Merovingians , long-haired rulers

 Frankish warriors lined up on a sinking in the mud Champ de Mars in Paris . King Clovis , as every year, achieved a spring review of the troops . Suddenly, he stopped at one of his comrades in arms , flick drew his ax and threw it up , like a toy. Ax whirled in the air , then fell straight to the head of a warrior. The soldier knelt down , blood from the cleft skull flooded his face frozen in pain . The king said to the dying man : ” The same thing you did with the vase of Soissons .”

The sun drifted over a huge forest, surrounding three sides Field of Mars . The king was sitting upright on a beautiful horse , like the Germanic god , and long , blond hair curls down his shoulders. Studied the soldiers . He seemed unmoved his criminal deed, which was undermined eternal law of the Franks to the random distribution of the spoils . In 486 years , just after the Battle of Soissons, there was an incident involving that unfortunate warrior. Chill asked him on behalf of one of the bishops for the return of valuable vases looted . Church. The soldier replied, ” You’ll get just what you spend fate ” and shattered vessel . King did not respond , stepped down in the name of tradition. Yet a year harbored a grudge against the warrior who unwittingly thwarted his ambitious plans for fraternizing with the Church of Rome. Inspection of troops has become so an opportunity to get even with unruly subjects , in truly barbaric style .



In times of Clovis arose the legend of the mythical origin of the Merovingians . Chroniclers galromes presented his grandfather as king – magician , endowed with supernatural powers , even the story of his birth is filled with heroes , gods, monsters ¡ native of Greek antiquity . In the tradition of Germanic kings Merovingians able to heal by touch . Above all , however, were Reges Criniti , or kings with long hair . It is this feature distinguishes them from the rest of the mortals. The belief that the source of power of the kings are their great shock of hair , survived until the end of the reign of this dynasty , ie 754 years .

Recreate the history of the kingdom of the Franks from the fifth to the eighth century is a real problem. The written sources are very scarce , and the chroniclers rather little credibility . It is known , however, that the Merovingians were from the Germanic tribe Sigambrs , who in the early fifth century, crossed the Rhine and entered Gaul and settled in what is now Belgium and northern France. They enjoyed a reputation as cruel barbarians , though Roman Gauls learned that their invasion was not furious storm . Only aroused the horror of fratricidal crimes related to succession to the throne.

Citizens of the Western Roman Empire inhabiting Gaul significantly exceeded the number of invaders : 100000 Franks salickich and 50,000 Burgundians accounted for 7-10 million people Romanesque . While the barbarians settled mainly in the north- eastern Gaul , but soon Clovis united all under his scepter , thus leading to mixing of two worlds: the Mediterranean and Germanic .

In 486 years under Soissons , he managed to beat and eliminate the last dignitary of the Roman Syagrius . Alemanni , who settled on the Upper Rhine and the Danube , eventually won in 496 years , then subjugated Gondebaud Burgundians , whose niece Clotilde married . When he finally defeated the Visigoths in 507 years of Poitiers , ordered the slaughter of all the other Frankish rulers of Gaul.

Huge state now stretched from the Pyrenees to Bavaria . This impressive political success Clovis has achieved not only through its military capabilities , but also through diplomatic talent . One hundred thousand pagan tribe of the Franks defeated multimillion Christian Gaul , because it does not yet baptized Clovis entered into a silent pact with the bishops of the WesternChurch . He pledged to remove the hated in Gaul other Germanic chiefs professed Arianism . Thus cemented the Roman clergy , who were practically the only administrators of these lands. In return, supported his claim territorial and dynastic plans , we are happy also took him to the bosom of the Church.

In 496 years the bishop Remigius Chlodwig gave baptism in the cathedral of Reims . Apparently, turned to him , saying, ” Bend head low Sigambr , show honor ago , something was burning and burn it , something worshiped .” This event described chronicler of the sixth century , Gregory of Tours , who in his famous work, The History Francorum , presented almost ideal image of the monarch.

Bishop Gregory , like most writers of Romance never impose on Germanic invaders responsibility for the collapse of the empire. Already in the fifth century, another chronicler of Romanesque , Sylvianus from Marseille , he wrote that the population galromes preferred barbaric governments than chaos and oppression fiscal Romans. Successful Merovingians rulers and their generosity in distributing goods aristocracy galromes approached the royal court. The representatives of the great families of Romance and Germanic began to enter into marriage . Connecting the families ran so fast that the discovery of the real origin of the French elites whose surnames survived to our times , it is almost impossible.

War and the victory of the first Merovingian dynasty ensure gains , mainly valuables and slaves, sold at a market in Verdun . Recruitment of soldiers was not a problem – he was appointed every free man with his own equipment. For evading military service applied to very large fines . The spoils of war were divided fairly : warriors drawing the lots together earned trophies.

Kings Merovingian were mainly chiefs and their country a kind of family owned . Therefore, when 511 died Clovis , the Frankish empire was divided , like patrimony , between his four sons . The result was that the next hundred years Merovingians were fighting among themselves for the succession , and the number of pretenders to the throne still growing. Intrigues , vendettas , kidnappings and brutal murders become commonplace royal court.

In the middle of the sixth century the kings departed from the convening of free men on the Field of Mars . This role is taken over by aristocrats and quickly began to create their own branches , forming them so . household members or customers. Honorable oath of allegiance , called komendacją , the soldiers filed henceforth only his oldest Member . Nobles began to regard themselves as representatives of their regions . They demanded that the royal court found their representatives – majordoms . One of them, Grimoald , in 656 years dared to kidnap a minor heir Frankish Austrasia , Dagobert II. He dared not , however, kill the prince . Sentenced him to exile , and then arranged the takeover of the throne by his son . Dagobert returned after years of wandering and 674 years easily regained power, quickly subdued the recalcitrant nobles and prelates of the Church, putting an end to anarchy.

Early in the morning , in December 679 years , Dagobert went hunting in the vast forest of tall trees surrounding the royal palace in Stenay . After a few hours spent on the hunt sat under a tree and fell asleep. Then the servants majordomo Pippin crept up to the sleeping and one of them stabbed his spear into the eye . When the king died , the killer returned to the palace and slaughtered in the trunk of his entire immediate family .

Merovingians , belonging to the sidelines of the family, still reigned about 70 years, but did not take any more significant political and administrative decisions . Manor lived as lethargic , and malicious chroniclers called the last rulers ” rude kings .” After the death of Dagobert II, the actual governments in the State exercised influence Kingslayer descendants of Pepin . But still work magic longhaired Sigambrs prevailing “always” in the Frankish empire , so long majordoms did not dare to remove them from the throne. Even when the son of Pepin , Charles Martel , defeated the Arabs in 732 years at the Battle of Poitiers , and the church began to treat him as the true ruler of the West.

In 739 years , Pope Gregory III triumphant Charles asked for help against Longbards who began to threaten the political and territorial independence of the papacy. Majordomo refused , not wanting to come into conflict with their recent allies from Poitiers . Gregory endured defeat , because he did not want to expose her son Charles , Pepinowi III, who remained in intimate connections of influential people of the Church.

In 751 years Pepin III took the decision , which could not get his predecessors – has decided to take the throne . For this purpose, a very long time to Rome, his friends abbot of Saint- Denis Fulrada and Bishop Burchard . Pious men asked the pope : ” Who should be king? The man who wields power, or the one who , though called the king has no power at all ? ” . Patriarch Zacharias responded as expected: ” It is better to named king of the one who has the power , than one who is deprived of her ” .

The coup went . The Roman Church , ally Merovingian 250 years , and put the holy crown on his head Meroweus majordomo Pepin III. Locked in a monastery Childeric III, the last ruler of the Merovingian , he had to survive even greater humiliation Pepin abdicated king ordered to cut his hair magic . Could the recent majordoms feared their power ? Anxiety dispelled Pope Stephen II, who personally appeared in the royal villa in Pontoon in January 754 years . Anointed the new ruler and from then on the right to the throne of Pepin the Short , the anointed of God , have become indisputable.

Julia Thompson