Charles Martel, 717-741

Belfort 6636; Depeyrot 19; Prou -, Choice Very Fine

The nickname Martel (“the Hammer”) derives from the constant warfare that characterized the entirety of Charles’ rule. In 716-718, he found it necessary to engage in a civil war to assert his position as Mayor of the Palace in Austrasia and Neustria. Through his subsequent campaigning, Charles Martel came to control a unified Frankish kingdom, that included not only Austrasia and Neustria, but also the southern Germanic lands of Bavaria and the Alemanni, as well as Burgundy and Frisia. All of this territory, he ruled on behalf of the young Theuderic IV, a Merovingian king that he had himself appointed in 720. However, when Theuderic IV died twelve years later, Charles felt no compulsion to name a new king. Having hammered his enemies into submission over many years, no one was willing to proclaim a new king to oppose him. Instead, a Merovingian interregnum ensued. When the vacant throne was finally filled, it was a son of Charles Martel and not a descendant of Clovis I who reigned.

Metz(?). +R[I]; trefoil of pellets above. Reverse: AS.

Ex Hess Divo (22 May 2015), 1034