Louis the Pious

Louis the Pious - Louis the Pious Louis was born in 778...

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Louis the Pious . Louis was born in 778, while Charlemagne was on an expedition to Spain (remember The Song of Roland ?). Charlemagne gave him the newly-acquired land of what is now southern France, stretching from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, with its capital at Toulouse, and with the name of the Kingdom of Aquitaine . He left the child there under the care of a very able group of secular and clerical counsellors led by Count William of Toulouse (William of Orange in the epics, and St. William of the Desert in the lives of the saints) and Saint Benedict of Aniane , monastic reformer, scholar, and political theorist. Louis had older brothers, so he did not expect ever to get more of his father's lands than the kingdom he had been given. Europe at the Death of Charlemagne By 814, when Charlemagne died, however, Louis' brothers were already dead, and he went to Aachen at the age of thirty-six, with three sons of his own, to assume control of the entire empire. He was probably the best-trained ruler to assume a Western throne in over three hundred years and he was ready to reform the whole Carolingian system. He started by expelling all illegitimately-born men from the civil service and high ecclesiastical posts. The problem was that many of these people had Charlemagne for a father. When Louis dismissed his half-brothers, he turned a powerful body of potential supporters against him. He also stripped the civil service of many of its experienced administrators at an inopportune time. Some nobles in Italy used a young boy, Bernard , with a claim to the throne as an excuse to rebel. Louis called out the Frankish army, enjoyed a massive show of support, defeated his Italian opponents and captured Bernard. He ordered Bernard blinded, as was the custom at the time. Since a blind man could not rule, Louis expected to eliminate young Bernard as a future threat to his own authority. Louis's executioner was clumsy, however, and, rather than tapping the eye very lightly with a red-hot poker and so permanently clouding
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course HISTORY 170 taught by Professor Romero during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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Louis the Pious - Louis the Pious Louis was born in 778...

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