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Charles III

Charles III or Charles the Fat, 839–88, emperor of the West (881–87), king of the East Franks (882–87), and king of the West Franks (884–87); son of Louis the German, at whose death he inherited Swabia (876). He succeeded to the East Frankish or German kingship after the deaths of his brothers Carloman (880) and Louis the Younger (882), with whom he had shared the kingdom of Louis the German. He had also gained Italy from Carloman and was crowned emperor by Pope John VIII in 881. After the death of the heirs of Charles II in France, he became (884) West Frankish king, thus reuniting briefly the empire of Charlemagne. A weak ruler, he was unable to protect his lands from invasion and in 886, when he went to relieve Paris, which was besieged by the Norsemen, he ransomed the city instead of fighting and allowed the invaders to ravage Burgundy. He was deposed in 887 and was succeeded in Germany by Arnulf and briefly in France by Eudes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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