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.[1]

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.[1]

Theuderic IV
Theuderic IV
Theuderic IV from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum
King of the Franks
PredecessorChilperic II
SuccessorHiatus(next Childeric III)
Mayor of the PalaceCharles Martel
Bornc. 712
Died737 (aged 24–25)
IssueChilderic III?
FatherDagobert III


  1. ^ a b Rosenwein 2009, p. 84.


  • Rosenwein, Barbara H. (2009). A Short History of the Middle Ages. University of Toronto.
Preceded by
Chlothar IV
Chilperic II
King of the Franks
Succeeded by
Charles Martel

Year 721 (DCCXXI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 721 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.


Year 737 (DCCXXXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 737 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.


Year 741 (DCCXLI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 741 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.

Adalbert, Duke of Alsace

Adalbert (died 723) was the Duke of Alsace beginning after 683 and probably until his death, before 700. He was the second duke of the family of the Etichonids and the first to inherit the duchy from his father.The son of Adalrich and Berswinda, Adalbert was created Count of the Sundgau by his father circa 683. It is unknown if Adalbert appointed another count to succeed him after taking over the ducal office, exercised the comital powers himself, or left the office vacant. Under Adalbert, Etichonid control of the offices of the duchy of Alsace and of the monasteries of the region became entrenched.

Adalbert seems to have concentrated his power in northern Alsace (the later Nordgau) around the Diocese of Strasbourg. He founded the convent of Saint Stephen at Strasbourg and installed his daughter Attala as its first abbess. In 722 he established a monastery in honour of the Saint Michael the Archangel on an island in the Rhine north of Strasbourg. This last establishment was co-founded by a group of monks from Ireland led by the first abbot, Benedict. Honau passed to King Theuderic IV on Adalbert's death.

Adalbert's first wife was Gerlinda (perhaps of Aquitaine); his second wife was Ingina, a wealthy woman of Alsace. Adalbert had three daughters: Eugenia, Gundlinda and Attala. The first two entered the nunnery of their aunt Odilia at Hohenburg, where Eugenia eventually succeeded as abbess. Gundlinda was later abbess of Niedermünster. In 845 the Emperor Lothair I confirmed all the charters which Adalbert had granted to his foundation at Strasbourg. Some attribute the daughters to Gerlinda while others attribute them to Ingina. Adalbert had two sons: Liutfrid and Eberhard. Liutfrid made Eberhard a count as early as the 720s. The sons are consistently attributed to Ingina.


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.

Childeric III

Childeric III (c. 717 – c. 754) was King of Francia from 743 until he was deposed by Pope Zachary in March 751 at the instigation of Pepin the Short. Although his parentage is uncertain, he is considered the last Frankish king from the Merovingian dynasty. Once Childeric was deposed, Pepin the Short, who was the father of emperor Charlemagne, was crowned the first king of the Franks from the Carolingian dynasty.

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.


Château-Thierry (French: [ʃato tjeʁi]) is a French commune situated in the department of the Aisne, in the administrative region of Hauts-de-France and in the historic Province of Champagne.

The origin of the name of the town is unknown. The local tradition attributes it to Theuderic IV, the penultimate Merovingian king, who was imprisoned by Charles Martel, without a reliable source. Château-Thierry is the birthplace of Jean de La Fontaine and was the location of the First Battle of the Marne and Second Battle of the Marne. The region of Château-Thierry (the arrondissement, to be exact) is called the country of Omois. Château-Thierry is one of 64 French towns to have received the Legion of Honour.

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.

Duchy of Alsace

The Duchy of Alsace (Latin: Ducatus Alsacensi, Ducatum Elisatium; German: Herzogtum Elsaß) was a large political subdivision of the Frankish Empire during the last century and a half of Merovingian rule. It corresponded to the territory of Alsace and was carved out of southern Austrasia in the last decade of the reign of Dagobert I, probably to stabilise the southern reaches of Austrasia against Alemannia and Burgundy. By the late Middle Ages, the region was considered part of Swabia.

French monarchs family tree (simple)

This is a simplified family tree of all Frankish and French monarchs, from Chlodio to Napoleon III.

Honau Abbey

The Abbey of Honau was a monastic foundation in Northern Alsace which flourished from the 8th century until 1290, when it succumbed to the flood-waters of the Rhine.

The Abbey was founded by Irish and Scottish monks at the beginning of the 8th century, on an island in the Rhine close to the present day village of La Wantzenau, which was later built on Abbey lands. The first abbot was Benedict (alias Benoît).

In 721, Duke Adalbert of Alsace, the brother of Saint Odile, built a new abbey for the monks, just four years after he had built the Abbey of St Stephen in Strasbourg. The Abbey was dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, a popular saint at the time, as can be testified by the establishment of the abbeys of Mont St Michel in Normandy and Saint Mihiel in Lorraine in the same period.On Adalbert's death in 723, the abbey passed to King Theuderic IV. The abbey continued to benefit from numerous generous donations. Benedict, who was still living in 726, eventually resigned as abbot and chose Tuban as his successor. Tuban is mentioned in several records of donations to the Abbey (Grandidier, op.cit.).

The subsequent abbots were Etienne, followed by Beatus. In 776 the Abbot Beatus is mentioned in a Charter from Charlemagne, referring to him as bishop and confirming that the Abbey would continue to be administered by Irish monks (Grandidier, op.cit.). According to Grandidier, the number of monks increased considerably during the time of Beatus and monks were sent out to found other churches and monasteries, including those at Luttenbach, in Alsace Aschaffenburg in Germany and Munster in Switzerland, all of which depended on Honau. Beatus was succeeded as Abbot by Edigan, who in turn was succeeded by Thomas. The first five abbots were all referred to as saints in the calendar of Saint Pierre le Vieux in Strasbourg, which, at the time of Grandidier, still claimed to hold relics of all five.

Although some writers claim the Abbey as a Benedictine foundation, this is disputed by Hunkler, who argues that it has not proved possible to associate the abbey to any particular monastic order.Several of the early abbots had the title bishop, leading to speculation that the abbey was the seat of a bishopric, but it is more probable that they were regional bishops.

In the 11th century, the Abbey became secularised, a chapter was created (Hunkler, op. cit.)

In 1290, the Abbey was abandoned, when the island was threatened by floodwaters. On 7 September 1290 Conrad de Lichtenberg, the Bishop of Strasbourg, transferred the Chapter to Rhinau, where a new Abbey was built, this too on an island in the Rhine. The same fate befell this second Abbey, which was abandoned in 1398 due to flooding. The Chapter then moved to Strasbourg on 22 May 1398, where the canons were permitted to practice their liturgy in the church of Saint Pierre le Vieux (Hunkler, op. cit.). They stayed there until 1790, when the Chapter was wound up, apart from the period 1529 to 1683 when, because of the Reform, they were not allowed to use the Church.

Hugbert of Bavaria

Hugbert (also Hukbert) of the Agilolfings was duke of Bavaria from 725 to 736. He was son of the duke Theudebert and Regintrud, the probable daughter of the Seneschal (and Pfalzgraf) Hugobert and Irmina of Oeren.

The early death of his father led to disagreement over his successor. Charles Martel tried to make use of the situation in order to gain more control over the independent duchy. Hugbert saw himself forced to give up parts of his duchy, and for a time, Bavarian laws were pronounced in the name of the Merovingian king Theuderic IV.

Hugbert started the implementation of his predecessor's plan to create an independent Bavarian church. He did this by having Boniface Christianize the country and by recalling the bishop Korbinian from Freising.

Liber Historiae Francorum

Liber Historiae Francorum (English: "The History Book of the Franks") is a chronicle written anonymously during the 8th century. The first sections served as a secondary source for early Franks in the time of Marcomer, giving a short breviarum of events until the time of the late Merovingians. The subsequent sections of the chronicle are important primary sources for the contemporaneous history. They provide an account of the Pippinid family in Austrasia before they became the most famous Carolingians.

List of French monarchs

The monarchs of the Kingdom of France and its predecessors (and successor monarchies) ruled from the establishment of the Kingdom of the Franks in 486 until the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870, with several interruptions.

Sometimes included as 'Kings of France' are the kings of the Franks of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled from 486 until 751, and of the Carolingians, who ruled until 987 (with some interruptions).

The Capetian dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet, included the first rulers to adopt the title of 'King of France' for the first time with Philip II (r. 1180–1223).

The Capetians ruled continuously from 987 to 1792 and again from 1814 to 1848. The branches of the dynasty which ruled after 1328, however, are generally given the specific branch names of Valois (until 1589) and Bourbon (until 1848).

During the brief period when the French Constitution of 1791 was in effect (1791–92) and after the July Revolution in 1830, the style of "King of the French" was used instead of "King of France (and Navarre)". It was a constitutional innovation known as popular monarchy, which linked the monarch's title to the French people rather than to the possession of the territory of France.With the House of Bonaparte, "Emperors of the French" ruled in 19th-century France between 1804 and 1814, again in 1815, and between 1852 and 1870.


Neustria (), or Neustrasia, (meaning "western land") was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks.Neustria included the land between the Loire and the Silva Carbonaria, approximately the north of present-day France, with Paris, Orléans, Tours, Soissons as its main cities. It later referred to the region between the Seine and the Loire rivers known as the regnum Neustriae, a constituent subkingdom of the Carolingian Empire and then West Francia. The Carolingian kings also created a March of Neustria which was a frontier duchy against the Bretons and Vikings that lasted until the Capetian monarchy in the late 10th century, when the term was eclipsed as a European political or geographical term.

Neustria was also employed as a term for northwestern Italy during the period of Lombard domination. It was contrasted with the northeast, which was called Austrasia, the same term as given to eastern Francia. For this meaning of the term, see Neustria (Italy).


Theodoric is a Germanic given name. First attested as a Gothic name in the 5th century, it became widespread in the Germanic-speaking world, not least due to its most famous bearer, Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths.

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)

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