Category: Robertian Dynasty

Categories: European Noble Houses | European Nobility | French Nobility | French History | Austrasia | Carolingian Empire


Robertian Dynasty

The Robertians, or Robertines, was the Frankish predecessor family of origin to the ruling houses of France; it emerged to prominence in the ancient Frankish kingdom of Austrasia as early as the eighth century—in roughly the same region as present-day Belgium—and later emigrated to West Francia, between the Seine and the Loire rivers. The members were ‘forefathers’ of the Capetian dynasty. With fealty (sometimes mixed with rancor) to the Carolingians they held the power of West Francia through the whole period of the Carolingian Empire; and from 888 to 987 theirs was the last extant kingdom of that house until they were succeeded by their own (Robertian) lineage, the house of Capet.

The family frequently named its sons Robert, including Robert of Hesbaye (c. 800), Robert III of Worms (800-834), Robert the Strong (d. 866) and Robert I of France (866-923). It figured prominently amongst the Carolingian nobility and married into this royal family. Eventually the Robertians themselves delivered Frankish kings such as the brothers Odo (reigned 888-898) and Robert I (r. 922-923), then Hugh Capet (r. 987-996), who ruled from his seat in Paris as the first Capetian king of France.

Although Philip II was officially the last king of the Franks (rex Francorum) and the first king of France (roi de France), in (systematic application of) historiography, Hugh Capet holds this distinction. He is the founder of the Capetians, the royal dynasty that ruled France until the revolution of the Second French Republic in 1848—save during the interregnum of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. It still reigns in Europe today; both King Felipe VI of Spain and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg are descendants of this family through the Bourbon cadet branch of the dynasty.

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