List of Frankish kings

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King of the Franks
Roi des Francs
Fränkische Herrscher
French Coronation Crown of Charlemagne.png
Coronation Crown of Charlemagne
Details
Style Majesty Majesty
First monarch Clovis I
Last monarch Louis the Pious
Formation 509
Abolition August 843
Residence Palace of Aachen (768–840)
Appointer Hereditary

The Franks were originally led by dukes (military leaders) and reguli (petty kings). The Salian Merovingians rose to dominance among the Franks and conquered most of Roman Gaul, they also conquered the Gaulish territory of the Visigothic Kingdom in 507. The sons of Clovis conquered the Burgundians and Alamanni, they acquired Provence and made the Bavarii and Thuringii their clients. The Merovingians were later replaced by a new dynasty called the Carolingians in the 8th century. By the end of the 9th century, the Carolingians themselves were replaced throughout much of their realm by other dynasties, the idea of a "King of the Franks" or Rex Francorum gradually disappeared over the 11th and 12th centuries, replaced by the title King of France, which represented a shift in thinking about the monarchy from that of a Popular monarchy (the leader of a people, sometimes without a defined territory to rule) to that of a monarchy tied to a specific territory.

A timeline of Frankish rulers is difficult since the realm was, according to old Germanic practice, frequently divided among the sons of a leader upon his death and then eventually reunited through marriage, treaty, or conquest. Thus, there were often multiple Frankish kings who ruled different territories, and the divisions of those territories would also be inconsistent over time, as inheritance traditions changed over time, the divisions of Francia (a modern historiographical term used to denote the lands of the Franks) became more-or-less permanent kingdoms, West Francia formed the nucleus of what was to become the Kingdom of France, East Francia evolved into the Kingdom of Germany, while Middle Francia became the short-lived Kingdom of Lotharingia, which was soon divided up between its neighbors. By the time of the Capetian dynasty, the Frankish rulers became Kings of France, a title formalized when Philip II of France altered the prior form in 1190; in the east, Germany passed from Frankish control in 911 with the election of Conrad I as king.

Kings of All Franks (448–511)[edit]

Merovingian dynasty[edit]

Clovis I united all the Frankish petty kingdoms as well as most of Roman Gaul under his rule, conquering the Domain of Soissons of the Roman general Syagrius as well as the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse. He took his seat at Paris, which along with Soissons, Reims, Metz, and Orléans became the chief residences. Upon his death, the kingdom was split among his four sons.[1]

Name
Reign
Portrait Birth Marriage(s)
Issue
Death Claim
Merovech
448

457
Portrait Roi de france Mérovée.jpg c. 415
Tournai

Son of Chlodio
and Basina
Verich
2 children
c. 457
Aged 41/42
Chief of the Salian Franks
right of conquest
Childeric I
457

482
Portrait Childéric roy de France.jpg c. 440

Son of Merovech
and Verich
Basina of Thuringia
464
4 children
c. 482
Aged 41/42
Tournai
Son of Merovech
Clovis I
509

27 November 511
Portrait Roi de france Clovis.jpg c. 466
Tournai

Son of Childeric I
and Basina of Thuringia
(1) Unknown concubine

1 son

(2) Clotilde
493
4 children

27 November 511
Aged 44/45
Paris
Son of Childeric I

Kings of the Neustrian Franks (511–679)[edit]

Merovingian dynasty[edit]

Name
Reign
Portrait Birth Marriage(s)
Issue
Death Claim
Childebert I[1]
27 November 511

13 December 558
Portrait Roi de france Childebert Ier.jpg c. 496
Reims

Son of Clovis I
and Clotilde
Ultragotha
510s
2 daughters
13 December 558
Aged 61/62
Paris
Son of Clovis I
Inherited fiefdoms of Paris and Neustria
Chlothar I[1]
The Old
13 December 558

29 November 561
Portrait Roi de france Clotaire Ier.jpg c. 497
Paris

Son of Clovis I
and Clotilde
(1) Guntheuc
524
Childless

(2) Radegund
538
2 sons
(3) Ingund
pre-580
4 children
(4) Aregund
pre-580
1 son
(5) Chunsina
580
1 son

29 November 561
Aged 63/64
Compiègne
Son of Clovis I
Natural brother of Childebert I
Charibert I[1]
29 November 561

December 567
Portrait Roi de france Caribert.jpg c. 517
Paris

Son of Clovis I
and Ingund
Ingoberga
537
4 children
December 567
Aged 49/50
Paris
Son of Clovis I
Half-brother of Chlothar I and Clovis I
Chilperic I[1]
December 567

September 584
Portrait Roi de france Chilpéric roy de France.jpg c. 539
Paris

Son of Chlothar I
and Aregund
(1) Audovera
540s
5 children

(2) Galswintha
567
Childless
(3) Fredegund
568
7 children

September 584
Aged 44/45
Chelles
Son of Chlotar I
Chlotar II[1]
The Young
September 584

18 October 629
Portrait Clotaire II roy de France.jpg c. 584
Paris

Son of Chilperic I
and Fredegund
(1) Haldetrude


1 son

(2) Bertrude
613
Childless
(3) Sichilde
618
1 son

18 October 629
Aged 44/45
Son of Chilperic I
Dagobert I
18 October 629

19 January 639
Portrait Roi de france Dagobert Ier.jpg 603
Paris

Son of Chlotar II
and Haldetrude
(1) Gormatrude


Childless

(2) Nanthild
pre-629
1 son
(3) Wulfegundis


Childless
(4) Berchildis

Childless

19 January 639
Aged 35/36
Épinay-sur-Seine
Son of Chilperic I
Inherited all fiefdoms of Neustria
Clovis II
19 January 639

27 November 657
Portrait Roi de france Clovis II.jpg 634
Paris

Son of Dagobert I
and Nanthild
Balthild
640s
3 sons
27 November 657
Aged 22/23
Son of Dagobert I
Chlothar III
27 November 657

Spring 673
Portrait Roi de france Clotaire III.jpg 649
Paris

Son of Dagobert I
and Balthild
Unmarried Spring 673
Aged 23/24
First son of Clovis II
Childeric II
Spring 673

Autumn 675
Portrait Roi de france Childéric II.jpg 654
Paris

Son of Dagobert I
and Balthild
Bilichild
688
2 sons
Winter 691
Aged 21/22
Second son of Clovis II
Theuderic III
Autumn 675

23 December 679
Portrait Roi de france Thierri Ier.jpg 654
Paris

Son of Dagobert I
and Balthild
(1) Clotilda
pre-675
2 sons

(2) Amalberga of Maubeuge
674
1 daughter (3) Several concubines
At least 3 children

12 April 691
Aged 36/37
Third son of Clovis II

Kings of the Austrasian Franks (511–679)[edit]

Merovingian dynasty[edit]

Notes

Chlothar II defeated Brunhilda and her grandson, reunifying the kingdom. However, in 623, in order to appease particularistic forces and also to secure the borders, he gave the Austrasians his young son as their own king, his son and successor, Dagobert I, emulated this move by appointing a sub-king for Aquitaine, with a seat at Toulouse, in 629 and Austrasia in 634.

Name
Reign
Portrait Birth Marriage(s)
Issue
Death Claim
Theuderic I[1][2]
27 November 511

Early 534
Portrait Roi de france Thierri Ier.jpg c. 487
Paris

Son of Clovis I
and Clotilde
(1) Suavegotha
510s
Childless

(2) Several concubines
At least 2 sons

Early 534
Aged 46/47
Son of Clovis I
Inherited fiefdoms of Reims
Theudebert I[1]
Early 534

c. 548
Münze Gold Solidus Theudebert I um 534 (obverse).jpg c. 503
Metz

Son of Theuderic I
and a concubine (prob.)
(1) Deuteria
534
1 son

(2) Wisigard
540
Childless
(3) Unknown wife
540s
1 son

c. 548
Aged 44/45
Son of Theuderic I
Theudebald[1]
c. 548

c. 555
c. 535
Son of Theudebert I
and Deuteria
Waldrada
540s
Childless
c. 555
Aged 19/20
Son of Theudebert I
Childebert I[1]
c. 555

13 December 558
Portrait Roi de france Childebert Ier.jpg c. 496
Reims

Son of Clovis I
and Clotilde
Ultragotha
510s
2 daughters
13 December 558
Aged 61/62
Paris
Son of Clovis I
Inherited fiefdoms of Paris and Neustria
Chlothar I[1]
The Old
13 December 558

29 November 561
Portrait Roi de france Clotaire Ier.jpg c. 497
Paris

Son of Clovis I
and Clotilde
(1) Guntheuc
524
Childless

(2) Radegund
538
2 sons
(3) Ingund
pre-580
4 children
(4) Aregund
pre-580
1 son
(5) Chunsina
580
1 son

29 November 561
Aged 63/64
Compiègne
Son of Clovis I
Natural brother of Childebert I
Sigebert I[1]
29 November 561

c. 575
Sigebert 1.jpg c. 535
Son of Chlothar I
and Ingund
Brunhilda of Austrasia
567
3 children
c. 575
Aged 39/40
Vitry-en-Artois
Son of Chlothar I
Inherited fiefdoms of Metz and Reims
Childebert II
c. 575

March 595
Childebert II.png c. 535
Son of Sigebert I
and Brunhilda of Austrasia
Faileuba

4 children
March 595
Aged 24/25
Son of Sigebert I
Theudebert II
March 595

612
Tiers de sou de Théodebert II frappé à Clermont.png 586
Son of Childebert II
and Faileuba
(1) Bilichilde
608
2 children

(2) Teodechilde
610
1 son

612
Aged 25/26
First son of Childebert II
Theuderic II
612

613
Portrait Roi de france Thierri II (i.e. IV).jpg 587
Soissons
Son of Childebert II
and Faileuba
Several paramours
4 sons
613
Aged 25/26
Metz
Second son of Childebert II
Sigebert II
613

Late 613
601

Son of Theuderic II
and Ermenberge
Unmarried 613
Aged 11/12
Illegitimate son on of Theuderic II
Chlotar II[1]
The Young
September 584

623
Portrait Clotaire II roy de France.jpg c. 584
Paris

Son of Chilperic I
and Fredegund
(1) Haldetrude


1 son

(2) Bertrude
613
Childless
(3) Sichilde
618
1 son

18 October 629
Aged 44/45
Son of Chilperic I
Dagobert I
623

634
Portrait Roi de france Dagobert Ier.jpg 603
Paris

Son of Chlotar II
and Haldetrude
(1) Gormatrude


Childless

(2) Nanthild
pre-629
1 son
(3) Wulfegundis


Childless
(4) Berchildis

Childless

19 January 639
Aged 35/36
Épinay-sur-Seine
Son of Chilperic I
Fiefdoms of Austrasia granted by local nobility
Sigebert III
634

1 February 656
Clichy Saint-Vincent-de-Paul339.JPG 630
Son of Dagobert I
and Ragnertrude (concubine)
Chimnechild of Burgundy
651
2 children
1 February 656
Aged 25/26
Son of Dagobert I
Childebert III
The Adopted
1 February 656

661
Tremissis de 7 siliques amis par Childebert l'Adopté.jpg 640s
Son of Grimoald
and Itta of Metz
Unmarried 661
Aged 20s
Adoptive son of Sigebert III
Chose as heir by his predecessor
Chlothar III
661

Spring 673
Portrait Roi de france Clotaire III.jpg 649
Paris

Son of Dagobert I
and Balthild
Unmarried Spring 673
Aged 23/24
First son of Clovis II
Childeric II
Spring 673

Autumn 675
Portrait Roi de france Childéric II.jpg 654
Paris

Son of Dagobert I
and Balthild
Bilichild
688
2 sons
Winter 691
Aged 21/22
Second son of Clovis II
Clovis III
Autumn 675

c. 676
Portrait Roi de france Clovis III (sic).jpg c. 670

Son of Chlothar III
and unknown paramour
Unmarried c. 676
Aged 5/6
Illegitimate son of Chlothar III
Dagobert II
c. 676

23 December 679
Portrait Roi de france Dagobert II (i.e III).jpg c. 650

Son of Sigebert III
and Chimnechild of Burgundy
Unknown woman
1 son (uncertain)
23 December 679
Aged 28/29
Stenay
Natural son of Sigebert III

Kings of the Franks (679–)[edit]

Merovingian dynasty[edit]

Theuderic III was recognized as king of all the Franks in 679, from then on, the kingdom of the Franks can be treated as a unity again for all but a very brief period of civil war. This is the period of the "idle kings" who were increasingly overshadowed by their mayors of the palace.

Name
Reign
Portrait Birth Marriage(s)
Issue
Death Claim
Theuderic III
23 December 679

12 April 691
Portrait Roi de france Thierri Ier.jpg 654
Paris

Son of Dagobert I
and Balthild
(1) Clotilda
pre-675
2 sons

(2) Amalberga of Maubeuge
674
1 daughter (3) Several concubines
At least 3 children

12 April 691
Aged 36/37
Third son of Clovis II
Clovis IV
12 April 691

695
Portrait Roi de france Clovis III (sic).jpg c. 680


Son of Theuderic III
and Clotilda
Unmarried 695
Aged 14/15
First son of Theuderic III
Childebert III
The Just
695

23 April 711
Childebert II.jpg c. 683


Son of Theuderic III
and Clotilda
(1) Ermenchild
1 son

(2) Unknown paramour
1 son

23 April 711
Aged 27/28
Second son of Theuderic III
Dagobert III
The Just
23 April 711

31 December 715
Portrait Roi de france Dagobert II (i.e III).jpg c. 699


Son of Childebert III
and Ermenchild
(1) Unknown wife
1 son

(2) Unknown paramour
1 son

31 December 715
Aged 15/16
Second son of Theuderic III
Chilperic II
31 December 715

13 February 721
Portrait Roy de france Chilperic II.jpg c. 672


Son of Childeric II
and Bilichild
Unknown concubine
1 son
13 February 721
Aged 48/49
Attigny, Ardennes
Second son of Childeric II
First cousin of Dagobert III
Theuderic IV
13 February 721

16 March/30 April 737
Portrait Roi de france Thierri II (i.e. IV).jpg c. 712


Son of Dagobert III
and unknown woman
Unknown concubine
1 son
16 March/30 April 737
Aged 24/25
Son of Dagobert III
Interregnum (737–743); Charles Martel reigned as Regent
Childeric III
The Phantom King
743

November 751
Jean Dassier (1676-1763) - Childéric III roy de France (754).jpg c. 717


Son of Chilperic II
and unknown paramour
Unknown paramour
1 son
754
Aged 36/37
Illegitimate son of Chilperic II

Carolingian dynasty[edit]

The Carolingians were initially mayors of the palace under the Merovingian kings, first in Austrasia and later in Neustria and Burgundy; in 687, Pippin of Heristal took the title Duke and Prince of the Franks (dux et princeps Francorum) after his conquest of Neustria in at the Battle of Tertry, which was cited by contemporary chroniclers as the beginning of Pippin's reign. Between 715 and 716, the descendants of Pippin disputed the succession.

In March 752,[3][4] Pippin III became the King of the Franks and the office of mayor disappeared, the Carolingians displaced the Merovingians as the ruling dynasty.

Name
Reign
Portrait Birth Marriage(s)
Issue
Death Claim
Pepin III
The Short
November 751

24 September 768
Statue of Pepin the Short - Alte Mainbrücke, Würzburg - DSC02939.JPG 714

Son of Charles Martel
and Rotrude of Trier
Bertrada of Laon
741
5 children
24 September 768
Aged 54
Saint-Denis
Elected by Frankish nobles
Coup d'état against Merovingians
Carloman I
24 September 768

4 December 771
Statue de Carloman - 1835.jpg 28 June 751
Soissons
Son of Pepin III
and Bertrada of Laon
Gerberga
741
2 sons
4 December 771
Aged 20
Samoussy
Second son of Pepin III
Charles I
The Great
24 September 768

28 January 814
Carlomagno, 814.jpg 2 April 742
Son of Pepin III
and Bertrada of Laon
(1) Himiltrude (concubine)
768
1 son

(2) Desiderata of the Lombards
770
Childless
(3) Hildegard of the Vinzgau
771
9 children
(4) Fastrada
784
2 daughters
(5) Luitgard
794
Childless
(6) Several concubines
6 children

28 January 814
Aged 71
Aachen
First son of Pepin III
Louis I
The Pious
28 January 814

20 June 840
Louis the Pious from the Old City-Hall, Hamburg.jpg 16 April 778
Casseuil
Son of Charles I
and Hildegard of the Vinzgau
(1) Ermengarde of Hesbaye
794
6 children

(2) Judith of Bavaria
819
2 children

20 June 840
Aged 61
Ingelheim am Rhein
Second son of Charles I

Louis the Pious made many divisions of his empire during his lifetime, the final division, pronounced at Worms in 838, made Charles the Bald heir to the west, including Aquitaine, and Lothair heir to the east, including Italy and excluding Bavaria, which was left for Louis the German. However, following the emperor's death in 840, the empire was plunged into a civil war that lasted three years, the Frankish kingdom was then divided by the Treaty of Verdun in 843. Lothair was allowed to keep his imperial title and his kingdom of Italy, and granted the newly created Kingdom of Middle Francia, a corridor of land stretching from Italy to the North Sea, and including the Low Countries, the Rhineland (including Aachen), Burgundy, and Provence. Charles was confirmed in Aquitaine, where Pepin I's son Pepin II was opposing him, and granted West Francia (modern France), the lands west of Lothair's Kingdom. Louis the German was confirmed in Bavaria and granted East Francia (modern Germany), the lands east of Lothair's kingdom.

The following table does not provide a complete listing for some of the various regna of the empire, especially those which were subregna of the Western, Middle, or Eastern kingdom such as Italy, Provence, Neustria, and Aquitaine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m William Deans; Frederick Martin (1882). A History Of France: From The Earliest Times To The Present Day. 1. Edinburgh & London: A. Fullarton & Co. pp. 420-1792, Table Of Sovereigns Of France, vi-ix. 
  2. ^ Contested by Munderic, 533, rival king in the Auvergne
  3. ^ Charles Knight, The English Cyclopaedia: Volume IV, (London : 1867); pg 733 "We have no circumstantial account of this important event, except that Pepin was anointed at Soissons, in March 752, by Boniface, bishop of Mainz, called the Apostle of Germany, before the assembly of the nation."
  4. ^ Claudio Rendina & Paul McCusker, The Popes: Histories and Secrets, (New York : 2002), pg 145

Further reading[edit]

  • The history of France as recounted in the "Grandes Chroniques de France", and particularly in the personal copy produced for King Charles V between 1370 and 1380 that is the saga of the three great dynasties, the Merovingians, Carolingians, and the Capetians, that shaped the institutions and the frontiers of the realm. This document was produced and likely commissioned during the Hundred Years' War, a dynastic struggle between the rulers of France and England with rival claims to the French throne, it should therefore be read and considered carefully as a source, due to the inherent bias in the context of its origins.
  • The Cambridge Illustrated History of FranceCambridge University Press
  • The Origins of France: Clovis to the Capetians 500-1000 by Edward James ISBN 0-333-27052-5
  • Late Merovingian France: History and Hagiography, 640-720 (Manchester Medieval Sources); Paul Fouracre (Editor), Richard A. Gerberding (Editor) ISBN 0-7190-4791-9
  • Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, eds. W. Kibler and G. Zinn. New York: Garland Publishing, 1995.

External links[edit]