Talk:Merovingian dynasty/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 →

(ed. note: This "ancient archive" talk page (2003 vintage) predated the now common process of adding new comments and responses under sectional topics, in a more or less linear and organized fashion. This discussion was more chronological, with parallel discussions that are a little harder to follow. For convenience, I have attempted to add a sort of table of contents based on the topic up for discussion, but there are still a lot of cross references to previous topics under the latter topics. Apologies in advance if I didn't correctly capture the original "flow") T-dot ( Talk/contribs ) 15:02, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Early Discussions - (part 1)

Annaniki and Atlanteans

I know all you history buffs will love a web site i found that links the Merovingians to the Annanuki, Atlanteans, and somehow to a Divine Race. No this is not the "divine right of kings" idea. Merovingian Mythos


I had a look at this. It is likely to appeal to people interested in mythology and legend more than, or as well as, hard history (includes me). The Atlantean mythos certainly needs a good going over by someone who knows what they are on about. sjc

Holy Blood, Holy Grail and other mythologies

Oh no! Next we'll be into the Holy Blood Holy Grail stuff about the Merovingians as the lineal descendents of Jesus and Mary Magdalene and how Charlemagne and the Church suppressed all this! Medieval history is complicated enough without conspiracy theory added to it. There's an excellent book whose first third explains the Carolingian takeover as well as anything in English - Rosamund Mckitterick's Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians. --MichaelTinkler

My fears exactly. I thought it best to jump on top of it before it gets out of hand :-) sjc

It is clearly true that conspiracies have a role in history, although not necessarily one as severe as that claimed by some authors. As well, there doesn't appear to be any Prima Facie reason why the (possibly) historical character of Jesus could not have had children who were somehow transported to Europe. Also, the Catholic Church was, as I understand it, complicit in withholding certain of the Dead Sea Scrolls, so I don't understand why you treat the scholarship of Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln with such derision. It is certainly more well-documented than the history books with which I was taught in High School, which are meant to be accepted as fact.
Sorry to sound upset, but I'm just not sure how your objections to "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" are valid. Alex Kennedy

Not to worry. I am not going to insult the excellent history writers on wiki with my own views. The link was provided mainly for entertainment.


Hi Alex -- just so you know, Michael Tinkler and I are both perfeshnul medievalists -- my specialty is 7th through 10th c. Francia. The fact that HBHG is well documented doesn't count for a lot -- they don't really use their sources critically, and there JUST ISN'T ANY PROOF! I'll leave the rest of this to some of the others -- I've only read the book once -- I know there are other wikipedians who have actually read it more than that! JHK

codswallop. Maybe I should add it to lectures to spice things up? JHK


Indubitably... it had me in stitches. sjc


I'll give one example from the HBHG mythos. Baigent et al. claim that one of their main sources of information was in periodical folders in the Bibliotheque Nationale, and that each time they went and requested the folder there was different information in it. Someone was feeding them the information, they deduced. In other words, they have insulated themselves against verification and/or falsifiability on the part of other working scholars by saying 'even if you went and requested the folder you wouldn't necessarily find what we found.' That is not helpful. It's not scholarship. It's fiction. Of course the mythical Priory of Sion could be in secret control of the largest library in France, and could wait and watch for Baigent, but why? Their reasons for why this dark secret was revealed to them (which, given their 'research methodology' of going and re-requesting the same folder, it must have been a process of revelation) is also, to say the least, unconvincing. If you want to read a real scholar of 'things esoteric' who works in such a way that others can, at least, read the same things she's reading and see if she's interpreting them correctly or not, try Frances Yates on The Rosicrucian Enlightenment ASIN: 0710073801, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age ISBN: 0415254094, The Art of Memory ISBN: 071265545X, and Giordano Bruno and the hermetic tradition ISBN: 0226950077. She's the real deal. Michael Baigent, on the other hand, works for the BBC equivalent of 'In Search Of.' Sorry to sound like an academic snob, but there it is. --MichaelTinkler


Alright, well, you have no disagreement that the information found in the bibliotheque Nationale is not reliable, although it wasn't used as "reliable" information per se in the book. Keep in mind that they have many sources other than that folder, and that they use that folder within the book as exactly what you imply it is, a mouthpiece of the Priory. But, as I said in an earlier post to this article which seems to have been erased somehow, what's important to me is not so much whether Baigent et al are correct, but that certain esoteric traditions and feelings be exemplified; and thus I'd be just as happy if there were a reference to the idea of a hidden and valid King who can bring about a more true rule than the present authority from the books you like. Unfortunately, I have not read Ms. Yates.

Also, while I may not be wise to say so, I must admit to being a little insulted by your peer (JHK's) seeming implication that if I say something, and a qualified professional disagrees with it, I should simply shut up and take their knowledgeable word for it.

Not implying you shoyld shut up at all -- but definitely think it's fair to let you know when you are dealing with people who have done more than cursory research in the area. I certainly don't know everything, but when I assert myself on this site, it's because I have read enough on a particular subject to teach that subject. Judging the reliability of sources and being aware of current scholarship are part of my training, and it is likely that I would be more aware of those things than someone who has read a couple of general books on a topic. I've learned a lot from other wikipedians -- especially Simon Kissane, sjc, rmherman, and WojPob -- but I've also met up with people whose approach is not conducive to generating good scholarly articles. JHK

Well, I understand what you mean, in that it is useful to "drop" the initial "formality" of making sure that every one is on the same page, so to speak, about what information we're adressing. The problem here, however, is that I am not a professional historian, and have no training in history whatsoever. As a scientist, I'm expected to explain scientific concepts in the simplest terms possible, so that others can understand why I hold the opinions I do, while still respecting their intelligence enough to give them the information required to truly make a decision. I believe that the same should hold, even for historians :P. In other words, I prefer something like Dr. Tinkler's reply, which had a factual argument with which I can agree or disagree (and I disagreed with it, in fact) rather than your initial reply which, useful though it was in guaging your learned opinion and qualifications, didn't give me anything to work with regarding why you dislike HBHG so much. Anyway, you give me a very precious gift in your time considering these issues, so I hope sincerely that you are not offended by what I say.

How could I be offended? You're asking perfectly sensible questions, and everybody has a right to disagree. And please believe me -- I don't necessarily believe that having degrees makes one an expert -- but I tend to think that it's more likely that someone who has made a regimented study of a subject probably knows a bit more than someone who hasn't -- for example, I'd probably not argue with you on anything having to do with the life (or probably other) sciences, or with AxelBoldt on anything having to do with math -- but might ask questions. I know my limitations. If you're interested in learning more about sources and historical method, try looking at the links on the History page, and perhaps some of the Talk pages where some of us have spent lots of time trying to illustrate the criteria for good history. Some possible subjects: Prussia, Widewut, Copernicus, History of Christianity, Gdansk...

Oh -- as for HBHG, Honestly, I haven't read it in so long that I just remember it's wrong, wrong, wrong -- we actually discussed it and its methodology in a seminar once. I was fairly sure Michael Tinkler could provide the details, because he's the kind of person who has always checked them out for himself! No hard feelings on either side, then? JHK


My impression was that Merovech was even earlier. The whale story aside, Fredegar definitely reads as though he was much earlier than father of Childeric -- are you sure on this??JHK


All my sources date his "reign" to the mid-5th century and agree that Childeric was his son: the genealogy was only compiled under Clovis, which I imagine is why Merovech is sometimes considered semi-mythical (though I can't really see the later ruler falsifying a character who must have been remembered in the tales of his older followers). Perhaps there's another Merovech way back in Frankish legend, though only the "real" one seems to be accounted for. David Parker


David -- out of curiosity, what are your sources? I don't doubt that you have them or that you're correct, but it's been a while since I've read the secondary material. As I mentioned above, I only remember the reference in Fredegar -- I'll look up the references in Gregory when I get home. Since there are a few serious, well-qualified medievalists working on the 'pedia, it would be nice if you were a bit more forthcoming about your sources in general. You say your field is medieval econ. and demographic history (in the sense that you do this as a profession), so I find your reticence a bit unsettling. JHK

Old notes mainly, culled from secondary or more likely tertiary material. Indeed, Fredegar seems to insert Chilperic and Genniod between Merovech and Childeric, but I think Gregory explicitly excludes them - and sea-monsters I can do without. The shorter list I gave seems to be the most widely-accepted one for the few decades generally allowed for their reigns, though if you think the others rate a mention I've no objection, and Pharamond may well deserve a few additional question-marks.

PS. I never said anything about being a professional anything - this I do out of interest. David Parker


Paul raises his hand in favour of sea monsters :) -- Paul Drye


I have no problems in the mythology area -- and actually, I probably will go back and quote Fredegar at some point, just because it's a good way of showing that we have to read primary sources critically (and so Paul will get the sea monsters). As long as there is a clear separation between reality and myth, or between what people thought vs what we now know, I'm satisfied. I'm also not trying to give you a hard time, but do want you to realize that I will probably question your sources any time something sounds less than familiar or mainstream to me, because I do know this stuff (and the sources) reasonably well. For example, "most widely-accepted" makes me ask, "by whom?" -- even though you're probably right. By the way -- if you haven't read the stuff above, give it a try -- the Talk pages are great for getting to know your fellow Wikipedians JHK

Early discussions (part 2)

Matrix Reloaded

why is the matrix: reloaded villain called The Merovingian, then? Were the directors of this movie name-dropping esoterica or is there something deeper in their choice of words? Please forward any theories and analogies to elphteq@yahoo.com.au [250503]

Weasel wording historians?

I removed the statement beginning, According to all major qualified historians ... which was (and still is) followed by the Britannica, a popular reference book, and the BBC. Where did they study? Exactly what university do they teach at? Danny

I removed the ridiculous (and I say this advisedly -- there is no proof, and the scholarship in Baigent's book is not well-regarded. JHK

Ms. JHK or whoever you are in real life, my work is not ridiculous. Please refrain from your continued degradation or leave Wikipedia because deleting proper text on your whim withgout foundation is unacceptasble and violates Wikipedia conventions. You did this yeaterday on Clovis and were wrong. Please stop. Triton

I have to agree with Ms. JHK's deletion here, I would have done the same. No reputable scholar believes in the information she deleted. -- Zoe

Triton, I do not believe the bit I referred to as ridiculous (the bit about the Merovingian descent from Jesus Christ) was written by you, unless you have yet another name. It was that first removal I called ridiculous. Here are my explanations for editing your contribution. I reverted because I do not have time to pick through, and so feel it is better to revert to something trustworthy until properly thought out changes can be made.

This is the paragraphy I had especial problems with:

"This repeated partitioning not only reaffirmed these new political units, but they also undermined the strength of the Frankish Empire, which was being raided at its frontiers. The Slavs and the Avars posed a threat on the northeastern frontier, the Lombards on the southeastern frontier and the Muslims on the southwestern frontier. In 613, the king of Neustria took control of the other two kingdoms and a united Frankish Kingdom was created with its capital in Paris."

I am not 100%, but very close, that this is talking about the division of the Frankish Empire after Louis the Pious. I believe this because:

  1. During the 6th c., the Slavs and Avars weren't really a threat.
  2. This paragraph implies that the Muslims were a threat before 613 -- they weren't -- they COULD NOT HAVE BEEN -- Islam did not exist before right around 622.That is not true. Mohammed A.D.570-632 founder of Islam. RLM

The latter part of the paragraph talks about a united Frankish kingsom -- correct for the Merovingians, but the earlier part talks about an Empire -- generally used only to refer to Carolingian Francia.

These types of errors in editing are exactly why I felt it necessary to remove information from Clovis I until it had been verified. They are at best careless. JHK

Muslim history

Muslims existed long before 622. Who says the that "During the 6th c., the Slavs and Avars weren't really a threat". You? What source, please. AND "an Empire -- generally used only to refer to Carolingian Francia" is more theories with "generally" and maybe and golly gosh. How about fact. The word Empire was used all the time. It is not specific to anyone. PuleezeTriton

Maybe, Ms JHK or whoever you really are, you should learn what Muslim means and what Islam means. Then put it with Wotan and presto you have learned something. Triton


A question regarding the esoteric history regarding the descent from Jesus Christ and all that: obviously it is not true (that is, the Merovingians were not descendants of Jesus Christ), and obviously this is a later invention. But how much later? Is this a genuine (late) medieval tradition? A renaissance tradition? An enlightenment freemason type myth? A nineteenth century romantic "rediscovery"? Something that people made up when The Matrix Reloaded came out? In any event, the story is certainly out there, and I've seen it elsewhere. I think it should at least be referenced on wikipedia, although only if a) we have some idea what the origins of the story are; and b) clearly explain that the story arose much later, and is not true (in NPOV language) of course. john 02:24 28 May 2003 (UTC)

And, to Triton: Mohammed was born in 570 AD. He didn't even start founding Islam until 610. Its calendar starts in 622. Islam didn't leave Arabia until 634. It didn't reach Spain until 711. I find it hard to see how it could have been a threat to the Frankish kingdom from the west in 613 AD. john 02:24 28 May 2003 (UTC)

John, are you too joining in with derogatory remarks now? In any event, you too should learn what Muslim means and what Islam means. May the Prophet bless you, too. Triton

What on earth are you talking about? john 02:30 28 May 2003 (UTC)

Oh, and Islam means "Submission" and Muslim means "one who submits." But, again, what in the world does that have to do with the fact that Mohammed was sitting pretty in Mecca in 613 AD, and that Muslims were nowhere near the Frankish Kingdom until a century later? john 02:31 28 May 2003 (UTC)

Yes Muslims, were nowhere near the Frankish Kingdom in 613. But since the original paragraph mentions the southwestern frontier, what would now be Spain, maybe whoever contributed the text had mistaken them for the Visigoths? They did rule Spain at 613 and had earlier conflicts with the Franks. User: Dimadick


More Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Charlemagne, and Templar references

John -- the first time I saw this it was in Michael Baigent (sp?) Holy Blood, Holy Grail. I don't know how new it is, but I know the book got lots of laughs when I was in grad school. It's connected to legends about the Templar treasure and a village called Rennes-la-chateau. Recently, the legend made an appearance in Gabriel Knight 3, a computer game that blended these legends with the idea that the Templars escaped to Scotland and somehow are connected to the house of Stewart and the freemasons. Katherine Kurtz has also picked up on some of these legends (mostly the Templar stuff) and combined it first with the Freemasons in her (with D.L. Harris) Adept series and also with Robert the Bruce and the Loch Ness Monster in The Temple and the Crown and The Temple and the Stone. This is definitely esoteric legend rather than provable history. (I've read an awfeul lot on these guys -- none of this is ever mentioned, even as a possibility) I really think that we should omit any reference from the real history pages, unless you want to start a trend for every alternate history/fantasy to make its way into reality. Perhaps it would fit on a page on esoterica? JHK PS -- Triton -- do you actually know what derogatory means? You throw the word around a lot, but never seem to use it correctly.

John: The Muslim threat never diminished from Philippe A II & Richard Lionheart. Tensions, threats, possible invasions were on and off for hundreds of years. And, what on earth is the person calling themselves JHK talking about? Triton


In regards to Empire versus Kingdom -- It's an Empire if it's ruled by an Emperor. The Frankish Kingdoms are never called an Empire until the coronation of Charlemagne in 800. I've never seen a Merovingian called an Emperor -- simply reges francorum -- kings of the Franks

And that bit about Muslims being around in the 12th c. has nothing to do with the fact that they WERE NOT around before 711. Of course they were around till later -- till 1492 and the Reconquista, as a matter of factJHK

In terms of apocryphal stories, it seems to me that they ought to be talked about if they're actually genuine legends, and not something made up by twentieth century hucksters. For instance, I think that the page on Charlemagne ought to talk about the legend of Charlemagne, the Paladins, and all that stuff, or, at least, have some sort of link to that. The page on the Templars ought to have some material on the various legends of the Templars. And so forth. This legend sounds to be like one concocted fairly recently, though, and thus probably shouldn't be included. john 03:11 28 May 2003 (UTC)

John, the legends, traditions & stories about Charlemagne & his Paladins should properly belong under Matter of France. Unfortunately, at present there is only a link to this topic in the article on Roland, & maybe another one at Ludovico Ariosto. It should be as easy to research & write an article on as on King Arthur. -- llywrch 05:02 28 May 2003 (UTC)
Yeah, the Charlemagnic legend coverage in wikipedia is rather weak at the moment. I don't know enough about it to write anything, at least not at the moment. But, I would say, that some mention of the legends ought to be made on the Charlemagne page. As in "after Charlemagne's death, a series of legends grew up around him and his 12 Paladins, bla bla bla, see Matter of France." john 05:08 28 May 2003 (UTC)
Well, I took my first look at the Charlemagne page (gimme a break, please: there's over 120,000 articles & I'm still trying to find time to write the ones I want to, let alone read all of the ones of interest to me ;-), & made some changes -- including a link to Matter of France. Maybe someone will see the link there & start writing it. -- llywrch 05:22 28 May 2003 (UTC)
Oh, I certainly wasn't criticizing you in any way. There's so much work to be done on this thing, I sometimes don't know where to start. I'm sure it's like that for most of us, which is why we're doing this. john 05:37 28 May 2003 (UTC)
No criticism taken, John. (Note the smiley.) It's just that you made an excellent suggesiton, & I figured there was no harm in having a look at the article & seing if I could insert the needed words in a minute or two. But you are quite correct about just how much work there is to be done. -- llywrch 22:46 28 May 2003 (UTC)

I don't think this is DW or Elliot, Julie. It appears that English is not this person's first language. -- Zoe

yeah -- it could be the 64/MammaBear person. I'm also not sure that it's not a native speaker writing above his/her level. Or maybe a non-native with a crappy pocket translator. Still, no amount of cultural difference excuses the level of rudeness this person seems capable of. Nice to hear from you, BTW!JHK

Sorry Ms. JHK. would you please explain "level of rudeness this person seems capable"? If I'm rude please point it out to Mr. Wales. He does not tolerate that and I don't want any bad accusations against me. I'm still sad about you calling my sincere efforts "nonsense" or what was the latest, oh yes, "ridiculous." Maybe we should check with Mr. Wales and see if that is how we are to address each others efforts. Thank you. Triton

you have had enough of my time and attention lately. you certainly don't deserve an answer. JHK

More on Jesus' ancestry of Merovingians

Returning to the "ridiculous" story about Jesus as an ancestor of the Merovingians. Its only source seems to be the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" - 1982 by Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh.I haven't read the book but I have come across magazine articles who mention their "theory". It makes two claims actualy rather than one. First that the Merovingians were descended from Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, Second that "All true European royalty is descended from the Merovingians".

It is certainly not a very serious attempt at history or geneology. But the book seems to have spawned a popular Conspiracy theory, and risen some interest in the Merovingians. At least a google search about "Jesus Christ Merovingians" came up with 800 findings. Some of them were even discussing about Kings of minor importance like Dagobert II. Maybe the article should mention the theory ,its source and that "No reputable scholar believes in the information" as Zoe put it. Mentioning it in that context doesn't make it a "fact". User: Dimadick

If Gregory of Tours is our main source for the Merovingians he should also be mentioned in the article, along with his point of view in a matter of subjects. The following site does examine his work in that light:http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gregory-hist.html. User: Dimadick

Genealogical myths

Speaking of geneology there are many Internet amateur geneologists, claiming descent from Clovis and trying to trace his own descent. Should this be mentioned as in the article about Charlemagne? This is an example:http://www.pa.uky.edu/~shapere/dkbingham/d0005/g0000007.html#I21392. User: Dimadick

I think that stuff should be included in a "genealogical myths" section of an article on Genealogy. If they do a search, they'll find it, but the won't just glance at the page title and assume it's part of the history. If it's under genealogical myths, they'll know off the bat that it's not taken seriously. -- JHK

Um --- not really any clearer -- the original point of the statement could be clearer, but its intent was to differentiate from later patterns of inheritance, e.g. primogeniture -- wanna have a go at including that bit? I'm too tired and will probably forget. After all, division of property is one of the cool things about the Franks!JHK


Removed the conspiracy theory stuff -- looks like most of the people here agree it shouldn't be in the article, if you look at the conversation above.


What links here

Quite aside from this zany parahistory stuff, there is a long list of entries in 'What links here' that should be looked through for inclusion into the text here. Wetman 04:58, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)