The Carolingian dynasty survived the Treaty of Verdun by a century and a half. By the year 1000 they had been supplanted in West Francia by what came to be known as the Capetian dynasty; a non-Carolingian king ruled in the kingdom of Burgundy; and both monarchs were overshadowed not only by the kingdom of the Ottomans — Saxon rulers who now controlled the heartland of their traditional Frankish enemies, including Aachen itself — but even by the more powerful of their own subjects. The late ninth and tenth centuries are the age of the independent principalities, founded, as has recently been said, not ‘by the “rebels” against royal power but by the “loyal”, the men by whose help alone the king could suppress rebellion, who held the apparatus of power in their hands, legitimised by royal grant … the final, externe form of the general principle that the ruler was dependent on those who were prepared to obey him’.1 But by the year 1000 even the power of those princes was being whittled away by the lesser aristocracy, who, over large parts of Gaul, themselves took over many of the royal functions and began to rule their own small territories from the shelter of their castles.
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