Treaty of Verdun

The Treaty of Verdun was closed Charlemagne on August 10, 843 between the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious and grandchildren. These were to have been divided as to who had what claim to the inheritance of their father. The preliminary negotiations for this contract were performed in the Basilica of St. Castor in Koblenz of 110 ambassadors of the concerned rulers from October 19 to 24 842. Outcome of the negotiations, which was not written as a contractual text (or missing ), was the division of power in the Frankish Empire ( Carolingian Empire ) and its splitting into three parts:

  • The West Frankish kingdom of Charles the Bald, the origin of the later of France
  • The eastern kingdom of Louis the German, origin of the later Holy Roman Empire ( German Nation)
  • Extending to Italy extending from the North Sea Lotharii Regnum ( " Middle Kingdom " ) Lothar I Lothar was also recognized as emperor.

Short stock, effect

However, this tripartite division had only a short time. Already 855 the Middle Kingdom in the division of Prüm was divided among his sons after the death of Lothair. 870 has its northern part, Lotharingia - origin of the later Lorraine - divided by the Treaty of Meersen between East and West Frankish Empire before 880 all fell to the eastern kingdom in the Treaty of Ribemont.

Nominally and ideological unity of the empire was at the division maintained - nominally by striving for a common policy, ideally by the fraternity. The empire was still regarded in its entirety as a common Carolingian dominion. Primarily, the division is to be regarded not as a division of the kingdom, but as a rule of division within the royal family. To a permanent reunion of the parts of the empire, however, it should not come.

The contract went ahead long -lasting, accompanied by mutual distrust negotiations. In this context, the empire was inventoried ( '' Descriptio regni ). The division was made in terms of the equivalence of the geographical- political situation and the economic yield.

In the West Frankish annals, Annales Bertiniani, it says in reference to the Treaty of Verdun:

" Karl went to the meeting with the brothers and met them in Verdun. Here Ludwig received after the division was carried out, all sides of the Rhine, to this side of the cities and districts of Speyer, Worms and Mainz; Lothar the land between the Rhine and the Scheldt to its mouth and then the land around Cambrai, Hainault, the Lomensische ( between the Meuse and Sombre ) and Castricische ( south of) area, and the counties on the left of the Meuse and on to the influence of the Saône in the Rhône, and along the Rhone to the sea with the counties on both sides. Outside these limits, he was merely Arras by the kindness of his brother Charles. The rest to Spain fell to Karl. And after they swore mutual oaths would retire last of each other. "

In the East Frankish -official Annales Fuldenses states:

"When was received the kingdom, and divided into three parts of the Noble, the three kings arrived in Verdun in Gaul together in August and divided the empire: Louis received the eastern part, the western Charles, Lothar than the oldest share the intervening located. When they had done so peace and confirmed by oath, they went home to secure your slice and arrange. Karl, who claim to Aquitaine rose, as it by right belonged to his kingdom, his nephew Pippin was annoying by haunted him through numerous ideas, but often suffered great losses in their own armies. "


The Treaty of Verdun sealed the final failure of the idea of ​​the state of the represented in the person and office of the Emperor Imperial unity, even if under Charles III. the Frankish kingdom for a few years regained its outer unit.

The contract of Verdun, the starting point of a development that eventually led to the emergence of Germany and France in the High Middle Ages. Seeing the Treaty of Verdun against the older idea however, only individual historians as " the starting point of German history ."