Chlogio Merovingian

Chlodio Merovingian (abt. 0400 - abt. 0450)

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Chlodio (Chlogio) "Cloio" Merovingian [uncertain]
Born about [location unknown]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 24 Feb 2012
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Categories: Merovingian Dynasty | Ancient Royals and Aristocrats Project.

European Aristocracy
Chlogio Merovingian was a member of aristocracy in ancient Europe.
Join: European Ancient Royals and Aristocrats Project
Discuss: ancient_euroaristo


Note about uncertain parentage

The 7th century Chronicle of Fredegar described him as son of Theudemer, a Frank who really existed, whereas the anonymous Liber Historiæ Francorum, an anonymous History of the Franks, which is sometimes more reliable than Fredegar, calls Chlodio's father Faramund, who it describes in turn as a son of Marcomer, another Frank who had really existed.

There are also other genealogical manuscripts which mention Faramund as Chlodio's father. Faramund is only known from texts describing him as Chlodio's father.[1]

Note about uncertain relationship to Childeric

Old sources like Gregory of Tours name Chlodio as a relative of Childeric, but not as father. The genealogies explained by Renard name him as grandfather.


According to Gregory of Tours, he lived in the castle of "Dispargum" (a place now unknown, though there are many proposals), in Thoringia". Unlike Thuringia in Germany this place is described as being on the Roman side of the Rhine. This is often interpreted as a misunderstanding of the Roman Civitas Tungrorum, the predecessor of the medieval diocese of Liège, where Franks had been allowed to settle, at least in the north of the region in Toxandria, since the 4th century, in the time of emperor Julian the apostate.

From his base in Dispargum, Chlodio attacked Romanized populations in the so-called Silva Carbonarum, a region south of Brussels, and then seized Tournai and later Cambrai. His kingdom apparently eventually reached the Somme river.

Gregory of Tours has only a short passage concerning Chlodio in his book. (Perhaps the fact that it comes immediately after a comment about Theudemer led to the connection made by later authors.):

This is the evidence that the historians who have been named have left us about the Franks, and they have not mentioned kings. Many relate that they came from Pannonia and all dwelt at first on the bank of the Rhine, and then crossing the Rhine they passed into Thuringia, and there among the villages and cities appointed long­haired kings over them from their first or, so to speak, noblest family. This title Clovis' victories afterwards made a lasting one, as we shall see later on. We read in the Fasti Consulares that Theodomer, king of the Franks, son of Richimer, and Ascyla his mother, were once on a time slain by the sword. They say also that Chlogio, a man of ability and high rank among his people, was king of the Franks then, and he dwelt at the stronghold of Dispargum which is within the borders of the Thuringians. And these parts, that is, towards the south, the Romans dwelt as far as the Loire. But beyond the Loire the Goths were in control; the Burgundians also, who belonged to the sect of the Arians, dwelt across the Rhone in the district which is adjacent to the city of Lyons. And Chlogio sent spies to the city of Cambrai, and : they went everywhere, and he himself followed and overcame the : Romans and seized the city, in which he dwelt for a short time, and he seized the land as far as the river Somme. Certain authorities assert that king Merovech, whose son was Childeric, was of the family of Chlogio.[2]

Chlodio apparently had a mixed relationship with the famous Roman military commander, Flavius Ætius, sometimes fighting on his side (for example possibly in the fight against Attila the Hun) and sometimes in conflict (for example when Ætius, accompanied by the future emperor Marjorian, attacked a Frankish wedding party in Artois, as celebrated by Sidonius Apollinarius.[3]

a little later ye fought together where Cloio the Frank had overrun the helpless lands of the Atrebates [Artois]. There was a narrow passage at the junction of two ways, and a road crossed both the village of Helena, which was within bow-shot, and the river, where that long but narrow path was supported by girders. Thou wert posted at the cross-roads, while Majorian warred as a mounted man close to the bridge itself. As chance would have it, the echoing sound of a barbarian marriage-song rang forth from a hill near the river- bank, for amid Scythian dance and chorus a yellow- haired bridegroom was wedding a young bride of like colour. Well, these revellers, they say, he laid low. Time after time his helmet rang with blows, and his hauberk with its protecting scales kept off the thrust of spears, until the enemy was forced to turn and flee. Then might be seen the jumbled adornments of the barbarian nuptials gleaming red in the waggons, and captured salvers and viands flung together pell-mell, and servants crowned with perfumed garlands carrying wine-bowls on their oily top-knots. Straightway the spirit of Mars waxes fiercer and the nuptial torches are snapped asunder by the more fiery goddess of war; the victor snatches their chariots and carries off the bride in the hour of her bridal.

He died about 450.

Mythical sea beast

It's the Chronicle of Fredegar (c. 660s), that first reports the tall tale about Chlodio's wife getting impregnated by a creature from the sea, and by implication being the supposed father of Merovech.


  1. Étienne Renard, Le sang de Mérovée. “Préhistoire” de la dynastie et du royaume mérovingiens Revue belge de Philologie et d'Histoire Année 2014 92-4 pp. 999-1039 [1]
  2. Gregory of Tours [2]
  3. Sidonius Poems and Letters

Chlodio on Wikipedia [3]

Marcomer on Wikipedia [4]

Cawley, C. (2006). "Early Frankish leaders in Gaul." Medieval Lands v.3.[5]

Reimitz, H. (2015). History, Frankish Identity and the Framing of Western Ethnicity, 550-850, (pp.169). Cambridge University Press. eBook.[6]

Kurth, G. (1909). The Franks. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from New Advent. Web.[7]

R. P. Anselme, Histoire de la maison royale de France et des grands officiers de la Couronne, Paris: Estienne Loyson, 1674; Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, Book 2, chapter 9; Image: A medal by Jean Dassier (Medaille Histoire chronologique des rois de France: en 70 jetons).

Geni. Considerable discussion and sources listed here.

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No known carriers of Chlogio's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 1
Clodio of the FRANKS Image 1
Clodio of the FRANKS Image 1


On 9 Jan 2018 at 18:02 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:

Just for discussion and thought, the new source I just added, Renard, make me wonder whether we should allow one more uncertain generation, Faramond, father of Chlodio (but not making him a son of Marcomer). Theudemer is only found in Fredegar which is wrong about lots of things, and looks like a guess based on Gregory.

On 9 Jan 2018 at 14:24 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:

I think all the specially formatted tags and notices can be reduced down to one or two? Are they not all more or less saying the same thing?

On 9 Jan 2018 at 11:40 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:

Chlodius was in fact real. Aetius and the future emperor Marjorian sacked a wedding party of his people in Artois, as celebrated in a contemporary panegyric by Sidonius. What is uncertain are the relationships between different early Frankish kings.

On 12 Nov 2015 at 03:40 GMT John Atkinson wrote:

DeKoeln-1 and Merovingian-57 are not ready to be merged because: Another merge with Merovingian-57 is set as I merged match owing to a discussion about the most appropriate LNAB. This merge should also wait until that outcome is settled.

On 7 Nov 2015 at 06:51 GMT John Atkinson wrote:

Franks-533 and Merovingian-57 are not ready to be merged because: Merovingian is the ppp, but Franks is probably the better LNAB, needs to be discussed.

On 3 Nov 2015 at 16:50 GMT Bree Ogle wrote:

From what I've read so far, it's mostly speculation ... Just a tiny piece comes down from the lost work of Sulpicius Alexander, via Gregory of Tours. The embellishment comes much later.

On 14 Oct 2015 at 01:15 GMT John Atkinson wrote:

Does anyone know the source of the exact date he died? The only dates in the biography are uncertain. Similarly with the places he was born and died, are there sources for these places?

On 13 Oct 2015 at 00:39 GMT Bree Ogle wrote:

For Ildegonde see Von_Köln-10

On 12 Oct 2015 at 23:48 GMT Bree Ogle wrote:


According to Wikiipedia, there were 3 people named, Chlodowig ... but only 1 -- "Clovis I" -- lived near this time, during late 4th/early 5th century.[1] ... "Clovis became the first king of all Franks in 508, after he conquered Cologne, capital of the Ripuarian Franks."[2]

On 6 Oct 2015 at 14:16 GMT Robert Wood wrote:

Is his death date correct, 378? I ask because the marriage date to Ildegonde is 429. Plus the birth date for daughter Vaerica is 418.

more comments

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