Childeric II

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Childeric II
Solidus en or pâle de 20 siliques émis par Childéric II.jpg
Childericʻs solidus of pale gold
King of the Franks
PredecessorVacant (last held by Chlothar III)
SuccessorVacant (next held by Theuderic III)
King of Neustria and Burgundy
PredecessorTheuderic III
SuccessorTheuderic III
King of Austrasia
PredecessorChlothar III
SuccessorClovis III
Bornc. 653
Diedc. 675 (aged 21–22)
Chilperic II
FatherClovis II

Childeric II (c. 653[1] – 675) 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 was the second eldest son of King Clovis II[2] and grandson of King Dagobert I and Queen Nanthild.[3] His mother was Saint Balthild and his elder brother was Chlothar III,[3] who was briefly sole king from 661, but gave Austrasia to Childeric the next year. He was still a mere child when he was raised on the shields of his warriors and proclaimed king in Austrasia.[4]

After the death of Chlothar in 673, Theuderic III, his youngest brother, inherited his kingdoms, but a faction of prominent Burgundian nobles led by Saint Leodegar and Adalrich invited Childeric to become king in Neustria and Burgundy.[5] He soon invaded his brother's kingdom and displaced him, becoming sole king. He made his Austrasian Mayor of the Palace, Wulfoald, mayor also in Neustria and Burgundy, displacing Ebroin of Neustria and upsetting his supporters in Burgundy who did not wish to see functionaries active in a kingdom other than their native one. In March 675, Childeric had granted honores in Alsace to Adalrich with the title of dux. This grant was most probably the result of Adalrich's continued support for Childeric in Burgundy, which had often disputed possession of Alsace with Austrasia.

The final straw for the magnates of Neustria, however, was Childeric's illegal corporal punishment of the nobleman named Bodilo. Bodilo and his friends Amalbert and Ingobert conspired to assassinate the king, who was killed, along with his wife, Bilichild, and his five-year-old son, Dagobert, while hunting in the forest of Livry (present-day Lognes). He was buried in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, near Paris, where the tombs of him, Bilichild, and his young son Dagobert were discovered in 1645; the contents of which were pilfered.

Childeric married his cousin Bilichild.[6] Besides the aforementioned Dagobert, she gave birth to the future king Chilperic II.[7]


  1. ^ Bachrach, Bachrach & Leese 2018.
  2. ^ Jean Verseuil, Les rois fainéants: de Dagobert à Pépin le Bref 629-751, édition Critérion, Paris, 1946 (ISBN 978-2-7413-0136-3)
  3. ^ a b Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band I (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1980), Tefel 1
  4. ^ Patrick J. Geary, Before France & Germany, The Creation & Transformation of the Merovingian World (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 180
  5. ^ Patrick J. Geary, Before France & Germany, The Creation & Transformation of the Merovingian World (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 189-90
  6. ^ Ian Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450–751 (London, New York:, Longman, 1999), p. 73
  7. ^ Paule Lejeune, Les reines de France, Paris, 1989, ISBN 2-86594-042-X, p. 44


External links[edit]

Childeric II
Born: 653 Died: 675
Preceded by King of Austrasia
Succeeded by
Preceded by King of Neustria and Burgundy
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Chlothar III
King of the Franks
Title next held by
Theuderic III