legendary founder of the Merovingian dynasty of the Salian Franks, that later became the dominant Frankish tribe. The name is a latinization of a form close to Old High German proper name Marwig, lit. "famed fight" (cf. mari "famous" + wig "fight").
There is little information about him in the later histories of the Franks. Gregory of Tours only names him once as the father of Childeric I while putting doubt on his descent from Clodio. Many admit today that this formulation finds its explanation in a legend reported by Fredegar. The Chronicle of Fredegar interpolated on this reference by Gregory by adding Merovech was the son of the queen, Clodio's wife; but his father was a sea-god, bistea Neptuni. No other historical evidence exists that Merovech ever lived. Some researchers have noted that Merovech, the Frankish chieftain, may have been the namesake of a certain god or demigod honored by the Franks prior to their conversion to Christianity. It has been suggested Merovech refers to or is reminiscent to the Dutch river Merwede, nowadays part of the Rhine-Meus-Scheldt delta but historically a main subsidiary of the Rhine, in the neighborhood of which the Salian Franks once dwelled according to Roman historians. Another theory considers this legend to be the creation of a mythological past needed to back up the fast-rising Frankish rule in Western Europe.
The first Frankish royal dynasty called themselves Merovingians in his honor.
Merovech may have been the father of Childeric I who may have succeeded him.
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