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Early Middle Ages
(481 - 887)

481Clovis succeeds his father Childeric I (King of the Salian Franks)
486Frankish defeat of the Romans at the Battle of Soissons - Gaul comes under the rule of the Merovingians, the first kings of France
496Clovis aids the Rhenish Franks and stops the Alamanni at the battle of Tolbiac
498Clovis takes Bordeaux from the Visigoths in Aquitaine
500Clovis campaigns against the Burgungians, but is forced to withdraw in the face of the Burgundian-Visigoth alliance
502Customary law of the Burgundians set down by king Gundobad
506Roman law of the Visigoths set down - Breviary of Alaric
507Clovis defeats the Visigoths at the battle of Vouille (king Alaric II killed)
508Clovis captures the Visigoth's capital Toulous, ending their kingdom. He chooses Paris as his capital
508Legal code of the Franks is drawn up - this is known as the Salic Law (Pactus legis salicae)
509Clovis is recognized by the Rhenish Franks - he is sole king of the Franks
511Clovis dies, the kingdom is divided between his four sons: Theodoric takes eastern portion, Clodomire takes the Loire basin, Childebert takes Normandy and Paris, and Chlotar takes the kingdom of Soissons. Aquitaine is shared among them
523Clodomire, Childebert and Chlotar campaign against Burgundy
524Clodomire dies in battle. Childebert and Chlotar arrange for the murder of his sons and divide his kingdom between them
530The Franks conquer Thuringia, Bavaria and Provence over the next 7 years
534King Gundomar of Burgundy takes flight, Franks take possession of Burgundy
543Plague strikes
558Chlotar finally gains control of all the territory formerly divided between himself and his brothers. Frankish kingdom reunited
559Plague strikes again
561Chlotar dies, kingdom divided yet again for his four sons: Sigebert, Chilperic, Charibert and Guntram
567Charibert dies, country is divided into kingdoms of Austrasia (Sigebert), Neustria (Chilperic), and Burgundy (Guntram)
568Kingdoms of Neustria and Austrasia at war instigated by murder of Galswintha by Chilperic (her husband).
569Lombards (of Italy) begin to make incursions into Gaul
575Sigebert defeats Chilperic at the battle of Vitry. His murder is arranged by Chilperic's wife, Fredegund. He is succeeded by his son Childebert II
584Chilperic is murdered. His 4-month-old son, Chlotar, succeeds him as king of Neustria
587Treaty of Andelout - Guntram of Burgundy and Childebert II of Austrasia agree to name each other as heir if either dies without a male heir
592Guntram dies without an heir, his kingdom goes to Childebert II
595Childebert II dies, he leaves Burgundy to his son Theodoric II, and Austrasia to his son Theodebert II. Chlotar II challenges them both
599Plague again in France
600Chlotar II defeated at Dormelles, Theodebert and Theodoric turn on each other
605Plague strikes yet again
612Theodoric defeats Theodebert
613Chlotar is undisputed ruler of the Franks, appoints a mayor of the palace to manage each of the three kingdoms
614Edict of Paris - ratifies system of administration by mayors of the palace. Pepin is appointed mayor of the palace in Austrasia
623Chlotar names his son Dagobert king of the Austrasians
629Chlotar II dies, Dagobert succeeds him (after granting his half-brother, Charibert, a kingdom in Aquitaine for his lifetime)
637Dagobert I, last Merovingian king
640Pepin (Austrasia's mayor of the palace) dies
656Sigebert dies, his son Dagobert is exiled by Pepin's son, Grimoald (mayor of the palace of Austrasia. Grimoald's son, Childebert the Adopted, is put on the throne
657Clovis II dies, his son Chlotar III is king of Neustria and Burgundy
658Ebroin becomes mayor of the palace of Neustria
662Some of the Austrasian nobility hand Childebert the Adopted and Grimoald over to the Neustrians and they are executed. Chlotar III's brother, Childreric II, becomes king and Wulfoald is his mayor of the palace
673Chlotar III dies, Ebroin puts Chlotar's brother Theodoric II on the throne of Neustria and Burgundy. Theodoric's brother, Childeric II, drives him out and controls all three kingdoms
675Childeric II is murdered by the magnates of Neustria, Ebroin regains power and installs Theodoric III as king of Neustria and Burgundy
677War between Austrasia and Neustria ends with a treaty firmly defining their respective borders
679Ebroin defeats the Austrasians near Laon
679Wufoald is replaced as Austrasia's mayor of the palace by Pepin II
680Ebroin is assassinated, Neustrian power is crippled
686Neustrian mayor of the palace dies, succeeded by Berchar, who is challenged by Pepin II
687Pepin II defeats Berchar at the battle of Tertry
690Pepin campaigns against the Frisians
693Dagobert dies, his kingdom is divided between his sons Sigebert III (Austrasia) and Clovis II (Neustria and Burgundy)
695The Frisians concede defeat
709Pepin campaigns against the Alamanni
714Pepin II dies and his widow Plectrude imprisons his illegitimate son (Charles Martel) to secure power for her grandsons
715Neustrians rise against Plectrude, defeating her at Compiegne
716Martel defeats the Neustrians at Ambleve
717Martel defeats the Neustrians at Vincy, he is master of Austrasia when Plectrude dies
719Martel defeats the Neustrians completely, gaining control of the kingdom
719The Saracens (Arabs) occupy Narbonne
720Martel campaigns against the Saxons
720Martel recognizes Chilperic II as king of the Franks
721Chilperic II dies and is succeeded by Theodoric IV
732Charles Martel defeats Muslims at Poitiers, stopping Arab invasion
732Saracens invade Poitiers, Martel defeats them at Moussais
736Over the next three years, Martel brings southern France under Frankish control
737Theodoric IV dies, Martel does not replace him
741Martel dies - his sons, Pepin III the short and Carloman, divide the kingdom
741Plague in France
743Carloman and Pepin establish Childeric III (the son of Chilperic II and a monk) as king
743Pepin and Carloman campaign in Aquitaine and Germany
747Carloman retires to become a monk, Pepin is only mayor of the palace
750Pope decrees that Pepin should be king
751Pepin II "The Short" becomes king of the Franks
751Childeric III is deposed, Pepin is elected king at Soissons
754Pope Stephen II crowns Pepin and his sons (Charlemagne and Carloman)
755Pepin restores the royal monopoly of the currency
768Charlemagne rules as King of the Franks
768Pepin dies, kingdom divided between Carloman and Charlemagne
768Pepin subjugates Aquitaine
771Carloman dies, Charlemagne rules as sole king
773Charlemagne lays siege to the Lombards in Pavia. King Desiderius capitulates, Charlemagne is king of the Lombards
776Saxons submit to Frankish rule
778Charlemagne fights the Muslims in Spain, is halted at Saragossa. His retreat is narrated in the Chanson de Roland
781Charlemagne crowns his son Louis king of Aquitaine, and his son Pepin king of the Lombards
782Saxons rise against Charlemagne, he represses them severely, beheading 4500 in one day at Verdun
789Charlemagne issues his capitulary Admonitio generalis - governing the conduct of civil and ecclesiastical life
791Charlemagne begins expeditions against the Avars in the Danube basin
799Charlemagne institutes a policy of mass deportation of Saxons
799Vikings raid the Vendee
799Frankish expedition to Brittany fails to crush its independence
800Charlemagne crowned emperor by Pope Leo III (Leo III was restored to power by Charlemagne after a group of Roman nobles attempted to depose him)
800Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III
804Death of Alcuin, Charlemagne's closest advisor
811Charlemagne's eldest son, Charles, dies - leaving Louis sole heir to the throne
813Charlemagne has Louis crowned emperor
814Louis the Pious succeeds Charlemagne as emperor
814Charlemagne dies, leaving Louis I (the pious) emperor
817Louis' Ordinatio imperii appoints his son Lothair as successor, his son Pepin is given Aquitaine, and his son Louis (the German) is given Bavaria
823Louis has a son (Charles, known as the bald) with his new wife
829Assembly of Worms - Louis desires to divide the empire again, providing for Charles. He is met with opposition
830Uprising against Louis, led by Lothair and supported by many of the nobility and clergy, leads to civil war
833Lothair and his brothers depose Louis at the Champ du mensonge (Field of the Lie)
834Lothair is defeated and Louis reinstalled on the throne
838Pepin dies, Louis assigns Aquitaine to Charles the Bald (rather than Pepin's son)
839Louis again divides the empire - this time between Lothair and Charles, with Louis (the German) retaining Bavaria
840Louis the Pious dies, Lothair moves to take over the empire
841Louis the German and Charles the Bald unite to defeat Lothair at the battle of Fontenoy-en-Puisaye
842Oaths of Strasbourg -
843Treaty of Verdun partitions the Carolingian Empire
843Treaty of Verdun
844Pepin II rebels against Charles for possession of Aquitaine
845Vikings lay siege to Paris, Charles bribes them for peace
845Duke Nominoe of Brittany asserts Breton independence, defeats Charles at the battle of Ballon
851Treaty of Angers - Charles recognizes the right of Nominoe's son Erispoe to the title of king and confirms his possession of Retz, Nantes, and Rennes
855Charles recognizes Pepin II as prince of Aquitaine in exchange for recognition of sovereignty
855Lothair dies, the kingdom is divided between his sons Louis II (Italy and the title of emperor), Lothair II (Lotharingia), Charles (Provence)
856The Vikings begin major invasions along the Seine, the Loire and the Girone
858West Francia is invaded by Louis the German, Charles defeats him and keeps his throne
863Lothair's son, Charles, dies. His kingdom of Provence is divided between his brother Lothair II and Louis II
870Treaty of Mersen - Charles the Bald and Louis the German divide Lotharingia, absorbing the fragmented middle lands
875Louis II dies, Charles the Bald is crowned emperor by Pope John VIII
876Louis the German dies - his kingdom is divided between his sons, Louis the Young, Charles the Fat, and Carloman
877Charles the Bald dies, Louis II the Stammerer is crowned king
878Council of Troyes
879Louis the Stammerer is succeeded by his two sons Louis II and Carloman, who divide the kingdom. Boso, brother-in-law of Charles the Bald, declares himself king of Provence
881Louis III defeats the Vikings at Saucourt-en-Vimeu
882Louis III dies, leaving Carloman sole king of the West Franks
884The Vikings reach Paris in November
884Carloman dies, Charles III the Posthumous (4-year-old son of Louis the Stammerer) is sole heir to the throne. The nobles opt for Charles the Fat
885Count Eudes (Odo) defends Paris from the Vikings
887Charles the Fat is deposed in December, he dies a month later
Related Articles/Works
Daily Life
CHAPTER VII. THE GERMANS IN GAUL.—THE FRANKS AND CLOVIS
CHAPTER VIII. THE MEROVINGIANS.
CHAPTER IX. THE MAYORS OF THE PALACE. THE PEPINS.
CHAPTER X. CHARLEMAGNE AND HIS WARS.
CHAPTER XI. CHARLEMAGNE AND HIS GOVERNMENT.
CHAPTER XII. DECAY AND FALL OF THE CARLOVINGIANS.

Documents
Capitulary of Charlemagne
(802)
The Ordinance of Louis the Pius
(817)
Treaty at Aix Between Louis II and Charles the Bald Concerning the Division of the Kingdom of Lothar II
(870)

Notable Persons
Carloman
Carloman I
Carloman II
Charlemagne
Charles II (the Bald)
Charles (the Younger)
Charles of Provence
Charles III (the Fat)
Clovis I
Lothair I
Lothair II
Louis I (the Pious)
Louis II of Italy
Louis II (the Stammerer)
Louis II (the German)
Louis II (the Stammerer)
Louis III
Charles Martel
Pepin of Herstal
Pepin I (the Short/Younger)
Pepin I of Aquitaine
Pepin II of Aquitaine


Conflicts


Notables
History     Lothair I
Clovis I
Louis II (the Stammerer)
Louis III
Carloman II
Charles III (the Fat)
Odo of Paris
Robert I
Religion     Eligius, Saint
Fredegis of Tours
Philosophy     Remi of Auxerre, Saint
Servatus Lupus


Maps
Germanic Migrations and Conquests, 150-1066
Europe - Growth of Frankish Power, 481-814
The Divisions of Clovis
Barbarian and Byzantine Empires
New Kingdoms at the Death of Theodoric
Europe - The Germanic Kingdoms and the East Roman Empire in 526
Byzantine Empire at the Death of Justinian
Frankish Dominions ~629
The Height of the Empire of Charles the Great
Saracen Dominions
Europe at the death of Charles the Great 814
Disruption of the Carolingian Empire, 843-888
The Treaty of Mersen and Papal Acquisitions
Germanic Migrations and Conquests, 150-1066
Europe - Development of Christianity, 590 to 1300
Expansion of Christianity