Divisio Regnorum

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The division of the empire planned for 806

The Divisio Regnorum is the name given to the succession regulation of Charlemagne , which he issued on February 6, 806.

It provided for the division of the Frankish Empire among his sons Pippin of Italy , Charles the Younger and Louis the Pious . Since Pippin and Karl the Younger died before their father Charlemagne, the division became obsolete.

Division plan

Pippin, Karl and Ludwig were already sub-kings in Italy , Neustria and Aquitaine . Pippin should get Bavaria , Karl also Austrasia and Alemannia. Ludwig should also have received Septimania , Provence and Burgundy .

Origin and intention

The sources available do not provide any specific reason for the writing of the will, but the advanced age of the emperor makes this measure appropriate. In addition, Charlemagne was already seriously ill with gout and saw the end of his life in the near future.

In the Franconian Reichsannals there are contemporary written information about the circumstances of the creation. There it is reported that for the purpose of the succession plan at the beginning of the year 806 an imperial assembly was called in Diedenhofen , at which the sons of Charles and the greats of the Franconian Empire were present. The document that emerged in this context, which resolved the division of the empire into three parts, was sworn by the Franconian greats and then supplemented with ordinances to maintain peace. The entire document was finally delivered to the Pope by Einhard and signed by him.

The wording in the imperial annals suggests two separate parts, the testamentum , which describes the division of the empire itself, and the subsequent constitutiones pacis . This dichotomy becomes clear in the final document, the Divisio Regnorum : The introduction and chapters 1 to 5 contain the modalities of the division of the empire, while the remaining chapters 6 to 20 are devoted to the provisions for maintaining the peace of the empire.


  • Peter Classen : Charlemagne and the succession to the throne in the Franconian Empire. In: Festschrift for Hermann Heimpel . Volume 3, Göttingen 1972, pp. 109-134.
  • Dieter Hägermann : Reich unity and division of the empire. Comments on the Divisio regnorum 806 and the Ordinatio Imperii 817. In: Historisches Jahrbuch . Volume 95, 1975, pp. 278-307.
  • Walter Schlesinger : Empire and division of the empire. On the divisio regnorum of 806. In: Research on the state and the constitution . Berlin 1958, pp. 9-51.

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