Carloman, son of Charles Martel

Carolingian dynasty
Pippinids
Arnulfings
Carolingians
After the Treaty of Verdun (843)
Carloman (between 706 and 716[1]17 August[2] 754) was the eldest son of Charles Martel, major domo or mayor of the palace and duke of the Franks, and his wife Chrotrud. On Charles' death (741), he and his brother Pippin the Short succeeded to their father's legal positions, Carloman in Austrasia, and Pippin in Neustria. He was a member of the family later called the Carolingians and it can be argued that he was instrumental in consolidating their power at the expense of the ruling Merovingian kings of the Franks. He withdrew from public life in 747 to take up the monastic habit.

Assumption of power

After the death of his father, power was not initially divided to include Grifo, another of Charles' sons. This was per Charles' wishes, though Grifo demanded a portion of the realm from his brothers, who refused him. By 742, Carloman and Pippin had ousted Grifo and forced him into a monastery, and each turned his attention towards his own area of influence as major domo, Pippin in the West (in what was called Neustria, roughly what is now France) and Carloman in the East (in what was called Austrasia, roughly what is now Germany), which was the Carolingian base of power.

With Grifo contained, the two mayors, who had not yet proved themselves in battle in defence of the realm as their father had, on the initiative of Carloman, installed the Merovingian Childeric III as king (743), even though Martel had left the throne vacant since the death of Theuderic IV in 737.

Unlike most medieval instances of fraternal power sharing, Carloman and Pippin for seven years seemed at least willing to work together; certainly, they undertook many military actions together. Carloman joined Pippin against Hunald of Aquitaine's rising in 742 and again in 745. Pippin assisted Carloman against the Saxons 742-743 and against Odilo of Bavaria in 742 and again in 744, when peace was established between the brothers and their brother-in-law, for Odilo had married their sister Hiltrude.

Strengthening of the dynasty

In his own realm, Carloman strengthened his authority in part via his support of the Anglo-Saxon missionary Winfrid (later Saint Boniface), the so-called "Apostle of the Germans," whom he charged with restructuring the chuch in Austrasia. This was in part the continuation of a policy begun under his grandfather, Pippin of Herstal, and continued to under his father, Charles Martel, who erected four dioceses in Bavaria (Salzburg, Regensburg, Freising, and Passau) and gave them Boniface as archbishop and metropolitan over all Germany east of the Rhine, with his seat at Mainz. Boniface had been under Charles Martel's protection from 723 on; indeed the saint himself explained to his old friend, Daniel of Winchester, that without it he could neither administer his church, defend his clergy, nor prevent idolatry. Carloman was instrumental in convening the Concilium Germanicum in 742, the first major Church synod to be held in the eastern regions of the Frankish kingdom. Chaired jointly by him and Boniface, the synod ruled that priests were not allowed to bear arms or to host females in their houses and that it was one of their primary tasks to eradicate pagan beliefs. While his father had frequently confiscated church property to reward his followers and to pay for the standing army that had brought him victory at Tours, (a policy supported by Boniface as necessary to defend Christianity) by 742 the Carolingians were wealthy enough to pay their military retainers and still support the Church. For Carloman, a deeply religious man, it was a duty of love, for Pippin a practical duty. Both saw the necessity of strengthening the ties between their house and the Church. Therefore, Carloman sought to increase the assets of the church. He donated, for instance, the land for one of Boniface's most important foundations, the monastery of Fulda.

Political ruthlessness

Despite his piety, Carloman could be ruthless towards real or perceived opponents. After repeated armed revolts and rebellions, Carloman in 746 convened an assembly of the Alamanni magnates at Cannstatt and then had most of the magnates, numbering in the thousands, arrested and executed for high treason in the Blood Court at Cannstatt. This eradicated virtually the entire tribal leadership of the Alamanni and ended the independence of the tribal duchy of Alamannia, which was thereafter governed by counts appointed by their Frankish overlords.

These actions strengthened Carloman's position, and that of the family as a whole, especially in terms of their rivalries with other leading barbarian families such as the Bavarian Agilolfings.

Withdrawal from public life

On 15 August 747, Carloman renounced his position as major domo and withdrew to a monastic life, being tonsured in Rome by Pope Zachary. He founded a monastery on Monte Soratte and then went to Monte Cassino. All sources from the period indicate that he believed his calling was the Church. He withdrew to a monastery and spent most of the remainder of his life there, presumably in meditation and prayer.

At the time of Carloman's retirement, Grifo escaped his imprisonment and fled to Bavaria, where Duke Odilo provided support and assistance. But when Odilo died a year later and Grifo attempted to seize the duchy of Bavaria for himself, Pippin, who had become sole major domo and dux et princeps Francorum, took decisive action by invading Bavaria and installing Odilo's infant son, Tassilo III, as duke under Frankish suzerainty. Grifo continued his rebellion, but was eventually killed in the battle of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in 753.

Seven years after Carloman's retirement and on the eve of his death, he once more stepped briefly on the public stage. In 754, Pope Stephen II had begged Pippin, now king, to come to his aid against the king of the Lombards, Aistulf. Carloman left Monte Cassino to visit his brother to ask him not to march on Italy. Pippin was unmoved, and imprisoned Carloman in Vienne, where he died on 17 August. He was buried in Monte Cassino.

Carloman, son of Charles Martel
Born: 716 Died: 754
Preceded by
Charles Martel
Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia
741747
Succeeded by
Title disappears

Notes

1. ^ There is some discrepancy between the sources on his year of birth. It is given variously as 706, 708, 714, or 716.
2. ^ There is some discrepancy between the sources on his date of death. It is the 17 of either August or July.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

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Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Childebert the Adopted (or Adoptivus), king of Austrasia.

Grimoald, his son, and perhaps his brother-in-law Ansegisel were finally seized and turned over to the king of Neustria, Clovis II, who had them killed. There are two differing accounts of his death, however.
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Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Theudoald or Theodald was the mayor of the palace, briefly unopposed in 714 until Ragenfrid was acclaimed in Neustria and Charles Martel in Austrasia by the nobles, after the death of his grandfather, Pepin of Heristal.
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Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Charles Martel (or, in modern English, Charles the Hammer) (23 August 686 – 22 October 741) was proclaimed Mayor of the Palace, ruling the Franks in the name of a titular King, and proclaimed himself Duke of the Franks (the last four years of his reign he did not
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Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Charlemagne (En: [ˈʃa(ɹ).lə.meɪn]; Fr: [ʃaʀ.lə.
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Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Treaty of Verdun of 843 the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious, Charles Liaison (Charlemagne's) grandsons, divided his territories, the Carolingian Empire, into three kingdoms.
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Carolingian dynasty

Pippinids
  • Pippin the Elder (c. 580–640)
  • Grimoald (616–656)
  • Childebert the Adopted (d. 662)
Arnulfings
  • Arnulf of Metz (582–640)
  • Chlodulf of Metz (d.

..... Click the link for more information.
Middle Francia describes the realm created for the Emperor Lothair I (843-855), wedged between East Francia and West Francia. The kingdom, which included the kingdom of Italy, Burgundy, Provence, and the west of Austrasia, was an unnatural creation of the Treaty of Verdun of 843,
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Charles II
King of Western Francia

Charles the Bald - Detail from a painting in the First Bible of Charles the Bald, painted ca. 845-851, kept at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
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Western Francia was the land under the control of Charles the Bald after the Treaty of Verdun of 843, which divided the Carolingian Empire of the Franks into an East, West, and Middle. It is the precursor of modern France.
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Louis (or Ludwig) the German (also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian) (804 – August 28, 876), the third son of the emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye, was the King of Bavaria from 817, when his father
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Eastern Francia was the land of Louis the German after the Treaty of Verdun of 843, which divided the Carolingian Empire of the Franks into an East, West, and Middle. It is the precursor of the Holy Roman Empire and modern Germany.
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August 17 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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