March 23, 2013

"Clovis made Paris his capital and established the Merovingian Dynasty..."

"... but his kingdom would not survive his death in 511."
Under Frankish inheritance traditions, all sons inherit part of the land, so four kingdoms emerged: centered on Paris, Orléans, Soissons, and Rheims. Over time, the borders and numbers of Frankish kingdoms were fluid and changed frequently. Also during this time, the Mayors of the Palace, originally the chief advisor to the kings, would become the real power in the Frankish lands; the Merovingian kings themselves would be reduced to little more than figureheads.

By this time Muslim invaders had conquered Hispania and were threatening the Frankish kingdoms. Duke Odo the Great defeated a major invading force at Toulouse in 721 but failed to repel a raiding party in 732. The mayor of the palace, Charles Martel, defeated that raiding party at the Battle of Tours (although the battle took place between Tours and Poitiers) and earned respect and power within the Frankish Kingdom. The assumption of the crown in 751 by Pepin the Short (son of Charles Martel) established the Carolingian dynasty as the Kings of the Franks.
A couple hundred years in the history of France, today's "History of" country. We are proceeding in alphabetical order through the world's 206 countries, reading their Wikipedia "History of" pages. France has one of the most interesting pages, and I couldn't begin to summarize the summary there.

Here's the Battle of Tours, which happened in 732, as depicted by Charles de Steuben in 1837:

20 comments:

edutcher said...

Tours was France's finest hour.

Sad to say.

Ambrose said...

Merci Charles the Hammer.

ricpic said...

There is nothing lower than the human race except the French.

--Mark Twain

chuck said...

About half the reproductions of that painting I found on the web have left and right switched. And now I'm distracted: which way round agrees with the original?

Ann Althouse said...

@chuck The flow from left to right in the image I have (from Wikipedia) looks right to me. Progress goes left to right. That's the standard perception. I'd bet on this one.

Wally Kalbacken said...

Chuck de Stueben was, with the paintbrush, the Liberace of his day.

Rabel said...

From the earlier post on Little Jihad the Bomb there was a link in the Washington Post article which had a suprisingly negative outlook on the influence of Islam in today's France:

Muslim minority

If you read it, note particularly the Muslim influence on the recent election of the socialist Hollande and his attempts to increase that influence.

Lucky for us nothing like that could happen in the USA.

YoungHegelian said...

The thing that always pisses me off when I visit my relatives in France is that all around me are historical reminders of what the French were, and I'm stuck with what they are.

And don't kid yourself. With the few exceptions of some foundational Republican myths, they are as ignorant of their history as everyone else is.

YoungHegelian said...

By the way, the prettiest part of France that I have yet seen (and that's saying something) is La Dordogne.

When we went to visit the site of the prehistoric cave drawings, we stayed nearby at the Hotel Cro-Magnon. They have Piltdown comforters on every bed!

F said...

Waitaminnit on that picture of the battle of Tours. No drones? What, did they have stealth drones already?

Lem said...

Crack, if you are lurking...

Tell us about the France you know.

Jeff Teal said...

YoungHegelian-you are so right.The French have not covered themselves with Gloire in the last few Centuries.But for that one win at Tours I'll forgive them a lot.Now if they only realize they need to pick up the sword again.
Charles Martel had a Grandson.They called him the Great.Do you wonder why?

MadisonMan said...

I miss the google bomb of French Military Victories.

edutcher said...

They got kinda sparse after the Marne and Verdun.

Gahrie said...

The only bad thing about France is the people.

Seriously.

I used to visit in August, when any Frenchman who could was on vacation.

Palladian said...

God bless France!

yashu said...

Yes:

Vive la France.

LarsPorsena said...

Vive la France!

ironrailsironweights said...

While of course the mountains are snowy, most of the country gets surprisingly little snow.

Peter

Mitch H. said...

We used to play around at anti-French bigotry when I was in college. Somehow that crap doesn't seem as amusing as it was when I was in my twenties.