Louis IV, king of France, born about 921, died in 954. He was the son of Charles the Simple, who was dethroned in 922. During his childhood he lived in England with his mother, a sister of King Athelstane, from which circumstance he was called Louis d'Outremer. Upon the death of Raoul of Burgundy in 936, Hugh, count of Paris, father of Hugh Capet, and William, duke of Normandy, secured to him the crown. He endeavored to free himself from the tutelage of Hugh, and his reign was a continual strife. In 937 he suffered a formidable invasion from the Hungarians. In 939 the inhabitants of Lorraine, who had revolted against Otho I. of Germany, acknowledged the sovereignty of Louis, who had married Otho's sister Gerberge, and this led to war between the two kings, in which the great vassals of France joined Otho, whom they proclaimed king of the Gauls. Louis, having been defeated by Hugh of Paris before Laon in 941, made peace with Otho, giving up Lorraine; and by that emperor's intervention and that of the pope the strife between Louis and his vassals was closed.

Upon the death of William of Normandy, Louis became guardian of his infant son Richard, and with Count Hugh tried to deprive him of his patrimony; but Richard's tutor escaped with him to a place of safety, and Louis, visiting Rouen by invitation of the Normans, was treacherously seized by them. Hugh then declared against him, got possession of his person, and only released him upon receiving Laon as a ransom. Louis, with the help of Otho and Conrad, king of Provence, soon retook Laon, but could bring Hugh back only by the mediation of Otho and the pope. Net long after he was mortally injured by a fall from his horse while chasing a wolf. - His son Lothaire reigned till 986, and was succeeded by his son Louis V., le Faineant, the last of the Carlovingian dynasty, who reigned but a single year under the protection of Hugh Capet, and dying poisoned either by his mother or his wife, both of whom were dissolute women, was succeeded by Hugh, the founder of the Capetian dynasty.