||Clovis I (Merovingian) Franken was a member of aristocracy in ancient Europe.|
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Clovis I, King of the Franks
Clovis I (c.466 - 27 Nov 511), was King of the Salian Franks. As founder of the Merovingian dynasty, he was the first to rule all Franks and most of Gaul, from 481 until he died in 511.
Although pagan, Clovis became the first Catholic ruler of the Franks, and also created the state's first written Salic laws. His dynasty lasted for 200 years.
m. (492) Chrotechildis "Clotilde or Rotilde" of Burgundy (480 - 548 or 548). Issue: 6
Clovis initially was a commander in the Roman military with his father's ally, Aegidius, the Roman commander of Gaul.
Clovis began expanding his power by turning against his Roman allies. In 486, he beat Syagrius (son of Aegidius), at the Battle of Soissons, and stopped Rome's influence beyond Italy. Syagrius fled to the Visigoth king Alaric II, but this back-fired.
Summoned by Clovis, Alaric turned Syagrius over. Clovis then decapited his enemy, and took up residence at Soissons.
An incident from this battle is recounted by Gregory of Tours regarding a celebrated vase of Soissons. The vase was plundered by a Frankish soldiers. Clovis sought the vase so as to return it to the bishop St. Remigus, but one soldier split the vase with his battle-axe. The soldier was later killed by Clovis.
Unlike other barbarian kingdoms founded upon the ruins of the Roman Empire, Clovis established equality between the Gallo-Roman natives and their Germanic conquerors all sharing the same privileges.
He later defeated Alemanni at the Battle of Tolbiac in 496, the Burgundians in 500, and the Visigoths in 507 at Vouille, where Alaric Ii was slain. This battle incorporated Aquitaine to the Frankish kingdom. Alaric II killed in the battle.
Around 500 Clovis codified Salian Law. The laws put down in writing for the first time were influenced by Salic tradition, Christianity, and Roman tradition.
According to Gregory of Tours, Clovis converted from local paganism to Catholicism at Rheims, on 25 December 496. It would seem ... for Clovis ... this conversion was in name only, and he may have maintained his own customs.
While Gregory of Tours, used Chlotilde's alleged emotions as a literary device to further his religious agenda, the bigger impact -- at the time -- was not about pagans per se ... but the proselytizing factions of the Arians and Catholics, and the competitive ways of their war-lord patrons.
Fletcher (1997), states that this was an era where, "the traditional Roman view," did not think, "Christianity was ... for barbarians." But Arianism was serious threat to Catholics.
Some reports indicate Clovis, first converted to Arianism before Catholicism, as late as 508. At the very least, he was exposed to the sect through his sister, who adhered to Arianism. And so the letter of baptismal congratulations from, Bishop Avitus of Vienne to Clovis, is conspicuous in that Christianity is not mentioned. Instead it focuses specifically on the orthodox Catholicsm.
While the Visigoths and Vandals, converted to Arianism, Clovis turned to their enemy. Catholicism, set him apart from other Germanic kings, but the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy, helped him drive the Visigoths out of southern Gaul (507).
Albeit a rocky relationship over the centuries, the Frankish Kingdom was thenceforth a representative of Catholicism. As for whether Clovis truly believed in his wife's faith, is a matter of debate. Some historians continue to advocate the king's religious sincerity, and do not accept the idea that he was solely motivated by politics.
481 Rheims: crowned King of the Salian Franks in Rheims, after his father died.
486: defeats Syagrius
500: allied with Godegisel against Gondebaud King of Burgundy
507: battle of Vouillé -- defeated and killed Alaric II, King of the Visigoths at the campus Vogladensis, probably Voulan, near Poitiers
Frankish kingdom was split between the four living sons of Clovis. This resulted in resulted in unrest and disunity between the four brothers until the last brother was left alive. Upon his death, he also split the Frankish kingdom between his four sons. 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.
As a statesman he accomplished what no 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. To the French he is considered, the father of France. 
Much is what is known of Clovis I comes from Gregory of Tours. His literary style mixed fact with myth and legend. Separating fact from fiction in this work is nearly impossible at this late date.
Many dates are subject to different interpretations by scholars. These differences are discussed in detail in Procopius and the Chronology of Clovis's Reign.
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On 31 Jul 2017 at 11:36 GMT John Atkinson wrote:
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On 2 Dec 2010 at 19:44 GMT Krissi (Hubbard) Love wrote:
Clovis I is 45 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 41 degrees from Burl Ives and 36 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.