Page 1082

1082 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

the most splendid in Western Europe. He

revised the old Salian and Ripuarian statutes

into a common code. He was called the Solomon of the Franks, and the name was well

earned, both by the wisdom of his public and

the social vices of his private life. Striking

was the treachery displayed in his conduct

toward the Bulgarians.

Passing over the brief and inglorious reign

of Sigebert II, we come to Dagobert II, who held the throne from 674 to 679, when

he was assassinated by Pepin of Heristal and

his brother Martin, mayor of the palace. This

office had, during the alleged reigns of the Rois Faineants, become the most important in

the Frankish government. The mayor of the

palace was the great functionary of the state,

and the king with his imbecile glory was on the frontier. In 687 he inflicted a signal

defeat on the enemy, and then invaded the

territory of Neustria. He met the forces of

this province in the battle of Testry, and inflicted upon them a defeat so signal as to complete at one stroke the conquest of Northern Gaul.

Perhaps no other prince ever had more

"kings" at his disposal than Pepin. He

did not, after the manner of Clovis, attempt

the extermination of the remaining Merovingians, but permitted them each in his turn to

occupy the nominal throne. The kings Thierry III, Dagobert II, Clovis III, Childebert III, and Dagobert III were so many