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Lower Lorraine: Map

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Lotharingia divided, around 1000: the pink is Lower Lorraine, while the purple is Upper Lorraine.


The Duchy of Lower Lorraine or Lower Lotharingia encompassed part of modern-day Belgiummarker, the Netherlandsmarker, Germanymarker west of the Rhinemarker, and a part of northern Francemarker (east of the Scheldemarker). It was created out of the former Carolingian kingdom of Lotharingia. The kingdom was divided for much of the later ninth century, reunited under the French king Charles the Simple in 910. From there it formed a duchy which eventually declared homage to the German king Henry the Fowler (c.923), an act which the French monarchs were helpless to revert, and Lotharingia (or Lorraine) became a German stem duchy. In 959, the Duke Bruno divided the duchy into two duchies): Lower and Upper Lorraine (or Lower and Upper Lotharingia). Lower Lorraine was to the north (lower down the river system) and Upper Lorraine was to the south (further up the river system).

The duchies took very separate paths thereafter and were only briefly reunited under Gothelo I from 1033 to 1044. After that, the Lower duchy was quickly marginalised. Upper Lorraine came to be known as simply Lorraine.

The ducal title was granted to the lord of Bouillon in 1087 and, in 1106, to the count of Leuven. The duke of Brabant inherited the duchy in 1190, but the Duchy of Lower Lorraine lost its territorial authority at the Diet of Schwäbisch Hallmarker. The remnant imperial fief was later called the Duchy of Lothier (or Lothryk).

Successor states

After the territorial power of the duchy was shattered, many fiefdoms came to independence in its area. The most important ones of these were:



The following successor states remained under the authority of the titular dukes of Lower Lorraine (Lothier):


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