Charlemagne by Roger Collins (auth.)

By Roger Collins (auth.)

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639/40). 4 Pippin first appears in the Chronicle of Frede gar as one of the two named Austrasian leaders, the other being Arnulf of Metz, who appealed to Chlotar II in 613 to take over their kingdom from queen Brunechildis and the infant Sigebert II. It may be that the anonymous chronicler is even here exaggerating the roles of Pippin and Arnulf, in the light of their subsequent importance, as the prime beneficiary of the Neustrian king's invasion of Austrasia was a certain Rado, who was made Mayor of the Palace (613-16117).

While these conditions may not have been closely adhered to in all respects in 806, let alone in earlier, more troubled periods, it is clear from this that the Frankish rulers had at their disposal a formidable and well-organised military machine, that could be relatively quickly and efficiently directed against the targets selected at the assembly, including the suppression of internal revolt and disorder. There are more details that we should like to know. While the mandate indicates with great precision the kind of armaments that the horsemen should bring, no such information is given relating to foot soldiers.

This cut the main route of trade and communications from the Mediterranean coast to the north, up the valley of the Rhone. An appeal for help to Charles led to a campaign in which Arab forces were defeated outside Narbonne, and Nimes was sacked by the Franks. As well as pushing back the Arab threat, it also made the Austrasian mayor a force to be reckoned with in the aristocratic politics of Provence. He returned with an army in 739, this time to expel the local ruler, the duke Maurontus, and to establish his own allies in positions of economic and political power in the region.

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