• Ben

Season Two, Episode 10: Coup d’État, Part Two

The door to the small room shuddered open, almost as if it were doing so against its will. The sliver of light that entered was enough to make the young man inside shield his eyes and turn away; he couldn’t remember how long he had been confined in here, but it was more than long enough for his eyes to have forgotten what sunlight felt like.


“Get up,” he heard someone order. “It’s time to go before the King.”


The young man sat up on his straw pallet, but was clearly moving too slowly for the liking of the guard now ordering him to his feet. The older, larger man moved before the boy, a teenager, and, grabbing him under his arms, stood him upright. Even this rough treatment seemed to do little to bring the boy out of his mental fog. He moved and spoke like someone in a daze, as if he had just suffered a blow to the head.

The Man in the Iron Mask
Waiting for judgment...

“My… father. Where is… my father?” he asked.


“Your father, you ask,” the guard replied with a note of mirth in his voice. “Your father, traitor as he was, went before the King last week and tried to plead both his case and yours. Didn’t go so well. I guess no one chose to tell you, did they?”


The news, welcome as a bucket of cold water to the boy, seemed at least to revive his senses a little.


“What do you mean, didn’t go so well?”


“Oi, your father went before the King, our young and glorious Clovis, and tried to tell him that it was in no way your fault that you were caught sitting on the throne of the King’s poor, deceased brother, wearing that same King’s vestments and crown, and acting for all intents and purposes as if you yourself were the King. He took the blame for all of that on himself, and King Clovis did in fact agree that this whole situation was the making of your dear old dad, Grimoald. Not that this made it any better for him in the end.”


“What happened to him?” the boy asked, his voice rising with anxiety.


“Oh, you really don’t want to know, believe me. The King, merciful as he is, was put in a spot by your father and had no choice but to make an example. I must admit, I didn’t think that our young Clovis could be so… creative. It was hard to watch, even for an old soldier such as myself. Had to turn my head away a few times.”


“Oh my God… oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…” The young man now began to hyperventilate, the realization that his father had been tortured to death for the plot that had elevated him, Childebert III, to the throne now fully sinking in.


And he had been elevated to the throne; there was no denying that. He remembered the day that the old King, Sigibert III, had died. Childebert’s father, Grimoald, the Austrasian Mayor of the Palace, had ridden out into the field to find Childebert and his playmate, the Crown Prince Dagobert II, playing and carrying on as young boys do. He had transported them back to the villa in Metz, then separated the boys and told Childebert to go to his room until he was called again by Grimoald personally. The boy had complied, little knowing that it would be the last time he would ever see his friend Dagobert.


The next few days had gone by in a flash. People from all over Austrasia came and went; Grimoald seemed to be in one meeting or another from sunrise until well after the sun had set. Finally, the day came; Grimoald opened the door to Childebert’s room.


“Get up,” he ordered. “It’s time for us to announce you as the King.”


For Childebert, it had been an amazing and bewildering day. He had never really thought of being the King; in fact, he and Dagobert had spent many happy hours daydreaming about what it would be like when the younger Prince would take the crown and Childebert would be his Mayor of the Palace. Now here he was, wrapped in the robes and garments of royalty, his father walking him through every step he needed to take. Childebert trusted Grimoald; he had no reason not to. He asked twice about his friend Dagobert, but was never given an answer; after the second time, Grimoald had instructed him in no uncertain terms to never say that name again.


That had been how Childebert had become the King of Austrasia; not through vicious machinations of his own choosing, but by following the lead and counsel of a man he had trusted as his father and also as the man he had seen, during every day of his life, providing counsel to the King he had sworn to serve. For Childebert, if Grimoald said there something was to be done, then that’s how it was. He never questioned him, never felt as if there was anything to be questioned. And besides, being King was kind of neat.


Living in this mindset, Childebert sat the throne for quite a while, a few years even. He was too young to really care or keep track, and besides, he had people to do that for him. And he was still living in this mindset when, about two months earlier, men had broken into his royal court and set hands upon his royal person. Grimoald and Childebert fought and struggled against these men and ordered for the others at court to do the same, but all of those who were around him had the heart of Judas beating in their chest. They turned away and did nothing as their king and his father were hauled away, taken by the servants of the Neustrian king and the brother of Sigibert III: Clovis II.


Childebert had lived in this small cell nearly every day between then and now. It was dark and windowless, preventing him from communicating with anyone in the world other than the guards who occasionally brought him food or took his bucket. And now here he was, learning that his father, a man who had ruled the Kingdom alongside of him just two months earlier, had been slowly and methodically put to death.


Returning from his thoughts, Childebert looked at the guard and asked, as calmly as he could manage, “What is to happen to me?”


The guard, at first staunch in his duties, now seemed to soften ever so slightly as he realized that the “king” he was supposed to haul in front of the court was really nothing more than a scared 12-year-old boy. He offered his advice.


“If I were you, I would do nothing to anger the King further,” he explained. “Your father took all of the blame upon himself, and rightfully so, and the King did what needed to be done. The way your father died could not be helped. But for you… there may be mercy. King Clovis knows that none of this was your idea, and the true traitor has been dealt with. Still, he may feel inclined to make an example of you as well, if you should choose to be defiant before him. So that’s my advice to you: accept what you have done, apologize for your father’s sins, and beg mercy openly and publicly.”


“And then I’ll be let go? He’ll allow me to live?”


“He may let you go to a monastery, or he may choose to end your life quickly. Those are your only real options. But be honest with yourself: you’re never going home again.”


With that, the guard slid his hand under the would-be king’s arm and hauled him out of the cell. He half-carried, half-walked the young impostor to the spot in front of the throne where King Clovis waited alongside of his Queen, Bathilda, to offer his judgment. The extent of his mercy was known but to him.


This is Thugs and Miracles.

Season Two, Épisode 10: Coup d’État, Part Two

Alright, welcome back! As always, I’m Benjamin Bernier, and this week we’re continuing the saga of the first attempted coup d’état that we’ve seen in our history so far. Sure, the Kings and Queens in our story have tried to overthrow one another pretty much non-stop since we’ve started, and there has also been a sizable list of people who have tried to invade. What makes this situation different is the fact that the coup is starting at the point where the monarchy should be the most protected: the Mayor of the Palace, the position responsible for guiding and advising the King - and especially the child Kings. So yes, we’ve seen armies raised and we’ve seen treachery before, but this is the first time that we’ve seen a conspiracy put into play that threatens to remove the Merovingians from power. And it could very well be a stepping stone on the path to developing the blueprint that does eventually succeed in removing this first dynasty from the throne.


So, in the telling of the coup and Dagobert II’s trip north and everything else, I have managed to overlook one small detail: King Sigibert III. In all fairness, I didn’t really overlook him; he’s just not much of a driving force to the narrative other than being the guy holding the position while so much other stuff is going on around him. I think we can kind of liken Sigibert to the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. He was there, and this whole crazy story unfolds while he’s in the middle of the action, but if you removed him from the movie the rest of the plot would be generally unchanged. In case you’ve never seen the The Big Bang Theory scene where Amy points out this glaring plot hole to Sheldon, here’s her quote:


“Indiana Jones plays no role in the outcome of the story. If he weren’t in the film, it would turn out exactly the same… the Nazis would still have found the Ark, taken it up to the island, opened it up, and all died, just like they did.”


Okay, so Sigibert has more symbolic value than Indiana Jones, mainly on account of him having been a) real, and b) the King. But beyond that, he was so young and so sheltered that he as a person just wasn’t going to do much to affect the overall flow of events at this time. If anything, his relative impotence at this age is more stunting than anything else to the young man’s development, both as a person and as a monarch. Take, for example, the time that he rode out with his men for a battle against the Thuringians sometime around 640, about 7-8 years into his reign and the same time the King was turning 10. Now again, knowing that he had almost no bearing on the outcome of the battle or the planning that took place leading up to combat, he got to be firsthand witness to the following; from Frédegar:


“Radulf, with intelligence on some of the dukes in Sigibert’s army, knowing that they wouldn’t want to fight him with their troops, left by the gate of the camp and fell with his warriors upon Sigibert’s army, making an extraordinary carnage… we know that a great many thousands of men perished. Radulf, being handed the victory, returned to his camp. Sigibert, seized… of a great pain, stayed sitting on his horse, crying abundantly and filled with regret for those that he had lost. Duke Bobon, Count Ænovale, the other noble and brave warriors, and the larger part of the army that had followed them into battle had been killed, all in the sight of Sigibert.”


So, yeah… it seems like Sigibert was a little scarred from personally watching several thousand men getting hacked to death while fighting in his name. I mean, I’m no mental health professional, but when a person is asked to get off of his horse after a long day in the saddle and there response is, “Nah, I’m just gonna stay up here and cry…” Well, that person might just need some help, and as we’ve seen, these are definitely not the times for that kind of treatment. If he did take anything from this defeat, it appears that Sigibert decided that his calling was not on the battlefield, but with God. Father Alban Butler recalls the events with the Thuringians a tad differently than Fredegar, stating that the good young King “reduced them to their duty,” but then notes that right after that battle:


“The love of peace disposed his heart to be a fit temple of the Holy Ghost, whom he invited into his soul by assiduous prayer, and the exercise of all Christian virtues. His patrimony he employed in relieving the necessitous, and in building or endowing monasteries, churches, and hospitals. He founded twelve monasteries, the four principal of which were Cougnon, now a priory, not far from Bouillon; Stavelo and Malmedi, two miles from each other, and Saint Martin’s, near Metz. Saint Remaclus brought from Solignac the rule of Saint Columban, which king Sigebert in his charter to Cougnon calls the rule of the ancient fathers… A life filled with good works, and devoted all to God, can never be called short.”


So, yeah again. Sigibert went from one extreme to the other, going from unsuccessful tactician to full-on soldier of the Church. If you’re the Mayor of the Palace watching this, as Grimoald no doubt was, it would be easy enough to see how succession could be a concern. A few episodes earlier I had opined that it was kind of odd that succession would be a concern for a 19-year-old, but now that I have more of a read on just how damaged Sigibert likely was, I can start to understand the concern. It still strikes me as a wicked abuse of power and a conflict of interest that Grimoald would offer his son to the King for adoption and consideration into the line of succession, but I can also see where a highly motivated and overly ambitious leader could see this as his shot at glory.


Unfortunately for Grimoald, after he got Childebert adopted off to the King, the King finally seemed to take notice of someone with whom he could start his own hereditary family. This person was Chimnechild, a Burgundian princess, and with her Sigibert was able to produce a boy, the aforementioned Dagobert II, and also a daughter, Bilichild. Both Bilichild and Chimnechild will play a role in future events, so put a pin in their names for later. Right now, their part is playing a spoiling part in Grimoald’s otherwise well-laid plans to take the Crown for his own family without having to expend a great deal of blood or treasure. Because, if we think about it, if Sigibert had simply stayed cloistered and emotionally scarred, if he had managed to avoid taking a wife and starting his small family, then Grimoald’s plan may have actually worked. The adoption appears to have been legal, and if there had been no blood ties to trump the legal ties, well, Childebert may have simply succeeded Sigibert when he died. Instead, Sigibert did die, at the very young age of 26, in 656, and the succession would have undoubtedly passed to the hereditary Crown Prince, Dagobert II, unless someone intervened.


And speaking of intervention, we have to look for a moment at how Sigibert died. Here was a young guy, in the prime of life, capable of siring two young children and who, from what I was able to find, never had any physical maladies notes about his person. Compare that to Clovis II, who biographers loved to point out was slow, stupid and “shaken” in the head, and once again, I rely on the insatiable desire of earlier writers - who couldn’t resist pointing out faults and foibles - as my evidence that Sigibert must not have had many that were readily apparent. So if he was young and healthy, how did he just up and die one early February day? Well, the wholly unsatisfying answer is: we don’t know. This is why at the beginning of the last episode’s story I left this portion kind of vague: Grimoald comes out to get the boys, he tells Dagobert his father is dead, and notes that he went fast. Was this due to disease? It’s entirely possible; as we noted earlier, things like dysentery could be picked up almost anywhere and went to work fast. Dagobert I died in such a way, and he was only ten years older than Sigibert III would have been at this time. And God knows, the north of France in February can be a cold, wet place; any number of afflictions could have taken the King. Then again, past natural causes, we can’t discount that someone may have helped Sigibert receive the call from God, taking “this good king from the miseries of this world.” The fact is (with almost every monarchy) that certain people would have had much to gain from Sigibert’s death - chief among them would have been Grimoald. Now, motive doesn’t equal culpability, but it’s worth noting that some sources, such as Ivan Gobry, writing in 2012, would make the claim that Sigibert was the victim of a conspiracy to end his life. Now, is this possible? Absolutely. Do we have any empirical evidence to back the claim? No. We’re left with as much reason to believe this idea as we are to believe the young King got sick and died. All we can say we know for sure is that Sigibert did in fact die at a very young age. His youth makes this kind of suspicious, and Grimoald had motive and opportunity, and writing about true crime is much more titillating than illness. But none of that gives us the type of resolution we would no doubt love to have. In the end, Sigibert died suddenly, no one knows exact why, and shenanigans ensued.


Now that we have the gist of Sigibert’s relatively short life, we return back to where we’ve started each of the past two episodes: with a young boy locked in a cell, his future uncertain. I’m going to turn to Charles Oman for a quick wrap-up of what happened next, and then we’re going to compare the facts of the story as Chuck relates them against the facts as they’ve been put forth by several other writers, and we’ll see if we can’t agree on a middle ground. From Oman:


“In 656 died King Sigibert III, the first Meroving king of Austrasia who had been but a puppet in the hands of his Mayor of the Palace. At his death was made, a full century too soon, the first attempt of that great family which had held all real power to add the shadow to the substance by assuming the royal name. King Sigibert had only reached the age of twenty-seven when he died; his son and heir, named Dagobert after his grandfather, was but eight. Taking advantage of the boy’s youth, the Mayor Grimoald had him stolen away from his country by the hands of a bishop, and lodged him in an Irish monastery, where his head was shorn, and he was consecrated as a monk. Having got rid of the rightful heir, Grimoald induced his partisans to raise his own son Childebert on the shield, and salute him as king of Austrasia. But the times were not yet ripe: Grimoald had many bitter enemies, and the majority of the people were not yet accustomed to the idea of dethroning the ancient house of the Merovings. Within a few days after the usurpation, Grimoald was seized by a band of Austrasian nobles, cast into fetters, and hurried off to Paris, where his captors laid him before the feet of King Clovis II of Neustria, the brother of the deceased Sigibert. Clovis, a cruel and debauched young man, slew Grimoald with horrid tortures. It appeared as if the greatness of the house of Pippin and Arnulf was destined to be extinguished with the life of its chief, but the Fates willed otherwise. Within a few months of the execution of the great Mayor, King Clovis died.”


Okay, so right off the bat we hear the year 656 thrown out, and that is the year that is used in several other historical texts. But François de Mézeray, who we’ve quoted from before, has Sigibert III dying as early as 650, when Dagobert II is only an infant. He then tries to say that Dagobert was tonsured and sent north in 653 as a very young child. Louis Dupraz puts forth a similar argument, wherein Dagobert II sat the throne for roughly two to three years as an infant, but places Dagobert’s birth at 656 and the coup at somewhere in late 659/early 660. This timeline is a little harder for me to swallow, since Clovis II is said to have died around 657. Finally, according to Oman, Childebert the Adopted only lasted “a few days” before Grimoald was captured and taken before Clovis.


With all of this having been said, here’s how I come down on this controversy, and I invite anyone who feels differently to say so. First off, date keeping isn’t the most important thing in the world at this time. Besides the general lack of primary sources - and the frequent embellishment of most of those - day to day and hour to hour specificity isn’t necessary or likely. Throw into the mix that things like the Gregorian calendar didn’t go into effect until 1582, nearly a full millennium after the events were exploring here, and well… it’s best not to get wrapped around the axle on specifics. That leaves us with a general date range for these events as 650-662, and I’m willing to split that difference. We’ll call it 656-ish.


The second issue here is the age of Dagobert II when he was sent off to Ireland. Now, I’m not saying that an infant couldn’t have survived such a trip, but by and large it seems like it would have been a harsh voyage under the best of conditions and often it seems like it would have been a living nightmare. This leaves me inclined to believe that Dagobert would have been a few years older than an infant of toddler when he was sent off. Throw into the mix that the sources pretty much all note the shearing of the long hair and the tonsure given to the boy, and well, he would have needed to have hair to make this significant. Tonsuring a baby, while pretty much the type of silly and over-the-top gesture that wouldn’t surprise me from this timeframe, still seems kind of silly and over-the-top. Given these two items lending weight to the idea of Dagobert II having been just a little older before going north also adds to the evidence of our timeframe being significantly later than 650.


Next, there’s the issue of Oman claiming the reign of Childebert the Adopted only lasted “a few days.” Well, for this I look to the fact that “the Adopted” had coins minted with his likeness. The collection of Patrick Guillard, available online for viewing, features a tremissis that is claimed to be the coin of Childebert. If this is true, then Childebert was in power at least long enough to have had archeological evidence produced of his existence. It’s highly unlikely a reign of only a few days would have accomplished this, unless some early predecessor of the Franklin Mint went out of its way to produce commemorative coins for a failed usurper, an act that would have had to have been carried out while said usurper’s successor was sitting the throne. Seems unlikely.


With all of that said, my take on the whole issue is that Sigibert III died in or around 656; his young son, now somewhere around 6-8 years old, was meant to take the throne but was derailed by Grimoald; the boy was tonsured and moved into hiding as a monk in Ireland; and Childebert the Adopted took the throne for a brief and contentious reign that last between one and six years, and ended with him being overthrown in favor of proper Merovingians. This leaves two last questions: was Grimoald brought before Clovis II, and what ultimately happened to Childebert the Adopted?


As for Grimoald: yes, it is entirely believable that he would have been brought in front of Clovis if he had been captured prior to the King’s death in 657. Given the coinage evidence just discussed a minute ago, it’s hard to imagine that he was caught so soon after putting his son on the Austrasian throne as to have made this timeframe. However, de Mézeray, much like Oman, claims that this meeting happened; Clovis reportedly “caused him [Grimoald] to be put to death, or as others will have it, confined him to perpetual imprisonment; however there was no more heard of him. It is not said what became of his Son, nor whether the Austrasians elected another Mayre.”


Given that these two historians both agree on this point that would seem to fly in the face of the numismatic evidence, I offer the following theory that could appease all sides. First, let’s start with the fact that Erchinoald, Clovis’s Mayor of the Palace and his great-uncle, was a constant in all of this. He would have been advising the King or his successor, and had familial ties to all parties involved. Second, I think we can all agree that treason is the gravest crime pretty much any government throughout history would recognize, and almost all of them up until relatively recent times have agreed that it’s a capital offense. Third, the Merovingians tended to handle high-level cases of treason with a certain amount of… flair. Given these three points that all of us can agree on, let’s apply them to the case at hand. Grimoald, the Mayor of the Palace, committed what would have been the most significant and high-profile act of treason since Brunhilda was accused of similar crimes 50 years prior. Upon being caught, he would have been dragged in front of the most aggrieved party: the family member of the disappeared Crown Prince and the sovereign of a fellow Merovingian Kingdom. Whether that sovereign was Erchinoald, who would have been regent to the next Neustrian King, or Clovis II himself, would have been irrelevant. The response would have to be swift, strong, and cruel, a sign that treason would not be taken lightly. Whether or not the ruler “slew Grimoald with horrid tortures” is a mystery likely shrouded in antiquity, as the ladies at Pontifacts like to say, but what’s not a mystery is that Grimoald would have been taken off the scene, and quickly, regardless of who reigned.


If that’s the case with Grimoald, what about Childebert? Well, here I do have some question. The fact remains that Childebert would have been no older than 15 or 16 when he was deposed, and that’s if he did the longest term ascribed to him. That means that the planning for him to usurp Dagobert would have been going on when he was 10; he just wouldn’t have had any input into these events, and future rulers who may have placed him under judgement would have had to have realized that. Now, that doesn’t mean they would have had to have cared about that. Childebert, no matter his innocence insofar as planning, would still carry the potentially dangerous label of having been a monarch, and certain groups of people may have been willing to rally behind that if all they wanted was a symbol. It all lends itself to a possible Life of Brian-style situation, wherein I could just imagine Childebert running from admirers and would-be followers yelling, “I’m not the monarch!” More than likely, Merovingian rulers of this time wouldn’t be interested in taking this type of risk. This, coupled with the fact that pretty much every source I could find agrees that nothing more was ever heard from “the Adopted” after this, makes me lean toward the ideao that Childebert was more than likely executed quietly and without fanfare. Unlike Grimoald, who would have earned a more - shall we say “colorful”? - ending, there likely would have been little to gain by making a show of killing a boy. Ultimately, this is why today’s opening story ended with Childebert walking to his judgment and no actual ending being given; we just don’t know.

BON VOYAGE: Alright, we actually had a bunch of key players leave the scene this week, but amongst those, we had two kings (and yes, I am going to consider Childebert the Adopted, despite his dubious path to the crown, to have been a King). So let’s finish up today’s episode by looking both of these monarchs and rating them to see how they stack up against the 21 other monarchs we’ve discussed so far.


Beginning with Sigibert III: He had a total non-regency reign of 11 years, and in his case this is especially important to note, because I’m not going to hold the huge military defeat versus the Thuringians against him. He was 10 and had no control over how that battle was going to go, so… Anyway, years of reign from the time he was 15 until he died at 26 is good enough for two points on our chart. He gets two points for the strength of his spouse, partially for the fact that Chimnechild still has a role to play in future episodes that will impact the succession of the monarchy, and partially for the fact that - and I’m just guessing here, but really - Sigibert just had to have been a difficult guy to have been married to. The tragic battle, the praying, the fact that he signed up to adopt a kid when he was 19; Sigibert just seems like he would have had all of the feels, and that would probably have made him hard to be married to. Speaking of the adoption, I’m giving Sigibert two points for societal changes for being the guy that opened the door to the Carolingians for the first time. It’s the aftermath of this adoption and the blueprint that was laid by Grimoald, Childebert and Sigibert that would ultimately lead up to the full transition of power, and while Sigibert didn’t have a super active role in bringing this to fruition, I’m at least willing to give him a nod for having been a part of it. And for what it’s worth, I could see people wanting to argue that his actions actually hurt the Merovingians, and I’d agree with that, but as someone trying to view the history of the French monarchy as a whole, I don’t think that the transition away from the Merovingian mindset was a bad one to make. There was just a ton of infighting, and it had to change at some point for things to progress. Anyway, that’s why I offer two points here. Finally, I’m offering Sigibert four points in monuments and additions to history. His establishment of twelve monasteries helped solidify the establishment of the Church, and he himself was canonized as a saint. He’s the patron saint of Nancy to this day, so while I don’t think his additions were Earth shattering, they merit notice. When we add all of his points together and divide them up, we’re given a final score for Sigibert III of a 1.0; that’s the same score as his dad, Dagobert. The key difference between these two scores is that Dagobert had a lot of key events and monuments that really had him spiking on both ends of the scorecard; Sigibert III had a much more calm, simple reign. They both end up at the same place in our rankings, but I don’t think anyone would argue that Dagobert’s 1 is a tad more memorable that Sigibert’s will be.


Okay, moving on to our second King, Childebert III, a.k.a. Childebert the Adopted, well… I’m going to save us all some time and just say that he gets zeroes across the board except for one category since his reign was so short and he never even made it to the age of majority, or if he did it was only for a year. The one category he does get marks for, however, is Societal Changes. Here he is, the first non-Merovingian king trying to throw a coup and take over the monarchy. His time on the throne is a template for what’s to come, and it’s his family that will eventually succeed in taking the Merovingians down. And on top of all of that, he gets the distinction of being the first Carolingian king, even if he couldn’t quite hold on to power. He showed people that the Kingdom could survive even if the “ancient” line of the Merovingians was not wearing the crown, and this alone may have had a tremendous impact on bringing about change. If nothing else, change sometimes simply requires someone to be the “first,” even if the prize for doing so is nothing more than getting five points given to you on a history podcast 1,400 years later. Hey, it’s better than nothing, and it brings Childebert III’s total W.A.R. ranking, his Wins Above Replacement, to a grand total of 0.5. It’s not much, but with a nickname like “The Adopted,” he’s a much more memorable 0.5 than most.

CONCLUSION: Alright, that’s the show for this week, and now that we’re finished, I can definitely say that we’ll be back next time with the third and final installment in the Coup d’État series. Next time, we’ll switch our focus back to Clovis II and we’ll look at the follow-on effects that resulted from all of the turmoil wrought by Grimoald. Seriously, we have a would-be King stowed away with his brother monks in the North (which doesn’t sound at all like one of the plot lines from Game of Thrones, does it?), we have a Kingdom with no leader in Austrasia, and as we know from our exploration of whether or not Clovis II passed the order of execution on Childebert and Grimoald, Clovis is also not long for the world. There will be a lot of changes happening in the post-coup monarchy, a lot of opportunities for new child kings to be given thrones, and myriad chances for those outside of the traditional roles of power and authority to exert their influence. We’ll see how the chips fall and who steps up to lead in this dangerous and fraught world… next time!

OUTRO: Before we go, I’d like to say thanks again to That’s Not Canon Productions for all they do to help this show grow. 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, an updated monarchy/family tree, and also a list of other great history podcasts are all available online at thugsandmiracles.com; please visit and sign up for the mailing list so we can keep you up to date with announcements on new shows and our monthly newsletter. Speaking of email, you can write to us at thugsandmiracles@gmail.com, you can hit us on Twitter at @thugsandmiracle (with no “s” on the end), or you can leave a comment on Facebook and Instagram at @ThugsAndMiracles. We look forward to reading what you have to say and getting your opinions on the show, the Merovingians, and anything else that’s on your mind. We appreciate everything you have to say, and as always, we appreciate you!


Okay, once again, my name is Benjamin Bernier. We look forward to seeing you in two weeks as we close out the Coup d’État trilogy and see how the world of the mid-7th century unfolds in the next episode of Thugs and Miracles.