The Rise of the Medieval World, 500-1300: A Biographical Dictionary

By Jana K. Schulman | Go to book overview

D

DAGOBERT I(C. 604–639). Merovingian king of Austrasia and later all of Francia, Dagobert was the son of Bertrude and Chlothar II. He nearly died of an intestinal infection at age nine but survived to rule Austrasia (in central Gaul) as a vassal of his father, Clothar II, from 623 to 629. At his father’s death in 629, the entire Frankish kingdom was divided between Dagobert and his simple-minded half brother Charibert, king of Aquitaine, while Dagobert established his two-year-old son Sigibert III as the ruler of Austrasia. Shortly after his father’s death, Dagobert dissolved his childless first marriage, made at his father’s command to his stepmother’s sister Gomatrude, to marry Nantechild, who would become the mother of Clovis II, the future king of Neustria. Dagobert later took several mistresses, including Ragnetrude, the mother of Sigebert III.

Dagobert’s reign of Francia was characterized, like that of his father, by both internecine conflict and challenges along its borders. However, he found time to dispense justice and may have been responsible for the composition of the Lex Ripuaria. In addition, Dagobert strengthened relations with the Church in pursuit of both religious and secular stability, giving with particular generosity to the monastery of St. Denis, where he was eventually to be buried, beginning a tradition of royal burials there that would last into the eighteenth century. Dagobert’s close ties with the Church led him to patronize the arts and learning in a century known as the most impoverished in these areas in all of Frankish history. In fact, Dagobert himself was probably the most effective of the Frankish kings in the seventh century.

Bibliography: M. Bouvier-Ajam, Dagobert, 1980; I. Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms 450–751, 1994.

Heide Estes

DAMIAN, PETER.See PETER DAMIAN, SAINT.

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The Rise of the Medieval World, 500-1300: A Biographical Dictionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • A 1
  • B 46
  • C 88
  • D 118
  • E 123
  • F 140
  • G 155
  • H 189
  • I 230
  • J 240
  • K 260
  • L 262
  • M 282
  • N 309
  • O 317
  • P 333
  • R 358
  • S 387
  • T 412
  • U 423
  • V 428
  • W 431
  • Bibliography 461
  • Name Index 485
  • General Index 493
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