Clovis I, king of the Franks, r.481-511

Clovis I, king of the Franks, r.481-511


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Clovis I, king of the Franks, r.481-511

War against the Romans
Wars with Alemanni
Burgundian Civil Wars
Wars with the Visigoths
Elimination of his Frankish Rivals
Conclusion

Clovis I (r.481-511) was the founder both of the Merovingian dynasty and of a powerful Frankish kingdom. During his reign he turned his kingdom from a small power in Flanders into a major kingdom that stretched from Aquitaine to the Rhine and English Channel.

Clovis inherited a small Salian Frank kingdom from his father Childeric, who had fought for the Romans. His father is buried at Tournai, and Clovis's inheritance was centred in that area. Our main source for the events of Clovis's reign is the chronicle of Gregory of Tours. Frustratingly most events are dated with relation to start of Clovis's reign, which isn't dated. The standard chronology, which we will use here, is based on the tradition that Clovis was baptised at Rheims in 496, the fifteenth year of his reign. He was said to have come to the throne when aged sixteen, so would have been born in 466.

In 481 Gaul was divided between a number of new barbarian kingdoms and the remnants of the Roman Empire. Clovis inherited a small Salian Frank kingdom in the area of modern Flanders, although he was only one of many kings of the Salian Frank. To his south was a Roman enclave based on Soissons, ruled by Syagrius. To the south-east the Ripuarian Franks had a kingdom based around Cologne.

In the south the most important power was the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse, which ruled part of Spain, Aquitaine, Septimania (the western part of the Mediterranean coast of France) and Provence. The Burgundians held an area in the Rhone Valley, to the north-east of the Visigoths and south of the Franks. To their north-east the Alemanni, a group of German tribes, held Alsace and threatened to move west against either the Franks or the Burgundians.

Our main source for the life of Clovis is the chronicle of Gregory of Tours. It is clear that Gregory of Tours misses out many of Clovis's campaigns, while others are only mentioned in passing. One of the shortest references is to a campaign against the Thuringi, which took place in 491 and resulted in their conquest. His main aim was to portray Clovis as a great Christian king, and as a supporter of the Catholic church.

Clovis was related by marriage to many of his fellow kings. He married Clotilda, the daughter of Chilperic II, one of four brothers who ruled Burgundy (Chilperic was dead by the time of the marriage, possibly murdered by his brother Gundobar). Clovis's sister Audofleda married Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths and ruler of Italy.

War against the Romans

Clovis' first recorded war came five years into his reign, when he was about twenty, and was against the 'Roman' kingdom ruled by Syagrius. This was a last enclave of Roman rule in Gaul, and consisted of the area between the Loire and the Somme. Syagrius had ruled the area since 465, and for the first ten years of his rule was the official representative of the Western Emperor. After the Goths deposed Romulus Augustulus, the last of the Western Emperors, Syagrius remained in power, ruling the area with the support of the local bishops. In 486 Clovis invaded Syagrius's kingdom, and defeated him at the battle of Soissons. Syagrius escaped to the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse, but was returned by King Alaric II and executed. Clovis took over his kingdom (possibly only after a number of further campaigns), greatly extending the size of his kingdom, which at the end of this process reached the Loire.

Wars with Alemanni

Clovis was involved in at least one war against the Alemanni, but the details are frustratingly obscure. The standard view is that the Ripuarian Franks called for help after being attacked. Clovis responded and defeated the Alemanni at the battle of Tolbiac (496). Although Gregory of Tours does mention a battle against the Alemanni at that location, he doesn't place Clovis there, and he gives no location for the battle he does mention between Clovis and the Alemanni. To Gregory the main significance of this battle was that during it Clovis called for help from Christ, and promised to convert to Christianity if he won. After his victory Clovis and 3,000 of his men were baptised at Rheims, an event traditionally dated to Christmas 496.

There are some hints that Clovis may have fought a second war against the Alemanni ten years later, or even that the events allocated to 496 actually took place in 506, and that all of Clovis's dates need revising.

Burgundian Civil Wars

In 500 Clovis became involved in a civil war between the brothers Gundobar and Godegesil, kings of the Burgundians. Clovis entered the war in support of Godegesil, and defeated Gundobar's army at the battle of the Ouche (500). Gundobar retreated to Avignon, where he was besieged. He was able to hold out for long enough to convince Clovis to agree to accept an annual tribute in return for recognising him as co-ruler of Burgundy.

Once Clovis had left Burgundy Gundobar turned on his brother, and besieged him at Vienne (c.500-501). Vienne fell after Godegesil expelled the civilian population. Amongst the victims was the man in charge of the aqueduct, who showed Gundobar a way into the city. Godegesil was killed, leaving Gundobar as the sole king of the Burgundians.

Gundobar and Clovis appear to have come to terms after this period of hostility. According to Isidore of Seville the Burgundians supported Clovis during his war with the Visigoths (407), and occupied Provence (before being expelled by the Ostrogoths).

Wars with the Visigoths

Clovis's victories in the centre of France brought him into direct contact with the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse. This was a sizable kingdom that included parts of Spain as well as Aquitaine and much of the Mediterranean coast of Gaul (Septimania in the west and Provence in the east). This kingdom had been ruled by Alaric II since 484, and suffered from a division between its Arian Gothic rulers and largely Catholic population. Although Alaric appears to have been more tolerant than his predecessors, this gulf did cause some conflict with his bishops, several of whom were forced into exile.

The first conflict between Clovis and Alaric is only recorded in the Chron. Caesaraugustanorum, a collection of marginal notes found in another chronicle. This conflict was apparently focused in Aquitaine, and began in c.494-495. The Franks captured Bordeaux in 498 but were unable to hold onto it. Gregory of Tours, who doesn't mention this conflict, does record a meeting between Alaric and Clovis on an island in the Loire in 502, at which the conflict was probably ended and the border restored at the Loire.

The second and better documented war with the Visigoths broke out in 507, despite the best efforts of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths to preserve the peace. Clovis was supported by Sigibert, the king of the Ripuarian Franks, who sent his son, and possibly by the Burgundians. He was also aided by the Eastern Emperor Anastasius, who sent a fleet to raid part of Theodoric's Italian coast, preventing him from interfering in Gaul.

The two armies clashed at Vouille, near Poitiers (507). Clovis was victorious, and Alaric II was killed during the battle. The Franks advanced into Aquitaine, plundered Toulouse and spent the winter at Bordeaux. Part of their army began a siege of Arles (507-508), but in 508 Clovis himself returned north to Tours. He was awarded an honorary consulate by Anastasius, probably at this period, and celebrated that and his victory at Tours.

Despite the defeat the Visigoths retained a foothold in southern France. Theodoric sent an army across the Alps in 508, and lifted the siege of Arles. He kept Provence for himself, but the western part of the Mediterranean coast remained part of the Visigothic kingdom, which was eventually ruled by Theodoric's grandson. Clovis and Theodoric were the main winners from this war.

Elimination of his Frankish Rivals

After his victory over the Visigoths Clovis moved his capital to Paris. In the last few years of his life he concentrated on eliminating his fellow Frankish kings, regardless of any previous relationship between them.

First to go was Sigibert the Lame, king of the Ripuarian Franks on the Rhine. Clovis convinced Sigibert's son Chloderic to murder his father, promising to support Chloderic's claim to the throne. After the deed was done Chloderic sent a message to Clovis promising to pay him whatever he wanted. Clovis's agents took their chance and murdered Chloderic in turn. Clovis then turned up, claimed ignorance of the entire plot, and convinced the Ripuarian Franks to accept him as their king. Rather amusingly Gregory of Tours ends this tale of treachery with the claim that Clovis was gaining extra land because he 'walked with an upright heart before him, and did what was pleasing in his (gods) eyes'.

Next to go was Chararic, the relative of Clovis's who had stayed neutral during the early war against Syagrius. Clovis captured Chararic and his son, gave then tonsures and forced them into holy orders. Famously the Merovingian kings had long hair, and so the tonsured men would be unable to threaten Clovis until their hair had grown back. Chararic's son was overheard threatened to kill Clovis once his hair had regrown, so Clovis had them both killed.

Ragnachar, king of Cambrai, another relative had actually helped Clovis during the battle against Syagrius, but he wasn't spared. Clovis bribed his men with gold-plated armlets and belts and then invaded Ragnachar's territory. Only after Ragnachar had been killed and Clovis had seized his land did his men discover that they had been conned.

Rignomer, yet another relative of Clovis and the brother of Ragnachar and Sigibert, and king at Mans, was also killed on Clovis's orders and his kingdom absorbed. After all of this family strife Clovis had the nerve to mourn his lack of close relatives!

Conclusion

By the time of his death in 511 Clovis had won control of most of western and northern France along with a sizable chunk of land east of the Rhine. Brittany remained outside his control, as did Burgundy and the south coast. His ruthless attacks on his fellow Franks meant that his sons were his only serious heirs, but in line with Frankish traditions Clovis's kingdom was divided between them.

All four got part of the area around Paris, and their capitals were all in that area - Theodoric I was based at Reims, Clodomir at Orleans, Childebert I at Paris and Chlotar I at Soissons. Their dominions were scattered around Clovis's vast kingdom, and the inevitable result was a prolonged period of instability. The kingdom was briefly reunited under Chlotar I, the last surviving son, but was split between his four sons in 561.

Despite the division of the kingdom after his death Clovis was acknowledged as the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, named after his (possibly legendary) grandfather Merovech. His squabbling descendants eventually lost power to the Carolingians, but the legacy of Clovis's conquests, a Frankish kingdom that included most of Roman Gaul and parts of western Germany, survived long after his death.


Clovis I

Born in c.466, Clovis I united all the Frankish tribes and became the first King of the Franks. Having converted to Catholicism at his wife’s urging, Clovis was also the first Catholic ruler of Gaul. He founded the Merovingian dynasty which would lead the Franks for roughly two centuries. Clovis also expanded his rule by lessening the power of Rome by 486 when he won the famed Battle of Soissons and defeated the Roman Syagrius. Clovis is often regarded as the founder of France.

Clovis was the son of Childeric I who was king of the Salian Franks. His mother was Queen Basina of Thuringia (a kingdom that would have been located in present-day central Germany). Upon his father’s death, Clovis became king in 481. Clovis began to cement his rule by conquering neighboring Salian Frankish kingdoms until he brought them all under his rule. In 493 Clovis married Clotilde, a Burgundian princess and noted for her piety. In fact, she was later declared a saint for persuading her husband to convert to Catholicism and spent her later years performing acts of charity. Their offspring included three sons and a daughter along with another son who died at an early age.

Embracing Catholicism was beneficial for Clovis as most of the Gaulish people were formerly Roman subjects and most Catholic. Many Goths at that time had begun to convert to Arianism, but Clotilde persuaded him first to let their son be baptized. According to legend, after Clovis called on his wife’s God during battle to grant the subsequent victory, he decided to grant her wish and was baptized at Rheims in c.498. Clovis’s important victory at Soissons allowed him to extend his kingdom into the area north of the Loire. He then began to secure alliances with other tribes through marriage. For example, his sister Audofleda was wed to Theodoric the Great who ruled the Kingdom of Italy. His conversion to Catholicism helped him to gain the backing of the Gallo-Roman aristocracy which he needed to help drive the Visogoths from southern Gaul. Eventually Clovis set up his capital at Paris.

There is some debate about when Clovis died, but most historians accept the year 511. He and Clotilde are buried in Saint Denis at the Basilica of St. Denis. The name Clovis became important after the reign of Clovis I for later Frankish kings and kings of France. The name Clovis was Latinized as Chlodovechus. Chlodovechus then became Ludovicus which finally became Louis. Clovis left his realm to his sons who divided the kingdom among themselves.


Clovis I Converts to Roman Catholicism

On Christmas Day, 496 Clovis I, king of the Franks, converted to Catholicism at the instigation of his wife, Clotilde, a Burgundian princess who was a Catholic in spite of the Arianism that surrounded her at court. Clovis was baptized in a small church in the vicinity of the subsequent Abbey of Saint-Remi in Reims.

"The followers of Catholicism believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three persons of one being (consubstantiality), as opposed to Arian Christianity, whose followers believed that Jesus, as a distinct and separate being, was both subordinate to and created by God. While the theology of the Arians was declared a heresy at the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD, the missionary work of the bishop Ulfilas converted the pagan Goths to Arian Christianity in the 4th century. By the time of the ascension of Clovis, Gothic Arians dominated Christian Gaul, and Catholics were the minority. The king's Catholic baptism was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of Gaul.

". His [Clovis's] conversion to the Roman Catholic form of Christianity served to set him apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from pagan beliefs to Arian Christianity. His embrace of the Roman Catholic faith may have also gained him the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy in his later campaign against the Visigoths, which drove them from southern Gaul in 507 and resulted in a great many of his people converting to Catholicism. " (Wikipedia article on Clovis I, accessed 12-29-2013).


Part One.

Introduction.

The Chronicle of Marius of Avenches (late sixth century) only gives some details about Clovis' attack on the Burgundian Gundobad with Godigisel, dating it to around 500CE. In the Gallic Chronicle of 511, no mention is made of the death of Clovis, a strange omission.

In conclusion, it is clear that there was an effort to place the death of Clovis in 518. It follows therefore, that the interpolator, to make this appear correct, would have to have added on seven years to Clovis' age at death and seven years to his reign length. Remove these spurrious assertions and we will see that Clovis was actually born in 473, became King in 488 at the age of 15 and died aged 38 in 511. So let us now examine a full life of Clovis to prove this and see how events can be placed in the correct time-frame when the sources are examined, in part two.

5 II.43: His ita transactis, apud Parisius obiit, sepultusque in basilica sanctorum apostolorum, quam cum Chrodechilde regina ipse construxerat. Migravit autem post Vogladinse bellum anno quinto. Fueruntque omnes dies regni eius anni triginta [aetas tota XLV anni]. A transitu ergo sancti Martini usque ad transitum Chlodovechi regis, qui fuit XI. annus episcopatus Licini Toronici sacerdotes, supputantur anni CXII. Chrodechildis autem regina post mortem viri sui Toronus venit, ibique ad basilica beati Martini deserviens, cum summa pudititia atque benignitate in hoc loco commorata est omnibus diebus vitae suae, raro Parisius visitans .

6 Fletcher, Richard. The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity University of California Press First Edition edition, 1999, P.103

1 comment:

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Clovis I (Chlodwig) Mérovingiens

1. CHILDERICH (-Tournai [481/82], bur Tournai). m ([464]%29 as her second husband, BASINA, formerly wife of BASINUS King of Thuringia, daughter of -. King Childerich & his wife had four children:

a) CHLODOVECH [Clovis] ([464/67]-Paris [27 Nov] 511, bur Paris, basilique des Saints-Apôtres [later église de Sainte-Geneviève]). Gregory of Tours names Clovis as son of Childerich & Basina[26]. He succeeded his father in [481/82] as CLOVIS I King of the Franks. CHLODOVECH [Clovis], son of CHILDERICH I King of the Franks & his wife Basina --- ([464/67]-Paris [27 Nov] 511, bur Paris, basilique des Saints-Apôtres [later église de Sainte-Geneviève]). Gregory of Tours names Clovis as son of Childerich & Basina[37]. The Liber Historiæ Francorum names "Childerico" as father of "Chlodovecho rege"[38]. He succeeded his father in [481/82] as CLOVIS I King of the Franks. He defeated Syagrius, ruler at Soissons, in 486. The Liber Historiæ Francorum records that "Chlodovechus" expanded his kingdom "usque Sequanam" and afterwards "usque Ligere fluvio"[39]. He remained a pagan after his marriage to a Catholic wife, but converted to Christianity in [496] allegedly having vowed to do so if successful in a battle against the Alamans[40]. He allied with Godegisel against Gondebaud King of Burgundy in [500][41]. He defeated and killed Alaric II King of the Visigoths at the campus Vogladensis[42], probably Voulan, near Poitiers, athough this is popularly known as the battle of Vouillé[43], in 507. Gregory of Tours records that Clovis took control of the territory of Sigebert King of the Franks of the Rhine, after persuading Sigeric's son Chloderic to kill his father and then killing Chloderic, as well as the territory of Chararic King of the Salian Franks[44]. Gregory of Tours records the death of King Clovis in Paris "five years after the battle of Vouillé" and his burial in the church of the Holy Apostles, which he and Queen Clotilde had built[45]. Gregory of Tours records that Queen Clotilde became a nun at the church of St Martin at Tours after her husband died, and in a later passage records her death in Tours and burial in Paris next to her husband in the church which she had built[53]. She was canonised by the Catholic church, feast day 3 Jun[54]. MEDLANDS

[m firstly] ---, daughter of --- [of the Franks of the Rhine]. According to Gregory of Tours, the mother of Theoderich was one of King Clovis's concubines not his first wife[46]. Settipani[47] suggests that Theoderich’s mother was a Frank from the Rhine region, based on the inheritance of Austrasia by Theoderich and the roots "Theode-" and "-rich" in his name, possibly transmitted through his mother from Theodemer and Richomer who were both 4th century Frankish kings. MEDLANDS King Clovis & his first [wife/concubine] had one child:

m [secondly] (492) CHROTECHILDIS [Clotilde/Rotilde[48]] of Burgundy, daughter of CHILPERICH King of Burgundy & his wife --- ([480]-Tours, monastery of Saint-Martin 544 or 548, bur Paris, basilique des Saints-Apôtres [later église de Sainte-Geneviève]). Gregory of Tours names "Clotilde" as the younger daughter of Chilperich, recording that she and her sister were driven into exile by their paternal uncle King Gundobad, but that the latter accepted a request for her hand in marriage from Clovis King of the Franks[49]. Fredegar states that she was driven into exile to Geneva by her uncle, after he allegedly murdered her father, and that King Clovis requested her hand in marriage as a means of controlling Gundobad's power[50]. A charter dated 2 Oct [499], classified as spurious in the collection, of "Clodoveus rex Francorum" names "uxoris meæ Chrochildis…patris Chilperici regis Burgundiorum"[51]. Gregory of Tours records Clotilde's lack of success in converting her husband to Christianity until the fifteenth year of his reign, when he and his people were baptised by St Rémy Bishop of Reims[52]. Gregory of Tours records that Queen Clotilde became a nun at the church of St Martin at Tours after her husband died, and in a later passage records her death in Tours and burial in Paris next to her husband in the church which she had built[53]. She was canonised by the Catholic church, feast day 3 Jun[54]. King Clovis & his second wife had [six] children:MEDLANDS & http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/BURGUNDY%20KINGS.htm#ChrotechildisO.

5. CHLOTHACHAR [Clotaire/Lothar] ([501/02]-Soissons [30 Nov/31 Dec] 561, bur Soissons, basilique Saint-Mrd).

6. THEODECHILDIS ([492/501]-576). A charter dated 2 Oct [499], classified as spurious in the collection, of "Clodoveus rex Francorum" purports to be written when "filia mea…Theodechildis" was becoming a nun[133]. As noted above, the editor of the Monumenta Germaniæ Scriptores series assumes that this charter refers to the daughter of King Theoderich[134]. Another charter, classified as spurious, in the name of "Theodechildis filia Chlodoveo" purports to record a donation to the monastery of St Peter at Sens dated Sep 569[135]. She founded the monastery of Mauriac in Auvergne[136]. m ---, king.]

7. CHROTHIELDIS [Clotilde] ([502/11]-531, bur Paris, basilique des Saints-Apôtres [later église de Sainte-Geneviève]).

8. [daughter . The Gesta Episcoporum Mettensis names "Agiulfus" as sixth bishop of Metz, stating that "patre ex nobili senatorum familia orto, ex Chlodovei regis Francorum filia procreatus", and that "nepos ipsius𠉪rnoaldus" succeeded him as bishop[140]. This is the only reference so far found to this supposed daughter of King Clovis, whose existence should presumably therefore be treated with caution. The reference to her supposed grandson Arnold suggests some confusion with the sources which allege the existence of Bilichildis, possible daughter of King Clotaire I (see below). m --.]

Settipani (1989) is the main authority on the genealogy of the Merovingian and Carolingian Kings of France, and the pedigree shown here in Lineage 1, is from his work. Settipani's research was preceded by Kelley (1947), who utilized a ninth-century genealogy of Charlemagne to research a possible connection between Charlemagne and the Gallo-Roman rulers of Gaul, known as the Syagrii, who preceeded the Merovingian Kings. Settipani (1989, 2000) also investigated this connection, and his revision of it, with which Kelly concurs, is the basis for the hypothetical pedigree shown here in Lineage 2.

Unfortuntately, there are few contemporary documents against which to confirm these lineages. The main source is the History of the Franks, written in the late 6th century by Gregory of Tours. In addition, there is a mid-7th century document known as Chronicle of Fredegar that deals with the genealogy of the Merovingian kings, but the earlier generations appear to be based almost exclusively on Gregory of Tours. Furthermore, all subsequent chroniclers, in particular the oft-quoted 8th-century Liber Historiae Francorum, clearly draw from Gregory of Tours for the Merovingian parts of their pedigrees. http://www.mikesclark.com/genealogy/descent%20from%20antiquity.html

Considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty. The name Clovis would later evolve into the name "Louis," the most popular name for French kings.

This is Clovis the Great (died 511). Do not confuse him with Clovis the Riparian (died 428).

Clovis (c. 466�) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler. He was also the first Catholic King to rule over Gaul (France). He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. In 481, when he was fifteen, he succeeded his father.[1] The Salian Franks were one of two Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their center in an area known as Toxandria, between the Meuse and Scheldt (in what is now the Netherlands and Belgium). Clovis's power base was to the southwest of this, around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium. Clovis conquered the neighboring Salian Frankish kingdoms and established himself as sole king of the Salian Franks before his death. The small church in which he was baptized is now named Saint-Remi, and a statue of him being baptized by Saint Remigius can be seen there. Clovis and his wife Clotilde are buried in the St. Genevieve church (St. Pierre) in Paris. An important part of Clovis's legacy is that he reduced the power of the Romans in 486 by beating the Roman ruler Syagrius in the famous battle of Soissons.[2]

Clovis was converted to Catholicism, as opposed to the Arian Christianity common among the Goths who ruled most of Gaul at the time, at the instigation of his wife, Clotilde, a Burgundian Gothic princess who was a Catholic in spite of the Arianism which surrounded her at court. He was baptized in a small church which was on or near the site of the Cathedral of Rheims, where most future French kings would be crowned. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

In primary sources Clovis's name is spelled in a number of variants: the Frankish form Chlodovech was Latinized as Chlodovechus, from which came the Latin name Ludovicus, which evolved into the French form Louis. Clovis ruled the Franks from 481 to 511 AD. The name features prominently in subsequent history: three other Merovingian Kings have been called Clovis, while nine Carolingian rulers and thirteen other French kings and one Holy Roman Emperor have been called Louis. Nearly every European language has developed its own spelling of his name. Louis (French), "Chlodwig" and Ludwig (German), Lodewijk (Dutch), Людовик (Russian), Luis (Spanish), Luigi (Italian), and Lewis (English) are just seven of the over 100 possible variations. Scholars differ about the exact meaning of his (first) name. Most believe that Chlodovech is composed out of the Germanic roots Chlod- and -vech. Chlod- = (modern English) loud, with its oldest connotation praised. -vech = "fighter" (modern English). Compare in modern Dutch luid (hard sound or noise), luiden (verb - the oldest meaning is: to praise aloud) and vechten (verb - to fight). Chlodovech means "praised fighter".[3]

[edit] Frankish consolidation

In 486, with the help of Ragnachar, Clovis defeated Syagrius, the last Roman official in northern Gaul, who ruled the area around Soissons in present-day Picardie.[4] This victory at Soissons extended Frankish rule to most of the area north of the Loire. After this, Clovis secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great. He followed this victory with another in 491 over a small group of Thuringians east of the Frankish territories. Later, with the help of the other Frankish sub-kings, he narrowly defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac.

Clovis had previously married the Christian Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, according to Gregory of Tours, as a result of his victory at Tolbiac (traditionally set in 496), he converted to her Catholic faith. Conversion to Trinitarian Christianity set Clovis apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from heathen beliefs to Arian Christianity. It also ensured him of the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy in his later campaign against the Visigoths, which drove them from southern Gaul (507).

Clovis was baptised at Rheims on Christmas 496, 498 or 506 by Saint Remigius.[5] The conversion of Clovis to Catholic Christianity, the religion of the majority of his subjects, strengthened the bonds between his Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops, and their Germanic conquerors. Nevertheless, Bernard Bachrach has argued that this conversion from his Frankish paganism alienated many of the other Frankish sub-kings and weakened his military position over the next few years. William Daly, in order more directly to assess Clovis's allegedly barbaric and pagan origins,[6] was obliged to ignore the bishop Saint Gregory of Tours and base his account on the scant earlier sources, a sixth-century "vita" of Saint Genevieve and letters to or concerning Clovis from bishops and Theodoric.

In the "interpretatio romana", Gregory of Tours gave the Germanic gods that Clovis abandoned the names of roughly equivalent Roman gods, such as Jupiter and Mercury.[7] Taken literally, such usage would suggest a strong affinity of early Frankish rulers for the prestige of Roman culture, which they may have embraced as allies and federates of the Empire during the previous century.[citation needed]

Though he fought a battle at Dijon in the year 500, Clovis did not successfully subdue the Burgundian kingdom. It appears that he somehow gained the support of the Arvernians in the following years, for they assisted him in his defeat of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé (507) which eliminated Visigothic power in Gaul and confined the Visigoths to Hispania and Septimania the battle added most of Aquitaine to Clovis's kingdom.[4] He then established Paris as his capital,[4] and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine. Later it was renamed Sainte-Geneviève Abbey, in honor of the patron saint of Paris.[8]

According to Gregory of Tours, following the Battle of Vouillé, the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, granted Clovis the title of consul. Since Clovis's name does not appear in the consular lists, it is likely he was granted a suffect consulship.

Gregory of Tours recorded Clovis's systematic campaigns following his victory in Vouillé to eliminate the other Frankish "reguli" or sub-kings. These included Sigobert the Lame and his son Chlodoric the Parricide Chararic, another king of the Salian Franks Ragnachar of Cambrai, his brother Ricchar, and their brother Rignomer of Le Mans.

[edit] Later years and death

Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet in Orlບns to reform the church and create a strong link between the Crown and the Catholic episcopate. This was the First Council of Orlບns. Thirty-three bishops assisted and passed thirty-one decrees on the duties and obligations of individuals, the right of sanctuary, and ecclesiastical discipline. These decrees, equally applicable to Franks and Romans, first established equality between conquerors and conquered.

Clovis I is traditionally said to have died on 27 November 511 however, the Liber Pontificalis suggests that he was still alive in 513.[9] After his death, he was put to rest in Pantheon in Paris who he let build as a gravethomb for the rulers of France, he was later moved to Saint Denis Basilica, in Paris.Here lies Aall the frenvh Kings exept for 3 of them.

Upon his death his realm was divided among his four sons: Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert, and Clotaire. This partitioning created the new political units of the Kingdoms of Rheims, Orlບns, Paris and Soissons and inaugurated a period of disunity which was to last, with brief interruptions, until the end (751) of his Merovingian dynasty.

Clovis is remembered for three main accomplishments:

By the first act, he assured the influence of his people beyond the borders of Gaul, something no petty regional king could accomplish. By the second act, he laid the foundations of a later nation-state: France. Finally, by the third act, he made himself the ally of the papacy and its protector as well as that of the people, who were mostly Catholics.

Detracting perhaps, from this legacy, is his aforementioned division of the state. This was done not along national or even largely geographical lines, but primarily to assure equal income amongst his sons after his death. While it may or may not have been his intention, this division was the cause of much internal discord in Gaul. This precedent led in the long run to the fall of his dynasty, for it was a pattern repeated in future reigns.[10] Clovis did bequeath to his heirs the support of both people and church such that, when the magnates were ready to do away with the royal house, the sanction of the Pope was sought first.

Clovis (c. 466-511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also introduced Christianity.

He was the son of Childeric I and Basina.

At age 16, he succeeded his father, in the year 481.

The small church in which he was baptized is now named Saint Remy, and a statue of him being baptized by Remigius can be seen there. Clotiar I and his son Sigebert I were both buried in Soissons, St Waast.

Clovis himself and Clothilde are buried in the St. Genevieve church (St. Pierre) in Paris.

An important part of Clovis' legacy is that he reduced the power of the Romans in 486 by beating the Roman ruler Sygrius in the famous battle of Soissons.[2]

Clovis was converted to Western Christianity, as opposed to the Arian Christianity common among the Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, Clotilda, a Burgundian. He was baptized in a small church which was on or near the site of the Cathedral of Rheims, where most future French kings would be crowned. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

Clovis is remembered for three main accomplishments:

Clovis (c. 466-511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also introduced Christianity. He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. At age 16, he succeeded his father, in the year 481[1] The Salian Franks were one of two Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their center in an area known as Toxandria, between the Meuse and Scheldt. Clovis' power base was to the southwest of this, around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, Clovis conquered the neighboring Salian Frankish kingdoms and established himself as sole king of the Salian Franks before his death. The small church in which he was baptized is now named Saint Remy, and a statue of him being baptized by Remigius can be seen there. Clotiar I and his son Sigebert I were both buried in Soissons, St Waast. Clovis himself and Clothilde are buried in the St. Genevieve church (St. Pierre) in Paris. An important part of Clovis' legacy is that he reduced the power of the Romans in 486 by beating the Roman ruler Sygrius in the famous battle of Soissons.[2]

Clovis was converted to Western Christianity, as opposed to the Arian Christianity common among the Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, Clotilda, a Burgundian. He was baptized in a small church which was on or near the site of the Cathedral of Rheims, where most future French kings would be crowned. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

Clovis had previously married the Christian Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, according to Gregory of Tours, as a result of his victory at Tolbiac (traditionally set in 496), he converted to her Catholic faith. Conversion to Christianity set Clovis apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from heathen beliefs to Arian Christianity. It also ensured him of the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy in his later campaign against the Visigoths, which drove them from southern Gaul (507).

Clovis was baptised at Reims on Christmas 496, 498 or 506 by Saint Remigius.[5] The conversion of Clovis to catholic Christianity.

Clovis I (c. 466 – 27 November 511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler. He succeeded his father Childeric I in 481[1] as King of the Salian Franks, one of the Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their centre around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, in an area known as Toxandria. Clovis conquered the neighbouring Frankish tribes and established himself as sole king before his death.

He converted to Roman Catholicism, as opposed to the Arianism common among Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, the Burgundian Clotilda, a Catholic. He was baptized in the Cathedral of Rheims, as most future French kings would be. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of France and Western Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder both of France (which his state closely resembled geographically at his death) and the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

In 486, with the help of Ragnachar, Clovis defeated Syagrius, the last Roman official in northern Gaul, who ruled the area around Soissons in present-day Picardie.[2] This victory at Soissons extended Frankish rule to most of the area north of the Loire. After this, Clovis secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great. He followed this victory with another in 491 over a small group of Thuringians east of the Frankish territories. Later, with the help of the other Frankish sub-kings, he narrowly defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac. He had previously married the Christian Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, following his victory at Tolbiac (traditionally set in 496), he converted to her Trinitarian Catholic faith. This set Clovis apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from heathen beliefs to Arian Christianity.

Chlodovech I (Frans Clovis, maar de naam is gelijk aan Lodewijk) ((Doornik, 465 - Parijs, 27 november 511) was koning der Franken. Hij was zoon van Childerik I,[1] een generaal van de Salische Franken, die vermoedelijk diende onder de Romeinse legeraanvoerder Aegidius en de West-Romeinse keizer Majorianus. Zijn moeder wordt door Gregorius van Tours Basina genoemd.[2]

Clovis I (c. 466 – 27 November 511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler. He succeeded his father Childeric I in 481[1] as King of the Salian Franks, one of the Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their centre around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, in an area known as Toxandria. Clovis conquered the neighbouring Frankish tribes and established himself as sole king before his death.

He converted to Roman Catholicism, as opposed to the Arianism common among the Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, the Burgundian Clotilda, a Catholic. He was baptized in the Cathedral of Rheims, as most future French kings would be. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of France and Western Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder both of France (which his state closely resembled geographically at his death) and the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

Clodoveo I (en francés Clovis) fue el rey de todos los francos del año 481 al 511. El nombre Clodoveo proviene del franco (antiguo alto-alemán) Hlodowig, compuesto por las ras hlod ("reconocido, famoso, ilustre") y wig ("combate"), quiere decir "Ilustre en el combate" o "Ilustre en la batalla", el equivalente en español moderno ser໚ Luis, nombre de la mayor໚ de los reyes de Francia, y en alemán Ludwig, también latinizado como Ludovico.

Frecuentemente utilizada por los Merovingios, la raíz hlod da también el origen a nombres como Clotario (y Lotario), Clodomir y Clotilde.

A finales del siglo V, Galia se encuentra dividida bajo la autoridad de varios pueblos bárbaros, constantemente en guerra los unos contra los otros, buscando extender sus influencias y sus posesiones:

Una multitud de poderes locales o regionales de origen militar hab໚n ocupado el vacío dejado por la deposición del Emperador Romano de Occidente en 476. Entre estos se encontraba aún el reino de un tal Siagrio, establecido en la región de Soissons.

En 481, Clodoveo, hijo del rey Childerico I y de la princesa Basina de Turingia, accedió al trono del reino franco salio, situado en la región de Tournai en la actual Bélgica. El título de rey no era nuevo, pues este era dado a los jefes de guerra de las naciones bárbaras al servicio de Roma. Así los francos, antiguos servidores de Roma, no eran nada menos que germanos, bárbaros paganos, alejados del modo de vida de los galos romanizados durante más o menos cinco siglos de dominación e influencia romana.

Clodoveo ten໚ solo quince años cuando se convirtió en el jefe de su tribu, su coronamiento dio inicio a la primera dinast໚ de reyes de Francia, los Merovingios, los cuales tomaron su nombre del abuelo de Clodoveo, el gran Meroveo.

El reino de Clodoveo se inscribe más bien en la continuidad de la antig� tard໚ que en la alta edad media según numerosos historiadores. No obstante contribuye formar el carผter original de este último período, dando inicio a una primera dinast໚ de reyes cristianos, y gracias a la aprobación de las elites galo-romanas, crea un poder central en Galia.

El 27 de noviembre de 511, muere en París a la edad de 45 años. Tras haber unificado prผticamente toda Francia, al morir, dejó sus estados repartidos entre sus cuatro hijos (Teodorico I, Childeberto I, Clodomiro I y Clotario I), siguiendo la norma del derecho privado.

Su reino pudo entonces ser dividido en cuatro partes consecuentes, tres similares y una cuarta más grande, que ocupaba más o menos el tercio de la Galia franca, para su hijo mayor, Teodorico, nacido de una unión pagana antes de 493. Clodoveo fue inhumado en la Basílica de los Santos Apóstoles.

Name: Clovis "Magnus" Merovingian , I

Given Name: Clovis "Magnus", I

"Merovingian dynasty" | "Childebert I" | "Clotilda, Saint" | "Clodomir" | "Merovech" |" Theodebald" | "Theodebert I" | "Theodoric I [Merovingian dynasty]"

- O'Hart1923 "The Lineal Descent of King Philip V., of Spain":p#42-3

PKD RUO-5466Cl11a 2001De02

Copyright (c) 2009 Paul K Davis [[email protected]] Fremont CA

Father: Childeric Merovingian , I b: 0437A

Marriage 1 Clotilda Burgundian,the

Marriage 2 Spouse Unknown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clovis (c. 466-511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also introduced Christianity. He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. At age 16, he succeeded his father, in the year 481.[1] The Salian Franks were one of two Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their center in an area known as Toxandria, between the Meuse and Scheldt. Clovis' power base was to the southwest of this, around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, Clovis conquered the neighboring Salian Frankish kingdoms and established himself as sole king of the Salian Franks before his death. The small church in which he was baptized is now named Saint Remy, and a statue of him being baptized by Remigius can be seen there. Clotiar I and his son Sigebert I were both buried in Soissons, St Waast. Clovis himself and Clothilde are buried in the St. Genevieve church (St. Pierre) in Paris. An important part of Clovis' legacy is that he reduced the power of the Romans in 486 by beating the Roman ruler Sygrius in the famous battle of Soissons.[2]

Clovis was converted to Western Christianity, as opposed to the Arian Christianity common among the Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, Clotilda, a Burgundian. He was baptized in a small church which was on or near the site of the Cathedral of Rheims, where most future French kings would be crowned. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

2.1 Frankish consolidation

In primary sources Clovis' name is spelled in a number of variants: The Frankish form Chlodovech was Latinized as Chlodovechus, from which came the Latin name Ludovicus, which evolved into the French form Louis. Clovis ruled the Franks from 481 to 511 AD. The name features prominently in subsequent history: Three other Merovingian Kings have been called Clovis, while nine Carolingian rulers and thirteen other French kings and one Holy Roman Emperor have been called Louis. Nearly every European language has developed its own spelling of his name. Louis (French), "Chlodwig" and Ludwig (German), Lodewijk (Dutch), Людовик (Russian), Luis (Spanish), Luigi (Italian), and Lewis (English) are just seven of the over 100 possible variations. Scholars differ about the exact meaning of his (first) name. Most believe that Chlodovech is composed out of the Germanic roots Chlod- and -vech. Chlod- = (modern English) loud, with its oldest connotation praised. -vech = "fighter" (modern English). Compare in modern Dutch luid (hard sound or noise), luiden (verb - the oldest meaning is: to praise aloud) and vechten (verb - to fight). Chlodovech means "praised fighter".[3]

[edit] Frankish consolidation

In 486, with the help of Ragnachar, Clovis defeated Syagrius, the last Roman official in northern Gaul, who ruled the area around Soissons in present-day Picardie.[4] This victory at Soissons extended Frankish rule to most of the area north of the Loire. After this, Clovis secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great. He followed this victory with another in 491 over a small group of Thuringians east of the Frankish territories. Later, with the help of the other Frankish sub-kings, he narrowly defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac.

Clovis had previously married the Christian Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, according to Gregory of Tours, as a result of his victory at Tolbiac (traditionally set in 496), he converted to her Catholic faith. Conversion to Christianity set Clovis apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from heathen beliefs to Arian Christianity. It also ensured him of the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy in his later campaign against the Visigoths, which drove them from southern Gaul (507).

Clovis was baptised at Rheims on Christmas 496, 498 or 506 by Saint Remigius.[5] The conversion of Clovis to catholic Christianity, the religion of the majority of his subjects, strengthened the bonds between his Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops, and their Germanic conquerors. Nevertheless, Bernard Bachrach has argued that this conversion from his Frankish paganism alienated many of the other Frankish sub-kings and weakened his military position over the next few years. William Daly, in order more directly to assess Clovis' allegedly barbaric and pagan origins,[6] was obliged to ignore the bishop Saint Gregory of Tours and base his account on the scant earlier sources, a sixth-century "vita" of Saint Genevieve and letters to or concerning Clovis from bishops and Theodoric.

In the "interpretatio romana," Gregory of Tours gave the Germanic gods that Clovis abandoned the names of roughly equivalent Roman gods, such as Jupiter and Mercury.[7] Taken literally, such usage would suggest a strong affinity of early Frankish rulers for the prestige of Roman culture, which they may have embraced as allies and federates of the Empire during the previous century.[citation needed]

Though he fought a battle at Dijon in the year 500, Clovis did not successfully subdue the Burgundian kingdom. It appears that he somehow gained the support of the Arvernians in the following years, for they assisted him in his defeat of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé (507) which eliminated Visigothic power in Gaul and confined the Visigoths to Hispania and Septimania the battle added most of Aquitaine to Clovis' kingdom.[4] He then established Paris as his capital,[4] and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine. Later it was renamed Sainte-Geneviève Abbey, in honor of the patron saint of Paris.[8]

According to Gregory of Tours, following the Battle of Vouillé, the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, granted Clovis the title of consul. Since Clovis' name does not appear in the consular lists, it is likely he was granted a suffect consulship.

[show]v • d • eCampaigns of Clovis I

Soissons – Frankish-Thuringian – Tolbiac – Dijon – Vouillé

Gregory of Tours recorded Clovis' systematic campaigns following his victory in Vouillé to eliminate the other Frankish "reguli" or sub-kings. These included Sigobert the Lame and his son Chlodoric the Parricide Chararic, another king of the Salian Franks Ragnachar of Cambrai, his brother Ricchar, and their brother Rignomer of Le Mans.

[edit] Later years and death

Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet in Orlບns to reform the church and create a strong link between the Crown and the Catholic episcopate. This was the First Council of Orlບns. Thirty-three bishops assisted and passed thirty-one decrees on the duties and obligations of individuals, the right of sanctuary, and ecclesiastical discipline. These decrees, equally applicable to Franks and Romans, first established equality between conquerors and conquered.

Tomb of Clovis I at the Basilica of St Denis in Saint Denis.Clovis I is traditionally said to have died on 27 November 511 however, the Liber Pontificalis suggests that he was still alive in 513.[9] After his death, he was interred in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris.

Upon his death his realm was divided among his four sons: Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert, and Clotaire. This partitioning created the new political units of the Kingdoms of Rheims, Orlບns, Paris and Soissons and inaugurated a period of disunity which was to last, with brief interruptions, until the end (751) of his Merovingian dynasty.

Clovis is remembered for three main accomplishments:

1.his unification of the Frankish nation,

2.his conquest of Gaul, and

3.his conversion to the Roman Catholic Faith.

By the first act, he assured the influence of his people beyond the borders of Gaul, something no petty regional king could accomplish. By the second act, he laid the foundations of a later nation-state: France. Finally, by the third act, he made himself the ally of the papacy and its protector as well as that of the people, who were mostly Catholics.

Detracting perhaps, from this legacy, is his aforementioned division of the state. This was done not along national or even largely geographical lines, but primarily to assure equal income amongst his sons after his death. While it may or may not have been his intention, this division was the cause of much internal discord in Gaul. This precedent led in the long run to the fall of his dynasty, for it was a pattern repeated in future reigns.[10] Clovis did bequeath to his heirs the support of both people and church such that, when the magnates were ready to do away with the royal house, the sanction of the Pope was sought first.

I. Chlodvig [szerkeszt%C3%A9s]

Ez az utolsó megtekintett változat (összes) elfogadva: 2009. szeptember 15.

I. Klodvig (Chlodvig, Chlodovech) (kb. 466� november 27., Párizs), a száli frank Meroving dinasztia egyik királya, apját, I. Childericet követte a trónon 481/482-ben.[1] A frankok száli törzsének területei ekkoriban a Rajna alsó folyásától nyugatra, a mai francia-belga határ mentén voltak, Tournai[2] és Cambrai központokkal.

486-ban Ragnachar segítségével Klodvig legyőzte Syagriust, Nyugat-Gallia utolsó római helytartóját,[1] akinek uralma Soisson környékére terjedt ki, azaz a mai Picardiára. E győzelemmel a Loire-tól északra fekvő területek túlnyomó része a frankok ellenőrzése alá került.[1] Helyzetét bebiztosítandó Klodvig megerősítette szövetségét a keleti gótokkal: testvérét, Audofledát feleségül adta Nagy Theodorik királyhoz. Ő maga 493-ban Clotilde burgund hercegnővel kötött házasságot.[1] 491-ben türingiaiak egy kis csoportjára mért vereséget északon, majd más frank törzsek vezetőivel közösen megverte az alemannokat a tolbiaci csatn.[forr%C3%A1s?]

497-ben[3] vagy 498-ban[1] felvette a katolikus kereszténységet,[1] szemben más germán népek (vizigótok, vandálok) királyaival, akik az ariánus hitet választották. Klodvig döntésének eredményeként megerős཭ött a kapcsolat a germán h༽ítók és a római katolikus hiten lévő megh༽ítottak között.[3] Bernard Bachrach ugyanakkor felhívja rá a figyelmet, hogy Klodvig katonai pozໜiója ezzel meggyengült, ugyanis a frank előkelők nem nézték jó szemmel a hitüktől való eltávolodását.

A dijoni csatn (500) sikertelen kísérletet tett a burgund királyság elfoglalására,[forr%C3%A1s?] de néhány évre sikerült elnyernie a burgundok támogatását, akik kés𕆻, az 507-es vouilléi csatn[1] segítségére voltak a toulouse-i vizigót királyság ellen. Győzelmével visszaszorította a vizigótokat az Ibériai-félszigetre és Aquitania nagy részét államához csatolta. Terjeszkedő birodalma székhelyének Párizst tette meg,[1] ahol a Szajna déli partján Szent Péternek és Szent Pálnak szentelt apátságot alapított. Az apátságot kés𕆻 Párizs vຝőszentjéről, Szent Genovéváról nevezték el[1] 1802-ben lerombolták, egyedül a román stílusú Klodvig-torony (Tour Clovis) maradt meg, amely ma a IV. Henrik Lum területén áll, a Panthéontól keletre.

A vouilléi csata után – Tours-i Szent Gergely történetíró szerint – I. Anasztáziusz bizánci császár konzuli címet adományozott Klodvignak, ám mivel neve nem szerepel a konzulok listáján, ez az adat bizonytalan. Szintén Gergely tudósít Klodvig vouilléi csata utáni hadjáratairól, melyek célja más frank vezetők eltávolítása:[forr%C3%A1s?] t󶮾k között Kölni Sigibert és fia, Chloderic Chararic, a száli frankok egy másik vezetője, Cambrai Ragnachar, valamint testvérei, Ricchar és Le Mans-i Rigomer.

Röviddel halála előtt, Klodvig zsinatra hívta össze Gallia püspökeit Orlບns-ba,[1] ahol egyházi reformokat kezdeményezett és megerősítette a korona és a püspöki kar közti köteléket. Kibocsátotta a Lex Salica-t, amely a megh༽ított vidéken a frank király hatalmát erősítette meg.[1]

I. Klodvig 511-ben halt meg,[1] a párizsi Saint-Denis-i apátságba temették el[1] (apja és a kori Meroving királyok nyughelye Tournai). Halála után négy fia (Theuderic, Chlodomer, Chidebert, Chlotar) felosztotta egymás közt a birodalmat: Reims, Orlບns, Párizs és Soissons központtal új politikai egységeket hoztak létre. Ezzel kezdetét vette a szétdaraboltság korszaka, mely – rövid kivételektől eltekintve – a Meroving-dinasztia uralmának végéig (751) fennállt.

A francia hagyomány a frankokat tartja az ország megalapítóinak, s mivel Klodvig volt az első, aki a majdani Franciaország területének túlnyomó részét elfoglalta, őt nevezik az első francia királynak.

Clovis (c. 466-511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also brought them Christianity. He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. At age 16, he succeeded his father in 481[1] as King of the Salian Franks, one of the Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their centre around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, in an area known as Toxandria. Clovis conquered the neighbouring Frankish tribes and established himself as sole king before his death.

He converted to Catholic Christianity, as opposed to the Arian Christianity common among the Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, the Burgundian Clotilda, a Catholic. He was baptized in a small church which was on or near the site of the Cathedral of Rheims, where most future French kings would be crowned. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

In primary sources Clovis' name is spelled in a number of variants: The Frankish form Chlodovech was Latinised as Chlodovechus, from which came the Latin name Ludovicus, which evolved into the French form Louis. Clovis ruled the Franks from 481 to 511 AD. The name features prominently in subsequent history: Three other Merovingian Kings have been called Clovis, while nine Carolingian rulers and thirteen other French kings and one Holy Roman Emperor have been called Louis. Nearly every European language has developed its own spelling of his name. Louis (French), "Chlodwig" and Ludwig (German), Lodewijk (Dutch), Luis (Spanish), Luigi (Italian), and Lewis (English) are just six of the over 100 possible variations. Scholars differ about the exact meaning of his (first) name. Most believe that Chlodovech is composed out of the Germanic roots Chlod- and -vech. Chlod- = (modern English) loud, with its oldest connotation praised. -vech = "fighter" (modern English). Compare in modern Dutch luid (hard sound or noise), luiden (verb - the oldest meaning is: to praise aloud) and vechten (verb - to fight). Chlodovech means "praised fighter".[2]

In 486, with the help of Ragnachar, Clovis defeated Syagrius, the last Roman official in northern Gaul, who ruled the area around Soissons in present-day Picardie.[3] This victory at Soissons extended Frankish rule to most of the area north of the Loire. After this, Clovis secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great. He followed this victory with another in 491 over a small group of Thuringians east of the Frankish territories. Later, with the help of the other Frankish sub-kings, he narrowly defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac. He had previously married the Christian Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, according to Gregory of Tours, as a result of his victory at Tolbiac (traditionally set in 496), he converted to her Catholic faith. This set Clovis apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from heathen beliefs to Arian Christianity. It also ensured him of the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy in his later campaign against the Visigoths, which drove them from southern Gaul (507).

Clovis was baptised at Reims on Christmas 496, 498 or 506 by Saint Remigius.[4] The conversion of Clovis to catholic Christianity, the religion of the majority of his subjects, strengthened the bonds between his Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops, and their Germanic conquerors. Nevertheless, Bernard Bachrach has argued that this conversion from his Frankish paganism alienated many of the other Frankish sub-kings and weakened his military position over the next few years. William Daly, in order more directly to assess Clovis' allegedly barbaric and pagan origins,[5] was obliged to ignore the bishop Saint Gregory of Tours and base his account on the scant earlier sources, a sixth-century "vita" of Saint Genevieve and letters to or concerning Clovis from bishops and Theodoric.

In the "interpretatio romana," Gregory of Tours gave the Germanic gods that Clovis abandoned the names of roughly equivalent Roman gods, such as Jupiter and Mercury.[6] Taken literally, such usage would suggest a strong affinity of early Frankish rulers for the prestige of Roman culture, which they may have embraced as allies and federates of the Empire during the previous century.[

Though he fought a battle at Dijon in the year 500, Clovis did not successfully subdue the Burgundian kingdom. It appears that he somehow gained the support of the Arvernians in the following years, for they assisted him in his defeat of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé (507) which eliminated Visigothic power in Gaul and confined the Visigoths to Hispania and Septimania the battle added most of Aquitaine to Clovis' kingdom.[3] He then established Paris as his capital,[3] and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine. Later it was renamed Sainte-Geneviève Abbey, in honor of the patron saint of Paris.[7]

According to Gregory of Tours, following the Battle of Vouillé, the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, granted Clovis the title of consul. Since Clovis' name does not appear in the consular lists, it is likely he was granted a suffect consulship. Gregory also records Clovis' systematic campaigns following his victory in Vouillé to eliminate the other Frankish "reguli" or sub-kings. These included Sigobert the Lame and his son Chlodoric the Parricide Chararic, another king of the Salian Franks Ragnachar of Cambrai, his brother Ricchar, and their brother Rignomer of Le Mans.

Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet in Orlບns to reform the church and create a strong link between the Crown and the Catholic episcopate. This was the First Council of Orlບns.

Clovis I is traditionally said to have died on 27 November 511 however, the Liber Pontificalis suggests that he was still alive in 513.[8] After his death, he was interred in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris. Upon his death his realm was divided among his four sons: Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert, and Clotaire. This partitioning created the new political units of the Kingdoms of Rheims, Orlບns, Paris and Soissons and inaugurated a period of disunity which was to last, with brief interruptions, until the end (751) of his Merovingian dynasty.

Clovis is remembered for three main accomplishments : his unification of the Frankish nation, his conquest of Gaul, and his conversion to the Roman Catholic Faith. By the first act, he assured the influence of his people beyond the borders of Gaul, something no petty regional king could accomplish. By the second act, he laid the foundations of a later nation-state: France. Finally, by the third act, he made himself the ally of the papacy and its protector as well as that of the people, who were mostly Catholics.

Detracting perhaps,from this legacy, his above mentioned division of the state, not along national or even largely geographical lines, but primarily to assure equal income amongst his sons on his death, which may or may not have been his intention, was the cause of much internal discord in Gaul. This precedent led in the long run to the fall of his dynasty, for it was a pattern repeated in future reigns.[9] Clovis did bequeath to his heirs the support of both people and church such that, when finally the magnates were ready to do away with the royal house, the sanction of the Pope was sought first.

Daly, William M., "Clovis: How Barbaric, How Pagan?" Speculum, 69:3 (1994), 619�.

James, Edward. The Origins of France: Clovis to the Capetians, 500�. Macmillan, 1982.

Kaiser, Reinhold. Das römische Erbe und das Merowingerreich. Enzyklopํie deutscher Geschichte 26. Munich: 2004.

Oman, Charles. The Dark Ages 476-918. London: Rivingtons, 1914.

Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. The Long-haired Kings. London: 1962.

Clovis (c. 466-511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also introduced Christianity. He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. At age 16, he succeeded his father, in the year 481.

Clovis was converted to Western Christianity, as opposed to the Arian Christianity common among the Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, Clotilda, a Burgundian. He was baptized in a small church which was on or near the site of the Cathedral of Rheims, where most future French kings would be crowned. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

Clovis had previously married the Christian Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, according to Gregory of Tours, as a result of his victory at Tolbiac (traditionally set in 496), he converted to her Catholic faith. Conversion to Christianity set Clovis apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from heathen beliefs to Arian Christianity. It also ensured him of the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy in his later campaign against the Visigoths, which drove them from southern Gaul (507).

Clovis was baptised at Reims on Christmas 496, 498 or 506 by Saint Remigius.[5] The conversion of Clovis to catholic Christianity, the religion of the majority of his subjects, strengthened the bonds between his Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops, and their Germanic conquerors.

Upon his death his realm was divided among his four sons: Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert, and Clotaire. This partitioning created the new political units of the Kingdoms of Rheims, Orlບns, Paris and Soissons and inaugurated a period of disunity which was to last, with brief interruptions, until the end (751) of his Merovingian dynasty.

Clovis (c. 466-511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also introduced Christianity. He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. At age 16, he succeeded his father, in the year 481.[1] The Salian Franks were one of two Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their center in an area known as Toxandria, between the Meuse and Scheldt (in what is now the Netherlands and Belgium). Clovis' power base was to the southwest of this, around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, Clovis conquered the neighboring Salian Frankish kingdoms and established himself as sole king of the Salian Franks before his death. The small church in which he was baptized is now named Saint Remy, and a statue of him being baptized by Remigius can be seen there. Clotiar I and his son Sigebert I were both buried in Soissons, St Waast. Clovis himself and Clothilde are buried in the St. Genevieve church (St. Pierre) in Paris. An important part of Clovis' legacy is that he reduced the power of the Romans in 486 by beating the Roman ruler Syagrius in the famous battle of Soissons.[2]

Clovis was converted to Western Christianity, as opposed to the Arian Christianity common among the Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, Clotilda, a Burgundian. He was baptized in a small church which was on or near the site of the Cathedral of Rheims, where most future French kings would be crowned.

Clovis (c. 466-511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also introduced Christianity. He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. At age 16, he succeeded his father, in the year 481.[1] The Salian Franks were one of two Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their center in an area known as Toxandria, between the Meuse and Scheldt (in what is now the Netherlands and Belgium). Clovis' power base was to the southwest of this, around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, Clovis conquered the neighboring Salian Frankish kingdoms and established himself as sole king of the Salian Franks before his death. The small church in which he was baptized is now named Saint Remy, and a statue of him being baptized by Remigius can be seen there. Clotiar I and his son Sigebert I were both buried in Soissons, St Waast. Clovis himself and Clothilde are buried in the St. Genevieve church (St. Pierre) in Paris. An important part of Clovis' legacy is that he reduced the power of the Romans in 486 by beating the Roman ruler Syagrius in the famous battle of Soissons.[2]

Clovis was converted to Western Christianity, as opposed to the Arian Christianity common among the Germanic peoples at the time, at the instigation of his wife, Clotilda, a Burgundian.

Clovis I is traditionally said to have died on 27 November 511 however, the Liber Pontificalis suggests that he was still alive in 513.[9] After his death, he was interred in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris.

baptized 496 with sisters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clovis I (c. 466 – 27 November 511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler. He succeeded his father Childeric I in 481[1] as King of the Salian Franks, one of the Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their centre around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, in an area known as Toxandria. Clovis conquered the neighbouring Frankish tribes and established himself as sole king before his death.

He converted to Roman Catholicism, as opposed to the Arianism common among Germanic peoples, at the instigation of his wife, the Burgundian Clotilda, a Catholic. He was baptized in the Cathedral of Rheims, as most future French kings would be. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of France and Western Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder both of France (which his state closely resembled geographically at his death) and the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

In primary sources Clovis' name is spelled in a number of variants: The Frankish form Chlodovech was Latinised as Chlodovechus, from which came the Latin name Clovis, which evolved into the French name Louis.

The name features prominently in subsequent history: Three other Merovingian Kings have been called Clovis, while nine Carolingian rulers and thirteen other French kings and one Holy Roman Emperor have been called Louis.

Nearly every European language has developed its own spelling of his name. Louis (French), "Chlodwig" and Ludwig (German), Lodewijk (Dutch), and Lewis (English) are just four of the over 100 possible variations.

Scholars differ about the meaning of his name. Chlodovech is composed out of the Germanic roots Chlod- and -vech, which are usually associated with "glow" and "soldier". His name thus might have meant "illustrious in combat" or "glorious warrior".

In 486, with the help of Ragnachar, Clovis defeated Syagrius, the last Roman official in northern Gaul, who ruled the area around Soissons in present-day Picardie.[2] This victory at Soissons extended Frankish rule to most of the area north of the Loire. After this, Clovis secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths, through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great. He followed this victory with another in 491 over a small group of Thuringians east of his territories. Later, with the help of the other Frankish sub-kings, he defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac. He had previously married the Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, following his victory at Tolbiac, he converted (traditionally in 496) to her Trinitarian Catholic faith. This was a significant change from the other Germanic kings, like the Visigoths and Vandals, who had embraced the rival Arian beliefs.

The conversion of Clovis to Catholic Christianity, the religion of the majority of his subjects, strengthened the bonds between his Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops, and their Germanic conquerors. However, Bernard Bachrach has argued that this conversion from his Frankish paganism alienated many of the other Frankish sub-kings and weakened his military position over the next few years. William Daly, in order more directly to assess Clovis' allegedly barbaric and pagan origins,[3] was obliged to ignore the bishop Gregory of Tours and base his account on the scant earlier sources, a sixth-century vita of Saint Genevieve and letters to or concerning Clovis from bishops and Theodoric.

In the familiar literary convention called interpretatio romana, Gregory of Tours gave the gods that Clovis abandoned the names of roughly equivalent Roman gods, such as Jupiter and Mercury.[4] Taken literally, such usage would suggest a strong affinity of early Frankish rulers for the prestige of Roman culture, which they may have embraced as allies and federates of the Empire during the previous century.[citation needed]

Though he fought a battle in Dijon in the year 500, Clovis did not successfully subdue the Burgundian kingdom. It appears that he somehow gained the support of the Arvernians in the following years, for they assisted him in his defeat of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé (507) which eliminated Visigothic power in Gaul and confined the Visigoths to Hispania the battle added most of Aquitaine to Clovis' kingdom.[2] He then established Paris as his capital,[2] and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine. Later the abbey was renamed in honor of Paris' patron saint, Geneviève.[5]

According to Gregory of Tours, following the Battle of Vouillé, Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, granted Clovis the title of consul. Since Clovis' name does not appear in the consular lists, it is likely he was granted a suffect consulship. Gregory also records Clovis' systematic campaigns following his victory in Vouillé to eliminate the other Frankish reguli or sub-kings. These included Sigobert the Lame and his son Chlodoric the Parricide Chararic, another king of the Salian Franks Ragnachar of Cambrai, his brother Ricchar, and their brother Rignomer of Le Mans.

Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet in Orlບns to reform the church and create a strong link between the Crown and the Catholic episcopate. This was the First Council of Orlບns.

Clovis I died in 511 and is interred in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris, whereas his father had been buried with the older Merovingian kings in Tournai. Upon his death his realm was divided among his four sons: Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert, and Clotaire. This partitioning created the new political units of the Kingdoms of Rheims, Orlບns, Paris and Soissons and inaugurated a period of disunity which was to last, with brief interruptions, until the end (751) of his Merovingian dynasty.

The legacy of Clovis is well-established on three heads: his unification of the Frankish nation, his conquest of Gaul, and his conversion to Roman Catholicism. By the first act, he assured the influence of his people in wider affairs, something no petty regional king could accomplish. By the second act, he laid the foundations of a later nation-state: France. Finally, by the third act, he made himself the ally of the papacy and its protector as well as that of the people, who were mostly Catholics.

Detracting, perhaps, from these acts of more than just national importance, his division of the state, not along national or even largely geographical lines, but primarily to assure equal income amongst the brothers on his death, which may or may not have been his intention, was the cause of much internal discord in Gaul and contributed in the long run to the fall of his dynasty, for it was a pattern constantly repeated.[6] Clovis did bequeath to his heirs the support of both people and church such that, when finally the magnates were ready to do away with the royal house, the sanction of the pope was sought first.

^ The date 481 is arrived at by counting back from the Battle of Tolbiac, which Gregory of Tours places in the fifteenth year of Clovis' reign.

^ a b c Iron Age Braumeisters of the Teutonic Forests. BeerAdvocate. Retrieved on 2006-06-02.

^ Daly, William M. Daly, "Clovis: How Barbaric, How Pagan?" Speculum 69.3 (July 1994:619-664)

^ Edward James, Gregory of Tours Life of the Fathers (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1985), p. 155 n. 12.

^ The abbey was demolished in 1802. All that remains is the Tour Clovis, a Romanesque tower which now lies within the grounds of the Lycພ Henri IV, just east of The Panthéon.

^ "The Rise of the Carolingians or the Decline of the Merovingians?" (pdf)

Daly, William M., "Clovis: How Barbaric, How Pagan?" Speculum 69.3 (July 1994, pp. 619-664.

James, Edward. The Origins of France: Clovis to the Capetians 500-1000. Macmillan, 1982.

Kaiser, Reinhold. Das römische Erbe und das Merowingerreich. München 2004. (Enzyklopํie deutscher Geschichte 26)

Oman, Charles. The Dark Ages 476-918. Rivingtons: London, 1914.

Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. The Long-haired Kings. London, 1962.

The Oxford Merovingian Page.

Titles: King of the Franks (Roi des Francs)

Consul, Augustus [after 507]

Reign: 481 - November 27, 511

Consecration: Gregory of Tours mentioned some sort of consecration on occasion of accepting the title of consul from Emperor Anastasias (507, Tours)

End of reign: November 27, 511, died

Clovis was the son, and probably the only son, of Childeric I, king of the Salian Franks of Tournai, and Basina. He succeeded his father in 481.

At Soissons, in 486, Clovis defeated Syagrius, the last Roman ruler in Gaul. This opened to him the whole area of the Somme and the Seine. Clovis established his power at least as far south as Paris between the years 487 and 494. The Armoricans of western Gaul and the Germanic peoples of the Rhineland offered serious opposition and at the Loire he made contact with the Visigoths, protégés of Theodoric, the ruler of Ostrogothic Italy. In 496, he was baptized at Reims by Saint Remy.

In 507, Clovis turned against the Visigoths of Gaul south of the Loire and defeated them at Vouillé, near Poitiers. Though he penetrated as far south as Bordeaux and sent his son, Thierry (Theodoric), to capture the Visigoth capital of Toulouse, he did not expel the Goths from Septimania or turn southern Gaul into a settlement area for his people. According to Gregory of Tours (1), in 507 Clovis "received an appointment to the consulship from the emperor Anastasius, and in the church of the blessed Martin (in Tours) he clad himself in the purple tunic and chlamys, and placed a diadem on his head. and from that day he was called consul or Augustus." After he defeated other Frankish chiefs, Ragnachar, Sigibert, Chloderic, Chararic and others, Clovis virtually became the sole ruler of the Franks by 509. He summoned a church council at Orlບns and also promulgated Lex Salica.

Clovis died at the age of 45 and was buried in the Church of the Apostles, but his grave has never been found.

Son of Childeric, King of the Salic Franks born in the year 466 died at Paris, 27 November, 511. He succeeded his father as the King of the Franks of Tournai in 481. His kingdom was probably one of the States that sprang from the division of Clodion's monarchy like those of Cambrai, Tongres and Cologne. Although a Pagan, Childeric had kept up friendly relations with the bishops of Gaul, and when Clovis ascended the throne he received a most cordial letter of congratulation from St. Remigius, Archbishop of Reims. The young king early began his course of conquest by attacking Syagrius, son of Aegidius, the Roman Count. Having established himself at Soissons, he acquired sovereign authority over so great a part of Northern Gaul as to be known to his contemporaries as the King of Soissons. Syagrius, being defeated, fled for protection to Alaric II, King of the Visigoths, but the latter, alarmed by a summons from Clovis, delivered Syagrius to his conqueror, who had him decapitated in 486. Clovis then remained master of the dominions of Syagrius and took up his residence at Soissons. It would seem as if the episode of the celebrated vase of Soissons were an incident of the campaign against Syagrius, and it proves that, although a pagan, Clovis continued his father's policy by remaining on amicable terms with Gaulish episcopate. The vase, taken by the Frankish soldiers while plundering a church, formed part of the booty that was to be divided among the army. It was claimed by the bishop (St. Remigius?), and the king sought to have it awarded to himself in order to return it intact to the bishop, but a dissatisfied soldier split the vase with his battle-axe, saying to this king: "You will get only the share allotted you by fate". Clovis did not openly resent the insult, but the following year, when reviewing his army he came upon this same soldier and, reproving him for the the defective condition of his arms, he split his skull with an axe, saying: "It was thus that you treated the Soissons vase." This incident has often been cited to show that although in time of war a king has unlimited authority over his army, after the war his power is restricted and that in the division of booty the rights of the soldiers must be respected.

After the defeat of Syagrius, Clovis extended his dominion as far as the Loire. It was owing to the assistance given him by the Gaulish episcopate that he gained possession of the country. The bishops, it is quite certain mapped out the regime that afterwards prevailed. Unlike that adopted in other barbarian kingdoms founded upon the ruins of the Roman Empire, this regime established absolute equality between the Gallo-Roman natives and their Germanic conquerors all sharing the same privileges. Procopius, a Byzantine writer has given us an idea of this agreement, but we know it best by its results. There was no distribution of Gaulish territory by the victors established in the Belgian provinces, they had lands there to which they returned after each campaign. All the free men in the kingdom of Clovis, whether they were of Roman or of Germanic origin, called themselves Franks, and we must guard against the old mistake of looking upon the Franks after Clovis as no more than Germanic barbarians.

Master of half of Gaul, Clovis returned to Belgium and conquered the two Salic kingdoms of Cambrai and Tongres (?), where his cousins Ragnacaire and Chararic reigned. These events have been made known to us only through the poetic tradition of the Franks which has singularly distorted them. According to this tradition Clovis called upon Chararic to assist him its his war against Syagrius, but Chararic's attitude throughout the battle was most suspicious, as he refrained from taking sides until he saw which of the rivals was to be victorious. Clovis longed to have revenge. Through a ruse he obtained possession of Chararic and his son and threw them into prison he then had their heads shaved, and both were ordained, the father to the priesthood and the son to the diaconate. When Chararic bemoaned and wept over this humiliation his son exclaimed: "The leaves of a green tree have been cut but they will quickly bud forth again may he who has done this perish as quickly!" This remark was reported to Clovis, and he had both father and son beheaded.

Tradition goes on to say that Ragnacaire King of Cambrai, was a man of such loose morals he hardly respected his own kindred, and Farron, his favourite, was equally licentious. So great was the king's infatuation for this man that, if given a present, he would accept it for himself and his Farron. This filled his subjects with indignation and Clovis, to win them over to his side before taking the field, distributed among them money, bracelets, and baldries, all in gilded copper in fraudulent imitation of genuine gold. On different occasions Ragnacaire sent out spies to ascertain the strength of Clovis's army, and upon returning they said: "It is a great reinforcement for you and your Farron." Meanwhile Clovis advanced and the battle began. Being defeated, Ragnacaire sought refuge in flight, but was overtaken made prisoner, and brought to Clovis, his hands bound behind him. "Why", said his conqueror have you permitted our blood to be humiliated by allowing yourself to be put in chains? It were better that you should die." And, so saying, Clovis dealt him his death-blow. Then, turning to Richaire, Ragnacaire's brother, who had been taken prisoner with the king, he said: "Had you but helped your brother, they would not have bound him", and he slew Richaire also. After these deaths the traitors discovered that they had been given counterfeit gold and complained of it to Clovis, but he only laughed at them. Rignomir, one of Ragnacaire's brothers, was put to death at Le Mans by order of Clovis, who took possession of the kingdom and the treasure of his victims.

Such is the legend of Clovis it abounds in all kinds of improbabilities, which cannot be considered as true history. The only facts that can be accepted are that Clovis made war upon Kings Ragnacaire and Chararic, put them to death and seized their territories. Moreover, the author of this article is of opinion that these events occurred shortly after the conquest of the territory of Syagrius, and not after the war against the Visigoths, as has been maintained by Gregory of Tours, whose only authority is an oral tradition, and whose chronology in this matter is decidedly misleading. Besides Gregory of Tours has not given us the name of Chararic's kingdom it was long believed to have been established at Therouanne but it is more probable that Tongres was its capital city, since it was here that the Franks settled on gaining a foothold in Belgium.

In 492 or 493 Clovis, who was master of Gaul from the Loire to the frontiers of the Rhenish Kingdom of Cologne, married Clotilda, the niece of Gondebad, King of the Burgundians. The popular epic of the Franks has transformed the story of this marriage into a veritable nuptial poem the analysis of which will be found in the article on Clotilda. Clotilda, who was a Catholic, and very pious, won the consent of Clovis to the baptism of their son, and then urged that he himself embrace the Catholic Faith. He deliberated for a long time. Finally, during a battle against the Alemanni--which without apparent reason has been called the battle of Tolbiac (Zulpich)--seeing his troops on the point of yielding, he invoked the aid of Clotilda's God, promised to become a Christian if only victory should be granted him. He conquered and, true to his word was baptized at Reims by St. Remigius, bishop of that city, his sister Albofledis and three thousand of his warriors at the same time embracing Christianity. Gregory of Tours, in his ecclesiastical history of the Franks has described this event, which took place amid great pomp at Christmas, 496. "Bow thy head, O Sicambrian", said St. Remigius to the royal convert "Adore what thou hast burned and burn what thou hast adored." According to a ninth-century legend found in the life of St. Remigius, written by the celebrated Hincmar himself Archbishop of Reims, the chrism for the baptismal ceremony was missing and was brought from heaven in a vase (ampulla) borne by a dove. This is what is known as the Sainte Ampoule of Reims, preserved in the treasury of the cathedral of that city and used for the coronation of the kings of France from Philip Augustus down to Charles X.

The conversion of Clovis to the religion of the majority of his subjects soon brought about the union of the Gallo-Romans with their barbarian conquerors. While in all the other Germanic kingdoms founded on the ruins of the Roman Empire the difference of religion between the Catholic natives and Arian conquerers was a very active cause of destruction, in the Frankish kingdom, on the contrary, the fundamental identity of religious beliefs and equality of political rights made national and patriotic sentiments universal and produced the most perfect harmony between the two races. The Frankish Kingdom was thenceforth the representative and defender of Catholic interests throughout the West, while to his conversion Clovis owed an exceptionally brilliant position. Those historians who do not understand the problems of religious psychology have concluded that Clovis embraced Christianity solely from political motives, but nothing is more erroneous. On the contrary, everything goes to prove that his conversion was sincere, and the opposite cannot be maintained without refusing credence to the most trustworthy evidence.

In the year 500 Clovis was called upon to mediate in a quarrel between his wife's two uncles, Kings Gondebad of Vienne and Godegisil of Geneva. He took sides with the latter, whom he helped to defeat Gondebad at Dijon, and then, deeming it prudent to interfere no further in this fratricidal struggle, he returned home, leaving Godegisil an auxiliary corps of five thousand Franks. After Clovis's departure Gondebad reconquered Vienne, his capital in which Godegisil had established himself. This reconquest was effected by a stratagem seconded by treachery, and Godegisil himself perished on the same occasion. The popular poetry of the Franks has singularly misrepresented this intervention of Clovis, pretending that, at the instigation of his wife Clotilda, he sought to avenge her grievances against her uncle Gondebad (see CLOTILDA) and that the latter king, besieged in Avignon by Clovis, got rid of his opponent through the agency of Aredius, a faithful follower. But in these poems there are so many fictions as to render the history in them indistinguishable.

An expedition, otherwise important and profitable was undertaken by Clovis in the year 506 against Alaric II, King of the Visigoths of Aquitaine. He was awaited as their deliverer by the Catholics of that kingdom, who were being cruelly persecuted by Arian fanatics, and was encouraged in his enterprise by the Emperor Anastasius, who wished to crush this ally of Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths. Despite the diplomatic efforts made by the latter to prevent the war, Clovis crossed the Loire and proceeded to Vouille, near Poitiers, where he defeated and slew Alaric, whose demoralized troops fled in disorder. The Franks took possession of the Visigoth Kingdom as far as the Pyrenees and the Rhone, but the part situated on the left bank of this river was stoutly defended by the armies of Theodoric, and thus the Franks were prevented from seizing Arles and Provence. Notwithstanding this last failure, Clovis, by his conquest of Aquitaine, added to the Frankish crown the fairest of its jewels. So greatly did the Emperor Anastasius rejoice over the success attained by Clovis that, to testify his satisfaction, he sent the Frankish conqueror the insignia of the consular dignity, an honour always highly appreciated by the barbarians.

The annexation of the Rhenish Kingdom of Cologne crowned the acquisition of Gaul by Clovis. But the history of this conquest, also, has been disfigured by a legend that Clovis instigated Chloderic, son of Sigebert of Cologne, to assassinate his father, then, after the perpetration of this foul deed, caused Chloderic himself to be assassinated, and finally offered himself to the Rhenish Franks as king, protesting his innocence of the crimes that had been committed. The only historical element in this old story, preserved by Gregory of Tours, is that the two kings of Cologne met with violent deaths, and that that Clovis, their relative, succeeded them partly by right of birth, partly by popular choice. The criminal means by which he is said to have reached this throne are pure creation of the barbarian imagination.

Master now of a vast kingdom, Clovis displayed the same talent in governing that he had displayed in conquering it. From Paris, which he had finally made his capital, he administered the various provinces through the agency of counts (comites) established in each city and selected by him from the aristocracy of both races, conformably to the principle of absolute equality between Romans and barbarians, a principle which dominated his entire policy. He caused the Salic Law (Lex Salica) to be reduced to written form, revised end adapted to the new social conditions under which his fellow barbaricans were subsequently to live. Acknowledging the Church as the foremost civilizing force, he protected it in every way possible, especially by providing for it the National Council of Orleans (511), at which the bishops of Gaul settled many questions pertaining to the relations between Church and state. Hagiographic legends attribute to Clovis the founding of a great many churches and monasteries throughout France, and although the accuracy of this claim cannot be positively established, it is nevertheless certain that the influence of the council in this matter must have been considerable. However, history has preserved the memory of foundation which was undoubtedly due to Clovis: the church of the Apostles, later of Sainte-Geneviève, on what was then Mons Lucotetius, to the south of Paris. The king destined it as a mausoleum for himself and his queen Clotilda, and before it was completed his mortal remains were there interred. Clovis died at the age of forty-five. His sarcophagus remained in the crypt of Sainte-Geneviève until the time of the French Revolution, when it was broken open by the revolutionists, and his ashes scattered to the winds, the sanctuary of the beautiful church being destroyed.

The history of this monarch has been so hopelessly distorted by popular poetry and so grossly disfigured by the vagaries of the barbarian imagination as make the portrayal of his character wellneigh impossible. However, from authentic accounts of him it may be concluded that his private life was not without virtues. As a statesman he succeeded in accomplishing what neither the genius of Theodoric the Great nor that of any contemporary barbarian king could achieve: upon the ruins of the Roman Empire he built up a powerful system, the influence of which dominated European civilization during many centuries, and from which sprang France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland, without taking into account that northern Spain and northern Italy were also, for a time, under the civilizing regime of the Frankish Empire.

Clovis left four sons. Theodoric, the eldest, was the issue of union prior to that contracted with Clotilda, who was, however, the mother of the three others, Clodomir, Childebert, and Clotaire. They divided their father's kingdom among themselves, following the barbarian principle that sought promotion of personal rather than national interests, and looked upon royalty as the personal prerogative of the sons of kings. After the death of Clovis his daughter Clotilda, named after her mother, married Amalric, king of the Visigoths. She died young, being cruelly abused by this Arian prince, who seemed eager to wreak vengeance on the daughter of Clovis for the tragic death of Alaric II.

King Clovis I "the Great" AKA King of the Salic Franks (481-511), King of France.

Clovis I (or Chlodowech, modern French "Louis") (c.466 - November 27 , 511 at Paris ), a member of the Merovingian dynasty, succeeded his father Childeric I in 481 as King of the Salic Franks , a Germanic people occupying the area west of the lower Rhine , with their own center around Tournai and Cambrai , along the modern frontier between France and Belgium , in an area known as Toxandria

In 486 , with the help of Ragnachar, Clovis defeated Syagrius , the last Roman official in northern Gaul , whose rule covered the area around Soissons , in present-day Picardie . This victory extended Frankish rule to most of the area north of the Loire . After this, Clovis secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths , through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great . He followed this victory with another in 491 over a small group of Thuringians east of his territories, then later, with the help of the other Frankish sub-kings, defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac . He had previously married the Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and following his victory at Tolbiac he converted in 496 to her Catholic faith. This was a significant change from the other Germanic kings, like the Visigoths and Vandals , who embraced the rival Arian beliefs.

The conversion of Clovis to Roman Catholic Christianity , the religion of the majority of his subjects, strengthened the bonds between his Roman subjects and their Germanic conquerors. However, Bernard Bachrach has argued that this conversion from his Frankish pagan beliefs alienated many of the other Frankish sub-kings, and weakened his military position over the next few years.

He fought a battle in Dijon in the year 500, but did not successfully subdue the Burgundian kingdom. It appears that he somehow gained the support of the Armoricans in the following years, for they assisted him in his defeat of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse at Vouillé (507), a victory that confined the Visigoths to Spain , adding most of Aquitaine to his kingdom. He then established Paris as his capital, and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine. All that remains of this great abbey (later named in honour of Paris' patron saint, Geneviève, it was demolished in 1802) is the Tour Clovis, a Romanesque tower which now lies within the grounds of the prestigious Lycຎ Henri IV, just east of The Panthéon .

Following the Battle of Vouillé , according to Gregory of Tours , the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I , granted Clovis the title of consul . Since Clovis' name does not appear in the consular lists , it is likely he was granted a suffect consulship. Gregory also records Clovis' systematic campaigns following his victory at Vouillé to elimate the other Frankish reguli or sub-kings: these included Sigibert of Cologne and his son Chloderic Chararic another king of the Salian Franks Ragnachar of Cambrai , his brother Ricchar, and their brother Rigomer of LeMans .

Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet at Orleans to reform the church and create a strong link between the crown and the Catholic episcopate.

Clovis I died in 511 and is interred Saint Denis Basilica , Paris, France , whereas his father had been buried with the older Merovingian kings at Tournai. Upon his death, his realm was divided among his four sons, (Theuderic_I_of_Austrasia, Chlodomer , Childebert _I, Chlothar ) creating the new political units of the Kingdoms of Reims , Orlບns , Paris and Soissons , inaugurating a period of disunity which was to last with brief interruptions until the end (751 ) of his Merovingian dynasty.

Popular tradition, based on French royal tradition, holds that the Franks were the founders of the French nation, and that Clovis was therefore the first King of France.

He reigned from 481 to 511. His wife led him to embrace Christianity and 3000 of his followers were baptised in a single day. When he first listened to the story of Christ's crucifixion, he was so moved that he cried "If I had been there with my valiant Franks I would have avenged Him." (Came to throne at about age 15.

. Chlodovech (aka Clovis) acceded 481 - King of Tournai. 2. Excerpt from "The Franks" by Godefroi Kurth, Transcribed by Michael C. Tinkler, from "The Catholic Encyclopedia", Volume VI, Copyright (c) 1909 by Robert Appleton Company, Online Edition Copyright (c) 1999 by Kevin Knight, Nihil Obstat, September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York (full text in Clodian's notes): When Clovis (Chlodovech I) began to reign in 481, he was, like his father, King of Tournai only, but at an early date he began his career of conquest. In 486 he over threw the monarchy that Syagrius, son of Aegidius, had carved out for himself in Northern Gaul, and set up his court at Soissons in 490 and 491 he took possession of the Salian Kingdoms of Cambrai and Tongres in 496 he triumphantly repelled an invasion of the Alamanni in 500 he interposed in the war of the Burgundian kings in 506 he conquered Aquitaine and at length he annexed the Ripuarian Kingdom of Cologne. Henceforth Gaul, from the Pyrenees to the Rhine, was subject to Clovis (Chlodovech I), with the exception of the territory in the southeast, i.e. the kingdom of the Burgundians and Provence. Established at Paris, Clovis (Chlodovech I) governed this kingdom by virtue of an agreement concluded with the bishops of Gaul, according to which natives and barbarians were to be on terms of equality, and all cause of friction between the two races was removed when, in 496, the king was converted to Catholicism. The Frankish kingdom thereupon took its place in history under more promising conditions than were to be found in any other state founded upon the ruins of the Roman Empire. All free men bore the title of Frank, had the same political status, and were eligible to the same offices. Besides, each individual observed the law of the people among whom he belonged the Gallo-Roman lived according to the code, the barbarian according to the Salian or Ripuarian law in other words, the law was personal, not territorial. If there were any privileges they belonged to the Gallo-Romans, who, in the beginning were the only ones on whom the episcopal dignity was conferred. The king governed the provinces through his counts, and had a considerable voice in the selection of the clergy. The drawing up of the Salian Law (Lex Salica), which seems to date from the early part of the reign of Clovis (Chlodovech I), and the Council of Orlບns, convoked by him and held in the last year of his reign, prove that the legislative activity of this king was not eclipsed by his military energy. Although founder of a kingdom destined to such a brilliant future, Clovis (Chlodovech I) did not know how to shield it against a custom in vogue among the barbarians, i.e. the division of power among the sons of the king. This custom originated in the pagan idea that all kings were intended to reign because they were descended from the gods. Divine blood flowed in the veins of all the king's sons, each of whom, therefore, being a king by birth, must have his share of the kingdom. This view, incompatible with the formation of a powerful, durable monarchy, had been vigorously rejected by Genseric the Vandal, who, to secure the indivisibility of his kingdom, had established in his family a certain order of succession. Either because he died suddenly or for some other reason, Clovis (Chlodovech I) took no measures to abolish this custom, which continued among the Franks until the middle of the ninth century and, more than once, endangered their nationality. After the death of Clovis (Chlodovech I), therefore, his four sons divided his kingdom, each reigning from a different centre: Thierry (Theuderic I) at Metz, Clodomir (Chlodomer) at Orlບns, Childebert at Paris, and Clotaire (Chlotar) at Soissons. They continued the career of conquest inaugurated by their father, and, in spite of the frequent discords that divided them, augmented the estates he had left them. The principal events of their reign were: * The destruction of the Kingdom of Thuringia by Thierry (Theuderic I) in 531, which extended Frankish power into the heart of what is now Germany * the conquest of the Kingdom of the Burgundians by Childebert and Clotaire (Chlotar I) in 532, after their brother Clodomir (Chlodomer) had perished in a previous attempt to overthrow it in 524 * the cession of Provence to the Franks by the Ostrogoths in 536, on condition that the former would assist them in the war just declared against them by Emperor Justinian. But instead of helping the Ostrogoths, the Franks under Theudebert, son of Thierry (Theuderic I), taking shameful advantage of this oppressed people, cruelly pillaged Italy until the bands under the command of Leuthar and Butilin were exterminated by Narses in 553.

Other SOURCES: Founder of the Empire of the Franks "Rulers of the World" by R.F.Tapsell Born: circa 466, son of Childeric I, King des Francs and Basine Andovera de Turinge , Clovis I became King between the Summer of 481 and Autumn of 482. According to Gregoire de Tours, he was only about 15 years of age at the time. In any case he was quite young as he was called "juvenis". Timelines here are bound to be fraught with error since the custom of counting years from the time of Jesus Christ was not established until the 8th. Century. Thus, both the Larousse and the History of France assert a birth date circa 466 whereas Stuart's "Royalty for Commoners" claims Clovis I was alive in the year 420! That date is necessary to claim that Sigebert I is the son of Childebert, son of Clovis, since Stuart claims Sigebert I was King of the Salic Francs from 481 to 511. Significant-Other: Evochilde before 486 - Evochilde was a concubine. Note - between 486 and 507: King of the Franks, Clovis I vanquished the Romans at Soissons in 486. Syagrius, the "Roman King" takes refuge in Toulouse under the protection of the King of the Wisigoths, Alaric [who had just become King in 484] . By the end of the year, Clovis I forced Alaric to give up Syagrius, and Clovis I secretly has Syagrius put to death. From 487 to 490, Clovis I extended his kingdom all the way to the Loire River, however, he respects the border of the Wisigoths to the South and of the Burgundians to the South-West, as well as that of the riparian Francs to the East. From 490 to 495, Clovis is occupied with the liquidation of the Salic Franc dynasty North of Gaule. King Chararic of Tongres is decapitated, and King Ragnacaire of Cambrai is executed. Upon the request for aid from the Riparian Francs, Clovis I defeats the Alamans (Germans) at the Battle of Tolbiac in 496 thus bringing Champagne under his jurisdiction. In 500, he wages war against Gondebaud, King of Burgundy defeating him near Dijon. Gondebaud retreats to Avignon. In 502, on the Cure and the Cousin, Clovis I and Gondebaud seal an alliance. From April to June 507, the French Army attack the Wisigoths, whose Kingdom extends from the Mediterranean to the ocean, and cross the Loire, going up the Valley of Calin toward Poitiers and encounter the Visigoth Army in the plain of Vouille, 15 km West of Clain. Alaric II, King of the Visigoths is killed and the Wisigoths thus are defeated. by 507, thanks to the efforts of his son, Thierry, the entire Meridional Gaule falls into Clovis I's control. In 508, the Franc Army lays siege on Arles in order to secure Provence. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths, occupies Provence, and his general, Ibbas, crosses the Alps to deliver Arles from Clovis I's clutch. Theodoric conquers the Burgundians at Avignon and Orange and makes Amalaric, his grandson and son of Alaric II, King of the Wisigoths. Clovis I loses the Bas-Languedoc, then called Septimania. Around 510, Clovis has Cloderic, King of the Riparian tribes who had fought in his support at Vouille, assassinated, and proclaims himself King of the Riparians. Thus, the Kingdom extends from the Pyrenees, to the ocean to beyond the Rhine. Upon his death, according to Frankish custom, his kingdom was divided among his four sons: Thierry, Clodomir, Childebert and Clotaire. Married circa 493: Sainte Clotilde de Bourgogne , daughter of Chilperic, King de Bourgogne and N? Clotilde was a Merovingien. By the time Clovis I married her, he already had a son through his concubine. Clotilde contributed to the conversion of Clovis to Christianity. After his death, she retired to the monastery of Saint-Martin in Tours (France). Her Feast Day is 3 June. Baptized: on 25 December 496 When the Queen, Clotilde, convinced Clovis I to have their son Ingomer baptized, he relented. Shortly afterwards, the son died, and Clovis I scolded Clotilde indicating that had Ingomer been consecrated to his gods, the neonate would not have died. When Clotilde had Clodomir, she again prevailed on Clovis I to have his son baptized. The child fell seriously ill shortly after, and again Clovis I blamed Clotilde's gods. While at war with the Alamans, it looked like Clovis I's army might be defeated, and Clovis I in desperation, swore to God and to Jesus Christ that he would have himself baptized and adhere to the Faith, if only he would be granted victory. Thereupon, the Allemans, fled and their King was killed. The Allemans surrendered. Scolars disagree on the date of the baptism and some indicate it was in 497 or propose the year 498 and perhaps even in 506.

Clovis Continued: Clovis I was baptized by Remi, Bishop of Reims, with the intercession of the Queen. Clovis I's army of 3,000 also was baptized, as well as Clovis I's sister, Alboflede. Unfortunately, she died shortly thereafter. Another sister of Clovis I, Lantilde, also was baptized from the Arian faith into Christianity. Died: on 27 December 511 in Paris, Gaul, Clovis I's body was burried at the basilica on the hill South of the Isle of the City on the left bank, where Saint Genevieve's body also reposes. Epitaph, written by Cardinal de La Rochfoucauld in 1621: CODOVEO MAGNO REGNUM FRANCORUM PRIMO CHRISTIANO HUJUS BASILICAE FUNDATORI SEPULCRUM VULGARI OLIM LAPIDE STRUCTUM ABBAS ET CONVENTUS IN MELIOREM OPERE CULTUQUE FACIEM RENOVARUNT ANNO CHRISTI 1621


Who was the last King of the Franks? Who was the first King of France?

24 Friday Apr 2015

I have touched on this before so I may be repeating some of myself here. The subject of France and the Kingdom of France/Kingdom of the Franks is complex and doesn’t fit into a tidy box of starts and stops as one may want it to. Just like we have a specific date for the founding of the Kingdom of Wessex in England, we have a specific date for the founding of the Kingdom of the Franks. And just like the transformation from the Kingdom of Wessex in to the Kingdom of England is open to interpretation, so is the transformation from the Kingdom of the Franks into the Kingdom of France. So who was the last King of the franks? Who was the first King of France?

Here is a little background information.

The Kingdom of the Franks or Frankish Kingdom (Latin: Regnum Francorum), Frankish Empire, Frankish Realm or occasionally Frankland, Francia or Frankia was a territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks, who were a coalition of Germanic tribes. The kingdom was founded by Clovis I, crowned first King of the Franks in 496. Clovis’ title in Latin was Francorum Rex. My intent is not to do a complete history of the Frankish Kingdom for this topic but I will summarize some important aspects.

At first the kingdom was small, the kingdom originally consisted of the area called Austrasia which was centered on the Middle Rhine and included the basins the Moselle, Main and Meuse rivers. It bordered on Frisia and Saxony to the north, Thuringia to the east, Swabia and Burgundy to the south and to Neustria and Flanders to the west. Under Charlemagne the territory of of the Frankish kingdom, or empire at this time, included all of modern France, the Low Countries, Germany and Northern Italy.

However, prior to Charlemagne unity of the Frankish Kingdom was not its trademark. The dynasty Clovis belonged to, the Merovingians, had the habit of dividing the kingdom among all the sons of the king. This mean Francia was often divided into sub-kingdoms such as the kingdom of Austrasia and Neustria for example. There were times when the kingdom was united but it was rare.

Eventually the Merovingians became weak monarchs and were supplanted by the Mayors of the Palace (often chief advisory to the king). In 751 Pippin the Younger, Mayor of the Palace, supplanted the Merovingians and became King of the Franks. This dynasty would become known as the Carolingians named after Pipin’s most famous son, Charles the Great, known to history as Charlemagne. Under Charlemagne the Kingdom of the Franks reached its zenith in both power and geographical extent. With Charlemagne’s support of the papacy in times of war and invasion, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor on Christmas Day, 800, with the notion he had restored the old Roman Empire in the West (topic of another blog post).

Charlemagne expressed his desire to separate and divide his kingdom among his three sons but with the death of all of them except Louis, the point was moot. Louis inherited the entire Frankish empire including the titles Francorum Rex and Imperator Romanorum “Emperor of the Romans.” It was Louis I called the Pious, who divided his empire in 840. However, civil war broke out among the three sons and it was with the Treaty of Verdun in 843 that settled the division.

These are the three divisions of the empire decided by the Treaty of Verdun in 843: East and West Francia and Middle Francia.

Middle Francia was the territory ruled by Lothair I, eldest son of Louis I, and the kingdom was wedged between East and West Francia. Lothair I took the Imperial title but only the ruled the Middle Frankish Kingdom. His three sons in turn divided this kingdom between them into Lotharingia (centered on Lorraine), Burgundy, and (Northern) Italy, known as Lombardy. These areas had different cultures, ethnicity, language and traditions which did not allow unity to take hold. This kingdom was would later vanish as separate kingdoms, (although Charles the Fat would briefly re-unite the entire Carolingian Empire in 888). Middle Francia would eventually become Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Lorraine, Switzerland, Lombardy and the various.

East Francia was the land of Louis II the German. It was divided into four duchies: Swabia (Alamannia), Franconia, Saxony and Bavaria to which after the death of Lothair II were added the eastern parts of Lotharingia. This kingdom eventually evolved into the Holy Roman Empire which is slated for a future blog in this topic.

In wanting to keep these blogs readable, I don’t like to read through a lot of text online, and many also feel that way, I will conclude the section on France, next Friday. However, look for other blog posts during the week!


Siblings

Individual Note

Clovis I
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clovis I
King of the Salian Franks

Reign 481 509 (King of the Salian Franks)
509 511 (King of the Franks)
Born c. 466
Died 27 November 511
Predecessor Childeric I
Successor Chlothar I (Soissons)
Childebert I (Paris)
Chlodomer (Orleans)
Theuderic I (Reims)
Issue Chlothar I
Childebert I
Chlodomer
Theuderic I
Dynasty Merovingian
Clovis I (c. 466 27 November 511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler. He succeeded his father Childeric I in 481[1] as King of the Salian Franks, one of the Frankish tribes who were then occupying the area west of the lower Rhine, with their centre around Tournai and Cambrai along the modern frontier between France and Belgium, in an area known as Toxandria. Clovis conquered the neighbouring Frankish tribes and established himself as sole king before his death.

He converted to Roman Catholicism, as opposed to the Arianism common among Germanic peoples, at the instigation of his wife, the Burgundian Clotilda, a Catholic. He was baptized in the Cathedral of Rheims, as most future French kings would be. This act was of immense importance in the subsequent history of France and Western Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul (roughly modern France). He is considered the founder both of France (which his state closely resembled geographically at his death) and the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

Contents [hide]
1 Name
2 Frankish consolidation
3 Christian king
4 Death and succession
5 Legacy
6 Notes
7 Sources

[edit] Name
In primary sources Clovis' name is spelled in a number of variants: The Frankish form Chlodovech was Latinised as Chlodovechus, from which came the Latin name Clovis, which evolved into the French name Louis.

The name features prominently in subsequent history: Three other Merovingian Kings have been called Clovis, while nine Carolingian rulers and thirteen other French kings and one Holy Roman Emperor have been called Louis.

Nearly every European language has developed its own spelling of his name. Louis (French), "Chlodwig" and Ludwig (German), Lodewijk (Dutch), and Lewis (English) are just four of the over 100 possible variations.

Scholars differ about the meaning of his name. Chlodovech is composed out of the Germanic roots Chlod- and -vech, which are usually associated with "glow" and "soldier". His name thus might have meant "illustrious in combat" or "glorious warrior".

[edit] Frankish consolidation
In 486, with the help of Ragnachar, Clovis defeated Syagrius, the last Roman official in northern Gaul, who ruled the area around Soissons in present-day Picardie.[2] This victory at Soissons extended Frankish rule to most of the area north of the Loire. After this, Clovis secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths, through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great. He followed this victory with another in 491 over a small group of Thuringians east of his territories. Later, with the help of the other Frankish sub-kings, he defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac. He had previously married the Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, following his victory at Tolbiac, he converted (traditionally in 496) to her Trinitarian Catholic faith. This was a significant change from the other Germanic kings, like the Visigoths and Vandals, who had embraced the rival Arian beliefs.

Saint Remigius baptizes Clovis, in a painting of ca 1500The conversion of Clovis to Catholic Christianity, the religion of the majority of his subjects, strengthened the bonds between his Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops, and their Germanic conquerors. However, Bernard Bachrach has argued that this conversion from his Frankish paganism alienated many of the other Frankish sub-kings and weakened his military position over the next few years. William Daly, in order more directly to assess Clovis' allegedly barbaric and pagan origins,[3] was obliged to ignore the bishop Gregory of Tours and base his account on the scant earlier sources, a sixth-century vita of Saint Genevieve and letters to or concerning Clovis from bishops and Theodoric.

In the familiar literary convention called interpretatio romana, Gregory of Tours gave the gods that Clovis abandoned the names of roughly equivalent Roman gods, such as Jupiter and Mercury.[4] Taken literally, such usage would suggest a strong affinity of early Frankish rulers for the prestige of Roman culture, which they may have embraced as allies and federates of the Empire during the previous century.[citation needed]

Though he fought a battle in Dijon in the year 500, Clovis did not successfully subdue the Burgundian kingdom. It appears that he somehow gained the support of the Arvernians in the following years, for they assisted him in his defeat of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé (507) which eliminated Visigothic power in Gaul and confined the Visigoths to Hispania the battle added most of Aquitaine to Clovis' kingdom.[2] He then established Paris as his capital,[2] and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine. Later the abbey was renamed in honor of Paris' patron saint, Geneviève.[5]

According to Gregory of Tours, following the Battle of Vouillé, Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, granted Clovis the title of consul. Since Clovis' name does not appear in the consular lists, it is likely he was granted a suffect consulship. Gregory also records Clovis' systematic campaigns following his victory in Vouillé to eliminate the other Frankish reguli or sub-kings. These included Sigobert the Lame and his son Chlodoric the Parricide Chararic, another king of the Salian Franks Ragnachar of Cambrai, his brother Ricchar, and their brother Rignomer of Le Mans.

[hide]Campaigns of Clovis I
Soissons Frankish-Thuringian Tolbiac Dijon Vouillé
Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet in Orléans to reform the church and create a strong link between the Crown and the Catholic episcopate. This was the First Council of Orléans.

Medal with obverse legend "Clovis Roy de France."
[edit] Death and succession
Clovis I died in 511 and is interred in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris, whereas his father had been buried with the older Merovingian kings in Tournai. Upon his death his realm was divided among his four sons: Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert, and Clotaire. This partitioning created the new political units of the Kingdoms of Rheims, Orléans, Paris and Soissons and inaugurated a period of disunity which was to last, with brief interruptions, until the end (751) of his Merovingian dynasty.

Gaul after Clovis' death.The legacy of Clovis is well-established on three heads: his unification of the Frankish nation, his conquest of Gaul, and his conversion to Roman Catholicism. By the first act, he assured the influence of his people in wider affairs, something no petty regional king could accomplish. By the second act, he laid the foundations of a later nation-state: France. Finally, by the third act, he made himself the ally of the papacy and its protector as well as that of the people, who were mostly Catholics.

Detracting, perhaps, from these acts of more than just national importance, his division of the state, not along national or even largely geographical lines, but primarily to assure equal income amongst the brothers on his death, which may or may not have been his intention, was the cause of much internal discord in Gaul and contributed in the long run to the fall of his dynasty, for it was a pattern constantly repeated.[6] Clovis did bequeath to his heirs the support of both people and church such that, when finally the magnates were ready to do away with the royal house, the sanction of the pope was sought first.

[edit] Notes
^ The date 481 is arrived at by counting back from the Battle of Tolbiac, which Gregory of Tours places in the fifteenth year of Clovis' reign.
^ a b c Iron Age Braumeisters of the Teutonic Forests. BeerAdvocate. Retrieved on 2006-06-02.
^ Daly, William M. Daly, "Clovis: How Barbaric, How Pagan?" Speculum 69.3 (July 1994:619-664)
^ Edward James, Gregory of Tours Life of the Fathers (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1985), p. 155 n. 12.
^ The abbey was demolished in 1802. All that remains is the Tour Clovis, a Romanesque tower which now lies within the grounds of the Lycée Henri IV, just east of The Panthéon.
^ "The Rise of the Carolingians or the Decline of the Merovingians?" (pdf)

[edit] Sources
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Clovis IDaly, William M., "Clovis: How Barbaric, How Pagan?" Speculum 69.3 (July 1994, pp. 619-664.
James, Edward. The Origins of France: Clovis to the Capetians 500-1000. Macmillan, 1982.
Kaiser, Reinhold. Das römische Erbe und das Merowingerreich. München 2004. (Enzyklopädie deutscher Geschichte 26)
Oman, Charles. The Dark Ages 476-918. Rivingtons: London, 1914.
Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. The Long-haired Kings. London, 1962.
The Oxford Merovingian Page.
Clovis I
Merovingian Dynasty
Born: 466 Died: November 27 511
Preceded by
Childeric I King of the Salian Franks
481 c. 509 Conquered Francia
Conquest
of Francia King of the Franks
c. 509 511 Succeeded by
Clotaire I
in Soissons
Succeeded by
Childebert I
in Paris
Succeeded by
Chlodomer
in Orleans
Succeeded by
Theuderic I
in Rheims


Death of Clovis I of the Franks

Clovis I died in Paris on November 27th 511, aged 46.

The Germanic peoples from across the Rhine who swarmed into the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries included the Franks, whose name seems to have meant ‘ferocious’. The Salian Franks proved the strongest of the Frankish tribes, under their Merovingian dynasty of kings, tracing its descent from a semi-legendary figure called Merovech. They founded modern France and were known as ‘the long-haired kings’ because by tradition they never cut their hair a story developed that traced their ancestry back to the Trojans. Their most important ruler was Clovis I, who took control of much of Roman Gaul. His name in Frankish was Chlodovec. It was Latinised as Ludovicus, which evolved into Louis it was to become the most common name for French monarchs.

Clovis was born about 465 and succeeded his father Childeric in 481, when he would have been 16 or so. The Merovingians at that point controlled the area around modern Tournai and Cambrai along today’s Franco-Belgian frontier where the Salian Franks had been settled since about 350. Clovis was clearly an exceptionally formidable leader and warrior, who set about bringing the other Frankish tribes under his sway. The defeat of the last Roman commander in northern Gaul in 486 secured his control of the area between the Somme and the Loire.

The main authority on Clovis’ life and achievements is Bishop Gregory of Tours, writing 50 years and more after Clovis’ death. According to Gregory Clovis was a pagan but in 493 he took a Christian wife from Burgundy, a devout Roman Catholic called Clotilde, who persistently urged her husband to abandon his pagan gods. He refused until 496 when, in serious danger of losing a battle, he called upon Jesus Christ for help, promising to become a faithful Christian in return, and the enemy immediately started to run away. Clovis kept his word, was duly baptised a Roman Catholic and according to Gregory thousands of his warriors followed suit. Some modern historians think Clovis may earlier have flirted with the Arian version of Christianity, but he certainly turned Roman Catholic and began the long and complicated history of relationships between the kings of France and the popes in Rome.

Clovis failed to subdue Burgundy, but in the early 500s he attacked the Visigoths in southern Gaul, took Bordeaux and reduced much of modern Aquitaine to obedience. He made shrewd use of the support of his Roman Catholic bishops to cement his power. His capital was Paris, where he died when he was about 46 and was buried in the Church of St Genevieve he had founded there. Clotilde survived until about 544, was buried beside him and was revered as a saint. The Merovingian dynasty ruled most of modern France for another 200 years.


Clovis – King of the Franks

While the power of the Roman Empire was declining there dwelt on the banks of the River Rhine a number of savage Teuton tribes called Franks. The word Frank means free, and those tribes took pride in being known as Franks or freemen. The Franks occupied the east bank of the Rhine for about two hundred years. Then many of the tribes crossed the river in search of new homes. The region west of the river was at that time called Gaul. Here the Franks established themselves and became a powerful people. From their name the country was afterwards called France.

Each tribe of the Franks had its own king. The greatest of all these kings was Chlodwig, or Clovis, as we call him, who became ruler of his tribe in the year 481, just six years after Theodoric became king of the Ostrogoths. Clovis was then only sixteen years of age. But though he was so young he proved in a very short time that he could govern as well as older men. He was intelligent and brave. No one ever knew him to be afraid of anything even when he was but a child. His father, who was named Childeric, often took him to wars which the Franks had with neighboring tribes, and he was very proud of his son’s bravery. The young man was also a bold and skillful horseman. He could tame and ride the most fiery horse.

When Clovis became king of the Franks a great part of Gaul still belonged to Rome. This part was then governed by a Roman general, named Syagrius. Clovis resolved to drive the Romans out of the country, and he talked over the matter with the head men of his army. “My desire,” said he, “is that the Franks shall have possession of every part of this fair land. I shall drive the Romans and their friends away and make Gaul the empire of the Franks.”

At this time the Romans had a great army in Gaul. It was encamped near the city of Soissons and was commanded by Syagrius. Clovis resolved to attack it and led his army at once to Soissons. When he came near the city he summoned Syagrius to surrender. Syagrius refused and asked for an interview with the commander of the Franks. Clovis consented to meet him, and an arrangement was made that the meeting should take place in the open space between the two armies. When Clovis stepped out in front of his own army, accompanied by some of his savage warriors, Syagrius also came forward. But the moment he saw the king of the Franks he laughed loudly and exclaimed: “A boy! A boy has come to fight me! The Franks with a boy to lead them have come to fight the Romans.” Clovis was very angry at this insulting language and shouted back: “Ay, but this boy will conquer you.”

Then both sides prepared for battle. The Romans thought that they would win the victory easily, but they were mistaken. Every time that they made a charge upon the Franks they were beaten back by the warriors of Clovis. The young king himself fought bravely at the head of his men and with his own sword struck down a number of the Romans. He tried to find Syagrius and fight with him but the Roman commander was nowhere to be found. Early in the battle he had fled from the field, leaving his men to defend themselves as best they could. The Franks gained a great victory. With their gallant boy king leading them on they drove the Roman’s before them, and when the battle was over they took possession of the city of Soissons. Clovis afterwards conquered all the other Frankish chiefs and made himself king of all the Franks.

Not very long after Clovis became king he heard of a beautiful young girl, the niece of Gondebaud, king of Burgundy, and he thought he would like to marry her. Her name was Clotilde, and she was an orphan, for her wicked uncle Gondebaud had killed her father and mother. Clovis sent one of his nobles to Gondebaud to ask her for his wife. At first Gondebaud thought of refusing to let the girl go. He feared that she might have him punished for the murder of her parents if she became the wife of so powerful a man as Clovis. But he was also afraid that by refusing he would provoke the anger of Clovis so he permitted the girl to be taken to the court of the king of the Franks. Clovis was delighted when he saw her and they were immediately married. Clotilde was a devout Christian, and she wished very much to convert her husband, who, like most of his people, was a worshiper of the heathen gods. But Clovis was not willing to give up his own religion. Nevertheless Clotilde continued to do every thing she could to persuade him to become a Christian.

Queen Clotilde, wife of King Clovis, is shown training her three young children the art of hurling the ax in order to avenge the death of her father.

Soon after his marriage Clovis had a war with a tribe called the Alemanni. This tribe had crossed the Rhine from Germany and taken possession of some of the eastern provinces of Gaul. Clovis speedily got his warriors together and marched against them. A battle was fought at a place called Tolbiac, not far from the present city of Cologne. In this battle the Franks were nearly beaten, for the Alemanni were fierce and brave men and skillful fighters. When Clovis saw his soldiers driven back several times he began to lose hope, but at that moment he thought of his pious wife and of the powerful God of whom she had so often spoken. Then he raised his hands to heaven and earnestly prayed to that God. “O God of Clotilde,” he cried, “help me in this my hour of need. If thou wilt give me victory now I will believe in thee.” Almost immediately the course of the battle began to change in favor of the Franks. Clovis led his warriors forward once more, and this time the Alemanni fled before them in terror. The Franks gained a great victory, and they believed it was in answer to the prayer of their king.

When Clovis returned home he did not forget his promise. He told Clotilde how he had prayed to her God for help and how his prayer had been heard, and he said he was now ready to become a Christian. Clotilde was very happy on hearing this, and she arranged that her husband should be baptized in the church of Rheims on the following Christmas day. Meanwhile Clovis issued a proclamation to his people declaring that he was a believer in Christ, and giving orders that all the images and temples of the heathen gods should be destroyed. This was immediately done, and many of the people followed his example and became Christians.

Clovis was a very earnest and fervent convert. One day the bishop of Rheims, while instructing him in the doctrines of Christianity, described the death of Christ. As the bishop proceeded Clovis became much excited, and at last jumped up from his seat and exclaimed: “Had I been there with my brave Franks I would have avenged His wrongs.”

On Christmas day a great multitude assembled in the church at Rheims to witness the baptism of the king. A large number of his fierce warriors were baptized at the same time. The service was performed with great ceremony by the bishop of Rheims, and the title of “Most Christian King” was conferred on Clovis by the Pope. This title was ever afterwards borne by the kings of France.

Baptism of Clovis - King of the Franks

Like most of the kings and chiefs of those rude and barbarous times, Clovis often did cruel and wicked things. When Rheims was captured, before he became a Christian, a golden vase was taken by some soldiers from the church. The bishop asked Clovis to have it returned, and Clovis bade him wait until the division of spoils. All the valuable things taken by soldiers in war were divided among the whole army, each man getting his share according to rank. When the next time came for dividing spoils Clovis asked that he might have the vase over and above his regular share, his intention being to return it to the bishop. But one of the soldiers objected, saying that the king should have no more than his fair share, and at the same time shattered the vase with his ax. Clovis was very angry, but at the time said nothing. Soon afterwards, however, there was the usual examination of the arms of the soldiers to see that they were in proper condition for active service. Clovis himself took part in the examination, and when he came to the soldier who had broken the vase he found fault with the condition of his weapons and with one blow of his battle-ax struck the man dead.

The next war that Clovis engaged in was with some tribes of the Goths who occupied the country called Aquitaine lying south of the River Loire. He defeated them and added Aquitaine to the kingdom of the Franks. Clovis afterwards made war upon other people of Gaul and defeated them. At last all the provinces from the lower Rhine to the Pyrenees Mountains were compelled to acknowledge him as king. He then went to reside at the city of Paris, which he made the capital of his kingdom. He died there A.D. 511.

The dynasty or family of kings to which he belonged is known in history as the Merovingian dynasty. It was so called from Merovæ’us, the father of Childeric and grandfather of Clovis.


APA citation. Kurth, G. (1908). Clovis. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04070a.htm

MLA citation. Kurth, Godefroid. "Clovis." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04070a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph P. Thomas.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.


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