Makhir

The Carolingian monarchs permitted the establishment of a Jewish prince in southern France, then known as Septimania, now referred as the Languedoc, with its capital at Narbonne.

Then King Charles sent to the King of Baghdad [Caliph] requesting that he dispatch one of his Jews of the seed of royalty of the House of David. He hearkened and sent him one from there, a magnate and sage, Rabbi Makhir by name. And [Charles] settled him in Narbonne, the capital city, and planted him there, and gave him a great possession there at the time he captured it from the Ishmaelites [Arabs]. And he [Makhir] took to wife a woman from among the magnates of the town; *…* and the King made him a nobleman and designed, out of love for [Makhir], good statutes for the benefit of all the Jews dwelling in the city, as is written and sealed in a Latin charter; and the seal of the King therein [bears] his name Carolus; and it is in their possession at the present time. The Prince Makhir became chieftain there. He and his descendants were close [inter-related] with the King and all his descendants.

Makhir would then have assumed the Christian name of Theodoric, and married Alda, daughter of Charles Martel. Theodoric is also recognized by scholars as being also of Merovingian descent. He was known as Aymery in the romances, and was the father of Guillem de Gellone, about whom there were at least six major epic poems composed before the era of the crusades, including Willehalm, by Wolfram von Eschenbach, the most famous of the mediaeval Grail chroniclers.

In 1165-66 Benjamin of Tudela, a famous Jewish traveler and chronicler, reported that in Narbonne there are “sages, magnates and princes at the head of whom is… a remnant of the House of David as stated in his family tree.”

…the legend of Charlemagne’s installation of the dynasty, and of associated grants of privileges, follows a literary pattern which was extremely common in this erea in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. To embellish and mythologize the past, and particularly to invent connections to Charlemagne, was a frequent subterfuge of the area’s monastic communities, but it appears also to have been true of other social groups – including the Jews. We cannot now determine the validity of the Davidic origins of the Jewish dynasty of Narbonne – or even its continuity, or the names of individual nesiim [Jewish leaders]- before the eleventh century.” (Saint William, King David, and Makhir )

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The name “Machir,” comes from Genesis 50:23, used by R. Machir, in Iraq, and Narbonne, France; 8th-9th century. Theodoric I of Septimania was received by Charlemagne and was given the title “King of the Jews”. His ancestry is possibly one of the greatest lineages of antiquity. Theodoric, claimed (or others do for him) descent not only from the Merovingian Kings, but lineal descent from King David himself. Both the king and the Pope acknowledged this pedigree. Also called Makhir Natronai ben Habibi the Resh Galuta. Exilarch of Narbonne in Septimania. Also called Rabbi Makir ha-David. Also called Dietrich. He was born circa 720 in Babylonia, Persian Empire. He was the son of Habibai beni David (David Descent Tradition). He married Alda des Francs, daughter of Carolus Martellus, dux Francorum and Chrothais , a concubine, before 740. Count in 742. “The evidence is sketchy and muddled at this distance, but a persistant account of Theodoric I has it that he was the Jewish Exilarch in Narbonne, and that he succeeded in establishing a regionally autonomous Jewish-led state around Narbonne. Makhir has been identified as being Makhir Natronai, Resh Galuta in Baghdad, ousted from that position by a cousin in 771. If true, it would be a matter of considerable interest; the Baghdad Exilarchs were reputed to be lineal descendents of the ancient Hebrew King David.What is fairly clear is that Septimania achieved an independent position in this era by some means or other, with the status of a Duchy or even possibly a Kingdom.”9 He was living between 771 and 793.7 He was sent by Haroun Al-Rashid, Calif of Baghdad to Charlemagne, King of the West at his request, who wanted to establish in Europe a middle class based on a Jewish nucleus between 786 and 793.2,10 He died before 804.

Father: Thierry D’AUTUN b: ABT 705
Mother: Rolinde D’AQUITAINE

Marriage 1 Aldane of AUSTRASIA b: BEF 724 in Heristal, Liege, Belgium
Children
Redburh of WESSEX b: ABT 788
Bertha D’AUTUN b: BET 750 AND 755 in Autun, Saone-et-Loire, Bourgogne, France
St. Guilhem DE GELLONE b: 755 in Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrenees, France

Sources:
Title: Royalty for Commoners-Stuart-2nd & 3rd edition-GPC
Author: Roderick W. Stuart
Publication: 3rd Ed., 1998
Repository:
Call Number:
Media: Book
Page: pg. 326-41

 

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