Louis IV of France

Ludwig IV of the Overseas (Latin Transmarinus, French Louis IV d' Outre- Mer; * between September 10 920 and 10 September 921; † September 10 954 in Reims ) was west Frankish king from 936 to 954, a native of sex of the Carolingian dynasty, the king of the West Frankish kingdom, which was already very weak and dependent on the goodwill of powerful groups of nobles dependent.


Ludwig was the son of King Charles III. the Simple and his second wife Eadgifu, a daughter of King Edward the Elder of Wessex. Karl had to deal with counter- kings who were not Carolingians and the claim to power of the Carolingian dynasty unrecognized. When Count Heribert II of Vermandois, who was standing on the side of the anti-king Rudolf of Burgundy, in 923 Charles the Simple lured into a trap and jailed, Eadgifu fled with the first two years of Louis to England. There Ludwig grew up at the court of his grandfather Edward, and later his uncle Æthelstan. In the West Frankish kingdom ruled alone now Rudolf of Burgundy, who, however, was dependent on the support of the powerful family of Robertiner while Heribert II continues the captive Karl kept as a bargaining chip in order to exert pressure on King Rudolf. 929 Charles died in custody. In January 936, King Rudolf died without leaving a son, came in the regulation of the mighty successor Robertiner Hugo the Great an important role to play. Hugo, whose father Robert I had already been West Frankish king, himself could seize the crown, but preferred to return to the Carolingian dynasty who had suffered by Charles fate of a heavy power and loss of reputation. He wanted a relatively powerless leave Carolingian kingship to steer even the imperial policy from the background. Hence, he negotiated with Æthelstan and Eadgifu about the return of Louis. Hugo was a brother of Æthelstan and Eadgifu, as he was then married to a sister Eadgifus. They agreed and the first fifteen years of Louis landed at Boulogne, where Hugo welcomed him and worshiped him.

On June 19, 936 Louis IV was crowned in Laon by Archbishop of Reims Artold the West Frankish king. In return, Hugo was forced to admit a unique special position in the kingdom. Hugo received the specially created for him the rank of " Duke of the Franks " ( dux Francorum ), and had already submitted in a royal charter of 936 Ludwig firmly that he was acting on the advice of "our most beloved Hugo, the Frankish duke, which in all our kingdoms of the Second is upon us. " So Hugo was not only, as previous Robertiner responsible Margrave and Count for large areas where the king no direct intervention more was possible, but he was " in all kingdoms ", ie in all parts of the West Frankish Empire, between the king and the subordinated vassals. The title " Duke of the Franks " was thus obtained in conscious analogy to " King of the Franks " on the whole Empire ( although in a more restricted sense, only a certain part of the empire, the Hugo the Great Duchy awarded Franzien meant ). Therefore, Ludwig was reduced virtually to the role of a nominal king and the Robertiner claimed a position that was comparable with that of the Carolingian Meier in the late Merovingian kingdom.

In the first months of his reign Louis was completely dependent on the Great Hugo and had him accompany the blacks of Burgundy on a successful campaign against Hugo, with Hugh the Great himself nordburgundische areas and in particular the city of Sens appropriated. 937 Ludwig, however, made ​​by his " guardian " independent and began to operate a self directed against the overwhelming power of the Robertiners policy. He relied on nobles, who wanted to curb the expansion robertinische, including Archbishop Artold of Reims, the Ludwig made ​​to his chancellor, and the Hugo Black, with whom he formed an alliance. Then Hugo the Great responded in turn with new alliances. He allied himself with Heribert II and secured a good relationship with Otto the Great, whose sister he married Hadwig after his English wife, Louis aunt had died. Thus a contrast between Ludwig and Otto paved, and when the dukes of Lorraine and Giselbert Eberhard charged by Franc against Otto the Great, she stood Ludwig. Thus the Carolingian seemed a chance to offer the Carolingian heartland Lorraine, which had fallen into the jurisdiction of the East Frankish Empire after the overthrow of Charles the Simple, recover. He intended to intervene militarily and came before the Alsace, but Otto was before him, the Giselbert defeated on 2 October 939 at the Battle of Andernach and thus the future of Lorraine decided. Giselbert lost in the battle and Ludwig married Giselberts Gerberga widow, a sister of Otto the Great. Now both King Louis and his opponent Hugh the Great were related by marriage to Otto and Otto could play a mediating role between the two rivals and ensure a balance of power between them. First, Otto was because of the Lorraine conflict entirely on the side of Hugo the Great. He undertook a campaign into 940 West Frankish kingdom to punish Ludwig. In the royal palace Attigny he received the homage of Hugh the Great and Heribert II. The two had previously conquered the city of Reims, where the Archbishop Artold, one of the most important followers of Louis discontinued. Otto came also to Burgundy to warn Louis local allies, Hugo blacks from military actions. 942 Otto received his in-law Louis and Hugo in Visé on the Meuse. It has achieved a general balance. Ludwig had to give up Lorraine.

The situation changed in favor of Louis, as the end 942 Count William I Longsword of Rouen, the rulers of Normandy, was murdered and early 943 Heribert II died. Heribert's sons fought over the inheritance and Normandy was the heir, the future Duke Richard I, still a minor. Ludwig took the opportunity to engage in Normandy and file his royal authority military law. In the struggles against his Norman opponent but Ludwig came in July 945 in an ambush. He was able to escape at first, but was then captured. The Normans gave it to Hugo from the Great. Hugo kept him in captivity and demanded as the price for the release, that Louis the city of Laon, his center of power, renounce. Queen Gerberga was forced to Laon to pass a vassal Hugos. In the summer of 946 Ludwig was released.

This severe humiliation Louis recalled the fate of his father, Charles, and not only meant for him personally, but also for the monarchy as such a dramatic loss of prestige. This was not in the interest of Otto the Great, who intervened at the request of his sister now Gerberga to counteract the superiority Hugos. In the autumn of 946 drew a large army of Otto westward and united with the Ludwig loyal forces. Hugo avoided a pitched battle. His troops entrenched themselves in the cities. The army of the two kings could Laon, Senlis, Paris and Rouen not take, but succeeded in the conquest of Reims, where they put the exiled Archbishop Artold again. In June, 948 occurred in Ingelheim West Frankish, Lorraine and East Frankish bishops presided over by a papal legate in the presence of Otto and Louis at a synod together and condemned Hugo both because of his actions against Louis and because of the expulsion Artolds from Reims. 949 Ludwig could recapture the city of Laon in a night surprise attack; only the citadel remained in the hands of Hugo's forces. 950 mediated Duke Conrad the Red of Lorraine on behalf of Otto the Great a peace treaty between Louis and Hugo. Now Hugo gave the king the citadel of Laon.

On September 10, 954 Ludwig died in Reims at the consequences of a fall from his horse and was buried there in the Basilica of Saint- Remi.


Ludwig married 939 Gerberga († May 5 968 or 969 ), the daughter of the German king Henry I ( Liudolfinger ) and widow of the Duke of Lorraine Giselbert. With her he had seven children:

  • Lothar ( 941-986 ), King of France ∞ 966 Emma of Italy, daughter of King Lothair II of Italy
  • Mathilde (* end 943; † after November 26 981 ) ∞ to 964 Conrad III. King of Burgundy ( † 993 ) ( Guelph )
  • Karl ( * January 945; † before 953 )
  • A daughter (name not recorded ) ( * Initial 948 )
  • Ludwig ( * December 948; † before September 10 954)
  • Karl ( 953- after 991 ), Duke of Lower Lorraine ( 977-991 ), twin brother of Henry
  • Heinrich ( * Summer 953; † soon after baptism ), twin brother of Charles of Lower Lorraine

Gerberga received 951 the Abbey of Notre -Dame de Laon from her mother and was 959 Abbess of Notre- Dame de Soissons.