- Pepin the Short
name =Pepin the Short
title =King of the Franks, Mayor of the Palaces of Neustria and Austrasia
reign =751 – 768
full name =
Carloman I, joint ruler with Charlemagne
spouse 1 =
royal house =
royal anthem =
date of birth =714
place of birth =
date of death =
24 September, 768
place of death =
date of burial =
place of burial =|
Pepin or Pippin (714 –
24 September 768), called the Short, and often known as Pepin the Younger or Pepin III, [Pepin's name can be very confusing. Historically, historians have vacillated between preference for Pepin, derived from the French "Pépin", and the German Pippin. His nickname is also subject to whims, "le Bref" being translated as either "the Short" or "the Younger". "The Younger" is explained as referring to the fact that he was the younger of the two ArnulfingPepins who ruled as mayors of the palace; "the Short" as deriving from the tales of Notker Balbalus regarding the King's diminutive size. More novel suggestions include a suggestion that "the Short" referred to his hair—since he was the first Frankish king to wear his hair shorn short. Dutton, PE, "Charlemagne's Mustache".] was the Mayor of the Palaceand Duke of the Franksfrom 741 and King of the Franksfrom 751 to 768. He was the father of Charlemagne.
He was the son of
Charles Martel, mayor of the palaceand duke of the Franks, and of Rotrude of Trier(690-724).
Assumption of power
Pepin's father, Charles Martel, died in 741. He divided the rule of the Frankish kingdom between Pepin and his elder brother, Carloman, his surviving sons by his first wife: Carloman became Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, Pepin became Mayor of the Palace of Neustria.
Grifo, Charles' son by his second wife, Swanahild ("aka" Swanhilde), may also have been intended to receive an inheritance, but he was imprisoned in a monasteryby his two half-brothers. Carloman, who by all evidence was a deeply pious man, retired to a monastery in 747. This left Francia in the hands of Pepin as sole mayor of the palaceand "dux et princeps Francorum", a title originated by his grandfather and namesake Pepin of Heristal.
Under the reorganization of Francia by Charles Martel the "dux et princeps Francorum" were the commanders of the armies of the kingdom, in addition to their administrative duties as mayor of the palace, and specifically commander of the standing guard which Martel had begun maintaining year-round since Toulouse in 721.
Upon their assumption, Pepin and Carloman, who had not proved themselves in battle in defense of the realm as their father had, installed Childeric III as king, even though Martel had left the throne vacant since the death of
Theuderic IV. Childeric had the title of king, but he was considered weak. As time passed, and his brother bowed out of the picture, Pepin became discontent with the royal power being with Childeric.
At the time of Carloman's retirement, Grifo escaped his imprisonment and fled to Duke
Odilo of Bavaria, who was married to Hiltrude, Pepin's sister. Odilo was forced by Pepin to acknowledge Frankish overlordship, but died soon after ( January 18 748). Pepin invaded Bavaria and installed Tassilo IIIas duke under Frankish overlordship.
First Carolingian king
Since Pepin had control over the magnates and actually had the power of the king, he suggested the Pope make the Carolingian name royal in law as well as fact. Pepin asked
Pope Zachary, "Is it right that the royal power sit with the person with the title of King, or the person who makes the decisions as King?" The Pope answered that the "de facto" power is more important than the "de jure" power. Thus, Pepin, having obtained the support of the papacy, discouraged opposition to his house. He was elected King of the Franks by an assembly of Frankish leading-men, with a large portion of his army on hand (in the event that the nobility inclined not to honor the Papal bull), and anointed at Soissons, by Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz, who, along with his niece, Saint Leoba, was a court advisor. Meanwhile, Grifo continued his rebellion, but was eventually killed in the battle of Saint-Jean de Mauriennein 753. Childeric III was deposed, his hair shaved off and he was confined to a monastery. He was the last of the Merovingians.
Expansion of the Frankish realm
Pepin added to his power after
Pope Stephen IItraveled all the way to Paristo anoint him in a lavish ceremony at Saint Denis Basilica, bestowing upon him the additional title of "patricius Romanorum" ( Patricianof the Romans). As life expectancies were short in those days, and Pepin wanted family continuity, the Pope also anointed Pepin's sons, Charles (eventually known as "Charlemagne") and Carloman.
Pepin's first major act was to go to war against the Lombard king
Aistulf, who had a policy of expansion into the "ducatus Romanum", as a partial repayment for papal support in his quest for the crown. Victorious, he forced the Lombard king to return property seized from the Church and confirmed the papacy in possession of Ravennaand the Pentapolis, the so-called Donation of Pepinwhereby the Papal Stateswas founded. [CathEncy|wstitle=Pepin the Short] In 759, he drove the Saracensout of Gaulwith the capture of Narbonneand then consolidated his power further by integrating Aquitaineinto the kingdom. In taking Narbonne, and formally annexing Aquitaine (whose status was always dependent on the strength of her suzerains), he completed the work of his father save for one last task: fully subduing the Saxons. He was preparing for war against them when his health began to fail, and thus, this final task was left for his son, the great Charlemagne.
Pepin died during a campaign and was brought to Saint Denis to be buried near the saint in 768 and is interred there in the basilica with his wife Bertrada. Pepin was buried "outside that entrance [of
Saint Denis Basilica] according to his wishes, face down, for the sins of his father Charles Martel". [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/sugar.html]
The Frankish realm was fractioned according to
salic lawbetween his two sons: Charlemagneand Carloman I.
Historical opinion often seems to regard him as the lesser son and lesser father of two greater men, though a great man in his own right. He continued to build up the
heavy cavalrywhich his father had begun. He maintained the standing army that his father had found necessary to protect the realm and form the core of its full army in wartime. He not only maintained his father's policy of containing the Moors, he drove them over and across the Pyreneeswith the capture of Narbonne. He continued his father's expansion of the Frankish church ( missionarywork in Germanyand Scandinavia) and the infrastructure ( feudalism) that would prove the backbone of medieval Europe.
His rule, while not as great as either his father's or son's, was historically important and of great benefit to the Franks as a people. It can certainly be argued that Pepin's assumption of the crown, and the title of Patrician of
Rome, were harbingers of his son's imperial coronation which is usually seen as the founding of the Holy Roman Empire. He certainly made the Carolingians "de jure" what his father had made them "de facto"—the ruling dynasty of the Franks and the foremost power of Europe. While not known as a great general, he was undefeated during his lifetime.
In 740, Pepin married
Bertrada of Laon, his second cousin. Her father, Charibert, was the son of Pepin II's brother, Martin of Laon. They are known to have had four children:
April 2 742– January 28 814), (Charles the Great)
*Carloman (751 –
December 4 771)
*Gisela (757 – 810)
*Pepin, who died in infancy.
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Look at other dictionaries:
Pepin the Short — • King of the Franks (714 768) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Pepin the Short Pepin the Short † … Catholic encyclopedia
Pepin the Short — [pep′in] A.D. 714? 768; king of the Franks (751 768): father of Charlemagne * * * … Universalium
Pepin the Short — [pep′in] A.D. 714? 768; king of the Franks (751 768): father of Charlemagne … English World dictionary
Pepin the Short — noun king of the Franks and father of Charlemagne who defended papal interests and founded the Carolingian dynasty in 751 (714 768) • Syn: ↑Pepin, ↑Pepin III • Instance Hypernyms: ↑king, ↑male monarch, ↑Rex, ↑Carolingian, ↑Carlovingian … Useful english dictionary
PEPIN THE SHORT — king of the Franks, was the son of Charles Martel, and at first shared with his brother Carloman the viceroyalty of the kingdom under Hilderik III.; in 747 Carloman retired to a monastery, and five years later Pepin deposed Hilderik and… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Gisela (daughter of Pepin the Short) — Gisela (757 – 810) was the only daughter of Pepin the Short and his wife Bertrada of Laon. She was the sister of Charlemagne and Carloman. Charlemagne s biographer Einhard states that Gisela had been dedicated to religion since her childhood. She … Wikipedia
The Benedictine Order — The Benedictine Order † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Benedictine Order The Benedictine Order comprises monks living under the Rule of St. Benedict, and commonly known as black monks . The order will be considered in this article under… … Catholic encyclopedia
Pepin — noun king of the Franks and father of Charlemagne who defended papal interests and founded the Carolingian dynasty in 751 (714 768) • Syn: ↑Pepin III, ↑Pepin the Short • Instance Hypernyms: ↑king, ↑male monarch, ↑Rex, ↑Carolingian, ↑ … Useful english dictionary
Pepin III — noun king of the Franks and father of Charlemagne who defended papal interests and founded the Carolingian dynasty in 751 (714 768) • Syn: ↑Pepin, ↑Pepin the Short • Instance Hypernyms: ↑king, ↑male monarch, ↑Rex, ↑Carolingian, ↑Carlovi … Useful english dictionary
Pepin — /pep in/, n. ( Pepin the Short ) died A.D. 768, king of the Franks 751 768 (father of Charlemagne). * * * … Universalium