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Austrasia
Austrasia
was a territory which formed the northeastern section of the Merovingian Kingdom of the Franks
Franks
during the 6th to 8th centuries. It was centred on the Meuse, Middle Rhine
Middle Rhine
and the Moselle
Moselle
rivers, and was the original territory of the Franks, including both the so-called Salians and Rhineland
Rhineland
Franks, which Clovis I
Clovis I
conquered after first taking control of the bordering part of Roman Gaul, now northern France, which is sometimes described in this period as Neustria. In AD 567, Austrasia
Austrasia
became a separate kingdom within the Frankish kingdom and was ruled by Sigebert I. In the 7th and 8th centuries it was the powerbase from which the Carolingians, originally mayors of the palace of Austrasia, took over the rule of all Franks, all of Gaul, most of Germany, and Northern Italy. After this period of unification, the now larger Frankish empire was once again divided between eastern and western sub-kingdoms, with the new version of the eastern kingdom eventually becoming the foundation of the Kingdom of Germany.

Contents

1 Name 2 Geography 3 History 4 Rulers

4.1 Merovingian kings 4.2 Mayors of the palace

5 See also 6 References

Name[edit] The name Austrasia
Austrasia
is not well attested in the 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, 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 "westen land" in northern Gaul
Gaul
conquered by Clovis I
Clovis I
in the wake of the Battle of Soissons of 486. Geography[edit] Austrasia
Austrasia
was centered on the Middle Rhine, including the basins of the Moselle
Moselle
and Main, and the Meuse
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
Neustria
to the southwest. The exact boundary between Merovingian Neustria
Neustria
and Austrasia
Austrasia
is unclear with respect to areas such as the medieval County of Flanders, County of Brabant, and County of Hainaut, and areas immediately to the south of these. Metz
Metz
served as the Austrasian capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Reims, Trier, and Cologne. Other important cities included Verdun, Worms and Speyer. Fulda monastery
Fulda monastery
was founded in eastern Austrasia
Austrasia
in the final decade of the Merovingian period. In the High Middle Ages, its territory became divided among the duchies of Lotharingia
Lotharingia
and Franconia
Franconia
in Germany, with some western portions including Reims
Reims
and Rethel passing to 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, parts of eastern Belgium, north-eastern France
France
( Lorraine
Lorraine
and Champagne-Ardenne), west-central Germany
Germany
(the Rhineland, Hesse
Hesse
and Franconia) and the southern Netherlands
Netherlands
(Limburg, North Brabant, with a salient north of the Rhine including Utrecht
Utrecht
and parts of Gelderland). History[edit]

Ancient basilica of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains from the 4th century in Metz, capital of the kingdom of 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, 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, Neustria
Neustria
under Chilperic I, and Burgundy
Burgundy
under Guntram. These three kingdoms defined the political division of Francia
Francia
until the rise of the Carolingians and even thereafter. From 567 to the death of Sigbert II in 613, Neustria
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, 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 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. 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
Chlothar II
for a king of their own and he appointed his son Dagobert I
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
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 dynasty. His court was dominated by the mayors. In 657, the mayor Grimoald the Elder succeeded in putting his son Childebert the Adopted
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 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 era.

Map of Francia
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
Francia
under their hegemony—appointed Chlothar IV
Chlothar IV
to rule in Austrasia. This was the last Frankish ruler who did not rule over all the Franks. In 719, Francia
Francia
was united permanently under Austrasian hegemony. Under the Carolingians and subsequently, Austrasia
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 inaccurate.

Rulers[edit]

Merovingian kings[edit] Further information: List of Frankish kings

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

Mayors of the palace[edit]

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[edit]

East Francia Duchy of Franconia Benelux Continental Europe

References[edit]

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

v t e

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Lorraine
topics

Departments

Meurthe-et- Moselle
Moselle
(Nancy)

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

Meuse
Meuse
(Bar-le-Duc)

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

Moselle
Moselle
(Metz)

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

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Arrondissement of Épinal Arrondissement of Neufchâteau Arrondissement of Saint-Dié

Culture

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Sports

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Metz
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Metz
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Lorraine
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History

Gallia Belgica
Gallia Belgica
( Mediomatrici
Mediomatrici
& Leuci) (22 BC–5th-century) Alemanni/Ripuarian Franks
Franks
(5th-century–511) Austrasia
Austrasia
(511–751) Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
(751–843) Middle Francia
Francia
(843–855) Lotharingia
Lotharingia
(855–959) Duchy of Lorraine
Lorraine
(959–1766) Duchy of Bar
Duchy of Bar
(circa 950-1766) Three Bishoprics
Three Bishoprics
(1552-1790) Bezirk Lothringen
Bezirk Lothringen
(1871–1918) CdZ-Gebiet Lothringen
CdZ-Gebiet Lothringen
(1940–1945) Lorraine
Lorraine
(1945–2016) Grand Est
Grand Est
(2016–)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 248544726 GND: 4086145-4 BNF:

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