Louis IV d’Outremer, 936-954

Prou 470; Dumas 6834, PCGS graded AU-58

Louis IV was given the sobriquet d’Outremer (“from across the Sea”) by his Frankish subjects due to his childhood spent in exile at the court of Æthelstan, the Anglo-Saxon king of Wessex. At the age of 15, he was recalled to West Francia by Hugh the Great, a powerful prince of Neustria, who used him as a figurehead for his own rule. The young Louis IV named Hugh as Duke of the Franks, which gave him the second most important title in the kingdom, but then spent almost the entirety of his reign struggling to assert royal power over that of Hugh and his sometime ally Otto I, the King of East Francia. By 942, Louis IV had lost almost all of his territory and in 945 he was held captive by Hugh before pressure from Otto I forced his release. Louis IV then became a tool for Otto I to bring Hugh to heel, compelling the Duke of the Franks to stand trial for his actions against Louis IV and suffer excommunication when found guilty in 948. Louis managed to reclaim territory north of the Loire, but never held the entirety of Neustria.

Chinon. LVDOVICVS REX, diademed bust of Louis IV right. Reverse: + CAINONI CASTRO, short cross.

Ex Gadoury (14 November 2015), 293