• Ben

Episode 19: Family Dynamics

Why are you still messing with her?!?!
Don't mess with Fredegunda... like seriously, don't...

Guntram had a problem with everyone, it seemed.

As king, he was the focal point for everything in the Kingdom, be it good or bad. As such, his people loved to come to him and praise him to his face when things were going well, and it was by this same token that they loved to talk behind his back and plot when things were not as good. Lately, the plots had literally gotten out of control: Guntram’s purported half-brother, Gundovald, had been helped back into the southern city of Marseilles in 582 by members of the Frankish elite spanning all three Kingdoms – Neustria, Austrasia, and Burgundy – as well as the Byzantine Empire. However, getting Gundovald into Francia had been the easy part; now that he was here, those same elites who had enabled him were now having a difficult time directing him.

As it turned out, Guntram’s acknowledged half-brother and fellow ruler, Chilperic, died in 584, and Gundovald used this death as his chance to lay claim to the Kingdom of Neustria. His key conspirator in this was Mummolus, one of Guntram’s former generals, as well as a coterie of Chilperic’s old officials who thought that having a full-grown, ready-made king was a better option than waiting for the Neustrian Crown Prince – Chlothar II, and quite literally an infant – to grow to adulthood. For what it’s worth, Chilperic’s children had had a rather low success rate insofar as lifespan was concerned, so these officials could be forgiven for not placing a lot of faith in this last option. Still, while a rational mind can understand why Neustrian officials may prefer a new, fully grown king over an extended regency, for Guntram the effects of the Affair were saddening, bewildering, and existential, all at the same time.

Insofar as being saddening, the fact remained that Mummolus had been one of Guntram’s great generals and a man he had placed much faith in during earlier times. To know that Mummolus, this man who had once been entrusted with the military might of the kingdom, was now the right-hand of a usurper… well, it was almost too much to bear. Beyond being emotionally upsetting, the Affair was honestly just kind of bewildering and confusing. There was just so many plots and intriguers involved that it was hard to keep track of who was who and who wanted what. King Childebert and his mother, Brunhilda, were likely not involved in plotting against him directly, but certain members of the Austrasian kingdom were no doubt involved. Mummolus had run to Austrasia in 581 when he defected, and certainly would have tainted minds in that region; he had joined that portion of the Austrasian court that took power of Childebert’s regency in 581 on the death of the young king’s nutricius, Gogo. Now, from what Guntram could tell, Mummolus and the other plotters had thrown their backing behind Gundovald under the assumption that good relations with him would lead to good relations between Austrasia and Neustria, all to the detriment of Burgundy and King Guntram. It was this point that made the entire Gundovald Affair an existential threat for this eldest Merovingian king.

With all of this in mind, there was only one way for Guntram to respond: he had to pull the insurgency out by the root, destroying Gundovald and every one of his supporters. To do this, he first made a pledge to Fredegunda, the now-former Queen of Neustria, that he would protect her and her son from harm while the child grew into his kingship. At the same time, he recognized Childebert as an adult – the boy was 15 at this time, old enough to be considered a man – yet he also made a promise to protect Childebert until he fully grew into his kingship, going so far as to stand before his own subjects in church and asking them to “allow me for three years at least to help my nephews who have become my adopted sons.

This guardianship placed him in a very peculiar spot vis-à-vis the mothers of these two boys, both of whom maintained the strongest possible animosity toward one another. Additionally, legates from Childebert’s court continued to visit King Guntram and make demands in Childebert’s name; Guntram had to be wise enough to see through the lies and half-promises offered by these men, and strong enough to stand up to them when they attempted to pressure him. At least once he ordered for these impostors to be pelted with rotted horse dung, chips, hay and straw covered with filth, and the stinking refuse from the city as they rode away. It was an interesting situation, to say the least, in which Guntram found himself flinging poop at the men who claimed to be representing the boy-king that Guntram had sworn to help.

At any rate, beyond securing relations with the portions of the courts who supported the “proper” kings, his nephews, Guntram raised his army and prepared to march south toward Gundovald and his forces. At first Gundovald had seemed quite strong; he had come loaded with Byzantine treasure and was able to gain oaths of allegiance from towns such as Angouleme, Toulouse and Bordeaux. However, as the excitement of being “new” passed, people started to get nervous about turning against the traditional kings. Add to this that Gundovald had been gone from Francia for many years and wasn’t well known to the people, and he started to lose his momentum. Finally, he regularly received bad counsel from advisors who were at best misinformed and who at worst carried only their best interests at heart. All of this, combined with the hoofbeats of Guntram’s approaching army, sent Gundovald to flight. He ran to the walled city of Convenae along with some of his supporters, Mummolus included. Others, reading the writing on the wall, deserted him outright.

Gundovald was safely ensconced in the walls of Convenae by the time Guntram arrived, and had more than enough supplies to let him hold out for quite a long time – assuming he could convince his army to stay with him during the siege. This was easier said than done. Besides attempting to starve the garrison, Guntram’s men used a great deal of energy to hurl abuse at Gundovald; they asked him questions such as “Are you that painter-fellow who used to decorate the walls and vaults of oratories in the time of Chlothar?” They taunted him a second time by asking, “Are you the one who had often been tonsured by the Frankish kings for the same presumption you now display and sent into exile?” Finally, they asked, “Who gave you the audacity to dare set foot in the kingdom of our lords?” Amazingly, Gundovald not only heard these questions, but took the time to lend credence to them by answering. However, despite his best responses, Gundovald’s men continued to lose faith in him and their cause. Their numbers dwindled. Despite this, the attackers remained unable to take the city, and after some time they chose to send a secret message to Mummolus in an attempt to shorten the siege. It read:

"Recognize your lord and finally give up your perversity. What madness possesses you to become a follower of an unknown man? For your wife and your daughters have been captured and your sons have been already slain. What end are you coming to? What do you expect except to perish?"

Mummolus, seeing that the end was near, replied, “If I learn that I have security of life, I can relieve you of great trouble." With that, he met with several of his fellow plotters – Bishop Sagittarius, Chariulf and Waddo – and together they swore that if they could get out of this situation alive, they would each give up their adopted sovereign and betray him to the enemy. A deal was made that the plotters would be placed in a church to end their days rather than be executed, and with that the men approached Gundovald. Mummolus said, “You were present and know what oaths of faithfulness we took to you. But now accept wholesome counsel and go down from this city and present yourself to your brother as you have often desired to do. For we have spoken with these men and they have told us that the king does not wish to lose your support because too few remain of your family."

Gundovald saw right through this treachery. "It was at your invitation I came to these Gauls... and next to God's help I placed all my hope in you, and to you entrusted my counsels and by your help always wished to reign. Now let your settlement be with God if you have lied to me. For he will judge my cause."

With that, Gundovald went out from the gate and was met by several of Guntram’s chiefs. It took no more than a momentary glance into these men’s eyes to see that no meeting with Guntram was forthcoming; he looked up at heaven and said one final prayer: "Eternal judge, true avenger of the innocent, God from whom all justice comes, whom lying displeases, in whom is no craft or wicked cunning, to Thee I commend my cause, praying that Thou mayst be a swift avenger upon those who have betrayed an innocent man into the hands of his enemies." He began to walk away with his captors, and before long they stopped and pushed him to the ground. The first man in the throng around Gundovald attempted to stab him, but the would-be king’s chainmail was strong enough to protect him from the blow. He began to get up when a second man decided to put an end to the affair in a less glamorous manner, throwing a stone at his head and knocking him down. When he went to the ground this second time the entire horde fell upon him with swords and lances. After this, they tied the feet of the slain man to a horse and dragged him through the camp of the besiegers, and then ripped out the hair from his head. Finally, their desecration complete, they cut loose the usurper’s body and left him to rot. He would get no Christian burial.

The following morning, with the cause for the siege now dead and gone, the gates of the city were opened. The city and its people were sentenced in a single, unanimous verdict. All of them were guilty of having given aid and succor to an enemy of the true king, King Guntram. For this treasonous crime, all of them were to die and the city was to be burned. The army surged forward and carried out their mandate; when they were done, not a soul was left alive, and every bit of the town – buildings, shops, homes, even churches – was put to the flame. Nothing remained of the Gundovald Affair but bare ground.

This is Thugs and Miracles. Episode Nineteen: Family Dynamics.

Alright, welcome back! As always, I’m Benjamin Bernier. Normally I try to keep the opening story a bit shorter than what I did today, but honestly, the story of how the Gundovald Affair unfolded after he arrived in Marseilles was, in my opinion, best told as a single narrative. As I mentioned early on in the story, the details of the Affair are honestly kind of bewildering and confusing, with tons of major and minor players, all of whom have their own angle on the story. At the same time though, I tend to agree with Northwestern College’s Dr. Robert Winn, who says that at heart, “The Gundovald affair was at its most basic level yet another round of Merovingian fratricidal warfare.”

Telling this story really represents an ongoing struggle here at T+M with the history writ large, insofar as finding a balance between storytelling that’s adequately detailed as to hit all of the key points and be historically accurate , yet told in broad enough strokes that we can keep the narrative engaging, entertaining, and flowing without getting overly bogged down in names, dates and various arcane documents and treaties; basically, all the stuff that made you hate history in high school. With that said, let’s clean up a few points from the story and then, just like King Guntram, move on to the next topic while at all times remembering the underlying issues with disloyal subjects, power-hungry courtiers, faithless clergy, interfering empires and troublesome family dynamics that the Gundovald Affair laid bare. I said last week that Guntram had a problem with women; well, as we’ve seen, we need to expand that list quite a bit!

Starting off, we know what happened to the disloyal subjects in the town of Convenae. Whether or not we agree with the need to have razed the town and kill its inhabitants, there is no argument that it was a clear example of Guntram making an example, one that we have to imagine would have stuck with the people of Francia beyond just this incident. In general, across time, there is no higher crime in any government than treason. Attacking the state is an existential offense, and one that countries and kingdoms will absolutely not stand for, whether autocracies or kingdoms or democracies. And so it was with Convenae. Now, you and I sitting here in 2020 likely agree that wholesale, extrajudicial slaughter is perhaps too harsh a punishment for most of the people of the town, but we can also likely agree that any other location in the year 585 would have to think twice in the future before messing around with any usurpers. With penalties that high, most people are not going to mess around and place their lives, their families and their homes at risk.

Moving past the disloyal subjects, what about the power-hungry courtiers who were left after Gundovald was dead? The story today ends with Mummolus and Bishop Sagittarius alive and well, watching Gundovald walk off to his fate while making sure the gates of the city are firmly locked behind him after he steps out. Well, according to Gregory of Tours, Guntram’s military commander, Leudeghisel, asked the king what to do with them. They had been given oaths that they would live if they turned their backs on Gundovald; would the King honor his word? From Gregory:

“And [Guntram] gave orders to put them to death... When the word about their death had come and Mummolus heard of it, he put on his armor and went to Leudeghisel's hut. And Leudeghisel saw him and said to him: "Why do you come thus as if ready to flee?" And he answered: "The word that was given is not to be kept, I see; for I know that I am close to death." But Leudeghisel replied: "I will go out and settle everything." He went out and immediately by his command the house was surrounded in order that Mummolus might be killed. But he made a long resistance against his assailants and at last came to the door and as he stepped out two with lances struck him on each side, and so he fell and died. On seeing this the bishop [Sagittarius] was overwhelmed with fear and one of the bystanders said to him: "Behold with your own eyes, bishop, what is being done. Cover your head to escape recognition and make for the woods and hide for a little time, and when their anger passes you can escape." He took the advice, but while he was trying to get away with his head covered, a certain man drew his sword and cut off his head, hood and all.”

So, yeah… things didn’t work out any better for the conspirators than they did for the people of Convenae. Guntram clearly felt that the crime against the state (read: him) was too severe for mercy to be allowed or for oaths to be fulfilled. The weed of treason needed to be pulled out, stem and root, to make sure it wouldn’t return, and in this case Guntram ensured that he did his best to get all of the Gundovald Affair removed from his kingdom. Having done this, he was now able to move on in this year of 585 as the clear senior ruler of Francia. He had protected his kingdom and his legitimacy, and was the only son, legitimate or otherwise, of Chlothar I remaining. He had pledged himself as the guardian of his nephews, Chlothar II of Neustria and Childebert II of Austrasia, and seems ready to take on the mantle of senior statesman as he heads into the later years of his reign.

Having solidified where we stand with Guntram, let’s return to our two leading ladies in post-Gundovald 585. Let’s start with Brunhilda: She started the year under a cloud of suspicion, which makes sense as Guntram accused the Austrasian aristocracy of having been behind Gundovald. He would likely have assumed her to be in on the shenanigans; at best she would have known about Gundovald and said nothing to Guntram, and at worst she would have been part of the group actively smuggling him into the south. Either way, it would have been a bad look for a woman whose son was receiving significant aid from the Burgundian king in establishing his rule and legitimacy. Fortunately for her, later that year we are told by the historian Eduardo Fabbro that Brunhilda received some political breathing space when Childebert’s nutricius, Wandelenus – the man who replaced the Brunhilda-friendly Gogo and helped sway the court toward the anti-Brunhilda faction – died. From Fabbro:

“The death of the nutritor Wandelenus in the fall of 585 allowed Brunhild to gain her full influence over Childebert and the Austrasian court, and consolidate a policy of strengthening monarchical power against aristocratic interests, which opened a way to a rapprochement with Guntram, even if a cold one. The Austrasian court would not fully warm up to Guntram, who at that point still held territories claimed by Childebert.”

So, long story short, if you’re #TeamBrunhilda you should be feeling pretty good at this moment. She has spent a decade since the debacle of 575 slowly earning her way into a position of trust and authority, and she has finally outlasted the key figure standing between her and her son. Childebert is old enough that he can finally hold power in his own right, but young enough that he still needs Mom there to lend a steady, guiding hand. The Neustrian Queen is holed up in a cathedral in Paris with nothing more than an infant tying her to power, and Guntram is stuck in a position as a frenemy wherein he has to respect the young king as his sworn heir even while he suspects that Brunhilda was involved in the Gundovald Affair. It’s a tangled web, but one that Brunhilda somehow manages to come out of well.

Given all of this, Brunhilda/Childebert decided at around this time to play that other trump card of dynastic alliances: marriage. She had had two daughters while married to Sigibert, Ingunda and Chlodosinda; the first of these, Ingunda, had become emmeshed in issues in Hispania leading up to the Byzantine-funded Gundovald Affair. It was due to this that we can see why Guntram would have had good reason to believe Brunhilda was conspiring against him with Constantinople: she was writing and receiving letters from the Empire itself! Let me explain; to do so, we’ll need to back up six years to 579.

It was in this year that Ingunda was sent, at the age of 12, to marry Hermenigild, one of the two young Visigothic princes in line for the throne of their father, Leovigild. These boys were sons of Leovigild’s first marriage; after that wife’s death, he married Goiswintha, queen of the previous king, Athanagild, and mother of Brunhilda (Side note: Athanagild had died without sons, forcing the Visigoths to elevate unrelated men to the position of king. Goiswintha was not related in any way to Leovigild prior to their marriage and he likely married her for the legitimacy she bestowed as having been Queen). Ingunda arrived as a Catholic into a country that maintained Arianism as its primary religion and was asked to convert by her grandmother; when Ingunda refused to do so, Goiswintha apparently turned from a doting nana into a warrior queen. Gregory tells us she “seized the girl by her hair and threw her to the ground, then she kicked her until she was covered with blood, had her stripped naked and ordered her to be thrown into the baptismal pool.” So much for familial love or the power of logical persuasion. At any rate, Ingunda and Hermenigild were exiled to the area of modern-day Seville; they found protection under – you guessed it – the Byzantines who had claimed a foothold in Hispania at that time. Hermenigild is said to have converted to Catholicism in 582, and at around this same time the couple had a boy, Brunhilda’s grandson, which they named after his maternal great-grandfather, Athanagild. Hermenigild attempted to rise up against his father at this point and was able to hold out until about 584, but when it became obvious that he wasn’t going to win he smuggled Ingunda and Athanagild out of the country. He himself was eventually captured. Refusing to convert back to Arianism, he was executed in April of 585. Ingunda fared little better; she got sick on her way to Constantinople and died in North Africa, leaving her son to be raised by the Eastern Romans and Emperor Maurice.

All of this goes to explain why Brunhilda was writing letters to the Byzantine Emperor in 584: she was trying to get her grandson back. According to Ian Wood:

“She still faced opposition from among the aristocracy, as is apparent from her failure to gain any sympathy for her daughter, Ingund, who was currently languishing in Africa, having fallen into the hands of the Byzantines after the revolt of Hermenigild. Concern for her daughter and grandson was to lead to Brunhilda appealing to the Byzantines in a series of notable diplomatic letters, but all to no avail.”

Despite failing to gain traction in getting Athanagild back, Brunhilda would have been in a prime position to influence events against Guntram through the access she had to her son. Her grandson would have made her a prime target for blackmail, and it certainly wouldn’t have been unreasonable to think that one of the Byzantine demands for the boy’s safety would for the Queen Mother to lend assistance to the usurper Gundovald. Even if he wanted to think the best of Brunhilda, we can’t blame Guntram if he thought the worst of her or suspected she may act more out of concern for her direct family than for the brother of her deceased husband.

Moving to the second daughter, Chlodosinda, her story at this time turns out slightly better, at least when compared to dying from the plague in North Africa while running from your murderous father-in-law and carrying a new-born on ships commanded by people whose native language is not your own. She would, however ironically, end up in Hispania. You see, King Leovigild died in 586, leaving the Visigothic kingdom to his son Reccared – the brother of Hermenigild. Reccared chose to convert to Catholicism in early 587, placing his kingdom on an even keel – religion-wise – with the Frankish kingdoms to the north. According to Fabbro:

“Reccared sent an embassy to Francia in an attempt to give the relationship between the two kingdoms a fresh start – given that now both were Catholic. The envoys were well received by Childebert but shunned by Guntram. A new embassy arrived early in 587, and once again, was spurned by Guntram, while welcomed by Childebert. In Austrasia, the peace offerings from the previous year grew into a close alliance. The envoys seem to have confirmed a deal that involved reparation for what had happened to Ingund (in the form of 10,000 solidi) and a new marital alliance (to Childebert’s sister).”

This alliance with the Visigoths meant that Austrasia had an ally with whom to bookend Guntram. This can be seen as part of a more grand, incremental strategy Brunhilda had put in place to consolidate her power base and tighten up loose ends both inside and outside of her son’s kingdom. Again according to Ian Wood:

The years after 585 saw the gradual elimination of her enemies, Guntram Boso, and then Rauching, Ursio and Berthefred, who plotted to kill Childebert… and humiliate his mother. Finally Septimima and Sunnegisel were dealt with. They planned to kill Brunhild and Faileuba, Childebert's consort, and then either to govern through the king, or if he proved intractable, to kill him and replace him… The discovery of this last plot also led to the exposure of Egidius of Rheim’s role in earlier conspiracies, and to the bishop’s exile. By 589 the opposition appears to have been crushed. Brunhild’s position had been assured by the Treaty of Andelot between Childebert and Guntram, which recognized her right to protection, and also confirmed her claims to the morgengabe of her murdered sister, Galswinth.”

With Brunhilda having essentially wrapped a bow around her handling of Austrasia and her relations with Guntram, let’s take a quick look now at how her rival queen, Fredegunda, was getting along at this same time.

Ah, good ol’ Freddy… where to begin… Let’s go back to before her husband, King Chilperic, had died. She must have had quite a hold over him, because her body count was impressively high – and a lot of people on that list were the king’s family. Just inside of this series, we have seen Fredegunda knock off two queens, Audovera and Galswintha; kill a king, Sigibert; eliminate multiple children of Chilperic’s who didn’t have the common courtesy of dying on their own before she had to deal with them; she had a bishop assassinated in the middle of Easter Mass for having the temerity to disagree with her; and she had a Frankish landowner poisoned for speaking up about how it was wrong to murder a holy man in a church during the Mass for the most holy day of the Catholic calendar. When her son Theuderic died, Fredegunda lost it on a scale that requires us to turn back to the story-telling prowess of Gregory for full effect. Two things before I jump into this quote: Mummolus the prefect, as mentioned in the following passage, is not the same Mummolus who turned traitor against Guntram in our opening story. Apparently Mummolus was just a popular name at the time. Second, this passage contains some pretty brutal descriptions of torture, so if that’s not your thing, fast-forward about three minutes and we should be clear of the worst. With that said, from Gregory:

“The queen was told that the boy who had died had been taken away by evil arts and enchantments, and that Mummolus the prefect, whom the queen had long hated, had a share in the death of her son Theodoric. And it happened that while Mummolus was dining at home one from the king's court complained that a boy whom he loved had been attacked by dysentery. And the prefect said to him: "I have an herb at hand a draught of which will soon cure a sufferer from dysentery no matter how desperate the case." This was reported to the queen and she was the more enraged. Meantime she apprehended some women of Paris and plied them with tortures and strove to force them by blows to confess what they knew. And they admitted that they practiced magic and testified that they had caused many to die, adding what I do not allow anyone to believe: "We gave your son, O Queen, in exchange for Mummolus the prefect's life." Then the Queen used severer torture on the women and caused some to be drowned and delivered others over to fire, and tied others to wheels where their bones were broken. And then she retired with the king to the villa of Compiègne and there disclosed to him what she had heard of the prefect. The king sent his men and ordered him summoned, and after examining him they loaded him with chains and subjected him to torture. He was hung to a beam with his hands tied behind his back and there asked what he knew of the evil arts, but he confessed nothing of what we have told above. Nevertheless he told how he had often received from these women ointments and potions to secure for him the favor of the king and queen. Now when released from torture, he called a reader and said to him: "Tell my master the king that I feel no ill effect of the tortures inflicted on me." Hearing this the king said: "Is it not true that he practices evil arts if he has not been harmed by these tortures?" Then he was stretched on the wheel and beaten with triple thongs until his torturers were wearied out. Then they put splinters under his finger and toe nails. And when it had come to this, that the sword hung over him to cut his head off, the queen obtained his life; but a disgrace not less than death followed. Everything was taken from him and he was put on a rough wagon and sent to his birthplace, the city of Bordeaux. But on the way he had a stroke of apoplexy and was scarcely able to reach his destination. And not long after he died. Then the queen took all the boy had owned, both garments and costly articles, whether of silk or wool, all she could find, and burned them. They say there were four wagon­loads. She had the things of gold and silver melted in a furnace that nothing might remain as it was to recall the sad memory of her son.

Alright, so I can hear it now, the question of why we felt it was necessary to share such a sensational story. Well, in our opinion, the story really serves to make a couple of points. First off, Fredegunda was ruthless. Nothing about how she acted toward the women of Paris who she suspected of witchcraft or her reaction toward Mummolus can be seen as using kid gloves. If you were on her side, she was the best wingman ever; if you were against her… well, just don’t be against her. Second, as I mention the idea of being a wingman: she does, in the wake of Chilperic’s death, become the regent for her son, Chlothar II. She is almost single-minded in the interest of her children, and with Chlothar – the last of her surviving children – she is willing to take bold strokes to ensure his access to the throne. This was a risky proposition for a 6th century woman; as O.M. Dalton reminds us, “queens who adventured into politics were not always granted immunity… while poisoners and reputed sorcerers have in all ages drawn upon their heads the most savage punishments.” Here is a queen willing to enter the political fray, willing to poison, and willing to flaunt the sanctity of the Church itself. You ride or you die with a person like Fredegunda. We’re going to end today on a note from Dalton that pretty much encapsulates the Queen in the best way I found written:

With her ardent mother-love and cold ferocity, her superstition and sacrilege, her far sight and her blind impulses, she presents a figure in history which compels the interest of every reader. She was ignorant; but she had an instinct for action on the grand scale.”

CONCLUSION: Okay, we’ve dispensed of the Gundovald Affair and kicked the usurper out of our midst. We’ve seen Guntram retake his place as the senior leader of the Frankish kingdoms, placing himself in a place of guardianship over his two nephews and junior monarchs. Brunhilda has quietly and methodically built herself back from obscurity, rising to a position with her son through a strategic knowledge of institutions and dynastic alliances that makes her the textbook definition of “the power behind the throne.” And Fredegunda… well, let’s just say that you never, ever count Fredegunda out. As Dalton said of her, “the success which she achieved proves her power of kindling and keeping the enthusiasm of men.” We’ll see this on full display in the next episode, as we start again at this point in 589 and follow the stories of all these personalities on through to their individual ends. In the meantime, I recommend heading over to the website, thugsandmiracles.com, or any of the social media sites we maintain so you can see the map we’ve put up of Francia circa 589. It presents, in a real and visual sense, the description of the situations I’ve just outlined. Additionally, I add artwork to these sites almost daily that shows how these stories have lived on in the minds of artists, musicians, and writers for 1,500 years, and how the views of our characters have changed, ebbed and morphed over this time. If you don’t do the social media thing, there’s an image library on the website that allows you to see what I’m talking about without having to start any new accounts. Finally, I’ve had the chance to talk with David over at The History of Spain podcast recently and he has given me a really brilliant slide presentation for his show that breaks down the Visigothic Empire during the same span of time that we’ve covered during the course of this show. It’s an outstanding resource, as is his entire podcast, so I’ll be sure to place up the presentation and links to The History of Spain in all the places I just mentioned.

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. As I was just saying and I tell you every episode, notes on this episode, a list of sources, a monarchy/family tree, David’s presentation and much more is available at thugsandmiracles.com; be sure to sign up for that 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 always, reviews; we absolutely love reviews. There’s just nothing else in the podcast world that gives the same level of positive affirmation as a shiny new five-star rating or a nice write-up, so if you haven’t already, we’d love for you to take a moment of your time and do that for the show. If you have already done so, well, thank you so much! We hope we continue to earn your good thoughts and high marks with every episode.

Okay, once again, my name is Benjamin Bernier, and I look forward to seeing you in ten days as we return to 589 and the personalities that will ultimately determine the path of the future monarchy, in our next episode of Thugs and Miracles.