Louis the German

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Louis (also Ludwig or Lewis) the German (806 – 28 August 876), also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian, was a grandson of Charlemagne and the third son of the succeeding Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye.

He received the appellation 'Germanicus' shortly after his death in recognition of the fact that the bulk of his territory had been in the former Germania.

Louis II was made the King of Bavaria from 817 following the Emperor Charlemagne's practice of bestowing a local kingdom on a family member who then served as one of his lieutenants and the local governor. When his father, Louis I (called the pious), partitioned the empire toward the end of his reign in 843, he was made King of East Francia, a region that spanned the Elbe drainage basin from Jutland southeasterly through the Thuringerwald into modern Bavaria from the Treaty of Verdun in 843 until his death.


Divisio imperii and filial rebellion

His early years were partly spent at the court of his grandfather, Charlemagne, whose special affection he is said to have won. When the emperor Louis divided his dominions between his sons in 817, Louis received Bavaria and the neighbouring lands but did not undertake the governing of such until 825, when he became involved in wars with the Wends and Sorbs on his eastern frontier. In 827, he married Emma of Altdorf, sister of his stepmother Judith of Bavaria, and daughter of Welf, whose possessions ranged from Alsace to Bavaria. Louis soon began to interfere in the quarrels arising from Judith's efforts to secure a kingdom for her own son Charles (later known as Charles the Bald) and the consequent struggles of his brothers with their father.

His involvement in the first civil war of his father's reign was limited, but in the second, his elder brothers, Lothair, then King of Italy, and Pepin, King of Aquitaine, induced him to invade Alamannia — which their father had given to their half-brother Charles — by promising to give him the land in the new partition they would make. In 832, he led an army of Slavs into Alamannia and completely subjugated it. Louis the Pious disinherited him, but to no effect; the emperor was captured by his own rebellious sons and deposed. Upon his swift reinstatement, however, the Emperor Louis made peace with his son Louis and restored Bavaria (never actually lost) to him (836).

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