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(brənhĭld`ə) or


(brünō`), d. 613, Frankish queen, wife of Sigebert ISigebert I
, d. 575, Frankish king of Austrasia (561–75), son of Clotaire I. He constantly feuded with his brother Chilperic I, who had inherited the western portion of the Frankish lands, which came to be known as Neustria.
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 of the East Frankish kingdom of Austrasia; daughter of Athanagild, the Visigothic king of Spain. After the murder (567) of her sister Galswintha, who was the wife of Sigebert's brother Chilperic I of the West Frankish kingdom of Neustria, and Chilperic's marriage to his mistress FredegundeFredegunde
, c.545–597, Frankish queen. The mistress of King Chilperic I of Neustria, she became his wife after inducing him to murder his wife Galswintha (567). Fredegunde and Brunhilda, Galswintha's sister and wife of King Sigebert I of Austrasia, were among the leading
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, Brunhilda was the major instigator in the war against Neustria. The struggle continued between Brunhilda and Fredegunde after the death (575) of Sigebert and the murder (584) of Chilperic. Throughout the reigns of her son, Childebert II, and of two grandsons, Brunhilda was the actual ruler of Austrasia and of Burgundy, when by her design that country was united with Austrasia after the death (592) of King GuntramGuntram
, c.525–592, Frankish king of Burgundy and Orléans (561–92), son of Clotaire I. He intervened in the wars of his relatives in order to maintain the balance of power in the Frankish lands.
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. She was endowed with the gifts of a great statesman, but her unscrupulousness in the execution of her plans earned her the fierce hatred of the nobles, whom she nonetheless controlled. She was finally betrayed by them to Fredegunde's son, Clotaire IIClotaire II,
d. 629, Frankish king, son of Chilperic I and Fredegunde. He succeeded (584) his father as king of Neustria, but his mother ruled for him until her death (597).
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 of Neustria. He put her to a horrible death.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Brunichildis). Born c. 534, died Feb. 28, 613, at Renève. French queen, wife of Sigebert I, king of Austrasia.

Brunhilda was the daughter of the king of the Visigoths. She opposed Chilperic I, the king of Neustria, and his mistress Fredegund, who was responsible for the murder of Brunhilda’s sister. In 575, after the death of her husband, who had been killed in an internecine struggle with Chilperic, she became the actual ruler of Austrasia; and from 593 A.D., of Burgundy as well. She tried to reunite the Frankish kingdom. In a bloody struggle against the Austrasian nobles, who had called on King Clotaire of Neustria, son of Fredegund, she was defeated and put to a cruel death.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.