The Carolingian and Holy Roman Empires The early Holy Roman Empire was not a centralized state as it is today but was divided into hundreds of individual entities, governed by Kings, Dukes, Counts, Bishops, Abbots, and other rulers. They were collectively known as Princes. Some areas were ruled directly by the Emperor but at no time could the Emperor simply issue decrees and govern autonomously over the Empire. His power was severely restricted by the various local leaders. The Carolingian Empire; 814 The traditional rules of inheritance were that all living heirs of a Royal line got an equal share of the lands of the Kingdom. Charlemagne himself had become sole ruler of the Frankish realm when his older brother died. When Charlemagne died, his Frankish Empire was given to his son, Louis, and his descendants later divided the Empire into different states. Louis the Pious, followed his father as the ruler of a united Empire but when Louis died in 840, the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the Empire in three: 1] Louis' eldest surviving son Lothair I became Emperor and ruler of Central Francia. His three sons in turn divided this Kingdom between them into Lotharingia, Burgundy and Italy. 2] Louis' second son, Louis the German, became King of East Francia. 3] His third son Charles the Bald became King of West Francia. The Carolingian Successor States; 843 The Imperial throne was to be held by the ruler of the Middle Kingdom. This collapsed in the 10th century, the Imperial Throne went to the East Franks and most of the lands were divided between the Western and Eastern Frankish Kingdoms. The brothers were soon at each other's throats in a struggle that would not resolve itself until 884. The Western Franks found their language taking a distinct Roman influence, while the Eastern Franks mixed with a Slavic influence. This is best displayed in the Alliance-Treaty against the Middle Kingdom from 842. Louis, King of East Francia speaking in West Frankish: "Pro deo amur et pro Christian poblo et nostro commun salvament, d'ist di in avant, in quant deus savir et podir me dunat, si salvarai eo cist meon fradre Karlo et in aiudha et in cadhuna cosa, si cum om per dreit son fradra salvar dist, in o quid il mi altresi fazet, et ab Ludher nul plaid numquam prindrai, qui meon vol cist meon fradre Karle in damno sit." Charles, King of West Francia repeats it in East Frankish: "In godes minna ind in thes Christanes folches ind unser bedhero gehaltnissi, fon thesemo dage frammordes, so fram so mir got geuuizci indi mahd furgibit, so haldih thesan minan bruodher, soso man mit rehtu sinan bruodher scal, in thiu thaz er mig so sama duo, indi mit Ludheren in nohheiniu thing ne gegango, the minan uuillon imo ce scadhen uuerdhen." translation: "By the love of god, the life of the Christian people and our both salvations, from now on and forever, if god gives me the wisdom and the power, that I will be with my brother, like brothers usually do. And I wont ally with Lothar and do things that hurt my brother." The Romanized form of the language spread eastward but there is a very “Germanic” flavour or dialect the further east in the Empire you travel. In the South, however, the Occitan dialect has prevailed. Charles III, great-grandson of Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Fat, was the Ruler who re-united the Empire. Over his lifetime Charles became ruler of the various kingdoms of Charlemagne's former Empire. Granted lordship over Alamannia in 876, following the division of the East Francia, he succeeded to the Italian throne upon the incapacitation of his older brother Carloman of Bavaria by a stroke. Crowned Emperor in 881 he succeeded to the Saxon and Bavarian territories of his brother Louis the Younger the following year reuniting the Kingdom of East Francia. Upon the death of his cousin Carloman II in 884, he inherited all of West Francia, thus reuniting the entire Carolingian Empire. Considered, probably incorrectly, to be lethargic and inept he twice purchased peace with Viking raiders, including the infamous Siege of Paris (885–886) which many suggest led to his downfall, however, no contemporary account criticised Charles's actions during this period. His baseless accusations of his wife Richgard's infidelity were the most obvious of his delusions [she was forced to prove her innocence in a Trial by Fire] but Charles also suffered excruciating pains in his head, attributing it to diabolic possession. Childless by his marriage to Richgard, Charrles tried to have his illegitimate son, Bernard, recognised as his heir in 885, but met opposition from several bishops, however, he had the support of Pope Hadrian III, who, at an assembly in Worms in October 885, deposed the obstructing bishops and legitimised Bernard. Charles adopted Louis of Provence as his son at an assembly in May 887, promising him the Kingship of Provence to engender support for Bernard's Kingship in Lotharingia and Charles had the term proles [offspring] inserted into his charters, as it had not been in previous years, to further legitimise Bernard. The reunited Empire did not last. After a coup led by his nephew Arnulf of Carinthia in November 887, Charles was deposed in East Francia, Lotharingia, and Italy by December 887. Forced into retirement he died of natural causes a few weeks after his deposition. The Empire quickly fell apart after his death, splintering into separate successor Kingdoms.