Drogo, Mayor of the Palace

Drogo, Mayor of the Palace

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Drogo was the eldest son of Carloman, mayor of the palace
Mayor of the Palace
Mayor of the Palace was an early medieval title and office, also called majordomo, from the Latin title maior domus , used most notably in the Frankish kingdoms in the 7th and 8th centuries....

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

. He was born before Carloman came to power in 741. In 747 Carloman went on a pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 to Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, leaving his sons under the guardianship of his uncle Pepin the Short and the king, Childeric III
Childeric III
Childeric III was the last King of the Franks in the Merovingian dynasty from 743 to his deposition by Pope Zachary in March 752...

. Drogo, the eldest, had probably already reached his majority and may have been left behind as mayor of the palace by his father. Drogo's position was strong at this point and he held a church synod
Synod
A synod historically is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not...

 in 747 or 748 competing with a simultaneous synod held by Pepin. The great reformer and apostle to the Germans, Boniface, was unsure which one to attend.

After the birth of a son, Charles
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, to Pepin on 2 April 748, Drogo's position weakened. Carloman stayed behind in Italy to become a monk at Monte Soracte (either of his own volition or at Pope Stephen II's
Pope Stephen II
Pope Stephen II was Pope from 752 to 757, succeeding Pope Zachary following the death of Pope-elect Stephen. Stephen II marks the historical delineation between the Byzantine Papacy and the Frankish Papacy.-Allegiance to Constantinople:...

 request) and Pepin began to manoeuvre against Drogo. By 751 Pepin's position was strong enough to garner papal support for a takeover of the kingdom, and Childeric was deposed and Pepin crowned in his place. Drogo was forced to flee. In 753 Pope Stephen and Carloman came to Francia, the former to lend support to Pepin, the latter possibly to Drogo. Pepin imprisoned Carloman in Vienne
Vienne
Vienne is the northernmost département of the Poitou-Charentes region of France, named after the river Vienne.- Viennese history :Vienne is one of the original 83 departments, established on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Poitou,...

 and Drogo was captured, tonsure
Tonsure
Tonsure is the traditional practice of Christian churches of cutting or shaving the hair from the scalp of clerics, monastics, and, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, all baptized members...

d, and put in a monastery.

Sources

  • Fouracre, Paul. "The Long Shadow of the Merovingians" in: Charlemagne: Empire and Society, ed. Joanna Story. Manchester University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-719-07089-9.