DUERINCK’S HISTORY OF THE FRANKS
Last revised January 24, 2004.
These are my notes on "The History of the Franks" (Historiae Francorum) by Gregory of Tours (Georgius Florentius) as translated by Lewis Thorpe (1974)(deceased). Mr. Thorpe has his own extensive notes and index in the book. Be sure to see the onsite links toward the bottom for other Duerinck pages dealing with the Germanic tribes. In this translation of 6th century Latin of Saint Gregory of Tours, Lewis Thorpe consulted many sources, including Ormonde Maddock Dalton's first English translation which consisted of 2 volumes, the first volume being a long introduction with copious notes, and the second volume was the translation (Dalton's translation on my "wish list"). The History of the Franks is composed of 10 "books". References will be to the book, then the numbered "paragraph", such as II.35. The final books I took fewer notes, especially book VII (none).
Intro pages 16-19. The first King of the Franks was Clodio (Chlogio) [He was married to Basina De Thuringia, born 398 A.D., whose father was Wedelphus, King of Thuringians.] See Saint Gregory's king descendancy chart of the Franks on page 18 of Thorpe's book translation.
I.11. Roman emperor Valens killed by the Goths in Battle of Adrianople in 378 A.D.
I.32. Chroc, king of Alamanni, invaded and destroyed Gaul in the second century A.D. Chroc was later captured and killed.
II.2, 3. The Vandals left their homeland and ravaged Gaul in 406 A.D. with their King Gunderic. They then attacked Spain in 409 A.D. The Suebi, also known as the Alamanni, followed the Vandals and seized Galicia. The Vandals tortured and killed Christians.
King Gunderic died, succeeded by Gaiseric, then Huneric who died in 484 A.D., then Trasamund in 496 A.D. The Vandals left Spain for Africa and Mauretonia. The Alamanni followed them as far as Tangiers. After Trasamund came King Childeric in 523 A.D. Geilamir deposed Childeric in 530 A.D. The Vandals fought the Romans in battle and lost. (fought battles in 533 and 534, ending the Kingdom of the Vandals.)
II.4. King Athnaric, King of Goths (Visigoths Saint Gregory wrote about), tortured Christians.
II.5,6,7. Attila and the Huns invaded Gaul, coming from Pannonia, to Metz, to Orleans, in 451 A.D. Goths and King Theodoric and his son Thorismund saved the town of Orleans from the Huns. The Goths and Franks did battle with the Huns. Attila fled, Theodoric was killed in this battle. Thorismund was now the new king of the Goths. The Huns went to Italy. Thorismund captures the Alani.
II.9. Mentions "Historia" by Sulpicius Alexander (a lost work). Franks invaded the Roman province of Germania. Frankish war leaders were Genobaud, Marcomer, Sunno. Sulpicius also used the terms "royal leaders" and "kinglets", but whether they were actual kings is not known. Saint Gregory mentions other germanic tribes, such as the Bructeri, Chamavi, Amsivarii, Chatti. The king of the Alani was Respendial. The Vandals King Godigisel killed, twenty thousand Vandals dead in this war with the Franks. The Alani came to the "rescue" of the Vandals. This paragraph Saint Gregory summed from the lost works of Sulpicius Alexander and Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus.
II.9 also. The Franks came originally to the Rhine from Pannonia [which was a Roman district around present day Slovakia (?)]. They then crossed into Thuringia [Germany]. King Theudemer, son of Richemer and Ascyla [not on St. Gregory's chart page 18]. King Clodio, "first" king of Franks, lived in the castle at Duisberg on the Rhine. [See Michel Rouche, "Clovis" on the location]. The Franks sacked the city of Trier [from Frigeridus].
II.12. King Childeric fled to Thuringia, stayed with Thuringian King Bisinus and Queen Basina [Notes from other sources: Basina Andovera, born 439 A.D., Thuringia,Germany, died 470 A.D. She was the daughter of King Banin Chlodwig I of Thuringia (born 390 A.D.) and mother Basine De Saxe. Banin Chlodwig I's father was King Wedelphus De Thuringia, born 360 A.D., died 445 A.D.]. After 8 years Childeric returned to the Franks. Meanwhile the Franks chose as their king Aegidius [sent from Rome...]. Childeric restored to the throne. Queen Basina left the Thuringian King Bisinus to be with the Frankish King Childeric, and she bore Childeric a son, named Clovis.
II.18, 19. Saxons and their King Odovacer.... [In A.D. 476 western Roman emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by Odovacer the "Barbarian." Odoacer was an Arian king, meaning he did not believe in the divinity of our Lord and that the Lord was a created being. In 493 Odoacer was overthrown by Theodoric the Ostrogoth, who was also Arian.] Franks under Childeric took Angers. Saxons and Franks treaty, then subdued the Alamanni in Italy.
II.20, 25. Euric, King of Visigoths, persecuted Christians in Gaul, mostly in Gascony.[Euric ruled 466-484 A.D. His father was Theodoric I, King of the Visigoths, the mother was the daughter of King Alaric I of the Visigoths. Euric's son was Alaric II, King of the Visigoths. Euric's brothers were Thorismu(n)d, King of the Visigoths, Theodoric II, King of the Visigoths.]
II.27. Frank's King Childeric died, Clovis replaced him. In the tenth year of Clovis' reign, he invaded the Thuringians and subjected them to his rule. Saint Gregory also mentions King Alaric II of the Visigoths in Toulousse.
II.28. King of Burgundes was called Gundioc, of the family of King Athanaric, a Visigoth. "He" had 4 sons, Gundobad, Godigisel, Chilperic and Gundomar. Gundobad killed his brother Chioperic. Frank's King Clovis eventually married Clotild, 1 of Chilperic's daughters. Their first son Ingomer was baptized but died. The second son was baptized Chlodomer. War against the Alamanni, king of Alamanni was killed, then Alamanni swore their allegiance to Clovis.
II.31. 496 A.D. Frank's Clovis baptized along with 3,000 of the Frank's army. The bishop called him "Sicamber" because the Merovingian (from Merovech) line of Frankish kings claimed to be descended from the Sicambri [Sicambri were of the Scythian race, and lived at the mouth of the Danube, later driven to the border of Germany and the German Sea by the Goths]. Clovis' sister Albofled also baptized but died. Another sister, Lanthechild, was baptized.
II.32, 33, 34. Visigoth's Godigisel and the Franks' Clovis join in battle against Godigisel's brother Gundobad. Later on Godigisel is killed by Gundobad. Gundobad now rules Burgundy. Gundobad was christened. Visigoths King alaric II and Clovis of Franks meet, swear friendship.
II.37. Franks' Clovis fought Visigoths Alaric II in 507 A.D. Alaric II is killed, and his son Amalaric escaped to and became king of Spain. Amalaric later marries Franks' Clovis' daughter. The Auvergnats were a part of this battle. clovis had a consulate bestowed on him by Emperor Anastasius. Clovis established Paris as the seat of his Frankish government. Ripuarian Franks in the war above, Clovis had as an ally Chloderic, son of Sigivert the Lame, King of Ripuarian Franks.
II.40. Chloderic of Ripuarian Franks murders his father, King Sigibert, who is Clovis' brother. Clovis' messenger then kills Chloderic, which would be Clovis' nephew. Now Clovis is ruler over the Ripuarian Franks as well.
II.41. Salian Franks: Clovis next marched against Chararic, King of Salian Franks. Chararic and his son were beheaded, Clovis now had united the Ripuarian, Salian, and his Franks to establish a Frankish kingdom.
II.42. Clovis now marched against King Ragnachar, living in Cambrai, who had "Frankish subjects." Clovis Killed Ragnachar, Rag's brother Ricchar, and also their brother Rignomer (Le Mans). They were all relatives of Clovis.
III. 43. Clovis now ruled all the Franks in Gaul. He died 511 AD in Paris. He reigned for 30 years, so he was 45 years old at his death. His wife Queen Clotild then went to live in Tours.
Introduction: Godigisel, Gundobad and Godomar were Arian Kings of Burgundy." Sigismund was a Catholic and his reign was between Gundobad and Godomar. He was killed by Chlodomer in 523 AD.
III.1. After Clovis' death, his sons inherited and divided up his kingdom 4 ways: for Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert, Lothar. See into page 17. Alamaric the Visigoth, son of Alaric II, married their sister, Clotild, daughter of Clovis. Alamaric was now King of Spain.
III.3.Invasion of Gaul from the sea by Danish King Chlochilaich (aka "Hygelac" of Beowulf fame). Frankish King Theuderic sent his son Theuderic with an army, killed Chlochilaich, defeated the Danes in a "naval battle."
III.4. Thuringians:3 brothers ruled over the Thuringians: Baderic, Hermanfrid and Berthar. Hermanfrid killed Berthar in battle. Berthar's daughter Princess Radegund later was the 1st wife of King Lothar I of the Franks. She was canonized a saint, died in 587 AD. Berthar also left some sons. [Gregory of Tours says that he will later name these sons of Berthar, but in Thorpe's translation the sons are never named. Did Gregory forget to name names, or did Thorp not translate that portion? Does the translation by O.M. Dalton mention Berchar's sons?]. The wife of Hermanfrid, Amalaberg, sowed seeds of discontent. Hermanfrid invited Frankish King Theuderic to join forces to defeat and kill Thuringian King Baderic, which Theuderic did.
III.5. Visigoths: Gundobad died, son Sigismund now king. On advice of his second wife ___, he killed his son, Sigeric. He was the son he had with his first wife, the daughter of King Theodoric of Italy. Frankish King Theuderic married Sigismund's daughter Ostragotha.
III.6. Franks: Queen Clotild, widow of Clovis, summoned her sons Theuderic, Chlodomer, Childebert, Lothar. She asked them to avenge the death of her mother and father. Clotild's parents were Visigoths, her dad Chilperic was killed by Gundobad, the brother of Chilperic. See II.28, 29. So the 4 sons of Clovis and Clovis' widow Clotild moved against the Visigoths of Burguny, namely Sigismund and brother Godomar. Frankish son Chlodomer captured and killed Sigismund and his family. Theuderic joined with Chlodomer to fight the Visigoth's Godomar. Frank's Chlodomer was killed, 524 AD. Godomar fled. The Franks conquered the Burgundian kingdom. Frank's Lothar, son of Clovis, married Chlodomer's widow, Guntheus (not on chart p.18 of book). Chlodomer's sons were the raised by Queen Clotild, Clovis' widow. The 3 sons were Theudovald, Gunthar and Chlodovald. Visigoth Godomar won back the Burgundian kingdom.
III.7. Thuringians: Frankish kings Theuderic and Lothar, and Theuderic's son Theudobert, move against Thuringian King hermanfrid. Pay back for past atrocities by the Thuringians and Hermanfrid's failure to honor a pact with Frank's Theuderic. They invaded "Thuringia", the Thuringians retreated to the River Unstrut. The Franks massacred the Thuringians here and took over the country of the Thuringians. Lothar took with him the Thuringian Princess Radegund [note, she was 12 years old; also took her brother], daughter of Thuringian King Berthar, later marrying her. Later Radegund built a nunnery at Poitiers (France).
Frank's Theuderic, while still in Thuringia, attempted a plot to kill Theuderic's brother Lothar, but it failed. Frank's Theuderic shoved Thuringian King Hermanfrid over the city wall to his death. [Was said to happen at Zuelpich, but more likely there was a war and Hermanfrid died in battle.]
III.10. Frank's Childebert sets off to Spain. His sister Clotild was badly mistreated by Alamaric the Visigoth, king of Spain, because she was a Catholic. Alamaric the VG was killed, and Clotild died during the journey back to Paris with her brother Childebert.
III.15. Frank's Theuderic and Childebert make a treaty, not to attach each other.
III.18. Frank's Lothar and Childebert plotted, and Lothar murdered the 2 sons of their brother Chlodomer (killed their own nephews). The boys were 7 and 10 years old. Theudovald and Gunther were murdered. The 3rd boy, Chlodovald, cut his own royal hair and followed the Lord's way. Later he became a priest and was canonized a saint, known in France as Saint Cloud.
III.20. Longobards: Frank's King Theuderic's son Theudebert betrothed to Wisigard, the daughter of Wacho, King of Longobards [aka Lombards].
III.23. Frank's Theuderic kills his relative Sigivald (duke) for his evil behavior at Claermont. Theuderic dies 534 AD. Theudebert spares the lives of Sigivald's (duke) son Sigivald the Younger. Theudebert now king, marries Deuteria, had a baby girl. Deuteria kills the girl at Verdun, her own daughter. Theudebert then deserted Deuteria and married Wisigard, a Longobard princess. Wisigard died, then he remarried. Theudebert did have a son named Theudebald by Deuteria.
III.29. Frank's Childebert and Lothar conquier large parts of Spain from the Visigoths.
III.31. Visigoths: KINGS:
Alamaric reigned __ to 531 AD.
Theuda 531 to 548, assassinated in Seville.
Theudegisel 548 to 549 AD, assassinated in Seville.
Agila 459 to 554 AD, assassinated in Merida.
III.31. Italy: King Theodoric of Italy married Audofleda, sister of Frank's Clovis. Had a girl named Amalasuntha (i.e., kin of Frank's). Theodoric and Audofleda died 526 AD. Mentions Theudat, King of Tuscany. Franks raided all of Italy, Franks under Buccelin, Theudobald, Kings 553 AD to 555 AD. Narses of the Roman Empire killed Buccelin later, and Italy was now under the Emperor (see Book IV).
III.36. Frank's King Theudebert dies 548 AD.
III.37. Theudebert's son Theudebald became king.
IV.1. Frankish Queen Clotild, widow of Clovis, died 544 AD., buried St. Peters in Paris, later name changed to St. Genevieve.
IV.3. King Lothar's wives and sons mentioned.
Longobards: King Albion married the Frank's King Lothar's daughter Chlothsind.
IV.4. Bretons: a Breton Count Chanao killed 3 of his brothers and chained his fourth brother Macliaw, who escaped and then hid with Count Chonomer. [Macliaw saved by Bishop of Nantes]. Since the death of the Frank's King Clovis, the Bretons were under the domination of the Franks; they had no kings, only counts at this time.
IV.9. Frank's Theudobald married Vuldetrada, daughter of Wacho, King of the Longobards. Her sister was Wisigard, who had married Theudobald's dad Theudebert. Theudebald dies 555 AD. Lothar takes his kingdom--and his wife.
IV.10. Saxon revolt, Lothar attacks them and invades Thuringia because in the past the Thuringians had supported the Saxons. 555 AD.
IV.13. Chramn, Lothar's son. The Franks used the titles king, queen even though they were under the Emperor.
IV.16, 17. Chramn married Wilichar's daughter, Chalda. Chramn had sided with Childebert I against his dad Lothar I.
IV.18. Theifali: tribe of Goths living in Poitou.
IV.20. Frank's Childebert died 558 AD, buried in St. Vincent's, later renamed Saint Germain des Pres. Lothar I took over his kingdom. He sent Childebert's widow Queen Ultrogotha and her 2 daughters into exile. Frank's Chramn seeks sanctuary with Count Chanao of the Bretons, in Brittany. Lothar I in 560 AD fights armies of Chramn and Breton's Count Chanao. Chanao killed in battle, Chramn, his wife, and 2 daughters were murdered.
IV.21. Frank's Lothar I dies in 561 AD, a Frankish king for 51 years. He was buried at St. Menard's in Soissons.
IV.22. Division of Clovis' kingdom:
Kingdom of Chlodomer went to Guntram, ruled from Orleans.
Kingdom of Lothar went to Chilperic, ruled from Soissons.
Kingdom of Theuderic went to Sigibert, ruled from Rheims.
IV.23. Frank's King Sigibert fights and wins over the Huns in 562 AD. Meanwhile, Sigibert's brother Chilperic attacks Sigibert's kingdom headquartered at Rheims, causing civil war between the 2 rulers. Sigibert then took Chilperic's Soissons, found Theudebert, Chilperic's son, and exiled him.
IV.25. King Guntram's wives and sons.
IV.26. King Charibert dies 567 AD. His wives: Ingoberg, Merofled, Theudechild, Marcovefa. 1 daughter Adelberg (Ethelburg, Bertha) married King of Kent.
IV.27. King Sigibert marries Brunhild, daughter of King Athanagild of Spain. Queen Brunhild later murdered by King Lothar II in 613 AD.
IV.28. King Chilperic married Brunhild's older sister Galswinth. Chilperic had many wives, including Fredegund. Galswinth was murdered by King Chilperic.
IV.38. Spain's ruler Athanagild dies in 567 AD. His brother Leuvigild now King of Spain. "Leuva" died next, so Leuvigild added Leuva's kingdom to his. When Leuvigild's wife died, he married Goiswinth, who just happened to be Brumhild's mother. Leuvigild had 2 sons by his first wife. One son, Hermangild, married Ingund, daughter of Sigibert. The other son, Recared, married Rigunth, the daughter of Chilperic. [actually, Rigunth and Recared never married according to translator Thorpe.]
IV.41. King of Longobards, Albion, husband of Clothsind who was the daughter of Frank's King Lothar, abandoned his own "country", emigrated to Italy with his people in 568 AD. He pillaged Italy, Clothsind died, King Albion married Rosamund, daughter of Cunimund, King of Gepids. Albion had recently killed Cunimund. Rosamund then poisoned Albion, for which she was put to death. King Cleph, the new king of the Longobards, was assassinated 574 AD.
IV.42. Saxons who invaded Italy with the Longobards now returned to pillage Gaul. They were beaten but allowed to settle under Frankish protection under King Sigibert, after paying money to King Guntram.
IV.49. Longobards under 3 leaders, Amo, Zaban and Rodan, invade Gaul in 574 AD. Frank's King Guntram's patrician Eunius Mummolus fought and annhilated the Longobards. The Longobard leaders escaped back to Italy with a few troops.
IV.47,48. Civil War: Frank's King Chilperic's son Clovis chased out of Tours in 573 AD by Sigibert. Then there was a dispute between Kings Guntram and Sigibert. King Chilperic's eldest son Theudebert warred and pillaged against the towns of Sigibert.
IV.49. King Sigibert marches against King Chilperic in 574 AD, with Chilperic handing back the towns Theudebert took. Many villages around Paris were torched by Sigibert's own troops, but those villages were the ones across the Rhine.
IV.50. King Chilperic in 575 AD marches against Sigibert. Sigibert's troops kill Theudebert, routing his army. Sigibert is killed 575 AD. Sigibert's son Childebert becomes king of Sigibert's realm (ruled from Rheims).
IV.51. Frank's King Sigibert buried in village of Lambres, later transferred to the Church of St. Medard at Soissons, buried next to his dad, Lothar I.
V.1. Sigibert died 575 AD, his son Childebert II proclaimed king at 5 years of age.
V.2. Chilperic's son Merovech married Queen Brunhild, Sigibert's widow (married his uncle's wife).
V.15. Albion, King of Longobards and the Saxons left Gaul to raid Italy (see IV.41). While they were gone the Swabians (Suevii) moved into their territory. When the Saxons returned, 26 thousand Saxons fought 6 thousand Swabians. 20 thousand Saxons died, only 480 Swabians. In the second battle, the Saxons were defeated.
V.16. Breton chieftains, Macliaw and Bodic.
V.17. Frank's King Guntram loses 2 sons, Lothar and Chlodomer to dysentery 577 AD.
V.18. Merovech, son of Chilperic, killed 578 AD.
V.22. Sampson died, under the age of 5 years, son of Chilperic and Fredegund.
V.26. King Chilperic orders Saxons in his kingdom to attach the Bretons.
V.34. "Morgengabe": kings give queens certain cities and the revenues from them. Queen Fredegund and King chilperic, on threat of losing children to the plague, burn their tax demand records in 580 AD. Chilperic and Fredegund's youngest son dies from dysentery, buried at St. Denis, Paris. Another child, Chlodobert, also died and is buried in the Church of the Holy Martyrs Crispin and Crispinian at Soissons.
V.35. Queen Austrechild, wife of Frank's King Guntram, died 580 AD of dysentery [wicked woman says Gregory of Tours].
V.38. Spain: Queen Goiswinth, widow of Visigoth's King Athanagild (Leuvigild later married Goiswinth), tortured Catholics to death. She was the mother of Queen Brunhild. King Leuvigild already had 2 sons by a former wife. The elder son, Hermangild, married Ingund, daughter of Frank's King Sigibert. The younger son, Recared, was betrothed to Rigunth, daughter of Frank's King Chilperic and Queen Fredegund [Rec/Rig never married].
V.39. Chilperic and Fredegund sent other son Clovis to Berny hoping he would die of dysentery, but he did not. So either Chilperic or Fredegund murdered him. This Clovis' mother, Audovera, was also murdered. The boy's sister Basina was sent to a convent called St. Radegund's in Poitiers. It was here that Basina and Clotild, daughter of King Charibert, led a revolt against the Abbess Leubovera.
V.41. Swabian King Mir, king of Galicia, died 583 AD. His son was Euric, a king for a short while, who was deposed by Andica who then became King of Galicia.
VI.23,27,34. Son Theuderic born to Frank's Chilperic, but the boy died 2 years later of dysentery, buried in Paris.
VI.24. Gundovald the Pretender story, allegedly the son of Frank's Lothar I.
VI.41. Son born to Chilperic, named Lothar II.
VI.43. King Mir, Swabian King of Galicia, dies. His son Euric becomes king, but deposed by Andica, husband of the sister of Euric [Andica was a relative of Euric's as well.] Andica married the widow of his father-in-law Mir and seized the kingship of Galicia.
VI.45. Ragunth, daughter of Frank's Chilperic; betrothal, dowry.
VI.46. Chilperic assassinated 584 AD. He was buried in church at St. Vincent in Paris, now called Saint-Germain-des-Pres.
VIII.10. Frank's Chilperic's sons Merovech and Clovis' bodies missing, King Guntram goes looking. Found Clovis, had him buried in St. Vincent in Paris, now called Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Merovech's body was found, buried next to his brother Clovis.
VIII.37. Theudebert born, child of Frank's King Childebert. Later murdered along with his 2 young children by half brother Theuderic in 612 AD. It has been said that Theudebert was not of royal blood.
VIII.46. Visigoth King Leuvigold of Spain dies 586 AD. His son Recared becomes king.
IX.1. Queen Goiswinth*, wife of Visigoth King Athanagild, had daughter Brunhild**. When Athanagild died 567 AD, Goiswinth married King Leuvigild, the brother of Athanagild. Queen Goiswinth died 589 AD. The mother of Recared, son of Leuvigild, was Theodosia.
[*Note: Goiswinth was mom of Brunhild, Galswinth was sister of Brunhild]
[**Note: Brunhild became the mother of Frank's King Childebert II.]
IX.4. Second son born to King Childebert, name of Theuderic, 587 AD, mother was Queen Faileuba.
IX.10. Childebert's sister was Chlodosind.
IX.15. Recared, Visigoth king, converts to Catholicism in Spain.
IX.18. Bretons under Count Waroch and Breton's leader Vidimael attack Nantes, part of Frank's King Lothar II's kingdom.
IX.20. Treaty [set out in the book] between Guntram and nephew Childebert.
IX.24. Successor to Visigoth King Athanagild was King Leuva, and when he died, next up was King Leuvigild.
IX.25, footnote 41. Authari, King of Longobards. Frank's Childebert attacks Italy and Longobards, but his army routed.
IX.31. King Guntram sends an army to Septimania (Spain). The Visigoths are ambushed, killing 5000 men, capturing 2000.
IX.33. King Charibert's daughter Berthafled in nunnery (convent).
IX.39. Uprising in St. Radegund's convent in Poitiers by Clotild, daughter of King Charibert. She was joined by Basina, her cousin, Chilperic's daughter.
[Note: St. Radegund's convent had a piece of the True Cross that our Lord died on, given to Radegund (from the Thuringii tribe) by the Roman Emperor Justin II and Empress Sophia, ruling then from Constantinople.]
X.2,3. Frank's King Childebert's army attacks Italy and Longobards. He took back lands that were under his dad Sigibert but not much else. Longobard King Aptachar ("Authari"), sent emissaries to the Franks, but he died 590 AD, succeeded by Agilulf, Duke of Turin.
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