1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Charles III. (King of France)

CHARLES III., the Simple (879–929), king of France, was a posthumous son of Louis the Stammerer and of his second wife Adelaide. On the deposition of Charles the Fat in 887 he was excluded from the throne by his youth; but during the reign of Odo, who had succeeded Charles, he succeeded in gaining the recognition of a certain number of notables and in securing his coronation at Reims on the 28th of January 893. He now obtained the alliance of the emperor, and forced Odo to cede part of Neustria. In 898, by the death of his rival (Jan. 1), he obtained possession of the whole kingdom. His most important act was the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte with the Normans in 911. Some of them were baptized; the territory which was afterwards known as the duchy of Normandy was ceded to them; but the story of the marriage of their chief Rollo with a sister of the king, related by the chronicler Dudo of Saint Quentin, is very doubtful. The same year Charles, on the invitation of the barons, took possession of the kingdom of Lotharingia. In 920 the barons, jealous of the growth of the royal authority and discontented with the favour shown by the king to his counsellor Hagano, rebelled, and in 922 elected Robert, brother of King Odo, in place of Charles. Robert was killed in the battle of Soissons, but the victory remained with his party, who elected Rudolph, duke of Burgundy, king. In his extremity Charles trusted himself to Herbert, count of Vermandois, who deceived him, and threw him into confinement at Château-Thierry and afterwards at Péronne. In the latter town he died on the 7th of October 929. In 907 he had married Frederona, sister of Bovo, bishop of Chalons. After her death he married Eadgyfu (Odgiva), daughter of Edward the Elder, king of the English, who was the mother of Louis IV.

See A. Eckel, Charles le Simple (Paris, 1899).