Le sang de Mérovée. «Préhistoire» de la dynastie et du royaume mérovingiens

Translated title of the contribution: Merovech's blood. «Prehistory» of the Merovingian dynasty and Kingdom

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When they deal with the origins of the Merovingian dynasty and the establishment of their kingdom, modern historians have primarily based themselves on the "Histories" of Gregory of Tours, though he wrote more than one century after the events and had a very uneven knowledge of said history. Reviewing all available evidence, this paper places particular emphasis on the value of two royal genealogies: Much neglected by historians, they allow us to draw up a new pedigree of Childeric's ancestors, which seems much more satisfactory than the existing ones. Together with other data, these genealogies speak in favour of the birth of a "Salian" or "pre-Merovingian" regnum under the control of the Frank Chlodio in the late 420s or early 430s, with the support of laeti communities already settled in the civitates of Tongeren, Cambrai and Tournai. It is plausible that this kingdom, which Childeric was to inherit, was not the ineluctable consequence of a progressive occupation of these lands by Frankish populations coming from Toxandria or from across the Rhine, but the outcome of a seizure of power by barbarian soldiers in a dying Empire.
Translated title of the contributionMerovech's blood. «Prehistory» of the Merovingian dynasty and Kingdom
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)999-1039
Number of pages41
JournalRevue belge de philologie et d'histoire
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Franks
  • Genealogies
  • Laeti
  • Merovingian dynasty
  • Merovingian kingdom


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