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Childeric I, King of the Salian Franks
(Cir 0437-0481)
Clovis I, King of the Franks
Clotilda (St) of the Franks
(Cir 0474-0545)
Chlotar I, King of the Franks
(Cir 0497-0561)


Family Links

1. Saint Radegunda
2. Ingund

3. Aregund

Chlotar I, King of the Franks 2729,2730

  • Born: Cir 497, Soissons, France
  • Marriage (1): Saint Radegunda
  • Marriage (2): Ingund
  • Marriage (3): Aregund
  • Died: 29 Nov 561, Compiègne, France

   Other names for Chlotar were Chloderic, Chlothar and Clotaire I.


  General Notes:

Merovingian king of Soissons from 511 and of the whole Frankish kingdom from 558, who played an important part in the extension of Frankish hegemony.

The youngest of Clovis I's sons, Chlotar shared in the partition of his father's kingdom in 511, receiving the old heartlands of the Salian Franks in modern northern France and Belgium. After the death of his brother, Clodomir, in 524, he murdered his nephews and shared the kingdom of Orléans with his two remaining brothers, Childebert I and Theodoric I. The deaths without heirs of the latter's grandson, Theodebald, in 555 and of Childebert in 558 brought all the Frankish lands finally under Chlotar's sway.

Chlotar's principal campaigns were against the Burgundians in 523 (with Childebert and Clodomir) and 532-534 (when he and Childebert finally imposed Frankish rule), against the Visigoths in 532 (with Theodoric) and 542 (with Childebert), and against the Thuringians in c. 531 (with Theodoric); he married the Thuringian princess, Radegunda. Chlotar was ruthless and brutal, and the family rivalries and sometimes open hostilities in which he figured prominently were characteristic of Merovingian history; in 560 he even had his rebellious son, Chram, together with Chram's family, put to death. Gregory of Tours describes Chlotar, wracked with fever on his deathbed, asking--whether in outrage or in admiration--what manner of heavenly king it was who would bring great rulers to their deaths in such a fashion.

Son of Clovis I, King of the Franks, he inherited Soissons on his death in 511. He, with his four brothers, attacked and defeated Burgundy under the kings Sigisbert and Godomar early in his reign. With his oldest brother Theuderic I, King of Metz, he attacked the Thuringian Franks under King Hermanfrid, took the kingdom, and took his daughter Radegund. Next, with his brother Childebert I, King of Paris, Chlotar murdered his nephews who were under the care of Queen Clotilda his mother. When Theuderic died, the kingdom was up for grabs. Chlotar and Childebert each received only a small part, the most of it going to Theudebert, his son. In 555, Theudebald, who had succeeded his father Theudebert in Austrasia, died, and Austrasia passed to Chlotar. When Childebert died in 558, Paris fell to Chlotar as well, thus making him sole ruler of the Franks. When Chlotar died in 561, the kingdom was divided among his 4 living sons: Charibert (Paris), Guntram (Burgundy), Chilperic (Soissons), and Sigebert (Metz).


  Noted events in his life were:

• Acceded: 511. Merovingian king of Soissons

• He worked as a King of Austrasia from 555 to 558.

• Acceded: 558. King of the Franks


Chlotar married Saint Radegunda, daughter of Bertachar of Thuringia and Unknown. (Saint Radegunda died on 13 Aug 587 in Poitiers [now in France].)


Chlotar next married Ingund, daughter of Baderic, King of Thuringia and Unknown. (Ingund was born circa 499 in Thuringia.)


Chlotar next married Aregund, daughter of Baderic, King of Thuringia and Unknown. (Aregund was born circa 500-510 and died in 580-590.)