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The earliest known members of the Frankish ruling family, later known as the Carolingians, are referred to as the Pippinids .


The center of power of the Pippinids was north of the Ardennes in Austrasia , where they had extensive estates and numerous clients . Namesake and at the same time the oldest known representative is Pippin the Elder . He made it possible for the family to provide the house keepers in the Merovingian Empire , and in this position disempowered the actual ruling family. The wedding of Pippin's daughter Begga with the Arnulfingen Ansegisel , the son of Pippin's closest ally Arnulf von Metz , also secured his policy in terms of family policy.

After Pippin's death, his son Grimoald the Elder not only asserted himself as his successor, but even brought the then childless King Sigibert III. to adopt his son and make him heir - as Childebertus adoptivus , his real name is unknown, he was recognized by the Austrasian barons after Sigibert's death. They preferred a smooth change of government, even with a change of ruling house, to the alternative of being taken over by Clovis II , Sigibert's ruling brother in Neustria , and sidelined. Clovis, however, viewed Grimoald's activities as a “coup d'état”, had him imprisoned and executed in prison in Paris .

Childebert was able to stay on the throne in Austrasia, but died of natural causes as early as 662. This put an abrupt end to the politics of his father and grandfather as well as the Pippinids in the male line. Clovis's son Childerich II became heir to the throne , heirs to the extensive family property through his aunt Begga and her husband Ansegisel were the Arnulfingers, especially their son Pippin the Middle , who only succeeded 18 years later in the suddenly lost power of the Pippinids to regain. Because of the crisis into which he led the family (the Arnulfinger), Grimoald's ultimately unsuccessful operation came off so badly in the chronicles of the time that for a long time it was not possible to reconstruct the course of events; it was often even denied that Grimoald had a son at all.

Pippin's son Karl Martell finally gave its name to the new Carolingian dynasty , which continued the tradition of the Pippinids and the Arnulfinger up to the attainment of the imperial crown in 800.

Rulers from the family of the Pippinids were:

Tribe list

  1. Pippin the Elder , 613 attested, † 640, 623/629 Hausmeier in Austria ; ∞ Itta / Iduberga , * 592, † 652, donated the Nivelles monastery in 640
    1. Begga , † probably 692, founded the Andenne Monastery in 690/691 ; ∞ Ansegisel , attested around 662, † slain before 679, ( Arnulfinger )
    2. Grimoald , * probably 615, † executed 656/657 in prison in Paris, 642–643 Hausmeier in Australia, around 650 co-founder of the Stablo and Malmedy monasteries
      1. Childebertus adoptivus , † 662, 656/662 as Childebert III. King of the Franks in Australia
      2. Vulfetrudis, * probably 639/640, † November 23, 669, 658/669 Abbess of Nivelles, also buried there
    3. Geretrudis , † March 17, 659, around 644/658 Abbess of Nivelles


See also the literature given in the Carolingian article .

  • Eduard Hlawitschka : The ancestors of Charlemagne . In: Wolfgang Braunfels (ed.): Charlemagne, life's work and afterlife . Volume 1 (edited by Helmut Beumann ): Personality and History. Düsseldorf 1965, pp. 51-82.
  • Eduard Hlawitschka: Studies on the genealogy and history of the Merovingians and early Carolingians . In: Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter 43, 1979, pp. 1-99.
  • Eduard Hlawitschka: On the basics of the rise of the Carolingians . In: Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter 49, 1985, pp. 1-61
  • Pierre Riché : The Carolingians. One family makes Europe . Stuttgart 1987.
  • Rudolf Schieffer : The Carolingians . Stuttgart u. a. 1992, [1]


  1. ^ Lexicon of the Middle Ages Volume VI, Column 2161, Pippin (1.): † 639/640