Kingdom of Arles
|Second Kingdom of Burgundy
Royaume de Bourgogne
Burgundy in the 12/13th century:
Kingdom of Arles
|-||Union of Upper and Lower kingdoms||933|
|-||Emp. Charles IV appointed Charles,
Dauphin as permanent Imperial vicar
The Kingdom of Arles (Arelat, 933–1378) or Second Kingdom of Burgundy of the High Middle Ages was a Frankish dominion established in 933 from lands of the early medieval Kingdom of Burgundy at Arles. Its territory stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the High Rhine in the north roughly corresponding to the present-day French regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes and Franche-Comté, as well as western Switzerland. It was ruled by independent kings until 1032, after which it fell to the Holy Roman Empire.
In 843, the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious, who had died in 840, signed the Treaty of Verdun which partitioned the Carolingian Empire between them. Middle Francia was allotted to Emperor Lothair I; the Duchy of Burgundy went to Charles the Bald, king of West Francia; and Louis the German received East Francia, comprising the territory east of the Rhine and to the north and east of Italy.
In 855 Lothair I died, and his realm was divided in turn between his three sons in accordance with the Treaty of Prüm.
Then in 869 Lothair I's son, Lothair II, died without legitimate children, and in 870 Charles the Bald and Louis the German partitioned by the Treaty of Meerssen his territory: Upper Burgundy, territory north of the Jura mountains (Bourgogne Transjurane), went to Louis the German, while the rest went to Charles the Bald.
By 875 all sons of Lothair I had died without heirs and the other Burgundian territories were held by Charles the Bald.
In the confusion after the death of Charles' son Louis the Stammerer in 879, the West Frankish count Boso of Provence established the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy (Bourgogne Cisjurane) at Arles. In 888, upon the death of the Emperor Charles the Fat, son of Louis the German, Count Rudolph of Auxerre, Count of Burgundy, founded the Kingdom of Upper Burgundy at Saint-Maurice which included the County of Burgundy, in northwestern Upper Burgundy.
In 933, Hugh of Arles ceded Lower Burgundy to Rudolph II of Upper Burgundy in return for Rudolph's relinquishing claims to the Italian throne. Rudolph merged both Upper and Lower Burgundy to form the Kingdom of Arles (Arelat). In 937, Rudolph was succeeded by his son Conrad the Peaceful. Inheritance claims by Hugh of Arles were rejected, with the support of Emperor Otto I.
In 993 Conrad was succeeded by his son Rudolph III, who in 1006 was forced to sign a succession treaty in favor of the future Emperor Henry II. Rudolph attempted to renounce the treaty in 1016 without success.
In 1032, Rudolph III died without any surviving heirs, and the kingdom passed in accordance with the 1006 treaty to Henry's successor, Emperor Conrad II from the Salian dynasty, and Arelat was incorporated in the Holy Roman Empire, though the kingdom operated with considerable autonomy. Though from that time the Emperors held the title "King of Arles", few went to be crowned in the cathedral of Arles. An exception was Emperor Frederick Barbarossa who in 1178 was crowned King of Burgundy by the Archbishop of Arles.
Between the 11th century and the end of the 14th century, several parts of Arelat's territory broke away: Provence, Vivarais, Lyonnais, Dauphiné, Savoy, the Free County of Burgundy, and parts of western Switzerland. The Free County of Burgundy was acquired by the Imperial House of Hohenstaufen in 1190 and the eastern parts of Upper Burgundy fell to the House of Zähringen. Later, when the Zähringen line died out, these lands were inherited by the Habsburgs. Most of the territory of Lower Burgundy was progressively incorporated into France — the County of Provence fell to the House of Anjou in 1246 and finally to the French crown in 1481, the Dauphiné was annexed and sold to the French king Charles V of Valois in 1349 by the dauphin de Viennois Humbert II de La Tour-du-Pin. In 1361, Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg detached the County of Savoy from the Burgundian kingdom.
In 1365, Charles was the last emperor to be crowned King of Arles. In 1378, Charles appointed the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) as permanent Imperial vicar to administer nominally on behalf of the Empire what remained of Arelat, and from then on Arelat in effect ceased to exist. However, the title "King of Arles" remained one of the Holy Roman Emperor's subsidiary titles until the dissolution of the Empire in 1806, and the office of the Archbishop of Trier continued to act as an archchancellor and prince-elector for King of the Romans, who would become the Holy Roman Emperor, a status that was confirmed by the Golden Bull of 1356.
- The New Columbia Encyclopedia 1975, 150
- Marie-Luise Heckmann, Das Reichsvikariat des Dauphins im Arelat 1378.