Rise of the Franks, 511–768

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Map Code: Ax00915

After the establishment of the Merovingian dynasty at the head of the Frankish Kingdom by Clovis I, the Merovingians retained power to varying degrees for the next 250 years. Clovis’s four sons took control of the kingdom after his death and each gained their own region – the Merovingian system of Gavelkind meant that inherited property was divided equally between children. The four brothers united to take the territory of the kingdom of Burgundy, eventually incorporating it into the Frankish Kingdom in 534. Infighting between the various Frankish regional rulers was at times bloody, continuing across generations as power was split between relatives, although they stood united against threats from the outside. Chlothar II gained overall control over the kingdom in 613, although royal power was being eroded by the aristocracy and the church, weakening the authority of the king. The Merovingian dynasty was eventually replaced by the Carolingian dynasty in 751.

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