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AUSTRASIA was a territory which formed the northeastern section of the Merovingian
Merovingian
Kingdom of the Franks during the 6th to 8th centuries. It was centred on the Meuse , Middle Rhine and the Moselle
Moselle
rivers, and was the original territory of the Ripuarian Frankish tribes prior to the unification of all Franks
Franks
under the Salian Frank Clovis I
Clovis I
.

In AD 567, it became a separate kingdom within the Frankish kingdom and was ruled by Sigebert I
Sigebert I
. In the 7th and 8th century it was the powerbase from which the Carolingians
Carolingians
, originally mayors of the palace of Austrasia, took over the rule of all Franks
Franks
from the Salian Merovingians. Austrasia
Austrasia
gradually lost its territorial character after the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
in the second half of the 9th century.

CONTENTS

* 1 Name * 2 Geography * 3 History

* 4 Rulers

* 4.1 Merovingian
Merovingian
kings * 4.2 Mayors of the palace

* 5 See also * 6 References

NAME

The name Austrasia
Austrasia
is not well attested in the Merovingian
Merovingian
period. It is a latinisation of an Old Frankish
Old Frankish
name recorded first by Gregory of Tours in c. AD 580 and then by Aimoin of Fleury in c. AD 1000. As with the name Austria
Austria
, it contains the word for "east", i.e. meaning "eastern land" to designate the original territory of the Franks
Franks
in contrast to Neustria , the "new western land" in northern Gaul conquered in the wake of the Battle of Soissons of 486.

GEOGRAPHY

Austrasia
Austrasia
was centered on the Middle Rhine , including the basins of the Moselle
Moselle
and Main , and the Meuse rivers. It bordered on Frisia
Frisia
and Saxony to the north, Thuringia to the east, Swabia and Burgundy
Burgundy
to the south and to Neustria and Flanders
Flanders
to the west.

Metz
Metz
served as the Austrasian capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Reims
Reims
, Trier
Trier
, and Cologne
Cologne
. Other important cities included Verdun
Verdun
, Worms and Speyer
Speyer
. Fulda monastery
Fulda monastery
was founded in eastern Austrasia
Austrasia
in the final decade of the Merovingian
Merovingian
period.

In the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
, its territory became divided among the duchies of Lotharingia
Lotharingia
and Franconia
Franconia
in Germany
Germany
, with some western portions including Reims
Reims
and Rethel passing to France
France
.

Its exact boundaries were somewhat fluid over the history of the Frankish sub-kingdoms, but Austrasia
Austrasia
can be taken to correspond roughly to the territory of present-day Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, parts of eastern Belgium
Belgium
, north-eastern France
France
( Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne ), west-central Germany
Germany
(the Rhineland
Rhineland
, Hesse
Hesse
and Franconia
Franconia
) and the southern Netherlands
Netherlands
(Limburg , North Brabant
North Brabant
, with a salient north of the Rhine including Utrecht
Utrecht
and parts of Gelderland
Gelderland
).

HISTORY

Ancient basilica of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains from the 4th century in Metz
Metz
, capital of the kingdom of Austrasia
Austrasia

After the death of the Frankish king Clovis I
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
Austrasia
until 555, when it was united with the other Frankish kingdoms of Chlothar I
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
Charibert I
in 567: Austrasia
Austrasia
under Sigebert I
Sigebert I
, Neustria under Chilperic I , and Burgundy
Burgundy
under Guntram
Guntram
. These three kingdoms defined the political division of Francia until the rise of the Carolingians
Carolingians
and even thereafter.

From 567 to the death of Sigbert II in 613, Neustria and Austrasia fought each other almost constantly, with Burgundy
Burgundy
playing the peacemaker between them. These struggles reached their climax in the wars between Brunhilda and Fredegund
Fredegund
, queens respectively of Austrasia
Austrasia
and Neustria. Finally, in 613, a rebellion by the nobility against Brunhilda saw her betrayed and handed over to her nephew and foe in Neustria, Chlothar II . Chlothar then took control of the other two kingdoms and set up a united Frankish kingdom with its capital in Paris
Paris
. During this period 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 came from the Pippinid family, which experienced a slow but steady ascent until it eventually displaced the Merovingians 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
Austrasia
was widely admired. In 629, he inherited Neustria and Burgundy. Austrasia
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
Sigebert III
to Austrasia. Historians often categorise Sigebert as the first roi fainéant or do-nothing king of the Merovingian
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
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
Pepin of Heristal
defeated the Neustrian king Theuderic III
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 signalled the dominance of Austrasia
Austrasia
over Neustria, which would last until the end of the Merovingian
Merovingian
era. Map of Francia in 714 ( Austrasia
Austrasia
shown in green)

In 718, Karl Martel , with Austrasian support in his war against Neustria – each territory struggling to unite Francia under their hegemony – appointed 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
Carolingians
and subsequently, Austrasia
Austrasia
is sometimes used as a denominator for the east of their realm, the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
. It has been used as a synonym for East Francia , though this is inaccurate.

RULERS

MEROVINGIAN KINGS

Further information: List of Frankish kings
List of Frankish kings

* Theuderic I , 511–533 * Theudebert I , 533–548 * Theudebald , 548–555 * Chlothar I
Chlothar I
, 555–561 * Sigebert I
Sigebert I
, 561–575 * Childebert II
Childebert II
, 575–595 * Theudebert II
Theudebert II
, 595–612 * Theuderic II
Theuderic II
, 612–613 * Sigebert II , 613 * Chlothar II , 613–623 * Dagobert I , 623–634 * Sigebert III
Sigebert III
, 634–656 * Childebert the Adopted , 656–661 * Chlothar III , 661–662 * Childeric II , 662–675 * Dagobert II
Dagobert II
, 675–679 * Theuderic III
Theuderic III
, 679–691 * Clovis IV , 691–695 * Childebert III
Childebert III
, 695–711 * Dagobert III , 711–715 * Chilperic II , 715–717 * Chlothar IV , 717–720 * Chilperic II , 720–721 (again) * Theuderic IV
Theuderic IV
, 721–737 * Childeric III , 743–751

MAYORS OF THE PALACE

* Parthemius , until 548 * Gogo , c.567–581 * Wandalenus , from 581 * Gundulf, from 600 * Landric , until 612 * Warnachar , 612–617 * Hugh , 617–623 * Pepin I , 623–629 * Adalgisel , 633–639 * Pepin I , 639–640 (again) * Otto , 640–643 * Grimoald I , 643–656 * Wulfoald , 656–680 * Pepin II , 680–714 * Theudoald , 714–715 * Charles Martel , 715–741 * Carloman , 741–747 * Pepin III , 747–751

SEE ALSO

* Eastern Francia * Duchy of Franconia
Duchy of Franconia
* Benelux * Kerneuropa

REFERENCES

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

* v * t * e

Lorraine topics

DEPARTMENTS

MEURTHE-ET-MOSELLE (NANCY )

* Arrondissement of Briey * Arrondissement of Lunéville
Arrondissement of Lunéville
* Arrondissement of Nancy * Arrondissement of Toul

MEUSE (BAR-LE-DUC )

* Arrondissement of Bar-le-Duc
Bar-le-Duc
* Arrondissement of Commercy * Arrondissement of Verdun
Verdun

MOSELLE (METZ )

* Arrondissement of Forbach-Boulay- Moselle
Moselle
* Arrondissement of Metz
Metz
* Arrondissement of Sarrebourg-Château-Salins * Arrondissement of Sarreguemines * Arrondissement of Thionville

VOSGES (ÉPINAL )

* Arrondissement of Épinal
Épinal
* Arrondissement of Neufchâteau * Arrondissement of Saint-Dié

CULTURE

* Coat of arms * Flag * Symbol * People * Languages (Franconian , Lorrain , Alsatian ) * Demographics * Religion

SPORTS

* FC Metz
Metz
* FC Metz
Metz
(Women) * AS Nancy
AS Nancy
* SAS Épinal
Épinal
* US Raon-l\'Étape * SLUC Nancy Basket * Metz
Metz
Handball * ASPTT Nancy

* Dauphins d\' Épinal