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They were sometimes referred to as the "long-haired kings" (Latin reges criniti) by people of the time, for their symbolically uncut hair (traditionally the tribal leader of the Franks wore his hair long, while the warriors trimmed theirs short). The term is drawn directly from Germanic, akin to their dynasty's Old English name Merewīowing.
The Merovingian dynasty owes its name to the semi-legendary Merovech (or Merowig, sometimes Latinised as Meroveus or Merovius), leader of the Salian Franks from c.447 to 457. Clovis I went on to unite most of Gaul north of the Loire under his control around 486, when he defeated Syagrius, the Roman ruler in those parts.
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- Eugen Ewig: Die Merowinger und das Frankenreich. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2001.
- Patrick J. Geary: Before France and Germany: The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World, Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
- Kaiser, Reinhold: Das römische Erbe und das Merowingerreich, (Enzyklopädie deutscher Geschichte 26) (München, 2004)
- Rouche, Michael: "Private life conquers State and Society" in Paul Veyne (ed.), A History of Private Life: 1. From Pagan Rome to Byzantium, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1987.
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- Oman, Charles: The Dark Ages 476-918, London, 1914.
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- Franks (main history of Frankish kingdoms)
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- From Merovingians to Carolingians: Dynastic Change in Frankia.
- Dr Deborah Vess: Merovingian and Carolingian bibliography, sources and web links.