Battle of Brissarthe

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The Battle of Brissarthe took place in 866 between the Franks and the Vikings ; in it fell Robert the Brave , the Count of Tours and Angers , to whom King Charles the Bald had entrusted the defensive battle against the Normans. The sources disagree about the exact day. July 2nd, July 25th and September 15th are mentioned.


In 866 , the Breton Prince Salomon (ruled 857-874) allied himself with the Dane Hasting (Hasteinn) and his Loire-Normans in a campaign against Anjou , Maine and Touraine . The city of Le Mans was sacked.

Robert the Brave, under whose command the regions affected, had just gathered the Frankish forces, including Counts Ranulf I of Poitou and Gauzfried and Hervé of Maine, when the Bretons and Scandinavians withdrew with their booty.


The Frankish armed forces managed to intercept the enemy at Brissarthe before they reached their boats on the Loire . When the Bretons and Scandinavians fled to a church, the Franks took up the siege. In the evening the Vikings decided to make a sortie; in the course of the fight Robert the Brave was killed, Ranulf fatally wounded by an arrow, Hervé injured. After losing their leaders, the Franks withdrew.


In 867 , Charles the Bald began negotiations with Solomon, recognized him as King of the Bretons and ceded the county of Cotentin to him, which implied the simultaneous cession of the Avranchin between that county and Brittany.

Hasting ravaged the Loire Valley for a few years : Bourges 867 , Orléans 868 , Angers 872 - and Charles the Bald had to seek support from the Bretons and Solomon.

The battle was also momentous for the budding Robertin family , descendants of Robert the Brave. Robert's underage sons, the later West Franconian kings Odo and Robert I , were placed under the guardianship of the Guelph Hugo Abbas , who was a stepson of Robert the Brave after he had married Hugo's mother Adelheid von Tours in 864 , the widow of Count Konrad of Paris and Auxerre. Hugo earned her admiration, which later benefited the Guelph family - and earned the Capetians the first name Hugo, which Robert I gave to his son Hugo the Great and Hugo Capet to his son .