Chlothar IV

Chlothar IV[a] (died 718) was the king of Austrasia from 717 until his death. He was a member of the Merovingian dynasty, and was installed by Charles Martel, a candidate for the office of mayor of the palace, in opposition to Chilperic II, whose realm was thus reduced to Neustria. This marks the first time since 679 that the kingdom of the Franks was divided. Following Chlothar's death, it was reunited under Chilperic.

Chlothar's parentage and the exact dates of his reign are uncertain, since no primary source gives them explicitly. Documents from Chlothar's reign place him on the throne between 28 June 717 and 24 February 718. A Frankish king-list from the reign of Charles the Bald a century and a half later gives his reign a length of one year, which is consistent with all other evidence. His reign began no earlier than 21 March 717 and was over by 18 May 718.[1] Although it has been suggested that he was not a true Merovingian but a puppet king of convenience, this is unlikely, since it was the need for Merovingian legitimacy that compelled Charles Martel to name a rival king in the first place.[b] Chlothar's father must have been either Theuderic III (died 691), in which case he was about 35 years old when he came to the throne, or Childebert III (died 711), in which he case he was probably closer to 20.[2]

Chlothar was made king at the instigation of Charles Martel following his victory over the forces of Chilperic II and the mayor of the palace, Ragamfred, at the Battle of Vincy on 21 March 717. This put Charles in control of most of Austrasia, although pockets still recognised Chilperic. The creation of a rival king in Chlothar IV served two goals: it legitimised Charles as mayor of the palace, an office which he claimed as an inheritance from his father, Pippin of Herstal, and it expanded his military resources by allowing him to raise a larger army through royal summons and the royal power to command.[3]

Following Chlothar's elevation, Chilperic and Ragamfred allied with Duke Odo of Aquitaine. In early 718, Charles led an army in Chlothar's name against the Neustrians and Aquitanians, whom he defeated at the Battle of Soissons, forcing Chilperic II to flee to Aquitaine and Duke Odo's protection. He then led the same army deep into Saxony, as far as the river Weser.[3]

The Lex Alamannorum, a law code for the Alamanni, was promulgated during Chlothar's reign and in his name. One of the three manuscripts groups of the Lex Alamannorum is called the Lex Alamannorum Hlotharii because of its invocation of Chlothar.[c][4]

The Liber Historiae Francorum seems to imply that Chlothar died in 719. It is more likely that he died in 718 between 24 February, the date of his last known act, and 18 May, when Wissembourg Abbey, which was loyal to Charles Martel and dated its charters by the reign of Chlothar IV, switched to dating them by Chilperic II.[2][3][1] Charles's pursuit of Chilperic, which culminated in a negotiated settlement with Odo for the king's return, was probably required by the sudden death of Chlothar IV.[2] It has even been suggested that the suddenness of his death is suspicious, indicating perhaps that Charles had him removed—as soon as he no longer need him—in favour of the more legitimate Chilperic.[3] No primary sources casts any suspicion, however.[2]

Chlothar IV
Lex Alamannorum Hlotharii
First page of the Alamannic law code issued in Chlothar's name. The fourth lines reads:
("the orthodox king, Lord Chlothar")
King of Austrasia
PredecessorChilperic II
SuccessorChilperic II
Mayor of the PalaceCharles Martel
FatherTheuderic III (?)


  1. ^ His name may be spelled Chlotar, Clothar, Hlothar or in French Clotaire. It is the same name as Lothair.
  2. ^ A previous attempt by a mayor of the palace to install a non-Merovingian king failed: see Childebert the Adopted.
  3. ^ The other manuscript groups are the Lex Alamannorum Lantfridana, named after the Alamannian duke Lantfrid (709–30), and the Lex Alamannorum Karolina, named after Charlemagne, who revised and reissued the law code in 788.


  1. ^ a b Richard A. Gerberding, The Rise of the Carolingians and the Liber Historiae Francorum (Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 141–44.
  2. ^ a b c d Martina Hartmann, "Pater incertus? Zu den Vätern des Gegenkönigs Chlothar IV. (717–718) und des letzten Merowingerkönigs Childerich III. (743–751)", Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 58 (2002), pp. 1–15.
  3. ^ a b c d Paul Fouracre, The Age of Charles Martel (Routledge, 2016), pp. 65, 69–70.
  4. ^ Theodore John Rivers (ed.), Laws of the Alamans and Bavarians (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977), p. 39.
Chlothar IV
 Died: 718
Preceded by
Chilperic II
King of Austrasia
Succeeded by
Chilperic II

The 710s decade ran from January 1, 710, to December 31, 719.

== Events ==

=== 710 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

The Byzantine outpost of Cherson (Crimea) rebels (with Khazar assistance) against Emperor Justinian II. He sends a fleet under the patrikios Stephen, which retakes the city and restores Byzantine control. The fleet, however, is struck by a storm on its way back and loses many ships, while the Chersonites, again with the aid of the Khazars, rebel anew.

The Byzantine general Leo (future emperor Leo III) recovers the Abkhazia (Caucasus) for the Byzantine Empire, from the Arabs.

====== Europe ======

Roderick becomes king of the Visigoths, but the Visigothic nobles in Septimania rebel, and proclaim the previous ruler's son Akhila king. The Visigothic Kingdom is divided into two sub-kingdoms, suffering the first Muslim raid expedition against the southern Iberian Peninsula.

An Arab army is invited into Ceuta by its governor, Julian, who is an opponent of Roderick. He encourages them to invade the Iberian Peninsula. Tariq ibn Ziyad is appointed governor of Tangier (Morocco), and establishes a Moorish garrison of 1,700 men.

Lupus I, duke of Gascony, is assassinated in his attempt to seize Limoges (France). Eudes becomes ruler over both Gascony and Aquitaine.

The Madara Rider, an early medieval rock relief, is carved on the Madara Plateau east of Shumen in Bulgaria (approximate date).

====== Britain ======

Kings Ine of Wessex and Nothhelm of Sussex fight against King Geraint of Dumnonia, who dies in battle. Ine's advance brings him control of what is now Devon; he establishes a fortress at Taunton.

Beorhtfrith fights against the Picts between Haefe and Caere (assumed to be between the rivers Avon and Carron, which flow into the Firth of Forth in Scotland).

====== Africa ======

Salih I ibn Mansur founds the Muslim Kingdom of Nekor (Morocco). He converts the local Berber tribes to Islam.

====== Asia ======

April 5 – Emperor Zhong Zong of the Tang Dynasty has his chief ministers of court, sons-in-law, and high-ranking military officers engage (during the Cold Food Festival) in the festive game of tug of war, within a palace of Chang'an.

July 3 – Zhong Zong is assassinated, allegedly poisoned by Empress Wei, who fails to install her daughter Li Guo'er as heir to the throne. Princess Taiping and her nephew Li Longji launch a coup, and restore Rui Zong as emperor.

The Asuka period, the second and last part of the Yamato period, ends, and the Nara period begins; Heijō-kyō (Nara) becomes the capital of Japan.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

October 5 – Pope Constantine departs for a year-long visit to Constantinople. He will be the last pontiff to visit the capital for more than a thousand years.

The first (wooden) Al-Aqsa Mosque is finished.

=== 711 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Philippicus incites the inhabitants of Cherson to revolt, with the help of the Khazars. Emperor Justinian II sallies forth from Constantinople to oppose the rebels in the Crimea. Philippicus defeats the Byzantine forces in northern Anatolia, and seizes the capital. He is proclaimed emperor and Justinian is executed, ending the house of Heraclius, that has ruled since 610.

December – Empress Theodora, hearing the news of Justinian's death, escapes with her 6-year-old son Tiberius to the sanctuary at the St. Mary's Church (Constantinople). She is pursued by Philippicus' henchmen, who drag the child from the altar and murder him outside the church.

====== Europe ======

Ansprand, duke of Asti, returns from exile to Italy with a large Bavarian army. Many Austrians (with troops of Venetia) join him in support. King Aripert II, who has usurped the throne (see 701), is defeated and tries to escape from Pavia to Gaul with his treasury, but he drowns in the Ticino River. He is the last Bavarian to wear the Iron Crown (approximate date).

Peaceful relations between Franks and Frisians are consolidated by the marriage of Pepin of Herstal's son Grimoald to Theudesinda, daughter of King Radbod.

April 23 – King Childebert III dies after a 16-year reign, and is succeeded by his son Dagobert III as ruler of Austrasia. Pepin of Herstal becomes his regent.

====== Britain ======

Dux Berhtfrith leads a Northumbrian campaign against the Picts, and defeats them in Manaw Gododdin (modern Scotland) (approximate date).

====== Arabian Empire ======

April 27 – Umayyad conquest of Hispania: Muslim troops (7,000 men) led by Tariq ibn Ziyad land at Gibraltar, and begin their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (now Spain and Portugal). Tariq begins his Islamic conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom, which during the decade he occupies and brings under Umayyad sovereignty.

July 19 – Battle of Guadalete: The Muslim Arabs defeat the Visigothic army (33,000 men) under King Roderick, who dies in battle. The Visigoth capital of Toledo opens its city gates; Tariq ibn Ziyad sends Moorish detachments to capture the cities of Córdoba and Seville (Andalusia).

====== Asia ======

After pirates plunder an Arab ship near the mouth of the Indus River (Pakistan), Uamayyad Arabs under Muhammad ibn Qasim invade India with 10,000 men and 6,000 horses, establishing a sultanate in Sindh. Qasim sends expeditions to Surashtra, where he makes peaceful treaty settlements with the Rashtrakuta.

Muhammad ibn Qasim captures the fortress city of Multan after a long siege, and raids with his forces the Punjab region, with only light Muslim casualties.

====== Mesoamerica ======

Palenque is conquered by Tonina.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Reconstruction of the Hōryū-ji Temple in Japan is completed (approximate date).

=== 712 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

The Bulgars under Tervel, ruler (khagan) of the Bulgarian Empire, raid Thrace and reach the city walls of Constantinople. Skirmishes continue until 716; Emperor Philippicus transfers a Byzantine army from the Opsikion Theme in Asia Minor, to police the Balkan Peninsula.

====== Europe ======

February – King Ansprand dies, and is succeeded by his son Liutprand as ruler of the Lombards. During his reign, Liutprand becomes the greatest of the Lombard Kings. Coins and documents from his court at Pavia confirm the impression of a strong and effective monarch.

====== Arabian Empire ======

Umayyad conquest of Hispania: From North Africa, Musa ibn Nusayr lands in Iberia (Al-Andalus), with an army of 18,000 Arabs and Berbers. He joins the Islamic conquest and captures the city of Seville (Andalusia), where he meets stiff resistance after 3-months of siege.

Arab forces under Qutayba ibn Muslim conquer Khwarezm and Samarkand (modern Uzbekistan).

====== Asia ======

September 8 – Emperor Rui Zong abdicates after a brief reign, in favor of his 27-year-old son Xuan Zong, who ascends the imperial throne of the Tang Dynasty (China).

Xuan Zong reestablishes control over the Oxus and Jaxartes valleys. During his reign he defeats the invading Arab armies, in a series of campaigns in Fergana.

King Dae Jo-yeong of Balhae (Korea) resumes tributary payments to the Tang Dynasty. The Tai peoples are forced to accept Chinese sovereignty (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

The Kojiki (Record of Ancient Times) a history of Japan, is completed.

=== 713 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

June 3 – Emperor Philippicus is blinded, deposed, and sent into exile by conspirators of the Opsikion army in Thrace, after a reign of 1 year and 6 months. He is succeeded by Anastasios II, a bureaucrat and imperial secretary, who restores internal order and begins the reorganization of the Byzantine army. He executes the officers who have been directly involved in the conspiracy against Philippicus.

Arab–Byzantine wars: The Umayyad Arabs under al-Abbas ibn al-Walid, son of caliph al-Walid I, sack Antioch in Pisidia (modern Turkey), which never recovers.

====== Britain ======

King Ealdwulf of East Anglia dies, and is succeeded by his son Ælfwald. Queen Cuthburh of Northumbria travels south to found a monastery at Wimborne (Dorset).

====== Arabian Empire ======

Umayyad conquest of Hispania: The Visigothic Kingdom is finally defeated at the battle of Segoyuela (Castile and León). Prince Theudimer signs the Treaty of Orihuela with Abd al-Aziz, governor of Al-Andalus, and is permitted to retain his authority in the area subsequently known as Tudmir. He keeps the citadel of Orihuela and several other settlements, including Alicante and Lorca on the Mediterranean Sea.

Arab forces under Musa ibn Nusayr conquer the fortress city of Mérida, located on the borders of Andalusia. It becomes part of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba.

====== China ======

Emperor Xuan Zong liquidates the highly lucrative "Inexhaustible Treasury", which is run by a prominent Buddhist monastery in Chang'an. This monastery collects vast amounts of money, silk, and treasures through multitudes of rich people's repentances, left on the premises anonymously. Although the monastery is generous in donations, Xuan Zong issues a decree abolishing their treasury, on the grounds that their banking practices were fraudulent, collects their riches, and distributes the wealth to various other Buddhist monasteries, Daoist abbeys, and to repair statues, halls, and bridges in the city.

In Chang'an, for the annual Lantern Festival of this year, recently abdicated emperor Rui Zong erects an enormous lantern wheel at a city gate, with a recorded height of 200 ft. The frame is draped in brocades and silk gauze, adorned with gold and jade jewelry, and when its total of some 50,000 oil cups is lit, the radiance of it can be seen for miles.

Xuan Zong allots the money of 20 million copper coins, and assigns about 1,000 craftsmen to construct a hall at a Buddhist monastery with tons of painted portraits of himself, and of deities, ghosts, etc.

Xuan Zong wins a power struggle with his sister, Princess Taiping. He executes a large number of her allies and forces her to commit suicide.

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

During the Tang Dynasty, publication of Kaiyuan Za Bao ("Bulletin of the Court"). First newspaper, hand printed on silk (approximate date).

====== Religion ======

Construction begins on the Leshan Giant Buddha near Leshan, Sichuan Province (China). Upon its completion in 803, it will become the largest stone carved Buddha in the world.

=== 714 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

In Septimania, local Visigothic nobles of the anti-Roderick party are offered peace terms similar to those of Prince Theudimer (see 713), and accept Muslim overlordship. Other Visigoths revolt and proclaim Ardo as king. Visigothic refugees gather in the Picos de Europa in the mountains of Asturias.

December 16 – Pepin II (of Herstal), mayor of the Merovingian palace, dies at Jupille (modern Belgium). His grandson Theudoald (who at age eight was still well into early childhood) becomes the nominal mayor of the palace, while his repudiated wife Plectrude holds actual power and imprisons Pepin's illegitimate son Charles Martel.

Civil War within the Pepinid clan: A revolt erupts between the Neustrian Franks and Frisians. King Radbod forces bishop Willibrord and his Benedictine monks to flee, and advances as far as Cologne (Germany). Frisia (modern-day Netherlands) becomes, once again, independent.

Duke Eudes proclaims himself the independent prince of Aquitaine (located north-east of the Garonne River), thereby asserting legal as well as practical independence from the Frankish Kingdom.

Grimoald the Younger, mayor of the palace of Neustria, is assassinated while on pilgrimage to visit the tomb of Saint Lambert at Liège, on orders of his father-in-law King Radbod.

====== Arabian Empire ======

Umayyad conquest of Hispania: Continuing campaigns of Muslim domination of the Iberian Peninsula. Arab forces raid the valley of the Ebro River, and capture the fortress city of Zaragoza. Musa ibn Nusayr is made protector (wali) of Al-Andalus, with his capital at Seville (approximate date).

Tariq ibn Ziyad conquers the cities of Barcelona and Narbonne, where Visigothic nobles accept Umayyad overlordship, in return for autonomy in Septimania (Southern France). Muslims also raid Avignon and Lyon (approximate date).

Musa ibn Nusayr and Tariq ibn Ziyad are summoned back to Damascus by caliph Al-Walid I. They are ordered to deliver all the spoils of war. Musa complains and is stripped of his rank. Abd al-Aziz, son of Musa, becomes governor of Al-Andalus (modern Spain).

Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, governor of Mesopotamia, dies at Wasit (Iraq) after a 20-year administration. He is credited for improving agricultural production and introducing the diacritic points to the Arabic script. Al-Hajjaj convinces Al-Walid I to adopt an Arab currency.

====== China ======

Emperor Xuan Zong forbids all commercial vendors and shops in the Chinese capital city of Chang'an to copy and sell Buddhist sutras, so that the emperor can give the clergy of the Buddhist monasteries the sole right to distribute written sutras to the laity.

Summer – Xuan Zong makes his general Xue Ne chancellor de facto, and commissions him with a Chinese army (60,000 men) to attack the Khitans (Mongolia). Xue falls into a Khitan trap and the Tang forces are crushed, at an 80-90% casualty rate.

Fall – Xue Ne repels a Tibetan invasion of the Lan Prefecture (modern Lanzhou). Xuan Zong creates Li Ying, his second son, crown prince of the Tang Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Rupert, bishop of Salzburg, founds Nonnberg Abbey in modern-day Austria.

=== 715 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

May – Emperor Anastasios II is deposed in an army mutiny and succeeded by Theodosius III, a tax-collector from the theme of Opsikion (modern Turkey). After a six-month siege, Theodosius and his troops take Constantinople; Anastasios is forced to abdicate the throne and retires to a monastery in Thessaloniki (Macedonia).

====== Europe ======

September 26 – Battle of Compiègne: Ragenfrid, mayor of the palace of Neustria and Burgundy (appointed by King Dagobert III), defeats Theudoald in the first battle of the Frankish civil war, following the death of Pepin II (of Herstal).

Dagobert III dies of an illness and is succeeded by Chilperic II, son of Childeric II, as king of Neustria. Charles Martel is freed from prison at Cologne, and is proclaimed Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia at the capital Metz.

====== Britain ======

Battle of Woden's Burg: Kings Ine of Wessex and Ceolred of Mercia clash at Woden's Burg (Wiltshire).

King Nechtan mac Der-Ilei invites the Northumbrian clergy to establish Christianity amongst the Picts.

====== Arabian Empire ======

February 23 – Caliph Al-Walid I dies at Damascus after a 10-year reign, and is succeeded by his brother Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik. During his rule the Umayyad Caliphate reaches its greatest height, with successful campaigns undertaken in Transoxiana (Central Asia), Sindh (Pakistan), Hispania and against the Byzantine Empire.

Umayyad conquest of Hispania: Arabs led by Tariq ibn Ziyad advance from the area La Rioja (modern-day Spain), and conquer the fortress city of León.

====== Japan ======

Empress Genmei abdicates the throne after an 8-year reign, in which she has built a replica of the Chinese imperial palace at Japan's new capital, Nara. Genmei is succeeded by her daughter Genshō.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

April 9 – Pope Constantine I dies at Rome after a 7-year reign. He is succeeded by Gregory II as the 89th pope of the Catholic Church.

Winning, an Irish monk, lands at the mouth of the River Garnock in Scotland, and establishes a community or cell of monks (termed cella or "Kil" in Gaelic).

The newly-appointed Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople organises a council propagating Dyothelitism, and attempts to improve relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The Umayyad Mosque is built over the Christian basilica of Saint John the Baptist in Damascus.

Approximate date – Tewkesbury Abbey is founded on the site of an ancient hermitage in England, by the noble brothers Oddo and Doddo.

=== 716 ===

==== By place ====

==== Byzantine Empire ====

Arab-Byzantine Wars: Umayyad Caliph Sulayman ibn Abd Al-Malik begins the preparations for his campaign on Constantinople, he orders new ships be built in the port-cities in Palestine, Egypt & Ifriqya. General Umar ibn Hubayra raids southern Anatolia by sea & conquers Lycia, where another Arab fleet join some him at and they spend winter. As the navy advances, Sulayman sends land armies into Anatolia, which settle at Caesarea.

Emperor Theodosios III concludes a peace treaty with Kormesiy, son of Tervel of Bulgaria, in an effort to secure support against the Arab invasion in Anatolia (modern Turkey). The treaty recognizes the Bulgarian borders, including the newly gained lands of Zagore (see 705). Theodosios agrees to pay annual tribute and exchange refugees charged with conspiracy against the legal ruler. Goods can only be imported or exported with a state seal. Bulgarian merchants gain official access to the trade market in Constantinople.

====== Europe ======

Battle of Cologne: Charles Martel, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, is defeated by the Neustrians under King Chilperic II and his mayor Ragenfrid near Cologne (now part of Germany), who have invaded Austrasia to impose their will on the competing Frankish factions of Theudoald and Plectrude, the child grandson (and designated heir) and widow respectively of Pepin of Herstal. Simultaneously, Radbod, king (or duke) of the Frisians, attacks Austrasia and allies with the Neustrians. Charles is forced to flee into the mountains of the Eifel (Ardennes).

Battle of Amblève: Charles Martel defeats his Neustrian and Frisian rivals near Amel (modern-day Belgium). His forces attack the army of Chilperic II and his allies, as they return triumphantly from Cologne. According to the Annals of Metz, Charles uses a feigned retreat to destroy his foes while they are resting, and recovers much of the ransom paid by Plectrude to Chilperic. He will remain undefeated until his death 25 years later.

====== Britain ======

Prince Æthelbald returns from Crowland Fens to Mercia, and seizes the throne after the death of his cousin King Ceolred, who had driven him into exile (see 709). He gains hegemony over London, Essex, and all of the English Midlands. By 731, Æthelbald will have subjugated all provinces south of the Humber River under his overlordship.

King Osred I of Northumbria is killed in battle, possibly by the Picts in Manau Gododdin (Scotland). He is succeeded by his distant cousin, Coenred.

====== Arabian Empire ======

Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa, governor of Al-Andalus (modern Spain), is assassinated on order of Caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik. He is succeeded by his cousin Ayyub ibn Habib al-Lakhmi, who becomes interim "protector" (wali) for 6 months, and moves the capital to Córdoba, until replaced by Al-Hurr ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Thaqafi.

====== Asia ======

Qapaghan Khan, ruler (khagan) of the Turkic Khaganate (Central Asia), is killed during a campaign against his rival Toquz Oghuz. His severed head is sent to Chang'an, capital of the Tang Dynasty. Qapaghan is succeeded by his son Inel Khagan.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Boniface, Anglo-Saxon missionary, leaves England and travels to Frisia (modern-day Netherlands) to assist Willibrord, bishop of Utrecht, in his work to convert the pagan Frisians.

=== 717 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

March 25 – Emperor Theodosios III is deposed after a reign of 1 year and 10 months. He is succeeded by the 32-year-old Leo III the Isaurian, a general (strategos) of the Anatolic Theme (modern Turkey). Theodosios and his son enter the clergy, and he probably becomes bishop of Ephesus. Leo brings an end to the Twenty Years' Anarchy in the Byzantine Empire, which marks the beginning of the so-called Isaurian Dynasty.

Arab–Byzantine War: Muslim general Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik leads his army of 80,000 men from Pergamum to Abydos, where he crosses the Hellespont. To prevent interference by the Bulgars, or by any Byzantine forces in Thrace, he sends part of his army to a covering position near Adrianople; with his main body, Maslama builds siege lines to blockade Constantinople, which is protected by the massive Theodosian Walls.

August 15 – Siege of Constantinople: Maslama begins a combined land and sea effort to capture Constantinople. The capital controls the Bosporus, access between the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and is defended by a garrison of roughly 25,000 men. Leo III orders the granaries be restocked and siege engines installed. The Arab besiegers are suffering immense losses due to disease, and from attrition of siege warfare.

September 1 – A Muslim armada, consisting of 1,800 ships commanded by Admiral Suleiman, sails into the Sea of Marmara and drops anchor below the sea walls of Constantinople, to supply their forces ashore. Leo III orders the Byzantine fleet to sally forth from their protected harbors with Greek fire, setting alight the thickly-packed Muslim ships. Many vessels burst into flames, while others collide with each other before sinking.

Fall – Basil Onomagoulos, Byzantine official, declares himself rival emperor in Sicily after the news arrives that Constantinople has fallen to an Arab siege. Leo III dispatches a chartoularios named Paul, with imperial instructions for the Byzantine army on the island. Basil is arrested and executed; his head is sent to Leo, while the other rebels are mutilated and exiled.

====== Europe ======

March 21 – Battle of Vincy: Charles Martel invades Neustria and defeats the forces of King Chilperic II at Vincy, near Cambrai. He pursues him and his mayor of the palace Ragenfrid to Paris, before turning back to deal with his stepmother Plectrude at Cologne, to turn over half the wealth of his late father Pepin of Herstal. Charles allows both Plectrude and his nephew Theudoald (who at eleven was still a little child) to live (a gesture uncommon for the time), and obliges her to accept his sovereignty.

Charles Martel consolidates his power, proclaims Clotaire IV king of Austrasia in opposition to Chilperic, and deposes Rigobert, bishop of Reims, replacing him with Milo. He marches against Radbod, king (or duke) of the Frisians, and pushes him back into his territory (later part of the Netherlands). Charles sends the Saxons back over the Weser River, and secures the Rhine border—in the name of Clotaire.

Paolo Lucio Anafesto dies after a 20-year reign, and is succeeded by Marcello Tegalliano as the second doge of the Republic of Venice.

====== Arabian Empire ======

Caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik dies after a 2-year reign, and is succeeded by his cousin Umar II. During his rule he grants tax exemption, and tries to reorganize the Umayyad finances.

A Muslim expedition under Al-Hurr ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Thaqafi cross the Pyrenees into Aquitanian territory, leading a small raiding party into Septimania (Southern France).

====== Asia ======

December 24 – A destructive earthquake, with six months of aftershocks, affects Syria and Mesopotamia.

Hoshi Ryokan, the world's second-longest surviving hotel, is established in Japan (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Nechtan mac Der-Ilei, king of the Picts, expels the monks from the island of Iona (Scotland).

=== 718 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Spring – A Muslim supply fleet of 760 ships under Sufyan arrives from Egypt and North Africa, concealing itself along the Asiatic shore. The Byzantines learn of the fleet's location from defecting Christian Egyptian sailors. Emperor Leo III sends the Byzantine navy again; his Greek fire ships destroy the enemy vessels in the Sea of Marmara and seize their supplies on shore, denying the sieging army vital provisions. On land the Byzantine troops ambush an advancing Arab army, and destroy it in the hills around Sophon, south of Nicomedia (modern Turkey). The Arab besiegers are still suffering from hunger and pestilence.

August 15 – Siege of Constantinople: A Bulgar relief force attacks the siege lines at Constantinople, on the west side of the Bosporus. Contemporary chroniclers report that at least 22,000–32,000 Arabs are killed during the Bulgarian attacks. Caliph Umar II is forced to lift the siege after 13 months; the Muslim army attempts to withdraw back through Anatolia, while the rest escapes by sea in the remaining vessels. The Arab fleet suffers further casualties to storms, and an eruption of the volcano of Thera. According to Arab sources 150,000 Muslims perish during the campaign.

====== Europe ======

Battle of Soissons: King Chilperic II of Neustria and his mayor of the palace Ragenfrid, allied with Eudes, independent duke of Aquitaine, march on Soissons in Picardy (northern France). Unfortunately, an army of Frankish veterans under Charles Martel defeat the Neustrian allies, who sue for peace. Chilperic flees to the land south of the River Loire and Ragenfrid escapes to Angers. Charles diplomatically chooses not to execute the enemy leaders, and becomes undisputed dux Francorum, ending the Frankish civil war.

Summer – Battle of Covadonga: Pelagius (Don Pelayo) is proclaimed king (caudillo), and defeats the Umayyad forces under Munuza, provincial governor of Asturias, at Picos de Europa (near Covadonga). This marks the beginning of the Reconquista, the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. He founds the Kingdom of Asturias, and establishes a military base at Cangas de Onís (northwest of Spain).

King Liutprand of the Lombards builds a close alliance with Charles Martel, and attacks the Bavarian castles on the River Adige, maintaining strategic control of the Alpine passes in the Italian Alps (approximate date).

====== Britain ======

King Coenred of Northumbria dies after a 2-year reign. The throne is seized by Osric, probably a younger brother, or half-brother, of the late king Osred I.

Former queen Cuthburh of Northumbria, abbess of Wimborne, dies at her abbey and is buried there (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

The Wessex-born missionary Boniface sets out for Frisia a second time. He travels to Rome, where Pope Gregory II sends him on a mission to convert the Saxons in Lower Saxony (modern-day Germany).

Hugh of Champagne, cousin of Charles Martel, enters the monastery of Jumièges (Normandy), and embraces as abbot the religious life.

=== 719 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Ex-Emperor Anastasios II starts a revolt against Leo III with considerable support, including auxiliaries provided by Tervel, emperor (khagan) of the Bulgarian Empire. His attack on Constantinople fails; Anastasios is captured and is put to death (by beheading), on the orders of Leo.

====== Europe ======

Ummayad conquest of Gaul (first major Muslim attack upon Visigothic Septimania, in southern France): Governor Al-Samh takes or re-takes Narbonne (Arbouna for the Arabs), before raiding the Toulouse area. Many town defenders and inhabitants are killed in the aftermath by the Umayyad forces.

Frisian–Frankish War: Charles Martel defeats Redbad, King of the Frisians. He easily invades Frisia (modern Netherlands) and subjugates the territory. Charles also crosses the Rhine and annexes "farther" Frisia, to the banks of the River Vlie.

Duke Grimoald becomes sole ruler of Bavaria, after the deaths of his brothers Theodbert, Theobald, and Tassilo II. He reunites the duchy after a civil war, and makes his capital Salzburg (approximate date).

May – Chilperic II is raised on the shield after the death of Chlothar IV, and recognized by Charles Martel as king (roi fainéant) of the Franks. Charles, however, gains a monopoly on power and royal offices.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

The church of Nubia transfers its allegiance from the Eastern Orthodox Church to the Coptic Church (approximate date).


Year 719 (DCCXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 719 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Austrasia was a territory which formed the northeastern section of the Merovingian Kingdom of the Franks during the 6th to 8th centuries. It was centred on the Meuse, Middle Rhine and the Moselle rivers, and was the original territory of the Franks, including both the so-called Salians and Rhineland Franks, which 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 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.


The Bosonids were a dynasty of Carolingian era dukes, counts, bishops and knights descended from Boso the Elder. Eventually they married into the Carolingian dynasty and produced kings and an emperor of the Frankish Empire.

The first great scion of the dynasty was Boso V, Count of Arles and of other Burgundian counties in the mid-9th century. Boso rose in favour as a courtier of Charles the Bald. He was even appointed viceroy in Italy in 875. After the death of Charles' son Louis II, Boso refused to recognise both Louis' sons, Carloman and Louis III as kings of France and proclaimed himself King of Provence in 879 at Vienne, with the support of the nobility. Boso strove throughout the rest of his life to maintain his title in the face of the Emperor Charles III. He died in 887 and was succeeded by his son Louis under the regency of his wife Ermengard, a daughter of the Emperor Louis II.

Louis was adopted by Charles III and legitimised in his royal title. With this legal basis, he sought to take the place of his Carolingian relatives on the imperial and Italian thrones in 900. He was crowned in Pavia and then in Rome, but could not actually hold on to power there.

Charles Martel

Charles Martel (c. 688 – 22 October 741) was a Frankish statesman and military leader who as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace, was the de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death. He was a son of the Frankish statesman Pepin of Herstal and Pepin's mistress, a noblewoman named Alpaida. Charles successfully asserted his claims to power as successor to his father as the power behind the throne in Frankish politics. Continuing and building on his father's work, he restored centralized government in Francia and began the series of military campaigns that re-established the Franks as the undisputed masters of all Gaul. According to a near-contemporary source, the Liber Historiae Francorum, Charles was "a warrior who was uncommonly [...] effective in battle". Much attention has been paid to his success in defeating an Arab raid in Aquitaine at the Battle of Tours. Alongside his military endeavours, Charles has been traditionally credited with a seminal role in the development of the Frankish system of feudalism.At the end of his reign, Charles divided Francia between his sons, Carloman and Pepin. The latter became the first king of the Carolingian dynasty. Charles' grandson, Charlemagne, extended the Frankish realms, and became the first Emperor in the West since the fall of Rome.

Childebert III

Childebert III (or IV), called the Just (French: le Juste) (c.678/679 – 23 April 711), son of Theuderic III and Clotilda (or Doda) and sole king of the Franks (694–711), he was seemingly but a puppet of the mayor of the palace, Pepin of Heristal, though his placita show him making judicial decisions of his own will, even against the Arnulfing clan. His nickname has no comprehensible justification except possibly as a result of these judgements, but the Liber Historiae Francorum calls him a "famous man" and "the glorious lord of good memory, Childebert, the just king."

He had a son named Dagobert, who succeeded him, as Dagobert III but his wife was not Edonne, the invention of later fantasists. It is possible, though not likely, that Chlothar IV was also his son. He spent almost his entire life in a royal villa on the Oise.

In 708, during his reign of sixteen years, the bishop of Avranches, Saint Aubert, founded the monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel at the urging of the Archangel Michael (according to legend).

Upon his death on 23 April 711, southern Gaul began to grow independent: Burgundy under Bishop Savaric of Auxerre, Aquitaine under Duke Odo the Great, and Provence under Antenor. He died at St Etienne, Loire, France. He was buried in the church of St Stephen at Choisy-au-Bac, near Compiègne.

Chilperic II

Chilperic II (c. 672 – 13 February 721), known as Daniel prior to his coronation, was the youngest son of Childeric II and his half-cousin, king of Neustria from 715 and sole king of the Franks from 718 until his death.

As an infant, he was spirited to a monastery to protect his life from the internecine feuding of his family. There, he was raised as Daniel until the death of Dagobert III in 715, when he was taken from the monastery — at the age of forty-three — and raised on the shield of the Neustrian warriors as king, as was the custom. He took the royal name of Chilperic, though due to his monastic upbringing, he was a very different man from Chilperic I.

First, it appears he was supposed to be but a tool in the hands of Ragenfrid, the mayor of the palace of Neustria, acclaimed in 714 in opposition to Theudoald, Pepin of Heristal's designated heir. Chilperic, however, was his own man: both a fighter and a leader, always at the forefront in battle at the head of his troops. In 716, he and Ragenfrid together led an army into Austrasia, then being warred over by Plectrude, on behalf of her grandson Theudoald, and Charles Martel, the son of Pepin of Heristal. The Neustrians allied with another invading force under Radbod, King of the Frisians and met Charles in battle near Cologne, then held by Plectrude. Chilperic was victorious and Charles fled to the mountains of the Eifel. The king and his mayor then turned to besiege their other rival in the city. Plectrude acknowledged Chilperic as king, gave over the Austrasian treasury, and abandoned her grandson's claim to the mayoralty.

At this juncture, events took a turn against Chilperic. As he and Ragenfrid were leading their triumphant soldiers back to Neustria, Charles fell on them near Malmedy and in the Battle of Amblève, Charles routed them and they fled. Thereafter, Charles Martel remained virtually undefeated and Chilperic's strong will was subdued in a series of campaigns waged in Neustrian territory.

In 717, Charles returned to Neustria with an army and confirmed his supremacy with a victory at Vincy, near Cambrai. He chased the fleeing king and mayor to Paris before turning back to deal with Plectrude and Cologne. On succeeding there, he proclaimed Chlothar IV king of Austrasia in opposition to Chilperic. In 718, Chilperic, in response, allied with Odo the Great, the duke of Aquitaine who had made himself independent during the contests in 715, but he was again defeated by Charles, at Soissons. The king fled with his ducal ally to the land south of the Loire and Ragenfrid fled to Angers. Soon Chlothar IV died. Odo then gave up on Chilperic and, in exchange for Charles recognising Chilperic's kingship over all the Franks, the king surrendered his political power to Charles, whom he recognized as Mayor over all the kingdoms (718).

In 719, he was officially raised on the shield as king of all the Franks, but he survived but a year and his successors were mere rois fainéants. He died in Attigny and was buried in Noyon. Chilperic II may have been the father of Childeric III, but this remains uncertain.


Chlothar (Latin Chlotharius; French Clotaire) is a Germanic given name, which evolved into the later form Lothair (Lotharius). It means "famous warrior", as a combination of the words hlut (loud, i.e. lauded, famous) and heri (army, warrior).

It can refer to the following kings of the Franks:

Chlothar I (497–561)

Chlothar II (584–629)

Chlothar III (652–673)

Chlothar IV (died 719)

Clovis III

Clovis III was the Frankish king of Austrasia in 675 and possibly into 676. A member of the Merovingian dynasty, he was a child and his reign so brief and contested that he may be considered only a pretender. He is sometimes even left unnumbered and Clovis IV is instead called Clovis III. The only source for his reign is the contemporary Suffering of Leudegar.Following the assassination of Childeric II in 675, the kingdoms of Austrasia and Neustria accepted different claimants. In Neustria, under the influence of Leudegar, bishop of Autun, Childeric's younger brother Theuderic III was installed as king. In Austrasia, Ebroin, the former mayor of the palace, installed Clovis III with support of a faction of the magnates opposed to the mayoralty of Wulfoald.Ebroin and his allies claimed that Clovis was a son of Chlothar III, Childeric's older brother. The Suffering of Leudegar claims that this was a lie, although there is nothing implausible in it, since Chlothar was about twenty-three years old when he died. Nor is the naming of Clovis unusual, since firstborn sons in the Merovingian dynasty were often named after their grandfathers, and Chlothar's father was Clovis II. When Theuderic III had a son in 677, however, he named him Clovis (the future Clovis IV) and this may be taken as evidence that the Suffering is correct and his brother never had a son of that name.

Ebroin needed a legitimate Merovingian in order to raise an army and to issue legally binding orders (praecepta). (A generation later, the same requirement forced Charles Martel to find a Merovingian pretender, Chlothar IV, in 717.) Once raised, Ebroin marched the army into the northwest of the kingdom and seized the royal treasury in the fall of 675. Once he had secured control of the treasury, he no longer needed Clovis and he abandoned him, declaring himself for Theuderic III. Those Austrasians opposed to Ebroin and to union with Neustria, however, did not recognise Theuderic, and instead enthroned Dagobert II sometime between 2 April and 30 June 676.There are some coins that have been attributed to the short reign of Clovis III. This attribution, first suggested by Jean Lafaurie in 1956, has been accepted by Egon Felder and Philip Grierson. A gold tremissis bearing the name CHLODOVIO RIX and the name of the moneyer, Eborino, probably belongs to him. Although it was possibly minted under Clovis IV, there is no evidence for the continuation of gold coinage in the Frankish kingdoms past the 670s. Likewise, late gold tremisses of Marseille bearing the name of Clovis probably belong to Clovis III. Stylistically, these have much in common with the coinage of Dagobert II, bearing the cross-on-steps motif on the reverse in imitation of Byzantine coinage.Of the ultimate fate of Clovis III nothing is known.

Dagobert III

Dagobert III (c.699–715) was Merovingian king of the Franks (711–715).

He was a son of Childebert III. He succeeded his father as the head of the three Frankish kingdoms—Neustria and Austrasia, unified since Pippin's victory at Tertry in 687, and the Kingdom of Burgundy—in 711. Real power, however, still remained with the Mayor of the Palace, Pippin of Herstal, who died in 714. Pippin's death occasioned open conflict between his heirs and the Neustrian nobles who elected the mayors of the palace. As for Dagobert himself, the Liber Historiae Francorum reports he died of illness, but otherwise says nothing about his character or actions.While attention was focused on combatting the Frisians in the north, areas of southern Gaul began to secede during Dagobert's brief time: Savaric, the fighting bishop of Auxerre, in 714 and 715 subjugated Orléans, Nevers, Avallon, and Tonnerre on his own account, and Eudo in Toulouse and Antenor in Provence were essentially independent magnates.


Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks (Latin: Regnum Francorum), or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. It is the predecessor of the modern states of France and Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, and East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843.

The core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms inter-acted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I who was crowned King of the Franks in 496. His dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was eventually replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious—father, son, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century, by this point dubbed as the Carolingian Empire.

During the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties the Frankish realm was one large kingdom polity subdivided into several smaller kingdoms, often effectively independent. The geography and number of subkingdoms varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted. The eastern kingdom was initially called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, and expanding eastwards into central Europe. It evolved into a German kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire. The western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul, and as the original kingdom of the Merovingians it came over time to be referred to as Francia, now France, although in other contexts western Europe generally could still be described as "Frankish". In Germany there are prominent other places named after the Franks such as the region of Franconia, the city of Frankfurt, and Frankenstein Castle.

French monarchs family tree

Below are the family trees of all French monarchs, from Childeric I to Louis Philippe I.

For a more simplified view, see French monarchs family tree (simple)

List of state leaders in the 8th century

State leaders in the 7th century – State leaders in the 9th century – State leaders by yearThis is a list of state leaders in the 8th century (701–800) AD.

Merovingian dynasty

The Merovingian dynasty was the ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751. They first appear as "Kings of the Franks" in the Roman army of northern Gaul. By 509 they had united all the Franks and northern Gaulish Romans under their rule. They conquered most of Gaul, defeating the Visigoths (507) and the Burgundians (534), and also extended their rule into Raetia (537). In Germania, the Alemanni, Bavarii and Saxons accepted their lordship. The Merovingian realm was the largest and most powerful of the states of western Europe following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

The term "Merovingian" comes from medieval Latin Merovingi or Merohingi ("sons of Merovech"), an alteration of an unattested Frankish form, akin to their dynasty's Old English name Merewīowing, with the final -ing being a typical Germanic patronymic suffix. The name derives from the possibly legendary King Merovech. Unlike the Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies, the Merovingians never claimed descent from a god, nor is there evidence that they were regarded as sacred.

The Merovingians' long hair distinguished them among the Franks, who commonly cut their hair short. Contemporaries sometimes referred to them as the "long-haired kings" (Latin reges criniti). A Merovingian whose hair was cut could not rule and a rival could be removed from the succession by being tonsured and sent to a monastery. The Merovingians also used a distinct name stock. One of their names, Clovis, evolved into Louis and remained common among French royalty down to the 19th century.

The first known Merovingian king was Childeric I (died 481). His son Clovis I (died 511) converted to Christianity, united the Franks and conquered most of Gaul. The Merovingians treated their kingdom as single yet divisible. Clovis's four sons divided the kingdom between them and it remained divided—with the exception of four short periods (558–61, 613–23, 629–34, 673–75)—down to 679. After that it was only divided again once (717–18). The main divisions of the kingdom were Austrasia, Neustria, Burgundy and Aquitaine.

During the final century of Merovingian rule, the kings were increasingly pushed into a ceremonial role. Actual power was increasingly in the hands of the mayor of the palace, the highest-ranking official under the king. In 656, the mayor Grimoald I tried to place his son Childebert on the throne in Austrasia. Grimoald was arrested and executed, but his son ruled until 662, when the Merovingian dynasty was restored. When King Theuderic III died in 737, the mayor Charles Martel continued to rule the kingdoms without a king until his death in 741. The dynasty was restored again in 743, but in 751 Charles's son, Pepin the Short, deposed the last king, Childeric III, and had himself crowned, inaugurating the Carolingian dynasty.

Theuderic III

Theuderic III (or Theuderich, Theoderic, or Theodoric; in French, Thierry) (c.651–691) was the king of Neustria (including Burgundy) on two occasions (673 and 675–691) and king of Austrasia from 679 to his death in 691. Thus, he was the king of all the Franks from 679. The son of Clovis II and Balthild, he has been described as a puppet – a roi fainéant – of Ebroin, the Mayor of the Palace, who may have even appointed him without the support of the nobles.

He succeeded his brother Chlothar III in Neustria in 673, but Childeric II of Austrasia displaced him soon thereafter until he died in 675 and Theuderic retook his throne. He fought a war against Dagobert II. His forces under Ebroin were victorious at the Battle of Lucofao. When Dagobert died in 679, Theuderic became king of Austrasia as well, unifying the Frankish realms.

He and the Neustrian mayor of the palace, Waratton, made peace with Pepin of Heristal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, in 681. However, on Waratton's death in 686, the new mayor, Berthar, made war with Austrasia and Pepin vanquished the Burgundo-Neustrian army under Berthar and Theuderic (a Neustrian) at the Battle of Tertry in 687, thus paving the way for Austrasian dominance of the Frankish state.

Theuderic IV

Theuderic IV (c. 712 – 737) or Theuderich, Theoderic, or Theodoric; in French, Thierry was the Merovingian King of the Franks from 721 until his death in 737. He was the son of king Dagobert III.During his reign, his realm was controlled by the mayor of the palace, Charles Martel, who kept him in custody, first in Chelles Abbey, then in Château-Thierry.

After his death, the Frankish throne remained vacant for seven years, until Pepin the Short arranged for Childeric III, the last Merovingian king, to succeed him. Theuderic IV may have been the father of Childeric III, but this remains uncertain.

Timeline of German history

This is a timeline of German history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Germany and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Germany. See also the list of German monarchs and list of Chancellors of Germany and the list of years in Germany.

Merovingian dynasty (400–755 AD)
Merovingians (486–751)
Robertians and Bosonids (751–987)
House of Capet (987–1328)
House of Valois (1328–1589)
House of Lancaster (1422–1453)
House of Bourbon (1589–1792)
First Republic (1792–1804)
First Empire (1804–1815)
Bourbon Restoration (1815–1830)
July Monarchy (1830–1848)
Second Republic (1848–1852)
Second Empire (1852–1870)
Government of National Defense (1870–1871)
Third Republic (1871–1940)
Vichy France (1940–1944)
Provisional Government (1944–1947)
Fourth Republic (1947–1958)
Fifth Republic (1958–present)

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.