Clodion the Hairy

According to Roman consular lists, Clodion the Hairy (aka Clodio) was King of the Franks. He was also a Goth and likely was born into a family of notoriety (possibly Pharamond). He earned the nickname "Hairy," because he wore customary long hair. Appearing on the consular list was important, because this was a chronological table of magistrates within the Roman Empire.

Clodion the Hairy

(Image courtesy of Rinaldum on fr.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

As Bishop Gregory of Tours indicated, Clodion was 'a man of high birth.' He also had an extraordinary 'ability among his people.' His ascension from a notable family of stature was important, but his military exploits enhanced tribal loyalty to him. His grandest military victory came in 428. He sent spies to Cambrai (near the English Channel) to determine the Roman army's position and strength. Satisfied with the information and his army's abilities, Clodion led his soldiers against the Roman Legion. According to Gregory, Clodion 'crushed the Romans and captured the town.'

During his reign, he lived in the tribal area of Thuringii occupying the eastern side of western Europe (see the Ancient European Tribal Map below). Clodion's castle was located at Duisberg.

Ancient European Tribal Map

(Image courtesy of

The town was strategically located on the Hellweg. Hellweg was the main trading route linking Duisberg with Sauerland in the east and Paderborn, Saxoni in the west. In addition, Duisberg was at the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr Rivers and had a fordable crossing.

Eastern Hellweg Map

(Image courtesy of

Clodion reigned for 20 years. In 448, Roman General Aetius defeated Clodion at Vicus Helena in Artois (west of Cambrai), and the Romans regained authority over the territory.

#Clodio #Goths #Pharamond #GregoryofTours #Cambrai #Thuringii #Duisberg #Hellweg #Sauerland #RhineRiver #RuhrRiver #VicusHelena

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