Talk:Merovingian dynasty

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Peter or Paul?[edit]

"in order to gain power through the "spiritual" dynasty of Peter instead of the "holy blood" (i.e. Sangreal) of Mary Magdalene's descendants."

Peter? Don't you mean Paul?

Although I haven't read the book in question, If the "Roman Church" did anything to enhance a spiritual dynasty it would be the dynasy of Peter, not Paul. They RC church claims Peter as the 1st Pope and claims the the Bishop of Rome is Peter's heir and has inherited the authority given to Peter by Christ. ("On this Rock...). Dsmdgold 02:30, 10 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Holy Blood, Holy Grail[edit]

Just wondering, but should we really have the entirely dubious pseudo-history of this book in what is otherwise a sensible article about a Frankish dynasty? Why not just say something like "The Merovingian dynasty is at the center of the esoteric history of bla bla blas' book Holy Blood, Holy Grail," and then discuss the rest of the theory in an article on the book. Given that absolutely no actual historians give any credence whatsoever to these nonsensical theories (whatever the fact that they are used in The Da Vinci Code), I don't think these theories ought to be written about in any detail on this page. john 05:47, 10 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Oh, does that mean that Bram Stoker's book "Dracula" should not be mentioned on the article about Vlad Tepes, either? If it involves them, it should still be involved. Simply add a precautionary statement about how the book should be taken with a grain of salt. That's all. It involves them, and whether you like it or not, the book itself IS part of our history, so therefore it's real enough. The fact that it gives mention to them is enough to add it here, just as Nicholas Flamel is mentioned in Harry Potter. And yes, I am aware that I am using fictional books for examples, but I can't think of anything else for this situation. MasterXiam 18:37, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

The difference is of course that Bram Stoker's book is openly fiction, while BLL's book claims scholarship and DaVinciCode is intentionally equivocal on that issue. But IMHO a very brief reference should be OK. Str1977 19:04, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

I think the major deciding factor is to the centrality of the information. This article is (at present) strongly coupled to the dynastic history of the Merovingians, and it makes a very good and easy to read article in that form; adding cross-references of various types to the bottom of the article is a good idea, but diluting the content with information which isn't really related to the general theme of the content is probably not a good idea.

Having said that, I think the Magdalene descent issue is probably close enough to the subject matter to deserve a short paragraph, with appropriate disclaimers and cross-referencing, near the end.

I'm of the mind that when the article's content starts to become diluted, it needs to be renamed and/or disambiguated--maybe this information should be renamed 'merovingian dynasty' or something of the sort? --Penumbra 2k 13:12, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I dont care about what happened, I want to know what people believed[edit]

Certainly (at the highest level of certainty a human being can have)the merovigians are not descendants of Christ or Mary Magdalene, but my question is, what did people at the time believed? Was at any century a sect that professed such ideas?

Reply to above: This so-called 'hoax' (nothing 'modern-day' about it), has come down in the history of MANY ancient and ennobled families ~ including mine, whose roots can be traced back to (circa) A.D. 417 by any member of the public with a computer; and prior to that ... well, unless you know, the sources are a little more 'exclusive' shall we say.;) Did they (we) believe it ... YOUBETCHA!!! And many can prove it. :) So much for your 'certainties'. And as for the historian's so-called facts, one must remember that this has been a secret ~ one very carefully and deliberately guarded for a long time, and with very good reason -- a secret known by many, but not 'publicly' as we would define the word. That said, in many ways it's not been hidden at all ~ her song has been sung ... but the uninitiated couldn't hear it -- they didn't understand what they heard. P.S. For a fascinating journey into symbol and allegory, learn about Heraldry -- it's real use, not that which is popularly believed ~ learn what it means, who can use the various symbols, how and why; and that study might tell you what the so-called history books can't. And never forget what Napoleon said about 'history' ~ it is but a lie agreed upon. Find a good scan of Georges de la Tour's Magdalene with the night-light, for example, and you'll see that there's nothing new about this story ~ this rather luminous work was painted circa 1640. Et cetera. But as Leonardo himself said "O wretched mortals, open your eyes!" To certain people, the only thing surprising about this latest chapter to her story, is that anyone finds it surprising. xxx Glorious Goddess (talk) 15:55, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
errr. yeah. the merovingians themselves thought of themselves as sicambrians, which indicates that they were probably of gallo-celtic cultural background rather than germanic origin. their own foundational myths descended themselves from the trojan war via a migration of cimmerian tribes. this has been cited by legitimate scholars to possibly be an obscure memory of a central asian background for celts, which is widely agreed upon (although you have to go back several millenia). likewise, it could indicate that they had origins in a more recent migration by a wayward iranian tribe. the sea monster myth was a later invention by fredegar. while there have been many attempts to interpret this myth as a then contemporary parable, it is probably more likely something that was simply lifted from an earlier religious tradition, as evidenced by it's similarity to other indo-european myths. the way to understand this is to look at the stories of noah's ark as they came down to us in the bible. i think it's widely known that the stories in the bible have older sources, and that the story was merely transported from one tradition to another. likewise, the sea-monster story is probably nothing more than something that was stolen from virgil or homer. the jesus thing is a relatively modern invention. the church would have literally killed if you were walking around spouting those kinds of heresies in the dark ages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

I moved the text on the Matrix character the Merovingian to a separate article. It really doesn't belong in an article about the historical Merovingian dynasty. Will create disambiguation page shortly. McMullen

Holy Roman Empire vs. Roman Empire[edit]

The article currently contains this text:

"Clovis on his death partitioned his kingdom among his four sons according to Frankish custom. Over the next two centuries, this tradition would continue; however, accidents of fertility would ensure that occasionally the whole realm would be reunited under a single king; and even when multiple Merovingian kings ruled, the kingdom was conceived of as a single realm ruled collectively by several kings. In this way, the Frankish Kingdom resembled the later Roman Empire."

Someone recently changed "Roman Empire" to "Holy Roman Empire". This is incorrect. The later Roman Empire was frequently ruled by multiple emperors, though they were conceived of as a college of rulers over a single realm -- and in this way (though not in all that many others), the Merovingian realm was like the later Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire, however, was always ruled over by a single emperor -- there was never a situation in which there were multiple Holy Roman Emperors. Even when the later Carolinians divided up Charlemagne's empire, there was alwyas only one emperor.

--Jfruh 22:57, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I just changed "later Roman Empire" to "earlier Roman Empire", because the Roman Empire was indeed earlier. However, this sentence originally stated "later Holy Roman Empire". I think the change to delete "Holy" was incorrect. So one may want to make that change, I'm not certain enough to do it. However, it clearly should either be "earlier Roman Empire" or "later Holy Roman Empire".

I'm the one who put the original Roman Empire comparison in and I'm tempted to take it out, because it seems to have caused such confusion. I apologize for using the word "later" as it seems to have really mixed people up. When I said "later Roman Empire", I don't mean to say that the Roman Empire existed after (i.e. later than) the Merovnigian kingdom; rather, I was referring to the Roman Empire of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries AD. This period is "later" compared to the "classical" period, not compared to the Merovingian kingdom. This terminology is common among Roman historians, but I can see how it's confusing here; thus, I'm going to restore my original text but change "later" to "late".
All I was trying to do was draw a metaphor between the late Roman Empire and the Merovingian kingdom, to clarify, rather than confuse. Perhaps I have failed. The Merovingian habit of having multiple kings for a theoretically united kingdom is similar to the Late Roman habit of having multiple emperors for a theoretically united empire. It is NOT similar to the Holy Roman Empire, which throughout its history did not allow for the concept of multiple co-reigning emperors.
For those who are still confused by the chronology, it goes something like this:
1st-2nd centuries: Early Roman empire
3rd-5th centuries: Late Roman empire
5th-8th centuries: Merovingian kingdom
Got it? --Jfruh 09:18, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"THERE WAS ALWAYS ONLY ONE EMPEROR": I thought that there were times when there was no Emperor?

Yes, that's true. I guess I should have said "...there was always at most one emperor." Sometimes there were multiple claimants to the imperial throne, but everyone agreed that there could be only one legitimate Holy Roman Emperor (though they didn't always agree on who that emperor was). By contrast, there could be multiple legitimate Merovingian kings.
Hopefully this has not just confused everybody more. Sigh. --Jfruh 09:18, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Actually, that's not really true. There countless examples of more than one Emperor, ever since Diocletian and before and after. Str1977 2 July 2005 02:45 (UTC)

Er, yes, this was exactly my point ... this baffling conversation has come full circle. In the later (i.e. post-Diocletian) Roman Empire there were often multiple legitimate emperors. In the Merovingian realm, there were could be multiple legitimate kings. This was the comparison I was making. By contrast, in the pre-Diocletian Roman Empire and in the Holy Roman Empire, there was generally speaking only one *legitimate* emperor at a time. Again, in both cases there were sometimes rival claimants, but the theory generally held that there could only be one legitimate emperor.
In almost all cases in the pre-Diocletian Roman Empire and in the Holy Roman Empire in which there were more than one legitimate emperor, one of the emperors was in truth an "heir apparent," given the imperial title to smooth over a potential succession crisis but clearly subordinate to the senior emperor. The only cases I can think In the pre-Diocletian Roman Empire of two theoretically equal emperors are Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, and (all very briefly) Caracalla and Geta, Balbenius and Pupenius, and Gordians I and II. I can't think of any instances in the Holy Roman Empire. --Jfruh 03:10, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes, you're right. And in the Roman Empire, if there were several emperors/caesars there was always one who was supreme, e.g. Marcus Aurelius over Verus, Diocletian over the other three rulers and even after his resignation, and in the 5th century usually the Eastern Emperor. That was also the basis of the agreement between Charlemagne and Emperor Michael, though they didn't say so explicitely.

In the early Frankish kingdom (511-613) there was no clear cut "primus", as they division was more of a division of revenue and administration and not actually a permanent separating (of course later, helped by all these divisions, regional identities developed). After 613 however, there always was some primacy of Neustria over Austrasia. After the kingdoms returned to having just one king, he resided in Neustria. This primacy also shows in the development of Neustria adopting the name Francia which subsequently ended up as France.

In the German kingdom as part of the HRE there was only one king (except for Bohemia, of course) and for a long time, the heir could only be elected king of the Romans if his father was Emperor. In legal fiction, the son then would be the king of Germany while his father was Emperor. In reality, the father retained the rule, as is best seen in Frederick II and Henry (VII).

So in the HRE there was only one Emperor at a time (rival claims notwithstanding) - the two-Emperor problem relates to the relations with the Eastern Empire. The basis is not so much the existence of more than one Emperor but the supremacy of one over the other (Rome the city vs. the historical continuity of the Eastern Empire). Str1977 08:55, 15 July 2005 (UTC)


This article was cited in "Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to Mysteries Behind the Da Vinci Code" by Dan Burstein p. 365 HC 1st Edition 2004, as some of you may know. But anyone reading the book's mention of wikipedia could never find the quote unless they searched way back to [1] in the history. I believe this to be a flaw in wikipedia only because a vanishing source of information is unreliable and self-defeating. If the editors of the publication include wiki as source, the curious reader should have easy access. We tend to forget our freedom to edit over and over these articles seems to invalidate a printed source. If this makes sense, could you add some link to the history page listed above? On the lighter side, from the Twins in Matrix Reloaded: we are getting aggravated, aren't we? yes we are. BF 18:18, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes, but this is the price we must pay for accuracy. Nonsense gets deleted at some time. Str1977 18:16, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
were the Merovingian kings all males? If so, this would be a blow to Dan Brown bedtime stories. Unfortunately, the gender bias does not appear clearly in the article.--Luci S 13:33, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes Luci, all Merovingian Kings were male. There were no reigning queens, though some Queen consorts´but even more so Queen mothers had profound influence (Chlothilde, Brunhilde, Fredegunde, Balthilde). Actually the law restricting succession to the French throne to the male line was later attributed to Pharamond. Though that was an anachronism, no woman has ever ruled the Franks. However, that was normal with other peoples too, so I don't know whether it needs to be included ... or how? Str1977 19:41, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

What about the West African People who to this day still have customes that mirror Hebrew customes but yet there is no mention of this fact,could they be directly decsended by blood from the original hebrews. A fact that is often overlooked is that after the fall of Israel,Hebrews migrated in great numbers to West Africa and along the East African Coast but I read no mention of them. In scipture the trials of the Hebrew People are written in detail, from slavery the loss of identity, children, homeland, culture,religion etc. It is my belief that these scriptures only apply the people known today as African Americans..not the French/Franks User: 07:24, 30 May 2005

Lacking ...[edit]

That the Merovingians in general lacked a sense of res publica is a fable derived from 19th century historiography. Some of course put their own whims first, but others clearly had a sense of res publica. Otherwise this entity would not have survived. This is why I deleted the phrase and this is why I will delete it again. Str1977 18:16, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

... For anyone else, I recommend Michel Rouche, "Private life conquers State and Society" in Paul Veyne, A History of Private Life: 1. From Pagan Rome to Byzantium. ... --Wetman 15:57, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Wetman, I removed your personal attacks and wrong potrayal of me. I know perfectly well what res publica means and what the Merovingians are all about. I know and have posted before that this take on the M. was discussed by scholars, but this was an oversimplification. You point to a book, I can do the same. Read the Karl Ferdinand Werner's first volume of the History of France. Str1977 08:19, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Ok, now I understand the basis for your (still wrong accusations): I reverted an edit of yours back to what you criticized. But my opposition was purely against the word "legendary", as the conversion was not legendary (in the popular sense of the term) but a real historical event. I should not have simply reverted back to the previous version, which indeed was dodgy (click [[2]] to see the original intrusion of what you criticized. That was before I ever entered this article).

I have also reinserted your "lack of sense of res publica" phrase but also given the counter point. After all, the oversimplification was held by historians and hence it is not unencyclopedic. Str1977 08:42, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

My source talks about res publica as well. I think the real issue here is not that they "lacked" in anything, they simply prefered another way of looking at things. If your going to word it in such a way that its controversial, then you will need to expand on it and discuss the historiographical issues, otherwise it make no sense. Stbalbach 12:53, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

That'd extend the limitations of wikipedia. It's not that they "prefered another way of looking at things" - that's just saying the same in post-modern idiom (i.e. "non-judgemental"). It's that under the circumstances of the time they "organized" the administration of their part of the res publica differently than other times did. Str1977 13:08, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

It would extended the limitations of Wikipedia? Please explain. If they organized the administration of their part of the res publica differently than other times did then say that in the article and provide sources instead of "some historians" weasel terms. Stbalbach 13:45, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

I already mentioned K.F. Werner. Str1977 15:50, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Holy Blood Holy Grail/Da Vinci Code connection[edit]

You know, being in the apparently very small minority of people who haven't read the Da Vinci Code, I've just now learned its central premise (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER), apparently cribbed from Holy Blood, Holy Grail, that the Merovingians were descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalen. Which explains a lot of the activity on this page that has been so baffling to me. Now of course the connection is complete nonsense, but since the Merovingians are a fairly obscure topic and the DVC is a very popular book, a lot of people might be wandering over here based on what they read in the DVC. (There's actually a link from The Da Vinci Code over to here.) With that in mind, should we perhaps make a brief section at the end that takes on the claims of this book in more detail and presents the accepted scholarly reasons for why its bunk? --Jfruh 18:42, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Recent misperceptions[edit]

Incompetent fingerpainting will not be good enough at this article. I have had to revert recent woolly blather:

  • "the legendary occasion of his adopting his wife's Catholicism in 496" The details of this occasion demonstrate their legenday nature to those who read sources. The comparison is with Constantine's conversion, detail for detail.
Don't assume I haven't read Gregory. Of course there are similarities in the accounts, but they are not identical. And ... the passage wasn't talking about the account (that might be a bit legendary), but about the battle and the actual conversion, which was legendary only in the sense that it was later contained in a saint's legend, not that that was anything less than real.
Have you read any of the scholarship about this issue? I'd say it's pretty well accepted by now that Clovis' conversion at this time is uncertain. He may have first flirted with Arianism, or remained somewhat torn between the old, pagan gods, and his newfound Christianity. There is really no evidence either way except for Gregory's highly improbable account. Therefore I don't see why my edits have been reversed. See Ian Wood, Hen, Auerbach, et. al. See Hen, especially. The similarities between Constantine and Clovis are not incidental...this may have been a lingering bit of pro-Merovingian propoganda that Gregory picked up from an older, unknown source. We simply don't know and the assertion should not be made that this is how it happened. (talk) 01:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
  • "the descendents of Merovech was based on charisma, the combination of magical personal allure under divine patronage," This is not random expression. Read what happens when the king has no personal charisma or is a child. "Mythical descent" is foolish waffle.
Yes, I have read this charisma stuff on various occasions. But sources (Gregory, Fredegar) don't give the impression of a special dependence of Kings on charisma. If the king was a child he either grew up to become a shrewd ruler like Dagobert I, or he became a pawn in the hands of others (mothers, mayors etc) - but that's not unfamiliar in other royal houses. The only charisma was the one of the family, still surviving Clovis' baptism, which was based on mythical descent.
  • "the Merovingians lacked a developed sense of a res publica" This statement has been expanded with a reference to Gregory of Tours precisely to convince simpletons.
Gregory's usage of the term (even if you quoted him directly) has no real bearing on this issue.
...then skim Rouche, Michel, "Private life conquers state and society," in A History of Private Life vol I, Paul Veyne, editor, Harvard University Press 1987 ISBN 0-674-39974-9. The series are in general a good first introduction to modern history-writing. --Wetman 09:38, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
For the time being, I am asking you to reconsider whether your plainly insulting language helps discussions on wikipedia. As you might know, WP has a policy on Personal Attacks. Str1977
Please just make more thoughtful edits. --Wetman 09:38, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Out of interest...[edit]

... what part of the speedy deletion policy were you invoking when you deleted List of Presidential gaffes? I noticed this on recent changes, found it quite amusing and was looking for it again to add to it and discovered it deleted. You are aware that you should have sent this to AfD? I have undeleted. I'm about to post this to WP:AN/I. - Ta bu shi da yu 13:49, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

What the hell does this have to do with the Merovingians? --Jfruh 14:59, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

References to Belgium[edit]

The references to Belgium were removed because to include it leaves the question of why the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland are not also included. The fact is that all these nations are essentially historical breakaways from a larger French or German state, thus, they are coverred by the understanding that, in this historical context, France and Germany are not used to mean the states exactly as they are today. Furthermore, they are themselves largely the descendants of Merovingian polities and the term "frequently fluctuating" is added to make sure the idea that the borders of the Merovingian realm do not correspond even roughtly to those of any extant modern nation. Srnec 20:05, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. I disagree. The introduction as it is is, I think, misleading - it says that the area fluctuated in modern France and Germany without mentioning lands outside modern France and Germany (which I don't think are 'essentially historical breakaways from a larger French or German state'). There should also maybe be mention that the Merovingian lands are weighted more to modern France than modern Germany. 21:38, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Idea on a loosely related note: A blank map of Europe showing dashed lines for semi-modern borders, and solid lines for the understood borders of the Merovingians' domains. --Penumbra 2k 13:29, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

On - The Da Vinci Code comments.[edit]

In regard to The Da Vinci Code, this article contains the highly fallacious and dogmatic comment, "Relying on conjecture and methodological fallacies to re-interpret historical sources, the theory says that the Merovingians were the descendants of Jesus Christ; it is seen as popular pseudohistory by academic historians."

First, The Da Vinci Code is a Novel. The last time I checked novels are not History Books. Second, the ideas and hypotheses in Dan Brown's novel are NOT original to Dan Brown, nor are they original to Henry Lincoln et al in Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Third, what are these supposed "methodological fallacies" used??? It is more fallacious to think that Jesus was God incarnate, the divine Son of God incarnate, the child of an immaculate virgin and the Logos, that he performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead, died for the "sins" of humanity, was resurrected, and for some strange reason remained unmarried in an ancient, or modern for that matter, traditional Jewish culture, than it is to think that he was married to Mary the Magdalene and probably had at least one child. What separates "history" from "pseudohistory" anyway??? History is, and always has been, written by the "victors." Where is the hard empirical, historical, and/or "scientific" "evidence" that Jesus ever even existed at all?!?!?! In our presumptiously, self-righteous, and dogmatic modernity we hold ourselves and our "scientific" knowledges to be Absolutes and all other forms of knowledge to be 'fallacies' or "myths." Another problem is that "Myths" aren't "myths." We also mistakingly misuse words such as this. What historians have done, and are still doing, is find more and more "evidence" that humanity's "Myths" have more truth to them than some in our world would enjoy the humility to admit. No, that does not mean that Jesus was the son of God, nor Hercules or any other mythological character... What this does mean is that we do not know everything, (and surely the ancients knew much more than we do). Anyone who thinks, claims, or just implies that he/she knows all, is probably the person who knows the least. To be purely empirical one must question all; remain skeptical of all, and that includes our so-called "claims" to knowledge. Finally, {for people who are "hung up" over this whole idea on BOTH sides of the ARGUMENT}, - What exactly is the big deal whether or not Jesus and Mary the Magdalene had descendents?!?!?! Jesus was a man just like any other man. What he said or did, or didn't say or do would not, and does not have any special significance to any descendents. I (like many others I'm sure) am a descendent of many of these European kings and queens, I'm related to Robert E. Lee, I'm even a descendent of these Merovingians... What does that mean?... NOTHING! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Carlon (talkcontribs) .

Holy cow. I have a lot of trouble taking people who use multiple punctuation for a single sentence seriously. S/he has one good point, though; both in general historical writing and in this article, there seems to me to be a lack of understanding of the distinction between accepted fact and actual fact--I would like to know how we came to know what we claim to know about the Merovingians, and if that information isn't available for this article, I'd like to see the facts denoted as conjectural, or strongly defensible (but not 100% certain), or whatever. I took a history of science course in which the professor discussed in detail some historical methods, and one of his broader points was that assembling a plausible story makes it very, very easy to create general acceptance of a theory which has only skeletal evidence--essentially, it's difficult to pick out omissions in between elements of a set of compatible accepted facts.

Anyway, I realise doing this in great detail would be both quite a bit of work, and make the article quite a bit more difficult to read--I'd still like to see at least a nod in the direction of 'how sure we are that this is what happened' and 'why we think that this is what happened'.

Another point that bothers me--the tone of this article is generally neutral, but occasionally steps off into emotional/judgmental language: "...but showed that dangerous vice of personal aggrandisement..." " exemplar of all that was not admirable in the dynasty." ...and so on.

Anyway--someone let me know if it would be considered offensive to just jump in and make a few structural changes? Because I don't really know that much about the Merovingians, but I'm generally a good writer and critical thinker. --Penumbra 2k 13:42, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

But, but, but... 10 million book buyers CAN'T be wrong!! "History is just a lie agreed upon" "Science is just for smart people who know how to study". What about the rest of us?? We need to feel good too!! - Troll, 19:13, 22 May 2006 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) . Dan Brown gets his head everywhere these days please all do remember it is merley fiction book no ones having hokey pokey for the jesus dude dude out :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:34, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

What the hell was that rant all about? The Da Vinci Code is pseudohistory because its false (Greek pseudo). The claims are based on proven hoax: see the Pierre Plantard article. Srnec 04:55, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Genuine Line of Descent?[edit]

Out of interest, I don't suppose anyone knows if there is a 'genuine' continuance of descent from the Merovingians (by genuine I mean "quite possibly flawed and inaccurate, but nonetheless well attested and official", since it is of course impossible to be 100% accurate over a period of 1000+ years)? I can't find any claims to descent from them other than the dubious 'Sigisbert IV' descent, and all I can find via google are reiterations of that and bizarre references to serpents... Michaelsanders 23:56, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

It is possible (probable?) that there is Merovingian blood in every European alive today. The record-keeping of their time and place, however, was not of the highest calibre and it is impossible to know about all the Merovingian kings' descendants. Only those which succeeded to thrones in the last century of their rule can be confidently known, and sometimes not even their genealogy is sure (see Clotaire IV). There is, I think, some evidence that early dukes of Aquitaine and Gascony may have been Merovingian descendants, but sources are scant for those lightly populated regions in the eighth century. I tried to do research once to determine who the last absolutely known Merovingian of the male line was and I determined it to be Acfred II of Carcassone (early tenth century), but I believe this to be in error and I cannot remember how I came to that conclusion. There has been no serious (ie non-hoax) claim to Merovingian descent put forward by anybody that I'm aware of for hundreds of years and possible longer. An intersting subject to read up on, though, is the possible relations between the Carolingian and Merovingian houses. The sources say little, but the prosopography and onomastics of Charlemagne's family point to Merovingian relations: names like Louis and Lothair appear suddenly out of nowhere in his dynasty, though there were very common amongst the preceding dynasty. But Charlemagne may simply have desired to showcase the legitimacy of his family's rule by usurping the nomenclature of the Merovings. Srnec 05:04, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Michaelsanders 07:57, 29 September 2006 (UTC)


The articles at Gaul and Roman Gaul adequately demonstrate that most of the Merovingian realm corresponded to something that was called Gaul at some time or other. As to the use of "Low Countries, France, and Germany", why should we exclude Switzerland, for one? I just don't want the list to get excessively long. The Low Countries formed the centre of many Merovingian administrations, but their whole territory extended over much land which today is not part of those three. Also, they ruled many lands tributarily, like Bavaria, the Slavic lands, and part of northern Italy. "Frequently fluctuating" coverred all the problems, but somebody just had to add the Low Countries. Srnec 18:34, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Okay, "largely corresponding" is acceptable. I was under the impression that Low Countries covered all of BeNeLux. Tributary states are part of the realm. However, Northern Italy was not ruled by Merovingians for very long. Str1977 (smile back) 18:49, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

WPMILHIST Assessment[edit]

This is a nice long, thorough, detailed article, and I'm especially happy to see a historiography section. More articles should include that sort of thing. But, overall, this could probably afford to be longer. It's a pretty big topic, and a pretty important one, not only to French or Roman history, but to early medieval Europe as a whole. LordAmeth 00:00, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

"Catholic" vs. "Nicene"[edit]

Someone in the recent slew of edits changed the term describing the form of Christianity to which Clovis converted from "Nicene" to "Catholic". I would respectfully suggest that this might not be the best wording. While catholicos was among the adjectives the mainstream church used to describe itself in 511, the term "Catholic" as a proper noun evokes to modern readers the modern Catholic Church, defined in opposition to the Eastern Orthodox and various protestant churches -- both schisms that had yet to happen in 511. The most important thing about Clovis' conversion was that he chose to adopt a faith based on the Nicene Creed, not the Arian beliefs (held by most other German Christians) that the Nicene Creed has been specifically formulated to exclude from heterodox Christian theology. --Jfruh (talk) 18:17, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

How about "Catholic, that is, Nicene" or something? I think that so many history texts, scholarly and general, use the term "Catholic" in this context as a synonym of "Nicene" and opposed to "Arian" that it might be just as confusing to avoid it as to employ it unqualified. Srnec 05:43, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

"red hair" and magical powers[edit]

All over the Internet, and recently reverted here, are remarks about Merovingian red hair, derived from stuff like this: "Kenneth Grant and the Merovingian Mythos". No apology for reverting it is necessary, I imagine. But where do they get this stuff? --Wetman 03:01, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I haven't made what would be considered proper historical research on this subject, but, then, Wikipedia discourages proper research. Consider that any supposed statement of fact that is found anywhere in print is considered documentation. I refer you specifically to the nonsense that was posted about Jack Hyles. It doesn't matter if a statement is true or false; it only matters that it was printed somewhere. In fact, that is a Wikipedia editing policy, stated in almost those same words. And, as you yourself note, the red hair of the Merovingians is mentioned all over the Internet. That means it belongs in this article, somewhere. If you don't believe it is correct, you should cite counter-arguments, but in no case should you remove it completely. Pooua 23:17, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

No it doesn't. Indeed, "red-headed Merovingians" are well-noted around the Internet, where our editor has doubtless picked it up, but as the scanty Merovingian-era documentation is not rich in personal descriptions, I'm not entirely uninformed in my doubt that red hair as a Merovingian family trait might be documented. What "documents" are being referring to, that would turn this current "pop" assertion into information that would be suitable for Wikipedia? Widespread nonsense believed by the simple might be traced to its source and very briefly noted in a footnote. Or not. --Wetman 01:06, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
As I wrote, it does not matter if you are an expert on the subject or if you are correct about Merovingians or their contemporary accounts. What matters is whether you can cite sources that state what you put in the article. You think that red-headed Merovingians is a "pop" assertion? What do you think Wikipedia is? Even Jimmy Wales doesn't think people should cite Wikipedia.
"Original research (OR) is a term used in Wikipedia to refer to unpublished facts, arguments, concepts, statements, or theories. The term also applies to any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that appears to advance a position — or, in the words of Wikipedia's co-founder Jimmy Wales, would amount to a 'novel narrative or historical interpretation.'
"Wikipedia is not the place for original research. Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: the only way to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research is to cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and to adhere to what those sources say."
That means--I have learned by sad experience--that whatever fool nonsense exists either on the Web or in newspapers or in books is of equal weight on Wikipedia. So, when I run across a Web page that states,
"As is well known to anyone reading this publication, the Merovingians were notorious for their red hair and it was believed that this is where they received all of their 'powers.'"
That and a link are all I need for including the material in a Wikipedia article. No Wikipedia editor is supposed to verify or confirm the accuracy of the information of the source, even if he is an expert in the field. Do I think it stinks? Yes! But, thems the rules. 03:52, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
This anonymity is mistaken. Intentional insertion of misleading misinformation in Wikipedia is a common form of vandalism that we revert every day. Responsible editors log in. --Wetman 07:13, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I *did* log in! Wikipedia has a bad habit of logging me back out when I post. Besides, I clearly identified myself as the editor who replied to you previously, and I was still logged in on my previous post.
I hope you have more to talk about than whether I am logged in or not. Pooua 08:35, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Forgive me if I'm reading between the lines incorrectly here Pooua, but are you deliberately inserting information that you personally believe to be misleading or false because you want to make some kind of a point about Wikipedia's citation policies? Because seems like kind of an odd thing to do. --Jfruh (talk) 12:21, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
The idea that we should discard our critical faculty and incorporate random conspiracy tat, of which teh internets has quite a lot on offer, is flawed. More than that, it goes against the policies and guidelines: see Wikipedia:Reliable_sources#Exceptional_claims_require_exceptional_sources, Wikipedia:Verifiability#Self-published_sources_.28online_and_paper.29, and Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Undue_weight. We should be interested in what, for example, Geary, James, Le Jan, and Wood have to say, but the opinions expressed on random web pages, those we don't use. Angus McLellan (Talk) 12:34, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you both for stating the situation better than I could. --Wetman 23:48, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
No, I am not inserting material that I believe is incorrect; I'm not quite that cynical. I also have no sympathy for anything that supports "The Da Vinci Code," which seems to be where a lot of the red-headed talk is. I would rather lose this argument than see it support those ideas. However, I would like also like to see how well you avoid the fact that Wikipedia policies state that documented material cannot be ignored. I would like to see how it is that someone can take hear-say that is reported in a newspaper and use it for an article, but I cannot use someone's research in an article. I also would like to see if the Merovingians were actually red-heads. I like red heads.
So, you think Wikipedia articles can't cite Websites? Again, Wikipedia is not about the truth of a stated point; it is about documentation. "Critical facilities" has never been a defense on any other Wikipedia page over which I have argued; in fact, I have been told by one Wikipedia editor that Wikipedia discourages editors from editing articles of which they have personal knowledge. Original research--that is, anything that you know or find out on your own, particularly based on information that you did not get from public sources--is banned. Pooua 20:12, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
"Documented material" does not mean "any website." I could create a website tomorrow full of original research and then just reference it all on Wikipedia, but that would not make my actions right or even allowed. The policy (and, dare I say, Wikipedia's only rule) of verification means that published sources with citations by other published sources and only websites based on (and citing) published sources (of respect) are the only real sources allowed. Otherwise, there would be no such thing as "verification." After all, anybody's original research becomes "documented" by your standards the moment they post it on a blog. Wikipedia's policies (which you first cited, not your interlocutors) would be meaningless without the inference of respectable and scholarly sources. (By the way, you did not actually provide a ref for your original edit anyway.) Srnec 05:37, 5 May 2007 (UTC)


The recently added section on Merovingian sainthood (which I renamed to religion, though the section as it stands isn't quite that broad yet), states that a Merovingian was an "anointed king whose right to kingship was ratified by the worldly representatives of God himself." I am not sure about that. I am pretty certain that the only ceremony to a Merovingian's succession was his being raised on the shields of his warriors. I think that Pepin the Short's coronation was unique in that it involved an anointing. Also, I am not aware that the church took any real part in Merovingian successions. As far as I know, Merovings ruled by hereditary right, not divine right, and there is limited evidence that the Merovingians made much of any supposed pagan divine origin. Is there any source for the excised statement? Srnec 00:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

The chrism for Pepin's anointing was used until Louis XVI's coronation, unique only in being the first occasion. The theocratic kingship of the Merovingians and, later, its conscious transference to the Carolingians are commonplaces found in high-school surveys such as Norman F. Cantor, Civilization of the Middle Ages, which lists in the index "Theocratic monarchy" at numerous points- well worth reading- and includes this on p.175: "The elevation of Pepin to the Frankish throne in accordance with ecclesiastical law and papal sanction was effected through an elaborate, symbolical, and religious ceremony. St. Boniface, as the papal representative in France, anointed Pepin with holy oil in the same manner as bishops were elevated to the dignity of their offices and then crowned him king of the Franks". I really wouln't have added that to the article, except that I was reporting what I had read. It is never wise to delete material simply because one has "never heard" it. I shall correct the text, this time adding in the long quote, for which I'm sure you'll excuse me since I've been put to the trouble of transcribing it. --Wetman 05:43, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Regrettably, Wetman, Pepin can't stand as an example of Merovingian practice, since he is part of the Carolingian dynasty, making conscious effort to differentiate himself from the Merovingians because he regarded them as the old guard. Merovingians ruled by the right of their bloodline, and since Pepin lacked this bloodline when he tried to seize the Frankish throne, he sought to replace that form of legitimacy with Christian legitimacy that you describe. Merovingians used monasteries and ecclesiastical officials for many purposes, but your additions tend to overstate Merovingian involvement in Christianity. I cast my vote with Srnec.brandon cohen 06:54, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
As Brandon says, Pepin cannot stand as a Merovingian exemplar. Rather, he is, as I pointed out, the first "King of the Franks" to be anointed in a religious ceremony. Also, I could have just slapped a "citation needed" tag on it, but since I was most certain it was wrong and it is very difficult (though probably possible in this incidence) to source a negative ("The Merovingians were not anointed"), I just removed it and provided a justification here. Perhaps I should have searched for a source to back me up, but no extrapolation can be made from Pepin's coronation to those of earlier kings and it is not clear to me that Cantor even does so. Srnec 04:31, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Of course! Pepin's not very much of a Merovingian, is he? what was I thinking? That Cantor quote — which is excellent btw — just came too easily to hand... however, the connection between the Church and the Merovingian aristocracy, and the crowd of saints in the kinship group, still need to be characterized in the article, supported by refs. ...even if I'm not helping by writing "Pepin" and thinking "Clovis". --Wetman 05:03, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Christianity not brought by monks[edit]

Irish monks were influential on the Merovingian dynasty but the lands the Merovingian dynasty ruled were already at least as Christian as Ireland, before any missionary, Irish or otherwise, arrived. Clovis the first converted to Christianity in back 498AD long before any Irish missionary had even set foot in Britain let alone the realms of the Franks. He was converted by indigenous Christian monks. There were around 200 monasteries in France before Columbanus arrived from Ireland. Try reading the French Wikipedia article on Columbanus; I think that article puts the influence of Irish missionaries, like Columbanus, in much better and realistic context. The Merovingian dynasty right from the start was the main centre of Christianity in Western Europe, always far, far more influential than Ireland ever was! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 19 February 2008 (UTC)


Aren't Merovingians descendants of Wodan/Odin?~~09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Nope and never claimed to be. They may have claimed descent from the Quinotaur, but I'm not sure I see evidence that they themselves made such claims or took them seriously. They also certainly never claimed descent from Jesus Christ as is believe by those sucked into the Pierre Plantard hoax and its derivatives. They claimed descent from Merovech, a mere mortal. Srnec (talk) 20:19, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

In Norse sagas Frankish royal house of Völsungs are descendants of Odin. Maybe THis is about Merovingians and Merovingians=Völsungs. And Eliade says, Germanic kings usually were sacral persons as descendants of gods, especially of Wodan, and uses example of Merovingians. Quinotaur and other Graeco-Roman persons are innovations after christianization of Franks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:11, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I am unfamiliar with the Norse sagas, but if the Völsungs are based on the Merovingians, they are evidently treated in an ahistorical fashion (not surprisingly, the Merovingians are still treated that way, e.g. by Dan Brown). You might be interested in the article Frankish mythology, which even cites, to the reputable Wallace-Hadrill, the claim that the Merovingians did not claim descent from Wodan/Odin/Wuotan. Eliade is wrong on that point. We know very little about the pre-Christian Franks, so to call anything an "innovation" due to Christian/Greco-Roman influence is predicated on a whole bunch of premises about earlier pagan practices and beliefs with a much more limited archaeological or textual basis. As I said, I don't believe the Merovingians themselves ever claimed descent from the Quinotaur. That was a Fredegarian invention of the seventh century and not an early Merovingian argument for their kingship. Germanic sacral kingship is a contentious issue, again see Frankish mythology. Srnec (talk) 17:20, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
merovingians are definitely not volsungs. however, the saxons and most other west germanic tribes did indeed derive their aristocratic ancestry from odin. when history sets in, the franks are actually worshiping a variant of diana rather than a christian or german god. what this indicates is that they were actually predominantly celtic/gallic in origin, or at least that there was great continuity in religious matters (ie that the invaders adopted the religion of the villagers). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:55, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Dating a virgin[edit]

There is a contradiction between this article and Pepin I. Saint Ermelindis cannot at the same time live in the sixth century and descend from a person who is born in 580. (Theoretically she could, but I am sure that that is not what the author had in mind).--Lieven Smits (talk) 22:55, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I changed "descended from" into "related to" but it would be interesting if someone could quote directly from a reliable source. Some Internet sources put Ermelindis in the 7th century.--Lieven Smits (talk) 10:41, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was moved to Merovingian dynasty Aervanath (talk) 05:30, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

The plural form seems more when it's a group of people, as here. Is there any reason not to move to Merovingians? Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:27, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Ease of linking; "belonged to the Merovingian dynasty" should link here. But this is not an oppose, just a consideration. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:00, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
True, but "the Merovingian dynasty" looks even neater for linkifying, or "was a Merovingian king of the Franks". Redirects Are Your Friend, or something like that. Angus McLellan (Talk) 20:09, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Pictogram voting info.svg Administrator note:I'm relisting this for more discussion at WP:RM, in the hope that more contributors to this discussion will make it more clear.--Aervanath talks like a mover, but not a shaker 18:44, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
"Merovingians" is the most natural way to refer to these fellows that I can think of. Srnec (talk) 22:49, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. But, it would seem more appropriate to title the page "Merovingian Kings" or "Merovingian Dynasty" (per the sources mentioned in the article). --Regent's Park (Boating Lake) 16:18, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I've looked into plurals, and this is somewhat of a gray area. I rather like the idea of "Merovingian dynasty" for its accuracy. On the other hand, Google tests do not indicate a clear common name among "Merovingians", "Merovingian dynasty" and "Merovingian kings", and actually seem to support the former. As common as "Merovingian dynasty" is in literature, the term "Merovingian" alone is not to be underestimated. As Quuxplusone mentions above, "Merovingians" sounds like a people, where "Merovingian dynasty" clearly states the subject of the article. For this reason, I say precision trumps the common name argument and the elegant simplicity of "Merovingians". Also, as the article itself indicates, the "Merovingians" are considered a dynasty, but the term encompasses more than "kings", so "Merovingian kings" would also be less than ideal. I would support moving to Merovingian dynasty. Wilhelm_meis (talk) 05:26, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Srnec, michaelsanders, I was wondering if one of Charlemagne's male ancestors married a Merovingian?--Blood3 (talk) 07:04, 20 March 2010 (UTC)


The author of a portion of this article seems to have labored under the misapprehension that hagiographies were (and are) ordinarily written for some purpose other than those described here, and under other literary forms. Rather, the "Merovignian hagiography" sounds absolutely typical of Christian hagiographies, particularly of the time, and almost sound as if they had been written after Byzantine models. If the cites sources also suffer from this error, they've made a mistake. In any event it comes across as odd that a characteristically Christian literary genre should be presented as characteristically Merovingian instead. (talk) 00:31, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

On the other hand, the idea that anyone conceived of the locale of saints' relics as harboring the "lingering life-force" of the saint is really odd as well, and I have to wonder if this isn't an editor's own interpretation of what the source says. It's certainly not historically Christian. (talk) 00:35, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Meaning of Merovingian[edit]

According to historian linguist Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann ( or, the word Merovingian has the same root as the word Mermaid, mer meaning sea. Add rov as in roving or rover, therefore Merovingian would mean "those who rove (travel) the Sea." MichelleSnyderSymbologist (talk) 20:17, 18 August 2013 (UTC)


i know it's not as glamorous as descending from sea monsters, trojans or jesus, but ptolemy is very clear that there was a tribe of south (west) germans called the marvingi that lived near the confluence of the rhine and the main, pretty much perfectly positioning them to jump the river with the rest of the franks. remember that frank is an inexact ethnic term that translates to "free" (meaning not roman) and refers to a coalition of german, celtic, slavic, iranian and other peoples rather than a specific german tribe. ptolemy may have mistaken germans for celts - he wouldn't be the first southern geographer to do so. further, the connection is vague; as i'm presenting it to you right now, it's not in any better shape than the cimmerian suggestion (cimmerian looks like cimbri looks like sicambri). so, i'm not suggesting that ptolemy's map proves that the merovingians were of the marvingi tribe. yet, the geographic and chronological positioning - combined with the very down to earth nature of the idea - is quite enticing. it's something i'd like to present is an idea that requires further research. specifically: can we trace the merovingians to the confluence of the main and the rhine? because, if we can, ptolemy has a very simple and rational answer for us. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:10, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Merovingian saints?[edit]

For an article entitled "Merovingian dynasty", it seems strange to have a rather complete listing of the Merovingian saints, but no listing of the actual kings of that dynasty. After all, the Merovingian dynasty consists of, and is defined as, a line of kings. This article doesn't answer the fundamental question a reader might ask, i.e. who were the Merovingians? Tresmegistus (talk) 19:10, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

The actual dynasty?[edit]

Starting with Clodian (428-448) Then Merovee (??) Childeric I (458-481) Clovis I (481-511) ???? Clotaire (Lothaire) (558-561) Chilperic I (561-584) Clotaire II (584-629) Dagobert (629-639) Sigebert III (639-?) Known as "les rois fainéants". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tresmegistus (talkcontribs) 04:03, 23 May 2014 (UTC)