A dynasty of Frankish rulers.

Named after the founder of the line, Merovech, ruler of the eastern Salian Franks, the dynasty known as the Merovingians, AD. 447-752, expanded their empire from the eastern lands of Soissons to the whole of northern Gaul (France). The Merovingian dynasty reached its height under Clovis I, whose armies routed and staughtered the Roman occupation forces and were the first post-Latin monarchial dynasty of France. After Clovis's death, the power of his heirs was split into regional kingdoms and waned into the time of Charlemagne.

Little is known about Merovech himself; much is shrouded in legend. According to some Gnostic versions of history, the Merovingians were the direct descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, who according to some Gnostic scriptures had children. All legends aside, the Merovingians were kings of France beginning with Clovis I in 481 and ending with Childeric III in 752. The power began to shift upon the death of Clovis I when the throne was split amongst his heirs for rule of different fiefdoms. Gradually, the daily affairs of these regions fell under the control of the mayors of the palace, and eventually the mayors took control and thus began the Carolingians.

Much of the story of the Merovingians is shrouded in conspiratorial mysticism. Read Holy Blood, Holy Grail for more on this.

While at first, sacking the remnants of the Roman Empire under Clovis I was a good thing for the Salian peoples, eventually the lack of infrastructure management and cultural unity left the Church the only driving force holding northern Gaul together. The Saracen armies then invaded, attacking even the Church. Particularly after Dagobert I, Gaul was left a desolate anarchy with only a few feudal lords keeping order in their own territories.

In other words, the Merovingians were a major cause of the Dark Ages in Western Europe.

The Merovingian Kings

          Merovech
          K. of Salian Franks
          447-458
               |
               V
          Childeric I
          K. of Salian Franks
          458-481
               |
               V
          Clovis I
          K. all Franks
          481-511
               |
               |
+--------------+---------------------------+
|              |              |            |
V              V              V            V
Theodoric I    Chlodomer      Childebert   Lothair I
K. Metz        K. Orleans     K. Paris     K. Soissons
511-534        511-524        511-558      511
|                                          K. all Franks
|                                          558-561 
V                                          |
Theudebert I                               |
K. Metz                                    |
534-548                                    |
|                                          |
V                                          |
Theudebald                                 |
K. Metz                                    |
548-555                                    |
                                           |
+------------------------------------------+
|             |              |             |
V             V              V             V
Sigibert I    Charibert I    Guntram       Chilperic I
K. Austrasia  K. Paris       K. Burgandy   K. Soissons
561-575       561-567        561-592       561-584
|                                          |
V                                          V
Chilibert I                                Lothair II
K. Austrasia                               K. Neustria
575-595                                    584
K. Burgandy                                K. all Franks
595-596                                    613-629
|                                          |
V                                          +--------------+
+--------------+                           |              |
V              V                           V              V
Theodoric II   Theudebert II               Dagobert I    Charibert II
K. Burgandy    K. Austrasia                K. Austrasia   K. Aquitaine
595-612        595-612                     623-628        629-632
K. Austrasia                               K. all Franks
612-613                                    629-639
|                                          +---------------+
Sigibert II                                V               V        
K. Austrasia                               Clovis II       Sigibert III
K. Burgandy                                K. Nuestra      K. Austrasia
613                                        K. Burgandy     632-656
                                           639-657         |
                                           |               V
   +----------------+---------------+------+               Dagobert II
   |                |               |                      K. Austrasia
   V                V               V                      674-678
   Lothair III      Childeric II    Theodoric III          |
   K. Nuestria      K. Austrasia    K. Nuestria            V
   657-673          662-675         673-698                Lothair IV
   K. all Franks    K. all Franks   K. all Franks          K. Austrasia
   656-660          673-675         678-691                717-719
                    |               |
                    V               +----------------+
                    Chilperic II    V                V
                    K. Nuestria     Clovis III       Childebert III
                    715-721         K. all Franks    K. all Franks
                    K. all Franks   691-695          695-711
                    719-720                          |
                    |                                V
                    V                                Dagobert III
                    Chilperic III                    K. all Franks
                    K. all Franks                    711-716
                    743-752                          |
                                                     V
                                                     Theodoric IV
                                                     K. all Franks
                                                     721-737


The Merovingian is also a character in the movie, The Matrix Reloaded.

*------SPOILER-------*

The Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) is a corrupt power broker of sorts living in the Matrix, who prefers French language and culture. In the movie, he holds the Keymaker prisoner, a program that Neo must rescue if he is to save Zion. The Merovingian's wife, Persephone, aids them in this quest only after Neo kisses her with convincing passion. Upon the Keymaker's attempted rescue, there's a mindblowing fight scene, car chases and explosions.

Mer`o*vin"gi*an (?), a. [From Merovaeus, the Latin name of a king of the Franks.]

Of or pertaining to the first Frankish dynasty in Gaul or France.

--

n.

One of the kings of this dynasty.

 

© Webster 1913.

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