History of Germany

Conrad I
Battle of Pressburg. Magyars annihilate the East Francian army ©Peter Johann Nepomuk Geiger
911 Nov 10 - 918 Dec 23

Conrad I


The east Frankish king passes away in 911 without a male successor. Charles III, the monarch of the west Frankish realm, is the sole heir apparent to the Carolingian dynasty. The eastern Franks and the Saxons chose the duke of Franconia, Conrad, as their king. Conrad was the first king not of the Carolingian dynasty, the first to be elected by the nobility and the first to be anointed.

Exactly because Conrad I was one of the dukes, he found it very hard to establish his authority over them. Duke Henry of Saxony was in rebellion against Conrad I until 915 and the struggle against Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria, cost Conrad I his life. Arnulf of Bavaria called on Magyars for assistance in his uprising, and when defeated, fled to Magyar lands.

Conrad's reign was a continuous and generally unsuccessful struggle to uphold the power of the king against the growing power of the local dukes. His military campaigns against Charles the Simple to regain Lotharingia and the Imperial city of Aachen were failures. Conrad's realm was also exposed to the continuous raids of the Magyars since the disastrous defeat of the Bavarian forces at the 907 Battle of Pressburg, leading to a considerable decline in his authority.

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Last Updated: : Sun Sep 24 2023