Merovingian dynasty  

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"When Chilperic II ascended the throne in 715 it was twenty-five years since any Frankish king had lived to reach his majority. The explanation may be found in the debauchery and the sexual excesses of these princes, to whom everything was permitted. Most of them were doubtless degenerates. Clovis II died insane. It was this that gave the Merovingian decadence its dismal aspect, which contrasted so greatly with the decadence of the Roman Emperors of the West, and later, with that of the Carolingians. None of these kings had any influence whatever; they were puppets in the hands of the mayors of the palace, against whom they did not even attempt to react. Not one of them attempted to have his mayor of the palace assassinated, as the Emperors had formerly done at Ravenna; on the contrary, it was often they who were assassinated. They lived under the tutelage of their mothers, and sometimes of their aunts." --Mohammed and Charlemagne, Henri Pirenne

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Merovingians (also Merovings) were a Salian Frankish dynasty that came to rule the Franks in a region (known as Francia in Latin) largely corresponding to ancient Gaul from the middle of the fifth century. Their politics involved frequent civil warfare between branches of the family. During the final century of the Merovingian rule, the dynasty was increasingly pushed into a ceremonial role. The Merovingian rule was ended in 751 when Pepin the Short formally deposed Childeric III, beginning the Carolingian monarchy.

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