Pepin III (Pippinid) des Francs

Pepin (Pippinid) des Francs (abt. 0715 - 0768)

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Pepin (Pepin III) "le bref, the Short, the Younger, King of Franks" des Francs formerly Pippinid
Born about in Jupille-sur-Meuse, Liege, Wallonia, Belgiummap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Saint-Denis, Paris, Ile-de-France, Francemap
Profile last modified | Created 20 Mar 2016 | Last significant change: 10 Nov 2018
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Categories: Pippinid Dynasty | Carolingian Dynasty | Ancient Royals and Aristocrats Project.

Pepin III "le bref"
European Aristocracy
Pepin III (Pippinid) des Francs was a member of aristocracy in ancient Europe.
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King of the Franks
House: Carolingian

MEDIEVAL LANDS: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families by Charles Cawley © Foundation for Medieval Genealogy & Charles Cawley 2000-2018.

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.


  • Royal Ancestry by Douglas Richardson Vol. V page 483
  • Treffer Gerd Die französischen Königinnen. Von Bertrada bis Marie Antoinette (8.-18. Jahrhundert) Pustet, Regensburg (1996) pp. 23-29 ISBN 3791715305 ISBN 978-3791715308

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No known carriers of Pepin III's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 1
Pepin III King of the Franks
Pepin III King of the Franks


On 10 Oct 2016 at 07:06 GMT Sunny (Trimbee) Clark wrote:

Pepin III (Pippinid) des Francs is notable.
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Discuss: notables

On 8 Oct 2016 at 11:12 GMT C (Sälgö) S wrote:


On 26 Jul 2016 at 11:25 GMT Shelley Freestone wrote:

Franks-1055 and Pippinid-18 appear to represent the same person because: CLEAR DUPLICATE

On 25 May 2015 at 14:11 GMT Marty (Lenover) Acks wrote:

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

On 27 Dec 2013 at 23:37 GMT Barbara (White) Bonanni wrote:

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

On 18 Jul 2012 at 16:41 GMT Alan Wyatt wrote:

Pepin III is 32 degrees from George Bush, 36 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 29 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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