Lower Lotharingia

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Duchy of Lower Lotharingia

Neder-Lotharingen
959/977–1190
of Lower Lotharingia / Northern Lotharingia
Coat of arms
Green: Lower (Northern) Lotharingia in 977 (borders of current states in purple)
Green: Lower (Northern) Lotharingia in 977 (borders of current states in purple)
StatusPart of East Francia until 962
Part of Holy Roman Empire
Common languagesOld Dutch
Old Frisian
Old French
Old Low German
Religion
Christianity
GovernmentFeudal Duchy
Duke 
• 959–964
Godfrey I (first)
• 1142–1190
Godfrey III (last)
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Established
959
• Disestablished
1190
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Lotharingia
Prince-Bishopric of Liège Wappen Bistum Lüttich.png
Electorate of Cologne Wappen Erzbistum Köln.png
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County of Cleves Cleves Arms.svg
Duchy of Limburg Arms of the Duke of Limburg.svg
County of Namur Arms of Namur.svg
Landgraviate of Brabant Royal Arms of Belgium.svg
County of Holland Counts of Holland Arms.svg
Bishopric of Utrecht Coat of Arms of the Bishopric of Utrecht.svg
County of Louvain Armoiries de Vianden 3.svg
Duchy of Guelders Guelders-Jülich Arms.svg
County of Hainaut Hainaut Modern Arms.svg
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County of Berg Bergischer Löwe.svg
County of Loon Loon Arms.svg
Today part of Belgium
 France
 Germany
 Luxembourg
 Netherlands

The Duchy of Lower Lotharingia,[1] also called Northern Lotharingia,[2][3] Lower Lorraine or Northern Lorraine (and also referred to as Lothier or Lottier[4] in titles), was a stem duchy established in 959, of the medieval Kingdom of Germany, which encompassed almost all of the modern Netherlands (the region of Frisia was loosely associated with the duchy, but the dukes exercised no de facto control over the territory), central and eastern Belgium, Luxemburg, the northern part of the German Rhineland province and the eastern parts of France's Nord-Pas de Calais region.

History[edit]

It was created out of the former Middle Frankish realm of Lotharingia under King Lothair II, that had been established in 855. Lotharingia was divided for much of the later ninth century, reunited under Louis the Younger by the 880 Treaty of Ribemont and upon the death of East Frankish king Louis the Child in 911 it joined West Francia under King Charles the Simple. It then formed a duchy in its own right, and about 925 Duke Gilbert declared homage to the German king Henry the Fowler, an act which King Rudolph of France was helpless to revert. From that time on Lotharingia (or Lorraine) remained a German stem duchy, the border with France did not change throughout the Middle Ages.

In 959 King Henry's son Duke Bruno the Great divided Lotharingia into two duchies: Lower and Upper Lorraine (or Lower and Upper Lotharingia) and granted Count Godfrey I of Mons (Hainaut) the title of a Duke of Lower Lorraine. Godfrey's lands were to the north (lower down the Rhine river system), while Upper Lorraine was to the south (further up the river system). Both duchies formed the western part of the Holy Roman Empire established by Bruno's elder brother Emperor Otto I in 962.

Both Lotharingian duchies took very separate paths thereafter: Upon the death of Godfrey's son Duke Richar, Lower Lotharingia was directly ruled by the Emperor, until in 977 Otto II enfeoffed Charles, the exiled younger brother of King Lothair of France. Lower and Upper Lorraine were once again briefly reunited under Gothelo I from 1033 to 1044. After that, the Lower duchy was quickly marginalised,[citation needed] while Upper Lorraine came to be known as simply the Duchy of Lorraine.

Over the next decades the significance of the Duchy of Lower Lotharingia diminished and furthermore was affected by the conflict between Emperor Henry IV and his son Henry V: In 1100 Henry IV had enfeoffed Count Henry of Limburg, who Henry V, having enforced the abdication of his father, immediately deposed and replaced by Count Godfrey of Louvain. Upon the death of Duke Godfrey III in 1190, his son Duke Henry I of Brabant inherited the ducal title by order of Emperor Henry VI at the Diet of Schwäbisch Hall. Thereby the Duchy of Lower Lotharingia finally lost its territorial authority, while the remnant Imperial fief held by the Dukes of Brabant was later called the Duchy of Lothier (or Lothryk).

History of the Low Countries
Frisii Belgae
Cana-
nefates
Chamavi,
Tubantes
Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg
Gallia Belgica (55 BC – 5th c. AD)
Germania Inferior (83 – 5th c.)
Salian Franks Batavi
unpopulated
(4th–5th c.)
Saxons Salian Franks
(4th–5th c.)
Frisian Kingdom
(6th c.–734)
Frankish Kingdom (481–843)Carolingian Empire (800–843)
Austrasia (511–687)
Middle Francia (843–855) West
Francia

(843–)
Kingdom of Lotharingia (855– 959)
Duchy of Lower Lorraine (959–)
Frisia

Friesland (kleine wapen).svg
Frisian
Freedom

(11–16th
century)
Wapen graafschap Holland.svg
County of
Holland

(880–1432)
Utrecht - coat of arms.png
Bishopric of
Utrecht

(695–1456)
Royal Arms of Belgium.svg
Duchy of
Brabant

(1183–1430)
Guelders-Jülich Arms.svg
Duchy of
Guelders

(1046–1543)
Arms of Flanders.svg
County of
Flanders

(862–1384)
Hainaut Modern Arms.svg
County of
Hainaut

(1071–1432)
Arms of Namur.svg
County of
Namur

(981–1421)
Armoiries Principauté de Liège.svg
P.-Bish.
of Liège


(980–1794)

Duchy of
Luxem-
bourg

(1059–1443)
  Flag of the Low Countries.svg
Burgundian Netherlands (1384–1482)
Flag of the Low Countries.svg
Habsburg Netherlands (1482–1795)
(Seventeen Provinces after 1543)
 
Statenvlag.svg
Dutch Republic
(1581–1795)
Flag of the Low Countries.svg
Spanish Netherlands
(1556–1714)
 
  Austrian Low Countries Flag.svg
Austrian Netherlands
(1714–1795)
  Flag of the Brabantine Revolution.svg
United States of Belgium
(1790)
LuikVlag.svg
R. Liège
(1789–'91)
     
Flag of the navy of the Batavian Republic.svg
Batavian Republic (1795–1806)
Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810)
Flag of France.svg
associated with French First Republic (1795–1804)
part of First French Empire (1804–1815)
   
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Princip. of the Netherlands (1813–1815)
 
United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1830) Flag of Luxembourg.svg
Gr D. L.
(1815–)


Kingdom of the Netherlands (1839–)
Flag of Belgium.svg
Kingdom of Belgium (1830–)
Gr D. of
Luxem-
bourg

(1890–)

Successor states[edit]

After the territorial power of the duchy was shattered, many fiefdoms came to independence in its area. The most important ones of these were:

The following successor states remained under the authority of the titular dukes of Lower Lotharingia (Lothier):

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baedeker, Jarrold; Court, Alec (1992). Netherlands. Pearson Education Canada. ISBN 978-0-13-063611-9.
  2. ^ The Numismatic Chronicle. Royal Numismatic Society. 2006.
  3. ^ Bachrach, David S. (2014). Warfare in Tenth-Century Germany. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84383-927-9.
  4. ^ "Treaty of Joinville". (in French) In Davenport, Frances G. European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 2004.