"from a Merovingian past"
The Merovingians by Evariste-Vital Luminais
Public DomainThe Merovingians by Evariste-Vital Luminais

The Merovingians were a dynasty of French kings founded in 481 by Clovis I, and lasting until 768. Proust was fascinated by them, and they had the same sort of romantic associations for him as the mythical Arthurian times had for contemporary Victorians in England.

Sixth Century Merovingian coin (233 * 240)
Public DomainSixth Century Merovingian coin