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Information about reign: King Louis V

CountryWest Francia
From8 June 986
To22 May 987
Personal InformationKing Louis V of the Franks (966 - 987)
Description

Louis V was the king of West Francia from 986 until his premature death a year later. He died childless and was the last monarch in the Carolingian line in West Francia.

On his father's death on 2 March 986, the already crowned Louis V became the undisputed King of the Franks. However, at that time in the Frankish court existed two parties: one led by Archbishop Adalberon of Reims and Queen Emma, who, being strongly influenced by her mother Empress Adelaide, wanted the renewal of friendly relationships with the Ottonian dynasty; the other party, on the other hand, wanted to continue Lothair's policy, and, taking advantage of the minority of Emperor Otto III, wanted a policy of expansion to the east and the recovery of Lotharingia. In addition, the young monarch inherited a battle between his father's line of elected kings (which had been interrupted twice by the Robertian kings and once by the Bosonid family), and the Ottonian house of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I. As defender of Rome, Otto I had the power to name the clergy in Carolingian territory, and the clergy he had named were not supporting the Carolingians.

Initially Queen Emma dominated the situation, but in the summer of 986, there was a reversal: The Anti-Ottonian party prevailed, and she was forced to leave court and seek refuge with Hugh Capet. This event also put Adalberon in a predicament: being elevated by Otto I to the powerful archbishopric of Reims, he was forced to leave his episcopal seat and took refuge in one of his fortresses on the Meuse river, who belonged to the Ottonian sphere. The escape of he Archbishop was perceived by Louis V as treason; he turned violently against Adalberon and threatened him to besiege Reims, with the matter being finally settled in a trial court at Compiègne. However, before this meeting Louis V changed his mind and sought a reconciliation with Adalberon; in the spring of 987 he also planned a peace meeting with Empress Theophanu, who could act on behalf of her son Otto III. Before all these tangled events were resolved, Louis V died on 21 May 987 from a fall while hunting in the Forest of Halatte near the town of Senlis, Oise. He was buried in the Abbey of Saint-Corneille in Compiègne.

He left no legitimate heirs, so his uncle Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, was nominated as the hereditary successor to the throne. But the clergy, including both Adalberon and Gerbert (who later became Pope Sylvester II), argued eloquently for election Hugh Capet, who was not only of royal blood but had proven himself through his actions and his military might. Capet was elected to the Frankish throne and Adalberon crowned him, all within two months of Louis V's death. Thus the rule of the Carolingian dynasty ended and the Capetian era began.

King Louis V: Some useful external links
Wikipedia: Louis V of France