Robert the Brave

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Robert the Brave (French Robert le Fort , Latin Robertus Fortis , sometimes translated as Robert the Strong ; † September 15 or July 25 or July 2, 866 at the Battle of Brissarthe ) was Count of Tours , Paris and Anjou . He came from the Rhineland-Franconian family of the Rupertines . The branch of the Rupertines founded by him is called Robertiner after his name . He is the ancestor of the Maison de France , the House of France. The French kings from the house of Capetians and their subsidiary lines, the houses of Valois and Bourbon , are without exception Robert's descendants in an unbroken male line.


Robert's father was Rutpert III. , Count in Wormsgau and Upper Rhinegau , and his mother Wiltrud von Orléans . From 837 to after 840 he was the successor of his brother Guntram Graf in Wormsgau; then he went to the time of Charles the Bald ruled West Frankish Empire , the inherited from his mother possessions in Orléans . His brother-in-law Walaho IV followed him in Wormsgau .

In 852, Charles the Bald gave him the counties of Angers and Tours and the position of lay abbot at the monastery of Marmoutier near Tours ; later (866) he became lay abbot of the monastery of Saint-Martin de Tours . Thus, according to a custom that was widespread at the time, as the patron of these abbeys, he was given the right to dispose of their income ( benefices ) without living there or dealing with the spiritual direction. In 853 Charles appointed him royal messenger ( missus dominicus ) for the regions of Tours ( Touraine ) and Angers ( Anjou ). As Count of Angers and Tours, he exercised functions that corresponded to the position of margrave.

In 858 he was one of the leaders of the aristocratic opposition against Charles the Bald, which Ludwig the German wanted to propose the crown of western France. At the same time he was the opponent of Ludwig the Stammler , the son and future successor of King Charles, whom Karl had endowed with the Ducat Maine in his immediate area of ​​responsibility . The rebellious nobles succeeded in driving Ludwig the Stammler out of Maine together with the de facto autonomous Bretons . Ludwig returned to his father's court. Karl had to come to terms with this, as he had to rely on the hard work of the rebellious nobles to defend himself against the Bretons and the Normans . In 861 King Charles was reconciled with Robert and gave him the military command for the area between Seine and Loire ( ducatus inter Ligerim et Sequanam , not a "duchy" in the later sense of the term) and thus the responsibility for the fight against the Normans and Bretons. In 862 Robert achieved an important success in the fight against the Breton prince Solomon . Ludwig the Stammler, who was inferior to his rival Robert as a result of this development and saw no more chance of regaining Maine, rebelled against his father, allied himself with Solomon and devastated Robert's county of Angers. Robert attacked the withdrawing opponents, struck them and thus won back the booty. Ludwig had to flee and submitted (in the year 862) to his father. In 863 the Bretons also submitted.

In 865 there was a compromise between King Karl, Ludwig the Stammler and Robert the Brave. Robert renounced the county of Angers in favor of Ludwig and received two Burgundian counties, Auxerre and Nevers , as compensation . The following year Robert fell fighting the Loire Normans at the Battle of Brissarthe .


Robert was in his second marriage since the beginning of 864 (the first wife was probably called Agane, others are unknown) with Adelaide (Aelis) von Tours , † after 866, married, daughter of Count Hugo von Tours ( Etichonen ) and the Bava (Ava), Widow of Konrad I , Count of Aargau and Auxerre , Count of Linzgau ( Welfen ). From his two marriages he had four children:


Because of his bravery, to which he owes his nickname, Robert was respected by his contemporaries; so he was described in the Fulda annals as "a Maccabees in our times". In modern research it is emphasized that he was able to assert himself in the power struggle against the king's son Ludwig and ultimately emerged stronger from all conflicts. In doing so, he created a prerequisite for his two sons to be able to achieve royal dignity later.


  • Karl Ferdinand Werner : Studies on the Early Period of the French Principality, 9. – 10. Century, IV: Rotberti complices. The vassals of Roberts the Brave . In: Die Welt als Geschichte 19, 1959, ZDB -ID 202645-4 , pp. 146–193.
  • Brigitte Kasten : Royal sons and royal rule. Studies on participation in the empire in the Merovingian and Carolingian times . Hahn, Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5444-7 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica Schriften 44), (Also: Bremen, Univ., Habil.-Schr., 1996).