The Merovingians (rarely Merovingians ) were the oldest royal family of the Franks from the 5th century to 751. They were replaced by the Carolingian family . After them, the historical period of transition from being late antiquity to the early Middle Ages in the Gallo - Germanic room Merovingian called.
The origin of the Frankish Merovingian family is transfigured by numerous later myths. In some research, it is assumed that some of the Frankish petty kings who were fought by Emperor Constantine the Great at the beginning of the 4th century ( Ascaricus and Merogaisus ) were possibly Merovingians, but this assumption, which is only based on name similarities, cannot be proven.
The existence of the Merovingians is not historically certain until the 5th century : The grave of Childerich I († 481 or 482) was found in Tournai in 1653 . He referred to himself as rex , which at that time could not easily be translated as " king ", and was apparently a prince of the Salfranken . All later Merovingians descended from Childerich, who allegedly was a son of Merowech and was related to the earlier rex Chlodio .
Today, in contrast to older research, it is often assumed that the family's ascent only began with Childerich. Numerous precious grave goods had been placed in his grave; some of these say a lot about his position. He wore the uniform of a late Roman officer; the golden onion button fibula was preserved from the military cloak ( paludamentum ) . As literary sources testify, Childerich had fought as federate leader for Westrom and for (and / or later against?) The Roman army master Aegidius , who built up his own sphere of power in northern Gaul after 461 . Childerich was able to base his power among other things on the former Roman armaments factories ( fabricae ) still working in his residence Tournai, which was a considerable advantage.
Childerich fought against Saxon looters in 469 , killing the Roman comes Paulus (possibly a successor to Aegidius). In recent research it has been suggested that Aegidius, Paulus and Childerich were rivals for control of the remnants of the last Western Roman army in Gaul (the exercitus Gallicanus ).
Childerich's son Clovis I ruled (at least according to the traditional chronology) from 481/482 to 511. He probably eliminated the last Roman rival Syagrius , the son of Aegidius, in 486 and raised the Franconian Empire through victories over the neighboring Frankish petty kings ( Sigibert von Köln , Ragnachar , Chararich ), the Alamanni (496/506) and the Visigoths as well as through the acceptance of Catholic Christianity to world historical importance. By adopting Catholic Christianity, tensions between the Franks and the Gallo-Roman majority population, who were also Catholic, were avoided in the Franconian Empire. Clovis and his successors not only invoked their position as rex , but also moved for a long time in the (post) Roman context. The Merovingians thus preserved the Gallo-Roman culture , made use of the knowledge of the old Gallo-Roman-senatorial aristocracy and leaned on the late antique administrative practice. In 507 Clovis attacked the Visigoths, killed their rex Alaric II in battle and also conquered most of southern Gaul. However, the Franks only gained access to the Mediterranean after his death.
Clovis distributed the rule in the formally undivided kingdom to his four sons ( Theuderich I , Chlodomer , Childebert I and Chlothar I ), but three lines died out, so that Chlothar I expanded it to Thuringia and Burgundy from 558 to 561 Reich could reunite. At that time the Merovingians stopped recognizing the nominal sovereignty of the (East) Roman emperor, with whom the Merovingians were in diplomatic contact. Already Theudebert I , I. son Theuderichs had, in letters to Emperor Justinian I pointed out his independent position of power and emphasized the size of its own borders (probably exaggerated). Gradually, the Franconian foederati became an increasingly homogeneous regnum . The dynastic principle played a central role in legitimizing the ruler - quite in the tradition of late antiquity; only Merovingians had a right to the throne.
Under Chlothar's successors, the Franconian Empire was divided again and torn by fratricidal wars , but was reunited by Chlothar II in 613. Chlothar II. And Dagobert I were apparently the last truly powerful rulers of the Merovingian family, but the influence of the house maids (the maiores domus ) began to grow under them . In this situation the Pippinids, allied with the Arnulfingers , rose gradually to such power that Grimoald , the son of Pippin the Elder , attempted in 656 to replace the Merovingian Dagobert II with his own son as king of Austrasia (capital Metz ) to raise. But because the other powerful families did not (yet) tolerate this, the Merovingians retained their royal dignity for another century.
Researchers like Patrick J. Geary still count the Merovingian period as late antiquity . In terms of the history of mentality and in contrast to these research tendencies, which emphasize the idea of continuity, Georg Scheibelreiter ascribes a barbaric , agonal attitude to the upper class in the Merovingian empire , which differed significantly from the legitimacy and compensatory thinking of the late Roman world. This basic attitude of the Franconian elites, who disregarded all treaties and oaths, which allowed them to resort to violent means without hesitation, increased in the course of the 7th century under the feeling of a permanent threat from feuds and civil wars to the point of “savagery”. Church dignitaries were not spared from this either. However, depictions of violence, especially in the hagiographic sources, tend to reflect the moral position and mentalities of the respective author. The realistic portrayal of brute force in early medieval sources also had the function of portraying the people involved negatively, in part using stereotypes of the ancient image of barbarians.
Although numerous Merovingians were murdered over the years, often by close relatives, the dynasty as such was still considered inviolable. Therefore, when the Carolingians finally ascended the throne themselves, they had to look for a new form of legitimation of power.
Since the Battle of Tertry in 687, the Carolingians , who emerged from the Arnulfingern and Pippinids, apparently ruled , even if there are indications that kings like Childebert III. , which the Liber Historiae Francorum describes as rex iustus and vir inclytus , could have tried again to intervene actively in the affairs of government. Karl Martell was finally able to unite the Carolingian caretaker offices in one hand. One of his sons, Pippin the Younger , raised another Merovingian, Childeric III , in 743 . , as king, but had him deposed in 751/752 and assigned to the Sithiu monastery (later Saint-Bertin Abbey ). In order to legitimize his rule, Pippin allegedly sought and received the express consent of the Church (in the latest research, however, this version of the events is questioned). The sources do not even reveal the exact time at which the Merovingians were ousted from power; the coup must sometime between June 20, 751, when Childerich III. last attested as rex , and on March 1, 752, when Pippin the Younger appears for the first time as rex , it took place. Little is known about this information.
One thing is certain: This ended the rule of the Merovingians, which was supposedly only ceremonial in the end. How smoothly the change of dynasty went and how powerless the last Merovingians really were is also unclear. More recently, historians such as Ian N. Wood , Bernhard Jussen or Johannes Fried have increasingly expressed doubts about the reliability of the late and partisan sources from the Carolingian era. Accordingly, the traditional representation of the events is a later construction, which among other things, the deposition of Childerich III. should justify by over-emphasizing the alleged powerlessness of the ruling house in order to explain the highly problematic dynasty change to a mere formality. In fact, the claim that the last Merovingians lived with a few servants on a small estate does not fit well with the large number of traditional documents that the kings issued in more than ten widely separated places. The charge that a legitimate king is just a useless rex inutilis was a popular strategy throughout the Middle Ages to legitimize a coup.
Legend of origin and question of the sacred kingship
The long-discussed questions about the origin and legitimation of the Merovingian claim to rule are difficult to clarify. The questions are as follows:
- Was there an ancient Merovingian kingship that was legitimized in pre-Christian times by a myth that asserted a divine ancestry of the sex? What significance did this legend have?
- Did the Christian Merovingians continue to benefit from the reputation that the myth of origin may have given their ancestors? For this reason, did they propagate such a myth, despite its incompatibility with Christian teaching?
- To what extent can we deduce lasting remnants of a possible pre-Christian sacred tradition of the Merovingian monarchy from individual sources from the Merovingian and Carolingian times? Does this evidence allow this kingship to be classified in the context of an ancient Germanic sacred kingship ?
In research, there are two extreme positions, that of Karl Hauck and that of Alexander C. Murray. Hauck was the most consistent proponent of the modern theory of the Frankish sacred kingdom. His view, according to which the tradition of an old Germanic sacred kingdom can be observed among the Merovingians, has shaped research for a long time since the publication of a seminal essay in 1955. Alexander Murray then vehemently contradicted this view in 1998. Other researchers like Ian Wood were more cautious. Recently, however, a position has been gaining approval that considers the "Germanic kingdom" as a whole to be a myth , which is why there is consequently no corresponding tradition among the Merovingians: it was only in the course of the imperial era that it was expressed among the Teutons in imitation of Roman forms monarchical systems.
At the center of the controversy is the legend of origin ( Origo gentis ), as it is passed down in the Latin Fredegar chronicle (7th century). It tells of Chlodio , the first rex of the Salf Franks who can be grasped as a historical personality , who led Frankish warriors in the second quarter of the 5th century and is also known from other sources. According to legend, when Chlodio's wife went to the sea to bathe, she met a sea monster ( bestia Neptuni , "beast of Neptune ") who was similar to the Quinotaur . She then gave birth to a son, the future King Merowech , grandfather of Clovis I (undoubtedly a historical figure). The name Quinotaurus is reminiscent of the ancient Greek saga of Minotauros , a hybrid of man and bull; maybe the Qu is just a scribal mistake. The wording in the chronicle leaves the question open whether the monster himself was Merowech's father or whether the queen's encounter with him is only to be understood as a portent and Chlodio was the father. The chronicler adds that after this Merowech his descendants, the Frankish kings, were later called Merohingii .
Karl Hauck, who worked here with methods of comparative religious studies , interpreted the narrative consistently in the sense of a sacred royal idea. He understood the text to mean that Merowech was not conceived either by the monster or by Chlodio, but both at the same time: The aut ... aut (“either - or”) also meant “both - and” in vulgar Latin, and the monster was therefore none other than Chlodio himself, who temporarily appeared as a theriomorphic (animal-shaped) being and thus proved his divine nature. Thus, through the act of procreation, the “working of the procreative and creative power of the main god” had been shown, which produced the progenitor of the sex; the bull shape stands for the "elemental force of the divine creative power" of a fertility god. The legend should be understood in the sense of the concept of the "holy wedding" ( hierogamy ). In this context, Hauck referred to the special importance of the bull for the Merovingian clan; so a golden bull's head was found in the grave of Merowech's son and successor Childerich I. A ritual that could be reconstructed also corresponded to the myth; it existed long before the fifth century and was then passed on to younger representatives of the old, holy royal line.
This interpretation, which from the text of the chronicle inferred the existence of an old Germanic, originally orally transmitted legend, found broad acceptance in research for decades. However, the equation of the quasi divine monster with Chlodio was mostly not accepted, but the translation "either - or" was retained. The fact that the chronicle makes two relatively insignificant historical "petty kings" or federate leaders of the 5th century the protagonists of the myth has always caused offense. Because of this and linguistic considerations, the opinion prevailed that the legend in its original version did not refer to Merowech, but to a much older legendary figure named Mero as the progenitor of the then so-called "Merohinger". Only in a more recent version was it transferred to Chlodio and Merowech because of the similarity of names. This led to the mistake that the Merovingian name was derived from the historical King Merowech.
Murray has given detailed reasons for his radical opposition to this view. He believes that depictions of bulls are widespread in late antique art and should not necessarily be interpreted religiously; in addition, the finds from the Childerich grave could be Celtic imported goods. The alleged legendary figure Mero is purely speculative and lacks any basis in the sources; rather, the name Merovingian goes back to the historical Merowech. The story in the Fredegar Chronicle does not have a pagan background, but only originated in the sixth or seventh century. It is not a real legend, but only an attempt by an educated Christian to explain the name Merowech etymologically according to a custom that was widespread at the time. This learned Franconian had interpreted the name Merowech as "sea cattle" and had thus come up with a connection with the Neptune monster. He knew the Minotaur myth, because it was treated or mentioned by popular authors such as Virgil , Ovid and Apuleius and was still well known in late antiquity. According to the Minotauros legend, Minotauros was the son of a bull that the god Poseidon (Neptune) made to rise from the sea. Inspired by this idea, the Christian Franconian had the idea of redesigning the Minotaur legend for his own purpose.
Ian Wood considers the possibility that the tale in its traditional form was intended as a mockery of mythical interpretations of a sacred origin of the Merovingian family.
The situation is made more complicated by the fact that in recent times scholars such as Patrick J. Geary and Guy Halsall have increasingly pleaded for at least Childerich I to be seen primarily as a late Roman mercenary leader who commanded an extremely heterogeneous association of people from the most diverse origins. Since the Merovingians were in truth not an old family, but may have risen to a prominent position with Childerich, if a sacred legitimation had actually been postulated, at least not to assume their old roots. This is also assumed by those researchers who, as mentioned, are of the opinion that there was no "old Germanic" kingship, but that this was only expressed in post-Christian times under Roman influence.
The appearance of the Merovingians was characterized by their long hair, which is already recognizable on the Childerich I seal and is also confirmed by several late chroniclers. However, it is unclear how exactly this feature is to be interpreted: While Eugen Ewig and John Michael Wallace-Hadrill wanted to combine hairstyle with an old military royalty and a noble sphere, researchers like Reinhard Schneider see them more as a sign of belonging to the ruling family.
However, in recent times many researchers prefer a completely different explanation for the origins of the Merovingian hairstyle: In the 5th / 6th century. In the 19th century, many warriors wore shoulder-length hair; In late antiquity this was part of the habitus barbarus , the typical appearance of a warlike aristocrat, regardless of whether Roman or barbarian. The Merovingian reges could simply have adhered to this increasingly antiquated custom until the end. In the final phase of the dynasty, when the Merovingians were supposedly only shadow kings, and after their kingship had been abolished, they were represented as keepers of ancient customs; this could well have also applied to her hairstyle. Statements from the Carolingian era, which make the traditional behavior of the last Merovingians appear strange, ridiculous and antiquated, are likely to be deliberately distorted, as they were intended to justify the change of dynasty from 751/2 (see above).
Einhard , for example , who wrote a biography of Charlemagne in Carolingian times , wrote that the last Merovingians allowed themselves to be driven around on a cart ( carpentum ) pulled by oxen . In older research, this cart was often traced back to a pagan cult cart and was mentioned as an additional indication of the presumably sacred character of the Merovingian kingdom. On the other hand, Murray objected that Einhard only connects the ox cart with the last Merovingians and does not identify it as a rulership or privilege, and that none of the older sources mention such carts as vehicles of the Merovingian kings. But what the Carolingian author describes as a ridiculous curiosity was in fact an old element of late antique rulers' representation: Ammianus Marcellinus reports that Emperor Constantius II entered a carpentum in Rome in 357 , and Roman prefects and vicarii were still traveling loudly in the 6th century to the scholar and politician Cassiodorus mostly in carts that were a sign of their high dignity.
One thing is certain: the last Merovingians, despite their powerlessness, were not generally perceived as ridiculous figures; otherwise the Carolingians would have been able to change the dynasty more easily and earlier and would not have had to rely on the authority of the Pope for this. For a long time, the Hausmeier had to take into account the deeply rooted tradition, according to which only Merovingians were legitimized to become kings. Julius von Pflugk-Harttung already spoke of a “planned weaning” from the ruling family for the years after 687. This quasi religious shyness towards the dynasty often serves as an argument that a sacred character was ascribed to it until the end, the roots of which are to be found in archaic pagan ideas. However, since no proof of this has yet been provided, the question remains open. Dynastic thinking, that is, the idea that the right to rule is tied to just one family, was omnipresent in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages ; As a look at the Theodosian dynasty shows, it by no means required an explicit religious justification and therefore does not have to be rooted in a sacred kingship.
Due to the constant division of the empire among the sons of the Merovingians, up to four brothers or other relatives ruled simultaneously in partial empires. The two most important were Austrasia in the east and Neustria in the west of the heart of the Frankish kingdom.
- Chlodio (second quarter of the 5th century)
- Merowech (around 450)
- Childerich I. (approx. 457 – approx. 482)
- Clovis I (approx. 482-511)
- Chlothar II (613-629)
- Charibert II. (629-632 Aquitaine )
- Chilperic of Aquitaine (632)
- Dagobert I. (629-639)
- Theuderic III. (679-690)
- Clovis III (690-694)
- Childebert III. (694-711)
- Dagobert III. (711-715)
- Chilperic II (715-721)
- Theuderic IV (721-737)
- Childeric III. (743-751)
For the family relationships see the list of the Merovingians
Archeology and cultural evidence
In addition to the written sources on the Merovingian era, historical research today draws essential information from archaeological sources. First and foremost, graves are available for this purpose, the precise documentation of which is a prerequisite for a meaningful interpretation during the excavation. Because excavating a necropolis will destroy it irretrievably, and it is therefore necessary to document every little thing and to preserve it as information in this way.
In archeology, methodology and questions have changed over time. Earlier generations were particularly interested in finding great wealth, but today's early historian asks above all about the living conditions of the common people. At least information about economic strength and ideas about the afterlife can be derived with some certainty from the inventory and the construction (fixtures such as burial chamber or simple tree coffins , orientation of the burial, etc.) of a grave.
The old idea that the “civilized” epoch of late antiquity was followed by a dark and less civilized time of the Merovingians has to be at least partially revised or relativized today. Although early history , like ancient history, still discusses the problem of continuity or discontinuity in the transition phase from late antiquity to the early Middle Ages, it can already be assumed on the basis of archaeological finds that at least the early Merovingians had their own aesthetic demands on their furnishings and in particular continued to cultivate Roman forms. There are good reasons to count the Merovingian history as late antiquity at least up to the middle of the 6th century, since the continuities to the Roman period still dominated at that time, even if "medieval" elements are of course already recognizable. Overall, it is true that a significant drop in the level of material culture and a decline in ancient education between 450 and 700 can hardly be denied. Some historians still count the entire time up to the deposition of the last Merovingian Childeric III. in the year 751 to late antiquity.
The extensive former holdings of the Museum of Prehistory and Early History in Berlin are of great importance for the cultural research of the Merovingian era . After the Second World War, the finds came to the Soviet Union as so-called looted art and are now in the possession of the Moscow Pushkin Museum and other museums in the CIS . Since April 2007, after 60 years of concealment, this extensive treasure has again been accessible to the public and science in an exhibition in Moscow.
In addition to a very large number of different pearls and different costumes, disc brooches decorated with almandine were also worn as clothing pins. In addition to golden jewelry plates, the women from economically powerful families also wore a variety of glass beads of different shapes and colors to their burial. A fine gold thread (gold thread) may have been woven into the clothing or the shroud. Silver jewelry such as earrings, but also belt buckles or the typical Merovingian leg straps, whose practical character must be seen in the holding of a cloth covering the lower leg, as well as rings made of precious metal were also part of the equipment. In the graves of the upper class, even after 600, coins and jewelry from the East , with which there was still contact , are often found: Embassies were often exchanged under Emperor Maurikios (582–602). Ostrom tried repeatedly to persuade the Merovingians to attack the Lombards , and around 630 Emperor Herakleios still sent relics to Dagobert I.
Certainly the splendid burial of “noble”, at least economically better off people, which has been customary in Gaul since around 400, can be seen as a symptom of considerable peer pressure from the community: only that which the family gave up came into the grave of the dead man, because it was inaccessible due to the burial. At the same time, it was clear to everyone during the burial that the family in question was rich enough to give up valuables ( consumption of validity ). That this state of affairs did not last forever is evident from the high number of later robbed graves, from which members of the community - usually some time after the burial - stole the best pieces of the inventory.
The graves of economically less well-off families or the Romanized population, who have a different pattern of gifts, are less often robbed because they are not so richly endowed. Here they did not want to give up the valuable objects that were still important for survival or status through salvage in the earth. In such cases, the term “poor” people used to be too lightly spoken of. It is this population group that can shake the chronology systems of archaeologists. Often objects were only given up when they were completely out of fashion and wearing them was no longer of any value in society. The addition of a pair of earrings, for example, which should have a relatively limited chronological duration, is sometimes shifted by a few decades and almost overturns a - generally very sensitive - detailed chronology. Taking this fact into account is what makes the evaluation of an archaeological source - such as a Merovingian burial ground - so complex.
Merovingian pre-Romanesque architecture is preserved in only a few examples, including the church of Saint-Pierre in Vienne (Isère) from the end of the 5th century, the baptistery of Saint-Jean in Poitiers, and a number of chapels and crypts, especially in France. However, numerous Western European dioceses including the associated cathedrals have their origin in the Merovingian period. The important monastery foundations of this era are no longer preserved as buildings, but played a prominent role in cultural history, starting from the abbey of Saint-Martin de Ligugé, founded by Martin von Tours in the late Roman period in 361, and the monastery of Marmoutier (Tours) . This was followed around 400/410 by the Abbey of Lérins des Honoratus of Arles , in 416 the Abbey of St-Victor (Marseille) of Johannes Cassianus and around 420 the Abbey of Saint-Claude des Romanus of Condat . Following the Italian monasteries of Benedict of Nursia , the Irish Columban von Luxeuil founded the Annegray monastery around the year 600 and its daughter monasteries Luxeuil and Fontaine-lès-Luxeuil as well as his companion Gallus founded the Saint Gallen monastery in 612 . At the transition to the Carolingian era, the German monastery was founded by Boniface , including 744 Fulda . Some important evidence of Merovingian book illumination have been preserved. The Luxeuil scriptorium was among the oldest and most prolific, much like Chelles , Corbie, and Laon .
In addition to the main source Gregory of Tours, the historians Prokopios of Caesarea and Agathias (all three from the 6th century) are of importance for the early days of the Merovingians . For the later period, there are three sources that emerged in the Carolingian period: The Chronicle of Fredegar and his sequel (a very problematic source), the Liber Historiae Francorum and the Metz Annals . Editions and translations of excerpts from the main sources include:
- Reinhold Kaiser , Sebastian Scholz : Sources on the history of the Franks and the Merovingians. From the 3rd century to 751. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 3-17-022008-X .
- Alexander Callander Murray (Ed.): From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader. Broadview Press, Peterborough (Ontario) 2000.
- Matthias Becher : Clovis I. The rise of the Merovingians and the end of the ancient world. Beck, Munich 2011.
- Matthias Becher: Merovingians and Carolingians. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2009, ISBN 978-3-534-15209-4 . ( Review )
- Waltraut Bleiber : The Franconian Empire of the Merovingians. Böhlau, Vienna 1988, ISBN 3-205-05103-3 .
- Horst Ebling: Prosopography of the officials of the Merovingian empire. From Chlothar II. (613) to Karl Martell (741) (= supplements of Francia . Vol. 2). Fink, Munich 1974, ISBN 3-7705-1203-0 ( online )
- Stefan Esders u. a. (Ed.): The Merovingian Kingdoms and the Mediterranean World. Revisiting the Sources. Bloomsbury Academic, London a. a. 2019.
- Stefan Esders u. a. (Ed.): East and West in the Early Middle Ages. The Merovingian Kingdoms in Mediterranean Perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2019.
- Eugen Ewig : The Merovingians and the Franconian Empire. 5th updated edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-17-019473-9 . (older standard work; scientific review, together with Bleibers and Gearys representations )
- Patrick J. Geary : Before France and Germany. The creation and transformation of the Merovingian world. Oxford University Press. New York et al. a. 1988, ISBN 0-19-504457-6 ; German edition: The Merovingians. Europe before Charlemagne. Translated from the English by Ursula Scholz. 3. Edition. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-56558-8 .
- Martina Hartmann : The Merovingians. Beck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-63307-2 . [brief introduction]
- Martina Hartmann: Departure into the Middle Ages. The time of the Merovingians. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-15829-6 .
- Reinhold Kaiser : The Roman Heritage and the Merovingian Empire. (= Encyclopedia of German History . Vol. 26). 3rd revised and expanded edition. Oldenbourg, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-486-56722-5 .
- Theo Kölzer : In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 17, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-428-00198-2 , pp. 167-173 ( version ).
- Annethe Lohaus: The Merovingians and England (= Munich contributions to Medieval studies and Renaissance research. Vol. 19). Arbeo-Gesellschaft, Munich 1974, ISBN 3-920128-20-5 (also: Freiburg (Breisgau), university, dissertation, 1972).
- Mischa Meier , Steffen Patzold (Ed.): Chlodwigs Welt. Organization of rule around 500. Steiner, Stuttgart 2014, ISBN 978-3-515-10853-9 .
- Sebastian Scholz : The Merovingians. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-17-022507-7 [current overview work; Meeting at sehepunkte ].
- John Michael Wallace-Hadrill: The Long-Haired Kings. Methuen, London 1962.
- Margarete Weidemann: Cultural history of the Merovingian period based on the works of Gregory of Tours. Habelt, Bonn 1982, ISBN 3-88467-003-4 .
- Alfried Wieczorek , P. Périn, Karin von Welck, W. Menghin (eds.): The Franks. Pioneer of Europe. 5th to 8th centuries. 2 volumes. von Zabern, Mainz 1996 (1997), ISBN 978-3-8053-1813-6 .
- Ian N. Wood : The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450-751. Longman, London 1994 (ND 2000), ISBN 0-582-49372-2 [important overall presentation, however, in which research positions differing from the majority opinion are obtained].
- On the early Franconian history see the current overview in Ulrich Nonn : Die Franken. Stuttgart 2010; see. also Erich Zöllner: History of the Franks up to the middle of the sixth century. Munich 1970 and the various articles in the catalog Die Franken. Pioneer of Europe. 5th to 8th centuries. 2 vols. Mainz 1996 (new edition 1997).
- General historical overviews of the Franks at: Eugen Ewig: The Merovingians and the Franconian Empire . 5th updated edition, Stuttgart 2006, p. 12 ff .; Sebastian Scholz: The Merovingians. Stuttgart 2015, p. 30ff .; Ian N. Wood: The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450-751 . London 1994, p. 33 ff .; Erich Zöllner: History of the Franks up to the middle of the sixth century . Munich 1970, especially p. 37 ff.
- Mischa Meier: History of the Great Migration. Europe, Asia and Africa from the 3rd to the 8th centuries. Munich 2019, p. 600.
- Guy Halsall: Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568 . Cambridge 2007, p. 303 f. For the historical context see Henning Börm : Westrom. From Honorius to Justinian . 2nd edition, Stuttgart 2018.
- Matthias Becher : Clovis I. The rise of the Merovingians and the end of the ancient world . Munich 2011; Mischa Meier , Steffen Patzold (Ed.): Chlodwigs Welt. Organization of rule around 500th Stuttgart 2014.
- Jörg Drauschke: Diplomacy and perception in the 6th and 7th centuries: Constantinople and the Merovingian kings. In: M. Altripp (Ed.): Byzanz in Europa. Europe's eastern heritage. Colloquium Greifswald 2007. Turnhout 2011, pp. 244–275.
- See Andrew Gillett: Telling Off Justinian: Theudebert I, the Epistolae Austrasicae, and Communication Strategies in Sixth-Century Merovingian – Byzantine Relations. In: Early Medieval Europe 27, 2019, pp. 161–194.
- ZB Reinhold Kaiser: The Roman Heritage and the Merovingian Empire. 3rd revised and expanded edition. Munich 2004, p. 79.
- Georg Scheibelreiter: The barbaric society. Mental history of the European Axial Age 5. – 8. Century. Darmstadt 1999, p. 243.
- Jennifer Vanessa Dobschenzki: Of victims and perpetrators. Violence as reflected in the Merovingian hagiography of the 7th century. Stuttgart 2015, p. 184 f.
- Cf. also Wolfram Drews: The Carolingians and Abbasids of Baghdad. Legitimation strategies of early medieval ruling dynasties in a transcultural comparison. Berlin 2009, p. 38 ff.
- "This representation was therefore subject to an anachronistic construction and served the subsequent legitimation of the illegitimable", so Johannes Fried: The Middle Ages . Munich 2008, p. 53.
- Bernhard Jussen: The Franks . Munich 2014, pp. 52–56.
- Sebastian Scholz: The Merovingians. Stuttgart 2015, pp. 259f.
- Jonas von Bobbio: Vita Columbani .
- Karl Hauck: Norms of life and cult myths in Germanic tribal and ruler genealogies. In: Saeculum 6 (1955), pp. 186-223.
- Alexander Callander Murray: Post vocantur Merohingii: Fredegar, Merovech, and 'Sacral Kingship'. In: Alexander Callander Murray (Ed.): After Rome's Fall. Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History. Toronto 1998, pp. 121-152.
- Stefanie Dick: The myth of the "Germanic" kingship. Studies on the organization of rule among the Germanic barbarians up to the beginning of the migration period (= supplementary volumes to the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde 60). Berlin 2008.
- Fredegar Chronicle 3.9, ed. by Bruno Krusch, Monumenta Germaniae Historica . Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum. Vol. 2, p. 95.
- Karl Hauck: Norms of life and cult myths in Germanic tribal and ruler genealogies. In: Saeculum 6 (1955), p. 197 f.
- Karl Hauck: Norms of life and cult myths in Germanic tribal and ruler genealogies. In: Saeculum 6 (1955), pp. 197-204.
- Erich Zöllner: History of the Franks up to the middle of the sixth century . Munich 1970, p. 29, note 2; Reinhard Wenskus: Chlodio. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde Vol. 4 (1981), p. 477; Eugen Ewig: Troy myth and early Franconian history. In: Dieter Geuenich (Hrsg.): The Franks and the Alemanni up to the "Battle of Zülpich" (496/97). Berlin 1998, p. 14.
- Alexander Callander Murray: Post vocantur Merohingii: Fredegar, Merovech, and 'Sacral Kingship'. In: Alexander Callander Murray (Ed.): After Rome's Fall. Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History. Toronto 1998, pp. 124-127.
- Alexander Callander Murray: Post vocantur Merohingii: Fredegar, Merovech, and 'Sacral Kingship'. In: Alexander Callander Murray (Ed.): After Rome's Fall. Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History. Toronto 1998, pp. 137-147.
- Ian N. Wood , Heinrich Tiefenbach: Merowech. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde Vol. 19 (2001) p. 575.
- Guy Halsall: Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West . Cambridge 2007, p. 88 f.
- Reinhold Kaiser : The Roman Heritage and the Merovingian Empire. Encyclopedia of German History , Vol. 26. 3rd revised and expanded edition, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-486-56722-5 , p. 111.
- See for example Maximilianhabenberger: Hair, Sacrality and Symbolic Capital in the Frankish Kingdoms. In: Helmut Reimitz u. a. (Ed.): The Construction of Communities in the Early Middle Ages. Leiden 2003, pp. 173-212.
- Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni 1 ( digitized version of the critical edition in the MGH ).
- Alexander Callander Murray: Post vocantur Merohingii: Fredegar, Merovech, and 'Sacral Kingship'. In: Alexander Callander Murray (Ed.): After Rome's Fall. Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History. Toronto 1998, pp. 129-132.
- Ammianus Marcellinus, 16.10.
- Cassiodorus, Variae 4 and 15.
- Julius von Pflugk-Harttung: On the succession to the throne in the Germanic tribal states . In: Journal of the Savigny Foundation for Legal History . German Department. Volume 11, 1890, pp. 177–205, here p. 185 ( digitized version ).
- Stefan Esders, for example, also shares the increasing skepticism about the assumption of sacred origins of the Merovingian monarchy: Merovingians. In: Der Neue Pauly Vol. 8 (2000), Col. 10.
- See for example Patrick J. Geary: Die Merowinger. Munich 2004, pp. 225-230.