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expected, the experiment of planting the Northmen on the lower Seine proved a complete success for the Frankish king. The majority of the Danish war-bands in Gaul drifted, one after the other, to join Hrolf's followers, and to receive from him a fixed settlement in his new duchy. By sacrificing a part of his realm, Charles the Simple had saved the rest. The duke of Normandy, no longer rex piratarum, but the king's trusted vassal, was on the whole very faithful to the oaths that he had sworn at Clair-sur-Epte. He adhered to king Charles in all his troubles, and sent him a contingent of Danes whenever he was asked for aid. It was only when Charles had been deposed by rebels that Hrolf again turned loose his plundering bands upon France, and became once more the scourge of Neustria.
The summer of 912 saw Charles both freed from his Viking war by the cession of Normandy, and hailed as king of Lotharingia by the Austrasians. The next eight years were the most fortunate period of his reign : he waged no important wars abroad, and had no very serious troubles at home. But his authority over the greater part of France was very limited: more especially in the lands south of the Loire nothing but lip-service was granted him: neither tribute nor military aid could be expected from the great counts of the South. Yet weak as he was, Charles the Simple was still stronger than his great vassals cared that he should be. Three of the greatest magnates of his realm resolved to compass his deposition: their chief was Robert duke of France, who in his old age began to covet the crown that he had refused to claim in 899. His confederates were Rudolf, second duke of Burgundy, and Heribert count of Vermandois. They commenced their operations by bidding the king dismiss his chief Rebellion minister and favourite, count Hagano. When of Robert he refused, they sent him a formal disavowal of of Francetheir allegiance, and after a space proclaimed Robert of France king of the West Franks.
Civil war at once began: supported by the Lotharingians and the Normans king Charles made head against the rebels, though they raised against him all the warriors of France and Burgundy. The armies met at Soissons for a decisive engagement: the troops of the Karling were beaten, but in the moment of victory the rebel king was pierced by a Norman lance, and by Robert's death the rising was left without a leader (923).
The great vassals were cowed for a moment by their chief's fall, and sorely distracted by a Danish invasion. Rollo had launched against the territories of the rebel dukes a great horde of Northmen, and the invaders were joined by a fresh army from England under Regnald, whom Edward the Elder had just deposed from the kingship of Northumbria. But in spite of the ravages of the Danes, who swarmed into Burgundy, and threatened to establish a second Danelagh in the valley of the Saone, the rebels resolved not to submit to their Continued rightful lord. They now proclamed as anti-king civil wars. Rudolf duke of Burgundy, for Hugh, son of Robert of France, refused to take up his father's claims. Charles might have fought down the insurrection, for a great Norman army was coming to his aid, if he had not fallen by treachery. Heribert of Vermandois offered to submit to him, and begged him to come to a conference at Peronne. The simple king hastened to the meeting, and was seized and thrown into a dungeon (923). The only drop of bitterness in the cup of the rebels was that Edgiva, the English wife of Charles, escaped with her son Lewis to the court of her father king Edward the Elder. There was still an heir of the Karling house safe beyond the seas.
For four troubled years Rudolf of Burgundy reigned as king of-France, and Charles the Simple lay in durance at Peronne. Rudolf was but a phantom king: Aquitaine refused to acknowledge him: the Danes ranged all over his realm and beset his native duchy of Burgundy with especial fury. His own confederates in the rebellion paid him scanty homage, and went each on his own way. After a space Heribert of Vermandois quarrelled with Rudolf, and to spite the new king drew Charles out of his dungeon and proclaimed him once more monarch of the West Franks. But Rudolf bought over the double traitor to rejoin him: and for a second time Heribert seized the person of his natural lord and master. This time Charles did not escape with mere imprisonment: the cruel and treacherous count starved Murder of him to death at Peronne. At last Rudolf the Chariesthe Burgundian could call himself without dispute Simple> asking of France (929).
Here we must leave the history of the western realm, at a moment when it had reached much the same wretched condition that Germany attained at the time of the death of Conrad I. More unhappy than their eastern neighbours, the Franks of Neustria and Aquitaine were not yet to see any such great rulers as Henry the Fowler and Otto the Great set over them. They were destined to drink the cup of feudal anarchy to the dregs, ere a strong monarchy was once more to arise among them. The fight between the Karlings and the dukes of France was to drag on for two generations more, ere Hugh Capet finally gained the crown that his grandfather Robert and his great-uncle Odo had worn. And when the house of the dukes of France had seized the throne, they were to be for long ages as powerless as the Karlings whom they had supplanted.
As yet the only favourable symptom in the condition of France was the comparative immunity from Viking raids that it was beginning to enjoy. Thanks to the feudal horseman and the feudal castle, thanks still more to the narrowing of Danish ambition to the Norman duchy and its neighbouring lands of Maine and Brittany, the kingdom was beginning to enjoy a certain measure of peace from the outer enemy. Unfortunately the great vassals of the crown only used their opportunity to redouble their wicked feuds, and the nation's worst foes were to be those of its own household for many a long day.
There is still one region of Europe at which we have cast no glance for a hundred years. But the fortunes of Spain lie far apart from those of the Frankish empire, and during the ninth and tenth centuries form no part of the general history of Christendom. We have had occasion to mention, however, History of that the Moslem conquerors of the peninsula Spain, 700-918. paid for forty years a wavering allegiance to the Ommeyad caliphs, and were ruled for a time by a series of ephemeral viceroys, most of whom came to violent ends. Of the fate of those of them who ventured to attack the Frankish empire, we have spoken while dealing with the annals of Charles Martel and Pippin the Short.
In 756 Spain became separated from the caliphate of Bagdad. After the massacre of the Ommeyad house by their Abbasside successor, one member of the older family escaped to Spain. The young Abderahman, after long struggles, put down all those who opposed him, and became an independent sovereign. He ruled at Cordova for more than thirty years, and not unprosperously, though he was vexed all through his life by incessant rebellions, such as that of the chiefs who in 778 called in Charles the Great against him, and led the Franks to the gates of Saragossa.
But while Abderahman was ruling in great state at Toledo and Cordova, and winning the admiration of all the Moslem world by his courage, his wisdom, and his magnificence, a little cloud was arising in the west, which was in later days to overshadow all Mohammedan Spain.
After the destruction of the Visigothic kingdom in 711-12, the viceroys of Spain had overrun well-nigh the whole land, and planted it thickly with colonists from Arabia, Syria, and Africa. But they had never completely subdued the extreme north-west of the peninsula. The Cantabrian and Asturian highlands had always been the last refuge of broken tribes from the first dawn of Spanish history. There the Galaeci and Astures had long withstood the Roman legions: there, in a later age, the Suevi had resisted the Visigoths for more than a century. And now, in the same rugged hills, the last of the Visigoths took refuge from the advancing peiagius in Saracen. The annals of this rugged region are Astuna. very scanty, but we learn that a certain count Pelagius, a chief with a Roman name, and perhaps, therefore, of native Spanish rather than Gothic blood, maintained himself with success against the Moslems. The narrow rocky tract between the Bay of the Biscay and the Cantabrian mountains presented few attractions to the Saracens, who preferred to settle in the fertile plains of Andalusia and Valencia, and they paid no heed to Pelagius when he drove their scattered garrisons out of the Asturias, and built up for himself a little kingdom in the hills. He is said to have reigned for eighteen years (718-36) over the Asturians. On his death his son Favila and his son-in-law Hildefuns (Aldefonsus, Alfonso) followed him on the throne. The last-named, whose pure Visigothic name recalls that of the sainted archbishop of Toledo, was the founder of the greatness of the new kingdom. Taking advantage of the civil wars of the Saracens, he issued from his hills, and threw himself upon the neighbouring province of Galicia, where a few Berber chiefs held down a discontented population of Christians. The natives rose to aid him, and the Mohammedan settlers were driven out of the land, and chased down into the plains of northern Spain (751).
Alfonso followed the flying foe, and made himself a lodgement on the southern slope of the Cantabrian hills, occupying the towns of Astorga and Leon, and pushing his incursions as far as the north bank of the Douro. He is said to conquests of have driven the Saracens completely out of the Alfonso I. broad Tierra de Campos, the plain of Leon, and to have left it behind him an uninhabited desert, when he drew back to his fastnesses in the mountains. He laid Oporto, Zamora, and Salamanca in ruins, but was not strong enough to occupy them and add them to his kingdom.
Alfonso died in 757, just at the moment when the peninsula was falling into the hands of Abderahman the Ommeyad. The