In 768 the forces of Carolingian France and Ummayad Spain are at war with each other. The Caroligians get help in over taking Barcelona. THey are helped by the local Jews who turn the city over to the French in ex change for a quasi independence in Narbonne France. the Ommayad muslims used to conquer territory with the aid of the Jews. Once the territory was conquered the muslims would leave control of it to the Jews. This time the jews helped the enemies.
The French were not the only ones at war with the Ummayads, the Abbassids were also at odds with the Ummayads. Of course it made sence for the Abbassids and the French to make a treaty or alliance which they did. Part of this treaty was having a representative ogf the Abbassids hold a court in France. This place would be Septimania of France. The person they chose was the the Exilarch of the Israelites, Natronia ben Makhir.
The Exilarchs are descended from the line of King David. After they the Israelites were exiled from Judah by the Babylonians, the princely line of David remained in tact with the exilarch or the Nasi being in charge of the Jews in the Mesopatmian area. In Babylon there was a feud as to who should assume the office of Exilarch or Nasi of the Jewish people. THe choices were Natronia Makhir or Bustenai. Bustenai won out partially because he married into Persian royalty. Natronai then wnet off to France to recieve his own Princedom.
Upon arriving in Septimania not only did he recieve his own throne he had his name changed from Natronai to Theodric and was given a wife from thje Carolingian line. This was done to add legitimacy to the Carolingian line. Septimania served a purpose of defending the French frontier from Muslim Spain. Theodric often made military adventure into Spain. His son William was essential to the defense of the Carolingian empire and Charlemagnes realm. The Princedom lasted al the way until 900 ad. From 768-900 the Jews had major influence in France. The Christian clergy did not like the facts that an Israelite state was established on French soil. They used to offer several ruses to take control of Narbonne and Septimania. THe Enmperors backed up the Makhirs. Later on William would establish the House of G-d in the mountains of Gellone. Several member of the Makhir family died due to palace intrigue or in service of a king or emperor. Very intersting book.
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