ROBERT THE STRONG (le Fort) (d. 866), count of Anjou and of Blois, is said by Richerus to have been the son of a certain Witichin, but nothing definite is known about his parentage or early life. Quickly attaining a prominent position among the F rankish nobles, he appears as rector of the abbey of Marmoutier in 852, and as one of Charles the Bald's missi dominici, in 853; but soon afterwards he was among those who rebelled against Charles, and invited the king's half brother, Louis the German, to invade West Francia. However, after the peace between Charles and Louis in 860 Robert came to terms with his sovereign, who made him count of Anjou and of Blois, and entrusted him with the defence of that part of his kingdom which lay between the Seine and the Loire, a district which had suffered greatly from the ravages of the Normans and the Bretons. By his conduct in many stubborn fights with these foes, Robert thoroughly earned his surname and gained the conndence of the king, who gave him the counties of Nevers and Auxerre. He was killed in battle at Brissarthe in October 866, leaving two sons, Odo, or Eudes, and Robert, both of whom became kings of the Franks. Robert has been compared to the Maccabees, and the fact that he was the ancestor of the Capetian kings of France has invested him with historical importance.
See K. von Kalekstein, Robert der Tapfere (Berlin, 1871); and E. Favre, Eudes, oomte de Paris et roi de France (Paris, 1893).