Impetuous Bravado

Preoccupied with the Romans, Alemanni, Burgundians, and Visigoths, King Clovis had little time to rectify earlier injustices or exact retribution. Despite the passing of time, Clovis' memory seldom lapsed. Several years earlier, King Clovis had enlisted the aide of his relatives King Chararic and Ragnachar to overthrow Soissons' King Syagrius. Both agreed to invade with Clovis. When the time came to commence the battle, Ragnachar valiantly fought alongside Clovis, and they won. While sacrifices were made on the battlefield, Chararic and his army watched from a distance. Once the battle concluded, King Chararic arrived at the battlefield to congratulate the armies and unworthily bask in the splendor of victory. King Clovis never forgot this act of cowardice.


Leading up to his arrival in Paris to establish his government, King Clovis had commanded his army victoriously and concentrated his might in the south. In the north, the Salians were allied with Clovis, were independently sovereign, and King Chararic was one of their kings. His dominion was located northwest of Tournai and Clovis' kingdom.

Salian Frank Migration and Kingdom

(Image courtesy of By Odejea - Own workRéutilisation de ces cartes :etExtension des frontières franques d'après :Michel Rouche, Clovis, Éditions Fayard, 1996, isbn2-213-59632-8, pages 81 à 131Hermann Kinder et Werner Hilgemann, Atlas Historique, (Traduction de Pierre Mougenot), 1964, réimpression 1983, Éditions Stock, page 116., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8448810)

With revenge in his heart and void of mass bloodshed, Clovis and his army marched on the Salians. Clovis found Chararic and encircled the king and his son. With nowhere to run, both surrendered and were imprisoned. As retribution for endangering Clovis at Soissons, Chararic and his son were bound, tonsured, and ordained into the Catholic Church. The tonsure was an insult and an embarrassment. Long hair was a royal privilege and was customary. Tonsuring required shaving the top of a man's head and leaving a crown of hair in similitude of the apostles James and Paul.

The Tonsure

(image courtesy of By Carlo Crivelli - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=149858)

Chararic was ordained a priest, was required to abide by Catholic priesthood doctrine, and surrender rule of his kingdom. His son was ordained a deacon with potential progression as a priest. Throughout the tonsuring and ordination, Chararic wept and objected to the sentence.


Impetuously, Chararic's son metaphorically proclaimed, 'These leaves have been cut from wood which is still green and not lacking in sap. They will soon grow again and be larger than ever; and may the man who has done this deed perish equally quickly.' When the metaphor reached Clovis, orders were sent to the guards. Both were beheaded, their treasure confiscated, the kingdom added to Clovis' growing domain, and Chararic's subjects infused into his realm.

#ApostleJames #ApostlePaul #priest #priesthood #deacon

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