History With Crusader Kings: Louis II ‘the Younger’

Louis II of Italy, sometimes called ‘the Younger’, is one of the recommended characters in the Carolingian scenario. He rules over the majority of today’s Italy, and is one of the less skilled characters in the Carolingian scramble; average stewardship being his only decent score. With education on stewardship, however, you can run through the Avaricious way of life. Paired with the greedy trait, Louis is capable of amassing wealth in his rule, and he’ll need it. Carolingian squabbles aside, Louis will have to contend with the Byzantine and Muslim encroachment in southern Italy.

Louis was granted Italy alongside the imperial title. Though he held this title, he would hold no sway over his Carolingian relatives. An obvious expansion route would be south to unite the Italian peninsula. If you decide, however, to enforce Carolingian unity, Lotharingia is your best first target. Louis’ brother, Lothaire II has no legitimate heirs and you are first in line to inherit his kingdom. If you can ensure he dies before he could legitimize his son, then you will be one step closer.

Born to Be Emperor

Louis II ‘the Younger’ is Lothaire I’s heir apparent and supposed emperor of the Romans; more aptly put is that he is the emperor of the Carolingians. His childhood is not very well documented, but he likely spent his time in his grandfather’s court. It was his grandfather that granted him Italy. After his grandfather died, his father would inherit the imperial title. Louis would be crowned as co-emperor to his father.

His crowning would because for him to immediately claim imperial rights. This would be rejected, but the Pope would later give in and crowned him as a joint emperor. On the year of his coronation, he would flex his muscles by enforcing peace between the dukes of Benevento. Afterward, Louis would massacre the Saracen mercenaries the duke had hired in their disputes. He would rule as a joint emperor until the death of his father in 855.

Imperial Disputes

Louis would partake in a civil dispute over territorial divisions following his father’s death. He reconciles with his brother, Lothaire II, through the new Pope Nicholas I. Louis would receive territory south of the Jura mountains in exchange for the support over his brother’s divorce effort. He would later clash with the Pope over his support to null Lothaire II and Teutberga’s marriage. However, Louis avoids further escalation when he took ill, deciding to make peace.

Order For Italy

Louis made other efforts to restore order in Italy. He would campaign against Muslim encroachment in southern Italy. Lacking a fleet, he was unable to follow them to their capital. Louis would ally with the Byzantines, providing access to ships, and eventually seize the capital of Bari. During this campaign, Louis would miss out on his brother’s death. This would lead to him being unable to stop his uncles from partitioning Lotharingia.

During a withdrawal to prepare for a further campaign, Louis would stay in Benevento. There, the duke of Benevento, Adelchis, would rob and kidnap Louis. However, due to the arrival of new Muslim troops, Adelchis would release Louis just a month later; but not before the duke forced him not to seek revenge. Adelchis also forces Louis to swear never to set foot into Benevento with an army. The Pope would release Louis of these oaths, but the latter never got far in exacting revenge.

Louis would spend the remainder of his life fighting the Muslims, seeing some successes in his endeavors. Losing health, he would return to northern Italy where he would die. Louis named his cousin Karlmann, son of Ludwig the German, as his successor as he had no heir. His most important achievement was his success against the Muslim Saracens.

Source: Wikipedia, Britannica

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