Karl Martell

of these articles treats the Frankish house Meier. For the actor, see Karl Hermann Martell.

Karl Martell, the hammer (* 23. August 686 in Herstal/Wallonie; † 22. October 741 in Quierzy) was more Frankish House Meier from the sex of the Arnulfinger, grossmütterlicherseits from that the Pippiniden, which was called in the consequence after it Karolinger. Its parents are the house Meier beep pin the middle one and its Friedelfrau Chalpaida.

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Karl controlled the Frankish partial realms from 714 to 741 as house Meier. In the partial realm Austrien it was thereby 715 to 717, 718 to 720 and 737 to 741 even - in the absence of oneKing - head of state. The same applies to the partial realm Neustrien in the years 737 to 741.

After the death of his father Karl Martell in the follow-up question succeeded beep pin of the middle one against his stepmother Plektrud and their grandchild under age.In the same time it, outgoing from its power base in Austrien, defeated several neustrische ruling powers. Its military success was considered to the contemporaries as a proof for the “welfare” of the karolingischen family and strengthened the existence of the Franconia realm.

Its most famous victory, those Battle of route and Poitiers against the Mauren breaking in from Spain in the year 732, with which the maurische leader Abd acre-Rahman fell, is often regarded as rescue of Europe before the incident Muslims, although it was rather insignificant as individual eventand in connection with further fights against the Arabs to be seen must. The army reform introduced to the consequence of this battle should be however of historical importance: Karl let a heavy armored Reiterei set up (contrary to prevailing the up to then) and the knights equipped free-rural foot troops with Lehen, with which it gave a crucial impulse for the development of the leaning nature in the Franconia realm. For it also church goods were consulted, Karl Martell regarded this however not least as a measure, around thatTo be able to defend Christianity militarily.

Apart from the internal-Frankish arguments and the protection against the Mauren Karl Martell war led against Saxonia, Friesen, Thüringer, Alemannen and Bayern. These campaigns served for to the border safety device and expansion of the realm. Karlalso the following Christian Missionierung of these areas advanced, partly in co-operation with Bonifatius. The latter brought it however in conflict with the neustrischen episcopacy, which saw itself threatened by the establishments of diocese Bonifatius'. In Karl's reign also that fellfirst request for aid of a Pope to a Franconia ruler, when the Langobarden besieged 739 Rome. Karl did not follow this request, with which an alliance offer accompanied. Among its successors the alliance with the Pope should become a crucial political constant.

Duringits term of office continued to lose the merowingischen kings of the Franconia realm at meaning and influence. After death Theuderichs IV.to 737 Karl did finally without the legitimacy of his power as house Meier by a merowingischen shade king, however he avoided likewise the immediate graspafter the crown, possibly due to the negative experiences with a such coup d'etat by Karl's large uncle Grimoald of the older one, which would have meant the end for the dynasty nearly.

Briefly before its death Karl Martell divided his realm between his sonsfrom first marriage, Karl man and beep pin, up. Karl man got Austrien, Alemannien and Thuringia, beep pin Neustrien, Burgund and Provence. However the few sources (realm annals, report of the Fredegar, Metzer annals, a hard annals) are, also regarding the legal treatment of Karl's youngerSon Grifo, not for this clearly and agreeing, partly they originate also only from that 8. and/or. 9. Century. As burial place Karl Martell selects the abbey Saint Denis, where several Frankish kings were buried. Thus it underlined the requirement of its familyon.

The name Karl means as much as “chap” or “man”. It is the first carrier of this name in its family. Its surname “Martell” meant “the hammer”, is not contemporary however.


first marriage: KarlChrotrud married († before 725).

second marriage: Karl married Swanahilde illustris matrona, 725-741 testifies, niece duke Odilos of Bavaria.

  • Grifo (* probably 726, † 753 with sp-Jean-de-Maurienne)

third connection: N.N. (possibly Ruadheid)

  • Bernhard (* before 732, † 787), the 1. a Fränkin, 2. a Sächsin marries
  • Hieronymus, 754 testifies
  • Remigius(or Remedius) († 771), 755 bishop von Rouen


  • Brensig, Theodor, yearbooks of the Frankish realm 714-741. The time Karl Martells, Berlin, 1975 (2. Aufl)
  • Jarnut, Jörg (Hrsg.): Karl Martell in its time (supplements of the Francia 37), sigma rings1994.
  • Yoke, Waltraud: Legitimacy and integration. Investigations to the beginnings Karl Martells, historical studies 456, Husum 1999
  • Mielke, Thomas's R. P.: “Karl Martell”, 1999, ISBN 3-40414-657-3
  • Nonn, Ulrich, the picture Karl Martells in latin the sources primarily 8.and. 9. Century, in Frühma. Stud. 4, 1970, S. 70-137
  • Nonn, Ulrich, the battle with Poitiers 732. Problems of historical judgement formation, in: Slate, Rudolf (Hrsg.), contributions for the history of the Regnum Francorum, sigma rings, 1990
  • Thomas's R. P. Mielke: Karl Martell. Thatfirst Karolinger, Romanbiographie, Lübbe, mountain. - Gladb. 2002, ISBN 3404146573

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