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Pepin the Short

Pepin the Short (Pepin III), c.714–768, first Carolingian king of the Franks (751–68), son of Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne. Succeeding his father as mayor of the palace (741), he ruled Neustria, Burgundy, and Provence, while his brother Carloman (d. 754) received Austrasia and what came to be Thuringia. In 743 the brothers chose Childeric III, a Merovingian, as nominal king of all the Franks. With their help St. Boniface effected far-reaching reforms that strengthened the Frankish church and advanced the conversion of the Saxons. After Carloman had retired (747) to religious life, Pepin, with the consent of the pope, St. Zacharias, forced Childeric into a monastery and had himself proclaimed king (751). In return for recognition by the pope, Pepin defended Rome against the Lombards (754, 756), from whom he wrested the exarchate of Ravenna and other cities. These he ceded to the pope, thus laying the foundation of the Papal States. Pepin also extended his territories and subdued Aquitaine.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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