Merovingian dynasty  

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"When Chilperic II ascended the throne in 715 it was twenty-five years since any Frankish king had lived to reach his majority. The explanation may be found in the debauchery and the sexual excesses of these princes, to whom everything was permitted. Most of them were doubtless degenerates. Clovis II died insane. It was this that gave the Merovingian decadence its dismal aspect, which contrasted so greatly with the decadence of the Roman Emperors of the West, and later, with that of the Carolingians. None of these kings had any influence whatever; they were puppets in the hands of the mayors of the palace, against whom they did not even attempt to react. Not one of them attempted to have his mayor of the palace assassinated, as the Emperors had formerly done at Ravenna; on the contrary, it was often they who were assassinated. They lived under the tutelage of their mothers, and sometimes of their aunts." --Mohammed and Charlemagne, Henri Pirenne

"Merovingians. The history of France, properly so called, begins at the end of the fifth century of the Christian era, when Clovis I. (481-511), son of Childeric, king of the Ripuarian Franks of Tournay, expelled the Romans from Northern Gaul (ca. 496), embraced Christianity, and united all the Franks under his sway. The Merovingian dynasty, which he founded and which took its name from Meroveus, the father of Childeric, rapidly degenerated. The Frankish state was several times divided among different princes of the line, and this gave rise to long civil wars and finally to a deadly rivalry between Eastern France, or Australia, and Western France, or Neustria. The family of Pepin, heads of the 'Leudes' or great vassals of Austrasia and hereditary 'Mayors of the Palace', first of Austrasia, and afterwards also of Neustria and Burgundy, took advantage of this state of affairs to seize for themselves the supreme power, after Charles Martel had saved the country from the Saracenic invasion by the great victory of Poitiers (732)."--Northern France, from Belgium and the English channel to the Loire, excluding Paris and its environs : handbook for travellers (1889) by Baedeker

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The Merovingians (also Merovings) were a Salian Frankish dynasty that came to rule the Franks in a region (known as Francia in Latin) largely corresponding to ancient Gaul from the middle of the fifth century. Their politics involved frequent civil warfare between branches of the family. During the final century of the Merovingian rule, the dynasty was increasingly pushed into a ceremonial role. The Merovingian rule was ended in 751 when Pepin the Short formally deposed Childeric III, beginning the Carolingian monarchy.

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