Chilperic I was the king of Neustria from 561 to his death. He was one of the sons of the Frankish king Clotaire I, 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, compelled him to divide the kingdom with them, and Soissons, together with Amiens, Cambrai, Thérouanne and Boulogne fell to Chilperics share. His eldest brother Charibert received Paris, the second eldest brother Guntram received Burgundy with its capital at Orléans, on the death of Charibert in 567, his estates were augmented when the brothers divided Chariberts kingdom among themselves and agreed to share Paris. Not long after his accession, however, he was at war with Sigebert, Sigebert defeated him and marched to Soissons, where he defeated and imprisoned Chilperics eldest son, Theudebert. The war flared in 567, at the death of Charibert, Chilperic immediately invaded Sigeberts new lands, but Sigebert defeated him.
Chilperic allied with Guntram against Sigebert, but Guntram changed sides, when Sigebert married Brunhilda, daughter of the Visigothic sovereign in Spain, Chilperic wished to make a brilliant marriage. He had already repudiated his first wife and had taken as his concubine a serving-woman called Fredegund and he accordingly dismissed Fredegund, and married Brunhildas 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, in 575, Sigebert was assassinated by Fredegund at the very moment when he had Chilperic at his mercy. Chilperic made war with the protector of Sigeberts wife and son, 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. In 578, Chilperic sent an army to fight the Breton ruler Waroch II of the Bro-Wened along the Vilaine, the Frankish army consisted of units from the Poitou, Anjou and Bayeux.
The Baiocassenses were Saxons and they in particular were routed by the Bretons, the armies fought for three days before Waroch submitted, did homage for Vannes, sent his son as a hostage, and agreed to pay an annual tribute. He subsequently broke his oath but Chilperics dominion over the Bretons was relatively secure, most of what is known of Chilperic comes from The History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours. Gregory objected to Chilperics attempts to teach a new doctrine of the Trinity, Chilperics reign in Neustria saw the introduction of the Byzantine punishment of eye-gouging. In September 584, while returning from an expedition to his royal villa of Chelles. Chilperic Is first marriage was to Audovera, married the widow Brunhilda and became his fathers enemy Clovis. Basina, led a revolt in the abbey of Poitiers Childesinda His short second marriage to Galswintha produced no children and his concubinage and subsequent marriage to Fredegund in about 568 produced six more legitimate offspring, betrothed to Reccared but never married
The Loire is the longest river in France. With a length of 1,012 kilometres, it drains an area of 117,054 km2, or more than a fifth of Frances land area, and is the 171st longest river in the world. Its main tributaries include the rivers Nièvre and the Erdre on its bank, and the rivers Allier, Indre, Vienne. The Loire gives its name to six departments, Haute-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire, the central part of the Loire Valley, located in the Centre-Val de Loire region, was added to the World Heritage Sites list of UNESCO on December 2,2000. Vineyards and chateaux are found along the banks of the river throughout this area, gallic rule ended in the valley in 56 BC when Julius Caesar conquered the adjacent provinces for Rome. Christianity was introduced into this valley from the 3rd century AD, as missionaries, in this period, settlers established vineyards and began producing wines. They were originally created as feudal strongholds, over centuries past, the name Loire comes from Latin Liger, which is itself a transcription of the native Gaulish name of the river.
The Gaulish name comes from the Gaulish word liga, which means silt, deposit, alluvium, a word that gave French lie, as in sur lie, which in turn gave English lees. Liga comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *legʰ-, meaning to lie, lay as in the Welsh word Lleyg which gave many words in English, such as to lie, to lay, law, etc. At a certain point during the history of uplift in the Paris Basin. The former bed of the Loire séquanaise is occupied by the Loing, the Loire Valley has been inhabited since the Middle Palaeolithic period from 40–90 ka. Neanderthal man used stone tools to fashion boats out of tree trunks, modern man inhabited the Loire valley around 30 ka. By around 5000 to 4000 BC, they began clearing forests along the edges and cultivating the lands. They built megaliths to worship the dead, especially from around 3500 BC, the Gauls arrived in the valley between 1500 and 500 BC, and the Carnutes settled in Cenabum in what is now Orléans and built a bridge over the river. By 600 BC the Loire had already become an important trading route between the Celts and the Greeks.
A key transportation route, it served as one of the highways of France for over 2000 years. The Phoenicians and Greeks had used pack horses to transport goods from Lyon to the Loire to get from the Mediterranean basin to the Atlantic coast, during the Roman period, they successfully subdued the Gauls in 52 BC and began developing Cenabum, which they named Aurelianis. They began building the city of Caesarodunum, now Tours, the Romans used the Loire as far as Roanne, around 150 km downriver from the source
The forest naturally thinned out in the open sandy stretches to the north and formed a barrier—trackless to the outsider—on the heavier soils to the south. The Silva Carbonaria was a vast forest that stretched from the rivers Senne and its northern outliers reached the marshy site of modern Brussels. A great Roman road forming a strategic axis linked the Rhine crossing at Cologne with Maastricht, skirting the northern edges of the Silva Carbonaria, it passed through Tongeren and Cambrai to reach the sea at Boulogne. The highway was the main east–west route in a landscape where the valleys, tributaries of the Meuse. It remained viable through the Early Middle Ages as the chaussée Brunehaut, in the past the Romance-Germanic linguistic division that marks Belgium to this day has been perhaps too facilely linked to these geographic parameters. The Silva Carbonaria is mentioned in the Salic Law of the Franks, extensive tracts of the untamed woodlands belonged to monasteries. The Benedictine Abbey of Lobbes lay in the Silva Carbonaria and that of Saint Foillan, even before the Romans arrived, iron weapons forged in the Silva Carbonaria were traded by the Belgae to their cousins in the southeast of Britain.
In the High Middle Ages further woodlands were cleared, today the most significant remnant of the Silva Carbonaria is the Sonian Forest, preserved because it had been set aside as a noble hunt.21 km². Lexicon Universale, Historiam Sacram Et Profanam Omnis aevi, Charles, La forêt charbonnière, Silva Carbonaria, in Revue dhistoire et darchéologie 3. Genesis and Evolution of the Romance-Germanic Language Border in Europe
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history, lasting from the 6th to the 10th century CE. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire, the Early Middle Ages largely overlap with Late Antiquity. The term Late Antiquity is used to emphasize elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, the period saw a continuation of trends begun during late classical antiquity, including population decline, especially in urban centres, a decline of trade, and increased immigration. The period has been labelled the Dark Ages, a characterization highlighting the relative scarcity of literary and cultural output from this time, especially in Northwestern Europe. However, the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, continued to survive, many of these trends were reversed in the period. In 800 the title of emperor was revived in Western Europe by Charlemagne, whose Carolingian Empire greatly affected European social structure, Europe experienced a return to systematic agriculture in the form of the feudal system, which introduced such innovations as three-field planting and the heavy plow.
Barbarian migration stabilized in much of Europe, although Northern Europe was greatly affected by the Viking expansion, starting in the 2nd century, various indicators of Roman civilization began to decline, including urbanization, seaborne commerce, and population. Archaeologists have identified only 40 percent as many Mediterranean shipwrecks from the 3rd century as from the first, estimates of the population of the Roman Empire during the period from 150 to 400 suggest a fall from 65 million to 50 million, a decline of more than 20 percent. Some scholars have connected this de-population to the Dark Ages Cold Period, Early in the 3rd century Germanic peoples migrated south from Scandinavia and reached the Black Sea, creating formidable confederations which opposed the local Sarmatians. In Dacia and on the north of the Black Sea the Goths. The arrival of the Huns in 372–375 ended the history of these kingdoms, the Huns, a confederation of central Asian tribes, founded an empire with a Turkic-speaking aristocracy.
They had mastered the art of shooting composite recurve bows from horseback. The Goths sought refuge in Roman territory, agreeing to enter the Empire as unarmed settlers, however many bribed the Danube border-guards into allowing them to bring their weapons. The discipline and organization of a Roman legion made it a fighting unit. The Romans preferred infantry to cavalry because infantry could be trained to retain the formation in combat, while cavalry tended to scatter when faced with opposition. While a barbarian army could be raised and inspired by the promise of plunder, the legions required a government and taxation to pay for salaries, constant training, equipment. The decline in agricultural and economic activity reduced the empires taxable income, in the Gothic War, the Goths revolted and confronted the main Roman army in the Battle of Adrianople. The general decline in discipline led to the use of smaller shields, not wanting to share the glory, Eastern Emperor Valens ordered an attack on the Therving infantry under Fritigern without waiting for Western Emperor Gratian, who was on the way with reinforcements
Fredegund was the Queen consort of Chilperic I, the Merovingian Frankish king of Soissons. Fredegund was born into a family but gained power through her association with King Chilperic. Originally a servant of Chilperics first wife Audovera, Fredegund won Chilperics affection and persuaded him to put Audovera in a convent, Gregory of Tours remarks that Fredegund brought with her a handsome dowry, incurring the immediate affection of King Chilperic. But Chilperic put Fredegund aside and married Galswintha, Galswintha died the same year, probably strangled by Fredegund, who succeeded Galswintha as queen. Galswinthas sister, however, began a feud which lasted more than 40 years, after the mysterious assassination of Chilperic in 584 AD, Fredegund seized the Kings riches and took refuge in the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral. Both she and her son, Clothar II, were protected by Guntram until he died in 592. Newly widowed, Fredegund attempted to seduce the Neustrian official Eberulf, Gregory of Tours suspects her of orchestrating Eberulf’s assassination.
Additionally, Gregory of Tours suggests that the persecution of the Bishop Praetextatus was largely driven by Fredegund, following Praetextatuss return from exile, the Queen met him in church and threatened to have him exiled a second time. However, the Bishop was not concerned because he believed he would receive his reward in heaven, in 586, Fredegund ordered the assassination of Praetextatus and had one of her agents stab him during Easter Mass. The Queen visited Praetextatus on his deathbed and offered the assistance of her physicians, Praetextatus urged her to repent of her sins before finally succumbing to his wounds. Fredegund conducted assassination plots against a number of officials who condemned the assassination, including the Bishop of Bayeaux. In 580 AD, an epidemic of dysentery broke out in Gaul, afflicting Fredegunds husband King Chilperic, believing the plague to be a result of her sins, Fredegund burned a number of tax records she feared were unjust and encouraged Chilperic to do the same.
Her sons, did not survive the epidemic, following their funerals, Fredegund made a large donation to churches and the poor to continue to atone for her sins. Another of Fredegund’s sons, was stricken with an illness while the family was under siege in Tournai. According to Gregory, Fredegund feared that she would catch the disease from Samson and cast him away from her, the King was offended by her actions as the child had not yet been baptized. When Samson survived longer than expected, Fredegund relented and had him baptized according to the King’s wishes, Fredegund has been proposed as one of many sources for the folk tale known as Cinderella. Fredegund waited her opportunity and under the pretense of magnanimity took her to the treasure-room, feigning fatigue, she exclaimed I am weary, put thou in thy hand, and take out what thou mayest find. The mother thereupon forced down the lid on her neck and would have killed her had not the servants finally rushed to her aid, Fredegund asserted that all the gifts had come out of property amassed by her husbands generosity
Soissons is a commune in the Aisne department in Hauts-de-France in northern France, located on the Aisne River, about 100 kilometres northeast of Paris. It is one of the most ancient towns of France, and is probably the ancient capital of the Suessiones, Soissons is the see of an ancient Roman Catholic diocese, whose establishment dates from about 300. Soissons enters written history under its Celtic name, meaning new hillfort, at Roman contact, it was a town of the Suessiones, mentioned by Julius Caesar. Caesar, after leaving the Axona, entered the territory of the Suessiones, and making one days march, reached Noviodunum, which was surrounded by a high wall. From 457 to 486, under Aegidius and his son Syagrius, Noviodunum was the capital of the Kingdom of Soissons, until it fell to the Frankish king Clovis I in the Battle of Soissons. Part of the Frankish territory of Neustria, the Soissons region, after the death of Clovis I in 511, Soissons was made the capital of one of the four kingdoms into which his states were divided.
Eventually, the kingdom of Soissons disappeared in 613 when the Frankish lands were amalgamated under Clotaire II. During the Hundred Years War, French forces committed a massacre of English archers stationed at the towns garrison. The Congress was largely successful and led to the signing of a treaty between them. During the First World War The city came under heavy bombardment, there was mutiny after the disastrous Chemin des Dames offensive. A statue erected with images of French soldiers killed in action in 1917 is behind the St Peters Church, the town was on the main path of totality for the Solar eclipse of August 11,1999. Today, Soissons is a commercial and manufacturing centre with the 12th century Soissons Cathedral, the nearby Espace Pierres Folles contains a museum, geological trail, and botanical garden. The Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais de Soissons is constructed in the style of Gothic architecture, the building of the south transept was begun about 1177, and the lowest courses of the choir in 1182.
The choir with its original elevation and extremely tall clerestory was completed in 1211. This was earlier than Chartres, on which the design was supposed to have been based, work continued into the nave until the late 13th century. The former abbey of Notre Dame, former royal abbey, founded in the Merovingian era, famous for its treasure of relics. The abbey was prestigious abbesses like Gisèle, sister of Charlemagne, or Catherine de Bourbon, the Saint-Médard Abbey was a Benedictine monastery of Soissons whose foundation went back to the sixth century. The city hall built by architect Jean-François Advyné, between 1772 and 1775, at the request of the Intendant Pelletier Mortefontaine on the site of the old counts of Soissons
Clovis II succeeded his father Dagobert I in 639 as King of Neustria and Burgundy. His brother Sigebert III had been King of Austrasia since 634 and he was initially under the regency of his mother Nanthild until her death in her early thirties in 642. This death allowed him to fall under the influence of the secular magnates, Clovis wife, whose Anglo-Saxon origins are now considered doubtful, was sold into slavery in Gaul. She had been owned by Clovis mayor of the palace and she bore him three sons who all became kings after his death. The eldest, succeeded him and his second eldest, the youngest, succeeded Childeric in Neustria and eventually became the sole king of the Franks. Clovis was a minor for almost the whole of his reign and he is sometimes regarded as king of Austrasia during the interval 656–57 when Childebert the Adopted had usurped the throne. He is often regarded as an early roi fainéant, medieval monks deemed him insane and attribute the stupidity of his descendants to that cause.
Noted Belgian historian Henri Pirenne stated that Clovis died insane, Clovis II was buried in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris. Media related to Clovis II at Wikimedia Commons
He is considered to have been the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Frankish kingdom for the next two centuries. Clovis was the son of Childeric I, a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks, and Basina, in 481, at the age of fifteen, Clovis succeeded his father. Clovis is important in the historiography of France as the first king of what would become France and his name is Germanic, composed of the elements hlod and wig, and is the origin of the French given name Louis, borne by 18 kings of France. Dutch, the most closely related language to Frankish, reborrowed the name as Lodewijk from German in the 12th century. Clovis was baptized on Christmas Day in 508, numerous small Frankish kingdoms existed during the 5th century. After the collapse of Roman power in the last days of 406 the Salian Franks had expanded to the south of the military highway Boulogne-Cologne. The powerbase of Clovis father was the area around Tournai, in the current province of Hainault, upon the death of his father, Merovech in 457 Childeric I, Clovis father, became king of the subgroup of the Salian Franks based around Tournai.
In 463 he fought in conjunction with Aegidius, the magister militum of northern Gaul, Childeric died in 481 and was buried in Tournai, Clovis succeeded him as king, aged just 15. Under Clovis, the Salian Franks came to dominate their neighbours, historians believe that Childeric and Clovis were both commanders of the Roman military in the Province of Belgica Secunda and were subordinate to the magister militum. Clovis had the Frankish king Chararic imprisoned and executed, a few years later, he killed Ragnachar, the Frankish king of Cambrai, along with his brothers. Another victory followed in 491 over a group of Thuringians to the east. By this time Clovis had conquered all the Frankish kingdoms to the west of the River Maas and he secured an alliance with the Ostrogoths through the marriage of his sister Audofleda to their king, Theodoric the Great. With the help of the Ripuarian Franks he narrowly defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac in 496 and he made Paris his capital and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine.
In 500 Clovis fought a battle with the Burgundian kingdom at Dijon but was unable to subdue them, the battle added most of Aquitaine to Clovis kingdom and resulted in the death of the Visigothic king Alaric II. According to Gregory of Tours, following the Battle of Vouillé, since Clovis name does not appear in the consular lists, it is likely he was granted a suffect consulship. Clovis became the first king of all Franks in 508, after he had conquered Cologne and this contrasted with Catholicism, whose followers believe that God the Father and the Holy Spirit are three persons of one being. By the time of the ascension of Clovis, Gothic Arians dominated Christian Gaul and this included his wife, Clotilde, a Burgundian princess who was a Catholic in spite of the Arianism that surrounded her at court. Clotilde evangelized Clovis to convert to Catholicism, which he initially resisted, Clotilde had wanted her son to be baptized, but Clovis refused to allow it, so Clotilde had the child baptized without Cloviss knowledge
The term is commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Viking home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age. Facilitated by advanced seafaring skills, and characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times extended into the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. A romanticized picture of Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th century, current popular representations of the Vikings are typically based on cultural clichés and stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy. One etymology derives víking from the feminine vík, meaning creek, various theories have been offered that the word viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian district of Viken, meaning a person from Viken. According to this theory, the word simply described persons from this area, there are a few major problems with this theory. People from the Viken area were not called Viking in Old Norse manuscripts, in addition, that explanation could only explain the masculine and ignore the feminine, which is a serious problem because the masculine is easily derived from the feminine but hardly vice versa.
The form occurs as a name on some Swedish rune stones. There is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before the end of the Viking Age and this is found in the Proto-Nordic verb *wikan, ‘to turn’, similar to Old Icelandic víkja ‘to move, to turn’, with well-attested nautical usages. In that case, the idea behind it seems to be that the rower moves aside for the rested rower on the thwart when he relieves him. A víkingr would originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterized by the shifting of rowers, in that case, the word Viking was not originally connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas. In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the Anglo-Saxon poem, Widsith, in Old English, and in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term generally referred to Scandinavian pirates or raiders. As in the Old Norse usages, the term is not employed as a name for any people or culture in general, the word does not occur in any preserved Middle English texts.
The Vikings were known as Ascomanni ashmen by the Germans for the ash wood of their boats, Lochlannach by the Gaels, the modern day name for Sweden in several neighbouring countries is possibly derived from rōþs-, Ruotsi in Finnish and Rootsi in Estonian. The Slavs and the Byzantines called them Varangians, Scandinavian bodyguards of the Byzantine emperors were known as the Varangian Guard. The Franks normally called them Northmen or Danes, while for the English they were known as Danes or heathen. It is used in distinction from Anglo-Saxon, similar terms exist for other areas, such as Hiberno-Norse for Ireland and Scotland. The period from the earliest recorded raids in the 790s until the Norman conquest of England in 1066 is commonly known as the Viking Age of Scandinavian history, Vikings used the Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea for sea routes to the south. The Normans were descended from Vikings who were given feudal overlordship of areas in northern France—the Duchy of Normandy—in the 10th century, in that respect, descendants of the Vikings continued to have an influence in northern Europe
Chlothar I, called Clotaire I and the Old, King of the Franks, was one of the four sons of Clovis I of the Merovingian dynasty. Although his father, Childeric I, had united Francia for the first time, in 511 at the age of circa 14, Clothar I inherited two large territories on the Western coast of Francia, separated by the lands of his brother Charibert Is Kingdom of Paris. Chlothar spent most of his life in a campaign to expand his territories at the expense of his relatives. His brothers avoided outright war by cooperating with his attacks on neighbouring lands in concert or by invading lands when their rulers died, the spoils were shared between the participating brothers. By the end of his life, Chlothar had managed to reunite Francia by surviving his brothers, but upon his own death, the Kingdom of the Franks was once again divided between his own four surviving sons. A fifth son had rebelled and was killed, along with his family, Frankish customs of the day allowed for the practice polygamy, especially among royalty.
So it was not uncommon for a king to have multiple wives and this was a major deviation from the monogamy of late Roman customs, influenced by the Church. Frankish rulers followed this practice mainly to increase their influence across larger areas of land in the wake of the Roman empires collapse, the aim was to maintain peace and ensure the preservation of the kingdom by appeasing local leaders. In the Germanic tradition succession fell, not to sons, but to younger brothers, but under Salic law, Clovis I instituted the custom of sons being the primary heirs in all respects. However, it was not a system of primogeniture, with the eldest son receiving the vast majority of an inheritance, the greater Frankish Kingdom was often splintered into smaller sub-kingdoms. Chlothar was the son of Clovis I and the fourth son of Queen Clotilde. Chlothar was born around 497 in Soissons, but he was very ambitious and sought to extend his domain. Upon the death of Clovis I in the year 511, the Frankish kingdom was divided between Chlothar and his brothers, Theuderic and Chlodomer, because of the rights of mothers, queens were granted a portion of their sons kingdom.
Clovis I, who had two wives, divided his kingdom into two for each of his wives, parceled out pieces to his respective sons. The eldest, son of the first wife, had the benefit of receiving one half of the kingdom of Francia, Chlothar shared the second half of the kingdom with his brothers Childebert and Chlodomer. Chlothar received the northern portion, Childebert the central kingdom of Paris, in 516 Gundobad, king of Burgundy and the throne passed to his son Sigismund, who converted to Catholicism. Sigismund adopted an extreme anti-Arian policy, going so far as to execute his Arian son Sigeric, in 523, at the instigation of their mother, Chlothar and Chlodomer joined forces in an expedition against the Burgundians. The Burgundian army was defeated, and Sigismund was captured and executed, sigismunds brother Godomar replaced him on the throne, with the support of the aristocracy, and the Franks were forced to leave