Carloman (between 706 and 716 – 17 August 754) was the eldest son of Charles Martel, major domo or mayor of the palace and duke of the Franks, and his wife Chrotrud. On Charles' death (741), Carloman and his brother Pippin the Short succeeded to their father's legal positions, Carloman in Austrasia, and Pippin in Neustria. He was a member of the family later called the Carolingians and it can be argued that he was instrumental in consolidating their power at the expense of the ruling Merovingian kings of the Franks. He withdrew from public life in 747 to take up the monastic habit, "the first of a new type of saintly king," according to Norman Cantor, "more interested in religious devotion than royal power, who frequently appeared in the following three centuries and who was an indication of the growing impact of Christian piety on Germanic society".
After the death of his father, power was not initially divided to include Grifo, another of Charles' sons, by his second wife Swanachild. This was per Charles' wishes, though Grifo demanded a portion of the realm from his brothers, who refused him.