mayor of the palace


mayor of the palace
one of a line of hereditary administrative lieutenants to the Merovingian kings who eventually took over royal function and title in the Frankish kingdoms; a palatine.
[1520-30; trans. of ML major domus; see MAJOR-DOMO]

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▪ European official
      official of the western European kingdoms of the 6th–8th century, whose status developed under the Merovingian (Merovingian dynasty) Franks from that of an officer of the household to that of regent or viceroy. The Merovingian kings adopted the system by which great landowners of the Roman Empire had employed a major domus (mayor, or supervisor, of the household) to superintend the administration of numerous, often scattered, estates. The Merovingians appointed a major palatii (mayor of the palace) to perform a similar function. The mayor gradually acquired further duties and powers: he obtained authority over court personnel, advised the king on the appointment of counts and dukes, protected the commendati (persons commended to the king) and the king's wards, and eventually even came to command the royal army.

      It was probably a long series of Merovingian child kings from the late 6th century onward that enabled the mayors of the palace, as tutors of the young rulers, to gain control of the government. Eventually, they maintained it even when the kings had come of age. At first liberal to, and thus supported by, the landowning aristocracy, some mayors later became strong enough to act severely toward them.

      From the second quarter of the 7th century, members of the Carolingian (Carolingian dynasty) family usually held the mayoral power in the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia. After Pippin II of Herstal had defeated the Neustrians at Tertry in 687, the three Frankish kingdoms of Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy were united under his de facto rule as mayor of the palace. His grandson Pippin III the Short set aside the Merovingian king Childeric III in 751 and had himself elected king, becoming the first of the Carolingian dynasty.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mayor of the Palace — was an early medieval title and office, also called majordomo, from the Latin title maior domus ( superior of the house ), used most notably in the Frankish kingdoms in the 7th and 8th centuries. During the 7th century, the office of Mayor of the …   Wikipedia

  • mayor of the palace — Etymology: translation of Medieval Latin mayor palatii : an official under the Frankish kings who originally was the chief officer of the royal household, later prime minister, and under the later Merovingians practically sovereign * * * one of a …   Useful english dictionary

  • Carloman, Mayor of the Palace — (d. 754)    Son of the Carolingian Mayor of the Palace, Charles Martel, Carloman inherited control of the Frankish kingdoms with his brother, Pippin the Short, on his father s death in 741. Together as mayors of the palace, Carloman and Pippin… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Drogo (mayor of the palace) — Drogo was the eldest son of Carloman, mayor of the palace of Austrasia. He was born before Carloman came to power in 741. In 747 Carloman went on a pilgrimage to Rome, leaving his sons under the guardianship of his uncle Pepin the Short and the… …   Wikipedia

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