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Mayor of the Palace

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Under the Merovingian dynasty, the mayor of the palace (Latin: maior palatii) or majordomo (maior domus) was the manager of the household of the Frankish king. The office existed from the sixth century, and during the seventh it evolved into the "power behind the throne" in the northeastern kingdom of Austrasia. In 751, the mayor of the palace, Pepin the Short, orchestrated the deposition of the king, Childeric III, and was crowned in his place.

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The mayor of the palace held and wielded the real and effective power to make decisions affecting the kingdom, while the kings had been reduced to performing merely ceremonial functions, which made them little more than figureheads (rois fainéants, "do-nothing kings"). The office may be compared to that of the peshwa, shogun or prime minister, all of which have similarly been the real powers behind some ceremonial monarchs.

In Austrasia, the mayoral office became hereditary in the family of the Pippinids. In 687, after victory over the western kingdom of Neustria, the Austrasian mayor, Pippin of Herstal, took the title Duke of the Franks to signify his augmented rule. His son and successor, Charles Martel, ceased bothering with the façade of a king, and the last four years of his reign (743–47) were an interregnum. After which the Pippinids assumed the title and power of a king themselves. See also Royal Administration of Merovingian and Carolingian Dynasties.

Mayors of the Palace of Austrasia

  • Parthemius (until 548)
  • Gogo (c. 567–581), during the minority of Childebert II
  • Wandalenus (from 581), during the minority of Childebert II
  • Gundulf (from 600), under Theudebert II
  • Landric (until 612), probably also in Neustria
  • Warnachar (612–617), also in Burgundy
  • Hugh (or Chucus) (617–623), successor of previous
  • Pepin the Elder (623–629), under Dagobert I
  • Adalgisel (633–639)
  • Pepin the Elder (639–640), again
  • Otto (640–642 or 643)
  • Grimoald I 642 or 643–656), died 662
  • Wulfoald (656–680), also in Neustria (673–675)
  • Pepin the Middle (680–714), took the title Duke and Prince of the Franks (dux et princeps Francorum) after his conquest of Neustria in 687
  • Theudoald (714–715), also in Neustria. Illegitimate son of Grimoald II, designated heir of his grandfather Pepin, opposed by the nobility, who acclaimed Charles Martel
  • Charles Martel (715–741), illegitimate son of Pepin the Middle, also in Neustria (718–741)
  • Carloman (741–747), died 754 or 755
  • Drogo (747–751), son of Carloman
  • Mayors of the Palace of Neustria

  • Landric, under Clotaire II, probably also in Austrasia
  • Gundoland (613 or 616–639)
  • Aega (639–641), also in Burgundy
  • Erchinoald (641–658)
  • Ebroin (658–673), deposed
  • Wulfoald (673–675), also in Austrasia (662–680)
  • Leudesius (675), chosen after previous, then deposed
  • Ebroin (675–680), again
  • Waratton (680 or 681–682), deposed by his son Gistemar
  • Gistemar (682), son of previous, usurper, died 683 or 684
  • Waratton (682–684 or 686), again
  • Berthar (686–688 or 689), son-in-law of previous, lost Battle of Tertry to Pepin the Middle in 687, murdered in 688 or 689
  • Pepin the Middle (688–695), represented in court by his follower Nordebert
  • Grimoald II (695–714), son of Pepin the Middle
  • Theudoald (714–715), also in Austrasia. Illegitimate son of Grimoald II, driven out of Neustria by the nobility, surrendered claim in 716.
  • Ragenfrid (715–718), took power in Neustria in 714 or 715, but defeated by Charles Martel in 717 and definitively in 718 and fled, died 731
  • Charles Martel (718–741), illegitimate son of Pepin the Middle, also in Austrasia (715–741)
  • Pepin the Younger (741 or 742–751), became king of the Franks in 751 (died 768)
  • Mayors of the Palace of Burgundy

  • Warnachar I (596–599)
  • Berthoald (before 603–604)
  • Protadius (604–606)
  • Claudius
  • Rado (613–617)
  • Warnachar II (617–626), also in Austrasia
  • Godinus (626–627)
  • Brodulf (627–628)
  • Aega (639–641), also in Neustria
  • Flaochad (642)
  • Radobertus (642–662)
  • Hereafter the office was united with that of Neustria, though Burgundy remained a separate realm under the King of Neustria and Burgundy. The administration of Burgundy was briefly separate under:

  • Drogo (695–708), son of Pepin the Middle, also duke of Champagne (from 690) and duke of Burgundy from Nordebert's death in 697
  • References

    Mayor of the Palace Wikipedia


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