|Saint Arnulf, bishop of Metz wielded a great deal of power and influence in the Merovingian kingdoms in the early seventh century. His son Ansegisel married Saint Begga, the daughter of Pepin of Landen, and their son was Pepin of Heristal. It is from Pepin's grandfathers that the dynasty receives its earlier names: Arnulfing or Pippinid. The mayoralty of the palace of the kingdom of Austrasia began in the family with Ansegisel and continued with Pepin of Heristal. Pepin conquered Neustria at the Battle of Tertry in 687 and spread Arnulfing authority over all the Franks. The dynasty effectively ended with the death of Pepin, who was succeeded by his illegitimate son, Charles Martel. Pepin had legitimate grandsons at his death, but they failed to win power, and the line died out. Charles Martel went on to found a new line of the family, which historians named the Carolingian dynasty.|
Pepin II the Younger D'Heristal
Image from Belgium Postage
D'Heristal "the Younger" Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia
was born about 635 in Heristal, Liege, Belgium of Ansigisen of Austrasia
and Beggue of Landen. Pepin died 16 December 714. His father Ansigisen
of Austrasia, was born about 682 in Austrasia, France and married Beggue of
Landen, Liege, Belgium before 685. Ansigisen's wife, Beggue Died in 685 at
Ardene Monastery. Wife, Beggue was born about 613 in Landen, Liege,
Belgium and died in 694. Pippin (Peppin) and his concubine, Alpaida (Elfide,
Chalpaida had two sons, Charles of Franks Martel "the Hammer", and
Childebrand of Autun, born 678 in Heristal and died in 751. The young
Frankish duke married Emma of Austrasia and was given Burgundy by his
father. He distinguished himself in the expulsion of the Saracens from France.
He was the patron of the continuator of the Chronicle of Fredegar, as was his
son Nibelung, count of the Vexin. Alpaida died on 16 December 714 in
Pepin the Younger was the Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia from 680 to his
death and of Nuestria and Burgundy from 687 to 695. He was also the first
mayor of the palace to 'reign' as Duke and Prince of the Franks and he by far
overshadowed the Merovingian "lazy kings".
St. Hubert of Liege offers his services
to Pepin of Heristal
As the first "Carolingian" mayor of the palace of Austrasia Pepin, also known as Pippin and Pepin the Middle, reunited the Frankish realms in the late Merovingian period. A grandson of Pepin the Elder of Landen, he succeeded to his position in the kingdom of Austrasia around 680. In 687 he extended Carolingian rule to the other Frankish kingdoms, Neustra and Burgundy, retaining members of the Merovingian dynasty as figurehead monarchs in all three. Two years later he extended his control over the Frisians, a pagan people living on the North Sea coast. He defeated the Almanians in 690 and the Bavois in 691.
By the time Pepin died in 714, his eldest son, Drogo had already predeceased him and his second son had been assassinated at Liege while engaging in prayer in a church. Pepin had already appointed Theobald, a minor as mayor of Austrasia and Nuestra under the guardianship of his grandmother, Plactruda. The Nuestrans named another mayor of their own and attacked Austria. The Austrasians abandoned grandmother and child and released Pepin's natural son, Charles Martel from the prison in which Plactruda had cast him. The Austrasians picked the right man, as Martel, already a proven warrior at the age of twenty-five proved his worth, eventually defeating the combined forces of Nuestria and Frisians.
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