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Austrasia

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Austrasia & Neustria

Austrasia formed the north-eastern portion of the Kingdom of the Merovingian Franks, comprising parts of the territory of present-day eastern France, western Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Metz served as its primary capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Rheims also.

After the death of the Frankish king Clovis I in 511, his four sons partitioned his kingdom amongst themselves, Theuderic I receiving Austrasia. Austrasia and its neighbor, Neustria, became involved in constant disputes. These struggles reached their climax in the wars between Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia and Queen Fredegunde of Neustria. In 613, a rebellion by the nobility against Brunhilda saw her betrayed and handed over to her nephew and foe, king Clotaire II of Neustria. He subjected her to the torment of the rack for three days, then had her torn asunder between four horses. Clotaire then took control of the other two kingdoms and set up a united Frankish kingdom with its capital in Paris.

With the weakening of royal influence in Austrasia, the office of Mayor of the Palace developed into the real power in the kingdom, and finally became hereditary in the family of the Carolingians. Under this dynasty, Austrasia no longer formed a separate kingdom.

For the rulers of Austrasia, see the list of Frankish Kings.de:Austrasien es:Austrasia fr:Austrasie nl:Austrasi pl:Austrazja ru:Австразия sv:Austrasien

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