Clovis I(redirected from Clovis the Great)
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See the history of Gregory of Tours; F. Lot, The End of the Ancient World and the Beginnings of the Middle Ages (1927; tr. 1953, repr. 1961); E. James, The Origins of France: Clovis and the Capetians, A.D. 500–1000 (1982); P. J. Geary Before France and Germany (1988).
Born circa 466; died Nov. 27, 511, in Paris. Became king of the Salian Franks in 481; subsequently king of the entire Frankish kingdom. Member of the Merovingian dynasty.
Clovis routed the army of Syagrius, a former Roman vicegerent who ruled the area of Gaul surrounding Soissons, in 486 and extended the dominion of the Salian Franks to the banks of the Loire. This expansion constituted the first step in the formation of the Frankish state. Clovis conquered many of the Alamanni’s holdings in 496 and expelled the Visigoths from southern Gaul in 507. He also subjugated the Franks living along the middle course of the Rhine.
In 496, Clovis embraced Christianity in its orthodox form (the other German tribes adhered to Arianism). This move bolstered his authority by securing the support of the clergy and the good will of the native Gallo-Roman population. Clovis made Paris his residence. He consolidated his royal power and made the throne hereditary. The Salic Law was promulgated during Clovis’ reign.