Merovingians. Clovis, King of the Franks

During the Great Migration of Nations, the most powerful barbarian state in Western Europe created the Germanic tribes of the Franks. The first of their kings was the Merovingians. The origin of this dynasty is covered with legends, its founder, Merovey, was considered the son of two parents – the usual king and sea monster. “Sea monster,” probably remained in the popular imagination of a man who came “from behind the sea.” In the people Merovingians were called “sorcerers” and “long-haired kings”, their hair was considered miraculous, and the Merovingians themselves are capable of bringing longevity and treating a serious ailment-scrofula.

Of the Merovingians, the most famous was Clovis, who became a king at the age of 10, but he managed not only to retain power, but also to strengthen it through his intelligence, courage and cruelty. About the way he was able to do this, the story with the Saussonian bowl clearly tells.


century. Bishop Gregory of Tours on the history of the Saussonian bowl

Once the Franks stole from one church… a big cup of amazing beauty… Upon arrival from Soissons… the king said: “Brave warriors, I ask you to give me this vessel besides my ration” … In response to these the king’s words, those who had common sense, said: “Glorious king! Everything that we see here is yours, and we ourselves are subject to your power!” But one quick-tempered warrior tossed the ax with a loud exclamation: “You will receive here only what belongs to you by lot” – and put it on the bowl… The king endured this insult patiently and submissively… And a year later ordered all the soldiers to appear with their military equipment, to show whether they properly contain their weapons. And when he walked around the ranks of the soldiers, he approached the one who struck the ax in the bowl, and said: “

Clovis sword extended the boundaries of his possessions. He in 498, the first of European kings, accepted Western Christianity. Thanks to

the support of the church, Clovis has become something like an all-European emperor. According to the historian, he “ruled over all nations and kings, but did not rule them.”

Clovis began a disastrous for the state of the Franks tradition – divided the inheritance between the sons of his territory. After his death, the Merovingian dynasty dominated already in scattered kingdoms, and not in a single state. Because of wars and ingenious marriage combinations, the Merovingians finally became entangled with the succession to the throne, and quarrels and confusion began in the state. But in this political chaos, the power was tidied to the hands of Mayordoma. Since then, the Merovingians have only enjoyed their royal title, and the state has been ruled by their mayordoms. One of the “elders in the house” became the mayor of the entire Frankish kingdom. He laid the foundation for a new dynasty, which historians then named in honor of Charlemagne of Carolingia.

The great migration of peoples is the resettlement of large masses of Germanic, separate Turkic, Iranian and Slavic tribes in the 4th-7th centuries, which resulted in the formation of barbarian states.

Mayordom is the highest official in the Frankish kingdom, administering the royal court.

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Merovingians. Clovis, King of the Franks