Merovingian Origin Location(s)
by Rolf Badenhausen

Date: 2017-02-10
This document is appendix of
Thidreks Saga Research: Merovingians by the Svava
When King Clovis came to be baptized after his conversion to Christianity, Bishop Remigius said to him, 'Meekly bend thy neck, Sicamber ...', as remarked by Gregory of Tours who certainly gave on this occasion an example of his more or less comprehensive knowledge of Roman-Germanic history. Gregory’s original phrase provides book II (ch. 31) of his Libri Historiarum: Mitis depone colla, Sigamber...
The Baptism of King Clovis.
A partial view of the altarpiece by the Master of Saint Gilles (abt 1500).
King Clovis by Saint Gilles
The Seal Ring of Childeric I
The Seal Ring of Childeric I, son of Meroveus and father of Clovis.
The Sicambri, a powerful tribe migrating formerly along the Danube and the Rhine, were dwelling along the eastern banks on the Lower Rhine in the time of Caesar. In Migration Period, however, these people also were dispersed to such an extent that Gregory of Tours might have remembered merely a 'migratory legend' somewhat related to that part of land which was called Salia some hundred years later:

'Franks originally came from Pannonia and
first colonized the banks of the Rhine. Then, 
they crossed the river, marched through 
Thongeria, and set up in each country
district and each city long-haired kings 
chosen from the foremost and most noble
family of their race ...'.

A Germanic chief called Meroveus, forwarded as grandfather of Clovis, is believed to have been recorded in 417 for rendering heroic service to the Romans. At that time, possibly as merited high-ranked mercenary, he appears rewarded with the leadership of Salia (nowadays pertaining to Dutch and Belgian territory) with that Gaulish region Toxandria we are calling now North and South Brabant. However, we have no further creditable historical information that Meroveus was of Sicambrian descent.

Karl Müllenhoff (Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum, 6, p. 433) follows Heinrich Leo (Lehrbuch der Universalgeschichte 2, 28) who connects Merovingian location with the Dutch watercourse Merwe (Merwede). Franz Joseph Mone (Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der teuschen Heldensage, 1836, p. 47) recounts some authors who already combined likewise. Emil Rückert (Oberon von Mons und die Pipine von Nivella, 1836, p. 39) argrues accordingly:
Das herrschende Geschlecht der Franken wohnte an der Merwe oder Merowe, d. h. der unterhalb Löwenstein mit der Maas vereinigten Waal und hiervon empfing es den Namen Merowinger, Morowinger, welchen auch ein König aus diesem Hause, Meroväus oder Moroväus, Merwig, trug. Der Mervengau ist jenes Maurungania ad Albim (wohl Vahalim), welches der Geograph von Ravenna als früheren Aufenthalt der prima linea Francorum angibt.
[Transl.:  The ruling Frankish dynasty was dwelling on the Merwe or Merowe (today the Dutch Merwede), where the Meuse meets the Waal below Lionstone Castle (the ‘Lovensteyn’ or ‘Loevestein’); and the Merovings or Morovingians received their name from which watercourse, and also one of their kings, Meroveus, Moroveus, or Mervig, was named likewise. This district called ‘Mervengau’ is that ‘Maurungania ad Albim’ (obviously the ‘Vahalim’) (Vahal, Waal) which the Geographer ('Cosmographer') of Ravenna notes as the early location of the ‘prima linea Francorum’].
Eugen Ewig regards the earliest region of the Salian Franks originated in the region of Overyssel (the former Sal-land), as roughly marked today by the Dutch towns Deventer, Kampen and the German Nordhorn. Likely with or as Batavian people, they afterwards migrated to Toxandria which encompassed the current Dutch province of North Brabant and, finally in 1st half of 5th century, the region mainly west of the woodland called Silva Carbonaria.

Regarding archaeological exploration of Frisian and Lower Saxon lands, Franks were settling previously, until c. 365/370, between Mid and Northern German lands up to the middle course of Weser river, cf. for instance E. Ewig, Die Merowinger und das Frankenreich, p. 9. Following further archaeological conclusion, Saxon tribes had forced them to move south- and southwestwards in the second half of 4th century. Then, at the beginning of 5th century, the Franks withdrew to regions mainly on the left side of the lower Rhine.

The Cosmographer of Ravenna describes the geography of the Francia Rinensis between c. 480 and 490. He reckons the Germania inferior, almost the whole Belgica superior (presumably without Verdun) and a northern part of the Germania superior to the Rhenish Franks, cf. RGA 9 (1995) p. 369.
Lovensteyn of 1630, painted by C.J.Visscher.

The castle was (re-?)built between 1357 and 1368 by Lord Diederick van Horne who was (nick-)named Loef (Lion). In 1385 Albrecht van Beieren took over possession of the castle and appointed his trustee Brunstijn van Herwijnen as the castle's keeper.

Lovensteyn Castle of 1630

This colourized old photo of Loevestein Castle was made on the eastern bank of the Waal, approximately 2 miles (3 km) from the Merwede's mouth.
Lovensteyn Castle in 20th Century

The Thidrek saga contributes a (con-)temporarily appearing ruler called King Nidung to the Salian-Toxandrian region whom the author has regarded to substantiate Fredegar’s version of the Merovingian genesis in his publication quoted and linked above. Since the medieval scribes of the Old Norse manuscripts have apparently situated this mighty ruler in Frankish Hesbaye as well as in Jutland – mentioning him there as sovereign of Thy –, the lands around the Limfjord on the ancient 'Amber Route' (of considerable strategic importance) might be worth the effort to scrutinise there the roots of the first Meroveus. At present, there are at least two locations of interest whose former spelling and tradition seem to indicate themselves as name spending godfather: The isle of Mors with known word forms of 'Morø...' and, close to the east, Cap Salling.

Thus, referring to Fredegar’s dissimilarly interpreted insinuation, we may wonder about Emil Rückert’s successive order of Merovingian onomastics and question furthermore: Was there already any recurrently related Nordic homeland of the invading Salian founder, the name spending godfather of that dynasty which the Dutch Merwede and its contemporarily surrounding region spelled Salland or Salia seem to remember?

Reinhard Wenskus remarks that Bishop Freculf of Lisieux, formerly pupil at the scriptorium of Charlemagne’s Aachen residence, claims Scandinavian origin of the Franks, cf. J. P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus, Seria I, latina, CVI, col. 967:
Francos ... de Scanza insula ... exordium habuisse; de qua Gothi et ceterae nationes Theotiscae exierunt, quod et idioma lingua eorum testantur.
(Quot. by Reinhard Wenskus, Sachsen – Angelsachsen – Thüringer, in: Walther Lammers (Ed.), Entstehung und Verfassung des Sachsenstammes, Darmstadt 1967, see pgs 514–515.)
Jordano's Map of Jutlandic Thy, Mors, Salling An excerpt from the Ortelius Map of Jutland outlined by M. Jordano.

We may wonder if Freculf could rate the tip of Jutland among a Scandinavian environment. Otherwise, these locations could have been the temporary seat of the migrating Merovingian eponym of the Franks.

The RGA vol. 22 (2003) states on the 'Origo gentis' of the Franks, pgs 189–191:
§ 4. Franken. a. Herkunft des Volkes, Tradition des Volksnamens, Kg.smythos. Einige für die Genese des frk. Kgt.s und der frk. gens wesentliche Qu.zeugnisse enthalten implizite Herkunftstraditionen. Gewisse Elemente in der Tradition scheinen auf ö. und n. Züge bei merow. Kgt. (→ Merowinger) und Volksbildung hinzudeuten. Bisweilen begegnet eine Identifizierung des merow. Geschlechts mit den bei → Ptolemaeus (48, II, 11,11) erwähnten Marvingi. Diese sind zu den bei dem → Geographen von Ravenna (I, 11) genannten Maurungani (→ Mauringa/Maurungani) gestellt worden, die dort einerseits zu Elbe und Franken in Bezug gesetzt sind, andererseits Grenznachbarn der beiden Pannonien (IV, 19) sein können (81, 26–28. 72; 171, 527). Einige Namen lassen später (58, I, 9; 5, 31; 7, 2502. 2914. 2912) Angehörige des Kg.sgeschlechts (→ Chlodwig , → Theuderich I.) bzw. die Franken schlechthin als Hugonen und damit in Verbindung mit den → Chauken erscheinen (171, 527 f.; 170, 190. 196). Hatte schon Claudian ([XXI, 222. 226]; X, 279) die Sugambrer mit dem Rhein bzw. der Elbe zusammengebracht, so führt Ermoldus Nigellus (Vita Ludwigs des Frommen IV, 13–18) eine fama an, nach der die Franken aus der Nachbarschaft der → Dänen stammten, und kennt Frechulf von Lisieux neben der Herleitung der Franken aus Troja ihre Herkunft aus Skand. (PL 106, 967C/D). – Im Fall der Sigambrer/Sugambrer ist zu beachten, daß die zeitlich frühesten Belege (Claudian XXIV, 18; XXVI, 419; XV, 373; XVIII, 383; Apoll. Sidon., Ep. IV, 1,4; VIII, 9,5, 28; Carm. VII, 42. 114; XIII, 31; XXIII, 246) sich auf die Franken insgesamt, die späteren, → Venantius Fortunatus (Carm. VI, 2,97) und → Gregor von Tours (21, I, 31), sich mit Charibert und Chlodwig auf Angehörige der merow. Dynastie beziehen. Offenbar werden hier Interdependenzen zw. frk. Volk und Kgt. faßbar, die über die faktische Dimension hinausführen.
      Herkunft von der See und Verbindung mit den Sugambrern gehören in den Zusammenhang der Herkunft des Volkes. Außer in den vorgestellten Reflektierungen ist das Thema mit verschiedenen faktischen und mythischen Komponenten in einer Wanderungssage ausgeführt, die bei Gregor (21, II, 9) zuerst, dann bei → Fredegar und im → Liber historiae Francorum in charakteristischen Ausgestaltungen in der Trojasage, faßbar ist. Assoziationen, die auf eine Verbindung der Sigambrer mit der frk. Ethnogenese verweisen, begegnen zuerst bei dem Byzantiner Johannes Lydus (um 560). Er berichtet, die
Sigambroi würden von den Gall. an Rhein und Rhône nach einem hegemon Phraggoi genannt (De mag. III, 56; I, 50). Zur gleichen Zeit erfolgen die Sigamber-Apostrophierungen merow. Herrscher. Möglicherweise handelt es sich um die Übertragung gentiler, auf die Franken insgesamt bezogener Elemente. Indem Venantius Fortunatus den Kg. als progenitus de clare gente Sigamber apostrophiert und Gregor den Sigambrerbezug bei Chlodwigs Taufe in vergleichbarem Kontext verwertet sein läßt, werden die für das Kgt. wichtigen ideologischen Komponenten deutlich (62, 14 f. 27). Gens Sigambrorum begegnet häufig in der frk. Historiographie des 7. Jh.s, bes. in bezug zum hohen Adel. Später erscheint Sigambria als wichtige Station der frk. Wanderung im Trojazyklus, im Liber hist. Franc. in Pann., bei Aethicus Ister in Germania lokalisiert.
      Isidor von Sevilla (26, IX, 2,101) führt zwei geläufige, alternative Erklärungen des Namens ,Franken’ an: die Benennung
a quodam duce eorum und die nach feritas morum. Ein versifizierter kosmographischer Traktat, wohl spätes 7. Jh., präzisiert Isidor mit dem Namen Franco (MGH Poet. Lat. 4, 2, 554).
      Gregor nennt in einer als breit gestreut gekennzeichneten Version (21, II, 9:
Tradunt ... multi) als Stadien der Wanderung Pann. – Rhein – Thoringa. Im Blick auf eine mögliche Verbindung der Franken mit der See und einer Herkunft des Traditionskerns der → Salier von der Nordsee ist gefragt worden, ob Gregor nicht das bei → Plinius (44, IV,94) begegnende Nordsee-Küstengebiet Baunonia (→ Burcana) in Pann. umbenannt habe (189, 4). Mit Blick auf die Hugen/Hugonen-Tradition ist als Erklärung vorgeschlagen worden, Gregor könne die mit Pann. assoziierten → Hunnen zu Hugen mißverstanden haben (160). Diese Erklärungen können für die Real-gesch. kein überzeugendes Resultat liefern. Doch steht die Bedeutung von Pann. für die Herkunftssage außer Frage. Im Liber hist. Franc. (32, c. 1) ist Pann. wichtige Station der Franken, lange bewohnter Siedlungsraum und neues Ausgangsland (62, 24 f. 12 f. 27–30). Sein Stellenwert als ‚Erinnerungsort’ der Franken wird dadurch unterstrichen, daß das Kgt. neben der monopolisierten Sigambrertradition auch das Pann.-motiv für sich reklamiert. Ein Brief Kg. Theudeberts I. kann wohl in diesem Sinn interpretiert werden (Epp. Austr. 20: MGH EE 3, 132 f.; 62, 27 f.).
      Z.T. weiter zurückreichende Zeugnisse (Avitus von Vienne, Remigius von Reims, Aurelianus von Arles) überliefern mit
felicitas und stimma sidereum der stirps genuine Momente des merow. Kg.smythos. Zu nautischer Praxis und Tradition der Franken wie auch zu ihrem Kg.smythos gehört die Herleitung der Merowinger von einer bistea Neptuni Quinotauri similis. Fredegar (17, III, 9) referiert die von Gregor (21, II, 9. 10) anscheinend unterdrückte Version mit christl. motivierter Abwehr und macht in Kontamination mit dem mythischen Ahnen Mero irrigerweise die hist. Figur → Merowechs zum → Heros eponymos der Dynastie. Die archaische Verknüpfung von Götter- und Kg.sreihen scheint hier wider, vielleicht vermittelt durch eines jener aus → Tacitus (53, c. 2) erschlossenen carmina antiqua (112, 31). In weitreichender Deutung ist die Stelle in ein Syndrom mythol. und hist. Bezüge (Neptun; Minotaurus) gefügt worden (170, 182–204. 240; Korrekturen, doch übersteigerte Gegenkonstruktion: 134).
      Als für die frk. Ethnogenese und die Herkunftssage relevante Momente, die unabhängig vom Trojamotiv erscheinen, sind zu nennen: Sigambrer, Wanderung, Pann., Rhein, Namensherleitung von einem → dux (Franco) oder von
feritas morum. (Zu hypothetische Verknüpfung: 153, 169–173). Man könnte erwägen, ob nicht die Reminizenz an eine unter Ks. → Tiberius an der unteren Donau stationierte cohors Sugambra (Tac. ann. IV,47) die Verknüpfung Sigambrer – Franken – Pann. vermittelt hat.

[Transl.:  § 4. Franks. a. Origin of the people, tradition of the people’s name, kingship’s myth.  Some of the essential sources about the genesis of the Frankish kingship and the gens contain implicit traditions of origin. Certain elements in the tradition seem to indicate eastern and northern features of the Merovingian kingship (→ Merowinger) [Merovings/Merovingians] and the ethnic formation into a national identity. See → Ptolemaeus [Ptolemy] (48, II, 11,11) for an occasional identification of the Merovingian gens with the Marvingi. They have been collocated with the Maurungani (→ Mauringa/ Maurungani) provided by the Cosmographer of Ravenna, who reckons and situates them to the Franks on Elbe river on the one hand (IV, 19). On the other, they could have been bordering neighbours of the two Pannonias (81, 26–28, 72; 171, 527). Some names appear later (58, I, 9; 5, 31; 7, 2502. 2914. 2912) as descendants of the royal ancestry (→ Clodwig [Clovis], → Theuderich I. [Theuderic I]), or the Franks as Hugonen ('Hugas') per se, and in so far in connection with the → Chauken [Chauci] (171, 527f., 170, 190. 196). Since Claudian had already situated the Sicambrians on the Rhine or the Elbe ([XXI, 222. 226]; X, 279), Ermoldus Nigellus (Vita of Louis the Pious IV, 13–18) introduced a fama claiming that the Franks originally came from the neighbourhood of the → Dänen [Danes], and Freculf of Lisieux knows of their origin from Scandinavia  besides their derivation from Troy (PL 106, 967C/D). – As regards the Sicambrians/Sugambrians, it should be noted that the attested sources (Claudian XXIV, 18; XXVI, 419; XV, 373; XVIII, 383; Apoll. Sidon., Ep. IV, 1,4; VIII, 9,5, 28; Carm. VII, 42. 114; XIII, 31; XXIII, 246) refer to the Franks as a whole, while the later accounts by → Venantius Fortunatus (Carm. VI, 2,97) and → Gregor von Tours [Gregory of Tours] (21, I, 31) refer to the Merovingian dynasty with Charibert and Clovis. Interdependencies between the Frankish people and kingship, which go beyond the factual dimension, now appear evident.
      The origin from the sea and the connection with the Sigambrians belong to the context of ethnic origin. Except in the above-mentioned reflections, the subject matter is carried out with various factual and mythical components in a migration legend which is cognizable at first at Gregory (21, II, 9), then at → Fredegar and the → Liber historiae Francorum in characteristic configurations of the Trojan legend. The earliest associations which point to a connection between the Sigambrians and Frankish ethnogenesis can be found at the Byzantine scribe John Lydus (c. 560). He reports that the people of Gaul on the Rhine and Rhône had named the Sigambroi after a hegemon Phraggoi (De mag. III, 56; I, 50). At the same time the Merovingian rulers received the Sigambrian apostrophies. This could be the transfer of gentile elements being related to the Franks as a whole. Since Venantius Fortunatus apostrophizes the king as a progenitus de clare gente Sigamber and Gregory has left the use of the Sigambrian reference in a comparable context at the baptism of Clovis, the important ideological components for kingship become clear (62, 14f. 27). Gens Sigambrorum meets frequently the Frankish historiography of 7th century, esp. regarding high nobility. Sigambria appears later as an important stage of Frankish migration in the Trojan cycle, as being located in Pannonia in the Liber historiae Francorum, in Germania by Aethicus Ister.
      Isidore of Seville (26, IX, 2,101) offers two common and alternative explanations onto the naming of the 'Franks': the designations a quodam duce eorum and feritas morum. A versified cosmographic treatise, probably of late 7th century, specifies Isidore’s version with the name Franco (MGH Poet. Lat. 4, 2, 554).
      In a broadly characterized version Gregory recounts the stages of migration with Pannonia – Rhine – Thoringa (21, II, 9: Tradunt ... multi). In view of a possible connection of the Franks with the sea and an origin of the traditional core of the → Salier [Salians] from the North Sea, it has been queried whether Gregory had renamed the North Sea coastal area Baunonia (→ Burcana; see → Plinius [44, IV,94]) as Pannonia (189, 4). With regard to the Hugen/Hugonen tradition, there is proposed explanation that Gregory could have misunderstood the Huns, associated with Pannonia, as Hugen (160). Although this kind of explanation can not provide a convincing solution for real history, the significance of Pannonia for the origin is beyond question. In the Liber historiae Francorum (32, c. 1) Pannonia is an important stage of the Franks, a long inhabited settlement area and a new starting country (62, 24f. 12f. 27–30). Its importance as a 'place of remembrance' of the Franks is underlined by the fact that the kingship, besides the monopolized Sigambrian tradition, also claims the Pannonian motive for itself. A letter of Theudebert I may be interpreted in this sense (Epp. Aust. 20: MGH EE 3, 132f.; 62, 27f.).
     Some testimonies, partially far-reaching (cf. Avitus of Vienne, Remigius of Reims, Aurelianus of Arles) provide with felicitas and stimma sidereum of the stirps genuine moments of the Merovingian kingship’s myth. The derivation of the Merovingians from a bistea Neptuni Quinotauri similes belongs to the nautical practice and tradition of the Franks as well as to their kingship’s myth. Fredegar (17, III, 9) refers to the version seemingly suppressed by Gregory (21, II, 9. 10) with a Christian motivated defense and, in contamination with the mythical ancestor Mero, he erroneously makes the historical figure of → Merowech [Merovech] the → Heros eponymos of the dynasty. Here appears the archaic link between the series of gods and kings, perhaps imparted from one of the carmina antiqua (112, 31) receptively encountered at → Tacitus (53, c.2). In a broad interpretation, this site of tradition was embedded into a syndrome of mythological and historical references (Neptune; Minotaurus) (170, 182–204. 240; corrections but exceeding counterconstruction: 134).
      The relevant characteristic moments – which are not depending on the Trojan Legend – of the ethnogenesis of the Franks and their origin appear as: Sicambrians, migration, Pannonia, Rhine, name deriving from a → dux (Franco) or feritas morum. (For hypothetical connection: 153, 169–173). One might contemplate whether the reminiscence of the cohors Sugambra (Tac. Ann. IV,47), stationed under emperor → Tiberius on the lower Danube, could have imparted the chain Sicambrians – Franks – Pannonia(ns).
(...) ]

(17) Fredegar, Chronicarum libri IV cum continuationibus, hrsg. von B. Krusch, MGH SS rer. Mer. 2, 1888, Nachdr. 1984, 1–193; oder: hrsg. von A. Kusternig, Ausgewählte Qu. zur dt. Gesch. des MAs (Frhr. vom Stein Gedächtnisausg. 4a), 21994, 3–271.
(21) Gregor von Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, hrsg. von B. Krusch, W. Levinson, MGH SS rer. Mer. 1, 1, 21951, Nachdr. 1992; oder hrsg. von R. Buchner, Ausgewählte Qu. zur dt. Gesch. des MAs 2 und 3, 1959.
(26) Isodor von Sevilla, Etymologiarum sive originum libri XX, hrsg. von W. M. Lindsay 1–2, 1911.
(32) Liber hist. Franc., hrsg. von B.Krusch, MGH SS rer. Mer. 2, 1988, Nachdr. 1984, 238–328.
(44) Plinius der Ältere, Historia naturalis libri XXXVII, hrsg. von H. Rackham, 9 Bde., 1949–1952, oder; hrsg. von G. Winkler, R. König, 1988.
(48) Ptol., Geographia, hrsg. von C. Müller, 1883, oder: hrsg. von C. F. A. Nobbe, 1843–45, Nachdr. 1966.
(53) Tac. Germ., hrsg. von M. Winterbottom, 1975.
(62) H.H. Anton, Troja-Herkunft, o.g. und frühe Verfaßtheit der Franken in der gall.-frk. Tradition des 5. bis 8. Jh.s, MIÖGF 108, 2000, 1–30.
(81) W. J. de Boone, De Franken, 1954.
(112) K. Hauck, Carmina antiqua. Abstammungsglaube und Stammesbewußtsein, Zeitschr. für bayer. Landesgesch. 27, 1964, 1–33.
(134) A. C. Murray, Post vocantur Merohingii: Fredegar, Merovech and 'Sacral Kingship', in: After Rome's Fall (Festschr. W. Goffart), 1998, 121–152.
(153) G. Schnürer, Die Verf. der sog. Fredegar-Chronik, 1900.
(160) N. Wagner, Zur Herkunft der Franken aus Pann., Frühma. Stud. 11, 1977, 218–228.
(170) R. Wenskus, Relig. abâtardie. Materialien zum Synkretismus in der vorchristl. polit. Theol. der Franken, in: Iconologia sacra (Festschr. K. Hauck), 1994, 179–248.
(171) Wenskus, Stammesbildung.
(189) E. Zöllner, Gesch. der Franken bis zur Mitte des 6. Jh.s, 1970.

Another etymological explanation seems to come out intriguingly by the translators of the Old English Beowulf at its lines 2920–2921:
...    ús wæs á syððan
merewíoingas    milts ungyfeðe.

Karl Simrock equated the term on the left with the Merovings (Ger. 'Merowinge(r)', cf. Beowulf, Stuttgart & Augsburg 1859, p. 147). Francis B. Gummere correspondingly translated this very passage
And ever since the Merovings' favor has failed us wholly...,
whereas other reputable philologists (e.g. Levin Ludwig Schücking, Martin Lehnert, Gisbert Haefs) have emended the term in question to the compound
mere-wícingas = sea-pirates.

The Chronicle of Fredegar provides the following passage in book III, 9, as already quoted at endnote 17 of the superior article Merovingians by the Svava:
Fertur, super litore maris aestatis tempore Chlodeo cum uxore resedens, meridiae uxor ad mare labandum1 vadens, bistea Neptuni Quinotauri similis eam adpetisset. Cumque in continuo aut a bistea aut a viro fuisset concepta, peperit filium nomen Meroveum, per co regis Francorum post vocantur Merohingii.
[It is said that in the summertime at noon Chlodeo sat with his wife on the seashore, and she went to take a bath in the Labadian1 where a beast of Neptune which resembled a Quinotaur took possession of her. From this beast, as from her husband, she bore a son named Merovech, of whom the Frankish kings are called Merovings.]

Does this 'Greek version' allow to transfer this location to a shore of Clodeo's domain somewhere on the North Sea? And we further may ask for a compromise to all translators mentioned above:  Is there generally reason enough to contradict the derivative-based identification  mere-wícingas Merovings?
1   Fredegar most likely means  Labadus  or Lebedus (Lebedos), one of
the twelve cities of the Ionian League located on the Aegean Sea as the
urbs Ioniæ in Asia minori, maritima in parte Australi Isthmi
æ Ioniæ; quæ etiam Labadus dicta est...,
as explained by the author of the Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti...,
Jacobi Usserii Annales, Genev
æ MDCCXXII, Index Geographicus 'L'.