Dagobert, the long-haired king as seen by our Victorian forefathers…unless you prefer the contemporay 7th century and rather minimalist profile on a gold solidus.
Dagobert the First. Born somewhat in 602 unless it was 605 AD, dead as a dodo by 639 AD. The last great Merovingian king. Son of Chlothar II, great-grand son of Chlothar the First himself son of Chlodowig/wech? the First and as you guessed it , we are mulling about the First dynasty of the Frankish realm. Frankish realm, Francia, Francie,France.
I must say the nineteenth century model is more eye-candy than the profile, gold coin or not. Dagobert was ruthless, a great warrior king (translate as managed to win and not die in battle) and a great womanizer. Do not forget that we are talking about a seventh century prince. Maybe the men we describe as having many women were simply widowers, trying to get a healthy/surviving heir (sorry, girls did not count). Why? Because it would seem the original tribe had some kind of law where only the boys could become kings. Nowadays women have about made it and the Hundred Years war would not have happened… Let’s return to our brooding hero of the day.
Let’s go back to Dagobert. Upon reaching 18-21ys old, he becomes king of Austrasia (eastern side of the realm) till his father’s death in 629 when he unites his kingdom to Neustria (not-eastern side; the word ‘western’ must not have been invented yet). Finding that he still had some free time left from ruling two kingdoms, he had three official wives and two official concubines. As he was a Christian, I suspect the ladies were just temporary accomodations, early deaths [blog mantra: they all died young in the 7th century!]and for those who survived, who were not smart enough to discreetly move away (a sudden need for solitude or a desire to become an abbess)… ‘accidents’ just happened. None the less, he went to war with notable success maintaining the borders safe (roughly) and dabbling elegantly in law-making and the judicial system. He may be responsible for his half-brother’s sudden death. Between you and me, as they all die young-singsong, he may be unfairly accused.
The problem lays in his grand-mother, a very nasty piece of work. Yes, Queen Fredegundis who aside killing bishops, killed – supposedly- her father-in-law, her brother-in-law (maybe the second too as she certainly tried to remove the third one), her husband’s first and second wife and all his children born to said first wife, plus a few other people and rumour has it her husband. What is certain is that when Dagobert’s grandfather dies, Dagobert’s own father is not yet six months old.
Chlothar II will die aged 4;, our easy on the eye guy dies at 36. Leaving two sons. At best 8 and 4 ys old. Told you: they all die young.
As you know, I often go back on the crime scene or rather the post scene. I shall return soon with a longer entry. Meanwhile enjoy this manly man. Did I mention his hair was long because in these days only the royal family could have long hair. Here you have it: any movie with long haired barbarians: wrong. Clean shaven barber trimmed. Yep, our great….grandpas were heroes because a razor blade in the Dark Ages was not that safe… and still they shaved!.