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Clovis I

Clovis I

Born: 466 AD
Death: 511 AD
Reign: 481 -511 AD

Clovis I, Leutwig (Czech), became King of the Salian Franks at the age of 15 when his father Childeric I died. At the start of the reign of Clovis I, the Franks were ruled by several separate kings but by the year 486 he became absolute ruler of a Germanic kingdom with a mixed population of Roman and Germanic peoples.
But this was not enough. He captured Frankish King Chararic and his son. To dishonor the two they were tonsured, the Christian practice of shaving of the hair from the scalp. Chararic was ordained a priest and his son a deacon after this.
A few years later Clovis killed King Ragnachar of Cambrai and his brothers and after conquering the Free state of Thuringia he ruled of all the old Frankish kingdoms west of the River Maas.
He took Paris as his capital where he raised an abbey in honor of the Saints Peter and Paul.
But Clovis did not conquer all the Frankish Kings. Around 493 AD, his sister Audofleda married King Theoderic the Great of the Ostrogoths. This way an alliance between Clovis I and Theoderic was created.
In the year 500AD Clovis fought a unsuccessful battle against the Burgundian kingdom but together with the Armoricans he was victorious against the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse, adding the major part of Aquitaine to his kingdom.
After conquering Cologne in 509 AD Clovis I finally became king of all Franks.

Kingdom of Clovis I

Kingdom of Clovis I

Although being a pagan King, his wife Clothilde (Clotilde, Chlotilde, Chrodechilde, Chrodichild or Chrotechildis) was a Catholic Burgundian princess. Together they had five children: Chlodomer, Childebert I, Chlothar I, Clotilde and Ingomer who was born 494 AD but died that same year. Clovis I already had one son called Theuderic  by one of his earlier wives or concubines.
Under pressure from Clothilde Clovis converted to Catholism and was baptized, possibly on Christmas day 508, three years prior to his death. Clovis I was the first Frankish king to convert to the Catholic-Christian believe.

Baptism of Clovis I

Baptism of Clovis I

After his death in 511 AD his kingdom was traditionally divided between his four surviving sons but united as a whole again when Chlothar I outlived his three brothers. After the death of Chlothar I the kingdom was divided again between his sons bur during the reign of Chlothar II (early 7th century) the kingdom was ruled as a whole again.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Europese Cultuurgeschiedenis – E.M. Bouwman (NTI)