Pippin the Middle

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Groß St. Martin Cologne , capital of the southwestern crossing pillar, according to legend, depicting Pippin and Plectrudis (2006)

Pippin the Middle , also called Pippin von Herstal , (Latin: Pippinus ; * around 635; † December 16, 714 in Jupille near Liège ) from the Arnulfinger dynasty was the real ruler in the Franconian Empire from 679 to 714 , from 679 Hausmeier of Austrasia , from 680 as dux (Duke) of Austrasia, from 688/689 as house master of Neustria (principalis regimen majorum domus) and since 688 house master of Burgundy . He was the son of Ansegisel and Begga and a grandson of Arnulf von Metz .


After the fall and execution of his uncle Grimoald the Elder in 656/657, the dynasty of Pippin the Elder seemed to be on the verge of extinction. In the 670s, of his descendants, only his daughter Begga and her son Pippin the Middle, who was a grandson of Arnulf von Metz on his father's side , were still alive . However, both were able to essentially maintain the Pippinid and Arnulfingian possessions despite the hostile environment of the 660s and 670s. Pippin's marriage to Plektrudis , the daughter of Count Palatine Hugobert and Irmina von Oeren , members of important Australian noble families, around 670/675 may have played an important role.

In the turmoil after the death of the Merovingian king Childerich II and his house master Wulfoald , Pippin went to the field with the support of Austrasian greats against the mighty Neustrian Ebroin . This enterprise ended in 679 with Pippin's defeat at Lucofao, whereby the Pippin allied dux Martin was killed; the new Neustrian caretaker Waratto , however, recognized Pippin's supremacy in Austrasia after Ebroin's early death (680). In the Battle of Tertry (687), Pippin finally achieved dominion over the entire empire through a victory over Waratto's son-in-law and successor Berchar .

Pippin secured his power by not only leaving Berchar in the office of the Neustrian housekeeper until his death, but also by marrying his son to his widow. In addition, he also left the Merovingian kings on the throne. In addition, he secured his family's inheritance claim at an early stage by installing his sons Drogo and Grimoald the Younger in important offices. Grimoald became a Neustrian caretaker, so that both caretaker positions were in the hands of the family. One of Pippin's most important military achievements was the conquest of Friesland (690/695), which was the prerequisite for the Christianization of the Frisians by the Anglo-Saxon monk Willibrord .

Even before Pippin's death in late 714, a conflict over his successor broke out. In doing so, Plektrud tried to counter the claims of her grandchildren (her two sons were no longer alive: Grimoald the Younger was murdered in the same year, Drogo died in 708) against those of the two sons from a relationship between Pippin and his wife Chalpaida , the uxor nobilis et elegans , Childebrand and Karl . At that time, bastardism was not an exclusion criterion from legal succession, which ultimately shows through the succession proclaimed by Pippin under the massive influence of Plektrud by his grandson Theudoald , who was himself a bastard of Grimoald. In 717, a few years after Pippin's death, Plectrud was ultimately defeated by Karl Martell .

Pippin died after a long illness. He was buried in Chèvremont (Vesdre) .

Marriages and offspring



Childebrand († after 751), son of the Chalpaida , according to other sources the son of another mother whose name is unknown, was provided by Pippin with a county in Burgundy . Childebrand took on the task of continuing the Fredegars chronicle as a Carolingian house chronicle. A memorial plaque for him was placed in the Walhalla near Regensburg .

A great-grandson of Pippin the Middle is Charlemagne .


predecessor Office successor
Grimoald the Elder Franconian Hausmeier
Karl Martell