The land of Provence has a history quite separate from that of any of the larger nations of Europe. Its independent existence has its origins in the frontier nature of the dukedom in MerovingianGaul. In this position, influenced and affected by several different cultures on different sides, the Provençals maintained a unity which was reinforced when it was created a separate kingdom in the Carolingian decline of the later ninth century. Provence was eventually joined to the other Burgundian kingdom, but it remained ruled by its own powerful, and largely independent, counts.
During the period of the Merovingian dynasty in Gaul, Provence was a province ruled by duces (dukes), military leaders and district commanders who served as defenders of the frontiers of the kingdom and ruled over vast territories as opposed to the comites (counts), who ruled the cities and their environs. Provence was usually a part of the division of the Frankish realm known as Kingdom of Burgundy, which was treated as its own kingdom. Their title sometimes appears as rector Provinciae.
This is an incomplete list of the known Merovingian-appointed dukes of Provence.