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358       -                       POLITICAL SCIENCE.
minority, probably, also, the care of the royal domains and
collection of the taxes and dues for his fisc, fell into this offi-
cer's hands. Although" a private and household officer, it was
the easier for him to go beyond the boundary of a private
agent, because, in the Frank kingdom, under the first line,
there was no exact limit between private and political author-
ity. As being near to the king's person, he managed a great
variety of business ; and hence, when the major-domus in
Burgundy died, the magnates refused to choose another, be-
cause they wished to treat with the king directly. (Waitz,
D. Verfassungsgesch., ii., 426.) This fact seems to indicate
that the major-domus had become a king's vicar, and a repre-
sentative of the aristocracy.
Besides inferior majores damns, there were three especially
who came to be prime ministers, and also generals in chief,
or commanders in war of the vassals of the Merovingian
kings. These were the mayors of the Austrasian or East
Franks, of Neustria, or the West Franks, and of Burgundy.
Among the East Franks the office became hereditary in the
family of Pippin of Landen or Landes, who lived in the sev-
enth century (A.D. 628) and managed the affairs of King Da-
gobert during his minority. The son of this Pippin, Grim-
oald, was powerful enough to attempt to raise his own son to
the throne, but he found small support and was put down.
Erelong, however, in the person of Pippin of Heristal the
office and power of the mayors in Austrasia were restored to
the family. Pippin, as duke of Austrasia, turns his arms
against the magnates of Neustria, and is able, after the victory
of Testri, to set up one of his own sons in the office of mayor
in that division of the Frank kingdom (A.D. 687). Soon
after 714, the illustrious son of Pippin, Charles Martel, suc-
ceeded to the mayoralty, and after surmounting the great
difficulties of his first years, growing out of contests with his
family, with the grandees of the Franks, with the German
dukes, with the Saxons and Frieslanders, became the savior
of Europe by defeating the Arabs in 732, at the battle of
Poitiers. He was king of the Franks in fact, although not