Childebert the Adopted

Childebert III the Adopted (Childebertus Adoptivus) was a Frankish king.[1]

Childebert the Adopted
Coin of Childebert
King of Austrasia
PredecessorSigebert III
SuccessorChlothar III
Noble familyPippinids
FatherGrimoald the Elder
Sigebert III (adoptive)

Childebert was a son of the Mayor of the Palace Grimoald the Elder. He was thus a grandson of Pepin of Landen.[2]

He was adopted by King Sigebert III and Queen Chimnechild.[3]

When Sigebert III died in 656,[4] Grimoald had Sigebert’s biological son Dagobert II[5] shorn of hair and sent him to an Irish monastery and then proclaimed Childebert king of Austrasia.[6]

Grimoald, Childebert and Ansegisel (who had married the daughter of Pepin of Landen[7]) were finally seized and turned over to the king of Neustria, Clovis II, who had them killed. There are two differing accounts of his death, however. Either Clovis and his mayor of the palace, Erchinoald,[8] captured and executed him in 657 or Chlothar III annexed Austrasia in 661, deposing the young usurper and executing them both the next year.

The family reappeared in politics with the rise of Ansegisel’s son, Pepin of Herstal.

Preceded by
Sigebert III
King of Austrasia
Succeeded by
Chlothar III


  1. Liber Historiæ Francorum 43, MGH SS rer Merov II, page 316.
  2. Christian Settipani, La Préhistoire des Capétiens (Nouvelle histoire généalogique de l'auguste maison de France, vol. 1), 1993 (ISBN 2-9501509-3-4)
  3. Spiritual Kinship As Social Practice: Godparenthood and Adoption in the Early Middle Ages by Bernhard Jussen
  4. R. P. Vincent, Histoire fidelle de st Sigisbert: XII roy d'Austrasie et III du nom; avec un abrégé de la vie du roy Dagobert, son fils: le tout tiré des antiquités austrasiennes
  5. Fredegario, Fredegarii scholastici chronicum, Pars quarta, LXXXVIII
  6. J. Hoyaux, "Reges criniti: chevelures, tonsures et scalps chez les Mérovingiens", Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire 26 (1948)]; J. M. Wallace-Hadrill, The Long-Haired Kings and Other Essays (London, 1962:154ff).
  7. Les ancêtres de Charlemagne, 1989, Christian Settipani
  8. Le Jan, Regne. Convents, violence and competition for Power in Francia. In Theuws, France; De Jong, Mayke; van Rhijn, Carine Topographies of power in the Early Middle Ages. Leeiden: Koninkslijke Brill NV, 2001.
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