From this centre, the Scheldt, the viking raids extended on either side; sometimes eastward as far as the Rhine, and so into Germany proper, the territory assigned to Louis the German; at other times westward to the Somme, and thus into the territory of Charles the Bald, the future kingdom of France.
Aquitaine and Brittany were almost independent, Burgundy was in full revolt, and within thirty years Rollo, a Norman leader, was to be master of the whole of the lower Seine from the Cotentin to the Somme.
The repurchase in 1463 of the towns of the Somme (to which Philip the Good, now grown old and engaged in a quarrel with his son, the count of Charolais, had felt obliged to consent on consideration of receiving four hundred thousand gold crowns), and the intrigues of Louis XI.
He succeeded, however, in forcing upon Louis the treaty of Conflans (1466), by which the king restored to him the towns on the Somme, and promised him the hand of his infant daughter Catherine, with Champagne as dowry.
The chief rivers are tide Somme, the Escaut and the Sambre, which have their sources.