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Pepin (Carolingian) Franken (abt. 0715 - 0768)

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Pepin (Pepin III) "le bref, the Younger, the Short, King of Franks" Franken formerly Carolingian
Born about in Jupille-sur-Meuse, Liege, Wallonia, Belgiummap
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Died in St Denis, Paris, Ile-de-France, Francemap
29 January 2016
13:24: Rick Pierpont edited the Biography for Pepin III (Carolingian) Franken. (Add source.) [Thank Rick for this]
This page has been accessed 10,668 times.

Categories: Pippinid Dynasty | Carolingian Dynasty | Long Profiles in Need of Cleanup.

Pepin III "le bref"
badges This person was a member of royalty, nobility or aristocracy in Europe. If you are interested in this profile, see our European Royals and Aristocrats Prior to 742 Project.
King of the Franks
House: Carolingian



  • alias: le bref; the short; the younger[2]
  • b. 715
  • d. 24 Sep 768 Saint-Denis
  • bur. église de l'abbaye royale de Saint Denis[1]


Father: Charles Martel (690 - 16 or 22 Oct 741)[3][2]

Mother: Chrothrudis UNKNOWN (690 - 725)[4]


m. (743/4) Bertrada (Berta) "au grand pied" (720 - 12 Jul 783 Choisy-au-Bac; bur. bur église de l'abbaye royale de Saint Denis; father: Charibert, Count of Laon). Issue: 6 proven

  • Charles (02 Apr 748 - 28 Jan 814)[5]
  • Carloman, King of the Franks (751- 04 Dec 771)[6]
m. Gerberga UNKNOWN (d. 772 or later)[7]
  • Gisela, Abbess of Chelles (757 - 30 Jul 810)[8][9]
  • Pepin (759- 761/2)[10]
  • Chrothais (d. Young)[11]
  • Adelais (d. Young)[12]


  • Cawley, C. (2006). Medieval Lands v.3.
  • Page 296: Monk Odorannus of St. Pierre-le-Vif at Sens (c. 985-1046) reports Pepin The Short was chosen to be king in the year 750 (Latin: DCCL Pipinus statura pusillus electus in regem)

European Aristocrats Source
Our main source for medieval genealogy in the European Aristocrats Project is the FMG database MEDIEVAL LANDS: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families by Charles Cawley,© Foundation for Medieval Genealogy & Charles Cawley, 2000-2015.

  1. "Pepin, ordered he be buried outside that [Saint Denis] entrance, face down, for sins of his father Charles Martel."[1]
  2. alt DOB/DOA: b. c. 688 or 686, 680 – 22 Oct 741 (Wikipedia: Charles Martel)


Pepin "The Short"

741: Pippin and Carloman respectively became mayors of Neustria and Austrasia palaces. ... Grifo, was imprisoned in a monastery ... Carloman, retired to a monastery in 747. This left Pippin as sole mayor and dux et princeps Francorum, a title originated by his grandfather and namesake Pippin of Heristal.

Under reorganization of Francia by Charles Martel the dux et princeps Francorum were the kingdom's army commanders, palace mayor, and specifically commander of the year-round standing guard Martel began in 721.

Pippin and Carloman, installed Childeric III as a puppet king, even though Martel left the throne vacant since the death of Theuderic IV.

When Carloman's retired, Grifo escaped and fled to Duke Odilo of Bavaria, who was married to Hiltrude. Odilo was forced by Pippin to acknowledge Frankish overlordship, but died soon after (January 18, 748). Pippin invaded Bavaria and installed Tassilo III as duke under Frankish overlordship.

Since Pippin controlled the magnates and was the de facto ruler, he made the Carolingian name royal in law as well as fact. Pippin asked Pope Zachary who should be the royal ruler: the person with the title of King, or the person who makes the decisions as King. Since the Pope depended on the Frankish armies for his independence, and had depended on them for protection from the Lombards since the days of Charles Martel, and Pippin, as his father had, controlled those armies, the Pope's answer was determined well in advance.

The Pope agreed that de facto power was more important than de jure. Thus, Pippin, having obtained the support of the papacy, discouraged opposition. With an army at his side to enforce the Papal Bull, Pepin was elected King of the Franks by an assembly of leading Franks and anointed at Soissons, perhaps by Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz. Meanwhile, Grifo continued rebellion, but was eventually killed in the battle of Saint-Jean de Maurienne in 753.

He added to that power after Pope Stephen II traveled all the way to Paris to anoint Pippin in a lavish ceremony at Saint Denis Basilica, bestowing upon him the additional title of patricius Romanorum (Patrician of the Romans). As life expectancies were short in those days, and Pippin wanted family continuity, the Pope also anointed Pippin's sons, Charles (eventually known as Charlemagne) and Carloman.
Pippin died at Saint Denis and is interred in the basilica with his wife Bertrada. Historical opinion often seems to regard him as the lesser son and lesser father of two greater men, though a great man in his own right.

He continued to build the cavalry his father began, and maintained the standing army. He kept his father's policy of containing the Moors, and drove them over and across the Pyrenees by taking Narbonne.

He continued his father's expansion of the Frankish church (missionary work in Germany and Scandinavia) and the infrastructure (feudalism) that would prove the backbone of medieval Europe. His rule, while not as great as either his father's or son's, was historically important and of great benefit to the Franks as a people

In 740, Peppin married Bertrada of Laon, his second cousin. (Her father, Charibert, was the son of Pippin II's brother, Martin of Laon.) Of their children, two sons and a daughter survived to adulthood

name: Pépin (FR); Pippin (DE).

nickname:, le Bref -- translated as "the Short" or "the Younger".

  • The Younger -- he was the younger of the two Arnulfing Pepins who were palace mayors
  • the Short -- as deriving from the tales of Notker Balbalus regarding the King's diminutive size. ... novel suggestions ... referred to his hair, since he was the first Frankish king to wear it short. Dutton, PE, Charlemagne's Mustache.

Charles Knight, The English Cyclopaedia: Volume IV, (London : 1867); pg 733 "We have no circumstantial account of this important event, except that Pepin was anointed at Soissons, in March 752, by Boniface, bishop of Mainz, called the Apostle of Germany, before the assembly of the nation."

Claudio Rendina & Paul McCusker, The Popes: Histories and Secrets, (New York : 2002), pg 145

"Pepin the Short". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.

Treffer Gerd Die französischen Königinnen. Von Bertrada bis Marie Antoinette (8.-18. Jahrhundert) Pustet, Regensburg (1996) pp. 23-29 ISBN 3791715305 ISBN 978-3791715308

Unattributed biography: Pepin the Short

Mayor of the Palace of the whole Frankish kingdom (both Austrasia and Neustria), and later King of the Franks; born 714; died at St. Denis, 24 September, 768.

He was the son of Charles Martel. Pepin and his older brother Carloman were taught by the monks of St. Denis, and the impressions received during their monastic education had a controlling influence upon the relations of both princes to the Church.

When the father died in 741 the two brothers began to reign jointly but not without strong opposition, for Griffon, the son of Charles Martel and the Bavarian Sonnichilde, demanded a share in the government. Moreover, the Duke of the Aquitanians and the Duke of the Alamannians thought this a favourable opportunity to throw off the Frankish supremacy.

The young kings were repeatedly involved in war, but all their opponents, including the Bavarians and Saxons, were defeated and the unity of the kingdom re-established.

As early as 741 Carloman had entered upon his epoch-making relations with St. Boniface, to whom was now opened a new field of labour, the reformation of the Frankish Church. On 21 April, 742, Boniface was present at a Frankish synod presided over by Carloman at which important reforms were decreed.

As in the Frankish realm the unity of the kingdom was essentially connected with the person of the king, Carloman to secure this unity raised the Merovingian Childeric to the throne (743). In 747 he resolved to enter a monastery. The danger, which up to this time had threatened the unity of the kingdom from the division of power between the two brothers, was removed, and at the same time the way was prepared for the deposing of the last Merovingian and for the crowning of Pepin.

Pepin put down the renewed revolt led by his step-brother Griffon, and succeeded in completely restoring the boundaries of the kingdom. Pepin now addressed to the Pope the suggestive question: In regard to the kings o the Franks who no longer possess the royal power, is this state of things proper?

Hard pressed by the Lombards, Pope Zacharias welcomed this advance of the Franks which aimed at ending an intolerable condition of things, and at laying the constitutional foundations for the exercise of the royal power. The pope replied that such a state of things was not proper. After this decision the place Pepin desired to occupy was declared vacant.

The crown was given him not by the pope but by the Franks. According to the ancient custom Pepin was then elected king and soon after this was anointed by Boniface. This consecration of the new kingdom by the head of the Church was intended to remove any doubt as to its legitimacy. On the contrary, the consciousness of having saved the Christian world from the Saracens produced, among the Franks, the feeling that their kingdom owed its authority directly to God. Still this external cooperation of the pope in the transfer of the kingdom to the Carolingians would necessarily enhance the importance of the Church.

The relations between the two controlling powers of Christendom now rapidly developed. It was soon evident to what extent the alliance between Church and State was to check the decline of ecclesiastical and civil life; it made possible the conversion of the still heathen German tribes, and when that was accomplished provided an opportunity for both Church and State to recruit strength and to grow.

Ecclesiastical, political, and economic developments had made the popes lords of the ducatus Romanus. They laid before Pepin their claims to the central provinces of Italy, which had belonged to them before Liutprand's conquest.

When Stephen II had a conference with King Pepin at Ponthion in January, 754, the pope implored his assistance against his oppressor the Lombard King Aistulf, and begged for the same protection for the prerogatives of St. Peter which the Byzantine exarchs had extended to them, to which the king agreed, and in the charter establishing the States of the Church, soon after given at Quiercy, he promised to restore these prerogatives. The Frankish king received the title of the former representative of the Byzantine Empire in Italy, i.e. "Patricius", and was also assigned the duty of protecting the privileges of the Holy See.

When Stephen II performed the ceremony of anointing Pepin and his son at St. Denis, it was St. Peter who was regarded as the mystical giver of the secular power, but the emphasis thus laid upon the religious character of political law left vague the legal relations between pope and king. After the acknowledgment of his territorial claims the Pope was in reality a ruling sovereign, but he had placed himself under the protection of the Frankish ruler and had sworn that he and his people would be true to the king. Thus his sovereignty was limited from the very start as regards what was external to his domain.

The connection between Rome and the Frankish kingdom involved Pepin during the years 754-56 in war with the Lombard King Aistulf, who was forced to return to the Church the territory he had illegally held.

Pepin's commanding position in the world of his time was permanently secured when he took Septimania from the Arabs. Another particularly important act was his renewed overthrow of the rebellion in Aquitaine which was once more made a part of the kingdom.

He was not so fortunate in his campaigns against the Saxons and Bavarians. He could do no more than repeatedly attempt to protect the boundaries of the kingdom against the incessantly restless Saxons. Bavaria remained an entirely independent State and advanced in civilization under Duke Tassilo.

When he deposed the last of the Merovingians Pepin was also obliged to acknowledge the increased authority of the Church by calling upon it for moral support. Consequently the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Frankish king over the Church of his country remained externally undiminished. Nevertheless by his life-work Pepin had powerfully aided the authority of the Church and with it the conception of ecclesiastical unity.

He was buried at St. Denis where he died. He preserved the empire created by Clovis from the destruction that menaced it; he was able to overcome the great danger arising from social conditions that threatened the Frankish kingdom, by opposing to the unruly lay nobility the ecclesiastical aristocracy that had been strengthened by the general reform.

In 740, Pepin married Bertrada of Laon, his second cousin. Her father, Charibert, was the son of Pepin II's brother, Martin of Laon. Of their children, two sons and a daughter survived to adulthood.

• Charlemagne (April 2, 742 – January 28, 814), (Charles the Great)

• Carloman (751 – December 4, 771)

• Gisela (757 – 810)


13:58, 21 October 2011 (EDT)13:58, 21 October 2011 (EDT)13:58, 21 October 2011 (EDT)13:58, 21 October 2011 (EDT)13:58, 21 October 2011 (EDT)13:58, 21 October 2011 (EDT)13:58, 21 October 2011 (EDT)13:58, 21 October 2011 (EDT)~

The first king of the Frankish Carolingian dynasty and the father of Charlemagne. A son of Charles Martel, Pepin became sole de facto ruler of the Franks in 747 and then, on the deposition of Childeric III in 751, king of the Franks. He was the first Frankish king to be anointed--first by St. Boniface and later (754) by Pope Stephen II.

Background and kingship.

For years the Merovingian kings had been unable to prevent power from slipping from their hands into those of the counts and other magnates. The kings were gradually eclipsed by the mayors of the palace, whose status developed from that of officer of the household to regent or viceroy. Among the mayors, a rich family descended from Pepin of Landen (Pepin I) held a position of especial importance. When Charles Martel, the scion of that family, died in 741, he left two sons: the elder, Carloman, mayor of Austrasia, Alemannia, and Thuringia, and Pepin III, mayor of Neustria, Burgundy, and Provence. No king had ruled over all the Franks since 737, but to maintain the fiction of Merovingian sovereignty, the two mayors gave the crown to Childeric III in 743. (See mayor of the palace.)

Charles had had a third son, however--Grifo, who had been born to him by a Bavarian woman of high rank, probably his mistress. In 741, when his two brothers were declared mayors of the Franks, Grifo rebelled. He led a number of revolts in subsequent years and was several times imprisoned. In 753 he was killed amid the Alpine passes on his way to join the Lombards, at this time enemies of the Franks as well as of the papacy.

Numerous other rebellions broke out. In 742 men of the Aquitaine and Alemannia were in revolt; in 743 Odilo, duke of Bavaria, led his men into battle; in 744 the Saxons rebelled, in 745 Aquitaine, and in 746 Alemannia, both the latter for the second time.

In 747, when Carloman decided to enter monastic life at Rome, a step he had been considering for years, Pepin became sole ruler of the Franks. But Pepin was ambitious to govern his people as king, not merely as mayor. Like his father, he had courage and resolution; unlike his father, he had a strong desire to unite the papacy with the Frankish realm. In 750 he sent two envoys to Pope Zacharias with a letter asking: "Is it wise to have kings who hold no power of control?" The pope answered: "It is better to have a king able to govern. By apostolic authority I bid that you be crowned King of the Franks." Childeric III was deposed and sent to a monastery, and Pepin was anointed as king at Soissons in November 751 by Archbishop Boniface and other prelates.

Pepin and Pope Stephen II.

The pope was in need of aid. Aistulf, king of the Lombards, had seized Ravenna with its lands, known as the exarchate. Soon, Lombard troops marched south, surrounded Rome, and prepared to lay siege to its walls. So matters stood when in 752 Zacharias died and Stephen II became pope. In November 753 Pope Stephen made his way over the stormy mountain passes to Frankish territory. He remained in France until the summer of 754, staying at the abbey of Saint-Denis, Paris. There he himself anointed Pepin and his sons, Charles and Carloman, as king and heirs of the crown. (See Italy, history of.)

The pope returned to Italy accompanied by Pepin and his army. A fierce battle was fought in the Alps against Aistulf and the Lombards. The Lombard king fled back to his capital, Pavia; Pepin and his men plundered the land around Pavia until Aistulf promised to restore to papal possession Ravenna and all the Roman properties claimed by the pope.

Aistulf broke his word. Again and again Pope Stephen wrote to Pepin of his difficulties. In 756 the Frankish king once more entered Italy. Aistulf was once more constrained to make promises, but the same year he died--of a fall from his horse--and in April 757 a new king, Desiderius, became ruler of the Lombards. That year Stephen II also died, and Paul I was elected pope. He, too, constantly wrote to Pepin asking for help.

But the King of the Franks had other concerns. He had to put down revolts in Saxony in 748 and 753 and a rising in Bavaria in 749. He was continually marching against rebellious Aquitaine. In 768 Pepin died at Saint-Denis, on his way back from one of his Aquitainian expeditions.

Pepin is remembered not only as the first of the Carolingians but also as a strong supporter of the Roman Church. The papal claims to territory in Italy originated with Pepin's campaigns against Aistulf and the latter's pledge to return the Roman territories. His letters also show him calling for archbishoprics in Frankish territory, promoting synods of clergy and layfolk, and as deeply interested in theology.

Pippin was crowned at Soissons in 11-751 and consecrated King at St. Denis in 754 by Winfred (St. Boniface, b. ca. 675 in Devonshire, England, a monk who was commissioned by the pope to work in Germany, murdered in 754 by pagans, called the Apostle to the Germans; his consecration of Pippin was approved by the pope, wherein the church acknowledged his royal title and which Pippin rewarded by establishing the temporal power of the papacy). He extended Austrasian power beyond the Rhine and the Pyrenees, and his alliance with the church opened the way for restoration of

the western empire (achieved by his son, Charles the Great). Pippin was the first king of the new monarchy which would take its name (Carolingian) from his great son (Carolus = Charles). A younger son, Carloman, received the southern half of his domains, but on Carloman's death in Dec. 771 Charles siezed these lands.

gedoopt: Utrecht

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Pepin III King of the Franks
Pepin III King of the Franks


On May 25, 2015 at 14:11GMT Marty Acks wrote:

Iii-35 and Carolingian-78 appear to represent the same person because: Clearly same person.

On December 27, 2013 at 23:37GMT Barbara Bonanni wrote:

trying to clean up merge of De Franken-3 and Carolingian-78 made in Nov. Thank you.

On July 18, 2012 at 16:41GMT Alan Wyatt wrote:

Pepin III is 31 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 36 degrees from Frank Russell Capra, 31 degrees from Mark Hamill, 33 degrees from AJ Jacobs and 31 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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