The Full Wiki

Austrasia: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Austrasia and Neustria

Austrasia (rarely Austria, both meaning "eastern land", formed the north-eastern portion of the Kingdom of the Merovingian Franks, comprising parts of the territory of present-day eastern France, western Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Metz served as its capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Rheims, Trier, and Cologne also. Austrasia was also used as a term for northeast Italy, as opposed to Neustria, which meant the northwest.

Contents

History

After the death of the Frankish king Clovis I in 511, his four sons partitioned his kingdom amongst themselves, with Theuderic I receiving the lands that were to become Austrasia. Descended from Theuderic, a line of kings ruled Austrasia until 555, when it was united with the other Frankish kingdoms of Chlothar I, who inherited all the Frankish realms by 558. He redivided the Frankish territory amongst his four sons, but the four kingdoms coalesced into three on the death of Charibert I in 567: Austrasia under Sigebert I, Neustria under Chilperic I, and Burgundy under Guntram. These three kingdoms defined the political division of Francia until the rise of the Carolingians and even thereafter.

From 567 to the death of Sigbert II in 613, Neustria and Austrasia were almost constantly at odds, with Burgundy playing the peacemaker between them. These struggles reached their climax in the wars between Brunhilda and Fredegund, queens respectively of Austrasia and Neustria. Finally, in 613, a rebellion by the nobility against Brunhilda saw her betrayed and handed over to her nephew and foe of Neustria, Chlothar II. Chlothar then took control of the other two kingdoms and set up a united Frankish kingdom with its capital in Paris. It was during this period that the first majores domus or mayors of the palace appeared. These officials acted as mediators between king and people in each realm. The first Austrasian mayors were drawn from the Pippinid family, which was to experience a slow, but steady ascent until it eventually displaced the Merovingian on the throne.

In 623, the Austrasians asked Chlothar II for a king of their own and he appointed his son Dagobert I to rule over them with Pepin of Landen as regent. Dagobert's government in Austrasia was widely admired. In 629, he inherited Neustria and Burgundy. Austrasia was again neglected until, in 633, the people demanded the king's son as their own king again. Dagobert complied and sent his elder son Sigebert III to Austrasia. Sigebert is widely regarded by historians as the first roi fainéant or do-nothing king of the Merovingian dynasty. His court was dominated by the mayors. In 657, the mayor Grimoald the Elder succeeded in putting his son Childebert the Adopted on the throne, where he remained until 662. Thereafter, Austrasia was predominantly the kingdom of the Arnulfing mayors of the palace and their base of power. With the Battle of Tertry in 687, Pepin of Heristal defeated the Neustrian king Theuderic III and established his mayoralty over all the Frankish kingdoms. This was even regarded by contemporaries as the beginning of his "reign". It also signaled the dominance of Austrasia over Neustria which was to last until the end of the Merovingian era. In 718, Charles Martel, with Austrasian support in his war against Neustria, each struggling to unite Francia under their hegemony, appointed one Chlothar IV to rule in Austrasia. This was the last Frankish ruler who did not rule over all the Franks. In 719, Francia was united permanently under Austrasian hegemony.

Under the Carolingians and subsequently, Austrasia is sometimes used as a denominator for the east of their realm, the Carolingian Empire. It has been used as a synonym for East Francia, though this is somewhat inaccurate.

Rulers

Merovingian kings

Mayors of the palace

Sources

  • Charles Oman. The Dark Ages 476–918. London: Rivingtons, 1914.
  • Thomas Hodgkin. Italy and Her Invaders. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1895.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AUSTRASIA. The word Austria signifies the realm of the east (Ger. Ost Reich). In Gregory of Tours this word is still used vaguely, but the sense of it is gradually defined, and finally the name of Austria or Austrasia was given to the easternmost part of the Frankish kingdom. It usually had Metz for its capital, and the inhabitants of the kingdom were known as the Austrasii. Retrospectively, later historians have given this name to the kingdom of Theuderich (511-534), of his son Theudebert (534-548), and of his grandson Theudebald (J48555); then, after the death of Clotaire to the kingdom of Sigebert (561-575), and of his son Childebert (575-597). They have even tried to interpret the long struggle between Fredegond and Brunhilda as a rivalry between the two kings of Neustria and Austrasia. When these two words are at last found in the texts in their precise signification, Austrasia is applied to that part of the Frankish kingdom which Clotaire II. entrusted to his son Dagobert, subject to the guardianship of Pippin and Arnulf (623-629), and which Dagobert in his turn handed on to his son Sigebert (634-639), under the guardianship of Cunibert, bishop of Cologne, and Ansegisel, mayor of the palace. After the death of Dagobert, Austrasia and Neustria almost always had separate kings, with their own mayors of the palace, and then there arose a real rivalry between these two provinces, which ended in the triumph of Austrasia. The Austrasian mayors of the palace succeeded in enforcing their authority in the western as well as in the eastern part, and in re-establishing to their own advantage the unity of the Frankish kingdom. The mayor Pippin the Short was even powerful enough to take the title of king over the whole.

At the time of Charlemagne, the word Austrasia underwent a change of meaning and became synonymous with Francia orientalis, and was applied to the Frankish dominions beyond the Rhine (Franconia). This Franconia was in 843 included in the kingdom of Louis the German, and was then increased by the addition of the territories of Mainz, Spires and Worms, on the right bank of the river.

See A. Huguenin, Histoire du royaume merovingien d'Austrasie (Paris, 1857); Aug. Digot, Histoire du royaume d'Austrasie, 4 vols. (Nancy, 1863); L. Drapeyron, Essai sur l'origine, le diveloppement et les resultats de la lutte entre la Neustrie et lAustrasie (Paris, 1867); Auguste Longnon, Atlas historique, 1st and 2nd parts. (C. PF.)


<< Australia

Austria >>








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message