Ebroin

related topics
{son, year, death}
{war, force, army}
{government, party, election}
{church, century, christian}
{theory, work, human}

Ebroin (died 680 or 681) was the Frankish mayor of the palace of Neustria on two occasions; firstly from 658 to his deposition in 673 and secondly from 675 to his death in 680 or 681. In a violent and despotic career, he strove to impose the authority of Neustria, which was under his control, over Burgundy and Austrasia.

Following the failed coup of the Pippinid mayor Grimoald the Elder in Austrasia, the Merovingian court resided in Neustria. According to the Liber historiae Francorum, during the reign of Chlothar III the mayor Erchinoald of Neustria died. A council of Franks then elected Ebroin as his replacement.

The Life of Saint Eligius records that as of the middle 670s Ebroin had only one child, a son named Bobo; Bobo was then convalescing from an illness contracted during his adolescence. Based on that, Bobo was likely born c. 660.

The Venerable Bede (IV.1) took notice of an anecdote concerning Ebroin in 668. Bede tells that Ebroin waylaid an Englishman returning from Rome, for fear that the Byzantine Emperor (Constans II, residing in Syracuse (Sicily)) was plotting an alliance against his rule. It follows that Ebroin by 668 had arrogated to himself the de facto rule of Neustria and so (in theory) "of the Franks"; it also follows that Ebroin had a streak of paranoia.

It remains unclear how direct was Ebroin's influence over the next four years (the Liber historiae may imply that Chlothar had roused himself by then), but when Chlothar died in 673 Ebroin was back in charge. Another brother Theuderic III was raised as king of Neustria, still viewed as the core kingdom "of the Franks".

Ebroin endeavoured to maintain at any rate the union of Neustria and Burgundy, but the great Burgundian nobles too wished to remain independent. They rose under bishop Leodegar (or Léger) of Autun, and defeated Ebroin and Theuderic. They decided to tonsure Ebroin, interning him in the monastery of Luxeuil. A proclamation was then issued to the effect that each kingdom should keep its own laws and customs, that there should be no further interchange of functionaries between the kingdoms, and that no one should again set up a tyranny like that of Ebroin. Soon, however, Leodegar too was defeated by Wulfoald and the Austrasians, and was himself confined at Luxeuil in 673.

When Childeric II was murdered at Bondi that year, by a disaffected Frank, Theoderic III was reinstalled as king in Neustria with Leudesius as his mayor. Ebroin and Leodegar took advantage of the confusion to leave the cloister, and soon found themselves once more face to face. Each looked for support to a different Merovingian king, Ebroin even proclaiming a false Merovingian imposter as sovereign. In a short time Ebroin caused Leudesius to be murdered and became mayor once again, now with a score to settle with Leodegar.

About 675 Ebroin reimposed his authority over Neustria and most of Burgundy, and induced the Duke of Champagne and the Bishops of Châlons and Valence to attack Autun. They invested the city, and forced it to surrender. Ebroin had Leodegar's eyes put out. Ebroin persuaded the king that Childeric's murder had occurred under Leodegar's instigation; and so the king had Leodegar additionally arrested, tried, and exiled. In 12 October 678 Ebroin had his enemy led away and murdered.

Ebroin meanwhile had defeated the Austrasians at Bois-du-Fay, near Laon, uniting France under Neustrian rule. His triumph, however, was short-lived; he was assassinated in 681, the victim of a combined attack of his numerous enemies.

Full article ▸

related documents
Chlothar I
Thomas II of Piedmont
Johann Christian Günther
Philip II, Duke of Savoy
Carloman I
List of Navarrese monarchs
Emperor Yōmei
Arsinoe II of Egypt
John VIII Palaiologos
Emperor Shōkō
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor Go-Suzaku
Oscar I of Sweden
Emperor Bidatsu
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
Frederick III of Sicily
Quintillus
House of Sforza
Karel Hynek Mácha
Hugh the Great
Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Emperor Shōmu
Childebert II
Emperor Go-Fushimi
Philip the Bold
Cleopatra II of Egypt
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Alfonso III of León
Caroline of Brunswick
Philip V of France