King Merovech FRANKS
(Abt 415-457)
Queen Verica FRANKS
(Abt 415-)
King Weldelphus THURINGIA
(Abt 350-)
King Childeric FRANKS, I
(Abt 436-Abt 481)
Queen Basina Thuringia FRANKS
(Bef 382-Aft 470)
King Clovis FRANKS, I
(Abt 465-511)


Family Links

1. Concubine Franks Clovis I

  • King Theodoric I AUSTRASIA+
2. Queen Saint Clotilda Burgundy FRANKS

King Clovis FRANKS, I

  • Born: Abt 465-496, Reims, Marne, Loire-Atlantique, France
  • Christened: 25 Dec 496, Reims, Marne, Loire-Atlantique, France
  • Married (2): 491-493, , , France
  • Died: 27 Nov 511-514, Church, St Pierre, Paris, Seine, France
  • Buried: Abbey, St Denis, Paris, Seine, France

   Other names for Clovis were "The Great" and FRANKS King.

   Ancestral File Number: 8HTG-10. User ID: 158639184437256.

   General Notes:

"The Great", King of the FRANKS Reigned 481-511, first Christian ruler of France, Gisant Effigy Abbey Church of St Denis France.

Not Married Concubine Clovis I King of Franks.

Moutiers-Saint-Jean door- left-hand figure.
A Walk Through the Cloisters, Bonnie Young, Malcolm Varon, The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York 1979
p8: "The two kings were perhaps intended to be David and Solomon, the kings of Judah who were often associated in medieval art with scenes of the coronation of the Virgin. From at least the sixteenth century, however, the fugures were thought to represent Clovis, the first Christian ruler of France, and Clothar, his son and successor. The tradition is that Clovis, in the year of his conversion, probably 496, granted the monastery of Moutiers-Saint-Jean a charter that exempted it in perpetuity from both royal and ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The banderoles held by the suclptures may represent the supposed charter of 496 and the confirming charter said to have been granted by Clothar in 539."

Volume II The Royal Tombs, Alain Erlande-Brandenburg, Editions De la Lourelle, 7 Rue Dupuytren 75006 Paris
"1. Clovis I d511 Orig Sainte-Genevieve Paris. Sculpted in bold relief in stone around 1220-1230, the gisant underwent restoration in the 17th and 19th centuries. The king rests upon a bed which seems to yield under his weight. His figuration is typical of the kings of France in the 13th century: crowned, holding a scepter and a widely-opened cloak attached at the shoulders."

Barber Grandparents: 125 Kings, 143 Generations, Ted Butler Bernard and Gertrude Barber Bernard, 1978, McKinney TX, p60: "165N Clovis, King of the Franks, (S of 154, F of175; married Chlotilda while she was in a nunnery mourning her slain family; following their marriage Clovis avenged the slaying of her family in 499; she was influential in the conversion of Clovis to Christianity."

Europe in the Middle Ages,Robert S Hoyt, 1957, Harcourt Brace & Co, p40: "One center of Frankish strength in northern Gaul was at Tournai (near the border of modern France and Belgium), where, five years after Romulus Augustulus was deposed and eight years before Theodoric invaded Italy, a youth of fifteen succeeded to the throne. This was Chlodovech, better known as Clovis (481-511), whose career of conquest culminated in the establishment of the Frankish kingdom of Merovingian Gaul, so called after Meroveg, the half-mythical founder of the Frankish royal house. Clovis' success was the slowly won result of years of fighting, but three military victories may be singled out as important stages in Frankish expansion. The last stronghold of Gallo-Roman rule in northern Gaul, Syagrius' `kingdom of Soissons' was destroyed in 486. The Alemanni were annihilated in a great battle near Strasbourg, in 496. This allowed the Franks to expand eastward back into Germany and ensured that the Frankishkingdom, of all the barbarian kingdoms on Roman soil, would be the most Germanic in character and would be best able to replenish its manpower among Germanic peoples. The third and crowning victory of Clovis' career was the defeat of the Visigoths at Vouille in 507 (in west-central France, near Poitiers), which led to the conquest of all of southern Gaul to the Pyrenees. The only reverse suffered by Frankish arms was at the hands of Teodoric, who prevented Clovis from reaching the Mediterranean by accupying Provence and by helping the Visigoths to retain Septimania (a coastal province stretching from Provence to the Pyrenees).
"Clovis' success cannot be explained on military grounds alone. Although motivated primarilyby mere lust for power, Clovis displayed a consistency of attitude and an ability beyond simple shrewdness sufficient to warrant our considering him, with Theodoric, as capable of statesmanship, even though on the barbarian level of his age, in which calculated self-interest, brutality, and a rough sense of justice were about equal ingredients. His grasp of political realities was unsurpassed by any Western ruler before Charlemagne. Toward the conquered Gallo-Romans he could affordto be lenient, since most of his Frankish followers could be settled in depopulated districts in the north, without need to expropriate landowners. Consequently the Gallo-Roman people offered no resistance; the Frankish expansion into Gaul wasan invasion only in the sense of a military campaign against the armies, not the people, of its previous rulers. Finally Clovis' authority was given an aura of legitimacy. After his defeat of the Visigoths, the eastern emperor bestowed upon himthe insignia of an honorary consul, although Clovis never became, like most of the East German kings, an actual official of the Empire bearing the title of patrician.
"Far more important was Clovis' policy toward the Church in Gaul. He had an inestimable advantage of being, with the rest of the Franks, merely a heathen rather than a hated Arian heretic. The bishops conceived the hope, which Clovis was careful not to abate, that he might be converted to the Catholic faith and thus become the champion of orthodoxy. The Catholic bishops of Gaul formed the most powerful single political group in the country. They were allied with the Gallo-Roman nobility from whose ranks most of them were chosen; they controlled the greatest concentration of wealth; and they exercised the greatest infulence over the population. The support of the bishops, and thus of the bulk of the population, was strong enough reason for a barbarian king who contimplated conversion to turn to the Catholic faith. But we do not know whether such realistic considerations motivated Clovis. Perhaps it was the persuasion of the Burgundian princess Clotilda, whom he married in 493 (a Catholic, though her people were still Arian), or themiracles which he is said to have witnessed at the tomb of St Martin of Tours. Or was it the vow, which according to later tradition he made in the heat of battle against the Alemanni, that he would adopt his wife's faith if Christ would give him victory? It seems probable that it was a combination of realistic politics and personal inclination that prompted him to be baptized along with three thousand other Franks. The conversion of Clovis was a decisive moment in the history of theWest: he became the only Catholic ruler among the barbarian kings. At a single stroke he called into being an effective `fifth column,' the episcopate, within any territory on which he had designs. Further expansion took on the character of areligious war to exterpate heresy: `It grieves me,' he told his troops on the eve of the campaign against the Visigoths, `that Arians should hold any part of Gaul.'
"Toward his Frankish followers, Clovis' policy was simple and effective. On the one hand, he provided the opportunity for fighting which appealed to their bellicose nature, together with the rewards of conquest in booty, land, and participation in the government of the conquered. On the other hand, he pursued a remorseless policy of unification of the several Frankish tribes. From being simply a Frankish king, he became king of the Franks, by methodically liquidating all other chieftains or kings who were potential competitors for the supremacy which he had won. He employed all the techniques of treachery and assassination known in the violent world of heathen barbarians. Some of his rivals (and blood relatives) he caused to be murdered by hired assassins, others he tricked into an unarmed meeting and laid low with his own battle-ax. `Thus did God daily deliver the enemies of Clovis into his hand,' wrote Gregory, bishop of Tours, toward the end of the sixth century, `because he walked in the sight of God with an upright heart.'
"The Frankish kingdom of Merovingian Gaul was the last of the `successor states' to be founded on the ruins of the Empire in the West. Clovis had begun his career of conquest as a petty kinglet in 481 and ended it as the most powerful Germanic king ruling the largest territory. On his death in 511, the kingdom was divided between his four sons in accordance with the Germanic custom of treating kingship as personal property..."

The Three Germanys, Theodore S Fay, Vol I, 1889, Walker &Co, New York, p93:
"Merovaeus was the first important Frankish king of the Merovingian dynasty. He fought with Aetius and Theodoric in their great battle against Attila (451). He was succeeded by Childebert, who was followed by Clovis the Great.
"This king, and all his subjects and all the neighboring German tribes, were heathens. Clovis immediately began a career of conquest. His next neighbor on the south-west was Syagrius, the last representative of Roman power in Gaul, who ruled partly as a Roman governor over a considerable territory on the Seine and the Loire, extending to the British Channel and the Bay of Biscay. Clovis invaded this kingdom, defeated Syagrius (battle of Soissons), and annexed his territory. Syagrius fled to Toulouse, the capital of the West Goths. The West Gothic king meanly surrendered the fugitive, whom Clovis caused to be beheaded. The victorious Frank now raised Paris to the dignity of his capital. He next attacked his neighbors on the south-east, the Alemanni, and was here on the point of being beaten, when, seeing himself deserted by his pagan gods, and influenced by this Roman Catholic wife, Clothilde, he prayed for assistance to the God of the Christians, oras some historians express it, to the God of Clothilde, and vowed that in case of victory he would become a Christian. The battle was fought and won (496, Zulpich, near Cologne). The Alemanni were so thoroughly defeated that they surrendered to Clovis the principal part of their territory, and never again fully recovered their independence. Clovis immediately caused himself to be baptized at Rheims, and the greater part of his army followed his example, adopting not the Arian, but the Roman Catholic Trinitarian faith. The ceremony was performed by the Archbishop Saint Renny. The oil used for anointing the king being brought down from heaven, tradition assures in a vial carried by a dove for the purpose. The vial (Sancta Ampolla) was preserved in the cathedral at Rheims, and the oil used at the coronation subsequent kings.
"An alliance now naturally took place between the Franks and the Roman Church. Both were seeking power, and they helped each other. Clovis undertook a war against the Arian Empire of the West Goths, in Spain and Gaul. He failed in the attempt to seize Spain, but he defeated the West Gothic army, slew the king, Alaric II (Poitiers, 507), and seized nearly all the Gothic territory north of the Pyrenees, in Gaul. He then carried war into the Arian kingdom of Burgundy, his neighbor on the south. Burgundy was so far conquered (as elsewhere stated), that its territory, after the death of Clovis, was incorporated into the Frankish kingdom. Clovis had thus conquered nerarly all the territory called France, and hurled a heavy blow at Arianism..."

The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Ch IV, Europe Takes Form, Bk III Prelude to France, Sec 2 The Franks 240-511, p91: "Merovech (`Son of the Sea'?), gave his name to the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Franks till 751. Merovech's son Childeric seduced Basina, wife of a Thuringian king; she went to be his queen, saying she knew no man wiser, stronger,or handsomer. The child of their union was Clovis, who founded France and gave his name to eighteen French kings (Chlodwig, Ludwig, Clovis, Louis are one name).
"Clovis inherited the Merovingian throne in 481, agedfifteen. His realm was then a mere corner of Gaul; other Frank tribes ruled the Rhineland, and the Visigothic and Burgundian kingdoms in southern Gaul had been made fully independent by the fall of Rome. Northwest Gaul, still nominally under Roman power, was left defenseless. Clovis invaded it, captured towns and dignitaries, accepted ransoms, sold spoils, bought troops supplies, and arms, advanced to Soissons, and defeated a `Roman' army (486). During the next ten years he extendedhis conquests tell they touched Brittany and the Loire. He won over the Gallic population by leaving them in possession of their lands, and the orthodox Christian clergy by respecting their creed and their wealth. In 493 he married a Christian, Clothilde, who soon converted him from paganism to Nicene Christianity. Remi, bishop and saint, baptized him at Reims before an audience of prelates and notables judiciously invited from all Gaul; and 3000 soldiers followed Clovis to the font. Perhaps Clovis longing to reach the Mediterranean, thought France was worth a Mass. The orthodox population in Visigothic and Burgundian Gaul now looked askance at their Arian rulers, and became the secret or open allies of the young Frank king.
"Alaric II saw the oncoming tide, and tried to turn it back with fair words. He invited Clovis to a conference; they met at Amboise, and pledged lasting friendship. But Alaric, returning to Toulouse, arrested some orthodox bishops forconspiring with the Franks. Clovis summoned his martial assembly and said: `I take it very hard that these Arians hold part of Gaul. Let us go with God's help and conquer them.' Alaric defended himself as well as he could with a divided people;he was defeated at Vouille, near Poiters (507), and was slain by Clovis' hand. `After Clovis had spent the winter in Bordeaux,' says Gregory of Tours, `and had taken all the treasures of Alaric from Toulouse, he went to beseige Angouleme. Andthe Lord gave him such grace that the walls fell down of their own accord'; here, so soon, is the characteristic note of the medieval chronicler. Sigebert, the old king of the Ripuarian Franks, had long been an ally of Clovis. To Sigebert's sonClovis now suggested the advantages that would come from Sigebert's death. The son killed his father; Clovis sent professions of friendship to the patricide and agents to murder him; this having been attended to, Clovis marched to Cologne, andpersuaded the Ripuarian chieftains to accept him as their king. `Every day,' says Gregory, `God caused his enemies to fall beneath his hand...because he walked with a right heart before the Lord, and did the things that were pleasing in His sight.'
"The conquered Arians were readily converted to the orthodox faith, and their clergy, by omitting an iota, were allowed to retain their clerical rank. Clovis, rich with captives, slaves, and benedictions, moved his capital to Paris.There, four years later, he died, old at forty-five...Queen Clothilde having helped to make Gaul France, `came to Tours after the death of her husband, and served there in the church of St Martin, and dwelt in the place with the greatest chastity and kindness all the days of her life.'
p91: "Clovis, who had longed for sons, had too many at his death. To avoid a war of succession he divided his kingdom among them..."
p94: "...Charibert had as mistresses two sisters, one a nun. Dagobert (628- 639) had three wives at once. Sexual excesses perhaps accounted for the except- ional sterility of the Merovingian kings: of Clovis' four sons only Chlotar had issue; of Chlotar's four sons only one had a child. The kings married at fifteen, and were exhausted at thirty; many of them died before the age of twenty-eight. By 614 the Merovingian house had spent its energy, and was ready to be replaced."

The History of Medieval Europe, Lynn Thorndike, 1917, Houghton Mifflin Co, p90:
"In 486 Syagrius was defeated- and later secretly put to death- by the Salian Franks under the lead of Clovis (481-511), a name equivalent to the modern Louis, who then gradually took the walled towns of the region until his dominion reached the Loire. This was for Clovis but the beginning of a career of conquest. He brought the Thuringians under his sway; he drove the Alamanni out of Alsace and up the Rhine into the Rhaetian Alps; he defeated the Burgundians. In507 he killed with his own hand the king of the West Goths and forced that people back into Spain except for a strip of land extending south of the central plateau from the Pyrenees to the Alps. Indeed, of this the West Goths in Spain kept onlySeptimania, which extended from the Pyrenees to the city of Nimes, while Provence, which extended from the Alps to the city of Arles, was added to Italy by Teodoric the Ostrogoth, who had come to its relief. Clovis murdered the other kings among the Salian Franks and was also accepted by the Pipuarians as their sole ruler. At his death he ruled all Gaul except the Mediterranean coast and Rhone Valley, and 536 his sons had added the Kingdom of Burgundy and Provence to the Frankish possessions..." p120: "...The religion of the Germans in all these states except the Frankish Kingdom was either pagan or Arian, and the vernacular language was used in the service. After the conversion of Clovis in 496 the Franks, hitherto pagan, became orthodox Roman Catholics..."

The Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Editions, France 481: "Clovis, King of Franks 481-511, Founder of the Frank monarchy, Paris the capital, marries Clotilda a catholic in 491, a Princess of Burgundy..."

France A Modern History, Albert Guerard, 1959, Univ Michigan Press, p46: "In 486, Cholodovech (Clovis), King of the Salian Franks- he was then twenty years old- defeated Syagrius, `King of the Romans', near the latter's capital, Soissons. The bishop of the city asked for the return of a sacred vase which was part of the booty; and Clovis would have complied with his request, had not an unruly warrior smashed the vessel with his battle-axw. This deference to the wishes of a priest is the first indication of what was to become a settled and fruitful policy, the alliance of the Frankish monarchs with the Catholic Church...
"...Clovis and the Franks presented a great advantage: they were heathens stell and could be won over to the orthodox side. So Clovis was adopted, not through any deep conscious design, as the sword of the true faith. He was married to the only Catholic princess in Gaul, Clotilda, a Burgund (493). Thenceforth, miracleshelped his career. The God of Clotilda gave him victory over the Alamans (near Strasbourg, 496); therupon, in fulfillment of a vow, he received baptism at the hands of St Remigius (Remi), `bowed his proud head, and burned that which he had adored.' Tradition has it that a dove brought down from Heaven the vial of holy chrism with which he was then anointed: this ceremony gave the Frankish king a sacred, almost sacerdotal character. A mysterious light shone on the cathedral of Poiteirs to guide his army; a white dow revealed to him a ford of the river Vienne. Burgundy and Toulouse, his Arian rivals, were honeycombed with Catholic disloyalty. So these two great kingdoms, populous and comparatively civilized, were, the first, held in check, the second subjugated (Vouille, near Poitiers, 507) by a chieftain who, at the outset, had led a bond of only six thousand warriors.
"`He fought: the bishops conquered.' On his way back from the Visigothic campaign, Clovisreceived at Tours the insignia of consular rank from the emperor of the East, Anastasius. He presided over a council at Orleans. Not that he had shed barbarism like a garment: his career was one of cruelty and deceit; his rivals were systematically murdered. But the Church was committed, and he was, though unworthy, revered as a `Man of God'. Later, good Gregory of Tours could write with unconscious blasphemy: `Thus day by day God brought low his enemies before him, so that they submitted to him and increased his kingdom, because he walked before Him with an upright heart, and did that which was pleasing in His sight'..."

The Kings of France, Claude Wenzler, Tran. Angela Moyon, Editons Quest-France 13 Rue du Breil, Rennes, France 1995, p11: "The Merovingians- Clovis 465- 481- Paris 511 AD, Queen: Clotilda 475- 493- 545AD. Son of Childeric I and Basine, Clovis gradually extended his authority over almost all the tribes of Gaul. In 486 AD he defeated Syagrius, the last Roman ruler in Gaul, then conquered Gontebaud, King of the Burgundians in 500 AD near Dijon, and finally Alaric II, King of the Visigoths in 507 AD in 507 AD in Vouille... Urged by his wife, Clotilda, he was baptised into the Christian faith in Reims on Christmas Day 496 AD by St Remigius. He was the only barbarian king to have espoused the Roman Catholic regligion, and thereafter Clovis was supported by the Church. In accordance with the Frankish laws of succession, his kingdom was divided between his four sons after his death."

World Ancestral Chart No. 125360 Ancestors of Patricia Ann Kieffer.

Ancestral File Ver 4.11 8HTG-10 Clovis The Great Born Abt 465 Died 511, 9GBK-KK Clovis I FRANKS King "The Great" ?Born <Endowed 4 Nov 1927 Chr 25 Dec 496 Mar ?21 Sep 1820 Died 27 Nov 511/514, Ver 4.10 Born Abt 465 Chr 25 Dec 496 [Both] Rheims Marne Loire- Atlantique Mar Abt 492/493 France Died 27 Nov 511/514 Bur [Both] Church of Saint Pierre France, FMH Cholodovech (Clovis).

   Marriage Information:

Clovis married Concubine Franks Clovis I.

   Marriage Information:

Clovis also married Queen Saint Clotilda Burgundy FRANKS, daughter of Chilperic BURGUNDY and Mrs Burgundy Chilperic, in 491-493 in , , France. (Queen Saint Clotilda Burgundy FRANKS was born about 467-475 in Tours, Indre-Et-Loire, Alsace, France, christened in , Bourgogne, France and died about 3 Jun 543-548 in Tours, Indre-Et-Loire, Alsace, France.)

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