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The Sons of Clovis - Part III

Hermenafrid had lied to Theuderic, and for this there could be no mercy.

Having promised a portion of Thuringian land to Theuderic for the latter’s help in battle against Hermenafrid’s brothers, Baderic and Berthar, Hermenafrid had felt secure in reneging on his promise once he saw how thin Theuderic’s forces had become during the battle. He also had the renewed backing of Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths, the King of Italy, and he knew he was in a good spot to take a strong position against Theuderic and his own earlier promises.

Unfortunately, two things changed for Hermenafrid in the year 526 which turned his calculus upside-down and inside-out. The first was the death of Theodoric the Great. This incredibly strong ruler had been key to Hermenafrid’s claims, and he was an especially strong partner due to marital and blood relations. When he left the scene, there was no guarantee that his replacement would be anywhere near as strong, anywhere near as willing to continue the alliance, or anywhere near as committed to the Thuringian king. And for what it was worth, Theodoric’s replacement was none of these three; the new king, Athalaric, had to contend with the Byzantine Empire invading from the east in response to Theodoric’s death and had no time to play games in the north. Hermenafrid was alone.

Seeing this change in the geopolitical landscape, Theuderic pounced on the opportunity to pour gas on the proverbial fire by calling on his half-brother, Chlothar, to come and give him a hand against the disloyal and dishonest Thuringians to their east. Bolstered in strength and numbers by this alliance, Theuderic was now able to point his sword directly at Hermenafrid’s heart. It was only a matter of time before this kingdom fell to the Franks.

Still, taking this land did not come without a fight. The Thuringians, knowing they were outnumbered and alone, prepared the battlefield by digging pits in various places and then covering the openings with thick turf to make the spots look as level as the field around them. This worked for a while in the opening of the battle, and many members of the Frankish cavalry were lost to this deceit. Eventually, however, the Franks learned the trick and took measures to avoid more losses. Once they bypassed this defense, they made quick and easy work of the Thuringian soldiers, cutting them down in such numbers that the stream in the middle of the battlefield, the Unstrut, became choked with so many bodies that the Franks made a bridge of them for their forces to cross over on. Seeing that all was lost, Hermenafrid turned tail in an attempt to save himself.

Chlothar and Theuderic were initially elated at their success. Their soldiers had plunder, the kings had new lands to add to their estates, and Chlothar even went so far as to take possession of a lovely Thuringian princess named Radegunda, who had been the daughter of the former king Berthar who had been dispatched in the earlier battles when Theuderic and Hermenafrid had fought on the same side. Speaking of Hermenafrid, he too was captured and was taken prisoner by Theuderic.

Unfortunately for the Frankish kings, one of the key flaws in their armor was their constant suspicion and their desire to consolidate the kingdom for themselves. Soon after their victory, Theuderic began to realize that if he had not asked Chlothar to fight by his side then all of the spoils of war would have been his alone! And with as easy as the fight had ultimately turned out to be, he really hadn’t needed Chlothar’s help, right? The more Theuderic pondered this turn of events, the more he came to believe that Chlothar was stealing his land by having taken part in the fight. He couldn’t stand the thought of being cheated, and his anger soon boiled over. He sat down with a few of his advisors and hastily made a plan to take Chlothar out of the picture.

The next day, Chlothar received word from a messenger that his brother wanted to see him for lunch so as to discuss their future plans. Chlothar, seeing no issue with this request, readily agreed and made himself ready for the meal. He sent one of his men ahead of him to let Theuderic know that he was on his way. Finally, after a bit of primping and vanity, he began to walk through the camp to his meeting. That’s when he saw his man hurrying back toward him; coming directly to his master, he said, “I have done as you asked and let them know of your arrival. Be careful when you enter though; I noticed as I went to leave that half of the room has been partitioned with a sheet, and behind this I could see the feet of men wearing armor. I fear you may be entering a trap.”

Chlothar instantly knew that this was the case, not so much because he trusted the word of his messenger, but because he trusted the greed and wantonness of his brother. After all, he himself had stabbed his own nephews to death just to inherit their father’s land not so long ago; part of the reason he had accepted the invitation to come out east was to let the furor of that event continue to cool down back home. He fully expected that his brothers would do the same to him if given the chance for the same outcome. Luckily, this wouldn’t be the case today. Chlothar quickly instructed his own men to don their armor, and minutes later he strode into Theuderic’s hall at the head of his bodyguard.

Theuderic knew that the game was up as soon as he saw Chlothar’s armored men; calling for the assassination now would just lead to a battle of attrition that could just as easily see him getting stabbed to death. He stammered and stuttered for a few minutes in an attempt to make a showing that all was well and that he had never even thought about murdering his little brother! In fact, he had called Chlothar into the hall because he wanted to give him a present. Theuderic swiped the food and drink that had been sitting on the table onto the floor and picked up the silver serving tray that the items had been sitting on; he handed it to Chlothar as a reward for service well rendered, said “Thank you” several more times, then showed him and his men to the door. When they had left, the livid older king yelled for his son Theudebert to get into the hall. Once arrived, the father told his son, "Go to your uncle and ask him to give you of his own free will the gift I gave him."

Theudebert did as he was instructed, and surprisingly received no flak for making the request. Chlothar could have cared less about a tray and knew that it had only been given as a quick and convenient excuse to avoid bloodshed. He gave it to Theudebert without issue, only noting that it would be a shame if the King of Metz would happen to choke to death on something served from it. Other than this remark, Chlothar did nothing more to escalate the tensions and soon left back to his home, loaded with plunder and riding alongside his new trophy, Radegunda.

Theuderic too rode home, taking Hermenafrid with him. He treated his prisoner well, and at certain moments he even began to soften toward the man. He pondered on many occasions whether or not he should execute this prisoner for treason, and then he would remember the fate of his brother Chlodomir who had died after he had executed Sigismund under similar conditions. When this thought would come to his mind, he would seek Hermenafrid out and pledge his faith to him; sometimes he even brought gifts. Then, one day while back at the city of Tolbiac, Theuderic had Hermenafrid brought to him so the two men could walk together along the city walls. As they progressed, Hermenafrid’s attempts at conversation came up short. Theuderic seemed to be in an ill temper – a frequent state of affairs, in and of itself – and Hermenafrid only seemed to add to the bad mood by commenting on the quality of Theuderic’s troops, the condition of the castle, and the poor food he had been served as of late. Finally, he asked about the status of his niece who had gone home with Chlothar.

Theuderic listened to all of this from Hermenafrid, taking each comment as an insult, and each worse than the last. This man, this lying traitor, who he had tried to treat well and who he made special accommodations for, now had the gall to stand here and remark on the quality of Theuderic’s men, lands, and food? The rage built quickly and steadily in his chest, and when Hermenafrid finally asked after Radegunda – the pretty princess who could have been gracing his bed, and who was instead whisked away by his brat of a younger brother – Theuderic snapped. Before Hermenafrid even knew what was happening, Theuderic grabbed him by the collar and rushed him over the wall. He barely had time to let out a small scream before he landed headfirst on the hard ground below, killing him instantly.

This is Thugs and Miracles. Episode Nine: The Sons of Clovis – Part III.


Alright, welcome back to Thugs and Miracles. As always, I’m Benjamin Bernier, and this week we’re going to explore the relationships between these last three brothers, as well as the relationships with their potential successors. If you think about it, the Kingdom of Francia could easily have ended up in fractals if each of Clovis’s sons split their share of the kingdom into equal parts to then bequeath to their sons. Chlothar and Childebert already took care of that problem with Chlodomir’s kids, but eventually the remaining three would have to address this issue when one of them would finally die. Keep this in mind as we move forward…

Starting off, according to Paul Freedman, the Yale professor whose lecture remark actually resulted in the name of this podcast:

“This practice of division is dangerous. It is usually a better idea to give it to one son, because then you don’t divide the kingdom. On the other hand, if you have four sons who are all militarily competent, they’re going to fight with each other. And in fact they fight with each other, as Gregory describes in Book 3, even though they’ve been given divisions. The violence of Clovis’ sons is crude and even ludicrous… Theuderic attempts to kill Chlothar. He invites him, and he’s got men waiting to ambush him, but the cloth isn’t low enough down. They’re sort of behind a partition, a cloth partition, but Chlothar can see their feet. And so he kind of turns back and starts to walk out of the hall. And then Theuderic says, “No, no, no, I just invited you to give you a gift.” And he gives him a silver goblet or something like that. So, Chlothar escapes from this, but Theuderic is so angry at having been tricked that he then sends a messenger saying it was a mistake and to give back the goblet. So, I mean, these guys, what can I say?

Yet beneath the barbarian acts is a society that is still being governed fairly closely. There is a fairly sophisticated administration still. There’s a gold coinage, which takes a lot of resources to maintain. These rulers are collecting taxes… according to written records. There’s public land. There’s revenue from land belonging to the king. The kings are reasonably conscientious about the appointment of bishops. What is Gregory’s attitude towards these sons of Clovis? He certainly portrays them as fratricidal. Nevertheless… he tells us that the brothers were endowed with great courage and had considerable military resources. Once again, their power is directed more for good than for bad. And a lot of their power for bad is merely directed at each other. He considers them, in other words, appropriate rulers for savage times.”

So let’s unpack this a bit. First off, it’s hard to feel overly bad for any of the three brothers. Each chooses, on multiple different occasions, to ally or turn against one or both of the others. Clothar showed no sanctity for family when he stabbed his own nephews in a bid to take half of their inheritance, even though he had ridden into battle alongside their father. Theuderic is just as quick to turn from hot to cold, allying with Chlothar to overrun Thuringia but then planning an ambush almost as soon as the fighting is done so as to not have to share his winnings with his little half-brother. Then there’s the third brother, Childebert, of whom we have spoken very little of to this point. Well, it had been his plan to take away the birthright of Chlodomir’s boys – even if he got cold feet in the middle, it was still his plan – and after watching his two other brothers ride off to Thuringia to expand their kingdoms, he laid out yet another plan. This time, he would look to take away some of Theuderic’s southern holdings while the older king was preoccupied.

According to historian Thomas Wright, writing in 1856, “Childebert had long fixed his eyes upon the rich territory of Auvergne which belonged to his brother Theuderic and he had through the treason of one of Theuderic's officers made an unsuccessful attempt to excite a revolt in that country just before the Thuringian expedition.” Now for sake of reference (and I’ll post a map on the web page and social media to help with visualizing this), bear in mind that the Auvergne region would have been immediately to the west of the Kingdom of Burgundy and due south and on the border of territorial holdings that Childebert would have gained with the death of Chlodomir. Theuderic, whose main kingdom lied to the east of Paris in what is now the Alsace region and portions of Germany, had been given these southern lands at the time of Clovis’s death, but his two territories were physically separated by his brother’s kingdoms and Burgundy, a fact that would have made administration and troop movement extremely difficult. Childebert would have known this when he began his scheming, but it appears that the people of the region were at least loyal enough to Theuderic that they didn’t give in to the attempted revolt. Luckily for Childebert, news would soon come from Thuringia that would allow him to take a second bite at the apple. Again from Wright:

“In the course of the Thuringian war a rumour reached the south that Theoderic was slain in battle and Childebert, marching into Auvergne, obtained possession of its capital Clermont by the treachery of the senator Arcadius, who was one of his creatures (SIDE NOTE: This is likely the same Arcadius who delivered the sword and scissors to Clotilde when she was asked whether she would rather see her grandchildren shorn or put to death). But Childebert had hardly made himself master of Auvergne when he received certain intelligence that his brother was alive and returning victorious from Germany, upon which he lost no time in withdrawing his troops and returning to Paris while Auvergne, instead of returning to its obedience to Theuderic, remained in a sort of independence under the government of Arcadius. We are not informed how Childebert reconciled himself with his brother, but he now marched against the Gothic king Amalaric and invading the Narbonnaise, defeated the Goths in a great battle, and captured and plundered their capital Narbonne. Amalaric was slain in his flight and was succeeded by his son Theod, whose tolerance, combined with the indiscriminate ferocity of the Frankish invaders, caused the Catholics as well as the Arians to rally round his standard and Childebert was compelled to abandon his conquests and returned laden with rich booty to his own dominions.”

So long story short, it sounds like Childebert was willing to move on his plans at the first chance he might have had to put them into effect. Rather than waiting on confirmation that his half-brother had in fact died in Thuringia, Childebert was perfectly ready, willing and able to annex the land he had been coveting for some time. But this takes us back again to something that was mentioned in a past episode: the sons of Clovis were not strategic thinkers. If Childebert had been, he would have curbed his enthusiasm at running to the south for at least a long enough period of time to confirm the fatality. As it turned out, he was barely in Auvergne long enough to let the people know there was a new king in town before he and his forces had to move out of the area upon receiving word of Theuderic’s return from the dead. If this is indeed how things went down, it strikes me that Childebert wasted a tremendous amount of time, effort, and political capital for little or no gain.

As far as that last part, political capital, goes, Childebert had to have known that news of his premature invasion of Auvergne would not sit well with Theuderic. This leads me to question the basis for the next part of the story: the expedition to Narbonne to avenge the ill-treatment of his sister, Clotilde the Younger, by her husband, the Visigothic king Amalaric. Again, for sake of visualization, Narbonne is the city that lies along the Mediterranean just a few miles north of what is today the border between France and Spain; if Childebert started his march from Paris and was sitting in Auvergne, he was already roughly halfway there. The way I see this situation, it makes sense that Childebert would have gone south for personal gain and territorial expansion, and once he realized his brother was still alive and would return at any moment, he looked for any excuse to exfil the situation with even a little bit of face intact. His sister had been complaining about harsh treatment from her husband and Amalaric’s refusal to convert to Nicene Christianity, and he was already on the march anyway, so why not take this opportunity to help out his dear, beloved sister?

As we learned from Wright, Childebert managed to rescue his sister, kill her “wicked” husband, and take all sorts of loot for he and his forces. Of course, much like Burgundy, he did a horrible job of trying to win over the people or hold the territory and was again pushed back to the north. But really, this likely didn’t much matter to Childebert. He was able to make it seem like he had only been in Auvergne as a stop-over on his way to save his sister – Theuderic’s half-sister! – from oppression. You can almost envision the two brothers meeting just as Theuderic and Chlothar had done in Thuringia, blatantly lying to one another - and both knowing that the other one was lying! - but saying the right words and doing the right things in order to avoid a bigger, messier fight. Gregory goes so far as to say the two men “made a treaty…swearing to each other that neither would attack the other.”

Now, in the midst of all of this brotherly treachery, there were still outsiders who were willing to take their shot at the throne. One of these was a kinsman of the Kings named Munderic. Gregory doesn’t tell us how Munderic was related, but as he appears in the record for little more than the following anecdote, it’s hard to believe he would have been too closely related to the primary family members. Some sources claim that Munderic may have been the son of Cloderic the Parricide, the weaselly little king who had his head smashed in a treasure box in one of our previous episodes. This tie to the royal family would have hardly been enough, especially considering that Cloderic would have been the head of the Ripurian Franks, and not the Salian Franks of Clovis. At any rate, he really had no claim to the throne. According to Gregory:

“Now Munderic, who asserted that he was a kinsman of the king, was puffed up with pride and said: "What have I to do with king Theodoric. For the throne of the kingdom is as much my due as his. I shall go out and gather my people, and exact an oath from them, that Theuderic may know that I am king just as much as he." And he went out, and began to lead the people astray, saying: "I am a chief, follow me, and it will be well with you." A multitude of country people followed him, as one might expect from the frailty of mankind, taking the oath of fidelity and honoring him as a king. And when Theuderic found this out he sent a command to him, saying: " Come to see me, and if any share of my kingdom is due you, take it." Now Theuderic said this deceitfully, thinking that he would kill him when he came. But the other was unwilling and said: " Go, bear back word to your king that I am king just as he is." Then the king gave orders to set his army in motion, in order to crush him by force and punish him. And he learned this, and not being strong enough to defend himself, he hastened to the walls of the stronghold of Vitry, and strove to fortify himself in it with all his property, gathering together those whom he had led astray. Now the army got underway, and surrounded the stronghold, and besieged it for seven days. And Munderic resisted with his people, saying: "Let us make a brave stand, and fight together even to death, and not submit to the enemy." And when the army kept hurling javelins against them on every side, and accomplished nothing, they reported this to the king. And he sent for a certain one of his people, named ­ Aregyselus, and said to him: "You see," said he, "what this traitor is able to do in his arrogance. Go and swear an oath to him that he shall go forth safe. And when he has come forth, kill him, and blot out his memory from our kingdom." He went away and did as he had been ordered. He had however first given a sign to the people, saying: "When I speak words thus and so, rush upon him immediately and kill him." Now Aregyselus went in and said to Munderic: "How long will you sit here like one without sense? You will not be able to resist the king long, will you? Behold, your food has been cut off. When hunger overcomes you, you will come forth whether or no, and surrender yourself into the hands of the enemy, and you will die like a dog. Listen rather to my advice, and submit to the king, that you may be able to live, you and your sons." Then the other, disheartened by these words, said: "If I go out, I shall be seized by the king and slain, both I and my sons and all my friends who are gathered with me." And Aregyselus said to him: "Do not be afraid, but if you decide to go forth, receive my oath as to your crime, and stand securely before the king. Do not be afraid. You shall be on the same terms with him as you were before." To this Munderic answered: "I wish I were sure I should not be killed." Then Aregyselus put his hands on the holy altar, and swore to him that he should go out safely. So when the oath had been taken, Munderic went out from the gate of the stronghold, holding Aregyselus' hand, and the people gazed at him from a distance. Then as a sign Aregyselus said: "Why do you gaze so intently, O people? Did you never see Munderic before?" And at once the people rushed upon him. But he understood and said: "I see very plainly that by these words you gave a sign to the people to kill me, but I tell you who have deceived me by perjury, no one shall ever see you alive again.” And he drove his lance into his back, and thrust it through him and he fell and died. Then Munderic unsheathed his sword, and with his followers made great slaughter of the people, and until he died did not shrink back from anyone he could reach. And after he had been slain his property was added to the treasury.”

Gregory shows an intriguing duality in this passage: he clearly seems to dislike Theuderic, accusing him of speaking “deceitfully” and of using deceitful methods to draw Munderic out from hiding. At the same time, he seems to be somewhat enamored with Munderic, emphasizing his heroic fight to the death. However, when all is said and done, Gregory is fast to revert to a sense of pragmatism and realism. Munderic, no matter what heroic and “good” qualities he may have possessed and displayed, still died at the hands of the Frankish king and had his property taken. This reiterates to us a concept that has been driven home repeatedly by Gregory, that idealism will only take a person so far. Realpolitik, whether it be lying to a junior monarch to steal his territory, à la Clovis, or lying to a usurper to draw him out and end a lengthy, costly siege, à la Theuderic, is both acceptable and expected. What’s more, this story shows the strength of the Frankish kings: it was silly for Munderic to attempt his coup. He was easily driven back to Vitry, and while he was able to hold out for a certain amount of time – and even enjoyed a heroic death – the end was never in doubt. Munderic and his followers were going to die at the hands of the Frankish king. Why would you ever revolt in the first place if the only logical conclusion was death?

Gregory was not alone in his assessment of the strength of the Merovingian kings, these sons of Clovis. Wright notes: “About the year 541, the Emperor Justinian agreed to a treaty confirming the cession of the province of Arles, and renouncing for the first time the imperial claim of supremacy over Gaul; and from this time the Frankish kings began generally to coin money in their own names.” Now mind you, this was the same Emperor who had laid the plans to reconquer the lands of the Western Roman Empire that had long since been overrun by barbarians. Joseph O’Callaghan, in his book, A History of Medieval Spain, notes that “by 534 Byznatine forces had conquered the Vandal kingdom in North Africa and the Balearic Islands and were beginning the long struggle to destroy the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy.” Additionally, they had partnered with forces in Spain to establish a foothold on the Iberian Peninsula; while they were not able to hold this access to the south indefinitely, the Byzantines were able to stick around for about 70 years.

There are several reasons the Byzantines may have had for not progressing against the Franks, all of which are interwoven with one another. First, Justinian was engaged on multiple fronts; just from the O’Callaghan passage, we can see them fighting and attempting to hold ground in Spain, Italy, and North Africa. Adding Francia to the mix would have been a fourth front, all of which required a tremendous supply train from the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. The second reason for not engaging the Franks was religion: Clovis had been recognized as a consul for having adopted Nicene Christianity, and his sons had continued in the faith. Justinian would be unlikely to turn on members of his own “team” before he finished off the rest of the pagans and heretics who refused to give up Arianism. Finally, the Franks were strong and fighting on their home turf. No matter what anyone thought of their culture, religion, or alliances, no one could deny that the Franks were a militaristic people who were not to be trifled with. They were a true force in the West, and it would have been better, at least until all of the rest of the enemies are dead, to ally with the Franks than to fight them. It appears that Justinian, much like Gregory, had a pragmatic side that the Frankish kings were able to inspire.

We’re going to stop here for the week, on this note of strength for the Frankish kings. As Professor Freedman had alluded to earlier, Chlothar, Childebert and Theuderic may not have been the best kings, and they certainly could have gone further and enjoyed more success if they had been smarter and less petty in how they ruled, but nonetheless they were still able to hold their territory, expand their borders, and make moves that confirmed their right as sovereigns both in foreign affairs and domestically.

BON VOYAGE: Before we go, however, I want to give a quick bon voyage to Princess Clotilde. Princess Clotilde was used in today’s story as little more than a pawn: she was wed to the Visigothic king Amalaric in an attempt to bridge the gap between the two neighboring groups, and when it was convenient for Childebert, he found the time to “save” her from Amalaric. I put “save” in quotes here, because about the only other thing we know about Clotilde the Younger for sure is that she died while en route back to France from Spain and was buried in the same place as her father, the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Clotilde’s story highlights a recurring problem throughout history: the extent, or lack thereof, of women to possess agency over their lives, or for historians – mostly male – to properly document their stories. I recently had a spirited debate about this topic with Kayden from the Happy Hour History Podcast on the Twitter hashtag #TimeTravelTalks; in our discussion, we tried to run down the idea of just how willing a woman can be to take part in her own life when she’s emmeshed in a highly patriarchal society. We never did come to full agreement on the topic, and the discussion left me considering the question of agency in regard to historical figures across the board, and particularly with women. With all of this said, I can’t help but wonder as to what extent someone like Clotilde “played the game” during her life. There’s no mention of her arguing her betrothal to Amalaric; was she excited about being matched with a king, or did she loathe the choice? Did she continue pushing her husband toward Nicene Christianity while she was in Spain out of a true sense of wanting to save her husband’s soul, or did she do so out of obligation to her family? And when she finally did split from Amalaric, was it a willing rupture that she spurred on through letters to her brother, or was the whole idea of saving her from the heretic Visigoths nothing more than a cover story that allowed the male line of the Merovingians to attack someone else? None of this will ever be known for sure to us, mostly because historians of this era were almost entirely unconcerned with questions like those that I just asked. What I ask of you however, dear listener, is to most definitely stay concerned with questions like these. Ask yourself why people are doing things, and even more so than that, do they want to be doing these things? Is their part of the story compulsory or chosen? Do they even know if they have a choice?

Most of Clotilde’s life and story will never truly be known to us, but we can use her and her memory as a reminder to view history through more than just one lens. This will undoubtedly make our journey more complex, but it will also allow us to think deeper about people’s motivations and goals, and it will perhaps let us view many of the extraordinary women who are yet to come in our story in a way that hasn’t been traditionally told.

CONCLUSION: Alright, so we are now down from six total children of Clovis to three. Ingomer died in his infancy, Chlodomir was struck down in battle, and Princess Clotilde died returning from Spain. Chlodomir’s children were struck down by their uncles, and Clotilde is not reported as having had any children, so up until this point the line of succession has been relatively well pruned, for lack of a better turn of phrase. This will change in our next episode, however, because we are going to pick up in 534 with the sudden illness of Theuderic. His son, Theudebert, was old enough to protect himself and had been hardened by war; if something were to happen to his father, he would not be cast aside so easily as the sons of Chlodomir. His story starts us off next time.

OUTRO: Alright, as always, the music used for the show comes from Josh Woodward and includes his songs “Bully” and “Lafayette.” For a free download of these songs or hundreds of other great tracks, check out his site at joshwoodward.com. Notes on this episode and a list of sources is available online at thugsandmiracles.com; please leave a comment and be sure to sign up for the e-mail list so we can keep you up-to-date on new episodes and all things T+M. 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. More photos and stories are going up all the time.

Finally, I’d like to say thanks to the listeners whom I have had the chance to interact with on social media; your ideas and constructive criticism have been great, and I will definitely be putting your thoughts into action in the near future. One follower on Twitter, @trothasaurs, recommended that I take a more macro look at the world of the 6th century; we’ve looked at the micro-level and what it was like to be a peasant under the Merovingian kings, and we’ve obviously looked at the royals and their area of control, but we haven’t taken a good look at the various groups operating outside of – and putting pressure on – Francia. So in two more episodes, the plan is to do exactly that. I will finish up the Sons of Clovis series and then, before I push on into the next generation of rulers, I will revisit what the world looked like in the mid 6th century, as well as highlighting some of the threats that are looming on the horizon.

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.