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Episode 8: Clovis, the First King - Legacy

Clovis rode north with his army.


His campaign in the south of Gaul was coming to an end, and he had met almost all of the goals he had set for himself and his forces before they rode into battle. He had pushed the Visigoths over the southern mountains and out of Aquitaine; almost all of Gaul was now his. He knew no one from the south would bother him anytime soon as it had been him personally who had driven his sword into the face of the Visigothic king Alaric, sending him to his heathen Arian god well earlier - and much more brutally - than the man would have liked. “No matter,” Clovis thought. “Alaric had always been weak, soft. He got nothing less and nothing more than he deserved.” For Clovis it was simple: Thugs. Always. Win.


But now Clovis was headed north, which was pleasant enough as he knew that his boys, his wife Clotilde, and news from Constantinople were all waiting for him in Tours. As normal, however, he was never fully pleased. While he had defeated the Visigoths and driven them south, he had failed to take Septimania or any of the land along the Mediterranean; access to the sea would have changed the complexion of future campaigns. He didn’t have the forces left to push into Burgundy or Italy without exposing his position in other places, leaving him with no way to expand his borders against the strength of Gundobad or Theodoric. Even wounded and with their forces depleted, both of these kings had earned the right to make Clovis think twice before simply attacking them.


So Clovis rode on while his mind raced endlessly, thinking of different ways to gain more land and to go further. That’s when the idea hit Clovis like a lightning bolt. Pausing for a moment, he looked over at one of his lieutenants and instructed him to bring Clodéric to see him.


Clodéric was the oldest son of Sigibert, the king of the Ripurian Franks. These were the “other” half of the Franks, those that lived further to the east in what is now modern-day Germany. Sigibert was sitting in his capital city, Cologne, tending to a bum leg he had earned while in battle alongside Clovis at Tolbiac; despite the noble way in which he had received his wound, everyone still called him Sigibert the Lame, though never to his face, of course. At any rate, Sigibert had received Clovis’s call for troops a while back and had decided he couldn’t physically lead an army anymore. It was time to pass the baton to his boy, Clodéric, and by all accounts Clodéric had done well. He was now in the main cohort near Clovis as they returned home, and he came to the Frankish king as soon as the lieutenant passed him the message to go. When he pulled alongside Clovis, the older leader let a tremendous silence bloom before he began talking. When he finally did speak, his message was succinct and barely veiled. He said, “Behold, your father has become an old man and limps in his weak foot. If he should die, of due right his kingdom would be yours, together with our friendship."


These two sentences sent Clodéric’s mind racing. What was Clovis saying here? Was he inciting Clodéric to kill his father, a man who had fought alongside of Clovis just a few years past and who was responsible for a large number of the soldiers currently marching with them? Clodéric was unsure of how to answer and Clovis was clearly not in the mood for conversation, so Clodéric slowly drifted back to his spot in the cohort and continued to march. He didn’t want to think about killing his father, his sovereign - but now that the words had pierced the air it was impossible to un-hear them. The idea was in his head.


Clodéric tried to tell himself that he didn’t want to even consider Clovis’s notion, but at night, when he lied awake and his mind raced uncontrollably, he couldn’t help but think about how unfair it was that his father got to sit back in Cologne while he had to ride all over Gaul, sleeping in the muck and taking part in battles where he constantly feared for his life. And Sigibert was constantly sick, and his leg - his lameness - was a source of embarrassment. It was hard for a king to project nobility and power when he couldn’t even stand up properly or walk without a limp. They had all figured the old man would die soon enough, but yet here he was. Clodéric hated himself for thinking it, but when he woke up in the morning he thought about being king and when he slept at night he dreamt about it. He just couldn’t wait to be king, but Sigibert defied him by not stepping aside and by not dying. Finally, after months of these thoughts, Clodéric gave in. He called in several of his closest compatriots and told them his plan. If they did as he said, they would all soon be living in Clodéric’s kingdom.


They put the plan into action during a hunt. King Sigibert loved to hunt in the woods of Buchaw; he would get up early, attack boar and other animals who lacked the sense to give him wide berth, and then return toward noon for a nice and relaxing nap in his tent, sated from his morning exploits. And it was during one of these naps that Clodéric sent his men to accomplish their bloody deed. They gained access to the tent since the guards on duty knew the men as associates of Clodéric and they claimed to have a message for the King from the Crown Prince; their feeble excuse would have fallen apart under scrutiny, but unfortunately for Sigibert, no one scrutinized. As soon as the men entered the tent and saw the still form of the sleeping king they wasted no time, knowing that if their mission was successful they would fear no repercussions - the new king was their employer! They pulled their daggers and rushed forward. It was all over in moments. Sigibert drew his last breath and died, the startled look of a man roused from sleep by the pointy end of a dagger never leaving his face.


News of the assassination spread quickly, and Clodéric made sure to waste no time in alerting his benefactor of the news. He sent Clovis a message, as much to inform the king as to strengthen his position. The Ripurian Franks were mutinous over such a wicked patricide, so Clodéric wrote, “My father is dead, and I have his treasures in my possession, and also his kingdom. Send men to me, and I shall gladly transmit to you from his treasures whatever pleases you." Clovis hastily replied: "I thank you for your good will, and I ask that you show the treasures to my men who come, and after that you shall possess all yourself."


Clovis was good to his word, a fact that made Clodéric breathe easier. His men were fast to appear in response to the letter; if he had been thinking more clearly, he may have noticed they were to him too fast. No matter, he didn’t care. He saw them only as his salvation, the force standing between him and the people he was supposed to rule. He pulled them into his dwelling and showed them his father’s treasures, now his treasures. When he had shown them most everything, he led them over to the piéce de résistance, a small chest. He opened it and said, "It was in this little chest that my father used to put his gold coins.” The two Salian Franks sent by Clovis looked from one to another and then at this new, cowering and cringing little king holding a chest of daddy’s gold. “Thrust in your hand, " said they, "to the bottom, and uncover the whole." Clodéric did as he was told. He never saw the axe go up over his head as he reached for the bottom, never thought of how he looked at that moment as he kneeled on the ground in front of Clovis’s men and grasped all of the gold that was never rightfully his. He never felt the axe connect with his skull and end his life as forcefully and as shamefully as he had ended his father’s.


Clodéric stabbing Sigibert in the back

This is Thugs and Miracles. Episode Eight: Clovis, The First King – Legacy.


Alright, welcome back to Thugs and Miracles. As always, I’m Benjamin Bernier, and this week we’re going to explore how Clovis’s 30-year reign finally came to an end and look at the legacy he put together for his four sons to build on. But before we hit it too much harder, I want to say thanks again to David Powell for letting us explore his paper on Rusticus in our last episode. Between that and all of the other stories we’ve explored, I can honestly say that the world of the sixth century is becoming more and more clear to me, and I hope that sentiment is the same for all of you as well. Alright, let’s get started.


It’s clear that Clovis never passed a day in his life as King without thinking about how he could expand his Kingdom and provide loot and booty to the lieutenants he trusted to burnish his hold on power. However, Clovis was pragmatic enough to sense that there were times when he could get more by using his brain rather than his brawn. The most obvious example of this is his conversion to Catholicism, but that wasn’t his only moment of inspired intelligence. According to Klayton Tietjen of Idaho State University:


“Some historians reject this account [of Clodéric and Sigibert] for its reliance on details that seem to be purely legendary; most, however, do not find it incompatible that an expeditious proto state-builder such as Clovis would use such cunning to avoid open warfare against a formidable opponent. After all, Sigibert the Lame was descended from those same generals who employed woodland guerrilla tactics to such deadly effect against Roman troops.”


So yes, Clovis likely planted the seed of patricide in Clodéric’s mind. The records are not entirely certain about why Clovis did this, which leads me to view the entire incident through the lens of what I believe Clovis to have been - a pure, realpolitik thug. Not much has been mentioned about the Ripurian Franks up until this point in our story, and to be honest, they had basically acted as observant bannermen for Clovis as he went about fighting Alaric and the Visigoths. They don’t seem to have posed a threat at the moment, but this is the realpolitik of the 6th century: Anyone with an army and ambition could easily go from being your ally one day to your enemy the next. This sentiment held true even when the leaders involved were tied together through tribal bonds or kinship. Clovis had to view every leader he dealt with as someone who would attempt to take what he had built, in just the same way he would attempt to take what they had built for themselves. He would have looked for every possible opportunity at his disposal to exploit, and this is likely why, according to Gregory, Clovis was perfectly happy, ready and willing to step up when he heard the “surprising” news that both Sigibert and his son were dead. From Gregory:


“Clovis heard that Sigibert and his son had been slain, and came to the place and summoned all the people, saying: "Hear what has happened. When I," said he, "was sailing down the river Scheldt. Clodéric, son of my kinsman, was in pursuit of his own father asserting that I wished him killed. And when his father was fleeing through the forest of Buchaw, he set highwaymen upon him, and gave him over to death, and slew him. And when he was opening the treasures, he was slain himself by someone or other. Now I know nothing at all of these matters. For I cannot shed the blood of my own kinsmen, which it is a crime to do. But since this has happened, I give you my advice, if it seems acceptable; turn to me, that you may be under my protection." They listened to this, and giving applause with both shields and voices, they raised him on a shield, and made him king over them. He received Sigibert's kingdom with his treasures, and placed the people, too, under his rule.”


As always, we need to take Gregory with a grain of salt when it comes to specifics. The nitty-gritty details of how Clovis plotted a coup to overtake the Ripurian Franks, while interesting, is probably less important than the overall strategy he employed and the goals he wanted to achieve. As a side note, however, I do want to take a moment to say well-played to Gregory for basically introducing the medieval version of Seinfeld’s yada-yada; to gloss over Clodéric’s murder with a simple “he was slain himself by someone or other” – I mean, there’s just not a much more dismissive way of talking about Clodéric getting an axe in the back of the head. But anyway, moving on…


Essentially, it makes perfect sense that Clovis would use his wits to obtain his political and military objectives. Only two people had to die in this equation, as opposed to the thousands that would die in open warfare. He obtained full control of Sigibert’s land, treasury and military with no degradation to any of them. And he did all of this from a fairly weak position, insofar as not wanting to commit himself to a ton of additional fighting. The fact is, Clovis was strung out by 507. His armies had fought in multiple battles and had run nearly the entire length of Gaul in the prosecution of Clovis’s campaigns. Logistics at this time were not akin to modern supply systems, and waging war across the entirety of Gaul would have required every last bit of resupply available to these forces. Couple this with Clovis’s prohibition on looting church land in conquered areas, and you have an army with an impossibly long supply train and a constrained area from which to forage. Additionally, having to control such a large area of new land was inevitably going to require Clovis to use his forces as much for security as for battle.


The incident with Clodéric and Sigibert is not the end of Clovis using treachery and deceit as a tool of empirical expansion toward the end of his reign. Another famous story is that of Ragnachar, Clovis’s first cousin: Ragnachar had fought alongside of Clovis in the past, most notably in the 486 battle against Syagrius, but in later years he and Clovis had grown apart. This was probably due to their conflicting religious ideals, as Ragnachar had remained a pagan while Clovis was baptized as a Catholic. Hincmar of Reims noted in his biography of St. Remigius that “many of the army of the Franks, not yet converted to the faith, followed the King’s relative Ragnachar across the Somme for some distance.” Or it could have been because Ragnachar was envious of Clovis and his success. Honestly, it could have been because of any number of reasons, but most of the people writing about Ragnachar were doing so from so far away, either in time, space, or both, that they couldn’t really have known the man’s true intentions. However events unfolded, the problem with Ragnachar came to a head around 509 when Ragnachar denied Clovis and his entourage entrance into the city of Cambrai.


As with Clodéric, Clovis doesn’t seem to have wanted to go to battle. Battles at this time could be highly unpredictable, and they were immensely costly. If they could be avoided, the more the better. But still, after the affront in Cambrai, Clovis brought his army to the field. At the same time, he made contact with many of Ragnachar’s military chiefs and bribed them with gold armlets and belts – more on these trinkets later. They returned false reports on the size of Clovis’s army to Ragnachar, falsely inflating their chief’s hopes of winning and grossly affecting his attack planning.


In fairness, it appears that these same chiefs were driven to rebel against their lord as much out of their disgust for Ragnachar as for their love of Clovis’s gold. According to the Gesta Episcoporum Cameracensium, an 11th century work detailing the historic deeds of the bishops of Cambrai – and herein refered to simply as the Gesta, in case I actually have to try and pronounce that name a second time – “Ragnachar burned with such ardent desire that he was incapable of restraining his lechery against the wives of either the citizens of his city, or even of his close associates.” Additionally, Ragnachar carried on a particularly weird relationship with a guy named Farro, to the point where every time he split up the spoils of war he would say when he was satisfied with the share he received that the amount was “enough for me and my Farro.” Jealousy of this close favorite could have upset lieutenants, and I’m also pretty sure that attitudes toward homosexuality at this time were not particularly enlightened. Essentially, he had lost the faith of those he commanded through his perceived personal faults and misdeeds, and they set him up to fail. Again according to the Gesta: “When the two kings met in battle, Ragnachar’s men deserted their lord in the middle of the battle, according to their agreement, and fleeing headlong in simulated terror, they turned their backs to the enemy. Ragnachar was captured and killed.”


Gregory presents a similar story, but expounded on the capture itself. From Gregory:


“[Ragnachar] was seized by his army, and with his hands tied behind his back, he was taken with Ricchar his brother before Clovis. And Clovis said to him: "Why have you humiliated our family in permitting yourself to be bound? It would have been better for you to die." And raising his ax he dashed it against his head, and he turned to his brother and said: "If you had aided your brother, he would not have been bound," and in the same way he smote him with his ax and killed him. After their death, their betrayers perceived that the gold which they had received from the king was false. When they told the king of this, it is said that he answered: " Rightly," said he, " does he receive this kind of gold, who of his own will brings his own master to death. It ought to suffice them that they were alive and were not put to death, to mourn amid torments the wicked betrayal of their masters.” When they heard this, they prayed for mercy, saying it was enough for them if they were allowed to live. The kings named above were kinsmen of Clovis and their brother, Rignomer by name, was slain by Clovis' order at the city of Mans. When they were dead Clovis received all their kingdom and treasures.”


The final story of Clovis using means other than war to secure land, treasure, and followers concerns King Chararic and his son. Chararic, you may recall, was with Clovis at the Battle of Soissons, but chose to stay on the sidelines until he knew who the victor was going to be. The strategy worked at the time, and honestly was probably sound logic. I mean, who would have reasonably expected some random 20-year-old, as Clovis was at that time, to become the de facto ruler of all of Gaul in the next few years? It would have been like knowing about The Beatles in 1960; you could tell they had some talent, but you wouldn’t have expected them to revolutionize pop and rock music in the next decade. Well, logic aside, Clovis never totally forgot about this slight, even 21 years later. He found Chararic’s lack of faith disturbing, and according to Gregory:


“He entrapped and captured him and his son also, and kept them in prison, and gave them the tonsure; he gave orders to ordain Chararic priest and his son deacon. And when Chararic complained of his degradation and wept, it is said that his son remarked: "It was on green wood," said he, "that these twigs were cut, and they are not altogether withered. They will shoot out quickly, and be able to grow; may he perish as swiftly who has done this." This utterance was reported to the ears of Clovis, namely, that they were threatening to let their hair grow, and kill him. And he ordered them both to be put to death. When they were dead, he took their kingdom with the treasures and people.”


Once again, Clovis moved quickly to secure “treasures and people” with a minimum of bloodshed. In this case there perhaps could have been zero bloodshed, but Chararic’s son had to go and run off his mouth. But for what it’s worth, this story is almost certainly concocted to make Clovis’s executions seem a little more palatable to the reading audience. The fact is, Clovis was not going to let a potential lightning rod like an ex-king and his crown prince remain available for their people to rally behind. Their fates were sealed the day they were caught; saying that they were plotting against the King – and after Clovis had been so kind as to let them simply become priests! - was almost certainly nothing more than a cover to gloss over their death sentences, as well as PR to keep any of Chararic’s subjects who might think of challenging Clovis from getting too squirrelly.


With his Kingdom now pressed as far as he could take it by running down his relatives, Clovis made one last attempt to find any more kin that may think to challenge him. Gregory tells us:


“He gathered his people together at one time, it is said, and spoke of the kinsmen whom he had himself destroyed. "Woe to me, who have remained as a stranger among foreigners, and have none of my kinsmen to give me aid if adversity comes." But he said this not because of grief at their death but by way of a ruse, if perchance he should be able to find some one still to kill.”


That’s about as cold-blooded as it gets, in my opinion anyway. To publicly bemoan all of the family members he had killed in a blatant attempt to get more family members to step forward and volunteer themselves to be killed is vicious. Brutal. Some might say thug-like.


So now we move into Clovis’s final years. To impose his will and solidify his legacy, Clovis went down three paths. The first of these was the construction of The Church of the Holy Apostles, a project designed to simultaneously show the King’s great piety and his great wealth. The cathedral’s location atop a hill in Paris became a site for pilgrims to flock to, and was made even more sanctified when the body of St. Genevieve was moved into the cathedral. Relics, such as the remains of a sainted person, were considered at this time to hold divine powers; some could cure, while others could give power to the strength of prayers. This practice has diminished in importance today, but it still hasn’t entirely passed out of style: if I mention the city of Turin, in Italy, I’m willing to bet that a clear majority of people instantly think of the shroud held there that is said to have the likeness of Jesus imprinted on it from having covered his body post-crucifixion. And if the shroud was your first though, well, that’s okay. It was the first thought of firefighters back in 1997 as well, when the cathedral with the relic inside of it caught fire in that year. Firefighters rushed into the church and broke the bulletproof glass protecting it as the fire was burning around them. After the fire, police described the damage to the church as “dramatic,” but in the same breath they noted that “the Holy Shroud is safe.” Now mind you, radiocarbon tests indicate that the Shroud is no more than 700 years old and the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t even claim it as an official relic, but the fact that so many people do believe in the relic and its divine heritage, even in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary, made it imperative that firefighters would focus their efforts on saving it at great risk to their lives and possible additional damage to the church. If we, in our modern times, can still be fascinated by relics, to the point of risking our lives for them, try to imagine how large a role they would have played in the mind of a 6th century Rusticus. For many, these wouldn’t have been just bones and trinkets, but direct lines to almighty power.


At any rate, the Church of the Holy Apostles was completed after the king’s death in 511. It’s likely Clovis began construction as a direct reference to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople built by Constantine, the same Roman Emperor Clovis emulated throughout his post-conversion life. We know from the sources that Clovis, his wife Clotilde, their daughter – who was also named Clotilde - and two of their grandsons were buried in this Church. It is likely that the elder Clotilde was responsible for having Genevieve’s body re-located to the Church, yet another was in which Clovis’s wife served to strengthen his memory and legacy well after Clovis was gone. According to The Life of Geneviève, the Church had a triple porch and paintings of the patriarchs, prophets, martyrs, and a confessor. Ultimately, the Church of the Holy Apostles was constructed as an affirmation of Nicene Christianity over the heresy of Arianism and would remind Clovis’s people of his glorious victory at the Battle of Vouillé against the Arian Goths. Ironically, however, if Clovis had wanted the Church of the Holy Apostles of Paris to serve as a royal mausoleum for the Merovingian Kingdom following the example of Constantine, his idea was ignored by his sons; none of them were buried there.


Moving on to the second path used to impose his will, Clovis had a law code – known as the Lex Salica – written to codify the rule of law in Francia. According to Jonathan Neumann of Exeter University, “By issuing his own laws a king thus took on the role of a Roman emperor and reflected the authority that everyone should obey to henceforth.” Ironically, despite taking on “the role of a Roman emperor,” the Lex Salica lays out the notion that a Frankish life is worth twice that of a Roman. It went much further than just this though, and gives a glimpse of the world and the problems of the 6th century. The Lex contained rules and remedies for all sorts of things affecting Frankish life: crimes such as assault and murder, the sanctity of Church lands and Church personnel, the ability to move to new villages, and the confirmation of the power of the bishops were all outlined and discussed. The Lex was also added to over the years; it would eventually cover everything from the destruction of idols, drunkenness, and singing at Easter and Christmas – hopefully not while drunkenly destroying idols – to the extent of royal involvement in ecclesiastical legislation. Salic law would even eventually be cited – 800 years after it was written and several centuries after it had stopped being used as an actual law of the land – in a ruling that sparked the 100 Years War. Long story short, Clause Six in Title 59 deals with inheritance rules for family lands and states, “Concerning Salic lands, no portion or inheritance is for a woman but all the land belongs to members of the male sex who are brothers.” This extremely paternalistic law was woven into a ruling that denied King Edward III of England, grandson of Phillip IV of France through the latter’s daughter, Isabelle, his claim to the throne. This ruling was almost certainly contrived out of convenience to ensure a King of England didn’t somehow get the French crown, but it proved enduring: a woman would never officially hold the French throne.


The third and final path Clovis went down to cement his rule was to bring together 33 Gallic bishops at the First Council of Orléans in 511. This Council established a strong link between the Crown and the Catholic episcopate, with one its main tenets being “the obligation of the approval of the king and of the local civil authority for priestly ordinations.” In total, the bishops at the synod passed 31 decrees on issues ranging from the duties and obligations of individuals, the right of sanctuary, and ecclesiastical discipline. Clovis approved these decrees, thus cementing his powerful position of authority within the relationship between the Frankish State and the Church. The ratification of this treaty is likely one of the last items of business Clovis attended to in his life.


Clovis is said to have died on 27 November 511. Not much is said of how he died or what he died of; there’s even a little confusion about the exact date, with some records indicating that he may have been alive as late as 513. However, 513 doesn’t give us very good symmetry and a nice, round 30-year reign, so for the sake of appeasing Gregory and his love of a good story, we’ll go with 511 as well. Dates aside, Clovis at this point had cemented his legacy. The borders of Belgica Secunda that he began with now extended to most of what had been Roman Gaul. He was in league with the Catholic episcopate, giving him the ability to compel his people through spiritual control. And he had effectively outlined his legal and physical control of the people through the writing of the Lex Salica and his control of his army. Clovis had done about as much in 30 years as could be expected of any 15-year-old who was handed the keys to the kingdom. It would be easy to sit back and say that Clovis was barbaric, that he was lied and cheated and relied on brute force. But to do so would be to overlook the fact that Clovis was actually very intelligent. He responded to the times in which he lived with the level of force and the attitude of realpolitik necessary to ensure that he not only survived, but thrived. He was the right person, in the right place, at the right time to take advantage of the situation that presented itself.


And so ends our four episode tetralogy covering the reign of Clovis. To take us home, I’m going to let T+M’s guide to the 6th century, our personal Virgil, Gregory of Tours get the last word. In writing to the Frankish kings of his time and imploring them to seek a higher glory akin to the great deeds of their first King, he wrote:


“Would that you too, oh kings, were engaged in battles like those in which your fathers struggled, that the heathen terrified by your union might be crushed by your strength! Remember how Clovis won your great victories, how he slew opposing kings, crushed wicked peoples and subdued their lands, and left to you complete and unchallenged dominion over them!”


François-Louis Dejuinne (1786–1844), The Baptism of Clovis. Image by G.Garitan, via Wikimedia Commons

OUTRO: Alright, so we can now say that we have seen all that Clovis was able to accomplish in his 45 years on Earth. He’s the veritable Caesar Augustus of the Franks, having found Paris a city of bricks and left it a city of marble. This is a bit – a lot - of hyperbole, but we can safely say that legacy he left in his wake was more than enough for ambitious heirs to capitalize with. And did they? Mmm, not so much. I mean, they will expand the empire, and they will have some successes, but from here on in the tale gets trickier, more convoluted, and even more treacherous than what we have already seen. Four sons, one empire, and no real rules for how to handle such extravagant success will lead to civil war, broken hearts, and many, many more dead relatives. Join us next week as we begin our exploration of the reigns of Clovis’s sons, Theuderic, Chlothar, Chlodomir and Childebert.


Before we go, I’d like to give a quick shout-out to a few people. First, I’d like to say thank you to Michel and Roger for signing up for the mailing list over on the website, https://www.thugsandmiracles.com. It’s a great way to stay in contact, so if you’re interested head on over and you can find the subscriber sign-up at the bottom of the page. I’d also like to say thanks to KT and Oti over at the For Your Reference podcast and Eric at the True Consequences pod; it’s been an awesome experience to get to reach out and interact with people from all over the world as I’ve been working on T+M, and these two shows are some of the best indie podcasts out there. For Your Reference is a smart, funny show from Australia talking all about movies and TV, and True Consequences covers true crime in the desert of New Mexico. Both are amazing and well worth your time if you’re looking for a new listen after this show.


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 and a list of sources is available online at the aforementioned thugsandmiracles.com; please leave a comment. As a quick side note, I have been traveling pretty extensively recently and I have not been as good about this as I should, but I will have everything sorted in short order now that I’m back in one place for a few months. Moving on, you can email me at thugsandmiracles@gmail.com, you can hit me on Twitter at @thugsandmiracle, or you can leave a comment on Facebook at facebook.com/ThugsAndMiracles, and you can find us on Instagram as well. I really recommend this last bit since I’ve been busy putting up all sorts of pictures up on that site and using it as one of my main blogging platforms; it’s just really functional and great for sharing photos.


Finally, if you enjoyed the show, I ask you to go forth and spread the word! Your word-of-mouth is one of the main drivers allowing the show to grow, and it’s great to see the number of people who have an interest in our topic. If you want to go a step further, leaving a review on whichever platform you get your podcasts is amazing; five stars really is wonderful affirmation, and for the people who have taken the time to write a full review – as my father always says – there’s a higher place in heaven for you.


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