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Pepin the Short
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Merovingian Dynasty
Carolingian Dynasty


Pepin the Short started out as an important official within the Merovingian empire, but in those latter stages the Merovingian rulers were completely ineffective, thus leaving the actual rule and control to people like Pepin. Eventually, in 741, he tired of their lackluster efforts and seized power officially, helping to establish the Carolingian Empire.

Pepin received religious protection for his move because the pope was under pressure from Lombard forces in northern Italy and he needed the protection of the Franks - something only Pepin would be able to provide. It was at this point that the close relationship between papal and Frankish authority began to develop in earnest. Because of the protection which the popes required, Frankish rulers began to think that they had a right to interfere with church issues and even to appoint popes themselves.

Pepin was became famous for giving large tracts of land to the pope based upon the forged document which known as the "Donation of Constantine."

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