Information about King Louis the German of East Francia

King Louis the German of East Francia (802 - 28 August 876)

Louis (also Ludwig or Lewis) "the German" (c. 802-876), also known as Louis II, was the first king of East Francia. Grandson of emperor Charlemagne and the third son of emperor of Francia, Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye, he received the appellation Germanicus shortly after his death in recognition of the fact that the bulk of his kingdom was in the former Germania.

The later years of Louis the German were troubled by rebellions of his sons. The eldest, Carloman of Bavaria, revolted in 861 and again two years later. This was followed by the second son Louis the Younger, who was joined by his brother Charles the Fat. In 864 Louis was forced to grant Carloman the kingdom of Bavaria, which he himself had once held under his father. In 865 he divided the remainder of his lands - Saxony with Franconia and Thuringia went to Louis the Younger and Swabia with Raetia to Charles the Fat.

A report that the emperor Louis II of Italy had died led to a peace between father and sons and attempts by Louis the German to gain the imperial crown for his oldest son Carloman. These efforts were thwarted by Louis II of Italy who was in fact not dead, and Louis' old adversary, Charles the Bald.

Louis was preparing for a new war when he died on August 28, 876 in Frankfurt. He was buried at the abbey of Lorsch, leaving three sons and three daughters. His sons, unusually for their earlier behaviour, respected the divisions made a decade earlier and each contented himself with his own kingdom.

Louis is considered by many to be the most competent of the grandsons of Charlemagne. He obtained for his kingdom a certain degree of security in face of the attacks of Vikings, Hungarians, Slavs, and others. He lived in close alliance with the Church, to which he was very generous, and entered eagerly into schemes for the conversion of his heathen neighbours.

King Louis the German of East Francia reigned in...
Reigned asIn CountryFromToCoins Issued
King Louis the German East Francia August 843 28 August 876
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