was a short-lived kingdom in western Europe
, the aggregate of territories belonging to Lothair, King of Lotharingia
), who received it in 855
from his Carolingian
father, Lothair I
), Emperor of the Romans
(835 - 8 August 869)
territory was west of the Rhine
stretching from the North Sea
to the Jura mountains
and was the northern section of Middle Francia
, which appeared as the result of the division of Carolingian
lands that had been effected at the Treaty of Verdun
. The name derives from the Latin
"Lotharii Regnum", the Lothair's realm
, and early in the 10th century appeared in written records as Lotharingia
(a designation subsequently applied only to the smaller part that became the duchy of Lorraine
). Lothair II
was twenty when he inherited the territory upon his father's death in 855
. His elder brother Louis II
received northern Italy
and the title of Emperor
, and his younger brother Charles of Provence
received the western parts of his father's domains, Burgundy
, further dividing the great empire of Charlemange which had been partitioned the generation before—between the three older brothers—Lothair I, Charles the Bald
, and Lewis the German
, and the two uncles were still living. In 860
, uncle Charles attacked Lotharingia, apparently attempting to take advantage of Lothair II's youthful state, but the invasion was repulsed.
After Lothair's death his lands were further divided between the two uncles, and the Kingdom of the East Franks and of the Kingdom of the West Franks, in the Treaty of Mersen, 870.
Strictly speaking, there were no Lotharingians as a unified ethnic group. Broadly speaking, Lotharingia comprised the present-day:
The name Lotharingia (Dutch: Lotharingen, German: Lotharingien, French: Lotharingie) survives today in the French name derived from it: Lorraine.
Lotharingia itself did not survive its king; it dissolved in violence and local warfare. Henry the Fowler gained control over the divided lands, and brought them back as a duchy under the German crown. His son and heir Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor granted Lotharingia to his brother, Bruno I, Archbishop of Cologne. In 959 Bruno effected the long-lasting split of the territory into two dukedoms: the duchies of Upper and Lower Lorraine. (Upper and Lower in historigraphical names generally refer to a River's watershed, in this case, along the Rhine.)
Upper Lotharingia became the duchy of Lorraine, the nucleus of which survived until 1766. Lorraine was the object of territorial disputes between France and Germany for a thousand years, and both still covet the region.
The Duchy of Lower Lorraine lost its authority entirely in 1190 (the Diet of Hall), due to the territorialisation of the 11th and 12th century. The duchy fragmented into separate duchies (Brabant, Limburg, Gelre), bishoprics, counties and imperial fiefs. The Duke of Brabant traditionally retained the honorific title of Duke of Lower Lotharingia, also known as Lothier.