Several of my readers have been asking about The Merovingian dynasty so I thought I'd do a bit more research and present the findings to you.
The Merovingian dynasty was real enough. Whether it stemmed from the bloodline of Christ or had any direct links with it is less certain, but it is a theory that has a substantial amount of support.
The ancestors of the Merovingians came from east of the river Rhine and established a kingdom in France. Their own folklore is somewhat fanciful and claims Troy as their origin, but there does not appear to be evidence to support this.
When the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the powerhouse of the Roman Empire east to Constantinople (Byzantium), the Western empire began to fall into decline, and various Germanic and Slavic groups (known collectively to history as “the Barbarians”) began to make steady encroachments. By the end of the fourth century, they controlled Rome itself.
One of these invading groups was the Franks who hailed from what is now Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. It was the Franks who apparently claimed that they were descended from King Priam of Troy. The Merovingians were actually a group within the Franks, which is how they came to claim the same ancestry.
The first Merovingian king was Childeric who died in 482 and was succeeded by his son, Clovis, who was the first Christian Merovingian king. Clovis’s descendants spent a great deal of their time fighting among themselves, and assassinations were commonplace.
Sharan Newman comments in The real History behind the Da Vinci Code that the Merovingian kings – despite their tendency to die by an assassin’s hand – left so many offspring that she suspects that almost everyone of Western European ancestry can trace his or her ancestry back to one Merovingian king or another. She adds wryly that they might not want to admit it, since the Merovingians did have the best of reputations, so the suggested link between the descendants of Christ and the Merovingians is not quite as illustrious as might be expected and certainly no compliment to the House of Judah. In fact, so many theories about the Merovingian bloodline exist that the number of people alive today who have been considered possibilities strains the imagination.
Dagobert II was the last Merovingian king of any consequence, and the kingship eventually passed to the Carolingians. The dubious Dossiers Secrets apparently claims that the bloodline was carried down to the present day via a surviving child of Dagobert and exists today in the person of… Pierre Plantard, who is not mentioned in The Da Vinci Code but is very much part of its supporting mythology.
Plantard, self-proclaimed grand master of the Priory of Sion, died in 2000, by which time most of his claims had apparently been proved fraudulent. Support for them is supposedly contained in the Dossiers Secrets which in turn is supposedly housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. Too many ‘ifs’ blur the picture for it to make any real sense, but it appears that Plantard somehow managed to mastermind a most engaging fraud while presenting himself as a well-spoken, aristocratic and dignified man who did not appear to be unduly seeking publicity. He has been accused of having had Nazi sympathies during World War II and of being anti-Semitic, but proof remains elusive. One thing that is known is that his claims of Merovingian descent are entirely without basis.
In The Da Vinci Code the Messianic bloodline is seen as continuing down to Godefroi de Bouillon, supposed founder of the Priory of Sion.
Laurence Gardner presents a genealogical table showing the descent of the first Merovingians from the Messianic source (Bloodline of the Holy Grail, p. 212). Readers interested in genealogy are likely to find the large number of genealogical charts in this book worth following up.
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