False Merovingians

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Fake Merovingians are real or fictional people who have wrongly - mistakenly or intentionally - been ascribed a descent from the royal family of the Merovingians . There are different reasons for these claims. Mostly the aim was to provide later ruling families or individuals with a special legitimation of this royal descent.


At the end of the 9th century , the life of the holy Wandregisel was written down by monks of the Fontenelle Abbey, which later became Saint-Wandrille Abbey . In doing so, they constructed a descent of the Carolingians from the Merovingians: They introduced a daughter of the Frankish king Chlothar I († 561), Blithilde, whom they gave a husband in Ansbert von Sachsen ; as their son they referred to Arnold von Sachsen , who in turn is said to have been the father of the historical Arnulf von Metz († probably 640), ancestor of the Arnulfingers , but above all the Carolingians .


The Alaon charter names two sons of the Frankish king Charibert II († 632), Boggis and Bertram. Boggis is referred to as the father of the historical Duke Eudo of Aquitaine († 735), Bertram as the father of St. Hubertus of Liège († 727). It thus constructed a link between the Merovingians and the first Aquitaine ducal house. As a result, important families of the French high nobility (e.g. the Gallard, Dukes of Gramont , Montesquiou, La Rochefoucauld , Comminges and Lupé) were able to claim a descent from the Merovingians and, on this basis, seek recognition as Princes étrangers as descendants of sovereign kings . However, the historian Joseph-François Rabanis demonstrated in the mid-19th century that the Alaon Charter was a 17th century forgery.


The Liber Historiae Francorum names Childesinde as the person of the epic Chilperic offends Audovera . Godefroid Kurth writes in his Histoire Poétique des Mérovingiens that the story, written for the first time in 692, which is said to have happened in the middle of the 6th century, lacks any credibility.

In this epic Childesinde is the daughter of King Chilperich I of Neustria († 584) and Queen Audovera († 580), whose baptism Fredegunde misused to achieve Audovera's separation from her husband. Fredegunde took advantage of Audovera's naivete and had her own sixth child, Childesinde, at the baptism. Little did the queen know that she thereby became the godmother of her own child and that in the eyes of the church she had made a serious mistake: she could no longer be Chilperich's wife without exposing herself to the charge of incest . After his return from a campaign, Chilperich - informed by Audovera - was forced to reject Audovera in order not to be excommunicated himself . Audovera was taken to a monastery in Le Mans .


The Liber Historiae Francorum from the early 8th century names a king named Faramund (French: Pharamond ): he was a son of the (historical) Marcomer and father Chlodios . For a long time Faramund was considered to be the first king of the Merovingian family. Its existence was only recognized as mythical at the end of the 19th century. The author of the Liber Historiae Francorum summarizes the first six books of the history of Gregory of Tours and adds additional information, including those on Faramund. For the period in question, however, he did not have a source whose level of knowledge went beyond that of Gregory. It is unlikely that he had access to accurate genealogical information that Gregor did not know.


The writer Laurence Gardner introduced Frotmund as the father of the already mythical Frankish king Faramund (English and French Pharamond ). In his book Bloodline of the Holy Grail (Eng. The Legacy of the Holy Grail ) he claims without evidence that Clovis I was a descendant of Jesus of Nazareth . He wants the name Frotmund from an abbot of the monastery of Saint-Amant-de-Boixe (today the Charente department ) from the end of the 11th century.


Gisela is said to be the wife of King Childerich III. have been. This statement comes from Johannes Aventinus (1477–1534), which he took from documents relating to St. Kisyla , a nun and benefactress of the Kochel am See Abbey in the 8th century. In these documents, Kisyla is referred to as regina and as a member of the Franconian royal family. Aventinus translated regina with queen and saw Kisyla as the wife of a Merovingian. In the chronology only Childerich III would come for this. in question. Indeed, at the time of Kisylas, female members of a royal family were often given the title regina . Paul Ruf rejected the status of "Queen" in 1929 and described her as a member of a Bavarian noble family of the 8th century. In 1931 Bernhard Bischoff admitted Kisyla royal descent and equated her with Gisela, the sister of Charlemagne and from 788 to 810 abbess of Chelles . Alain Stoclet concluded in 1986 that two women of this name had been mixed up here: on the one hand, a noblewoman who lived near Gauting at the end of the 8th century , and on the other, a daughter of Ludwig II of Italy and abbess of Brescia .

In 1975 Szabolcs de Vajay suggested identifying the wife of Count Heribert von Laon as Gisela in order to explain the accumulation of this name in the Carolingian family . Consequently, Gisela von Laon and Gisela, the (hypothetical) wife of Childerich III, are brought into closer relatives in order to underpin the ancestry of the Carolingians from the Merovingians


According to Jakob Mennel, Odoperth is said to be the ancestor of the Habsburgs , as he stated in his Princely Chronicle , which he handed over to Emperor Maximilian in 1518. According to this, Odoperth would have been another son of Chlothar I.

Sigibert IV.

Sigibert IV. (676-758), called le Plantard , and his son Sigibert V were after Pierre Plantard the son or grandson of King Dagobert II. They were invented in forged documents in the course of the Prieuré de Sion hoax had the purpose of having Plantard appear as a candidate for the French throne. This fictional genealogy was first disseminated in 1967 in the book Le Trésor maudit by Plantard's colleague Gérard de Sède , and it became known through the book The Holy Grail and His Heirs .

A Siegbert or Sigibert as the son of King Dagobert II appeared, however, as early as the Middle Ages in connection with a legend of saints . According to this legend, the hermit Arbogast of Strasbourg is said to have raised Siegbert, who died in a hunting accident, at the request of King Dagobert. In gratitude, Dagobert appointed Arbogast bishop of Strasbourg . The legend is anachronistic , however , as Arbogast died long before Siegbert's supposed birth.


  1. Joseph-François Rabanis, Les Mérovingiens d'Aquitaine, essai historique et critique sur la charte d'Alaon , Paris 1856
  2. ^ Iohannes Turmair, called Aventinus; Annales ducum Boiariae . S. Riezler, Munich, 1882–1884
  3. Paul Ruf: Kisyla von Kochel and her alleged donations . In: Studies and Communications on the History of the Benedictine Order , Volume 16. 1929; Pages 461-476
  4. ^ Bernhard Bischoff: Who is the nun from Heidenheim? In: Studies and communications on the history of the Benedictine order and its branches , Volume 19. 1931; Page 387–388
  5. Alain Stoclet: Gisèle, Kysala, Chelles, Benediktbeuren et Kochel. Scriptoria, Bibliothèques et politique à l'époque Carolingienne: une mise au point . In: Revue Bénédictine 96 (1986)
  6. Szabolcz de Vajay: Name selection Carolingian. Onomastics as a guide to determining a Merovingian descent of Charlemagne . Genealogisches Jahrbuch 15 (1975), pages 5-24. See also Christian Settipani : a) La préhistoire des Capétiens 481–987, Prémière partie, Mérovingiens, Carolingiens et Robertiens ; Pages 129–130, and b) Les ancêtres de Charlemagne ; Pp. 21-22
  7. ^ Albert Urban (ed.): Lexicon of Saints and Name Days , Herder Verlag, Freiburg im Breisgau 2010, p. 58.