Discussion:
Childebert the Adopted?
(too old to reply)
mike
2020-05-19 15:18:32 UTC
Permalink
This is a puzzle which I hope someone can explain.

I first read about how when Sigebert III of Austrasia died in 656, Grimoald
tonsured his son and sent him into exile led by the Bishop of Poitiers
[called Dido!] in Ireland in Ian Wood's book the Merovingian kingdoms.
Grimoald then placed his own son on the throne. The Neustrians were
enraged managed to capture Grimoald and tortured him to death in Paris.
But when I looked at the sources closest to the event, like the
LHF, they dont even mention Grimoalds sons name or what happened to him.
And the other source the Fredegar continuation doesnt seem to mention
the coup at all which is odd as it was written apparently under
the direction of a half bro of Charles Martel.

So where does the name childebert come from, and how do we know he was
adopted by Sigebert III?

it seems there are many theories but few facts.
1. I believe Settipani suggests Childebert was Sigeberts son
2. Geberding suggests it happened in 651 and Childebert III reigned
til 656, and it was a move by the Austrasians to avoid another
regency by a queen mother as in 639-42
3. Wood suggests that Queen CHimnechild didnt want dagobert as he wasnt
her son but agreed to Childebert so long as he married her daughter
Bilichild.


mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-19 23:57:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
This is a puzzle which I hope someone can explain.
I first read about how when Sigebert III of Austrasia died in 656, Grimoald
tonsured his son and sent him into exile led by the Bishop of Poitiers
[called Dido!] in Ireland in Ian Wood's book the Merovingian kingdoms.
Grimoald then placed his own son on the throne. The Neustrians were
enraged managed to capture Grimoald and tortured him to death in Paris.
But when I looked at the sources closest to the event, like the
LHF, they dont even mention Grimoalds sons name or what happened to him.
And the other source the Fredegar continuation doesnt seem to mention
the coup at all which is odd as it was written apparently under
the direction of a half bro of Charles Martel.
So where does the name childebert come from, and how do we know he was
adopted by Sigebert III?
it seems there are many theories but few facts.
1. I believe Settipani suggests Childebert was Sigeberts son
2. Geberding suggests it happened in 651 and Childebert III reigned
til 656, and it was a move by the Austrasians to avoid another
regency by a queen mother as in 639-42
3. Wood suggests that Queen CHimnechild didnt want dagobert as he wasnt
her son but agreed to Childebert so long as he married her daughter
Bilichild.
That this is a puzzle after more than 1,300 years means that no-one
today can definitively explain it.

In this regard, Ian Wood wrote: "The general silence of the sources,
however, even those written in the Carolingian period, concerning
Grimoald's coup and fall, suggests that the episode was one over which
Merovingians and Carolingians both wished to draw a veil."

Matthias Becher in 1994 suggested that the adoption of Childebert went
the other way round - that he was actually a son of Sigibert III adopted
by Grimoald, who had no son of his own.

The name Childebert and the epithet "adoptivus" come from a ruler list
compiled after the Merovingian era; Childebert was also the name of an
earlier adopted king. You can find citations and discussion of the
question in a 1998 article by Emanuelle Santinelli here:
https://www.persee.fr/doc/medi_0751-2708_1998_num_17_35_1425.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-20 16:16:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
This is a puzzle which I hope someone can explain.
I first read about how when Sigebert III of Austrasia died in 656, Grimoald
tonsured his son and sent him into exile led by the Bishop of Poitiers
[called Dido!] in Ireland in Ian Wood's book the Merovingian kingdoms.
Grimoald then placed his own son on the throne. The Neustrians were
enraged managed to capture Grimoald and tortured him to death in Paris.
But when I looked at the sources closest to the event, like the
LHF, they dont even mention Grimoalds sons name or what happened to him.
And the other source the Fredegar continuation doesnt seem to mention
the coup at all which is odd as it was written apparently under
the direction of a half bro of Charles Martel.
So where does the name childebert come from, and how do we know he was
adopted by Sigebert III?
it seems there are many theories but few facts.
1. I believe Settipani suggests Childebert was Sigeberts son
2. Geberding suggests it happened in 651 and Childebert III reigned
til 656, and it was a move by the Austrasians to avoid another
regency by a queen mother as in 639-42
3. Wood suggests that Queen CHimnechild didnt want dagobert as he wasnt
her son but agreed to Childebert so long as he married her daughter
Bilichild.
That this is a puzzle after more than 1,300 years means that no-one
today can definitively explain it.
In this regard, Ian Wood wrote: "The general silence of the sources,
however, even those written in the Carolingian period, concerning
Grimoald's coup and fall, suggests that the episode was one over which
Merovingians and Carolingians both wished to draw a veil."
they seem to have succeeded very well!
Post by Peter Stewart
Matthias Becher in 1994 suggested that the adoption of Childebert went
the other way round - that he was actually a son of Sigibert III adopted
by Grimoald, who had no son of his own.
The name Childebert and the epithet "adoptivus" come from a ruler list
compiled after the Merovingian era; Childebert was also the name of an
earlier adopted king. You can find citations and discussion of the
https://www.persee.fr/doc/medi_0751-2708_1998_num_17_35_1425.
thanks for the link. my french isnt that great but it seems the king list
dates from the carolingians which is rather vague = 9th? century perhaps,
and the story is expanded by Sigebert of Gembloux c1100. As he wrote at metz,
i wonder if he saw the same list and just put 2 and 2 together, so to speak,
or did he have access to a lost source on the matter. I havnt seen the Vita
St Sigebert to judge. Is it online? Does he make any mention of the same
event in his chronicle? I didnt realise that both Sigebert III
and his real son Dagobert II were later made saints!

I did wonder if later writers had just confused the older story of Guntram
adopting Childebert II in 577, but if there is a list with a definite
person called Childebert Adoptivus, I guess thats ruled out.

mike
Paulo Ricardo Canedo
2020-05-20 21:11:46 UTC
Permalink
Another theory: Maybe Childebert wasn't biological son of either of those men and they wanted to keep his true parentage hidden. Maybe he was born a peasant. What do you think of this theory?
taf
2020-05-20 23:07:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paulo Ricardo Canedo
Another theory: Maybe Childebert wasn't biological son of either of those
men and they wanted to keep his true parentage hidden. Maybe he was born
a peasant. What do you think of this theory?
Why would one even go there? Pauper-to-prince stories make for entertaining fiction, but this is precisely because it is so outside of the normal experience. How staggeringly drunk would they have to have been to decide that the best thing to do in a succession squabble is to pick some random peasant to be their next king?

taf
Paulo Ricardo Canedo
2020-05-20 23:13:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by taf
Post by Paulo Ricardo Canedo
Another theory: Maybe Childebert wasn't biological son of either of those
men and they wanted to keep his true parentage hidden. Maybe he was born
a peasant. What do you think of this theory?
Why would one even go there? Pauper-to-prince stories make for entertaining fiction, but this is precisely because it is so outside of the normal experience. How staggeringly drunk would they have to have been to decide that the best thing to do in a succession squabble is to pick some random peasant to be their next king?
taf
Thing is, as Peter pointed out, this story was something that both the Merovingians and the Carolingians wanted to obfuscate. Thus, it wouldn't surprise me if Childebert wasn't biological son of either Sigebert or Grimoald. The idea of him having been born a peasant was more of a side thought, not necessary to my main theory.
Peter Stewart
2020-05-20 23:33:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paulo Ricardo Canedo
Post by taf
Post by Paulo Ricardo Canedo
Another theory: Maybe Childebert wasn't biological son of either of those
men and they wanted to keep his true parentage hidden. Maybe he was born
a peasant. What do you think of this theory?
Why would one even go there? Pauper-to-prince stories make for entertaining fiction, but this is precisely because it is so outside of the normal experience. How staggeringly drunk would they have to have been to decide that the best thing to do in a succession squabble is to pick some random peasant to be their next king?
taf
Thing is, as Peter pointed out, this story was something that both the Merovingians and the Carolingians wanted to obfuscate. Thus, it wouldn't surprise me if Childebert wasn't biological son of either Sigebert or Grimoald. The idea of him having been born a peasant was more of a side thought, not necessary to my main theory.
If looking for an explanation that (so far as I know) hasn't been tried
before, there is a reasonable possibility that Childebert was the son of
Sigibert and NOT the same person as an unnamed Pippinid who was briefly
made king in Austrasia, the son of Grimoald, but rather his legitimate
Merovingian succesor, and that in a king list compiled more than a
century after their time these two men of murky memory were conflated
together and then confused with Sigibert I's son Childebert who had been
adopted earlier by his uncle Guntram.

That would at least account for the problems flagged by Becher after
which Settipani set out on a misguided expedition. His idea that a
Merovingian king might have adopted the bastard son of his wife and his
major domo, or marry a woman who had already given birth by this
personage out of wedlock and adopt her child (as sort-of happened in
with the crown prince of Norway, though without major-domo cuckolding
and succession coming into it), is going off-piste into avalanche territory.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-22 11:45:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
If looking for an explanation that (so far as I know) hasn't been tried
before, there is a reasonable possibility that Childebert was the son of
Sigibert and NOT the same person as an unnamed Pippinid who was briefly
made king in Austrasia, the son of Grimoald, but rather his legitimate
Merovingian succesor, and that in a king list compiled more than a
century after their time these two men of murky memory were conflated
together and then confused with Sigibert I's son Childebert who had been
adopted earlier by his uncle Guntram.
After I posted, i just reread your original suggestion and my slow brain
began to understand and I think its a good one.

So the Childebert III in the king list is not the unnamed son of Grimoald
in the LHF but Sigeberts son. Could Grimoald in the king list be not
the mayor but the unnamed son in LHF? Chronologically it would still
be a problem but I'm sorry i didnt understand earlier.

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-22 12:57:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
If looking for an explanation that (so far as I know) hasn't been tried
before, there is a reasonable possibility that Childebert was the son of
Sigibert and NOT the same person as an unnamed Pippinid who was briefly
made king in Austrasia, the son of Grimoald, but rather his legitimate
Merovingian succesor, and that in a king list compiled more than a
century after their time these two men of murky memory were conflated
together and then confused with Sigibert I's son Childebert who had been
adopted earlier by his uncle Guntram.
After I posted, i just reread your original suggestion and my slow brain
began to understand and I think its a good one.
So the Childebert III in the king list is not the unnamed son of Grimoald
in the LHF but Sigeberts son. Could Grimoald in the king list be not
the mayor but the unnamed son in LHF? Chronologically it would still
be a problem but I'm sorry i didnt understand earlier.
I will have to look at the two king lists tomorrow when I have more
energy - from memory (I think you mentioned this) they give a reign of 7
years to Childebert after the death of Sigibert (in 656), and for some
reason Grimoald is supposed to have been killed in 662 so there must be
something wrong in the chronology for one or both of them.

Until late in the 20th century it was thought that Childebert was the
last of several kings in Austrasia listed in the inscription on the
Barberini ivory in the Louvre, but this was apparently their earlier
relatives with the same names - which goes to show how easily king-list
compilers in the reign of Charlemagne could have become confused over
two different successions of Merovingian kings named alike.

However, I'm only putting forward my hunch that Childebert was not the
son of Grimoald but rather a second son of Sigibert and Chimnnechild who
was king between his father and his brother Dagobert, with an
interregnum before him when Grimoald usurped power and after him before
Dagobert was found living in Ireland. As for Grimoald having a namesake
son, I doubt it - the custom at that time was not to repeat names from
father to son, but of course like any convention this might have been
broken. Maybe the king list meant that Grimoald himself exercised sole
power rather than actually sat on the throne. But in any event it is
puzzling that he would have promoted his son instead of simply assuming
the crown himself if he succeeded in usurping a legitimate king in the
first place. This kind of self-denial is not usual in a power grab.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-22 17:24:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
I will have to look at the two king lists tomorrow when I have more
energy - from memory (I think you mentioned this) they give a reign of 7
years to Childebert after the death of Sigibert (in 656), and for some
reason Grimoald is supposed to have been killed in 662 so there must be
something wrong in the chronology for one or both of them.
Levillain quotes a part of a list, i think from Waitz

Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years
Hildericus 14 years

His references for them are

Duchesne Hist Franc script I,p781;
Pertz MGH script II, p308; xiii 724
Waitz neues archiv, X, 1885 p232

The Pertz ref II,p308 can be seen at
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image
which has all 3 lists, only 2 have childebert

"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"

I wonder if it really does have that because thats not what levillain quotes from the waitz text which i cant find. was his reading of the ms different or was the version in Waitz a bad copy of the one in Pertz? a footnote i can hardly read, seems to have "filius grimaldi" but perhaps that was added by Andre Duchesne himself.
Post by Peter Stewart
Dagobert was found living in Ireland. As for Grimoald having a namesake
son, I doubt it - the custom at that time was not to repeat names from
father to son, but of course like any convention this might have been
broken. Maybe the king list meant that Grimoald himself exercised sole
power rather than actually sat on the throne. But in any event it is
puzzling that he would have promoted his son instead of simply assuming
the crown himself if he succeeded in usurping a legitimate king in the
first place. This kind of self-denial is not usual in a power grab.
Peter Stewart
I can only suggest that if he was representing his own son as Sigeberts
to the court, this would have been the way to maintain his control
of the throne without such an obvious usurpation. Perhaps he fell out
with a co conspirator who informed clovis and the rest is in the LHF.

Its interesting that Pepin called his son Grimoald [II] (although he got murdered too). Clearly he wanted to remember his uncle. It was usual for kin
to donate to churches and abbeys for the soul of a departed relative.
Does anyone ever do that for Grimoald I?

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-23 00:53:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I will have to look at the two king lists tomorrow when I have more
energy - from memory (I think you mentioned this) they give a reign of 7
years to Childebert after the death of Sigibert (in 656), and for some
reason Grimoald is supposed to have been killed in 662 so there must be
something wrong in the chronology for one or both of them.
Levillain quotes a part of a list, i think from Waitz
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years
Hildericus 14 years
His references for them are
Duchesne Hist Franc script I,p781;
Pertz MGH script II, p308; xiii 724
Waitz neues archiv, X, 1885 p232
The Pertz ref II,p308 can be seen at
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image
which has all 3 lists, only 2 have childebert
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
I wonder if it really does have that because thats not what levillain quotes from the waitz text which i cant find. was his reading of the ms different or was the version in Waitz a bad copy of the one in Pertz? a footnote i can hardly read, seems to have "filius grimaldi" but perhaps that was added by Andre Duchesne himself.
Editors are often pains in the nether regions, including even Duchesne,
Pertz and Waitz.

The lines in the original manuscript from which this was transcribed can
be viewed here (folio 125r):

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034412s/f128

Clearly the lineation is important, as it actually says:

Sigobertus regnauit annos XXIII
Childebertus i. adoptiuus
Grimaldus regnauit ann VII

It does not clearly mean that Childebert was adopted by Sigibert. It may
mean that the length of Childebert's reign was unknown, and that
Grimoald "adopted" him personally, or his kingship for 7 years, by
standing in loco parentis to the child who may have been just a few
years old when Sigibert died.

Whatever was meant, it is not strong enough evidence to disregard the
fact that Stephen of Ripon and LHF say nothing about adoption in the
context of Grimoald's coup. A non-Merovingian on the throne for any
length of time going without detailed remark suggests to me that the
coup as described in LHF was of very brief duration, and more probably
took place after the early death of Childebert. Perhaps Grimoald
associated his unnamed son in his usurped power - like Pippin the Short
and Hugo Capet later - expelling the legitimate heir Dagobert, but
lasted no more than another year after Childebert's death in 662 to make
up the seven from 656 when Sigebert had died.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-23 01:34:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I will have to look at the two king lists tomorrow when I have more
energy - from memory (I think you mentioned this) they give a reign of 7
years to Childebert after the death of Sigibert (in 656), and for some
reason Grimoald is supposed to have been killed in 662 so there must be
something wrong in the chronology for one or both of them.
Levillain quotes a part of a list, i think from Waitz
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years
Hildericus 14 years
His references for them are
Duchesne Hist Franc script I,p781;
Pertz MGH script II, p308; xiii 724
Waitz neues archiv, X, 1885 p232
The Pertz ref II,p308 can be seen at
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image
which has all 3 lists, only 2 have childebert
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
I wonder if it really does have that because thats not what levillain
quotes from the waitz text which i cant find. was his reading of the
ms different or was the version in Waitz a bad copy of the one in
Pertz? a footnote i can hardly read, seems to have "filius grimaldi"
but perhaps that was added by Andre Duchesne himself.
Editors are often pains in the nether regions, including even Duchesne,
Pertz and Waitz.
The lines in the original manuscript from which this was transcribed can
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034412s/f128
Sigobertus    regnauit    annos    XXIII
Childebertus     i. adoptiuus
Grimaldus    regnauit    ann    VII
It does not clearly mean that Childebert was adopted by Sigibert. It may
mean that the length of Childebert's reign was unknown, and that
Grimoald "adopted" him personally, or his kingship for 7 years, by
standing in loco parentis to the child who may have been just a few
years old when Sigibert died.
Whatever was meant, it is not strong enough evidence to disregard the
fact that Stephen of Ripon and LHF say nothing about adoption in the
context of Grimoald's coup. A non-Merovingian on the throne for any
length of time going without detailed remark suggests to me that the
coup as described in LHF was of very brief duration, and more probably
took place after the early death of Childebert. Perhaps Grimoald
associated his unnamed son in his usurped power - like Pippin the Short
and Hugo Capet later - expelling the legitimate heir Dagobert, but
lasted no more than another year after Childebert's death in 662 to make
up the seven from 656 when Sigebert had died.
Or I should add: perhaps lasted less than a year after Childebert's
death in 662 to make it the seventh year from Sigibert's death in
February 656.

We can't be sure (and perhaps the 9th-century writer wasn't either) if
these regnal years were given as cardinal or ordinal numbers in his
source/s.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-24 16:59:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I will have to look at the two king lists tomorrow when I have more
energy - from memory (I think you mentioned this) they give a reign of 7
years to Childebert after the death of Sigibert (in 656), and for some
reason Grimoald is supposed to have been killed in 662 so there must be
something wrong in the chronology for one or both of them.
Levillain quotes a part of a list, i think from Waitz
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years
Hildericus 14 years
His references for them are
Duchesne Hist Franc script I,p781;
Pertz MGH script II, p308; xiii 724
Waitz neues archiv, X, 1885 p232
The Pertz ref II,p308 can be seen at
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image
which has all 3 lists, only 2 have childebert
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
I wonder if it really does have that because thats not what levillain quotes from the waitz text which i cant find. was his reading of the ms different or was the version in Waitz a bad copy of the one in Pertz? a footnote i can hardly read, seems to have "filius grimaldi" but perhaps that was added by Andre Duchesne himself.
Editors are often pains in the nether regions, including even Duchesne,
Pertz and Waitz.
The lines in the original manuscript from which this was transcribed can
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034412s/f128
Sigobertus regnauit annos XXIII
Childebertus i. adoptiuus
Grimaldus regnauit ann VII
It does not clearly mean that Childebert was adopted by Sigibert. It may
mean that the length of Childebert's reign was unknown, and that
Grimoald "adopted" him personally, or his kingship for 7 years, by
standing in loco parentis to the child who may have been just a few
years old when Sigibert died.
Whatever was meant, it is not strong enough evidence to disregard the
fact that Stephen of Ripon and LHF say nothing about adoption in the
context of Grimoald's coup. A non-Merovingian on the throne for any
length of time going without detailed remark suggests to me that the
coup as described in LHF was of very brief duration, and more probably
took place after the early death of Childebert. Perhaps Grimoald
associated his unnamed son in his usurped power - like Pippin the Short
and Hugo Capet later - expelling the legitimate heir Dagobert, but
lasted no more than another year after Childebert's death in 662 to make
up the seven from 656 when Sigebert had died.
Peter Stewart
So could I summarise your alternative theory,

Childebert III was a real Merovingian, perhaps another son of Sigebert II who
asked Grimald to adopt him, but then died after 1 year, and then Grimoald
tried raise his own son as king but got found out. And that later writers got
the adoption story the wrong way round [if there was an adoption and not
just a later confusion with Childebert II son of Sigebert I].

The other lists end with Pepin III in 768 so are 40 years later than the
writer of the LHF but about 70+ years earlier than the one in the Bern codex
and . Does this mean Bern could have been copied from the other in Paris. You
said the lineation is important, so I just wonder if the original 1 line

"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"

became 2 lines in the Bern codex

Childebertus i. adoptiuus
Grimaldus regnauit ann VII

However Duchesne may have made the mistake of making 2 lines into 1.
Without seeing the originals its impossible to be sure. Especially when
Levillain clearly says the older list calls Childebert 'filius Grimaldi'
which I wondered if it was a later addition.

I was wondering how to translate

"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"

Could it mean 'Childebert who was adopted by Grimald reigned 7 years' or
Childebert that is the Adopted Grimald [son of Grimald] reigned 7 years?

Levillain quotes another historian Himly who suggested this reading that
Grimald was the original name of Grimalds son who took the name Childebert
when he was adopted by Sigebert II, although as you say it wasnt Frankish
custom to name sons after their own fathers.

Although the LHF is unreliable chronologically it does say that Grimoald
was killed under Clovis II who died in 657. I assume that is why most
historians follow Levillains version and have Childebert reigning 656-62.

Could the hucusque refer to the regii on the line above? Why should it have
regii Sigebertus and then regius for the others. Plus it seems odd that some
merovingian kings are called regius and some not.

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-24 23:16:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I will have to look at the two king lists tomorrow when I have more
energy - from memory (I think you mentioned this) they give a reign of 7
years to Childebert after the death of Sigibert (in 656), and for some
reason Grimoald is supposed to have been killed in 662 so there must be
something wrong in the chronology for one or both of them.
Levillain quotes a part of a list, i think from Waitz
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years
Hildericus 14 years
His references for them are
Duchesne Hist Franc script I,p781;
Pertz MGH script II, p308; xiii 724
Waitz neues archiv, X, 1885 p232
The Pertz ref II,p308 can be seen at
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image
which has all 3 lists, only 2 have childebert
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
I wonder if it really does have that because thats not what levillain quotes from the waitz text which i cant find. was his reading of the ms different or was the version in Waitz a bad copy of the one in Pertz? a footnote i can hardly read, seems to have "filius grimaldi" but perhaps that was added by Andre Duchesne himself.
Editors are often pains in the nether regions, including even Duchesne,
Pertz and Waitz.
The lines in the original manuscript from which this was transcribed can
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034412s/f128
Sigobertus regnauit annos XXIII
Childebertus i. adoptiuus
Grimaldus regnauit ann VII
It does not clearly mean that Childebert was adopted by Sigibert. It may
mean that the length of Childebert's reign was unknown, and that
Grimoald "adopted" him personally, or his kingship for 7 years, by
standing in loco parentis to the child who may have been just a few
years old when Sigibert died.
Whatever was meant, it is not strong enough evidence to disregard the
fact that Stephen of Ripon and LHF say nothing about adoption in the
context of Grimoald's coup. A non-Merovingian on the throne for any
length of time going without detailed remark suggests to me that the
coup as described in LHF was of very brief duration, and more probably
took place after the early death of Childebert. Perhaps Grimoald
associated his unnamed son in his usurped power - like Pippin the Short
and Hugo Capet later - expelling the legitimate heir Dagobert, but
lasted no more than another year after Childebert's death in 662 to make
up the seven from 656 when Sigebert had died.
Peter Stewart
So could I summarise your alternative theory,
Childebert III was a real Merovingian, perhaps another son of Sigebert II who
asked Grimald to adopt him, but then died after 1 year, and then Grimoald
tried raise his own son as king but got found out. And that later writers got
the adoption story the wrong way round [if there was an adoption and not
just a later confusion with Childebert II son of Sigebert I].
Yes, this is my guess - with the proviso that Sigibert presumably asked
Grimoald to adopt his son young Childebert only when he knew he was
dying, perhaps in order to prevent a regency or usurpation by his
half-brother Clovis II. Then after a year as the legitimate Merovingian
king, Childebert died and Grimoald, having consolidated his power as
mayor of the palace (possibly assuming the title 'duke', as his nephew
Pippin of Herstal did later, but not king), expelled Childebert's
brother Dagobert in order to remain as sole ruler himself for a further
seven years, at the end of which time he tried to make an unnamed son of
his own king to supplant the Merovingians but failed in his coup. This
is similar to the scenario proposed by Paul Edmond Martin in *Études
critiques sur la Suisse à l'époque mérovingienne* (1910).
Post by mike
The other lists end with Pepin III in 768 so are 40 years later than the
writer of the LHF but about 70+ years earlier than the one in the Bern codex
and . Does this mean Bern could have been copied from the other in Paris. You
said the lineation is important, so I just wonder if the original 1 line
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
became 2 lines in the Bern codex
Childebertus i. adoptiuus
Grimaldus regnauit ann VII
However Duchesne may have made the mistake of making 2 lines into 1.
Without seeing the originals its impossible to be sure. Especially when
Levillain clearly says the older list calls Childebert 'filius Grimaldi'
which I wondered if it was a later addition.
I'm not able to find where you are reading this in Levillain's article -
unless I am missing something, the statement that Childebert was son of
Grimoald comes not from a regnal list but from annals compiled in the
9th or 10th century. Can you please give a page reference?

The two lines you have quoted as from the Bern codex are actually from
the earlier Paris one, apparently compiled in the reign of Charlemagne,
and the single line you have quoted above this is an editor's version of
the same (the original in the Bibliothèque nationale can be viewed on
Gallica, linked in my earlier post). I'm not convinced that
"Childebertus i. adoptiuus" in this should be rendered as "Childebertus
id est adoptivus" - there is no contraction in the original for "est"
and "id est" would be redundant in this context anyway. It seems more
plausible to me that the writer meant "i." (undotted) as a Roman
numeral, meaning that Childebert reigned for one year. Assuming the
later Bern codex list was drawn from the same source, or perhaps from
the Paris list itself, this was evidently the understanding of the later
compiler who was working in the reign of Charlemagne's son Louis.

In 1884 Georg Waitz published a related list that was evidently compiled
in the reign of Louis II, which has:

Hildebertus adoptivus annum 1
Grimoaldus ann. 7

Below this it gives the regnal length of Pippin the Short as 27 and a
half years, calculating together his time in power as mayor of the
palace, duke and as king. This most probably indicates the same
intention as the earlier regnal lists, recording the duration of
effectively supreme power for each ruler rather than the length of kingship.
Post by mike
I was wondering how to translate
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
Could it mean 'Childebert who was adopted by Grimald reigned 7 years' or
Childebert that is the Adopted Grimald [son of Grimald] reigned 7 years?
Levillain quotes another historian Himly who suggested this reading that
Grimald was the original name of Grimalds son who took the name Childebert
when he was adopted by Sigebert II, although as you say it wasnt Frankish
custom to name sons after their own fathers.
I don't buy this name-change idea at all, because it was not customary
as you say and because if Sigibert had really adopted a son of Grimoald
as his heir (that I find incredible) it is impossible to understand why
the Austrasian Franks would have accepted this disruptive arrangement
for some years before turning violently against it.

The original manuscript does not the text you quote above in one line,
and whether or not "i." stands for "id est" the 7-year rulership is
attributed on the line of Grimoald not of Childebert.
Post by mike
Although the LHF is unreliable chronologically it does say that Grimoald
was killed under Clovis II who died in 657. I assume that is why most
historians follow Levillains version and have Childebert reigning 656-62.
If Grimoald was condemned to death by Clovis II, who died in the autumn
of 657, the he cannot have held power for 7 years after the death of
Sigibert, who died in February 656. The LHF author may have mistaken the
name of the king in Neustria who was asked by the Austrasians to deal
with Grimoald, and this may instead have been Clovis II's son Chlothar
III who reigned in both Neustria and Austrasia.
Post by mike
Could the hucusque refer to the regii on the line above? Why should it have
regii Sigebertus and then regius for the others. Plus it seems odd that some
merovingian kings are called regius and some not.
Regii is the plural of regius, an adjective meaning royal. Unfortunately
the MGH edition of the Bern codex 83 list does not clearly state whether
or not the superscript additions in a different ink (including the
repeated "nothus") are in the same hand as the rest of the text. Since
it is mentioned that the incorrect reign length of 40 years for Louis
the Pious was added by a different hand, I assume the editor either
could not tell for certain or else thought that the superscript
additions were made by the same hand as the original list.

In any event, I suppose that "regius/regii" was used to indicate
Merovingian dynastic rulers and "nothus" presumably was used in contrast
to this, meaning illegitimate not by birth but in the sense of
non-dynastic rulers. The compiler perhaps stopped making this
distinction further down the list as it became invidious to qualify
Pippin the Short and his descendants as "nothi", especially considering
they were not all just royal but the last two also imperial and not very
tolerant of insults.

The problem is to discern exactly where the "regius" qualification was
meant to end, either at Sigibert against whose name "regii" was written
or at Childebert on the line below against whom "hucusque" (= thus
far/hitherto) is written. The text was presumably meant to read down
each column, so that "regii hucusque" was to be understood as meaning
"royal down to here" encompassing all the names either down to Sigibert
but excluding Childebert, or else all the names down to Childebert but
excluding Grimoald on the line below. As I said before, the import is
unclear. You pay your money, you take your choice.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-25 23:29:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
So could I summarise your alternative theory,
Childebert III was a real Merovingian, perhaps another son of Sigebert II who
asked Grimald to adopt him, but then died after 1 year, and then Grimoald
tried raise his own son as king but got found out. And that later writers got
the adoption story the wrong way round [if there was an adoption and not
just a later confusion with Childebert II son of Sigebert I].
Yes, this is my guess - with the proviso that Sigibert presumably asked
Grimoald to adopt his son young Childebert only when he knew he was
dying, perhaps in order to prevent a regency or usurpation by his
half-brother Clovis II. Then after a year as the legitimate Merovingian
king, Childebert died and Grimoald, having consolidated his power as
mayor of the palace (possibly assuming the title 'duke', as his nephew
Pippin of Herstal did later, but not king), expelled Childebert's
brother Dagobert in order to remain as sole ruler himself for a further
seven years, at the end of which time he tried to make an unnamed son of
his own king to supplant the Merovingians but failed in his coup. This
is similar to the scenario proposed by Paul Edmond Martin in *Études
critiques sur la Suisse à l'époque mérovingienne* (1910).
Not just Martin but before him Krusch who I think was the editor of the LHF text and [if i understand Levillains comments correctly] didnt think much of
it as an historical source. I believe Levillain wrote his 2nd article in
1946 to reaffirm his belief in the LHF version, the Adoption story of
Sigebert of Gembloux [who he says used unknown sources but de bonne note],
and uses the lists to support this, whereas Krusch thought that the lists and the LHF were incompatible.
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
The other lists end with Pepin III in 768 so are 40 years later than the
writer of the LHF but about 70+ years earlier than the one in the Bern codex
and . Does this mean Bern could have been copied from the other in Paris. You
said the lineation is important, so I just wonder if the original 1 line
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
became 2 lines in the Bern codex
Childebertus i. adoptiuus
Grimaldus regnauit ann VII
However Duchesne may have made the mistake of making 2 lines into 1.
Without seeing the originals its impossible to be sure. Especially when
Levillain clearly says the older list calls Childebert 'filius Grimaldi'
which I wondered if it was a later addition.
I'm not able to find where you are reading this in Levillain's article -
unless I am missing something, the statement that Childebert was son of
Grimoald comes not from a regnal list but from annals compiled in the
9th or 10th century. Can you please give a page reference?
its in the second article by Levillain Encore la succession.. p300 in 1946, which you mentioned earlier. He quotes Himly, but the list which has
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7" seemingly as one entry not 2, is also printed in Pertz MGH script II, p308.
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image

Do I understand you are saying that in the original Paris manuscript it isnt
on 1 line but 2? A very small footnote says 'filii grimoaldi' is added after
Childebertus, but is it medieval or by an earlier editor like Duchesne.

Is Clovis II death date of 657 absolutly solid? I just wonder if the LHF was
correct [unlikely] and Chlothar III did reign only 4 years, then Clovis would
have died in 668/9. So if Grimoald had reigned/governed 7 years until 662,
Clovis could have still been the king who brought him down. I'm not saying
this actually happened, but perhaps thats what the LHF author writing in 727
thought had happened.

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-26 04:13:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
So could I summarise your alternative theory,
Childebert III was a real Merovingian, perhaps another son of Sigebert II who
asked Grimald to adopt him, but then died after 1 year, and then Grimoald
tried raise his own son as king but got found out. And that later writers got
the adoption story the wrong way round [if there was an adoption and not
just a later confusion with Childebert II son of Sigebert I].
Yes, this is my guess - with the proviso that Sigibert presumably asked
Grimoald to adopt his son young Childebert only when he knew he was
dying, perhaps in order to prevent a regency or usurpation by his
half-brother Clovis II. Then after a year as the legitimate Merovingian
king, Childebert died and Grimoald, having consolidated his power as
mayor of the palace (possibly assuming the title 'duke', as his nephew
Pippin of Herstal did later, but not king), expelled Childebert's
brother Dagobert in order to remain as sole ruler himself for a further
seven years, at the end of which time he tried to make an unnamed son of
his own king to supplant the Merovingians but failed in his coup. This
is similar to the scenario proposed by Paul Edmond Martin in *Études
critiques sur la Suisse à l'époque mérovingienne* (1910).
Not just Martin but before him Krusch who I think was the editor of the LHF text and [if i understand Levillains comments correctly] didnt think much of
it as an historical source. I believe Levillain wrote his 2nd article in
1946 to reaffirm his belief in the LHF version, the Adoption story of
Sigebert of Gembloux [who he says used unknown sources but de bonne note],
and uses the lists to support this, whereas Krusch thought that the lists and the LHF were incompatible.
Once again, you are posting information without references which I can't
find substantiated: Krusch was one of the historians before Levillain
who thought that Dagobert II reigned twice - first in 656-661, between
his father Sigibert III and Childebert 'adoptivus'. This is not the
scenario outlined above that is my guess and similar to Martin's proposal.
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
The other lists end with Pepin III in 768 so are 40 years later than the
writer of the LHF but about 70+ years earlier than the one in the Bern codex
and . Does this mean Bern could have been copied from the other in Paris. You
said the lineation is important, so I just wonder if the original 1 line
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
became 2 lines in the Bern codex
Childebertus i. adoptiuus
Grimaldus regnauit ann VII
However Duchesne may have made the mistake of making 2 lines into 1.
Without seeing the originals its impossible to be sure. Especially when
Levillain clearly says the older list calls Childebert 'filius Grimaldi'
which I wondered if it was a later addition.
I'm not able to find where you are reading this in Levillain's article -
unless I am missing something, the statement that Childebert was son of
Grimoald comes not from a regnal list but from annals compiled in the
9th or 10th century. Can you please give a page reference?
its in the second article by Levillain Encore la succession.. p300 in 1946, which you mentioned earlier. He quotes Himly, but the list which has
"Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7" seemingly as one entry not 2, is also printed in Pertz MGH script II, p308.
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image
Levillain was nodding in his citation - he said that Himly reproduced
two lists on pp. 280 and 281 but these are actually quoted (from
unreliable editions criticised by Krusch) on pp. 289-290 of the article
referenced as can be seen here:

https://www.persee.fr/doc/bec_0373-6237_1939_num_100_1_449195

The one you are quoting from was printed by Bouquet in the original
edition of *Recueil des historiens* vol. ii page 691, here:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=7GBUAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA691

At a glance this appears to be a poorly edited version from a codex that
belonged to Jean du Tillet (a 16th-century bishop of Meaux), with
genealogical relationships added presumably later than the Paris
manuscript which gives most of the same text and reign lengths without
these glosses. In case you have not looked at this from the link in my
previous post, it can be viewed here:

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034412s/f128.

I don't know if the codex owned by Du Tillet was this manuscript or
another with a version of the same list - I will check this.
Post by mike
Do I understand you are saying that in the original Paris manuscript it isnt
on 1 line but 2? A very small footnote says 'filii grimoaldi' is added after
Childebertus, but is it medieval or by an earlier editor like Duchesne.
Perhaps you are not reading all of my posts on this topic - I pointed
out that editions and quotations can be misleading and posted a link to
the Paris manuscript itself (repeated above) so that the original text
(including its lineation) can be considered in this discussion. I'm not
sure what is to be gained by going back to editions and quotations of
this that confuse the issue.
Post by mike
Is Clovis II death date of 657 absolutly solid? I just wonder if the LHF was
correct [unlikely] and Chlothar III did reign only 4 years, then Clovis would
have died in 668/9. So if Grimoald had reigned/governed 7 years until 662,
Clovis could have still been the king who brought him down. I'm not saying
this actually happened, but perhaps thats what the LHF author writing in 727
thought had happened.
Clovis II is not definitely recorded as having been king in Austrasia,
which presumably the king who executed Grimoald became: Chlothar III on
the other hand was king in Austrasia from 662.

Krusch's demonstration that Clovis II died in 657 can be read here:

https://archive.org/details/ForschungenZurDeutschenGeschichte22/page/n475/mode/2up.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-26 06:05:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
The one you are quoting from was printed by Bouquet in the original
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=7GBUAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA691
At a glance this appears to be a poorly edited version from a codex that
belonged to Jean du Tillet (a 16th-century bishop of Meaux), with
genealogical relationships added presumably later than the Paris
manuscript which gives most of the same text and reign lengths without
these glosses. In case you have not looked at this from the link in my
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034412s/f128.
I don't know if the codex owned by Du Tillet was this manuscript or
another with a version of the same list - I will check this.
They are not from the same manuscript - the one now in Paris belonged to
the royal library at Fontainebleau in the 16th century, while the one
(probably derived from this) that belonged to Jean du Tillet is now in
the Vatican library. The list in the latter can be viewed here (on folio
79v):

https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Reg.lat.846

Clearly is does not say "Childebertus adoptivus filius Grimoaldi" but
rather "Childeb[er]tus adoptiuus filius grimoald regnauit an[nos] VII".

This probably meant that Childebert was the adopted son of Grimoald
(expanding the contracted name after filius to Grimoaldi). It also
appears to state that Childebert reigned for seven years, that
contradicts other lists. It may be that the compiler telescoped the two
lines in the Paris manuscript and mistook the "i." that was
tendentiously explanded to "id est" in the MGH Scriptores edition as
standing for "filius", then meant to add that Grimoald had ruled for
seven years (expanding the contracted name after filius to Grimoaldus).

In any event, Bruno Krusch in his MGH Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum
edition (the best available) placed the Vatican manuscript as subsidiary
to the Paris one, both ascribed to the 9th century, as versions of his
Catalogue III, here:
https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_rer_merov_7/index.htm#page/473/mode/1up.

Interestingly, a not very legible reproduction in this of the relevant
section from the Bern codex 83 (at Tab. 3) seems to show that "regii
hucusque" is spread over three lines but appears to be centered on the
line for Childebert as the cut-off point for royalty, here:
https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_rer_merov_7/index.htm#page/(472a)/mode/1up.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-26 21:55:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
The one you are quoting from was printed by Bouquet in the original
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=7GBUAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA691
At a glance this appears to be a poorly edited version from a codex that
belonged to Jean du Tillet (a 16th-century bishop of Meaux), with
genealogical relationships added presumably later than the Paris
manuscript which gives most of the same text and reign lengths without
these glosses. In case you have not looked at this from the link in my
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034412s/f128.
Sorry I missed this link. This is the one in Paris 4409? Perhaps
Pertz didnt actually see the manuscript which he prints in MGH II, 308.
Surely editors should print what they see first and then add their
interpretation or comment in footnotes!

Thanks for locating all these sources online, its more than i expected.

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-27 01:50:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
The one you are quoting from was printed by Bouquet in the original
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=7GBUAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA691
At a glance this appears to be a poorly edited version from a codex that
belonged to Jean du Tillet (a 16th-century bishop of Meaux), with
genealogical relationships added presumably later than the Paris
manuscript which gives most of the same text and reign lengths without
these glosses. In case you have not looked at this from the link in my
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10034412s/f128.
Sorry I missed this link. This is the one in Paris 4409? Perhaps
Pertz didnt actually see the manuscript which he prints in MGH II, 308.
Surely editors should print what they see first and then add their
interpretation or comment in footnotes!
If only, Mike.

In this case the problems are manifold within just a line or two, and
finding a way through my piecemeal approach to the questions you have
raised must leave you with an incomplete trail of crumbs to whatever I
am proposing.

Having refreshed my memory (somewhat), it may be useful to go back over
the same ground.

The record followed by most historians over many centuries has been the
account given by Sigebert of Gembloux. I agree with Levillain that he
had the use of sources lost to us that would have been rationally
applied to reach his conclusions. However, that does not inevitably make
these fully plausible and it seems to me that he was probably misled by
errors that were already 250+ years old when he was writing the Vita of
Sigibert III (most probably in the 1060s).

The earliest sources we have for the coup attempt by Grimoald were
written in the early-8th century - Stephen of Ripon's Vita of St
Wilfrith and Liber historiae Francorum (LHF). Neither of these mentions
Childebert by name, and neither says anything even implying an adoption.

The earliest sources that do name Childebert in some connection
(genealogical or otherwise) to both Sigibert III and Grimoald are mainly
three ruler lists compiled from the late-8th to the mid-9th century and
then some annals from the 9th or 10th century.

It is no discredit to Sigebert of Gembloux that he followed these or
similar sources in the light of his best understanding. It is equally no
discredit to anyone today if his account is believed in full, or if a
different slant is preferred on very unclear written and circumstantial
evidence.

The annals are not particularly interesting or helpful, but were
probably known to Sigebert of Gembloux. These were compiled at Lobbes
and Liège, and the relevant entries in 11th-century copies can be read
here (on p. 11 under 655)
https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_4/index.htm#page/11/mode/1up and here (on p.
12 under 661) https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_4/index.htm#page/12/mode/1up.
Both assert that Grimoald himself ruled after his son Childebert
("Mortuo Sigiberto in Austria [sic], filius Grimoaldi Hildebertus
regnat, et post eum ipse Grimoaldus frater sanctae Gertrudis"). Note
that the commas in this text were inserted by the editor to clarify his
own understanding (not really questionable here, but a necessary evil at
best since in other cases it can spin rather than elucidate the meaning).

The ruler lists are the nub of the issue. The earliest of these are the
Paris, Vatican and Bern codices edited by Krusch here (C1a, C1b and C2a
respectively):
https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_rer_merov_7/index.htm#page/481/mode/1up. He
unfortunately followed the earlier MGH edition by expanding "i." in C1a
as "id est", but he improves slightly on the precedent by noting that
"regii hucusque" in C2a was a marginal addition - though unfortunately
he places this as if it was written against the line of Sigibert,
whereas it seems from the reproduction to be not strictly matched to the
lineation in the list proper and perhaps centered on the name of Childebert.

On reflection it is clear to me that C1a and C1b (Paris and Vatican
codices) could not have been copied one from the other but must both
have been taken from the same (now lost) source. One writer evidently
read a numeral or abbreviated word in this after "adoptiuus" as "i." and
the other as "filius". The second (Vatican) writer then copied the name
Grimoald with a stroke through the d, which would normally indicate the
nominative case since leaving off any ending other that "-us" would be
an obvious opening for confusion. However, it is quite possible that he
meant - as indeed was understood from soon after the time of writing -
to indicate the genitive, "Grimoaldi". In this case he was evidently
glossing his original and in the process messing up the sense of who
ruled for 7 years, which the Paris writer took to be Grimoald himself -
the Vatican writer leaves this to be understood as either Childebert the
adopted or Grimoald depending on the case ending to be supplied by the
reader ("Grimoaldus" or "Grimoaldi"). He also messed up the sense of
whose biological and adopted son Childebert was, by the word order:
"Childebertus adoptivus filius Grimoaldi" would normally be taken to
mean "Childebert the adopted, son of Grimoald" indicating that he was
Grimoald's biological son adopted by Sigibert, but it has been taken by
some the other way round, with "adoptivus" directly qualifying "filius"
rather than "Childebertus", to mean "Childebert, the adopted son of
Grimoald" indicating that he was Sigibert's biological son. I think if
the writer had this clearly in mind he would more probably have written
"Childebertus filius adoptiuus Grimoaldi", with the conventional order
of noun and adjective as well as the genitive case for the adoptive
father. But it is impossible to be certain, so we are thrown back on the
circumstantial evidence.

This is considerably stronger in my view for Childebert as the
biological son and immediate successor of Sigibert, adopted by Grimoald
as mayor of the palace in Austrasia to ensure the child's safety from
potentially murderous agnatic relatives in Neustria. Then when
Childebert died in 657, around a year after his father Sigibert and
before his uncle Clovis, the opportunity arose for Grimoald to retain
power by expelling the Merovingian heir Dagobert who may have stayed in
the custody of Queen Chimnechild rather than being adopted. When this
coup had matured, around 661, Grimoald perhaps went further by trying to
place his own son on the throne, although this may have been just an old
red herring from the LHF author who did not distinguish Childebert as an
adopted son and failed to get the chronology straight.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-27 22:42:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
The record followed by most historians over many centuries has been the
account given by Sigebert of Gembloux. I agree with Levillain that he
had the use of sources lost to us that would have been rationally
applied to reach his conclusions. However, that does not inevitably make
these fully plausible and it seems to me that he was probably misled by
errors that were already 250+ years old when he was writing the Vita of
Sigibert III (most probably in the 1060s).
The earliest sources we have for the coup attempt by Grimoald were
written in the early-8th century - Stephen of Ripon's Vita of St
Wilfrith and Liber historiae Francorum (LHF). Neither of these mentions
Childebert by name, and neither says anything even implying an adoption.
The earliest sources that do name Childebert in some connection
(genealogical or otherwise) to both Sigibert III and Grimoald are mainly
three ruler lists compiled from the late-8th to the mid-9th century and
then some annals from the 9th or 10th century.
It is no discredit to Sigebert of Gembloux that he followed these or
similar sources in the light of his best understanding. It is equally no
discredit to anyone today if his account is believed in full, or if a
different slant is preferred on very unclear written and circumstantial
evidence.
The annals are not particularly interesting or helpful, but were
probably known to Sigebert of Gembloux. These were compiled at Lobbes
and Liège, and the relevant entries in 11th-century copies can be read
here (on p. 11 under 655)
https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_4/index.htm#page/11/mode/1up and here (on p.
12 under 661) https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_4/index.htm#page/12/mode/1up.
Both assert that Grimoald himself ruled after his son Childebert
("Mortuo Sigiberto in Austria [sic], filius Grimoaldi Hildebertus
regnat, et post eum ipse Grimoaldus frater sanctae Gertrudis").
These seem very important to the development of the story. Clearly
the author/s had seen the lists and knew the story in the LHF, and were
trying to establish a chronological framework. But neither mention
the adoption of anybody. This seems very significant. Maybe the
royal list they had seen did not have adoptivus. The lists
seem to date from the 8th-9th cent., but what of the codexes themselves?
Are they later than Sigebert of Gembloux? My point is, if those codex
are later, could the copyists of the lost original learnt about the
adoption story in the Vita Sigeberti and inserted adoptivus into the
lists?

The Lobbes annals are so confused by all this that they have
Hildebertus son of Grimald succeeding Sigibert twice in 655 and 661
it seems. And they make Clovis II die 663 and his son Clothar III in
667. Childeric II succeeds in Austrasia 665 and 667. Surely this
edition must be culling entries from 2 different versions of the
Lobbes annals. I was wondering why in different books and on the
net, St.gertrude dies twice 656 and 659, but clearly lobbes and Leige
had different traditions on this.
Post by Peter Stewart
The ruler lists are the nub of the issue. The earliest of these are the
Paris, Vatican and Bern codices edited by Krusch here (C1a, C1b and C2a
https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_rer_merov_7/index.htm#page/481/mode/1up. He
unfortunately followed the earlier MGH edition by expanding "i." in C1a
as "id est", but he improves slightly on the precedent by noting that
"regii hucusque" in C2a was a marginal addition - though unfortunately
he places this as if it was written against the line of Sigibert,
whereas it seems from the reproduction to be not strictly matched to the
lineation in the list proper and perhaps centered on the name of Childebert.
On reflection it is clear to me that C1a and C1b (Paris and Vatican
codices) could not have been copied one from the other but must both
have been taken from the same (now lost) source. One writer evidently
read a numeral or abbreviated word in this after "adoptiuus" as "i." and
the other as "filius". The second (Vatican) writer then copied the name
Grimoald with a stroke through the d, which would normally indicate the
nominative case since leaving off any ending other that "-us" would be
an obvious opening for confusion. However, it is quite possible that he
meant - as indeed was understood from soon after the time of writing -
to indicate the genitive, "Grimoaldi". In this case he was evidently
glossing his original and in the process messing up the sense of who
ruled for 7 years, which the Paris writer took to be Grimoald himself -
the Vatican writer leaves this to be understood as either Childebert the
adopted or Grimoald depending on the case ending to be supplied by the
reader ("Grimoaldus" or "Grimoaldi"). He also messed up the sense of
"Childebertus adoptivus filius Grimoaldi" would normally be taken to
mean "Childebert the adopted, son of Grimoald" indicating that he was
Grimoald's biological son adopted by Sigibert, but it has been taken by
some the other way round, with "adoptivus" directly qualifying "filius"
rather than "Childebertus", to mean "Childebert, the adopted son of
Grimoald" indicating that he was Sigibert's biological son. I think if
the writer had this clearly in mind he would more probably have written
"Childebertus filius adoptiuus Grimoaldi", with the conventional order
of noun and adjective as well as the genitive case for the adoptive
father. But it is impossible to be certain, so we are thrown back on the
circumstantial evidence.
This is considerably stronger in my view for Childebert as the
biological son and immediate successor of Sigibert, adopted by Grimoald
as mayor of the palace in Austrasia to ensure the child's safety from
potentially murderous agnatic relatives in Neustria. Then when
Childebert died in 657, around a year after his father Sigibert and
before his uncle Clovis, the opportunity arose for Grimoald to retain
power by expelling the Merovingian heir Dagobert who may have stayed in
the custody of Queen Chimnechild rather than being adopted. When this
coup had matured, around 661, Grimoald perhaps went further by trying to
place his own son on the throne, although this may have been just an old
red herring from the LHF author who did not distinguish Childebert as an
adopted son and failed to get the chronology straight.
Peter Stewart
yes, if there was an adoption, the story becomes much easier
to understand if Childebert III is Sigeberts son adopted by Grimald
= Grimalds son in the LHF. Or if the version which attributes the 7
years to C3 is correct, and the LHF is correct to place Grimalds death
under Clovis II, it would explain why C3 survived so long after this =
he was an actual Merovingian, supported by the Austrasian nobles/Arnulfings
until he died or they lost power to another lot under Wulfoald.

However if we remove the adoption element entirely, the story becomes
murkier but more sensational. In this case grimald presented C3
as Sigeberts son and successor when he was in fact his own son,
but suspicions were aroused, and Clovis II managed to capture him
and tortured the truth out of him. C3 survived cos Clovis II died
soon after and the Neustrians were divided while the Pepinids/Arnulfings
denied it all and kept him on the throne, until Ansegisel was murdered
and a new gang under Wulfoald took over with Neustrian support. All
speculation on my part :)

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-27 23:33:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
The record followed by most historians over many centuries has been the
account given by Sigebert of Gembloux. I agree with Levillain that he
had the use of sources lost to us that would have been rationally
applied to reach his conclusions. However, that does not inevitably make
these fully plausible and it seems to me that he was probably misled by
errors that were already 250+ years old when he was writing the Vita of
Sigibert III (most probably in the 1060s).
The earliest sources we have for the coup attempt by Grimoald were
written in the early-8th century - Stephen of Ripon's Vita of St
Wilfrith and Liber historiae Francorum (LHF). Neither of these mentions
Childebert by name, and neither says anything even implying an adoption.
The earliest sources that do name Childebert in some connection
(genealogical or otherwise) to both Sigibert III and Grimoald are mainly
three ruler lists compiled from the late-8th to the mid-9th century and
then some annals from the 9th or 10th century.
It is no discredit to Sigebert of Gembloux that he followed these or
similar sources in the light of his best understanding. It is equally no
discredit to anyone today if his account is believed in full, or if a
different slant is preferred on very unclear written and circumstantial
evidence.
The annals are not particularly interesting or helpful, but were
probably known to Sigebert of Gembloux. These were compiled at Lobbes
and Liège, and the relevant entries in 11th-century copies can be read
here (on p. 11 under 655)
https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_4/index.htm#page/11/mode/1up and here (on p.
12 under 661) https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_4/index.htm#page/12/mode/1up.
Both assert that Grimoald himself ruled after his son Childebert
("Mortuo Sigiberto in Austria [sic], filius Grimoaldi Hildebertus
regnat, et post eum ipse Grimoaldus frater sanctae Gertrudis").
These seem very important to the development of the story. Clearly
the author/s had seen the lists and knew the story in the LHF, and were
trying to establish a chronological framework. But neither mention
the adoption of anybody. This seems very significant. Maybe the
royal list they had seen did not have adoptivus. The lists
seem to date from the 8th-9th cent., but what of the codexes themselves?
Are they later than Sigebert of Gembloux? My point is, if those codex
are later, could the copyists of the lost original learnt about the
adoption story in the Vita Sigeberti and inserted adoptivus into the
lists?
No, the earliest extant copies of these regnal lists, i.e. Paris (BnF
latin 4409) and Vatican that I linked to upthread, were definitely
written in the reign of Charlemagne. These were both evidently copied
from the same (now lost) archetype. In the Paris copy some Roman
numerals are written with a stop after them and some not - the
contentious "i." in this was taken as an abbreviation for "id est" by
the first MGH editor, and unfortunately this has stuck: I consider it
far more likely that the writer meant it as the Roman numeral "I", for
the length of Chgildebert's reign, as it was understood in some
subsequent medieval sources (none of which, as far as I recollect, gives
"id est"). The copyist of the Vatican version apparently took whatever
was in the archetype as "f." instead of "i.", and expanded this as "filius".
Post by mike
The Lobbes annals are so confused by all this that they have
Hildebertus son of Grimald succeeding Sigibert twice in 655 and 661
it seems. And they make Clovis II die 663 and his son Clothar III in
667. Childeric II succeeds in Austrasia 665 and 667. Surely this
edition must be culling entries from 2 different versions of the
Lobbes annals. I was wondering why in different books and on the
net, St.gertrude dies twice 656 and 659, but clearly lobbes and Leige
had different traditions on this.
Ah, the joys of early-medieval sources at odds with each other, and
sometimes with themselves! These people were lucky to die just twice.
Often monks recorded deaths as occurring when they heard about them,
presumably because they were not told an exact date or did not care very
much about this. The focus of interest in dead saints like Gertrude was
on miracles they might perform beyond the grave and on where they were
buried (if not preserved in reliquaries above ground) so that others
could hope to cluster around them at the resurrection. Only the most
important figures, like Charlemagne, have near-unanimity about exactly
when they died.
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
The ruler lists are the nub of the issue. The earliest of these are the
Paris, Vatican and Bern codices edited by Krusch here (C1a, C1b and C2a
https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_rer_merov_7/index.htm#page/481/mode/1up. He
unfortunately followed the earlier MGH edition by expanding "i." in C1a
as "id est", but he improves slightly on the precedent by noting that
"regii hucusque" in C2a was a marginal addition - though unfortunately
he places this as if it was written against the line of Sigibert,
whereas it seems from the reproduction to be not strictly matched to the
lineation in the list proper and perhaps centered on the name of Childebert.
On reflection it is clear to me that C1a and C1b (Paris and Vatican
codices) could not have been copied one from the other but must both
have been taken from the same (now lost) source. One writer evidently
read a numeral or abbreviated word in this after "adoptiuus" as "i." and
the other as "filius". The second (Vatican) writer then copied the name
Grimoald with a stroke through the d, which would normally indicate the
nominative case since leaving off any ending other that "-us" would be
an obvious opening for confusion. However, it is quite possible that he
meant - as indeed was understood from soon after the time of writing -
to indicate the genitive, "Grimoaldi". In this case he was evidently
glossing his original and in the process messing up the sense of who
ruled for 7 years, which the Paris writer took to be Grimoald himself -
the Vatican writer leaves this to be understood as either Childebert the
adopted or Grimoald depending on the case ending to be supplied by the
reader ("Grimoaldus" or "Grimoaldi"). He also messed up the sense of
"Childebertus adoptivus filius Grimoaldi" would normally be taken to
mean "Childebert the adopted, son of Grimoald" indicating that he was
Grimoald's biological son adopted by Sigibert, but it has been taken by
some the other way round, with "adoptivus" directly qualifying "filius"
rather than "Childebertus", to mean "Childebert, the adopted son of
Grimoald" indicating that he was Sigibert's biological son. I think if
the writer had this clearly in mind he would more probably have written
"Childebertus filius adoptiuus Grimoaldi", with the conventional order
of noun and adjective as well as the genitive case for the adoptive
father. But it is impossible to be certain, so we are thrown back on the
circumstantial evidence.
This is considerably stronger in my view for Childebert as the
biological son and immediate successor of Sigibert, adopted by Grimoald
as mayor of the palace in Austrasia to ensure the child's safety from
potentially murderous agnatic relatives in Neustria. Then when
Childebert died in 657, around a year after his father Sigibert and
before his uncle Clovis, the opportunity arose for Grimoald to retain
power by expelling the Merovingian heir Dagobert who may have stayed in
the custody of Queen Chimnechild rather than being adopted. When this
coup had matured, around 661, Grimoald perhaps went further by trying to
place his own son on the throne, although this may have been just an old
red herring from the LHF author who did not distinguish Childebert as an
adopted son and failed to get the chronology straight.
Peter Stewart
yes, if there was an adoption, the story becomes much easier
to understand if Childebert III is Sigeberts son adopted by Grimald
= Grimalds son in the LHF. Or if the version which attributes the 7
years to C3 is correct, and the LHF is correct to place Grimalds death
under Clovis II, it would explain why C3 survived so long after this =
he was an actual Merovingian, supported by the Austrasian nobles/Arnulfings
until he died or they lost power to another lot under Wulfoald.
However if we remove the adoption element entirely, the story becomes
murkier but more sensational. In this case grimald presented C3
as Sigeberts son and successor when he was in fact his own son,
but suspicions were aroused, and Clovis II managed to capture him
and tortured the truth out of him. C3 survived cos Clovis II died
soon after and the Neustrians were divided while the Pepinids/Arnulfings
denied it all and kept him on the throne, until Ansegisel was murdered
and a new gang under Wulfoald took over with Neustrian support. All
speculation on my part :)
The fact of an adoption is attested in regnal lists compiled from the
late-8th to the mid-9th century, so it is a bit too well-attested for us
to negate arbitrarily today although doubts may be reasonable.

I would say that adoption of Sigibert's heir by Grimoald is the more
plausible alternative. However, we are told that Sigibert placed entire
trust in Grimoald who had saved him once, and it is at least a
possibility that this service was rewarded by marriage to a Merovingian
princess. We know of approximately twice as many males as females in the
Merovingian family, and the genealogical mystery as to whether or not
princesses were married to noble subjects of their fathers and brothers
cannot be resolved. But I don't buy into the argument that Merovingian
names were strictly confined to their agnatic line, as the evidence from
onomastics does not support this - for instance, there was a bishop
named Chlothar (Clotaire) who is not at all likely to have been a
Merovingian. It is conceivable that Grimoald married a sister of
Sigibert III, and that her son was named Childebert precisely because he
was to be adopted by her brother (as Childebert II had been adopted by
his - paternal - uncle Guntramn in the century before).

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-28 01:33:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
I don't buy into the argument that Merovingian
names were strictly confined to their agnatic line, as the evidence from
onomastics does not support this - for instance, there was a bishop
named Chlothar (Clotaire) who is not at all likely to have been a
Merovingian.
A wrong example: he was not likely to have been Merovingian, but he was
named Chrothar not Chlothar - I was misreading a charter of Childeric II
from the 660s/70s "ad suggestionem apostolicis viris patribus nostris
Chlodolfo, Chrothario <archi>episcopis". The second bishop here was
Rotharius of Strasbourg.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-28 03:28:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
I don't buy into the argument that Merovingian names were strictly
confined to their agnatic line, as the evidence from onomastics does
not support this - for instance, there was a bishop named Chlothar
(Clotaire) who is not at all likely to have been a Merovingian.
A wrong example: he was not likely to have been Merovingian, but he was
named Chrothar not Chlothar - I was misreading a charter of Childeric II
from the 660s/70s "ad suggestionem apostolicis viris patribus nostris
Chlodolfo, Chrothario <archi>episcopis". The second bishop here was
Rotharius of Strasbourg.
The non-royal cleric named Lothar (Chlothar) that I was thinking of was
at Saint-Amand abbey by the 780s, when he occurs in a list of the
congregation: "Hlodhari p[res]b[yte]r."

Alcuin sent a letter through him to the archbishop of Salzburg, dated 19
March 800: "iam pridem tuae caritati longiorem scripsi epistolam, et
direxi Chlotario fratri".

He died in 828 and so was not the same man as his namesake, abbot in
Chèvremont in 844, as suggested by Janet Nelson who thought that this
was a Carolingian on the strength of his name. However, the presbyter
Lothar was both too old and too humble to have been a close agnate of
Charlemagne, in whose family the name Lothar first occurs for the twin
brother of Louis I born in 778.

Presumably he was named directly or indirectly after a Merovingian,
perhaps Chlothar IV (died 718), but most likely not a relative unless
through a distaff connection.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-29 15:32:26 UTC
Permalink
My newsreader is a bit slow to update, so I've combined 2 of your posts together.
Post by Peter Stewart
No, the earliest extant copies of these regnal lists, i.e. Paris (BnF
latin 4409) and Vatican that I linked to upthread, were definitely
written in the reign of Charlemagne. These were both evidently copied
from the same (now lost) archetype. In the Paris copy some Roman
numerals are written with a stop after them and some not - the
contentious "i." in this was taken as an abbreviation for "id est" by
the first MGH editor, and unfortunately this has stuck: I consider it
far more likely that the writer meant it as the Roman numeral "I", for
the length of Chgildebert's reign, as it was understood in some
subsequent medieval sources (none of which, as far as I recollect, gives
"id est"). The copyist of the Vatican version apparently took whatever
was in the archetype as "f." instead of "i.", and expanded this as "filius".
I suppose this would make it more likely that Grimaldus regnavit 7 is a
separate entry rather than part of Childebertus entry. So is Grimald a
forgotten king of the franks? Surely if Grimald had actually made himself
king for that length of time, it would have been mentioned in one of the
chronicles, and royal charters. Apart from your suggestion that it
referred to Grimalds dominance under Sigebert III, i suppose its possible
to 'interpret' the 7 for Grimald as a regency or a period when he ruled
Austrasia without a king, perhaps after Childebert III had died, like other
Mayors later did.

French historians seem to largely accept Levillains scheme and have
Grimald dying 657, and Childebert c662. I dont read German so I wonder
what modern German historians say to this.
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
I don't buy into the argument that Merovingian names were strictly
confined to their agnatic line, as the evidence from onomastics does
not support this - for instance, there was a bishop named Chlothar
(Clotaire) who is not at all likely to have been a Merovingian.
A wrong example: he was not likely to have been Merovingian, but he was
named Chrothar not Chlothar - I was misreading a charter of Childeric II
from the 660s/70s "ad suggestionem apostolicis viris patribus nostris
Chlodolfo, Chrothario <archi>episcopis". The second bishop here was
Rotharius of Strasbourg.
The non-royal cleric named Lothar (Chlothar) that I was thinking of was
at Saint-Amand abbey by the 780s, when he occurs in a list of the
congregation: "Hlodhari p[res]b[yte]r."
Alcuin sent a letter through him to the archbishop of Salzburg, dated 19
March 800: "iam pridem tuae caritati longiorem scripsi epistolam, et
direxi Chlotario fratri".
He died in 828 and so was not the same man as his namesake, abbot in
Chèvremont in 844, as suggested by Janet Nelson who thought that this
was a Carolingian on the strength of his name. However, the presbyter
Lothar was both too old and too humble to have been a close agnate of
Charlemagne, in whose family the name Lothar first occurs for the twin
brother of Louis I born in 778.
Presumably he was named directly or indirectly after a Merovingian,
perhaps Chlothar IV (died 718), but most likely not a relative unless
through a distaff connection.
Peter Stewart
Are there other franks with names like Clovis and Dagobert in the
6-8th cents and if not, why not. Was it a punishable offence for a noble or anyone else to call their child after a king?

Charlemagne starts using merovingian names for his sons as i believe louis/ludwig is basically clovis, in latin - chlodowechus and hludowicus [sp? - i often wondered what this ch was and why it became an h and then disappeared altogether]. Some genealogists seem to think he did it because
his mother Bertrada was descended from the Merovingians but i've never
seen any real proof of this, plus I would have thought if that was so
and the reason Pepin married her, he would have given merovingian names
to one of his sons, not Charles Carloman and Grifo.

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-30 00:39:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
My newsreader is a bit slow to update, so I've combined 2 of your posts together.
Post by Peter Stewart
No, the earliest extant copies of these regnal lists, i.e. Paris (BnF
latin 4409) and Vatican that I linked to upthread, were definitely
written in the reign of Charlemagne. These were both evidently copied
from the same (now lost) archetype. In the Paris copy some Roman
numerals are written with a stop after them and some not - the
contentious "i." in this was taken as an abbreviation for "id est" by
the first MGH editor, and unfortunately this has stuck: I consider it
far more likely that the writer meant it as the Roman numeral "I", for
the length of Chgildebert's reign, as it was understood in some
subsequent medieval sources (none of which, as far as I recollect, gives
"id est"). The copyist of the Vatican version apparently took whatever
was in the archetype as "f." instead of "i.", and expanded this as "filius".
I suppose this would make it more likely that Grimaldus regnavit 7 is a
separate entry rather than part of Childebertus entry. So is Grimald a
forgotten king of the franks? Surely if Grimald had actually made himself
king for that length of time, it would have been mentioned in one of the
chronicles, and royal charters. Apart from your suggestion that it
referred to Grimalds dominance under Sigebert III, i suppose its possible
to 'interpret' the 7 for Grimald as a regency or a period when he ruled
Austrasia without a king, perhaps after Childebert III had died, like other
Mayors later did.
French historians seem to largely accept Levillains scheme and have
Grimald dying 657, and Childebert c662. I dont read German so I wonder
what modern German historians say to this.
My suggestion is that Grimoald ruled the Austrasian kingdom for 7 years
as mayor of the palace, six of these while Sigibert III reigned as king
and one more with Childebert (whether or not he was Grimoald's adopted
son) as king.

The lists are not all just of men who assumed the title king - Pippin of
Herstal and Charles Martel were mayors of the palace and dukes but not
kings of Franks, and I was suggesting that this may have followed a
precedent set by Grimoald. This was not a formal regency, but an
informal one as the Merovingians declined into faineance.
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
I don't buy into the argument that Merovingian names were strictly
confined to their agnatic line, as the evidence from onomastics does
not support this - for instance, there was a bishop named Chlothar
(Clotaire) who is not at all likely to have been a Merovingian.
A wrong example: he was not likely to have been Merovingian, but he was
named Chrothar not Chlothar - I was misreading a charter of Childeric II
from the 660s/70s "ad suggestionem apostolicis viris patribus nostris
Chlodolfo, Chrothario <archi>episcopis". The second bishop here was
Rotharius of Strasbourg.
The non-royal cleric named Lothar (Chlothar) that I was thinking of was
at Saint-Amand abbey by the 780s, when he occurs in a list of the
congregation: "Hlodhari p[res]b[yte]r."
Alcuin sent a letter through him to the archbishop of Salzburg, dated 19
March 800: "iam pridem tuae caritati longiorem scripsi epistolam, et
direxi Chlotario fratri".
He died in 828 and so was not the same man as his namesake, abbot in
Chèvremont in 844, as suggested by Janet Nelson who thought that this
was a Carolingian on the strength of his name. However, the presbyter
Lothar was both too old and too humble to have been a close agnate of
Charlemagne, in whose family the name Lothar first occurs for the twin
brother of Louis I born in 778.
Presumably he was named directly or indirectly after a Merovingian,
perhaps Chlothar IV (died 718), but most likely not a relative unless
through a distaff connection.
Peter Stewart
Are there other franks with names like Clovis and Dagobert in the
6-8th cents and if not, why not. Was it a punishable offence for a noble or anyone else to call their child after a king?
No - such a fixed rule does not appears in any collection of laws from
the time, it is an exaggeration of an observable custom that
aristocratic families usually gave their offspring names that show up in
the few preceding generations of their families. However, this was not
confined to agnatic ancestries, and mothers could transmit names from
their birth families to their children and grandchildren, who could then
of course marry into other families and spread names further "afield"
from the original male lineage. Some genealgists, despite acknowledging
that this happened, insist on assuming that any name is a reliable
indicator of the agnatic origin of its bearer - hence a lot (and in
France in the 20th century an especially big lot) of futile speculation
in medieval genealogy.

As for the names Clovis and Dagobert, you may have more energy than I
have to check for non-Merovingians in each occurrence listed by
Marie-Thérèse Morlet in *Les noms de personne sur le territoire de
l'ancienne Gaule du VIe au XIIe siècle*.
Post by mike
Charlemagne starts using merovingian names for his sons as i believe louis/ludwig is basically clovis, in latin - chlodowechus and hludowicus [sp? - i often wondered what this ch was and why it became an h and then disappeared altogether].
This phenomenon is common in linguistcs more widely than just in given
names.
Post by mike
Some genealogists seem to think he did it because
his mother Bertrada was descended from the Merovingians but i've never
seen any real proof of this, plus I would have thought if that was so
and the reason Pepin married her, he would have given merovingian names
to one of his sons, not Charles Carloman and Grifo.
Charles Martel had a son named Grifo, but Pippin did not. The latter had
named his sons Charles and Carloman before he took the title of king for
himself, and his only recorded son born after this was named Pippin. It
would have been a brazen display of his political intentions to give
royal-family names to his first two sons by a Merovingian mother - but
anyway, as above, Berta's father may have received his name from the old
royal family by a circuitous route, without being a Merovingian scion
himself.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart
2020-05-27 04:53:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I'm not able to find where you are reading this in Levillain's article -
unless I am missing something, the statement that Childebert was son of
Grimoald comes not from a regnal list but from annals compiled in the
9th or 10th century. Can you please give a page reference?
its in the second article by Levillain Encore la succession.. p300 in
1946, which you mentioned earlier. He quotes Himly, but the list which
has
  "Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7" seemingly
as one entry not 2, is also printed in Pertz MGH script II, p308.
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image
Levillain was nodding in his citation - he said that Himly reproduced
two lists on pp. 280 and 281 but these are actually quoted (from
unreliable editions criticised by Krusch) on pp. 289-290 of the article
referenced
I may be wronging Levillain - he wrote "deux listes que M. Fr. Himly a
reproduite, p. 280 et 281", and perhaps by this he meant a plate between
these pages in the journal that is not included in the Persée
digitisation. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions I can't go to the
library at present to find out.

By the way, another wrinkle has occurred to me about the 7 years
rulership attributed to Grimoald along with his alleged condemnation by
Clovis II who died in 657: there is a letter to Grimoald written by
Didier, bishop of Cahors, who died in 655, addressing him as "domino
inlustri totius aulae immoque regni rectori" (noble lord ruler of all
the court and indeed the kingdom). It may be that Grimoald held supreme
power in Austrasia for 6 years before the death of Sigibert III,
double-counted as overlapping the last six of the king's attributed
reign of 23 years, and then retained power for a year afterwards as
adoptive father, corresponding with the 1-year reign attributed to
Childebert.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-27 08:05:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I'm not able to find where you are reading this in Levillain's article -
unless I am missing something, the statement that Childebert was son of
Grimoald comes not from a regnal list but from annals compiled in the
9th or 10th century. Can you please give a page reference?
its in the second article by Levillain Encore la succession.. p300 in
1946, which you mentioned earlier. He quotes Himly, but the list
which has
  "Childebertus id est adoptivus Grimaldus regnavit annos 7"
seemingly as one entry not 2, is also printed in Pertz MGH script II,
p308.
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k93430k/f329.image
Levillain was nodding in his citation - he said that Himly reproduced
two lists on pp. 280 and 281 but these are actually quoted (from
unreliable editions criticised by Krusch) on pp. 289-290 of the
article referenced
I may be wronging Levillain - he wrote "deux listes que M. Fr. Himly a
reproduite, p. 280 et 281", and perhaps by this he meant a plate between
these pages in the journal that is not included in the Persée
digitisation. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions I can't go to the
library at present to find out.
I hope it is clear from posts in this thread that in my view Himly's
theory about a 7-year reign of Childebert the adopted, based on his
conjectural redating to 661 of a charter usually ascribed to the seventh
year in the reign of Childebert III (i.e. to 700/701), is far from
compelling.

His conclusion that this leaves us with the curious fact that the monks
of Weissenburg in the diocese of Speyer "forgot" their abbey had really
been founded in the reign of Dagobert I, while yet in forgeries
pretending that their founder was Dagobert himself, is too ingenious by
half.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-21 00:06:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
This is a puzzle which I hope someone can explain.
I first read about how when Sigebert III of Austrasia died in 656, Grimoald
tonsured his son and sent him into exile led by the Bishop of Poitiers
[called Dido!] in Ireland in Ian Wood's book the Merovingian kingdoms.
Grimoald then placed his own son on the throne. The Neustrians were
enraged managed to capture Grimoald and tortured him to death in Paris.
But when I looked at the sources closest to the event, like the
LHF, they dont even mention Grimoalds sons name or what happened to him.
And the other source the Fredegar continuation doesnt seem to mention
the coup at all which is odd as it was written apparently under
the direction of a half bro of Charles Martel.
So where does the name childebert come from, and how do we know he was
adopted by Sigebert III?
it seems there are many theories but few facts.
1. I believe Settipani suggests Childebert was Sigeberts son
2. Geberding suggests it happened in 651 and Childebert III reigned
til 656, and it was a move by the Austrasians to avoid another
regency by a queen mother as in 639-42
3. Wood suggests that Queen CHimnechild didnt want dagobert as he wasnt
her son but agreed to Childebert so long as he married her daughter
Bilichild.
That this is a puzzle after more than 1,300 years means that no-one
today can definitively explain it.
In this regard, Ian Wood wrote: "The general silence of the sources,
however, even those written in the Carolingian period, concerning
Grimoald's coup and fall, suggests that the episode was one over which
Merovingians and Carolingians both wished to draw a veil."
they seem to have succeeded very well!
Post by Peter Stewart
Matthias Becher in 1994 suggested that the adoption of Childebert went
the other way round - that he was actually a son of Sigibert III adopted
by Grimoald, who had no son of his own.
The name Childebert and the epithet "adoptivus" come from a ruler list
compiled after the Merovingian era; Childebert was also the name of an
earlier adopted king. You can find citations and discussion of the
https://www.persee.fr/doc/medi_0751-2708_1998_num_17_35_1425.
thanks for the link. my french isnt that great but it seems the king list
dates from the carolingians which is rather vague = 9th? century perhaps,
and the story is expanded by Sigebert of Gembloux c1100. As he wrote at metz,
i wonder if he saw the same list and just put 2 and 2 together, so to speak,
or did he have access to a lost source on the matter. I havnt seen the Vita
St Sigebert to judge. Is it online? Does he make any mention of the same
event in his chronicle? I didnt realise that both Sigebert III
and his real son Dagobert II were later made saints!
I did wonder if later writers had just confused the older story of Guntram
adopting Childebert II in 577, but if there is a list with a definite
person called Childebert Adoptivus, I guess thats ruled out.
There are two king lists (or perhaps three - I'm out of puff for
checking at the moment and this post is entirely from memory) compiled
in the reign of Charlemagne that call Childebert 'adoptivus' and place
him between Sigibert III and the latter's son Dagobert II.

There is debate over which of these is closer to a lost archetype, and
over what was meant by placing the name Grimoald in unclear syntax into
this context (i.e. was he son of Grimoald, or adopted by Grimoald, or
originally named Grimoald and then renamed Childebert as a Merovingian
adoptee). But as far as we know all sources after this time making
Childebert 'the adopted' were derived from these lists or else directly
from their source. Sigebert of Gembloux is not a probative source for
this, and his support for whatever he found in written records is of
very limited value.

The earliest source we have for the coup of Grimoald after Sigibert
III's death is the Vita of St Wilfrid by Stephen of Ripon, written in
the second decade of the 8th century. According to this, St Wilfrid
heard that Dagobert was still living in exile in Ireland, arranged for
him to be brought to England and then sent him back to France to become
king. Years later the bishop on his way to Rome was warmly received by
Dagobert, but the king had been assassinated for misrule by the time
Wilfrid returned from Rome. In this account, Dagobert is said to have
been expelled from France as an infant but not explicitly said to have
been king at that time. There is no compelling reason from this to
suppose that he was the immediate successor of his father usurped by
Grimoald's son - he might just as well have been a brother (older, twin
or younger) of Childebert who was removed from the scene to avoid a
succession dispute, perhaps with their mother's approval since she
evidently made no attempt to locate him before Wilfred intervened.

Grimoald in these circumstances was probably regarded as the sponsor of
Childebert on throne, and paid with his life for whatever went wrong
under the child's reign. The likelihood, as it seems to me, is that a
king-list compiler more than a century later could not make sense of the
vague story about Grimoald's death under torture after making his
unnamed son king and confused the names of Sigibert, Childebert and
someone staring with G (i.e. actually Guntram not Grimoald) as applying
to this business.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-21 00:23:39 UTC
Permalink
I havnt seen the Vita St Sigebert to judge. Is it online?
It can be read here:
https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10800959_00156.html.

This was written between 1051 and 1070/71. There is also a shorter
version, which may have been abridged by Sigebert or someone else, that
can be read here:
https://archive.org/details/patrologiaecurs69unkngoog/page/n367/mode/1up.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-21 17:40:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
I havnt seen the Vita St Sigebert to judge. Is it online?
https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10800959_00156.html.
This was written between 1051 and 1070/71. There is also a shorter
version, which may have been abridged by Sigebert or someone else, that
https://archive.org/details/patrologiaecurs69unkngoog/page/n367/mode/1up.
Peter Stewart
Sigeberts account looks quite detailed. Is it really not of historical value?
Theres also a good account by Bolland from the 17th which seems to have become the accepted version of the events.

I notice that most have Childebert III reigning 656-62.
LHF account places Clovis II death after that of Grimoald. So it would seem that if the LHF is taken at face value, C3 continued to be king in austrasia after the death of his father. Historians dont like this much it seems; is this why Gerberding prefers moving C3 to 651-56?

But theres something wrong in the LHF chron. Their account seems to have Clovis II succeeded by Chlothar III but only reigning 4 years dying still a boy eg c661. thats surely wrong. And then he is succeeded by his brother Theuderic III in neustria and Childeric II in Austrasia. I read that the LHF was written c727, but surely this is not a mistake, its deliberate falsification. And they dont even mention Dagobert III.

So is the LHF an unreliable source for this event? Is that why Becher /Settipani prefer to see C3 as a merovingian and discount both the LHF [although the bit about Dagobert being tonsured and sent into exile is obviously true] and the later story of adoption.

But could the seizure and ?illegal murder of Grimoald have galvanised support in Austrasia for Childebert & the rest of the Pepinid clan, and allowed Childebert to stay on as king. Perhaps Ansegisel the father of Pepin II took Grimoald's place [as settipani suggests] until hes murdered by Gundoin [apparently his adopted child!!], and a new gang under Wulfoald take over & do a deal with the Neustrians to have Childeric II as their king?

Just found Levillians article about the royal succession in Austrasia and he makes the point that this decision to make Childebert king could not have been only Grimoalds.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k182072/f70.image.r=levillain

he mentions the list in a footnote

"the two lists to which the scholars rightly place the most value give us the following data"

Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus 1 year,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years [!]

No one has mentioned this before. Grimoald was king for 7 years? So why do the historians think Childebert III reigned 6 years?

the lists are printed in
Duchesne Hist Franc script I,p781;
Pertz MGH script II, p308; xiii 724
Waitz neues archiv, X, 1885 p232

Perhaps they say where these lists come from?

Sorry if i'm boring you all with this but its like a whodunit.

Incidentally wiki has a pic of a coin of Childebert the Adopted - is this true; how can anyone tell its not Childebert I or II in the VIe cent?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childebert_the_Adopted

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-21 23:40:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I havnt seen the Vita St Sigebert to judge. Is it online?
https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10800959_00156.html.
This was written between 1051 and 1070/71. There is also a shorter
version, which may have been abridged by Sigebert or someone else, that
https://archive.org/details/patrologiaecurs69unkngoog/page/n367/mode/1up.
Peter Stewart
Sigeberts account looks quite detailed. Is it really not of historical value?
Theres also a good account by Bolland from the 17th which seems to have become the accepted version of the events.
Your energy for raising questions far outpaces mine for responding - so
I will address each point separately, as best I can manage, in a series
of replies.

First, I did not say that Sigebert of Gembloux's 11th-century account is
of no historical value, but rather that it is not a probative source (it
can at best be corroborative, written four centuries after the lifetime
of its subject) and that it has very limited value for getting at an
answer to the question of Childebert's parentage and alleged adoption.

The problem with these matters is that we have insufficient and
unsatisfactory evidence from sources closer to the mid-7th century, and
that the circumstantial evidence does not sit comfortably with the
traditional view that Childebert was son of Grimoald and adopted by
Sigibert III. In particular, I mean the open questions flagged by
Matthias Becher that Christian Settipani aimed to encompass in his
speculation that Childebert may have been a bastard son of Grimoald and
the wife of Sigibert: What role did Queen Chimnechild play after her
husband's death and why did she not insist on her son Dagobert's return
from exile in Ireland after Grimoald's removal from power? Why would
Sigibert, who was only 25 or 26 when he died (leaving at least two
biological children), have feared that he would no longer be able to
father sons so that he adopted the offspring of his mayor of the palace?
Why did the Merovingians did not impose 'damnatio memoriae' on the
throne-robber Grimoald after his fall? and Why would Grimoald's family
enjoy a rapid resurgence to power after his defeat?

I already outlined the earliest source we have for Dagobert's expulsion,
written by Stephen of Ripon shortly after 709 - the relevant text is:
"Postquam Deo amabilis [Wilfrithus] pontifex noster ... veniens ad
Francorum regem nomine Daegberht qui eum cum honore mansuetissime pro
meritis eius anteactis in eum suscepit. Nam supradictus rex in iuventute
sua ab inimicis regnantibus in exilium perditionis pulsus, navigando ad
Hiberniam insulam, Deo adiuvante pervenit. Post annorum circulum amici
et proximi eius viventem et in perfecta aetate fiorentem a navigantibus
audientes, miserunt nuntios suos ad beatum Wilfrithum episcopum,
petentes ut eum de Scottia et Hibernia ad se invitasset et sibi ad regem
emisisset. Et sic sanctus pontifex noster perfecit, suscipiens eum de
Hibernia venientem, per arma ditatum et viribus sociorum elevatum
magnifice ad suam regionem emisit." (Afterwards God's beloved [Wilfrid]
our bishop ... came to the king of Franks named Dagobert who received
him honorably with great kindliness in return for the service formerly
done for himself. For the above-mentioned king when he was a youth had
been sent into ruinous exile by his enemies who then held power, sailing
away and reaching Ireland by God's help. After years his friends and
relatives, hearing from sailors that he was living and flourishing as a
grown man, sent messengers asking the blessed Bishop Wilfrid to invite
him from Scotland and Ireland and to send him to them as king. And so
our holy bishop did, receiving him on arrival from Ireland, he sent him
to his own country supplied with arms and raised up by a force of
attendants.)

The next source, written within a few decades after this, is 'Liber
historiae Francorum' (LHF) that you have read, as follows: "Decedente
vero tempore, defuncto Sighiberto rege, Grimoaldus filium eius parvolum
nomine Daygobertum totundit Didonemque Pectavensem urbis episcopum in
Scocia peregrinandum eum direxit, filium suum in regno constituens.
Franci itaque hoc valde indignantes, Grimoaldo insidias preparant,
eumque exementes, ad condempnandum rege Francorum Chlodoveo deferunt. In
Parisius civitate in carcere mancipatus, vincolorum cruciatu
constrictus, ut erat morte dignus, quod in domino suo exercuit, ipsius
mors valido cruciatu finivit." (After some time had passed, King
Sigibert having died, Grimoald tonsured his little son named Dagobert
and sent him with Dido bishop of Poitiers on pilgrimage in Ireland,
making his own son king. The Franks therefore, highly outraged, laid a
trap for Grimoald, and taking him away they brought him before Clovis
king of Franks [in Neustria] to be condemned. He was held in prison
in the city of Paris, bound in chains under torture, since he deserved
death, because he had afflicted his lord, he came to his death through
heavy torment.)

I will look up the later regnal lists and post these texts when I am up
to some more work.

Peter Stewart
mike
2020-05-22 11:31:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Your energy for raising questions far outpaces mine for responding - so
I will address each point separately, as best I can manage, in a series
of replies.
thanks for looking at this as i wasnt sure anyone would be interested
in looking at this mystery which as you said has remained unsolved for 1300
years.
Post by Peter Stewart
First, I did not say that Sigebert of Gembloux's 11th-century account is
of no historical value, but rather that it is not a probative source (it
can at best be corroborative, written four centuries after the lifetime
of its subject) and that it has very limited value for getting at an
answer to the question of Childebert's parentage and alleged adoption.
The problem with these matters is that we have insufficient and
unsatisfactory evidence from sources closer to the mid-7th century, and
that the circumstantial evidence does not sit comfortably with the
traditional view that Childebert was son of Grimoald and adopted by
Sigibert III. In particular, I mean the open questions flagged by
Matthias Becher that Christian Settipani aimed to encompass in his
speculation that Childebert may have been a bastard son of Grimoald and
Perhaps I should list these different accounts
1. the unnamed king [Childebert] is Grimoalds son [LHF]
2 Childebert is Grimoalds son and Adopted by Sigebert [Vita Sigeberti]
3 Childebert is Adopted but only king for a year [King List]
4 Grimoald is king for 7 years [King list]

If Childebert is son of Grimoald and the Queen, i cant see how the Queen
could have survived either, but certainly it could explain the events,
if Grimoald passed off Childebert as Sigeberts son with the support of the
Queen, and then revealed all when he was tortured to death. But it seems a bit gamesofthronish.

This would suggest the king list is incorrect, as it has Grimoald as king for 7 years. Was the list just a mistake by a much later writer confusing Childebert with his VIe century namesake? If Childeric is killed 675 as everyone accepts. Like you I dont see how the king list can be accurate, unless the 7 has been misread.
Post by Peter Stewart
What role did Queen Chimnechild play after her
husband's death and why did she not insist on her son Dagobert's return
from exile in Ireland after Grimoald's removal from power? Why would
Sigibert, who was only 25 or 26 when he died (leaving at least two
biological children), have feared that he would no longer be able to
father sons so that he adopted the offspring of his mayor of the palace?
yes its all very strange. I think 1 theory is that Dagobert wasnt the queens son but by another woman, and that Bilichild was Sigeberts only legitimate child [Wood p224]. I think years before Grimoald had saved the kings life in a battle [but maybe this info comes from the vita Sigeberti] so he felt obligated to him, but it doesnt really explain this adopted story.
Post by Peter Stewart
Why did the Merovingians did not impose 'damnatio memoriae' on the
throne-robber Grimoald after his fall? and Why would Grimoald's family
enjoy a rapid resurgence to power after his defeat?
This i think i might have an answer to, rather than just more questions ;)

Well Grimoald is condemned and killed, childebert [if he is his son] disappears, Ansegisel [or is it Anchisus?] his bro in law, is murdered [if this is linked as Settipani thinks, we dont know the date], and Grimoalds
wife is put in a convent far away in Touraine. His daughter Vulfetrude was in a convent at Nivelles but "out of hatred of her father that kings, queens, and even priests... wished to drag her from her place" and steal her property [a quote i found on wiki from her vita]. And she too doesnt live long. He has no known descendants. So his enemies did a pretty good job on the family. And as for damnatio, well Childebert isnt mentioned in any chronicle only the king list and the much later vita Sigeberti, and we still cant make sense of it all.

I assume the main reason the Pepinids survive is that Clovis II died in 657. There are no adult merovingians around. Just 3 little boys and another somewhere in ireland. So its up to the nobles who control the show, and the historians paint a picture of constant faction fighting. And clearly it wasnt just the Pepinids who didnt respect the Merovingians, as both Childeric II and Dagobert II are murdered.

As to their recovery, if Grimoald dies under Clovis II, its not til 679 that Pepin II reemerges in Austrasia according to the LHF, thats at least 22 years later. I'm no historian [obviously] but in that time, Pepin II avenges his father by killing Gundoin, which presumably impressed his followers, then makes a very good marriage with Plectrude apparently into a very rich family, expanding his support into another region of the kingdom, and if he wasnt himself descended from the Arnulfings he seems to ally with them. And they subsequently claim not just 1 but 3 saints in their family, St.Gertrude and St.Vulfetrude, and St.Arnulf, maybe to offset the memory of Grimoalds fate. Who else managed that many?!

Thanks for clearing up that charter; thats 1 bit of evidence that wasnt. It took 33 years for Levillain to realise he made a mistake.

The reference to the poems and the wife of Grimoald, I took from Levillain, p71, and I think its in Levison, MGH rer Scrip merov, IV p651.



mike
mike
2020-05-21 23:43:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
And they dont even mention Dagobert III.
I meant Dagobert II 676-79.
Post by mike
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k182072/f70.image.r=levillain
he mentions the list in a footnote
"the two lists to which the scholars rightly place the most value give us the following data"
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus 1 year,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years [!]
Hildericus 14 years [i missed this out]

As I wade through the Levillain article, theres some additional evidence he mentions;

1. a charter of Grimoald dated to the 4th year of Dagobert! he says its
authentic. how can it be with that date? Or has he misread it? He says
2 other famous historians thought that Dagobert had actually had 2 reigns because of this charter. There are actually 3 documents all from the monastery of Stavelot all to do with the same property of Germigny les Machaut in the Ardennes. Grimoalds and 1 each from Clothar III and Dagobert II.
2. 2 poems by a bishop of paris to his counterpart in Tours seem to
say [my french isnt really good enough so i may have misunderstood it]
that when Chrodebert of Tours had taken Grimoalds wife to a convent, he
had been accused of adultery with her!

mike
Peter Stewart
2020-05-22 03:38:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by mike
And they dont even mention Dagobert III.
I meant Dagobert II 676-79.
Post by mike
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k182072/f70.image.r=levillain
he mentions the list in a footnote
"the two lists to which the scholars rightly place the most value give us the following data"
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus 1 year,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years [!]
Hildericus 14 years [i missed this out]
As I wade through the Levillain article, theres some additional evidence he mentions;
1. a charter of Grimoald dated to the 4th year of Dagobert! he says its
authentic. how can it be with that date? Or has he misread it? He says
2 other famous historians thought that Dagobert had actually had 2 reigns because of this charter. There are actually 3 documents all from the monastery of Stavelot all to do with the same property of Germigny les Machaut in the Ardennes. Grimoalds and 1 each from Clothar III and Dagobert II.
Levillain and these other historians were not reading the charter
carefully enough: at the end is written "Facta exemplaria sub die
kalendis augusti anno IIII regni domni nostri Dagoberti regis". This is
clearly a later addition, not part of the charter as transacted some
time beforehand by Grimoald, perhaps ca 650. The meaning is "Copies were
made on 1 August in the fourth year of the reign of our lord King
Dagobert" - that is, presumably copies made for confirmation by Dagobert
in 679, years after the death of Grimoald, to ensure the abbey's right
to the latter's past donation.
Post by mike
2. 2 poems by a bishop of paris to his counterpart in Tours seem to
say [my french isnt really good enough so i may have misunderstood it]
that when Chrodebert of Tours had taken Grimoalds wife to a convent, he
had been accused of adultery with her!
Could you kindly give edition and page references for this and each
other piece of information you post?

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-22 03:52:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
Post by mike
And they dont even mention Dagobert III.
I meant Dagobert II 676-79.
Post by mike
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k182072/f70.image.r=levillain
he mentions the list in a footnote
"the two lists to which the scholars rightly place the most value
give us the following data"
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus 1 year,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years [!]
Hildericus 14 years [i missed this out]
As I wade through the Levillain article, theres some additional evidence he mentions;
1. a charter of Grimoald dated to the 4th year of Dagobert! he says its
authentic. how can it be with that date? Or has he misread it? He says
2 other famous historians thought that Dagobert had actually had 2
reigns because of this charter. There are actually 3 documents all
from the monastery of Stavelot all to do with the same property of
Germigny les Machaut in the Ardennes. Grimoalds and 1 each from
Clothar III and Dagobert II.
Levillain and these other historians were not reading the charter
carefully enough: at the end is written "Facta exemplaria sub die
kalendis augusti anno IIII regni domni nostri Dagoberti regis". This is
clearly a later addition, not part of the charter as transacted some
time beforehand by Grimoald, perhaps ca 650. The meaning is "Copies were
made on 1 August in the fourth year of the reign of our lord King
Dagobert" - that is, presumably copies made for confirmation by Dagobert
in 679, years after the death of Grimoald, to ensure the abbey's right
to the latter's past donation.
By the way, this was a lapse on the part of Levillain since he published
the article 1913, four years after a good edition of the Stavelot
charters (by Halkin and Roland) was published, where it was pointed out
that Grimoald's charter was written while Remacle was both the abbot and
a bishop - that is, between 648 and 653.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-22 04:14:13 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by mike
Post by mike
And they dont even mention Dagobert III.
I meant Dagobert II 676-79.
Post by mike
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k182072/f70.image.r=levillain
he mentions the list in a footnote
"the two lists to which the scholars rightly place the most value
give us the following data"
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus 1 year,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years [!]
Hildericus 14 years [i missed this out]
As I wade through the Levillain article, theres some additional evidence he mentions;
1. a charter of Grimoald dated to the 4th year of Dagobert! he says its
authentic. how can it be with that date? Or has he misread it? He says
2 other famous historians thought that Dagobert had actually had 2
reigns because of this charter. There are actually 3 documents all
from the monastery of Stavelot all to do with the same property of
Germigny les Machaut in the Ardennes. Grimoalds and 1 each from
Clothar III and Dagobert II.
Levillain and these other historians were not reading the charter
carefully enough: at the end is written "Facta exemplaria sub die
kalendis augusti anno IIII regni domni nostri Dagoberti regis". This
is clearly a later addition, not part of the charter as transacted
some time beforehand by Grimoald, perhaps ca 650. The meaning is
"Copies were made on 1 August in the fourth year of the reign of our
lord King Dagobert" - that is, presumably copies made for confirmation
by Dagobert in 679, years after the death of Grimoald, to ensure the
abbey's right to the latter's past donation.
By the way, this was a lapse on the part of Levillain since he published
the article 1913, four years after a good edition of the Stavelot
charters (by Halkin and Roland) was published, where it was pointed out
that Grimoald's charter was written while Remacle was both the abbot and
a bishop - that is, between 648 and 653.
In 1946 Levillain corrected his error on the charter's dating, here (p.
300):

https://www.persee.fr/doc/bec_0373-6237_1946_num_106_2_449369

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-22 11:02:09 UTC
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Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I havnt seen the Vita St Sigebert to judge. Is it online?
https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10800959_00156.html.
This was written between 1051 and 1070/71. There is also a shorter
version, which may have been abridged by Sigebert or someone else, that
https://archive.org/details/patrologiaecurs69unkngoog/page/n367/mode/1up.
Peter Stewart
Sigeberts account looks quite detailed. Is it really not of historical value?
Theres also a good account by Bolland from the 17th which seems to have become the accepted version of the events.
I notice that most have Childebert III reigning 656-62.
LHF account places Clovis II death after that of Grimoald. So it would seem that if the LHF is taken at face value, C3 continued to be king in austrasia after the death of his father. Historians dont like this much it seems; is this why Gerberding prefers moving C3 to 651-56?
You are assuming that Childebert was the son of Grimoald - this may be
right, but it is not necessitated by the evidence.

As I suggested before, if Grimoald did make a son of his own king after
the death of Sigibert III then this may not have been Childebert at all
but rather someone else whose name has not been transmitted to us, who
died or was killed either before or at the same time as Grimoald and was
succeeded by the Merovingian Childebert who had perhaps been taken by
his mother for safety into Neustria while Grimoald was ruling in
Austrasia after expelling Dagobert.

The sources I have already quoted are consistent with this - only the
two later king lists, of dubious authority, have led historians to
accept that Childebert was adopted, and (by the traditional
interpretation) that he was the biological son of Grimoald rather than
of Sigibert.

Gerberding presumably explained his own scheme to the extent he felt
this was needed, but if not I can't do it for him.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-24 04:25:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Peter Stewart
I havnt seen the Vita St Sigebert to judge. Is it online?
https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10800959_00156.html.
This was written between 1051 and 1070/71. There is also a shorter
version, which may have been abridged by Sigebert or someone else, that
https://archive.org/details/patrologiaecurs69unkngoog/page/n367/mode/1up.
Peter Stewart
Sigeberts account looks quite detailed. Is it really not of historical value?
Theres also a good account by Bolland from the 17th which seems to have become the accepted version of the events.
I notice that most have Childebert III reigning 656-62.
LHF account places Clovis II death after that of Grimoald. So it would seem that if the LHF is taken at face value, C3 continued to be king in austrasia after the death of his father. Historians dont like this much it seems; is this why Gerberding prefers moving C3 to 651-56?
But theres something wrong in the LHF chron. Their account seems to have Clovis II succeeded by Chlothar III but only reigning 4 years dying still a boy eg c661. thats surely wrong. And then he is succeeded by his brother Theuderic III in neustria and Childeric II in Austrasia. I read that the LHF was written c727, but surely this is not a mistake, its deliberate falsification. And they dont even mention Dagobert III.
So is the LHF an unreliable source for this event? Is that why Becher /Settipani prefer to see C3 as a merovingian and discount both the LHF [although the bit about Dagobert being tonsured and sent into exile is obviously true] and the later story of adoption.
But could the seizure and ?illegal murder of Grimoald have galvanised support in Austrasia for Childebert & the rest of the Pepinid clan, and allowed Childebert to stay on as king. Perhaps Ansegisel the father of Pepin II took Grimoald's place [as settipani suggests] until hes murdered by Gundoin [apparently his adopted child!!], and a new gang under Wulfoald take over & do a deal with the Neustrians to have Childeric II as their king?
Just found Levillians article about the royal succession in Austrasia and he makes the point that this decision to make Childebert king could not have been only Grimoalds.
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k182072/f70.image.r=levillain
he mentions the list in a footnote
"the two lists to which the scholars rightly place the most value give us the following data"
Sigebert 23 years,
hucusque Hildebertus adoptivus 1 year,
Grimoald nothos [the false?] 7 years [!]
No one has mentioned this before. Grimoald was king for 7 years? So why do the historians think Childebert III reigned 6 years?
This list can be read here:

https://www.dmgh.de/mgh_ss_13/index.htm#page/724/mode/1up

I can't find the original manuscript online. It was evidently written in
the reign of Louis the Pious, whose (incorrect) regnal length of 40
years was added later by a different hand.

The words in square brackets, including "nothus" several times, were
inserted above the lines in a different ink from the original text.

In my view this catalogue has next-to nil value as evidence for the
parentage of Childebert, but some interest in giving his reign as 1 year
and Grimoald's as 7. The intended import of the word "hucusque" is open
to guesswork. The writer may ahve considered Grimoald not to have been a
king, though he is not qualified with the words "maior domus" like his
counterparts below.

The superscript addition of "nothus" has little authority regarding the
legitimacy of Grimoald since the same is applied to Pippin of Herstal
and Charles Martel. If it meant false as ruler rather than illegitimate
by birth, it is just as hard to make sense of its application to these
men. It is not applied to Pippin the Short - hardly surprising, given
that his grandson was emperor at the time of writing - but evidently it
does not simply indicate a non-Merovingian upstart ruler.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-05-20 06:50:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
This is a puzzle which I hope someone can explain.
I first read about how when Sigebert III of Austrasia died in 656, Grimoald
tonsured his son and sent him into exile led by the Bishop of Poitiers
[called Dido!] in Ireland in Ian Wood's book the Merovingian kingdoms.
Grimoald then placed his own son on the throne. The Neustrians were
enraged managed to capture Grimoald and tortured him to death in Paris.
But when I looked at the sources closest to the event, like the
LHF, they dont even mention Grimoalds sons name or what happened to him.
And the other source the Fredegar continuation doesnt seem to mention
the coup at all which is odd as it was written apparently under
the direction of a half bro of Charles Martel.
So where does the name childebert come from, and how do we know he was
adopted by Sigebert III?
it seems there are many theories but few facts.
1. I believe Settipani suggests Childebert was Sigeberts son
Apologies, I overlooked this before - Christian Settipani repeated the
suggestion of Matthias Becher (not yet published at the time, but
available to him) that Childebert was actually the son of Sigibert, but
then departed from this to suggest that Childebert may have been the
bastard son of Grimoald by Sigibert's wife (either of Chimnechild or of
an unrecorded prior wife).

According to Settipani this outlandish idea accounts for some reactions
to Childebert's usurpation within and beyond his immediate Merovingian
family - but of course, it leaves a somewhat bigger puzzle as to how
Grimoald would have gotten away with cuckolding Sigibert unremarked by
anyone for more than 1,300 years, only to end up being tortured to death
for political offenses after Sigibert's death rather than for treasonous
adultery beforehand.

Peter Stewart
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