XVIII.27 Continuation of the same subject

, par Stewart

We have seen that among the Germans no one went to the assembly before his majority ; one was a member of the family but not of the republic. For that reason, the children of Clodomir, king of Orleans and conqueror of Burgundy, were not declared kings, because at their tender age they could not be presented to the assembly. They were not yet kings, but they were to become kings when they were able to bear arms, and in the meantime Clotilda their grandmother governed the state. [1] Their uncles Clotaire and Childebert slaughtered them and divided up their kingdom. This example led to young princes who were minors being subsequently declared kings immediately upon their fathers’ death. Thus Duke Gondovald saved Childebert II from the cruelty of Chilperic and had him declared king at the age of five. [2]

But in this very change they followed the original spirit of the nation, so acts were not passed in the name of the minor kings. So there was a double management among the Franks, one with respect to the person of the minor king, and the other with respect to the kingdom ; and in the fiefs there was a difference between the guardianship and the administration. [3]


[1It seems from Gregory of Tours, book III, that she chose two men from Burgundy, which was a conquest of Clodomir’s, to raise to the archbishopric of Tours, which was also in Clodimir’s kingdom.

[2Gregory of Tours, book V, chap. i [p. 174], vix lustro ætatis uno jam peracto, qui die dominicæ natalis, regnare cæpit [‘Though scarcely five years old, he began to rule on Christmas day’].

[3[The edition of 1758 inserts a new chapter xviii (Annex 8) here.]