Arnulf of Carinthia

Infobox Monarch
name =Arnulf of Carinthia
title =Holy Roman Emperor, King of East Francia


caption =Later romantic portrait of Arnulf.
reign =November 887 – 8 December 899
coronation =Crowned Holy Roman Emperor: 22 February 896, Rome
othertitles =King of Italy
full name =
predecessor =Charles the Fat
successor =Louis the Child
suc-type =
heir =
queen =Ota
consort =
spouse 1 =
spouse 2 =
spouse 3 =
spouse 4 =
spouse 5 =
spouse 6 =
issue =Louis the Child
Ratold of Italy
Zwentibold
royal house =Carolingian Dynasty
dynasty =
royal anthem =
father =Carloman of Bavaria
mother =Liutswind
date of birth =850
place of birth =
date of death =8 December 899
place of death =
date of burial =
place of burial =|

Arnulf of Carinthia ( _de. Arnulf von Kärnten; _sl. Arnulf Koroški; 850 – December 8 899) was the Carolingian King of East Francia [East Francia had been split from the rest of Frankish Realm by the Treaty of Verdun in 843. It evolved into Germany after the Carolingian eclipse.] from 887 and Holy Roman Emperor from 896 until his death. He was the illegitimate son of Carloman, King of Bavaria, and his concubine, Liutswind, [Also "Litwinde" or "Litwindie"] of Carantanian origin, daughter of one Count Ernst. He was given the Duchy of Carinthia, a Frankish vassal state and successor of the ancient Principality of Carantania, by his father when he divided his realm, giving Bavaria to Louis the Younger and the Kingdom of Italy to Charles the Fat, in 880 on his death.

He spent his childhood in Carantania, homeland of his mother. Carloman had a court there, in Moosburg (then "Blatograd"), where the young Arnulf grew up. From later events it is evident that the Carantanians, from an early time, treated him as their own Duke.

When, in 882, Engelschalk II rebelled against the margrave of Austria, Aribo, and ignited the so-called Wilhelminer War, Arnulf supported him and even accepted his and his brother's homage. This ruined Arnulf's relationship with his uncle the emperor and put him at war with Svatopluk of Moravia. Pannonia was invaded, but Arnulf refused to give up the young Wilhelminers. Arnulf did not make peace with Svatopluk until late 885, by which time the Moravian was a man of the emperor. Some scholars see this war as destroying Arnulf's hopes at succeeded Charles.

He took the leading role in the deposition of his uncle, the Emperor Charles the Fat. With the support of the nobles, Arnulf held a diet and deposed Charles in November 887, under threat of military action. Charles peacefully went into his involuntary retirement, but not without first chastising his nephew for his treachery and asking only for a few royal villas in Swabia, which Arnulf mercifully granted him, on which to live out his final months. Arnulf was elected by the nobles of the realm (only the eastern realm, though Charles had ruled the whole of the Frankish lands) and assumed his title of King.

Arnulf was not a negotiator, but a fighter. At the decisive Battle of Leuven in September 891, he defeated an invading force of the Northmen, or Vikings, essentially ending their invasions on that front. The "Annales Fuldenses" report that the bodies of dead Northmen blocked the run of the river. After his victory, Arnulf built a new castle on an island in the Dijle river (Dutch: Dijle, English and French: Dyle). [Latin "Luvanium", local "Lovon".]

In 893 or 894, Great Moravia probably lost a part of its territory — present-day Western Hungary — to him. Arnulf, however, failed to conquer the whole of Great Moravia when he attempted it in 892, 893, and 899. In 895, Bohemia broke away from Great Moravia and became his vassal. An accord was made between him and the Bohemian Duke Borivoj I (reigned 870-95); Bohemia was thus freed from the dangers of invasion.

In 893, Pope Formosus, not trusting the newly crowned co-emperors Guy and Lambert, sent an embassy to Regensburg to request Arnulf come and liberate Italy, where he would be crowned in Rome. Arnulf sent his son Zwentibold with a Bavarian army to join Berengar of Friuli. They defeated Guy, but were bought off and left in autumn. Arnulf then personally led an army across the Alps early in 894. He conquered all of the territory north of the Po, but went no further before Guy died suddenly in late autumn. Lambert and his mother Ageltrude travelled to Rome to receive papal confirmation of his imperial succession, but Formosus, still desiring to crown Arnulf, was imprisoned in Castel Sant'Angelo.

In September 895, a new embassy arrived in Regensburg beseeching Arnulf's aid. In October, Arnulf undertook his second campaign into Italy. He crossed the Alps quickly and took Pavia, but then he continued slowly, garnering support among the nobility of Tuscany. First Maginulf, Count of Milan, and then Walfred, Count of Pavia, joined him. Eventually even the Margrave Adalbert II abandoned Lambert. Finding Rome locked against him and held by Ageltrude, he had to take the city by force on 21 February 896, freeing the pope. Arnulf was there crowned King and Emperor by Formosus on 22 February. He only retained power in Italy as long as he was personally there. Arnulf marched on Spoleto, where Ageltrude had fled to join Lambert, but he suffered a stroke and had to call off the campaign. That same year, Formosus died, leaving Lambert once again in power. Rumours of the time made Arnulf's condition to be a result of poisoning at the hand of Ageltrude. He returned to Germany and had no more control in Italy for the rest of his life.

On Arnulf's death in 899, he was succeeded as a king of the East Franks by his son by his wife Ota (died 903), Louis the Child. Arnulf's illegitimate son Zwentibold, whom he had made King of Lotharingia in 895, continued to rule there until the next year (900).

ee also

*Kings of Germany family tree

Notes

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