Chlothar I, called Clotaire I and the Old, King of the Franks, was one of the four sons of Clovis I of the Merovingian dynasty. Although his father, Childeric I, had united Francia for the first time, in 511 at the age of circa 14, Clothar I inherited two large territories on the Western coast of Francia, separated by the lands of his brother Charibert Is Kingdom of Paris. Chlothar spent most of his life in a campaign to expand his territories at the expense of his relatives. His brothers avoided outright war by cooperating with his attacks on neighbouring lands in concert or by invading lands when their rulers died, the spoils were shared between the participating brothers. By the end of his life, Chlothar had managed to reunite Francia by surviving his brothers, but upon his own death, the Kingdom of the Franks was once again divided between his own four surviving sons. A fifth son had rebelled and was killed, along with his family, Frankish customs of the day allowed for the practice polygamy, especially among royalty.
So it was not uncommon for a king to have multiple wives and this was a major deviation from the monogamy of late Roman customs, influenced by the Church. Frankish rulers followed this practice mainly to increase their influence across larger areas of land in the wake of the Roman empires collapse, the aim was to maintain peace and ensure the preservation of the kingdom by appeasing local leaders. In the Germanic tradition succession fell, not to sons, but to younger brothers, but under Salic law, Clovis I instituted the custom of sons being the primary heirs in all respects. However, it was not a system of primogeniture, with the eldest son receiving the vast majority of an inheritance, the greater Frankish Kingdom was often splintered into smaller sub-kingdoms. Chlothar was the son of Clovis I and the fourth son of Queen Clotilde. Chlothar was born around 497 in Soissons, but he was very ambitious and sought to extend his domain. Upon the death of Clovis I in the year 511, the Frankish kingdom was divided between Chlothar and his brothers, Theuderic and Chlodomer, because of the rights of mothers, queens were granted a portion of their sons kingdom.
Clovis I, who had two wives, divided his kingdom into two for each of his wives, parceled out pieces to his respective sons. The eldest, son of the first wife, had the benefit of receiving one half of the kingdom of Francia, Chlothar shared the second half of the kingdom with his brothers Childebert and Chlodomer. Chlothar received the northern portion, Childebert the central kingdom of Paris, in 516 Gundobad, king of Burgundy and the throne passed to his son Sigismund, who converted to Catholicism. Sigismund adopted an extreme anti-Arian policy, going so far as to execute his Arian son Sigeric, in 523, at the instigation of their mother, Chlothar and Chlodomer joined forces in an expedition against the Burgundians. The Burgundian army was defeated, and Sigismund was captured and executed, sigismunds brother Godomar replaced him on the throne, with the support of the aristocracy, and the Franks were forced to leave
The Merovingians were a Salian Frankish dynasty that ruled the Franks for nearly 300 years in a region known as Francia in Latin, beginning in the middle of the 5th century. Their territory largely corresponded to ancient Gaul as well as the Roman provinces of Raetia, Germania Superior and the southern part of Germania. The Merovingian dynasty was founded by Childeric I, the son of Merovech, leader of the Salian Franks, after the death of Clovis there were frequent clashes between different branches of the family, but when threatened by its neighbours the Merovingians presented a strong united front. During the final century of Merovingian rule, the kings were increasingly pushed into a ceremonial role, the Merovingian rule ended in March 752 when Pope Zachary formally deposed Childeric III. Zacharys successor, Pope Stephen II, confirmed and anointed Pepin the Short in 754, the Merovingian ruling family were sometimes referred to as the long-haired kings by contemporaries, as their long hair distinguished them among the Franks, who commonly cut their hair short.
The Merovingian dynasty owes its name to the semi-legendary Merovech, leader of the Salian Franks, the victories of his son Childeric I against the Visigoths and Alemanni established the basis of Merovingian land. Childerics son Clovis I went on to unite most of Gaul north of the Loire under his control around 486, when he defeated Syagrius, the Roman ruler in those parts. He won the Battle of Tolbiac against the Alemanni in 496, at time, according to Gregory of Tours. He subsequently went on to defeat the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé in 507. After Cloviss death, his kingdom was partitioned among his four sons, leadership among the early Merovingians was probably based on mythical descent and alleged divine patronage, expressed in terms of continued military success. In 1906 the British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie suggested that the Marvingi recorded by Ptolemy as living near the Rhine were the ancestors of the Merovingian dynasty, upon Cloviss death in 511, the Merovingian kingdom included all of Gaul except Burgundy and all of Germania magna except Saxony.
To the outside, the kingdom, even when divided under different kings, maintained unity, after the fall of the Ostrogoths, the Franks conquered Provence. After this their borders with Italy and Visigothic Septimania remained fairly stable, the kingdom was divided among Cloviss sons and among his grandsons and frequently saw war between the different kings, who quickly allied among themselves and against one another. The death of one king created conflict between the brothers and the deceaseds sons, with differing outcomes. Later, conflicts were intensified by the personal feud around Brunhilda, yearly warfare often did not constitute general devastation but took on an almost ritual character, with established rules and norms. Eventually, Clotaire II in 613 reunited the entire Frankish realm under one ruler, divisions produced the stable units of Austrasia, Neustria and Aquitania. The frequent wars had weakened royal power, while the aristocracy had made great gains and these concessions saw the very considerable power of the king parcelled out and retained by leading comites and duces.
Very little is in fact known about the course of the 7th century due to a scarcity of sources, clotaires son Dagobert I, who sent troops to Spain and pagan Slavic territories in the east, is commonly seen as the last powerful Merovingian King
Childebert the Adopted
Childebert III the Adopted was a Frankish king. Childebert was a son of the Mayor of the Palace Grimoald the Elder and he was thus a grandson of Pepin of Landen. He was adopted by King Sigebert III and Queen Chimnechild, when Sigebert III died in 656, Grimoald had Sigebert’s biological son Dagobert II shorn of hair and sent him to an Irish monastery and proclaimed Childebert king of Austrasia. Grimoald and Ansegisel were finally seized and turned over to the king of Neustria, Clovis II, there are two differing accounts of his death, however. Either Clovis and his mayor of the palace, Erchinoald and executed him in 657 or Chlothar III annexed Austrasia in 661, deposing the young usurper, the family reappeared in politics with the rise of Ansegisel’s son, Pepin of Herstal
Chilperic I was the king of Neustria from 561 to his death. He was one of the sons of the Frankish king Clotaire I, immediately after the death of his father in 561, he endeavoured to take possession of the whole kingdom, seized the treasure amassed in the royal town of Berny and entered Paris. His brothers, compelled him to divide the kingdom with them, and Soissons, together with Amiens, Cambrai, Thérouanne and Boulogne fell to Chilperics share. His eldest brother Charibert received Paris, the second eldest brother Guntram received Burgundy with its capital at Orléans, on the death of Charibert in 567, his estates were augmented when the brothers divided Chariberts kingdom among themselves and agreed to share Paris. Not long after his accession, however, he was at war with Sigebert, Sigebert defeated him and marched to Soissons, where he defeated and imprisoned Chilperics eldest son, Theudebert. The war flared in 567, at the death of Charibert, Chilperic immediately invaded Sigeberts new lands, but Sigebert defeated him.
Chilperic allied with Guntram against Sigebert, but Guntram changed sides, when Sigebert married Brunhilda, daughter of the Visigothic sovereign in Spain, Chilperic wished to make a brilliant marriage. He had already repudiated his first wife and had taken as his concubine a serving-woman called Fredegund and he accordingly dismissed Fredegund, and married Brunhildas sister, Galswintha. But he soon tired of his new partner, and one morning Galswintha was found strangled in her bed, a few days afterwards Chilperic married Fredegund. This murder was the cause of more long and bloody wars, interspersed with truces, in 575, Sigebert was assassinated by Fredegund at the very moment when he had Chilperic at his mercy. Chilperic made war with the protector of Sigeberts wife and son, Chilperic retrieved his position, took from Austrasia Tours and Poitiers and some places in Aquitaine, and fostered discord in the kingdom of the east during the minority of Childebert II. In 578, Chilperic sent an army to fight the Breton ruler Waroch II of the Bro-Wened along the Vilaine, the Frankish army consisted of units from the Poitou, Anjou and Bayeux.
The Baiocassenses were Saxons and they in particular were routed by the Bretons, the armies fought for three days before Waroch submitted, did homage for Vannes, sent his son as a hostage, and agreed to pay an annual tribute. He subsequently broke his oath but Chilperics dominion over the Bretons was relatively secure, most of what is known of Chilperic comes from The History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours. Gregory objected to Chilperics attempts to teach a new doctrine of the Trinity, Chilperics reign in Neustria saw the introduction of the Byzantine punishment of eye-gouging. In September 584, while returning from an expedition to his royal villa of Chelles. Chilperic Is first marriage was to Audovera, married the widow Brunhilda and became his fathers enemy Clovis. Basina, led a revolt in the abbey of Poitiers Childesinda His short second marriage to Galswintha produced no children and his concubinage and subsequent marriage to Fredegund in about 568 produced six more legitimate offspring, betrothed to Reccared but never married
Sigebert III was the Merovingian king of Austrasia from 633 to his death around 656. He was described as the first Merovingian roi fainéant —do-nothing king—, however he lived a pious Christian life and was sanctified, being remembered as Saint Sigebert of Austrasia in the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. Sigebert was born in 630 as the eldest son of Dagobert I, King of the Franks, the king recalled and made peace with Saint Amand, who was previously banished for criticizing the kings vices, and asked him to baptize his new-born son. The ceremony was performed at Orléans and Charibert II, Dagoberts half-brother who was King of Aquitaine at the time, was the god-father. Dagobert assigned the education of Sigebert to Pepin of Landen, who was the mayor of the palace in Austrasia under his father Chlotar II, Pepin took the young Sigebert and moved with him to his domains in Aquitane, where they stayed the next 3 years. In 633, a revolt of the nobles forced Dagobert to make the three-year old Sigebert king of Austrasia, however, he refused to give the power to Pepin of Landen by making him Mayor of the palace for the child-king.
Instead he has put Sigebert under the tutelage of Adalgisel as Mayor of the palace and the Bishop of Cologne Saint Cunibert as regent, while keepin Pepin in Neustria as hostage. In 634 Dagoberts second son, Clovis II, was born, on the death of Dagobert in 639, the two Frankish kingdoms became independent once again under Sigebert III and Clovis II. Both kingdoms were under child-kings — Sigebert was around eleven years old, Pepin replaced Adalgisel as Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia in 639 but died the following year, in 640, and was replaced by his son Grimoald. In 640 the Duchy of Thuringia rebelled against Austrasia, in the war of Sigeberts reign. Grimoald allowed the king to stand at the head of the army trying to quell the rebellion. The Chronicle of Fredegar records that the rout left Sigebert weeping in his saddle, though ineffective as a king, Sigebert has grown a pious adult under the tutelage of Pepin and Saint Cunibert and lived a life of Christian virtue. He used his wealth to numerous monasteries and churches.
Sigebert III died of natural causes on 1 February 656 at age 25 and he was burried in the Abbey of Saint Martin near Metz which he had founded. In 1063 his body, found incorrupt, was out of the tomb. The abbey was demolished in 1552 and the relics were moved to the Nancy Cathedral, Sigebert III is revered as a saint by the Catholic Church with his feast day on 1 February. He is the saint of Nancy. The Mayor of the Palace Grimoald managed to convince the young Sigebert, the king married Chimnechild of Burgundy and had a son of his own, the future king Dagobert II
Theuderic III was the king of Neustria on two occasions and king of Austrasia from 679 to his death in 691. Thus, he was the king of all the Franks from 679. The son of Clovis II and Balthild, he has described as a puppet — a roi fainéant — of Mayor of the Palace Ebroin. He succeeded his brother Clotaire III in Neustria in 673, but Childeric II of Austrasia displaced him soon thereafter until he died in 675, when Dagobert II died in 679, he received Austrasia as well and became king of the whole Frankish realm. He and the Neustrian mayor of the palace, made peace with Pepin of Heristal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia and he married Clotilda, a daughter of Ansegisel and Saint Begga of Landen. They had the children, Clovis IV, king Childebert III, king He married Amalberge before 674, daughter of Wandregisis. Possibly they had a daughter, born about 670, Lambert II and Chrotlind are the parents of Robert I, Duke of Neustria. And possibly, Clovis III, king of Austrasia Clotaire IV, king of Austrasia Bertrada of Prüm Fouracre, Gerberding, late Merovingian France and Hagiography, 640-720.
Les rois fainéants, De Dagobert à Pépin le Bref, the long-haired kings, and other studies in Frankish history. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450 -751, carlrichard Brühl, Theo Kölzer, Martina Hartmann. Diplomata regum Francorum e stirpe Merovingica
Clovis II succeeded his father Dagobert I in 639 as King of Neustria and Burgundy. His brother Sigebert III had been King of Austrasia since 634 and he was initially under the regency of his mother Nanthild until her death in her early thirties in 642. This death allowed him to fall under the influence of the secular magnates, Clovis wife, whose Anglo-Saxon origins are now considered doubtful, was sold into slavery in Gaul. She had been owned by Clovis mayor of the palace and she bore him three sons who all became kings after his death. The eldest, succeeded him and his second eldest, the youngest, succeeded Childeric in Neustria and eventually became the sole king of the Franks. Clovis was a minor for almost the whole of his reign and he is sometimes regarded as king of Austrasia during the interval 656–57 when Childebert the Adopted had usurped the throne. He is often regarded as an early roi fainéant, medieval monks deemed him insane and attribute the stupidity of his descendants to that cause.
Noted Belgian historian Henri Pirenne stated that Clovis died insane, Clovis II was buried in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris. Media related to Clovis II at Wikimedia Commons
Theudebald or Theodebald, son of Theudebert I and Deuteria, was the king of Metz, Rheims, or Austrasia—as its variously called—from 547 or 548 to 555. He was only thirteen years of age when he succeeded and of ill health, the loyalty of the nobility to his fathers memory preserved the peace during his minority. He married Waldrada, daughter of the Lombard king Wacho and his step-aunt and this marriage fortified the alliance between Austrasia and Lombardy. Nevertheless, Theudebald could not hold on to the conquests of his father in the north of Italia, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I sent an army under the command of Narses in 552 and, like his father before him, Theudebald avoided direct confrontation with it. After a prolonged sickness and prostration, he died in 555 and his realm passed finally outside of the family of Theuderic I and was united to the kingdoms of his granduncle Clotaire I, who would soon become king of all the Franks
Aquitaine, archaic Guyenne/Guienne was a traditional region of France, and was an administrative region of France until 1 January 2016. It is now part of the new region Nouvelle-Aquitaine and it is situated in the south-western part of Metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It is composed of the five departments of Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, in the Middle Ages, Aquitaine was a kingdom and a duchy, whose boundaries fluctuated considerably. This has been demonstrated by various Aquitanian names and words that were recorded by the Romans, whether this Aquitanian language was a remnant of a Vasconic language group that once extended much farther, or whether it was generally limited to the Aquitaine/Basque region is not known. The original Aquitania at the time of Caesars conquest of Gaul included the area bounded by the Garonne River, the Pyrenees, the name may stem from Latin aqua, maybe derived from the town Aquae Augustae, Aquae Tarbellicae or just Aquis or as a more general geographical feature.
In 392, the Roman imperial provinces were restructured and Aquitania Prima, Aquitania Secunda, accounts of Aquitania during the Early Middle Ages are a blur, lacking precision, but there was much unrest. The Visigoths were called into Gaul as foederati, legalizing their status within the Empire, eventually they established themselves as the de facto rulers in south-west Gaul as central Roman rule collapsed. Visigoths established their capital in Toulouse, but their tenure on Aquitaine was feeble, in 507, they were expelled south to Hispania after their defeat in the Battle of Vouillé by the Franks, who became the new rulers in the area to the south of the Loire. The Roman Aquitania Tertia remained in place as Novempopulania, where a duke was appointed to hold a grip over the Basques and these dukes were quite detached from central Frankish overlordship, sometimes governing as independent rulers with strong ties to their kinsmen south of the Pyrenees. As of 660, the foundations for an independent Aquitaine/Vasconia polity were established by the duke Felix of Aquitaine, a united Basque-Aquitanian realm reached its heyday under Odo the Greats rule.
Odo was required to pledge allegiance to the Frankish Charles Martel in exchange for help against the advancing Arabic forces, Basque-Aquitanian self-rule temporarily came to a halt, definitely in 768 after the assassination of Waifer. Seguin, count of Bordeaux and Duke of Vasconia, seemed to have attempted a detachment from the Frankish central authority on Charlemagnes death, the new emperor Louis the Pious reacted by removing him from his capacity, which stirred the Basques into rebellion. Before Pepins death, emperor Louis had appointed a new king in 832, his son Charles the Bald, however scarce, some Frankish population and nobles settled down in regions like Albigeois, Carcassone and Provence and Lower Rhone. After the death of the king Dagobert I, the Merovingian tenure south of the Loire became largely nominal, with the power being in the hands of autonomous regional leaders. The Franks may have largely assimilated to the preponderant Gallo-Roman culture by the 8th century. Still, in the Battle of Toulouse, the Aquitanian duke Odo is said to be leading an army of Aquitanians, on the other hand, the Franks didnt mix with the Basques, keeping separate paths.
Recorded evidence points to their deployment across Aquitaine in a capacity as a mainstay of the Dukes forces. Romans are cited as living in the cities of Aquitaine, as opposed to the Franks, in 1058, the Duchy of Vasconia and Aquitaine merged under the rule of William VIII, Duke of Aquitaine
He had a son named Dagobert, who succeeded him, as Dagobert III but his wife was not Edonne, the invention of fantasists. It is possible, though not likely, that Chlothar IV was his son and he spent almost his entire life in a royal villa on the Oise. It was during his reign of sixteen years, in 708, upon his death on 23 April 711, southern Gaul began to grow independent, Burgundy under Bishop Savaric of Auxerre, Aquitaine under Duke Odo the Great, and Provence under Antenor. He died at St Etienne, France and he was buried in the church of St Stephen at Choisy-au-Bac, near Compiègne. From Merovingians to Carolingians, Dynastic Change in Frankia
Childeric I was a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks and the father of Clovis I, who would unite the Franks and found the Merovingian dynasty. Childeric succeeded his father Merovech as king of the Salian Franks, traditionally in 457 or 458, by 457 at the latest he was the ruler of the Franks in the territory covering Tournai and the Lys valley. He may have had power over further territories to the south, according to Gregory of Tours, Childeric was exiled at some point, the reason being traditionally given as Frankish unhappiness with Childerics private life. Gregory further records that the Franks recalled Childeric after 8 years of exile, after the death of Aegidius, Childeric assisted Comes Paul of Angers, together with a mixed band of Gallo-Romans and Franks, in defeating the Goths and taking booty. Saxon raiders under the command of Eadwacer reached Angers and captured it, having delivered Angers, followed a Saxon warband to the islands on the Atlantic mouth of the Loire, and massacred them there.
In the period around 476 to 481, he and Odoacer were discussing the possibility of an alliance against the Alamanni who wished to invade Italy, Gregory of Tours, in Libri Historiarum, records the story of the expulsion of Childeric by the Salian Franks for seducing their wives. He was exiled for eight years in Thuringia with King Basin and his wife and he returned only when a faithful servant advised him that he could safely do so by sending him half of a gold piece that Childeric had split with him before his exile. The book describes his arrival in Tournai with Basina, who had left her husband to be with him, Childeric married Basina of Thuringia, daughter of Basin, and they had the following children, Clovis I. Audofleda, Queen of the Ostrogoths, wife of Theodoric the Great, Childeric died in 481 or 482 and was buried in Tournai. His son Clovis succeeded him as king of the Salian Franks, Childerics tomb was discovered in 1653 not far from the 12th-century church of Saint-Brice in Tournai, now in Belgium.
Numerous precious objects were found, including jewels of gold and garnet cloisonné, gold coins, a bulls head. Some 300 golden winged insects were found which had been placed on the kings cloak. Archduke Leopold William, governor of the Southern Netherlands, had the find published in Latin, napoleon was more impressed with Childerics bees and when he was looking for a heraldic symbol to trump the Bourbon fleur-de-lys, he settled on Childerics bees as symbols of the French Empire. On the night of November 5–6,1831, the treasure of Childeric was among 80 kilos of treasure stolen from the Library, a few pieces were retrieved from where they had been hidden in the Seine, including two of the bees. The record of the treasure, now only in the fine engravings made at the time of its discovery. The Fall of the Roman Empire, A New History of Rome, the Inheritance of Rome, Illuminating the Dark Ages 400–1000
Childeric III was King of Francia from 743 until he was deposed by Pope Zachary in March 751 at the instigation of Pepin the Short. Although his parentage is uncertain, he is considered the last Frankish king from the Merovingian dynasty, once Childeric was deposed, Pepin the Short, who was the father of emperor Charlemagne, was crowned the first king of the Franks from the Carolingian dynasty. In 718, Charles Martel combined the roles of mayor of the palace of Neustria and mayor of the palace of Austrasia, after the death of king Theuderic IV in 737, the throne remained vacant, and Charles Martel became de facto king. After Charles Martels death in 741, Carloman and Pepin the Short, his sons by his first wife Rotrude, they soon faced revolts from their younger half-brother Grifo and their brother-in-law Odilo, Duke of Bavaria. These revolts may have played a part in their decision to fill the throne with a Merovingian king after a vacancy to add legitimacy to their reigns. Childerics parentage and his relation to the Merovingian family are uncertain and he may have been either the son of Chilperic II or Theuderic IV.
Childeric took no part in business, which was directed, as previously. Once a year, he would be brought in an ox cart led by a peasant and preside at court, after Carloman retired to a monastery in 747, Pepin resolved to take the royal crown for himself. Pepin sent letters to Pope Zachary, asking whether the title of king belonged to the one who had exercised the power or the one with the royal lineage, the pope responded that the real power should have the royal title as well. In early March 751 Childeric was dethroned by Pope Zachary and tonsured and his long hair was the symbol of his dynasty and thus the royal rights or magical powers, by cutting it, they divested him of all royal prerogatives. Once dethroned, he and his son Theuderic were placed in the monastery of Saint-Bertin or he in Saint-Omer, there are conflicts in information of when he exactly died with some references citing as early as 753 and other references saying it was as late as 758. Under the Carolingians, he received bad press, being called a rex falsus, false king, despite the fact that it was Pepin through Popes Zachary, junghans, W.
Die Geschichte der fränkischen Konige Childerich und Clodovech. Chiflet, J. J. Anastasis Childerici I Francorum regis, le Tombeau de Childeric I, roi des Francs. Lavisse, E. Histoire de France, Vol. II, the Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations