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Chilperic I King of Soissons & of the Franks

Male - 584

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  • Name Chilperic I King of Soissons & of the Franks 
    Gender Male 
    1 Source See Stirnet Genealogy at & "Royal and Noble Genealogical Data on the Web" by Brian Tompsett at Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died Oct 584 
    Person ID I042568  Ancestorium

    Father Clotaire I King of the Franks,   b. 498,   d. 23 Nov 561, Compiegne, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Mother Arnegunde,   d. UNKNOWN 
    Family ID F06526  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Fredegund of Soissons,   d. Abt 597 
     1. Clotaire II King of the Franks,   b. Abt 584,   d. 629  (Age ~ 45 years)
    Family ID F06538  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Chilperic I
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Merovingian Dynasty Kings of All the Franks
      Kings of Neustria
      Kings of Austrasia
      Pharamond 410-426
      Clodio 426-447
      Merowig 447-458
      Childeric I 458-481
      Clovis I 481 - 511
      Childebert I 511-558
      Chlothar I 511-561
      Chlodomer 511-524
      Theuderic I 511-534
      Theudebert I 534-548
      Theudebald 548-555
      Chlothar I 558-561
      Charibert I 561-567
      Chilperic I 561-584
      Chlothar II 584-629
      Guntram 561-592
      Childebert II 592-595
      Theuderic II 595-613
      Sigebert II 613
      Sigebert I 561-575
      Childebert II 575-595
      Theudebert II 595-612
      Theuderic II 612-613
      Sigebert II 613
      Chlothar II 613-629
      Dagobert I 623-629
      Dagobert I 629-639
      Charibert II 629-632
      Chilperic 632
      Clovis II 639-658
      Chlothar III 658-673
      Theuderic III 673
      Childeric II 673-675
      Theuderic III 675-691
      Sigebert III 634-656
      Childebert the Adopted 656-661
      Chlothar III 661-662
      Childeric II 662-675
      Clovis III 675-676
      Dagobert II 676-679
      Theuderic III 679-691
      Clovis IV 691-695
      Childebert III 695-711
      Dagobert III 711-715
      Chilperic II 715-720
      Chlothar IV 717-720
      Theuderic IV 721-737
      Childeric III 743-751

      Chilperic I (c. 539 – September 584) was the king of Neustria (or Soissons) from 561 to his death. He was one of the sons of Clotaire I, sole king of the Franks, and Aregund.

      1 Life
      2 Family
      3 References
      4 External link
      5 See also

      Immediately after the death of his father in 561, he endeavoured to take possession of the whole kingdom, seized the treasure amassed in the royal town of Berny and entered Paris. His brothers, however, compelled him to divide the kingdom with them, and Soissons, together with Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Thérouanne, Tournai, and Boulogne fell to Chilperic's share. His eldest brother Charibert received Paris, the second eldest brother Guntram received Burgundy with its capital at Orléans, and Sigebert received Austrasia. On the death of Charibert in 567, his estates were augmented when the brothers divided Charibert's kingdom among themselves and agreed to share Paris.

      Not long after his accession, however, he was at war with Sigebert, with whom he would long remain in a state of—at the very least—antipathy. Sigebert defeated him and marched to Soissons, where he defeated and imprisoned Chilperic's eldest son, Theudebert. The war flared in 567, at the death of Charibert. Chilperic immediately invaded Sigebert's new lands, but Sigbert defeated him. Chilperic later allied with Guntram against Sigebert (573), but Guntram changed sides and Chilperic again lost the war.

      When Sigebert married Brunhilda, daughter of the Visigothic sovereign in Spain (Athanagild), Chilperic also wished to make a brilliant marriage. He had already repudiated his first wife, Audovera, and had taken as his concubine a serving-woman called Fredegund. He accordingly dismissed Fredegund, and married Brunhilda's sister, Galswintha. But he soon tired of his new partner, and one morning Galswintha was found strangled in her bed. A few days afterwards Chilperic married Fredegund.

      This murder was the cause of more long and bloody wars, interspersed with truces, between Chilperic and Sigebert. In 575, Sigebert was assassinated by Fredegund at the very moment when he had Chilperic at his mercy. Chilperic then made war with the protector of Sigebert's wife and son, Guntram. Chilperic retrieved his position, took from Austrasia Tours and Poitiers and some places in Aquitaine, and fostered discord in the kingdom of the east during the minority of Childebert II.

      He pretended to some literary culture, and was the author of some halting verse, taking for his model Sedulius. He even added letters to the Latin alphabet, and wished to have the manuscripts rewritten with the new characters. The wresting of Tours from Austrasia and the seizure of ecclesiastical property, and Chilperic's habit of appointing as bishops counts of the palace who were not clerics, all provoked the bitter hatred of Gregory of Tours, by whom Chilperic was stigmatized as the Nero and Herod of his time (History of the Franks book vi.46).

      It was one day in September of 584, while returning from the chase to his royal villa of Chelles, that Chilperic was stabbed to death.

      Chilperic may be regarded as the type of Merovingian sovereigns. He was exceedingly anxious to extend the royal authority. He was jealous of the royal treasury, levied numerous imposts, and his fiscal measures provoked a great sedition at Limoges in 579. When his daughter Rigunth was sent to the Visigoths as a bride for King Reccared, laden with wagonloads of showy gifts, the army that went with her lived rapaciously off the land as they travelled to Toledo. He wished to bring about the subjection of the church, and to this end sold bishoprics to the highest bidder, annulled the wills made in favour of the bishoprics and abbeys, and sought to impose upon his subjects a unique conception of the Trinity, as Gregory of Tours here relates:

      At the same time king Chilperic wrote a little treatise to the effect that the holy Trinity should not be so called with reference to distinct persons but should merely have the meaning of God, saying that it was unseemly that god should be called a person like a man of flesh; affirming also that the Father is the same as Son and that the Holy Spirit also is the same as the Father and the Son. "Such," said he, "was the view of the prophets and patriarchs and such is the teaching the law itself has given." When he had had this read to me he said: "I want you and the other teachers of the church to hold this view." But I answered him: "Good king, abandon this belief; it is your duty to follow the doctrine which the other teachers of the church left to us after the time of the apostles, the teachings of Hilarius and Eusebius which you professed at baptism." [1]

      Chilperic's first marriage was to Audovera. They had four children:

      Theudebert, died in the war of 575
      Merovech (d.578), married the widow Brunhilda and became his father's enemy
      Clovis, assassinated by Fredegund in 580
      Basina, nun, led a revolt in the abbey of Poitiers
      His short second marriage to Galswintha produced no children.

      His concubinage and subsequent marriage to Fredegund produced four more legitimate offspring:

      Samson, died young
      Rigunth, betrothed to Reccared but never married
      Theuderic, died young
      Clotaire, his successor in Neustria, later sole king of the Franks

      Sérésia, L'Eglise el l'Etat sous les rois francs au VI siècle (Ghent, 1888).
      Dahmus, Joseph Henry. Seven Medieval Queens. 19