The Info List - Carolingian

Non-agnatic lines:

Robertian dynasty

House of Capet

Bosonid dynasty

Carolingian dynasty

The Carolingian cross.


Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640) Grimoald (616–656) Childebert the Adopted
Childebert the Adopted
(d. 662)


Arnulf of Metz
Arnulf of Metz
(582–640) Ansegisel (d. 662 or 679) Chlodulf of Metz (d. 696 or 697) Pepin of Herstal
Pepin of Herstal
(635-714) Grimoald II (d. 714) Drogo of Champagne
Drogo of Champagne
(670–708) Theudoald (d. 741)


Charles Martel
Charles Martel
(686–741) Carloman (d. 754) Pepin the Short
Pepin the Short
(714–768) Carloman I
Carloman I
(751–771) Charlemagne
(742–814) Pepin the Hunchback
Pepin the Hunchback
(768–811) Charles the Younger (772–811) Pepin of Italy
Pepin of Italy
(773–810) Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious
(778–840) Pepin I of Aquitaine
Pepin I of Aquitaine

After the Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun

Lothair I, Holy Roman Emperor (795–855; Middle Francia) Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald
(823–877) (West Francia) Louis the German
Louis the German
(804–876) (East Francia)

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The Carolingian dynasty
Carolingian dynasty
(known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings or Karlings) was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD.[2] The name "Carolingian" ( Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German
Old High German
word *karling, kerling, meaning "descendant of Charles", cf. MHG kerlinc)[3] derives from the Latinised name of Charles Martel: Carolus.[4] The dynasty consolidated its power in the mid 8th century, eventually making the offices of mayor of the palace and dux et princeps Francorum hereditary, and becoming the de facto rulers of the Franks
as the real powers behind the Merovingian throne. In 751 the Merovingian dynasty, which had ruled the Germanic Franks
was overthrown with the consent of the Papacy
and the aristocracy, and a Carolingian Pepin the Short
Pepin the Short
was crowned King of the Franks. The Carolingian dynasty
Carolingian dynasty
reached its peak in 800 with the crowning of Charlemagne
as the first Emperor of Romans in over three centuries. His death in 814 began an extended period of fragmentation of the Carolingian empire
Carolingian empire
and decline that would eventually lead to the evolution of the Kingdom of France
Kingdom of France
and the Holy Roman Empire.


1 History

1.1 Decline

2 Branches 3 Grand strategy 4 See also 5 References and sources

5.1 References 5.2 Sources

History[edit] Traditional historiography has seen the Carolingian assumption of the Frank kingship as the product of a long rise to power, punctuated even by a premature attempt to seize the throne through Childebert the Adopted. This picture, however, is not commonly accepted today. Rather, the coronation of 751 is seen typically as a product of the aspirations of one man, Pepin, whose father, dynastic founder Charles Martel, had been a Frankish high court official military commander, and of the Roman Catholic Church, which was always looking for powerful secular protectors and for the extension of its spiritual and temporal influence. The greatest Carolingian monarch was Charlemagne, Pepin's son. Charlemagne
was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III at Rome in 800.[5] His empire, ostensibly a continuation of the Western Roman Empire, is referred to historiographically as the Carolingian Empire. The Carolingian rulers did not give up the traditional Frankish (and Merovingian) practice of dividing inheritances among heirs, though the concept of the indivisibility of the Empire was also accepted. The Carolingians
had the practice of making their sons minor kings in the various regions (regna) of the Empire, which they would inherit on the death of their father, which Charlemange and his son Louis the Pious both did for their sons. Following the death of the Emperor Louis the Pious in 840, his surviving adult sons, Lothair I
Lothair I
and Louis the German, along with their adolescent brother Charles the Bald, fought a three-year civil war ending only in the Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun
in 843, which divided the empire into three regna while according imperial status and a nominal lordship to Lothair who at 48, was the eldest.[6] The Carolingians
differed markedly from the Merovingians in that they disallowed inheritance to illegitimate offspring, possibly in an effort to prevent infighting among heirs and assure a limit to the division of the realm. In the late ninth century, however, the lack of suitable adults among the Carolingians
necessitated the rise of Arnulf of Carinthia as the king of East Francia, a bastard child of a legitimate Carolingian king, Carloman of Bavaria,[7] himself a son of the First King of the Eastern division of the Frankish kingdom Louis the German. Decline[edit] It was after Charlemagne's death that the dynasty began to slowly crumble. His kingdom would end up splitting into three, each being ruled over by one of his grandsons. Out of the three, only the kingdoms of the eastern and western portions survived. These two surviving kingdoms would go on to become the countries we know today as Germany and France.[8] The Carolingians
were displaced in most of the regna of the Empire by 888. They ruled in East Francia
until 911 and held the throne of West Francia
intermittently until 987. Carolingian cadet branches continued to rule in Vermandois
and Lower Lorraine after the last king died in 987, but they never sought thrones of principalities and made peace with the new ruling families. One chronicler of Sens
dates the end of Carolingian rule with the coronation of Robert II of France
Robert II of France
as junior co-ruler with his father, Hugh Capet, thus beginning the Capetian dynasty.[9] The dynasty became extinct in the male line with the death of Eudes, Count of Vermandois. His sister Adelaide, the last Carolingian, died in 1122. Branches[edit]

It has been suggested that Carolingians
descended from Charles Martel be merged into this section. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2018.

Carolingian denier of Lothair I, struck in Dorestad
(Middle Francia) after 850.

The Carolingian dynasty
Carolingian dynasty
has five distinct branches:[10]

The Lombard branch, or Vermandois
branch, or Herbertians, descended from Pepin of Italy, son of Charlemagne. Though he did not outlive his father, his son Bernard was allowed to retain Italy. Bernard rebelled against his uncle Louis the Pious, and lost both his kingdom and his life. Deprived of the royal title, the members of this branch settled in France, and became counts of Vermandois, Valois, Amiens and Troyes. The counts of Vermandois
perpetuated the Carolingian line until the 12th century. The Counts of Chiny and the lords of Mellier, Neufchâteau and Falkenstein are branches of the Herbertians. With the descendants of the counts of Chiny, there would have been Herbertian Carolingians
to the early 14th century. The Lotharingian branch, descended from Emperor Lothair, eldest son of Louis the Pious. At his death Middle Francia
was divided equally between his three surviving sons, into Italy, Lotharingia
and Lower Burgundy. The sons of Emperor Lothair did not have sons of their own, so Middle Francia
was divided between the western and eastern branches of the family in 875. The Aquitainian branch, descended from Pepin of Aquitaine, son of Louis the Pious. Since he did not outlive his father, his sons were deprived of Aquitaine in favor of his younger brother Charles the Bald. Pepin's sons died childless. Extinct 864. The German branch, descended from Louis the German, King of East Francia, son of Louis the Pious. Since he had three sons, his lands were divided into Duchy of Bavaria, Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Saxony
and Duchy of Swabia. His youngest son Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat
briefly reunited both East and West Francia
— the entirety of the Carolingian empire
Carolingian empire
— but it split again after his death, never to be reunited again. With the failure of the legitimate lines of the German branch, Arnulf of Carinthia, an illegitimate nephew of Charles the Fat, rose to the kingship of East Francia. At the death of Arnulf's son Louis the Child in 911, Carolingian rule ended in East Francia. The French branch, descended from Charles the Bald, King of West Francia, son of Louis the Pious. The French branch ruled in West Francia, but their rule was interrupted by Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat
of the German branch, two Robertians, and a Bosonid. Carolingian rule ended with the death of Louis V of France
Louis V of France
in 987. Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, the Carolingian heir, was ousted out of the succession by Hugh Capet; his sons died childless. Extinct c. 1012.

Grand strategy[edit]

Carolingian family tree, from the Chronicon Universale of Ekkehard of Aura, 12th century

The historian Bernard Bachrach argues that the rise of the Carolingians
to power is best understood using the theory of a Carolingian grand strategy. A grand strategy is a long term military and political strategy that lasts for longer than a typical campaigning season, and can span long periods of time.[11] The Carolingians
followed a set course of action that discounts the idea of a random rise in power and can be considered as a grand strategy. Another major part of the grand strategy of the early Carolingians encompassed their political alliance with the aristocracy. This political relationship gave the Carolingians
authority and power in the Frankish kingdom. Beginning with Pippin II, the Carolingians
set out to put the regnum Francorum ("kingdom of the Franks") back together, after its fragmentation after the death of Dagobert I, a Merovingian king. After an early failed attempt in ca 651 A.D. to usurp the throne from the Merovingians, the early Carolingians
began to slowly gain power and influence as they consolidated military power as Mayors of the Palace. In order to do this, the Carolingians
used a combination of Late Roman military organization along with the incremental changes that occurred between the fifth and eighth centuries. Because of the defensive strategy the Romans had implemented during the Late Empire, the population had become militarized and were thus available for military use.[12] The existence of the remaining Roman infrastructure that could be used for military purposes, such as roads, strongholds and fortified cities meant that the reformed strategies of the Late Romans would still be relevant. Civilian men who lived either in or near a walled city or strong point were required to learn how to fight and defend the areas in which they lived. These men were rarely used in the course of Carolingian grand strategy because they were used for defensive purposes, and the Carolingians
were for the most part on the offensive most of the time. Another class of civilians were required to serve in the military which included going on campaigns. Depending on one's wealth, one would be required to render different sorts of service, and “the richer the man was, the greater was his military obligation for service”.[13] For example, if rich, one might be required as a knight. Or one might be required to provide a number of fighting men. In addition to those who owed military service for the lands they had, there were also professional soldiers who fought for the Carolingians. If the holder of a certain amount of land was ineligible for military service (women, old men, sickly men or cowards) they would still owe military service. Instead of going themselves, they would hire a soldier to fight in their place. Institutions, such as monasteries or churches were also required to send soldiers to fight based on the wealth and the amount of lands they held. In fact, the use of ecclesiastical institutions for their resources for the military was a tradition that the Carolingians
continued and greatly benefitted from. It was “highly unlikely that armies of many more than a hundred thousand effectives with their support systems could be supplied in the field in a single theatre of operation.”[14] Because of this, each landholder would not be required to mobilize all of his men each year for the campaigning season, but instead the Carolingians
would decide which kinds of troops were needed from each landholder, and what they should bring with them. In some cases, sending men to fight could be substituted for different types of war machines. In order to send effective fighting men, many institutions would have well trained soldiers that were skilled in fighting as heavily armored troops. These men would be trained, armored, and given the things they needed in order to fight as heavy troops at the expense of the household or institution for whom they fought. These armed retinues served almost as private armies, “which were supported at the expense of the great magnates, [and] were of considerable importance to early Carolingian military organization and warfare."[15] The Carolingians
themselves supported their own military household and they were the most important “core of the standing army in the” regnum Francorum.[16] It was by utilizing the organization of the military in an effective manner that contributed to the success of the Carolingians
in their grand strategy. This strategy consisted of strictly adhering to the reconstruction of the regnum Francorum under their authority. Bernard Bachrach gives three principles for Carolingian long-term strategy that spanned generations of Carolingian rulers:

The first principle… was to move cautiously outward from the Carolingian base in Austrasia. Its second principle was to engage in a single region at a time until the conquest had been accomplished. The third principle was to avoid becoming involved beyond the frontiers of the regnum Francorum or to do so when absolutely necessary and then not for the purpose of conquest”[17]

This is important to the development of medieval history because without such a military organization and without a grand strategy, the Carolingians
would not have successfully become kings of the Franks, as legitimized by the bishop of Rome. Furthermore, it was ultimately because of their efforts and infrastructure that Charlemagne
was able to become such a powerful king and be crowned Emperor of the Romans in 800 A.D. Without the efforts of his predecessors, he would not have been as successful as he was and the revival of the Roman Empire in the West was likely to have not occurred. See also[edit]

East Francia West Francia Carolingian architecture Royal Administration of Merovingian and Carolingian Dynasties Carolingian art Carolingian minuscule Carolingian Renaissance List of counts of Vermandois King of Italy

List of: Frankish Kings and French monarchs

Kings of France
family tree List of Carolingians
descending from Charles Martel

List of Holy Roman Emperors
List of Holy Roman Emperors
and German monarchs

German monarchs family tree List of Carolingians
descended from Charles Martel

References and sources[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carolingian dynasty.


^ Rudolf Koch, Christliche Symbole (1932) ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Carolingians". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  ^ Babcock, Philip (ed). Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 1993: 341. ^ Hollister, Clive, and Bennett, Judith. Medieval Europe: A Short History, p. 97. ^ " Charlemagne
- Emperor of the Romans Holy Roman emperor [747?-814]". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-09-20.  ^ " Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun
[843]". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-09-20.  ^ "Arnulf Holy Roman emperor". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-09-20.  ^ " Charlemagne
and the Carolingian Empire". www.penfield.edu. Retrieved 2017-11-30.  ^ Lewis, Andrew W. (1981). Royal Succession in Capetian France: Studies on Familial Order and the State. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, p. 17. ISBN 0-674-77985-1 ^ Palgrave, Sir Francis. History of Normandy and of England, Volume 1, p. 354. ^ Bachrach, Bernard S. Early Carolingian Warfare: Prelude to Empire. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 2001, p. 1. ^ Bachrach, 52. ^ Bachrach, 55. ^ Bachrach, 58. ^ Bachrach, 64. ^ Bachrach, 65. ^ Bachrach, 49-50.


Reuter, Timothy. Germany in the Early Middle Ages 800–1056. New York: Longman, 1991. MacLean, Simon. Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century: Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat
and the end of the Carolingian Empire. Cambridge University Press: 2003. Leyser, Karl. Communications and Power in Medieval Europe: The Carolingian and Ottonian Centuries. London: 1994. Lot, Ferdinand. (1891). "Origine et signification du mot «carolingien»." Revue Historique, 46(1): 68–73. Oman, Charles. The Dark Ages, 476-918. 6th ed. London: Rivingtons, 1914. Painter, Sidney. A History of the Middle Ages, 284-1500. New York: Knopf, 1953. "Astronomus", Vita Hludovici imperatoris, ed. G. Pertz, ch. 2, in Mon. Gen. Hist. Scriptores, II, 608. Reuter, Timothy (trans.) The Annals of Fulda. (Manchester Medieval series, Ninth-Century Histories, Volume II.) Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992. Einhard. Vita Karoli Magni. Translated by Samuel Epes Turner. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1880.

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Pippinids, Arnulfings, and Carolingians

Legend: → ≡ "father of", * ≡ "brother of"

Begga, the daughter of Pepin I, married Ansegisel, the son of Arnulf of Metz, and was the mother of Pepin II.


Carloman → Pepin I → Grimoald I → Childebert the Adopted


Arnulf of Metz
Arnulf of Metz
→ Chlodulf of Metz Martin Ansegisel → Pepin II, his sons

Drogo, sons

Arnulf Hugh of Champagne Godfrey Pepin

Grimoald I, son


Charles Martel, sons

Carloman Pepin III Grifo Bernard Jerome Remigius

Childebrand I, son

Nibelung I → Nibelungids

Early Carolingians

Sons of Charles Martel

Carloman, son


Pepin III, sons

Charlemagne, sons

Pepin the Hunchback Charles the Younger Pepin Louis the Pious Lothair Drogo Hugh Theoderic

Carloman, son



Bernard, sons

Wala Adalhard Bernhar

Carolingian Empire

Sons of Charlemagne

Pepin, son

Bernard → Pepin, Count of Vermandois → Counts of Vermandois

Louis the Pious, sons

Arnulf of Sens

Lothair I, sons

Louis II of Italy → Ermengard → Louis the Blind
Louis the Blind
→ Bosonids Lothair II
Lothair II
→ Hugh Charles

Pepin I, son

Pepin II

Louis the German, sons

Carloman → Arnulf → Louis the Child Ratold Zwentibold
→ Godfrey Otto Louis the Younger
Louis the Younger
→ Louis Hugh Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat
→ Bernard Ratold → Adalbert

Charles the Bald, sons

Louis the Stammerer
Louis the Stammerer
→ Louis III Carloman II Charles the Simple Charles the Child Carloman Lothair the Lame Drogo Pepin Charles

West Francia

West Francia
was in the hands of the Robertians from 888 until 898. It was the last Carolingian kingdom.

Charles the Simple, sons

Louis IV Arnulf Drogo Rorico

Louis IV, sons

Lothair IV Charles Louis Charles of Lorraine Henry

Lothair IV, sons

Louis V Arnulf

Charles of Lorraine, sons

Otto Louis Charles

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The Division of Charlemagne's Empire

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Carolingian Kings of France

Pepin (751–768) Charles the Great (768–814) Carloman I
Carloman I
(768–771) Louis I (814–840) Charles I (840–877) Louis II (877–879) Louis III (879–882) Carloman II
Carloman II
(879–884) Charles II (884–888) Charles III (898–922) Louis IV (936–954) Lothaire (954–986) Louis V (986–987)

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Heads of state of France

Styled President of the Republic after 1871, except from 1940 to 1944 (Chief of State) and 1944 to 1947 (Chairman of the Provisional Government). Detailed monarch family tree Simplified monarch family tree

Merovingians (486–751)

Clovis I Childebert I Chlothar I Charibert I Guntram Chilperic I Sigebert I Childebert II Chlothar II Dagobert I Sigebert II Clovis II Chlothar III Childeric II Theuderic III Clovis IV Childebert III Dagobert III Chilperic II Chlothar IV Theuderic IV Childeric III

Carolingians, Robertians and Bosonids (751–987)

Pepin the Short Carloman I Charlemagne
(Charles I) Louis I Charles II Louis II Louis III Carloman II Charles the Fat OdoR Charles III Robert IR RudolphB Louis IV Lothair Louis V

House of Capet
House of Capet

Hugh Capet Robert II Henry I Philip I Louis VI Louis VII Philip II Louis VIII Louis IX Philip III Philip IV Louis X John I Philip V Charles IV

House of Valois
House of Valois

Philip VI John II Charles V Charles VI Charles VII Louis XI Charles VIII Louis XII Francis I Henry II Francis II Charles IX Henry III

House of Lancaster
House of Lancaster

Henry VI of England

House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon

Henry IV Louis XIII Louis XIV Louis XV Louis XVI Louis XVII

First Republic (1792–1804)

National Convention Directory Consulate

First Empire (1804–1815)

I Napoleon

Bourbon Restoration
Bourbon Restoration

Louis XVIII Charles X Louis XIX Henry V

July Monarchy
July Monarchy

Louis Philippe I

Second Republic (1848–1852)

Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure Executive Commission Louis-Eugène Cavaignac Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte

Second Empire (1852–1870)


Government of National Defense (1870–1871)

Louis-Jules Trochu

Third Republic (1871–1940)

Adolphe Thiers Patrice de Mac-Mahon Jules Armand Dufaure* Jules Grévy Maurice Rouvier* Sadi Carnot Charles Dupuy* Jean Casimir-Perier Charles Dupuy* Félix Faure Charles Dupuy* Émile Loubet Armand Fallières Raymond Poincaré Paul Deschanel Alexandre Millerand Frédéric François-Marsal* Gaston Doumergue Paul Doumer André Tardieu* Albert Lebrun

Vichy France
Vichy France

Philippe Pétain

Provisional Government (1944–1947)

Charles de Gaulle Félix Gouin Georges Bidault Vincent Auriol Léon Blum

Fourth Republic (1947–1958)

Vincent Auriol René Coty

Fifth Republic (1958–present)

Charles de Gaulle Alain Poher* Georges Pompidou Alain Poher* Valéry Giscard d'Estaing François Mitterrand Jacques Chirac Nicolas Sarkozy François Hollande Emmanuel Macron

Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics. Acting heads of state are denoted by an asterisk*. Millerand held the presidency in an acting capacity before being fully elected.

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Rurikids Piast Gediminids Olshanski Olelkovich Giray Romanov Habsburg-Lorraine

1 Transcontinental country. 2 Entirely in Southwest Asia
but having socio-political connections with Europe.

Western Europe


Saxe-Coburg and Gotha


Merovingian Carolingian Capet Valois Bourbon Bonaparte Orléans


Aleramici Appiani Bonaparte Bourbon-Parma Bourbon-Two Sicilies Carolingian Della Rovere Este Farnese Flavian Gonzaga Grimaldi Habsburg Julio-Claudian Malatesta Malaspina Medici Montefeltro Nerva–Antonine Ordelaffi Orsini Palaiologos Pallavicini Savoy Severan Sforza Visconti


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Piast Přemyslid Samborides Griffins Jagiellon Valois Báthory Vasa Wiśniowiecki Sobieski Wettin Leszczyński Poniatowski

After partitions:

Kingdom of Poland Habsburg Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria Wettin Duchy of Warsaw Lefebvre Duchy of Gdańsk Hohenzollern Duchy of Poznań

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 50020166 GND: 118721003 SUDOC: 027668045 BNF: cb11966135g (data) N