Clovis IV

Last updated
Clovis IV
Jugement du roi Clovis III 1 - Archives Nationales - K-3-7.jpg
A written judgement issued by Clovis IV on 28 February 693
King of the Franks
Predecessor Theuderic III
Successor Childebert III
Mayor of the Palace Pepin of Herstal
Died694 (aged 1617)
Dynasty Merovingian
Father Theuderic III

Clovis IV (c.677–694/695) was the king of the Franks from 690 or 691 until his death. If the brief reign of Clovis III (675) is ignored as a usurpation, then Clovis IV may be numbered Clovis III. [1]

Clovis III King of Austrasia

Clovis III was the Frankish king of Austrasia in 675 and possibly into 676. A member of the Merovingian dynasty, he was a child and his reign so brief and contested that he may be considered only a pretender. He is sometimes even left unnumbered and Clovis IV is instead called Clovis III. The only source for his reign is the contemporary Suffering of Leudegar.


A member of the Merovingian dynasty, Clovis was the son of King Theuderic III and Queen Chrodochild. [2] He was born around 677 [3] or possibly towards 682. [4] He succeeded his father as the sole ruler of the Franks upon the latter's death in 690 or 691. [5] He ruled an undivided kingdom including Austrasia, Burgundy and Neustria. [6] According to the Annals of Metz , a pro-Pippinid source, he was appointed by Pippin of Herstal, the mayor of the palace of Austrasia, and reigned four years. [7]

Merovingian dynasty dynasty

The Merovingian dynasty was the ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751. They first appear as "Kings of the Franks" in the Roman army of northern Gaul. By 509 they had united all the Franks and northern Gaulish Romans under their rule. They conquered most of Gaul, defeating the Visigoths (507) and the Burgundians (534), and also extended their rule into Raetia (537). In Germania, the Alemanni, Bavarii and Saxons accepted their lordship. The Merovingian realm was the largest and most powerful of the states of western Europe following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Theuderic III King of the Franks

Theuderic III (c.651–691) 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 been described as a puppet – a roi fainéant – of Ebroin, the Mayor of the Palace, who may have even appointed him without the support of the nobles.

Austrasia Medieval European territory

Austrasia, was a territory which formed the northeastern section of the Merovingian Kingdom of the Franks during the 6th to 8th centuries. It was centred on the Meuse, Middle Rhine and the Moselle rivers, and was the original territory of the Franks, including both the so-called Salians and Rhineland Franks, which Clovis I conquered after first taking control of the bordering part of Roman Gaul, now northern France, which is sometimes described in this period as Neustria.

Clovis was a minor at his accession, and real power was in Pippin's hands. [3] [8] His minority, coming as it did on the heels of his father's efforts to strengthen royal power, was an important factor in the decline of the Merovingian dynasty. [9] Clovis III resided primarily in Compiègne (the traditional site of the Marchfield) and Montmacq. [10]

Compiègne Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Compiègne is a commune in the Oise department in northern France. It is located on the Oise River. Its inhabitants are called Compiégnois.

Montmacq Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Montmacq is a commune in the Oise department in northern France.

Nine of Clovis's charters have been edited and published. Four of them are records of placita (public judicial hearings) held in the king's presence. Despite the rise of Pippin and his family, which is a major theme of the Annals of Metz, the royal court was still important in Clovis's reign. During a placitum in Valenciennes in 693, Clovis was attended by twelve bishops, twelve viri illustres (including Nordebert, the Neustrian mayor of the palace), nine counts and numerous other officials. [8] The future Neustrian mayor of the palace Ragamfred started out as a domesticus under Clovis. Warno, the Neustrian comes palatii of Chilperic II, also began his career at the court of Clovis. [11]

Charter Grant of authority or rights

A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority, and that the recipient admits a limited status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and it is that sense which is retained in modern usage of the term.

Valenciennes Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Valenciennes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.

Norbert was the duke of Burgundy and count of Paris in the last quarter of the seventh century. He was a faithful follower of Pepin of Heristal, who put him in charge of Neustria and Burgundy after the Battle of Tertry in 687. Pepin's sons were given the mayoralties of these realms in 695. Norbert died in 697 and Burgundy passed to Drogo, son of Pepin and mayor of Burgundy.

In 692, Clovis confirmed for the Abbey of Saint-Denis the right to collect certain tolls in Marseille, a right which it had been granted by Dagobert I. [12] [13] He also granted to the Abbey of Saint-Médard the nearby house that had been the primary residence of the former mayor of the palace, Ebroin, in Soissons. [14]

Fee price one pays as remuneration for services

A fee is the price one pays as remuneration for rights or services. Fees usually allow for overhead, wages, costs, and markup. Traditionally, professionals in the United Kingdom receive a fee in contradistinction to a payment, salary, or wage, and often use guineas rather than pounds as units of account. Under the feudal system, a Knight's fee was what was given to a knight for his service, usually the usage of land. A contingent fee is an attorney's fee which is reduced or not charged at all if the court case is lost by the attorney.

Marseille Second-largest city of France and prefecture of Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur

Marseille is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is located on the Mediterranean coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 (93 sq mi) and had a population of 870,018 in 2016. Its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 (1,225 sq mi) is the third-largest in France after those of Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010.

Dagobert I Frankish king

Dagobert I was the king of Austrasia (623–634), king of all the Franks (629–634), and king of Neustria and Burgundy (629–639). He was the last king of the Merovingian dynasty to wield any real royal power. Dagobert was the first of the Frankish kings to be buried in the royal tombs at Saint Denis Basilica.

The anonymous continuator of the Chronicle of Fredegar devotes two sentences to Clovis IV: "King Theuderic died ... and his little son Clovis was chosen to succeed him as king. But it was not long before King Clovis fell ill and died, having reigned four years." [15] He died in either 694 [2] or 695. [5] He was succeeded by his brother, Childebert III. Clovis does not appear to have made much of an impression on his contemporaries; his brother was more highly regarded. [5]

<i>Chronicle of Fredegar</i>

The Chronicle of Fredegar is the conventional title used for a 7th-century Frankish chronicle that was probably written in Burgundy. The author is unknown and the attribution to Fredegar dates only from the 16th century.

Childebert III King of the Franks

Childebert III, called the Just, son of Theuderic III and Clotilda and sole king of the Franks (694–711), he was seemingly but a puppet of the mayor of the palace, Pepin of Heristal, though his placita show him making judicial decisions of his own will, even against the Arnulfing clan. His nickname has no comprehensible justification except possibly as a result of these judgements, but the Liber Historiae Francorum calls him a "famous man" and "the glorious lord of good memory, Childebert, the just king." He had a son named Dagobert, who succeeded him, as Dagobert III but his wife was not Edonne, the invention of later fantasists. It is possible, though not likely, that Chlothar IV was also his son. He spent almost his entire life in a royal villa on the Oise.

Related Research Articles

Charles Martel Frankish military and political leader

Charles Martel was a Frankish statesman and military leader who, as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace, was the de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death. He was a son of the Frankish statesman Pepin of Herstal and Pepin's mistress, a noblewoman named Alpaida. Charles successfully asserted his claims to power as successor to his father as the power behind the throne in Frankish politics. Continuing and building on his father's work, he restored centralized government in Francia and began the series of military campaigns that re-established the Franks as the undisputed masters of all Gaul. According to a near-contemporary source, the Liber Historiae Francorum, Charles was "a warrior who was uncommonly [...] effective in battle". Much attention has been paid to his success in defeating an Arab invasion in Aquitaine at the Battle of Tours. Alongside his military endeavours, Charles has been traditionally credited with a seminal role in the development of the Frankish system of feudalism.

Chlothar II King of the Franks

Chlothar II, called the Great or the Young, was king of Neustria and king of the Franks, and the son of Chilperic I and his third wife, Fredegund. He started his reign as an infant under the regency of his mother, who was in an uneasy alliance with Clothar's uncle King Guntram of Burgundy. Clothar assumed full power over Neustria upon the death of his mother, in 597; though rich this was one of the smallest portions of Francia. He continued his mother's feud with Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia with equal viciousness and bloodshed, finally achieving her execution in an especially brutal manner in 613, after winning the battle that enabled Chlothar to unite Francia under his rule. Like his father, he built up his territories by moving in after the deaths of other kings.

Neustria western part of the kingdom of the Franks

Neustria, or Neustrasia, was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks.

Chlothar III King of Naustria and Burgundy

Chlothar III was the eldest son of Clovis II, king of Neustria and Burgundy, and his queen Balthild. When Clovis died in 658, Chlothar succeeded him under the regency of his mother. Only a month beforehand, according to the near-contemporary Life of Eligius by the courtier Audoin (bishop) of Rouen, Saint Eligius had prophesied the death of Clovis, Balthild's downfall, and Chlothar's short reign.

Childeric II Frankish king

Childeric II was the king of Austrasia from 662 and of Neustria and Burgundy from 673 until his death, making him sole King of the Franks for the final two years of his life.

Childeric III King of the Franks

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.

Francia Territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks, or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. It is the predecessor of the modern states of France and Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, and East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843.

Dagobert II King of Austrasia

Dagobert II was the Merovingian king of the Franks ruling in Austrasia from 675 or 676 until his death. He is one of the more obscure Merovingians. He has been considered a martyr since at least the ninth century.

Charibert II Frankish king

Charibert II, a son of Clotaire II and his junior wife Sichilde, was briefly King of Aquitaine from 629 to his death, with his capital at Toulouse. We have no direct statement about when Charibert was born exactly, only that he was "a few years younger" than his half-brother Dagobert. His father Clotaire evidently had a bigamous marriage and he was the offspring of the junior wife.

Liber Historiae Francorum is a chronicle written anonymously during the 8th century. The first sections served as a secondary source for early Franks in the time of Marcomer, giving a short breviarum of events until the time of the late Merovingians. The subsequent sections of the chronicle are important primary sources for the contemporaneous history. They provide an account of the Pippinid family in Austrasia before they became the most famous Carolingians.

Chlothar IV King of Austrasia

Chlothar IV was the king of Austrasia from 717 until his death. He was a member of the Merovingian dynasty, and was installed by Charles Martel, a candidate for the office of mayor of the palace, in opposition to Chilperic II, whose realm was thus reduced to Neustria. This marks the first time since 679 that the kingdom of the Franks was divided. Following Chlothar's death, it was reunited under Chilperic.

Battle of Tertry battle

The Battle of Tertry was an important engagement in Merovingian Gaul between the forces of Austrasia under Pepin II on one side and those of Neustria and Burgundy on the other. It took place in 687 at Tertry, Somme, and the battle is presented as an heroic account in the Annales mettenses priores. After achieving victory on the battlefield at Tertry, the Austrasians dictated the political future of the Neustrians.

Leudesius was the son of Erchinoald, Mayor of the Palace of Neustria, and his wife Leutsinde.

Battle of Lucofao

The Battle of Lucofao was the decisive engagement of the civil war that afflicted the Frankish kingdoms during and after the reign of Dagobert II (676–79). In the battle, the Neustrian forces of Theuderic III and his majordomo Ebroin defeated the forces of Austrasia under the dukes Pippin and Martin.


  1. Grierson & Blackburn (2007), p. 84n.
  2. 1 2 Wood 1994, p. 357.
  3. 1 2 McConville 2018, p. 362.
  4. Vergauteren 1928, p. 96.
  5. 1 2 3 Wood 1994, p. 256.
  6. Geary 1988, p. 233.
  7. Wood 1994, p. 258.
  8. 1 2 Wood 1994, pp. 261–62.
  9. Geary 1988, p. 181.
  10. Gerberding 1987, p. 151.
  11. Wood 1994, p. 269.
  12. Wood 1994, p. 205.
  13. Gerberding 1987, p. 64.
  14. Gerberding 1987, p. 153.
  15. Wallace-Hadrill 1960, p. 85.


Clovis IV
Born: 677 Died: 695
Preceded by
Theuderic III
King of the Franks
Succeeded by
Childebert III