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Austrasia(ôstrā`zhə), northeastern portion of the Merovingian kingdom of the FranksFranks,
group of Germanic tribes. By the 3d cent. A.D., they were settled along the lower and middle Rhine. The two major divisions were the Salian Franks in the north and the Ripuarian Franks in the south.
..... Click the link for more information. in the 6th, 7th, and 8th cent., comprising, in general, parts of E France, W Germany, and the Netherlands, with its capital variously at Metz, Reims, and Soissons. It originated in the partition (511) of the realm of the Frankish king Clovis IClovis I
, c.466–511, Frankish king (481–511), son of Childeric I and founder of the Merovingian monarchy. Originally little more than a tribal chieftain, he became sole leader of the Salian Franks by force of perseverance and by murdering a number of relatives.
..... Click the link for more information. among his four sons after his death. Austrasia was constantly troubled by dynastic rivalries between its rulers and those of the neighboring kingdom of NeustriaNeustria
, western portion of the kingdom of the Franks in the 6th, 7th, and 8th cent., during the rule of the Merovingians. It comprised the Seine and Loire country and the region to the north; its principal towns were Soissons and Paris.
..... Click the link for more information. . These struggles, both political and cultural, reached their climax in the fierce fights between Queen BrunhildaBrunhilda
, d. 613, Frankish queen, wife of Sigebert I of the East Frankish kingdom of Austrasia; daughter of Athanagild, the Visigothic king of Spain.
..... Click the link for more information. of Austrasia and Queen FredegundeFredegunde
, c.545–597, Frankish queen. The mistress of King Chilperic I of Neustria, she became his wife after inducing him to murder his wife Galswintha (567). Fredegunde and Brunhilda, Galswintha's sister and wife of King Sigebert I of Austrasia, were among the leading
..... Click the link for more information. of Neustria. During the reigns of Clotaire IClotaire I
, d. 561, Frankish king, son of Clovis I. On his father's death (511) he and his brothers received equal shares of the Frankish kingdom. His capital was at Soissons.
..... Click the link for more information. , Clotaire IIClotaire II,
d. 629, Frankish king, son of Chilperic I and Fredegunde. He succeeded (584) his father as king of Neustria, but his mother ruled for him until her death (597).
..... Click the link for more information. , and Dagobert IDagobert I
, c.612–c.639, Frankish king, son and successor of King Clotaire II. His father was forced to appoint Dagobert king of the East Frankish kingdom of Austrasia at the request of Pepin of Landen, mayor of the palace, and Arnulf, bishop of Metz, who effectively
..... Click the link for more information. , Austrasia was temporarily reunited with Neustria. This rivalry was only part of the regionalism that eventually brought an end to MerovingianMerovingians,
dynasty of Frankish kings, descended, according to tradition, from Merovech, chief of the Salian Franks, whose son was Childeric I and whose grandson was Clovis I, the founder of the Frankish monarchy.
..... Click the link for more information. rule. With the decline of the royal power in Austrasia, the office of mayor of the palace developed into the real seat of power and finally became hereditary in the family of the CarolingiansCarolingians
, dynasty of Frankish rulers, founded in the 7th cent. by Pepin of Landen, who, as mayor of the palace, ruled the East Frankish Kingdom of Austrasia for Dagobert I.
..... Click the link for more information. . Austrasia became part of the Carolingian empire.
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the eastern region of the kingdom of the Merovingian Franks that had its capital at Metz and lasted from 511 ad until 814 ad. It covered the area now comprising NE France, Belgium, and western Germany
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005