Contemporary effigy of Dagobert from a gold triens
|King of Neustria and Burgundy|
|Reign||18 October 629 – 19 January 639|
|King of the Franks|
|Reign||18 October 629[ citation needed ] – 634|
|Predecessor||Vacant (last held by Chlothar II)|
|Successor||Vacant (next held by Theuderic III)|
|King of Austrasia|
|Died||19 January 639 (aged 35-36)|
Dagobert I (Latin : Dagobertus; c. 603 – 19 January 639 AD) 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.
Dagobert was the eldest son of Chlothar II and Haldetrude (575–604) and the grandson of Fredegund.Chlothar had reigned alone over all the Franks since 613. In 622, Chlothar made Dagobert king of Austrasia, almost certainly to bind the Austrasian nobility to the ruling Franks. As a child, Dagobert lived under the care of the Carolingian dynasty forebears and Austrasian magnates, Arnulf of Metz and Pepin of Landen.
Chlothar attempted to manage the unstable alliances he had with other noble families throughout much of Dagobert's reign.When Chlothar granted Austrasia to Dagobert, he initially excluded Alsace, the Vosges, and the Ardennes, but shortly thereafter the Austrasian nobility forced him to concede these regions to Dagobert. The rule of a Frank from the Austrasian heartland tied Alsace more closely to the Austrasian court. Dagobert created a new duchy (the later Duchy of Alsace) in southwest Austrasia to guard the region from Burgundian or Alemannic encroachments and ambitions. The duchy comprised the Vosges, the Burgundian Gate, and the Transjura. Dagobert made his courtier Gundoin—who incidentally established monasteries in Alsace and Burgundy —the first duke of this new polity that was to last until the end of the Merovingian dynasty. While Austrasian rulers such as Chlothar and Dagobert controlled these regions through part of the seventh-century, they eventually became autonomous kingdoms as powerful aristocratic families sought separate paths across their respective realms.
Upon the death of his father in 629, Dagobert inherited the Neustrian and Burgundian kingdoms. His half-brother Charibert, son of Sichilde, claimed Neustria but Dagobert opposed him. Brodulf, brother of Sichilde, petitioned Dagobert on behalf of his young nephew, but Dagobert assassinated him and became sole king of the Franks. He later gave the Aquitaine to Charibert as a "consolation prize."In 629, Dagobert concluded a treaty with the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, which entailed enforcing the compulsory baptism of Jews throughout his kingdom. Besides signing this treaty, Dagobert also took steps to secure trade across his empire by protecting important markets along the mouth of the Rhine at Duurstede and Utrecht, which in part explains his later determination to defend the Austrasian Franks from the Avar menace.
Under the rule of Dagobert's father and like-minded Merovingians, Frankish society during the seventh-century experienced greater integration—the Catholic faith became predominant for instance—and a generally improved economic situation, but there was no initial impetus for the political unification of Gaul. Clothar II did not seek to force his Neustrian neighbors into submission, choosing instead a policy of cooperation.This did not prohibit plunder-raids to replenish the dynastic coffers, which Dagobert undertook in Spain for example—one raid there earned him 200,000 gold solidi. Historian Ian Wood claims that Dagobert "was probably richer than most Merovingian monarchs" and cites for example his assistance to the Visigoth Sisenand—whom he aided in his rise to the Visigothic throne in Spain—and for which, Sisenand awarded Dagobert a golden dish weighing some five-hundred pounds.
When Charibert and his son Chilperic were assassinated in 632, Dagobert had Burgundy and Aquitaine firmly under his rule, becoming the most powerful Merovingian king in many years and the most respected ruler in the West. In 631, Dagobert led a large army against Samo, the ruler of the Slavic Wends, partly at the request of the Germanic peoples living in the eastern territories and also due to Dagobert's quarrel with him about the Wends having robbed and killed a number of Frankish merchants.While Dagobert's Austrasian forces were defeated at the Wogastisburg, his Alemmanic and Lombard allies were successful in repelling the Wends. Taking advantage of the situation at the time, the Saxons offered to help Dagobert if he agreed to rescind the 500 cow yearly tribute to the Austrasians. Despite accepting this agreement, Fredegar reports that it was to little avail since the Wends attacked again the following year.
Also in 632, the nobles of Austrasia revolted under the mayor of the palace, Pepin of Landen. In 634, Dagobert appeased the rebellious nobles by putting his three-year-old son, Sigebert III, on the throne, thereby ceding royal power in the easternmost of his realms, just as his father had done for him eleven years earlier. In historian Ian Wood's view, Dagobert's creation of a sub-kingdom for his son Sigibert had "important long-term implications for the general structure of Merovingian Francia."
As king, Dagobert made Paris his capital. During his reign, he built the Altes Schloss in Meersburg (in modern Germany), which today is the oldest inhabited castle in that country. Devoutly religious, Dagobert was also responsible for the construction of the Saint Denis Basilica at the site of a Benedictine monastery in Paris. He also appointed St. Arbogast bishop of Strasbourg.Dagobert was beloved in many ways according to Fredegar, who wrote that "He rendered justice to rich and poor alike," adding that, "he took little sleep or food, and cared only so to act that all men should leave his presence full of joy and admiration." Such images do not fully convey the power and domination wielded by Frankish kings like Dagobert, who along with his father Chlothar, reigned to such a degree that historian Patrick Geary described the period of their combined rule as the "apogee of Merovingian royal power."
Dagobert went down in history as one of the greatest Frankish kings, having held his lands against the eastern hordes and with noblemen as far away as Bavaria, who sought his overlordship.Only thirty-six when he died, Dagobert constituted the last of the great Merovingian kings, who, according to J.M. Wallace-Hadrill, "had the ruthless energy of a Clovis and the cunning of a Charlemagne." Despite having more or less united the Frankish realms, he likely was not expecting unitary rule to continue given the diverging interests of the Austrasian and Neustrian Franks, atop those of the Aquitanians and Burgundians. Upon his death, he was buried in the abbey of Saint-Denis and was the first Frankish king to be buried in the Saint Denis Basilica, Paris. The interment of Dagobert at Saint-Denis established a precedent for the future burial of French rulers there.
The author of the Chronicle of Fredegar criticises the king for his loose morals in having "three queens almost simultaneously, as well as several concubines".When rex Brittanorum Judicael came to Clichy to visit with Dagobert, he opted not to dine with him due to his misgivings with Dagobert's moral choices, instead dining with the king's referendary, St. Audoen. Fredegar's chronicle names the three queens, Nanthild and the otherwise obscure Wulfegundis and Berchildis, but none of the concubines, stating that a full list of concubines would be too long. In 625/6 Dagobert married Gormatrude, a sister of his father's wife Sichilde; but the marriage was childless. After divorcing Gormatrude in 629/30 he made Nanthild, a Saxon servant (puella) from his personal entourage, his new queen. She gave birth to Clovis II (b. 634/5) later king of Neustria and Burgundy. Shortly after his marriage to Nanthild, he took a girl called Ragnetrude to his bed, who gave birth to his youngest son, Sigebert III (b. 630/1) later king of Austrasia.
Pepin Iof Landen, also called the Elder or the Old, was the Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia under the Merovingian king Dagobert I from 623 to 629. He was also the mayor for Sigebert III from 639 until his death.
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.
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, who died in 592. Clothar took power upon the death of his mother in 597; though rich, Neustria 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 seizing lands after the deaths of other kings.
Neustria, was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks.
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 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.
Chilperic II, known as Daniel prior to his coronation, was the youngest son of Childeric II and his half-cousin, king of Neustria from 715 and sole king of the Franks from 718 until his death.
Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks, Frankland, 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, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg 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 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.
Samo founded the first recorded political union of Slavic tribes, known as Samo's Empire, stretching from Silesia to present-day Slovenia, ruling from 623 until his death in 658. According to Fredegarius, the only contemporary source, Samo was a Frankish merchant who unified several Slavic tribes against robber raids and violence by nearby settled Avars, showing such bravery and command skills in battle that he was elected as the "Slavic king". In 631, Samo successfully defended his realm against the Frankish Kingdom in the three-day Battle of Wogastisburg.
Galswintha (540–568) was a queen consort of Neustria. She was the daughter of Athanagild, Visigothic king of Hispania, and Goiswintha. Galswintha was the sister of Brunhilda, Queen of Austrasia; and the wife of Chilperic I, the Merovingian king of Neustria. Galswintha was likely murdered at the urging of Chilperic's former wife, Fredegund, instigating a 40 year civil war within the Merovingian kingdom.
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.
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.
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—, in effect the mayor of the palace ruling the kingdom throughout his reign. However he lived a pious Christian life and was later sanctified, being remembered as Saint Sigebert of Austrasia in the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church.
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.
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.
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.
Adalgisel or Adalgis was a Frankish duke and the mayor of the palace of Austrasia. He assumed that office in December 633 or January 634 at the same time that Sigebert III assumed the kingship. Along with Cunibert, Bishop of Cologne, he acted as regent for the young king. Adalgisel, Cunibert, and Sigebert were all appointed by Dagobert I.
Willibad, Willebad, or Willihad was the Patrician of Burgundy in the first half of the seventh century. Willibad may have been a Frank or perhaps a Burgundian, one of the last representatives of the native nobility which had been subdued by the Franks in 534.
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.
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Dagobert IBorn: 605 Died: 19 January 639
| King of Austrasia |
| King of the Franks |
Title next held byTheuderic III
| King of Neustria and Burgundy |