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Saint and King Clovis, I

Saint and King Clovis, I (I76037)

Male Abt 466 - 511  (~ 45 years)

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  • Name Clovis   [1, 2, 3, 4
    Title Saint and King 
    Relationshipwith Albert Leopold Vitter
    Birth Abt 466 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    King of the Salian Franks and King of the Franks. Clovis I was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of petty kings to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs. He is considered to have been the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Frankish kingdom for the next two centuries. St. Clovis had no known official canonization, neither was he beatified, so his sainthood was only ever recognised by popular acclaim. Following the example of the monks of St. Geneviève, St. Clovis's feast day in France was held on 27 November. 
    Religion Chalcedonian Christianity  [1
    Death 27 Nov 511 
    Siblings 1 sister 
     1. Saint and King Clovis, I (current person),   b. Abt 466   d. 27 Nov 511  (Age ~ 45 years)
    Evochildis De Cologne   d. DECEASED    
    Saint and Queen Clotilde,   b. Abt 474, Lyon, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 3 Jun 548, Basilique de Saint-Martin, Tours, Indre-et-Loire, Centre, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 74 years),  m. 493  
     2. Queen Audofleda,   b. Abt 467   d. Abt 511, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 44 years)
    • Saint and King Clovis (circa 466 AD– 511 AD, Jeff Vitter's 48th great grandfather, via multiple paths) was baptized at the Reims Cathedral (still standing today) on Christmas day in 508 AD, beginning the kingdom of what would become known as France.  33 kings were coronated at Reims Cathedral in the following roughly 1,000 years. Clovis had converted to Catholicism in 496 AD, at the behest of his wife Clotilde (Jeff Vitter's 48th great grandmother, via multiple paths), which is celebrated in both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church.  Clotilde was later venerated as a saint, largely in recognition for her conversion of Clovis.

      Clovis and Clotilde started a long line of French kings, including their 8th great grandson Charlemagne (748 AD–814 AD), the first Holy Roman Emperor.
    Person ID I76037  Vitter-Weaver Genealogy | Jeff Vitter's Ancestor
    Last Modified 23 Oct 2023 

    Father King Childeric, I,   b. Abt 437   d. 481, Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 44 years) 
    Mother Queen Basina De Thuringia,   b. Abt 438   d. 477 (Age ~ 39 years) 
    Family ID F64067  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Evochildis De Cologne   d. DECEASED 
     1. King Theuderic, I,   b. Abt 485   d. Abt 534 (Age ~ 49 years)
    Family ID F64062  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 23 Oct 2023 

    Family 2 Saint and Queen Clotilde,   b. Abt 474, Lyon, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 3 Jun 548, Basilique de Saint-Martin, Tours, Indre-et-Loire, Centre, France Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 74 years) 
    Marriage 493  [1, 5
     1. Chlodomer,   b. Abt 495   d. 524, Battle of Vézeronce, Vézeronce, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 29 years)
     2. King Childebert, I,   b. Abt 496, Reims, Marne, Champagne-Ardenne, France Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 13 Dec 558, Vézeronce, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 62 years)
     3. King Chlothar, I,   b. Abt 497   d. 29 Nov 561, Compiègne, Oise, Picardie, France Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 64 years)
     4. Ingomar   d. DECEASED
    Family ID F59916  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 23 Oct 2023 

  • Photos
    Baptism of Clovis
    Baptism of Clovis

    Genealogy Charts
    Ancestors of Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor (748–814 AD)
    Ancestors of Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor (748–814 AD)
    Co-host Jeff Vitter of the website is a 39th great grandson of Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne de Herstal. Charlemagne's ancestors include several other kings and queens, as well as several saints and bishops. His 8th great grandparents were Clovis I and Clotilde, the first king and queen of France, in the 5th and 6th centuries. You…

  • Sources 
    1. [S890] Wikipedia, Clovis I.
      Clovis (Latin: Chlodovechus; reconstructed Frankish: *Hlodowig; c. 466 – 27 November 511)[1] was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of petty kings to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs.[2] He is considered to have been the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Frankish kingdom for the next two centuries.

      Clovis succeeded his father, Childeric I, as a king of Salian Franks in 481, and eventually came to rule an area extending from what is now the southern Netherlands to northern France, corresponding in Roman terms to Gallia Belgica (northern Gaul). At the Battle of Soissons (486) he established his military dominance of the rump state of the fragmenting Western Roman Empire which was then under the command of Syagrius. By the time of his death in either 511 or 513, Clovis had conquered several smaller Frankish kingdoms in the northeast of Gaul including some northern parts of what is now France. Clovis also conquered the Alemanni tribes in eastern Gaul, and the Visigothic kingdom of Aquitania in the southwest. These campaigns added significantly to Clovis's domains, and established his dynasty as a major political and military presence in western Europe.

      Clovis is important in the historiography of France as "the first king of what would become France".[3]

      Clovis is also significant due to his conversion to Catholicism in 496, largely at the behest of his wife, Clotilde, who would later be venerated as a saint for this act, celebrated today in both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. Clovis was baptized on Christmas Day in 508.[4] The adoption by Clovis of Catholicism (as opposed to the Arianism of most other Germanic tribes) led to widespread conversion among the Frankish peoples; to religious unification across what is now modern-day France, the Low Countries and Germany; three centuries later, to Charlemagne's alliance with the Bishop of Rome; and in the middle of the 10th century under Otto I the Great, to the consequent birth of the early Holy Roman Empire.

      1 Name
      2 Background
      3 Early reign (481–491)
      3.1 Road to Soissons
      3.2 Taming Gaul
      4 Middle reign (492–506)
      4.1 Barbarian bonding
      4.2 Assault of the Alamanni
      4.3 Business in Burgundy
      4.4 Armonici allies
      5 Late reign (507–511)
      5.1 Visiting the Visigoths
      5.2 Ravishing the Reguli
      5.3 Death
      6 Baptism
      7 Roman Law
      8 Legacy
      8.1 Sainthood
      9 Chronology
      10 References
      11 External links
      Main article: Clovis (given name)
      Based on the attested forms, the original name is reconstructed in the Frankish language as *Hlōdowik or *Hlōdowig and is traditionally considered to be composed of two elements, deriving from both Proto-Germanic: *hlūdaz ("loud, famous") and *wiganą ("to battle, to fight"), resulting in the traditional practice of translating Clovis' name as meaning "famous warrior" or "renowned in battle".[5][6]

      However, scholars have pointed out that Gregory of Tours consequently transcribes the names of various Merovingian royal names containing the first element as chlodo-. The use of a close-mid back protruded vowel (o), rather than the expected close back rounded vowel (u) which Gregory does use in various other Germanic names (i.e. Fredegundis, Arnulfus, Gundobadus, etc.) opens up the possibility that the first element instead derives from Proto-Germanic *hlutą ("lot, share, portion"), giving the meaning of the name as "loot bringer" or "plunder (bringing) warrior". This hypothesis is supported by the fact that if the first element is taken to mean "famous", then the name of Chlodomer (one of Clovis' sons) would contain two elements (*hlūdaz and *mērijaz) both meaning "famous", which would be highly uncommon within the typical Germanic name structure.[7][8]

      In Middle Dutch, a language closely related to Frankish, the name was rendered as Lodewijch (cf. modern Dutch Lodewijk).[9][10] The name is found in other West Germanic languages, with cognates including Old English Hloðwig, Old Saxon Hluduco, and Old High German Hludwīg (variant Hluotwīg).[5] The latter turned into Ludwig in Modern German, although the king Clovis himself is generally named Chlodwig.[10] The Old Norse form Hlǫðvér was most likely borrowed from a West Germanic language.[5]

      The Frankish name *Hlodowig is at the origin of the French given name Louis (variant Ludovic), borne by 18 kings of France, via the Latinized form Hludovicus (variants Ludhovicus, Lodhuvicus, or Chlodovicus).[6] The English Lewis stems from the Anglo-French Louis.[11] In Spanish, the name became Luis, in Italian Luigi (variants Ludovico and Venetian Alvise, rarer Aligi and Aloisio), and in Hungarian Lajos.[10]

      Clovis was the son of Childeric I, a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks, and Basina, a Thuringian princess. The dynasty he founded is, however, named after his supposed ancestor, Merovich. Clovis succeeded his father to become king at the age of 15 in 481, as deduced from Gregory of Tours placing the Battle of Tolbiac (Zülpich) in the fifteenth year of Clovis's reign.

      Numerous small Frankish petty kingdoms existed during the 5th century. The Salian Franks were the first-known Frankish tribe that settled with official Roman permission within the empire, first in Batavia in the Rhine-Maas delta, and then in 375 in Toxandria, roughly the current province of North Brabant in the Netherlands and parts of neighbouring Belgian provinces of Antwerp and Limburg in current Belgium. This put them in the north part of the Roman civitas Tungrorum, with Romanized population still dominant south of the military highway Boulogne-Cologne. Later, Chlodio seems to have attacked westwards from this area to take control of the Roman populations in Tournai, then southwards to Artois, and Cambrai, eventually controlling an area stretching to the Somme river.

      Childeric I, Clovis's father, was reputed to be a relative of Chlodio, and was known as the king of the Franks that fought as an army within northern Gaul. In 463 he fought in conjunction with Aegidius, the magister militum of northern Gaul, to defeat the Visigoths in Orléans. Childeric died in 481 and was buried in Tournai; Clovis succeeded him as king, aged just 15. Historians believe that Childeric and Clovis were both commanders of the Roman military in the Province of Belgica Secunda and were subordinate to the magister militum.[12] The Franks of Tournai came to dominate their neighbours, initially aided by the association with Aegidius.[13]

      The death of Flavius Aetius in 454 led to the decline of imperial power in the Gaul; leaving the Visigoths and the Burgundians compete for predominance in the area. The part of Gaul still under Roman control emerged as a kingdom under Syagrius, Aegidius's son.[14]

      Though no primary sources expounding on the language spoken by Clovis exist, historical linguist consider it likely that, based on his family history and core territories, he spoke a form of Old Dutch.[15] In this, the early Merovingians can be contrasted with the later Carolingians, such as Charlemagne, of the late 8th century and onward, who probably spoke various forms of Old High German.[16]

      Early reign (481–491)
      Road to Soissons
      See also: Battle of Soissons (486)
      The ruler of Tournai died in 481 and was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old son, Clovis. His band of warriors probably numbered no more than half a thousand. In 486 he began his efforts to expand the realm by allying himself with his relative, Ragnachar, regulus of Cambrai[17] and another Frankish regulus, Chalaric. Together the triumvirate marched against Syagrius and met the Gallo-Roman commander at Soissons. During the battle Chalaric betrayed his comrades by refusing to take part in the fighting.[18] Despite the betrayal, the Franks landed a decisive victory, forcing Syagrius to flee to the court of Alaric II.[17] This battle is viewed as bringing about the end of the rump state of the Western Roman Empire outside of Italy.[19] Following the battle, Clovis invaded the traitor Chararic's territory and was able to imprison him and his son.[18]

      Taming Gaul
      See also: Frankish campaign against the Thuringians (491)

      Conquests of Clovis between 481 and 511
      Prior to the battle, Clovis did not enjoy the support of the Gallo-Roman clergy, hence he proceeded to pillage the Roman territory, including the churches. The Bishop of Reims requested Clovis return everything taken from the Church of Reims, and, as the young king aspired to establish cordial relationships with the clergy, he returned a valuable ewer taken from the church.[20] Despite his position, some Roman cities refused to yield to the Franks, namely Verdun‒which surrendered after a brief siege‒and Paris, which stubbornly resisted a few years, perhaps as many as five.[17] He made Paris his capital[21] and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine.[22]

      Clovis came to the realisation that he wouldn't be able to rule Gaul without the help of the clergy and aimed to please the clergy by taking a Catholic wife.[20] He also integrated many of Syagrius's units into his own army. The Roman kingdom was probably under Clovis's control by 491, because in the same year Clovis successfully moved against a small number of Thuringians in the eastern Gaul, near the Burgundian border.[23]

      Middle reign (492–506)
      Barbarian bonding
      See also: Audofleda
      Around 493 AD, he secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great.[21] In the same year, the neighboring King of the Burgundians was slain by his brother, Gundobad; bringing civil strife to that kingdom. He proceeded to drown his sister-in-law and force his niece, Chrona, into a convent; another niece, Clotilde, fled to the court of her other uncle. Finding himself in a precarious position this uncle, Godegisel, decided to ally himself to Clovis by marrying his exiled niece to the Frankish king.[24]

      Assault of the Alamanni
      See also: Battle of Tolbiac

      Clovis I leading the Franks to victory in the Battle of Tolbiac, in Ary Scheffer's 1836 painting
      In 496 the Alamanni invaded, some Salians and Ripuarians reguli defected to their side. Clovis met his enemies near the strong fort of Tolbiac. During the fighting, the Franks suffered heavy losses and Clovis (+three thousand Frankish companions) might have converted to Christianity.[25] With the help of the Ripuarian Franks he narrowly defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac in 496.[21] Now Christian, Clovis confined his prisoners, Chararic and his son to a monastery.[18]

      Business in Burgundy
      See also: Franco-Visigothic Wars § Burgundian_civil_war_(500–501)
      In 500 or 501 the relationship between the Burgundian brothers took the turn to the worse began scheming against his brother. He promised his brother-in-law territory and annual tribute for defeating his brother. Clovis was eager to subdue the political threat to his realm and crossed to the Burgundian territory. After hearing about the incident Gundobad moved against Clovis and called his brother. The three armies met near Dijon, where both the Franks and Godegisel's forces defeated the host of dumbfounded Gundobad, who was able to escape to Avignon. Clovis proceeded to follow to the Burgundian king and laid siege to the city, however, after some months he was convinced to abandon the siege and settled for an annual tributary from Gundobad.[26]

      Armonici allies
      In 501, 502 or 503 Clovis led his troops to Armorica. He had previously restricted his operations to minor raids, yet, this time the goal was subjugation. Clovis's failed to complete his objective via military means, therefore, he was constrained to statecraft, which proved fruitful for the Armonici shared Clovis's disdain for the Arian Visigoths. And thus Armorica and her fighters were integrated into Frankish realm.[27]

      Late reign (507–511)
      Visiting the Visigoths
      See also: Franco-Visigothic Wars § Second Franco-Visigothic war (507–508)

      Frankish territories at the time of Clovis's death in 511
      In 507 Clovis was allowed by the magnates of his realm to invade the remaining threat of the Kingdom of the Visigoths.[28] King Alaric had previously tried to establish a cordial relationship with Clovis by serving him the head of exiled Syagrius on a silver plate in 486 or 487.[17] However, Clovis was no longer able to resist the temptation to move against the Visigoths for many Catholics under Visigoth yoke were unhappy and implored Clovis to make a move.[29] But just to be absolutely certain about retaining the loyalties of the Catholics under Visigoths, Clovis ordered his troops to omit raiding and plunder, for this was not a foreign invasion, but a liberation.[28]

      Armonici assisted him in defeating the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé in 507, eliminating Visigothic power in Gaul. The battle added most of Aquitaine to Clovis's kingdom[21] and resulted in the death of the Visigothic king Alaric II.

      According to Gregory of Tours, following the battle, the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I made Clovis a patrician and honorary consul.[30]

      Ravishing the Reguli
      In 507, following Vouillé, Clovis heard about Chararic's plan to escape from his monastic prison and had him murdered.[18]

      In the same year, Clovis convinced Prince Chlodoric to murder his father, earning him his nickname as Chlodoric the Parricide. Following the murder, Clovis betrayed Chlodoric and had his envoys strike him down.[31]

      In 509, Clovis visited his old ally, Ragnachar in Cambrai. Following his conversion, many of his pagan retainers had defected to Ragnachar's side, making him a political threat. Ragnachar denied Clovis's entry, prompting Clovis to make a move against him. He bribed Ragnachar's retainers and soon, Ragnachar and his brother, Ricchar were captured and executed.[32]


      The partition of the Frankish kingdom among the four sons of Clovis with Clotilde presiding, Grandes Chroniques de Saint-Denis (Bibliothèque municipale de Toulouse)
      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. Thirty-three bishops assisted and passed 31 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, so the exact date of his death is not known.[33] After his death, Clovis was laid to rest in the Abbey of St Genevieve in Paris. His remains were relocated to Saint Denis Basilica in the mid- to late 18th century.

      When Clovis died, his kingdom was partitioned among his four sons, Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert and Clotaire. This partition created the new political units of the Kingdoms of Rheims, Orléans, Paris and Soissons, and inaugurated a tradition that would lead to disunity lasting until the end of the Merovingian dynasty in 751. Clovis had been a king with no fixed capital and no central administration beyond his entourage. By deciding to be interred at Paris, Clovis gave the city symbolic weight. When his grandchildren divided royal power 50 years after his death in 511, Paris was kept as a joint property and a fixed symbol of the dynasty.[34]

      The disunity continued under the Carolingians until, after a brief unity under Charlemagne, the Franks splintered into distinct spheres of cultural influence that coalesced around Eastern and Western centers of royal power. These later political, linguistic, and cultural entities became the Kingdom of France, the myriad German States, and the semi-autonomous kingdoms of Burgundy and Lotharingia.


      Tomb of Clovis I at the Basilica of St Denis in Saint Denis
      Clovis was born a pagan but later became interested in converting to Arian Christianity, whose followers believed that Jesus was a distinct and separate being from God the Father, both subordinate to and created by Him. This contrasted Nicene Christianity, whose followers believe that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three persons of one being (consubstantiality). While the theology of the Arians was declared a heresy at the First Council of Nicea in 325, the missionary work of 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 in the minority.

      Clovis's wife Clotilde, a Burgundian princess, was a Catholic despite the Arianism that surrounded her at court.[35] Her persistence eventually persuaded Clovis to convert to Catholicism, which he initially resisted. Clotilde had wanted her son to be baptized, but Clovis refused, so she had the child baptized without Clovis's knowledge. Shortly after his baptism, their son died, which further strengthened Clovis's resistance to conversion. Clotilde also had their second son baptized without her husband's permission, and this son became ill and nearly died after his baptism.[36] Clovis eventually converted to Catholicism following the Battle of Tolbiac on Christmas Day 508[37][38] in a small church in the vicinity of the subsequent Abbey of Saint-Remi in Reims; a statue of his baptism by Saint Remigius can still be seen there. The details of this event have been passed down by Gregory of Tours, who recorded them many years later in the 6th century.

      The king's Catholic baptism was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, as Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of Gaul. Catholicism offered certain advantages to Clovis as he fought to distinguish his rule among many competing power centers in Western Europe. His 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 Germanic paganism 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 as well.[39]

      On the other hand, Bernard Bachrach has argued that his conversion from Frankish paganism alienated many of the other Frankish sub-kings and weakened his military position over the next few years. In the interpretatio romana, Saint Gregory of Tours gave the Germanic gods that Clovis abandoned the names of roughly equivalent Roman gods, such as Jupiter and Mercury.[40] William Daly, more directly assessing Clovis's allegedly barbaric and pagan origins,[41] ignored the Gregory of Tours version and based his account on the scant earlier sources, a sixth-century "vita" of Saint Genevieve and letters to or concerning Clovis from bishops (now in the Epistolae Austrasicae) and Theodoric.

      Clovis and his wife were buried in the Abbey of St Genevieve (St. Pierre) in Paris; the original name of the church was the Church of the Holy Apostles.[42]

      Roman Law
      Main article: Lex salica
      Under Clovis, the first codification of the Salian Frank law took place. The Roman Law was written with the assistance of Gallo-Romans to reflect the Salic legal tradition and Christianity, while containing much from Roman tradition. The Roman Law lists various crimes as well as the fines associated with them.[43]

      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.[44] To the French people, he is the founder of France.

      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.[45] 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.

      By his conversion to Christianity he made himself the ally of the papacy and its protector as well as that of the people, who were mostly Catholics.[citation needed]

      Images of the King

      Battle of Tolbiac. Fresco at the Panthéon (Paris) by Joseph Blanc, circa 1881

      Saint Remigius baptizes Clovis, in a painting of c. 1500

      Statue depicting the baptism of Clovis by Saint Remigius

      Clovis statue at the Abbey Church of Saint-Denis

      The Sons of Clovis, by Georges Moreau de Tours (1877)

      King Saint Clovis
      Baptême de Clovis.jpg
      King and New Constantine
      Born c. 466
      Died 27 November 511
      Venerated in Catholic Church in France and South Italy
      Major shrine Basilica of Saint-Denis; Abbey of Saint Genevieve; Moissac Abbey
      Feast 27 November (France),[46]: 497
      26 October (South Italy)[47]: 39
      Attributes suit-of-armour; upright sword; fleur-de-lis; three frogs (his attributed arms)
      Patronage France[48]: 25
      Controversy Lack of papal approval; debated violent character; interference from the French state.
      In later centuries, Clovis was venerated as a saint in France. The Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Denis (where Clovis was buried) had a shrine to St. Clovis to the east of the main altar.[49]: 34  There was also a shrine to him in the Abbey of Saint Genevieve in Paris.[50]: 140  This shrine had a statue and a number of epitaphs and was probably where the veneration of St. Clovis began.[46]: 497–502  Despite Clovis's presence in Paris, his cultus was largely based in the south of France. Abbot Aymeric de Peyrat (d. 1406), the author of the History of the Moissac Abbey, claimed that his own monastery was founded by St. Clovis and there were many monasteries named in his honour.[51]: 130  Aymeric not only referred to Clovis as a saint but also prayed for St. Clovis's intercession.[51]: 130  There were also known to be shrines dedicated to Clovis in Église Sainte-Marthe de Tarascon and Saint-Pierre-du-Dorât.[50]: 140 [52]: 73  Boniface Symoneta, Jacques Almain and Paulus Aemilius Veronensis gave hagiographic accounts of Clovis's life and at the time it was common to include Clovis's life in collections of the lives of the saints.[52]: 73

      It has been suggested that the reason that the French state promoted the veneration of Clovis in the south was to establish a border cult that would cause Occitans to venerate the northern-led French state by venerating its founder.[52]: 73  Another reason could be that Clovis was a preferable foundation figure for the House of Valois as their predecessors were the Direct Capetians who looked back to Charlemagne whose veneration had been widely recognised.[53]: 140  In contrast to the theory of St. Clovis's cult being a primarily northern-supported movement, Amy Goodrich Remensnyder suggests that St. Clovis was used by Occitans to reject the northern concept of the monarchy and to reinstate their autonomy as something granted by the saint.[51]: 119–126

      St. Clovis had the role of a more militarised royal saint than the pious Louis IX of France.[54]: 297  As a saint, Clovis was important as he represented the spiritual birth of the nation and provided a chivalrous and ascetic model for French political leaders to follow.[55]: 54  The veneration of St. Clovis was not exclusive to France as a print by the Holy Roman woodcut designer Leonhard Beck made for the Habsburg monarchs depicts Clovis as St. Chlodoveus,[56] St. Boniface's Abbey in Munich depicted St. Chlodoveus as a saint worthy of emulation because of his advocacy,[57]: 239  and the Florentine Baroque painter Carlo Dolci painted a large depiction of St. Clovis for the Imperial Apartment in the Uffizi Gallery.[58]: 106 [59]: 101

      St. Clovis had no known official canonisation, neither was he beatified, so his sainthood was only ever recognised by popular acclaim.[55]: 54  Following the example of the monks of St. Geneviève, St. Clovis's feast day in France was held on 27 November.[46]: 497  St. Clovis enjoyed a persistent campaign from French royal authorities that few non-French national or dynastic saints did.[54]: 297  French monarchs, beginning in the 14th century at the latest, attempted to officially canonise Clovis a number of times.[60]: 59  The most notable attempt, led by King Louis XI and modelled on the successful canonisation campaign of Louis IX, occurred during a conflict with the Burgundians.[61]: 13  The cause for Clovis's canonisation was taken up once again in the 17th century, with Jesuit support, a vita and an account of posthumous miracles, in opposition to the controversial historical works of Calvinist pastor Jean de Serres who portrayed Clovis as a cruel and bloodthirsty king.[60]: 53–54, 59

      The Jesuit attempt to formally canonize Clovis came after a rediscovery of Clovis's cultus in the 16th century. During this period, the dual role St. Clovis could have for modern France was clarified as that of a deeply sinful man who attained sainthood by submitting himself to the will of God, as well as being the founder of the Gallican Church.[62]: 154–155  He also attained an essentially mystic reputation.[62]: 154  St. Clovis role in calling for the First Council of Orléans was understood to be strongly Gallican as he called it without Papal authority and with the understanding that he and his bishops had the authority to call councils that were binding for the Frankish people.[62]: 157  For Protestant Gallicans, St. Clovis represented the role of the monarchy in governing the Church and curbing its abuses and was contrasted positively against the Papacy of his time.[62]: 155  Protestants were unlikely to mention any of the miracles attributed to St. Clovis, sometimes even writing lengthy rejections of their existence.[62]: 158  Instead, they saw his sainthood as evident from his creation of a state more holy and Christian than that of Rome.[62]: 158

      Catholic writers in the 16th century expanded upon the lists of St. Clovis's attributed miracles, but in the early 17th century they also began to minimize their use of the miraculous elements of his hagiography.[62]: 164  Mid-to-late-17th-century Jesuit writers resisted this trend and allowed for no doubt as to the miraculous nature of St. Clovis life or his sainthood. [62]: 164  Jesuit writers stressed the more extreme elements of his hagiography, and that of other saints associated with him, even claiming that St. Remigius lived for five hundred years.[62]: 165  These hagiographies would still be quoted and widely believed as late as 1896, the fourteenth centenary of his baptism, as a speech from Cardinal Langénieux demonstrates.[62]: 167  Another factor that led to a resurgence in St. Clovis's veneration was the Spanish Monarchy's use of the title Catholic Monarchs, a title French Monarchs hoped to usurp by attributing it to the much earlier figure of St. Clovis.[62]: 162

      c. 466: Clovis is born in Tournai.
      c. 467: Clovis's sister, Audofleda is born.
      c. 468: Clovis's sister, Lenteild is born.
      c. 470: Clovis's sister Albofledis is born.
      c. 477: Clovis's mother Basina dies.
      c. 481: Clovis's father Childeric I dies and is succeeded by Clovis.
      c. 486: Clovis defeats Syagrius in Soissons and begins the takeover of the kingdom.
      c. 487: Clovis's son Theuderic I is born.
      c. 491: Clovis completes the conquest of the kingdom and turns his attention elsewhere.
      c. 493:
      Clovis marries Audofleda to Theoderic the Great.
      Clovis marries a Burgundian princess, Clotilde.
      c. 494: Clovis's and Clotilde's first child, Ingomer is born and dies.
      c. 495:
      Clovis's and Clotilde's second son Chlodomer is born.
      Clovis becomes an uncle as Audofleda gives birth to an Ostrogothic princess, Amalasuntha.
      c. 496:
      Clovis is baptised (early estimate)
      Clovis defeats the Alamanni threat.
      Clovis's and Clotilde's third son Childebert I is born.
      c. 497. Clovis's and Clotilde's fourth son Chlothar I is born.
      c. 500:
      Clovis subjugates Burgundy.
      Clovis's and Clotilde's only daughter Clotilde is born.
      Albofledis dies.
      c. 501: Clovis's ally and brother-in-law Godegisel is murdered.
      c. 502:
      Clovis allies himself with the Armonici.
      Theuderic marries Suavegotha.
      c. 503: Clovis becomes a grandfather, when Theuderic secures a son of his own, Theudebert I.
      c. 507: Clovis liberates Aquitainia and murders various Frankish reguli.
      c. 508: Clovis baptized by the Bishop of Reims (late estimate).[63]
      c. 509:
      Clovis executes the last pagan regulus.
      Clovis is declared the king of all the Franks.
      511 November 27 or 513: Clovis dies in Paris


      Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Clovis" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 563–564.
      Brown, Peter (2003). The Rise of Western Christendom. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. p. 137.[ISBN missing]
      General Charles de Gaulle is cited (in the biography by David Schœnbrun, 1965), as having said "For me, the history of France begins with Clovis, elected as king of France by the tribe of the Franks, who gave their name to France. Before Clovis, we have Gallo-Roman and Gaulish prehistory. The decisive element, for me, is that Clovis was the first king to have been baptized a Christian. My country is a Christian country and I reckon the history of France beginning with the accession of a Christian king who bore the name of the Franks." (Pour moi, l'histoire de France commence avec Clovis, choisi comme roi de France par la tribu des Francs, qui donnèrent leur nom à la France. Avant Clovis, nous avons la Préhistoire gallo-romaine et gauloise. L'élément décisif pour moi, c'est que Clovis fut le premier roi à être baptisé chrétien. Mon pays est un pays chrétien et je commence à compter l'histoire de France à partir de l'accession d'un roi chrétien qui porte le nom des Francs.)
      Danuta, Shanzer (March 1998). "Dating the baptism of Clovis: the bishop of Vienne vs the bishop of Tours". Early Medieval Europe. 7 (1): 29–57. doi:10.1111/1468-0254.00017.
      de Vries, Jan (1962). Altnordisches Etymologisches Worterbuch (1977 ed.). Brill. p. 239. ISBN 978-90-04-05436-3.
      Zheltukhina, Marina R.; Vikulova, Larisa G.; Vasileva, Gennady G. Slyshkin & Ekaterina G. (2016). "Naming as Instrument of Strengthening of the Dynastic Power in the early middle Ages (France, England, Vth –XIth Centuries)". International Journal of Environmental and Science Education: 7200–7202.
      Julius Pokorny (1959), Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, Bern.
      Nederlandse Voornamenbank, Lodewijk, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Meertens Institute.
      Meertens Instituut, Nederlandse Voornamenbank, Lodewijk. The second element corresponds to Middle High German wîc, with final-obstruent devoicing, as in Ludewic. The Middle Dutch form is wijch (modern Dutch wijg; see WNT, "wijg"), as in original Dutch Hadewig, Hadewijch.
      Paraschkewow, Boris (2004). Wörter und Namen gleicher Herkunft und Struktur: Lexikon etymologischer Dubletten im Deutschen (in German). Walter de Gruyter. p. 57. ISBN 978-3-11-017470-0.
      "Lewis". Online Etymology Dictionary.
      Rosenwein, Barbara (2004). A Short History of the Middle Ages. Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 43.[ISBN missing]
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      Jelle Stegeman: Grote geschiedenis van de Nederlandse taal, Amsterdam 2021, §
      Einhard, Vita Karoli 25. & Janet Nelson: King and Emperor. London 2019, pp. 68.
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      The Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. 2, (Henry Melvill Gwatkin et al, eds.), Macmillan, 1913, p. 110
      Frassetto, Michael, Encyclopedia of barbarian Europe, (ABC-CLIO, 2003), p. 126
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      "Iron Age Braumeisters of the Teutonic Forests". BeerAdvocate.
      The abbey was later renamed Sainte-Geneviève Abbey, in honor of the patron saint of Paris, and 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, and the parish Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, which was built on the abbey territory.
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      "Clotilda, Saint" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 557.
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. U of Minnesota Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0816657001.
      Mathisen, Ralph W. (2012). "Clovis, Anastasius, and Political Status in 508 C.E.: The Frankish Aftermath of the Battle of Vouillé". In Mathisen, Ralph W.; Shanzer, Danuta (eds.). The Battle of Vouillé, 507 CE: Where France Began. De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9781614510994.79. ISBN 978-1-61451-099-4.
      Howorth, H.H., "The Ethnology of Germany", The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 13, Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1884, p. 235
      Bachrach (1972), 31; Gregory, II, 42.
      Collins, Roger, Early Medieval Europe
      Patrick Boucheron, et al., eds. France in the World: A New Global History (2019) pp 85–86.
      Ian Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, (Longman, 1994), 45.
      Geary, Patrick (2003). Readings in Medieval History: Gregory of Tours History of the Franks. Canada: Broadview Press Ltd. pp. 145–146.
      Danuta, Shanzer (March 1998). "Dating the Baptism of Clovis: The bishop of Vienna vs the bishop of Tours". Early Medieval Europe. 7 (1): 29–57. doi:10.1111/1468-0254.00017.
      Gender and Conversion in the Merovingian Era, Cordula Nolte, Varieties of Religious Conversion in the Middle Ages, ed. James Muldoon, (University of Florida Press, 1997), 88
      Robinson, J.H. (1905). Readings in European History. Boston. pp. 51–55.
      James, Edward (1985) Gregory of Tours: Life of the Fathers. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press; p. 155 n. 12
      Daly, William M., "Clovis: How Barbaric, How Pagan?" Speculum 69.3 (July 1994:619–664)
      Geary, Patrick (2003). Readings in Medieval History: Gregory of Tours History of the Franks. Canada: Broadview Press Ltd. p. 153.
      Geary, Patrick (2003). Readings in Medieval History:Rome Law. Canada: Broadview Press Ltd. pp. 129–136.
      Rickard, J (1 January 2013), Clovis I, King of the Franks, r. 481–511
      "The Rise of the Carolingians or the Decline of the Merovingians?" (pdf)
      Lombard-Jourdan, Anne. L’invention du "roi fondateur" à Paris au XIIe siècle : de l’obligation morale au thème sculptural. Bibliothèque de l’école des chartes (1997): 485-542.
      Sacro Regio Consiglio (S.R.C.) del Regno di Napoli, Notiziario ragionato del Sacro Regio Consiglio e della Real Camera di s. Chiara
      Breuilly, John The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism
      Penman, Michael, and Erica Carrick Utsi. In Search of the Scottish Royal Mausoleum at the Benedictine Abbey of Dunfermline, Fife: Medieval Liturgy, Antiquarianism, and a Ground-Penetrating Radar Pilot Survey, 2016–19.
      Jansen, Philippe. La part du Midi dans la naissance de la nation française: Beaune (Colette), Naissance de la Nation France, Paris, Gallimard, Bibliothèque des Histoires, 1985. Annales du Midi. Vol. 99. No. 177. Privat, 1987.
      Remensnyder, Amy Goodrich Remembering Kings Past: Monastic Foundation Legends in Medieval Southern France
      Krynen, Jacques. «Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?» La réponse médiévale française. Revue historique de droit français et étranger (1922–) 64.1 (1986): 71–78.
      Renna, Thomas. Saint Louis IX and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. Expositions 9.2 (2015): 35–79.
      Ruddick, Andrea English Identity and Political Culture in the Fourteenth Century
      Lloberah, Josep R.The God of Modernity: The Development of Nationalism in Western Europe
      "Print; book-illustration | British Museum".
      von Chlingenberg, M. Das Königreich Bayern in seinem alterthümlichen, geschichtlichen, artistischen und malerischen Schönheiten, in einer Reihe von Stahlstichen mit begleitendem Texte. Vol. 3. Georg Franz, 1854.
      Brown, Thomas The Reminiscences of an Old Traveller Throughout Different Parts of Europe
      Lee, Edwin Bradshaw's companion to the Continent
      Grell, Chantal Le baptême de Clovis aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. Versalia. Revue de la Société des Amis de Versailles 1.1 (1998): 48–59.
      Koopmans, Jelle. Le Mystere de Saint Remi
      Yardeni, Myriam. "Le christianisme de Clovis aux XVI e et XVII e siècles." Bibliothèque de l’École des chartes (1996): 153–172.
      "Clovis I | Biography, Significance, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica.

      Daly, William M. (1994) "Clovis: How Barbaric, How Pagan?" Speculum, 69:3 (1994), 619–664
      James, Edward (1982) The Origins of France: Clovis to the Capetians, 500–1000. London: Macmillan, 1982
      Kaiser, Reinhold (2004) "Das römische Erbe und das Merowingerreich", in: Enzyklopädie deutscher Geschichte; 26. Munich (in German)
      Oman, Charles (1914) The Dark Ages 476–918. London: Rivingtons
      Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. (1962) The Long-haired Kings. London

    2. [S890] Wikipedia, Theuderic I.
      Theuderic I[a] (c. 485 – 533/34) was the Merovingian king of Metz, Rheims, or Austrasia—as it is variously called—from 511 to 533 or 534.

      He was the son of Clovis I and one of his earlier wives or concubines (possibly a Franco-Rhenish Princess, Evochildis of Cologne).[1] In accordance with Salian tradition, the kingdom was divided between Clovis's four surviving sons: Childebert I in Paris, Chlodomer in Orléans, and Chlothar I in Soissons. Theuderic inherited Metz in 511 at his father's death. Early in his reign, he sent his son Theudebert to kill the Scandinavian King Chlochilaich (Hygelac of Beowulf fame) who had invaded his realm.[2]

      Theuderic got involved in the war between the Thuringian King Hermanfrid and his brother Baderic. Theuderic was promised half of Thuringia for his help; Baderic was defeated, but the land promised was not given up. In 531, Theuderic invaded Thuringia with the support of Chlothar. Hermanfrid was killed in battle at Unstrut and his kingdom was annexed.[1]

      The four sons of Clovis then all fought the Burgundian kings Sigismund and Godomar; Godomar fled and Sigismund was taken prisoner by Chlodomer. Theuderic married Sigismund's daughter Suavegotha. Godomar rallied the Burgundian army and won back his kingdom. Chlodomer, aided by Theuderic, defeated Godomar, but died in the fighting at Vézeronce.

      Theuderic then, with his brother Chlothar and his son, attacked Thuringia to avenge himself on Hermanfrid. With the assistance of the Saxons under Duke Hadugato, Thuringia was conquered, and Chlothar received Radegund, daughter of King Berthar (Hermanfrid's late brother). After making a treaty with his brother Childebert, Theuderic died in 534. Upon his death the throne of Metz, passed (without hindrance, unexpectedly) to his son Theudebert. Theuderic also left a daughter Theodechild (by his wife Suavegotha, daughter of the defeated Sigismund of Burgundy). Theodechild founded the Abbey of St-Pierre le Vif at Sens.[3]

    3. [S890] Wikipedia, Childeric I.
      Childeric I (/ˈkɪldərɪk/; French: Childéric; Latin: Childericus; reconstructed Frankish: *Hildirīk;[4] c. 437 – 481 AD) was a Frankish leader in the northern part of imperial Roman Gaul and a member of the Merovingian dynasty, described as a king (Latin rex), both on his Roman-style seal ring, which was buried with him, and in fragmentary later records of his life. He was father of Clovis I, who acquired effective control over all or most Frankish kingdoms, and a significant part of Roman Gaul.

      Childeric's father is recorded by several sources including Gregory of Tours to have been Merovech, whose name is the basis of the Merovingian dynasty.[5] Gregory reports that Merovech was reputed by some to be a descendant of Chlodio who was an earlier Frankish king who had conquered Roman Gaulish areas first in the Silva Carbonaria, then in Tournai, Cambrai and as far south as the Somme. This is roughly the definition of the Roman province of Belgica Secunda (approximately the "Belgium" defined by Julius Caesar centuries earlier, the region stretching from north of Paris to the Flemish coast) and later a letter of Saint Remigius to Childeric's son Clovis I implies that Childeric had been the administrative chief of this Roman province.

      In records about specific actions of Childeric himself, he is mainly associated with the Roman military actions around the Loire river, where he appears in records involving the Gallo-Roman general Aegidius. According to Gregory of Tours, Childeric was exiled to "Thuringia" for eight years due to Frankish distaste at his debauchery and his seduction of his subjects' daughters.[6] In the meantime, according to Gregory, Aegidius himself took up the title of king of the Franks. Upon his return from exile, Childeric joined his host's wife, Queen Basina, who bore their son Clovis.[7]

      Guy Halsall connects the story to Roman politics, Aegidius being an appointee of Majorian:

      Although this is only one interpretation of the fragmentary sources, an eight-year period ending with Aegidius' death would allow us to associate Childeric's expulsion with Majorian's accession and appointment of Aegidius.[8] ... Majorian's commander on the Loire, Aegidius, refused to accept Severus as emperor. It is possible that, to legitimise his position, he took the title king of the Franks.[9]

      Halsall (p. 269) speculates that Childeric probably began a Roman military career in the service of Flavius Aetius who defeated Attila in Gaul, and he points out that much of his military career appears to have played out far from the Frankish homelands. Ulrich Nonn (map p. 37, and pp. 99–100), following his teacher Eugen Ewig, believes that the exile story reflects a real sequence of events whereby Childeric was a leader of "Salian" or "Belgian" Franks based in the Romanized areas conquered by Chlodio, who were allies under the lordship of Aegidius, but eventually able to take over his power when he and his imperial patron died. (Childeric's son Clovis I later fought Aegidius' son Syagrius who was remembered as a King of Romans, and who had control of Soissons in the south of Belgica Secunda.)

      In a passage normally considered to have come from a lost collection of annals, Gregory (II.18) gives a sequence of events which are very difficult to interpret. In 463 Childeric and Aegidius successfully repelled the Visigoths of Theodoric II from Orléans on the Loire.[10] After the death of Aegidius soon after, Childeric and a comes ("count") Paul are recorded defending the Loire region from Saxon raiders, who were possibly coordinating with the Goths now under Euric. Childeric and Paul fought Saxons under the command of a leader named "Adovacrius" (sometimes given by modern authors in either an Anglo-Saxon spelling form, Eadwacer, or in a spelling the same as used for his contemporary the future King of Italy Odoacer, with whom he is sometimes equated). The origin of these "Saxons" is however unclear, and they are described as being based upon islands somewhere in the Loire regio

      Soon after this passage, Gregory of Tours (II.19) reports that Childeric coordinated with "Odovacrius", this time normally assumed to be the King of Italy, against Allemanni who had entered Italy. While some authors interpret these Allemani to be Alans, a people established in the Loire region in this period, there is no consensus on this, because the reference in this case is not apparently to events near the Loire.[citation needed]

      Marriage, children, and death
      Gregory of Tours, in his History of the Franks, mentions several siblings of Clovis within his narrative, apparently thus children of Childeric:

      Clovis I (died 511), whose mother was Basina.
      Audofleda, Queen of the Ostrogoths, wife of Theodoric the Great. Gregory III.31 also mentions their daughter Amalasuntha.
      Lanthechild. Gregory II.31 mentions she had been an Arian but converted to Catholicism with Clovis.
      Albofleda (died approximately 500). Gregory II.31 mentions that she died soon after being baptized with Clovis.
      Childeric is generally considered to have died in 481 or 482 based on Gregory's reports that his son Clovis died in 511 and had ruled 30 years.[11]

      Childeric's tomb was discovered in 1653[12] not far from the 12th-century church of Saint-Brice in Tournai, now in Belgium.[13] Numerous precious objects were found, including jewels of gold and garnet cloisonné, gold coins, a gold bull's head, and a ring with the king's name inscribed. Some 300 golden winged insects (usually viewed as bees or cicadas) were also found which had been placed on the king's cloak.[12] Archduke Leopold William, governor of the Southern Netherlands (today's Belgium), had the find published in Latin. The treasure went first to the Habsburgs in Vienna, then as a gift to King Louis XIV of France, who was not impressed with the treasure and stored it in the royal library, which became the Bibliothèque Nationale de France during the Revolution.

      On the night of November 5–6, 1831, the treasure of Childeric was among 80 kg of treasure stolen from the Library and melted down for the gold. A few pieces were retrieved from where they had been hidden in the Seine, including two of the bees. The record of the treasure, however, now exists only in the fine engravings made at the time of its discovery and in some reproductions made for the Habsburgs.[14]

      Origin of Napoleonic bees
      When Napoleon was looking for a heraldic symbol to trump the Capetian fleur-de-lys, he settled on Childeric's bees as symbols of the French Empire. The minutes of a meeting of the Conseil d'État held at Saint-Cloud in June 1804 suggest that it approved the symbolism of the bees on a suggestion by Cambacérès. The design was made by Vivant Denon, Director of the Louvre.[15]

    4. [S890] Wikipedia, Merovech.

    5. [S890] Wikipedia, Clotilde.
      Clotilde (c. 474–545), also known as Clothilde, Clotilda, Clotild, Rotilde etc. (Latin: Chrodechildis, Chlodechildis from Frankish *Hrōþihildi or perhaps *Hlōdihildi, both "famous in battle"), was a Queen of All the Franks. She was supposedly descended from the Gothic king Athanaric and became the second wife of the Frankish king Clovis I (r. 481–509) in 493.[2] The Merovingian dynasty to which her husband belonged ruled Frankish kingdoms for over 200 years[3][4] (450–758).

      Venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church as well as by the Eastern Orthodox Church, she played a role in her husband's famous conversion to Christianity and, in her later years, became known for her almsgiving and penitential works of mercy.[5] She is credited with spreading Christianity within western Europe.


      St Clotilde at prayer (illuminated initial)
      Clotilde was born at the Burgundian court of Lyon, the daughter of King Chilperic II of Burgundy. Upon the death of Chilperic's father King Gondioc in 473, Chilperic and his brothers Gundobad and Godegisel divided their inheritance; Chilperic II apparently reigning at Lyon, Gundobad at Vienne, and Godegesil at Geneva.[6]

      From the sixth century on, the marriage of Clovis and Clotilda was made the theme of epic narratives, in which the original facts were materially altered and the various versions found their way into the works of different Frankish chroniclers. According to Gregory of Tours (538–594), in 493 Chilperic II was slain by his brother Gundobad and his wife Caretena was drowned with a stone hung around her neck, while of his two daughters, Chrona took the veil and Clotilde was exiled. It is, however, assumed that this tale is apocryphal. Butler's account follows Gregory.

      After the death of Chilperic, her mother seems to have made her home with Godegisil at Geneva, where her other daughter, Chrona, founded the church of Saint-Victor. Soon after the death of Chilperic in 493, Clovis asked and obtained the hand of Clotilde.[6] They were married in 493.

      The marriage produced the following children:

      Ingomer (born and died 494).
      Chlodomer (495–524), King of the Franks at Orléans from 511.
      Childebert I (496–558), King of the Franks at Paris from 511.
      Chlothar I (497–561), King of the Franks at Soissons from 511, King of all Franks from 558.
      Clotilde (500–531), married Amalaric, King of the Visigoths.

      Clotilde was brought up as a Christian and did not rest until her husband Clovis had abjured paganism and embraced Christianity. According to Gregory of Tours' Historia Francorum (History of the Franks), when Clotilde had their first child baptised, he died soon after. Clovis upbraided her; but when Chlodomer was born, she insisted on baptising him also. Although Chlodomer did indeed fall ill, he soon after recovered. More healthy children followed.

      Clotilde's victory came in 496, when Clovis converted to Christianity, baptised by Bishop Remigius of Reims on Christmas Day of that year. According to tradition, on the eve of the Battle of Tolbiac against the Alamanni, Clovis prayed to God, swearing to be baptised if he emerged victorious on the battlefield. When he did indeed triumph, Clovis readily took the faith. With him Clotilde built at Paris the Church of the Holy Apostles, afterwards known as the Abbey of St Genevieve.[7]


      Unusually, Clotilde was a Catholic Christian at a time when Goths, including the Burgundians, were Arian Christians. Therefore Clovis became a Catholic. This ensured that he had the support of the Eastern Roman Empire in his wars against his rival Arian Gothic tribes, since the Romans were Catholics. When the Franks eventually gained dominance over Western Europe, it was Catholicism which became the prevalent kind of Christianity, and Arianism died out.[10]

      Later years

      Clotilde and her sons, Grandes Chroniques de Saint-Denis
      After Clovis' death in 511, Clotilde retired to the Abbey of St. Martin at Tours.

      In 523 Clotilde's sons went to war against her cousin King Sigismund of Burgundy, the son of Gundobad, which led to Sigismund's deposition and imprisonment. Sigismund was assassinated the following year and his body thrown down a well in symbolic retaliation for the deaths of Clotilde's parents. Gregory of Tours claimed – and many others have followed – that Clotilde incited her sons to war as a means to revenge the supposed murder of her parents by Gundobad while others, such as Godefroid Kurth, find this unconvincing and apocryphal. Subsequently, her eldest son Chlodomer was killed during the following Burgundian campaign under Sigismund's successor King Godomar at the Battle of Vézeronce. Her daughter, also named Clotilde, also died about this time. Clotilde tried in vain to protect the rights of her three grandsons, the children of Chlodomer, against the claims of her surviving sons Childebert and Chlothar. Chlothar had two of them killed, while only Clodoald (Cloud) managed to escape and later chose an ecclesiastical career. She was equally unsuccessful in her efforts to prevent the civil discords between her children.

      After these failures, Clotilde appeared to dedicate herself to a saintly life. She occupied herself with the building of churches and monasteries, preferring to distance herself from the power struggles of the court. Churches associated with her are located at Laon and Rouen.

      Clotilde died in 545 at the tomb of St. Martin of Tours, of natural causes; she was buried at her husband's side, in the Church of the Holy Apostles (now the Abbey of St Genevieve).[4]


      Clotilde's cult made her the patron of queens, widows, brides and those in exile. In Normandy especially she was venerated as the patroness of the lame, those who came to a violent death and women who suffered from ill-tempered husbands. In art she is often depicted presiding over the baptism of Clovis, or as a suppliant at the shrine of Saint Martin. Several fine images of her remain, particularly in the 16th-century stained glass window at Andelys. Her relics survived the French Revolution, and are housed in the Église Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles in Paris.

      Clotilde is the patron saint of Les Andelys, Normandy. In 511, the Queen founded a convent for young girls of the nobility there, which was destroyed by the Normans in 911. In its place was erected Our Lady's Collegiate Church, which contains a statue of Saint Clotilde. Also in Les Andelys is Saint Clotilde's Fountain. The spring is popularly believed to heal skin diseases.


      The Encyclopedia of Saints: "Clotilde was born at Lyons, France, about 474, the daughter of King Chilperic of Burgundy. She married the Salian Frankish king Clovis I in 493, who used their alliance as a means of strengthening his position with the Romanized Celts".
      Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, "Now the king of the Burgundians was Gundevech, of the family of king Athanaric the persecutor, whom we have mentioned before."
      Wood, Ian (1994). The Merovingian Kingdoms 450–751. London: Routledge (published 2014). ISBN 9781317871163. Retrieved 16 Mar 2019.
      Online, Catholic. "St. Clotilde – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online". Catholic Online. Retrieved 2017-11-29. St. Clotilde (c. 474- 545) and her husband King Clovis (c. 466-511) founded the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Franks for over 200 years. [...] She died at the tomb of St. Martin of Tours and was buried in Sainte-Genevieve in Paris [...].
      Britannica, Encyclopaedia. "St. Clotilda". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
      Kurth, Godefroid. "St. Clotilda." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 19 Jul. 2014
      "Clotilda, Saint" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 557.
      Butler, Alban. The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints, Vol. VI, D. & J. Sadlier, & Company, 1864
      Farmer, David Hugh (1997). The Oxford dictionary of saints (4. ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 9780192800589.
      Asimov, Isaac (1968) The Dark Ages, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 55–56
      "Saint Clotilda". 21 May 2009. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
      ""Saint Clotilde's Fountain", Office Municipal de Tourisme des Andelys". Archived from the original on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
      Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Clothilde.

      This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Clotilda, Saint". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 557.

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