Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict under Louis the German, 817-876 by Eric J. GoldbergStruggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict under Louis the German, 817-876 by Eric J. Goldberg

Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict under Louis the German, 817-876

byEric J. Goldberg

Paperback | March 5, 2009

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Struggle for Empire explores the contest for kingdoms and power among Charlemagne's descendants that shaped the formation of Europe. It examines this pivotal era through the reign of Charlemagne's grandson, Louis the German (826–876), one of the longest-ruling Carolingian kings. Eric J. Goldberg's book brings the enigmatic Louis to life and makes a vital contribution to recent reevaluations of the late Carolingian age.

In the Treaty of Verdun of 843, Louis inherited the eastern territories of the Carolingian empire, thereby laying the foundations for an east Frankish kingdom. But, as Goldberg emphasizes, Louis was never satisfied with his realm beyond the Rhine. Louis was a skilled and cultured ruler who modeled himself on Charlemagne, and he aspired to rebuild his grandfather's empire. This ambition to reunite Europe brought Louis into repeated conflict with other rulers: Carolingian kings, Byzantine emperors, Bulgar khans, Roman popes, and Slavic warlords. While Louis ultimately failed to reunify the empire, his fifty-year reign produced a period of remarkable political consolidation and cultural creativity in central Europe.

By highlighting the ways in which dynastic rivalries, aristocratic rebellions, diplomacy, and warfare shaped Louis's reign, Struggle for Empire uncovers the dynamism and innovation of ninth-century kingship. To trace Louis's evolving policies, Goldberg moves beyond the evidence traditionally used to study his reign—the Annals of Fulda—and exploits the visual arts, liturgy, archeology, and especially charters. The result is a remarkably comprehensive and colorful picture of Carolingian kingship in action.

Title:Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict under Louis the German, 817-876Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.2 inPublished:March 5, 2009Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801475295

ISBN - 13:9780801475290

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Table of Contents


1. The Young King, ca. 810-829
2. Father and Sons, 830-838
3. The Fight for Survival, 838-843

4. Frontier Wars, 844-852
5. Consolidation and Reform, 844-852
6. Kingship and Government'

7. Drang nach Westen, 853-860
8. Trials and Triumphs, 861-870
9. The Call of Rome, 871-876


Appendix I: Maps
Appendix: Genealogies
Selected Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Eric J. Goldberg's book poses new questions about a crucial period in European history. Eschewing centuries of historiography, shaped by the eventual emergence of France and Germany, which have presented the ninth century in terms of Carolingian 'decline and fall,' Goldberg convincingly questions received assumptions about the coherence of the eastern and western Frankish kingdoms after the division of the empire. Through a closely observed study of the first east Frankish king, Louis the German, Goldberg reinstates court, dynasty, and kingship as basic political forces of the Carolingian world. Vigorously and lucidly written, Goldberg's book reflects all the best traits of the new historiography of early medieval Europe: close engagement with primary sources and insistence on understanding them in their original context. This is the first study to exploit the full potential of the documentary riches of the charters in addition to narrative sources such as the Annals of Fulda to explore Louis's kingship. Struggle for Empire is a must-read for all those interested in this formative period of the European past."—Matthew Innes, Birkbeck College, University of London