Karlmann (France)

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Coin from the 18th century with fictional portraits of the kings Ludwig III. and Karlmann II.

Karlmann , also Karlmann II. , French Carloman , (* 866 ; † December 6/12, 884 at Les Andelys ) from the ruling family of the Carolingians was king of the West Franconian Empire from 879 to 884 , from 882 as sole ruler.

In contrast to King Karlmann I , the younger brother of Charlemagne , Karlmann is often named with the ordinal number II .


Karlmann was the younger son of King Ludwig the Stammler from his first marriage to Ansgard of Burgundy ; He was brought up by his father's chamberlain, Theodoric von Vergy . After the death of his father in 879, Karlmann was together with his older brother Ludwig III. anointed and crowned king at the instigation of Archbishop Hinkmar of Reims and Hugo the Abbot . The Chancellor Gauzlin von Saint-Denis, however, had offered the East Franconian Ludwig the Younger the crown; this was only after the resignation of Ludwig III. and Karlmanns on the western half of Lotharingen in the Treaty of Ribemont ready to drop his claim. The boundary thus created between the two sub-kingdoms was essentially to remain in place until the end of the 13th century. Gauzlin von Saint-Denis then ensured an internal division of the empire among the brothers in Amiens in 880: Ludwig III. as eldest the heartland of the empire around Francia and Neustria , while Karlmann should rule in Aquitaine and Burgundy . The Chancellor wanted above all to separate the spheres of power of his own family, the Rorgonids , from those of the Guelphs around Hugo the Abbot .

Karlmann had to accept the loss of Provence , where Boso von Vienne had usurped the throne. With his brother and Karl the Fat he went with an army against Boso and his ally Hugo of Alsace , took Mâcon and besieged Boso in Vienne unsuccessfully . Only in association with Richard the judge , a brother of Bosos, could he take Vienne, but Boso managed to escape to Arles , where he could continue his kingship.

Priority Carloman and his brother fighting was Norman , the 879 with the "Pagan Great army" in Flanders occurred were. In the spring of 880, Ludwig the Younger triumphed over the Normans at Charleroi , whereupon Ludwig III. won a brilliant victory at Saucourt .

After Ludwig's death in August 882, Karlmann in Quierzy took over the rule of the entire West Franconian Empire. In the same year Ludwig the Younger died; his promise that the western Lotharingien should fall to the west of Franconia after his death was not fulfilled by his brother Karl the Fat at a meeting with Karlmann in Worms in November 882. Also in 882 the Normans conquered Reims , which forced Archbishop Hinkmar to flee to Épernay . Karlmann suffered a heavy defeat near Abbeville in 883 , after which the Vikings were able to plunder the Somme region unhindered the following year . Only after a tribute payment of 12,000 livre in silver in Compiègne 884 was Karlmann able to get the Normans withdrawn.

Karlmann died in December 884 in the forest of Bézu near Les Andelys of the consequences of a hunting accident after he was accidentally wounded by one of his followers; he was buried in the cathedral of Saint-Denis near Paris .

Since Karlmann and his brother Ludwig III. had died childless and their half-brother Karl was still underage, the greats of the empire elected Karlmann's uncle, the East Franconian King Karl the Fat , to be their new ruler, because they hoped that he would provide a resolute defense against the Normans. The empire of Charlemagne was nominally reunited for a short time.


  • Félix Grat / Jacques de Font-Réaulx / Georges Tessier / Robert-Henri Bautier (eds.): Recueil des actes de Louis II le Bègue, Louis III et Carloman II, rois de France (877-884). Paris 1978
  • Hans-Werner Goetz : Karlmann . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 5, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1991, ISBN 3-7608-8905-0 , Sp. 997.
predecessor Office successor
Ludwig II., The regular King of Western Franconia (
with Ludwig III. )
rule ) 882–884
Charles III, the fat one

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