Hugh Capet

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Hugues Capet (c. 941 – 24 October 996) was the first King of the Franks of the House of Capet from his election in 987 until his death. He succeeded the last Carolingian king, Louis V. Hugues was a descendant of Charlemagne through his paternal grandmother.

The son of Hugues the Great, Duke of the Franks, and Hedwige of Saxony, daughter of the German king Henry the Fowler, Hugues was born in 941.

Hugues Capet was born into a well-connected and powerful family with many ties to the royal houses of France and Germany.

Through his mother, Hugues was the nephew to Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor; Henry I, Duke of Bavaria; Bruno the Great, Archbishop of Cologne; and finally, Gerberga of Saxony, Queen of France. Gerberga was the wife of Louis IV, King of France and mother of Lothair of France and Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine.

His paternal family, the Robertians, were powerful landowners in the Île-de-France. His grandfather had been King Robert I. King Odo was his granduncle and King Rudolph was his uncle by affinity. Hugues' paternal grandmother was a descendant of Charlemagne.

After the end of the ninth century, the descendants of Robert the Strong became indispensable in carrying out royal policies. As Carolingian power failed, the great nobles of West Francia began to assert that the monarchy was elective, not hereditary, and twice chose Robertians (Odo I (888–898) and Robert I (922–923)) as kings, instead of Carolingians.

This page was last edited on 23 February 2018, at 17:12.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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