• Ben

Episode 13: The Sons of Clovis - Part V

La mort de Chramn
This isn't going to end well...

One would think that being a king, no matter the group that person was king of, would be a tremendous gift; for someone like Chlothar, king of all of the Franks and their attendant lands, there could be no higher honor. For Chlothar, however, the act of being king felt more to him like a duty forced upon him by God. And never had that duty been more of a burden than in these past few weeks in the year 561 in Armorica, an area later to be known as Brittany, and in particular at this moment as he stood in front of an abandoned shack containing the body of his son, Chramn, as well as his daughter-in-law and two granddaughters.

Everything leading to this moment had been put into motion years ago by his brother and co-ruler, Childebert. You see, back in 557, while Chlothar had been on campaign against the Saxons east of Thuringia, Childebert had heard that the fight wasn’t going well and decided to take advantage of his brother’s military issues. He had some of his people start a rumor that his brother had been killed in the fighting, and then used this rumor as an excuse to legitimize his claim of taking some of Chlothar’s lands. Chlothar’s son Chramn, seeing his uncle spring into action, also took it upon himself to rise up in the wake of this news of his father’s demise and claim what he could of the empire for himself. This part of the story had not upset Chlothar; after all, he himself had spent a lifetime looking for and seizing opportunities to consolidate power, so Chramn’s actions in this regard were perfectly in line with the ol’ Merovingian family dynasty.

What had upset Chlothar was when, upon sending receipt that the news of his death had been premature – and greatly exaggerated – neither his brother or uncle stopped their campaigns to take his territory. Again, he could handle the idea of a land grab in the wake of a leader’s death – he was, after all, someone who had stabbed his own nephews to death in order to get access to their dad’s lands after Chlodomir died – but he couldn’t handle the disrespect of people continuing to take what was his once they knew that he was alive. More than even just the personal affront, he had to stand up to his son and brother if he had any hope of keeping the respect of his people. If he lost that, he would lose everything. And it was with this in mind that he geared up to go to war with his family.

Fortunately for Chlothar, the coming war was won without a fight when Childebert had the courtesy to simply up and die in 558. With that death, and Chidlebert’s lack of male offspring, the entirety of the Frankish dominion fell to Chlothar by default. Chramn, now reduced to nothing more than his own men and resources following the death of his uncle, had little choice left at that time than to lay down his arms and petition his father for forgiveness. And amazingly, Chlothar granted Chramn mercy. He brought him back into the fold, partly because Chramn was a solid military leader, partly because Chramn was his son, and mostly because Chlothar just didn’t need any more challenges to his authority. Settling with his boy was the quickest and easiest way to put the whole situation behind them.

The problem with Chramn, however, was that he had had a taste of what it felt like to be a king. He knew how to command armies, and he knew how to conquer and hold land. Most of the men in his family line had been kings by this point in their lives, and there was only one thing standing in his way. Or better said, there was only one person standing in his way. His father, Chlothar, had lived well longer now than anyone could have expected, and as a man in his sixties he was blocking the way for new, younger, and more ambitious men to come into power. Every day that Chramn had to wait was just one more bit of fuel stoking his hatred of the old man; it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to take advantage of that hatred for their own purposes. In short order, Chramn allied with Chonoober, count of the Bretons, and rose up against his father yet again, this time more defiantly insofar as making no pretense of “thinking” the old man was dead on another battleground.

Chramn underestimated his father, both in terms of his military strength and his willingness to lay waste to his son, now a traitor two times over. Chramn, no matter his skill or family ties, had destroyed his loyalty to his family, leaving only one way this could end for him if he was not victorious in the field. He prepared for battle, but before that was to begin – and realizing the disadvantage at which he was fighting – he put his wife and daughters into hiding and made arrangements for their flight to Brittia. They were near to the port at the edge of Armorica, and if he should fall, at least they could take a boat across the sea and perhaps live out the rest of their lives.

Chramn, for all of his shortcomings as a son, was a valiant fighter and not afraid to come out against his father. However, night had fallen by the time both armies had fully faced one another on the battlefield, forcing both sides to refrain from fighting. This pause in the action led Chramn’s chief Breton advocate, Chonoober, to rethink their chances. He pushed for a night attack to catch the enemy unaware and allow surprise and darkness to work as advocates of their cause. Chramn balked, proposing that the tactic was too risky and not manly. Chonoober, deftly switching his argument from one of military necessity to one of family allegiance in a bid to come up with any argument that would sway Chramn’s mind, argued, "I think it wrong for you to fight against your father; allow me tonight to rush upon him and destroy him with all his army." But Chramn was still not moved, and held back his forces until the dawn of the next day. When morning came, they set their armies in motion and hastened to the conflict.

Things quickly went wrong for Chramn and the Bretons, just as Chonoober had predicted. King Chlothar had rallied his forces and readied them for battle by yelling his call to God loud enough to be heard across the whole of the line: “Look down, Lord, from heaven and judge my cause since I suffer wicked outrage from my son; look down, Lord, and judge justly, and give that judgment that thou once gavest between Absalom and his father.” With this the fight commenced, and it was not long before the tide of battle swung strongly and irrevocably in the direction of the Franks. Chonoober, having less skin in the game than his friend, was quick to flee the field. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t quick enough, and was brought down and slain. Realizing all was lost, Chramn too decided it was best to flee the field and attempt to fight another day.

Chramn had better luck than Chonoober and made it to the ships, but once onboard he realized that his wife and daughters had failed to meet him there. Given the choice between guaranteeing his own safety at the expense of his family, or risking everything to bring them with him, Chramn chose to seek them out. Sadly, his enemy had made it to the port at this time, as they had overtaken the rest of the belligerents on the battlefield when their lines broke along with the presence of their leaders. Chramn barely started the search for his wife and girls when he was overwhelmed by his father's soldiers, captured and bound fast. This news was taken to King Chlothar and he gave orders to burn Chramn with fire together with his wife and daughters.

And this returns us back to the beginning of our story, to King Chlothar standing in front of an abandoned shack and bemoaning the burdensome weight of his crown. Chlothar was an old man and had loved his son, traitor that he was. No one understood ambition more than Chlothar, so even while he had to give the order to execute Chramn, he was able to understand the young man’s motives. Those motives had been no more personal in their sentiment than the order Chlothar was about to give to begin the execution.

Inside the shack, Chramn was stretched on a bench by Chlothar’s men and strangled with a towel. The deed done, Chlothar’s men exited the building and gave their sovereign a sign that the usurper was no more. Chlothar remained quiet and calm on the outside, betraying no emotions. He could hear his daughter-in-law inside, simultaneously screaming in fear before the dead body of her strangled husband, holding her wailing children, and imploring Chlothar for mercy. He listened to none of her pleas.

“Burn it,” he ordered.

He sat on his horse outside the shack and watched it go up in flames. He heard the three people inside, his relatives by marriage and blood, women all, scream in pain and fear until the smoke and flames put an end to their agony. And when the fire started to burn out, he turned back toward his camp, his duty done. He had unified the kingdom, and nothing would see that undone in his lifetime, no matter how hard he had to make his heart. Unfortunately for Chlothar, the end of his life was only a year away.

This is Thugs and Miracles. Episode Thirteen: The Sons of Clovis – Part V.

Alright, welcome back to Thugs and Miracles. As always, I’m Benjamin Bernier, and this week we are going to turn our focus on the last two sons of Clovis, Childebert and Chlothar. And to be honest, I’m going to give Childebert pretty small billing in this episode, mainly due to the fact that many of his other exploits – such as being the mastermind of the execution of his nephews, his “adoption” of Theudebert, and his constant maneuvering to take advantage of the weakened positions of his brothers and co-rulers – has been sprinkled in throughout the rest of the narrative. What’s most important to remember about Childebert at this point is that a) he had no male heirs, and b) his enduring legacy to the Merovingian Dynasty was to build a church specifically for the purpose of housing a relic of Saint Vincent obtained while he was on campaign in Spain. The church would be dedicated to Germain, Bishop of Paris on 23 December 558, the same day that Childebert died. He was buried at the church, and it went on to become the necropolis of the Merovingian Kings even over the Church of the Holy Apostles that had been founded by Clovis. In a kind of “where-are-they-now” moment, the church still stands to this day in Paris’s 6th arrondissement; however, the church itself was pretty much a total re-build after the Normans plundered and razed it in the 9th century. More on that in about 47 episodes or so…

So… Chlothar. This youngest son of Clovis, as pointed out in the opener, lived a relatively long life, especially when compared with most of his brothers and his father. This is all the more impressive when one considers the sheer number of campaigns that Chlothar was involved in throughout his life. He came into his crown around the age of 14 in 511 and was engaged in wars in Burgundy alongside of his brothers on and off for the next 23 years, finally winning the territory when the Ostrogoths were unable to support the Burgundian king any longer due to the issues they were having in their territory. Chlothar fought alongside of his half-brother Theuderic in Thuringia, helping himself to a wife – Radegunda – while he campaigned. He also managed to evade assassination attempts by Theuderic while deployed into Germany – recall the absolutely ridiculous incident of the bedsheet not hanging low enough to hide the feet of Theuderic’s would-be hit crew. Chlothar fought in Hispania, modern-day Spain, alongside of Childebert in 542; however, according to historian Walter Perry, “The object of this invasion was simply predatory, the Franks soon after retired into Gaul with immense booty, and the Goths resumed possession of their devastated country.” With all of these conquests Chlothar expanded both his treasury and his borders, gaining holdings in various different areas, but much of these were scattered and disconnected. It was the childless death of Theudebald in 555 that brought Chlothar his greatest territorial advance. Again according to Perry:

“[Theudebald’s] kingdom therefore reverted to his great uncles Childebert and Chlothar, the former of whom was a feeble and childless old man, while the latter, to use the language of Agathias, " had only contracted his first wrinkles," and was blessed with four high-spirited and warlike sons. Under these circumstances, Chlothar considered it safe to claim the whole of his deceased nephew's kingdom; and declared that it was useless to divide it with Childebert, whose own possessions must shortly fall to himself and his sons. To strengthen his claims still further, he married Vultetrada, the widow of Theudebald and daughter of Wacho, king of the Longobards. For some reason or other (but hardly from their objection to polygamy, since Chlothar had actually had at least five wives, not all of whom could be dead), the Christian bishops strongly opposed this marriage.”

So Chlothar raised some practical, if harsh, realities to justify his claim to the Kingdom of Austrasia. He was younger and more prolific – why bother splitting up lands just to have to give them all to Chlothar in a few years anyway, right? And the queen, Vultetrada; she had to have been thrilled to have not only lost her teenage husband, but then to be given the opportunity to join in with a 60-year-old man’s five other wives for what had to be wedded bliss to any young medieval girl. One can only imagine her excitement… This is one of those times where you can honestly be glad that the bishops finally decided to step up and say, “Mmm, not so much.” And quite honestly, Chlothar probably didn’t really care all that much about losing the girl. He kept the lands, which would have been his aim in having married her anyway. Gregory tells us that Chlothar gave up Vultetrada to a Bavarian duke named Garivald; we can only hope that this was a happier match for her than Chlothar would have been.

Since we’re talking about wives, now is probably as good a time as any to take a look at the Chlothar lineage. Per Gregory, “The king had seven sons by several wives; namely, by Ingunda, [he had] Gunthar, Childeric, Charibert, Gunthram, Sigibert, and a daughter Chlotsinda; by Aregunda, sister of Ingunda, [he had] Chilperic; and by Chunsina he had Chramn.” Of these, Gunthar, Chramn and Childeric would die in their father's lifetime.

Now you may have noticed that in that last quote I mentioned that Ingunda and Aregunda were sisters; well, even by sixth century standards this wasn’t an entirely cool practice, and likely something that only a person like Chlothar, a king, could get away with. Gregory tells us that this situation came into existence this way:

“When he was already married to [Ingunda] alone, he received a hint from her saying: "My Lord has done with his handmaid what he pleased and has taken me to his couch. Now let my lord the king hear what his servant would suggest to make his favor complete. I beg that you consent to find a husband for my sister, a man who will be of advantage to your servant and possess wealth, so that I shall not be humiliated but rather exalted and shall be able to serve you more faithfully.” To this request he gave heed and being of a wanton nature he fell in love with Aregunda and went to the estate on which she was living and married her himself. Having done this he returned to Ingunda and said: "I have tried to do the favor which your sweet self asked of me. I sought for a man of riches a wisdom to unite to your sister, but I found no one better than myself. And so allow me to tell you that I have married her, which I think will not displease you." And she replied, "Let my Lord do what seems good in his eyes; only let his handmaid live in favor with the king.”"

So… wow. Apparently Chlothar had a bit of an ego, and Ingunda knew better than to argue with him (which makes sense). While both of these statements are likely true, it’s also likely that Gregory was a bit more Team Childebert than Team Chlothar, given that the former had built up a reputation as being a better friend to the Church. Given this, it’s likely that Gregory put down the history as he knew it, and didn’t take the time to church it up, so to speak, to make Chlothar come off as a slightly nicer, more relatable figure. But then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chlothar was a bit of a jerk, no matter how much someone would try to sugarcoat his reputation. A Merovingian king would have to be to survive, and he survived longer than most. Moving on…

While Chlothar was busy with wives and would-be wives, he wasn’t paying as much attention as he should have been to the groups built up along his borders, and in particular, to the Saxons. The Saxons of 555 lived further east into Germany than even Theudebert or Theuderic had been able to push; at this time, the Thuringians had been subdued – along with their lands – but the Franks had pushed no further. Chlothar saw this as a point of opportunity, an area of potential expansion. He had already been to Spain and back, and he saw what Narses had done to Theudebald’s men in Italy, so really, this was the only area on the map at the time really set for expansion. Unfortunately for Chlothar, his ignorance of the Saxons and the amount of pushback they would give him in his attempts to colonize further into Germany – and, more than likely, no small amount of hubris on Chlothar’s part – would lead to some serious military setbacks. According to historian Charles Oman:

“Beyond the vassal Thuringians lay the independent Saxons, and against them Chlothar led out in 555 the full force of both the Ripuarian and the Salian Franks. The Saxons, on the other hand, induced many of the Thuringians to rise in rebellion and endeavour to shake off the Frankish yoke. The fortune of war was at first favourable to Chlothar, who put down the Thuringian insurrection without much difficulty, but when in the next year he led his host into the unexplored woods and moors of Saxony he suffered such a terrible defeat that he was fain to flee behind the Rhine and cover himself by the walls of Koln. The pursuing Saxons devastated the Trans-Rhenane possessions of the Franks up to the gates of Deutz. They were not destined to become the vassals of their western neighbours for another two hundred years.”

Let’s put this loss further into context. First, Chlothar was the son of a strong military leader, Clovis, who rarely lost battles and almost certainly did not run back inside city walls to protect himself from injury. Losing to the Saxons and retreating to a defensive position, besides the obvious loss of men, equipment, and morale, was just bad optics. Second, as a king, Chlothar was responsible for providing booty and treasure to his followers. Well, running for your life rarely provides many options for plunder. Finally, losing in such a manner provided people outside of the battle, people such as his son Chramn and his brother Childebert, with the opportunity to craft narratives that would work against his interests in the rear. So not only did the loss of a battle have a direct physical and financial cost, it also had knock-on effects that would ripple far and wide. With that in mind, Perry provides the following passage:

“When forced into a battle with the Saxons at Deutz, by the overweening confidence of his followers, who even threatened him with death in case of noncompliance, he received a decisive and bloody defeat, and the Saxons freed themselves from a small tribute, which they had hitherto paid to the Austrasians. The kindred Merovingians never lost an opportunity of injuring one another, and Childebert, taking advantage of his brother's distress, not only urged on the Saxons to repeat their incursions, but harboured and made common cause with Chramn, the rebellious and exiled son of Chlothar.”

Basically, Chlothar was forced into battle to save his reputation, his kingship, and perhaps even his life, even though he was already on the run and in a bad place from which to fight. This goes to show what a dangerous drug hubris can be; history is littered with the corpses of warriors who thought they would win battles easily. Anyway, Chlothar managed, eventually, to call a truce and to get out of inner Germany alive, even if he was slightly chastened and less well-off for the effort. But just because he escaped from the proverbial frying pan doesn’t mean he wasn’t hopping into a fire. His brother and son were mounting an insurrection, and things were looking fairly bleak as Chlothar dragged himself home.

And then Childebert changed everything by up and dying in 558. I mean, Chlothar was on the ropes and primed to get the snot knocked out of him, and then the coup-de-grace never arrived. It had to have been amazing news to his ears to realize – in a moment that he had no ability to control or foresight to see coming – that he would go from an existential crisis to his kingship to being the first King of All the Franks in 47 years! History has few examples of such a drastic turn of fortunes, and Chlothar undoubtedly had to have seen some amount of divine providence shining upon him when this happened. It may also explain why Gregory’s writing about Chlothar has a constant feel to it that the author really doesn’t like Chlothar, really didn’t want him to win – but who is he to argue with God? Childebert gets higher praise in the History of the Franks, and certainly gets noted repeatedly for his generosity toward the Church and his bishops, while Chlothar gets noticed for ordering “all the churches of his kingdom to pay into his treasury a third of their revenues.” He is shown as greedy, lecherous, and incompetent – but he’s also gifted with sons, and the lands of all of his brothers continue to fall to him despite his character flaws. Again, Gregory didn’t have to like him, but he also had no right to argue with God. Chlothar is clearly the big winner here.

So now we return to Chramn; just like Gregory, he almost certainly had to have seen the working of the Almighty at play at this point to change the tides of fortune so significantly, so fast. And it looks like he abided this loss; Gregory tells us that he presented himself to his father, and Chlothar extended mercy to him. Still, Chramn was ambitious, impatient, and had experienced the taste of leadership. None of the sources I found described why he once again turned against his father, but all of them agree that it was only a short amount of time until he did. And for what it’s worth, I kind of think I get it: Chramn, as I just said, was ambitious and thought it was his time to be king. Humility was not often a Merovingian trait, and Chramn likely couldn’t find it in himself to patiently wait for his father to die naturally. Another thing to consider is how much Chramn could trust Chlothar. I mean sure, maybe the King had granted him clemency now, in public, but could Chramn count on that with his life? Knowing Chlothar, I would be walking around with a weapon at all times and checking under my bed before I went to sleep. The whole situation reminds me of Godfather II, when Michael kissed Fredo and told him, “You broke my heart.” If you’re not familiar with the film, Michael and Fredo were brothers; Michael became the godfather and was double-crossed by Fredo, and when Michael found this out he kissed him and let him live, mainly because of their mother, delivering the aforementioned quote. But eventually, on a quiet morning fishing trip way out on a lake, Fredo was shot by one of Michael’s hitmen and disposed of appropriately. Michael never forgot the insult, and the debt was always going to come due. Did Chramn see his situation with Chlothar in the same way, that he would be the Fredo to Chlothar’s Michael? If he did, then it would make sense for him to act before his father could.

Whether it was hubris, a pre-emptive strike, or some mixture of the two, we know from the opener that things didn’t go well for Chramn. He lost the battle against his father, was strangled, and then burnt with his family. The writings never really specify if his wife and daughters were also strangled before the fire was set to the shed; I can see it going either way. Human mercy would seem to indicate that setting another person on fire really, really hurts, regardless of your gender – if you learn nothing else from this episode, remember, fire equals ouch. But then again, all of Chramn’s family in the shed were women, and women – especially women associated with traitors – could easily be seen as property and chattel at this time in history. If this was the case and the men setting the blaze were particularly hardened, well… maybe they didn’t consider the ladies “human” enough to deserve the time and effort that the mercy of a quick death would offer.

Either way, Chlothar had to live with the routing of his son’s military forces and the execution of him and his family for the remainder of his life. How did he feel about this? Well, the sources, as is so often the case, are divided on this idea. Some would have you believe that Chlothar made a pilgrimage to St. Martin of Tours near the end of his life to atone for these most recent sins, while others would have you believe that he made the pilgrimage as a way of generally accepting his old age and mortality and looking to atone for a lifetime of wickedness. Personally, I’m more likely to fall into the latter camp, while adding in that Chlothar would likely have tossed the murder of his son in with the rest of his general baggage. The fact is that Chlothar, at this point, would have been well into his sixties and perhaps even closer to seventy. Everyone, including himself, would understand that this was a ripe old age for almost anyone at this time, and Chlothar’s genetics and his style of living were not particularly predisposed toward lengthy lifespans. His father, Clovis, was dead at 45; his half-brother Theuderic was about that same age when he died; and even Childebert, Chlothar’s nearest sibling in terms of age, had been dead for three years. With all of that said, Chlothar probably looked back on his life, his ties to the Church, and everything he had done to solidify his reign and could see how now was as good a time as any to set his affairs straight with God. From Perry:

“He sought the threshold of the blessed Martin of Tours, bringing with him many gifts. Having approached the sepulchre of a certain priest, he made a full confession "of the acts of negligence of which he had, perhaps, been guilty, and prayed with many groans that the blessed confessor would procure him the mercy of the Lord, and by his intercession obliterate the memory of all that he had done irrationally."”

And there you have it: a “full confession,” loaded with the appropriate dramatic flair and filled with a large number of groans and lamentations and etc. From what I have studied about Chlothar, I can’t help but feel that he was a very literal and studied person, and would have gone to St. Martin with the expectation of wanting to know what he would have to do to get back right with God, to have these memories of his actions erased from his spiritual ledger. In other words, he comes off as very transactional, and not altogether truly repentant for what he had done. Gregory tells us that some of his last words even went so far as to compare himself in some measure to God, asking those around him, “Alas! What do you think the king of heaven is like when he kills such great kings in this way?” One would imagine that a truly moved, faithful and God-fearing King would not so much question God, but rather, submit to his plan. But this was never Chlothar’s way, was it?

CONCLUSION: So, to finish off the story of Chlothar, Childebert, and the other sons of Clovis: what do we make of their legacy? There’s no doubt that they were every bit as ambitious as their father, rushing into war in all directions and doing whatever they could to expand their territory and bring loot and booty to their followers. And in most cases, they were as successful as Clovis. However, with all of them, you can’t look at the successes without also looking at the costs they paid for victory. Chlodomir paid for his ambition with his own life, and in a way, with the life of his sons. Theuderic and Theudebald seemed to be the stronger candidates for the title of King of the Franks, but they weren’t able to overcome basically mortality to ever get to this prize, no matter their strength on the battlefield; ultimately, their line went down in history as quietly as Chlodomir’s. Finally, Chlothar and Childebert both seemed to realize that there was a balance to be repaid for all they did in perpetuating the Merovingian Dynasty and its holdings and, especially in the later years of their lives, appear to have worked with the Catholic clergy in an attempt to expunge their mortal records. While it would ultimately be between them and their Creator to decide how well they had atoned – or if atonement was even an option for their actions – it’s safe to say that their actions were certainly not forgotten by those left behind. As we’ll see in the following episodes, their ambition, greed and general internal fractiousness became a staple of this period, an example to follow rather than a lesson to be learned from. The sons of Clovis set the standard and direction which the next generation would be all too willing to follow.

Alright, so in five episodes we have taken a look at all of the fallout from Clovis’s death and his rather impractical splitting of the kingdom. This time and place in the world naturally set anyone living near each other in conflict; remember the quote from Procopius: “For men naturally find a neighboring state's power, when it surpasses their own, grievous and a most ready cause of injustice.” And as we’ve seen, this applies even to states that were run - or under the authority of - one’s own family. At any rate, it took 50 years to finally put the kingdom back together again, under a single King of the Franks. Knowing how poorly Clovis’s arrangement worked out, and seeing how long it took to put everything back to rights, Chlothar… did the exact same thing as his dad. He split his kingdom four ways amongst his legitimate heirs:

· Charibert received the kingdom of Paris, with lands extending between the Somme and the Pyrénées, with Paris as its capital. He also held lands in Provence;

· Guntram received the Kingdom of Orléans, which included most of Burgundy;

· Sigebert received the Kingdom of Metz, with its capital in Reims and Metz;

· Chilperic received the Kingdom of Soissons.

Before we get too deep into the shenanigans of these four new kings, however, we’re going to take a step back next episode and re-acquaint ourselves with the lay of the land at this time in 561. It’s important to know who was still running around at this time, be it the Byzantine Empire, the Visigoths, or the Angles and the Saxons. The last time we looked at the neighbors was over 100 years prior, and while the Western Roman Empire, the Huns, the Ostrogoths, and multiple tribes conquered by the Franks went by the wayside, that certainly doesn’t mean that the struggle for power had become any less intense amongst those players still on the field. We’ll look at these competitors, where they were stationed at their larger strategic objectives in our next episode.

OUTRO: Alright, as always, the music used for the show comes from Josh Woodward and includes his songs “Bully” and “Lafayette.” For a free download of these songs or hundreds of other great tracks, check out his site at joshwoodward.com. Notes on this episode, a list of sources, a monarchy/family tree, and much more is available online at thugsandmiracles.com; check it out and be sure to sign up for the e-mail list. Speaking of email, you can write to me at thugsandmiracles@gmail.com, you can hit me on Twitter at @thugsandmiracle (with no “s” on the end), or you can leave a comment on Facebook or Instagram at @ThugsAndMiracles.

Finally, as we leave today, I’d like to say thank you to Henry over at the History of the British Isles podcast. We took a little time recently to chat with one another about many of the crossover points that occur again and again in our respective histories, and it was fun to get the British point-of-view on these topics. And, with both of us being history nerds and all, our conversation ended up going off on some pretty interesting tangents, so it will be fun to see what Henry ultimately decides to post and what hits the editing room floor. Our interview is set to go live even as you’re listening to this, so be sure to find the History of the British Isles on all major podcast providers.

Once again, my name is Benjamin Bernier, and I look forward to seeing you in two weeks with another episode of Thugs and Miracles.