Seven chapters are: widowhood; holiness, femininity, and authority; scandal in Poitiers; brides and social status; Merovingian marital practice; Bruhild and Fredegund
, I; Brunhild and Fredegund
, and conclusion.
The rivalry between Brunichildis and her sister-in-law Fredegund
led to a bloody feud, to which both Sigibert and his bride ultimately fell victim.
When Queen Fredegund
had been packed off to the manor ...
Gregory of Tours recounts how, in 590, Queen Fredegund
ordered the army of the Saxons in the Bayeux area to attack a Frankish duke but to disguise themselves as Bretons by cutting their hair in the Breton way and wearing Breton clothing.
ascendancy over her husband; Agrippina, mother of Nero, would-be usurper and skillful poisoner; Catherine de Medici of Saint Bartholomew massacre fame; Brunhilda, murderess of her husband, a Visigothic king, among others; and Fredegund, Frankish queen and multiple murderess who decapitated a rival with the lid of her trunk.
The Ami du peuple advised shaving her head and throwing her into prison, while the Orateur du peuple, not to be outdone, recommended dragging her, like Fredegund, at the tail of a horse through the streets.(26)
Then there was the example of Queen Fredegund
, who, having failed to reconcile the parties to a feud, proceeded to have all three of them beheaded, but only after darkness had fallen and the trio had drunk themselves into a stupor.(17)