The Apennines or Apennine Mountains are a mountain range consisting of parallel smaller chains extending c. 1,200 km along the length of peninsular Italy. In the northwest they join with the Ligurian Alps at Altare, in the southwest they end at Reggio di Calabria, the coastal city at the tip of the peninsula. The system forms an arc enclosing the east side of the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas, the name originally applied to the north Apennines. However, historical linguists have never found a derivation with which they are universally comfortable, wilhelm Deecke said. its etymology is doubtful but some derive it from the Ligurian-Celtish Pen or Ben, which means mountain peak. The mountains lend their name to the Apennine peninsula, which forms the part of Italy. They are mostly verdant, although one side of the highest peak, Corno Grande is partially covered by Calderone glacier and it has been receding since 1794. The eastern slopes down to the Adriatic Sea are steep, while the western slopes form foothills on which most of peninsular Italys cities are located.
The mountains tend to be named from the province or provinces in which they are located, for example, as the provincial borders have not always been stable, this practice has resulted in some confusion about exactly where the montane borders are. Often but not always a feature can be found that lends itself to being a border. The Apennines are divided into three sectors, northern and southern, a number of long hiking trails wind through the Apennines. Of note is European walking route E1 coming from northern Europe and traversing the lengths of the northern, the Grand Italian Trail begins in Trieste and after winding through the Alpine arc traverses the entire Apennine system and Sardinia. The northern Apennines consist of three sub-chains, the Ligurian, Tuscan-Emilian, and Umbrian Apennines, the Ligurian Apennines border the Ligurian Sea in the Gulf of Genoa, from about Savona below the upper Bormida River valley to about La Spezia below the upper Magra River valley. The range follows the Gulf of Genoa separating it from the upper Po Valley, the northwestern border follows the line of the Bormida River to Acqui Terme.
There the river continues northeast to Alessandria in the Po Valley, the upper Bormida can be reached by a number of roads proceeding inland at a right angle to the coast southwest of Savona, the chief one being the Autostrada Torino-Savona. They ascend to the Bocchetta di Altare, sometimes called Colle di Cadibona,436 m, a bronze plaque fixed to a stone marks the top of the pass. In the vicinity are fragments of the old road and three ruins of former fortifications, at Carcare, the main roads connect with the upper Bormida valley before turning west. The Scrivia, the Trebbia and the Taro, tributaries of the Po River, the range contains dozens of peaks. Toward the southern end the Aveto Natural Regional Park includes Monte Penna, nearby is the highest point of Ligurian Apennines, Monte Maggiorasca at 1,780 m
Bayeux is a commune in the Calvados department in Normandy in northwestern France. Bayeux is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, Bayeux is a sub-prefecture of Calvados. It is the seat of the arrondissement of Bayeux and of the canton of Bayeux, Bayeux is located 7 kilometres from the coast of the English Channel and 30 km north-west of Caen. The city, with elevations varying from 32 to 67 metres above sea level – with an average of 46 metres – is bisected by the River Aure, Bayeux is located at the crossroads of RN13 and the train route Paris-Caen-Cherbourg. The city is the capital of the Bessin, which extends north-west of Calvados, the city was known as Augustodurum in the Roman Empire. It means the durum dedicated to Augustus, Roman Emperor, the Celtic word duron, Latinised as durum, was probably used to translate the Latin word forum. In the Late Empire it took the name of the Celtic tribe who lived here, the Bodiocassi, Latinized in Bajocassi, Bodiocassi has been compared with Old Irish Buidechass with blond locks.
Any settlement was more confined to scattered Druid huts along the banks of the Aure. Cemeteries have been found on the nearby Mount Phaunus indicating the area as a Druid centre, titus Sabinus, a lieutenant of Julius Caesar, subjected the Bessin region to Roman domination. The town is mentioned by Ptolemy, writing in the reign of Antoninus Pius under the name Noemagus Biducassium, the main street was already the heart of the city. A pair of spas under the Church of St. Lawrence and the Dairy Street Post Office, in 1990 a closer examination of huge blocks discovered in the cathedral in the 19th century indicated the presence of an old Roman building. Bayeux was built on a crossroads between Lisieux and Valognes, developing first on the west bank of the river, by the end of the 3rd century a walled enclosure surrounded the city until it was removed in the 18th century. Its layout is visible and can be followed today. The citadel of the city was located in the southwest corner, an important city in Normandy, Bayeux was part of the coastal defence of the Roman Empire against the pirates of the region and a Roman Legion was stationed there.
The city was destroyed during the Viking raids of the late 9th century but was rebuilt in the early 10th century under the reign of Bothon. In the middle of the 10th century Bayeux was controlled by Hagrold, the 11th century saw the creation of five villages beyond the walls to the north east evidence of its growth during Ducal Normandy. William the Conquerors half brother Odo, Earl of Kent completed the cathedral in the city, however the city began to lose prominence when William placed his capital at Caen. When King Henry I of England defeated his brother Robert Curthose for the rule of Normandy, under Richard the Lionheart, Bayeux was wealthy enough to purchase a municipal charter
Gaius Julius Caesar, known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and notable author of Latin prose. He played a role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesars victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Romes territory to the English Channel, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the Channel and the Rhine, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province, Civil war resulted, and Caesars victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms and he centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed dictator in perpetuity, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesars adopted heir Octavian, known as Augustus, rose to power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began, much of Caesars life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources, Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Caesar was born into a family, the gens Julia.
The cognomen Caesar originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section. The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations, that the first Caesar had a head of hair, that he had bright grey eyes. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name, despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesars father, called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesars childhood, in 85 BC, Caesars father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16
Vexin is a historical county of northwestern France. It covers a verdant plateau on the bank of the Seine running roughly east to west between Pontoise and Romilly-sur-Andelle, and north to south between Auneuil and the Seine near Vernon. The plateau is crossed by the Epte and the Andelle river valleys, the name Vexin is derived from a name for a Gaulish tribe now known as the Veliocasses that inhabited the area and made Rouen their most important city. The Norse nobleman Rollo of Normandy, the first ruler of the Viking principality that became Normandy and he halted his actions when the Carolingian king Charles the Simple abandoned the part of the territory that Rollo occupied under the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in 911. The terms of the treaty established the Duchy of Normandy and fixed its boundary with the Kingdom of France along the river Epte. This divided the county of Vexin into two parts, Norman Vexin, which part of the Duchy of Normandy bounded by the rivers Epte, Andelle. French Vexin, which remained part of the Île-de-France province bounded by the rivers Epte, during the twelfth century, the county of Vexin was a heavily contested border between the Angevin kings of England and Capetian France.
It was of importance because of the close proximity to Paris. As a result, Vexin was the site of castle construction. The major towns are Pontoise, Meulan-en-Yvelines, the plateau is primarily an agricultural region with some manufacturing located in the valleys. The French Impressionist artist Claude Monet made his home at Giverny, a regional nature park was established in the French Vexin in 1995. Ownership of Vexin, and the court related to securing it, is a key plot point in James Goldmans play The Lion in Winter. It features in the Angevin novels of Sharon Kay Penman and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. article name needed. Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, Carte du Vexin, Beauvoisis, et Hurepoix, historical map of the Vexin region by Christophe Nicolas Tassin
Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the Swiss Confederation. The Goddess Helvetia or the Goddess Helvetica, the allegory is typically pictured in a flowing gown, with a spear and a shield emblazoned with the Swiss flag, and commonly with braided hair, commonly with a wreath as a symbol of confederation. The name is a derivation of the ethnonym Helvetii, the name of the Gaulish tribe inhabiting the Swiss Plateau prior to the Roman conquest, the fashion of depicting the Swiss Confederacy in terms of female allegories arises in the 17th century. This replaces an earlier convention, popular in the 1580s, of representing Switzerland as a bull, in the first half of the 17th century, there isnt a single allegory identified as Helvetia. Rather, a number of allegories are shown representing both virtues and vices of the confederacy, female allegories of individual cantons predate the single Helvetia figure. There are depictions of a Respublica Tigurina Virgo, a Lucerna shown in 1658 with the victor of Villmergen, Christoph Pfyffer, over the next half-century, Merians Abundantia would develop into the figure of Helvetia proper.
An oil painting of 1677/78 from Solothurn, known as Libertas Helvetiae, in 1672, an oil painting by Albrecht Kauw shows a number of figures labelled Helvetia moderna. These represent vices such as Voluptas and Avaritia, contrasting with the virtues of Helvetia antiqua, on 14 September 1672, a monumental baroque play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach was performed in Zug, entitled Eydtgnossisch Contrafeth Auff- und Abnemmender Jungfrawen Helvetiae. The play is full of allegories illustrating the raise of Helvetia, in the 4th act, the Abnemmende Helvetiae or Waning Helvetia is faced with Atheysmus and Politicus while the old virtues leave her. In the final scene, Christ himself appears to punish the wayward damsel, but the Mother of God and Bruder Klaus intercede and the contrite sinner is pardoned. The Swiss Confederation continues to use the name in its Latin form when it is inappropriate or inconvenient to use any or all of its four official languages. ch, in Italian Elvezia is seen as archaic, but the demonym noun/adjective elvetico is used commonly as synonym of svizzero.
In French, Swiss people may be referred to as Helvètes, the German word Helvetien is used as well as synonym of Schweiz and has a higher poetic value. Helvetien is common in Germany, the German-speaking Swiss use simply Helvetia or Helvecia as poetic synonym of their country. Gianni Haver, Dame à lantique avec lance et bouclier, Helvetia et ses Déclinaisons, in M. -O. Gonseth, eclats du patrimoine culturel immatériel, Musée dethnographie de Neuchâtel,2013, pages 274-282. Thomas Maissen, Von wackeren alten Eidgenossen und souveränen Jungfrauen, zu Datierung und Deutung der frühesten Helvetia-Darstellungen, Zeitschrift für schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte 56, 265-302
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, until the Tetrarchy, largest territorial and administrative unit of the empires territorial possessions outside of Italy. The word province in modern English has its origins in the used by the Romans. Provinces were generally governed by politicians of senatorial rank, usually former consuls or former praetors and this exception was unique, but not contrary to Roman law, as Egypt was considered Augustus personal property, following the tradition of earlier, Hellenistic kings. The territory of a people who were defeated in war might be brought under various forms of treaty, the formal annexation of a territory created a province in the modern sense of an administrative unit geographically defined. Republican provinces were administered in one-year terms by the consuls and praetors who had held office the previous year, Rome started expanding beyond Italy during the First Punic War. The first permanent provinces to be annexed were Sicily in 241 BC, militarized expansionism kept increasing the number of these administrative provinces, until there were no longer enough qualified individuals to fill the posts.
The terms of provincial governors often had to be extended for multiple years,241 BC – Sicilia taken over from the Carthaginians and annexed at the end of the First Punic War. 237 BC – Corsica et Sardinia, these two islands were taken over from the Carthaginians and annexed soon after the Mercenary War, in 238 BC and 237 BC respectively. 197 BC – Hispania Citerior, along the east coast of the,197 BC - Hispania Ulterior, along the southern coast of the, part of the territories taken over from the Carthaginians in the Second Punic War. 147 BC – Macedonia, mainland Greece and it was annexed after a rebellion by the Achaean League. 146 BC – Africa, modern day Tunisia and western Libya, home territory of Carthage and it was annexed following attacks on the allied Greek city of Massalia. 67 BC – Creta et Cyrenae, Cyrenaica was bequeathed to Rome in 78 BC, however, it was not organised as a province. 58 BC – Cilicia et Cyprus, Cilicia was created as a province in the sense of area of command in 102 BC in a campaign against piracy.
The Romans controlled only a small area, in 74 BC Lycia and Pamphylia were added to the smal Roman possessions in Cilicia. Cilicia came fully under Roman control towards the end of the Third Mithridatic War - 73-63 BC, the province was reorganised by Pompey in 63 BC. Gallia Cisalpina was a province in the sense of an area of military command, during Romes expansion in Italy the Romans assigned some areas as provinces in the sense of areas of military command assigned to consuls or praetors due to risks of rebellions or invasions. This was applied to Liguria because there was a series of rebellions, Bruttium, in the early days of Roman presence in Gallia Cisalpina the issue was rebellion. Later the issue was risk of invasions by warlike peoples east of Italy, the city of Aquileia was founded to protect northern Italy form invasions
It was during this period that Romes control expanded from the citys immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. During the first two centuries of its existence, the Roman Republic expanded through a combination of conquest and alliance, by the following century, it included North Africa, most of the Iberian Peninsula, and what is now southern France. Two centuries after that, towards the end of the 1st century BC, it included the rest of modern France and much of the eastern Mediterranean. By this time, internal tensions led to a series of wars, culminating with the assassination of Julius Caesar. The exact date of transition can be a matter of interpretation, Roman government was headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and advised by a senate composed of appointed magistrates. Over time, the laws that gave exclusive rights to Romes highest offices were repealed or weakened. The leaders of the Republic developed a tradition and morality requiring public service and patronage in peace and war, making military.
Many of Romes legal and legislative structures can still be observed throughout Europe and much of the world in modern nation states, the exact causes and motivations for Romes military conflicts and expansions during the republic are subject to wide debate. While they can be seen as motivated by outright aggression and imperialism and they argue that Romes expansion was driven by short-term defensive and inter-state factors, and the new contingencies that these decisions created. In its early history, as Rome successfully defended itself against foreign threats in central and northern Italy, with some important exceptions, successful wars in early republican Rome generally led not to annexation or military occupation, but to the restoration of the way things were. But the defeated city would be weakened and thus able to resist Romanizing influences. It was able to defend itself against its non-Roman enemies. It was, more likely to seek an alliance of protection with Rome and this growing coalition expanded the potential enemies that Rome might face, and moved Rome closer to confrontation with major powers.
The result was more alliance-seeking, on the part of both the Roman confederacy and city-states seeking membership within that confederacy. While there were exceptions to this, it was not until after the Second Punic War that these alliances started to harden into something more like an empire and this shift mainly took place in parts of the west, such as the southern Italian towns that sided with Hannibal. In contrast, Roman expansion into Spain and Gaul occurred as a mix of alliance-seeking, in the 2nd century BC, Roman involvement in the Greek east remained a matter of alliance-seeking, but this time in the face of major powers that could rival Rome. This had some important similarities to the events in Italy centuries earlier, with some major exceptions of outright military rule, the Roman Republic remained an alliance of independent city-states and kingdoms until it transitioned into the Roman Empire. It was not until the time of the Roman Empire that the entire Roman world was organized into provinces under explicit Roman control
Western Roman Empire
Theodosius I divided the Empire upon his death between his two sons. As the Roman Republic expanded, it reached a point where the government in Rome could not effectively rule the distant provinces. Communications and transportation were especially problematic given the vast extent of the Empire, for this reason, provincial governors had de facto rule in the name of the Roman Republic. Antony received the provinces in the East, Achaea and Epirus, Bithynia and Asia, Syria and these lands had previously been conquered by Alexander the Great, much of the aristocracy was of Greek origin. The whole region, especially the cities, had been largely assimilated into Greek culture. Octavian obtained the Roman provinces of the West, Gaul, Gallia Belgica and these lands included Greek and Carthaginian colonies in the coastal areas, though Celtic tribes such as Gauls and Celtiberians were culturally dominant. Lepidus received the province of Africa. Octavian soon took Africa from Lepidus, while adding Sicilia to his holdings, upon the defeat of Mark Antony, a victorious Octavian controlled a united Roman Empire.
While the Roman Empire featured many distinct cultures, all were often said to experience gradual Romanization, minor rebellions and uprisings were fairly common events throughout the Empire. Conquered tribes or cities would revolt, and the legions would be detached to crush the rebellion, while this process was simple in peacetime, it could be considerably more complicated in wartime, as for example in the Great Jewish Revolt. In a full-blown military campaign, the legions, under such as Vespasian, were far more numerous. To ensure a commanders loyalty, an emperor might hold some members of the generals family hostage. To this end, Nero effectively held Domitian and Quintus Petillius Cerialis, governor of Ostia, the rule of Nero ended only with the revolt of the Praetorian Guard, who had been bribed in the name of Galba. The Praetorian Guard, a sword of Damocles, were often perceived as being of dubious loyalty. Following their example, the legions at the increased participation in the civil wars.
The main enemy in the West was arguably the Germanic tribes behind the rivers Rhine, Augustus had tried to conquer them but ultimately pulled back after the Teutoburg reversal. The Parthian Empire, in the East, on the hand, was too remote. Those distant territories were forsaken to prevent unrest and to ensure a more healthy, the Parthians were followed by the Sasanian Empire, which continued hostilities with the Roman Empire
Avranches is a commune in the Manche department in the Normandy region in northwestern France. It is a subprefecture of the department, by the end of the Roman period, the settlement of Ingena, capital of the Abrincatui tribe, had taken the name of the tribe itself. This was the origin of the name Avranches, in 511 the town became the seat of a bishopric and subsequently of a major Romanesque cathedral dedicated to Saint Andrew which was dismantled during the French revolutionary period. As the region of Brittany emerged from the Roman region of Armorica, Avranchin was briefly held by Alan I, the regions that became the Duchies of Normandy and Brittany each experienced devastating Viking raids, with Brittany occupied by Vikings from 907 to 937. In 933 Avranches and its territory, the Avranchin, were ceded to the Normans, hugh dAvranches, 1st Earl of Chester, a magnate under William the Conqueror, was the son of Richard le Goz, Vicomte dAvranches. In 1172 a council was held at Avranches in response to the murder of Anglo-Norman Saint Thomas Becket, the same council was forbidden to confer on children benefice, carrying with it the cure of souls, or on the children of priests for the churches of their fathers.
Each parish was required to have an assistant, and the Advent fast was commended to all who could observe it, the town was damaged in both the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion. Álvaro Vaz de Almada was made 1st Count of Avranches by King Henry VI of England on August 8,1444, the liberation of Avranches during World War II was led by General George S. Patton and began on 31 July 1944. Avranches is situated at the end of the Cotentin Peninsula on the E40 road connecting Saint-Lô with Brittany. The town was founded on ground overlooking the dunes and coastal marshes along the bay forming the corner between the peninsulas of the Cotentin and Brittany. From Avranches, it is possible to see the Mont Saint-Michel, a museum houses the collection of manuscripts of Mont Saint-Michel, deposited in the municipal archives during the French Revolution. It is one of the largest collections of medieval illuminated manuscripts in France, outside national, the major church Notre Dame des Champs was constructed in Gothic Revival style in the 19th century to restore the religious life of the town after the destruction of the cathedral.
A smaller church Saint Gervais houses a treasury, best known for the skull of Saint Aubert complete with hole where the archangel Michaels finger pierced it. The botanical gardens were founded in the grounds of the former Franciscan convent in the late 18th century, the expansion and introduction of exotic species in the 19th century and the location of the gardens overlooking the bay made the gardens an important sight in the town. The Manoir de Brion, an ancient Benedictine priory of Mont Saint-Michel, is located in Dragey, Avranches is twinned with St. Helier in Jersey. On 2 March 2010 a Jersey-registered boat Archangel succeeded in reaching Avranches at Marcey-les-Greves and it is believed this was the first instance of a foreign vessel reaching Avranches in modern times. Hamon de Massey, Norman lord in the barony of Chester, INSEE commune file Herbermann, Charles, ed
William Smith (lexicographer)
Sir William Smith was an English lexicographer. Smith was born in Enfield in 1813 of Nonconformist parents and he attended the Madras House school of John Allen in Hackney. Originally destined for a career, he instead was articled to a solicitor. In his spare time he taught classics, and when he entered University College London he carried off both the Greek and Latin prizes. He was entered at Grays Inn in 1830, but gave up his studies for a post at University College School. Smith next turned his attention to lexicography and his first attempt was A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, which appeared in 1842, the greater part being written by him. Then followed the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology in 1849, a parallel Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography appeared in 1857, with some leading scholars of the day associated with the task. In 1867, he became editor of the Quarterly Review, a post he held until his death. Meanwhile, he published the first of several school dictionaries in 1850, and in 1853 he began the Principia series, came the Students Manuals of History and Literature, of which the English literature volume went into 13 editions.
He himself wrote the Greek history volume and he was joined in the venture by the publisher John Murray when the original publishing partner met difficulties. Murray was the publisher of the 1214-page Latin–English Dictionary based upon the works of Forcellini and this was periodically reissued over the next thirty-five years. It goes beyond classical Latin to include many entries not found in dictionaries of the period, including Lewis. Perhaps the most important of the books Smith edited were those that dealt with ecclesiastical subjects, the Atlas, on which Sir George Grove collaborated, appeared in 1875. From 1853 to 1869 Smith was classical examiner to the University of London and he sat on the Committee to inquire into questions of copyright, and was for several years registrar of the Royal Literary Fund. He edited Gibbon, with Guizots and Milmans notes, in 1854–1855, Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology Smith was created a DCL by Oxford and Dublin, and the honour of a knighthood was conferred on him in 1892.
He died on 7 October 1893 in London and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. article name needed. Works by William Smith at Project Gutenberg Works by or about William Smith at Internet Archive Smith, a Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature
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