Charles Constantine of Vienne

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Charles-Constantine (died 962) was the Count of Vienne, son of Louis the Blind, King of Provence, and the Holy Roman Emperor.

Name and maternity[edit]

About his name; he was never called "Charles Constantine", rather Flodoard, copied later by Richar, calls him "Constantinus". We know that his proper name was "Carolus" (Charles), from a diploma of his father, and from his own charters. Modern scholars have typically called him Charles Constantine, but this was not a name used during his lifetime.

Some modern genealogical scholars speculated that his mother was Anna of Constantinople, daughter of Leo VI the Wise and his second wife Zoe Zaoutzaina. However, his father's marriage to this princess is much disputed and rather unlikely. Christian Settipani postulates that his name refers to the founders of the empires governed by his father and maternal grandfather, i.e., to Charlemagne and Constantine the Great.

Regarding his birthyear, or age, we have few datapoints. He was Count of Vienne and acting as an adult by (but not in) December 927. This evidences that his father must have had a prior union. Some speculation would place him born in 901/3 but this is just a force-fit to allow Anna to be his mother and his father's wife.

Life[edit]

When Charles' father Louis died in 929, Hugh of Arles, who was already king of Italy, took over Provence and gave it, in 933, to King Rudolf II of Burgundy. Charles-Constantine for whatever reason, could not inherit his father's right to the imperial throne or his right to rule Provence. This has led many to believe he was, in fact, a bastard. He did however rule the county of the Viennois, until his death in 962.

He was married to Thiberge de Troyes. It has been speculated that Constance, wife to Boso II of Arles and grandmother of Queen Constance of Arles, was their daughter. Through her, Charles Constantine would be an ancestor of the Capetian kings of France and the Norman and Plantagenet kings of England (through Queen Constance's daughter Adela Capet, and Adela's daughter Queen Matilda of Flanders, who married William the Conqueror).

Sources[edit]

  • Dictionnaire de Biographie Française. Roman d'Amat and R. Limousin-Lamothe (ed). Paris, 1967.