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Hugh The Great

HUGH THE GREAT (d. 956), duke of the Franks and count of Paris, son of King Robert I. of France (d. 923) and nephew of King Odo or Eudes (d. 898), was one of the founders of the power of the Capetian house in France. Hugh's first wife was Eadhild, a sister of the English king, AEthelstan. At the death of Raoul, duke of Burgundy, in 936, Hugh was in possession of nearly all the region between the Loire and the Seine, corresponding to the ancient Neustria, with the exception of the territory ceded to the Normans in 911. He took a very active part in bringing Louis IV. (d'Outremer) from England in 936, but in the same year Hugh married Hadwig, sister of the emperor Otto the Great, and soon quarrelled with Louis. Hugh even paid homage to Otto, and supported him in his struggle against Louis. When Louis fell into the hands of the Normans in 945, he was handed over to Hugh, who released him in 946 only on condition that he should surrender the fortress of Laon. At the council of Ingelheim (948) Hugh was condemned, under pain of excommunication, to make reparation to Louis. It was not, however, until 950 that the powerful vassal became reconciled with his suzerain and restored Laon. But new difficulties arose, and peace was not finally concluded until 953. On the death of Louis IV. Hugh was one of the first to recognize Lothair as his successor, and, at the intervention of Queen Gerberga, was instrumental in having him crowned. In recognition of this service Hugh was invested by the new king with the duchies of Burgundy (his suzerainty over which had already been nominally recognized by Louis IV.) and Aquitaine. But his expedition in 955 to take possession of Aquitaine was unsuccessful. In the same year, however, Giselbert, duke of Burgundy, acknowledged himself his vassal and betrothed his daughter to Hugh's son Otto. At Giselbert's death (April 8, 956) Hugh became effective master of the duchy, but died soon afterwards, on the 16th or 17th of June 956.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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