Some - for instance, Otto, the mayor of the palace of Austrasia towards 640 - were devoted to the Crown.
It must be observed that from 639 there were generally separate mayors of Neustria, Austrasia and Burgundy, even when Austrasia and Burgundy formed a single kingdom; the mayor was a sign of the independence of the region.
Each mayor, however, sought to supplant the others; the Pippins and Charles Martel succeeded, and their victory was at the same time the victory of Austrasia over Neustria and Burgundy.
In the Merovingian period it formed a duchy attached to the kingdom of Austrasia, and was governed by the descendants of duke Eticho, one of whom was St Odilia.
719) was king of Austrasia from 717 to 719.
Returning at Dagobert's death (639), he governed Austrasia in Sigebert's name, but died in the following year.
In Gregory of Tours this word is still used vaguely, but the sense of it is gradually defined, and finally the name of Austria or Austrasia was given to the easternmost part of the Frankish kingdom.
When these two words are at last found in the texts in their precise signification, Austrasia is applied to that part of the Frankish kingdom which Clotaire II.
After the death of Dagobert, Austrasia and Neustria almost always had separate kings, with their own mayors of the palace, and then there arose a real rivalry between these two provinces, which ended in the triumph of Austrasia.
At the time of Charlemagne, the word Austrasia underwent a change of meaning and became synonymous with Francia orientalis, and was applied to the Frankish dominions beyond the Rhine (Franconia).
Under the Romans the district was included in the province of Belgica prima, afterwards forming part of the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia and of the empire of Charlemagne.
The eldest, Hermannfried, eventually obtained sole possession by the help of Theuderich I., king of Austrasia, but having refused to pay the price he had promised for this assistance, was defeated by Theuderich in a series of battles and murdered by him in 531.
The northern portion of the kingdom was given to the Saxons who had joined him against Hermannfried; the southern part was added to Austrasia; and the name of Thuringia was confined to the district bounded by the Harz Mountains, the Werra, the Thuringian Forest and the Saale.
Charles was baptized by St Rigobert, bishop of Reims. At the death of his father in 714, Pippin's widow Plectrude claimed the government in Austrasia and Neustria in the name of her grandchildren, and had Charles thrown into prison.
In the general anarchy Charles succeeded in escaping, defeated the Neustrians at Ambleve, south of Liege, in 716, and at Vincy, near Cambrai, in 717, and forced them to come to terms. In Austrasia he wrested the power from Plectrude, and took the title of mayor of the palace, thus prejudicing the interests of his nephews.
According to the Frankish custom he proclaimed a king in Austrasia in the person of the young Clotaire IV., but in reality Charles was the sole master - the entry in the annals for the year 717 being "Carolus regnare coepit."
Once in possession of Austrasia, Charles sought to extend his dominion over Neustria also.
To the elder, Carloman, he gave Austrasia, Alemannia and Thuringia, with suzerainty over Bavaria; the younger, Pippin, received Neustria, Burgundy and Provence.
In 623 his father established him as king of the region east of the Ardennes, and in 626 revived for him the ancient kingdom of Austrasia, minus Aquitaine and Provence.
After his death in 548, however, the Frankish power in Germany sank to very minute proportions, a result due partly to the spirit of tribal independence which lingered among the German races, but principally to the paralysing effect of the unceasing rivalry between Austrasia and Neustria.
The virtual independence of these German tribes lasted until the union of Austrasia and Neustria in 687, an achievement mainly due to the efforts of Pippin of Heristal, who soon became the actual, though not the nominal, ruler of the Frankish realm.
He then endeavoured to enlarge his estates at the expense of Childebert's sons, Theodebert, king of Austrasia, and Theuderich II., king of Burgundy; but after gaining a victory at Laffaux (597), he was defeated at Dormelles (600), and lost part of his kingdom.
After the war between Theodebert and Theuderich and their subsequent death, the nobles of Austrasia and Burgundy appealed to Clotaire, who, after putting Brunhilda to death, became master of the whole of the Frankish kingdom (613).
From this time on, she took the lead; in Austrasia she engaged in a desperate struggle against the nobles, who wished to govern in the name of her son Childebert II.; brit she was worsted in the conflict and for some time had to seek refuge in Burgundy.
(597) she aspired to govern Austrasia and Burgundy in the name of her grandsons Theudebert and Theuderich II.
She was expelled from Austrasia, and then stirred up Theuderich II.
The nobles of Austrasia and Burgundy, however, now summoned Clotaire II., son of Fredegond, and king of Neustria, to help them against the queen.
It formed part of the Caroling kingdom of Austrasia, and was divided into pagi or gauen, ruled by official counts (comites-graven).
In 656, at the moment of his accession to power, Sigebert III., the king of Austrasia, had just died, and the Austrasian mayor of the palace, Grimoald, was attempting to usurp the authority.
Chilperic retrieved his position, took from Austrasia Tours and Poitiers and some places in Aquitaine, and fostered discord in the kingdom of the east during the minority of Childebert II.
The wresting of Tours from Austrasia and the seizure of ecclesiastical property provoked the bitter hatred of Gregory of Tours, by whom Chilperic was stigmatized as the Nero and the Herod of his time.
In 657 he became the nominal ruler of the three Frankish kingdoms, but was deprived of Austrasia in 663, retaining Neustria and Burgundy until his death.
Under the new Carolingian dynasty, Pippin and Charlemagne restored the unity of the Frankish realm, and then the word Neustria was restricted to the district between the Loire and the Seine, together with part of the diocese of Rouen north of the Seine; while Austrasia comprised only the Frankish dominions beyond the Rhine, perhaps with the addition of the three cities of Mainz, Worms and Spires on the left bank.
The districts between Neustria and Austrasia were called Media Francia or simply Francia.
At the time of Charlemagne, Lombardy was divided into five provinces: Neustria, Austrasia, Aemilia, Littoraria marls and Tuscia.
Austrasia was the name given to eastern Lombardy, and Neustria that given to western Lombardy, the part last occupied by the Lombards.
Orange was included in the kingdom of Austrasia, fell into the hands of the Saracens and was recovered by Charlemagne.
At that time Tours belonged to Austrasia, and King Sigebert hastened to confirm Gregory's election.
His devotion to Austrasia made him very bitter against, and perhaps unjust to, the sovereigns of Neustria, Chilperic and Fredegond.
(c. 653-673), king of Austrasia, was a son of the Frankish king Clovis II., and in 660, although a child, was proclaimed king of Austrasia, while his brother, Clotaire III., ruled over the rest of the dominions of Clovis.
After the death of Clotaire in 670 he became ruler of the three Frankish kingdoms, Austrasia, Neustria and Burgundy, but soon quarrelled with some supporters in Neustria, and was assassinated whilst hunting.
These two men Clotaire took as his counsellors; and when he decided in 623 to confer the kingdom of Austrasia upon his son Dagobert, they were appointed mentors to the Austrasian king, Pippin with the title of mayor of the palace.
Towards the end of the 7th century Pippin II., called incorrectly Pippin of Heristal, secured a preponderant authority in Austrasia, marched at the head of the Austrasians against Neustria, and gained a decisive victory at Tertry, near St Quentin (687).
In Neustria Pippin gave the mayoralty of the palace to his son Grimoald, and afterwards to Grimoald's son Theodebald; the mayoralty in Austrasia he gave to his son Drogo, and subsequently to Drogo's children, Arnulf and Hugh.
(57 o -595), king of Austrasia, was a son of Sigebert.
During the civil war which broke out between the kings of Neustria and Austrasia, his policy was to try to maintain a state of equilibrium.
The danger to the Frankish realm caused by the expedition of Gundobald (585), and the anxiety which was caused him by the revolts of the great lords in Austrasia finally decided him in favour of Childebert.
About the close of the 5th century this territory was conquered by Clovis, king of the Salian Franks, was afterwards incorporated with the kingdom of Austrasia, and at a later period came under the rule of Charlemagne.
Recognized, in fact, already as separate provinces were Austrasia, or the eastern kingdom, Neustria, or north-west Gaul and Burgundy; Aquitaine alone was as yet undifferentiated.
He declared himself the protector of Fredegond, but his death in 593 delivered up Burgundy and Neustria to Brunhildas son Childebert, king of Austrasia, in consequence of the treaty of Andelot, made in 587.
Strife began again in 613 in consequence of Theuderichs desire to join Austrasia to Neustria, but his death delivered the kingdoms into the hands of Clotaire II.
This weak king leant for support upon the nobles of Burgundy and Austrasia, impatient as they were of obedience to a woman and the representative of Rome.
The first struggle began on the accession of Clotaire II., when Austrasia, having had a king of her own ever since 561,
Burgundy followed the example of Austrasia, demanded the abolition of the mayoralty, and in 627 succeeded in obtaining her independence of Neustria and Austrasia and direct relations with the king.
Such mayors .(dowere Aega and Erchinoald, in Neustria, Pippin and Otto in Austrasia, and Flaochat in Burgundy.
Of them, Grimoald, son of Pippin, actually dared to take the title of king in Austrasia (640).
But EbroIn was assassinated next year in the midst of his triumph, having like Fredegond been unable to do more than postpone for a quarter of a century the victory of the nobles and of Austrasia; for his successor, Berthar, was unfitted to carry on his work, having neither his gifts and energy nor the powerful personality of Pippin.
For forty years (6f5655) the office of mayor of Austrasia had gone down in his family almost continuously in direct descent from father to son.
The death of Grimoald had caused, the loss of this post, yet Ansegisus (Ansegisel), Arnulfs son and Pippins son-in-law, had continued to hold high office in the Austrasian palace; and about 680 his son, Pippin II., became master of Austrasia, although he had held no previous office in the palace.
Pippin it was who administered justice in Austrasia, appointed officials and distributed dukedoms; and it was Pippin, the ~ilitary leader, who defended the frontiers threatened by Frisians, Alamanni and Bavarians.
A son of the Church, a protector of bishops, a president of councils, a collector of relics, devoted to Boniface (whom he invited, as papal legate, to reform the clergy of Austrasia), he astutely accepted the new claims of the vicar of St Peter to the headship of the Church, perceiving the value of an alliance with this rising power.