A Conversation for The Merovingian Dynasty

the meroving....

Post 1

Corvus

Congratulations, an approved entry, and an interresting one at that.....Maybe we should talk history one day? I'm well versed in roman history up to the fall of the republic and the conclusion of the civil wars but I'm getting to the emperors and finally to the split empire just about now....soon we'll be in the same period of time. See ya!


the meroving....

Post 2

Mustapha

Cheers, Corvus!

I'm actually interested in a broad section of history, pretty much anything up to AD 1500 (by which time most of the modern nations, along with their royal lines, have been established). So if you want a chat about the Republic or the Empire, feel free to do so. I guess that's what you get for reading Asterix books from the age of six, eh?

There are a few other historians on the Guide, so look out for them esp Bran the Exporer (who I've linked on my page).

Happy Hols! smiley - smiley


the meroving....

Post 3

Researcher 93445

You can add me to the "interested in history" group. I actually took my graduate degree in history of computers, which put me in a rather more recent time period than the Merovingians, but I'm interested in most everything. As far as historiography goes, I've always been attracted to the "everyday life" approach typified by Braudel.

There's a nice family tree of the Merovingian rulers online at http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/Rulers/merovingian.html .


the meroving....

Post 4

Serendipity

Add me also!! Although I may not be as well versed in history as the rest of you, I am still immensley interested in the subject. I'm new to h2g2, so if anyone could point me in the direction of other historical sites, I'd really appreciate the help! See ya around


the meroving....

Post 5

Taipan - Jack of Hearts


Hi serendipity,

theres more history being made here every single day smiley - smiley

count me in also. I will be doing a feature on Great Historical Figures for the Guide - eventually.

If your looking for particular Historical links in the guide, why not try the search option at the top of every page. alternatively, I (not to blow my own horn too much - but someone has to) have a history of Scotland (or most of it) over at http://www.h2g2.com/A198614

Happy researching, have fun smiley - smiley , have a fish smiley - fish


the meroving....

Post 6

Researcher 93445

If you browse around the entries I've done for the Guide, you'll find some historical snippets, mostly from the history of science arena. And for general history, there are some jumps from my weblog (http://www.larkfarm.com/weblog.asp).


the meroving....

Post 7

Mustapha

From one period of history to another,

HAPPY 2000!!!

smiley - bigeyessmiley - bigeyessmiley - bigeyes


the meroving....

Post 8

Researcher 107081

Let us not forget from whom, like from Whom, the Merovingians claimed descent.

Mary Magdalene, apparently, went to found the city of Marseilles while pregnant with the son of Jesus, whence the line is descended


the meroving....

Post 9

Corvus

I'm happy this conversation seems to start well, if you like to get to the sources you can go to the internet classics archive, a fabulous site. It's found at http://classics.mit.edu/index.html and contains hundreds of free texts (441 to be precise) I specifically recommend Tacitus, Appuleius and Thychidides, they are highly readable. Thychidides writing oozes "brain Power" and sheer intelligence, his analytical powers make the greek wars intelligible where most accounts leave you with why, how and where questions in abundance. Tacitus is very intelligent and a skilled writer and Appuleius is downright funny.....Happy reading! I'm so old fashioned I have bought the paper versions to have the feeling of reading the book, but not all is available, that makes the classics archive very useful, Appuleius hilarious defense when charged with Black magic for instance is hard to find on paper.


the meroving....

Post 10

Mustapha

The Merovingians claimed a lot of things. They also claimed to be descended from Aeneas & the Trojans, just as Virgil had claimed of the Romans. They also claimed to be the True Romans, in light of this "fact". They claimed to have special powers, although these powers never seemed to help much when being murdered by Uncle Egbert or whoever.

I think they should therefore be read for what they are - delusions of grandeur, or an attempt to beef up a rather tawdry family tree. Or both.


the meroving....

Post 11

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Add me to the H2G2 Historical Society. I'm interested in all sorts of different eras, but, the subject matter being so incredibly massive, my concentrations have been 1st Century Rome and Palestine (studied for religious reasons as well, another interest of mine), Europe from 1500 on (with gaps here and there, obviously), and US history. Any other Western history time period I can offer entertaining, but not necessarily authoritative, commentary.


the meroving....

Post 12

Mustapha

Sounds like a great idea, GB! I'll get started on it ASAP!

Good way to start 2000 I think. smiley - smiley


the meroving....

Post 13

Mustapha

Well, I've set up a page for the Historical Society, and added a couple of links. It's kind of basic at the moment and there's no bar so I'm afraid it's BYO for the meantime.

The Society can be found here

http://www.h2g2.com/A240058


the meroving....

Post 14

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Well, we asked for it! Guess we'd better get busy and start writing articles for it, then, shouldn't we? Me and my big mouth... smiley - winkeye


the meroving....

Post 15

Mustapha

Speak it's name and it becomes reality...


the meroving....

Post 16

Bran the Explorer

What a great conversation! Well done Mustapha on getting the article up and on the Historical Society, and thanks for mentioning me. I haven't added any new ones since the one on King Arthur and Tintagel, but will do so when life gets back to normal after the Xmas/Millenuim thingy. Great to have an historians' discussion.

Did the Mervovingians, by the way, claim descent back to Woden and then to Noah and Adam like the Anglo-Saxon dynasties ended up doing?

Bran.


the meroving....

Post 17

Mustapha

Actually they did claim descent from Noah, and regarded him more highly than Moses.

As for Woden and other Germanic deities, it's difficult to say, because there's so little about pre-Christian Frankish religion. Gregory of Tours mentioned something about images of woods, water, birds, beasts and the elements, but that's about all. However, the nature themes infers that if not the same, then it was at least similar.


the meroving....

Post 18

Corvus

The long hair and strenght, could this come from the myths of the gauls strength and ferocity? The romans referred to northern and middle gaul as "long-haired gaul", did the merovingians draw on these facts or do you know of other explanations?


the meroving....

Post 19

Corvus

Tacitus mentions the part of Gaul called "Long haired Gaul". Gaul covers be-ne-lux, france, and the romanized (short haired?) cisalpine gaul in italy north of the Po river. The strongest gallic tribes were called the Belgae (Guess where belgium got its name...) who lived in be-ne-lux , france and britain. (they sent their young men to britain to study druidism according to caesar, who obviously admired them, although that didn't stop him from killing them...). The gauls were known as ferocious warriors although it was said that they tired easily, could not endure heat and that their swords were of soft iron that bent easily and was blunted after a stoke or two. (Livy claims they had to bend their swords back into shape by treading on them before they could strike again, giving the roman sharp, hard, short sword an advantage.)Anyway the gauls were a constant threat to rome, terrifying in numbers and strenght, in 386 BC they sacked rome and nearly took the citadel, the last refuge, that was saved by a certain Corvus who was the only sentry awake when they tried to climb the tarpeian rock. Camillus, a commander so arrogant and brutal that he had been banished from rome saved the city and won his renown as saviour of rome by collecting the sad remnants of the roman army in veii and butchering the drunken and victorious gauls. This happened while the besieged in the citadel were weighing up gold to ransom themselves and pass under the yoke. I'd be surprised if the merovingians weren't aware of this and if they weren't exploiting former glory for all it was worth. (being murdered by uncle Egbert also seems to be a long standing tradition by the way...)


the meroving....

Post 20

Mustapha

Hmmm, but remember Tacitus died 300 years before (Caesar 450 yrs) the Merovingians came into existence (mid 5th C), before the Franks even entered Gaul en masse (c 406/407).

The Sicambrian Franks (from whom some say the Merovingians are descended) did settle in Belgium following the massive border collapse of 406/407, and it's even possible that some Franks settled in and about Gaul before then as foederati (foreign mercs who received land in exchange for military service).

But I think that by this time the Belgae would have been well and truly subdued by this point. So they would've been getting short back and sides like all their Roman overlords.

And remember, if you've just come into power, you're going to want to emulate the powerful, not the weak, and certainly not the people you've just conquered (ie the Gauls). And Rome, even in its later years, was still a force to be reckoned with (eg look at modern Russia - it's not in the greatest shape it's been in, but is anyone daring to tackle it over Chechnya? Hell, no!) and something to be admired.

Also, a big question is: are the two groups' traditions of long locks the same. Caesar was no social anthropologist and wouldn't have been particularly interested in whether the Belgians' long hair was just the fashion at the time, or if they ascribed some spiritual significance. The Merovingians certainly did ascribe such significance to their long hair which, like Samson's (a possible inspirator for the custom), was the source of their power and thus, never cut it. This is why Childeric III's tonsuring when deposed was so symbolic.

If on the other hand the practice and significance is similar and related, then a more likely theory might be that the Belgae and the Franks were related and thus shared certain cultural beliefs. It is believed by some that the Belgae were not wholly Celtic, and at least partly Germanic.


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