Post by Elisabet Bartram
I am sorry to ask this, I seem to have lost some papers of mine. So,
does Charlemagne have a connection with early Merovingian kings? Are
they his ancestors?
The best review of this question of which I'm aware is Christian
Settipani's _Les Ancetres de Charlemagne_ (published in France around
1990), which attempts to construct as complete an *Ahnentafel* as
possible for the man. (Naturally, it's mostly more or less shrewd
hypothecation  on the basis of indications that are sometimes quite
slim, but that's part of what makes the game enjoyable.) He
subsequently released at least one substantial sheaf of modifications,
at one time available in English translation from a poster here, and
there may be others of which I'm not aware. (If so, I'd like to know.
I also recall him saying that he was eventually going to publish a
completely rewritten edition. Informed comments, anyone?) He thought
it likely that Charlemagne was a descendant of Clovis I in several
ways, and while he's retracted at least one of these, it remains --
certainly to my mind, and I believe to his -- likely that the first
HRE had some such descent.----As an *a priori* consideration, one of
the oldest tactics by which a new dynasty gains colorable legitimacy
in the eyes of the people is by allying itself in marriage with the
ladies of the old. (*Cf.* Henry VII and Elizabeth Plantagenet.)
There are some indications that one or more such alliances occurred in
M. Settipani has published several subsequent books that have some
bearing on these questions, perhaps especially his _Prehistoire des
Capetiens_. A particularly valuable aspect of his works is that
they're based on a comprehensive knowledge of the European literature
in several languages, and always include extensive bibliographies, so
that if you like, you can track down previous theories on any given
point, and do your own weighing of the evidence.
Major urban and university libraries often have copies of these books;
but if the library nearest you doesn't, they may nevertheless be able
to do an OCLC search and order it by interlibrary loan.
In French; but really simple French. (Even I can read it without
breaking a sweat.)
 Before anyone complains that "hypothecation" isn't a word ... I
know. However, H.G. Wells used it as a word in _First Men In the
Moon_, which I read as a child; and it's stuck. Besides, I don't much
like any of the real words that mean the same thing.