Little Bits of History

July 21

Posted in History by patriciahysell on July 21, 2017

905: King Louis III is blinded. He was born around 880 and when his father Boso, the King of Provence died, seven year old Louis became king. Provence was larger when Boso came into power, but he had lost part of his lands to Rudolph I of Burgundy, as well as much of the rest of the northern portion of his lands. Louis had only the area around Vienne to rule and his mother, Ermengard was elected to act as regent with support from Louis’s uncle, Richard the Justiciar. They went to a relative in spring, emperor Charles the Fat, and received his recognition along with his protection, as he adopted Louis. Charles died the following year and Ermengard went to Arnulf, his successor, for protection along with a trip to the Pope for his blessing. She got both.

In 890, at the Diet of Valence, the secular and religious leaders heard of Louis’s claims and proclaimed him King of Arles, Provence, and Cisjurane Burgundy.  Beginning in 896, Louis began a number of wars with Saracen pirates who looted the coasts. In 900, Louis, grandson of Emperor Louis II was invited to Italy to help local fiefdoms keep control over various portions of the land. He made his way to Rome where he was crowned by Pope Benedict IV in 901. Although Louis had been able to shoo away the Magyar in northern Italy, they did not stay away. In 902 Louis was defeated and sent back to Provence and he promised never to return.

The Italian nobles needed his assistance in 905 and rather than keep the promise made years earlier, Louis again came to their aid. He was successful in his first few meetings with the enemy, but was defeated at Verona. Berengar I, King of Italy, learned of his nemesis’s return and location and in the dead of night, he had his Bavarian troops sneak into Verona and capture Louis. Louis ran to the church of St. Peter but was captured on this day. As punishment for returning to Italy in spite of his promise, he was blinded. He was also forced to relinquish his Italian and imperial crowns.

Louis returned to Vienne and ruled over Provence for several more years. His cousin, Hugh, Count of Arles was the dominant figure in the area and by 911 Louis had ceded most power to Hugh. Hugh was made Margrave of Provence and Marquis of Vienne. Hugh married Louis’s sister. Louis had been betrothed at one time to Byzantine Emperor Leo VI’s daughter but it is unclear whether he ever married her. Louis had a son, but no mention of the mother’s name was recorded. Although Louis styled himself as Roman Emperor until he died, it was his brother in law who succeeded him to the throne and Louis died in obscurity.

Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep. – Denis Waitley

Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once. – Norman Vincent Peale

Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten. – Dick Gregory

Keep every promise you make and only make promises you can keep. – Anthony Hitt

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