Louis the Pious - World Leaders In History

A denarius of Louis the Pious.
A denarius of Louis the Pious.

Louis the Pious, also referred to as the Fair or the Debonaire, was the king of the Franks and the co-emperor of his father from 813. As from 781, Louis the Pious was the only surviving king of Aquitaine. He had an easy time inheriting the position from his father since he was his only surviving son.

Early Life

Louis was the only surviving son of Charlemagne and his wife Hildegard. At the time of Louis’ birth on April 16, 778, his father Charlemagne was on campaign in Spain. He was born in Chasseneuil-Du-Poitou. He was the third son of his parents. His twin brother Lothair died during infancy. He was crowned the king of Aquitaine in his childhood years. He married Ermengarde of Hesbaye, who died four years later in 798. He later married Judith of Bavaria.


Louis was the only surviving adult son of his parents, who were the monarch. After his fathers’ death, he took over the throne in 814. However, he had been crowned as king in 781. Being the only surviving son of his father, he took over the entire Frankish Kingdom with all he possessions in the territory. He retained some of the ministers that he considered to have been loyal to his father and dropped the disloyal ministers. During his reign, Louis was faced by three major civil wars, which were as a result of the various reasons.

Major Contributions

Being a staunch Christian, Louis strove to ensure that the kingdom was ruled through Christine principles and customs. In fact, he was brutal to the people who were pagans. He stressed that his subjects should uphold Christian values of humility and obedience. He will also be remembered for his struggles to ensure the kingdom of the Frankish peoples remained united. He conquered all attempts that were out to divide the kingdom. He also worked round the clock to ensure the borders of his kingdom were safe and secure.


During his reign, Louis faced several challenges and setbacks. His position was not recognized between the years of 833 and 834. He was deposed during this period of his reign. His first decade of his reign was the most challenging one. For instance, he was humiliated when his nephew Bernard of Italy was treated ruthlessly because of his rebellion. During his reign, he had to lead his people in a number of civil war, some of which they won, some of which they lost. In his attempt to include his son by his second wife into his succession plans, the kingdom was divided. At some point in his reign, Louis was betrayed by his very close acquaintances such as Archbishop of Reims.

Death and Legacy

After his final victory campaigns, Louis became ill. He moved to his summer hunting lodge on a certain Island in the Rhine. On June 20, 840, Louis succumbed to his illness while at Ingelheim Am Rhein. He died at the age of 62 years. At his deathbed, many bishops, clerics, and his half-brother Drogo were present. He was buried in Abbey of Saint-Arnould, in Metz. Soon after his burial, the civil war was fueled by the disputes of his surviving brothers on who was the rightful successor to his seat. The dispute was never settled until 860. Louis will be remembered for upholding Christian values and Catholic Church doctrines, leading a united kingdom and ensuring that the borders of his kingdom are secure from attacks.


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