Dagobert I.

Dagobert I (c. 608 or 610; † January 19 639 in Epinay- sur- Seine) was for 623 sub- king in Austrasia since 629 and King of the Franks. Dagobert was the son of King Clotaire II and is considered the last truly significant ruling and rulers from the dynasty of the Merovingians.


A few sources report the reign of Dagobert ( so the Fredegarchronik ), which is, however, generally rated positively in research. Dagobert was 623 used by his father, Clotaire as a ruler of Austrasia. Some territories were separated from this new sub- kingdom, but he sat 625/626 an enlargement of his dominions by. 629 was Dagobert king of the whole empire. 632 died after the death of his half-brother Charibert II and his son Chilperic; Dagobert was allegedly involved in the death of Chilperic, but this is not certain. Dagobert had Burgundy and Aquitaine now in any case under his rule. He was the most powerful of the Merovingian kings and the most respected Western rulers of his time.

The Merovingian rulers before Dagobert had recently lost much of their power; Dagobert succeeded once again to reverse this process for several years. The overall ruler, he made ​​Paris his capital, management was based partly still on late antique Roman administration pattern. His advisers were initially the home Meier Pippin the Elder, the progenitor of the Pippins, and the Bishop Arnulf of Metz, who were both ancestors of the Carolingians. However, Arnulf withdrew 629 back; the influence of its mayor of the palace Pippin reduced Scrooge, after he had begun to reign in the whole kingdom. While the Fredegarchronik King Dagobert time positively evaluated in Austrasia, be it in the Chronicle for the period after 629 serious allegations: Dagobert had himself entirely to carnal lust ( luxuria ) surrendered and enriched themselves at the church. The core of this criticism is apparently the vigorous domestic policy Scrooge, who opened up new sources of tax revenue, while the rich and influential church not ausnahm. Even the nobility was formed probably some resistance, but the king seems to have everything operates domestically successful in all and above all on their own. The very religious, Dagobert was responsible for the construction of the Basilica of Saint- Denis in the Benedictine monastery north of Paris, where long after his death, the good memory of the king was maintained.

Dagobert I 's foreign policy was partly quite successful. The Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius had made ​​contact with Scrooge, and probably on the Eastern Roman initiative, it also came in the Merovingian kingdom to forced baptisms of Jews. In addition, Heraclius sent him to 630 a precious relic cross ( it was destroyed after 1789 ). In the southwest Scrooge managed a successful campaign against the Basques, the Duke of Brittany, Judicael, submitted to. On the other hand, had Dagobert I also insert several defeats, as against the Thuringian and Saxon, as well as against the Slavs (see Slavic uprising of Samo ). A subsequent completed with the Saxons alliance did not bring the hoped-for relief, nor an alliance with the Lombards in Italy.

These failures made ​​sure that he fell on parts of the Frankish nobility in the criticism. Then had to Dagobert I. 633 his first three year old son Sigebert III. rise to the sub- king of Austrasia. 634 Dagobert declared himself ready to make a succession plan in case of death. Thus the kingdom was to be divided among his sons. The plan should also address the concerns of Neustria nobility against paternalism of Austrasia account.

Marriages and descendants

Dagobert I married four times. In the year 625 he closed his marriage with Gomatrud, a sister of Sigihild, the third wife of his father. 629 he parted from her, since marriage was childless, and married the Saxon Nantechild, who survived him and took over after his death, the regency for her infant son. As more wives Wulfegundis and Berchildis be called; the latter was probably a ring with the inscription Berteildis regina. When these marriages took place and how long they existed, is unknown.

From Nantechild he had his only legitimate child, the future King Clovis II ( 634-657 ). With Ragnetrud, the niece Nantechildes, he had four years ago out of wedlock to another son, the future King Sigebert III. ( 630-656 ).

Succession and posthumous biography

After Dagobert's death the kingdom was divided between his two sons. Sigebert III. received Austrasia with residence Metz, the younger Clovis II of Neustria and Burgundy with Franko Residence Paris. The decentralized area then fell due to a number of weak and incompetent rulers. Meanwhile noble families could gain more and more power and take over the control of the country. The most significant of these families were the Carolingians. Attempts by some kings to take back the actual rule in the late 7th century, failed.

Dagobert was the first Frankish king who was buried in the royal grave laying of St. Denis. There was two hundred years later, probably by the hand of Abbot Hilduins, the transfiguring biography Gesta Dagoberti. In the sack of the Royal Tombs of Saint- Denis during the French Revolution his grave on October 19, 1793 opened and ransacked, his remains were buried in a mass grave outside the church.

In the folk tales Dagobert I. is described as " the good King Dagobert ". However, the same mocking song " Le bon roi Dagobert " probably comes only from the time of the French Revolution.

With Dagobert I and the legend of Notburgastraße of high Hausen is linked.

Lex Ripuaria

The in Austrasia, published during the reign of Dagobert I. Collection of Laws Lex Ripuaria summed together orally handed down right of the Rhine francs. The 89 chapters, in particular those of the second part ( of three parts ), were strongly influenced by the Salic Law, which had issued the Merovingian Clovis I 507-511 as Code of the Salian Franks.