The Fat Charles III., the last emperor of the Carlovingian dynasty, born about 832, died in 888. He was the third son of Louis the Germanic, and received the kingdom of Swabia for his portion of his father's possessions. After the death of his oldest brother, Carloman of Bavaria, in 880, he succeeded him in the imperial dignity and in the possession of Italy; and after that of his younger brother, Louis of Saxony, in 882, he became king of all Germany. On the death of Carlo-man of France in 884, Charles the Fat united France under his sceptre with Germany and Italy, and the vast empire of Charlemagne was thus again vested in one and the same sovereign. He proved, however, unworthy of this exalted position. He became a passive tool in the hand of his minister, an inactive spectator of the sufferings of his people, and was covered with domestic as well as public disgrace. His incapacity and cowardice soon became manifest. Paris being besieged by the Northmen, he marched against them with a large army from Germany; but instead of fighting the enemy, he offered them large sums of money and the pillage of Burgundy to obtain their retreat.
This shameful conduct raised general indignation; the Bavarians, Saxons, Thuringians, and finally the Alemanni, deserted him and deposed him solemnly in an assembly at Trebur in 887. He had already been disowned by the French. He died the next year, poor and forsaken, in a cloister near Constance. He was noted for inordinate love of the pleasures of the table, and this as well as his corpulence gave him the surname of "the Fat."