Oaths of Strasbourg, 842 - Stock Image

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In order to end the brotherly dispute and simultaneously form a coalition against Lothar, Louis the German and Charles the Bald (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles II) brought their armies to Strasbourg on February 14, 842 for a meeting. The chief political result of this alliance was the Treaty of Verdun (843). The oaths which they swore on the town's marketplace didn't just mark a turnaround in the dispute over the Carolingian succession; they also became a milestone in European history. They were the first documents that showed that the people of East and West Francia no longer shared a common language. Each brother made his oath in the language of the other's followers, so that it might be understood. The version used by Louis is often considered the oldest known specimen of French. Facsimile (collotype) after an abridgment from the original documents in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Published in 1882.

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