Hunald I

Late medieval depiction of Hunald surrendering the stronghold of Loches to Pippin. In fact, Pippin took the stronghold but not Hunald.

Hunald I, also spelled Hunold, Hunoald, Hunuald or Chunoald[a] (died 756), was the Duke of Aquitaine from 735 until 745. Although nominally he was an officer of the Merovingian kings of Francia, in practice Aquitaine was completely autonomous when he inherited it. His dukeship corresponds with the lowest point of the Merovingian monarchy, when the kingdom was in fact ruled by the mayors of the palace. Hunald was forced at the outset of his reign to accept the authority of the mayor of the palace Charles Martel, but he tried three times to throw it off in open revolt (736, 742 and 745). He was unsuccessful, although he did manage to retain Aquitaine undiminished. In 745, he retired to a monastery, giving power to his son Waiofar. He later went to Rome, where he died during an attack on the city.

In spite of the opinion of certain historians that Hunald left his monastery to lead Aquitaine again in 768, Hunald I seems to have been a different person from the Hunald II, probably his grandson, who led the revolt that followed the death of Waiofar.[1][2]

Succession

Hunald succeeded his father, Duke Odo the Great, after the latter's death in 735.[3] His brother Hatto seems to initially have acted alongside him.[4] Hunald, like his father, brother and son, possessed a name of Germanic origin.[5] The Aquitanian province that he inherited had been enlarged by his father (and possibly earlier ancestors also) to include territory along the Loire that had once been Neustrian and the Auvergne region that had been Austrasian.[6]