Home Region:  Western Europe (Europe)

Middle Merovingian

EQ 2020  fr_merovingian_emp_2 / FrMervM

During our second Merovingian period (543-687 CE), the kingdom was still a ’quasi-polity’, consisting of numerous Frankish kingdoms under the nominal leadership of a king who had his primary residence in Paris. [1] Under the kings Chlothar II (r. 584-629 CE) and Dagobert I (r. 629-639 CE), the Merovingian kingdom reached the height of its power both internally and externally. [2] [3]
Population and political organization
Merovingian France was a largely decentralized kingdom based on the pre-existing Roman administrative system, in which cities were the basic units. [4] The city rulers, known as counts or grafio, who sent the king his tax revenue and carried out judicial and administrative functions, had access to both administrative officials and city archives (gesta municipalia). [5] [4] Groups of cities and counts could be placed under a duke for military and administrative purposes. [6]
In contrast, there was no elaborate central administration, the highest non-royal official being a figure known as the mayor of the palace. [7] The king’s capital and main residence was at Paris, where the population may have reached 30,000 by the 8th century CE, [8] although the court was always a peripatetic institution. [9] The king consulted a group of magnates (obtimates) at an annual gathering around 1 March. Written references to royal edicts are known from 614 CE onwards, but earlier royal legislation has not survived. [10] Merovingian kings had the authority to appoint dukes and counts as well as bishops, who were often ’royal servants with no known connections with their sees’. [11]
From 622 CE onwards the basic territorial divisions of the Merovingian Kingdom were Neustria (centred on the Seine and Oise rivers and associated with the Pactus Legis Salicae law code), [12] Burgundy (where the Liber Constitutionum was developed), and Austrasia (by the Rhine and Meuse, which came to possess its own mayor of the palace [13] and followed the Lex Ribvaria). [12] A fourth area, Aquitaine, had a special status due to its distance from the royal centres and was under less direct Merovingian control. [14]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 41) Wood, Ian. 1994. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751. London: Longman. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/ARUIRN35.

[2]: (Wood 1994, 140) Wood, Ian. 1994. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751. London: Longman. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/ARUIRN35.

[3]: (Morby and Rozier 2014) Morby, John E., and Charlie Rozier. 2014. Dynasties of the World. 2nd ed., online edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/acref/9780191780073.001.0001. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/3C5IVS6E.

[4]: (Loseby 1998, 245-49) Loseby, S. T. 1998. “Gregory’s Cities: Urban Functions in Sixth-Century Gaul.” In Franks and Alamanni in the Merovingian Period: An Ethnographic Perspective, edited by I. N. Wood, 239-69. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DT5E5GNS.

[5]: (Wood 1994, 204) Wood, Ian. 1994. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751. London: Longman. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/ARUIRN35.

[6]: (Bachrach 1972, 67) Bachrach, Bernard S. 1972. Merovingian Military Organization 481-751. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/SG5XNFPG.

[7]: (Halsall 2003, 28) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. London: Routledge. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/Z5EZBP2R.

[8]: (Clark and Henneman, Jr. 1995, 1316) Clark, William W., and John Bell Henneman, Jr. 1995. “Paris.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 1314-30. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/HS8644XK.

[9]: (Wood 1994, 150-53) Wood, Ian. 1994. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751. London: Longman. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/ARUIRN35.

[10]: (Fouracre 1998, 286-89) Fouracre, P. J. 1998. “The Nature of Frankish Political Institutions in the Seventh Century.” In Franks and Alamanni in the Merovingian Period: An Ethnographic Perspective, edited by Ian Wood, 285-316. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/GT2AINW4.

[11]: (Wood 1994, 78) Wood, Ian. 1994. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751. London: Longman. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/ARUIRN35.

[12]: (Wood 1994, 112-15) Wood, Ian. 1994. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751. London: Longman. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/ARUIRN35.

[13]: (Fanning 1995, 157) Fanning, Steven. 1995. “Austrasia.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 156-57. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/GR2MKFDX.

[14]: (Wood 1994, 100, 146) Wood, Ian. 1994. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751. London: Longman. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/ARUIRN35.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
31 U  
Original Name:
Middle Merovingian  
Capital:
Paris  
Alternative Name:
regnum Francorum  
Francia  
Neustria  
Franks  
Frankish Kingdom  
Frankish Kingdoms  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[584 CE ➜ 629 CE]  
Duration:
[543 CE ➜ 687 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Succeeding Entity:
Proto-Carolingian  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Early Merovingian  
Degree of Centralization:
nominal  
loose  
confederated state  
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Language:
Latin  
Germanic  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Christianity  
Religion Family:
Catholic  
Religion:
Roman Catholic  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[20,000 to 30,000] people  
Polity Territory:
230,000 km2 600 CE
Polity Population:
[800,000 to 1,200,000] people 600 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
5  
Military Level:
4  
Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred absent  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
unknown  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
unknown  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
unknown  
General Postal Service:
unknown  
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
inferred present  
  Ditch:
inferred present  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
absent  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling:
present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
inferred absent  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
inferred present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
present  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Middle Merovingian (fr_merovingian_emp_2) was in:
 (543 CE 686 CE)   Paris Basin
Home NGA: Paris Basin

General Variables
Identity and Location



Alternative Name:
regnum Francorum

regnum Francorum [1] Francia [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 72)

[2]: (Fouracre in Wood ed. 1998, 297)

Alternative Name:
Francia

regnum Francorum [1] Francia [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 72)

[2]: (Fouracre in Wood ed. 1998, 297)

Alternative Name:
Neustria

regnum Francorum [1] Francia [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 72)

[2]: (Fouracre in Wood ed. 1998, 297)

Alternative Name:
Franks

regnum Francorum [1] Francia [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 72)

[2]: (Fouracre in Wood ed. 1998, 297)

Alternative Name:
Frankish Kingdom

regnum Francorum [1] Francia [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 72)

[2]: (Fouracre in Wood ed. 1998, 297)

Alternative Name:
Frankish Kingdoms

regnum Francorum [1] Francia [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 72)

[2]: (Fouracre in Wood ed. 1998, 297)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[584 CE ➜ 629 CE]

"the reigns of Chlothar II (584-629 CE) and Dagobert I (623, 629-639 CE) can be seen as marking the apogee of Merovingian power, both at home and abroad. [1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 140)



Political and Cultural Relations




Degree of Centralization:
nominal

When divided kingdom more like a confederation. Division was not a governing structure. [1]
"There are two levels operating simultaneously... regnum and regna. A variable number of kingdoms within the Merovingian polity as a whole." [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 112-115)

[2]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 174)

Degree of Centralization:
loose

When divided kingdom more like a confederation. Division was not a governing structure. [1]
"There are two levels operating simultaneously... regnum and regna. A variable number of kingdoms within the Merovingian polity as a whole." [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 112-115)

[2]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 174)

Degree of Centralization:
confederated state

When divided kingdom more like a confederation. Division was not a governing structure. [1]
"There are two levels operating simultaneously... regnum and regna. A variable number of kingdoms within the Merovingian polity as a whole." [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 112-115)

[2]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 174)

Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

When divided kingdom more like a confederation. Division was not a governing structure. [1]
"There are two levels operating simultaneously... regnum and regna. A variable number of kingdoms within the Merovingian polity as a whole." [2]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 112-115)

[2]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 174)



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[20,000 to 30,000] people

Paris 20,000-30,000 by 8th Century. [1]

[1]: (Kilber 1995, 1316) Kilber, W W. 1995. Medieval France: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press)


Polity Territory:
230,000 km2
600 CE

in squared kilometers. Merovingian kingdoms was a quasi-polity in terms of territory that could be militarily controlled. This figure represents the average sized kingdom within the polity.
Map: 600 CE EXTERNAL_INLINE_LINK: http://www.robertsewell.ca/map600.jpg . Total area divided by six regions.
This figure is for the total area: 1,400,000: 540-680 CE
These numbers are based on the maps at Geacon EXTERNAL_INLINE_LINK: http://geacron.com/home-en/?&sid=GeaCron10372 worked out from number of pixels (which you can find from image editor if you take a screen cap of the maps at the same scale) Scale: 200 km. 1 pixel = 20 km2. Figures rounded to memorable number (otherwise false precision).
Merovingians claimed over-lordship in Southern England 550s CE. [1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 176)


Polity Population:
[800,000 to 1,200,000] people
600 CE

Merovingian kingdoms was a quasi-polity in terms of population that could be militarily controlled. This figure represents the average sized kingdom within the polity.
Total divided by six regions.
[5,000,000-7,000,000]
Estimated from below.
Population of France [1]
400 CE = 5
500 CE = 4.75
600 CE = 4.5
700 CE = 4.75
800 CE = 5
Population of Belgium and Luxembourg [2]
400 CE = 0.3
500 CE = 0.3
600 CE = 0.3
700 CE = 0.3
800 CE = 0.3
Population of Netherlands [3]
400 CE = 0.2
500 CE = 0.2
600 CE = 0.2
700 CE = 0.2
800 CE = 0.2
Population of Germany [4]
400 CE = 3.5
500 CE = 3.25
600 CE = 3.0
700 CE = 3.0
800 CE = 3.25
Merovingian South West Germany. "activity radius of about 1km around early Neolithic settlements. This gives an area of slightly over 3 km2, of which 10 percent were fields and gardens. It was exploited by about 100 individuals (Kuster 1995:76-7). This implied a population density of about 30 inhabitants per km2. If we assume one settlement with about 200 inhabitants and some smaller settlements in one Gemarkung, we obtain a figure of 50-60 inhabitants per km2 for the Merovingian period." [5]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 57) McEvedy, C and Jones, R. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Allen Lane. London.

[2]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 63)

[3]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 65)

[4]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 69)

[5]: (Damminger in Wood ed. 1998, 69)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels.
1. City
2. Town3. Village or Gemarkungen settlement4. Hamlet or Farmstead
Possible settlement levels [1]
Estimated size of farmstead populations: 10-25 people.
Village
Gemarkungen settlement (idealised as 6km2 hexagon, 300-360 people - Lower Rhine area)
Towns
Cities
Chlother II created sub-kingdom for Dagobert I in 623 CE. This established division between west (Neustria and Burgundy) and East (Austrasia - Dagobert I). [2]

[1]: (Damminger in Wood ed. 1998, 61-69)

[2]: (Wood 1994, 140)


Religious Level:
5

levels.
1. Pope
Christian state after baptism Clovis 508 CE. Catholic church. [1]
1. King ("Like Constantine, the Merovingian King was considered the reflection of God on Earth. The succession to the kingship could never been anything but the expression of a higher will" [2]
Kings involved in ecclesiastical legislation [3]
Kings gave money for shrines of saints. [4]
"Many bishops owed their position to the king" and "were royal servants with no known connections with their sees." [5]
2. Bishop in diocesesBishop in every civitas. Bishop’s church called ecclesia, other churches were basilicae. City had complex of religious buildings, usually included a number of churches, a baptistery, and the bishop’s home (domus ecclesiae). Other religious officials were the clergy. Outside the city were funerary basilicas, sacred sites (shrines called loca sancta), mausoleums, tombs and cemeteries. Authorities secular and often came into conflict with religious authorities. [6]
Dioceses provided basic structure of Merovingian Church, "the ecclesiastical counterparts of the civitates" and in the same place, except in the north and east. [7]
3. Subordinate bishopsDioceses had provinces (like civitates) [7]
4. Priests5. Lesser clergy

[1]: (Wood 1994, 72)

[2]: (Schutz 2004, 18) Schutz, H. 2004. The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts, and Architecture: A Cultural History of Central Europe, 750-900. BRILL

[3]: (Wood 1994, 105)

[4]: (Wood 1994, 66)

[5]: (Wood 1994, 78)

[6]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 252-253)

[7]: (Wood 1994, 71)


Military Level:
4

levels.
Military in era of Clovis’s grandsons "confusing mosaic of heterogeneous elements" [1]
1. King
Kings usually lead the army at least until Sigibert III. After this Mayor of the Palace always involved. [2]
Forces usually lead by a commander. Sometimes by a king. [3]
2. DukeArmies commanded by duces (dukes) [4]
At times of war Merovingian kings were supported by their leudes and aristocrats. [5]
Leudes: "military followers apparently of considerable social status and influence, though probably to be distinguished from the greatest magnates of the realm, many of whom had military followings of their own, and might be expected to fight for the king both inside and outside his kingdom." [6] 3. ComesLocal levy usually commanded by count of civitas [7]
Garrisons in cities not the same source as the local levy. [8]
Garrison commander and local levy commander were two different people. [8]
There are "indications of city-based system of military service" similar to Roman one. For example, in 578 CE Chilperic took the men of Tours, Poitiers, Bayeux, Le Mans and Angers to war in Brittany. [5]
4. Individual Solider
1. Tribunus
Garrison commander
Milites at Tours served under a tribunus, not a count [9]
Milites - garrisoned fortifications [10]
Laeti - protected fortresses and served as antrustiones in centenae [10]

640s CE and onwards the main forces were personal armed followings (bodyguards). Mayors of the Palace dominate the court. Kings lost control to mayors and magnates. [11]
Bodyguard was the core military force. [12]
Kingsantrustiones - Merovingian royal body guards
puer regis - lower lever bodyguardssent to punish people of Limoges for revolting against tax collectors. March 579 CE. [9]
leudes - soldiers in attendance intermittently
spathani - ?
Dukes / Magnatesalso had bodyguards
Countsalso had bodyguards
Troops raised from city
Bishopsalso had bodyguards

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 73)

[2]: (Halsall 2003, 28-29)

[3]: (Bachrach 1972, 54)

[4]: (Halsall 2003, 45)

[5]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 245-249)

[6]: (Wood 1994, 64)

[7]: (Bachrach 1972, 67)

[8]: (Bachrach 1972, 127)

[9]: (Bachrach 1972, 51)

[10]: (Bachrach 1972, 33)

[11]: (Bachrach 1972, 109-112)

[12]: (Halsall 2003, 48)


Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]

levels.

1. King
Basic territorial divisions (622 CE onwards 2 divisions East / West)Neustria - centred on the Seine and Oise rivers.
Burgundy (ruled from Neustria, own laws)
Austrasia - based on the Rhine and Meuse
Acquitane - usually had unique status [1]
_Court institution_
It was a peripatetic institution [2]
2. Senior Palace official was known as "Mayor of the Palace" [3] maior domus [2] 3. Treasurer [2] 4. Notaries and scribes
640s CE and onwards Mayors of the Palace dominate the court. Kings lost control to mayors and magnates. [4]
Comes palatii [2]
Magnates known as Obtimates, consulted by king at annual gathering around March 1st. [5]
_Regional government_

2. Maior domus (Burgundy) / Mayor of the Palace (Autrasia)Under Chlothar II (584-629 CE, reign from 613 CE) Burgundy had a maior domus (regional official). this official was at level below the court in Paris and in later years was alternately removed, then reinstated. also dux / duchy / districts [6]
The region of Austrasia had its own Mayor of the Palace [7]
2. Dukes and Bishops (directly appointed by king)"Many bishops owed their position to the king" and "were royal servants with no known connections with their sees." [8]
Aristocrats dependent on patronage from king. [9]
Group of cities and counts could be placed under a duke (for military and administrative purposes). [10]
Magnates (dux?) and Church (bishops)
Individuals in charge of multiple civitates? called dux (pl. duces). [11]
Alternative ruling structures had been innovated such as dukedom (higher scale) and the pagi (lower scale). [12]
Aquitaine - duchy, dux/duces. Merovingians claimed over-lordship in Southern England 550s CE. [13]
3. Comes (count) of the Civitas (city-district)4. local law-men called rachinburgi [14] Merovingians maintained existing Roman administrative systems where possible. Gregory of Tours (538-594 CE) writings show cities are the basic units of the administrative system. [12]
City archives: defensor, curator, magister, militum. Known from Formularies from a few civitates but no evidence uniform across polity. Senior official of civitas was the comes (pl. comites) or count (lit. "companion). Heard law-suits, enforced justice, lead the military. In north graphiones instead of comes. [15] Civitas administration "provided dominant source of tax revenue" and some of the manpower for the army. [16]
In sixth century the role of the Roman curiales had been taken over by a single official appointed by the Merovingian king, the "count" or the "grafio" in the Frankish homelands. This official - where present the most important city official - had its origins in the Roman imperial comes civitatis. The first such official in Gaul is known from 471 CE. They executed judicial and administrative functions and sent the king his tax revenue. Rule through these city officials gradually spread across Gaul in the post-Roman period.
Gregory of Tours refers to "leading officials" who could be members of a local council. [12]
Gregory of Tours’ region in central Gaul likely had longest persisting continuity with Roman structures of city-based rule. These were the "basic building-blocks of which the various Merovingian regna were composed." However, in Frankish regions the rule-through-city framework may have been less pervasive. [12]
Internal administrative regions due to the city based taxation system. The "guiding imperative behind the divisions would appear to be the sharing out of the profits from various forms of taxation" on the civitas [12]
5. City archives two levels? e.g. manager and assistant inferred level
4. PagiSub-division of the civitates. Replaces civitates in some parts of Gaul [17]
Alternative ruling structures had been innovated such as dukedom (higher scale) and the pagi (lower scale). [12]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 146)

[2]: (Wood 1994, 150-153)

[3]: (Halsall 2003, 28)

[4]: (Bachrach 1972, 109-112)

[5]: (Wood 1994, 104)

[6]: (Wood 1994, 144-145 and 236)

[7]: (Medieval France: An Encylopedia 1995, 157)

[8]: (Wood 1994, 78)

[9]: (Halsall in Wood ed. 1998, 149)

[10]: (Bachrach 1972, 67)

[11]: (Wood 1994, 61)

[12]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 245-249)

[13]: (Wood 1994, 176)

[14]: (Wood 1994, 107)

[15]: (Wood 1994, 60)

[16]: (Wood 1994, 64)

[17]: (Halsall 2003, 48)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

Garrisoned forces.


Professional Priesthood:
present

Christianity


Professional Military Officer:
present

Milites at Tours served under a tribunus, not a count. [1]

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 51)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Mints, local archives.


Merit Promotion:
absent

Positions hereditary.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent

6th century Merovingian Kingdom "de facto local aristocrats, a service aristocracy (defined by its tenure of posts within the administration) and an hereditary nobility." [1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 21)



Law

Edict of Chlothar II among other things limited power of secular judges over clerics [1]
Bishops could act as judges [2] -- on its own this would be non-specialist judge so not present

[1]: (Wood 1994, 106-107)

[2]: (Wood 1994, 76)


Formal Legal Code:
present

King and royal courtletters, precepts, edicts, decrees, pacts.
Merovingian law books: Pactus Legis Salicae and Lex Ribvaria. [1]
Pactus pro tenore pacis on theft [2]
Patriae (kings?) [3]
Pactus legis Salicae territorial law-code. [4]
First Merovingian law code can be dated before 511 CE. First sixty five titles of Pactus Legis Salicae "antedates the Liber Constitutionum of the Burgundians by at least a decade." Pagan elements within original work suggest Frankish origin in addition to some Christian Roman involvement. Pactus Legis Salicae most associated in with Neustria region, Lex Ribvaria with Austrasia and Liber Constitutionum (or Lex Gundobada) with Burgundy. [5]
No royal legislation survives beyond 614 CE. However there are literature references to royal edicts after this date. [6]
"The Lombards made no effort to repeat Ostrogothic parallelism in Italy. They recast the civil and juridicial system of the country in the regions which they occupied, promulgating a new legal code based on traditional Germanic norms, but drafted in Latin, which soon predominated over Roman law. The Merovingian kings retained a double legal system, but with the growing anarchy of their rule, Latin memories and norms progressively faded. Germanic law became progressively dominant, while the land taxes inherited from Rome broke down administ the resistance of the population and Church to a fiscality which no longer corresponded to any public services or integrated State. Taxation progressively lapsed altogether in the Frankish kingdoms." [7]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 103-104)

[2]: (Wood 1994, 106)

[3]: (Wood 1994, 115)

[4]: (Halsall in Wood ed. 1998, 151)

[5]: (Wood 1994, 112-115)

[6]: (Fouracre in Wood ed. 1998, 286-289)

[7]: (Anderson 2013, 124) Anderson, Perry. 2013. Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism. Verso Books.


Legal procedure known from Formularies and case records. Courts. Used Roman tradition of written evidence. Law not homogeneous "each person was entitled to be judged according to the law of his or her place of birth or ethnic group." Royal Court was the highest court, settled disputes between magnates. [1]

[1]: (Fouracre in Wood ed. 1998, 286-289)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

In Paris there was a merchant’s quarter. "... in the cities of Provence, the curator or defensor civitatis was also responsible for the supervision of the market." [1] Large annual market of St. Denis, near Paris "founded and granted with toll privileges by King Dagobert I". 9th October, after religious celebration of St. Denis. [2] Dagobert I (603-639 CE).

[1]: (Hen 1995, 232)

[2]: (Hen 1995, 232-233)


Irrigation System:
present

Bishops dug irrigation canals. [1] The king was Christian and many bishops owed their position to the king. If bishops dug irrigation canals then they are partly working on behalf of the king.

[1]: (http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/thierry-the-historical-essays-and-narratives-of-the-merovingian-era)


Food Storage Site:
present

Merovingian and Carolingian period, there were granaries on manor complexes. [1]

[1]: (Riddle 2008, 182) Riddle, J M. 2008. A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Bishops (non-state) took an interest in water-supply. [1] Gregory of Tours mentions one aqueduct, not certain whether current or from 500 CE. [1] "The political collapse of the Western Roman Empire did not coincided with a parallel collapse of Roman traditions of engineering. The technology did not disappear - it was adapted to new ends in late antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Even before the "Fall of Rome" hydraulic patronage was shifting away from secular munificence of large-scale aqueducts and luxurious public baths to more modest ecclesiastical structures such as baptistery fonts, charitable baths and atrium fountains. These new Christian waterworks helped to preserve the knowledge of subterranean pipes, hydraulic cement, and even inverted siphons. Some classical aqueducts were restored or remained in use during the Early Middle Ages, often thanks to episcopal patronage." [2]

[1]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 260)

[2]: (Glick, Steven Livesey and Wallis 2014, 505-506)


Transport Infrastructure

Via Belgica "Still, it is possible -perhaps even likely- that the Merovingian kings and queens repaired the roads. It is due to these maintenance efforts of later rulers that the road is still recognizable on many places and is usually still in use. It has been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage." [1] Via Regia "After the Thuringian kingdom’s fall in 531/534, the territory through which the road passed was under Merovingian domination". [2]

[1]: (http://www.livius.org/place/chaussee-brunehaut-via-belgica/)

[2]: (http://www.via-regia.org/eng/viaregiageschichte/versuch.php)


Port at Marseille. [1] [2] Francia-England-Frisia trading network [3] Domberg - another trade centre in north [4] Quentovic: trade centre/port in north [4] Dorestad: 240 ha site 80 wells [4] trade centre/port in north

[1]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 259)

[2]: (Hen 1995, 232)

[3]: (Wood 1994, 302)

[4]: (Wood 1994, 293-297)


620-625 CE repair work was undertaken on the reventments of the Corbulo canal at the Roman castellum of Leiden-Room-burg (Matilo). [1]

[1]: (Lodewijckx ed. 2004, 19) Lodewijckx, M ed. 2004. Bruc ealles well: archaeological essays concerning the peoples of North-West Europe in the first millennium AD. Leuven University Press. Leuven.


Bridge:
present

Roman era bridges. Gregory of Tours mentions the Grand pont over the Seine at Paris. [1]

[1]: (Yates and Gibson 1994, 13) Yates, N and Gibson, J M. 1994. Traffic and Politics: The Construction and Management of Rochester Bridge, AD 43-1993. Boydell & Brewer. Rochester.


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

"France possesses no precious metal resources and little copper. Iron ores are abundant, and there are regional deposits of lead, zinc, and coal. All of these were exploited during the Middle Ages. Evidence for ironworking exists from Merovingian France onward." [1]

[1]: (Hall in Kibler et al 1995, 1177)


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

[1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 153)


Script:
present

Merovingian latin script. [1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 153)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

[1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 153)


Nonwritten Record:
unknown

Not mentioned by sources


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

[1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 153)



Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
present

[1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 323)


Religious Literature:
present

Manuscript production at Luxeuil and Corbie important to Merovingian culture. However, no "great scholar" equivalent to Bede. [1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 323)


Practical Literature:
present

Rule books? Books on maintenance? Letters of Desiderius of Cahors [1] Epistulae Austrasiacae - collection of 48 letters, 460-c590 CE [1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 26)


Philosophy:
present

"Especially illustrative of this period is the dispute between Pope Gregory the Great (ca. 540-604) and Desiderius (Didier) of Vienne (fl. 596-601) on the love for and merits of pagan classical, particularly Greek, literature, grammar, and rhetoric. Gregory set the stage for medieval intellectual life by claiming that the liberal arts and what we today would call philosophical methodology are indispensable for the correct interpretation of the written Word of God but that they should be used for that purpose alone. Elements of the classical tradition were, however, preserved in the works of men like Gregory of Tours (d. 594) and Venantius Fortunatus (540-600), who died as bishop of Poitiers." [1]

[1]: (Vanderjagt in Kibler et al 1995, 1384)



History:
present

Gregory of Tours "Decem Libri Historiarum" (Ten Books of Histories)" [1] Born 538/9 CE. [2] Chronicler Fredegar. [3] Chronicler Marius of Avenches. [4] Hagiography [5] 12 vitae between 670-700 CE in "Barbarous Latin": Gregory of Tours; Venatius Fortunatus; Jonas of Bobbio (Columbonus and disciples); John of Reome; Vedast (bishop of Arras p.313); Many anonymous works

[1]: (Wood 1994, 21)

[2]: (Wood 1994, 28)

[3]: (Wood 1994, 33)

[4]: (Wood 1994, 31)

[5]: (Wood 1994, 246)


Fiction:
present

Poems. Ansbert bishop of Rouen 684 CE. [1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 242-243)


Calendar:
unknown

no clear evidence found


Information / Money

Precious Metal:
present

Non-monetary economy at local level. Bullion not coin used on eastern frontiers. West = coin archaeology. East = scales for weighing bullion found. [1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 217-219)



Indigenous Coin:
present

c570 CE gold coins. Solidus. coins bear name of mint, moneyer and sometimes a king, saint or church (i.e. not all royal issue). debased with silver until 660s CE when new silver denarius created. [1] Proportion of gold in coins fell rapidly from 630s CE. Officially replaced by silver in late seventh century. [2] Quentovic: Coin mint centre; 7th century gold trientes until c670 CE; 8th century silver sceattas or pennies. trading coinage. no fiscal role. high value and consistent in quality. [3]
Dorestad [3] : Coin mint centre; gold trientes until c650 CE; 8th century silver sceattas or pennies. trading coinage. no fiscal role. high value and consistent in quality.In Frisia and Quentovic (Frankish port) silver sceattas. Mercantile coin. [1]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 217-219)

[2]: (Wood ed. 1998, 409)

[3]: (Wood 1994, 293-297)


Foreign Coin:
present

Roman coinage finds in Merovingian burials suggests use of late Roman coins, perhaps as bullion due to high metal content. [1]

[1]: (Wood ed. 1998, 407)


Article:
present

Non-monetary economy at local level. [1] Money was used to pay tax in Merovingian period. However, tax also known to have been paid in exchange, such as with wine. Laws contain "list of equivalences to solidus." [2]

[1]: (Wood ed. 1998, 217-219)

[2]: (Wood ed. 1998, 407)


Information / Postal System



Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

General reference for Western Europe 11th and 12th centuries CE: fortifications typically consisted of earth ramparts and timber palisades which were generally surrounded by dry ditches (rather than water-filled for a moat). In the early 12th century CE stone began to replace earth-and-timber defences for walls and for castles (previously often wooden). [1] Since palisades are a very ancient form of fortification we could code inferred present for the period earlier than the 12th century (when it is known they were still used).

[1]: (Jones 1999, 171-172) Richard L C Jones. Fortifications and Sieges in Western Europe, c.800-1450. Maurice Keen. ed. 1999. Medieval Warfare: A History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Stone Walls Mortared:
present

Walled cities. [1] City walls present in sixth century. [2]

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 127) Bachrach, B S. 1972. Merovingian Military Organization 481-751. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.

[2]: (Loseby in Wood ed. 1998, 245-249) Loseby, S. T. 1998. “Gregory’s Cities: Urban Functions in Sixth-Century Gaul.” In Franks and Alamanni in the Merovingian Period: An Ethnographic Perspective, edited by I. N. Wood, 239-69. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DT5E5GNS.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Modern Fortification:
absent

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Includes moats dug with deep pits inside for the wader to sink into. [1]

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 55) Bachrach, B S. 1972. Merovingian Military Organization 481-751. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.


Fortified Camp:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Earth Rampart:
present

General reference for Western Europe 11th and 12th centuries CE: fortifications typically consisted of earth ramparts and timber palisades which were generally surrounded by dry ditches (rather than water-filled for a moat). In the early 12th century CE stone began to replace earth-and-timber defences for walls and for castles (previously often wooden). [1] Since earth ramparts are a very ancient form of fortification we could code inferred present for the period earlier than the 12th century (when it is known they were still used).

[1]: (Jones 1999, 171-172) Richard L C Jones. Fortifications and Sieges in Western Europe, c.800-1450. Maurice Keen. ed. 1999. Medieval Warfare: A History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Ditch:
present

General reference for Western Europe 11th and 12th centuries CE: fortifications typically consisted of earth ramparts and timber palisades which were generally surrounded by dry ditches (rather than water-filled for a moat). In the early 12th century CE stone began to replace earth-and-timber defences for walls and for castles (previously often wooden). [1] Since ditches are a very ancient form of fortification we could code inferred present for the period earlier than the 12th century (when it is known they were still used). Thuringians dug ditches in the fields against Merovingian horses. [2]

[1]: (Jones 1999, 171-172) Richard L C Jones. Fortifications and Sieges in Western Europe, c.800-1450. Maurice Keen. ed. 1999. Medieval Warfare: A History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Bachrach 1972, 19, 135) Bachrach, B S. 1972. Merovingian Military Organization 481-751. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.


Complex Fortification:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.



Military use of Metals

Need evidence for high-quality steel. One of Charlemagne’s vassals left an Indian sword (spatha indica) in his will [1] , which suggests it was far superior to the steel sword the Franks possessed. Writing in the 14th century, Ibn Hudhayl "described Frankish swords as mudakkar with ’steel edges on an iron body, unlike those of India.’" [1] Two-edged steel sword used by cavalry. [2]

[1]: (Williams 2012, 35) Alan Williams. 2012. The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords Up to the 16th Century. BRILL. Leiden.

[2]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.

Need evidence for high-quality steel. One of Charlemagne’s vassals left an Indian sword (spatha indica) in his will [1] , which suggests it was far superior to the steel sword the Franks possessed. Writing in the 14th century, Ibn Hudhayl "described Frankish swords as mudakkar with ’steel edges on an iron body, unlike those of India.’" [1] Two-edged steel sword used by cavalry. [2]

[1]: (Williams 2012, 35) Alan Williams. 2012. The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords Up to the 16th Century. BRILL. Leiden.

[2]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


[1]

[1]: (Williams 2012, 35) Alan Williams. 2012. The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords Up to the 16th Century. BRILL. Leiden.


Copper:
present

Metal girdle of iron or bronze 6 inches in breadth worn around the waist. [1]

[1]: People’s Magazine. 1867. People’s Magazine: An Illustrated Miscellany for Family Reading. Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge. London. p. 381


Bronze:
present

Metal girdle of iron or bronze 6 inches in breadth worn around the waist. [1]

[1]: People’s Magazine. 1867. People’s Magazine: An Illustrated Miscellany for Family Reading. Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge. London. p. 381


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

Various types of siege engines were used in Merovingian warfare. [1]

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 128)


Sling Siege Engine:
present

Various types of siege engines were used in Merovingian warfare. [1]

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 128)


Carolingian period: "Carolingian military organization was based primarily on that of their Merovingian predecessors, who had built on later Roman institutions ... Archers and slingers fighting on foot supported the battle line." [1]

[1]: (Bachrach 2001, x) Barnard S Bachrach. 2001. Early Carolingian Warfare: Prelude to Empire. University of Pennsylvania Press. Philadelphia.


Self Bow:
present

Bows and quivers [1] Merovingians and Carolingians used a "short, simple bow" which was "gradually replaced, beginning in the ninth century, by the composite bow." [2]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.

[2]: (Frassetto 2003, 366) Frassetto, M. 2003. Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe: Society in Transformation. ABC CLIO


Javelin:
present

[1] [2]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.

[2]: [1]



Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Crossbow:
absent

"The crossbow, or arbaleste, was reintroduced into France ca. 950 and was commonly used thereafter to ca. 1550, primarily by special infantry units placed from ca. 1200 to 1534 under the overall authority of a grand master of the crossbowmen (arbalest[r]iers)." [1]

[1]: (Boulton in Kibler et al 1995, 127)


Composite Bow:
absent

Merovingians and Carolingians used a "short, simple bow" which was "gradually replaced, beginning in the ninth century, by the composite bow." [1]

[1]: (Frassetto 2003, 366) Frassetto, M. 2003. Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe: Society in Transformation. ABC CLIO


Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Sword (long-straight for mounted use, steel, two-edged) [1] Short sword. [2]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.

[2]: p.30-32 Medieval Weapons: An Illustrated History of Their Impact By Kelly DeVries, Robert Douglas Smith


Most common weapon. [1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Polearm:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Dagger:
present

scramasax [1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Battle Axe:
present

One-handed battle axe. 6th century Franks used it a lot. [1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Animals used in warfare

[1] Beginning of sixth century Merovingians had cavalry. 507 CE cavalry recorded

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Elephant:
absent

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Donkey:
present

This source suggests donkeys were introduced sometime in the Celtic period: "There seems no trace of the use of donkeys and mules before contact with the Italian peninsula." [1]

[1]: (Ellis 1998, 109) Peter Berresford Ellis. 1998. The ancient world of the Celts. Constable.


Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Camel:
present

Gundovald used camels to carry treasure. While this is not a military use, it does seem that these camels were accompanying the military albeit as a vehicle to transport goods. [1]

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 58)


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Shield [1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Shield:
present

[1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Scaled Armor:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.



Limb Protection:
present

[1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Leather Cloth:
present

Leather cuirass with pteruges. [1] Padded armour. [1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Laminar Armor:
present

Iron. [1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Helmet:
present

[1] "Few appear to have had helmets, or indeed any covering for the head; but their hair was allowed to grow sufficiently long in front to be tied over the crown of the head, so as to deaden considerably the force of a blow from a weapon." [2]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.

[2]: People’s Magazine. 1867. People’s Magazine: An Illustrated Miscellany for Family Reading. Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge. London. p. 381


Chainmail:
present

Mail-shirt [1]

[1]: (Halsall 2003, 163-176) Halsall, Guy. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900. Routledge. London.


Breastplate:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature RA.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

Naval forces - in 515 CE used vs Danes. [1] Imperial naval base in the 5th century. Ships not Frankish in origin. [2] "Roman vessels utilized the rivers and coastal waters to transport merchandise and military personnel. The early Franks developed fleets for use in trade and war. Their vessels were propelled by oars and probably a single square sail. Charlemagne used a fleet against the Slavs, Saxons, Avars, and others. Because of their Italian interests, the Franks also maintained a small Mediterranean fleet in the 9th century." [3]

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 128) Bachrach, B S. 1972. Merovingian Military Organization 481-751. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.

[2]: (Bachrach 1972, 35) Bachrach, B S. 1972. Merovingian Military Organization 481-751. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.

[3]: (Runyan 1995, 1246-1247) Timothy J Runyan. 1995. Naval Power. William W Kibler. Grover A Zinn. Lawrence Earp. John Bell Henneman Jr. Medieval France (1995): An Encyclopedia. Garland Publishing, Inc. New York.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

River craft. [1]

[1]: (Bachrach 1972, 128) Bachrach, B S. 1972. Merovingian Military Organization 481-751. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown

Not discussed in consulted literature - RA.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.