26.11.07

Death Of Clovis 27 Nov, 511, First King of the Franks


Clovis was the founder of the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings, Clovis defeated the last Roman ruler in Gaul and conquered various Germanic peoples in what is today France. His conversion to Catholicism (instead of the Arianism practiced by many Germanic peoples) would prove a landmark development for the Frankish nation.


Clovis was the son of the Frankish king Childeric and the Thuringian queen Basina; he succeeded his father as ruler of the Salian Franks in 481. At this time he also had control of other Frankish groups around present-day Belgium. By the time of his death he had consolidated all the Franks under his rule. He took control of the Roman province of Belgica Secunda in 486, the territories of the Alemanni in 496, the lands of the Burgundians in 500, and portions of Visigothic territory in 507.

Although his Catholic wife Clotilda ultimately convinced Clovis to convert to Catholicism, he was interested for a time in the Arian heresy and was sympathetic to it. He was baptised by Bishop St. Remi. Legend surrounds the ampullae used to hold the holy oils used, in addition to the oil of catechumens, in coronating Clovis as well as all later monarchs of France. The legend relates that the holy oil used in crowning the French monarchs was brought down from Heaven by a dove bearing an ampulla at the Baptism of Clovis, the warring Salic Frank, by Bishop Remigius ("Remi") at Reims on Christmas Day, A.D. 496. The conversion of Clovis to Christianity was the beginning of France's status as "elder daughter of the Church." The dove-borne vial, known in France as the "Sainte Ampoule," is reserved at the cathedral of Reims to this day.* His own conversion to Catholicism was personal and not a mass conversion of his peoples (many of whom were already Catholic), but the event had a profound influence on the nation and its relationship to the papacy. Clovis convoked a national Church council at Orléans, in which he participated significantly.

The Law of the Salian Franks (Pactus Legis Salicae) was a written code that most likely originated during the reign of Clovis. It combined customary law, Roman law and royal edicts, and it followed Christian ideals. Salic Law has influenced French and European law for centuries. It provided that the crown of France passes from male heir to male heir only.

The life and reign of Clovis was chronicled by Bishop Gregory of Tours more than half a century after the death of the king. Recent scholarship has revealed some errors in Gregory's account, but it still stands as an important history and biography of the great Frankish leader.

The name Clovis would later evolve into the name "Louis," the most popular name for French kings.

Kings of All the Franks
* Clovis I 481 - 511
* Chlothar I 558-561
* Dagobert I 629-639
* Childeric II 673-675
* Chlothar III 661-662
* Theuderic III 679-691
* Clovis IV 691-695
* Childebert III 695-711
* Dagobert III 711-715
* Chilperic II 715-720
* Theuderic IV 721-737
* Childeric III 743-751

Merovingian Saints, Queens, Abbesses, and Abbots
* Genovefa (Genevieve), virgin of Paris (died 502); (my daughters patron Saint)
* Clothilde, queen of the Franks (died 544/45);
* Monegund, widow and recluse of Tours (died 544);
* Radegund, Thuringian princess who founded a monastery at Poitiers (died 587);
* Rusticula, abbess of Arles (died 632);
* Cesaria II, abbess of St Jean of Arles (died ca 550);
* Glodesind, abbess in Metz (died ca 600);
* Burgundofara, abbess of Moutiers (died 645);
* Sadalberga, abbess of Laon (died 670);
* Rictrude, founding abbess of Marchiennes (died 688);
* Itta, founding abbess of Nivelles (died 652);
* Begga, abbess of Andenne (died 693);
* Gertrude of Nivelles, abbess of Nivelles (died 658) presented in The Life of St. Geretrude (in Fouracre and Gerberding 1996);
* Aldegund, abbess of Mauberges (died ca 684);
* Waltrude, abbess of Mons (died ca 688);
* Balthild, queen of the Franks (died ca 680), presented in The Life of Lady Bathild, Queen of the Franks (in Fouracre and Gerberding 1996);
* Eustadiola, widow of Bourges (died 684);
* Bertilla, abbess of Chelles (died ca. 700);
* Anstrude, abbess of Laon (died before 709);
* Austreberta, abbess of Pavilly (died 703);
* Audouin of Rouen, presented in The Life of Audoin, Bishop of Rouen (in Fouracre and Gerberding 1996);
* Aunemond, presented in The Deeds of Aunemond (in Fouracre and Gerberding 1996);
* Leodegar, bishop of Autun; presented in The Suffering of Ludegar (in Fouracre and Gerberding 1996);
* Praejectus The Suffering of Praejectus (in Fouracre and Gerberding 1996);
* Eligius/Eloi;
* Prætextatus, Bishop of Rouen and friend of Gregory;
* Gregory of Tours, Bishop of Tours and historian;
* Hubertus, Apostle of the Ardennes and first Bishop of Liège.
* Arnulf, bishop of Metz


*Note: Although the vial in Reims is not the original vial which was destroyed by the fanatics of the Revolution, a faithful Catholic sopped up some of the precious Chrism and preserved it for the future King Louis XVIII.

de Brantigny

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