Louis the German

Louis the German or Ludwig II " the Pious ", " the German " Latin Ludovicus II " Germanicus " (c. 806; † August 28 876 in Frankfurt am Main ) from the noble family of the Carolingian was or since 817. de facto since about 825 (sub - ) King of Bavaria, and 840-876 King of Ostfrankenreiches.


Ludwig was the third son of Louis the Pious and Ermengarde. In the first division of the kingdom of his father, the so-called Ordinatio imperii of 817, he received Bavaria and the neighboring countries to the east as royalty. From 825 he was in this realm actually detectable as rulers and called himself King of Bavaria. Regensburg was again residence and administrative center under Ludwig II in the disputes of his brothers with the father because of the subsequent features of the youngest son ( Charles the Bald, from the second marriage of Louis with Empress Judith ) with a rule part he mixed up a little 831. Only 833 he rebelled with his brothers, Lothar and Pepin against the father. After his overthrow and the division of the empire under the victorious brothers uncertificated Ludwig as an independent rex. However Indignant at Lothar's tough demeanor against the father he fell on his brother and sat 834 Louis the Pious again.

In the division of the kingdom after Pepin's death 839 passed over, he rose again 840 against his father, who died on June 20th of the year. Now began a multi-year war for the heritage that Lothar would gladly appropriated alone among the brothers. Ludwig and Karl therefore allied themselves against the same, beat him 841 at Fontenoy and urged him after Ludwig previously still irritated by Lothar to revolt Saxony was again subjected (see parking Inga Uprising ) and 842 renewed in February in Strasbourg his alliance with Charles, to the Treaty of Verdun ( 843), by which Louis East Franks to the Rhine, and moreover Mainz, Speyer and Worms were awarded.

In these areas, Ludwig proved to be an efficient ruler who succeeded in the remaining years until his death, to give the first created as an artificial construct in the course of estate distribution Empire a strong cohesion. This also helped that he was reconciled with previous opponents and supporters of his competitors, with Rabanus Maurus, which he called " imperial unity party" to Louis the Pious and Lothar had initially 842 forced resignation from the abbacy of the monastery of Fulda as a prominent supporter of the later, 847 but appointed to the chair of the Archbishopric of Mainz. In this way it was, despite some later Reich divisions, the East Frankish kingdom to the forerunner of the German Reich are in the Middle Ages.

Even in his earlier time the governorship in Bavaria, since 825, Louis had repeatedly insist struggles with the thrusting from the southeast Bulgarians and Slav peoples, the Slavic tribes of Bohemia, the Sorbs and Moravians (see Great Moravia ); but even more so he made ​​after his accession the incursions of the Normans in the Rhineland and to Friesland to create.

After Lothar's death 869 - the Middle Kingdom was after the death of Lothair I. 855 was divided among his sons Louis II and Lothair II - earned Ludwig in the Treaty of Meersen of 22 January 870 the eastern half of Lotharingia. In contrast, Charles the Bald came to him after the death of Louis II 875 as its heritage in Burgundy and Italy in the bid for the imperial crown before. Louis retaliated by a devastating invasion of West Franks.

Louis died on August 28, 876 in Frankfurt am Main and was buried in the monastery of Lorsch. From his marriage with Hemma, whom he married in 827, he left behind three sons. Carloman, Louis, called the Younger, and Charles III, called the thickness. Among these he had 865 his kingdom so divided that Carloman of Bavaria, Ludwig East Franks and Saxons and Charles Alemannia received. Of his four daughters Hildegard, Irmgard and Bertha entered the church service, of Gisla nothing is further known.


Otfrid of White Castle devoted his German Ludwig Gospel book, the German poem Muspilli he should have possibly written himself. Ludwig is the founder of the East Frankish Empire, which became the Holy Roman Empire later. In contemporary sources from West Franks, the Annals of St. Bertin, he was consistently as " rex Germanorum " or apostrophized " rex Germaniae ". These facts learned in the 19th century a premature national historical reinterpretation, the Ludwig called "the German " earned. The nickname itself appeared only in the 18th century. Thus, the epithet is anachronistic and not mentioned in documents other than those of Charlemagne.

Marriage and issue

Ludwig had been 827 with Hemma, the younger sister of his stepmother, the Empress Judith, married. With her he had seven children:

  • Hildegard (* 828, † 856/59 ), abbess of the Abbey Muensterschwarzach 844-853 / 57 then in the abbey Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich 853 bis 856/59
  • Carloman ( probably 830 *, † November 29 880 in Altötting ), ( sub) King of Bavaria from 865 and after 876, King of Italy 877-879
  • Ludwig III. the Younger (c. 835; † January 20 882 in Frankfurt am Main ), sub- king in Franconia, Saxony and Thuringia from 865 and after 876, sub- king of Bavaria from 879
  • Charles III. the thickness ( * 839, † January 13 888 in Neudingen ), sub- king in Alemannia ( Swabia) from 865 and after 876, King of Italy from 879, Holy Roman Emperor 881, East Frankish king 882, west Frankish king 885
  • Irmgard or Irmengard (c. 830/833 in Regensburg, † July 16 866 in women Chiemsee ), abbess at Benedictine nun Chiemsee in front of 857 to vermutl. 866
  • Bertha († March 26 877), abbess of the Abbey Muensterschwarzach of 853 / 857-877, and in the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich Abbey 857-877, and the ladies Säckingen to 877
  • Gisela ( dates unknown )