A battle between the Vikings and Louis III ‘the Younger’ and Charles ‘the Fat’, sons of Louis II ‘the German’. The East Franks win.
Viking Age Relevance
A Viking army makes landfall in northern Francia by the late ninth century. After a year they move on toward Germany. The Welsh monk Asser writes about this army in his Vita Ælfredi Regis Angul Saxonum in 893. He describes how the Vikings sails up the Thames in 878 and leave a year later for the continent. The West and East Frankish chronicles, such as the Annales Vedastini, Annales Bertiniani, Chronicle of Regino of Prüm, and the Annales Fuldenses, describe how the Vikings set up winter camp near Ghent, Belgium.1
By February 880, Louis the Younger and his brother Charles the Fat lead the Franks against this Viking army. The battle site is near the village of Thiméon, Belgium. They say over 5,000 Northmen fall and Louis’ son Hugo dies. Presumably, Louis’ grief stops him from seizing his advantage over the Vikings and he retreats. The Vikings continue their travels and raiding along the Rhine, deeper into European territory.2 When Louis does come to his senses, he meets the Vikings again in another battle at Saucourt in August 881.
- Ruth Harvey, ‘The Provenance of the Old High German “Ludwigslied”.’ In: Medium Aevum Volume 14 (1945), pp. 1–2 [pp. 1–20]. ↩
- Schutz, Herbert, The Carolingians in Central Europe, their History, Arts and Architecture. (Leiden: Brill, 2004), pp. 211.
Ruth Harvey, ‘The Provenance of the Old High German “Ludwigslied”.’ In: Medium Aevum Volume 14 (1945), pp. 1–2 [pp. 1–20]. ↩