Gregory of Tours' History of the Franks


  1. The episcopate of Bricius
  2. The Vandals and the persecution of the Christians under them
  3. Cyrola the heritics' bishop and the holy martyrs
  4. The persecution under Athanaric
  5. Bishop Aravatius and the Huns
  6. St. Stephen's church in the city of Metz
  7. The wife of Ætius
  8. What the historians have written about Ætius
  9. What the same say of the Franks
  10. What the prophet of the Lord write about the images of the nations
  11. The emperor Avitus
  12. King Childeric and Egidius
  13. The episcopate of Venerandus and of Rusticus in Auvergne
  14. The episcopate of Eustochius at Tours and of Perpetuus; St. Matin's church
  15. The church of St. Simphorianus
  16. Bishop Namatius and the church at Clermont
  17. His wife and St. Stephen's church
  18. How Childeric went to Orleans and Odoacer to Angers
  19. War between the Saxons and Romans
  20. Duke Victor
  21. Bishop Eparchius
  22. Bishop Sidonius
  23. The holiness of bishop Sidonius and the visitation of the divine vengeance for the wrongs done to him
  24. The famine in Burgundy and Ecdicius
  25. The persecutor Euvarege
  26. Death of the holy Perpetuus and the episcopates of Volusianus and Virus
  27. Clovis becomes king
  28. Clovis marries Clotilda
  29. Death of the first son in his baptismal garments
  30. War with the Alamanni
  31. Clovis' baptism
  32. War with Gundobad
  33. Killing of Godegisel
  34. How Gundobad wished to be converted
  35. Clovis and Alaric have an interview
  36. Bishop Quintian
  37. War with Alaric
  38. King Clovis is made patrician
  39. Bishop Licinius
  40. Killing of Sigibert the elder and his son
  41. Killing of Chararic and his son
  42. Killing of Ragnachar and his brothers
  43. Death of Clovis


    Following the order of time we shall mingle together in our tale the miraculous doings of the saints and the slaughters of the nations. I do not think that we shall be condemned thoughtlessly if we tell of the happy lives of the blessed together with the deaths of the wretched, since it is not the skill of the writer but the succession of times that has furnished the arrangement. The attentive reader, if he seeks diligently, will find in the famous histories of the kings of the Israelites that under the just Samuel the wicked Phineas perished, and that under David, whom they called Stronghand, the stranger Goliath was destroyed. Let him remember also in the time of the great prophet Elias, who prevented rains when he wished and when he pleased poured them on the parched ground, who enriched the poverty of the widow by his prayer, what slaughters of the people there were, what famine and what thirst oppressed the wretched earth. Let him remember what evil Jerusalem endured in the time of Hezekiah, to whom God granted fifteen additional years of life. Moreover under the prophet Elisha, who restored the dead to life and did many other miracles among the peoples, what butcheries, what miseries crushed the very people of Israel. So too Eusebius, Severus and Jerome in their chronicles, and Orosius also, interwove the wars of kings and the miracles of the martyrs. We have written in this way also, because it is thus easier to perceive in their entirety the order of the centuries and the system of the years down to our day. And so, leaving the histories of the writers who have been mentioned above, we shall describe at God's bidding what was done in the later time.
   1. After the death of the blessed Martin, bishop of Tours, a very great and incomparable man, whose miracles fill great volumes in our possession, Bricius succeeded to the bishopric. Now this Bricius, when he was a young man and the saint was yet living in the body, used to lay many traps for him, because he was often accused by Saint Martin of following the easy way. And one day when a sick man was looking for the blessed Martin in order to get medicine from him he met Bricius, at this time a deacon, in the square, and he said to him in a simple fashion: "Behold I am seeking the blessed man, and I don't know where he is or what he is doing." And Bricius said: "If you are seeking for that crazy person look in the distance; there he is, staring at the sky in his usual fashion, as if he were daft." And when the poor man had seen him and got what he wanted, the blessed Martin said to the deacon: " Well, Bricius, I seem to you crazy, do I?" And when the latter, in confusion at this, denied he had said so, the saint replied: "Were not my ears at your lips when you said this at a distance? Verily I say unto you that I have prevailed upon God that you shall succeed to the bishop's office after me, but let me tell you that you will suffer many misfortunes in your tenure of the office. Bricius on hearing this laughed and said: "Did I not speak the truth that he uttered crazy words?" Furthermore, when he had attained to the rank of priest, he often attacked the blessed man with abuse. But when he had become bishop by the choice of the citizens, he devoted himself to prayer. And although he was proud and vain he was nevertheless considered chaste in his body. But in the thirty-third year after his ordination there arose against him a lamentable ground for accusation. For a woman to whom his servants used to give his garments to be washed, one who had changed her garb on the pretext of religion, conceived and bore a child. Because of this the whole population of Tours arose in wrath and laid the whole blame on the bishop, wishing with one accord to stone him. For they said: "The piety of a holy man has too long been a cover for your wantonness. But God does not any longer allow us to be polluted by kissing your unworthy hands." But he denied the charge forcibly. "Bring the infant to me," said he. And when the infant, which was thirty days old was brought, the bishop said to it: "I adjure you in the name of Jesus Christ, son of omnipotent God, to declare publicly to all if I begot you." And the child said: "It is not you who's my father" When the people asked him to inquire who was the father, the bishop said: "That is not my affair. I was troubled in so far as the matter concerned me; inquire for yourselves whatever you want." Then they asserted that this had been done by magic arts, and arose against him in a conspiracy, and dragged him along, saying: "You shall not rule us any longer under the false name of a shepherd." And to satisfy the people he placed red-hot coals in his cloak and drawing it close to him he walked as far as the tomb of the blessed Martin along with throngs of the people. And when the coals were cast down before the tomb his robe was seen to be unburned. And he said: "Just as you see this robe uninjured by the fire, so too my body is undefiled by union with a woman." And when they did not believe but denied it, he was dragged, abused, and cast out, in order that the words of the saint might be fulfilled: "Let me tell you that you will suffer many misfortunes in your episcopate." When he was cast out they appointed Justinian to the office of bishop. Finally Bricius went to see the pope of the city of Rome, weeping and wailing and saying: "Rightly do I suffer this because I sinned against a saint of God and often called him crazy and daft; and when I saw his miracles I did not believe." And after his departure the people of Tours said to their bishop: " Go after him and attend to your own interest, for if you do not attack him, you shall be humiliated by the contempt of us all." And Justinian went forth from Tours and came to Vercelli, a city of Italy, and was smitten by a judgment of God and died in a strange country. The people of Tours heard of his death, and persisting in their evil course, they appointed Armentius in his place. But bishop Bricius went to Rome and related to the pope all that he had endured. And while he remained at the apostolic see he often celebrated the solemn ceremony of the mass, weeping for the wrong he had done to the saint of God. In the seventh year he left Rome and by the authority of that pope purposed to return to Tours. And when he came to the village called Mont-Louis at the sixth milestone from the city, he resided there. Now Armentius was seized with a fever and died at midnight. This was at once revealed to bishop Bricius in a vision, and he said to his people: "Rise quickly, so that we may go to bury our brother, the bishop of Tours." And when they came and entered one gate of the city, behold they were carrying his dead body out by another. And when he was buried, Bricius returned to the bishop's chair and lived happily seven years after. And when he died in the forty-seventh year of his episcopate, Saint Eustochius, a man of magnificent holiness, succeeded him.
   2. After this the Vandals left their own country and burst into the Gauls under king Gunderic. And when the Gauls had been thoroughly laid waste they made for the Spains. The Suebi, that is, Alamanni, following them, seized Gallicia. Not long after a quarrel arose between the two peoples, since they were neighbors And when they had gone armed to the battle, and were already at the point of fighting, the king of the Alemanni said: "Why are all the people involved in war? Let our people, I pray, not kill one another in battle, but let two of our warriors go to the field in arms and fight with one another. Then he whose champion wins shall hold the region without strife." To this all the people agreed, that the whole multitude might not rush on the edge of the sword. In these days king Gunderic had died and in his place Thrasamund held the kingdom. And in the conflict of the champions the side of the Vandals was overcome, and, his champion being slain, Thrasamund promised to depart, and so, when he had made the necessary preparations for the journey, he removed from the territories of Spain.
   About the same time Thrasamund persecuted the Christians, and by torture and different sorts of death tried to force all Spain to consent to the perfidy of the Arian sect. And it so happened that a certain maiden bound by religious vows was brought to trial. She was very rich and of the senatorial nobility according to the ranking of the world, and what is nobler than all this, strong in the catholic faith and a blameless servant of Almighty God. And when she was brought before the eyes of the king he first began to coax her with kind words to be baptized again. And when she repelled his venomous shaft by the armor of the faith, the king commanded that wealth be taken from her who already in her heart possessed the kingdom of paradise, and later that she should be tortured without hope of this life. Why make a long story? After long examinations, after losing the treasure of earthly riches, when she could not be forced to attack the blessed Trinity she was led against her will to be re­baptized. And when she was being forcibly immersed in that filthy bath and was crying loudly; "I believe that the Father and the holy Spirit are of one substance with the Son," when she said this she stained the water with a worthy ointment [1], that is, she defiled it with excrement. Then she was ; taken to the examination according to the law, and after the needle, flame and claw, she was beheaded for Christ the lord. After this the Vandals crossed the sea, the Alemanni following as far as Tangier, and were dispersed throughout all Africa and Mauritania.
   [3. Persecutions of Catholics by Arians under the Vandal king Honeric of Africa. 4. The same, under the Gothic king Athanaric of Spain. 5. Journey of Bishop Aravatius of Tongres to Rome that he might avert by prayer the threatened invasion of the Huns. But there he learns that "it was sanctioned in the council of the Lord that the Huns must come into the Gauls and ravage them." He: returns to Tongres and dies.]
   6. Now the Huns left Pannonia and, as certain say, on the very watch­night of holy Easter arrived at the city of Metz, after devastating the country, and gave the city over to burning, slaying the people with the edge of the sword and killing the very priests of the Lord before the holy altars. And there remained in the city .no place unburned except the oratory of the blessed Stephen, the deacon and first martyr. And I do not hesitate to tell what I have heard from certain persons about this oratory. For they say that before these enemies came, a man of the faith saw in a vision the blessed levite Stephen as if conferring with the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and speaking as follows about this disaster: "I beg you, my lords, to prevent by your intercession the burning of the city of Metz by the enemy, because there is a place in it in which the relics of my life on earth are preserved; rather let the people learn that I have some influence with God. But if the wickedness of the people has grown too great, so that nothing else can be done except deliver the city to burning, at least let this oratory not be consumed." And they replied to him: "Go in peace, beloved brother, your oratory alone the fire shall not burn. But as for the city shall not prevail, because the sentence of the will of the Lord has already gone out over it. For the sin of the people has grown great, and the outcry of their wickedness ascends to the presence of God; therefore this city shall be burned with fire." Whence it is certain that it was by the intercession of these that when the city was burned the oratory remained unharmed.
   7. And Attila king of the Huns went forth from Metz and when he had crushed many cities of the Gauls he attacked Orleans and strove to take it by the mighty hammering of battering rams. Now at that time the most blessed Annianus was bishop in the city just mentioned, a man of unequaled wisdom and praiseworthy holiness, whose miracles are faithfully remembered among us. And when the people, on being shut in, cried to their bishop, and asked what they were to do, trusting in God he advised all to prostrate themselves in prayer, and with tears to implore the ever present aid of God in their necessities. Then when they prayed as he had directed, the bishop said: "Look from the wall of the city to sec whether God's mercy yet comes to your aid." For he hoped that by God's mercy Ætius was coming, to whom he had recourse before at Arles when he was anxious about the future. But when they looked from the wall, they saw no one. And he said: "Pray faithfully, for God will free you this day." When they had prayed he said: "Look again." And when they looked they saw no one to bring aid. He said to them a third time: "If you pray faithfully, God comes swiftly." And they besought God's mercy with weeping and loud cries. When this prayer also was finished they looked from the wall a third time at the old man's command, and saw afar off a cloud as it were arising from the earth. When they reported this the bishop said: "It is the aid of the Lord." Meanwhile, when the walls were now trembling from the hammering of the rams and were just about to fall, behold, Ætius came, and Theodore, king of the Goths and Thorismodus his son hastened to the city with their armies, and drove the enemy forth and defeated him. And so the city was freed by the intercession of the blessed bishop, and they put Attila to flight. And he went to the plain of Moirey and got ready for battle. And hearing this, they made manful preparations to meet him....
   Ætius with the Goths and Franks fought against Attila. And the latter saw that his army was being destroyed, and escaped by flight. And Theodore, king of the Goths, was slain in the battle. Now let no one doubt that the army of Huns was put to flight by the intercession of the bishop mentioned above. And so Ætius the patrician, along with Thorismodus, won the victory and destroyed the enemy. And when the battle was finished, Ætius said: to Thorismodus: "Make haste and return swiftly to your native land, for fear you lose your father's kingdom because of your brother." The latter, on hearing this, departed speedily with the intention of anticipating his brother, and seizing his father's throne first. At the same time Ætius by a stratagem caused the king of the Franks to flee. When they had gone, Ætius took the spoils of the battle and returned victoriously to his country with much booty. And Attila retreated with a few men. Not long after Aquileia was captured by the Huns and burned and altogether destroyed. Italy was overrun and plundered. Thorismodus, whom we have mentioned above, overcame the Alans in battle, and was himself defeated later on by his brothers, after many quarrels and battles, and put to death.
   [8. The history of Renatus Frigeridus is quoted for the character of Ætius and an account of his death.]
   9. The question who was the first of the kings of the Franks is disregarded by many writers. Though the history of Sulpicius Alexander tells much of them, still it does not name their first king, but says that they had dukes. However, it is well to relate what he says of them. For when he tells that Maximus, losing all hope of empire, remained within Aquileia, almost beside himself, he adds: "At that time the Franks burst into the province of Germany under Genobaud, Marcomer, and Sunno, their dukes, and having broken through the boundary wall they slew most of the people and laid waste the fertile districts especially, and aroused fear even in Cologne. And when word was carried to Trèves, Nanninus and Quintinus, the military officers to whom Maximus had intrusted his infant son and the defense of the Gauls, assembled an army and met at Cologne. Now the enemy, laden with plunder after devastating the richest parts of the provinces, had crossed the Rhine, leaving a good many of their men on Roman soil all ready to renew their ravages. An attack upon these turned to the advantage of the Romans, and many Franks perished by the sword near Carbonnière. And when the Romans were consulting after their success whether they ought to cross into Francia, Nanninus said no, because he knew the Franks would not be unprepared and would doubtless be stronger in their own land. And since thi displeased Quintinus and the remainder of the officers, Nanninus returned to Mayence, and Quintinus crossed the Rhine with his army near the stronghold of Neuss, and at his second camp from the river he found dwellings abandoned by their occupants and great villages deserted. For the Franks pretended to be afraid and retired into the more remote tracts, where they built an abattis on the edge of the woods. And so the cowardly soldiers burned all the dwellings, thinking that to rage against them was the winning of victory, and they passed a wakeful night under the burden of their arms. At the first glimmer of dawn they entered the wooded country under Quintinus as commander of the battle, and wandered in safety till nearly mid­day, entangling themselves in the winding paths. At last, when they found everything solidly shut up by great fences, they struggled to make their exit into the marshy fields which were adjacent to the woods, and the enemy appeared here and there, and sheltered by trunks of trees or standing on the abattis as if on the summit of towers, they sent as if from engines a shower of arrows poisoned by the juices of herbs, so that sure death followed even superficial wounds inflicted in places that were not mortal. Later the army was surrounded by the enemy in greater number, and it eagerly rushed into the open places which the Franks had left unoccupied. And the horsemen were the first to plunge into the morasses, and the bodies of men and animals fell indiscriminately together, and they were overwhelmed by their own confusion. The foot soldiers also who had escaped the hoofs of the horses were impeded by the mud, and extricated themselves with difficulty, and hid again in panic in the woods from which they had struggled a little before. And so the ranks were thrown into disorder and the legions cut in pieces. Heraclius, tribune of the Jovinians, and nearly all the officers were slain, when night and the lurking places of the woods offered a safe escape to a few." This he narrated in the third book of his History.
    And in the fourth book, when he tells of the killing of Victor son of Maximus, the tyrant, he says: "At that time Carietto and Sirus who had been appointed in place of Nanninus, were absent in the province of Germany with the army opposed to the Franks". And a little later when the Franks had taken booty from Germany, he added: "Arbogastes, wishing no further delay, warned Cæsar that the punishment due must be exacted from the Franks, unless they speedily restored all the plunder they had taken the previous year when the legions were destroyed, and delivered up the instigators of the war to be punished for their treachery in breaking the peace." He related that this had been done under the leadership of dukes and says further: "A few days later he held a hasty conference with Marcomer and Sunno, princes [2] of the Franks and required hostages of them as usual, and then retired to Treves to spend the winter." But when he calls them princes, we do not know whether they were kings or held in the place of kings. Still the same writer, when he told of the hard straits of the emperor Valentinian, added this: "While events of various sorts were taking place in the East throughout Thrace, the public order was disturbed in Gaul. Valentinian the emperor was shut up in Vienne in the palace, and reduced almost below the position of a private person, and the military command was given over to the Frankish allies, and even the civil offices fell under the control of Arbogast's faction, and no one of all the oath­bound soldiery was found to dare to heed the familiar speech or obey the command of the emperor." Then he says: "In the same year Arbogast pursued with heathenish hate the princes of the Franks, Sunno and Marcomer, and hastened to Cologne in the depth of winter, since he knew that all the retreats of Francia could be safely penetrated and ravaged with fire when the woods, left bare and dry by the fall of the leaves, could not conceal men lying in ambush. And so he gathered an army and crossed the Rhine, and devastated the country of the Brictori, near the bank, and also the district which the Chamavi inhabit, and no one met him any where, except that a few of the Ampsivarii and Chatti appeared with Marcomer as duke on the ridges of distant hills." At another time this writer, no longer mentioning dukes and princes, openly asserts that the Franks had a king, and without mentioning his name he says: " Then the tyrant Eugenius undertook a military expedition, and hastened to the Rhine to renew in the customary way the old alliances with the kings of the Alemanni and the Franks and to threaten the barbarian nations at that time with a great army." So much the historian mentioned above wrote about the Franks.
   Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus, whom we have already mentioned, in his story of the capture and destruction of Rome by the Goths, says: "Meantime when Goare had gone over to the Romans, Respendial, king of the Alamanni, turned the army of his people from the Rhine, since the Vandals were getting the worse of the war with the Franks, having lost their king Godegisil, and about 20,000 of the army, and all the Vandals would have been exterminated if the army of the Alamanni [3] had not come to their aid in time." It is surprising to us that when he names the kings of the other nations he does not name the king of the Franks as well. However, when he says that Constantine, after seizing imperial power, commanded his son Constantius to come to him from the Spains, he speaks as follows: "The tyrant Constantine summoned from the Spains his son Constans, also a tyrant, in order to consult with him about their general policy; and so Constans left at Saragossa his court and his wife, and gave Gerontius charge over all in the Spains, and hastened to his father without breaking his journey. And when they met, many days passed and there was no danger from Italy, and Constantine gave himself up to gluttony and urged his son to return to Spain. And while Constans was sending his troops forward, being still with his father, news came from Spain that Maximus, one of his clients, had been given imperial authority by Gerontius, and was securing a following of the barbarians. Alarmed at this, they sent Edobeccus forward to the German tribes, and Constans and Decimus Rusticus, now a prefect, he had been master of the offices, hastened to the Gauls, with the intention of presently returning to Constantine with the Franks and Alamanni and all the soldiers."
   Again, when he writes that Constantine was being besieged, he uses these words: "The fourth month of the siege of Constantine was scarcely yet under way, when news came suddenly from farther Gaul that Iovinus had assumed royal state, and was threatening the besiegers with the Burgundians, Alamanni, Franks, Alans, and all his army. So the attack on the walls was hastened, the city opened its gates, and Constantine surrendered. He was sent hastily into Italy, and was slain at the river Mincio by assassins sent to meet him by the emperor." And a little later the same writer says: "At the same time Decimus Rusticus, prefect of the tyrants, Agrœtius, one of the chief secretaries of Jovinus, and many nobles, were captured in Auvergne by the commanders of Honorius and cruelly put to death. The city of Trèves was plundered and burnt in a second inroad of the Franks." And when Asterius had been made a patrician by an imperial letter, he adds this: "At the same time Castinus, count of the body­guard, undertook an expedition against the Franks and was sent into the Gauls." This is what these have told of the Franks. And the historian Horosius says in the seventh book of his work: "Stilico gathered the nations, crushed the Franks, crossed the Rhine, wandered through the Gauls, and made his way as far as the Pyrenees."
   This is the evidence that the historians who have been named have left us about the Franks, and they have not mentioned kings. Many relate that they came from Pannonia and all dwelt at first on the bank of the Rhine, and then crossing the Rhine they passed into Thuringia, and there among the villages and cities appointed long­haired kings over them from their first or, so to speak, noblest family. This title Clovis' victories afterwards made a lasting one, as we shall see later on. We read in the Fasti Consulares that Theodomer, king of the Franks, son of Richimer, and Ascyla his mother, were once on a time slain by the sword. They say also that Chlogio, a man of ability and high rank among his people, was king of the Franks then, and he dwelt at the stronghold of Dispargum which is within the borders of the Thuringians. And these parts, that is, towards the south, the Romans dwelt as far as the Loire. But beyond the Loire the Goths were in control; the Burgundians also, who belonged to the sect of the Arians, dwelt across the Rhone in the district which is adjacent to the city of Lyons. And Chlogio sent spies to the city of Cambrai, and they went everywhere, and he himself followed and overcame the Romans and seized the city, in which he dwelt for a short time, and he seized the land as far as the river Somme. Certain authorities assert that king Merovech, whose son was Childeric, was of the family of Chlogio.
   10. Now this people seems to have always been addicted to heathen worship, and they did not know God, but made themselves images of the woods and the waters, of birds and beasts and of the other elements as well. They were wont to worship these as God and to offer sacrifice to them. O! would that that terrible voice had touched the fibers of their hearts which spoke through Moses to the people saying, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image nor worship any likeness of anything that is in heaven or on earth or in the water; thou shalt not make them and shalt not worship them." . . .
   And in Isaiah he speaks a second time: "I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no god and creator whom I do not know. They that fashion a graven image are all of them vanity, and the things that they delight in shall not profit them. They are themselves witnesses of what they are, that they do not see nor have understanding, and they are confounded in them. Behold all his fellows shall be put to shame, for the workmen arc of men. On the coals and with hammers did he form it, and he worked it with his strong arm. In like manner, too, the carpenter fashioned it with compasses, and made the likeness of a man as if of a comely man dwelling in a house. He hewed down the wood, he worked and made a graven image, and worshipped it as a god, he fastened it with nails and hammers so that it should not fall to pieces. They are carried because they cannot walk; and the remainder of the wood is prepared by men for the hearth and they are warmed. And from another he made a god, and a graven image for himself. He bends before it and worships it and prays, saying: 'Deliver me, for thou art my god. I burned half of it with fire; and baked bread upon its coals; I baked flesh and ate, and from the residue I shall make an idol, I shall worship before a wooden trunk; part of it is ashes.' The foolish heart worshipped it, and did not deliver his soul. And he does not say: "Perhaps there is a lie in my right hand?" The nation of the Franks did not understand at first; but it understood later, as the following history relates.
   [11. Avitus, citizen of Clermont, emperor of Rome, and bishop of Placentia.]
   12. Childeric was excessively wanton and being king of the Franks he began to dishonor their daughters. And they were angry with him on this account and took his kingdom from him. And when he learned that they wished also to kill him he hastened to Thuringia, leaving there a man who was dear to him to calm their furious tempers; he arranged also for a sign when he should be able to return to his country, that is, they divided a gold piece between them and Childeric took one half and his friend kept the other part, saying: "Whenever I send you this part and the joined parts make one coin, then you shall return securely to your native place." Accordingly Childeric went off to Thuringia and remained in hiding with king Basinus and Basina his wife. The Franks, after he was driven out, with one accord selected as king Egidius, whom we have mentioned before as the commander of the troops sent by the republic. And when he was in the eighth year of his reign over them that faithful friend secretly won the good will of the Franks and sent messengers to Childeric with the part of the divided coin which he had kept, and Childeric learned by this sure sign that he was wanted by the Franks, and returned from Thuringia at their request and was restored to his kingdom. Now when these princes were reigning at the same time, the Basina whom we have mentioned above left her husband and came to Childeric. And when he asked anxiously for what reason she had come so far to see him it is said that she answered: "I know your worth," said she, "and that you are very strong, and therefore I have come to live with you. For let me tell you that if I had known of any one more worthy than you in parts beyond the sea I should certainly have sought to live with him." And he was glad and united her to him in marriage. And she conceived and bore a son and called his name Clovis. He was a great and distinguished warrior.
   [13. Artemius, bishop of Clermont, is succeeded by Venerandus and he by Rusticus.]
   14. In the city of Tours after the death of bishop Eustochius in the 17th year of his episcopate, Perpetuus was ordained fifth bishop after the blessed Martin. And when he saw that miracles were being worked continually at Saint Martin's tomb, and that the chapel which had been built over it was a tiny one, he judged it unworthy of such miracles, and moving it away he built there great church which remains to the present day, situated 550 paces from the city. It is 160 feet long and 60 wide and 45 high to the vault; it has 32 windows in the part around the altar, 20 in the nave; 41 columns; in the whole building 52 windows, 120 columns; 8 doors, three in the part around the altar and five in the nave. The feast of the church is given sanctity by a triple virtue: that is, the dedication of the temple, the transfer of the body of the saint, and his ordination as bishop. This feast you shall observe four days before the Nones of July, and remember that his burial is the third day before the Ides of November. And if you celebrate these faithfully, you will merit the protection of the blessed bishop both in the present life and that to come. And since the ceiling of the former chapel was of choice workmanship the bishop thought it unworthy that this work should perish, and he built another church in honor of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul in which he placed the ceiling. He built many other churches which remain to the present time in Christ's name.
   [15. Eufronius, bishop of Autun, who "piously sent the block of marble which is placed above the holy tomb of the blessed Martin."]
   16. Now after the death of the bishop Rusticus, saint Namatius became the eighth bishop of Clermont. He undertook the task of building the older church which is still standing and is contained within the walls of the city, one hundred and fifty feet in length, sixty in width,-that is, the nave, fifty in height to the vault, with a round apse in front and on each side aisles finely built, the whole building is laid out in the form of a cross; it has forty-two windows, seventy columns, eight doors. The fear of God is in it and a great brightness is seen, and in the spring a very pleasant fragrance as if of spices is perceived there by the devout. It has near the altar walls of variegated work adorned with many kinds of marble. The blessed bishop on finishing the building in the twelfth year, sent priests to Bologna in Italy, to procure relics of saints Agricola and Vitalis, who we know very certainly were crucified in the name of Christ our God.
   17. His wife built the church of Saint Stephen in the outskirts of the city. And wishing to adorn it with colors she used to carry a book in her bosom, reading the histories of ancient times and describing to the painters what they were to represent on the walls. It happened one day that while she sat in the church and read, a certain poor man came to pray, and seeing her in black clothing, already an old woman, he thought she was one of the needy, and he took out part of a loaf and put it in her lap and went off. But she did not disdain the gift of the poor man who did not know her, but took it and thanked him and put it away, and setting it before her at meals used it as holy bread until it was used up.
   18. Now Childeric fought at Orleans and Odoacer came with the Saxons to Angers. At that time a great plague destroyed the people. Egidius died and left a son, Syagrius by name. On his death Odoacer received hostages from Angers and other places. The Britanni were driven from Bourges by the Goths, and many were slain at the village of Déols. Count Paul with the Romans and Franks made war on the Goths and took booty. When Odoacer came to Angers, king Childeric came on the following day, and slew count Paul, and took the city. In a great fire on that day the house of the bishop was burned.
   19. After this war was waged between the Saxons and the Romans; but the Saxons fled and left many of their people to be slain, the Romans pursuing. Their islands were captured and » ravaged by the Franks, and many were slain. In the ninth month of that year, there was an earthquake. Odoacer made an alliance with Childeric, and they subdued the Alamanni, who had overrun that part of Italy.
   20. Euric, king of the Goths, in the 14th year of his reign, placed duke Victorius in command of seven cities. And he went at once to Clermont, and desired to add it to the others, and writings concerning this exist to the present. He gave orders to set up at the church of Saint Julian the columns which are placed there. He gave orders to build the church of Saint Laurentius and saint Germanus at the village of Licaniacus. He was at Clermont nine years. He brought charges against Euchirius, a senator, whom he ordered to be put in prison and taken out at night, and after having him bound beside an old wall he ordered the wall to be pushed over upon him. As for himself, since he was over­wanton in his love for women and was afraid of being killed by the people of Auvergne, he fled to Rome, and there was stoned to death because he wished to practise a similar wantonness. Euric reigned four years after Victorius's death, and died in the twenty­seventh year of his reign There was also at that time a great earthquake.
   [21. Bishop Eparchius of Clermont finds his church at night full of demons.]
   22. The holy Sidonius was so eloquent that he generally improvised what he wished to say without any hesitation and in the clearest manner. And it happened one day that he went by invitation to a fête at the church of the monastery which we have mentioned before, and when his book, by which he had been wont to celebrate the holy services, was maliciously taken away, he went through the whole service of the fête improvising with such readiness that he was admired by all, and it was believed by the bystanders that it was not a man who had spoken there but an angel. And this we have set forth more fully in the preface of the book which we have composed about the masses written by him. Being a man of wonderful holiness and, as we have said, one of the first of the senators, he often carried silver dishes away from home, unknown to his wife, and gave them to poor people. And whenever she learned of it, she was scandalized at him, and then he used to give the value to the poor and restore the dishes to the house.
   [23. Terrible fate of priests who rebelled against their bishop. 24. In time of famine in Burgundy Ecdicius feeds more than four thousand persons. 25. The Gothic king Evatrix persecutes the Christians in southwestern Gaul. 26. A bishop being "suspected by the Goths" is carried a captive into Spain.]
   27. After these events Childeric died and Clovis his son reigned in his stead. In the fifth year of his reign Siagrius, king of the Romans, son of Egidius, had his seat in the city of Soissons which Egidius, who has been mentioned before, once held. And Clovis came against him with Ragnachar, his kinsman, because he used to possess the kingdom, and demanded that they make ready a battlefield. And Siagrius did not delay nor was he afraid to resist. And so they fought against each other and Siagrius, seeing his army crushed, turned his back and fled swiftly to king Alaric at Toulouse. And Clovis sent to Alaric to send him back, otherwise he was to know that Clovis would make war on him for his refusal. And Alaric was afraid that he would incur the anger of the Franks on account of Siagrius, seeing it is the fashion of the Goths to be terrified, and he surrendered him in chains to Clovis' envoys. And Clovis took him and gave orders to put him under guard, and when he had got his kingdom he directed that he be executed secretly. At that time many churches were despoiled by Clovis' army, since he was as yet involved in heathen error. Now the army had taken from a certain church a vase of wonderful size and beauty, along with the remainder of the utensils for the service of the church. And the bishop of the church sent messengers to the king asking that the vase at least be returned, if he could not get back any more of the sacred dishes. On hearing this the king said to the messenger: "Follow us as far as Soissons, because all that has been taken is to be divided there and when the lot assigns me that dish I will do what the father [4] asks." Then when he came to Soissons and all the booty was set in their midst, the king said: "I ask of you, brave warriors, not to refuse to grant me in addition to my share, yonder dish," that is, he was speaking of the vase just mentioned. In answer to the speech of the king those of more sense replied: " Glorious king, all that we see is yours, and we ourselves are subject to your rule. Now do what seems well­pleasing to you; for no one is able to resist your power." When they said this a foolish, envious and excitable fellow lifted his battle­ax and struck the vase, and cried in a loud voice: " You shall get nothing here except what the lot fairly bestows on you." At this all were stupefied, but the king endured the insult with the gentleness of patience, and taking the vase he handed it over to the messenger of the church, nursing the wound deep in his heart. And at the end of the year he ordered the whole army to come with their equipment of armor, to show the brightness of their arms on the field of March. And when he was reviewing them all carefully, he came to the man who struck the vase, and said to him "No one has brought armor so carelessly kept as you; for neither your spear nor sword nor ax is in serviceable condition." And seizing his ax he cast it to the earth, and when the other had bent over somewhat to pick it up, the king raised his hands and drove his own ax into the man's head. "This," said he, "is what you did at Soissons to the vase." Upon the death of this man, he ordered the rest to depart, raising great dread of himself by this action. He made many wars and gained many victories. In the tenth year of his reign he made war on the Thuringi and brought them under his dominion.
   28. Now the king of the Burgundians was Gundevech, of the family of king Athanaric the persecutor, whom we have mentioned before. He had four sons; Gundobad, Godegisel, Chilperic and Godomar. Gundobad killed his brother Chilperic with the sword, and sank his wife in water with a stone tied to her neck. His two daughters he condemned to exile; the older of these, who became a nun, was called Chrona, and the younger Clotilda. And as Clovis often sent embassies to Burgundy, the maiden Clotilda was found by his envoys. And when they saw that she was of good bearing and wise, and learned that she was of the family of the king, they reported this to King Clovis, and he sent an embassy to Gundobad without delay asking her in marriage. And Gundobad was afraid to refuse, and surrendered her to the men, and they took the girl and brought her swiftly to the king. The king was very glad when he saw her, and married her, having already by a concubine a son named Theodoric.
   29. He had a first-born son by queen Clotilda, and as his wife wished to consecrate him in baptism, she tried unceasingly to persuade her husband, saying: "The gods you worship are nothing, and they will be unable to help themselves or any one else. For they are graven out of stone or wood or some metal. And the names you have given them are names of men and not of gods, as Saturn, who is declared to have fled in fear of being banished from his kingdom by his son; as Jove himself, the foul perpetrator of all shameful crimes, committing incest with men, mocking at his kinswomen, not able to refrain from intercourse with his own sister as she herself says: Jovisque et soror et conjunx. What could Mars or Mercury do? They are endowed rather with the magic arts than with the power of the divine name. But he ought rather to be worshipped who created by his word heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is out of a state of nothingness, who made the sun shine, and adorned the heavens with stars, who filled the waters with creeping things, the earth with living things and the air with creatures that fly, at whose nod the earth is decked with growing crops, the trees with fruit, the vines with grapes, by whose hand mankind was created, by whose generosity all that creation serves and helps man whom he created as his own." But though the queen said this the spirit of the king was by no means moved to belief, and he said: "It was at the command of our gods that all things were created and came forth, and it is plain that your God has no power and, what is more, he is proven not to belong to the family of the gods." Meantime the faithful queen made her son ready for baptism; she gave command to adorn the church with hangings and curtains, in order that he who could not moved by persuasion might be urged to belief by this mystery. The boy, whom they named Ingomer, died after being baptized, still wearing the white garments in which he became regenerate. At this the king was violently angry, and reproached the queen harshly, saying: "If the boy had been dedicated in the name of my gods he would certainly have lived; but as it is, since he was baptized in the name of your God, he could not live at all." To this the queen said: "I give thanks to the omnipotent God, creator of all, who has judged me not wholly unworthy, that he should deign to take to his kingdom one born from my womb. My soul is not stricken with grief for his sake, because I know that, summoned from this world as he was in his baptismal garments, he will be fed by the vision of God."
   After this she bore another son, whom she named Chlodomer at baptism; and when he fell sick, the king said: "It is impossible that anything else should happen to him than happened to his brother, namely, that being baptized in the name of your Christ, should die at once." But through the prayers of his mother, and the Lord's command, he became well.
   30. The queen did not cease to urge him to recognize the true God and cease worshipping idols. But he could not be influenced in any way to this belief, until at last a war arose with the Alamanni, in which he was driven by necessity to confess what before he had of his free will denied. It came about that as the two armies were fighting fiercely, there was much slaughter, and Clovis's army began to be in danger of destruction. He saw it and raised his eyes to heaven, and with remorse in his heart he burst into tears and cried: "Jesus Christ, whom Clotilda asserts to be the son of the living God, who art said to give aid to those in distress, and to bestow victory on those who hope in thee, I beseech the glory of thy aid, with the vow that if thou wilt grant me victory over these enemies, and I shall know that power which she says that people dedicated in thy name have had from thee, I will believe in thee and be baptized in thy name. For I have invoked my own gods but, as I find, they have withdrawn from aiding me; and therefore I believe that they possess no power, since they do not help those who obey them. I now call upon thee, I desire to believe thee only let me be rescued from my adversaries." And when he said thus, the Alamanni turned their backs, and began to disperse in flight. And when they saw that their king was killed, they submitted to the dominion of Clovis, saying: "Let not the people perish further, we pray; we are yours now." And he stopped the fighting, and after encouraging his men, retired in peace and told the queen how he had had merit to win the victory by calling on the name of Christ. This happened in the fifteenth year of his reign.
   31. Then the queen asked saint Remi, bishop of Rheims, to summon Clovis secretly, urging him to introduce the king to the word of salvation. And the bishop sent for him secretly and began to urge him to believe in the true God, maker of heaven and earth, and to cease worshipping idols, which could help neither themselves nor any one else. But the king said: "I gladly hear you, most holy father; but there remains one thing the people who follow me cannot endure to abandon their gods; but I shall go and speak to them according to your words." He met with his followers, but before he could speak the power of God anticipated him, and all the people cried out together: "O pious king, we reject our mortal gods, and we are ready to follow the immortal God whom Remi preaches." This was reported to the bishop, who was greatly rejoiced, and bade them get ready the baptismal font. The squares were shaded with tapestried canopies, the churches adorned with white curtains, the baptistery set in order, the aroma of incense spread, candles of fragrant odor burned brightly, and the whole shrine of the baptistery was filled with a divine fragrance: and the Lord gave such grace to those who stood by that they thought they were placed amid the odors of paradise. And the king was the first to ask to be baptized by the bishop. Another Constantine advanced to the baptismal font, to terminate the disease of ancient leprosy and wash away with fresh water the foul spots that had long been borne. And when he entered to be baptized, the saint of God began with ready speech: "Gently bend your neck, Sigamber; worship what you burned; burn what you worshipped." The holy bishop Remi was a man of excellent wisdom and especially trained in rhetorical studies, and of such surpassing holiness that he equalled the miracles of Silvester. For there is extant a book of his life which tells that he raised a dead man. And so the king confessed all-powerful God in the Trinity, and was baptized in the name of the Father, Son and holy Spirit, and was anointed with the holy ointment with the sign of the cross of Christ. And of his army more than 3000 were baptized. His sister also, Albofled, was baptized, who not long after passed to the Lord. And when the king was in mourning for her, the holy Remi sent a letter of consolation which began in this way: "The reason of your mourning pains me, and pains me greatly, that Albofled your sister, of good memory, has passed away. But I can give you this comfort, that her departure from the world was such that she ought to be envied rather than be mourned." Another sister also was converted, Lanthechild by name, who had fallen into the heresy of the Arians, and she confessed that the Son and the holy Spirit were equal to the Father, and was anointed.
   32. At that time the brothers Gundobad and Godegisel were kings of the country about the Rhone and the Saône together with the province of Marseilles. And they, as well as their people belonged to the Arian sect. And since they were fighting with each other, Godegisel, hearing of the victories of King Clovis, sent an embassy to him secretly, saying: "If you will give me aid in attacking my brother, so that I may be able to kill him in battle or drive him from the country, I will pay you every year whatever tribute you yourself wish to impose." Clovis accepted this offer gladly, and promised aid whenever need should ask. And at a time agreed upon he marched his army against Gundobad. On hearing of this, Gundobad, who did not know of his brother's treachery, sent to him, saying: " Come to my assistance, since the Franks are in motion against us and are coming to our country to take it. Therefore let us be united against a nation hostile to us lest because of division we suffer in turn what other peoples have suffered." And the other said: "I will come with my army, and will give you aid." And these three, namely, Clovis against Gundobad and Godegisel, were marching their armies to the same point, and they came with all their warlike equipment to the strong hold named Dijon. And they fought on the river Ouche, and Godegisel joined Clovis, and both armies crushed the people of Gundobad. And he perceived the treachery of his brother, whom he had not suspected, and turned his back and began to flee, hastening along the banks of the Rhone, and he came to the city of Avignon. And Godegisel having won the victory, promised to Clovis a part of his kingdom, and departed quietly and entered Vienne in triumph as if he now held the whole kingdom. King Clovis increased his army further, and set off after Gundobad to drag him from his city and slay him. He heard it, and was terrified, and feared that sudden death would come to him. However he had with him Aridius, a man famed for energy and wisdom, and he sent for him and said: "Difficulties wall me in on every side, and I do not know what to do, because these barbarians have come upon us to slay us and destroy the whole country." To this Aridius answered: "You must soften the fierceness of this man in order not to perish. Now if it is pleasing in your eyes, I will pretend to flee from you and to pass over to his side, and when I come to him, I shall prevent his harming either you or this country. Only be willing to do what he demands of you by my advice, until the Lord in his goodness deigns to make your cause successful." And Gundobad said: "I will do whatever you direct." When he said this, Aridius bade him good­by and departed, and going to King Clovis he said: "Behold I am your humble servant, most pious king, I come to your protection, leaving the wretched Gundobad. And if your goodness condescends to receive me, both you and your children shall have in me a true and faithful servant." Clovis received him very readily, and kept him by him, for he was entertaining in storytelling, ready in counsel, just in judgment, and faithful in what was put in his charge. Then when Clovis with all his army sat around the walls of the city, Aridius said: "O King, if the glory of your loftiness should kindly consent to hear the few words of my lowliness, though you do not need counsel, yet I would utter them with entire faithfulness, and they will be advantageous to you and to the cities through which you purpose to go. Why," said he, "do you keep your army here, when your enemy sits in a very strong place? If you ravage the fields, lay waste the meadows, cut down the vineyards, lay low the olive­yards, and destroy all the produce of the country, you do not, however, succeed in doing him any harm. Send an embassy rather and impose tribute to be paid you every year, so that the country may be safe and you may rule forever over a tributary. And if he refuses, then do whatever pleases you." The king took this advice, and commanded his army to return home. Then he sent an embassy to Gundobad, and ordered him to pay him every year a tribute. And he paid it at once and promised that he would pay it for the future.
   33. Later he regained his power, and now contemptuously: refused to pay the promised tribute to king Clovis, and set his army in motion against his brother Godegisel, and shut him up in the city of Vienne and besieged him. And when food began to be lacking for the common people, Godegisel was afraid that the famine would extend to himself, and gave orders that the common people be expelled from the city. When this was done, there was driven out, among the rest, the artisan who had charge of the aqueduct. And he was indignant that he had been cast out from the city with the rest, and went to Gundobad in a rage to inform him how to burst into the city and take vengeance on his brother. Under his guidance an army was led through the aqueduct, and many with iron crowbars went in front, for there was a vent in the aqueduct closed with a great stone, and when this had been pushed away with crowbars, by direction of the artisan, they entered the city, and surprised from the rear the defenders who were shooting arrows from the wall. The trumpet was sounded in the midst of the city, and the besiegers seized the gates, and opened them and entered at the same time, and when the people between these two battle lines were being slain by each army, Godegisel sought refuge in the church of the heretics, and was slain there along with the Arian bishop. Finally the Franks who were with Godegisel gathered in a tower. But Gundobad ordered that no harm should be done to a single one of them, but seized them and sent them in exile to king Alaric at Toulouse, and he slew the Burgundian senators who had conspired with Godegisel. He restored to his own dominion all the region which is now called Burgundy. He established milder laws for the Burgundians lest they should oppress the Romans.
   [34. King Gundobad is converted to the doctrine of the Trinity but will not confess it in public. The writings of bishop Avitus are described.]
   35. Now when Alaric, king of the Goths, saw Clovis conquering nations steadily, he sent envoys to him saying: "If my brother consents, it is the desire of my heart that with God's favor we have a meeting." Clovis did not spurn this proposal but went to meet him. They met in an island of the Loire which is near the village of Amboise in the territory of Tours, and they talked and ate and drank together, and plighted friendship and departed in peace. Even at that time many in the Gauls desired greatly to have the Franks as masters.
   36. Whence it happened that Quintian, bishop of Rodez, was driven from his city through ill­will on this account. For they said: "It is your desire that the rule of the Franks be extended over this land." A few days later a quarrel arose between him and the citizens, and the Goths who dwelt in the city became suspicious when the citizens charged that he wished to submit himself to the control of the Franks; they took counsel and decided to slay him with the sword. When this was reported to the man of God he rose in the night and left the city of Rodez with his most faithful servants and went to Clermont. There he was received kindly by the holy bishop Eufrasius, who had succeeded Aprunculus of Dijon, and he kept Quintian with him, giving him houses as well as fields and vineyards, and saying: "The wealth of this church is enough to keep us both; only let the charity which the blessed apostle preaches endure among the bishops of God." Moreover the bishop of Lyons bestowed upon him some of the possessions of the church which he had in Auvergne. And the rest about the holy Quintian, both the plottings which he endured and the miracles which the Lord deigned to work through him, are written in the book of his life.
   37. Now Clovis the king said to his people: "I take it very hard that these Arians hold part of the Gauls. Let us go with God's help and conquer them and bring the land under our control. Since these words pleased all, he set his army in motion and made for Poitiers where Alaric was at that time. But since part of the host was passing through Touraine, he issued an edict out of respect to the blessed Martin that no one should take anything from that country except grass for fodder, and water. But one from the army found a poor man's hay and said: "Did not the king order grass only to be taken, nothing else? And this," said he, "is grass. We shall not be transgressing his command if we take it." And when he had done violence to the poor man and taken his hay by force, the deed came to the king. And quicker than speech the offender was slain by the sword, and the king said: "And where shall our hope of victory be if we offend the blessed Martin? It would be better for the army to take nothing else from this country." The king himself sent envoys to the blessed church saying: "Go, and perhaps you will receive some omen of victory from the holy temple." Then giving them gifts to set up in the holy place, he said: "If thou, O Lord, art my helper, and hast determined to surrender this unbelieving nation, always striving against thee, into my hands, consent to reveal it propitiously at the entrance to the church of St. Martin, so that I may know that thou wilt deign to be favorable to thy servant." Clovis' servants went on their way according to the king's command, and drew near to the place, and when they were about to enter the holy church, the first singer, without any pre-arrangement, sang this response: "Thou hast girded me, O Lord, with strength unto the battle; thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me, and hast made mine enemies turn their backs unto me, and thou hast utterly destroyed them that hated me." On hearing this singing they thanked the Lord, and paying their vow to the blessed confessor they joyfully made their report to the king. Moreover, when he came to the river Vienne with his army, he did not know where he ought to cross. For the river had swollen from the rains. When he had prayed to the Lord in the night to show him a ford where he could cross, in the morning by God's will a hind of wonderful size entered the river before them, and when it passed over the people saw where they could cross. When the king came to the neighborhood of Poitiers and was encamped some distance off, he saw a ball of fire come out of the church of Saint Hilarius and pass, as it were, over him, to show that, aided by the light of the blessed confessor Hilarius, he should more boldly conquer the heretic armies, against which the same bishop had often fought for the faith. And he made it known to all the army that neither there nor on the way should they spoil any one or take any one's property.
   There was in these days a man of praiseworthy holiness, the abbot Maxentius, who had become a recluse in his own monastery in Poitou because of his fear of God. We have not put the name of the monastery in this account because the place is called to the present day Cellula sancti Maxentii. And when his monks saw a division of the host approaching the monastery, they prayed to the abbot to come forth from his cell to consult with them. And as he stayed, they were panic-stricken and opened the door and dragged him from his cell. And he hastened boldly to meet the enemy to ask for peace. And one of them drew out his sword to launch a stroke at his head, and when he had raised his hand to his ear it became rigid and the sword fell. And he threw himself at the feet of the blessed man, asking pardon. And the rest of them seeing this returned in great fear to the army, afraid that they should all perish together. The man's arm the holy confessor rubbed with consecrated oil, and made over it the sign of the cross and restored it to soundness. And owing to his protection the monastery remained uninjured. He worked many other miracles also, and if any one diligently seeks for them he will find them all in reading the book of his Life. In the twenty-fifth year of Clovis.
   Meantime king Clovis met with Alaric, king of the Goths, in the plain of Vouillé at the tenth milestone from Poitiers, and while the one army was for fighting at a distance the other tried to come to close combat. And when the Goths had fled as was their custom, king Clovis won the victory by God's aid. He had to help him the son of Sigibert the lame, named Chloderic. This Sigibert was lame from a wound in the leg, received in a battle with the Alemanni near the town of Zülpich. Now when the king had put the Goths to flight and slain king Alaric, two of the enemy suddenly appeared and struck at him with their lances, one on each side. But he was saved from death by the help of his coat of mail as well as by his fast horse. At that time there perished a great number of the people of Auvergne, who had come with Apollinaris and the leading senators. From this battle Amalaric, son of Alaric, fled to Spain and wisely seized his father's kingdom Clovis sent his son Theodoric to Clermont by way of Albi and Rodez. He went, and brought under his father's dominion the cities from the boundaries of the Goths to the limit of the Burgundians. Alaric reigned twenty­two years. When Clovis had spent the winter in Bordeaux and taken all the treasures of Alaric at Toulouse, he went to Angoulême. And the Lord gave him such grace that the walls fell down of their own accord when he gazed at them. Then he drove the Goths out and brought the city under his own dominion. Thereupon after completing his victory he returned to Tours, bringing many gifts to the holy church of the blessed Martin.
   38. Clovis received an appointment to the consulship from the emperor Anastasius, and in the church of the blessed Martin he clad himself in the purple tunic and chlamys, and placed a diadem on his head. Then he mounted his horse, and in the most generous manner he gave gold and silver as he passed along the way which is between the gate of the entrance [of the church of St. Martin] and the church of the city, scattering it among the people who were there with his own hand, and from that day he was called consul or Augustus. Leaving Tours he went to Paris and there he established the seat of his kingdom. There also Theodoric came to him.
   [39. Licinius was bishop of Tours at the time of Clovis' visit. His travels.]
   40. When King Clovis was dwelling at Paris he sent secretly to the son of Sigibert saying: "Behold your father has become an old man and limps in his weak foot. If he should die," said he, 'Of due right his kingdom would be yours together with our friendship." Led on by greed the son plotted to kill his father. And when his father went out from the city of Cologne and crossed the Rhine and was intending to journey through the wood Buchaw, as he slept at midday in his tent his son sent assassins in against him, and killed him there, in the idea that he would get his kingdom But by God's judgment he walked into the pit that he had cruelly dug for his father. He sent messengers to king Clovis to tell about his father's death, and to say: "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." And Clovis 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." When they came, he showed his father's treasures. And when they were looking at the different things he said: "It was in this little chest that my father used to put his gold coins. " "Thrust in your hand, " said they, "to the bottom, and uncover the whole." When he did so, and was much bent over, one of them lifted his hand and dashed his battle­ax against his head, and so in a shameful manner he incurred the death which he had brought on his father. 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 Cloderic, 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 some one 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. For God was laying his enemies low every day under his hand, and was increasing his kingdom, because he walked with an upright heart before him, and did what was pleasing in his eyes.
   41. After this he turned to Chararic. When he had fought with Siagrius this Chararic had been summoned to help Clovis, but stood at a distance, aiding neither side, but awaiting the outcome, in order to form a league of friendship with him to whom victory came. For this reason Clovis was angry, and went out against him. 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.
   42. Ragnachar was then king at Cambrai, a man so unrestrained in his wantonness that he scarcely had mercy for his own near relatives. He had a counselor Farro, who defiled himself with a like vileness. And it was said that when food, or a gift, or anything whatever was brought to the king, he was wont to say that: it was enough for him and his Farro. And at this thing the Franks were in a great rage. And so it happened that Clovis gave golden armlets and belts, but all only made to resemble gold-for it was bronze gilded so as to deceive-these he gave to Ragnachar's leudes to be invited to attack him. Moreover, when Clovis had set his army in motion against him, and Ragnachar was continually sending spies to get information, on the return of his messengers, he used to ask how strong the force was. And they would answer: is a great sufficiency for you and your Farro." Clovis came and made war on him, and he saw that his army was beaten and prepared to slip away in flight, but 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 And having killed many other kings and his nearest relatives, of whom he was jealous lest they take the kingdom from him, he extended his rule over all the Gauls. However 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.
   43. After all this he died at Paris, and was buried in the church of the holy apostles, which he himself had built together with his queen Clotilda. He passed away in the fifth year after the battle; of Vouillé, and all the days of his reign were thirty years, and his age was forty-five. From the death of St. Martin to the death of king Clovis, which happened in the eleventh year of the episcopate of Licinius, bishop of Tours, one hundred and twelve years are reckoned. Queen Clotilda came to Tours after the death of her husband and served there in the church of St. Martin, and dwelt in the place with the greatest chastity and kindness all the days of her life, rarely visiting Paris.



[1] For qua sanguine cuncta infecit read digne aquas unguine infecit. See Bonnet, Le Latin de Gregoire de Tours, p. 457.
[2] Regalibus
[3] Alamanni for Alani
[4] papa. The word was used in the early Middle Ages in unrestricted, informal sense, and applied widely to bishops. Cf. Du Cange, Glossariam