Rhoda's Preliminary Analysis of the two lines back from Metz 3/16/01
Be aware that all the Germanic dynasties of that period constructed fictional genealogies for themselves. Most of
them went back to Odin or Thor as the ultimate founding father, and after Christianization they switched to a
lineage leading back to Adam. It certainly is possible to go several generations back from Arnulf of Metz, but in
fact before the Franks crossed the Rhine you get a very unreliable oral tradition, and in fact even some of the
much later lineages claiming to trace through Charelmagne's daughters are highly dubious. His prolific daughter
Emma, for instance, from whom many German nobles claimed to be descended, did not exist. (Wrong Emma).
Here is what I know off-hand (I will look around for more specific info): Arnulf himself is first known from 613,
when he is mentioned (I think by Fredegar, the principal chronicler of that period) for his role in the overthrow of
a queen --which is another story for another day. He is mentioned as a noble of Austrasia, that is, the area
around modern Belgium. No antecedents are mentioned. In the 9th century his descendent Louis the Pious
(Charlemagne's son) wanted a more complete genealogy done up, and his staff presented him with one, which is
the only possible source for what you found, since there are no other early sources. Louis' researchers used
primarily Roman sources for the early years of the Franks, who were not themselves literate before the 6th
century at the earliest. The Romans were not very specific about the barbarians of the north. They mentioned
various tribes as they understood them to exist, but only those the Romans dealt with. Same for their leaders.
Since the Franks (the "free men") were at that point a shifting confederation of many sub-groups, with many
leaders, Louis' men seem to have taken any reference by the Romans that could possibly refer to Franks or
their leaders, and arranged them as genealogy -- which is why you found anomalies. Some of the men named
were clearly unrelated, and from different ethnic groups; some, such as Pharamond, are generally considered to
be mythical. And there are no real dates for any of them. I will poke around and see if I can get anything more
definitive for you.
But if you want to scope out the scene, the authors I would look at would be Louis Halphen and Pierre
Broussard in French, and Paul Dutton and Patrick Geary in English. Love to you and all the rest of the