Scandinavians, Burgundians, and Fratricide

Now ruling Tournai and Soissons, King Clovis continued his quest to increase his authority, domain, and influence on the continent. Fifty years earlier, the Burgundians occupied northern Gaul and aspired to extend their reach. They were a hearty Scandinavian people originally settling in the Roman province of Germania (Secunda).

Roman Provinces

(Image courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallia_Belgica#/media/File:Map_Gallia_Tribes_Towns.png)

Eager to expand his domain, in 430, the Burgundian King (Gunther) invaded the Roman province of (Gallia) Belgica and was crushed by a Roman and Hunnic allied army. The Burgundian survivors advanced to the Savoy area on the eastern side of the Narbonensis province and settled. With the north secured by Franks and Romans, the Burgundians endeavored to expand westward, but the Visigoths denied them the expansion. The Burgundians were pinned into the Savoy area.


Recognizing the Burgundian desire to expand and an inability to do so, King Clovis took advantage of the situation and allied with them. Using his royal status and ignoring two fratricidal deaths, a murder, and two exiles, King Clovis arranged a political marriage. Upon Burgundian King Gondioc's death (King Gunther's successor), the kingdom was divided amongst his three sons. King Chilperic II received the area around Lyons, King Godegisil received the Geneva realm, and King Gundobad the Vienne kingdom.

Burgundian Kingdom

(Image courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Burgundy#/media/File:Map_Burgundian_Kingdom_EN.png)

During his reign, King Chilperic II married and had two daughters. His youngest daughter, Clotilde, was a beautiful and intelligent princesses.


After murdering his first brother, in 493, King Gundobad, committed his second fratricidal act. He murdered Clotilde's father. In addition, he tied a millstone around the neck of Chilperic's wife and threw her in a river. When her last breath bubbled to the surface, Gundobad was able to acquire the Lyons realm.


As for Chilperic's daughters, Chroma, the eldest daughter, was exiled to a nunnery, and Clotilde remained within King Gundobad's domain. Through envoys, King Clovis heard about Clotilde's elegance and intellect. Desiring a Burgundian alliance and a beautiful wife, King Clovis sent messengers to King Gundobad requesting a royal marriage with Clotilde. Wanting to avoid Clovis' military might, Gundobad agreed, and Clovis and Clotilde were wed in 493.

#Burgundians #Scandinavians #gunthar #GalliaBelgica #Savoy #Gundioc #ChilpericII #Lyons #Godegisil #Geneva #Gundobad #Vienne #Clotilde #Chroma

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