lord Emperor in the church of St-Denis, and clad him in his royal robes and his weapons. Then his sons Pippin and Louis along with other faithful men came to him and were joyfully received by his fatherly heart. He offered warmest thanks to them and to the whole people because they had been so quick and keen to offer help.

After he had held an assembly with them, he let Pippin and the rest of the people return home, but he had Louis come with him all the way to Aachen and there they celebrated the feast of Easter together [5 April]. When the festival days were over, he summoned his close advisers and those magnates who were in the vicinity, and eagerly set about discussing with them how he might be able to summon his son Lothar to him. He dispatched messengers to every part of his realm with orders to bring the people the news of his own liberation and to remind them to make every effort to fulfil the obligations of loyalty which they had promised him; also to say that he had forgiven them, for the love of God, whatever wrongs they had done against him. Lothar, having set off from Paris, got to the town [urbs] of Vienne in Provence. He stayed there for a while, imposing many burdens on the men of those parts. The Lord Emperor, when he learned that Lothar was there, sent envoys to tell him that his father had forgiven him all that he had done against him, and to tell him to return in peace to his father. But Lothar scorned these messages and refused to come, remaining fixed in his obstinacy. There were other developments:

when those who were the Lord Emperor's faithful men in Italy -Bishop Ratold, Count Boniface, Pippin, the Emperor's kinsman and a number of others - realised that some of his enemies wanted to bring about the death of his wife, they sent men as fast as they could who rescued her and brought her safe and sound to Aachen to the presence of the Lord Emperor.

At this time also, the following were killed on the expedition sent against Lambert and Matfrid and other accomplices of Lothar. Counts Odo, and William his brother, and Fulbert; Abbot Theoto of St-Martin and a number of others. Meanwhile a fleet of Danes came to Frisia and laid waste a part of it. From there, they came by way of Utrecht to the emporium called Dorestad and destroyed everything. They slaughtered some people, took others away captive, and burned the surrounding region.

Now Lothar came with his men to Chalon-sur-Saône, took it by storm and set it on fire, and took prisoner the counts who were in the city. Three of them he killed and the rest he led away with him under strong guard. He had Bernard's sister, a nun, put in a barrel and drowned in the river Saône. Then he came to Orleans.

The Lord Emperor, getting word of all these doings, summoned his army to Langres in mid-August. There he received the annual gifts, and immediately set off on a campaign through the regions of Troyes, Chartres and the Dunois to liberate the people from those who had wrongfully seized the realm. He arrived near the stronghold [castellum] of Blois at the same time as his son Louis, and to this place his son Pippin also came with his army to meet his father and bring him help. Lothar, staying in his camp not far away, threatened battle with his forces but was in fact quite incapable of carrying out such a threat. Then the Lord Emperor, moved by his usual desire to show mercy, sent to tell Lothar to come peacefully to him for he would forgive him and all his men all the things they had said against him. He granted Lothar Italy, just as Pippin, the Lord Emperor's brother, had held it in the time of the Lord Charles, and to the others he granted life and limb and their hereditary possessions and to many of them their benefices too. When Lothar came to him with his men, his father bound him with the strong bonds of solemn oaths, that neither he nor his men should ever afterwards do such things again nor agree to others' doing them. When all these arrangements had been confirmed, he made Lothar go back to Italy with those men who preferred to follow him. He himself arrived in the neighbourhood of Orleans. He granted permission to return home to Pippin, to Louis and to the whole army. Then he came by way of Paris to Attigny, where about Martinmas [11 November] he held an assembly with his advisers. When the affairs of the realm had been settled, he went off to winter at Thionville.


He celebrated the feast of Christmas joyfully at Metz, having been received there most handsomely by his brother Drogo, bishop of that civitas. He spent the festal days there, and then returned to his own palace at the villa of Thionville. About the time of the Feast of the Purification of Holy Mary [2 February] he held there a general council of nearly all the bishops and abbots, both canonical and regular, of his whole empire. At this council, among other provisions for ecclesiastical discipline, the following events were particulary fully discussed: in the year immediately preceding, the most devout Emperor had been deposed undeservedly, through the treachery of evildoers and enemies of God, from the realm, honour and royal title which he had inherited from his father; then after some time it had been decided and confirmed by everyone in concord and unanimity that since the evildoers' factions had been destroyed by God's help, he, restored now to his ancestral honour and clothed again as he deserved in the royal splendour, should be acknowledged by all in the most loyal and unswerving obedience and subjection as emperor and lord. Each one present at the council drew up with his own hand a full account of thse findings and of his own confirmation thereof, and authenticated it with his own signature. The outcome of the whole affair, how it had been dealt with, discussed, settled and finally confirmed in suitable fashion by the signatures of everyone: all this was put together, set out in full detail in one collection, bound as a small volume, and agreed by all as an accurate account. They then wasted no time in making it as widely known as possible, bringing it to everyone's attention with most devoted and heartfelt and kind concern, and with an authority most worthy of so many reverend fathers. For they gathered at Metz in the church of the blessed protomartyr Stephen, completed the celebration of mass, and read out the account of the whole affair publicly to all who were present. Then the holy and venerable bishops lifted from the most holy altar the crown, symbol of rulership, and with their own hands restored it to his head, to the utmost joy of everyone. Furthermore, Ebbo, former archbishop of Rheims, who had once been a kind of standard-bearer of that whole conspiracy, ascended a high place in that same church and voluntarily confessed before everyone that the Emperor had been unjustly deposed; that everything done against him had been evilly done and wickedly plotted, against all the rules of equity; and that afterwards the Emperor had been deservedly, justly and worthily established again on his own throne of empire. When all these things had been solemnly completed, they returned to the palace of Thionville. There Ebbo confessed to a capital crime at a plenary session of the synod, proclaimed his unworthiness of so great an office as that of bishop, and confirmed this in his own writing: then he resigned from that office by the consent and the judgement of everyone. When these and other affairs of state had been justly dealt with, all were dismissed to their homes, while the Emperor himself celebrated the holy time of Lent also at Thionville, and the most holy feast of Easter [l8 April] at Metz where he again stayed with Archbishop Drogo. Then he set out for the general assembly which he had given notice would be held at Tramoyes near the civitas of Lyons. When this had been held in June, and the annual gifts had been received and the Marches of Spain, Septimania and Provence had been set in order, he returned to Aachen. But while he was still at that assembly, the Northmen fell on Dorestad in a second assault, laid it waste and looted it savagely. The Emperor, very angry, reached Aachen and made arrangements for effective defence of the coasts. He spent the autumn hunting-season in the Ardennes and returned from there to winter at Aachen.


After spending the feast of Christmas there, he again sent envoys to Lothar, warning him about the obedience and deep respect he owed his father, and impressing upon him by a great number of arguments the value of peace and concord. So that he should recognise this more explicitly, he was ordered to send to his father those envoys of his in whom he had greatest confidence, through whom he could negotiate about his own honour and security, and who could hear what his father's wishes were in regard to him and would be able to report this back to him faithfully. Lothar did not go so far as to question his father's orders, and in May he sent to the Emperor's presence at Thionville Abbot Wala, Richard the Usher and Count Eberhard. Discussions were held with these envoys about the coming of Lothar in person. It was settled on our side that he and his men should have a safe conduct to come to his father's presence and then to return home, and it was promised on oath by his envoys for their part that he would come without delay to his father's presence at the assembly appointed.

When all these things had been dealt with, the Emperor spent some days hunting around Remiremont. After that, in September, he came to the assembly that had been announced at Worms. There he had received the annual gifts in the usual way and was awaiting Lothar s arrival when news came that he had been stricken with fever and could not possibly come. Abbot Hugh and Count Adalgar were immediately dispatched to ask Lothar about his illness, his recovery, and his intentions of coming later; also about the restitutions of property which though it belonged to churches in Francia was situated in Italy and had thus been subjected to unchecked spoliations by Lothar's supporters; and finally about those bishops and counts who had lately with loyal devotion accompanied the Empress from Italy, for the Emperor wanted their sees, counties, benefices and their own property to be restored to them. To all this Lothar replied through orders given to his envoys that he could not agree on every point, and he suggested some alternative terms.

At that same time, the Northmen again devastated Dorestad and Frisia. But Horic, king of the Danes, through his envoys sent to that assembly offered terms of friendship and obedience and declared that he had in no way given his agreement to their urgent requests [to support the attacks]. He also complained about the killing of the envoys he had sent to the Emperor. They had been massacred a short while before near Cologne through the unauthorised action of certain men. The Emperor very rightly avenged the slaughter of these envoys, sending missi specifically to see to this.

The autumn hunting-season was spent at the palace of Frankfurt, and then he returned to Aachen. Envoys from Horic arrived there seeking an amount equivalent to the blood-money for those Northmen who had recently been perpetrating such attacks on our own borders and whom he, Horic, had captured and had killed. Aznar, count of Hither Gascony, who some years previously had defected with Pippin, died a horrible death. His brother Sancho Sanchez took control of that region despite Pippin's denial of permission.

Then also Abbot Wala died in Italy." Lothar had relied heavily on his advice.


After the Christmas celebrations were over, the Emperor held an assembly of bishops at Aachen on the feast of the Purification of the ever-virgin Mary [2 February]. At this assembly there took place many and varied discussions on the state of the Holy Church of God: it was made plain and set out clearly what was the proper function of each social order [ordo]. Furthermore, a letter was sent to Pippin from this assembly of venerable bishops. In it, they warned him at some length about his own salvation, and also urged him to remember the practice of his forefathers, especially his most righteous father, and restore to God's churches the property which had previously been battened on and ruined by his own supporters: otherwise he would arouse God's anger against himself on this account. Pippin gave his assent to the advice of so many fathers, restored everything and assigned to each church precisely what was its due, confirming the documents with his own seal-ring. Thus the Emperor, when he had put the coastal defences of Frisia in order, came to Thionville in May and received the annual gifts. Then he set out for Rome to arrange for the defence of the holy Roman Church and to pray there. He had meanwhile sent envoys to Lothar warning him to receive his father with due filial respect and to see that supplies were available in suitable quantities along the Emperor's route.

The Northmen at this time fell on Frisia with their usual surprise attack. Coming upon our people unprepared on an island called Walcheren, they slaughtered many of them and plundered even more. They stayed on the island for a while, levying as much tribute as they wanted. Then they fell on Dorestad with the same fury and exacted tribute in the same way. When the Emperor heard about these attacks, he postponed his planned journey to Rome and wasted no time in hurrying to the fort of Nijmegen close by Dorestad. When the Northmen heard of his arrival there, they withdrew immediately.

Now the Emperor summoned a general assembly and held an inquiry in public with those magnates to whom he had delegated the task of guarding that coast. It became clear from the discussion that partly through the sheer impossibility of the task, partly through the disobedience of certain men, it had not been possible for them to offer any resistance to the attackers. Energetic abbots and counts were therefore dispatched to suppress the insubordinate Frisians. Now too, so that from then on he would be better able to resist their incursions, he gave orders that a fleet should be made ready to go more speedily in pursuit in whatever direction might be required.

But Lothar meanwhile ordered the Alpine passes to be guarded by very strong barriers. Lambert, Lothar's greatest supporter, died, and so did Lothar's father-in-law Hugh.

Meanwhile the Bretons, impelled by a kind of impudence, made an attempt at revolt. The Emperor sent an expedition and crushed their rebellion. They returned the land they had taken from our people, gave hostages and promised to stay loyal in future.

After all this, in the presence and with the agreement of Louis [the German] and of Pippin's envoys and of the whole people whose presence had been commanded in the palace at Aachen, he gave to his son Charles the greater part of the Belgic provinces, that is: the whole of Frisia from the North Sea and the boundaries of Saxony as far as the boundaries of the Ripuarian Franks; within the boundaries of the Ripuarians the counties of Mulekewe, Ettra, Hamaland and Maasgau; also all the territory between the Meuse and the Seine right as far as Burgundy including the Verdun area; moving from Burgundy, the districts of the Toulois, Ornois, Blois, Blaisois, Perthois, the two Barrois [Bar-sur-Aube and Bar-le-Duc], the Brenois, Troiesin, Auxerrois, Sénonais, Gatinais, Melunois, Etampois, the pays de Châtres and the Parisis; then along the Seine to the Channel and up the coast as far as Frisia: in other words, all the bishoprics, abbacies, counties, royal estates [fisci] and everything situated within these boundaries with all pertaining thereto in whatever region they might be situated. Thus at the Emperor's command and in his presence the bishops, abbots, counts and royal vassals who held benefices in the above-listed places commended themselves to Charles and confirmed their fidelity with an oath.


After all this, when the feasts of Christmas, Epiphany [6 January] and the Presentation [2 February] were over and just as the Lenten fast was beginning [Ash Wednesday, 6 March], word came to the Emperor that Louis [the German] had sought a private meeting with his brother Lothar in the remote valleys of the Alps. Because his son had presumed to do this without his knowledge or agreement, the Emperor was very angry and sent out official messengers [cursores] to go as fast as possible in every direction to summon up his faithful men from all sides. When they had all come hastening from everywhere, he revealed to them the suspicious meeting held by his sons and warned them to hold themselves fully prepared for resistance should necessity require that. When Louis learned of this, he came to his father on the latter's orders in the week of the Octave of Easter [21-27 April]. After discussing everything in great detail, he swore on oath, along with those in whom he had most confidence, that he had not contemplated anything at all at that meeting with Lothar against his father's honour or the loyalty he owed him. So Louis was dismissed to his own lands with orders to come to meet the Emperor at Nijmegen in May. For the Emperor was planning to proceed there as arranged so that through his presence, the sort of damage that occurred in previous years becase of the pirates' savagery and our men's fecklessness might now be avoided. An assembly of faithful men was held and quantities of equipment and supplies were distributed around the coastal areas. While this was happening Danish pirates sailed out from their homeland but a sudden severe storm arose at sea and they were drowned with scarcely any survivors.

Louis [the German] made no delay in appearing before his father's presence as he had been ordered to do. There was a great argument, quite different from what ought to have happened. Louis lost whatever territory beyond and on this side of the Rhine he had wrongfully withdrawn from his father's authority. The Emperor resumed these lands, namely Alsace, Saxony, Thuringia, Austrasia and Alemannia.

Meanwhile fleets of Saracen pirates attacked Marseilles in Provence, carried off all the nuns, of whom there was a large number living there, as well as all the males, both clergy and laymen, laid waste the town [urbs] and took away with them en masse the treasures of Christ's churches.

The Emperor reached his general assembly at Quierzy in mid-August as he had planned. There, in his presence and with the approval of Pippin, now complying with his father's wishes, a grant was made, to take immediate effect, to his brother Charles of part of Neustria, namely the duchy of Le Mans and all the western shores of Gaul between the Loire and the Seine. At the same time Charles was invested with his sword-belt.

When the assembly had been dissolved, the Emperor made a point of visiting Paris and the churches of the holy martyrs in order to pray there. While Charles was despatched to the Le Mans region, the Emperor himself made a series of short stays at Ver, Compiègne and other places in the vicinity suitable for hunting. At the invitation of his brother Hugh, abbot of the monastery of the blessed martyr Quentin, he celebrated that martyr's feast there [31 October] with due honour and much enthusiasm. He then went to Attigny where he received Charles on his return from the west. Here too came envoys from Horic to report that because of his loyalty to the Emperor he had captured and ordered to be killed the majority of those pirates who had lately attacked our territory. Horic also requested that the Frisians and Obodrites be given over to him. The request seemed to the Emperor so thoroughly inappropriate that he utterly scorned and ignored it. In fact some time before, while the Emperor was applying himself to his hunting at Ver, Counts Adalgar and Egilo, who had previously been sent against the Obodrites and the Wilzes after they had renounced their allegiance, returned bringing hostages with them and reporting that those people would from now on be submissive to the Emperor. He now resumed the journey previously begun and set out to winter at Frankfurt. On 5 December in the middle of the night the full moon suffered an eclipse. Pippin, the Emperor's son and king of Aquitaine, died on 13 December leaving two sons, Pippin and Charles.

News came to the Emperor while he was making his way towards Frankfurt that his son Louis had surrounded that place with lines of hostile troops and entrenched himself there. Not only was he thus blocking his father's coming to stay the winter at the palace there but he was trying to stop him crossing the Rhine. On receipt of this news the Emperor was greatly angered and ordered his faithful men to be called up from every region. He himself continued on his route and reached Mainz.


When the feasts of Christmas and Epiphany were ended, he sent out faithful men over and over again to urge Louis to come to a peaceful settlement. But he was completely unable to sway him. On the contrary, from his position in forts [castella] built on the other side of the Rhine, Louis obdurately maintained his hostile stand and continued to bar the river-crossing to the Emperor, stuck at Mainz. But the Emperor was deeply worried about spilling the blood of a people who felt themselves one. He was not too proud to switch his men to another site suitable for making the crossing. But all along the opposite bank he could see his son's men entrenched and ready to oppose anyone who might try to get across. It was a wretched sight: on this side the righteous father, on the other the undutiful son, so far apart from each other. This situation forced the Emperor to return to Mainz. His faithful men flocked to him from every direction. He could not tolerate for much longer the sufferings imposed on them by the harsh winter. He got nearly 3,000 men across the Rhine just downstream from Mainz, and he received the Saxons who came to meet him. Louis, who until then had felt sure his father could not make the crossing, learned that he had done so. The Austrasians, Thuringians and Alemans whom Louis had involved in his rebellion were now deserting him. He fled in panic and retreated to Noricum, now called Bavaria, the realm given to him by his father some time before. The Emperor, mindful of how a father should behave, forbore to pursue his son. He welcomed and bound with oaths those who had fled from Louis and thrown themselves on the Emperor's mercy, while those who had fomented or favoured conflict were justly punished for their crimes, some by loss of property, others by exile. The Emperor then reached Frankfurt where he stayed for a few days and lost no time in setting in order the German frontier regions and their inhabitants and subjecting them more firmly to his control. Then during Lent he moved quickly into the regions of Alemannia to the royal villa called Bodman.

Meanwhile something very distressing happened, something to be bewailed by all the children of the Catholic Church. Rumour spread the news and the Emperor found out that the deacon Bodo, an Aleman by birth and deeply imbued from his earliest childhood in the Christian religion with the scholarship of the court clergy and with sacred and secular learning, a man who only the previous year had requested permission from the Emperor and the Empress to go on pilgrimage to Rome and had been granted this permission and been loaded with many gifts: this man seduced by the enemy of the human race had abandoned Christianity and converted to Judaism. First he entered into discussion about apostasy and his own perdition with some Jews whom he had brought with him to sell to the pagans. He was not afraid to make his cunning plans and having let these Jews be taken away and kept only one companion with him, a man rumoured to be his nephew, he renounced the Christian faith - we weep to say it - and professed himself a Jew. Thus he was circumcised, let his hair and beard grow and adopted - or rather usurped - the name of Eleazar. He assumed a warrior's gear, married a Jew's daugher and forced his nephew mentioned earlier also to convert to Judaism. Finally, overcome by the most despicable avarice, he entered the Spanish town of Zaragoza in mid-August along with some Jews. It was only with difficulty that the Emperor could be persuaded to believe this news at all, which clearly showed to everyone what a very distressing episode this was for the Emperor and Empress and indeed for all those redeemed through the grace of the Christian faith.

Furthermore, on 26 December, that is St Stephen's Day, a great flood far beyond the usual coastal tides covered nearly the whole of Frisia. So great was the inundation that the region became almost like the mounds of sand common in those parts which they call the dunes. Every single thing the sea rolled over, men as well as all other living creatures and houses too, it destroyed. The number of people drowned was very carefully counted: 2,437 deaths were reported. Then in February an army of fiery red and other colours could often be seen in the sky, as well as shooting stars trailing fiery tails.

Now after Easter [6 April] when the Emperor was heading back into Francia, the king of the English sent envoys to him to ask the Emperor to grant him permission to travel through Francia on his way to Rome on pilgrimage. He also warned the Emperor to devote even more careful attention and concern to the salvation of the souls of those subject to him. For the minds of the English had been quite terrified by a vision that one of them had seen. The king took pains to send the Emperor a detailed account of this vision which went as follows:

The vision of a certain pious priest of the land of the English, revealed to him after Christmas while he was transported out of his body.

One night when that pious priest was asleep, a certain man came to him and told him to follow him. So he got up and did so. This guide then led him to a land he did not know at all and there he saw many wonderful buildings standing. One was a church into which he and his guide went and there he saw a lot of boys reading. He asked his guide if he might be so bold as to inquire who these boys were. The guide replied: 'Ask what you like and I will gladly show you.' When he got so close to them that he could see what they were reading, he saw that their books were written not only in black letters but also in letters of blood; it had been done so that one line was written out in black letters, the next in bloody ones. He asked why the books were written out like that with lines of blood and his guide answered: The lines of blood you can see in those books are all the various sins of Christian people, because they are so utterly unwilling to obey the orders and fulfil the precepts in those divine books. These boys now, moving about here and looking as if they are reading, are the souls of the saints who grieve every day over the sins and crimes of Christians and intercede for them so that they may finally be turned to repentance some day. And if those souls of the saints did not cry out to God with incessant weeping, there would already have been an end to so many evil men in the Christian people some time ago. You'll recall that this very year, fruit came forth in abundance on the land and on the trees and vines too, but becase of the sins of men most of this fruit perished and never came to be consumed or used by anyone. If Christian people don't quickly do penance for their various vices and crimes and don't observe the Lord's Day in a stricter and worthier way, then a great and crushing disaster will swiftly come upon them: for three days and nights a very dense fog will spread over their land, and then all of a sudden pagan men will lay waste with fire and sword most of the people and land of the Christians along with all they possess. But if instead they are willing to do true penance immediately and carefully atone for their sins according to the Lord's command with fasting, prayer and alms-giving, then they may still escape those punishments and disasters through the intercession of the saints.

There also came envoys from the Greeks sent by the Emperor Theophilus. They were Theodosius, metropolitan bishop of Chalcedon, and Theophanus the Spatharius and they brought gifts worthy for an emperor, and a letter. The Emperor received them with due ceremony on 18 May at Ingelheim. The purpose of their mission was to confirm the treaty of peace and perpetual friendship and love between the two emperors and their subjects. They also brought congratulations and exultation in the Lord on the victories that our Emperor had gained with Heaven's help in his wars against foreign peoples. Theophilus in friendly fashion urged the Emperor and his subjects to offer up thanks to God for all these victories. He also sent with the envoys some men who said they - meaning their whole people - were called Russians and had been sent to him by their king whose name was the Khagan for the sake of friendship, so they claimed. Theophilus requested in his letter that the Emperor in his goodness might grant them safe conducts to travel through his empire and any help or practical assistance they needed to return home, for the route by which they had reached Constantinople had taken them through primitive tribes that were very fierce and savage and Theophilus did not wish them to return that way in case some disaster befell them. When the Emperor investigated more closely the reason for their coming here, he discoverd that they belonged to the people of the Swedes. He suspected that they had really been sent as spies to this kingdom of ours rather than as seekers of our friendship, so he decided to keep them with him until he could find out for certain whether or not they had come in good faith. He lost no time in sending a letter to Theophilus through the same envoys to tell him all this, and to add that he had received them willingly for the sake of his friendship for Theophilus and that if they were found to be genuine, he would supply them with means to return to their own fatherland without any risk of danger and send them home with every assistance, but if not, he would send them with envoys of ours back to Theophilus for him to deal with as he might think fit.

When all these matters had been settled the Emperor came to the town [urbs] of Worms on 30 May as previously arranged. There he received some of his faithful men to whom he had given special orders to hasten there for this purpose. His son Lothar arrived from Italy and the Emperor showed not the slightest reluctance to receive him with fatherly affection. Lothar fell at his father's feet like a suppliant in the presence of everyone and humbly begged forgiveness for his earlier wrongdoings. The Emperor was moved by that merciful nature which was always so exceptionally strong in him: he forgave Lothar with fatherly love and kindness whatever he and his supporters had done against him in former years, but on condition that they should never again attempt any action against the Emperor with their evil machinations. To some of Lothar's supporters he gave not only outright grants of land but also honores consisting of benefices. In addition he ordered that a detailed survey of the realm be made and two more or less equal shares defined, and he actually offered Lothar the choice of whichever share he preferred. The details of the division were as follows. One share consisted of: the kingdom of Italy and part of Burgundy, namely the Val d'Aosta, the county of Valais and the county of Vaud as far as Lake Geneva; then the eastern and northern part of the Rhone valley as far as the county of Lyons; the counties of Escoens, Varais, Portois, Saintois and Chaumont; the duchy of the Moselle region; the counties of the Ardennes and of Condroz and from there along the course of the Meuse as far as the sea; the duchy of the Ripuarian Franks, Wormsfeld and the Speyer district; the duchies of Alsace and Alemannia, Chur, the duchy of Austrasia including Schwalefeld and Nordgau and Hesse; the duchy of Thuringia with its marches; the regnum of Saxony with its marches; the duchy of Frisia as far as the Meuse; the counties of Hamaland, Betuwe and Teisterbant; and Dorestad. The other share consisted of: Burgundy, that is the counties of Geneva, Lyons, Chalon, Amous, Oscheret, Langres and Toul, and from there along the course of the Meuse to the sea; the territory between the Meuse and the Seine, and that between the Seine and the Loire including the Breton March; Aquitaine and Gascony with the marches pertaining to them; Septimania with its marches; and Provence. When Lothar chose the eastern share, the Emperor assigned the western one to his son Charles on condition that they should remain in loyal obedience to him as long as he lived and actually get possession of their shares after he was dead. He received many kinds of oaths from Lothar and then allowed him to return to Italy.

Then the Emperor gave notice of a general assembly to be held near Chalon on 1 September. After this he sent envoys to Louis ordering him never to dare to leave the frontiers of Bavaria without his father's express command, and to confirm his agreement to this by oath: otherwise he should be in no doubt at all that his father would advance to Augsburg at the beginning of September to attack him. The Emperor's troops were therefore arranged as follows: some were assigned to his son Charles at Chalon to attack and crush the Aquitanian rebels, for some of the Aquitanians had recently joined the Younger Pippin [II] in defecting from the Emperor;" and some were sent to advance along with the Saxons against the incursions of the Danes and Slavs who were getting restive again. The Emperor himself stayed in the fortress [castrum] of Kreuznach and exerted himself vigorously in hunting. He decided to await there the arrival of the envoys he had sent to Bavaria. They came back and, accompanied by envoys from Louis, came into the Emperor's presence. They reported that Louis had not yet complied with his father's orders but had promised that he would do so on condition that his own request be met, namely that the Emperor's faithful men should swear an oath to him [Louis]. Now it happened that the magnates from whom he was demanding this oath were absent at that point, so the Emperor decided to trust to his good faith and compliant promises until he himself should return from Aquitaine with a divinely granted victory: then if Louis had stuck to his orders he would receive him graciously, but if he had made any moves to the contrary his father would lose no time in attacking him with all the force at his disposal. Some of Louis's supporters had recently been punished by loss of their property for their complicity in the revolts he had organised against his father. But now at Louis's request the Emperor granted that each of these men should have his property restored - on condition, however, that they make every effort to keep their faith to the Emperor without any violation, and plot no secret incitement of the faithful men of the realm by any kind of deceit or treachery. Envoys were duly despatched on special missions to receive confirmations by oath to this effect.

Two expeditions were mounted: a Saxon one against the attacks of the Sorbs and Wilzes who had recently left several villae of the Saxon March in flames; and a combined Austrasian-Thuringian one against the rebellious Obodrites and the people called the Linones. Mean-while the Emperor himself took a pleasant form of exercise hunting in the Ardennes. He gave orders that the rest of the faithful men of his whole realm should come to meet him at Chalon at the beginning of September, as he had previously announced.

Some pirates attacked part of Frisia and imposed great sufferings on our frontier territories. Also, Horic sent envoys to the Emperor. One of them was a man whose advice he seemed to trust more than anyone else's and always to act on, and with him he sent his own nephew. They brought gifts of precious things native to their country with the object of consolidating the peace and the alliance still more firmly. They were joyfully received and gifts were bestowed on them. They had lodged complaints about the Frisians and their troublesome behaviour, so the Emperor despatched able leaders [duces], who at an appointed date were to settle these grievances fairly and justly on every point.

The Emperor received his faithful men at Chalon and redirected his whole army to Aquitaine. Pitching camp straight away almost three miles from Clermont, he held a meeting with those Aquitanians who publicly commended themselves to his son Charles in their traditional way, their loyalty to the Emperor and his son being strengthened by the pledging of an oath. Then he gave orders that the Empress and their son should go on ahead of him to Poitiers, while he hastened by forced marches to the stronghold [castrum] called in the vernacular Carlat, because some of Pippin's supporters were reported to be there. This stronghold had had nothing added to it by any engineer's design: it stood on a natural rock protected by precipices all round, except on the eastern side where it was separated from the surrounding land only by a very small gap. In this stronghold they had taken their stand, but the Emperor besieged them and forced them to yield, though with his typical generosity he granted them life and limb and their inherited property. Then he directed his campaign to the region of Turenne where the rebels were trying in vain to conceal themselves and continue their resistance. They now roamed about in different directions, scattered and seeking flight wherever they could. But the Emperor's army suffered much distress from the prolonged hot weather that autumn and the fierceness of the sun. Most men went down with fever, some died and some got home after a dreadful journey. The seriousness of this situation imposed itself on the Emperor: hampered by the harshness of the winter that was now coming on, he released the rest of his army and withdrew to winter quarters at Poitiers.

Meanwhile the Saxons fought a battle at Kesigesburg against those Sorbs who are called the Colodici and thanks to heavenly help won the victory. The Sorbian king Czimislav was killed and Kesigesburg and eleven forts [castella] were captured. Another king was hurriedly made amidst all these upheavals, and oaths were taken from him and hostages too, and much of their land was confiscated.

Also the Emperor's envoys, sent to Horic to make a treaty, received oaths from him and concluded a permanent peace.


The Emperor celebrated the feasts of Christmas and Epiphany and also the Purification of the blessed ever-virgin Mary [2 February] at Poitiers, and was applying himself to crushing the Aquitanian rebels, when as Lent approached he received some bad news. His son Louis, with his long-accustomed insolence, was taking over control of the realm as far as the Rhine. Furious at this news the Emperor left the Empress and their son Charles with a sizeable part of the army at Poitiers while he himself came to the palace at Aachen, and after celebrating Easter there [28 March], crossed the Rhine and went into Germany. His son was driven to flight and sought in person the support of the pagans and of peoples beyond the frontiers, giving them large bribes. The emperor abandoned any further pursuit of him. On 13 May, before the ninth hour of the day, an eclipse of the sun was seen by a lot of people in many different places. The Emperor, on his way back from pursuing his son, was stricken by illness. On 26 June, on an island in the Rhine downstream from Mainz, within sight of the palace of Ingelheim, he died.

Lothar, when he heard the news of his father's death, left Italy and thrust into Gaul - thereby breaching the laws of nature. Puffed up by the imperial title, he took up arms against both his brothers, Louis and Charles, and attacked first one, then the other, engaging them in battle, but with very little success in either case. The business was settled to the satisfaction at any rate of his own vanity, and on terms of some kind he left his brothers alone for the time being. But he did not stop plotting against them, secretly and openly, with all the evilness of his greed and cruelty.


Louis on the other side of the Rhine, Charles on this side, subdued or won over everyone in their respective areas, some by force, some by threats, some by granting them honores, some on other special terms. Lothar, during Lent, led a force to Mainz against Louis. Louis was prepared for him, and while he maintained his resistance, Lothar held off for a long time from crossing the river. Then, when by some breach of faith on the part of the people on Louis's side Lothar did cross, Louis made for Bavaria. A large force of Lothar's men also tried to stop Charles from crossing the Seine. But Charles got across the river by a combination of forceful shrewdness and shrewd force, put them all to flight and did so a second and a third time too.

Lothar, when he got news that his men had fled and that Charles was advancing, came back across the Rhine and after leaving garrisons in position against Louis, set off against Charles. Louis then hurled his men on the troops which Lothar had stationed to resist him, slew many of them and put the rest to flight. Then he moved quickly to bring reinforcements to his brother Charles.

Meanwhile Danish pirates sailed down the Channel and attacked Rouen, plundered the town with pillage, fire and sword, slaughtered or took captive the monks and the rest of the population, and laid waste all the monasteries and other places along the banks of the Seine, or else took large payments and left them thoroughly terrified. Charles, full of joy and affection, came to meet Louis as he approached. There was a complete union between them: they were bound by brotherly love, and they even pitched camp together, sharing each other's company and counsels. They made every effort, by sending very frequent missions, to come to an agreement with Lothar for peace and harmony and the government of the whole people and realm. Lothar played with them by equally frequent sending of envoys and with oaths, until at last he received from Aquitaine the younger Pippin, son of his brother Pippin who had died a while before. It was in the region of Auxerre, at a place called Fontenoy, that Lothar made his attempt to deprive both his brothers of their shares of the realm by a military victory. Since it had proved quite impossible to draw him back to peace and brotherly concord, his brothers attacked on the morning of 25 June, a Saturday. Many were slain on both sides; still more were wounded. Lothar suffered a shameful defeat and fled. The slaughter of the fugitives continued on all sides, until Louis and Charles, afire with generous feelings, ordered an end to the carnage. To uphold the standards of Christianity, they refrained from pursuing the fugitives any further from their camp, and for the same reason gave orders to the bishops to remain on the spot next day to bury the corpses of the dead, so far as time might allow. In this battle George bishop of Ravenna was taken prisoner. He had been sent by Pope Gregory to Lothar and his brothers to arrange a peace, but he had been detained by Lothar and not allowed to go on to his brother. He was now sent home with due honour. Lothar, having turned tail, reached Aachen. To renew the struggle, he applied himself to winning over the Saxons and other frontier peoples. He went so far as to offer those Saxons called Stellinga - there is a very large number of them among that people - the choice between some kind of written law and the customary law of the ancient Saxons, whichever they preferred. Always prone to evil, they chose to imitate pagan usage rather than keep their oaths to the Christian faith.

Lothar, to secure the services of Harald, who along with other Danish pirates had for some years been imposing many sufferings on Frisia and the other coastal regions of the Christians, to the damage of Lothar's father's interests and the furtherance of his own, now granted him Walcheren and the neighbouring regions as a benefice. This was surely an utterly detestable crime, that those who had brought evil on Christians should be given power over the lands and people of Christians, and over the very churches of Christ; that the persecutors of the Christian faith should be sent up as lords over Christians, and Christian folk have to serve men who worshipped demons.

Partly by terror-tactics, partly by conciliation, Lothar got large numbers of Saxons, Austrasians, Thuringians and Alemans under his control. Charles settled affairs in Aquitaine, so far as his resources would let him, travelled through Francia by way of Le Mans, Paris and Beauvais, and won over the men of the Haspengau more by love than by fear. Lothar crossed the Rhine, aiming to attack Louis, but having failed to achieve any of his plans, he suddenly turned against Charles. He reckoned Charles could be easily beaten now that he had moved a fair distance away from his brother Louis. Charles fell back on Paris, crossed the Seine, and for a while blocked all Lothar's moves. Lothar, prevented from crossing the river, made for its upper reaches, and went by way of the Morvois district to Sens. From there he reached Le Mans without further obstacle, ravaging everything with such acts of devastation, burning, rape, sacrilege and blasphemy that he could not even restrain his men from damaging those whom he was planning to visit. He lost no time in carrying off whatever treasures he could find deposited in churches or their strong rooms for safe-keeping � and this, even though the priests and clergy of other ranks were bound by oath to preserve those things. Even nuns and women dedicated to God's service he forced to take oaths to himself. Charles was kept busy for some time in the Paris region; then he reached Châlons to celebrate Christmas there.


From Châlons, he went to Troyes, then going by way of the Azois district and the city of Toul, he crossed the wild country of the Vosges and joined up with his brother Louis near the town of Strasbourg. Lothar, after so savagely devastating the western regions of Gaul � without any benefit whatsoever to himself or to his supporters � now crossed the Seine near Paris and returned to Aachen. When he got news that his brothers had joined up, he was very angry.

Louis and Charles, to bind more securely to themselves the loyalty of the people subordinate to each, bound themselves by a most solemn oath to each other. The faithful men on each side likewise bound themselves by oath, swearing that if ever one of those two brothers should try to do any harm to the other, everyone would utterly abandon that stirrer-up of discord, and would turn instead to the brother who stood by the fraternal alliance. When all this had been done, messages were sent to Lothar urging peace. But Lothar banned their envoys from seeing or holding talks with him, and he and his supporters made the necessary military preparations to fight it out with his brothers. While he took up residence in the palace at Sinzig almost eight miles from the Moselle, and stationed guards to deny any crossing of that river, Louis reached the fort [castrum] of Koblenz with a naval force and Charles came up with cavalry. There they boldly started to cross the Moselle, whereupon Lothar's guards took to their heels. Lothar, terrified by his brothers' unexpected arrival, retreated. He took all he could from the palace at Aachen and from the palatine chapel of St-Mary and from the royal treasury, including a silver plate of wonderful size and beauty. On it there shone a map of the whole world and it also showed the stars and the various movements of the planets at proportionate distances from each other, with the more important signs of the Zodiac. Lothar had this great plate cut up into pieces and distributed amongst his men - who despite being induced by such a large bribe, still continued to desert in droves from every section of his army. He fled by way of Châlons, spent Easter [2 April] at Troyes and made for Lyons. Louis celebrated that feast at Cologne, Charles at the palace of Herstal. Abandoning any pursuit of their brother, they welcomed the men of those regions who came to them to take refuge. Only when they had received large numbers of these men did they follow their brother's route, but still at a rather slow pace. Lothar, albeit reluctantly, began negotiations with his brothers about peace terms, sending his most trusted envoys. The neighbourhood of the town of Mâcon was chosen for this purpose, and to it men came from both sides. The river Sa6ne separated the two camps, and they met on an island in this river to hold plenary discussions face-to-face. There mutual forgiveness was sought and given for all the wrongs they had done to each other in the past, and each swore to his brothers an oath of peace and fraternity. They decided that a meeting should be held at Metz at the beginning of October to make detailed arrangements for the division of the whole realm into equal parts.

At that time, a fleet of Northmen made a surprise attack at dawn on the emporium, called Quentovic, plundered it and laid it waste, capturing or massacring the inhabitants of both sexes. They left nothing in it except for those buildings which they were paid to spare. Moorish pirates sailed up the Rhone to near Aries, ravaging everything on their route, and got away again completely unscathed, their ships loaded with booty.

From Mâcon Charles now entered Aquitaine and moved about the region. But he made no delay in going to the assembly at the time and place agreed. Lothar received Greek envoys at Trier, let them depart again, and at the time of the assembly was staying at the villa of Thionville.

Louis marched throughout Saxony and by force and terror he completely crushed all who still resisted him: having captured all the ringleaders of that dreadful example of insubordination - men who had all but abandoned the Christian faith and had resisted Louis and his faithful men so fiercely � he punished 140 of them by beheading, hanged fourteen, maimed countless numbers by chopping off their limbs, and left no one able to carry on any further opposition to him.

Meanwhile, the Beneventans were quarrelling among themselves, and some Saracens were invited over from Africa. Originally intended to be helpers, they now turned into fierce enemies and took by force a number of the Beneventans' civitates. In October, Charles went from Metz to Worms and joined up with his brother Louis. They stayed there for some time; envoys were sent to Lothar from each of them alternately and detailed and lengthy discussions took place concerning the shares into which the realm was to be divided. It was finally decided that missi of outstanding ability should be selected from throughout the realms under their control, and thanks to their efforts a more detailed survey could be made, on the basis of which a really fair division of the realm between the three brothers would be completed in the time appointed and in a definitive way, beyond all subsequent questioning. When these missi had been sent out, Louis made his way back to Germany, while Lothar stayed in the middle region of the Frankish realm. Charles came to the palace of Quierzy, and there married Ermentrude, niece of Count Adalard.

Then he set off for St-Quentin to honour the memory of the martyr-saint, and to celebrate Christmas. Meanwhile there was an earthquake in western Gaul.


Lothar and Louis behaved peacefully, keeping themselves within the boundaries of their own realms; Charles travelled about in Aquitaine. While he was still based there, the Breton Nominoë and Lambert, who had recently defected from their allegiance to Charles, slew Rainald duke of Nantes, and took large numbers of prisoners. So many and such great disasters followed, while brigands ravaged everything everywhere, that people in many areas throughout Gaul were reduced to eating earth mixed with a little bit of flour and made into a sort of bread. It was a crying shame - no, worse, a most execrable crime � that there was plenty of fodder for the horses of those brigands while human beings were short of even tiny crusts of earth-and-flour mixture.

Northmen pirates attacked Nantes, slew the bishop and many clergy and lay people of both sexes, and sacked the civitas. Then they attacked the western parts of Aquitaine to devastate them too. Finally they landed on a certain island, brought their households over from the mainland and decided to winter there in something like a permanent settlement.

Charles went as arranged to meet his brothers, and joined up with them at Verdun. There the shares were allocated: Louis got everything east of the Rhine and on this side of it he got the civitates and districts of Speyer, Worms and Mainz; Lothar got the lands between the Rhine and the Scheldt where it runs into the sea, and inland by way of Cambrai, Hainaut, the regions of Lomme and of Mezieres and the counties which lie next to each other on the western side of the Meuse down as far as where the Saône runs into the Rhone, and down the Rhone to where it flows into the sea, likewise with the counties situated on both sides of it. Beyond these limits, though, all he got was Arras, and that was through the generosity of his brother Charles. Charles himself was given everything else as far as Spain. Solemn oaths were sworn, and finally everyone departed to their various destinations.

At that time, the Beneventans restored peace amongst themselves, and with God's help the Saracens were driven out of those parts.

844: The winter was a very mild one, made more so by the mild weather's lasting right up to the beginning of February. Bernard, count of the Spanish March, had for a long time now had great plans and thirsted for the heights of power. He was found guilty of treason by judgement of the Franks, and was executed in Aquitaine on Charles's orders. Pope Gregory died and Sergius succeeded him and occupied the see of Rome in his place, and was ordained in that apostolic see. Lothar sent his son Louis to Rome with Drogo bishop of Metz: they were to take measures to prevent any future pope being consecrated there, on his predecessor's death, except on Lothar's orders and in the presence of this representatives. They reached Rome and were received with due honour by the pope, who, when the negotiations had been concluded, consecrated Louis king by anointing him, and invested him with a sword. Bishop Drogo was designated papal vicar in the regions of the Gauls and Germanies. Siginulf, Duke of the Beneventans, made his submission to Lothar along with all his men, and as a self-imposed penalty gave him 100,000 gold pieces. The Beneventans, who had previously bestowed their loyalties elsewhere, when they found out about this accepted Siginulf and applied themselves to driving the remnants of the Saracens out of their territory.

Lambert, with his Breton allies, ambushed certain markiones of Charles's on a bridge over the River Maine and slaughtered them.

Charles was besieging the city of Toulouse and an army was hastening from Francia to join him. Pippin, son of the late Pippin, met this army in the county of Angouleme: in a short time and without casualties amongst his own men, he scattered it so completely that once the leaders had been killed, the rest who had started to flee even before battle was joined, with the exception of a very few who got away, were either taken prisoner or allowed to return home only after being stripped of all they had and bound by solemn oaths. In this unexpected battle, the following were slain: Hugh, priest and abbot, son of the late Emperor Charlemagne, brother of his successor Louis, and uncle of the three kings Lothar, Louis and Charles; Abbot Richbod, another close kinsman of those kings," being through his mother a grandson of Charlemagne; Counts Eckhard, and Hrabanus; and a great many others. The following were taken prisoner: Ebroin, bishop of Poitiers, Ragenar, bishop of Amiens; Abbot Lupus, the two sons of Count Eckhard; another Eckhard; Counts Gunthard and Richwin; Engilwin and a fair number of other nobles.

The Breton Nominoë, at that same time, insolently crossed over the boundaries assigned to him and his predecessors. Laying waste the whole countryside far and wide and setting fire to most of it, he got to Le Mans where he received news that Northmen had suddenly attacked his own territory. So he was forced to go back there.

Louis king of the Germans attacked the people and lands of the Slavs. Taking some prisoner and slaying others, he subdued, by force or favour, nearly all the petty kings of those regions.

The Northmen launched a major attack on the island of Britain, in that part which is largely inhabited by Anglo-Saxons. After a battle lasting three days, the Northmen emerged the winners: plundering, looting, slaughtering everywhere, they wielded power over the land at will.

Meanwhile the brothers, Lothar, Louis and Charles, after many mutual exchanges of envoys with brotherly affection, met together in October at Thionville.

They had amicable discussions for some days on matters of vital concern, and confirmed that their obligations of mutual fraternity and love would not be violated in future. They promised that sowers of discord would be vigilantly guarded against and condemned; they also promised to restore church property which had been most shamefully dismembered, through the pressures of these hard times, and openly handed over to persons totally unfit, in other words, to laymen. From Thionville the three brothers also sent envoys to Pippin, Lambert and Nominoë to discuss peace terms and to urge them to waste no time in coming to their brother Charles as obedient men and to remain faithful in future. If they refused, the brothers gave notice that they would join together boldly in warlike fashion, at an appropriate time, and advance against them forthwith to take revenge on such traitors.

The Northmen sailed up the Garonne as far as Toulouse, wreaking destruction everywhere, without meeting any opposition. Then some of them withdrew from there and attacked Galicia, but they perished, partly because they met resistance from missile-throwers, partly because they were caught in a storm at sea. Some of them, though, got to the south-western part of Spain, where they fought long and bitterly with the Saracens, but were finally beaten and withdrew to their ships.

845: A very hard winter. In March, 120 ships of the Northmen sailed up the Seine to Paris, laying waste everything on either side and meeting not the least bit of opposition. Charles made efforts to offer some resistance, but realised that his men could not possibly win. So he made a deal with them: by handing over to them 7,000 lb [of silver] as a bribe, he restrained them from advancing further and persuaded them to go away.

Count Folcrad and the rest of the Proven�als defected from Lothar and usurped for themselves power over the whole of Provence.

Horic, king of the Northmen, sent 600 ships up the Elbe in Germany against Louis. The Saxons opposed them, and when battle was joined, by the help of our Lord Jesus Christ, emerged victorious. The Northmen went away from there, and attacked and captured a certain civitas of the Slavs.

A terrible famine consumed the western regions of Gaul, and as it got worse many thousands of people died. Charles came to Fleury where stands the monastery of St-Benedict, twelve leagues from Orleans, and there he received Pippin, son of Pippin, who gave him oaths of fidelity to the effect that henceforth he would be faithful to him as a nephew ought to be to his uncle and would give him aid to the best of his ability whatever needs might arise. Then Charles allowed him lordship of the whole of Aquitaine, except for Poitou, Saintonge and Aunis. So all the Aquitanians who until then had been with Charles hastened forthwith to attach themselves instead to Pippin.

The Beneventans finally went to war again with the Saracens, as their old disputes flared up once more.

The Northmen went back down the Seine to the open sea. Then they devastated all the coastal regions, plundering and burning. God in his goodness and justice, so much offended by our sins, had thus worn down the lands and kingdoms of the Christians. Nevertheless, so that the pagans should no longer go unpunished in falsely accusing the most all-powerful and most provident Lord of improvidence and even powerlessness, when they were going away in ships loaded with booty from a certain monastery which they had sacked and burned, they were struck down by divine judgement either with blindness or insanity, so severely that only a very few escaped to tell the rest about the might of God. It is said that their king Horic was so disturbed when he heard about this that he sent envoys to King Louis for peace talks, and was ready to release all the captives and make every effort to restore all the stolen treasures.

Lothar attacked Provence and soon recovered all his power there.

The Danes, who had ravaged Aquitaine the year before, returned and attacked Saintonge. They won the fight, and settled down there to stay quietly for a while.

Charles made a rash attack on Brittany with a small force. His men deserted, and things went badly with luck against him. He made a hasty retreat to Le Mans where he got his army into order again and prepared for another attack on Brittany.

846: Danish pirates went to Frisia, extracted as large a tribute as they wanted and then fought a battle which they won. As a result they gained control of nearly the whole province. A terribly fierce north wind lashed the crops and vines during the whole winter almost up to the beginning of May. Wolves attacked and devoured with complete audacity the inhabitants of the western parts of Gaul. Indeed in some parts of Aquitaine they are said to have gathered together in groups of up to 300, just like army detachments, formed a sort of battle-line and marched along the road, boldly charging en masse all who tried to resist them.

Charles held a general assembly of his people in June. He convened it, breaching custom, at a villa belonging to the church of Rheims, called Epernay. At this assembly the most necessary admonition of the bishops of the realm about the affairs of the church was treated as if it did not matter a straw: practically never, since Christian times began, can reverence for bishops be found to have been so totally disregarded. A man had been found one day in Lent having intercourse with a mare: by the judgement of the Franks he was burned alive. From Epernay, Charles with his army went into Brittany, and made a peace-treaty with Nominoë, duke of the Bretons. Solemn oaths were exchanged between them.

In May of this year, so much rain fell on the civitas of Autun that the flood waters burst through walls and even bore off barrels full of wine into the River Yonne. And what is even more amazing, the flood took a whole vineyard, with its earth, vines and all its trees completely intact, just as if it was a solid thing, and transported it from one side of the River Yonne and set it down on the other, as if it had grown there in that field quite naturally.

In August, the Saracens and Moors got to Rome up the Tiber, laid waste the basilica of St Peter Prince of the Apostles, and along with the very altar which had been placed over his tomb, they carried off all the ornaments and treasures."* Then they took up a position on a mountain 100 miles from the city, an extremely well-defended site. But they were mercilessly attacked and killed by some of Lothar's commanders. Another enemy force reached the tomb of the blessed Apostle Peter, but they were crushed by the people of the Campagna and all of them were slain.

Louis king of the Germans set out against the Slavs, but went back again seriously worried as much by the disputes among his own men as by any enemy victory.

Louis, Lothar's son, king of Italy, joined battle with the Saracens but was defeated and only got back to Rome with difficulty.

847: Envoys of 'Abd al-Rahman [II] king of the Saracens came from Cordoba in Spain to Charles to seek a peace and draw up a formal treaty. Charles received them with fitting ceremony at Rheims, and later let them leave.

Bodo, who some years earlier had abandoned the truth of a Christian and gone over to the perfidy of the Jews, made such further progress in evil that he devoted himself to urging all the Christians living in Spain under the king and people of the Saracens that they should abandon Christianity and convert to the insanity of the Jews or the madness of the Saracens, or, said Bodo, they would all certainly be killed. A tearful petition was sent about him by all the Christians of that realm, to King Charles, and the bishops and other clergy in his kingdom, requesting them to demand the apostate Bodo to stop presenting the Christians who lived down there with such a choice between persecution or death.

The Danes came to the western region of Gaul where the Bretons live, defeated them in three battles, and completely overpowered them. Nominoë, beaten, fled with his men; later he softened up the Danes with bribes and got them out of his territories.

Pope Sergius died on 27 January, and Leo was elected in his place.

The Saracens, their ships loaded down with the vast quantity of treasures they had taken from St-Peter's basilica, were on their way home, when during the sea-voyage they blasphemed with their foul mouths against God and our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles. Suddenly there arose a terrible storm from which they could not escape, their ships were dashed against each other, and all were lost. The sea tossed up some of the corpses of the drowned Saracens on the shore, still clutching treasures to their breasts. When these treasures were found, they were taken back to the tomb of the Blessed Apostle Peter.

The Irish, who had been attacked by the Northmen for a number of years, were made into regular tribute-payers. The Northmen also got control of the islands all around Ireland, and stayed there without encountering any resistance from anyone. Lothar, Louis and Charles sent envoys to Horic, king of the Danes, ordering him to restrain his own people from their attacks on Christians: otherwise, they said, he should be in no doubt at all that they would make war on him.

At that time, the Moors and Saracens attacked Benevento and laid waste Beneventan territory right up to where it bordered Rome's.

Danes attacked and plundered the coastal regions of Aquitaine. They laid siege to the town of Bordeaux for a long time.

Another group of Danes occupied and took possession of the emporium called Dorestad and the island of Betuwe. The army of Louis, king of the Germans, fought the Slavs with such success that Louis recovered what he had lost to them the previous year.

848: The Slavs launched a violent attack on Louis's realm, but he overcame them, in Christ's name. Charles attacked the contingent of Northmen who were besieging Bordeaux and manfully defeated them. Lothar's army fought the Saracens who had taken Benevento, and Lothar was victorious. In Aquitaine some Jews betrayed Bordeaux to the Danes: having taken the town, they ravaged and burned it.

The Aquitanians were driven by Pippin's idleness and incompetence to turn to Charles instead. At Orleans nearly all the high nobility, along with the bishops and abbots, elected Charles as their king and then solemnly consecrated him with an anointing of holy chrism and episcopal benediction.

Greek pirates ravaged Marseilles in Provence. No one offered any resistance and the pirates left unscathed. The Northmen laid waste the township [vicus] of Melle and set it on fire. The Irish attacked the Northmen, won a victory with the aid of our Lord Jesus Christ, and drove them out of their land. Consequently the king of the Irish sent envoys bearing gifts to Charles to make a friendship-treaty and alliance with him; the Irish king also sought permission to travel through Charles's kingdom on a pilgrimage to Rome. The Moors attacked Benevento again.

William, son of Bernard, captured Ampurias and Barcelona by guile rather than force.

849: Lothar and Charles let wiser counsels prevail and returned to peace and brotherly concord.

In Gaul, during the night of 17 February, while the clergy were performing the nocturnal liturgy, there was a violent earthquake, but there was no destruction of any buildings.

A man called Gottschalk, a 'Gaul' [in that he was] a monk and priest of the monastery of Orbais in the diocese of Soissons, puffed up by his learning, had given himself over to certain false teachings. He had got to Italy, under the guise of pious motives, and been thrown out from there in disgrace. Then he had assailed Dalmatia, Pannonia and Noricum, constructing by the pestiferous things he said and wrote teachings quite contrary to our salvation, especially on the subject of predestination. At a council of bishops in the presence of Louis king of the Germans, he was exposed and convicted. After that he was compelled to return to the metropolitan civitas of his diocese, namely Rheims, where that venerable man Hincmar was in charge. There he was to receive the sentence his perfidy deserved. That most energetic practitioner of the Christain faith, King Charles, summoned a synod of the holy bishops of the Rheims archdiocese and ordered Gottschalk to be brought before them. He was duly led forward there, publicly flogged, and compelled to burn the books containing his teachings.

Louis and Charles met together in brotherly love. They were clearly held by such strong bonds of fraternal affection that each handed over to the other in public a staff and each commended his realm, wife and children to the other, should he outlive him.

Charles marched into Aquitaine. Nominoë the Breton, with his usual treachery, attacked Anjou and the surrounding district. The Northmen sacked and burned the city of Perigueux in Aquitaine, and returned unscathed to their ships. The Moors and Saracens sacked the Italian city of Luni, and without meeting the least resistance ravaged the whole coast along to Provence. Charles, son of Pippin, left Lothar and wanted to join his brother Pippin who was moving about in Aquitaine. He was captured by faithful men of King Charles and led into his presence. He had certainly deserved a death-sentence for his treachery against his own uncle and godfather, but mercy prevailed and he was spared.

In June at Chartres where King Charles was holding an assembly, Charles son of Pippin, mounting the ambo of the charch when Mass was over, addressed them all in person and announced that for love of God's service and under no compulsion from anyone, he wished to become a cleric. Then and there he received the benediction from the bishops present, and was tonsured as a cleric.

Louis king of the Germans was ill, but sent his army against the Slavs. This army was defeated in a disgraceful fashion: they found out as they fell or fled what a grave disadvantage their commander's absence had meant for them.

Charles went into Aquitaine, and managed to subdue nearly everyone by peaceful means, by Christ's favour. Then he made arrangements, at his own discretion, for the government of the Spanish March. The Breton Nominoë ran amok with his usual insolence.

850: In the Spanish March, William, son of Bernard, captured counts Aledramn and Isembard by a trick. But he himself was captured by a still craftier trick and was killed at Barcelona. The Moors ravaged everything as far as Aries without meeting resistance from anyone. But on their way home, they were forced back by a contrary wind, and slain. Lothar sent his son Louis to Rome, where he was received with due honour and anointed emperor by Pope Leo.

Horic, king of the Northmen, was attacked by two of his nephews and war ensued. The nephews were induced to make peace by a partition of the realm. Roric, the nephew of Harald, who had recently defected from Lothar, raised whole armies of Northmen with a vast number of ships and laid waste Frisia and the island of Betuwe and other places in that neighbourhood by sailing up the Rhine and the Waal. Lothar, since he could not crush Roric, received him into his allegiance and granted him Dorestad and other counties. Another band of Northmen plundered the inhabitants of Mempisc, Thérouanne and other coastal districts, while yet others attacked the island of Britain and the English but they were beaten by the English with the aid of our Lord Jesus Christ.

851: The Breton Nominoë died.

Lothar, Louis and Charles held a meeting at the palace of Meersen. They stayed there in brotherly fashion for a few days, and then on the collective advice and with the consent of their leading men they issued the following decrees which they confirmed by their own monograms:

c. 1. That between us we blot out the evildoing that existed before, and all perpetrators of discords and of rebellions and evil plottings and injurious acts against each other; and may all this, along with all malice and rancour, be so utterly rooted out from our hearts that henceforth none of it should ever return to our memories to cause any retribution for evildoing or any discord or improper action.

c. 2. That with God's help such great good feeling of true charity should ever henceforth remain between us, from pure heart and good conscience and faith unfeigned, without deceit or dissimulation, so that no one of us should covet his brother's realm or his faithful men or wish ill to anything pertaining to royal security and prosperity and honour; nor should he willingly accept falsehoods and criticisms compounded of secret whisperings.

c. 3. That each one of us, wherever he can, should help his equal wherever his need may be, with counsel and aid, whether he give these in person or through a son or through his faithful men, so that he may be worthy, as he should, to hold his realm, his faithful men, his prosperity and his royal honor, and each one of us should truly compete with the others to show that in his brother's adversity (should that come about) he grieves in a brotherly way, and rejoices in his brother's prosperity. And that same good faith, which we have confirmed between us previously as to be kept henceforth, each of us will likewise keep to the children of his brother should that brother die and he himself survive him.

c. 4. And because the peace and tranquillity of the realm keeps being disturbed by unstable and disrespectful men, it is our will that to whichever of us such a man may come wishing to evade reason and justice for the things he has done, none of us should receive or retain that man for any purpose whatsoever, unless to bring him to right reason and due emendation. And if he evades right reason, all should join together to pursue him, into the realm of whomsoever he may come, until either he be brought to reason or wiped out from the realm.

c. 5. Likewise it should be done concerning him who is corrected or excommunicated by any bishop whatsoever for any capital and public crime or who before being excommunicated commits a crime, and then moves to another realm and the rule of another king so as not to receive due penance, or, if he has received it already, so as not to carry it out according to the law, and meanwhile during his flight marries a close kinswoman incestuously or a nun or some woman he has carried off or a woman already married whom it was not permitted for him to have back there in the realm he came from: let this sort of man, when the bishop to whose charge he belongs shall have made him known to us, be keenly and diligently sought out, lest he find a place to stay and hide in the realm of another of us and infect with his sickness the faithful people of God and of us; but let him be constrained by us, that is through the officers of the state, and let him be compelled to return to his bishop, together with the diabolical loot which he brought with him, and receive due penance for whatever public crime he may have committed, or, if he has already received it, then let him carry it out according to the law.

c. 6. That our faithful men, each one in his rank and status, may be truly secure in respect of us, because henceforth we shall neither condemn anyone, nor deprive anyone of his honores nor oppress him nor afflict him with undeserved machinations contrary to law and justice and authority and just reason; and by the common counsel of those men, that is to say of those truly faithful to us, according to the will of God and the best interests of all, we shall offer our assent for the restitution of the holy Church of God and for the welfare of the realm and for the royal honor and the peace of the people committed to us, to this end that they may not only not contradict us nor resist the carrying-out of these measures, but may indeed be faithful to us and obedient and true helpers and fellow-workers with true counsel and sincere aid for the carrying-through of those things which we have commanded, just as every man in his rank and status ought in Tightness to be to his prince and lord.

c. 7. That just as we have once joined together, both we brothers with each other, and we three together with our faithful men and our faithful men with us, and all of us together with God, so we should reunite ourselves and, so that God may be propitious unto us, let us offer to him as a devoted gift that each one of us all, without any attempt to excuse or justify himself, should acknowledge in what things, whether individually or collectively, we have acted or consented to others' acts against his commands and the decrees of his saints, in the affairs of the church and in those of the realm, and we should bring these all out into the open, one by one, in public, and no one of us should spare himself or his friend or his kinsman or his ally and especially not himself, in any worldly way, so that he may be able to spare in the spiritual way that leads to salvation; rather, as we already provided in the preceding chapter, let us strive with all our might, with true counsel and sincere aid, to vie with one another in amending those things in common, as speedily as we reasonably can.

c. 8. And if anyone of those who are bound by it, of whatever rank and status, shall depart from this agreement, or withdraw himself from it or speak against this common decree, let the lords with their truly faithful men carry out these things according to the will of God and to law and just reason whether that man wills or not who resists and speaks against divine counsel and command and against this agreement. And if any one of the lords shall depart from this common decree, or withdraw himself from it, or - may this not happen! - act against it, when a large number of the faithful men of our lords, and the leading men of the realms, shall have met together in unity, we shall decree, with God's favour, by the counsel of those lords who have observed these commands and by the judgement of the bishops and by the common consent of all, what action should be taken about the man who after being duly admonished has remained obstinately incorrigible. And in order that the above-spoken capitula may be the more steadfastly observed inviolably by us with the Lord's help, and also in order that you may more surely believe that we shall observe them, we have confirmed them by putting our own signatures beneath them.

After this, Danish pirates ravaged Frisia and the inhabitants of Betuwe. Running amok right up to the monastery of St-Bavo which they call Ghent, they burned the monastery and then after reaching Rouen they proceeded on foot as far as Beauvais which they burned. On their way back, they were intercepted by our forces and some of them were killed.

Erispoë, son of Nominoë, came to Charles, and giving him his hands, was received in the town of Angers. Then he was endowed with royal vestments as well as with the authority of the command his father had held. In addition Rennes, Nantes and the Pays de Retz were given to him.

The Saracens held Benevento and other civitates, and occupied them undisturbed.

King Louis ravaged nearly all the Slavs and subjected them to his control.

Pope Leo, fearing the attacks of the Saracens, fortified the church of St-Peter all round with a wall and continued this wall right up to the city, thus linking the church to the city of Rome.

852: The Northmen went to Frisia with 252 ships, but after receiving payment as large as they asked for, they headed off elsewhere. The Moors took Barcelona because the Jews betrayed it to them. They slew nearly all the Christians, laid waste the town, and went away unscathed.

Charles invited his brother Lothar to come and have talks with him at Augusta of the Vermandi, a place made distinguished by the body of the blessed martyr Quentin. He received him in brotherly fashion, treated him with due honour, negotiated with him fraternally, loaded him royally with gifts and kindly escorted him on his way back.

The brothers Lambert and Warner, those major causes of discord, were both killed, one by a trick, the other after being sentenced to death. The Breton Salomon became Charles's faithful man and a third of Brittany was bestowed on him. Sancho count of Gascony captured Pippin son of Pippin, and kept him under close guard until he got him into Charles's presence. Charles brought him, still a prisoner, to Francia and after meeting with Lothar gave orders for Pippin to be tonsured in the monastery of St-Médard at Soissons.

Louis, son of Lothar, reached Benevento and laid siege to the city of Bari, but when he had breached the walls, he listened to very bad advice and drew back from from he had begun. His counsellors told him that he would be completely defrauded of most of the treasures within the city, if access were left open to all and sundry. So he withdrew to his camp, and forebade anyone to get into the city. After they had gone away, the Moors that night repaired the breached section of the wall with balks of timber, so effectively that they had nothing to fear from their enemies when they came up next morning. Thus after expending so much labour in vain, Louis with his army simply went home.

'Abd al-Rahman, king of the Saracens in Spain, died at Cordoba, and his son succeeded to his realm.

Godefrid, son of Harald the Dane, who had once been baptised at Mainz in the Emperor Louis's time, now defected from Lothar and took himself off to his own people. He collected a strong force from among them, and attacked Frisia with a large number of ships, then went to the area around the River Scheldt, and finally to the Seine. Lothar and Charles came up to meet him with their whole army, and blockaded him from either bank of the Seine.

853: During this blockade, they celebrated Christmas. But the men in Charles's contingent did not want to fight, so he had to withdraw having achieved no advantage at all. Charles got Godefrid to make peace with him on certain agreed conditions. But the rest of the Danes settled down there right through to March without needing to feel the least anxiety: they ravaged, burned and took captives all the more savagely for being completely unrestrained.

Lothar and Charles celebrated Epiphany [January] with great joy at the palace of Quierzy. Lothar became godfather to Charles's daughter; and a few days later set out for home.

In July the Danes left the Seine and went to the Loire where they sacked the town of Nantes and the monastery of St-Florent and its neighbourhood.

In April Charles summoned a synod of bishops to meet in the monastery of St-Médard at Soissons. He himself, presiding over the synod, had two priests and monks of St-Médard defrocked for having made plans to get Pippin away by stealth and then flee with him to Aquitaine. Hincmar, bishop of Rheims, on the judgement of the synod, deposed all those priests, deacons and sub-deacons of his church whom Ebbo had ordained after he was deposed. Pippin swore an oath of fidelity to King Charles and moreover donned a monk's habit and promised to observe the monastic rule in the usual way.

From Soissons, Charles came to Quierzy where along with certain of his bishops and professed abbots he issued four statements and confirmed them with his own hand. The first of these ran as follows: no one is predestined by God to punishment, and there is only one predestination by God pertaining either to the gift of grace or to the retribution of justice. The second was this: that free will towards the good which we lost in the first man has been returned to us by grace, through the care and aid of Christ. The third was: that God wills in a general sense that all men may be saved, although not all are saved. The fourth was: Christ's blood was shed for all, although not all are redeemed by the mystery of the passion.

Almost all the Aquitanians abandoned Charles, and sent envoys to Louis king of Germany with hostages to convey their submission to him. Louis for his part moved sharply against Charles: for some time past, a number of grounds for conflict between them had existed. The Wends plotted against Louis with their usual perfidy.

The most Christian Queen Ermengard had died two years previously. The Emperor Lothar now took as mistresses two serving-women from a royal villa: one of them, named Doda, bore him a son whom he ordered to be called Karlmann. His other sons, like their father, gave themselves up to adulterous affairs."

On 8 November, Danish pirates from Nantes heading further inland brazenly attacked the town of Tours and burned it, along with the church of St-Martin, and other neighbouring places. But because the attack had been known about beforehand with complete certainty, the body of St Martin had already been taken away to the monastery of Cormery and the treasures of his church to the civitas of Orleans.

The Bulgars allied themselves with the Slavs, and lured, so it is said, by our bribes, they moved sharply against King Louis of Germany. But God took a hand in the fight and they were defeated.

The Greeks were equally aroused against King Louis of Italy, Lothar's son, because he had betrothed himself to the daughter of the Emperor of Constantinople but kept putting off the actual marriage. Also the Romans, in dire straits as a result of Saracen and Moorish attacks, lodged complaints with the Emperor Lothar because of the total neglect of their defence.

854: Charles, suspecting the good faith of his brother Louis, came to meet Lothar in the township [vicus] of Liège. There they held lengthy discussions concerning their sincere and unbreakable alliance, and finally before all who were present they swore mutual solemn oaths on holy relics to this same effect. Each commended to the other his sons, magnates and realm. Meanwhile Louis the Younger, son of Louis king of the Germans, was dispatched by his father to the Aquitanians at their request. He crossed the Loire and was welcomed by those of them who had asked him to come. Charles swiftly launched a campaign into Aquitaine during Lent, and stayed there until after Easter.[22 April] His people devoted all their efforts to looting, burning and taking people captive: they did not even restrain their greed and insolence in the case of the churches and altars of God.

Lothar held discussions with his brother Louis on the Rhine, about fraternal behaviour in regard to Charles. But though at first they were snapping fiercely at each other, in the end they came back into agreement and made a peace-compact. Charles was greatly disturbed when he learned this. He returned from Aquitaine having achieved nothing and invited his brother Lothar to come to meet him at his palace of Attigny. They met together there and confirmed the agreement they had previously concluded.

The Danes stayed on the Loire. They sailed up as far as the stronghold of Blois which they burned. Their aim was to reach Orleans and wreak the same havoc there. But Bishop Agius of Orleans and Bishop Burchard of Chartres got ready ships and warriors to resist them; so the Danes gave up their plan and headed back to the lower waters of the Loire. Other Danish pirates also laid waste the part of Frisia next door to Saxony.

Lothar and Charles sent envoys to their brother Louis to maintain the terms of their agreement and to ask him to recall his son from Aquitaine. Charles then went back into Aquitaine himself. Pippin, son of Pippin, who had been tonsured and had received the monastic habit in the monastery of St-Médard and who had taken a vow to stay there, now entered Aquitaine, and most of the people of that land quickly went over to him. King Charles put off dealing with the Pippin affair for the meantime. Instead he drove his nephew Louis out of Aquitaine, forcing him to flee back to Germany to his father. Pippin's brother Charles, now ordained as a deacon, got away from the monastery of Corbie. King Charles had his son Carloman tonsured and dedicated him to the church.

The Danes fought amongst themselves in a civil war. They battled like madmen in a terribly stubborn conflict lasting three days. When King Horic and other kings with him had been slain, almost the entire nobility perished too. Pirates of the Northmen came up the Loire again and burned the civitas of Angers.

855: Lothar gave the whole of Frisia to his son Lothar, whereupon Roric and Godefrid headed back to their native Denmark in the hope of gaining royal power.

Lothar was ill. This inspired his brothers Louis and Charles to reestablish good relations.

The Northmen attacked Bordeaux, a civitas in Aquitaine, and moved about all over the countryside at will.

At the request of the Aquitanians, Charles designated his son Charles their king and sent him there to them. Charles also gave an honourable reception to King Aethelwulf of the Anglo-Saxons who was hastening on his way to Rome. Charles gave him all the supplies a king might need and had him escorted right to the boundary of his realm with all the courtesies due to a king. Lothar lodged a complaint against Charles on the grounds that his good faith was suspect. Many things contrary to the Catholic faith were stirred up in Charles's realm, and he himself was not unaware of them.

In August Pope Leo died and Benedict succeeded him. That same month, two shooting stars, one larger, one smaller, were seen travelling from the western part of the sky to the eastern. This happened ten times with them appearing alternately: while the larger star stayed, the smaller was sometimes quite invisible.

The Emperor Lothar, worn down by illness and despairing of life, entered the monastery of Priim in the Ardennes. Totally renouncing the world and his realm, he was tonsured and humbly assumed the life and habit of a monk. He disposed of his realm between those of his sons who were there with him: his namesake Lothar got Francia, while Charles got Provence. Six days later on 29 September he died, and found a burial place, as he had wished, at Pr�m.

In mid-October, the Aquitanians assembled at Limoges. There all together, they set up Charles the Younger, son of King Charles, as their king, and when he had been anointed by the bishops they put the crown of the realm on his head and handed over the sceptre.

The Northmen sailed up the Loire. They left their ships and tried to reach Poitiers on foot. But the Aquitanians came up to meet them and beat them so soundly that hardly more than 300 of them escaped. Roric and Godefrid, on whom success had not smiled, remained based at Dorestad and held sway over most of Frisia.

Louis king of the Germans was troubled by frequent Slav revolts.

856: An extremely cold and dry winter. A serious pestilence carried off a sizeable part of the population. Louis king of Italy, son of Lothar, complained to his uncles Louis and Charles: he claimed a share in his father's realm in Francia for, he maintained, he had got Italy through the generosity of his grandfather the Emperor Louis. The Aquitanians spurned the young Charles whom they had so recently set up as their king. Pippin, who had been brought out of his imprisonment, escaping from the monastery of St-Médard, they turned from a monk into someone that looked like a king. King Charles made peace terms with the Breton Erispoë, to whose daughter he betrothed his own son Louis. He also gave Louis the duchy of Le Mans as far as the road that leads from Paris to Tours. The leading men of the late Emperor Lothar made his son Lothar king of Francia and anointed him too.

On 18 April, Danish pirates came to Orleans, sacked it and went away again without meeting any opposition.

Nearly all the counts of King Charles's kingdom formed a conspiracy against him with the Aquitanians. They invited Louis king of the Germans to bring their plans to fruition. But he was detained for a long time on an expedition against the Slavs during which he lost a large part of his army. The plotters could not put up with this delay and so were reconciled again to King Charles. And the Aquitanians now spurned Pippin, and renewing instead their acceptance of the Young Charles, the son of King Charles, whom they had previously driven out, they brought him back into Aquitaine.

In mid-August, other Danish pirates again sailed up the Seine. They ravaged and plundered the civitates, monasteries and villae on both banks of the river, and even some civitates further away. Then they chose a place on the bank of the Seine called Jeufosse, an excellent defensive site for a base camp, and there they quietly passed the winter.

In July Aethelwulf king of the western English, on his way back from Rome, was betrothed to King Charles's daughter Judith. On 1 October, in the palace of Verberie, he received her in marriage. After Hincmar, bishop of Rheims, had consecrated her and placed a diadem on her head, Aethelwulf formally conferred on her the title of queen, which was something not customary before then to him or to his people. When the marriage had been sealed by mutual exchange of royal gear and gifts, Aethelwulf sailed with Judith to Britain where his kingdom lay-Louis emperor of Italy and his brother Lothar king of Francia met together with their brother, the boy Charles, at Orbe. Louis and Lothar quarrelled so fiercely about the shares of their father's realm that they almost decided to settle the issue by judgement of battle. But finally they assigned Provence and the duchy of Lyons to their brother Charles, according to what their father had planned: this was after the magnates of those parts had got the boy out of the clutches of his brother Lothar who was trying to have him tonsured as a cleric.

Saracens from Benevento made a surprise attack on Naples which they ravaged and plundered and completely destroyed.

857: On 28 December [856] Danish pirates attacked Paris and burned it. Those pirates who were based in the region of the lower Loire sacked Tours and all the surrounding districts as far as the stronghold of Blois.

Some of the Aquitanians were persuaded by certain of the Franks who were secretly plotting against Charles to desert the Younger Charles and ally again with Pippin. King Charles and his nephew Lothar exchanged solemn oaths and made a treaty. Louis king of Germany and Louis emperor of Italy did likewise. Pippin allied himself with Danish pirates, sacked Poitiers and ravaged many other places in Aquitaine. Lothar wickedly kept concubines, and put aside his wife the queen.

At Cologne, while Bishop Gunther was standing there, a very thick cloud with frequent thunderbolts came down over the church of St-Peter. A flash of lightning suddenly burst through the crypt of the church like a sheet of flame, killing a priest, a deacon and a layman, and then being lost in the bowels of the earth. Again at Trier in August, while Bishop Theutgaud was celebrating mass with the clergy and people, a black, black cloud came down over the church, terrifying everyone with thunderclaps and lightning flashes, threatening the bell-tower and filling the church with such gloom that people could hardly see each other. A dog of huge size was seen to run right round the altar: then it suddenly disappeared in a gaping hole in the ground.

The Danes who were coming up the Seine ravaged everything unchecked. They attacked Paris where they burned the church of SS-Peter and Genevieve and all the other churches except for the cathedral of St-Stephen, the Church of SS-Vincent and Germain and also the church of St-Denis: a great ransom was paid in cash to save these churches from being burned. Other Danes stormed the emporium called Durestad and ravaged the whole island of Betuwe and other neighbouring districts. Erispoë, duke of the Bretons, was slain by two Bretons, Salomon and Almar, who had been opposing him for a long time. Certain of King Charles's magnates allied themselves with the Aquitanians and committed many acts of plunder and other kinds of violence.

As the Danes attacked his civitas, Frotbald bishop of Chartres fled on foot and tried to swim across the river Eure but he was overwhelmed by the waters and drowned.

858: On the very night of Christmas and on the following day, there was a violent and recurring earth-tremor at Mainz, and a great pestilence followed. In the district of ... the sea threw up a certain tree, torn out by the roots, which had previously been unknown in the provinces of Gaul: it had no leaves, but instead of boughs it had little tiny branches like blades of grass, thick-spread in places but longer, and instead of leaves it had things shaped like triangles and in colour like human nails or like fishbones, quite tiny and attached to the very tips of the grasslike branches as if they had been stuck on from outside, just like those little things made of various kinds of metals which are fixed on to sword-belts or on to the body-armour of men or horses by way of ornament.

In the Sens district one Sunday in the church of St-Porcaria, while the priest was celebrating mass, a wolf suddenly came in and disturbed all the menfolk present by rushing about; then after doing the same thing among the womenfolk, it disappeared. Aethelwulf, king of the West Saxons, died. His son Aethelbald married his widow, Queen Judith.

Bj�rn, chief of one group of the pirates on the Seine, came to King Charles at the palace of Verberie, gave himself into his hands and swore fidelity after his own fashion. Another group of those pirates captured Abbot Louis of St-Denis along with his brother Gauzlin, and demanded a very heavy fine for their ransom. In order to pay this, many church treasuries in Charles's realm were drained dry, at the king's command. But even all this was far from being enough: to bring it up to the required amount, large sums were eagerly contributed also by the king, and by all the bishops, abbots, counts and other powerful men.

King Charles's counts now defected from him and allied with the Bretons, and compelled his son Louis with his followers to leave the Le Mans region in terror, to cross the Seine and flee to his father.

King Lothar strengthened his alliance with his brother Charles, king of Provence, by giving him two bishoprics out of his own share of the realm, and also two counties, Belley and Tarentaise. For his part Charles virtually handed over his kingdom to that same brother of his, Lothar; the arrangement was that, if Charles were to die before taking a wife and begetting sons, Lothar would succeed him by hereditary right.

In May, in the township of Liège where the body of St Lambert the bishop lies at rest, so great a flood of rain suddenly fell that the water burst forth violently, hurling into the river Meuse houses, stone walls and buildings of all kinds along with people and whatever else it met with in its path right up to the church of St-Lambert itself.

The Danes attacked Saxony but they were repulsed.

Pope Benedict died. Nicholas took his place, more through the presence and favour of King Louis [i.e. Emperor Louis II] and his magnates than through election by clergy.

King Lothar was forced by his own people to take back the wife he had put aside: but instead of readmitting her to his bed, he had her locked up.

In July, King Charles came to the island of Oissel in the Seine to besiege the Danes ensconced there. There the Young Charles, his son, arrived from Aquitaine and along with him came Pippin, now a layman. King Charles received Pippin and handed over to him some counties and monasteries in Aquitaine. In August too, King Lothar hastened to that same island of Oissel, to bring help to his uncle. They stayed there till 23 September, without making any progress in the siege. Then they went home. Meanwhile those counts of King Charles's realm who for five years now had been inviting Louis king of the Germans actually induced him to come. He reached the royal villa of Ponthion on 1 September and then got to Sens by way of Châlons and the Queudes area. From there he pushed on into the Orleans district where he received those Aquitanians and Neustrians and also Bretons, who had pledged themselves to come over to him. Then he returned to the Queudes area by almost the same route. When King Charles heard news of all this, he marched rapidly to the villa of Brienne by way of Châlons, and from there, when the leading men of Burgundy rallied to him, he sent a message to Louis who was in hot pursuit. But though messengers hurried between them, no peace terms could be arranged. Finally, on the third day, that is 12 November, when the lines of battle had already been drawn up on both sides, Charles, realising that his men were deserting him, retreated and made for the remoter parts of Burgundy. Louis received those who had defected from Charles, and reached Troyes, where he distributed to those who had invited him counties, monasteries, royal villae and grants of land outright. Then he turned back to the palace of Attigny. King Lothar went to meet him there and an agreement was made between them, after which Lothar went home. Louis went, by way of Rheims and the Laon district to St-Quentin, that is, to the monastery of the martyr-saint, to celebrate Christmas there.

Meanwhile a certain monk of the monastery of SS-Vincent and Germain returned from Cordoba in Spain bearing with him the bodies of the blessed martyrs George the Deacon and Aurelius, and the head of Nathalie, and he placed them at the villa of Esmans where they were to be preserved in reliquaries.

859: The Danes ravaged the places beyond the Scheldt. Some of the common people living between the Seine and the Loire formed a sworn association amongst themselves, and fought bravely against the Danes on the Seine. But because their association had been made without due consideration, they were easily slain by our more powerful people.

King Charles recovered his strength, attacked his brother Louis when he least expected it and drove him from the bounds of his realm. King Lothar hastened to his uncle Charles, and on the Sunday at the beginning of Lent [5 February] they publicly exchanged solemn oaths in person in the palace of Arcis and reaffirmed their common front against all their enemies. Charles distributed to laymen some monasteries which previously used to be held by clerics.

Danish pirates made a long sea-voyage, sailed through the straits between Spain and Africa and then up the Rhone. They ravaged some civitates and monasteries, and made their base on an island called the Camargue.

King Charles caused meetings of bishops to be held in various places, but he was there in person, along with his nephews Kings Lothar and Charles, at the synod held four miles from Toul at the villa of Savonnières. There he presented his list of charges against Wenilo archbishop of Sens. But the case was deferred because of Wenilo's absence. From Savonnières, Charles hastened to discussions with his brother King Louis on an island in the Rhine between Andernach and Koblenz. The conclusion of the talks was postponed until 25 October at the civitas of Basel. Louis appeared, but Charles, after setting out, turned back, because Lothar was not going to be there.

The Aquitanians nearly all transferred their loyalties to the Young Charles. Pippin allied himself with Count Robert and the Bretons.

In August, September and October, armies were seen in the sky at night: a brightness like that of daylight shone out unbroken from the east right to the north and bloody columns came streaming out from it.

Danes launched new attacks, and laid waste, by firing and plundering, the monastery of St-Valery [sur-Somme], the civitas of Amiens and other places round about. Others of them also attacked with the same fury the island in the Rhine called Betuwe. These who were still on the Seine made a night attack on the civitas of Noyon. They took captive Bishop Immo along with other nobles, both clerics and laymen, and after laying waste the civitas carried the prisoners off with them and slew them on their march. Two months earlier, they had also killed Ermenfrid bishop of Beauvais at a certain villa, and the previous year they had slain Baltfrid bishop of Bayeux.

For fear of those same Danes, the bones of the blessed martyrs Denis, Rusticus and Eleutherius were removed to Nogent [sur-Seine], one of the villae belonging to St-Denis in the Morvois district. There on 21 September the bones were reverently placed in reliquaries.

Lothar handed over to his brother Louis king of Italy a part of his realm, namely what he held beyond the Jura Mountains: that is to say, the civitates of Geneva, Lausanne and Sion, along with the bishoprics, monasteries and counties except for the hospice on the Mons Iovis [Great St Bernard] pass, and the county of Pumplitz.

Wenilo bishop of Sens was reconciled to King Charles without any episcopal hearing.

Pope Nicholas faithfully confirmed and catholicly decreed concerning the grace of God and free will, the truth of double predestination, and the blood of Christ and how it was shed for all believers.

860: A long winter with continuous snowfalls and hard frost from November to April.

Lothar hated his queen, Theutberga, with irreconcilable loathing, and after wearing her down with many acts of hostility, he finally forced her to confess before bishops that she had had sodomite intercourse with her brother Hubert. For this crime, she was immediately condemned to penance and shut away in a convent.

King Charles, deceived by the empty promises of the Danes on the Somme, ordered a tax to be levied on the treasures of the churches and on all mansi and on traders - even very small-scale ones: even their houses and all their equipment were assessed so that the tribute could be levied on them. For the Danes had promised that if 3,000 lb of silver, weighed out under careful inspection, were handed over to them, they would turn and attack those Danes who were busy on the Seine and would either drive them away or kill them.

On the night following 4 April, when the ninth moon had begun, a sort of horned darkness - the very same shape as the shining moon is said to have - appeared across the middle of the moon causing it to shine on at either end but be obscured in the middle. It is also said that on 7 April the sun, having risen, suffered a sort of shadiness in the middle of its orb, and as this slid away to the sun's lower part, another dark spot came quickly in from the upper part and likewise ran down the sun's orb to the bottom. This happened in the tenth moon.

The Danes on the Somme, since the above-mentioned tribute was not paid to them, received hostages, and then sailed over to attack the Anglo-Saxons by whom, however, they were defeated and driven off. They then made for other parts. The Danes who were still on the Rhone got as far as the city of Valence, ravaging as they went. There they destroyed everything around, and then returned to the island on which they had made their base.

Kings Louis, Charles [the Bald] and Lothar met on 1 June at the fortress called Koblenz. There they held lengthy peace negotiations, and finally confirmed their harmony and friendship by swearing an oath in person.

Louis emperor of Italy was attacked by a faction amongst his own people. He raged against them, and against the Beneventans, with fire and sword.

The Danes who had been on the Rhone made for Italy, where they took Pisa and other civitates, sacked them and laid them waste.

King Lothar, fearing his uncle Charles, allied himself with Louis king of Germany, and to obtain this alliance handed over part of his kingdom, namely Alsace, to Louis. Lothar's wife, fearing the hatred and dark schemes of her husband, fled to her brother Hubert in the realm of Charles.

King Charles bestowed the monastery of St-Martin [Tours] on his son Louis.

861: In January, the Danes burned Paris and with it the church of SS-Vincent the martyr and Germain the confessor. Also, traders who were fleeing back up the Seine by ship were chased and captured. Other Danish pirates also came to the district of Thérouanne and ravaged it. On 30 March, in the fourteenth moon, after the eighth hour of the night, the whole moon turned completely black.

King Charles ordered that his son Lothar, who was lame, should be made a cleric in the monastery of St-John. Prudentius bishop of Troyes, originally named Galindo, a Spaniard by birth, was at first a most learned man: it was he who some years ago had resisted the predestinationist Gottschalk. But later, excited by bitter feelings, he became a very keen defender of that heresy against certain bishops who had previously been allied with him in resisting the heretic. Then he died, still scribbling away at many things that were mutually contradictory and contrary to Faith: thus, though racked by a long illness, he put an end at the same time both to living and to writing.

Karlmann, son of Louis king of Germany, made an alliance with Rastiz, petty king of the Wends, and defected from his father. With Rastiz's help he usurped a considerable part of his father's realm, as far as the River Inn. Louis deprived Karlmann's father-in-law Ernest of his honores and expelled Ernest's nephews from his realm. They went to Charles, along with Adalard, uncle of Queen Ermentrude and also their kinsman, whom Lothar was attacking at the instigation of his uncle Louis. Charles received them warmly and comforted them with honores. Moreover nearly all those who had recently defected from Charles to Louis now returned to Charles: they were rewarded by him with high favour and honores.

The Danes had lately come back from the English and burned Thérouanne. Under Weland's command, they now sailed up the Seine with over 200 ships, and besieged the fort built by the Northmen on the island of Oissel with those Northmen inside it too. To support the besiegers, Charles ordered a levy to be raised from his realm to bring in 5,000 lb of silver and a large amount of livestock and corn, so that the realm should not be looted. Crossing the Seine, he came to Meung on the Loire where he received Robert with honores agreeable to him. Just at this time, Guntfrid and Gauzfrid, on whose advice Charles had received Robert, defected from Charles to Salomon duke of the Bretons along with their associates, in an unheard-of way, and with a treacherousness like that of barbarians.

Meanwhile the other group of Danes with sixty ships sailed up the Seine and into the Tellas and from there they reached those who were besieging the fort, and joined up with them. The besieged were forced by starvation, filth and general misery to pay the besiegers 6,000 lb made up of gold and silver and to make an alliance with them. So they sailed away down the Seine as far as the sea. But they were prevented from putting out to sea by the winter now coming on. So they split up according to their brotherhoods into groups allocated to various ports, from the sea-coast right up to Paris. Weland with his company came up the Seine to the fort of Melun. Former occupants of the besieged fort, with Weland's son, now occupied the monastery of St-Maur-des-Fossés.

Hincmar archbishop of Rheims, at a synod of his province held at the church of the martyr-saints Crispin and Crispian outside the city of Soissons, deprived Bishop Rothad of Soissons of episcopal communion, according to the decrees of the canons, until he should become obedient, because he had refused to obey the rulings of the church.

Charles sent his son Louis, under the guardianship of Adalard, Queen Ermentrude's uncle, to protect the realm against the Northmen. Charles himself was invited by certain people there to take over the realm of Provence, because Charles son of the late Emperor Lothar was thought to be incompetent and unsuited to hold the office and title of a king. Charles, taking his wife with him, travelled through Burgundy as far as the civitas of Mâcon. There things began to turn out badly, and many acts of pillage were perpetrated on the people of that region. Charles therefore returned to the palace of Ponthion. There he gave audience to a mission brought on behalf of his brother Louis and his nephew Lothar by Adventius bishop of Metz and Count Liutard. He dismissed them, and then celebrated Christmas Day joyfully as is customary.

862: Charles came by way of Rheims to Soissons where he got news from a reliable source concerning his daughter Judith, widow of Aethelbald king of the English. Before this she had sold up the possessions which she had acquired in the kingdom of the English, returned to her father and was being kept at Senlis under his protection and royal and episcopal guardianship, with all the honour due to a queen, until such time as, if she could not remain chaste, she might marry in the way the apostle said, that is suitably and legally. Charles now learned that she had changed her widow's clothing and gone off with Count Baldwin, at his instigation and with her brother Louis's consent. Charles also learned that his son Louis, incited by Guntfrid and Gauzfrid, had abandoned his father's faithful men, fled by night with only a few men and, a deserter now, made his way to those who were inciting him to action. When he heard all this, Charles took counsel with his bishops and other magnates of his realm. After the judgement of secular law had been pronounced, Charles asked the bishops to make known the canonical sentence on Baldwin, and on Judith, who had run away with a thief and made herself fall to an adulterer's share, according to the edicts of the blessed Gregory to the effect that 'if anyone shall have stolen away a widow to become his wife, let him and all who consentto his deed be anathema'.

The abbacy of St-Martin, which Charles had ill-advisedly granted to his son Louis, he now granted, still not very advisedly, to Hubert, a married cleric. Then Charles arrived at Senlis, where he waited, expecting the people to assemble there to him so that troops could be positioned along both banks of certain rivers, namely the Oise, Marne, and Seine, and defensive measures taken to stop the Northmen from coming up to plunder. But Charles now received news that a select force of Danes, picked from amongst those encamped at Fossés, was making for Meaux with a few ships. Charles made all speed in that direction with those men whom he had with him. But he could not catch up with them, because the bridges had been destroyed and the ships taken over by the Northmen. He therefore followed some indispensable advice and rebuilt the bridge across to the island by Trilbardou, thereby cutting the Northmen's access to the way down the river. He also assigned squadrons to guard both banks of the Marne. The Northmen, now tightly hemmed in by these moves, gave hostages chosen by Charles, and on his orders: the conditions were that they should return without any delay all the captives they had taken since sailing up the Marne, and either, on some prearranged assembly-date, should withdraw from the Seine with the other Northmen, and seek the open sea, or, if the others would not withdraw with them, should unite with Charles's army to attack those who refused to go. Thus, when ten hostages had been given, they were allowed to return to their own people. About twenty days later, Weland himself came to Charles and commended himself to him, while he and the men he had with him swore solemn oaths in their own way. Then he returned to the ships and with the whole Danish fleet sailed down the Seine to Jumièges, where they decided to repair their ships and await the Spring equinox. When the ships had been repaired, the Danes made for the open sea, and split up into several flotillas which sailed off in different directions according to their various choices.

Most of them made for the Bretons, who live in Neustria with Salomon as chief; and these Danes were joined by the ones who had been in Spain. Salomon hired twelve Danish ships for an agreed fee, to use against Robert. These Robert captured on the river Loire and slew every man in the fleet, except for a few who fled into hiding. Robert, unable now to put up with Salomon any longer, made an alliance against Salomon with the Northmen who had just left the Seine, before Salomon could ally with them against him. Hostages were exchanged, and Robert paid them 6,000 lb of silver.

Weland with his wife and sons came to Charles, and he and his family became Christians.

Karlmann, son of King Louis of Germany, made peace with his father, after his father had granted him that part of the realm which he had previously invaded, and after he had given a solemn oath never to invade any territory beyond that without his father's voluntary agreement.

Then Louis, son of King Charles, took the advice of Guntfrid and Gauzfrid, and approached Salomon. He was given a strong contingent of Bretons, and with these he attacked Robert, his father's faithful man, and laid waste the Anjou region and wherever else he could reach, with sword, fire and general devastation.

Robert then attacked the Bretons as they were returning with enormous quantities of plunder, slew more than 200 of the Bretons' leading men and prised their booty from them. Louis made another attempt to fight back, but Robert drove him into flight and all his companions were scattered while he himself only just managed to get away.

Charles, king of the Aquitanians, son of King Charles, had still not yet reached the age of fifteen. Stephen prevailed on him to marry the widow of Count Humbert without his father's will or consent. His brother Louis, moreover, following in his footsteps, right at the beginning of Lent married the daughter of the late Count Harduin and sister of his great favourite Odo.

Their father Charles caused all the leading men of his realm to assemble about 1 June, with many workmen and carts, at the place called P�tres, where the Andelle from one side and the Eure from the other flow into the Seine. By constructing fortifications on the Seine, he closed it off to ships sailing up or down the river. This was done because of the Northmen. He himself went with his wife to have talks with his son Charles on the Loire at a place called Meung, having first given oaths of safe-conduct through messengers. Charles went back to Aquitaine like a man subdued, but despite his humble words, his spirit was still unbowed.

His father returned to P�tres, whither he had previously summoned an assembly and a synod to meet at the same time. While he went on with the work of constructing the fortifications, he discussed with his faithful men the affairs of the holy church and of the realm. Rothad bishop of Soissons was a singularly stupid man, who had been deprived by a provincial synod of episcopal communion, according to the rules of the church. He now presented himself, with characteristic contumacy, before a council of four provinces. This assembly of brother-bishops decided to refrain from deposing him completely pending his appeal to the apostolic see. But Rothad, after the judgement of that provincial council from which he had appealed, asked for twelve judges to be appointed by this council of four provinces to carry out its judgement. Like another Pharoah in the hardness of his heart, and replicating ancient times in being a man turned into a monster, Rothad was deposed just outside Soissons because of the excesses described in the list of his bad deeds, since he refused to be corrected.

Meanwhile a miracle occurred at Thérouanne. On the morning of the day of Mary's Assumption [15 August], the slave-woman of a certain citizen of that town began to iron a linen garment, the sort called in the vulgar tongue a shirt [camisium], so that it would be all ready for her master to wear when he went to mass. The first time she put the iron down on it and pushed it across it, the shirt became stained with blood. And so it went on: whenever the slave put the iron across, blood followed it, until the whole garment was quite dyed in the blood pressed on to it. Hunfrid, the venerable bishop of that civitas, had the shirt brought to him and kept in the church as a witness to the miracle. Because the feast of Mary's Assumption had not previously been celebrated by the inhabitants of his diocese, he gave orders that this solemn occasion should be celebrated by all and kept as a feast with due reverence.

Louis, who had recently defected from his father, returned to him and asked forgiveness from him and from the bishops too for his excesses. He bound himself by most strict and solemn oaths to be loyal to his father in future. His father granted him the county of Meaux and the abbacy of St-Crispin, and ordered him to come to him in person from Neustria along with his wife. Hunfrid marchio of Gothia had been accused of breach of faith by Waringaud, but at the request of his faithful men King Charles did not allow the affair to become an occasion for war: he restored peace between Hunfrid and Waringaud.

Louis king of Germany summoned his nephew Lothar to Mainz and asked him to join with him in a campaign against the Wends called .... and their chief. Lothar at first promised to come but later failed to make good his promise. But Louis, leaving his son Charles at home because he had lately got married to the daughter of Count Erchangar, took with him his son Louis and attacked the Wends. Having lost some of his leading men, he had no success at all, so he took hostages and returned to his palace at Frankfurt on the Main. The Danes plundered and laid waste a great part of his kingdom with fire and sword. Also enemies called Hungarians, hitherto unknown to those peoples, ravaged his realm.

Lothar had been demented, so it was said, by witchcraft and ensnared in a blind passion by the wiles of his concubine Waldrada for whom he had cast aside his wife Theutberga. Now with the backing of his uncle Liutfrid and of Walter, who because of this were his special favourites, and with the consent � an abominable thing this is to say - even of certain bishops of his realm, Lothar crowned Waldrada and coupled with her as if she were his lawful wife and queen, while his friends grieved and spoke out against this action. Hincmar bishop of Rheims, when King Charles came to the city, summoned his suffragan bishops and on 17 September with due solemnity dedicated the new mother church of that province to the honour of St Mary, to whom the ancient church had been consecrated.

Louis king of Germany sent smooth-talking envoys to his brother Charles and asked him to come to a meeting in the neighbourhood of Toul. Because Charles refused to hold talks with Lothar until he had told his brother the reasons why he was displeased with Lothar, quite a battle of words ensued. Finally Charles and the bishops who were with him sent to Louis and the bishops who were with him a written text drawn up in capitula showing the grounds on which Charles refused to communicate with Lothar unless he would undertake either to give a reasonable explanation on these points or would show some improvement, according to rightful authority. When Lothar gave an undertaking on these terms, Charles and the bishops with him received Lothar into communion. As for the texts of the adnuntiationef from their meeting, which had been written down and read out to the counsellors, and which they ought to have issued to the people, Louis and Lothar totally rejected them. In this they were following the advice especially of their counsellor Conrad, Charles's uncle, who was trying hard in his usual fashion with an arrogant yet superficial knowledge of the world which brought little benefit to himself, still less to others, to prevent the people from finding out what accusation Charles was making against Lothar. But Charles, against their wishes, made it fully known to everyone that he had refused to communicate with Lothar before he gave the undertaking mentioned above, for two reasons: first, because Lothar had abandoned his wife and taken another woman, contrary to the authority of the Gospel and of the apostles, and second, because Lothar and his mistress had had communication with excommunicated persons, namely the wife of Boso, and Baldwin who had stolen away Charles's daughter and married her. Thus the brothers left each other, after agreeing on the venue of a further meeting in the following October, on the border between the counties of Mouzon and Voncq.

Louis made for Bavaria, either to reconcile, or to resist his son Karlmann who had rebelled against his father with the aid of Rastiz petty king of the Wends. Charles returned from the Toul district by way of Ponthion, and from there went along the bank of the Marne to Senlis, where he most reverently celebrated Christmas.

863: In January Danes sailed up the Rhine towards Cologne, after sacking the emporium called Dorestad and also a fairly large villa at which the Frisians had taken refuge, and after slaying many Frisian traders and taking captive large numbers of people. Then they reached a certain island near the fort of Neuss. Lothar came up and attacked them with his men along one bank of the Rhine and the Saxons along the other and they encamped there until about the beginning of April. The Danes therefore followed Roric's advice and withdrew by the same way they had come.

Charles, son of the Emperor Lothar and king of Provence, who had long suffered from epilepsy, died. His brother Louis, so-called emperor of Italy, came to Provence and won over as many of the leading men of that realm as he could. On hearing news of this, Lothar made straight for Provence, and through the mediation of members of their households and of their close associates, he and Louis agreed on an assembly to which they would both return at the same time to negotiate with each other about the kingdom of Provence. Louis then returned to Italy, Lothar to his own kingdom.

King Charles went to Le Mans and proceeded from there to the monastery called Entrammes. There Salomon duke of the Bretons came with the leading men of his people to meet Charles, and commended himself to him, swearing an oath of fidelity which he also made all the leading men of Brittany swear. He paid Charles, moreover, the tribute owed by his land according to ancient custom. In consideration of his oath of fidelity, Charles granted him part of the region called Between-the-two-waters, and also the abbey of St-Aubin at Angers as a benefice. He received, and graciously granted honores to, Gauzfrid and Rorgo and Harvey and the others who had recently, as often before, defected from him. From Entrammes he returned to Le Mans and celebrated Easter there.

Hunfrid marchio of Gothia grabbed Toulouse from Raymund and usurped it for himself. He did so without King Charles's knowledge, by a conspiracy, in the usual way of the Toulousans, who are always withdrawing that city's allegiance from their counts.

King Charles, returning from the regions beyond the Seine, received Liutard bishop of Pavia representing Louis emperor of Italy, Gebhard bishop of Speyer representing his brother Louis king of Germany, and Count Nanthar representing Lothar, Charles's nephew, all of whom came seeking peace which it was always Charles's aim, likewise, to preserve, so far as the hostility of his opponents allowed. He also received from his brother Louis another envoy called Blitgar, who requested that if Louis's son Karlmann, now abandoned by the Wend Rastiz and a fugitive from his father, should come to Charles, he should not receive him. Not long afterwards, Karlmann, deceived and deserted by his own men, was received back by his father Louis on condition that he gave a solemn oath. Louis kept him with him in free custody.

Charles received the envoys of Pope Nicholas with due ceremony at Soissons in the monastery of St-Médard. They were Radoald bishop of Porto and John bishop of Cervia. Charles kept them with him for a while, and granted forgiveness to Baldwin who had sought refuge at the threshold of the apostles. It was to obtain this that the legates had come. So Charles then dismissed them, generously endowed with gifts, to return with letters to the apostolic see.

Legates also came from the pope to Metz to hold by apostolic delegation a synod in mid-June, to consider the divorce which had occurred between Lothar and his wife Theutberga, and the substitution for her of his concubine Waldrada whom he had joined to himself in marriage, contrary to both ecclesiastical and secular laws. At this synod, the two legates, corrupted by bribes, concealed the pope's letters and carried out none of the things that had been entrusted to them by sacred authority. But in order to give the impression that they had achieved something, with the connivance of Hagano, a crafty and very greedy Italian bishop, they ordered Gunther archbishop of Cologne and Theutgaud his fellow-archbishop of Trier to go to Rome with the childish nonsense which the bishops of Lothar's realm had had written out and had subscribed in that synod," so that the case might be settled by the judgement of the pope. But the pope was fully aware of all that had gone on. He wished to condemn Radoald on another similar charge, for he had lately been corrupted by greed in Constantinople along with his fellow bishop Zacharias. The pope himself therefore now summoned a synod. Radoald, when he got wind of this, fled by night and disappeared. Gunther and Theutgaud, when they came to Rome, were condemned by the pope first in the synod and afterwards in the church of St-Peter, in the following terms:

Nicholas, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to our most reverent and most holy confreres Hincmar of Rheims and Wenilo of Rouen and all our confreres, the archbishops and bishops established in the realm of the glorious King Charles. That crime which Lothar the king - if that man can truly be called a king who reins in his appetites by no healthy control of his body but rather with weakness yields to its unlawful motions - committed against two women, namely Theutberga and Waldrada, is manifest to all. But almost the whole world was reporting to us, as it flowed to the threshold or seat of the apostles, even though those who wrote this to our apostolate were absent in person, that in such a deed Lothar formerly had as authors and supporters Bishops Theutgaud and Gunther. This we were all the more reluctant to believe, in so far as we used to hope never to hear any such thing about bishops, until those very men, coming to Rome at the time of the council, were found before us and the holy synod to be exactly as they had so very often beforehand been said to be by many people: that is, they were caught by that very document which they had set out with their own hands and which they wished us to confirm with our own hand, and while they were trying to set a trap for the innocent, they were ensnared in their own toils. Thus has been fulfilled, at God's instance, what is read in the Book of Proverbs [l:77]: The net is thrown in vain before the eyes of the birds.' Thus they were bound and fell. But we who were falsely being said to have fallen into that crime, by God's favour have risen up again with the defenders of justice, and we are upright. Therefore with the holy synod decreeing along with us, they stand in our presence indubitably deposed and excommunicated from episcopal office and removed from the government of episcopacy. Wherefore let your fraternity, guarding as it does the norm of the canons and observing the sanctions of the decrees, take care not to presume to receive in the catalogue of high priests those whom we have flung aside. The sentence of deposition which we have delivered against the above-mentioned Theutgaud and Gunther, together with other decrees which we have promulgated, the holy synod sanctioning them with us, is shown attached below.

of our judgement and who rashly violated what was instituted by the apostolic see, we judge to be now and henceforth and for all eternity void; and we ordain that it be reputed along with the robber-synod of Ephesus to be damned by apostolic authority in perpetuity; and we decree that it should not be termed a synod, but because it favoured adulterers, it should be called a brothel.

c.2. The depositions of Archbishops Theutgaud and Gunther. Theutgaud bishop of Trier, primate of the Belgic province and Gunther bishop of Cologne, now before us and the holy synod by reason of their deeds, in as much as they acknowledged and judged the case of King Lothar and his two women, namely Theutberga and Waldrada, offering a document on this matter confirmed by their own hands, and affirming with their own mouths to the many before whom they spoke that they had done nothing more nor less nor otherwise, and confessing themselves publicly and orally to have violated the sentence which our most holy brother Archbishop Tado of Milan and others of our fellow-bishops requested should be sent out from the apostolic see against Engeltrude, the wife of Boso, and which we, afire with divine zeal, canonically delivered under assurance of anathema, in all of which matters we have found them to have exceeded in many respects the apostolic and canonical sanctions and wickedly to have defiled the rule of equity: them we judge to remain utterly removed from all office of high priesthood, declaring them, by the judgement of the Holy Spirit and the authority of St Peter, to be deprived of all governmental powers pertaining to the episcopate. If they should in future presume to act as bishops according to their previous custom and to do anything which pertains to that sacred office, then they shall lose all hope of restitution in any other synod or any opportunity of satisfaction, and all who communicate with them shall be thrown out of the Church, and especially if they are already aware that this sentence has been delivered against those men.

c. 3. Other bishops: Other bishops who are said to have been accomplices of these men, namely Theutgaud and Gunther, or adherents thereof, if in association with them they commit seditions, conjurations or conspiracies, or if in adhering to them they dissent from their head, that is, from the see of Peter, they shall be held bound by the same condemnation with those. But if they come to their senses and become wise henceforth of their own accord in harmony with the apostolic see, whence it is manifest that they took the source of their episcopal office, or if they confess by sending messengers to us with their written admissions, may they know that pardon shall not be denied them by us, nor need loss of their offices through us in any way be feared, on account of presumptuous acts or subscriptions made to profane deeds which they have since retracted.

c. 4. The case of Engeltrude: Engeltrude, daughter of the late Count Matfrid, who abandoned her own husband Boso and, look, has now for about seven years been running about here and there, a vagabond, we recently lawfully anathematised, along with her supporters, but on account of her contumacies we have thought it fit that she should again be knotted in the bonds of anathema. Therefore by the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the one and true God, and by all the holy fathers and by the universal holy catholic and apostolic Church of God and by us, let her be utterly anathema, with all her accomplices, and those who communicate with her and those who aid her, in such a way that, as we have already decreed, if anyone presumes in any way to communicate with her or to favour her, let him, if he is a cleric, be bound by the same bond and let him lose the office of the clericate; and monks and laymen, if they are disobedient to this present decree, let them likewise be anathematised. But of course, if that woman returns to her husband, or comes hastening to Rome, to the apostolic see of the blessed Peter, there is no doubt that we shall not deny her forgiveness after due satisfaction. Yet let her remain in the meantime bound under the previous bond of anathema by which we formerly bound her and now bind her. If anyone in ignorance communicates with that Engeltrude while she is hastening or running to Rome for this purpose, to the apostolic see of blessed Peter, or if anyone knowingly offers her the means to come, let him be held bound by no bond on account of this.

c. 5. The sentences and interdicts of the apostolic see: If anyone willfully ignores the dogmas, mandates, interdicts, sanctions or decrees healthfully promulgated by the bishop of the apostolic see, for the catholic faith, for ecclesiastical discipline, for the correction of the faithful, for the emendation of the wicked or for the interdiction of imminent or of future evildoers, let him be anathema. May your holinesses fare well in Christ.

Charles held a synod in the palace of Verberie on 25 October. There he lawfully vindicated the abbey of St-Calais against Bishop Robert of Le Mans, who wished to hold the abbey through the commendation of the apostolic see as a lawful possession of his bishopric. Charles sent the recently-deposed Rothad to Rome, as the lord pope had commanded him to do, with letters and representatives from himself and from the bishops. In response to an appeal from the pope, he received his daughter Judith back into his good graces. He also received with customary ceremony the envoy of Mohammed king of the Saracens who came with many large gifts and with letters speaking of peace and a treaty of friendship. He decided to wait at Senlis for a suitable time to send this envoy in dignified fashion back to his king with honour and due protection and all the help he needed.

Then from Senlis, he made his way towards Aquitaine, with a strong force, to receive his son Charles in strength, or, if he refused to come, to attack him instead. He reached Auxerre: there, on the advice of his faithful men, and in accordance with the pope's request, he permitted his daughter Judith to be joined in lawful matrimony to Baldwin with whom she had eloped. From Auxerre he went on to Nevers, where his son Charles came to him and was duly received. His father ordered him to swear fidelity and due subordination with a solemn oath, and he had all the leading men of Aquitaine again swear loyalty to him. Two Northmen who had recently left their ships with Weland and come asking to be baptised as Christians now revealed - and it afterwards turned out to be true - that this had been a trick, and they accused Weland of bad faith. Weland denied this. So, according to the custom of their people, one of the Northmen challenged him to single combat in King Charles's presence, and killed him in the fight.

Meanwhile he received the sad news that the Northmen had come to Poitiers, and though the city was ransomed, they had burned the church of the great confessor St Hilary. He celebrated Christmas in the same place near Nevers where he had received his son.


864: Charles arranged his troops and ordered the Aquitainians to advance against the Northmen who had burned the church of St-Hilary. He himself returned to Compiègne taking with him his son and namesake Charles, and he sent his missi to Gothia to receive the submission of the civitates and fortresses there.

The Northmen got to Clermont where they slew Stephen, son of Hugh, and a few of his men, and then returned unpunished to their ships. Pippin, son of Pippin, who had changed back from being a monk to become a layman and an apostate, joined company with the Northmen and lived like one of them.

The Young Charles, whom his father had recently received from Aquitaine and taken with him to Compiègne, was returning one night from hunting in the forest of Cuise. While he meant only to enjoy some horseplay with some other young men of his own age, by the devil's action he was struck in the head with a sword by a youth called Albuin. The blow penetrated almost as far as the brain, reaching from his left temple to his right cheekbone and jaw.

Lothar, son of Lothar, raised 4 denarii from every manse in his whole kingdom, and handed over the sum in cash, plus a large quantity of flour and livestock and also wine and cider, to the Northman Rodulf, son of Harald, and his men, all this being termed a payment for service.

Louis, so-called emperor of Italy, goaded on by Gunther to his own harm, regarded those legates of his brother Lothar whom the pope had degraded, as described above, as having been directed to Rome by means of his (Louis's) guarantees and intervention. In fury, showing no self-restraint, he travelled with his wife to Rome taking those legates Theutgaud and Gunther along with him, with the intention of having the two bishops reinstated by the pope or, if the pope refused to act, laying hands on him to do him some injury. When the pope heard about all this, he proclaimed for himself and for the Romans a general fast with litanies, so that through the intercessions of the apostles, God might make the emperor well-disposed and respectful towards divine worship and the authority of the apostolic see. When the emperor had reached Rome, and was staying near the church of St-Peter, the clergy and people of Rome, celebrating their fast with crosses and litanies, approached the tomb of St Peter. As they began to climb the steps in front of St-Peter's basilica, they were thrown to the ground by the emperor's men, and beaten with all kinds of blows. Their crosses and banners were smashed, and those who could escape simply fled.

There was a wonderful cross, most worthy of honour, which had been very beautifully worked by Helena of holy memory: she had placed in it the wood of the life-giving cross, and handed it over to St Peter as the greatest of gifts. This cross was smashed in all the uproar, and thrown into a pool of mud. From there, so they say, the pieces were retrieved by some Englishmen and returned to the cross's custodians. When the pope, who was staying in the Lateran palace, heard about these crimes, and learned soon after from a reliable source that he himself was to be taken prisoner, he secretly boarded a boat and got himself across the Tiber to the church of St-Peter, where he stayed for two days and nights without food or drink.

Meanwhile the man by whose presumption the venerable cross had been broken died, and the emperor went down with fever. He therefore sent his wife to the pope. With her safe-conduct the pope came to the emperor and after long conversations had been held, as is fitting should take place between them, the pope returned to Rome, to the Lateran palace. Then the emperor ordered the degraded Gunther and Theutgaud, who had come with him, to return to Francia. Then Gunther sent to the pope by his brother the cleric Hilduin, accompanied by Gunther's men, the list of points devilishly inspired and hitherto unheard-of, which Gunther had sent with the following preface to the bishops of Lothar's realm when he returned to Rome in the entourage of the Emperor Louis, as already mentioned. Gunther gave Hilduin further instructions that if the pope refused to receive this list, he should lay it on the body [i.e. tomb] of St Peter:

�To their holy and venerable brothers and fellow-bishops, Gunther and Theutgaud send greetings in the Lord. We implore your fraternity to afford us who so earnestly pray for you the immediate solace of your holy prayers, and we ask you not to be disturbed nor frightened on account of the things that rumour has perhaps adversely reported to you about us. We have trust in the most merciful goodness of our Lord, that the snares of our enemies will not prevail either against our king or against us, God helping us.

�The lord Nicholas, who is called pope and who numbers himself as an apostle amongst the apostles, and who is making himself emperor of the whole world, had wished to condemn us, at the instigation and prayer of those with whom he has conspired and whom he is known to favour. Nevertheless he has found people resisting his madness, with Christ's help, in every way possible, and whatever he has done thereafter he has later had great cause to regret.

�We have sent you this list of points written out below so that you can learn from them the grounds of our complaint against the said pope. We had left Rome and gone far away. Now we have been summoned back to Rome again. As we begin our return journey there, we have written you this brief letter, so that you may not be surprised that we are making still longer delays. Visit our lord king [Lothar II] often, both in person and through your messengers and letters; comfort him; win over to him as many friends and faithful supporters as you can; especially keep inviting King Louis with frequent admonition, and inquire diligently with him concerning the common good, for our peace will lie in peace between those kings. Be calm in spirit and tranquil in heart, lords and brothers, because we hope to announce to you, God willing, such things in which, without error, you will be able to observe, with the spirit of the Lord instructing you, what you ought to do and how to do it. Only take care to advise the said king in every way you can to remain unmoved amongst all the various insinuations made to him, until he himself can also know the true explanation of these things. Besides, most beloved brothers, it is necessary for us, and worthy of praise, that we should keep inviolably before God and men that faith we promised to our king. May Almighty God deign to keep you in his holy service.

�c. 1. Hear, Lord Pope Nicholas. Those fellow-bishops, our fathers and brothers, directed us to you, and thus we came voluntarily to consult your magisterial authority on those matters about all of which we, as seemed good to us and as we could make known to our associates and supporters by setting out in writing the authorities and reasons for our view, likewise judged that your wisdom, having investigated everything thoroughly, should show to us your feelings and your wishes. And if your holiness should better investigate all this, we humbly beg that you will instruct and teach us accordingly, for we are prepared, together with our confrères, to acquiesce with sound proofs in whatever you may more rightly and convincingly recommend.

�c. 2. But we have awaited your reply for three weeks, and you gave us no expression of certainty, no sound teaching, but only admitted publicly one day that we seemed to be excusable and innocent according to the assertion of our own published statement.

�c. 3. Finally, having been summoned, we were led into your presence. We suspected no act of hostility. But you had bolted all the gates of the place and laid a plot against us in the way a gang of criminals might do. You had collected a mob, a mixed bunch of clergy and laymen, and you made an attempt to crush us by violence amidst so many of them. You wanted to condemn us, by your own will and tyrannical fury alone, without any synod or canonical trial, without any prosecutor, or any witness, or any discriminating direction of the case or any convincing proof from authorities, without receiving any oral confession from us, and in the absence of any other metropolitans and diocesan bishops, our fellows and confrères, and utterly without any collective expression of opinion.

�c. 4. But we have in no way at all accepted your abusive sentence, so alien to fatherly kindness, so removed from brotherly love, which you delivered against us without justice or reason and against the canonical laws. Nay, rather, together with the whole assembly of our brothers we have despised and rejected it as abusive and groundlessly given. And you also, you who favour and communicate with condemned and anathematised persons and those who reject and despise sacred religion: we have no wish to receive you into our communion or our fellowship. We are satisfied that, arrogantly exalting yourself above it, you despise the communion and fraternal society of the whole Church, and that by rendering yourself unworthy through the swelling of your pride, you have cut yourself off from that society.

�c. 5. Therefore in the temerity of your foolishness you have inflicted ruin on yourself by your own sentence of anathema, shouting out: �He who does not keep the apostolic precepts, let him be anathema.� These you know you are violating and have violated many many times, rendering void, as far as you could, the divine laws and the sacred canons, and refusing to follow in the footsteps of your predecessors the Roman pontiffs.

�c. 6. Now therefore, because we have proof by our own experience of your fraudulence and cunning, we have not been provoked as it were by reaction against the abuse you have heaped on us, but we have been fired by zeal against your wickedness: without regard for our own insignificance, we have before our eyes the whole body of our order which you are trying to bludgeon by force. c. 7. We shall sum up the essence of our argument on the specific case. Divine and canon law most clearly proves, and the secular laws, likewise worthy of respect, lay down that it is not lawful for anyone to hand over a free-born virgin in concubinage to any man, especially if the girl was never willing to give her consent illicitly to such a union: because she was linked with her husband by the consent of the parents, in conjugal faith, affection and love, let her forthwith be deemed, not his concubine, but his wife.�

Pope Nicholas refused to receive this document. Hilduin, mentioned above, fully armed and with a troop of Gunther's men, entered the church of St-Peter without showing any respect, wanting to throw that diabolical text on the body of St Peter, as his brother Gunther had ordered him to do, should the pope refuse to receive it. When the guards refused them admission, Hilduin and his accomplices started hitting them with clubs, so fiercely that one of them was killed on the spot. Then Hilduin threw that document on St Peter's body, and he and those who had come with him, protecting themselves with unsheathed swords, made their way out of the church, and having completed the whole sorry business, returned to Gunther. A few days later, the emperor left Rome. His following had committed many acts of devastation there, destroying houses, raping nuns and other women, killing men and breaching the privileges of churches. He reached Ravenna, where he celebrated Easter [2 April] in an acceptable manner with the respect due to God and the apostles. That very Good Friday [30 March], Gunther had reached Cologne, and presumed, godless man, to celebrate mass and consecrate the sacred chrism. Theutgaud, however, showed proper respect and abstained from his official functions, as he had been commanded to do. With the co-operation of the other bishops at his court, Lothar deprived Gunther of his archbishopric. Entirely on his own initiative, he granted it to Hugh, son of King Charles's uncle Conrad and of Lothar's own aunt, a tonsured cleric but one who had only been ordained a subdeacon and who in his own morals and way of life fell far short of the standards even of a good layman.' Gunther, furious at this, went back again to Rome, carrying off with him what was left of the Cologne cathedral treasure: he wanted, according to the pope's command, to set out all Lothar's and his own false arguments about Theutberga and Waldrada.

The bishops of Lothar's realm also sent their own envoys to the pope with statements of penitence and canonical professions to the effect that in the case of Theutberga and Waldrada they had greatly deviated from the truth of the Gospels and from apostolic authority and from the sacred rules. Lothar too in his false fashion had already sent Bishop Ratold of Strasbourg to the pope with documents, expressing excuses for his conduct and his voluntary correction of it. Lothar himself went by way of Gondreville and Remiremont to meet his brother at the place called Orbe.

Charles, as the pope had ordered, sent Rothad to Rome accompanied by Bishop Robert of Le Mans bearing letters, and the bishops of his realm also sent their representatives to the apostolic see with synodical letters about Rothad's case. But Louis [II] refused all these envoys permission to travel through his lands. The envoys of both the king and the bishops secretly made known to the pope the reasons why it was impossible for them to come to Rome. Then the rest of them journeyed back to their own fatherland. But Rothad feigned illness and stayed at Besan�on, and when the others had gone he made his way via Chur, with the help of his backers Lothar and King Louis of Germany, to Emperor Louis of Italy, intending to reach Rome with his aid.

The missi sent by King Charles [to Gothia] returned from their task, having accomplished little of what they set out to do. Hunfrid left Toulouse and Gothia behind, and travelled through Provence to somewhere in Italy; whereupon Charles again sent other missi to Toulouse and into Gothia to receive the civitates and fortresses.

Louis king of Germany marched with an army to meet the Khan of the Bulgars named ... , who had promised that he was willing to become a Christian. Louis planned, if things seemed to go well, to go on afterwards to the Wendish march to settle matters there.

Northmen sailed to Flanders with a large fleet, but when they met with resistance from the local people, they sailed up the Rhine and laid waste the neighbouring regions of the kingdoms of Lothar and Louis on both banks of the river.

On 1 June at a place called P�tres, Charles held a general assembly, at which he received not only the annual gifts but also the tribute from Brittany. This was sent to him by Duke Salomon of the Bretons, following the customs of his ancestors, and it amounted to 50 lb of silver. Then Charles ordered fortifications to be constructed there on the Seine to prevent the Northmen from coming up the river. With the advice of his faithful men and following the custom of his predecessors and forefathers he drew up capitula to the number of thirty-seven, and he gave orders for them to be observed as laws throughout his whole realm..

The Aquitanians by a trick captured the apostate Pippin, and removed him from his association with the Northmen. He was presented before the assembly at P�tres, and having been condemned by the leading men of the realm as a traitor to his fatherland and to Christianity, and then sentenced to death by the general assembly, he was held in strictest custody at Senlis.

Bernard, a son of the late tyrant Bernard according to both the flesh and his behaviour, received the king's permission and left the assembly one night with his military retinue, on the grounds that he wanted to return to his own honores. But hiding himself in a wood, he waited for a time and place to commit a malicious act of slaughter: some people said his intended victim was the king who had ordered his father's execution by the judgement of the Franks, while others said his plan was to kill Robert and Ranulf, the king's faithful men. This was reported to the king, who sent men to take Bernard prisoner and bring him into the royal presence. Thereupon Bernard fled, and the king, by judgement of his faithful men, confiscated the honores he had given him, and granted them instead to his faithful man Robert. Egfrid, who some while before had allied with Stephen to draw away the young Charles from obedience to his father, was now taken prisoner by Robert and presented to the king at the assembly at P�tres. At the earnest request of Robert himself and of others of his faithful men, the king forgave Egfrid all the crimes he had committed against him and, when he had confirmed his loyalty by oath, bestowed royal favour on him and allowed him to depart unharmed.

Returning from P�tres, Charles reached Compiègne around 1 July. The envoy of Mohammed king of the Saracens, who had come to him the previous winter, he now endowed with many large gifts and sent him back to his own king accompanied by missi in honourable fashion.

Karlmann, son of Louis king of Germany, who was staying with his father in free custody, pretended to be going hunting, gave his father the slip and fled. With the consent of the marchiones who had betrayed him before, he reoccupied the same marches of which his father had deprived him. His father pursued his trail, and made him come to him on condition that the status quo would be restored, and granted him honores. Returning from there to the palace of Frankfurt, while hunting a deer in a thicket, Louis fell from his horse and was hurt in the ribs. He stayed in bed in a neighbouring monastery, sending his son Louis on ahead to the palace at Frankfurt, where his wife was. He himself followed, having made a speedy recovery.

Pope Nicholas again sent letters to all the archbishops and bishops throughout the Gauls, the Germanies and the Belgic province, to confirm the deposition of Theutgaud archbishop of Trier and Gunther archbishop of Cologne. To the other bishops of Lothar's realm, who had consented to the divorce of Theutberga and the bringing-in of the concubine Waldrada in her place, but who had sent to the pope to make their professions, Nicholas gave letters granting indulgence, as he had promised to do in the document reproduced above. He convoked a synod at Rome for the beginning of November, announcing that here he would finally confirm the deposition of the two former archbishops, and deal with the cases of Lothar and of Ignatius patriarch of Constantinople, who had been deposed the year before, and a certain layman tonsured and hurriedly ordained bishop in his place. Theutgaud and Gunther came to this synod of their own accord, thinking that through the Emperor Louis's intervention they would be able to obtain their reinstatement by the pope.

Louis, so-called emperor of Italy, was gravely wounded by a stag which he was trying to shoot with an arrow while it stood on a rocky place. Pope Nicholas requested Louis, through Arsenius the apocrisiarius, for permission to send legates to Charles on certain ecclesiastical matters. But Louis refused: he believed that the pope wished to send those envoys to Francia with hidden designs against himself.

Hubert, a married cleric and abbot of the monastery of St-Martin, who was holding on to the abbacy of St-Maurice and other honores belonging to Emperor Louis of Italy against his will, was killed by his own men. Theutberga, Hubert's sister, cast aside by Lothar, came over into Charles's protection. Charles granted her the convent of Avenay, and committed the abbacy of St-Martin to Engilwin, a deacon of his palace.

Robert count of Anjou fought against two companies of Northmen who were based on the Loire. Of one, he slew every man, except for a few who got away; the other larger group attacked from behind, and Robert was wounded, and having lost a few of his men, he decided to withdraw. But after a few days he recovered.

865: King Charles celebrated Christmas in the palace of Quierzy. Then he moved to the villa of Ver, and about the middle of February at the villa of Douzy he received with due ceremony his brother Louis who came bringing his sons. There when they had considered matters with the faithful subjects of both together, they sent Bishops Altfrid [of Hildesheim] and Erchanraus [of Châlons] on a mission to their nephew Lothar, who kept saying often that he was going to go to Rome. Charles and Louis ordered him first to follow their and the pope's urgent pleas and to make good the wrongs he had committed against divine and human laws in the Church he had scandalised by his reckless behaviour: then, they said, when he had set his kingdom in order, he might if he wished hasten to the threshold of the apostles to seek and obtain forgiveness. But Lothar suspected them of wanting to take away his kingdom from him and divide it between themselves. So he sent his uncle Liutfrid to his brother the emperor of Italy, asking him to get the pope to send letters to his uncles on his behalf so that they would keep the peace so far as his kingdom was concerned and not harm his interests in any way. The Emperor Louis got the pope to do this.

Meanwhile, Northmen based on the Loire made their way up the river with a favourable wind, divine judgement thus making it easy for them, to launch a full-scale attack. They reached the monastery of St-Benedict known as Fleury and burned it. On their way back they burned Orléans and the monasteries both in the civitas and round it, except for the church of the Holy Cross which, despite great efforts on the part of the Northmen, the flames proved unable to consume. So they sailed back down the river and after ravaging all the neighbouring districts they returned to their base.

From Douzy, Louis made his way to Bavaria, brought his son Karlmann back on to completely friendly terms with him and returned the marches he had taken away from him. Then he returned to the palace at Frankfurt.

Charles came by way of Attigny to Senlis where he celebrated Lent and Easter [22 April]. Bernard, son of a certain Bernard and of Count Rorgo's daughter, was sent into Gothia where Charles entrusted part of that march to him. Thus Charles came at length to the villa of Ver and received the bishops and other leading men of Aquitaine who had come to meet him there. At their insistent request Charles allowed his son Charles, though still not properly recovered, to return to Aquitaine with the title and power of a king.

Pope Nicholas sent Arsenius bishop of Orte, his close adviser, with letters to the brothers Louis and Charles and also to the bishops and magnates of their kingdoms. The letters contained the things that Lothar had requested, using his brother's influence. Nicholas sent these letters, not as popes had been accustomed to write to kings, to honour them, that is, with apostolic mildness and the usual signs of respect: rather, he sent them with malicious and interfering threats. Arsenius came, by way of Chur and Alemannia, to present the pope's letters to Louis king of Germany in the palace of Frankfurt, and from there he went to Lothar at Gondreville. To Lothar, and to the bishops and leading men of his realm, Arsenius handed over the pope's letters. These said that unless Lothar took back his wife Theutberga and put aside Waldrada, as soon as Arsenius had reported back, Nicholas would have to cast Lothar out from all Christian society, as a man whom the pope had often before, in many letters preceding these ones, warned would be excommunicated and ejected from the fellowship of Christians.

Thus about the middle of July Arsenius came from Lothar to Charles at the palace of Attigny, and handed over with due formality letters exactly like the ones to Louis and Lothar. He also brought Rothad back with him and presented him to Charles. Rothad had been canonically deposed by the bishops of five provinces and reinstated by Pope Nicholas, not according to the rules, but according to an arbitrary and overbearing decision. For the sacred canons say that, if a bishop, thrown out of his office by the bishops of his province, has recourse to Rome, the Roman bishop should write to the bishops of the surrounding and nearby province so that they themselves may look into the case with the utmost care and make their decision according to the faith of truth; and if he who has again been deposed by them sets the Roman bishop in action, let the Roman bishop either send from his side men who, having the authority of him who sent them, may judge along with the bishops, or let him trust the bishops to be adequate to impose an end to the business. The pope chose to adopt neither of these courses: instead, setting aside the judgement of the bishops who, following the sacred rules, after passing sentence reported the whole case to the apostolic see in chronological sequence, he himself restored Rothad by his own power alone. He therefore sent the restored Rothad to Charles with letters in which it was stated that, if anyone, without exception, refused Rothad anything pertaining either to the status or the property of his bishopric, he was to be anathema. Thus without any seeking of information from the bishops who had deposed him or any consent on their part, Rothad was restored to his see through the legate Arsenius.

After all this, Arsenius made his way to Douzy to meet Lothar, bringing with him Theutberga who had for some time now been living with due honour in Charles's realm. After receiving an oath from twelve men swearing on Lothar's behalf, Arsenius restored Theutberga to him in matrimony, although no ecclesiastical satisfaction was performed by Lothar, following the sacred canons, to atone for his public adultery. The oath taken before Theutberga on Lothar's behalf, as dictated and brought from Rome by Arsenius himself, went as follows:

�I, so-and-so, promise with an oath, by these four holy Gospels of Christ which I touch with my own hands, and by these relics of the saints, that my lord King Lothar, son of the late most serene Emperor Lothar of pious memory, now and henceforth will receive Theutberga his wife as his lawfully married lady, and shall hold her thus in every way, as it behoves a king to hold the queen his wife. And she shall have on account of the dissensions already mentioned, no harm either in life or in limb, either from my said lord Lothar, or from any man acting at his instigation or with his help or even with his consent. But he will treat her in such a way as it behoves a king to treat his lawful wife, on condition, however, that she from now on may so keep herself, as it behoves a wife to do, having regard to her lord's honour in all things.

�These are the names of those who took this oath: of the counts -Milo, Rathar, Erland, Theutmar, Werembald, Roculf; of the vassals Erlebald, Wulfrid, Eidulf, Bertmund, Nithard, Arnost.

�This was sworn on the four Gospels of God, and on the most precious wood of the holy cross of our Lord, and on other relics of the saints, in the place called Vendresse, on the third day of August in the thirteenth indiction. This was done in the time of the triply blessed, coangelic and apostolic Nicholas, through the mediation and arrangements of the venerable Bishop Arsenius, envoy and apocrisiarius of the highest holy catholic and apostolic see, having apostolic authority and being the legate of that same Lord Nicholas the apostolic one.

�The names of the bishops in whose presence the oaths were given are as follows: Arduic archbishop of Besan�on, Remedius archbishop of Lyons, Ado archbishop of Vienne, Roland archbishop of Aries, Adventius bishop of Metz, Atto bishop of Verdun, Franco bishop of St-Lambert [Liège], Ratald [sic] bishop of Strasbourg, Fulcric the chaplain and imperial envoy. From the kingdom of Charles: Isaac bishop of Langres, and Erchanraus bishop of Châlons. From the hands of these two bishops, acting on behalf of King Charles, Queen Theutberga was received by the venerable Bishop Arsenius, legate of the apostolic see, together with the above-named archbishops and bishops, and in the presence in that place of noble men from various kingdoms and with a multitude of the people, who saw and heard these oaths in public, but a complete list of whose names we have been unable to put down on this page.�

That same day, Bishop Arsenius, legate of the apostolic see, together with all the above-named archbishops and bishops, restored and gave Queen Theutberga into the hands of King Lothar, not only on the oath cited above, but also on pain of adjuration and excommunication in the following terms: that if Lothar should not observe and fulfil in every respect the conditions set out above, he would have to render account not only in this present life but also at the eternal and terrible Judgement of God to the Blessed Peter prince of the apostles, and would be damned by him eternally in that Judgement and and condemned to burn in perpetual fire.

Meanwhile Lothar sent his envoys to Charles, with the wish and request that a friendship treaty be made between them and confirmed on each side. This he obtained on the intervention of Queen Ermentrude. Coming to Attigny, Lothar was received by Charles in friendly fashion and with due honour, and welcomed into the alliance he had sought. Arsenius also came back there, bringing a letter from Pope Nicholas full of the most terrible curses, hitherto unheard-of in the moderately-expressed statements of the holy see, on those who some years before had looted and stolen a large quantity of treasure from Arsenius, unless they found the means to restore what they had taken from him, to make satisfaction. This letter was read out, and also another about the excommunication of Engeltrude, who had abandoned her husband Boso and fled with an adulterer into Lothar's realm. Bishop Arsenius received back, under Charles's protection, the villa called Vendeuvre which the Emperor Louis [the Pious] of pious memory had handed over to St Peter but which a certain Count Guy had held for some years.

Then, having accomplished at Charles's court everything he had come to him to do, Arsenius went on with Lothar to Gondreville. Theutberga had preceded him there. He stayed there too for a few days on account of Waldrada, who was to be brought to him there and then taken by him to Italy. He celebrated mass on the day of St Mary's Assumption [15 August], with Lothar and Theutberga both attired in royal splendour and wearing their crowns. Then he left Gondrevill with Waldrada and made for Orbe where, it was said, Louis emperor of Italy was to come to hold a meeting with Lothar. From there travelling through Alemannia and Bavaria to receive the patrimonies of the church of St-Peter in the surrounding regions, he returned to Rome.

From Attigny Charles marched to resist the Northmen who had sailed up the Seine with fifty ships. On this march, through the negligence of the guards, he lost three splendid crowns and some exceptionally fine armills and some other precious things. He found them all again after a few days, except for a few gems which had been lost in the turmoil and disruption.

The Northmen on the Loire made their way on foot to Poitiers without meeting any resistance, burned the civitas and returned to their ships unscathed. But Robert slew more than 500 of these Northmen based on the Loire, without losing any of his own men, and sent to Charles the standards and weapons captured from the Northmen.

Charles, for his part, came up to the place called P�tres where Northmen still were. Now there were bridges over the Oise and the Marne at two places called Auvers and Charenton, but the local people who had built them long ago could not repair them because of the attacks of the Northmen. On the advice of his faithful men, Charles therefore ordered these bridges to be repaired by men drafted from more distant regions to perform labour services in order to complete the fortifications on the Seine, but on condition that this was treated as a special case of urgent need and that the men who would now repair these bridges should never at any future time suffer any disadvantage through performing labour services on this particular job.' Guards were assigned to keep watch on both banks of the Seine. Then in mid-September, Charles moved to the villa of Orville to do some hunting. But the guards still had not taken up their positions on this [i.e. the east] bank of the Seine, so those Northmen dispatched about 200 of their number to Paris to get wine. Failing to find what they sought there, they came back to their people who had sent them, without suffering any losses. More than 500 of them planned to advance from there beyond the Seine to sack Chartres, but they were attacked by the troops guarding the west bank of the Seine and after losing some men killed and some wounded, they retreated to their ships.

Charles sent his son Louis into Neustria. He neither restored nor withheld his royal title, but he endowed him with only the county of Anjou, the abbacy of Marmoutier and some villae. To Robert, however, who had been marchio in Anjou, he gave the counties of Auxerre and Nevers, in addition to the other honores he held already.

Louis king of the Germans welcomed home the army he had sent against the Wends and which had had a successful campaign. His son and namesake had betrothed himself to Adalard's daughter against his father's will, thereby greatly displeasing him. Charles went to Cologne to meet his brother Louis and to talk with him. Amongst the other things they discussed, Charles managed to reconcile the father and son following the latter's presumptuous action, but on condition that he should no longer marry Adalard's daughter. Then Louis went back to Worms, and Charles to Quierzy. He received the news en route that on the 18 October, Northmen had got into the monastery of St-Denis, where they stayed for about twenty days, carrying off booty from the monastery to their ships each day, and after much plundering without encountering resistance from anyone at all, they returned to their camp not far from the monastery.

Meanwhile Northmen on the Loire joined forces with Bretons and attacked Le Mans. They sacked it without opposition, and sent back to their ships. The Aquitanians fought with Northmen based on the Charente under their chief Sigfrid, and slew about 400 of them: the rest fled back to their ships.

Charles received at Compiègne the envoys he had sent to Mohammed at Cordoba the previous year. They came back with many gifts: camels carrying couches and canopies, fine cloth of various kinds and many perfumes. From Compiègne he went to the villa of Rouy. There he summoned Adalard, to whom he had entrusted the organisation of defence against the Northmen, and also his own close relatives Uto and Berengar. Because these men had achieved nothing of any use at all against the Northmen, Charles deprived them of the honores he had bestowed on them and regranted those honores to various other people.

The Northmen who had sacked St-Denis became ill with various ailments. Some went mad, some were covered in sores, some discharged their guts with a watery flow through their arses: and so they died. After dispatching troops to keep guard against those Northmen, Charles returned to Senlis to celebrate Christmas. There he got the news that his son Abbot Lothar of St-Germain was dead.

866: On 29 December a contingent of those Northmen who were based on the Loire broke out into Neustria to plunder. They attacked Counts Gauzfrid, Harvey and Rorgo who were coming up together against them. In the fight Gauzfrid's brother Rorgo was killed, and the Northmen fled back to their ships having lost a great many of their men.

King Charles's uncle Rudolf died of a bile complaint.

Northmen sailed up the Seine to the fort at Melun. Charles's squadrons advanced on both banks of the Seine, and the Northmen disembarked to attack what looked like the larger and stronger squadron, commanded by Robert and Odo. The Northmen put them to flight even without a battle, and returned to their own people, their ships loaded with booty.

Charles made peace with those Northmen at the price of 4,000 lbs of silver, according to their scales. A levy was imposed throughout the realm to pay this tribute: 6 denarii were required from each free manse, 3 denarii from each servile one, 1 denarius for each accola, and 1 denarius also for every two hospitia; a tenth of the value of all the goods owned by traders; and a payment was also required from priests, according to what resources each had. The army tax was also levied from all free Franks. Then 1 denarius was exacted from every manse, free and servile alike; and finally, in two stages, the taxes being raised by each of the magnates of the realm from his own honores, Charles collected the amount he had agreed to pay those Northmen, both in silver and in wine. Furthermore, any slaves who had been carried off by the Northmen and escaped from them after the agreement was made were either handed back or ransomed at a price set by the Northmen; and if any one of the Northmen was killed, whatever price the Northmen demanded for him was paid.

Emperor Louis of Italy, together with his wife Engelberga, advanced to Benevento against the Saracens. Lothar, acting, so some allege, at the instance of his brother the Emperor Louis, took back the see of Cologne from Hugh, and handed it over, on receipt of a bribe, to Gunther's brother Hilduin. But in reality the see's administration remained in Gunther's hands with the exception of the bishop's sacramental functions, and both the metropolis of Cologne and the church of Trier for a long time lacked pastors, which was against the sacred rules and involved great danger for many people.

Charles endowed Count Robert with the abbacy of St-Martin, which he had taken away from Engilwin; and on Robert's advice divided the honores beyond the Seine amongst Robert's accomplices. Bernard, son of Bernard, had hung on to the county of Autun to the exclusion of Robert. Now, on Robert's advice, Charles entrusted it to his own son Louis so that he could take charge of it.

In June the Northmen moved from the island near the monastery of St-Denis and sailed down the Seine until they reached a place suitable for making repairs to their ships and for building new ones, and there they awaited the payment of the sum due to them. Charles marched to the place called P�tres with workmen and carts to complete the fortifications, so that the Northmen might never again be able to get up the Seine beyond that point.

Louis king of Germany moved his army against some of his people in the Wendish march who were plotting rebellion." He forestalled this quickly, suppressed those responsible without fighting a battle, and told the army, which had not yet been fully mobilised, to stay at home.

In July the Northmen reached the sea. One group of them returned for a while to the Ijssel district and enjoyed everything they wanted, except that they did not manage to make an open alliance with Lothar.

Charles went with his wife to a villa of the abbey of St-Quentin called La Vignole, to meet Lothar. In return for certain mutually convenient arrangements agreed between them, so it was said, Charles received from Lothar the grant of the abbacy of St- Vaast.

In August Charles went to Soissons, and participated in the synod summoned on Pope Nicholas's orders. At this synod, following the pope's recommendation, it was decided to defer the question of Wulfad and his colleagues who had been ordained by Ebbo, the former archbishop of Rheims, after his deposition. For out of reverence for the pope and respect for the sacred rules, those rules could not be openly overturned; and if the king and others made too great efforts to favour Wulfad's cause, schism and scandal could not otherwise be avoided. The decision given according to the rules by a synod of the bishops of five provinces concerning the removal of Wulfad and the others had been confirmed by the subscriptions of Pope Benedict and Pope Nicholas. It was therefore decided that Wulfad and the rest might be received as validly ordained, following the precedents of the indulgence of the Nicene Council concerning those ordained by the condemned Meletius, and also the tradition of the African Council concerning the Donatists, only on condition that Pope Nicholas should be willing to alter his sentence which he himself had confirmed.

Thus the synod assembled by Archbishop Eogil of Sens sent letters to Pope Nicholas setting out the terms just outlined as well as other matters it had met to consider; and it then broke up without any conflict arising among the bishops. Now according to the decrees of Pope Innocent, what the urgent need of some particular time has once discovered should, when that need has ceased, 'itself cease, and this just as plainly as it was urgently needed before; because the lawful ordering of the world is one thing, quite another the usurpation which a particular time impels to come into existence for the present only'. Thus what was now being sought most urgently was nothing other than some way by which Wulfad could be made a bishop; and it seemed to some people more tolerable, for the sake of avoiding dissension, to put this urgent matter again on the agenda, since it was as pressing now as it had been before, than to arouse uproar in the church and in the sphere of royal power. The situation was like that of Paul carrying out the ritual practices of the Law, following the opinion of James and the elders of Jerusalem in having Timothy circumcised, even after the Law had been abolished. When things had been arranged in this way, Charles, acting entirely on his own decision before the case had been settled, now entrusted the archdiocese of Bourges to Wulfad, since the former archbishop, Rodulf, had recently died.'

Before the bishops left Soissons, Charles asked them to give his wife Ermentrude consecration as queen. Charles himself witnessed their performance of the rite in the church of St-Médard, and joined with them to put the crown on her head.

From Soissons, Charles went with the queen to the palace of Attigny to meet Lothar. To Attigny also they summoned back Theutberga, Lothar's queen but in name only, who had had permission to go to Rome. They decided on a joint embassy to entrust to Pope Nicholas things which they believed needed to be treated in strictest confidence: Charles's envoy was Archbishop Eigil of Sens, while Lothar sent Archbishop Ado of Vienne and Walter, his closest adviser. After this, Charles dispatched his son Carloman, abbot of St-Médard, to arrange the handing over of the archbishopric of Bourges to Wulfad. The synod had been dissolved, as stated above, and letters had been sent from it to Pope Nicholas, with Archbishop Eigil as carrier, when Carloman and Wulfad reached Bourges in September. Some bishops, less well versed than they should have been in ecclesiastical law, were immediately won over by Wulfad's faction and swayed by the threats of Carloman, acting on his father's authority: by these bishops Wulfad, contrary to all the laws of the church, was clothed as it were with a vestment of malediction instead of with the ordination of a bishop. Aldo bishop of Limoges, acting as one who 'dis-ordered' Wulfad rather than conferred orders on him, was stricken with illness during the very consecration-rite itself and died soon afterwards.

Charles's son the Young Charles, king of the Aquitanians, had had his brain disturbed by the blow on the head he had received a few years before. He suffered from epileptic fits for a long time, and then on 29 September he died at a villa near Buzen�ais. He was buried by his brother Carloman and by Wulfad in the church of St-Sulpice at Bourges. William, Charles's cousin, and son of the late Count Odo of Orléans, was taken prisoner in Burgundy by some of Charles's men. Charles had him beheaded as a traitor near Senlis.

Northmen, about 400 of them, allied with the Bretons, came up from the Loire with their horses, attacked Le Mans and sacked it. On their way back they got as far as Brissarthe where they came on Robert and Ranulf, and also Counts Gauzfrid and Harvey, with a strong force of warriors - had God been with them. Battle was joined, Robert was killed and Ranulf fled, stricken by a wound from which he later died. When Harvey too had been wounded and some others killed, the rest retreated to wherever their own lands were. Ranulf and Robert had refused to accept punishment for their previous misdeeds in assuming, one the abbacy of St-Hilary, the other that of St-Martin, contrary to the rules, for they were laymen: so they deserved to suffer the retribution that befell them.

Louis, son of King Louis of Germany, started a rebellion against his father. He was egged on by Werinhar and others, whom his father had deprived of their honores because of their disloyalty. Young Louis also roused Rastiz the Wend to come plundering right up to Bavaria, so that while his father and his faithful men were fully engaged in that region, he himself might be freer to continue with what he had begun. But Karlmann, to whom his father had granted that march, took energetic measures to push Rastiz back within his own borders. The elder Louis, with the wisdom born of long experience in such situations, marched rapidly to the palace at Frankfurt where after an exchange of oaths he summoned Young Louis to come to him and they exchanged promises on oath to wait till 28 October. The elder Louis therefore went back with all the speed he could muster to strengthen his march against Rastiz, intending to return to meet his brother Charles and his nephew Lothar near Metz on the eighth day before Martinmas [3 November]. Charles let his men know that he was going to Metz prepared for war, with as large an army as he could raise just then; it was composed mostly of the bishops' contingents.

At the same time Charles granted the counties of Tours and Anjou, along with the abbacy of St-Martin and other abbacies to the cleric Hugh, son of his uncle Conrad, and dispatched him to Neustria in Robert's place. Charles kept for himself the chief villa, and the other most choice ones, belonging to the abbey of St-Vaast, as he had done before in the case of St-Quentin, and divided all the rest among some of his men, with more detriment to his own soul than any benefit to them.

Thus continuing on the campaigning-route he had announced, taking his wife along with him, he advanced by way of Rheims to the Metz district and reached Verdun. There he met envoys from his brother Louis, who brought the message that he had no need for any reason whatsoever to bring an army with him when he came to meet his brother, since Louis had received his own son's submission on terms which he, the father, had laid down, and the rebellion that had been stirred up against him had now been completely suppressed. Louis added that it was not feasible for him to come all the way to Metz at that time to meet Charles, because he was hastening away to Bavaria on urgent matters affecting the realm. Charles then stayed at Verdun for about twenty days, and ravaged the city and its neighbourhood in the way an enemy force would do. At this point he got word that Lothar was coming. Lothar had been at Trier along with the bishops of his realm trying hard to get Theutberga to incriminate herself again on a false charge and to take the veil; but he could not make her do so. In the end Charles made his way back to Rheims by the same route he had gone on, while his men ravaged everywhere they passed through. From Rheims he went to Compiègne, where he celebrated Christmas.

The previous year, inspired by God and taking as a warning the portents and afflictions that befell the people of his realm, the king of the Bulgars had thought carefully about becoming a Christian, and had been baptised. But his leading men were very angry and stirred up his people against him, aiming to kill him. All the warriors there were in all the ten counties of that realm came and surrounded the king's palace. But he invoked Christ's name and came forth against that whole multitude with only forty-eight men who, burning with zeal for the Christian faith, stayed loyal to him. As soon as the king came out from the city gates, there appeared to him and his companions seven clerics, each holding a burning candle in his hand, who thus advanced ahead of the king and his men. Now to the rebels it seemed that a great flaming mansion was falling on them, and the horses of the king's men, so it seemed to their opponents, advanced walking on their hind legs and struck them down with their front hooves. Such great terror gripped the rebels that they could not get themselves ready either to flee or to fight, but flung themselves on the ground unable to move. The king killed fifty-two of the leading men who had been most active in stirring the people up against him, but he let the rest of the people go away unharmed. Sending messengers to Louis king of Germany who was bound to him by a peace treaty, he requested a bishop and priests, and he received with due reverence those whom Louis dispatched. Louis also sent to ask his brother Charles for sacred vessels, and sacred vestments and books to help those priests in their ministry. On receipt of this request, Charles received from the bishops of his realm a large sum, and dispatched it to Louis to be sent on to the king.

The king of the Bulgars dispatched his son and many of the leading men of his realm to Rome, and he sent to St Peter, along with other gifts, the armour he had been wearing when in Christ's name he triumphed over his enemies. He also sent a number of questions concerning the sacraments of the faith to Pope Nicholas to get his ruling on them, and he asked for bishops and priests to be sent him from the pope. All these requests were met. But Louis emperor of Italy, on hearing of all this, sent to Pope Nicholas with orders that the weapons and other things which the king of the Bulgars had sent to St Peter should be redirected to him. Some of these things Pope Nicholas did send on to him, using Arsenius as his envoy, while Louis was still in the Benevento area; but the pope sent excuses about the others.

867: Louis abbot of St-Denis, grandson of the Emperor Charles through his eldest daughter Rotrude, died on 9 January. King Charles retained the abbacy of that monastery for himself, making arrangements for the monastery's administration and working of its lands to be handled on his behalf by a provost, a dean and a treasurer, while a mayor of the household took responsibility for its military contingent.

About the middle of Lent [c. 6 March], he went to the villa of Pouilly on the Loire; there he summoned the leading men of Aquitaine to meet him, and he set his son Louis over those Aquitanians as king, assigning him household officers from his own palace. He returned from Pouilly to spend Easter [30 March] at St-Denis. Then he proceeded to Metz to hold discussions with his brother Louis king of Germany.

On 20 May, at the palace of Samoussy, he received Archbishop Eigil of Sens with letters from Pope Nicholas concerning the reinstatements of the clerics of the church of Rheims, that is, Wulfad and his colleagues. Nicholas was making such strenuous efforts for them to be treated as reinstated in their clerical grades that he attributed in those letters many things to Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims which by obvious common sense were known to be untrue. Archbishop Eigil also brought to the lord Charles letters from Pope Nicholas to Lothar and the bishops of his realm concerning the case of his wives, namely Theutberga and Waldrada; Eigil transmitted the pope's command that Waldrada be sent to Rome. On the pope's behalf, Charles gave these letters to Lothar when he came to meet him at the palace of Attigny; from there Charles went on to a meeting with his brother, and having left him, returned home, on the way visiting Lothar again in the forest of the Ardennes.

He announced a general summoning of the host throughout his whole realm, and gave notice that his assembly would be on 1 August at Chartres, from where he would advance into Brittany to subdue the Breton chief Salomon. Meanwhile envoys went to and fro between them until they managed to make peace terms on condition that, after Charles had given hostages, Salomon's son-in-law Pascwethen, on whose advice he relied heavily, should come to Charles at Compiègne around 1 August, and both parties thereafter should stick to whatever was then settled and confirmed there, but that the people who had been summoned to the host should meanwhile stay at home in a state of readiness and, if it proved necessary and the king required it, they should come to Chartres on 25 August prepared to go on campaign.

Louis king of Germany sent his son Louis to campaign with the Saxons and Thuringians against the Obodrites. He ordered the rest of the people in his realm to stand in readiness so that, as soon as he might give the command, being already prepared, they would be able to attack rapidly.

Lothar was suspicious of Charles, so he went to Frankfurt to see Louis on his return from Metz, and reconciled himself with the man who had previously been quite hostile to him. To Hugh, his son by Waldrada, he gave the duchy of Alsace and commended him to Louis. He also committed the rest of his realm to Louis, on the grounds that he was about to go to Rome and would send Waldrada on there ahead of him. Returning from Frankfurt, he summoned up the host throughout his realm to the defence of the fatherland, as he explained, against the Northmen, for he expected that Roric, whom the local people (the new name for them is Cokings) had driven out of Frisia, would return bringing some Danes to help him.

Charles, having given hostages, received Salomon's envoy Pascwethen at Compiegne on 1 August. He granted to Pascwethen, in his capacity as Salomon's representative, the county of Coutances with all the fiscal lands, royal villae and abbeys therein and properties wheresoever pertaining to it, except for the bishopric; and Charles confirmed this with a solemn oath sworn by all his leading men. In return, he received from Salomon's representative acting on his behalf a solemn oath of fidelity and peace and guaranteed help against his enemies, on the condition that Salomon and his son should hold this grant along with those he held previously and should show themselves faithful men to Charles and his son. When this arrangement had been settled, Charles, acting on Pope Nicholas's authority, gave notice of a synod to be held at Troyes on 25 October. He made arrangements to do some hunting and spend autumn at St-Vaast and then stay at the villa of Orville and its neighbourhood.

A synod of the provinces of Rheims, Rouen, Tours, Sens, Bordeaux and Bourges assembled at Troyes on 25 October. There certain bishops, as usual supporting Wulfad to curry favour with King Charles, started working against Hincmar, thereby acting against the truth and the sacred authority of the canons. But Hincmar opposed their efforts with reason and authority, the majority decision prevailed, and those bishops who had assembled there sent to Pope Nicholas by common consent a letter in which were listed all the events around which the case turned. Bishop Actard of Nantes was to take the letter to Rome.

The gist of the letter was the same as that of the letter of Bishop Hincmar of Rheims which he had sent to Rome the previous July, using as carriers clerics of his disguised as pilgrims to avoid the snares set by his enemies. Actard received the letter drawn up in the Synod at Troyes and signed with the seals of the archbishops present there, and which he was now to carry. Then along with certain bishops, he went back to Charles, as Charles himself had ordered. Charles forgot the fidelity and all the labours which, for his honour and for the secure holding of his realm, the oft-mentioned Hincmar had undertaken for so many years: he ordered Actard to hand over the letter, broke the archbishops' seals, and read all that had been done at the synod. Because Hincmar had not ended up by being silenced at that synod, as Charles had wished, the king had a letter written to Pope Nicholas at his dictation and in his name in opposition to Hincmar and he sealed this letter with the bulla bearing his own name and sent it to Rome along with the synodal letter by the same carrier, Actard.

Now Hincmar's clerics mentioned above had arrived in Rome in August, and found Pope Nicholas very ill, and greatly harrassed and preoccupied by the dispute he was carrying on against Michael and Basil, the Emperors of the Greeks, and against the eastern bishops. The clerics therefore stayed at Rome until October, when Pope Nicholas received agreeably what Hincmar had written and wrote back to say that he would be given satisfaction on every point. He also sent another letter to Hincmar and to the other archbishops and bishops holding office in Charles's realm, informing then that the Emperors of the Greeks and also the eastern bishops were laying false charges against the holy Roman Church, indeed against the whole Church that uses the Latin language. These were their accusations: that we fast on Saturdays; that we say the Holy Spirit proceeds 'from the father and from the son' [filioque]; that we forbid priests to have wives; that we forbid priests to anoint with chrism the foreheads of the baptised. Those Greeks also say that we Latins make chrism from river-water; and they blame us Latins for not abstaining, as is their custom, from eating meat during the eight weeks before Easter and from eating cheese and eggs for seven of those eight weeks. They allege further that at Easter, in Jewish fashion, we bless and offer a sheep on the altar, along with the Lord's body. They are also enraged against us because with us, clerics shave their beards; and they claim that with us, a deacon can be ordained a bishop without having received the office of priesthood. On all these matters, the pope ordered written replies to be sent to him from the metropolitans and their fellow-bishops throughout every province in turn, and at the end of his letter he addressed Hincmar as follows:

�Let Your Charity, brother Hincmar, once you have read this letter, make the utmost efforts to ensure that it is also taken to the other archbishops who hold office in the realm of our son the glorious King Charles; and fail not to urge them, each in his own diocese along with his suffragans in whoever's realm they are situated, to deal with these matters in a suitable manner; and take care to inform us of what they have discovered so that you may stand out as a strenuous doer of all the things contained in the frame of this present letter of ours, and also that you may be found in our sight a truthful and wise informant in all you write to us. Given on 25 October in the first Indiction.�

Hincmar received this letter on 13 December in the first Indiction. He read it out to King Charles and many bishops in the palace of Corbeny, and he made efforts to ensure that it was sent around to the other archbishops, as he had been instructed to do in the papal mandate.

Pope Nicholas had died on 13 November. Pope Hadrian succeeded him in his pontificate, by the election of the clergy and by the consent of the Emperor Louis. When Actard reached Rome with the letters mentioned above, he found Hadrian already ordained in the apostolic see. Now Arsenius, a man of great cunning and excessive greed, caused Theutgaud and Gunther to come to Rome, deceiving them with false hopes of their restitution, in order to extract money from them. They stayed in Rome for a long time, and lost nearly all their supporters. In the end Theutgaud died there, and Gunther nearly died too.

Lothar sent his wife Theutberga to Rome, so that she would incriminate herself and he would then be able to be released from his marriage with her. But Pope Hadrian and the Romans did not believe such ludicrous tales, and she was ordered to return to her husband. Charles, with the consent of his brother Louis, ordered certain bishops to assemble at Auxerre at the beginning of February following, to deal with certain aspects of the Lothar case.

Then Charles, after receiving, so some people said, large bribes from Egfrid, who already held the abbacy of St-Hilary and many other rich benefices, took away the county of Bourges from Count Gerald, in his absence and without making any allegation against him, and granted it to Egfrid instead. But Egfrid was unable to make good his claim to the county at Gerald's expense. Charles therefore moved to Troyes, by way of Rheims, and from there reached Auxerre where he spent Christmas.

868: From Auxerre Charles went to the villa of Pouilly on the Loire. Meanwhile Count Gerald's men attached Egfrid at a certain villa. Egfrid refused to emerge from the strongly-fortified house in which he had shut himself up; so they set fire to it and drove Egfrid out, chopped off his head and threw his body into the flames. Then Charles moved into Berry declaring that he would avenge this outrage. There so many evil deeds were done - churches broken into, poor folk oppressed, crimes of all kinds committed, and the land laid waste - that there are too many to list here: as is proved by the fact that many thousands of people died of hunger because of that devastation. But not only was no vengeance taken on Gerald and his companions, but no one even drove them out of Berry.

Those of Robert's honores which Charles had granted to his son after his father's death were now taken away and distributed among other men. The sons of Ranulf also had their father's honores taken away from them; and the abbacy of St-Hilary, which Ranulf had held, was granted to Archbishop Frotar of Bordeaux. Charles then went back to St-Denis on Ash Wednesday [3 March], and from there proceeded to Senlis. Northmen sailed up the Loire, reached Orleans and having accepted a ransom, returned to their base unscathed.

On the Saturday before Palm Sunday [10 April] Charles returned to St-Denis and celebrated Easter [18 April] there. Before returning from there to Senlis, on the second day of the Rogations [4 June], he received letters from Pope Hadrian brought by Adventius bishop of Metz and Grimland, Lothar's chancellor. One of the letters was addressed to Charles: in it the pope commanded him to do no harm to the kingdom of the Emperor Louis nor to the kingdom of Lothar. The other letter, about Waldrada's absolution, was addressed to the bishops of Charles's realm, and other letters saying the same things were sent to the bishops of the realms of Louis and Lothar: absolution had been granted to Waldrada on condition that she did not stay with Lothar under any arrangements whatever.

Charles now reached Senlis, where he received Bishop Actard of Nantes back from Rome bringing him letters. One of these gave a reply on those matters which he had confided to Nicholas in opposition to Hincmar: among other things Hadrian insisted that from now on and forever this unprofitable issue should be allowed to drop. Actard brought a second letter, addressed to Hincmar, full of praises and warm appreciation of his faithfulness, and instructing him to act as his deputy in those parts in matters concerning Lothar. A third letter was addressed to the archbishops and other bishops on that side of the Alps: Hadrian ordered that Actard, since he had been unable to remain in his civitas because of the attacks of the pagans and the constant pressure of the Bretons, was to be installed by the bishops of the province, on apostolic authority, in the next see that fell vacant, preferably a metropolitan one.

On the Wednesday following the first Sunday in Lent [10 March], thanks to Arsenius's plotting, his son Eleutherius cunningly deceived Pope Hadrian's daughter who was engaged to someone else, carried her off and married her himself. The pope was extremely upset. Arsenius made his way to the Emperor Louis at Benevento and, his health ruined by illness, he committed his treasure into the hands of the Empress Engelberga. Then, talking with demons, so it was said, without having received communion, he departed to Hell - his real home. Once he was dead, Pope Hadrian got the emperor to send missi to judge Eleutherius according to Roman law. But Eleutherius, on the advice, so it was said, of his brother Anastasius, whom Hadrian at the very outset of his pontificate had appointed librarian of the Roman church, killed the pope's wife Stephanie, and his daughter, whom he himself had carried off. Then Eleutherius was slain by the emperor's missi. Pope Hadrian summoned a synod, and following the condemnation already long ago made against Anastasius, he condemned him again in the following terms:

�This was written on the right hand side of the picture.

�In the reigns of our lords the Emperors and Augusti Lothar and Louis, on 16 December in the thirteenth Indiction (851). The excommunication which Bishop Leo made of the priest Anastasius, later repeated by Hadrian.

�Leo bishop, servant of the servants of God.

�Anastasius, priest of our cardinal-church, whom we ordained in the titulus of St-Marcellus, and who departing from it went off without our pontifical knowledge to alien dioceses; whom we called to through messengers and through our letters, and for whom we begged our lords the emperors through our envoys that they might order him to return to his own diocese; who, hiding in this place and that, remained absent for two years, and though summoned to two of our councils refused to come, but was never found, because, as we have said, like the wandering sheep he was dwelling in secret in foreign regions, at the devil's instigation: let this man be deprived of communion from this day forth according to the canonical statutes and by the authority of Almighty God and of the blessed apostle Peter and also our apostolic authority, until he is presented to me in person for canonical judgement; and if he does not come, let him be forever excommunicate.

�Following the Roman pontiff, the archbishops of Ravenna and Milan and other bishops to the number of seventy-five gave their consent to this excommunication.

�This was written on the left-hand side of the picture.

�Leo bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons and clerics of all grades, and to the whole Christian people.

�You know, dearest brothers, that we are well and fully with you. For the advice and recollection of future time we now wish it to be made known again to Your Diligence that, at the devil's instigation and persuasion, Anastasius, priest of our cardinal-Church, whom we ordained in the titulus of St-Marcellus, has abandoned his province and his Church, contrary to the statutes of the fathers and see now! has been running about for the space of five years in alien dioceses, like a lost sheep. We, relying on our canonical authority, have called him back by apostolic letters for a third and a fourth time. But because he has put off returning, we have assembled two councils of bishops on his account, in whose assembled company, since we could not see him or have him present in person, we have by our common decree deprived him of holy communion, wishing indeed to lead him back, through the censure of this excommunication, to the bosom of his Holy Mother Church, from which he had departed. But setting at nought the apostolic warnings and those of the holy council, trapped by a mist of error, he utterly refused to come. We, then, just as, when we were staying in Ravenna, we promulgated with our own mouth concerning him in the church of St-Vitalis the martyr in the month of May on the twenty-ninth day thereof, in the first Indiction (854), so now again we have promulgated likewise in the church of St-Peter the apostle in the month of June, on the nineteenth day thereof, in the same Indiction (854): let him be declared anathema by the holy fathers and by us, and all who may wish to offer him help either in an election � which Heaven forfend! � to the pontificate, or in pontifical office, or any comfort whatsoever, let them be under the same anathema.

�After the Roman pontiff, the following consented in this anathema: John archbishop of Ravenna, Noting and Sigilfred, bishops of the lord emperor, and six bishops pertaining to the above archbishop, whose names we do not recall, and other bishops both from the city of Rome and from other cities to the number of fifty-six, not counting the priests and deacons of the holy Roman Church.

�This was written on silver doors:

�In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Here begins the holy and venerable synod which through the grace of God and has divine counsel was assembled in the church of St-Peter the apostle, in the seventh year of the pontificate of the most holy and coangelic and universal Pope Leo IV, and in the forty-second year of the imperial rule of the most unconquered Emperors Lothar and Louis, in the month of December, on the eighth day thereof, in the second Indiction. In this holy and venerable synod so nobly celebrated, with the grace of God consoling it, after various pious and salvation-bringing admonitions and exhortations of bishops and priests and clerics and all Christians, Anastasius titular priest of the titulus of St-Marcellus was justly and canonically deposed, because he had deserted his own diocese, contrary to canonical authority, for five whole years, and to this very day remains in alien dioceses, and neither when summoned, nor excommunicated, nor even in the end anathematised, as the truthful picture of him in this synod shows he has been, has he been willing to come to the two councils of bishops assembled on his account. Therefore both by the supreme pontiff and by all the bishops then sitting in the synod to the number of sixty-seven, because of his foolish presumptuousness he has been deservedly, as we have said, deposed and deprived of sacerdotal honour, in the year, in the month, on the day and in the Indiction specified above.'

�Pope Leo ordered it to be written up to this point.

�Now after the death of Pope Leo of worthy memory, Anastasius, anathematised and deposed, returned with the backing of worldly power from the secret places in which like a thief he had been skulking. Seduced by diabolical trickery and caught in a fog, in the manner of a brigand he invaded this church which he ought not to have entered at all, and like a savage and a barbarian, to the perdition of his own soul and the danger of this venerable synod, along with his most villainous accomplices and followers he destroyed and threw down that picture in the dust. The most blessed and distinguished Pope Benedict restored and decorated it with colours flowing with light.

�Hadrian bishop, servant of the servants of God.

�It is known to all the church of God what Anastasius did in the time of the popes our predecessors; and it is also clear to all what measures Leo and Benedict of holy memory, outstanding bishops amongst those pontiffs, took concerning him. One of them deposed, excommunicated and anathematised him, while the other defrocked him of his priestly vestments and received him into communion amongst the laity.

�After that, our immediate predecessor, the most holy Pope Nicholas, would later have received him back, in like fashion, into the bosom of the Church, on condition that he then acted in a loyal manner with respect to the holy Roman Church. But his faithlessness has now become manifest to such an extent that, after plundering our patriarchate and stealing our synodal documents which he had found had been decreed by most holy bishops at various times concerning both him and others like him, he also caused to be violated, by snatching it from us by stealth, that decree of the venerable synod which was made by those same holy pontiffs and reissued with the addition of the anathema. He compelled men to go out beyond the walls of this city, in the way thieves do, to sow discords between the most pious princes and the Church of God. He also caused a certain Adalgrim, who had sought asylum in the church, to be deprived of his eyes and tongue.

�Now, as many of you, along with me, have heard from a certain priest named Ado, a kinsman of his, and as has been revealed to us in other ways also, he forgot our benefits and sent a man to Eleutherius urging him to commit murders, which as you know, alas! were committed. Therefore on account of all these deeds, and many others whereby he smote and pierced the Church of the Lord, which indeed he has not ceased to strike at up to now with his secret machinations, we have decreed, by the authority of God omnipotent and of all the holy fathers, and of the venerable councils of the said fathers and also by the sentence of our judgement, that that same Anastasius is to be treated in exactly the same way as the pontiffs Lords Leo and Benedict solemnly and synodically decreed concerning him; neither adding nor subtracting anything whatsoever in his anathema or his case, except that he is to remain deprived of all ecclesiastical communion until he gives an account before the synod concerning all the charges on which he is accused to us; and whoever communicates with him in speech or with food or drink shall be held and bound by a like excommunication with him, because, in as much as he sought for himself higher things, which had so many times been forbidden him, and rashly usurped and ascended a forbidden place, our Church has complained enough and still does complain. But if he goes away, whatever the distance, from the city of Rome, or presumes to seek again, or to receive, either the priesthood or any clerical order or office whatsoever, because he will then be seen to be acting against the statutes of the said bishops and against the oath which he swore, never to depart more than forty miles from the city, nor to seek the prieshood nor the rank of clerical office, let him be under perpetual anathema, along with all his supporters, sympathisers and followers. Delivered in the sight of the whole holy Roman Church before this same Anastasius who has been placed at St-Praxedis, in the first year of the pontificate of Lord Hadrian supreme pontiff and universal pope, on 12 October in the second Indiction.�

Lothar had his suspicions of Charles, and so he went off again to Louis and got him to agree that he would have an oath sworn to Lothar on his behalf that he would take no counter-action if Lothar should accept Waldrada as his wife. Then Lothar came to have talks with Charles in the palace of Attigny, and there he got Charles to agree that they should meet and talk again at the beginning of October following.

Charles travelled on by way of the royal villae situated in the county of Laon. Without the prior knowledge of any bishop of his province, he ordered Hincmar bishop of Laon to come to answer a case in his own courts, in other words summoned him to secular judgement, because he had taken away benefices from certain of Charles's men. But Bishop Hincmar protested that he did not dare to come, as he had been ordered, to a secular judgement, leaving aside that of the ecclesiastical courts. He did not appear at the place appointed for the secular judgement, instead informing the king of the reasons why he could not do so. At this, King Charles ordered certain persons of low repute to go ahead and pronounce judgement, because the said bishop had not sent someone who could swear that he had been unable to appear; and since he offered no advocate to speak for him in the secular court, by the judgement of the said persons, whatever ecclesiastical property or moveable wealth the bishop had been holding for the use of the see was confiscated.

Thus the king came in mid-August to P�tres, and received the annual gifts there. He measured out the fort into sections of a certain number of feet, and assigned responsibility for them to various men of his realm.

Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims took Hincmar of Laon with him and went with other bishops to the king at P�tres. Using written texts and oral arguments, he showed what great prejudice both episcopal authority and the universal church were suffering through such a judgement. He secured the king's agreement that after the bishop's reinvestiture with the property of which he had been stripped, as the sacred laws command, the case should be concluded in the province where it had to be judged by the judgement of specially-chosen judges, and then, if this should be necessary, by the decision of a synod.

At this same assembly the king received the markiones, Bernard of Toulouse, and Bernard of Gothia, and also another Bernard. Furthermore, he met there an envoy of the Breton chief Salomon, through whom Salomon told Charles that he ought not to launch an assault himself against the Northmen based on the Loire, because he, Salomon, was all ready to attack them with a strong force of Bretons and only needed some help on Charles's part. In response the king sent ahead Engelram, his chamberlain and master of the door-keepers and his closest counsellor, with a crown made of gold and adorned with precious stones and all kinds of gear designed for regal display. He also sent his son Carloman, deacon and abbot, with a squadron of household troops, as Salomon had asked him. Then from P�tres he went on to his villa of Orville to do some hunting. The squadron which King Charles sent with Carloman across the Seine laid waste some territory, it is true, but did nothing of any use as far as resisting the Northmen was concerned � and that after all was the purpose for which they had been sent. On King Charles's orders they came back and each returned to his own home.

The men of Poitiers offered prayers to God and St Hilary and boldly attacked those Northmen for a third time. They killed some of them and drove the rest to take flight. They gave a tenth part of all their booty to St-Hilary, and that was not counting voluntary offerings.

King Charles came to Quierzy on 1 December and summoned certain leading men of his realm, both some of the bishops and others, to meet him there. He was angry with Hincmar bishop of Laon because he had sent to Rome without the king's permission and obtained letters on which Charles had not agreed. He was in fact absolutely furious with the bishop for resisting him so contumaciously. For this reason the bishop went to his own see without leave from the king by whom he had often been summoned, yet to whom he still delayed coming. He roused the king against him more than befits the episcopal dignity.

Charles went to Compiegne and celebrated Christmas there.

869: Now the bishop, though summoned through the other bishops to come to the king, still declined to obey the royal command. Charles therefore dispatched to Laon a squadron of men mustered from as many counties of his realm as possible to bring the bishop to him by force. But the bishop sat himself on his throne with his clergy about him beside the altar. Thanks to the efforts of certain bishops, the troops did not drag him out of the church, but went back to Charles without him. The king then had all the free men of the see of Laon swear him solemn oaths. Still furious, he summoned a synod of all the bishops of his realm to assemble at Verberie on 24 April in the second Indiction, and he commanded that Hincmar of Laon be called before it.

Charles then went to the township of Cosne, at an inconvenient time to travel since the weather was bad and there was a very serious famine, and met some of the Aquitanians there. But contrary to his expectations, he did not meet the markiones, namely the three Bernards. He went back to Senlis, anxious and having achieved nothing.

From Senlis he moved on Ash Wednesday [16 February] to St-Denis where he passed Lent and celebrated Easter [3 April]. He began the construction of fortifications, made of wood and stone, going all around the monastery. Before leaving for Cosne, he had despatched letters throughout his realm, requiring the bishops, abbots and abbesses to see to the drawing up of breves of their honores, showing how many manses each held. These were to be brought to the king at the beginning of May following. The royal vassals were to draw up similar surveys of the benefices held by counts, and the counts were to do likewise for the benefices held by their own vassals; and they were also to bring to the said assembly surveys of the buildings on their holdings. Charles gave orders that there should be sent to P�tres one young warrior for every 100 manses, and a cart with two oxen for he every 1,000 manses, along with the other dues which still greatly burden his realm. These young men were to complete and then guard the fort which the king had ordered to be built at P�tres out of wood and stone.

Lothar sent to both Charles and Louis asking them to make no trouble for him in his own kingdom until he returned from Rome. He received no such guarantee from Charles, but he did get one from Louis, so it is said. He therefore set off to Rome, to speak first of all with his brother the Emperor Louis, so that then, if he possibly could, through Louis's influence he might get Pope Hadrian's authorisation to put aside Theutberga and take Waldrada back. He ordered Theutberga to follow him to Rome. But, so it was said, the Emperor Louis replied that he could not abandon his siege of the Saracens for the sake of his brother's request: the king of the Greeks was speedily sending him more than 200 ships to help him against the Saracens.

Lothar had begun his journey to Rome to settle the case of his wives at an unsuitable time, namely the month of June. Struggling to reach his destination, he got as far as Ravenna, where envoys from his brother met him bringing word that Louis ordered him not to go on any further, nor to stay any longer in his realm: they would meet together, Louis said, at a suitable time and convenient place, and he would do his best to satisfy Lothar's wishes. Lothar nevertheless did go down to Rome, and moreover continued all the way to his brother in Benevento. Using Engelberga as an intermediary, Lothar after petitions and gifts and a great deal of trouble got Louis to agree that Engelberga should accompany him as far as the monastery of St-Benedict on Monte Cassino. There, at the emperor's behest, he caused Pope Hadrian to come to Engelberga and himself, and after giving him many gifts, and again through Engelberga's intercession, he got the pope to say mass for him and to grant him holy communion on the understanding that since Pope Nicholas's excommunication of Waldrada he had not lived with her, had had no sexual intercourse with her, and had not even spoken with her at all. The wretched man, like Judas, made a pretence of having a good conscience, and neither feared nor shrank from receiving holy communion with bare-faced effrontery on this understanding. His supporters along with him also took communion from Pope Hadrian: among them was Gunther, the originator and inciter of that public adultery, who received communion from the pope amongst the laity, after first giving him in front of everyone the following profession:

�I, Gunther, before God and his saints, profess to you my Lord Hadrian, highest pontiff and universal pope, and to the venerable bishops subject to you, and to the rest of this assembly, that I do not object to, but humbly accept, the sentence of deposition canonically given against me by the Lord Nicholas. Therefore I will no longer presume to touch the sacred ministry, unless in your mercy you wish to come to my relief. Nor do I wish ever to set in motion any scandal or any other opposition against the holy Roman Church or its pontiff, but I call you to witness that I shall show myself devoted to that holy mother Church and its bishop and remain obedient to them. I, Gunther, have subscribed with my own hand this profession made by me. Given on 1 June, in the second Indiction, in the church of St-Salvator which is in the monastery of St-Benedict at Cassino�.

The pope received this profession from Gunther as he stood among the laity: it had been read out by him publicly among the laity in the presence of all. The pope then said to him:

�And I concede to you the communion of a layman on condition that as long as you live you observe what you have just now professed.�

Engelberga then went back to her emperor, and Pope Hadrian returned to Rome with Lothar following in his footsteps. While the pope entered Rome itself, Lothar went to the church of St- Peter. No cleric came to meet him, but Lothar went up on his own, with only his personal retinue, to the tomb of St Peter. From there he went to the upper floor of a house near the church of St-Peter to find lodgings, but he found that the place had not even been cleaned out with a brush. He thought that mass would be bound to be sung for him next day, that is, on the Sunday (he had come to St-Peter's on a Saturday), but he could not get the pope to do this. On the Tuesday he entered Rome and had lunch with the pope in the Lateran palace: after giving him gifts in vessels of gold and silver, he got the pope to agree to bestow on him a cloak, a palm and a rod, which he duly did. Lothar and his followers interpreted these gifts as follows: with the cloak, Lothar was being reinvested with Waldrada; with the palm, Lothar showed himself the victor in what he had begun; and with the rod, he would beat down the bishops who resisted his will.

Matters were arranged otherwise by the pope and the Romans, however. For the pope decided that Bishop Formosus and another bishop also would have to be sent into the regions of the Gauls, to deliberate together with the majority of bishops on Lothar's requests. They were to report back their findings to the pope at the synod which he had already announced for the beginning of the following March at Rome. The pope ordered in his letters that four bishops from the realm of King Louis of Germany along with his envoys, and four bishops from Charles's realm along with his envoys, and certain bishops from Lothar's realm, should all come to this synod, on the understanding that they would confirm the deliberations and acts of the synod as representatives of the other bishops, both those of the West and also those of the East, whence the pope was hoping that by then his envoys would have returned: he had recently sent them to Constantinople to deal with the quarrel the Easterners had had with Pope Nicholas.

Lothar left Rome in high spirits and got far as Lucca. There he was stricken by fever, and this disastrous sickness spread amongst his men. He watched them dying in heaps before his eyes. But he refused to recognise that this was a judgement of God. On 7 August he reached Piacenza. He survived through the Sunday, but about the ninth hour unexpectedly became almost unconscious and lost the power of speech. Next day [8 August], at the second hour, he died. Those few of his men who had survived the disaster committed him to earth in a little monastery near Piacenza.

Charles was staying at Senlis, and he and his wife too, having returned from P�tres, were dispensing in alms to holy places the treasures they owned in riches of various kinds, thus returning to the Lord what they had received from his hand. It was just then that Charles learned from a reliable messenger the news of Lothar's death." He moved from Senlis to Attigny and there received envoys sent by certain bishops and also certain leading men of the kingdom of the late King Lothar. They asked Charles to stay where he was and not to enter the kingdom that had been Lothar's until his brother King Louis of Germany had returned from his campaign against the Wends. He had been threatened by them often during this year and the previous year, and though his men had fought against them, they had achieved virtually no success, but had in fact suffered very heavy losses. The envoys therefore requested that Charles should stay at Attigny but send messengers to Louis at Ingelheim to let him know when and where he and Charles might meet and discuss the division of Lothar's realm.

But the majority of the bishops and leading men of that realm urged him with wiser counsels to try to reach Metz as fast as he conveniently could, promising that they would hasten to meet him either along his route there or at Metz itself. Charles realised that this latter advice was much more acceptable, being more in line with his own interests, so he acted swiftly in accordance with their plan. He reached Verdun and there he received many men from that realm who commended themselves to him, including Hatto bishop of Verdun and also Arnulf bishop of Toul. From Verdun he arrived at Metz on 5 September, and received into his commendation Adventius bishop of Metz, Franco bishop of Tongres (Liège), and many others.

And so on 9 September, on the insistence of everyone, the following statements were made and actions performed by the bishops present in the basilica of St-Stephen:

�In the year of the Lord's incarnation 869, in the second Indiction on 9 September, in the civitas of Metz, in the basilica of St-Stephen the martyr, Adventius bishop of that see in the presence of the king and the bishops made the following announcement to the people in speech and in written form:

�You know, and it is well known to many in several kingdoms, how many and great upheavals we endured in the time of our late Lord Lothar, for reasons very familiar to everyone here; and by what great grief and agony our hearts have recently been smitten by his unhappy death. Deprived, therefore, of our king and prince and desolated thereby, we have considered the sole recourse and especially beneficial advice for all of us to be that we turn ourselves, with fastings and prayers, to Him who is our helper in our troubles and in our tribulation and to whom belong counsel and the kingdom, and who, as it is written, shall give the kingdom to whomsoever He wills, and in whose hand are the hearts of kings and who maketh all to dwell united in one house and breaketh down the dividing-wall between them and maketh both into one [Eph. 2:14]; beseeching Him in His mercy to give into us a king and prince according to His heart, who may rule, preserve and defend us in judgement and justice in every rank and calling according to His will, and incline and unite all our hearts together to him whom He shall have foreknown and chosen and predestined for our salvation and benefit according to His mercy. Because, then, we in our unanimous agreement see it to be the will of God, who maketh the will of those who fear Him and heareth their prayer, that this man to whom we have freely committed ourselves is the legitimate heir of this kingdom, namely our present lord king and prince Charles, so that he may have charge over us and be of benefit to us, it seems good to us, if it pleases you, that as we shall demonstrate to you after hearing his words, we should prove by a most certain sign that we believe him to be the prince chosen by God and given unto us. And let us not be ungrateful to God our benefector for His gifts, but let us offer thanks unto Him and pray that he who has been given to us may keep us for a long time in health and peace and tranquillity to the well-being and defence of His holy Church and the help and benefit of us all, and may govern us who obey him with faithful devotion and enjoy our hoped-for salvation under his administration in His service. And if it pleases him, it seems worthy for him and needful for us that we should hear from his mouth what it is suitable for his people loyal and united in his service, each man in his lay or ecclesiastical order, to hear from their most Christian king and to receive with devoted hearts.�

After this, King Charles himself pronounced the following statement to all present in that church:

�Because, as these venerable bishops have said, through the voice of one of them, they have given proof of your unanimity with unmistakable signs, and also you have acclaimed me as one who has come hither by the election of God for your salvation and benefit and rule and government, know that I with the Lord's help shall preserve the honour and worship of God and His holy churches and shall honour and make safe, and shall wish to keep honoured and safe, each one of you according to the dignity of his order and according to his person, so far as I know and can, and shall preserve law and justice for each man in his order according to the laws that apply to him, both ecclesiastical and secular, to this end that by each one of you, according to his order and rank and means, there may be shown to me royal honour and power and due obedience and aid for the holding and defending of the realm given to me by God, just as your ancestors showed unto my ancestors faithfully, justly and in accordance with reason.�

After this, at the order and request of Adventius bishop of Metz and of the other bishops of the province of Trier, namely Hatto bishop of Verdun and Arnulf bishop of Toul, and also at the insistence of all the bishops of the province of Rheims, Hincmar bishop of Rheims publicly stated the following points in that church before the rest of the bishops and before the king and all who were present:

�Lest it might perhaps seem to anyone that I and the venerable bishops of our province are acting incongruously or presumptuously in involving ourselves in an ordination in another province and in the affairs of that province, let such a one know that we are not acting contrary to the sacred canons, for the churches of Rheims and Trier, along with the churches committed to them, are deemed sisters and fellow-members of one province in this Belgic region, as ecclesiastical authority and most ancient custom demonstrate. Therefore, they ought with unanimous consent both to make synodal judgements, and to guard in harmony what has been laid down by the holy fathers, on condition of keeping this privilege, that whichever of them has been ordained the earlier, the bishop of Rheims or the bishop of Trier, he shall take precedence. Divinely-inspired law gives this command: "if thou shalt pass through thy friend's harvest to collect ears of corn, thou shalt rub them in thy hand to eat. Put not thy sickle to them", and "Reap them not with thy sickle" [Deut. 23:25]. The harvest is the people, as the Lord shows in the Gospel, saying, "the harvest is great, but the workmen are few. Ask the lord of the harvest, therefore, to put workmen to work in his harvest" [Matt. 9:37], meaning that you ought to pray for us bishops, that we may speak worthy things unto you. The friend's harvest is the people in the province committed to another metropolitan. Hence, by exhorting you, as it were rubbing you by the hand of our labours, we can and should draw you towards the will of God and your salvation in the body of the unity of the Church. To the parishioners of the provinces committed to other metropolitans we do not put the sickle of judgement, however, because it does not belong there nor do we consider that our work. And there is another reason, namely that these venerable lords and confreres of ours, the bishops of this province, not having a metropolitan bishop, with fraternal love, are ordering and pressing our insignificance to take action in their affairs as we do in our own particular ones. Is that true, lord brothers?�

And those bishops replied: �It is true.�

�Besides what the lord bishop our brother Adventius told you with his own voice and on behalf of the rest of his and our brothers the venerable bishops, you can also pay heed to this as being the will of God: our lord and king here present, in the part of the realm he has held and holds up to now, has presided and presides over, and has profited and profits, us and our churches and the people committed to his care for their temporal and spiritual well-being. And now he has come with the Lord's guidance from there to this place, where you have come together by His inspiration and have commended yourselves freely to this king, by the inspiration of Him who caused all living things to come together without anyone forcing them, into Noah's ark, signifying the unity of the Church.

�His father of holy memory the Lord Louis, pious and august emperor, was descended from Louis [Clovis] famous king of the Franks, who was converted through the catholic preaching of St Remigius the apostle of the Franks, and baptised along with 3,000 of the Franks, not counting children and women, on the vigil of holy Easter at the metropolis of Rheims, and anointed and consecrated king with chrism got from heaven, of which we still have some. And from him St Arnulf was descended; and from his flesh the pious and august Louis drew his carnal origin. This Emperor Louis was crowned emperor by the Roman Pope Stephen at Rheims before the altar of the holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, and after subsequently being deprived of earthly power by a faction of certain men, he was given back to the said part of his realm by the unamimity of bishops and faithful people before the tomb of St Denis, outstanding martyr of the holy Church, and was restored to full power with the crown of the realm in this house before this altar of Stephen the protomartyr, whose name being interpreted means �crowned,� through the priests of the lord by the acclamation of the faithful people.

�We read in the sacred histories that kings when they obtained kingdoms placed on their heads the diadems of their separate kingdoms [cf. I Macc. 11:13]. For all these reasons, therefore, it seems to these venerable bishops not inappropriate, if it is pleasing to your unamimity, that in the possession of the realm from which you have freely gathered to him and commended yourselves to him, he should be crowned by priestly ministry before this altar and consecrated to the Lord by sacred unction. If this pleases you, make a noise together with your own voices.�

And when all shouted their agreement to this, the same bishop said:

�Let us therefore with one mind give thanks to God, singing, 'We praise thee O God.'�

After this the king was crowned by the bishops with priestly benediction.

From Metz Charles went to Florenges where he made arrangements about everything that seemed to him to require it. From there he went off to take exercise in the autumn-hunting in the forest of the Ardennes. His brother Louis managed to make peace with the Wends on some terms or other and sent his son along with the marchiones of his territory to confirm this treaty. He himself stayed at Regensburg for he was in poor health. He sent envoys to Charles, reminding him about the firm undertaking made between them and also about his share of the kingdom of the late King Lothar. Charles returned a suitable reply.

Meanwhile, Basil, whom Michael emperor of the Greeks had associated with him as co-emperor, slew Michael by a trick, and assumed sole rule. He had despatched his patricius to Bari with 400 ships to bring aid to Louis II against the Saracens, and also to receive from Louis his daughter, already betrothed to Basil, and to take her back to be joined with him in marriage. But something happened, and Louis decided not to give his daughter to the patricius, who therefore left for Corinth very angry. Louis left off his siege of the Saracens and returned from the region of Benevento, whereupon those Saracens came out from Bari and pursued Louis's army from behind. They captured over 2,000 horses from his army, and with these horses they arranged themselves into two cavalry formations which they rode all the way to the church of St-Michael on Monte Gargano. They plundered the clergy of that church and many other people who had gathered there on pilgrimage, and then they made off back to Bari with great spoils. This deed threw the emperor, the pope, and the Romans into great confusion.

Louis son of Louis king of Germany waged war along with the Saxons against the Wends who live near the Saxons. With great slaughter of men on both sides, he somehow managed to win, and got home successfully.

Roland archbishop of Aries obtained the abbacy of St-Caesarius from the Emperor Louis and from Engelberga, at an appropriate price. Now the island of the Camargue was all of it extremely well-endowed: most of the abbey's lands lay there, and the Saracens used to have a trading-post [portus] on it. There Roland was constructing a fort, but it was made only of earth and the work was done in a great hurry. When he heard that the Saracens were coming he very stupidly took up his position inside this fort: when the Saracens landed at it, more than 300 of Roland's men were slain and he himself was taken prisoner by the Saracens, tied up, and carried off into their ships. It was settled that 150 lb of silver, 150 cloaks, 150 swords and 150 slaves would be paid for his ransom, in addition to the things given in a general agreement. Meanwhile the bishop died on 19 September on board a Saracen ship. But the Saracens craftily speeded up the arrangements for his ransom: they could stay there no longer, they said, so if his ransomers wanted to get Roland back, they would have to hurry up and hand over the ransom. This was done. Then the Saracens, after receiving the whole ransom, set the bishop up on his throne, clad in the priestly vestments he was wearing at the time of his capture, and as if to do him honour they carried him from the ships on to dry land. His ransomers came to congratulate him � and found him dead. In deepest sorrow, they bore him away and buried him on 22 September, in the tomb which he had prepared for himself.

Salomon chief of the Bretons made a peace with the Northmen on the Loire, and along with his Bretons harvested wine from his part of the county of Anjou. Abbot Hugh and Gauzfrid, with their men from beyond the Seine, fought with the Loire Northmen and slew about sixty of them. They also took prisoner a certain apostate monk who had abandoned Christendom and gone to live with the Northmen, and had been extremely dangerous to the Christians: they now had him beheaded. Charles ordered that the civitates beyond the Seine, namely Le Mans and Tours, should be fortified by their inhabitants, so that they could provide defensive strongholds against the Northmen for the surrounding populations. When the Northmen heard about this, they demanded a great sum of silver and quantities of corn, wine and livestock from the local inhabitants, as the price of a peace with them.

On 9 October, Charles at the villa of Douzy learned that his wife Ermentrude had died on 6 October at St-Denis, and had been buried there. With Boso, son of the late Count Bivin, carrying this royal order to his mother and his aunt Theutberga, King Lothar's widow, the king quickly had Boso's sister Richildis brought to him and took her as his concubine. On account of this, he gave to Boso the abbacy of St-Maurice along with other honores and lands. He himself, taking his concubine along with him, made all the speed he could to the palace at Aachen to receive into his power there, as they had asked him to do, the rest of the men of that area who had formerly been Lothar's. Charles gave notice that from there he would move to the palace of Gondreville at Martinmas [ll November], to receive those who would come to him from Provence and from northern Burgundy But when he got to Aachen, he won no new supporters that he had not had before.

From there, as he had previously announced, he went to Gondreville, where he received the envoys of Pope Hadrian, Bishops Paul and Leo, bearing letters addressed to him and to the bishops and leading men of the realm who resided in those parts of the Gauls. In these letters the pope ordered that no person should invade the realm of the late King Lothar or the men who lived in it, nor stir them up, nor attempt to turn them to himself, since that realm belonged by hereditary right to the Emperor Louis, Hadrian's spiritual son, and it had passed to Louis after the said Lothar's death. Hadrian added that if anyone should presume to take such actions, not only would he be rebutted through the application of papal authority, but he would be tied by the bonds of anathema, deprived of the name of Christianity, and placed utterly with the devil; and if any of the bishops should keep silent and flee from the author of such wicked temerity or should consent to such action by not resisting it, he should know that he would be deemed to deserve the name, not of shepherd, but of hireling; and because no sheep would now belong to him, consequently no pastoral dignities would belong to him either. There came along with these bishops also an envoy from the Emperor Louis called Boderad, who had also been sent to negotiate on these points. Charles dismissed the papal and imperial envoys. Then, deceived by the empty advice of false messengers who suggested to him that his brother Louis was near to death, he marched swiftly into Alsace to win over Hugh son of Liutfrid and Bernard son of Bernard, which he duly did. Then he went to Aachen and celebrated Christmas there.

870: From Aachen he went to the palace of Nijmegen to hold discussions with the Northman Roric, whom he bound to himself by a treaty. On Septuagesima Day [22 January] he took as his wife Richildis, whom he had already betrothed to himself and dowered. Contrary to all his hopes, he received envoys from his brother Louis king of Germany to tell him that if he did not leave Aachen as fast as possible and completely abandon the realm of the late Lothar, and if he did not allow Lothar's men to hold that kingdom in peace just as they had been holding it at the time of Lothar's death, then Louis would make war on him, with no possibility of drawing back. Envoys raced back and forth between them, until they got as far as exchanging solemn oaths as follows:

�Thus I promise on behalf of my lord (so-and-so): my lord (so-and-so) agrees to his brother (so-and-so)'s having such a share of the realm of King Lothar as they themselves or all their faithful men together shall between them find to be more just and more equitable. Nor will he deceive or defraud him in that share or in the realm which he held before through any deception or trickery, provided that his brother (so-and-so) shall keep to my lord inviolably on his side, as long as he shall live, that firm commitment and faithfulness which I have promised to (so-and-so) on behalf of my lord.�

After arranging this unsettled kind of settlement, Charles left Aachen and went by a single journey to Compiegne, where he spent Easter [24 March]. From there he moved in May to Attigny, where he received twelve envoys from his brother Louis. They came to discuss the division of Lothar's realm. They were arrogant and elated both because of Louis's good health and because of his good fortune in having captured, by a mixture of deceit and victory in battle, the Wend Rastiz who had been his bitter enemy for such a long time and whom he now held imprisoned. Louis's envoys therefore thought it less needful than they ought to have done that the oaths made between him and Charles should be properly kept. The projected division was tossed about hither and yon on many sides and in many ways, and sent by means of various envoys from one brother to the other, until in the end on Charles's suggestion it was agreed that they should meet together peacefully in the realm which, according to the oaths they had given, was to be divided between them. Thus on lines which they would determine with the consent and agreement of all their faithful men, they would divide that realm according to the oaths exchanged between them.

Meanwhile, after being attacked on many charges, but especially for insubordination to the royal power and disobedience towards his archbishop, Bishop Hincmar of Laon, in order to clear himself of these charges, offered before a synod of the bishops of ten provinces a brief document subscribed by his own hand, containing the following statement:

�I, Hincmar, bishop of the church of Laon, shall be faithful and obedient now and henceforth to the lord my superior King Charles, according to my office, as a man ought to be to his superior and any bishop ought in Tightness to be to his king, and I profess myself willing to obey as far as I know and can the privilege of Hincmar metropolitan of the province of the church of Rheims, according to the sacred canons and the decrees of the apostolic see promulgated in accordance with the sacred canons.�

And he subscribed this.

Carloman, son of King Charles and abbot of several monasteries, was alleged to have been disloyal to his father and to have been stirring up trouble against him. He was deprived of his abbacies and imprisoned at Senlis.

Charles sent his envoys Bishop Odo of Beauvais and Counts Odo and Harduin to his brother Louis at Frankfurt, to request a meeting fro the purpose of dividing up Lothar's realm. Charles made for Ponthion, where he received envoys from his brother telling him to proceed to Herstal, while Louis would come to Meersen, and at the beginning of August they would hold talks at the mid-way point between those two places. Each of them was to bring to the talks no more than four bishops, ten counsellors and a further thirty men comprising ministeriales and vassals. On his way to Meersen Louis reached Flamersheim in the Ripuarian district. There he and some of his men fell from a second-storey room which had been built a long time ago and the beams had given way. Louis was rather shaken, but soon recovered, and went on to Aachen. Envoys sped back and forth between those two brothers and kings, until finally they met together on 28 July at the place appointed for the discussions; and they made the following division of Lothar's realm between them:

�This is the share that Louis accepted for himself: Cologne, Trier, Utrecht, Strasbourg, Basel; the abbeys of S�steren, Berg, M�nster-eifel, Kessel, Cornelim�nster, St-Maximin [Trier], Echternach, Oeren [Trier]], St-Gangulf, Faverney, Poligny, Luxeuil, Lure, Baume, Vellefaux, Moyenmoutier, St-Dié, Bonmoutier, Etival, Remiremont, Murbach, M�nster-im-Gregorienthal, Maursmiin-ster, Ebersheim, Honau, Maasm�nster, Odilienberg, St-Stephen at Strasbourg, Ernstein, St-Ursus at Solothurn, Granfelden, Mouthier-Hautepierre, Jussan [Besan�on]], Vaucluse, ChâteauChalon, Herbitzheim, the abbey at Aachen, Hohenkirche, and Augustkirche; the counties of Teisterbant, Betuwe, Hatterun, Maasgau below this district and also Maasgau above this district, the Liège area on this side [of the Meuse], the Aachen district, the Maastricht district, five counties in the Ripuarian region: Meiengau, Bitgau, Niedgau, lower Saargau, Bliesgau, the Saulnois, Albegau, the Saintois, Chaumont, Upper Saargau, the Ornois which Bernard held, the Soulossois, the Bassigny, Elzgau, the Varais, Escoens, Amous, Baselgau, two counties in Alsace, and in Frisia two-thirds of the realm that Lothar held. On top of this share, we have added this extra portion for the sake of keeping peace and affection: the civitas of Metz with the abbey of SS-Peter and Martin, and the county of the Moselle region, with all the villae therein, both those in demesne and those held by vassals, then from the Ardennes along the River Ourthe from its source between Bellaing and Thommen and as it flows down to the Meuse, and along the road that runs straight into the Bitgau, according to what the envoys of both of us kings together may determine more justly, except that the eastern part of the county of Condroz which is across the Ourthe is to go to Louis; and the abbeys of Pr�m and Stavelot with all their villae, both those in demesne and those held by vassals.

�This is the share of Lothar's kingdom which Charles accepted for himself: Lyons, Besan�on, Vienne, Tongres, Toul, Verdun, Cambrai, Viviers, Uzès; the abbeys of Montfaucon, St-Mihiel, Calmoustier, St-Mary at Besan�on, St-Martin also at Besan�on, St-Eugendus, St-Marcel [Chalon], St-Laurence at Liège, Senone, Nivelles, Maubeuge, Lobbes, St-Géry [Cambrai], St-Saulve, Crespin, Fosse, Maroilles, Honnecourt, St-Servatius [Maastricht], Malines, Lierre, Soigny, Antoing, Condé, Meerbeck, Dickelvenne, Leuze, Chaumont, St-Mary at Dinant, Aldeneik, Andenne, Walers, and Hautmont; the county of Toxandria, four counties in Brabant, Cambrésis, Hainaut, Lomme, four counties in the Hesbaye, Upper Maasgau on this side of the Meuse, Lower Maasgau on this side, the county of Liège which lies on this side of the Meuse and belongs to Viset, Scarponne, Verdun, the Dormois, Arlon, two counties in the Woevre district, Mouzon, Mézières, Condroz, then from the Ardennes along the River Ourthe from its source between Bellaing and Thommen, and as it flows down from that part into the Meuse, and along the road that runs straight from this part of the west into the Bitgau, according to whatever our envoys may determine more justly; Toul, the other part of the Ornois which Theutmar held, Bar-le-Duc, Portois, the Sermorens district, Lyons, Vienne, Viviers, Uzès; and the third part of Frisia.�

Next day, 10 August, the two brothers met together, and after wishing each other well went their separate ways: Louis went back to Aachen, and Charles, who had given his wife instructions to meet him at Lestinnes, there distributed as he wished the part of Lothar's realm he had just acquired. From Lestinnes he went to Servais by way of the monastery of St-Quentin, and thence via Quierzy to Compiègne. He spent the autumn hunting-season in the forest of Cuise.

Louis had not given his doctors enough time to cure properly the wound caused by the injury he sustained in falling from the upper storey, as mentioned earlier. He had to have the rotting flesh cut out by these doctors, which meant that he was laid up at Aachen longer than he had hoped, and indeed his condition there was so nearly hopeless that he only just escaped death.

Still at Aachen, Louis received envoys from Pope Hadrian, namely the Cardinal-Bishops John and Peter, and John, a priest of the Roman Church, and also envoys from the Emperor Louis, namely Bishop Wibod [of Parma] and Count Bernard [of Verona], all of whom told him not to usurp the realm of his late nephew Lothar, for it now should belong to Lothar's brother the Emperor Louis.

After speedily dismissing these envoys. Louis sent them on to his brother Charles, while he himself, when he had recovered somewhat, quickly went to Regensburg. Rastiz, chieftain of the Wends, had been betrayed through a trick by his own nephew, captured by Karlmann and held in prison for some time. Louis, after a death sentence had been passed, now ordered him to be blinded and put into a monastery. Then he told his sons Louis and Charles to come to him. But at their mother's prompting, they felt that their father favoured Karlmann rather than themselves, so they refused to come. Just before Lent began, Louis came to the assembly he had arranged to be held at Frankfurt. Envoys went between him and his sons, and thanks to their efforts, an agreement was reached: until the following May, the sons would be able to remain secure so far as their father was concerned, while they were to leave off the ravaging of the realm which they had begun and were to pass the time peacefully until that next assembly. When this affair had thus been settled, Louis returned to Regensburg.

Charles, after completing his autumn hunting, went to the monastery of St-Denis to celebrate the saint's feast day [9 October] there. On that very day, while mass was in progress, the pope's envoys arrived with letters addressed to Charles and to the bishops of his realm, forbidding him with terrible imprecations to touch the realm of the late Lothar which rightly belonged to Lothar's brother the emperor. Charles was angry. But at the request of the envoys and also of a few of his own faithful men, he released his son Carloman from custody in Senlis ordering him to stay with him. He had the envoys of the pope and the emperor conducted as far as Rheims: there he got many of his faithful men to assemble from all sides and after staying there for eight days, he dismissed the envoys. Afterwards he sent his own envoys, namely Ansegis priest and abbot of St-Mihiel, and the layman Etharius, to Rome with letters to the pope: he also sent a piece of cloth made from his own golden vestments, for the altar of St Peter, along with two gold crowns adorned with precious stones.

Charles himself moved to Lyons, where Carloman one night ran away from his father and reached the Belgic province. Gathering around him many accomplices and sons of Belial, he wrought such cruelty and devastation at Satan's instigation, that it could only be believed by those who actually saw and suffered that destruction. Charles was extremely angry, but did not turn aside from his planned campaign: he hastened on as fast as he could to besiege Vienne, where Gerald's wife Bertha was ensconced, while Gerald himself was waiting in another stronghold. During this siege, the surrounding regions were greatly devastated. Charles laid clever plans, and won over a large part of the people in Vienne. Realising this, Bertha sent word to Gerald who came to Vienne and handed the civitas over to Charles. The king entered it on Christmas Eve and celebrated Christmas there.

871: Charles, having got Vienne firmly under his control, forced Gerald to give him hostages for his other strongholds which were now to be handed over to royal missi He gave Gerald three ships and let him withdraw from Vienne down the Rhone with his wife and his movable property. Then Charles handed over Vienne to Boso his wife's brother, while he himself sped away as fast as he could to St-Denis, by way of Auxerre and Sens.

Carloman, when he knew of his father's movements, went with his accomplices to Mouzon and laid waste that stronghold together with the surrounding villae. He then sent four envoys to his father with a spurious offer: he was willing, he said, to come to him without any honores, trusting only to his father's good faith, and to make satisfaction to God and to him for all the wrongs he had committed, only on condition that Charles would deal mercifully with those who were with him, so that their lives would be spared. But Carloman did not leave off, even the least bit, from the evildoing he had begun. Charles then sent Abbot Gauzlin and Count Baldwin, Carloman's brother-in-law, back to his son Carloman, along with two of the latter's envoys, but keeping the other two with him, to tell him a suitable time when he might come to his father in safety, if he wished to do so. Carloman deceitfully pretended he was going to come to his father, but while sending him other envoys who made impossible demands, went himself to the Toul region.

Charles sought a judgement on those who had stolen away his son, a deacon as he was, and a minister of Holy Church handed over to the Lord by his father, and had committed so many outrages and crimes and acts of devastation in his realm. When a death-sentence had been passed on them Charles ordered all their property to be confiscated and squadrons were detailed to drive Carloman and his accomplices out of the realm. Then Charles sought an episcopal judgement on them; and since the Apostle has commanded: 'Do not even eat with such men' [Cor. 5: 11], the bishops in whose dioceses those men had committed such great crimes excommunicated them according to the sacred canons, and sent letters, as the sacred rules prescribe, to the other bishops to report what they had done. But Charles decided that a judgement must be sought on Carloman from the bishops of the province of Sens, because he was a deacon of the Sens diocese, and because he had perjured himself on solemn oaths he had given on two occasions, as his father took care to make known in a public declaration to all who were present, and had committed such great crimes of rebellion and infidelity against his father and such atrocities in his realm.


Then Charles returned to St-Denis at the beginning of Lent [March]

and stayed there until Easter [l5 April], which he also celebrated there. Carloman, hotly pursued by the troops sent after him by his father, crossed the Jura Mountains, and went on with the evil deeds he had begun in the region of the Belgic provinces and of Gaul.

Hincmar, bishop of Laon in name only, an exceptionally arrogant man, rebelled against his king contrary to the truth of the Gospel and to apostolic and ecclesiastical authority. Without showing respect for anyone he raged against the neighbouring clergy and laity and those committed to him and scorned to pay any attention to his metropolitan when, as the rules lay down, he warned him about his behaviour. He roused the king, his archbishop, and the bishops of the whole realm to such fury against him that the king summoned a synod to meet at Douzy in August, to pass judgement there on Hincmar's depravities.

King Charles, at the request of his nephews, his brother Louis's sons Louis [the Younger] and Charles [the Fat], travelled by way of Verdun to meet and talk with then. Then he returned to the synod at Douzy.

Meanwhile Abbot Hugh of St-Martin and Gauzfrid, with other men from beyond the Seine, launched an ill-considered attack on the island in the Loire where the Northmen had their base camp. Hugh and Gauzfrid suffered very heavy losses and barely managed to escape, leaving many dead.

[Bishop] Hincmar came to the synod in the end, but in a most arrogant fashion. There a petition was presented by King Charles following the ecclesiastical rules, and Hincmar, having been accused and convicted on clearly proven charges according to the statutory procedures, received the statutory sentence of deposition. All this is contained in the official records of the synod, as sent by the synod itself to the apostolic see through the venerable Bishop Actard who had been present at it.

Charles's nephews now came to him at Douzy and asked him to reconcile them and their father. Envoys also came to Charles from his brother Louis asking him to come and hold talks with him near the township of Maastrict. Charles went along, taking with him his nephews' envoys to act as mouthpieces for them in explaining what they wanted from their father. There King Charles gave an audience to envoys sent from his own son Carloman, with his brother Louis acting as a go-between. As before, Charles invited his son to return to him on condition that he abandoned his wicked ways, but the invitation produced no response at all. Louis and Charles stayed at their discussions for some time but made little or no progress, so at the beginning of September they parted from each other and returned to their own lands. Louis made for Regensburg, because he had suffered extremely heavy losses at the hands of the nephew of Rastiz who had succeeded him in the Wendish chiefaincy. Wendish attacks had been so severe that Louis had lost his markiones with a large force of his men, and also suffered disastrous losses of the territory he had gained in the years preceding."

Charles for his part went by way of Lestinnes towards his villa of Orville where he planned to hunt. But on the way there he received envoys from a number of people in Italy, inviting him to go there: his nephew Louis, they said, along with his wife and daughter, had been slain in Benevento by the Beneventans. Charles thereupon moved by way of Rheims to Besan�on, where Carloman, hearing that his father was coming in pursuit of him, came to him at last, on the advice of his own men, with a show of humility. His father received him and ordered him to stay with him: when he had a chance to go to the Belgic province to speak with his faithful men there, Charles said, he would decide with their counsel what honores he ought to grant to Carloman. Louis king of Germany also reacted to the news of the death of his nephew the Emperor Louis: he dispatched his son Charles �the Fat] to the territory he held beyond the Jura Mountains, to bind as many men as he could to his allegiance by solemn oaths, and this young Charles duly did.

Charles was still at Besan�on when the envoys he had sent on ahead to Italy came back with the news that the Emperor Louis was alive after all and in good health. This is what had happened: Adalgis had conspired with other Beneventans against the emperor, because the emperor at his wife's instigation had been planning to sent Adalgis into permanent exile. Adalgis in turn had planned a night-attack on him, but the emperor along with his wife and those of his men he had with him went up into a high and very well-fortified tower, where he and his men defended themselves for three whole days. Finally the bishop of Benevento got the Beneventans to agree to terms: the emperor was to give them solemn oaths, and in return they would let him go, safe and sound. The emperor, his wife and daughter, and all the men he had with him then swore that they would never in any way seek any vengeance at all for what had just happened nor take any reprisal, whether in person or through anyone else, for the crime committed against him; nor would the emperor ever enter Beneventan territory with an army. So Louis got away, and journeyed by way of Spoleto towards Ravenna. He sent word to Pope Hadrian to come and meet him en route to absolve him and his men of the solemn oath they had just sworn. Meanwhile Lambert with the other Lambert began to suspect that the emperor believed them responsible for what had been done to him, so they abandoned him and made their way to the Benevento region, because Adalgis was in league with them. Sending his wife to Ravenna where he had arranged to hold his next assembly, the emperor set off in pursuit of the two Lamberts. He gave orders for all the leading men of the realm of Italy to join his wife at Ravenna to discuss the issues he had put on the agenda, until he returned from his expedition. But the emperor could not catch the men he pursued, so he set about returning to Ravenna as planned.

Now Charles, having heard all about the episode in which he had thought the Emperor Louis had been killed, and learning that in fact he was still alive, left Besan�on and travelled by a direct route, via Ponthion and Attigny, all the way to Servais. There he held an assembly with his cousellors, and on their advice he again consigned Carloman to prison at Senlis, while Carloman's accomplices he ordered to be bound by a solemn oath of fidelity, each of them in his own county; and Charles allowed them to live in his kingdom on condition that each received a lord, whomever he wished, from amongst the king's faithful men, and that each expressed his willingness to live in peace. Then from Servais he went to Compiègne and spent Christmas there.

872: On 19 January Charles left Compiègne and went to Moustier-sur-Sambre to hold talks with the Northmen Roric and Rodulf. He returned to Compiègne at the beginning of Lent [13 February], and on the Saturday before Palm Sunday [22 March], he reached St-Denis where he celebrated Easter [30 March]. After Easter he set out for St-Maurice to meet the Empress Engelberga, in accordance with the suggestion he had made to her through his envoys. But then he found out for certain that Engelberga was going to Trento in May to speak with King Louis of Germany; so he turned back from his planned journey and returned to Servais. There Adalard came to him on behalf of his brother Louis: Charles was requested to come to speak with his brother Louis near Maastricht, when Louis had returned to Aachen from Regensburg after sending an army with his son Karlmann against the Wends.

To his son Louis Charles now assigned his wife's brother Boso as his chamberlain and master of the door-keepers; he granted Boso the honores of Count Gerald of Bourges and sent him to Aquitaine along with Bernard and the other Bernard, the markio, entrusting to him the administration of that realm. To Count Bernard of Toulouse, after solemn oaths had been sworn, Charles granted Carcassonne and the Razès, and sent him back to Toulouse.

Louis king of Germany summoned to him his sons Louis and Charles and to induce them to be reconciled with Karlmann he caused oaths to be sworn to them insincerely. But no less insincerely did those sons and their men give solemn oaths to Louis. Their father's real wish was that those sons should join their brother Karlmann in a compaign against the Wends, but he could not get them to agree. Still, he sent along with Karlmann as large an army as he could muster, while he himself, as mentioned earlier, went to speak with Engelberga at Trento. He secretly agreed to give up that part of Lothar's realm which he had received at Charles's expense, neglecting now the oaths sealed between them, and without the consent or even knowledge of the men of the late Lothar who had commended themselves to him. Thus there were now made between Louis and Engelberga mutual oaths different from, and indeed contrary to, those earlier oaths he had exchanged with his brother. When all this was settled, Engelberga sent her envoy to Charles, asking him to take up an earlier suggestion and come to meet her at St-Maurice. But Charles, who knew all about what had gone on between her and his brother, refused to go there, instead sending her his envoys. They returned from her without anything definite to report.

Pope Hadrian, following out the intentions of his predecessor Nicholas, dispatched his envoys, Donatus bishop of Ostia, Stephen bishop of Nepi and Marinus, a deacon of the holy Roman Church, to Constantinople to the Emperor Basil and his sons the Augusti Constantine and Leo. With these envoys there also travelled Anastasius, librarian of the Roman see, a man learned in both languages, that is, in Greek and in Latin. A synod was summoned, termed by those who attended it the Eighth Oecumenical Council, and there they calmed the schism that had arisen over the deposition of Ignatius and the ordination of Photius: Photius was anathematised and Ignatius reinstated. In this synod, they also passed decrees concerning the necessity of images, decrees different from what the orthodox teachers had previously laid down. In order to get the approval of the pope, who gave his assent to their desire that images be adored, they passed certain decrees that were contrary both to the ancient canons and, indeed, to their own synod, as anyone who reads the records of that synod will find clearly revealed.

On the Eve of Pentecost, the Emperor Louis came to Rome, and was crowned next day [18 May] by Pope Hadrian. Then after Mass had been celebrated, Louis wearing his crown rode with the pope in solemn procession to the Lateran palace. Afterwards, having mustered his army, he left Rome and again made for the region of Benevento. The magnates of Italy hated Engelberga because of her high-handedness, so they pressed the emperor to accept the daughter of Winigis in her place, and got him to agree to send an envoy to Engelberga telling her to stay in Italy and not to follow him south but to wait until he came back again to Italy. Engelberga, however, paid not the slightest attention to these instructions, but hastened after Louis. Meanwhile she sent Bishop Wibod to Charles to show, so she said, her feelings of true friendship; she thought Charles did not know about the agreements made between herself and Louis king of Germany.

Wibod presented himself to Charles at Pontailler, where Charles had gone to sort out affairs in Burgundy. There he received the news that Bernard, nicknamed 'the Calf, had been killed by men of Bernard, son of Bernard; and his honores were given to that second Bernard. But Charles returned from Burgundy to Gondreville to hold the assembly he had already summoned there for the beginning of September. After staying there for a short while and making all the arrangements that seemed to him necessary, he went off to hunt in the Ardennes.

In October he came by boat down the Meuse to Maastrict and held talks with the Northmen Roric and Rodulf who had come up the river to meet him. He gave a gracious reception to Roric who had proved loyal to him, but Rodulf he dismissed empty-handed, because he had been plotting acts of treachery and pitching his demands too high. Charles prepared his faithful men for defence against Rodulf s treacherous attacks. Then he rode back by way of Attigny to the monastery of St-Medard where he spent Christmas.

Pope Hadrian died, and on 14 December, John, archdeacon of the Roman Church, was installed in his place.


Now there were many in Charles's realm who expected that Carloman would wreak still further evils in the holy Church of God and in the other realms in which Charles discharged the office of a king. Therefore with the advice of his faithful men and according to the custom of his predecessors and his ancestors, Charles promulgated laws relevant to the peace of the Church and the internal strengthening of the realm, and he decreed that all were to obey them. He also gave orders that the bishops of his realm were to assemble at Senlis where Carloman still was, so that they might carry out their episcopal responsibility concerning him, in accordance with the sacred canons from which, as Pope Leo says, they are 'not permitted to depart through any negligence or any presumption'. The bishops did what had to be done: they deposed Carloman from all ecclesiastical rank, according to the sacred rules, and left him only the communion of a layman.

When this had been done, the ancient cunning Enemy incited Carloman and his accomplices to exploit another argument, namely, that because he no longer held any ecclesiastical orders he could be all the more free to assume the title and power of a king, and because by the bishops' judgement he had lost his clerical rank, he could all the more readily abandon his ecclesiastical way of life. So it came about that following his deposition, his former accomplices began to rally to him again more enthusiastically than ever and to seduce into joining him as many others as they could, so that, as soon as they got the chance, they might snatch him away from the prison where he was being held, and set him up as their king. It was therefore necessary to bring out again into the open all those charges on which he had not been judged by the bishops, and according to what was laid down in the sacred laws he was condemned to death for his crimes. So that he might have time and opportunity for doing penance, however, yet not have the power to commit the still worse offences he was planning, the death sentence was commuted, by the public assent of all present, to a sentence of blinding. This was in order that the pernicious hope in him on the part of those who hated peace might be deceived so far as he was concerned, and the church of God and the Christian religion in Charles's realm might not be disturbed by deadly sedition, in addition to the attacks of the pagans.

King Louis of Germany came before Christmas to the palace of Frankfurt, where he celebrated Christmas and gave notice that his assembly would be held there at the beginning of February. He gave orders that his sons Louis and Charles with his other faithful men were to attend this meeting, and also the men of the late Lothar's kingdom who had commended themselves to him. While Louis waited there, the Devil in the guise of an Angel of light came to his son Charles and told him that his father, who was trying to ruin him for the sake of his brother Karlmann, had offended God and would soon lose his kingdom, and that God had arranged that that kingdom was to be held by none other than Charles, and that he would have it very soon. Charles was terror-stricken because the apparition clung to the house where he was staying. He went into a church but the Devil followed him in and said to him again: 'Why are you frightened and why do you run away? If I who foretell to you what is soon to happen had not come from God, I would not be able to follow you into this house of the Lord.' By these and other smooth arguments, the Devil persuaded him to receive from his hand the communion God had sent him. Charles did so, and passing inside his mouth, Satan entered him. Charles then came to his father, and was sitting in council with his brothers and the other faithful men, both bishops and laymen, when he leapt up, suddenly possessed, and said that he wished to abandon the world and would not touch his wife in carnal intercourse. Taking his sword from his belt he let it fall to the ground. As he tried to undo his sword-belt and take off his princely clothing he began to shake violently. He was held firm by the bishops and other men, and with his father much distressed and all present thunderstruck, he was led into a church. Archbishop Liutbert put on his priestly vestments and began to sing mass. When he got as far as the Gospel, Charles began to shout out with great cries in his native language,'Woe, woe', like that over and over again, until the whole Mass was finished. His father handed him over to the bishops and other faithful men, and ordered him to be led about from one sacred place of holy martyrs to another, so that their merits and prayers might free him from the demon and he might be able by God's mercy to recover his sanity. Then he planned to send Charles to Rome, but various other affairs intervened and the idea of this journey was given up.

Emperor Louis of Italy was residing at Capua now that Lambert the Bald was dead. The patricius of the emperor of the Greeks arrived with an army at the civitas of Otranto to bring help to the Beneventans, who now promised to pay him the tribute they had given until then to the emperors of Francia. Louis found there was no other way to win back Adalgis's adherence but to ask Pope John, who had baptised Adalgis's son, to come to him in the Campagna and reconcile Adalgis with him. Louis wanted it to look as if he was receiving Adalgis in response to an appeal from the vicar of St Peter. He had sworn that he would never leave those parts until he had captured Adalgis, but this was something which in fact he was incapable of achieving by any act of military prowess.

Charles announced that the host would go in the direction of Brittany, so that the Northmen occupying Angers could not surmise that they were going to attack that region, in which case they might have fled away to other places where they could not be so tightly hemmed in. While he was going towards Brittany, and actually on the march, news came to Charles that as a result of the scheming of his brother King Louis of Germany, the now-blind Carloman had been taken away from the monastery of Corbie by some of his former supporters with the connivance of two false monks, and brought to Louis in order to harm Charles's interests, despite the effors of Adalard to intervene and prevent this." Charles was not greatly upset by this news, but proceeded on the campaign he had begun.

The Northmen, after ravaging various towns, rasing fortresses to the ground, burning churches and monasteries and turning cultivated land into a desert, had for some time now been established in Angers. Charles now besieged this civitas with the host he had got together, and surrounded it with a very strong enclosing earthwork, while Salomon, duke of the Bretons, stayed in position on the other side of the River Mayenne with his army of Bretons to be ready to help Charles. During the time that King Charles was engaged in this siege, Salomon sent to him his son, whose name was Wicon, together with the leading men of the Bretons, and Wicon commended himself to Charles and in the presence of his own faithful men swore him an oath of fidelity.

Meanwhile the Northman Rodulf, who had inflicted many evils on Charles's realm, was slain in the realm of Louis with 500 and more of his accomplices.' Charles got reliable news of this as he remained in his position near Angers.

A swarm of locusts poured itself throughout Germany, the Gauls and especially Spain: it was so large, it could be compared with the plague of Egypt.

King Louis of Germany was making arrangements to hold an assembly at Metz, when he got word that if he did not send help very quickly indeed to his son Karlmann on the Wendish frontier, he would never see him again. Immediately Louis turned round and made for Regensburg. He entrusted the blind Carloman to Archbishop Liutbert to be looked after in the monastery of St-Alban at Mainz, thereby making very clear his strong disapproval of all the evil deeds which that Carloman had committed against the holy Church of God, against the Christian people and against his own father, whenever and wherever he had had the chance. Louis reached Regensburg, and through his envoys he won over as opportunities arose the various groups of Wends who were organised under different chiefs. He received the envoys who had been sent to deceive him by those people called the Bohemians: then he flung them into prison.

Charles carried on manfully and energetically his siege of the Northmen right round the civitas of Angers. He cowed them so thoroughly that their chiefs came to him and commended themselves to him, swore exactly the solemn oaths he ordered, and handed over as many, and as important, hostages as he demanded. The conditions imposed were, that on the day appointed, they should leave Angers and never again as long as they lived either wreak devastation in Charles's realm or agree to others' doing so. They requested to be allowed to stay until February on an island in the Loire, and to hold a market there; and, in February, they agreed, those of them who had by then been baptised and wished thenceforth to hold truly to the Christian religion would come and submit to Charles, those still pagan but willing to become Christian would be baptised under conditions to be arranged by Charles, but the rest would depart from his realm, never more, as stated above, to return to it with evil intent.

After all this, Charles together with the bishops and people, with the greatest demonstration of religious fervour, restored to their rightful places with rich offerings the bodies of SS Albinus and Licinius which had been disinterred from their graves for fear of the Northmen'. So, when the Northmen had been thrown out of Angers and hostages had been received, Charles left there in October and travelling by way of the civitas of Le Mans and the town [oppidum] of Evreux, and passing close by the new fort at Pitres he arrived at Amiens at the beginning of November. From there he went to hunt at his villa of Orville and in the surrounding district, and thus reached St-Vaast where he cel�ebrated Christmas.

874: A long, hard winter, with such a tremendous amount of snow that no one could remember seeing anything like it.

Charles held a meeting with his counsellors on the feast of the Purification of St Mary [2 February] at the monastery of St- Quentin. He then spent Lent at St-Denis and celebrated Easter [11 April] there. He also held a general assembly at the villa of Douzy on 13 June, and received his annual gifts. From there he moved to Compiègne by way of Attigny and the other usual staging-posts.

The long summer produced a drying-up of the grass and a poor harvest.

Various conflicting reports had been arriving about Salomon chief of the Bretons, some saying that he was ill, some that he was dead. At Compiègne Charles got definite news of his death. It came about like this: a rebellion was mounted against him by the Breton magnates Pascwethen, Guorhwant, and Wicon son of Ruilin and also some Franci homines to whom Salomon had been extremely oppressive. After they had captured Salomon's son Wicon and thrown him into prison, Salomon fled to Poher and went into a little monastery from which he hoped to be able to make his escape. But he was surrounded and caught by his own people; and because no Breton might inflict any bodily harm on him, he was handed over to the Franci homines, Fulcoald and the rest, who blinded him so savagely that he was found dead next day. Thus did Salomon receive his just deserts: he was the man who had turned on his own lord Erispoe and slain him as he fled from his attacker into a church, even as he was crying out to the Lord on the altar.

Lous king of Germany sent his son Charles [the Fat], with other envoys, to his brother Charles, with the request that the two kings might hold discussions together by the Moselle. Charles was on his way to this meeting when he went down with dysentery and thus detained, was unable to appear at the meeting as arranged. The discussions between Louis and Charles were therefore held near the Meuse at Herstal about the beginning of December. Charles returned from this meeting by way of St-Quentin and celebrated Christmas at Compiègne, while Louis spent it at Aachen and from there crossed the Rhine and returned to his palace at Frankfurt.


About the beginning of Lent [9 February] Charles came to St-Denis and he celebrated Easter [27 March] there. Richildis his wife gave birth prematurely to a baby boy on the night of 22 March. After being baptised the baby soon died. Richildis stayed at St-Denis until the days of her cleansing after childbirth were completed. Charles meanwhile moved to Bezu-Saint-éloi, came back to St-Denis to celebrate the litanies before Ascension Day [5 May], and then moved to Compiègne where he arrived on the Eve of Pentecost [14 May].

In May Louis king of Germany held his assembly at Tribur but failing to complete at it the business he had intended, he gave notice that another assembly would be held in August at the same place.

In August Charles came to Douzy near the Ardennes, and there he learned for certain that his nephew Louis emperor of Italy had died. At this news he moved rapidly from Douzy to Ponthion, where he gave orders for his counsellors in those parts, those of them he could influence, to come to meet him, and he got help for his journey from as many as he could. From Ponthion he moved to Langres and waited for the men he had already picked to take with him to Italy. He sent his wife Richildis back to Servais by way of Rheims, and he sent his son Louis to that part of his realm which he had gained after the death of his nephew Lothar as a result of the agreement with his brother Louis. Then at the beginning of September he began his journey, and travelling by way of the monastery of St-Maurice, he crossed the Mons Iovis pass and entered Italy.

His brother Louis king of Germany sent his son Charles [the Fatl to Italy to put up opposition to his brother, but King Charles forced him to take flight and leave Italy altogether. Then Louis sent another son, Karlmann, to Italy, with as many men as he could muster to offer resistance to his [Louis's] brother. King Charles got wind of this and advanced to meet him with a superior force. Karlmann, realising that he was incapable of resisting his uncle, came to talk with him and to sue for peace; and when oaths had been solemnly exchanged, he went back to his own country.

Engelram, Charles's former chamberlain and administrator of the fisc, had been thrown out of his honores and dismissed from Charles's favour through the influence of Queen Richildis. He now persuaded Louis [the German] to march with his son and namesake Louis and a large army as far as Attigny. On the orders of Queen Richildis the magnates of Charles's realm steeled themselves with solemn oaths to resist Louis, but instead of holding to their purpose they ravaged Charles's realm on their own account and devastated it in just the way an enemy would do. Louis and his army likewise ravaged that realm. Louis spent Christmas at Attigny, having bribed the magnates. Then, after laying waste Charles's realm, he withdrew along with certain of the counts of Charles's realm who had gone over to him. Travelling by way of Trier he reached the palace of Frankfurt on the other side of the Rhine, and there he passed Lent and celebrated Easter [15 April]. He also got news that his wife Emma had died soon after Christmas at the palace of Regensburg.

Some of the leading men of Italy did not come over to Charles, but he received the submission of most of them, and on the invitation of Pope John he arrived at Rome. There on 14 December he was received by the pope with great ceremony in the church of St-Peter, and

876: on Christmas Day, after making an offering of many precious gifts to St Peter, he was anointed and crowned emperor and was accorded the title of Emperor of the Romans. He left Rome on 5 January, and returned to Pavia where he held his assembly. Boso, his wife's brother, was set up as duke of that land and invested with a ducal crown. Then leaving in Italy Boso and those colleagues whom the duke himself chose, Charles went back by way of the Mons Iovis pass and the mon�astery of St-Maurice, and stiffened his pace so as to be able to celebrate Easter at St-Denis. Hearing of her husband's approach, Richildis, who had been staying at Servais, on 6 March set out quickly to meet him. Travelling at the greatest possible speed by way of Rheims, Châlons and Langres, on 16 March she reached a place called Vernierfontaine on the other side of Besan�on.

The emperor then moved north with her by way of the cities of Besan�on, Langres, Châlons and Rheims and the palace of Compiègne and reached St-Denis to celebrate Easter [15 April]. There he summoned the papal legates John bishop of Toscanella, John bishop of Arezzo and Ansegis archbishop of Sens, and on the pope's authority and their advice and his own decree he summoned a synod to meet in the July following at Ponthion. He went there by way of Rheims and Châlons.

After the emperor had left Italy and returned to Francia, Boso, through the intrigues of Berengar son of Eberhard, made a wicked plot and married the daughter of the late Emperor Louis, Ermengard, who was already living with him.

On 20 June, in the eighth Indiction, the Lord Emperor Charles, in a gilded robe and clad in Frankish costume, came with the legates of the apostolic see into the synod where the bishops and other clergy were all clothed in their ecclesiastical vestments. The whole interior of the building and the seats were covered in fine cloths, and in the very heart of the synod in full view of the imperial throne the Holy Gospels were placed on a lectern. The chanters sang the antiphon 'Hear us O Lord' with the verses and 'Gloria', and after the 'Kyrie eleison' and a prayer said by John bishop of Toscanella, the Lord Emperor took his seat in the synod.

John bishop of Toscanella read out the letters sent by the pope, including, notably, a letter concerning the primacy of Ansegis arch�bishop of Sens: he was to enjoy the post of papal deputy in the Gauls and Germanies in the summoning of a synod or in performing other functions, whenever the needs of the Church should require it; the decrees of the apostolic see were to be made known to the bishops through his agency, and whatever action was taken, as and when necessary, was to be reported back to the apostolic see through an account sent by him; more important and difficult cases were to be referred at his discretion to the apostolic see for its decision and explanation. When the bishops asked permission to read this letter, which was after all addressed to them, the emperor would not consent, but demanded what response they would give to these papal orders.

Their reply was that, saving the rights and privileges of the various metropolitans, they would obey Pope John's commands, following the sacred canons and the decrees of the pontiffs of the Roman see promulgated in accordance with those sacred canons. The emperor and the papal legates tried very hard to get the archbishops to reply that they would be obedient concerning Ansegis's primacy exactly in the terms the pope had used in his letter, without any reservations. But the emperor failed to extort from them any reply other than that given above. Only Frotar archbishop of Bordeaux, who had moved from Bordeaux to Poitiers and from there to Bourges through royal favour but against the canonical rules, through sheer sycophancy gave the emperor the answer he knew would please him.

Then the emperor was angry, and said that the lord pope had committed to him the task of representing the apostolic see before the synod, and he was going to apply himself to carrying out what the pope had commanded. He took the rolled-up letter, and together with John of Toscanella and John of Arezzo handed it over to Ansegis. Then he ordered a portable chair to be placed next to John of Toscanella (who was seated on his right) and so above all the bishops of his realm this side of the Alps, and he commanded Ansegis to take precedence over all those who had been ordained before he had, and to sit on that chair. The archbishop of Rheims protested, in the hearing of everyone present, that this action contravened the sacred rules. But the emperor remained firm in his decision, and though the bishops begged that they might be allowed at least to take a copy of the letter that had been sent to them, they failed completely to get what they asked for. Then the synod was dissolved for that day.

On the 21st of the same month, the bishops assembled again. At this meeting letters sent by the lord pope to the laity were read out; and there was also read out the formal statement of the election of the lord emperor by the bishops and other men of the realm of Italy, and also the decrees which Charles had issued in the palace at Ticino" and had commanded were to be observed by all, and which he now ordered the bishops on this side of the Alps to confirm. Thus the synod was dissolved for that day.

On 4 July the bishops assembled without the emperor and disputes were heard concerning the priests of various dioceses who were appealing to the pope's legates. Thus the synod was dissolved for that day.

On the fifth of the same month, the bishops assembled again and the emperor, taking his seat in the synod, gave audience to the envoys of his brother Louis, namely Archbishop Willibert of Cologne and Counts Adalard and Meingaud, through whom Louis demanded a share of the realm of the Emperor Louis, son of their brother Lothar, as he claimed was his due according to hereditary right and as had been guaranteed to him by solemn oath. Then John of Toscanella read out a letter from Pope John addressed to the bishops of Louis's realm, and he gave a copy to Archbishop Willibert to deliver to those bishops. The synod was then dissolved for that day.

On 10 July the bishops assembled and at about the ninth hour more envoys from the lord pope arrived, namely Bishop Leo [of Sabina], the papal apocrisiarius and also the pope's nephew, and Peter bishop of Fossombrone, who brought letters to the emperor and the empress and papal greeting to the bishops. The synod was then dissolved for that day.

On 11 July, when the bishops had assembled, a letter from the pope was read out concerning the condemnation of Bishop Formosus and of Gregory the papal nomenclator and of their supporters. Then the gifts sent by the pope were formally presented to the emperor: outstanding among these were a sceptre and a golden staff. The pope also sent gifts to the empress: fine robes and armills encrusted with gems. The synod was then dissolved for that day.

On 14 July the bishops assembled, and the emperor sent in the pope's deputies to rebuke still more harshly the archbishops and the other bishops who the day before had not complied with the emperor's command. But the reproaches were stifled when a reasonable explana�tion in conformity with the canons was given to the emperor. Then on the emperor's orders, the letter concerning Ansegis's primacy was again read out by John of Toscanella, and when he had finished he again demanded a reply from the bishops. The archbishops one by one replied that they were willing to obey the pope's decrees in accordance with the rules, just as their predecessors had obeyed his predecessors. This reply of the archbishops was more readily forthcoming now than it had been in the presence of the emperor.

After many disputed cases had been aired concerning the priests of various dioceses who were appealing to the pope's legates, the statement of Frotar archbishop of Bordeaux was read out again: he declared that he was unable to remain in his civitas because of the insecurity caused by the pagans and he sought permission to take possession of the metropolitan see of Bourges. The bishops did not unanimously agree to his request. The papal legates gave orders for the bishops to assemble on 16 July.

That morning about the ninth hour the emperor entered, clad in the Greek fashion and wearing his crown, led by the papal legates clad in the Roman fashion and by the bishops wearing their ecclesiastical vestments, with everything else arranged as it had been on the first day when the synod began. Again, as on that earlier occasion, the antiphon 'Hear us Lord' was sung, with the verses and the 'Gloria' following the 'Kyrie eleison', and after Bishop Leo had said the prayer, everyone was seated. Then John of Arezzo read out a document that lacked both sense and authority, and after that Bishop Odo of Beauvais read out certain statements that had been dictated by the papal legates, and by Ansegis and Odo himself, which were mutually inconsistent, totally unhelpful, and lacking in both sense and authority and therefore are not reproduced here. Then an interrogation was started again concerning Ansegis's primacy, but after both the emperor and the papal legates had made many complaints against the bishops, Ansegis gained at this last session of the synod precisely the same as he had on the first day.

After this Peter bishop of Fossombrone and John of Toscanella went into the emperor's private apartments and brought out before the synod the Empress Richildis wearing her crown. As she stood beside the emperor, everyone rose to his feet, each standing in position according to his rank. Then Bishop Leo and Bishop John of Toscanella began the Laudes, and when these had been duly performed for the lord pope and the lord emperor and the empress and all the rest, accord�ing to custom, Bishop Leo of Sabina said a prayer, and the synod was finally dissolved.

After this the emperor presented the papal envoys Leo and Peter with gifts and sent them back to Rome, and with them Ansegis archbishop of Sens and Adalgar bishop of Autun.

Meanwhile a group of Northmen were baptised by Hugh the abbot and marchio, and consequently were presented to the emperor. He be�stowed gifts on them and sent them back to their own people, but afterwards, like typical Northmen, they lived according to the pagan custom just as before.

On 28 July the emperor moved from Ponthion and on 30 July reached Châlons, where he stayed until 13 August suffering from some kind of illness. He moved to Rheims in the August and from there proceeded by the direct route to Servais. On 28 August he dispatched the papal legates, John and the other John along with Bishop Odo and other envoys of his own, to his brother Louis and his sons and the bishops and magnates of his realm. These envoys were already on their way when news reached the emperor at Quierzy that King Louis had died at the palace of Frankfurt on 28 August and been buried on 29 August in the monastery of St-Nazarius. Now the emperor sent out his envoys to the magnates of his late brother's realm, and moved from Quierzy as far as the villa of Stenay. His plan was to get to Metz and receive the bishops and magnates of his late brother's realm who would come to him there. But he suddenly changed his mind and went to Aachen and from there to Cologne, with the papal legates going along with him.

While all the men in his retinue plundered as they went, without any respect for God, Northmen, with about 100 of their large ships which our people call bargae, sailed into the Seine estuary on 16 September. News of this reached the emperor at Cologne, but he made no change on this account in the plans he had already begun to put into effect. His nephew Louis the Younger came up to meet him across on the other bank of the Rhine with the Saxons and Thuringians, and he sent envoys to his uncle the emperor to beg his favour. His request was refused and when he and his counts then sought mercy from the Lord with fastings and litanies, the emperor's men jeered at them.

Louis son of King Louis then set up a Judgement of God before all his troops: ten men were put to ordeal of hot water, ten men to the ordeal of hot iron and ten men to the ordeal of cold water. Then everyone prayed God to declare in this Judgement if it was more right that Louis should have the share of the realm left to him by his father, specifically that part which his father had acquired as a result of his agreement with his brother Charles, with Charles's consent and solemn oath. All those put to the ordeal were unharmed. Then Louis with his men crossed the Rhine and got to the fort at Andernach.

When news of this move reached Charles, he sent the empress Richildis, now pregnant again, with Abbot Hilduin and Bishop Franco to Herstal. Charles in full array advanced along the bank of the Rhine against his nephew, meanwhile sending envoys on ahead to ask Louis to send some of his counsellors to meet with Charles's counsellors to negotiate peace terms. Louis received this suggestion with humble acquiescence: he felt secure in the knowledge that no armed attack might be made on him until such negotiations were completed.

On 7 October the emperor, having already given his squadrons their orders, got up during the night, and raising the standards, tried to launch a surprise attack on his nephew and those with him, moving along rough and narrow tracks that were more like trackless places. When he arrived close by Andernach, his men and horses were tired out by the extreme difficulty of this route as well as by the rain which had drenched them all night.

Now, all of a sudden, Louis and his men got word that the emperor was coming upon them with a mighty army. Louis and those with him held their position directly opposite Charles. The emperor's battalions charged, but Louis and his men resisted bravely. The emperor's whole army turned tail and in its flight fell back on the emperor. He himself with a few companions only just managed to escape. Many who might have got away were prevented from doing so, because the emperor's baggage and that of the others with him, and also the traders and shield-sellers who followed the imperial army, all clogged the narrow road and so blocked the escape route for the fleeing soldiers. In this battle were slain Counts Raganar and Jerome and many others. On the battlefield itself and in the neighbouring forest there were taken prisoner Bishop Ottulf [of Troyes], Abbot Gauzlin, Counts Aledramn, Adalard, Bernard and Everwin and a great many others. Louis's army seized all the baggage and all the goods the traders were carrying. Thus was fulfilled the word of the prophet saying: 'You who plunder, shall you yourself not be plun�dered?' [Isa. 33:l]. Everything which those plunderers who were with the emperor had, and even they themselves, now became the plunder of someone else. So total were the losses that those who did manage to escape on horseback possessed, instead of spoils, only their own skins. The rest were stripped of all they had by the local peasants: they had to cover their private parts by wrapping themselves in grass and straw, and those whom their pursuers did not want to kill fled naked away. And there was delivered a very great blow' [I Reg. 4:10] against a people of plunderers.

Richildis learned on 9 October that the emperor himself and his whole army had been put to flight. She hastily left Herstal and as she fled, during the night that followed at cock-crow she gave birth to a boy there on the road. Her trusted servant carried the baby on ahead of her and fled until he brought him to Anthénay. On the evening of 9 October the emperor reached the monastery of St-Lambert [Liège]. There Franco and Abbot Hilduin, leaving Richildis, rejoined Charles on 10 October, and stayed with him until following Richildis he arrived at Anthénay. From there he went on to Douzy, but returned to Anthénay to announce that he would hold his assembly at Samoussy on the fifteenth day after Martinmas [27 November].

Louis son of the late King Louis left Andernach and by way of Sinzig went back to Aachen where he stayed for three days. Then he went to meet his brother Charles [the Fat] at Koblenz. After holding talks together, Charles, a sick man, went off in the direction of Metz and from there into Alemannia, while Louis made his way across the Rhine. Their brother Karlmann came neither to them nor to his uncle Charles as he had asked him to do: Karlmann was fully engaged in fighting the Wends.

The Emperor Charles sent Conrad and others of his leading men to the Northmen who had come into the Seine, with instructions to make a treaty with them on whatever terms they could, and to report back to him at the planned assembly.

The Lord Emperor Charles came to his assembly at Samoussy, as arranged, and there he received men from the part of the late Lothar's realm which Charles's brother Louis had acquired by their mutual arrangement. These men had come over to Charles following his flight from Andernach. To some of them he gave whole abbeys intact; to others he granted benefices from the abbey-lands of Marchiennes which he had divided up; and then he gave them permission to leave.

He placed squadrons to form a defensive line along the Seine against the Northmen. Then he arrived at the villa of Virziniacum, where he became gravely ill with a fever - so ill that his life was despaired of. There he celebrated Christmas.

877: He recovered and went by way of Quierzy to Compiègne. While he was staying there, his baby son fell ill. He was the child to whom Richildis had given birth on the road before she could reach Anthénay. He was baptised with the name of Charles, with his uncle Boso standing godfather. Then he died and was carried to St-Denis to be buried there.

The Emperor Charles passed Lent and celebrated Easter [7 April] at Compiègne, where he received Pope John's envoys, Peter bishop of Fossombrone and another Peter, bishop of Sinigaglia. Through these envoys, Pope John summoned Charles both by word and by letter to come and rescue the Holy Roman Church, as he had promised, and defend it against the pagans who threatened it.

At the beginning of May, Charles summoned to Compiègne the bishops of the province of Rheims and of the other provinces, and in the presence of himself and of the papal envoys he had the church which he had build as his palace chapel consecrated with great pomp by all those bishops.

From there he went to hold his general assembly at the beginning of July at Quierzy. There he laid down in a series of capitula how his son Louis, with his faithful men and the magnates of the realm, was to rule the realm of Francia until he himself should return from Rome. He also made arrangements for how the tribute should be levied from that part of the realm of Francia which he held before Lothar's death, and also from Burgundy: from every manse in demesne one solidus; From every free manse 4 denarii from the lord's rent and 4 denarii from the tenant's assets; from every unfree manse 2 denarii from the lord's rent and 2 denarii from the tenant's assets; and every bishop to receive from each priest in his diocese, according to what each could afford, between 5 solidi maximum and 4 denarii minimum, and to hand this over to special missi dominici. Amounts were also taken from the treasuries of the churches in proportion to the quantity held in each place, to pay off this tribute. The total amount of tribute raised was 5,000 lb according to weight. Those bishops and others too who lived across the Seine in Neustria, took measures to raise a tribute everywhere they could to pay the Northmen on the Loire according to what they demanded.

Now the lord emperor went from Quierzy to Compiègne, and thence by way of Soissons to Rheims. Then he continued his journey by way of Châlons and Ponthion and Langres, and, accompanied by his wife and a huge supply of gold and silver and horses and other movables, he left Francia and made for Italy. Crossing the Jura he reached Orbe, where he met Bishop Adalgar whom he had dispatched to Rome the previous February to take part in the synod summoned by Pope John.

Adalgar brought a copy of the decrees of this synod to the emperor, by way of a large gift. The gist of the synodal decrees, after many and varied praises of the emperor, was as follows: Charles's election and promotion to the imperial sceptres celebrated at Rome the previous year was to remain firm and settled from then on, now and forever, and if anyone should try to disturb or spoil these arrangements, of whatever order or rank or calling he might be, he was to be bound by anathema for all time until he might be brought to make amends, and the enacters or inciters of any such intent, if they were clerics, were to be deposed, or if laymen or monks, to be struck by perpetual anathema, so that this decision should everywhere prevail, since the work of the synod held the previous year at Ponthion had been of no help at Andernach. Adalgar also informed the emperor, amongst other things, that Pope John would come to Pavia to meet him. Charles therefore sent on ahead Odacer, his notary of the second bureau, Count Goiramn, and Pippin and Herbert, to make arrangements for meeting all the pope's needs.

Charles himself hastened on his way and met the pope at Vercelli, and having been received with the greatest honour, went on together with the pope to Pavia. There they heard the news beyond any doubt that Karlmann, son of Charles's late brother Louis, was on his way to attack them with a huge body of troops. So they left Pavia and moved to Tortona where Richildis was consecrated empress by Pope John. Then Richildis fled back towards Maurienne, taking the treasure with her.

The emperor stayed for a while in those parts in the company of Pope John. He awaited the arrival of the leading men of his realm, Abbot Hugh, Boso, Count Bernard of Auvergne, and the other Bernard, markio of Gothia, all of whom he had ordered to come with him to Italy. But they had conspired and formed a plot against him together with the other leading men of the realm, with a few exceptions, and also the bishops. When Charles realised that Abbot Hugh and the rest were not going to appear, and when he and Pope John heard news that Karlmann was getting close, the emperor took flight, following in Richildis's footsteps, while Pope John sped back to Rome as fast as he could. He carried with him on the emperor's behalf an image of the Saviour fixed to the cross: it was made out of a large amount of gold and adorned with precious stones, and Charles now sent it to St Peter the Apostle.

Karlmann heard false news that the emperor and Pope John were on their way to attack him with a huge body of troops, and he too now fled along the route by which he had come. Thus did God with his usual mercy bring that conflict to nought.

Charles, stricken by fever, drank a powder which his Jewish doctor Zedechias, whom he loved and trusted all too much, had given him to cure his sickness. But he had drunk a poison for which there was no antidote. Carried by bearers, he crossed the Mont Cenis pass and reached a place called Brios. There he sent for Richildis who was at Maurienne, and asked her to come to him, which she did. On 6 October, the eleventh day after he had drunk the poison, he died in a wretched little hut. His attendants opened him up, took out his intestines, poured in such wine and aromatics as they had, put the body on a bier and set off to carry him to St-Denis where he had asked to be buried. But because of the stench they could carry him no further, so they put him in a barrel which they smeared with pitch inside and outside and encased in hides, but even this did nothing to get rid of the smell. Only with difficulty did they manage to reach Nantua, a little monastery in the archdiocese of Lyons, and there they committed the body, with its barrel, to the earth.

Karlmann, so ill that he was almost dead, was carried back home in a litter. After that he lay sick for a whole year, his life despaired of by many.

Louis [the Stammerer] was at the villa of Orville when he heard the news of his father's death. He won over as many men as he could, granting them abbacies, countships and villae according to what each demanded. Then he travelled by way of Quierzy and Compiègne to Ver, intending to reach St-Denis to bury his father there. But he heard that his father had already been buried. He also heard that the leading men of his realm, abbots and counts alike, were outraged by his granting out honores to certain people without their consent, and had therefore formed a plot against him. He returned to Compiègne, while the magnates, together with Richildis, ravaging everything in their path, came to the convent of Avenay and fixed Mont-Aimé as their meeting place, and from there sent their envoys to Louis. Louis also sent his envoys to them, and after messengers had run back and forth between them, the outcome was that Richildis and those magnates were to come to him at Compiègne and they named their own meeting-point at Le Chene-Herbelot in the forest of Cuise. On the Feast of St Andrew [30 November] Richildis came to Louis at Compiègne, and brought him the official command by which his father, just before his death, had handed over the realm to him; she also brought the sword known as the sword of St Peter, with which she was to invest him with the realm; she brought too the royal robes and crown and a sceptre made of gold and precious stones. Then after more envoys had sped to and fro between Louis and the magnates of the realm, and honores had been agreed to all who sought them, on 8 December with the consent of all, bishops, abbots and all the rest of the magnates who were present, Louis was consecrated and crowned king by Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims. The bishops commended them�selves and their churches to him for due defence and the preservation of their canonical privileges, promising that they would be faithful to him with counsel and aid as far as they might know or be able to, and according to their office. The lay abbots and magnates of the realm and royal vassals commended themselves to him and promised fidelity to him with a solemn oath, according to custom.

When King Louis, son of the Emperor Charles, was crowned at Compiègne, the bishops put the following request to him:

�We request of you that you grant to us that you will preserve to each his canonical privilege and due law and justice concerning ourselves and the churches committed to us, according to the first clause which at Quierzy recently the lord emperor your father announced would be preserved by himself and by you (and Gauzlin read this out), with the consent of his and your faithful men and of the legates of the apostolic see, just as a king in his kingdom ought injustice to show to each bishop and to the church committed to him.�

Louis for his part made the following promise to the bishops:

�I promise and grant you that I shall preserve canonical privilege and due law and justice to each of you and to the churches committed to you, according to the first point which at Quierzy recently the lord emperor my father announced he would preserve (and Gauzlin read it out), with the consent of his and our faithful men and of the legates of the apostolic see, and that I will offer protection so far as I am able, with God's help, just as a king in his kingdom is bound to show to each bishop and to the church committed to him.�

This is the capitulary-clause referred to:

Concerning the honour and worship of God and of the holy churches which through God's plan are set under the command and protection of our rule, we decree, through the Lord's mediation, that, just as in the time of our lord father of blessed memory they were cultivated and honoured and made great with possessions, those which have been honoured and endowed through our gen�erosity should be preserved in their integrity; also the priests and servants of God should have ecclesiastical strength and due privileges, according to the authority which must be revered; and the power of the prince, the efforts of exalted persons, and the officials of the state should hasten to help them in all things, in reasonable and just fashion, so that they may be able to carry out the tasks of their office in a suitable way. And let our son preserve the above-mentioned in a like manner, with God's help.

The commendation of Bishop Ansegis and of the other bishops who were present at Compiègne when they blessed Louis, son of the Emperor Charles was as follows:

�I commend myself to you, along with the church committed to me, to preserve due law and justice and to offer defence, just as a king ought by just judgement to preserve and offer to a bishop and to his church.�

Their profession was the following:

�I, so-and-so, profess thus: from this day and henceforth, I shall be a faithful man and helper in my faith and my priesthood to this my lord and my king Louis, son of Charles and Ermentrude, with aid and counsel, as far as I know and can and according to my office, as a bishop rightly owes to his lord.�

In response to the above request of the bishops, King Louis professed to the bishops the following, and gave them with his own hand this same text of his grant, at Compiègne in the year of our Lord's incarnation 877, on 30 November:

�I, Louis, constituted king by the mercy of our Lord God and by the election of the people, promise, with the Church of God as witness, to all orders, namely those of the bishops, of priests, of monks, of canons and of nuns, that I will preserve for them the rules in their entirety as written by the fathers and strengthened by apostolic attestations, from this time on and for the future. I promise, furthermore, that I shall preserve their laws and statutes to the people which, by God's mercy, has been committed to me to rule, for the common counsel of our faithful men, according to what the emperors and kings my predecessors established by their actions and decreed were to be held and observed absolutely, without any violation. Therefore I, Louis, through love of righteousness and justice, reading over this my freely-given promise, have confirmed it with my own hand.�

878: King Louis celebrated Christmas in the monastery of St-Medard at Soissons. From there, he moved to the villa at Orville; and he cel�ebrated Easter in the monastery of St-Denis. Hugh, the abbot and markio, persuaded him to go west of the Seine, firstly, to help Hugh against the Northmen, and secondly, because the sons of Gauzfrid had seized the stronghold and honores of the son of the late Count Odo, and because Imino, brother of the Markio Bernard, had seized Evreux and was causing widespread devastation in those parts, and even had the audacity to ravage the lands of Eiricus, behaving the way the Northmen do.

Louis reached Tours, and became so ill that they despaired of his life. But by the Lord's mercy he recovered a little. Gauzfrid, through the influence of some of the royal counsellors who were friends of his,. presented himself to Louis, bringing his sons with him. These were the terms they agreed on: Gauzfrid's sons should give up to King Louis the stronghold and honores they had wrongfully occupied, and then were to hold them thereafter by royal grant. Then Gauzfrid brought a group of Bretons over to the king's allegiance. But they behaved in the end the way Bretons always do.

Pope John was raging against Counts Lambert and Adalbert: he had excommunicated them in most fearsome fashion because they had plundered his villae and his civitas. He left Rome and voyaged by ship to Aries where he arrived on the holy day of Pentecost [11 May]. He sent his envoys to Count Boso, and with his help reached Lyons. From there he sent messengers to King Louis at Tours, asking him to come and meet him at whatever place might suit the king. So Louis sent certain bishops to meet the pope and asked him to come as far as Troyes. He ordered funds to be given to the pope there by the bishops of his realm. Louis joined the pope at Troyes on 1 September: he had not been able to get there sooner because of being so ill.

Meanwhile Pope John held a general synod with the bishops of the Gallic and Belgic provinces. He had a report read out before the synod concerning the way he had excommunicated Lambert and Adalbert and also Formosus and the nomenclator Gregory. The pope sought the consent of the bishops in respect of these excommunications. There�fore the bishops present requested that, just as the pope had had the excommunication which he had issued recounted in the synod by the reading-out of a written document, so he would give them permission to accord him their consent by means of a written document. When Pope John gave this permission, the bishops thus presented to him in the synod next day the following diploma:� Lord John, most holy and most reverend father of fathers, pope of the catholic and apostolic Church, namely the holy first see of Rome: we, the servants and disciples of your authority, the bishops of the Gallic and Belgic provinces, share your pain over the things that evil men and ministers of the devil have committed against our holy mother and teacher of all churches, adding to the wounds of your griefs. Weeping with you in your woe, we share your grief, and we carry out the judgement of your authority, which, by the privilege of the Blessed Peter and of the apostolic see, according to the sacred canons founded by the spirit of God and consecrated by the authority of the whole world, and according to the decrees of the pontiffs your predecessors of that same holy Roman see, you have issued against those evil men and their accomplices whom we by our decision, our voice and our unanimity and by the authority of the Holy Spirit, by whose grace we have been ordained in the episcopal order, are slaying with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. That is to say, those whom you have excommuni�cated, as we have said above, we hold to be excommunicated; those whom you have cast out from the Church, we cast out; those whom you have anathematised, we judge to be anathematised; and those whom your authority and the apostolic see accepts as giving satisfaction according to the rules, we shall accept. But, as in sacred history we read concerning the plague justly visited on the Egyptians by God that 'there was not a house in which a dead boy did not lie' [Exod. 12:30], and there was no one to comfort another since everyone had in his own house something over which to grieve, so we in our churches too grieve over the grievous. Therefore with all humility of mind we beg you to help us with your authority, requesting you to issue an order, backed by your authority, telling us what action we ought to take concerning those who wrongfully seize our churches, so that, fortified with the censure of the apostolic see and henceforth made more vigorous and more zealous, we may be strengthened, if God brings us aid, to persist in our agreed sentence against perverse stealers and ravagers of ecclesiastical lands and movables and against despisers of the sacred episcopal office; so that they, having been handed over to Satan, according to the voice of the outstanding preacher and the promulgation of your authority, may be saved in spirit on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.�

The excommunication of the Apostolic John and of the other bishops present at Troyes, concerning those who wrongfully seize ecclesias�tical property was as follows:

�Concerning those who wrongfully seize (forsooth!) ecclesiastical property, whom the sacred canons, founded by the spirit of God and consecrated by the reverence of the whole world, and the decrees of the pontiffs of the apostolic see have determined should be placed under anathema until they give satisfaction according to the rules; and also concerning plunderers, whom the Apostle (with Christ speaking in him) affirms can have no part in the kingdom of God and forbids to take food with any Christian person so long as they persist in that crime [I Cor. 5:11; 6:10]: we decree through the strength of Christ and by the judgement of the Holy Spirit that if they do not restore to their churches those goods which any wrongful appropriators whosoever have unjustly seized and give satisfaction according to the rules before 1 November next, they shall be deemed removed from the communion of the body and blood of Christ until the restitution of the churches' property and due satisfaction be given. Those who scorn the Church's excom�munication and the sacred episcopal ministry, having been warned according to evangelic and apostolic authority by the bishops whose concern that is, if they do not come to their senses and give satisfaction according to the rules, are to remain knotted by the bond of anathema until satisfaction be given. If they die persisting in that obduracy, their memory is not to be kept at the sacred altar among the faithful dead, according to the saying of the apostle and evangelist John: 'And is it a sin unto death? Concerning that, I do not say that anyone may pray'. For a 'sin unto death' means: persisting in sin until death. And the sacred canons of the ancient fathers have decreed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit con�cerning those who voluntarily bring death on themselves and who are punished for their crimes, that their bodies should not be carried to burial with hymns and psalms. Following their decrees, we have decreed by the judgement of the Holy Spirit the things specified above concerning those who attack and wrongfully seize the lands and movables of churches, unless they come to their senses, as the blessed Gregory said when he decreed that 'such men are not Christians and I and all the catholic bishops, indeed the universal Church, anathematize them'. Farewell.�

Pope John ordered this diploma to be drawn up for the excommunications he issued, and he confirmed it with his own hand and had it subscribed by all the bishops in the synod. Then, on his orders, there were read out in the synod the canons of the Council of Sardica, and the decrees of Pope Leo concerning bishops who change their sees, and the African canons to the effect that such transfers of bishops from one see to another should not be made, any more than rebaptisms or reordinations can be. This latter point referred to the case of Bishop Frotar of Bordeaux who was said to have jumped from Bordeaux to Poitiers and thence to the see of Bourges.

Louis was crowned by Pope John on 7 September. He invited the pope to his palace and regaled him sumptuously. Then he and his wife sent him back into Troyes loaded with many gifts; after this Louis sent messengers to ask the pope to crown his wife as queen, but he failed to get the pope's agreement. In the assembly of bishops, Bishops Frotar and Adalgar presented to Pope John the order by which Louis's father had handed on the realm to him, and they requested the pope on Louis's behalf to confirm that order by issuing a privilege. Then Pope John produced a document purporting to be an order issued by the Emperor Charles to the effect that the abbey of St-Denis should be given to the Roman Church. A number of people thought that this document had in fact been put together on the advice of those bishops above-mentioned and of the other counsellors of King Louis, with the aim of providing reasonable grounds for the pope's taking that abbey away from Gauzlin and holding it himself. Pope John declared that if King Louis wished him to issue a privilege about the order whereby Louis's father had handed on the realm, then Louis should confirm, by an order of his own, his father's order about St-Denis. This proposal was never put into effect: it was a case of faction and not of good sense.

Then on 10 September, King Louis was forced into action by the demands of some of the magnates. He came to the house where the pope was staying, spoke with him on friendly terms, and went back with him to the bishops' assembly, which was being held in a hall right next to the pope's residence. Hugh, son of Lothar [II], and Imino and their accomplices were excommunicated as a result of pressure exerted by certain bishops with the king's backing. After this, Pope John declared that Hedenulf, who had been ordained bishop by his authority, should hold his see and carry out his episcopal duties, while the blinded Hincmar should, if he wished, chant the Mass and have a share of the revenues of the see of Laon. When Hedenulf put a request to the pope to release him from that see, saying that he was ill and wanted to enter a monastery, he could not get his way. On the contrary, the pope ordered him, with the agreement of the king and of the bishops who supported Hincmar [the former bishop], to hold his see and to carry out his episcopal duties. When Hincmar's supporters heard what Pope John had said, namely that Hincmar, though blinded, could if he wished chant the Mass, and that the king had given his agreement to Hincmar's receiving a share in the episcopal revenues of Laon, the bishops of other provinces and also the metropolitans of other regions unexpectedly, and without having any orders from the pope, led Hincmar, clad in his priestly robes, into the papal presence; and from there, chanting, they brought him away and led him into the church and had him give the sign of blessing over the people. With that, the synod was brought to a close.

Next day, King Louis came to Boso's house at his invitation, with some of the magnates who were his counsellors. Regaled and treated with great honour by Boso and by Boso's wife, the king arranged a marriage between Boso's daughter and his own son Carloman; and on the advice of those same counsellors of his, he distributed the honores of Bernard markio of Gothia amongst Theuderic the chamberlain, Bernard count of the Auvergne, and others for whom this had been secretly arranged.

Pope John left Troyes and reached Chalon. Travelling on from there by way of Maurienne, he entered Italy by the Mont Cenis pass, escorted on his way by Boso and his wife.

King Louis returned from Troyes to Compiègne where he heard a report from the envoys whom he had sent to his cousin Louis [the Younger] to arrange a peace between them. Thereupon he and some of his counsellors came to Herstal. The meeting between Louis and his cousin took place at Meersen on 1 November and a peace was confirmed between them by both sides. They fixed a further meeting for the following Feast of the Purification of Holy Mary [2 February 879]: Louis, son of Charles, was to come to Gondreville, and Louis, son of Louis [the German], to some place in the vicinity that suited him. At this assembly, anyway, they agreed, with the consent of their faithful men, that the following things would be observed between them:

�The agreement made between the glorious king Louis, son of the Emperor Charles, and the other Louis, son of King Louis, at the place called Fouron, on 1 November, with the favour and consent of them and of the faithful men of both, in the year of the Lord's Incarnation 878, in the eleventh Indiction.

�King Louis, son of Charles, made this statement:

�`We wish that the kingdom should remain divided just as it was divided between my father Charles and your father Louis. And if any one of our faithful men holds anything wrongfully, let him yield it up on our command. Further, concerning the realm which Emperor Louis of Italy held, because no division of it has yet been made, let whoever now holds it continue to do so until, by God's will, we can meet again with our faithful men from both sides, and discover and determine whatever seems to us better and more just in this matter. But concerning the kingdom of Italy, because no reasonable settlement exists at present, let all men know that we have demanded and are demanding our share of that kingdom, and with God's help we shall go on demanding it.'

�Next day, the following things were settled:

�1. Because the firmness of our friendship-alliance and union could not be established up to now, because certain things have hampered us, may such friendship now remain between us henceforth, with God's help, from pure heart and good conscience and faith un�feigned, that no-one may covet or steal away from his fellow-ruler his life, kingdom or faithful men or anything pertaining to the well-being, prosperity and honour of the kingdom.

�2. If the pagans or false Christians rise up against one of us in his kingdom, each of us should help his fellow-ruler wherever the latter thinks necessary and wherever he himself reasonably can, either in person or through his faithful men, with counsel and aid, as best he can.

�3. If I survive you, I shall help your son Louis who is still a child, and whomsoever other sons the Lord may grant you, with counsel and aid, as best I can, so that they may be able to hold their father's kingdom peacefully and by hereditary right. If you survive me, however, I in my turn request you to help with counsel and aid, as best you can, my sons Louis and Carloman, and any others whom divine generosity may wish to grant me, so that they can hold their father's kingdom in peace.

�4. If any whisperers and disparagers, envious of our peace and unable to bear the realm's being peaceful, wish to sow quarrels and contentions and discords between us, let none of us receive such a man nor willingly accept him, unless perhaps the intention is to bring such a man to answer for himself before both of us and all our faithful men. But if the man should refuse to do this, let him have no kind of association with any of us, but let us all, acting together, cast him away from us as a liar and a fraud and someone who wants to sow discords between brothers, so that no one from henceforth may dare to bring such falsehoods to our ears.

�5. Acting together, we shall send our envoys as speedily as possible to the glorious kings Karlmann and Charles [the Fat] to invite them to the assembly which we have fixed for 6 February and to request them urgently not to delay coming; and if they are willing to come, in accordance with our wishes, let us with the Lord's assistance join together in fellowship in accordance with the will of God and for the salvation of Holy Church and our common honour and the advantage and well-being of the Christian people com�mitted to us, so that from now on we may be as one, and wish to be one in Him who is One, and all say and do as one, as the Apostle says, and let there be no divisions amongst us.

�6. If, however, Karlmann and Charles, or their envoys, summoned at our urgent request, should delay coming to the assembly above-mentioned, we shall certainly be there, according to what we have decided, and shall not fail to unite in every way possible according to God's will, unless by chance such an inescapable commitment arises as to make that quite impossible, and if that should happen, let the one concerned ensure that his fellow-ruler finds out in good time, so that our friendship may therefore not be lessened or changed until, by the Lord's will, it can be fully confirmed at a suitable time.

�7. Concerning the lands of churches, in whosesoever kingdom the Mother-Church may be (and this is to apply both to bishoprics and abbeys): the rectors of those churches are to have possession of the lands without any opposition. If any wrongdoing is committed there by anyone at all, let the one in whose kingdom these lands lie make the wrongdoer pay the legal penalty for it.

�8. Because the peace and quiet of the realm keep being shaken by rootless men who lack respect for anything and behave like tyrants, it is our will that, to whomsoever of us such a man may come to evade giving an account of what he has done and paying the penalty for it, no one of us should receive or keep him for any purpose, unless he be brought to right reason and due emendation. If he tries to evade right reason, we shall all pursue him together, into whosesoever kingdom he comes, until he is either brought to reason or expelled and blotted out of the realm.

�9. It is our will that those who have deservedly lost their own lands in our kingdom shall be so judged as it was found right they should be judged in the times of our predecessors: that is, those who claim they have lost their lands unjustly should come into our presence and judgement should there be given them, as is just, and they should get what is their own.�

When all this had been said, Louis, son of Louis, returned to his own lands, and Louis, son of Charles, came through the Ardennes

879: to Longlier where he celebrated Christmas. After staying for a while in the Ardennes, he set off again and reached Ponthion around the Feast of the Purification of Holy Mary [2 February]. Then he went on to Troyes, because he wanted to get to the region of Autun in order to suppress the rebellion of the Markio Bernard. But his illness grew worse (it was said that he had been poisoned) and he could journey no further. So he sent his son and namesake Louis to Autun, committing him to the guardianship of Bernard, count of the Auvergne. With his son he sent to Autun Abbot Hugh, and Boso, as well as the Bernard just mentioned, and he also sent Theoderic there with his men to make good Theuderic's claim to that countship, which the king had previously granted him. As for King Louis himself, travelling by way of the convent of Jouarre, he reached Compiègne only with great difficulty. He realised that he was about to die; he therefore dispatched Bishop Odo of Beauvais and Count Albuin to his son Louis with the crown and sword and the rest of the regalia, and he sent orders to the men who were with his son to have him consecrated and crowned king. Louis died on Good Friday, 10 April, in the evening, and was buried next day, Easter Saturday, in the church of Holy Mary.

When Odo and Albuin got news that the king was dead, they handed over the regalia they were carrying to Theuderic the chamberlain and hastily retraced their steps. But the men with the king's son, when they learned of the child's father's death, told the magnates in those parts to assemble at Meaux to meet them and there discuss what should be done next. An agreement was reached between Boso and Theuderic, with Abbot Hugh acting as mediator, whereby Boso was to have the county of Autun and Theuderic by way of exchange was to have the abbacies which Boso had held in those parts.

At this point, Abbot Gauzlin, remembering the double-dealing and the wrongs he had suffered from his rivals for some time previously, began to think about ways of revenging himself on those who opposed him. He counted on the friendly relationships he had formed with King Louis [the Younger] of Germany and his wife and with the magnates of that country, when he had been taken east of the Rhine after being captured at the battle of Andernach. He found an ally in Count Conrad of Paris, whom he misled with false hopes about gaining enormous power, spelling out some clever ideas about how he might exploit it.

Before the men who were with the king's son could come to the planned assembly at Meaux, Gauzlin and Conrad moved quickly to summon as many bishops and abbots and magnates as they could to an assembly at the point where the River Thérain flows into the Oise. Their pretext was that because the king was dead, they ought to meet to discuss what was best for the kingdom and for maintaining peace within it. They persuaded those who did come to their assembly to invite King Louis [the Younger] of Germany into this kingdom, and promised them that by grants from him they would now get whatever honores they had not been able to acquire before, and, they said, there would be no doubt about it. They sent messengers to that Louis and his wife, asking them to come with all possible speed to Metz: there, they said, they would be able to bring to him all the bishops, abbots and magnates of this kingdom. So they went by way of Servais and along the Aisne, ravaging and plundering as they went, until they reached Verdun, while Louis came to Metz. Then they sent messen�gers to him again, asking him to come on to Verdun, for, they said, it would be easier to bring the magnates of this kingdom to him there. Louis now therefore advanced to Verdun, with his army committing so many atrocities of all kinds that their crimes seemed to outdo those of the pagans.

When Hugh, Boso and Theuderic, and their followers, heard what Gauzlin and Conrad and their accomplices were plotting, they sent Bishop Walter of Orleans and Counts Goiramn and Ansger to Louis [the Younger] at Verdun. Their orders were, to offer him that part of the kingdom of Lothar [II] which Charles had received after negotia�tions with his brother Louis [the German], father of this Louis [the Younger], and the plan was that this Louis, once he had gained that part of the realm, would return to his own kingdom and agree to let the rest of Charles's kingdom, which Louis [the Stammerer] had held, pass to the latter's sons. Louis [the Younger] and his men accepted this offer and they rejected with contempt Gauzlin, Conrad and their accomplices. After receiving the part of the kingdom he had been offered, Louis returned to his palace at Frankfurt. When his wife heard what had happened, though, she was furious: she declared that he would have got the whole kingdom if she had gone with him!

It was to this queen that Gauzlin and Conrad now fled in desperation, complaining that they had been deceived. Then messengers came to them, bringing assurances on Louis's behalf and other men sent by way of hostages. So Gauzlin and Conrad returned to their supporters, ravaging and pillaging en route wherever they could reach, and told them that Louis would indeed come with a large army just as soon as he could, but that he was unable to do so for the moment because he had got news from a reliable source that his brother Karlmann had been stricken by paralysis and was near death, and that Arnulf, Karlmann's son by a concubine, had occupied part of his kingdom. It was clear that Louis ought to make for that area rapidly. That was what he did; he calmed down the trouble in those parts as far as he could and then returned to his wife.

When Abbot Hugh and the other magnates who had aligned them�selves with Louis [III] and Carloman [II], the sons of their late lord Louis [the Stammerer]], heard that Louis [the Younger] was coming westwards into that region with his wife, they despatched certain bishops, Ansegis [of Sens] and others, to the monastery of Ferrières and there they had the young Louis and Carloman consecrated and crowned kings.

Meanwhile Boso's wife had kept on goading him into action. She declared that, as the daughter of the emperor of Italy and the one-time fiancée of the emperor of Greece, she had no wish to go on living unless she could make her husband a king. So Boso persuaded the bishops of those parts to anoint and crown him king. He had partly browbeaten them by threats and partly won them over because they were greedy for the abbeys and estates he promised them, and which he afterwards gave them.

Hugh, the son of Lothar [II] by Waldrada, gathered a large force of brigands and tried to gain possession of his father's kingdom.

Charles [the Fat], son of the late King Louis of Germany, marched into Lombardy and seized that kingdom. Before he crossed the Mons Jovis pass, Louis [III] and Carloman [II] went to have talks with him at Orbe. When he had gone on into Lombardy and they had returned from their journey, news reached them that the Northmen on the Loire were ravaging those parts, travelling about overland. Louis and Carloman marched immediately into that area and met up with them on St Andrew's Day [30 November]. They slew many of them and drowned many too in the River Vienne, and by God's will the army of the Franks came home safe and victorious.

880: Louis [the Younger] king of Germany together with his wife came from Aachen into these parts, and got as far as Douzy. There Gauzlin and Conrad went to meet them, but many of their accomplices had already withdrawn their support and were no longer with them. From Douzy, Louis and his wife went on to Attigny, and from there to Ercry, finally reaching Ribemont. They realised that Gauzlin and Conrad were incapable of delivering what they had promised, and therefore that what both the king and his wife had hoped for was quite unobtainable. So they made a friendship-treaty with the sons of Louis [the Stammerer], fixed a future assembly for June at Gondreville, and went back to their own country. While on his way there Louis [the Younger] came upon some Northmen, and, with the Lord's help, his army slew most of them. But Louis suffered serious losses of his faithful men in Saxony through the attacks of the Northmen there.

The sons of the late King Louis [the Stammerer] returned to Amiens, and divided their father's kingdom between them along the following lines decided on by their faithful men: Louis was to have what was left of his father's kingdom of Francia, and also Neustria, while Carloman was to have Burgundy and Aquitaine, with their marches. Each of the magnates commended himself to one of the two kings - namely the one in whose share of the kingdom the magnate in question held honores.

From Amiens the two kings returned to Compiègne and celebrated Easter [3 April] there. Then they went by way of Rheims and Châlons to meet their cousins at the assembly fixed for mid-June at Gondre�ville. Louis [the Younger] was prevented by illness from coming to this assembly, but sent envoys on his behalf. Charles [the Fat] arrived there after coming back from Lombardy. It was decided by common consent at this assembly that the two kings who were sons of the late Louis [the Stammerer] should return to Attigny with a contingent of troops supplied by King Louis of Germany, and launch an attach on Hugh son of Lothar [II]. When they got there, they did not find Hugh, but they attacked Hugh's brother-in-law Theutbald and after many men had been killed in the battle they put him to flight.

From there the two kings, with the host drawn from their kingdoms and also the troops supplied by King Louis of Germany, set off from Troyes in July and marched into Burgundy against Boso, and King Charles [the Fat] was to join them there with his army. They had previously left a force based at Ghent to guard the kingdom against the Northmen. In the course of this campaign, they drove Boso's men out of the stronghold [castrum] of Macon and captured the fortress [castellum] itself, and handed it over, along with the county, to Bernard nicknamed 'Hairy-paws'. Charles, Louis and Carloman then advanced to besiege Vienne. Boso had left his wife and daughter there with a large part of his troops, while he himself fled into a mountain�ous region. But at this point Charles, who had promised to besiege Vienne along with his cousins, suddenly abandoned the siege, and after exchanging certain mutual oaths with them, went off to Italy. He reached Rome and secured his own consecration as emperor by Pope John on Christmas Day.

881: While Carloman with his men stayed to put down Boso's revolt, his brother Louis went back to a part of his kingdom to fight the Northmen who, laying waste everything as they passed, had captured the monastery of Corbie, the civitas of Amiens, and other holy places. A good number of the Northmen had been slain, and others put to flight, when Louis himself together with his men fled in their turn, though no one was even pursuing them. Thus was manifested a divine judgement, for what had been done by the Northmen obviously came about by divine, not human, power. When Northmen yet again attacked part of his kingdom, this same Louis once more advanced to meet them with as many men as he could muster. Urged by some of his advisers, he constructed a fortress of wood at a place called Etrun, but it turned out to have been built more for the protection of pagans than for the help of Christians, for even King Louis himself could find no one to whom he could entrust the fortress's defence. He returned from there ...

882: ... and spent Christmas at Compiègne, and Easter [8 April] too. There he heard the news that his cousin Louis [the Younger], son of Louis king of Germany, after living with no benefit to himself or to the church or to his kingdom, had yielded to death. Magnates from that part of the dead king's kingdom which had been given to Louis [III, of the West Franks] as a lease now came to this Louis wanting to commend themselves to him so that he would give his approval to their holding what the father and grandfather of those kings had approved. On the advice of his magnates, however, Louis refused to receive them into his commendation because of the oaths that had been exchanged between himself and Charles [the Fat]. But he did assign a squadron of troops specifically to help them against the Northmen. He put Count Theuderic in command of this force. The king himself went over the Seine because he wanted to receive the chiefs of the Bretons and make war on the Northmen. He got as far as Tours, and there he became seriously ill. He was carried on a litter to the monastery of St-Denis, and in August he died and was buried there.

The magnates of the kingdom sent a swift messenger to Carloman asking him to leave the troops who were besieging Vienne and trying to put down Boso's revolt. The magnates said he should make haste to come to them as fast as he could, since they had made all their military preparations for a campaign against the Northmen who had burned the cities of Cologne and Trier and their adjacent monasteries and had got control of the monasteries of St-Lambert at Liège, Priim and Inden and even the palace at Aachen and all the monasteries of the neighbouring dioceses, that is, of Tongres, Arras and Cambrai and part of the diocese of Rheims, much of which they had burned, including the fortress of Mouzon. They had also slain Bishop Wala of Metz and put his companions to flight; Wala was bearing arms and fighting, contrary to sacred authority and the episcopal office. The magnates, anyway, were ready to receive Carloman and commmend themselves to him, which they then did. While he was occupied with preparations for this campaign, Carloman got news in September from a trustworthy source that Vienne had been captured but that Richard, Boso's brother, had then taken Boso's wife and daughter away with him to his county of Autun. Carloman also learned that the Northman Asting and his accomplices had left the Loire and made for the coastal regions.

Charles [The Fat], who had the title of emperor, marched against the Northmen with a large army and advanced right up to their fortifi�cation. Once he had got there, however, his courage failed him. Through the intervention of certain men, he managed to reach an agreement with Godefrid and his men on the following terms: namely, that Godefrid would be baptised, and would then receive Frisia and the other regions that Roric had held. To Sigfrid and Gorm and their accomplices he gave several thousand pounds of silver and gold which he had seized from the treasury of St-Stephen at Metz and from the resting-places of other saints, and he gave them permission to stay so that they could go on ravaging a part of his cousin's kingdom as they had before. To Hugh the son of Lothar [IF] he handed over the ecclesiastical property of the see of Metz for him to lay waste - lands which the sacred canons command should be reserved for any future bishop.

Engelberga, widow of Louis [II] king of Italy, had been brought by the emperor over the Alps into Alemannia. At her own request he now sent her back with Bishop Liutward of Vercelli to Pope John in Rome. At the same time, Charles drew back from the Northmen towards Worms where he planned to hold his assembly on 1 November. Abbot Hugh came to this assembly, bringing some of his followers along with him. Their request was that Charles should restore to Carloman, as he himself had promised to do, that part of the kingdom which Carloman's brother Louis [III] had received as a lease. But Hugh secured no firm commitment, while Charles's absence brought the utmost harm to this kingdom, since Carloman lacked the resources to mount resistance to the Northmen once certain magnates of his kingdom withdrew from offering him help. This was the reason that the Northmen came as far as the neighbourhood of the fortress of Laon, and ravaged and burned all the fortresses in the surrounding area. They planned to move to Rheims and from there to come back by way of Soissons and Noyon and storm the fortress mentioned above and bring the kingdom under their control. Bishop Hincmar found out for certain that this was their plan: since the fighting-men in the command of the see of Rheims were away with Carloman, he only just managed to escape by night, taking with him the body of Remigius and the treasures of the church of Rheims. His physical weakness meant that he had to be carried in a portable chair. While the canons, monks and nuns scattered in every direction, he fled across the Marne and only just managed to reach a villa called Epernay. A band of Northmen now went on ahead of the main force and got right up to the gates of Rheims. They ravaged everything they could find outside the civitas, and burned a number of small villae. But Rheims itself, though defended neither by a wall nor by any human hand, was defended by the power of God and by the merits of the saints, so that the Northmen could not get into it.

When Carloman heard of the Northmen's coming, he attacked them with as many men as he could muster. A large number of those Northmen who were carrying off booty were slain and many of them were drowned in the Aisne. Most important of all, Carloman prised their plunder out of those Northmen who were trying to rejoin their companions after the attack on Rheims. The main host of the Northmen, greater in terms of both size and strength, barricaded themselves up at a villa called Avaux. Carloman's men could not attack them there without grave danger to themselves, so as evening drew on they cautiously drew back and took up their posts in nearby villae. But the Northmen got out of Avaux as soon as the moon gave them enough light, and they went back again on the route by which they had come.



Source:The Annals of Saint Bertin, trans. by Janet Nelson (Manchester 1991). Scanned and proofread by Eric C. Knibbs, 2006.

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