After these things, king Guntram sent to his nephew, king Childebert (585 AD), to come to the meeting which had been arranged by common agreement [Aimon III.lxvii, in turn based on Gregory VII.xxxiii]. King Childebert came with many of his barons, as did king Guntram on his side. When the meeting was assembled, king Guntram commanded that Gundovald's emissaries be brought before everyone. Then they were commanded to tell their message as they had before. When everyone had heard it repeated in order, they added that Gundovald had seized all the treasures that king Chilperic had given to Rigonde, his daughter, at her marriage, when he had to send her to the king of Spain, and that he had said several times that it would be returned to France from parts of the East by the encouragement of Guntram Boso, and when they recognized afterward that the barons of the realm knew all these things very well, the two kings became suspicious and thought that it was for this reason that none of the barons of Childebert's kingdom came to this meeting.
King Guntram offered to his nephew a lance which he had and said to him: "Splendid nephew, by this sign you may know that you will reign after me in my kingdom. I grant you the power and the authority of all the cities of my land, and I want you to arrange in all matters as you wish. Keep in mind that only you and Lothar remain of all our lineage." When he had said this in front of all of the people, he drew his nephew aside to discuss other things, begging him not to reveal what he would tell him. Then he began to instruct him about whom to consult in the matter of governing the kingdom, whom to exclude from his counsel, and whom he might trust to guard his body and his well-being. He told him that he should guard himself against the tricks and the malice of Brunhild, his mother, and of Giles, the archbishop of Rheims, who was a liar, and disloyal. When the meeting was over, and everything had been taken care of and put in order, they sat down to eat. As soon as the nobility was seated at the table, the noble king Gunther began to speak to the barons and knights, and talked in this way: "Lords, noble princes of the kingdom of France, I ask and implore you to grant faith and honor to my nephew, who is no longer a child, and it is very clear that he will achieve great things, if God grants him life; do not hold him in contempt as a child, but honor him as your lord." Then he granted him all the cities that his father had held. Each then took leave of the other, returning to his own kingdom.
When these things happened, Gundovald's fortune changed in another way, for duke Desiderius, Mummolus, Bladast, Waddo, and Sagitarius, who had gone with him, abandoned him, as you will hear afterwards [Viard here points out the mistake made by Primat; in Gregory and in Aimon, only Desiderius abandons him]. He established himself in a city named Dordone [in the manuscript, there was a blank here, filled in later with Dordone; in Gregory and in Aimon, the name of the city is Comminges] that sits on the other side of the Gironde, on the top of a high mountain, far from the others. At the foot of the mountain flows a fountain, above which a high, enclosed tower protects the citizens from their enemies, when they go down the path to get water for themselves or for their animals. He tricked the people of the city by telling and advising them to carry all their goods up into the fortress to keep them from their enemies who were coming; they did as he advised them. Then he made them think that their enemies were coming, and that it would be a good thing to go out and fight them, so that they might not be quickly under siege. When they left, he cast the Archbishop out of the city, and shut the gates firmly; then he got ready to defend himself, together with his men, who had stationed themselves inside for protection. How blind is human thought, which does not consider the future! For the time came that he was driven from the city, and that he wished that he had kept and dearly cherished within the city those whom he had driven out, and driven out those whom he had kept inside, whom he thought to be loyal friends.
Here begins an account of how Gundovald was besieged in the city [Aimon II.lxx]. King Guntram sent him a letter, which claimed to be from Brunhild, commanding him to dismiss all the men whom he had assembled to fight, and to go to Bordeaux to spend the winter. He did what the letters told him to do. When the leaders of king Guntram's army, who were bivouaced on the banks of the Dordogne, knew that Gundovald had passed the river Gironde, they took the best, most courageous soldiers they had, and drew them up to swim across the Gironde. Some were drowned, because the water was strong and rough, and they were badly mounted. But when they reached the other side, they found many mules [Aimon has "camels"] and horses laden with gold and silver, and other riches, which their enemies, fleeing before them, had left behind. They sent these back to the part of the army which had remained behind, then rode off after Gundovald as quickly as they could. They came to the territory of Agen, intending to enter the abbey of St. Vincent, but the people of that land, having put their belongings in the abbey, to safeguard them, shut the doors. Now they threw fire into the abbey, and burned them, seizing whatever they could carry, like crucifixes and chalices and other ornaments for the altar; but they were swiftly struck by the vengeance of Our Lord, for some had their hands burned by hell-fire, others went insane, and others killed themselves with their own hands. Those who were not struck, because, by chance, they had done nothing to harm the martyr, came before the city where Gundovald and his men were entrenched, and pitched their tents; first they burned and laid waste the area around the town, as well as the surrounding country. But some, who were ardently greedy for booty, put more distance between themselves and the others than was good for them, and they were captured and killed by those who were guarding the possessions of the neighboring villages. When the city was under siege, some, who were hardier than the others, climbed a hill very near the city, and began to insult Gundovald with words like these: "Oh you, Ballomires, from whom such presumption comes that you style yourself a king. For your boasting and your atrocious behavior the kings of France had your hair cut, condemned you, and sent you into exile. Wretched slave, answer us, tell us the names of those who are helping you, and who are making you do this. You'll be captured soon, and prodded and tortured for your pride." With insulting remarks like these they were unable to provoke Gundovald, but he groaned and said that he well remembered the foul things his father had done to him, and that he had been exiled by his own kin from his own country, without cause. He had been welcomed with love and mercy by foreigners, while he own kin hated him like a mortal enemy. In foreign countries, princes and kings gave him great gifts and great wealth; he was loved and cherished by the emperor of Constantinople, while Guntram Boso deceived him treacherously. "He found me," he said, "in Constantinople when he went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Eager to learn news about my father, I asked him about him and my brothers, and the state of the kingdom. He replied to me thus: 'You ask about your father. I tell you that he and your brothers are dead; hardly anyone is left alive. Guntram alone remains, but all his children are dead; only one of his nephews remains, the son of king Sigibert.' Then I said to him: 'Dear sweet friend, what do you advise me to do?' He advised me to return to France, and told me that the French wanted me very much, and that they would willingly grant me the kingdom, and the people of my nephew Childebert's kingdom are particularly eager, because he is too young and inexperienced to govern the kingdom. You, then fine sir, who may well know that I am your lord, remove the siege with which you have surrounded this city, and help me establish peace and harmony with my brother king Guntram." When Gundovalt had spoken in this way to those who were on the mountain, they began to curse and to threaten him, throwing lances and javelots into the city.
After five [15 in Aimon and in Gregory] days of the siege, Leudegisel, provost and constable, whom king Guntram had put in charge of the entire army, ordered his men to bring up machines to break down the walls. These machines were made like carts, covered with large planks of heavy wood, enclosing the top. Within were miners digging underneath the base of the walls; but these machines were of little value, because those inside the city, who were defending themselves vigorously, threw down large, sharp stakes and great, heavy stones, with which they resisted their efforts; the battering rams were not very useful either, because they could be easily burned by the sulfur, boiling pitch, and dried logs being thrown from the walls, so that those outside did not dare approach. All day the battle and the assault went on in this manner. The next day the besiegers tried to inflict damage on those inside the city by piling up sticks and branches of trees to fill in the deep moat, but their efforts were useless, for the moat was too deep, and those inside threw stones and burning fire on them, so that they could not get nearer.
Leudegisel saw clearly that their efforts were in vain, and that they were struggling without results. He decided, then, to try trickery. He had Mummolus summoned, to speak to him in secret. In Gregory, emissaries go back and forth; Aimon, presumably, wants, once again, to add a touch of dramatic confrontation.] He began to blame him and to upbraid him for having abandoned king Guntram, who was kind and decent, for a tyrannical criminal: "Why do you delay so?" he said, "are you waiting for the city to be taken, when you will die deservedly?" Mummolus replied that he would willingly follow this advice; he went back and called Sagittarius and Waddo, for Bladast, afraid that the city was about to be captured, had set fire to the church-house and, while the others were busy putting out the fire, secretly escaped. Together with these two, he called a citizen of the town named Chariulf, who had an independent income, and was very rich; Mummolus explained to them how their situation was untenable, and how they seemed shameful to all other people, since they had made a man of uncertain origin their king, and submitted to him. Finally he urged them to give in to Fortune, which was against them, and he would guarantee that they would lose neither life nor limb, if they surrendered the city, which was about to be taken, and the false king, with whom they had allied themselves; they all agreed. Mummolus let Leudegisel know that he was coming to speak to him; then he told him the results of the discussion, and that the plan pleased both himself and his companions. Leudegisel praised him highly for the good sense and foresight they had shown in their discussion, and swore that he would obtain guarantees for their lives from king Guntram, or, if the king remained angry with them, he would find sanctuary for them in a church until the king's ill-will had cooled. Mummolus, who was deceived by this treachery, went to Gundovald and said: "You are well aware that I have always been loyal to you, and that I have served you with all my heart and with all my mind. You also know that I have always given you good and loyal advice, and I have fought against your enemies, and that, on the basis of my advice, your affairs have prospered. My desire to advise you well is as great as ever before, because you have well deserved it; therefore I am telling you now that I have spoken with our enemies outside the town to determine how they are disposed towards us. As far as I can tell, they have no ill will towards you, but they say that they are amazed that you flee from and avoid your brother, and they say that they think that it might be because you do not wish to argue with those who know the genealogy of your lineage, because you are not certain of it, and therefore do not wish to come into the presence of your brother, who would willingly see you. If you want my advice, you will go to your brother king Guntram, together with them and with me, if you can put aside your suspicion, because I believe that this will result in peace and well-being for you."
Gundovald, who who saw clearly that these words were spoken only to deceive him, replied in this way: "Against my will I left these lands and went to (Eastern) Europe, on your advice. I have always supported you, with good will and in good faith, and even though the faithlessness of him who made me return to these lands is self-evident, since he fled and left me in this danger, and, above all, he carried away part of my wealth, I have always loved you like my brother, and like those of whom I have a high opinion, for having protected my body and my well-being. If you, then, wish to behave otherwise, and you want to deceive and betray me, when I have placed in your hands my body, my life, and my wealth, may He who knows the secrets in men's hearts admonish you and prevent you from being able to do so." Having said this, he agreed to go down with them to the tents of their enemies. Mummolus told him that he should not go so proudly, nor in so noble an outfit, and that he should hand him the golden baldric he had tied around him, which Mummolus had given him, and wear instead his own, which was not so rich and splendid. To this Gundovald replied: "Your disloyalty is very clear, since you ask me to give back to you now what you once gave to me, and which I have kept until now." The traitor replied that he should not be afraid, because he would not deceive him. With these words they came to the gate, where their enemies Boso and Bollo [a misreading by Aimon of Gregory's Ollo, apparently], the count of Bourges, were waiting for them, with a large company of knights and servants, well-armed and well prepared. Mummolus had the gates opened, handed Gundovald over to them, then returned into the city and had the gates shut again.
When Gundovald saw that his own people had betrayed him and delivered him into the hands of his mortal enemies, and then closed the gates of the city, without hope of return, he raised his hands to heaven with a great groan, and with heartfelt grief prayed to Our Lord with words like these: "God, who art eternal judge and avenger of the innocent, to whom all secrets are revealed, who takes no delight in deceit, who is not pleased with evil betrayers, avenge my wrongs, and turn the noose of deception upon those who have betrayed me and delivered me into the hands of my enemies." Having said this, he made the sign of the holy cross on his forehead and on his whole body, and they led him to where the prisoners were kept, like any other prisoner. However, as they were passing a high mound above the city, Boso pushed him so hard that he fell on his face and rolled into the very deep ravine. As he stood up and lifted his head, Boso threw a stone and hit him in the head, decapitating him. Then he was dragged up by ropes around his feet, stripped of the vest he had been wearing, and, even though he was dead, they stuck spears and swords into him, and had him led through the army, like a murderer. Mummolus, the traitor, who had returned to the city, seized Gundovald's treasury and stored it in various places. The next day he opened the gates of the city to the besiegers, who promptly slaughtered the multitude, sparing no one, whether man, woman, peasant or noble. In their murderous passion they even killed priests performing their offices at the altars. Finally they set fires everywhere, burning the city and those who had by chance escaped death (until then). Duke Leudegisel, who was the head of the army, had sent to king Guntram to ask what should be done with the traitors who had betrayed their lord and the city, and he sent a reply ordering them to be killed, for it was the custom, borrowed from the kingdom of France, that one tyrant would not aid another against their lord. Aware of this, Waddo and Chariulf fled. When Mummolus saw that some among the army were arming themselves, he understood that it was with the intention of attacking him. He ran directly to the tent of Leudegisel, and began demanding loudly that he keep his oath to him. Leudegisel said to him that he would come out and quiet them down. Then he stepped out of the tent and made a sign to his men to kill Mummolus and the bishop Sagittarius. When they caught the sign, they got ready to carry out his orders, but Mummolus ordered the servants who had come with him to defend the entrance to the tent until he had armed himself. He stood at the entrance to the tent and faced his enemies, defending himself so well that he made them retreat, and he chased them. But he went too far from the protection of the tent, and was surrounded on all sides, unable to get back when he wanted to; he was struck by so many spears and swords that he fell dead in his tracks. Bishop Sagittarius was terrified; he stood trembling so much that one man said to him: "Bishop, why are you behaving like a man without any sense; why don't you cover your head and flee quickly into the woods?" Taking this advice, Sagittarius covered his head and fled; but another man, seeing him, ran after him and struck him with a sword, making his head roll, together with the hood. Leudegesil returned to France after these exploits, but because he did not forbid his men from looting and pillaging, they laid waste the entire countryside they passed through.
Fredegund, who was anxious about her daughter, sent one of her chamberlains, whose name was Chuppa, to find out how she was doing, and she ordered him to bring her back, if possible, in any way he could think of. He tried very hard to carry out her order; he came to Toulouse, where the lady was in exile, and found her poor and greatly humiliated, and he brought her back as carefully as he could.
King Guntram ordered the treasury of Mummolus, of whose death you have just heard, to be brought to him; he gave part of it to Mummolus' wife, because she was noble, and of aristocratic lineage. The total amount came to 30,000 gold besants, and 250 silver ones [Aimon says 30 talents of gold, 200 of silver, while Gregory gives 250 talents of silver, and more than 30 of gold]. King Guntram and king Childebert shared them equally; each took his part, leaving nothing for the child Lothar, king Chilperic's son. King Guntram did not wish to hold on to his share, but gave his portion away, to churches and in giving of alms. He also took in a man of Mummolus' household, who was three feet taller than any other man.
An incident. At that time king Aptachar ruled over the Lombards; there was a very great flood in the territory of Venice, and in a part of Lombardy which is called Liguria, and in many other parts of Italy; people thought that such a flood had not taken place since the time of Noah. In the midst of this great storm, the Tiber, which runs through the city of Rome, overflowed the city walls, and engulfed much of the surrounding area. This second flood was followed by a pestilence called squinancie (swellings in the groin, plague); pope Pelagius was the first to die; the sickness spread and grew so, that in Rome they died in heaps.
At this point, when (596) they were suffering so, saint Gregory, who had been deacon and guardian of the documents and vessels of the church under pope Pelagius, was elected to the office of Pope by all the clergy and all the people. At this time, to be elected and ordained required only the assent and order of the emperor of Constantinople, nor could anyone be elected without his assent. The holy man, saint Gregory, whose election did not please him very much, sent a letter to the emperor, whose name was Maurice, pleading with him not to assent to the election that the people had celebrated for him. But the provost of the city took the letters from the emissary and tore them to pieces, sending on to the emperor the message that the clergy and the people had assented. The emperor was very pleased with this, for he had found the place and the occasion to honor his deacon, whom he loved very greatly, and he cherished him for his sanctity, and because he was his colleague. He gave the order that Gregory be ordained immediately, and he was crowned and placed in the holy see. Glorious saint Gregory was so wise and humble in all things, that (as one can tell by his books and by the Holy Writings that he compiled, with which the Holy Church is illumined) since his time there has been no one who can be compared to him for rhetorical eloquence, purity of teaching, or sanctity of life.
At that time (596-597), he sent Augustine, Mellitus, John, and other preachers of the Christian faith to Great Britain, which is now called England, to convert the people to the faith of Jesus Christ. He gave them letters of recommendation to the king of France and to the prelates of his kingdom, because they had to pass through that land. By the preaching of these good men, error and disbelief were destroyed, and the holy faith was sown and propagated. The holy man was so pleased with this that he mentioned it in the book of moralities that he wrote, and he took joy in Our Lord for the fruits of his good works, and he said: "The tongue of the Britons, which used to do nothing but Britonize various languages is now eager to sing Halleluja in praise of its creator." [Moralia XXVII,xi; Aimon gives: qui nihil aliud noverat quam barbarum frendere, and mentions the language of thanksgiving as Hebrew].
In the twenty-fifth year of king Guntram's reign, prince Mummolus was killed in the city of Seanz, by order of Guntram, against whom he had revolted. Domnolus and Gandalmar, the king's chamberlains, brought back his wife and his treasury.
In the next year, he fought in Spain, but because the air that year was fouler than usual, he brought his army back without accomplishing any great task.
The next year, Leudigisel became seneschal of Provence. In the same year, king Childebert had a son whose name was Theudebert.
In that year there were great floods in Burgundy, and the rivers overflowed their banks. A flash of lightning fell from the burning sky, with great lightning and thunder.
King Guntram this year sent Count Siagre to Constantinople, to confirm and renew cordial relations with the emperor. While there, he tried very hard to acquire a county by trickery and deception; he began the task, but could not bring it to completion.
Leuvigild, the king of Spain, died in this year (586); his son, Recared, then became king.
In the twenty-eighth year of king Guntram's reign, he heard that king Childebert had had a child, whose name was Theudebert [read Theodoric -V]. He was very pleased with this, and sent for him and his mother Brunhild, to come and meet him at a place named Andelot. He renewed his will, making Childebert the heir to all his territory. Present were the daughter and the sister of king Childebert, and many barons of France and Burgundy, for everyone knew that king Childebert would have the kingdom of Burgundy after the death of his uncle, king Guntram. Satacechingues [Rauching in Gregory and Fredegar], Guntram Boso, Ursio and Archefroiz, Bertefridus in Aimon III.76.] barons of the kingdom of Childebert, were killed that year because they had treacherously wanted to murder the king. Landefroiz, a German duke, was disliked by king Childebert, and therefore fled and hid, to avoid being killed. Another man, named Uncelinus, became the duke of the duchy he had held.
Tassilo became the king of Bavaria after Caribert, by king Childebert's dispensation. Very soon afterwards, he attacked Slavonia, destroying and laying waste the country, and he returned with a great victory and with much booty. Caribert became the son-in-law [father-in-law actually -V] of Aptachar of Lombardy, in a manner I shall now describe. He happened to go to Lombardy as an emissary, and saw the king's daughter, Theodolinda, who was very beautiful, in the palace. Her appearance pleased him so that he fell deeply in love with her. When he returned to his own country, he sent emissaries asking for her hand, and king Aptachar willingly sent her to him.
Recared, the king of the Goths, did not follow the heretical belief of his father, king Leuvigild, but rather held the true belief of holy Church, as had his brother Hermangild. He was baptized by bishop Leander, and then he had all the Goths who had been Arians baptized and brought back into the one holy Church. He had all the books which contained the teachings of this heresy collected, and he had them burned in the city of Toulouse.
King Guntram assembled his Burgundian army to fight in Spain, in the twenty-ninth year of his reign (589), putting prince Boso at their head. When they entered Spain, the Goths defending their country killed most of them, because of Boso's negligence and sloth. He lost so many men that he could hardly get back to his own country.
In the thirtieth year of Guntram's reign, the news spread throughout the entire kingdom of France that the cloak of Our Lord, which he had worn on the day of his glorious passion, had been found overseas; it was the same of which the Evangelist speaks, upon which the tyrants threw dice in fulfillment of the prophecy. Aimon III.77; Fredegar Iv.11; Gregory .us Liber in gloria martyrum vii.] They say that this coat was seamless, and that our Lady made it with her own precious hands, but the Evangelist says nothing about this. It was revealed by a man named Simon, son of another man named James; for fourteen days he was held until he finally confessed that it was in a city named Jaffa, far from Jerusalem, in a marble chest. Gregory of Antioch, Thomas of Jerusalem, John of Constantinople, the patriarch, and many other archbishops and bishops devoutly went there. But first, they and all the people prayed and fasted for three days and three nights; they found the precious relic, as he had said, and carried it with great joy and great reverence to Jerusalem, in the marble chest, which seemed so light to those who carried it, that they thought it weighed nothing. It was placed in the city, where the holy cross was worshipped.
In that year, there was a total eclipse of the moon (590), and there was a great battle between the Bretons and the French at the Wisone. A duke of France named Pepelmes [Beppelenus in Aimon] was killed there by the treachery of another duke named Ebrechar, who became completely destitute thereafter, because he was compelled to pay a very great sum of money, when the law demanded that he pay recompense to the children whose father he had killed.
Aptachar, the king of Lombardy, sent emissaries to king Guntram to renew peace and harmony between them; the king gladly received them, then sent them to king Childebert, his nephew, because he wanted the alliance confirmed with his assent also. While the emissaries were in France, king Aptachar died, perhaps poisoned, in a city of his country called Pavia. As soon as he was dead, the Lombards sent other emissaries to king Guntram, to announce the death of king Aptachar, and to renew once again peace and harmony. The king received them honorably, promising them that he would firmly and faithfully keep the peace and harmony that had been established between them. But I don't know exactly how long afterwards he falied to keep these promises. After king Aptachar died, Theolinda, the queen who was much loved by the Lombards, married a duke of Thuringia named Agilulf, with the assent and permission of the barons of Lombardy. Saint Gregory sent to queen Theolinda three books of his dialogue, because he knew how firmly committed she was to the faith of Jesus Christ, and how exceptional were her behavior and accomplishments.
At this time, the Lombards destroyed and pillaged the abbey of Montecassino, of which saint Benedict had been the abbot a long time before. They carried off everything they could get their hands on, but they could not capture any of the monks, because the prophecy that saint Benedict's had pronounced was fulfilled, in which he said: "I have entreated for you, from Our Lord, that the souls of this place may not be given to perdition." The monks left the abbey and fled to Rome, carrying with them the rule that the holy man had compiled and some other writings, a measure of bread, a measure of wine, and whatever of their possessions they could carry. The abbey of Montecassino was governed, after saint Benedict, by an abbot named Constantine, the third was Sulpicius, the fourth Vitalis, the fifth Bonins; in his time the place was destroyed, as you have heard.
In the thirty-second year of king Guntram's reign, the sun's body became so small that it was scarcely one-third its normal size; this eclipse lasted from morning until noon (19 march 592).
After king Guntram had reigned thirty-three years, and had ruled his kingdom nobly, he left the transitory realm, and passed on, as seems likely, to the eternal realm, for he had always behaved well, in good conscience, and had given alms liberally. He was buried in the abbey of Saint Marcel of Chalon, which he had founded in the suburbs of the city. He installed monks of the order rule of saint Benedict, endowed the place richly with income and possessions, and convoked a council of forty bishops to dedicate the church, and to regularize the service entirely according to what saint Avitus and the other bishops of his time had established at the church of Saint-Maurice of Agen in the time of king Sigismund of Burgundy, who founded it. This same rule and the same style of chanting and of reading had been previously established at the church of Saint Martin of Tours, and from there was adopted by the abbey of Saint Vincent of Paris by monseigneur saint Germanus, and after that by king Dagobert in the church of Saint Denis of France, which he founded, as we shall tell you later. We shall not tell you about the order as it is described in the rule, for we do not want to describe something that can only be a burden to hear for those who have not put their hearts into hearing such things [Aimon does give the details].
One might say much of the good qualities of king Guntram; he was generous towards prelates, humble and mild towards the ministers of holy church, a man of good will towards his own people, and gentle towards foreigners. Because he shone with such virtues, many foreign nations magnified his name and his praise. He left his kingdom to king Childebert, his nephew, as he had promised.
King Childebert was very powerful, for he possessed two kingdom [Aimon III.61]. He began to think about avenging the death of his father and his uncle, who had been killed by Fredegund. He assembled the armies of his two kingdoms, made Witrio and Gundovald their leaders, and ordered them to enter the kingdom that Fredegund held for her son Lothar, and to burn the cities, take booty, and threaten to enslave the people. The set out from Champagne la Raenciene, and attacked the countryside around Soissons, to lay waste and destroy the entire region. But Fredegund, who knew much about doing harm, had prepared herself. She summoned all the barons of her son's kingdom, as well as Landry, whom king Guntram had previously made tutor and governor of her son, because he was still a child. When they all assembled, she reasoned with them with words like these, with her child, still a suckling at her breasts, in her arms: "Nobles, princes of the kingdom of France, do not despise your lord and your king because he is small. You should not permit the noble kingdom of France to be laid waste by his enemies and yours. Remember that you promised that you would not treat him like an insignificant child, but would honor him like a king; you should nourish the love that you owe him as a child until he has reached the age of majority, to offer it manifold at that time and in that place [Aimon III.81.] so that he will not be devoid of the honor that is rightly his. You should also understand that I shall be on high ground from which I shall be able to survey the battlefield, watching who fights bravely and who does not, and I shall give rich rewards to everyone who does well for my son." When Fredegund had thus encouraged and stirred the barons, making them eager for battle, her final words were: "Nobles, do not be afraid of the great numbers of enemies you must confront face-to-face, for I have prepared a trick by means of which we shall have victory, and they shame and loss. I shall go out in front, and you follow me and do what you see Landry doing." The queen's thoughts pleased everybody. She rode out in front, the little king in her arms; the armed knights drew up their battle-lines. When night came, Landry the constable, led them into a nearby forest; he cut a long, leafy branch from a tree, and hung on his horse's neck a bell like the kind attached to the necks of animals that pasture in the woods. He ordered the others to do the same, and they all dismounted and did as he had done; then they remounted their horses and rode until they reached a spot near their enemies' tents. Queen Fredegund went in front, the little king in her arms, right up to the place of battle. The barons were moved to pity the child, who might fall from king to prisoner if they were defeated. Those who were supposed to look out for the enemy army saw them coming, arrayed in this manner. It was still early morning, and there was very little daylight. The man who lead the watch asked one of his companions what it might be: "Last night," he said, "at vespers, there was nothing where I am looking in the forest, neither hedges, nor bushes, nor undergrowth." His companion then replied: "You're still digesting the food you ate last night, and you have not yet recovered from the wine you drank. You have completely forgotten what you did yesterday. Therefore you don't see that it's the woods where we found fodder for our horses, and you don't hear the bells of the animals that go through this forest." It was the custom among the French, as well as among those in whose country they were, to hang such bells on the necks of their horses when they let them graze in the pastures of the forest, so that, if they got lost in the woods they could be found by the sound of the bells. While they were speaking to each other like this, Fredegund's men threw down the branches they were carrying, and what had looked like woods to their enemies now was clearly a battle line of knights, armed with bright, shining armor. When they saw their enemies drawn up and ready for combat in front of them, they became very frightened, but their opponents were not at all frightened, since their adversaries were all asleep or lying in bed, tired and worn out by what they had done during the day, nor did they think that their enemies would dare attack them in this way. Fredegund's men attacked their encampment with great energy, killing and capturing many of them, though some escaped by fleeing. The leaders and the highest-ranking nobles mounted their horses and escaped with some difficulty. Landry, who was the leader of Fredegund's army, chased Guidron, but could not catch him, for he wore no armor, and was mounted on a swift horse. Thus they won a victory over their enemies by means of the queen's malice and cleverness, and they took tents and spoils from their enemies. They did not restrain themselves, but entered Champagne Raencienne, killed the people, plundered the countryside, and wrought havoc everywhere; by day they plundered, by night they burned. The killed everyone fit to fight, and the others they enslaved. When they had reduced the entire country in this way, Fredegund and her army returned to Soissons. These events occurred in Saxony, and in a place called Truet.
In the second year after king Childebert had received the kingdom of Burgundy, from French and the Bretons fought against each other, with great destruction on either side (594).
In the next year, several signs appeared in the sky; a starry comet was seen, portending the death of a prince, as some interpreted it.
In the same year, the army of king Childebert fought against the men of Auvergne, who attempted to revolt; they crushed them and destroyed them utterly.
At this point, Grippo, who had been sent by the king as a emissary to the emperor Maurice, came back from Constantinople. He spoke highly of the honor that had been paid to him out of respect for Childebert, and then said that he was very angry at the way the Carthaginians had treated him when he passed through their country, and that he would take vengeance upon them, at the king's pleasure.
King Childebert sent twenty dukes to Lombardy, with a large and powerful army to destroy the Lombards entirely, and to disgrace their name completely. Of all these leaders, Audovald, Olo, and Cedinus were the principle and most renowned figures. Olo, who was incautious, was struck in the chest by a projectile from a crossbow, in front of a castle, named Bilaitio, to which he was laying siege. This blow knocked him to the ground, and he died instantly. Audovald and six of the other dukes took part of their troops and went off to lay siege to the city of Milan. There emissaries arrived from the emperor, telling them that the emperor was sending to them aid and assistance, which would reach them within three days. They would know that they had arrived when they saw a village located on a high mountain burning, with the smoke rising to the sky. But when they had waited six days, they saw no one coming from anywhere, and there was no sign of their arrival. Cedinus and the other thirteen dukes turned towards the left part of Lombardy; they captured five castles, took the oaths of loyalty and fealty to king Childebert from the people, and then went on into the territory of a city named Trent. In this area they took ten castles, and enslaved all of the people. Ingenes, the bishop of Savone, and Agnellus, the bishop of Trent, begged and pleaded with the French to spare a castle which was called Ferruge. Because of their plea, the castle remained standing, but they levied a ransom of twelve deniers for each person, which came to a total of 600 sous [in Aimon and Paulus Diaconus, one solidus from each came to a total of 600 solidi]. It was summer then, and warm. Because they were unfamiliar with the country, and because of the unhealthiness of the air, a sickness, called dysentery, ran through the army. For three whole months they had fought in Lombardy; they went looking for the king of the land, but they could not find him, because he was safely in the city of Trent. And because this sickness struck the army with such severity that they could take no more, they returned to the country from which they had set out.
King Childebert passed from this world at the age of twenty-five, in the twenty-third year of his reign, since he was only two years old when he received the kingdom, and four when he received the kingdom of Burgundy; he and his wife died at the same time. Some thought that they had been poisoned. This king Childebert was the son of king Sigebert, and was called young Childebert, because there had been another before him; he had two sons who were still small and young; one was named Theudebert, and the younger Theuderic. The shared the kingdom in the following manner: Theudebert, the elder, held the kingdom of Austrasia, which his father held by lawful inheritance, and Theuderic, the younger, held the kingdom of Burgundy that king Guntram had given to their father. But From here to the end of the paragraph, Primat's gives geographical disquisition.] Because they did not know the exact boundaries of the kingdom of Austrasia, we say, according to what can be made out from the history, that this kingdom begins at Champagne la Rencienne as far as Lorraine, and on the other end extends as far as Germany. At that time the seat of the kingdom was in Metz. According to the opinion of some, it derived its name from the name of a prince named Austrases, who once reigned in that country, and in the opinion of others, from the name of a wind that comes from that region, called Auster.
Saint Gregory sent a letter to these two brothers and to Brundhild, their grandmother, to introduce saint Augustine, whom he had sent to England to convert the people. In this letter he mentioned sending to Brundhild the relics of saint Peter and of saint Paul, which she had asked for.
An incident. At this time the Huns came out of Pannonia and fought many bitter battles against the French in Lorraine, but queen Brunhilda and her grandchildren made them return to their own country by giving them gifts of money (The people who were called Huns then are now called Slavs, and the land that was called Pannonia is now called Slavonia).
Ago, the king of Lombardy, sent Agnelus, the bishop of Trident, to France, for the prisoners that the French had taken in the castles subject to that city; he brought back some whom Brunhild had ransomed with her own money [Aimon III.lxxxiv]. Then he sent Euvin, the duke of that same city, to France, to obtain peace and harmony with the French; he returned to his country when he had completed his task.
In the year that king Childebert died (596), queen Fredegund, swollen with pride because of the victory she had won against him, in the fashion we have described, assembled her army, from armed men of Paris and other cities of the kingdom of her son Lothar, and attacked the two brothers, Theudebert and Theuderic, who had also assembled their army. After a long, hard battle, Fredegund's people killed many of their enemies; those who escaped death fled.
In the second year of the reign of Theudebert and Theuderic, queen Fredegund died, old and full of days; she was buried in the abbey of Saint Vincent below Paris, in which her father, king Chilperic was buried. In the third year of the reign of these two kings, duke Wintrion was killed, entrapped by Brunhild. In the next year, Colains, who was of French lineage, became patrician and seneschal.
An incident. At this time a plague ran through the city of Marseille, and other cities of Provence; a swelling grew in the necks of people, quickly growing to the size of a small nut, resulting in death.
An incident. Into a lake near a castle named Dum, Mistranslation of Aimon III.85, who mentions no castle.] a river named the Arola flows, which became so hot and boiling at that time, that the fish were heaped up on the river banks, entirely cooked.
Garnicaires, mayor of the palace, died, leaving everything he owned to the poor.
King Theudebert and the barons of his kingdom expelled Brundhild from the land, for the murders and treachery she had performed. A poor man found her alone and distraught; she begged him to lead her to her other nephew, king Theuderic. When she arrived, she was received as his grandmother, for it seemed that he was compelled to treat her with honor. She stayed with him as long as he lived, but it would have been better for him had he banished her, for she later had him poisoned to death, as you will hear afterwards. As a reward for his service, she gave to the poor man who had brought her the bishopric of Auxerre.
An incident. In the fifth year of the reign of the two kings spoken of above, the same signs that had been seen earlier reappeared in the sky; great flashes of fire streaked the sky, like the traces of fire that had appeared several times in the sky; these signs occurred throughout the Western regions.
In the sixth year of the reign of Theudebert and Theuderic duke Ratin Catinus in Aimon.] was killed, and, in the next year, another man, named Egil, was killed without cause, by Brunhild's provocations. King Theudebert had a son, named Sigebert, by a concubine.
At that time king Theudebert and Theuderic fought against the Gascons, defeating and overcoming them in battle, and establishing a duke named Genial over them.
An incident. At that time Adoald was crowned king of the Lombards, by the will of his father Agilulph, in the presence of king Theudebert's emissaries, who asked for his daughter for their lord, and by this act, peace was confirmed between the French and the Lombards.
At this time the French fought against the Saxons, with great losses on both sides.
The two brothers, king Theudebert and king Theuderic, encouraged by Brundhild, finally showed their hatred of king Lothar, attacking him with a large army, at a river called the Orvanne; there were great losses on both sides, but especially by Lothar's people, an[d the river was so full of corpses that the water could not flow in its proper channel [Aimon III.87; Fredegar IV.xx].
During this battle, an angel was seen holding a bloody spear. When king Lothar saw that so many of his people were being killed, he fled, first to Melun, and from there to Paris. The two kings pursued him, laying waste a great part of the cities of the kingdom, compelling the citizens to submit to their authority, and forcing Lothar to make peace with them, on their terms. Under the terms of the peace, king Theudebert would hold all the territory between the Loire and the Seine, extending as far as the sea of Britanny, while king Theuderic would hold all the territory between the Seine and the Oise, as far as the sea-shore, and twelve counties between the Oise and the Seine would remain king Lothar's.
An incident. Saint Ethomins, bishop of Therouene [apparently Oeconius or Hiconius, bishop not of Therouanne Morinenesis, but of .us Maurianensis, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne], in that year found the bodies of three glorious confessors, saint Victor, saint Salodore [the name of a city, not of a saint] and saint Ursin, in a manner I shall describe to you. One night he was lying in bed, in the city of which he was bishop, when a holy revelation urged him to go quickly to a church that queen Sedeleuba of Burgundy had once founded outside the walls of Orleans [Geneva, actually; Genabum is Latin name for Orleans]. In the middle of the church he would find the place where the holy bodies were buried. The holy man got up, took two other bishops with him, Rusticius and Patricius, and went to the city of Orleans; there they spent three days in abstinence and prayer, and the next night a great brightness shone over the place where the holy bodies lay. They raised a stone that covered the relics, and they found them in a silver casket. The faces of the glorious friends of Our Lord shone seven times more brightly than that of any living man. King Theuderic was present at this sacred discovery, and gave to the place a great part of the treasure that Warnicar, the mayor of the palace, had bequeathed to the poor. Our Lord later provided many miracles at the tomb of these glorious confessors.
In that year (602) Aetherius, the bishop of Langres, He was the bishop of Lyons.] died; a man named Secundinus took his place.
In that year king Theuderic had a son by a concubine; he was named Childebert, after his grandfather.
In that year (602) a synod of bishops convened in the city of Chalon in Burgundy; Desiderius the bishop of Vienne, was removed from his see and sent into exile by the malice of Brunhild and Aridius, the archbishop of Lyons. The bishop who replaced him was named Domnolus.
In that year there was an eclipse of the sun.
In the ninth year of the reign of Theudebert, a son named Corbes was born to him.
At this time Berthoald, a wise, restrained man, strong in battle, and faithful to his lord, was count of the palace of king Theuderic. In matters entrusted to him, he behaved entirely in conformity with the king's own manner and style. There was another man in court, named Prothadius, a Roman, who was very close to Brunhild, and was her lover. As a result, she made him the duke of a duchy that had been held by duke Dalmares, In Fredegar and Aimon, Wandalmar.] and the more comfortable they grew with their sin, the more the desire of the queen to advance her lover and to raise him to a high position grew. As part of her plan to carry this out, in her presumption and eagerness she asked king Theuderic, her nephew, to order Berthoald to be killed, and to make Prothadius mayor of the palace. At this point the king had sent Berthoald with three hundred knights to defend Neustria, which is now called Normandy. But when king Lothar heard this, he sent Meroveus there, one of his sons, and Landry, the mayor of the palace, with many good men, to seize Neustria. Berthoald's spies notified him that his enemies were coming, and he saw that he did not have enough men to resist them for very long, without suffering very great losses. Therefore he fled to the city of Orleans. Saint Austrenus, the bishop, received him very willingly; Landry and Meroveus followed, with their whole army. He challenged Berthoald to come out to fight him; Berthoald replied: "You are confident because you have a large number of men, and you know very well that I don't have enough men with me to overcome you; but if you withdraw your men, with the understanding that you and I, without the aid of any of our men, no matter how badly either of us is doing, fight in single combat, then I shall come out to do battle with you." Landry refused the battle to which he was challenged, and Berthoald then said: "Because you do not dare fight me now, it won't be long before king Theuderic arrives to defend the part of the kingdom you have seized, and certainly your lord, king Lothar will also come. Then, when the two armies clash, you and I will fight hand-to-hand, with your permission; you will be able to feel my rage and to test your prowess and valor" [both Fredegar and Aimon give an additional detail, the colors they are to wear in order to be easily identifiable -- vermillion -- which Primat omits]. Landry agreed to this proposal, on condition that he who broke this agreement would be shamed and reproached perpetually. This happened on the feast day of Saint Martin.
When king Theuderic learned that king Lothar had seized that part of his kingdom, he set out with his army on the day of Our Lord's Nativity. When he reached Estampes, he drew up his battle lines at a section of the river Juine, against king Lothar, who was not slow in getting ready to face him, but because the river was narrow at that point, the battle had begun before all of king Lothar's army had crossed over. When the battle was at its height, and many men on both sides had been killed, Berthoald went looking for Landry on the battlefield, and dared him to come fight with him according to the agreement that they had previously made. But Landry, who heard the challenge very clearly, refused to fight, and retreated little by little. Berthoald, who cared little for his life, fought the strongest of his enemies in the battle, and because he knew that Brunhild was trying to take his position and his honor from him, and to put Prothadius in his place, preferred to die honorably on the battlefield rather than to end his days in dishonor. He began to fight too vigorously, pushing back his enemies, killing those who came near him with his sword. As he fought in this way, he went too far ahead of his own troops, and he found himself surrounded on all sides by his enemies. Because one man cannot hold out against many, he was killed fighting. At the end, luck turned against king Lothar's people; his son was captured in this battle. Landry and Lothar turned and fled when they saw their people defeated, and king Theuderic, victorious on the battlefield, pursued them as far as Paris, and entered the city.
I don't know how much later, king Theudebert came to Compiegne with king Lothar; then they ordered their armies to return without fighting.
In the tenth year of the reign of Theuderic, Prothadius, of whom we spoke above, became mayor of the palace, in accordance with the king's orders, and with Brunhild's wishes. He was a wise man, good at politics, but greedy, and covetous above all. In order to fill the king's treasury and to enrich himself, he oppressed the people, especially those who were wealthy; he oppressed the greatest and most noble of the Burgundian barons, taking everything from them by force, and without cause. He wanted to trample them all under foot, so that no one could harm him, or remove him from the position he was in. Therefore he could find no powerful man who would speak to him politely, or who had any love or affection for him.
But the faithless Brunhild, who had not yet forgotten that her other grandchild, king Theudebert, had sent her away and banished her from his sight and from the kingdom, was planning to take vengeance. She advised king Theuderic to ask his brother Theudebert for the treasures of their father that he had taken. She made him believe that he was the son of a gardener, and not of king Childebert, and that he should therefore not inherit the kingdom. Prothadius, on the other hand, advised him to follow the counsel of Brunhild, his grandmother. King Theuderic, who finally consented to their malice, called up his army and moved against his brother. He had them pitch their tents at a village called Quierzy. The next day he proposed to fight against king Theuderic, who was not far from there, with a large company of good knights of his realm. The barons and leading men of his army advised him to make peace with his brother, and not to shatter the beauty of fraternal loyalty out of evil greed. But Prothadius was against those who wanted to pursue peace, and said that it was not right to make peace so easily. All the barons saw clearly that he alone was against their plan and against what was good for the kingdom; they began to say that it would be better for him alone to die than to put the entire army in jeopardy. The king, who came out of his tent to look at his army, heard rumors that the barons wanted to kill Prothadius. To thwart their will, and to prevent them from doing any harm to him, he held his men back by force. Then he called a knight and told him to go to the barons, and to order them, in the king's name, not to lay a hand on Prothadius, nor to do him any harm. The knight to whom he gave this order, whose name was Uncelinus, went to the barons and told them the opposite of what the king had said to him. They were all ready to do the deed, and they surrounded the king's tent, where Prothadius was playing backgammon with a physician, whose name was Peter. Then Uncelinus said to them: "The king orders that Prothadius, a disturber of the peace, be killed." After these words, they all ran into the tent and killed the enemy of peace and harmony. Then they went to the king, eased his heart, and brought him to an agreement for peace; then they broke up their armies and each returned to his own country.
After Prothadius' death, the mayor of the palace was a Roman, like his predecessors; his name was Claudius, and he was a wise, loyal, eloquent man, pleasant and amiable to all, and very far-sighted, though remarkably fat [Aimon III.91.] He maintained peaceful relations with everyone, and even though he may naturally have had such impulses, he must have taken heed of what happened to his predecessor.
In the twelfth year of the reign of Theuderic, Uncelinus, who had been the cause of Prothadius' death, was not sufficiently on guard against Brundhild's connivings; she had one of his feet cut off and took all of his property from him, so that he dwelt in abject poverty. Volfus, another rich man, was killed on the king's orders, by the connivance of Brunhild, at a city called Faverny, because he had agreed to the killing of Prothadius. A concubine then produced for King Theuderic a son who was named Meroveus; he was lifted from the font by king Lothar.
King Theuderic recalled from exile Desiderius, bishop of Vienne, then, encouraged by Brundhild and Aridius, the archbishop of Lyons, had him stoned to death. But Our Lord, who graciously received his suffering, performed many miracles at his tomb.
At that time king Theuderic sent emissaries to Bertricius [Vitteric, Viard points out.] the king of Spain; the emissaries were Aridius, archbishop of Lyons, and Rocco and Eborinus, two of the higher nobility in the palace. The emissaries asked him to send his daughter, and to take the emissaries' oath that she would be proclaimed queen for all the days of her life. King Bertricius was very happy with this offer, and he gave his daughter to the emissaries, together with generous amounts of money and jewels. King Theuderic received her gladly, and was very pleased; for a while he loved her very much, but the faithless Brunhild cast a spell so that he no longer made love to her. The demon did even more, bringing the king to the point that he took her treasures and jewels from her, and sent her back to Spain; the woman's name was Mauberge, King Bertricius was very angry that his daughter had been rejected, and he sent a message to king Lothar, saying that if he wanted to avenge the wrongs that king Theuderic had done to him, he himself would willingly form an alliance with him, to avenge the shame that he had inflicted upon his daughter. King Lothar willing agreed to this, and sent the same emissaries to king Theudebert, to find out whether he would accompany them in this undertaking. He replied that he would willingly go with them. Then emissaries were sent to king Agilulph of Lombardy, to find out if he would join them as the fourth, in a joint attack against king Theuderic, whose purpose was to take his kingdom and his life. When king Theuderic heard that these four kings had made a conspiracy against him, he was very angry. The emissaries, content with the job they had done, then returned to the king of Spain, their lord.
In the fourteenth year of the reign of Theuderic and Theudebert (608-609), saint Columbanus left an island in the sea, which is called Ireland [Aimon III.94; Fredegar IV.36, which is taken nearly word-for-word from Jonas' life of St. Columbanus, Acta Sanctorum Ordinis sancti Benedicti, saec. II, pp. 17-20]. He arrived in the kingdom of Theudebert, who gladly received him. But when his life and goodness were known throughout the country, so many people from all parts of the country came to him that he did not wish to stay there, for he wanted above all to lead a solitary life. Therefore he left the country and went to Theuderic's kingdom, and lived in a place called Lieuberbiz [a misreading of Aimon; see BN lat. 5925, fol. 67 for split of lux and ovium] with the king's permission. The king himself often went down to visit him; the holy man often reproved the king for having abandoned the woman he had married for adulterous relationships with loose women, who did not belong to him. And because the king listened willingly to these chastisements and to his holy speech, Brundhild, who was inflamed by the urgings of the devil inside her, became angry and indignant towards him. One day saint Columbanus came to restrain her malice, to a city called Bruquele. [in Aimon, Bruchariacus; Viard adopts Krusch's suggestion of Bruyere-le Chatel]. When she saw him coming, she went out to meet him, with her two grandsons before her. She asked him to give them his blessing, because they were of royal lineage, but he replied that they should not hold the sceptre, because they were bastards. She was exceedingly provoked at what he said, and she ordered the children to leave; she herself followed them quickly. Saint Columbanus departed, and as soon as he left the room, a clap of thunder fell, so loud that the entire palace seemed to rumble; but even this did not frighten the serpentine heart of the queen, who, instead, grew angrier and more indignant at the holy man. She could not bear the idea that the king would marry, for if he chose a noble woman, and abandoned the women of base lineage, she was afraid that she herself would fall from her position of honor, and be exiled from the kingdom. She forbad saint Columbanus and the disciples who were with him to leave the church grounds. Then she ordered the knights and others of her entourage not to receive them in their homes. One day saint Columbanus went to her to urge her to revoke the order she had given to do him harm. On the day that he came there, to a city called Spinsi, it happened by chance that the king was with her; he was told that the holy man was outside the gates and that he did not want to come in. Then the king was very much afraid of the wrath of Our Lord, and he said that it was much better to honor the man of God, and to grant him what he needed, than to incur the wrath and ill-will of Our Lord for mistreating his servants. Then he ordered that a meal be prepared for him, and that he be given whatever he needed. All was done as he commanded. The palace servants brought enough food for him and his companions, but when the holy man saw them, he replied to them in the words of scripture: "Gifts from criminals are not pleasing to God, for his servants should not take gifts from those they know He hates." When he had said this, the vessels in which the king's servants had carried the food fell to pieces, and the vessels containing the wine broke and were smashed, and the wine spilled on the ground. The servants were very frightened, and returned to the king and told him what they had seen. Very much frightened, the king came to speak to the holy man, bringing with him his grandmother Brundhild. He asked pardon for what he had done wrong, that is, he begged Our Lord to forgive him, and promised that he would amend his life from that time forth. The holy man felt better because of the king's promises to lead a better life, and he returned to his church, but the promise that the king had made bore no fruit, for he wallowed in the filth of his lechery, doing exactly as he had before; nor did Brunhild's heart, nourished and hardened by malice, restrain itself, when corrected by the holy man, from doing further harm and persecution. Instead, she had the holy man sent into exile in a castle far from his own country, then had him recalled to do even worse, by sending him to Great Britain, so that, having crossed the sea, he would not return to France. The holy man, who did not intend to return to his land, because he did not want to go to England, went instead through the kingdom of Theudebert directly to Lombardy. There he founded an abbey, which was called Bobio (612), and a short while later he passed from this mortal life to heavenly joy, old and full of days.
King Theudebert, in an attempt to take some land from his brother, king Theuderic, and conquer him, sent his army against him in the fifteenth year of his reign (609-610). But, by the advice of some good men, who tried to establish peace between the brothers, a day of peace was agreed to at a place called Saloise (Seltz). There they agreed to come on a certain day, with only a small retinue, bringing with them the most important and wisest barons in order to come to an agreement quickly. King Theuderic brought only ten thousand men, but king Theudebert brought far too large a group of barons and other people, intending to break up the peace and accord if his brother would not submit to his will. King Theuderic was very much afraid when he saw how many people his brother had brought; therefore he agreed to the peace on his brother's terms, without good will on his own part. In this way the agreement was drawn up, with king Theudebert receiving the counties of Torene [Thurgovia, with additional complications in Aimon's text] and Champagne, to be held forever, with the lands and income as his own. Then they deparated, commending each other to God, in apparent grace and love, but their hearts and their wills were not in it.
In that year the Germans invaded the land of the Venetians [Primat's error generated by Aimon's mistranslation of Fredegar's in pago Aventicense, Avenches in Switzerland, as Veneticorum fines]. In command of these people were two leaders, one of whom was named Cambelins and the other Herpins. The Venetians (sic) fought against them, but were defeated and driven into the mountains. There they took refuge to avoid death. The Germans passed on, putting everyone to the sword, burning and looting the cities; they took some prisoners, and then returned to their own country, loaded with spoils.
In that year king Theudebert's wife, whose name was Belechild, died; Brunhild had made him marry her after buying her from a merchant, because she was extremely beautiful. He married another after her, whose name was Theudechild.
King Theuderic very much wanted to avenge himself against his brother, who had taken his land from him. He consulted his people on how he might harm his brother; following their advice, he sent this message to king Lothar: "I want to take vengeance against my brother for the wrongs and injuries he has committed against me, if I can be sure that you will not help him. Therefore I ask you to remain at peace, and to promise that you will give him no help against me, and if I win, and am able to take from him his life and his kingdom, I faithfully promise you that I shall give you the duchy of Dentelin, which he took from you by force." King Lothar willingly agreed to this, in accordance with the stated conditions. Then king Theuderic assembled, in the city of Langres, an army of the best and finest knights in his kingdom, and he moved his men against his brother. He passed by the newly-begun city of Verdun, and from there he went directly to the city of Toul [Viard points out here that Fredegar gives a more reliable itinerary] from the other direction, king Theudebert arrived, with a large army and with all the forces of the kingdom of Austrasia. They came together in battle; the fighting was intense and many were killed on both sides, but king Theudebert was finally defeated. When he saw that he was defeated, he fled, past the city of Metz and through the Vosges, finding a refuge in the city of Cologne. King Theuderic rushed as quickly as he could to pursue him. As he was pursuing his brother, he met saint Eleusin, bishop of Mascons. Actually Leudegasius of Mainz.] The holy man preached to him so well that he withdrew and returned. He went through the Ardennes, then came to a city called Tulbic (Zulpich). He went back more willingly because of the words of the holy man, for he knew very well that he spoke for his own good, and out of love, and he despised the folly and sin of his brother. Meanwhile, king Theudebert, who had fled to Cologne, prepared as large a force as he could gather, calling upon the Saxons and other German nations to help him. Then he came to fight his brother at the castle that I mentioned before, of Tulbic. The battle was bitter and long; king Theudebert held out as long as he could, sustaining great losses, as his enemies slaughtered his men like sheep. But when he saw that fortune was entirely against him, and that his losses were mounting, and he could no long wage effective resistance, he fled, giving the place to fortune and to his enemies. His men fled after him, for men brought together from different nations were quickly defeated, especially without a leader. Most of them were killed in flight; those who were left fled with the king to Cologne. At the beginning of the battle the fighting was so bitter and intense on both sides, and they attacked each other with such hardiness, that the dead remained on their horses as though they were still alive, nor were they able to fall, because they were packed in so closely with the living; they were pushed here and there by the movement of those battling. But when Theudebert's men began to lose, and to retreat, the dead fell to the ground in such numbers that the roads, the woods, and the fields were so packed with dead men, that all one could see was corpses.
When king Theuderic knew that his brother had escaped, he decided to pursue him, thinking that he could end the war and the fighting by killing such a great prince. He and his men set out in pursuit. He entered the country of the Ripuarians, burning and laying waste everything in his path. The inhabitants of the country came before him to beg that he spare the country, and not destroy it for the life of one man, for the country was entirely his to command, as though he had conquered it by right of battle. The king replied to them and said: "I do not wish to kill you, but my brother Theudebert, and if you wish to have my grace, and you want me to spare the country, you must bring me his head, or give him to me as a prisoner." They came to Cologne, entered the palace, and spoke to king Theudebert like this: "Your brother king Theuderic says that if you give him the part of your father's treasure that you seized, he will return to his own country, and leave this country to you; therefore we ask you to give up to him what he should have, and that you not allow our country to be destroyed because of this problem." The king agreed, certain that they were speaking the truth, and he led them to where the great wealth was. While he was thinking that he would be able to give his brother an amount that would not bother him too much, one of those near him drew his sword and cut off his head, then threw him out below the walls of the city. King Theuderic, who was well aware of what was going on, now entered the city and took the wealth that had been stored up in the treasury over such a long period of time. Then he made all the leading men of the city come before him in the church of Saint Gerion to receive homage from them, compelling them to both to pay homage to him and to swear fealty. While he was taking their oaths in front of the church, it seemed to him that some one struck a great blow at his chest or in his side. He turned towards his people and ordered them to shut the church doors quickly, so that no one might get out, for he thought that some traitor among those surrounding him wanted to kill him. When the doors were shut, his chamberlains disrobed him to see if he had any wound, but they found no blow of arms had been struck, only the sign of a blow, all red, which appeared in his side; it was thought that this was a sign and portent that he would die soon. When he had arranged everything as he wished, he left, loaded with great spoils, bringing with him his nephews, the sons of his brother, and their sister, who was very beautiful. He came to Metz, where he found Brunhild, his grandmother, who had come out to meet him. She took the children, king Theudebert's nephews, and killed them immediately. She struck Meroveus, the youngest of all, who was still in his alb, so powerfully with a stone, that she made his head fly [Fredegar attributes the murder to Thierry, not to Brunhild; no head flies in Aimon, but Primat may be influenced by the description later in this text of Brunhild's own death, during which her head, among other parts, flies off].
Thus king Theudebert was killed, and his children, as you have heard, in the seventeenth year of his reign, although some authors have written that, after the great victory that king Theuderic won against him, he fled beyond the Rhine, and when king Theuderic took Cologne, he sent one of his chamberlains, whose name was Berthar, to get him. When he was captured and brought before him, he had his royal garments removed, and sent him into exile in the city of Chalons. To Berthar, who had captured him, he gave his own horse, and a royal statue [Primat seems to have read Aimon's stratura as statura, thereby converting the royal "harness" into a statue] as a reward for his service.
King Theuderic gave to king Lothar the duchy previously mentioned, according to their agreement, because he had not helped his brother against him. Afterwards, however, when he saw that he was lord of two kingdoms, and that all of the barons of the kingdom that had belonged to his brother willingly obeyed him, he demanded that Lothar give back the duchy that he had been given, and if he was unwilling, he should know that Theuderic would be very quick to give him as much trouble, and in as many ways, as he could.
While king Theuderic was staying in the city of Metz, he was overcome with love for his niece, whom he had brought from Cologne, and he wanted to marry her. But Brunhild forbad it, and when he asked what harm it would do if he took her in marriage, she replied that he should not marry his niece, the daughter of his brother. When the king heard this speech, he became furious, and said to her: "Oh, you faithless woman, despised by God and by all the world, against everything good, didn't you insist that he was not my brother, but the son of a shoemaker? Why did you compel me to commit a sin by killing him, and, manipulated by you, to become my brother's murderer?" Saying this, he drew his sword and rushed at her to kill her, but the bystanders intervened and led her out of the hall; thus she escaped, this time, imminent death. From that point on she plotted to avenge this humiliation, and to bring about his death; she saw a chance to do this when he was taking a bath. To the ministers who surrounded him, whom she corrupted with promises and gifts, she gave poisons, and ordered them to give them to the king to drink when he was to come out of the bath. The king drank the poison that they offered him, and died instantly, without confessing, without repenting for the great sins that he had committed throughout his whole life.
When all the kings who had descended from the line of great king Clovis had died or been killed, and they had reigned since the time of their great-grandfather (d. 561), about fifty-one years, all four kingdoms reverted to king Lothar, the son of king Chilperic, and the father of good king Dagobert, who founded the church of Saint Denis in France. There were no more than three heirs who might be legitimate heirs; therefore Lothar had to inherit the entire kingdom. But Brunhild argued that Sigibert, the bastard son of king Theuderic, should reign over Austrasia, whose capital was at Metz; Theuderic had had four sons by women who were not his wives: Sigibert, Corbe, Childebert, and Meroveus. And because they were not, on their mothers' sides, noble or aristocratic, they were not equal in lineage, nor worthy to govern the kingdom. There was another reason they could not rule, for Brunhild was thought to have chosen one of them, so that he might carry the name only of king, without any power, and she, above all others, might then govern and direct the kingdom. The noble barons of the kingdom did not wish to be under the rule of such a woman for any length of time, and Brunhild therefore did not attain her goal.
While this was going on, Arnulf and Pepin, who were the two most powerful of the Austrasian barons, invited king Lothar to meet them at the castle of Cathoniac [Andernach, today.] When Brunhild, who was in another castle, whose name was Garmac [Worms, perhaps], heard that king Lothar was in this area, she demanded that he surrender the kingdom left by king Theuderic to his sons. King Lothar replied that she should convoke a meeting of barons, and she should consult with them on the common concerns of the kingdom, and he would be completely ready to obey their directions and regulations. Brunhild understood quite well that she would be outmaneuvered at such talks, and she would lose her case, if she waited for such a meeting. Therefore she sent Sigibert, the eldest son of king Theuderic, Garnier, the mayor of the palace, and Alboin, one of the leading Austrasian princes, beyond the Rhine, to Thuringia, to form an alliance with the people of that country against king Lothar. She suspected that Garnier, the mayor of the palace, might be planning treachery against her, and might go over to king Lothar. Therefore she swiftly sent letters to Alboin, telling him to have Garnier killed. When he had read the letters, he tore them up and threw the pieces to the ground. One of Garnier's friends picked up the pieces, put them together, copied them onto wax tablets, and secretly told Garnier what Brundhild had commanded. When he heard this, Garnier knew that his life was in danger, and he began to plan how to kill the sons of Theuderic, and how he himself might get back safely to king Lothar. When they reached the people whose aid and comfort they had been sent to obtain, he did the opposite of what he had been sent to do, winning their hearts and wills by his speech, so that they would not form an alliance with Brunhild, nor with her grandchildren. On his return, he came to Burgundy with Brundhild and with her grandson Sigibert, and secretly won over all the barons and prelates to his side, with the same arguments he had used with the Thuringians; since they particularly hated Brunhild for her cruelty and pride, they willingly promised to be ready to do his will.
When Garnier had made the necessary arrangements, he sent a message to king Lothar, that if the king wanted absolutely to insure that he would not lose his honor or his life, he should come bravely, and he would give him the two kingdoms and the entire barony. Then Sigibert and the Burgundians came to Champagne, near the city of Chalons, at a river called the Aisne. King Lothar arrived from another direction, together with the Neustrians; he had with him a great part of the barons of the kingdom of Austrasia, who had come over to his side. Their names were Arethees [in Aimon, Aletheus], Rocco, Sigoald, and Eudilanus. They were all dukes and the highest ranking nobles of their country; the battle lines were quickly drawn up on both sides. As they stood ready, Garnier gave a sign to his associates, according to a pre-arranged plan, to leave the field before the battle began. They all left the field, since their desire to fight was no greater than his. King Lothar proceeded apace [Aimon IV.1], for he intended to do them no harm, since he was sure that they were still on his side. Thus they went forward, and he after them, as far as a river called the Saone; there three of Theuderic's sons were captured: Sigebert, Corbes, and Meroveus, but the fourth, Childebert, fled and got away because his horse was swift, and no one knew what happened to him afterwards. King Lothar went to a city called Rione, where he found Brunhild and Theudeline, the sister of king Theuderic, whom Garnier and those who were associated with him had captured. Then the king had Sigebert and Corbe, Brunhild's grandchildren, killed in his presence, but he had Meroveus brought up carefully and well, because he had lifted him from the baptismal font.
The king ordered Brunhild brought before him, in the presence of all the barons who had come together from France, Burgundy, Austrasia and Normandy. Then he had the reason and opportunity to reveal how much he hated her. He had her beaten and tortured four times, then had her mounted on a camel and beaten with sticks as she was led through the entire army. Before killing her, he attacked her before all the assembled nobles, for her great brutality and treachery, in words like these: "Oh you cursed woman, subtle and clever at contriving stratagems to deceive everyone, how could such great faithlessness and such boundless cruelty enter your heart, that you have no shame or fear of killing, of poisoning and murdering the great and noble progeny of the kings of France? You have had ten kings killed, some of whom were killed by your advice, others by your own hands, others by poison you had given to them, not to mention the other counts and dukes who died because of your wickedness. You who are guilty of such great crimes should die as an example to all mankind. We know very well that king Sigibert, who was my uncle and your lord, rebelled against his brother, following your advice, and he died for it. Meroveus, who was my brother, conceived a hatred for his father because of you, for which he died a cruel death. King Chilperic, my father, you had treacherously murdered. I cannot relate the death of my dear father without grief and tears, for I shall remain an orphan, deprived of his support and guidance. I am ashamed to relate the hosts of blood brothers, the battles between close friends, and the deadly hatreds you have sown in the hearts of princes and barons, as torture and tempests for the palace and for the entire kingdom. Didn't you instigate war between your grandsons, so that one of them was killed? Theuderic, believing what you said, killed his brother, king Theudebert, because you made him think that he was not his relative, but was the son of a shoemaker. He killed his own son, Meroveus, with his own hands, because of you. It is well known that the eldest of the sons of your grandson Theudebert was killed by you; the younger, just born, and newly baptized, you threw so violently against a rock that you made his head fly. Furthermore, you poisoned king Theuderic, your own grandson, who had honored you. His bastard sons would not have inherited the kingdom had you moved against me in battle; three of them have died because of you. I shall not speak of the other dukes and barons who happened to be killed through your doing."
After the king had listed these things before the people, he turned towards the barons and said to them: "Gentlemen, noble princes of France, my companions and my knights, determine by what kind of death and by what kind of torture a woman who has created so much grief should die." They cried out that she should die by the most cruel death that could be devised. Then the king ordered that she be tied by the arms and hair to the tail of a young, untamed horse, and dragged through the entire army. As soon as the king gave this order, it was carried out. The first time the man who was on the horse dug his spurs in, the horse kicked up his heels with such force that Brunhild's head flew off. Her body was dragged through the bushes and brambles, over hills and dales, so that it was torn to pieces, limb from limb. Then the Sybil's prophecy, uttered far in the past, was fulfilled; a Brune would come from Spain, would cause the death of a great part of the kings of France, and would be torn to pieces by the feet of horses.
That was the end of queen Brunhild, a woman skilled and practiced in the death of her kinsmen. As soon as they were dead, she seized their treasures and their possessions. The power and prosperity of temporal things at her disposal made her proud that she had been raised above all other women. Nevertheless she was not entirely unbridled, for she had great reverence for the churches of the saints, both male and female, which the king and other good men had founded. She herself founded, in her own day, many abbeys and many churches. She founded the abbey of Saint Vincent outside the walls of Laon, another in the city of Autun, in honor of saint Martin; Syagrius, the honorable bishop of the city, supervised the work as her overseer. She founded many other churches in various places, in honor of saint Martin, for every day she placed more faith in him, and praised him above all other saints. She founded so many churches and other buildings which are still in the kingdom of France, in Avauterre
[in Austria -- Aimon], and in Burgundy, that one can scarcely believe that one woman could have built so much in her own lifetime.
During the time she was in power, there flourished in the kingdom of France, in holy opinion of good works, the following holy fathers: saint Aetherius, archbishop of Lyons; saint Syagrius, bishop of Autun; saint Desiderius, archbishop of Vienne; saint Aunarius, bishop of Auxerre; and saint Austrinus, his brother, bishop of Orleans; saint Lupus, archbishop of Sens; and saint Columbanus in hermitage, of whom we spoke earlier.
An incident. Austregisel [Aimon IV.ii] ,who was later archbishop of Bourges, as we shall tell you hereafter, was a valiant man, who was a member of the court in the time of king Guntram; he had been one of his servants, who held the towel for him when he washed his hands. One day he was accused of a crime before the king, without cause, by one of his enemies, who was treacherous and disloyal, as became clear later. The crime of which he was accused involved writing without the king's permission, but this he denied openly. Finally it became necessary for the king to order him to defend himself in a trial-by-combat, or he would be convicted of treason. He took up the challenge and said that he would defend himself with the aid of Our Lord. He got up in the morning, and had his arms carried to the field of battle, but he went to pray first in the church of Saint Marcel, and in other churches. He gave alms to a poor man whom he met, then began to pray, begging our Lord for counsel. This holy prayer was not fruitless, for when he got to the place where he was to fight in the presence of the king, an emissary arrived and told the king that Austregisel's opponent had fallen from his horse as he was riding to the field of battle, and had broken his neck. The king was very pleased with this news, and he turned to Austregisel and said: "Dear friend, rejoice and be happy, for Our Lord is your champion, and your enemy cannot hurt you." After these events, he was elected to the archbishopric of Bourges (in office 612-24). He led such a holy, pure life, that everyone marveled at his piety and goodness.
An incidents. While these things were happening in France, Maurice, the emperor of Constantinople, was killed, together with his three sons, Theodesius, Teribert, and Constantine, by an evil man named Phocas. This emperor had been good for all of his people; he often was victorious against his enemies. He beat the Huns, who are now called Slavs, many times. When he was at the height of his imperial power, he wanted to advance and authorize new sanctions and new heresies contrary to the divine faith. Several times saint Gregory, who was the apostle at that time, admonished him to change his position, but instead he conceived a great hatred towards the holy man for trying to correct his errors. He made many terrible threats, but his deeds did not match his threats; for this behavior, God chastised him, as you will hear. A monk, or a man who dressed like one, lived in the city; one day he went from one of the city gates to the middle of the market-place, with a naked sword in his hand, shouting that the emperor Maurice would be killed by a sword. When he heard this, he was very much afraid, and he called a friend, who was one of the provosts of justice, and told him to go speak to the holy men living apart in the desert. The emperor sent, through his friend, gifts of wax and other things, and asked them in all humility to beg Our Lord's mercy for him. He himself prayed to his creator night and day, begging him to punish him for his misdeeds in this mortal life, rather than to damn him, at the great day of judgement, to eternal death. When he returned from the hermitage, the provost said that the holy hermits had told him that Our Lord had heard his prayer, and that he would not suffer eternal death, but would lose his earthly honor, with great humiliation. The emperor was overjoyed to be assured that he would not lose the joy of paradise. Our Lord, who had pity on him, showed him such grace that he comforted him with a vision before his tribulation. One night, while he was lying in bed, it seemed to him that he was carried away before an image of Our Lord, which was at the gate of the palace. A voice came forth from this image, and it sounded exactly like the voice of a living man, and it said: "Give me Maurice." Then ministers of an unusual shape and brightness came forward, surrounding him, and leading him into the presence of this image. Again a voice came forth from the image, asking him if he would prefer to receive the rewards for his wrongdoings in this life, or wait until the general decision at the day of judgement. Maurice replied: "Good Jesus Christ, you who have redeemed the world by your passion and your blood, order me to be tormented before death for my sins, so that I need not fear your coming at the great day of judgment, and I may share the joy of paradise with your friends." Then the voice of the image said: "Deliver Maurice, his wife and his children to Phocas the knight."
The emperor woke up and began to think deeply about this vision. He sent for Philip, his son-in-law, whom he had several times in the past been encouraged by certain calumniators to suspect of having designs on the empire. Philip knew of the emperor's ill-will towards him, and when the emperor sent for him at such an hour, he was very much afraid, because he thought that the emperor's anger against him was very great. With tears and sighs he commended his wife to God, as though he would never see them again. When he entered the palace, the emperor ran up to him, fell at his feet, and humbly begged him to forgive whatever wrong he had done to him out of base suspicion. Philip was very much surprised and frightened that what was happening was entirely the opposite of what he had expected. He raised the emperor from the ground and said: "But sir, you must pardon me my wrongdoings." The emperor replied: "But you must pardon me." Then he asked him if he knew anyone of his people or of his army, in any rank or position, whose name was Phocas. He related the entire vision to him, and Philip said that he knew no knight by that name, but he knew that there was a man named Phocas among the foot soldiers of the constabulary of Priscus the seneschal. Nothing more was done until, a short time later, the emperor assembled his army to wage war against a people who had broken their agreements, and invaded Roman territory. When they had entered enemy territory, the emperor limited his troops' wages to what they could derive from pillaging and looting, giving them nothing of the wages they customarily received. In addition, he wanted them to spend the entire winter among their enemies, in barren land. This created great discord and dissension between himself and his troops; the oldest and the most powerful knights were angry, and they began to murmur and to say among themselves that this situation was intolerable, that the emperor, who was not an aristocrat, nor of Roman lineage, should not oppress and disturb them in this fashion, and that they would not long endure a foreign tyrant, since they had among themselves one who could govern well, and who was of Roman lineage. When they had made their plans, they went to this Phocas of whom we have spoken, who was one of their centurions, that is, the leader and constable of one hundred knights, and they asked him to take over the responsibility of governing the empire. They did not have to plead long, but he willingly took on the task. Then they removed his garments and dressed him in purple, with the imperial trappings. When Maurice, who had been emperor, heard what had happened, he fell into despair, but then drew comfort from the future that had been predicted for him in the vision. Therefore he gave in to Fortune, and fled to an island in the sea, together with his wife and children. Phocas, the emperor, had him pursued and killed, together with his wife and children. In this way, the dream and vision that he had seen were fulfilled.
Saint Gregory, who was then Pope, when he heard that Phocas was emperor, sent a letter, which was very eloquent, and filled with joy and congratulations, to him, and to his wife Leutheca, the August. In the time of this emperor, Gregory passed on to the glory of Paradise [22 feb 606; he became Pope 13 sept 604], full of holy works, as one who had illuminated holy church by his sacred writings and by his holy teaching. After him, another man, named Sabinian, took the office; he lasted for one year and five months, and was followed by Boniface (III). This Boniface is the one who asked the emperor Phocas to declare the church of Rome the head of all the others, because the Greeks of their time wanted to assert that theirs was the leader, and that they should have the see and authority over all the other churches. The emperor complied with his request, and ordered the Greeks to cease from this presumption, because the church of Rome should be the head and mistress of all others. The Pope also asked the emperor Phocas that one of the Roman temples, which was called the Pantheon, in which the ancient pagans used to make sacrifices to their idols, be purified, emptied, and consecrated in honor of Our Lady Saint Mary, and of all saints, male and female.
At this time, Cachanes [again, a title, Cacanus, not a proper name], the king of Slavonia, fought against the Lombards, killing their duke, whose name was Gisulph, together with a large part of his people, and laying siege to his wife, whose name was Romilda, in a city. Aimon IV.v, borrowing from Paulus Diac. IV.37.] King Cachanes was a very handsome man, and Romilda, much taken with his good looks, had such a great desire for him that she surrendered the city to him, on condition that she spend a night with him. She delivered the city in this manner. When he had captured the city, taken all the wealth, and enslaved the people, he lay one night with her, to fulfill his agreement. After that, he gave her to twelve Slavs, who each, one after the other, took his pleasure with her, as though she were a common whore. Then he had a large, sharp stake placed in the ground and ordered that she be placed on its point. When she had been speared through the body as a reward for her behavior, he said: "This is the kind of husband you deserve." The example of the destruction of this foolish woman should be kept in mind. If this king was somewhat cruel and treacherous, nevertheless he showed very clearly by this deed that she who committed the treachery displeased him. He thought that she would quickly have him killed, by treachery or by poison, if she stayed with him any longer, since she had betrayed her own children and her kin. Thus perished the treacherous woman, who desired the pleasures of the flesh more than the safety of her children and of the citizens of the city. Her daughters did not follow the example of their mother's lechery, but loved chastity, and because they did not wish to be corrupted or shamed, they took the stinking flesh of raw pigs and put it between their breasts, under their garments, relying on the stench and corruption of the rotting flesh to protect them against being touched by the barbarians. Exactly what they anticipated happened, for when these people foolishly wanted to touch them, they recoiled, because of the great stench of the rotten flesh, cursing them and saying that these Lombards all stank. Afterwards they were much honored, as was right, for having guarded the purity of their bodies and their chastity, for one became the queen of Germany, and the other became the duchess of Bavaria. The sons that duchess Romilda had had with her lord escaped when they saw the city captured. While they were fleeing, the youngest of them was captured by a barbarian who ran after him, because he had a faster horse than the others. The man who captured him did not want to kill him, because he was too young and too small, and because he was too good-looking (he had grey eyes, blond hair, and a white skin); he intended to keep him as a servant. When the child saw that he was being led into captivity, he began to groan and to sigh, and the heart in his little body began to grow more determined and courageous. He unsheathed the little sword, fit for his age and for a child's use, that he had on his belt, and struck the man who was leading him away on the head, with all the force he could muster, knocking him to the ground. When the child saw him fall, he gave rein to his horse and fled after his brothers. When they saw that he had escaped from the hands of his enemies, you know that they were very happy. Now we shall return to the order of the history. The child's name was Grimoald, and he died, king of the Lombards [in 671, according to Paul D.].
Thirty years after king Lothar had begun his reign (613-14), the monarchy and authority of three kingdoms had reverted into his hands, which, since the time of his grandfather, the first Lothar, had never been under the mastery of a single man. He made Garnier, of whom we have spoken, mayor of the palace, by whose counsel he had conquered the kingdom of Burgundy. He swore an oath never to depose him, nor to put anyone in his place, as long as he lived. In the kingdom of Austrasia he placed another man, named Radon, who was a good and honest man. In the kingdom of Burgundy he established Herpon baillif and governor. Herpon was French, and he loved peace and harmony above all else; he punished evil deeds severely. Because he happened to uphold loyalty and justice, he was finally killed by the people of the country, who were acting under the direction of Aletheus and Leudemont, bishop of a city named Sion. King Lothar and queen Beretrude came to a city named Maurelac [Marlenheim, near Strasbourg] where he ordered that justice be carried out against the criminals, who had been placed in prison for what they had done. Leudemont, bishop of the city named above, one day, on the advice of Aletheus, came to queen Beretrude, and secretly advised her to have her treasury brought to the city of Sion, because he knew for certain that king Lothar would die within the year. If she would do this, Aletheus, who was the highest ranking man in all of Burgundy, and of the noblest lineage, would put aside his wife, and take her in marriage, and govern the entire kingdom. The queen was enraged at these words, particularly because she thought that he imagined her to be a woman who would willingly consent to such a betrayal. Overcome with rage, she ran into her room and lay down in bed. Bishop Leudemont saw very clearly that his words had enraged the queen, and he knew very well that he would be brought to account for his words. Therefore he went to a good man who was an abbot, whose name was Eustase, and begged him to persuade the king to pardon the ill-will he had provoked by the words he had said to the queen. At the request of the good man, the king pardoned him, and he ordered him to return directly to his see, for he was not worried about him; but he summoned Aletheus to court. In the presence of all the barons, the king accused him of the crime of conspiracy, of lese majeste, and since he could not clear himself of the charges, he was condemned by the judgment of his peers. After the decision, the king had him taken and decapitated, as the law prescribes.
In the thirty-fourth year of his reign, the king summoned Garnier, the count of the palace, to court, as well as all the barons and prelates of the kingdom of Burgundy; to some he gave large gifts, to others he granted their petitions and requests; as a result, they were all good friends when the meeting was over.
Now the deeds of good king Dagobert begin.
As we have told you, king Lothar, the son of king Chilperic, was master of four kingdoms [Gesta Dagoberti regis Francorum I]. The four kings were Christian, beginning with powerful king Clovis, whom Saint Remy baptized, and the eighth beginning with Pharamond, the first of the four kings who preceded the Christian kings [The author of the Gesta Dagoberti does not speak of Pharmond and the kings who preceded Christianity. Primat repeats this information from his account of the first French kings]. After he had done so well that he held authority over four kingdoms entirely by the will of the greatest princes, he did many noble deeds, and won many a glorious victory. Among other things, he did a wonderful deed that is well worth remembering as a sign and memento, for those who come after him, of his high worth and power. When the Saxons revolted against him, he fought against them, totally defeating them by force of arms, subduing them by killing all their male heirs who were taller than the swords they carried in battle were long. This he did, so that the memory of the deed would teach others who were yet to be born not to revolt too readily against their lord. Such was the great power and bravery of the French in those days. But because we do not wish to interrupt the order of the history, we shall tell how he did this more clearly later. King Lothar was very gracious and behaved magnanimously; he was a man of great patience, and he feared God above all. He exalted and enriched holy church with gifts, he gave alms generously, and he was kind and merciful towards all people. He was literate, a noble and brave warrior, and an enthusiastic hunter in the woods.
At this point, the order of the history demands that we tell how and why the Lombards for a long time paid a tribute of 12,000 pounds to the kings of France, and why they lost two of their cities, Augusta and Seusium, which the kings of France held as long as they paid the tribute [This paragraph is not from GD, but from Aimon IV.7]. A long time ago, after the death of king Clef of Lombardy, all the princes of the land, by common agreement, established dukes, with the power that the kings formerly had, to govern the people. Then it happened, in the time of King Guntram of France, that the dukes of Lombardy assembled a large army and invaded King Guntram's land. They had an easy time, since they found the people of the country unprepared, and they returned with much booty and profit. And because they dared to do this, they lost the two previously mentioned cities in the march of the Burgundian kingdom, which borders on the Lombards. Then they arranged to send twelve emissaries to Constantinople, to confirm a peaceful alliance with the emperor Maurice; they also sent emissaries to France, to king Guntram and to king Childebert, his nephew, to ask for their friendship and their support in exchange for 12,00 pounds of tribute each year, and if the emissaries saw that they might have concord and their friendship for this promise, then they were to strive in every way possible for their good will, and to conclude an agreement. When all their emissaries had returned from the East and from the West, they submitted to the authority and to the protection of the French, and, in addition to the tribute, they gave them a valley named Ametegis. When these dukes had reigned a long time, the barons and the common people of the country elected a king, to govern them as before, whose name was Agilulph. Until the time of this king, they always paid the above-mentioned tribute. This king sent to France, to king Lothar, who was reigning at the time, three emissaries, Agilulfus, Gauto, and Pompey, who were to ask that the tribute which the Lombards had paid for so long be declared paid in full. But the emissaries, who saw clearly that they could not accomplish their task without giving large gifts, gave up to four thousand pounds to those whom they thought to be the closest advisers of the king; to the king himself they gave 36,000 pounds, begging him to end the tribute, and the king, who was merciful and courteous, freed them from this servitude. Then the emissaries, who had carried out their task well, returned home.
King Lothar had a son, whose mother was queen Berthetrude, and his name was Dagobert [Gesta Dag. ii-iv; Aimon Iv.xvii]. The child was very good-looking, graceful, and worthy in mind and body to govern the kingdom of France after his father. While he was still an infant, to give him the proper training, king Lothar gave him to Saint Arnulf, who, at that time, was bishop of Metz, to look after him, feed him, to show him how to behave well, and to instruct him in the teachings of the faith of the Holy Church. Afterwards, it happened that the child was chasing animals in the forest, according to the custom of the French, who take pleasure in this activity. He chased a stag, who was easily found. The crowd of barking, yelping dogs ran after him as though they were in a battle, and the stag was of great strength and speed, as such animals are, and tried in every possible way to shake loose from the dogs and to escape. It ran as hard as it could, over mountains and through valleys, through the woods and fields, swam across streams and rivers, with the dogs in pursuit. Finally, too tired to run any more, he reached a village which had only one street, which was called the rue Catulliana[Confusion of "village" and "street"; Catulliacus was the ancient name of St-Denis]. It was about five miles from this street to the city of Paris, which had been, a long time before, the capitol and see of the kingdom, in which the kings of France had always been accustomed to live and to wear the crown.
A long time before these things, which occurred in 629, happened, saint Denis had been martyred, together with saint Rusticus and saint Eleutherius, at the foot of a mountain called Montmartre, close to the city of Paris. One of them was a priest and the other two deacons. They suffered martyrdom under the emperor Domitian, who followed Nero in persecuting Christians. A good woman named Catulla lived in this street at the time that these things were happening; the street was named after her. She was the first to take the body of saint Denis, and then the bodies of his two companions, in a way that I shall relate to you. It is true that the glorious martyr saint Denis and his two companions were decapitated, and that he carried his own head, cut off at the neck by strokes of a blunt sword, as the prince had ordered, in his two hands, led by angels, as far as the rue Catulliana, of which you have heard. The pagans had his body and the bodies of his two companions taken and put in sacks, and they ordered that they be thrown into the deepest part of the Seine that could be found. Those to whom the order had been given took the bodies, and as they were carrying them to the Seine, to throw them in, since no one knew about them, and the Christians, who then believed in the faith, did not revere them, they turned and went into the house of the matron Catulla, as though God had ordained it. The good woman, who believed firmly in the faith, though not openly, out of fear of the pagans, saw and understood that these were the bodies of the martyrs saint Rusticus and saint Eleutherius. She gave those who were carrying them so much to drink that they got drunk and fell asleep. She then removed the holy bodies from the sacks and replaced them with two dead pigs, tying them up so that the change could not be detected. She then took the three holy bodies and buried them as properly and as secretly as she could, out of fear of the unbelievers. Over the spot where the precious treasure was, she set a sign, so that those who would come after might find it at some time. Thus they lay in the earth 530 years, and the place had no special nobility or ornament, except for its fame, and even though the ancient kings of France had provided for the place to be maintained decently, for the miracles that Our Lord performed there constantly, there was no one who treated the relics as they should have been treated. The reason for this was because the place was at that time in the jurisdiction of the bishop of Paris, who gave the benefice to whomever he pleased, and he to whom it had been given paid more attention to temporal goods, as many do in our own day, than to serving the martyrs and maintaining the place properly, and therefore the place fell into neglect. A small, poor chapel covered the martyrs, that saint Genevieve had built there, out of great piety, as they say. But, as we shall tell you later on, the name and the memory of the glorious martyrs was made known and revealed because of the good it did the world, and because, as Our Lord himself provided, the place which contained such great patrons in such poverty later was maintained with sovereign honor and reverence.
But, to return to my story, the stag which ran back and forth for a long time through the street, finally entered the chapel of the martyrs, and lay down on top of the tomb of the martyrs, like one totally exhausted. The dogs that had been following its scent ran directly to the chapel, barking and yapping, and they found the entrance open, just as the stag had found it. Although no one visible stood in their way, they were unable to enter, because the glorious martyrs prevented their hovel from being broken into or soiled by unclean beasts. Then you might have seen the stag resting safely, because he sensed that he had arrived at a secure refuge, and that he had good defenders. On the other hand, you might have seen the dogs running back and forth, barking to let the hunters know where the stag was; but they could not get into the house. At this point, young Dagobert arrived, rejoicing in the great hunt; he was astonished at the miracle that he saw. News of this spread through the whole country, and when the truth was established as a certainty, people were overwhelmed by it, and the place was held in great reverence; Dagobert himself honored it above all others. By these events one could forecast what it would later become, for no place ever was so sweet and so delightful as this was.
In the thirty-sixth year (619) of the reign of king Lothar, queen Berthtrude, the mother of the child Dagobert, died [GD v. ]. The king grieved much for her death, for he loved her greatly. All the princes and barons had loved her and much lamented the loss of her goodness and courtliness. He married another woman, whose name was Sichilda, and had a son with her, whose name was Charibert. Dagobert, the noble boy, changed and improved from day to day, growing more agreeable and better-behaved as he grew older, and his behavior as a child created a good opinion of him among the people; they thought that he would govern the kingdom of France well after his father's death. The king gave him a tutor to watch over him and to teach him, as is the custom with great princes, because he thought him good and loyal; he honored him greatly, giving him the duchy of Aquitaine, and he who was lifted from a low position to a high one became presumptuous because of the loftiness of his office, and became proud and envious of the child Dagobert, his rightful lord, and his madness and great presumptuousness grew to the point that he aspired to have the kingdom, because of the power that the king had given him, and, under pretence of love, he hid his true feelings towards the child. He was not long able to conceal his thoughts, although he did not dare show his intentions by any deed, out of fear of king Lothar; in any event, he sometimes showed the hatred he bore towards the child by treating the child badly. And since he saw clearly that people noticed, he offered the excuse that the child was still too young, and it was necessary to make him humble and to keep him in his place, so that his disposition, which was still raw and immature, might not grow prideful at having princes subject to him, and so that too early assumption of authority might not draw his attention away from his studies. All of this was told to the child Dagobert by those who clearly saw what was happening, and he himself saw it all clearly; his own perceptions were reinforced by the judgment of others. Because he was very certain, he thought that he would test him, and he looked for a time and place to find out what Sadragesil's true feelings were. One day it happened that king Lothar went hunting a long way off in the forest, and the child and his master remained in the palace, and when the child saw that he had the opportunity to carry out his plan, he called his master and told him to eat with him in private. And he who desired to have nothing less than the kingdom which would belong to the child, sat down directly opposite him, without giving him his due honor. The child held out his cup to him three times to offer him some drink, and he who deserved to be punished for his behavior the first time, took it from his hand, not as one should take it from one's lord, but as one would take it from a companion. When the child saw this, he was certain of the truth, and he showed what he felt, saying that this man was disloyal to his father, envious towards himself, hateful towards his companions, and that he would not tolerate the insults and discourtesies that this slave, raised above himself by riches, was doing to his rightful lord, and that he would take vengeance for this before he raised himself up to even more prideful heights. Then he gave orders to beat him vigorously, and he took a knife, and cut off his beard and his moustache; in those days the greatest insult and the greatest shame that one could do to a man was to cut off his beard. Then Sadragisel, who had desired to have the kingdom, because of the great power he had suddenly achieved, could understand how far he was from the position he had reached for. In the evening, king Lothar returned from hunting, and Sadragisel came before him, dishonored as he was. Weeping, he made his complaint to the king about what had been done to him, and about who had done it to him. The king was very angry at the prince's shame, and he began to threaten his son furiously, ordering that he be brought before him. The child, who knew that his father was angry with him, did not know what he could do, since he could not and should not go against his father. Then he thought that he might do something; he would go to the little house of the martyrs, where he would be safe, and he would be able to escape his father's wrath. He came there safely, and entered the chapel, showing by this act that he hoped that they who had prevented the dogs from entering their house might also protect him. His hopes were not disappointed, for things turned out as he thought they would. When his father heard that he had gone there, he became even angrier than he was before, and he sent servants on foot there, ordering them to bring him back immediately. They hurried to carry out his command, but when they were at a distance of a half league they were unable to move forward; they returned to the king and told him what had happened to them, and how they had been stopped by divine power. He did not believe them, but thought that they had disobeyed his orders in order to protect his son. He sent others, ordering them to carry out carefully what the others had failed to do out of negligence, but the same thing happened to them that had happened to the first ones; they returned to the king and told him what the first ones had told him. But the king's pride was so fierce that he could not restrain his anger, and he tried himself to do what his ministers were unable to do.
While these things were going on, the child Dagobert, praying to the holy bodies, fell asleep on their tombs; as he slept, face down, he saw in his sleep three men standing before him, of noble demeanour, and dressed in shining robes. One of them had white hair, and seemed to have more authority than the others. He addressed him, and spoke to him in this way: "Oh you, young man lying here, know that we are those of whom you have heard, Rusticus and Eleutherius who suffered martyrdom for the love of Our Lord, while preaching the Christian faith. Here below you our bodies lie buried, but because the bareness of our tombs that you see, and the poverty of this little house have dishonored and tainted our memories, if you are willing to promise that you will adorn our tombs and hold them in great honor, we shall deliver you from the trouble from which you suffer, out of fear of your father, and we shall aid you in all your needs, by the will of Our Lord. And so that you will not think that this is an illusion and a fantasy, as often happens in sleep, we shall give you a clear sign of the truth, for if you have a hole dug at this spot, you will find our coffins, with letters written on each, telling who lies within it." Then the child Dagobert awoke, and he was joyful and astonished at the words and at the comfort that he had had in this vision; thus the martyrs foresaw his later noble accomplishments.
King Lothar, who wanted to take his son out of the martyrs' house himself, approached the place with a large company of men; but the divine power, which accomplishes its will with kings as well as with other men, chastised him as it had previously done to his servants, and he who punishes others who do wrong was himself punished. This event demonstrates that no matter how powerful a man is, he must obey one more powerful than he, for the martyrs defended their guest, who had fled to them for safety, and chastised from afar their enemies, who could not get near them. King Lothar was astonished by this miracle, and his heart was appeased, and he put aside his great wrath, entirely pardoning his son's behavior. The child came out and returned to the palace, and recovered his father's favor and love. The child Dagobert, who had clearly seen the power of the martyrs, prayed devoutly and often to them, and he gave them much gold and silver to adorn their memories, and great possessions and incomes to exalt the place, as we shall explain more directly later on. King Lothar summoned his son Dagobert a short time later and made him companion and partner of the kingdom. Thirty-nine years after he had begun his reign, he gave his son the entire kingdom of Austrasia to govern, while he retained the area as far as the forest of the Vosges and Ardenes, in Neustria and Burgundy.
An incident. Saint Fara (c. 595-657) performed good works at this time in the kingdom of France, imitating the sanctity of saint Faro, her brother; he was a count who became a cleric, and then bishop of Meaux. At this same time, lived saint Cunibert, archbishop of Cologne, saint John, bishop of Tongres, saint Sulpicius, and saint Isidore (d. 636).
King Dagobert, outfitted in every way like a king, as his father wished, came to France from the kingdom of Austrasia, with a large company of his barons. At Clichy, near Paris, he married Gomatrude, the cousin of queen Sichilda, his stepmother. About three days after the wedding, there was strife between him and his father king Lothar, because king Dagobert wanted to be permitted to enjoy all the rights of ruling Austrasia, but his father would not agree to this. Finally they compromised, and twelve noble and loyal Frenchmen were chosen to end the strife between father and son. One was saint Arnulf, bishop of Metz, and other prelates were with him to help establish peace between the father and the son, as was appropriate for his sanctity. The bishop and the wise men who had been chosen for this task managed to bring them together, and the king gave his son what belonged to the kingdom of Austrasia; but he retained the land up to the forest of Ardennes.
An incident. In the fortieth year of the reign of king Lothar, a merchant named Samon, who was French, and born in the country of Sanz, went to Slavonia to do some trading, together with a group of other merchants. He arrived exactly at the point that the Slavs, who were also called the Guim [i.e., the Wends], were trying forcibly to free themselves from subjection and servitude to the Huns, who are also called the Avare, because, under them, they were held in such low esteem that when they fought against their enemies, they guarded their homes from those who were fighting, and gave them aid when they needed it. However, that did not prevent them from inflicting much shame and persecution on the Slavs, and they were so brutal to them that you would not have thought that they were men commanding other men, but wild beasts commanding old mares. Among the other cruelties that that perpetrated on them, which are so horrible to hear, they shamed and humiliated them in an unheard-of way: they went into their very homes, to spend the winter, took their wives by force, and slept with them. Such grief and troubles they brought to them. The Huns, who are called Slavs, suffered so, that when the children that the Guim engendered upon their wives were fully grown, and when they saw the suffering that their own fathers inflicted on their stepfathers, they would not tolerate it, but prepared to battle against their fathers. At this point Samo and his companions, of whom we spoke above, came into the country, and took sides with the Slavs against the Guim. The Guim were defeated by their own children. In this battle Samo and his men were so brave and daring that they gave a fine example of prowess and chivalry to everyone, as they rushed into the most dangerous skirmishes in the battle, and killed remarkable numbers of their enemies. For his prowess, the Slavs took him as their king, for they were very pleased with his strength and daring. In this way a man who had been a merchant became a king. He reigned 36 years, governed his kingdom nobly, and won many battles, and, because he always made use of good counsel, he won all his battles. He had twelve wives in his time, natives of the country, of Slavic extraction; with them he had 22 sons and 15 daughters.
An incident. Adoald [Aimon IV.x], the son of Aginulf, who was surnamed Zagon, king of the Lombards, reigned after his father (d. 615). After reigning 10 years, together with his mother, queen Theodelinda, he went out of his mind from drinking a potion given to him in his bath by an emissary who had come to him from the emperor of Constantinople; the emissary's name was Eusebius. He advised and urged that up to 12 of the noblest men of Lombardy be killed. When the others saw his rage, they drove him from the kingdom and crowned another man, named Arioald, who had been the count of Thuringia [actually Turin; another misunderstanding by Primat]. He had married Gundeberga, the daughter of Ebroualt, the king of Germany [Primat's error, translating the Latin germana, which means "cousin" in Aimon]. This lady was good, beautiful, and chaste. One day it happened that she began to praise a good-looking Lombard, who was a high-ranking man in his country, and his name was Adalulf. He found out that the queen had praised his beauty, and he thought that she was passionately in love with him. At a certain time he went up to her and whispered these words in her ear: "Lady, since it has pleased your good will to have praised my handsome appearance, I beg you that it may please you to accept me as the companion of your bed." The queen, who was outraged and furious with this speech, turned towards him and spit in his face. Then he was afraid that she would reveal what had happened, and he planned treachery; he went to the king and spoke to him like this: "King, if you would listen to me, I would tell you something that would be useful." The king drew him to one side, and he began his treacherous plot against the good woman. "Thasso," he said, "the count of Tuscany, has spoken secretly for three days with the queen, and I know very well that they are plotting to poison you, so that he can marry her after your death." The king believed the traitor, and had the queen seized and locked up in a strong castle in Italy, called Amello. When Lothar, the king of France, heard this, he upbraided king Arioald by emissaries, and told him that he not acted correctly or reasonably when he permitted his wife, the queen, born of French royal lineage [actually not: see Greg IV.ix and Paul D. I.xxi], to be defamed and abused, without examining the accusation, and without the judgment of law. King Arioald replied to the emissaries that he had good reason to keep her in prison. Then a man named Ensoualz said to him: "King, the truth of this accusation will quickly be tested, if you will permit one of the queen's friends to fight in hand-to-hand combat against her accuser." The king praised this solution, and willingly agreed. Adarulf took up the challenge, since he was very much afraid to refuse it. Arisbert, one of the queen's cousins, sent against him a knight named Puto [in Paulus Diaconus IV.xlvii his name is Carellus]. They fought, and the traitor was quickly defeated and killed; in this way queen Gondeberg was freed after having been in prison three years, and the king took her back in his good graces, as before.
In the forty-first year of the reign of king Lothar, his son, king Dagobert, was governing the kingdom of Austrasia nobly; in his palace, there was a knight of the highest lineage, named Rodaold, to whom he gave great wealth and power, on the advice of saint Arnulf, bishop of Metz, and of Pepin, the mayor of the palace [Viard points out that Rodaold was punished on their advice]. But Rodaold did not use the honor that the king gave him wisely, but showed outrageous ill-will towards him, taking by force many other things, without cause. He became so uncontrollably overweening, that he gave good material for attacking him to those who hated and envied him. For these and other reasons, the king was set to have him killed. Rodaold, however, in great fear, fled to king Lothar, whom he begged to plea for him with his son, king Dagobert, that his ill-will be pardoned, and his life be spared. King Lothar did so, and Dagobert promised that he might hope for his life if he mended his ways. Some time later he came, together with king Dagobert, to the city of Treves. One day he was standing before the door of the king's room (we don't know if he had done anything wrong, because the history says nothing about it); when the king saw him, he ordered a knight named Berthar to cut off his head, without delay.
King Dagobert, a fine-looking young man, noble, strong, courageous, physically well-co-ordinated, flexible, charming, a prince gifted in every way, governed the kingdom of Austrasia, to which his father had sent him, wisely, and he was successful in all his deeds and all his undertakings. He relied on the advice of saint Arnulf, and of a noble prince who was master of the palace, whom his father king Lothar had assigned to him, and whose name was Pepin. The Austrasian French, who lived near the Rhine in the sovereign parts of Gaul, accepted him willingly, and crowned him with great solemnity.
Some chronicles say that the kingdom of Austrasia, whose capital is usually at Metz, was sometimes called Lorraine, and that it included all of Avauterre [Primat uses 'Avauterre' to translate the Latiin chronicles' 'Austrasia.'] and all of the Germany up to the Rhine, and a part of Hungary up to the borders of Austria.
The Saxon, who were always rebellious and never at peace, got together, collecting many nations and many kinds of people, and came up against king Dagobert with a remarkable army. They had a leader named duke Berthoald, and king Dagobert, who did not prepare himself less vigorously crossed the Rhine and joined battle with them. His enemies, who fought fiercely, gave him a hard battle, for there were very many of them. In the battle, Dagobert's helmet was struck so hard by a sword that the armor could not prevent the blow from cutting a piece of his head off, with all the hair. It fell to the ground, and Attila (another mix-up), his squire, got down from his horse and picked it up. When Dagobert saw that he was wounded, and his men in disarray, he called Attila his squire and said to him: "Go quickly to my father, carry to him the piece of my head with all the hair, and tell him to hurry to help me before my whole army is killed." He crossed the Rhine and rode as quickly as he could to the forest of the Ardennes, and came to a place called Longlier, where king Lothar was at the time. When he told him what had happened, and showed him the piece of his son's head, with all the hair, Lothar was deeply troubled with heart-felt grief. He had the horns and trumpets sounded, and moved by night, with the whole French army, crossing the Rhine with great speed, and reaching his son. When the father, the son, and their two armies were united, there was great joy; they set up their tents at the side of a river called the Weser. Berthoald, the duke of the Saxons, who was on the other side of the river, ready to fight, asked his people what was all the noise and commotion that was going on in the French army. They replied that king Lothar had come to help his son, and therefore the French were rejoicing. Then he began to laugh loudly, and he said: "You're lying, it isn't him, because we have heard that he is dead, but you think it's him because you're so afraid of him." King Lothar, who heard these words clearly, stood at the other bank of the river, removed his helmet from his head, revealing his hair, which was partially white. When he had bared his head entirely, Berthoald recognized the king, and began to insult him scornfully: "Are you there, are you there, old bald beast?" [a change from Gesta Dagoberti, which has: Tu hic eras bale jumentum, where bale apparently refers to the mixed color of the horse's hair] The king, who clearly heard the insult that he shouted, was very angry, and deeply disturbed; he spurred on his horse, and angrily entered the water; the horse swam across, reaching the other side quickly. When Berthoald saw him cross over, he fled, followed by the king, so proud and courageous was he. King Dagobert and the French army followed king Lothar, who pursued duke Berthoald until he caught up with him; he fought him vigorously, and when Berthoald saw that he was in great trouble and could not last much longer, he said: "Oh you, king, go back to your people, so that I do not kill you by chance, for if you happen to kill me, it will be said that the great king Lothar killed one of his own servants." However, the king, for all these words, would not let up, but he fought more bitterly and all the more strongly. The French who rode behind him cried out from afar: "King, king, take comfort and take heart against your enemy." The king's arms were very heavy, for the hauberk he was wearing was wet with water from the river he had swum across, as were his chest, and the arms he wore. They fought long and hard, until the king struck him a mortal blow. He cut off his head, and returned to the French with his opponent's entire head. He went on into Saxony, laid waste the whole country with fire, and he left no male heirs alive who were taller than the length of a sword. He left this sign of his memory in the region, so that their descendants would know that the deceit and faithlessness of the Saxons had been so great back then, and the courage of the French and the power of the French kings had been so great.
An incident. At this time, Bertricus, the king of Spain, died. He was succeeded by Sisbodus [Primat here repeats Fredegar's error; Sisebodus succeeded Gundemar, not Bertricus], a noble man, strong in battle, wise in counsel, faithful and loyal. He surpassed all the Gothic kings who had ruled before him in Spain. He conquered a land which used to be called Cantabria, and now is called Catalonia. The ancient kings of France controlled this country through a duke, who was named Francion; he held it from them, and paid them tribute for it. When he died, the knights and people of the emperor of Constantinople, who guarded the borders of Spain for him against the Goths and other nations, conquered it. But king Sisbodus took it from them by force, and he also took many other cities along the coast, destroying them and reducing them to rubble. It sometimes happened that, when his people had killed the knights and people they found in the cities that they conquered, king Sisbodus had great pity for them, and he summoned them and blamed them for not coming to him for protection, or for not fleeing to save their lives. And then he said, with great sighs and groans: "Ah, what a wretch am I, that such great killing of people, and such great bloodshed should take place during my reign." Thus the kingdom of the Goths who lived in Spain in those days increased and multiplied along the shores of the sea up to the Pyrenees.
In the forty-third year of the reign of king Lothar, Garnier, the mayor of the palace of the kingdom of Burgundy, died. He had a son named Godin, who, out of the foolishness of his heart, married his step-mother, in violation of canon law and the law of marriage. King Lothar, who was disturbed by this action, ordered Aunobert, who governed the kingdom on his behalf, to kill Godin for having violated the law of holy Church. Godin was very frightened when he heard that the order had been given. He abandoned Burgundy, and fled for safety to Austrasia, to king Dagobert, and begged him to restrain and mollify his father's ill-will towards him, and to get him to repeal the order he had given. King Dagobert asked his father to repeal the sentence he had pronounced, out of love for the provost Garnier, Godin's father, who had long and loyally served him. King Lothar granted his son's request, but on condition that he leave the stepmother he had married in violation of canon law. He left his wife, as the king had commanded, and returned to Burgundy, with the king's surety. But things turned out differently from what he had expected, for his step-mother, who was very unhappy with what she perceived to be the shame he had inflicted upon her by abandoning her, summoned the stubbornness and faithlessness of a woman and went to king Lothar, telling him directly that Godin would kill the king, if he could manage to come into his presence. Her words aroused the king's suspicions, and he ordered Godin to swear an oath that he had no such intentions. Cranulf and Gandelbert, two of the king's servants, made Godin swear, in the church of Saint Medard of Soissons and in the church of Saint Vincent of Paris, that he had had no ill-will against the king, and no intention of doing him harm. This did not clear him entirely, but they wanted him to give the same oath in the church of Saint Anianus of Orleans, and in the church of Saint Martin of Tours. On the way to Tours, while he was sitting at dinner with his companions, in the city of Chartres, Cranulf and Gandebert, whom we have mentioned before, sent people to kill him, with the king's consent, as people think. Attacked suddenly, he and his men tried, but were unable to defend themselves, and Godin was killed.
An incident. In this year Palladius and Sedocus, one of his sons, who was bishop of Toulouse, were exiled, because the duke Anianus accused them of culpability and consent in the war with the Gascons.
In this year duke Aberbert killed Boso, the son of Audolenus, who was born in Estampes; he did this, people think, on king Lothar's orders, who suspected him of lying with queen Sichilda.
An incident. At this time, 630 years after the Incarnation of Our Lord, the heresy of Mahomet, the false prophet, began, together with the false law that the Saracens uphold.
In this year, king Lothar assembled all the highest barons of the kingdom of Burgundy in the city of Troyes. When they were all assembled, he asked them what princes of the palace they wanted to govern the country, and they all replied that they wanted no one but him, because to grant authority to anyone else would not please them. The king was very happy with this, and was very well satisfied with their response.
Afterwards, a council of prelates assembled, and the barons were called to a city named Clippi [Saint-Ouen today; the year was 626 or 627.] to establish laws and ordinances that might be useful for holy Church and for the peace of the kingdom. While this council was in session, Hermaires, one of the leading men of the kingdom, was killed; he was mayor and governor of the palace of king Charibert, the son of king Lothar, and he had brought him up from infancy. The name of the man who killed him was Aginanus, a Saxon, and one of the leading men at the palace. The killing produced great strife at court, which would have led men to do violence to each other, had not the king, who knew the reason for the strife, suppressed the arguing and chaos by the authority of his command. To Aginanus, who had done the killing, he assigned a place and the means to get there, on a mountain which is called Marcomires (Montmartre), and he sent with him a large number of armed men to help him, if need be. Brunulf, another prince, queen Sichild's brother, and king Charibert's uncle, whose seneschal had been killed, assembled a great number of nobles and of his own people, to fight against Aginanus. But when the king heard of this, he called a group of men who were called' Leudain'; they were the ones most eager to avenge the death of Hermaire, and he ordered them to remain peaceful, and to restrain themselves from fighting against Aginane, if they wanted to have his affection and good will. They restrained themselves, remained peaceful, not daring to do anything more. Thus the king ended the contention and defused the battle which would have taken place among the barons.
Saint Sulpicius, who was then archdeacon, and afterwards archbishop of Bourges, cured king Lothar, by the will of God, of a high fever from which he suffered for a long time. But before he was cured, he had to fast for three days.
In this king's time, many holy men lived, doing good works in the kingdom of France. Saint Lupus, archbishop of Sens, lived then, to whom he did much damage by evil counsel, for he removed him from his see and sent him into exile. This good man, saint Lupus, was of great sanctity and great perfection, as is clear in the accounts of his deeds, for it happened one day that he was celebrating the holy sacrament at the altar, when a precious stone fell into the chalice which held the precious body and the precious blood of our Lord. The king repented the damage he done the holy man, recalled him from exile, brought him into his presence, and asked to be forgiven for having treated him badly. The holy man pardoned him sincerely, and the king gave him whatever gifts he would take, and sent him back to his place honorably.
Saint Eligius, who was bishop of Noion and the best and most skillful goldsmith on earth, also lived in his time. He left Limoges and the country where he had been born, and came to king Lothar in France. One day he sent a message to the king that he would forge a golden saddle, which was appropriate for a man like Lothar; he sent him gold and whatever payment was appropriate, and the holy man, whose heart and hands were without a taint of greed, divided the gold that he had received for making the single saddle into two parts; out of one part he made a saddle of the size and weight that had been ordered; out of the other part, the remnants, he made another, smaller and lighter, so that the remnants would not be lost or carelessly wasted, and so that he would not have any occasion for covetousness. The king praised him very much, as did everyone who saw it, and he commanded Eligius to remain in the palace.
King Lothar died in the year of the Incarnation of Our Lord 650 [actually in 629] in the forty-fourth year of the reign he received from his father [forty-sixth actually], the sixteenth of the reign of the monarchy. He was called Lothar the second, after his grandfather, the first Lothar, and we shall speak of a third Lothar later. Of this Lothar one may say many good things. He was a man of great patience, well-read, and full of fear of Our Lord; he gave what they needed to the poor, and to churches and to priests he gave advice and comfort. He was buried in the abbey of Saint Vincent, outside of Paris.
King Dagobert was in the kingdom of Austrasia when his father, king Lothar died. When he was certain of his death, he sent some of his barons, with a large army, to the kingdoms of France and of Burgundy to prepare for his return, and to facilitate his taking power without any interference. He did not wait long to follow them. When he reached the city of Rheims, all the prelates and princes of Burgundy, who had received the order from those who had been sent ahead, came and welcomed him with good will as their lord, and pledged themselves to him. In addition, the bishops and leading nobles of France and of Normandy came, and offered the same agreements that the Burgundians had.
King Dagobert had a brother, whose name was Charibert, of whom we have spoken, whom his father had crowned, with authority over one part of the kingdom; he was a brother through his father only, for he was the son of queen Sichild, his step-mother. He tried as hard as he could to hold his father's kingdom; he was a simple man, and therefore could not attain his aspiration. His uncle Brunulf, the brother of his mother Sichild, wanted to put his nephew in control of the kingdom by force, in spite of king Dagobert's legal rights. But things turned out differently from what he had intended, as the end of this story shows. The history says nothing about this. When king Dagobert was in possession of all the kingdoms his father had held, of France, of Austrasia, and of Burgundy, he was moved with pity for his brother, for he was naturally loyal and open. After consulting with good men, he gave him part of the kingdom; because he was the product of a legitimate marriage, he gave him enough land to support himself honorably: all of Toulouse, Cahors, Agen, Perigord, Saintonge, and all the country beyond, as far as the Pyrenees. He gave him all these sections, cities, castles, towns and cities, on condition that he never lay claim to his father's kingdom, neither he nor his heir, and king Charibert established the seat of his kingdom in the city of Toulouse. Four years after he had begun his reign, he moved his army to fight in Gascony, conquered the land, made it submit to his rule, and expanded his kingdom in the lands beyond. King Dagobert held all of France, Neustria (which is now Normandy), all of Burgundy and all of Austrasia, which contained Lorraine, Avauterre, and all of Germany up to the Rhine. Now we must describe his life and deeds as briefly as possible.
As you have heard, king Dagobert held his father's kingdom by the will of Our Lord. Among other things that he did that are praiseworthy, he did one that should remain in men's memories forever. He did not forget the vow and the promise he had made to the martyr saint Denis and to his companions, but he came to the place where the holy bodies lay, and had the earth opened. He had them dig deep enough to find the coffins and the letters written on them that gave the names of those who lay within them. He had them taken out, with great devotion, and brought to another place on the same street, where they still lie, in the year of the Incarnation 630, on the tenth of the kalends of May [Viard corrects the date to 22 April 626]. He had rich caskets made, adorned with pure gold and precious jewels; he had a church built, as fine as possible, and although the interior he had made was remarkably beautiful, it was not enough for him, but he covered the outside of the church with pure silver, directly above the part that covered the tabernacles of the holy bodies. Then he established 100 pounds of income to purchase candles for the church, out of the tax paid each year in the city of Marseilles, and he ordered that the royal ministers, who were set up there to collect the income for the palace, should buy the finest oil, like that reserved for the king's own use, to be given to the ministers and emissaries of the church. And because he wanted this done generously, he issued an ordinance, sealed with his own ring, that the the six wagons that would bring the oil should be free of tax, and all other payments, at Marseilles, Valence, and Lyons, and all other places passed through, until they reached the church. Afterwards, he had a silver vessel made, which is called a gazophile, and he had it placed to one side of the main altar of the church, so that offerings might be placed in it, and he ordered that the offerings be distributed to the poor by the hand of one of the priests of the church, so that the alms would be given secretly, in accordance with the Bible, so that Our Lord, who sees everything, might give to each man the fruit of his good deeds in everlasting life. To give more generously to the poor, he sent, on the calends of every September, another 100 pounds, ordering that this money be placed in the gazophile, together with the offerings, in the hope that Our Lord would reward him for it after death, and he decreed that his sons, and all who would succeed him, would continue to place, on the specified day, the designated sum of money in the gazophile, and that no one should ever remove any of it, but it all should be distributed to the poor. Thus this money and the offerings and other alms that good people put in it, would comfort and support the poor and the pilgrims forever.
Afterwards, he commanded saint Eligius, who, at that time, was the finest goldsmith who had ever been known in the kingdom of France, to forge a large golden cross, the richest and the most exquisite he could imagine, to be placed behind the main altar of the church. And the holy man, with the aid of God and his own sanctity, made one, out of pure gold and very pure, precious jewels, so that the work made everyone who saw it marvel at the craft and workmanship of the holy man who forged it. For the best and most competent goldsmiths of our own day testify that scarcely anyone can be found today who is a craftsman good enough to make such a work, especially since the practice and techniques of such craftsmanship have been forgotten. Then he carried out the wish to adorn the inside of the church with hangings and very rich cloths of silk and pearls, and other precious stones, to be attached to the walls, to the columns, and to the arches at the annual holidays and other ceremonial occasions. He had such great love of his patrons and defenders, that he wanted their church to be incomparably superior in riches and adornments to all other churches, so that it would shine, entirely beautiful and noble. It is not easy to tell how much income and possessions he bestowed upon the church, in terms of castles, woods, and towns, because he wanted the name and the praise of Our Lord forever to be celebrated by those who would serve him in this church.
King Dagobert had already ruled for seven years after the death of his father, when he went to visit the kingdom of Burgundy, with a large company of princes and barons. The prelates and the powerful men of the region, and of the adjacent areas, were remarkably terrified of his coming. To the poor who complained to him, asking for what was rightly theirs, he was pleasing and agreeable, and they departed from him in great joy. When he was in the city of Langres, he gave justice so openly and quickly to all those who came to him, whether they were poor or rich, that they all firmly believed him to be a man of God, for he took no gifts or service from anyone. He welcomed everyone equally, and reigned justly, as pleased the sovereign judge. While he was staying in a village called Lathon, he gave such great attention to all the people of his kingdom who came to him, and was so eagerly concerned with the task, that he had little time to sleep and to eat. He always saw to it that everyone who came into his presence departed happily, having received what was theirs rightfully. On the day that he left the town of Lathon, to go to Chalon, he went into a bath before daybreak and ordered two dukes, Balmagaire [GD gives the name as Amalgar] and Arnebert, and a patrician named Willibadus, to kill Brunulf, the uncle of his brother king Charibert, in this very place, because he was disloyal. They carried out his order.
From there, the king went to Chalon, to carry out law and order for the people, and to found out how the country was being cared for and governed. From there, he rode directly to the city of Autun, for the same purpose, from Ostum to Auxerre, from Auxerre to Sens, and from Sens he returned to Paris. Then he left and abandoned queen Gometrude in a town called Romilly, on the advice of the French, because she was sterile; she was the sister of queen Sichild, his step-mother; he married another woman, whose name was Nanthild, a virgin of great beauty and nobility. She was carried off from a monastery, some chronicles say [another error, this time by Aimon or one of his copyists, reading monasterio for menisterio].
From the beginning of his reign, he had always relied on the advice of saint Arnulf, bishop of Metz, and of Pepin, the mayor of the Austrasian palace. As a result, he governed his kingdoms, and Austrasia particularly, so well and so prosperously, that he was loved and honored by everyone. The name and the power of his impartial justice frightened all peoples and all nations, so that they obeyed him, and submitted to his justice with great willingness and with great devotion.
The people who shared a border with the Huns and with the Slavs, the Huns themselves, and the Slavs came to him and put themselves under his authority, and they promised that if he wished to follow them to their country, they would submit to him and accept him as their lord. And when saint Arnulf passed on to the joy of Paradise, he consulted with Pepin, whom we mentioned above, and Cunibert, the archbishop of Cologne. On the advice of these two men, the kingdoms were governed so well, prosperously, and equitably, that everywhere he went people gave him the highest love and honor. For his loyalty and fairness he was loved and honored more than any king who had ruled before he did. He went to the church of Saint Denis, when he returned from the kingdom of Austrasia, to honor his patrons and defenders, and he prayed devoutly to Our Lord, that his intentions and good will be accomplished, in accordance with what he had begun with the assistance of the glorious martyr Saint Denis. And because he reconciled them (his father and himself, presumably) in love, he granted them at the same time a town of Vouquessin, which was called Strepegny, and he confirmed the gift by a charter with his seal.
This very noble prince, king Dagobert, was highly civilized, full of graciousness, wise and crafty, gentle and agreeable towards his servants and men of good will; towards wicked men, and those who were rebellious, he was terrifying. Like a proud lion, he trampled his enemies underfoot; many a time he won a noble victory against foreign nations. He gave very generously to the churches and to the poor. He was an avid hunter, extremely athletic and well-coordinated, a non-pareil at this activity. And if he had some vices, which needed curbing, particularly when it led to harming churches, under the necessity of governing his kingdom or for other compelling reasons, or because he sometimes did things less wisely than he should have, in the foolishness of his heart, because he was young, (for no one is perfect in all things), nevertheless he clearly pitied Our Lord, because he gave alms so generously; as scripture says, as water extinguishes fire, so giving alms extinguishes sin; and the prayers of the saints, male and female, of the churches that he founded and endowed all the days of his life throughout his kingdom, will help him; he was more eager to perform charitable works than any king who reigned before he did.
In the eighth year of his reign (630-31), king Dagobert went to visit the kingdom of Austrasia, with a company and entourage befitting a king; but he was very unhappy that he had no heir of his body who might govern the kingdom of France after his death. Therefore he took to his bed a virgin named Ranetrude, in hope of producing an heir, because he had been unable to have one with the women he had married. In the same year, after many prayers to God, and generous giving of alms, the woman conceived and bore a male heir. At this point, king Charibert, his brother, came to the city of Orleans, and lifted from the holy font the child who was his nephew, and named him Sigebert. At that point a new kind of miracle occurred; as saint Amant was baptizing the child, and had spoken one of the prayers appropriate to this sacrament, no one in the entire large crowd, neither cleric, nor layman, responded with Amen. But Our Lord opened the mouth of the child, who was no more than forty days old, and he replied, .us Amen, in the hearing of all those present. When the two kings who were present, and all the people heard and saw this manifest miracle, they were filled with joy and wonder, and they gave thanks to Our Lord, who puts praise in the mouth of babes and children, according to Scripture. The king gave the child to a nobleman of France, whose name was Ega, to bring him up and watch over him, and he looked after him carefully, and with great diligence, as he had been commanded to do.
King Dagobert, who was upright and just, as you have heard earlier, changed his graces and virtues into vices, when he visited his kingdom, for he took and carried away by force what he wanted, not only from churches and abbeys, but from city-dwellers and rich men who lived in his territory. Among the other things that he took from the churches of France in order to adorn and enrich the church of Saint Denis more nobly (for this was constantly on his mind) was a copper door, very beautiful and very rich, in the church of Saint Hilarius of Poitiers; he had it sent by sea and brought up the Seine to Saint Denis; but while they were bringing it by sea, it dropped into the sea, and was never seen again [the rest of the paragraph is an original contribution of Primat, as Viard points out, since it does not appear in Fredegar, in Gesta Dagoberti, or in Aimon]. He despoiled the church of saint Hilarius because the man who was then the count of the city, and its citizens rebelled against him, and the king moved against them with a large army, destroying the whole country with fire and killing; those who resisted he killed, and the rest he imprisoned. He destroyed the city, tore the walls and fortifications down to the ground, and, some say, he had it burned to ashes and sowed with salt, to indicate that he had destroyed it forever, and it would never be rebuilt. And it is true today that the city does not stand where it first stood, as one can see in the old streets; the place is still called, in our own day, old Poitiers. When the king had done this, he went into the church of Saint Hilarius, took the holy body with great devotion, together with a font of Porphyrian marble, a copper eagle -- the work of saint Eligius -- and he had everything carried to the church of Saint Denis, in which the holy body still rests honorably and gloriously, in praise of him who reigns and will reign forever.
King Dagobert seemed to change from what he had been, abandoning himself to the will of the body, and to excessive lust, bringing with him a crowd of concubines, that is, women who were not his wives, in addition to the other three whom he had, who had the title and appurtenances of queen. His heart was so deceived and so thoroughly estranged from God that he was no longer the man he had been; his soul would have been in very great danger, had Our Lord not visited him, giving him the heart and the will to redeem his sins by giving alms.
Pepin, one of the most powerful men of the kingdom of Austrasia, was his closest adviser; he was the mayor of the palace, a fine and loyal man, who hated the wicked, and avoided the company of evil men. However, some of the sons of the devil tried to provoke discord between him and the king, but those who were in charge of carrying out justice protected him from the malice of his enemies and their plots, for Pepin always loved faithfulness, and gave the king loyal and useful counsel. He had a companion like himself, named Egua, a close friend of the king, and a powerful man in the kingdom of France.
At this time the emissaries of the king of Constantinople, whose names were Servatius and Paternus, returned; he had sent them on an embassy to the emperor Heraclius, who took over the empire after the emperor Phocas. They reported to the king that they had concluded lasting alliances. Phocas, the previous emperor (602-610), had been abandoned by all the senators, because he had gone insane, throwing the wealth and treasures of the empire into the sea, saying that he wished to make a sacrifice to appease Neptune, the god of the waters. But Heraclius, the provost of Africa, killed him when he saw that he was insane. He had ruled the empire for nine years; after him Heraclius, the son of Heraclius, was chosen emperor; he took back into the control of the empire many provinces that the Persians had taken away, and he rehabilitated some of them, which had been badly harmed. At that time, Chosroes, who had destroyed all of Syria, as far as Jerusalem, was the prince of Persia. He captured the city, robbed the churches, and, among other things, ignobly stole the cross which saint Helen, the mother of Constantine, had placed in the temple long ago. He wanted to enter Our Lord's tomb, but he was unable; instead, he fled, frightened by the power of Our Lord. He left his kingdom to his son to govern; he had a silver tower built, with a golden throne in it, on which he sat. But he was a miscreant, in that he had placed next to his throne the sign of our redemption, as a partner in his kingdom. The emperor Heraclius moved, with a large army, against the Persians; but the son of Chosroes arrived before him with a remarkable Persian army, who followed him more out of fear than out of a willingness to help him. The two princes finally agreed to fight face-to-face, in single combat, on the bridge of a river that separated the two armies, on condition that any of their people who moved to help his prince would have his legs and arms broken, and he would then be thrown in the river. The battle between the two princes lasted a long time; then the emperor Heraclius said to his enemy: "Why do your people break the agreements made between me and you?" Then the son of Chosroess turned his head towards his army to see who was coming to help him, and when Heraclius saw that he had turned his head towards his army, he struck him, so that he fell dead from his horse. As soon as the Persians saw their lord killed, they surrendered to the emperor Heraclius. He then went on, with his entire army, as far as Persia, where he found Chosroes sitting in his silver tower on his throne of gold, with the holy Cross at his side. He asked him if he would accept baptism and honor the holy Cross that he had placed in great honor, though inappropriately, at his side, and the pagan replied that he would do nothing of the kind. The emperor drew his sword and immediately cut off his head. He had a grandson seated next to him, and the emperor had him baptized, and he gave the kingdom of Persia to him [Adeser, son of Siroes, 7 years old, who was killed 6 months later (629) by a usurper, named Sarabad]. When he had thoroughly ransacked the country, he divided the silver out of which the tower was made among his troops, and the gold of his throne he gave to restore the churches that had been destroyed. In this way he won the Holy Cross, seven elephants, great spoils and great booty. He went to Jerusalem, from there returned to Ravane, and then to Constantinople.
Emperor Heraclius was handsome, cheerful, of an open disposition, of medium height, and of noble strength [Aimon IV.xxii; Fredegar IV.lxv]. Often he killed lions in the arena, and some of them he killed single-handed. And because he was an excellent scholar, of profound learning, he finally became an astronomer. He knew very well, by the signs of the stars, that his empire would be destroyed by a circumcised people, and, because he thought that it would be the Jews who did it, he sent emissaries to king Dagobert asking him to have the Jews in all parts of his kingdom baptized, and that all those who refused be punished with exile. King Dagobert complied with the request, and all those who refused baptism were exiled and driven from the kingdom of France. But emperor Heraclius was mistaken, for it was not the Jews to whom the signs pointed, but the Saracens, who were called Agareni, and were said to have descended from Hagar, Abraham's servant, and who were marked with Abraham's circumcision. They were the ones who later on destroyed the Roman empire in the time of Heraclius, who sent a remarkably large army against them when he heard that they had invaded the empire. But his people were badly defeated, and as many as 150,000 of them were killed, and when the Agareni had stripped the dead after the victory, they sent the spoils to the emperor, from his own people, and told him please to accept them (ambiguity about submission too). But he refused, because he wanted to take vengeance for the damage they had done. He opened the passes of the Caspian mountains, which Alexander had shut long ago, to shut up a people called the Alains, and, in the opinion of some, Gog and Magog; he let out 150,000, as many as he had lost, as recompense [Aimon IV.21]. The Saracens were so numerous a people, that two of their princes led 200,000 armed men into battle. The armies approached each other, with a large space between them; both sides pitched their tents the night before the battle, but on this very night the emperor's army suffered a great disaster and misfortune, for he lost 52,000 men, who were found dead in their beds [Viard suggests that this is a reference to a battle lost in 636]. The others were so frightened by this sudden pestilence that they all fled, leaving as prey for their enemies their kingdom and whatever they owned. Their enemies despised them for their great presumption in having dared to fight them. The emperor Heraclius was distraught at the misfortune which had happened to his people, and he was despondent, fearing that he could not resist them, since they had already captured most of Asia and were preparing to attack Jerusalem. His despondency led to an illness, and after his body fell ill, he fell into a spiritual torpor, submitting to a heresy, which is called the Euthecian belief [Eutyches promulgated a text in 639, on Monotheism], after he married his niece, the daughter of his sister. He died twenty-six years after receiving the empire. After him, one of his sons, Heracleonas [not the case; Heraclius II Constantine ruled for less than a year, 641-642], became emperor; he and his mother governed the empire for two years, then he resigned of his own will, leaving the monarchy to one of his brothers, whose name was Constantius.
At this time saint Arnulf, who was the first mayor of the Austrasian palace, passed to the joy of Paradise [borrowed from life of saint Arnulf; not in Fred, GD, or Aimon]. He left the palace when he was chosen for the bishopric of Metz, and he finally abandoned the world for the solitary life of a hermit, leading a holy life to the end of his days.
In the ninth year of the reign of king Dagobert (632), his brother Charibert, the king of Aquitaine, died; he left, as heir to his kingdom, a grandson named Chilperic, who did not long survive him [Both Fred. and Aimon attribute the death to partisans of Dagobert; Primat supresses the attribution]. When he heard the news, king Dagobert sent duke Barontus there, to seize the kingdom, and to bring back the treasury. Some say that duke Barontus spent much of the treasury himself, not looking after it as faithfully as he should have.
At this time merchants of the kingdom of France were attacked and robbed of their possessions in Slavonia, and those who tried to defend themselves were killed. To right this injustice king Dagobert sent one of his emissaries, whose name was Sicarius, to Samo, the king of Slavonia, to ask that the king see to it that justice be done for the merchants who were robbed and killed. When Siccarius, the emissary, arrived, and heard that the king Samo had forbidden him to come into his presence, he put on the clothing of the country in which he found himself, so that he would not be recognized, and managed to get an audience with the king. Then he began to tell his message, and told king Samo that he should not despise the French, especially since he was related to them by blood, and he and all the people of his kingdom owed tribute to Dagobert, the king of France. King Samo, who grew angry at such words, replied that he and the people of his land would willingly establish an alliance with king Dagobert, and would keep them, if he wished to maintain them. Sicarius the emissary replied: "The servants of Our Lord may not establish alliances with dogs." King Samo replied: "Since, as you say, you are servants of God and we are his dogs, we may take deadly vengeance upon you for what you, as bad servants, deserving of punishment, have done against his wishes." After these words, he had Sicarius removed from his presence and thrown out. He returned to France, and reported to king Dagobert king Samo's reply, and the indignity he had inflicted upon him. Angered by the abuse of his emissary, king Dagobert assembled his army in the kingdom of Austrasia, and sent them against the Slavs; they were helped by the Lombards, and Robert, a German duke, together with all of his Germans. In the area in which they fought they won a victory, and returned with much booty and many prisoners. But the French Austrasians laid siege to 5000 Slavs in a castle named Vogastes, when they discovered that they had taken refuge there. Because they kept up the siege badly and carelessly, their enemies, perceiving their weakness, suddenly charged out and assailed them, doing such great damage that they turned and fled, abandoning their tents and pavilions and whatever was inside (632). The Slavs, taking heart from this victory, overran all of Thuringia (which, according to the opinion of some, is now called Lorraine), and into the neighboring territories that border on France. Duke Dervanes, who was master and keeper of the Slavic cities that bordered on France, which had, until that time, obeyed them, fled into the kingdom of Slavonia out of despair at what had happened. The Slavs won this victory not so much because of their own strength as because of the weakness of the Austrasian French. The same vengeance that king Lothar had once taken on the Saxons, when he killed all of them who were taller than the length of their swords, was taken on the Slavs by king Dagobert, his son [Primat has made an error here, misconstruing the tense of the verb. A more accurate translation of Aimon's text would be: "The Austrasians would have exacted the same vengeance that had been exacted by Lothar against the Slavs"].
At this time contention arose between the Avars, who are called Huns, and the Bulgars. These two people lived under the same king at that time, and the dissension arose when each wanted the king chosen from its own people. The discord led to fighting, and the Huns were victorious, while the Bulgars were defeated and driven from their lands. They went to Dagobert, the king of France, and asked permission to live under his rule, and he replied that they might go into Bavaria to remain there for the winter, until he had decided what he would do about them. While they stayed among the Bavarians, in their own homes, the king consulted with his close advisers, and, because he was afraid of the harm that the Bulgars might do, he secretly called in the Bavarians, and told them that each of them should kill the Bulgar staying with him, including the women and children, all in the same night. Everything was done as he commanded, and they were all killed on the night assigned for performing this brutal act.
An incident. At this time (620-621) the very gracious king Sisebodus, whose story was told above, died in Spain. After him, another man, named Sentila, ruled over the Goths, a very different man from his predecessor, for he treated his own people badly, and did outrageous things to his barons. For this reason one of the Spanish nobles, whose name was Sisenant, came to king Dagobert, and asked him for help in driving king Sentila out of Spain. The king agreed to help him, ordering all the knights of the kingdom of Burgundy to be assembled and sent with him to help. The leaders of this expedition were Abundantius and Venerans; the army was assembled and gathered from people in the area of Toulouse. When the news spread to Spain that Sisenant was bringing the French army to help, they quickly abandoned king Sentila, whom they already hated, and came over to Sisenant, who became, without a fight, immediately much stronger; he was then crowned, and made king of Spain. Abundantius and Venerandus, who led the French army, accompanied him as far as Saragossa (in this city saint Vincent and saint Valerien, who was bishop of the city, were martyred). From there he sent them back, giving gifts and pledges to them and to the French. The noblest Goths then came to him and offered pledges of fealty to him as their lord. After these events, king Dagobert sent to him two emissaries, one of whom was Venerant, who had been with him before, and another, whose name was Amalgar, to ask him to carry out his promise, for he had promised, when he asked Dagobert for help, that he would give him a vessel of fine gold, very rich and very beautiful [Fredegar, II.liii, gives its weight also: Urbiculum aureum gemmis ornatum pensante quingentas liberas], which Aetius, a Roman patrician who had beaten Attila in Catalonia, had once given to a king of the Goths named Thorismond [assassinated, 453]. The Goths regarded this as a very special treasure. King Sisenant received the emissaries very warmly, and had the vessel given over to them, which they very eagerly asked for. But some of the Goths, who did not want such a precious jewel removed from the public treasury, intercepted the emissaries on the way, and took from them the jewel they were carrying. King Sisenant gave and sent to king Dagobert two hundred thousand pound of silver to fulfill his pledge, and king Dagobert gave them immediately to the church of Saint Denis.
At the same time, Landegesil, the brother of queen Nanthild, died, and was buried in the church of Saint Denis, with great honor, by the will and command of the king. But the queen, his sister, asked him, before his death, to give to the church of the martyrs, for his burial, a town that the king had given him; close to Paris, its name was Auviler. The king granted the gift very willingly, and confirmed it by charter and with the imprint of his seal.
At this time Our Lord performed so many public miracles for the martyrs that whoever came there in sincere belief, for whatever infirmity, would depart happy, healthy, and well, for Our Lord, who cannot lie, carried out the promise that he made before his martyrdom, that the love and gentleness that he had within him would grant pardon to all those who would pray to him. When king Dagobert saw the great number of miracles, he adorned the church with the most precious jewels he could find in his treasury. He gave to the church shelters for the poor and hostels for pilgrims, so that poor men and women would be cared for, and those whose illnesses were cured by the prayers of the martyrs, might wish to remain in the service of the church.
In this year, the tenth of his reign (632-33), the king heard that the Guim, who were also called the Slavs, had invaded Thuringia with a large army. He quickly assembled the Austrasian army to go fight them. He went from Metz, through all of Ardenne, and arrived at Mainz, with an army that contained the best people and the finest knights of all of France and all of Burgundy. As he was drawing up his men to cross the Rhine, the barons of Saxony sent emissaries to him, asking that he abolish the tribute that they had paid in his time and in his father's time, up to the present. The tribute consisted of 100 cows, sent each year [500 cows in GD, Fredegar and Aimon]. In making this request, they stipulated that they would go up against the Slavs, in support of the king, and that they would fight to defend the kingdom of France in this area. The king granted their request, according to the said conditions, on the advice of the Austrasian French, and the emissaries sworn upon their armor, according to the custom of their country, both for themselves and for the people of their land, that they would truly uphold the aforesaid covenants. But their promise bore little fruit. In any event, as things turned out later, they were free of the tribute which they had previously paid, and were free from the agreement which had been imposed upon them by his father, as far as Dagobert was concerned.
In the following year, the Slavs , whom we mentioned again, began to wage war, on the orders of king Samo; they went beyond the borders of their own kingdom several times, invading Thuringia and other countries, to lay waste the kingdom of France. At that time, king Dagobert went into the kingdom of Austrasia; he crowned his son Sigebert [Sigebert III, b. 630, d. 656; a saint also] in the city of Metz, giving him the entire kingdom, on the advice of the barons and prelates, and with the assent of the noblemen of the entire kingdom. He set up Cunibert, archbishop of Cologne, and Adalgisus as governor and mayor of the palace, gave them a sufficient amount for the treasury, and left a charter with his seal for the gift that he had made. When he had crowned him and raised him to this honor, he went back to France, as was proper. The Austrasian French afterwards would not defend the kingdom in this area against the Guimes and the other nations [GD xxx, xxxi].
At this time, in the twelfth year of his reign, the king had another son with queen Nanthild; his name was Clovis. When the child grew up, the king wanted to divide his kingdom between his two sons, on the advice of the Neustrian French, to avoid strife after his death. He summoned his son Sigebert, as well as all the prelates and barons of his realm, making them swear by the saints that they would follow his orders strictly in this matter: after his own death, the entire kingdoms of Neustria and Burgundy would be inherited by his grandson Clovis, and, by the same ordinance, all of Austrasia would be in the hands of Sigebert, with all of its belongings, because it had much land and many people, except for the duchy of Dentilinus [a section that seems to have stretched from Boulogne to the Low Countries] which would belong to king Clovis, because the Austrasian French had taken it from him by force. The Austrasians accepted these ordinances by oath, willingly or unwillingly, out of fear of king Dagobert, and they kept their part of the agreement during the time of Sigebert and Clovis.
When the king returned to France, he came to the church of the glorious martyr Saint Denis. Every day his love and devotion for him and for his companions grew, because of the great power that Our Lord steadily manifested at their tombs. Therefore he made a gift at this point of some land both within and outside of Paris, near the gate close to the Glaucine prison, which one of his merchants, whose name was Solomon, governed for him at this time; he gave them all the taxes and duties that previously had come into his own treasury. Because this gift was established in perpetuity, he drew up a charter sealed with his own seal. At this point he also established a market to take place every year after the feast of saint Denis, in the area around the church, for the monks who served Our Lord within the church, as well as the taxes and whatever other duties the king collected within Paris and from the surrounding towns; Parisians and citizens of the surrounding towns were forbidden to sell any merchandise while the fair was in session, for whatever reason. He made all these donations for the care of his soul, and confirmed the gift by an eloquent charter affixed with his seal.
In the thirteenth year of king Dagobert's reign (634), Sadragesil, the duke of Aquitaine, died. He had been Dagobert's childhood master, whose beard he cut, in the story told above. This duke had two sons who had been raised in the palace, and because they knew very well who had killed their father, and because they might take vengeance for his death, to prevent them from doing anything more, the barons judged that they were not legally entitled to their paternal heritage, because they were evil and damnable sons. When the land reverted to the king, he gave it to the church of Saint-Denis; it consisted of 29 villages: Novient in Anjou, Parciacum, Mouliacum, Pascellarias and Anglarias, which are in Poitou, and many other towns that are not named here, together with all the salt marshes at the sea. He gave half of these town to the brothers who served the church, ordering that they chant and perform the service in the manner of the churches of Saint Maurice of Chablis and of Saint Martin of Tours. The other half of the towns he gave to the church wardens and to the other ministers of the church freely, without conditions. He confirmed the gift by a fine charter, under his own seal, which is still preserved in the church archives.
In the next year, the Gascons began to wage war against him, in the kingdom that had belonged to his brother, king Charibert; they collected much booty and did much damage. He assembled his army in the kingdom of Burgundy; they were lead by Adoin, one of the leading men of the palace, who was made leader because he was a fine and loyal knight, and had proved himself in many battles in the time of king Theodoric. He gave him ten other dukes to lead and guide the troops: Charibert, Amalgar, Leudebert, Gandalmar, Galdric, Herman, Barontus, Hairbert, who was French, Ramelenus, who was Roman, the patrician Willebad, who was of Burgundian lineage, and Agino, who was born in Saxony. They were all sent with the army against the Gascons, together with other counts who had no leader above them. They spread out through the land, and the Gascons came out of the valleys and down from the mountains, drawing up battle-lines to face them. They fought only for a short time, then turned and fled, since they saw that they could not last very long; the French pursued them, killing some of them in the mountains, while the others fled into the valleys, hiding themselves in hidden places and strongholds. The army, however, pursued them closely, killing and capturing a great part of them, pillaging and burning their towns and their homes. When the Gascons saw that they were defeated and subdued, they asked the leaders of the army for peace, promising that they would present themselves to king Dagobert, put themselves at his disposal, and obey his will. These pledges pleased Adois and the other leaders, and the army would have returned without having suffered any harm or damage, had duke Charibert and some of the oldest men of those he had brought with him not been killed because of their own carelessness, for the Gascons attacked and killed them in the pass of a valley called Robola. Subola in Fredegar, Robola in Aimon and GD. Today, the valley of la Soule. ] All the others returned safe and sound to France, victorious, with much booty taken from their enemies.
King Dagobert, who was devoted to God and to all his saints, made Saint Denis the inheritor of several towns and confirmed the gift by the authority of his seal: Champagne was one [Camliacense In GD, merely a pagus] was another, which a good woman had left to him, and Tivernon in the region of Orleans was a third. Saint Foriaus, the bishop of Autun, had granted this town to him, and four other towns in the area of Paris -- Clippi, Idcina, Sauz, and Aiguepainte -- as well as Lagny-on-the-Marne, in the region of Meaux, which the king had granted to the duke of Bobun [Viard suggests, with the aid of Longnon, LeBeuf, and others, Clippi=Saintouen; Idcina=Ursines; Sauz=Saulx-les-Chartreux; Aiguepainte=Eaubonne]. In addition, he gave 100 cows as rent each year, from the duchy of Mans. He enriched the church of Saint Denis with such large and generous gifts in the hope that the martyrs would defend him against the enemies of his body and soul, as they had promised him when he slept on their tombs.
At this point [GD xxxviii] the king was staying in his palace at Clippi; he sent emissaries to the king of Britanny, whose name was Judicail, and commanded that his Bretons come to him in peace, and that they stop their unfriendly behavior towards him and the French (the history gives no details about the crime and therefore we can say nothing), and if he did not wish to do so, he should be aware that the Burgundian army, which had recently destroyed Gascony, would be sent to fight against him. King Judicail was very much frightened by what the emissaries said, and quickly left his country to go to Clippi, where the king was. He gave him gifts and presents, and asked him to forgive his ill-will, and he would see to it that his people would put an end to their unfriendly behavior. Then he became the king's man, receiving his kingdom from him, on condition that all those who came after him would always hold their power from the kings of France. The king invited him to eat with him, but king Judicail, who was religious, and fearful of Our Lord, did not wish to remain there, but left the palace when the king was seated at dinner and went to the home of Bado [Dado, a.k.a Audoneus, in GD and in Aimon], the mayor of the palace, who later was called by the name of Oens, when he became archbishop of the city of Rouen. King Judicail went to eat with him because he had heard that he was a holy man, who led a religious life. The next day he returned to court to take leave of the king, and the king payed him much honor, gave him presents, and gave him leave to depart.
King Dagobert worked and struggled, both intellectually and by force of arms, until, with the aid of Our Lord and of the glorious martyr saint Denis, he brought peace to his entire kingdom, subdued all the foreign nations on its borders, and had crowned his two sons in the two parts of his kingdom. He summoned a general meeting of his two sons and all the princes and prelates of the kingdom in a town which was then called Bigargium [Garges, today]. When they were all assembled, the king sat on a throne of gold, a crown on his head, as was the custom then for the kings of France, and he began to speak what the Holy Spirit had taught him to say: "Noble kings, my dear sons, prelates and barons of the kingdom of France, listen to me. Before the swift hour of our death comes upon us, we should attend to the health of our souls, lest we find that, by chance, death comes upon us unprepared, and delivers us to the torments of everlasting death. We must purchase the joys of heaven with the transitory things of this world, as long as we live, so that the sovereign judge, who will give to each what he has earned, may give us after the death of the body the good that we shall have done for the poor in this mortal life, that we may be filled with spiritual goods in the everlasting joy of paradise, and we may drink from that living fountain which endures inexhaustibly, signifying the grace of the Holy Spirit, which, according to the Bible, is denied to no one who asks for it in perfect faith. And because I have examined my heart and my conscience, in the light of the examination and test to take place on the great day of judgment, and the strict justice of the sovereign king, I am very much afraid that I shall be damned and punished by that painful judgment of my sins, and that I shall be thrown in among the wicked: 'Go you wicked, into the fire of hell, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.' On the other hand, I have a supreme desire to be enrolled in the book of eternal life, that I may be placed in the company of the saints who will be comforted in the joy of Paradise which will last endlessly. Therefore the piety of my heart urges and advises me to set in order and confirm my last will, on the basis of sound thinking and sound advice, so that the last day of my life may find me neither unprepared nor slothful. In this last will we have either founded or enriched almost all of the churches of our kingdom that currently exist, endowing them or assigning them inheritances out of our own gifts, in honor of God, of the saints both male and female, for the health of our soul. In order to insure the firmness and stability of these gifts, noble kings, barons and prelates, we have written four charters with one meaning and with identical texts, with your consent, in which all the gifts that we have made to the churches of our kingdom are contained and named by their own names; they will be sent to the four parts of the kingdom. One will be carried to Lyons on the Rhone; the other will be placed in the archives at Paris; the third will be kept at Metz in Lorraine, and will be delivered to dom Auboin; and the fourth, which I hold here in my hand, will be kept in our own treasury (none survive). This then is our devotion, the solace and the comfort of Jesus Christ, who joyfully receives the vows offered by a sincere heart. For we know very well that he will have confidence on the day of necessity who will have given to the churches and to the poor the goods by means of which they will be fed and cared for. The king of heaven will reward him for it; he who despises the poor will be despised by God, according to scripture, which says that he who has no pity for the poor does wrong to Our Lord. Therefore our devotion advises us to establish our will in such a way that, when the will of Our Lord determines that we shall leave this world, the priests and ministers who will be in charge at that time of the churches to which we have given our gifts, when they are certain we are dead, will enter into possession of the benefices that we have given them without waiting for anyone to dispose of them, as the charters say, and they will receive unconditionally everything which belongs to the places we have given, and will serve Our Lord always, for the health of our soul. We want everyone, after he shall have received the income from the benefices, to write our name in the book of life, and to remember us without fail in the prayers of holy church every Sunday and on every holiday of the saints. We also devoutly command and conjure all the priests in the places previously mentioned, that each one who will have received the gifts which we have given, by the power of heaven, celebrate a mass for our soul every day for the first three years, and offer sacrifice to Our Lord, that he may forgive me for my sinful deeds. Thus we establish Our Lord as judge and witness of this affair, in the presence of all those assembled here, and we deliver this testament to king Clovis and to king Sigebert, our dear sons, whom the generosity of Our Lord has given us as heirs to govern our kingdom, and those who will come after, if Our Lord wills it, and we command them to maintain and uphold our public decree, and we conjure them and those who come after them, by the Trinity of the all powerful name, and by the power of the Virgin Mary, of the angels, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and all the saints of Paradise, that they see to it that what we have established be strictly and perpetually maintained, according to the meaning of the charter. So that this precept may last forever, we confirm it with the authority of our seal, and command all those present to confirm it with their seals and with their signatures. And we warn you again, noble kings, my heirs and my sons, and all those who come after you, not to destroy what I have done and established, if you want those things that you will do to endure; for you may be sure that if you do not preserve the statutes and actions of myself and of my ancestors, those who come after you will not preserve yours."
When the king had spoken thus, and all the council had heard him with great attention, they all began to praise him for his fine plan and for his good will, and they wished him peace and long life; they gladly appended their seals to confirm his testament. And even though he had given many rich gifts earlier to his patron, the martyr saint Denis, he did not wish to forget him in his will, but he gave him a town which was called, in those days, Braunade, but today, we believe, it is called Braine. When he had done this, and arranged things for the benefit of the kingdom, he dismissed the council, and each returned happily to his own country. The fourth charter of his will, which he commanded to be put in his treasury, has been kept until this day in the archives of the abbey of Saint-Denis.
Because king Dagobert wanted the church of Saint Denis to be covered with a noble roof, he gave to it 8000 pounds of lead, from the income derived from the city of Marseilles, and ordered that it be brought each year by the king's own ministers, from among the towns that he had given to the church, and be placed in its treasury. He was so eager to confirm this gift, that he bound all those who would come after him to keep this agreement.
In the fifteenth year of his reign, Hamanz [in various mss. of Fredegar, his name is Aiginon, Ainand, or Amand. In one ms of GD, his name is Hecinand], the duke of Gascony, came to him in his palace at Clichy [Clippi in the Latin; some conflict in mss. readings]. He brought with him the noblest and eldest men of his land to keep the agreements that they had made in the previous year to the leaders of the army that the king had sent to them. Then they became so afraid of him that they fled for safety to the church of Saint Denis, and the kindness and good nature of the king was so great, that he granted and assured them their lives, in reverence and honor of the martyrs to whom they had fled for refuge. They swore oaths to him that they would always be loyal to him and to his sons, and to the kingdom of France. Then they returned to Gascony, with the king's leave, but in the end they broke their oaths, according to the usual behavior of these people. The judgment of the Basques, or Gascons, is not in Fredegar or Aimon, but is in GD].
An incident. At the time that king Dagobert was ruling the kingdom of France gloriously, Grimoald ruled over the Lombards; he had conquered the kingdom brutally, having killed Godibert the son of king Aribert, the previous ruler [a Bavarian, who had ruled 653-661] and driven one of his brothers out of Italy. King Grimoald had two brothers, Tasso and Coco, who were treacherously killed by Gregory, a Roman patrician, in a city named Opitergium [today, Oderzo, in Italy]. He had promised to make Tasso his adopted son, if he would cut the tip of his beard according to the ancient custom, and he sent for him to come with a pledge of safety, with only a few men and his brother. When they entered the city, with only a few men, Gregory had the gates shut behind them, and ordered an attack on them by armed men, whom he had prepared. When they saw the treachery, they knew very well that they could not escape; nevertheless they fought, and protected their lives as long as they could, spreading out through the city, and killing everyone who came up against them. They killed many of their enemies, but, because they were outnumbered by their assailants, and could not long endure the force of such a great multitude, they were finally killed. And because the patrician Gregory had promised Tasso that, if he cut his beard, he would keep the agreement, he had the beard cut first, and then the tip, so that he would not be considered a perjurer. King Grimoald then laid siege to the city of Opiterge, and razed it to the ground, to avenge his brothers who had been killed within its walls.
In king Grimoald's time, Constantine (II, 641-668) governed the empire of Constantinople. He wanted very much to expel the Lombards from Italy; for this purpose he moved his army beyond the Adriatic, and laid siege to the city of Benivento. King Grimoald arrived, with his entire army, to relieve the siege. His arrival frightened the emperor himself into leaving, but he left behind his army, and one of his princes, named Saburrus. He joined battle with king Grimoald, and fought against him. Amalongus, a Lombard who customarily carried the king's sword, was present at the encounter. With this same sword he struck a Greek, then captured him, pulling him from his saddle, and lifting him up onto his horse's neck. The other Greeks were so frightened by this deed, that they abandoned the battlefield and turned in flight. When the emperor Constantine heard that his troops had been beaten, he was very unhappy and very angry, but he turned his wrath against the Romans. He went to Rome, where the apostle Vitalian (657-672), who governed holy church at that time, gave him an honorable welcome. On the day of his arrival, he offered a golden robe at the altar of Saint Peter; the next day and on the following twelve days of his stay, he had all the images of copper and other metals torn down and removed, as well as all the ancient, rich works which had been made to beautify and adorn the city. He had the church of Our Lady and of All Saints which had once been called the Pantheon, covered with wood, and he had the rich brass tablets with which it had once been covered removed and carried, together with the previously mentioned images, and many other rich adornments, to Constantinople. When he got to Sicily, he received the reward for the evils had had done. He did many brutal things there, enslaving the people of Sicily, Calabria, Sardinia, and Africa, separating sons from fathers, and wives from husbands. For these despicable acts, and for others, he was more hated by his own people than by his enemies; therefore his own people killed him in the bath. After him, one of his sons, whose name was Mezantius, held the empire for one year.
An incident. In the time of this emperor Constantine, Pope Vitalian sent to England an archbishop named Theodore (668-690) and an abbot named Hadrian, to uphold and enforce the faith which had been disseminated in the time of saint Gregory.
It would take a long time to recount the wonderful qualities of good king Dagobert. How wise he was in council, discreet and provident in judgment, noble and proud in arms, generous in giving alms, eager and scrupulous in keeping peace among the churches, a devout founder and supporter of abbeys -- there is no need to describe all these things in order, since it might prove boring to those reading and listening. It is well known that his works and his deeds are clearer than day, and of such great authority that they can never be effaced from the memory of men, as long as the world shall last. And because human nature is so poor and frail that it cannot avoid the necessity of dying at the end of its days, at this point we must turn to describing the manner of his passing away, and tell of a miracle that happened exactly at the hour of his death, as it is found written in an ancient charter that saint Eligius wrote with his own hands, as it was witnessed.
When the good king Dagobert had gloriously ruled the kingdom of France for 36 years [an error of ms. lat. 5925; 16 years is correct; LHF p. 315 may be responsible] he contracted an illness that physicians call dysentery, in the year of the Incarnation of Our Lord 645, in a town called Epinay on the Seine, close to Paris. From there he was carried to the church of Saint Denis. After a few days he felt the illness growing worse, and the end of his days approaching. Then he sent an emissary to Eguam, his adviser and mayor of the palace, telling him to come without delay. When he arrived, the king put his wife, queen Nanthild, and his son Clovis in his protection, because he felt that he was a wise and loyal man, and that his son, guided by Eguam's advice and counsel, would be able to govern his kingdom well. He sent for queen Nanthild and his son and the leading men at the palace, and some of the barons who were there, and made them swear upon the saints, according to the custom of those times, that they would protect the queen and the king, and that they would give advice for the kingdom in good faithfully and loyally. Then he made his son and his wife swear that they would behave loyally towards the barons and the prelates of the kingdom. And even though he had previously given such large and generous gifts, several times, to the church of Saint Denis, as the story related earlier, it was still not enough for him, but he gave to it, at this time, an additional six towns: Cosdum, Accuci, Grantvilers, Mainviler, Gelles and Sarcloes; then he drew up a charter and sealed it with his seal. Then the palace was filled with mourning and with tears; but the king, whose illness was becoming worse, comforted them as well as he could, out of his great love and kindness, and, among the other gentle admonitions he offered them (which would take too long to describe), he spoke the following: "Because human nature is frail and limited, and everyone should always keep before the eyes of his heart the fear of the great day of judgment, as long as he is hale and hearty, in this mortal life, nevertheless there is no one, no matter how much he has sinned, who should despair, when he is sick, of the pity of God, but he should be vigilant for his soul, and he should redeem himself with his own goods, by giving alms to the poor, because the supreme judge will reward him for it after death. Therefore I grant and bestow unconditionally the aforesaid town upon the glorious martyr saint Denis, my patron and my master, to support the ministers of the church in which his body lies, he and his companions, and I myself wish to be buried there, and wish the brothers of the church, who will pray for our soul, to hold them as freely from this time forth, as we and our ancestors have always held them, and that the rents be theirs, for the salvation of our soul, and for the prosperity of our sons and of the kingdom. And we command that none of our sons, and none of the kings who come after us, and none of the bishops and abbots of the church should be so foolhardy as to take these possessions from them, if they do not wish to incur the wrath of Our Lord and the anger of the glorious martyr saint Denis. And if anyone does otherwise, I call that man before God, that he may give his reason to the glorious martyr in the presence of the majesty of the sovereign judge. And if this gift is carefully maintained, we think that it should be enough to provide sustenance for the above-mentioned poor, for they and those who come after them will be pleased to pray devoutly for our soul, since they will be fed and satiated by our alms. And because we are unable to write, or sign the present charter, for the writing-feather trembles in my hand, we beg that king Clovis, our dear son, may confirm it with the seal of his own name, and that all the barons of our palace affix their signatures also." Then the king became quiet. Clovis, his son, confirmed the charter that Dado offered him, as the king had commanded him, and all the barons who were present confirmed it with their own signatures. After these things were done, the king did not live long; he died, full of faith, on the fourth kalends of February [fourteenth kalends in GD and Aimon] in the thirty-sixth year of his reign, in the year of the Incarnation 645 [actually, 19 January 639]. The palace and the whole kingdom was filled with tears and cries of grief and lamentation for his death. His body was opened and embalmed, according to royal custom, to the great grief and sadness of the people who rushed there when they heard of his passing. His body was placed in the church of Saint-Denis, which he had founded, and buried gloriously and nobly to the right of the main altar, close to the shrines of the martyrs. He gave so much wealth to the church, in the form of towns, villages, and castles in various parts of his kingdom, that we shall not mention them here because the number is too great. He was so piously generous to the poor, and to holy Church and its ministers, that everyone should marvel at the good will and devotion of his heart. He established the customs and rules for singing and reading in church, following the conventions set by Saint Maurice of Gaune and Saint Martin of Tours; but it was allowed to lapse in the time of an abbot whose name was Agilulf.
At this point, we would like briefly to describe a miracle that happened at the same hour that the blessed soul left the body, leading us to believe that surely it passed to the joy of Paradise. At that time, Ansoald, the bishop of Poitiers, had gone as an emissary to Sicily. When he had finished the task on which he had been sent, he set out to return by sea. He arrived at an island in which a holy hermit named John lived. He was old, and lived an honest life. Often men who sailed by came to see him, to ask his help through the power of his holy prayers. By the will of God, then, Bishop Ansoald, arrived at this island, which was renowned and ornamented by the merits of this great man, and the holy man welcomed him with great charity and helped him as much as he could. After they had spoken for a long time about the joy of Paradise, and matters pertaining to the enlightening of souls, the holy old man asked where he came from, and why he had come to this country. When he heard the reason for his trip, and that he was from France, he asked to be informed about the life and behavior of Dagobert, the king of France, and bishop Ansouald described his life and manners as best he could. When the old man had heard everything, he began to describe the miracle he had seen in the sea: "One day," he said, "I went to bed to rest a bit, since I am old and worn out with watching. While I was asleep, a man with blond hair came before me and woke me; then he said that I should get up quickly and pray for Our Lord's mercy for the soul of Dagobert, king of France, who, at that moment, had passed away. While I was preparing to carry out his command, I saw in the sea, very close to me, a crowd of devils carrying the soul of king Dagobert in a small boat [the same vision occurs in Gregory the Great, Dialogues, PL IV.xxx, and in Grch1, l. 2077 of this translation; see the version in the Kaiserchronicon as well]. They were beating and torturing him terribly, dragging him right to Vulcan's inferno. But he shouted and constantly called for help from the three saints of Paradise, saint Denis of France, the martyr, saint Martin, and saint Maurice. A few moments later I saw lightning and storms fall miraculously and steadily from the sky, and then I saw the three glorious saints, whom he had called upon for aid, descend, dressed in white robes. They appeared before me, and I, in great fear, astonished, asked them who they were, and they replied that they were the ones whom Dagobert had called upon for his deliverance, Denis, Maurice, and Martin, and that they had come down to deliver him from the hands of the devils, and then to carry him to Abraham's bosom. Then they vanished, went after the enemies, and took from them the soul they were tormenting with threats and with beatings, and carried it to the everlasting joy of Paradise, while singing these verses of the Psalter: Beatus quem eligisti et assumpsisti, Domine, habitabit in atriis tuis, replebitur in bonis domus tue; sanctum est templum tuum, mirabile in equitate. In French, this means: "Sir, blessed is he whom you have chosen and taken, for he will live all his days in your habitations, that is, in your holy Paradise, and he will be filled with the goods of your house; for your holy temple is marvelously just." When bishop Ansoald returned to France, he told what he had heard from the mouth of the holy man; the hour, the day, the month, and the calends were noted, and it was proven that the vision certainly appeared to this holy man at the very hour that king Dagobert's soul parted from his body. Among other things, we find these things written in the charter, mentioned above, that saint Oens, who was later archbishop of Rouen, wrote with his own hands; it is not, then, by chance, that they seem so clearly authentic. For although the good king Dagobert founded and built various churches and abbeys during his lifetime, throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom, he always honored these three saints above all others, although he had honored and behaved reverentially towards them all, and enriched their places with great rents and possessions, and therefore called upon them more especially that any of the others, for help after he died, and the glorious saints whom he had especially honored and served did not forget him in his hour of need.
After the death of good king Dagobert, the entire kingdom fell to Clovis, his son, who was still a child and very young [Clovis II was born in 634, and was 5 at Dagobert's death]. The barons of France and of Burgundy accepted him as their lord, and paid him homage in a town which was then named Massolocus. Egua, the mayor of the palace, and queen Nanthild, who had remained a widow, governed the kingdom nobly during the first two years of Clovis' reign. Egua was one of the noblest men of Neustria; he was the wisest, most patient man, and highly civilized, for he was rich, of noble blood, strict in justice, careful in speech, and ready in replies. He had only one fault; they say that he was excessively greedy.
At this point we should describe how the treasury of king Dagobert was divided among his sons after his death. You have already heard how Pepin, the mayor of the palace of Austrasia, and the other princes of the kingdom who had been under king Dagobert's authority, submitted to Sigebert as their lord, with one accord and with one will. Pepin and Cunibert, the archbishop of Cologne, then formed an alliance, agreeing that, as they had previously been joined in peace and love, they would remain forever allied. Wisely they established friendly relations with the princes and the great men of Austrasia, and ruled them humbly and gently, like men who were good, loyal, and useful to the king and to the kingdom. Then emissaries were sent from king Sigebert to France, to king Clovis and to queen Nanthild, asking for his share of his father's treasury. King Clovis and the queen his mother willingly agreed that he should have his share, and they appointed a day to give it to king Sigebert or to those whom he would send for it, and he sent archbishop Cunibert and Pepin, the mayor of the palace, and some powerful men of his kingdom. They arrived at Compiegne, where the treasure was brought and shared equably by order of king Clovis and queen Nanthild. She, however, retained the third part of everything that king Dagobert had acquired from the time they began their joint rule, and Cunibert and Pepin brought back their share to Metz, where it was presented and given to king Sigebert. About one year later, Pepin died, and he was mourned by everyone in the kingdom of Austrasia, for he was much loved, and prized for his goodness and for his trustworthiness. Egua, king Clovis' mayor of the palace, who had been a wise and loyal man, also died, in the town of Clichy, in the third year of his reign. He was succeeded by Harchinoald as mayor of the palace; he had been the cousin, on his mother's side, of king Dagobert, and was a civilized man, full of goodness and patience, wise, and clever. With great humility, he honored the priests and servants of Our Lord; he had acquired great wealth in this world, but not unjustly, and he was prized and loved so much by all the princes that each honored him affectionately.
At this time, queen Nanthild went to the city of Orleans, bringing her son Clovis, in the fourth year of his reign. There she assembled the prelates and barons of Burgundy (she held the assembly there because, at the time, it was the capital of the kingdom). She addressed each one graciously, speaking with well-chosen words; she made Flaucatus, who was a Frenchman by birth, master of the Burgundian palace, with the consent and choice of the barons of the country. When she had put him in this position, she gave him, Raneberg, one of her nieces, in marriage. At the same time she made out her will, disposing of the towns with which had been part of her dowry, with the consent of her son, by distributing them among the churches of the saints, both male and female, and she did not forget the martyr saint Denis. She had two copies made of the charter of her will, identical in meaning, of which one has been preserved until the present day in the archives of the treasury of Saint Denis. When she had thus made out her will, and put the business of the kingdom in good order, and her son had reigned for approximately four years to the profit of the two kingdoms, that is, of France and of Burgundy, she passed from this world, and was buried in the church of Saint Denis, in the same tomb as her lord.
When good king Dagobert and queen Nanthild had passed from this world, king Clovis alone governed the kingdom of France and the kingdom of Burgundy. He carefully guarded and preserved the gifts and the donations that his father had given to the church of Saint Denis and renewed and confirmed them with his own seal and with his own hand-written signature.
In the fourth year of his reign, there was a terrible famine in France. On the advice of some of his people, he ordered that the shrines in the church of Saint Denis that his father, the noble king Dagobert, had, out of great piety, had covered with pure silver, be stripped, and he ordered that the silver be distributed to the poor and to the pilgrims. He gave the order to abbot Aigulf, who ruled the abbey at that time, and he charged him, by God, to do it as faithfully as he could.
A long time later, king Clovis assembled the barons and bishops of his kingdom in the town of Clichy, in the sixteenth year of his reign, to take care of the common needs of the kingdom [GD LI; Aimon IV.xli]. When they were all assembled, the king sat among them, dressed in royal garb, as was appropriate, and he began to speak, among other things, what the Holy Spirit put in his heart, like this: "We should carefully honor and hold in reverence the holy places of the saints, both male and female, according to the stipulations of our gracious father, that we may find them patrons and defenders against the enemies of our soul on the day and at the hour of necessity. Therefore I beg you, noble bishops, and you, noble princes of our palace and of our kingdom, that you listen with your ears and with your hearts to the counsel with which Our Lord, I believe, has deigned to inspire my heart. And if you agree that this would be a good thing, join me in entreating the aid of Our Lord for it. The all-powerful Father, who says that he would give brightness in the shadows, has embraced and taken with the fire of Love the hearts of true Christians by the mystery of the Incarnation of his son Our Lord Jesus Christ, by the fervor of the Holy Spirit, through whose love and desire the glorious martyrs saint Denis, saint Rusticus and saint Eleutherius, his companions, earned, among the other martyrs, the crown of victory in everlasting joy. In the church in which their bodies lie, Our Lord has performed many great miracles for a long time, to the glory and praise of his name. In this same place, our father, lord Dagobert, and our mother, lady Nanthild lie, having devoutly chosen to be buried there, in the hope that they would be partners in the celestial kingdom, through the prayers and merits of the glorious martyrs. And because this holy place was founded by my father, and enriched with earthly goods by him and by other ancient kings and other good Christians who, fearing God, wished to earn everlasting life, we devoutly request that master Landry, bishop of Paris, grant and confirm to the holy place, and to its abbot and brothers, if it seems good to you, my lords, the privilege of being forever exempt and outside of the jurisdiction of the bishop of Paris, so that they may more freely pray for us and for our ancestors, for the advantage and state of the kingdom. And master Landry, bishop of the place, wishes to grant and confirm this request. And we, out of reverence for the martyrs, wish, together with you, to confirm this order now, that if anything is given to the holy place, either towns or manors, or anything else, including those things that may be given in the future, no bishop, or person of any kind, may remove or take anything whatever from the place, or acquire in an evil way any power or jurisdiction over the place, nor take in exchange, or borrow, any cross, calix, or adornment of the altar, manuscripts, gold or silver, or anything whatever that has been given to the church, without our order and the consent of the entire assembly. We want the brothers to live in such peace and freedom that they may keep the goods they are granted without being harmed, so that they may have the devout pleasure of praying for the souls of our fathers and mothers, and for the state and prosperity of the kingdom. Therefore we wish to give to the place this grant and permission, in honor of the martyrs, by our counsel, whole-heartedly and with all of our will, in such a way that the style of reading and singing, established by our fathers, be maintained in the same style established by Saint Martin of Tours and Saint Maurice of Gaune." When the king stopped speaking, the barons and the prelates, who heard his argument willingly and whole-heartedly, gave great praise to his devotion and good will, and they all confirmed the order exactly as he laid it out. At this assembly were several holy bishops about whose sanctification in Paradise holy Church has no doubts, because of the miracles that Our Lord later performed at their tombs -- men like saint Ouen (not among those whose signatures appear on the surviving document from 654) and saint Rado, his brother, saint Palladius and saint Clers, saint Eligius and saint Supplicius, saint Castadius and saint Etherius and saint Landry, bishop of Paris, who confirmed the exemption of his own free will. All of these holy fathers were present at this conference, and many others who are not cited here.
King Clovis governed his kingdom peacefully, and all the days of his life there were no wars or battles. Once he came to the church of Saint Denis, led by ill-fortune, to supplicate the martyrs. Because he wanted to get as close as possible to them, he ordered that the reliquaries be disturbed, and he foolishly had the vessel in which the precious martyr rested, opened and taken apart. He looked at it with less religious consideration than it deserved, even though he did it out of devotion [GD uses more than litotes: minus religiose, licet cupide]. It was not enough for him to look at it, however, but he broke the bone of one of the arms and took it away. The martyr quickly showed that he was displeased at this treatment of his body, for the king became so frightened and astonished that he went insane, losing his mind and his memory within the hour. The church was filled quickly with shadows and darkness, and a great fear took hold of the hearts of all who were present, and they fled. The king then gave the martyr some towns to appease him, so that he might recover his mind and memory; he had the bone which he had foolishly broken off from the body covered and adorned with pure gold and precious stones, and had it put back in the reliquary with the body of the glorious martyr. Therefore one may prove that the entire body of the glorious martyr lies within the tomb; since he would not permit a single bone from one of his members to be separated from his body, then he certainly would not have permitted his head to be cut from his body, or taken from the casket, or from within the church itself [this is clearly an attempt to refute the claim, by the canons of Notre-Dame de Paris, that they had the head]. The king, however, partially recovered his mind, but he did not entirely recover his former abilities. He did not then live very much longer, but died two years after this event.
King Clovis had a wife of Saxon lineage; her name was Bathilda, and she was a holy, pious woman, fearful of Our Lord, and a wise woman, of great beauty. She was the one who was called saint Bathilda of Chelles.
At this time the first Pepin, son of Carloman, and mayor of the palace of Sigebert, the king of Austrasia, died. After him, his son Grimoart, a man full of evil and treachery, as will become clear later, assumed the office. When king Sigebert died, Grimoart took his son Dagobert, who was to become king, and whom he had received as his charge, cut his hair, and sent him into exile in Ireland, with the aid of Dodom (or Dido), the bishop of Poitiers, and he put his own son in possession of the kingdom. And when the Austrasian French saw his treachery, they were very angry; they laid a trap for him, chained him in irons, and sent him to Clovis, the king of France, to judge him and to do justice equal to the crime. The king imprisoned him in the city of Paris, bound in fetters of iron, then had him tortured to death, as he deserved, since he had betrayed his lawful lord.
Before what we have just related happened, in the time when king Sigebert of Austrasia was still alive, he assembled his army and went to fight against Radulf, the duke of Thuringia [at this point, Primat begins to use the Chronicle of Sigbert of Gembloux, Bouquet III, pp. 341ff.]. At this time, he had no heir of his body, nor was he capable of having one. Because of the despair into which he had fallen, he founded twelve abbeys in his kingdom, of which the joint overseers and ministers were Grimoart, the mayor of the palace, and Remacles, bishop of the city of Trehet [Trajectum in the Latin., Maestricht today].
An incident. Itte, who had been the wife of the first Pepin, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, pledged her self and her possessions to God, on the advice and counsel of saint Amant. [Chronique de Sigebert de Gembloux, 650, RHG III, p.343]. She founded a nunnery at Nivele, and installed as abbess one of her daughters, a virgin named Gertrude (d. 659).
At that time saint Fursy returned to France; he founded the abbey of Lagny, by the will of king Clovis, who welcomed him very honorably. Within a short time, his two brothers, saint Follen and saint Ultan were resplendent with good works in the kingdom of France; at this time saint Follen founded the abbey of Saint Maur of Fossez, on the basis of a donation by a virgin named Gertrude; within it he lay crowned in martyrdom. At this same time, the following men lived holy lives: saint Peter in the kingdom of France, saint Eligius, bishop of Noion, saint Oiens, archbishop of Rouen, saint Philbert in hermitage, Riquier at Pontegny, and saint Germer at Flaix. Ensegises, the son of saint Arnulf, bishop of Metz, who, according to some, was called Anchises, also lived at this time; he had married Begga, the daughter of the first Pepin, the mayor of the palace for Sigebert, the king of Austrasia; she was the sister of Grimoart. To this Ansegisus, or Anchises, who was the son of saint Arnulf, was born the second Pepin, who was named Pepin the Short, who will be the father of the noble prince Charles Martel, as the history will tell later. This Charles Martel was the father of Pepin the Third [actually, Pepin the Short], who was the father of the great Charlemagne, and by means of this one may show that the Merovingian line continued uninterrupted until Charles the Great.
In the time of king Clovis there were many pestilences in the kingdom of France [ LHF xliv; Cont. Fred. I]. Of this king Clovis, one may say more ill than good. As the history relates, although he was devoted to the churches of the saints, both male and female, nevertheless his vices were enough to extinguish his virtues. He abandoned himself to every filthy sin, to fornication, gluttony, drunkeness, and he despised women. The history does not record anything in his life or in his actions worth praising or remembering; many authors of histories condemn him because his capacity for sinning seemed endless. Some say one thing about him, and others another, but no one speaks about him with any surety.
He had three sons with the blessed queen Bathilda: Lothar, Childeric, and Theodoric. He died in the year of the Incarnation 662, the 17th year of his reign [He died in 657] and was buried in the church of Saint Denis with his father. The blessed queen Bathilda, his wife, founded in her time the abbey of Saint Peter of Corbie, and that of Chiele, in which her body lies. At that time Archenoult, the mayor of the palace, died.
After the death of king Clovis, the French crowned Lothar, the eldest of his three children; together with his mother, queen Bathilda, he governed the kingdom. The French were in doubt about whom to choose as mayor of the palace; they finally selected a man named Ebroin (he is the one who had saint Leger, bishop of Ostun, martyred). King Lothar died after ruling for three years [In 673, after 16 years, according to Krusch]. The French then crowned the next eldest, whose name was Theodoric. They sent Childeric, the third child, into Austrasia, with duke Vulphoald, to accept the kingdom. From that time on the kingdom of France began to decline, and the king began to lose the intellectual ability and strength of his ancestors. The kingdom was then ruled by chamberlains, and by constables who were called mayors of the palace, and the king was king in name only, nor did he have any function beyond drinking and eating [the Latin of Sigebert, 662, is a bit more judgmental: nil agere vel disponere, quam irrationabiliter edere et bibere]. They remained all year long in a castle or in a manor, until the kalends of May, at which time they would go out in a chariot to greet the people and be greeted. They accepted gifts, and gave some gifts, and then returned home and stayed there until the next calends of May. Ebroin, the mayor of the palace, provoked the French to hate him very much for his pride and for his brutality; they also hated king Theodoric, for he did them much harm by acting on the advice of Ebroin. They set a trap, and captured both of them. They cut Ebroin's hair in a Burgundian abbey named Luxovion (Luxueil), drove king Theodoric out of France, and some chronicles say that they also cut his hair, in the abbey of Saint Denis. Then they sent for his brother Childeric, the king of Austrasia, and for duke Vulphoalt and they crowned him as king over them. King Childeric was unstable; whatever he did he did foolishly, and thoughtlessly. As a result, the French began to detest him, and that was not strange, since he did them much harm, without cause. At one point he had one of the noblest and most important men, whose name was Bodilo, stretched out and tied to a stake, then had him beaten brutally, without any legal process or justification. When the others saw that he performed such brutal acts without cause, they were outraged, and formed a conspiratorial alliance against him. They were led by Ingobert and Amaubert, and several other nobles of the kingdom. Bodilo, whom he had had tied to a stake and beaten, spotted him one day hunting in the woods, and, together with his companions, came upon the king alone and attacked and killed him, and his wife, queen Blitilda also, who was pregnant at the time. Vulphoalt, the mayor of the palace, escaped with some difficulty, and fled to the kingdom of Austrasia. The French then made Leudesie, Archinoalt's son, mayor of the palace, on the advice of saint Legier, the bishop of Ostun, and his brother Gerin, and they recalled king Theodoric, whom they had driven out earlier. Ebroin, whose hair had been cut in a Burgundian abbey, left the abbey when his hair grew back, put together a very large group of men, both of his companions and of others, and returned to France with a large and powerful army. He sent a message to Saint Ouen, the archbishop of Rouen, asking for advice; the reply was merely these words: "Remember Fredegund." Clever and malicious, he understood what was meant by this advice, and he moved his army during the night and reached a ford of a river called the Ysar (l'Oise). He killed those who were guarding this ford, and crossed the river, going as far as Saint Maxence, where he put to the sword those he found guarding the passage there. King Theodoric, who was there at this time, and Leudesius, the mayor of the palace, and several others fled and escaped, and Ebroin pursued them to a place which was called Baciville. There he captured the king's treasures that were in this place, and then went on to a village named Crecy, where he came to an agreement with king Theodoric, who took him back into his good graces, as before. Leudesius, the mayor of the palace, commanded him to come to speak to him, and assured him that he need not be on his guard. He came to the man, who was lying, for he killed him the moment he arrived; in this way Ebroin reestablished the authority he had lost in the palace.
King Theodoric convoked a meeting of bishops (c. 680), on the advice of Ebroin, and he removed some of them from their bishoprics, and others he condemned to exile, without possibility of return. In the midst of this storm and persecution of holy Church, saint Lambert was removed from the city of Treet (Maestricht); he entered an abbey to escape the turmoil of the world, and remained there in a holy, pious state for seven years.
Ansegises was killed at this time by a man named Gondouin [according to Sigebert of G, 685, Gondouin was his adopted child]. Ansegise, also known as Anchises, was the son of saint Arnulf and the father of Pepin the Short, who was the father of Charles Martel. Ebroin seized saint Legier and his brother Guerin, and had them brutally tortured. Finally, Guerin was stoned to death, and saint Legier was thrown into prison, where he was starved for a long time. Then Ebroin had his eyes gouged out, and his tongue and lips torn out; however, God gave him back his tongue and his power of speech (as is described more fully in his life). Finally he had his head cut off, completing his martyrdom. Our Lord so wanted to honor him that he demonstrated his merits and innocence by the miracles that he performed at his tomb.
At this time, after the kings had died, the kingdom of Austrasia was governed by two dukes, Martin and Pepin; the latter was the son of Ansegisus, the son of saint Arnulf, as the history related above. He was called Pepin the Short, and was the father of Charles Martel, as the history will relate below. The two dukes conceived a hatred for Ebroin and for king Theodoric; they moved the Austrasian army against them, and the king and Ebroin came to meet them in battle at a place called Lucofao; the battle there was remarkably fierce; a great number of men fell on both sides, but the Austrasians were finally defeated, and they fled from the field. Ebroin pursued them, brutally killing them, destroying a great part of the region as well. Martin, who escaped with some difficulty, established himself in the city of Laon, and Pepin fled to Austrasia. After this victory, Ebroin returned to France, then sent for Martin, who was still at Laon, telling him that he might safely come to talk with king Theodoric. The emissaries who had been sent there swore their oaths on empty caskets to deceive them. Believing that they were in earnest, they came to the king, and were killed immediately, together with the companions they had brought with them.
Ebroin, who was in no way chastised by his previous suffering, again began to do harm to the French, more brutally than before. However, Our Lord rewarded his deeds appropriately a short time later, avenging the blood of saint Legier and of his brother, whom he had martyred, by means of a Frenchman named Hermanfred, who spied upon him one night, attacked him suddenly as he stood with his aids, and killed him (680). After doing this, he fled into Austrasia to Pepin the Short. The French then elected another man as mayor of the palace, who was named Garato. Garato made peace with duke Pepin of Austrasia; he received hostages from him to confirm the peace. Garato had a son named Gislemer, who was proud and courageous, but who was brutal, and behaved badly, particularly towards his father, whom he supplanted at the palace. Saint Ouen reproved him for this behavior, and forbade him from behaving with such criminal brutality towards his father. However, he would not pay attention to the holy man's chastisement; he provoked much contention and many battles with Pepin, the prince of Austrasia, with whom his father, Garato, had concluded alliances. But, because of his sin against his father, and for other crimes he committed, Our Lord took vengeance upon him, suddenly parting his soul from his body, according to the words of saint Ouen; when he was dead, his father, Garato, returned to his original position in the palace. He had a wife, who was very wise and of the highest lineage, whose name was Ansefleda; he died after he had governed the palace for a short time. The French were divided in their choice of a successor, and finally made a foolish choice, selecting a man who was utterly useless to the kingdom, whose name was Berthar; he was a small man, without any sense.
While the French were arguing among themselves, Pepin the Short, duke of Austrasia, moved his army against king Theodoric and Berthar, the mayor of the palace; the two armies came together at a place called Textrice (Tertry). They battled long and hard, but finally the king and Berthar were defeated; they fled from the field, and Pepin and his men were victorious. A short time later, Berthar was killed by traitors from among his own men, who were encouraged by Enseflode, the wife of Garato, his predecessor. Finally, king Theodoric and duke Pepin made a peaceful agreement, and Pepin was chosen to be mayor of the palace. When he had received the treasury and the official office of the palace, he went to Austrasia, and left in his place a prince whose name was Norbert. Prince Pepin had a wife of noble lineage and great wisdom, whose name was Plectrude. He had two sons with her, Drocus was the name of the elder, and Grimoart of the younger. The country of Champagne was given to Drocus, the elder. Thus Pepin the Short, as you have heard, became lord of all of Austrasia and all of France, which has sometimes also been called Neustria; it extends, in one direction, from the great sea of Britanny to the river Meuse, and in the other direction, from the Rhine to the Loire. He greatly improved the country under his command, for he put things in better shape than they had been before. He recalled saint Lambert, whom king Theodoric, following Ebroin's judgment, had sent into exile, and restored him to his see, in the city of Trajectus. He was mayor of the palace for twenty-seven and a half years, under several kings.
King Theodoric, the son of king Clovis, who was the son of king Dagobert, died in the nineteenth year of his reign, 693 years after the Incarnation of Our Lord, leaving two sons, whose mother was queen Clotild. The elder was named Clovis, and the other Childebert. Clovis, the elder, was crowned, reigned three years, and died. His brother Childebert, a noble and just man, reigned after him, while Pepin the Short remained mayor of the palace.
At this time, he defeated in battle Rabodus, the duke of Frisia, and sent Willebrod into this land to preach the faith of Jesus Christ. Norbert, whom Pepin had made his stand-in in the palace of king Childebert, died, and he replaced him with his son, Grimoart.
At this time, Pepin's mother Begga died; she was the wife of the first Pepin, and the daughter of Ansegise, the son of saint Arnulf. Drocus, who was the son of prince Pepin, and count of Champagne, died at this time.
Saint Lambert reproached prince Pepin for consorting with Alpais, a woman to whom he was not married, instead of with Plectrude, his own wife. Alpais' brother, whose name was Dod, killed saint Lambert merely because he had reproached Pepin for his sin. His body was transported to the city of Trajectus, but how it was then carried to the city of Liege, the history does not say. Saint Hubert then became bishop.
An incident. At the time king Childebert reigned, bishop Aubert of Avrenche founded the church of Saint Michel, which is called "in-peril-of-the-sea," and is called la Tombe because of its height [explanation in Life of Benedict, Acta Sanctorum III.i. p.86: Hic igitur locus Tumba vocitatur ab incolis, ideo quod in morem tumuli quasi ab arenis emergens in altum].
An incident. At this time, Hector, the seneschal of Marseille, was killed, because of the harm he had done to the church of Clermont in Auvergne.
At this same time Hulphoart [Vulfoaldus in Sigebert of Gembloux, 667], king Childeric's mayor of the palace, founded the abbey of Saint Michael on the river Meuse, in the bishopric of Verdun.
Prince Pepin fought against many foreign nations, against the Swabians and Frisians, and was victorious everywhere. His son Grimoart had a son by a concubine; his name was Theudoalt. Prince Pepin had a son by Alpais, whom he preferred to his wife Plectrude. His name was Charles, and he was a strong, noble warrior, whose pride in accomplishment proved very valuable to the kingdom. Later on, he was called Charles the Hammer, as the history will relate later on, in describing his deeds.
At this time, the glorious king Childebert died, an honest man, of pious memory. We know nothing of his deeds, because the history says nothing about them. He died in the year of the Incarnation 714 [711 actually] in the seventeenth year of his reign, and was buried in the abbey of Cauci, in the church of Saint Stephen. His son Dagobert was then crowned king. He was called the second Dagobert [Dagobert III actually, but the second Dagobert is not mentioned by LHF or by continuation of Fredegar], after the first, who had founded the abbey of Saint Denis, and he was a quarter degree of his lineage. The first Dagobert had engendered Clovis, Clovis engendered Theodoric, Theodoric engendered Childebert, and Childebert engendered the second Dagobert; although there were several other kings between the two, nevertheless the two Dagoberts were in a straight genealogical line. Grimoald, the son of prince Pepin, who was the mayor of the palace, had a wife whose name was Theudesinda; she was the daughter of a pagan prince, Rabodus, the duke of Frisia. Grimoald was a distinguished, civilized human being, gentle and agreeable, wise and temperate, loyal and just. One day he set out for Austrasia, to visit his son Pepin, who was sick; he went to the city of Liege, and entered the church of Saint Lambert to pray. As he stood before the altar, praying, Rangar, a servant of Rabodus, the duke of Frisia [neither the continuator of Fredegar nor LHF says that Rangar was a servant of Rabodus], whose daughter he had married, killed him. With another woman he had a son named Theodald, who took over his office in the palace, by the command of prince Pepin, his grandfather.
An incident. At this time saint Giles came from Greece to the land of the Goths, which is now called Provence. There he lived and performed good works, as is related in his life.
Here begin the deeds of the noble prince, Charles Martel.
At this point prince Pepin, who was called the Short, died, in the year of the Incarnation 715 (Dec, 714); he had held the power in the palace for twenty-seven and a half years, through the reigns of several kings. Plectrude, his wife, governed the kingdom wisely, together with king Dagobert and Theodald, her grandson, the mayor of the palace. She destested Charles, her stepson, who was later called the Hammer, and had him taken and imprisoned in the city of Cologne. Exactly at this point, great strife and contention arose among the French over Theodoald, the mayor of the palace, for some were against him, and some supported him. The result was a long, brutal battle, with many killed on both sides. Theodoald and his men were defeated, but he saved himself by fleeing. At this point, France was greatly disturbed and in turmoil. When Theodald had fled and his party had been subdued, the French chose Raganfred to be mayor of the palace. He and king Dagobert then set out with the French army, went through the forest of Charbonniere, and reached the river Meuse, burning and killing throughout the countryside. They made an alliance with a pagan prince, Rabodus, the duke of Frisia. Exactly at this point, Charles, with the help of Our Lord, escaped from the prison in which his stepmother Plectrude had placed him.
A short time later, king Dagobert died (715-716); he had reigned only five years. The French then elected a cleric named Daniel, who, some histories say, was the brother of the king Dagobert who had reigned before him. They let his hair grow, and then they crowned him, changing his name to Chilperic. When Charles had escaped from prison, he tried in every way he could to get back the lordship of the palace that his father, prince Pepin had held, plotting how he might take it away from Raganfredz. But king Chilperic and Raganfred joined forces, and came up against Charles in a battle at the river Meuse. Rabodus, the duke of Frisia, with whom they were tied by alliances, came to help them, and Charles bravely came up against them, drew up his line of battle, and hurled himself upon the Frisians and his other enemies. The battle was so hard-fought and difficult that he lost too many men; finally he was beaten, and he escaped by fleeing.
A short time later, king Chilperic and Raganfred again moved their army against him, entering the forest of the Ardennes, passing beyond it to the Rhine, and then on to Cologne, while laying waste the entire countryside. Plectrude, the fine woman who had been the wife of prince Pepin, convinced them to return by giving them a large amount of money. When they returned, Charles came up to them at a crossing named Amblave, attacked them, and did great damage to their men. Then he prepared his army to attack them, but first he offered them a peaceful agreement. They would not agree to this, but came forth drawn up for battle against him, in a place in Cambresi called Vinci, on the Sunday before Easter, on the third calends of April (21 mar 717). They were met bravely by their opponents, and the battle was waged with great force by both sides. At the end, Raganfred and king Chilperic were defeated, and they escaped by fleeing, and Charles was victorious, prevailing in the field like a noble conqueror. He laid waste the whole region, and returned to Austrasia, laden with booty from his enemies, and some chronicles say that he pursued them as far as Paris. Before returning to Austrasia, he went to the city of Cologne, compelling it to accept him as ruler. He fought against his step-mother Plectrude, until she gave him his father's treasury. He crowned a king under him, whose name was Lothar (IV, 718-719). While prince Charles remained in the kingdom of Austrasia, king Chilperic and Raganfred called upon Eudo, the duke of Aquitaine, for help, and they made an alliance with him. He assembled the Gascon army, then moved, with a remarkably large force against Charles, who bravely and unhesitatingly came forth to meet him in battle. They fought long and hard, and finally they were defeated; duke Eudo fled to Paris, crossing the Seine, and fleeing to Orleans. He did not dare remain there, but he took king Chilperic and all his treasury, and fled into his own land, very happy to have been able to escape. Charles pursued him for a long time, but was unable to find him. He pursued Raganfred, the mayor of the palace, as far as the city of Angers, laying siege to the city, and he would not leave until he had captured both him and the city. Moved by pity, he permitted Raganfred to live there; when he saw that he had submitted to him, Charles returned to France and enjoyed undisputed authority over all the kingdom. In this year (719) king Lothar, who had been crowned by Charles, died. In the following year, prince Charles sent emissaries to duke Eudo of Aquitaine, who offered peace and harmony; Charles gave him king Chilperic, whom he had brought with him, and a large amont of treasure and jewels. The king did not live much longer; he reigned five and a half years, and died and was buried in the city of Noion (721). To succeed him, the French chose another man, and prince Charles confirmed the selection; his name was Theodoric (721-737), and he was the lineal heir, since he was the son of the second Dagobert, and was brought up in the abbey of Chiele; he reigned for fifteen years. Thus Charles, the noble prince, was mayor of the palace of France, and prince of the kingdom of Austrasia.
At this time, the Saxons rebelled; prince Charles assembled his army and entered their land, triumphantly defeating them, and returning victoriously to France.
At the beginning of this same year (725), he assembled his army, crossed the Rhine, and went all through Germany and Swabia, reducing all these territories to submission; then he went on as far as the Danube, leading the French forces into lands and territories beyond this river, conquering a land called Bulgaria [Bavaria, apparently] When he had conquered all these lands, and ransacked and pillaged the eastern sections, he returned to France, victorious, with great booty of various kinds of wealth. On his return, he brought with him lady Plectrude, his mother-in-law [Primat's error; the continuator of Fredegar gives Beletrude, who would seem to be the wife of Grimoald, duke of Bavaria], and one of her nieces, whose name was Sinichild.
At this time, Eudo, the duke of Aquitaine, broke the alliances he had made with Charles, who, when he heard news of this from emissaries, raised his army, crossed the Loire, and pursued the duke into his own territory, but he was unable to catch him. He took much wealth from his enemies, and returned to France, but he could not stay there long. Again he assembled his army, moving against the Saxons, the Allemands, the Bavarians, and against the Swabians who had revolted against him. He defeated and reduced to submission Lanfrid, the duke of Allemania, destroyed and laid waste all the land mentioned above, then returned to France, having won noble victories everywhere, and having taken great spoils from his enemies.
When Eudo, the duke of Aquitaine, saw that prince Charles had so beaten and humiliated him that he could not take vengeance without finding outside help, he made an alliance with the Saracens of Spain, and called on them for help against prince Charles and against Christianity. The Saracens then left Spain, with one of their kings, whose name was Abdirames, with all their women and children, and with all their possessions, which were too great to be counted. They brought with them all their equipment and whatever they owned, as though they were going to remain forever in France. The crossed the Gironde, and entered the city of Bordeaux, killing the people, burning the churches, and destroying the country. Then they went on to Poitiers, destroying everything, as they had done in Marseilles, and burning the church of Saint Hilarius, about which there was much grief. From there they set out for the city of Tours, to destroy the church of Saint Martin, the city, and the entire region. There the victorious prince Charles came before them, with all the aid he could muster; he drew up his battle-lines and plunged in among them with miraculous courage, like a hungry lion attacking sheep. In the name of the power of Our Lord, he made such a great slaughter of the enemies of the Christian faith that, as the history witnesses, he killed 385,000 of them in that battle, together with their king, whose name was Abdirames (730). Then was he first given the surname Hammer, for, as a hammer breaks and smashes iron and other metals, so did he break his enemies and all foreign nations in battle. Miraculously, in this battle he lost only 1500 of his own men. He captured their tents and their gear, and took for himself and his men everything that the Saracens had. To raise money for this expedition he took the churches' tithes and gave it to the knights, though only temporarily, to defend the Christian faith and the kingdom, acting on the advice and with the consent of the prelates; he promised that if God preserved his life he would generously give the tithes back to the churches, together with other gifts. This he did for the great wars that he waged so often, because of the continual assaults of his enemies. Eudo, the duke of Aquitaine, who had provoked the advent of so many Saracens, brought about a reconciliation with prince Charles Martel, and later killed whatever Saracens he could find who had escaped from this battle.
In the next year, the noble prince Charles Martel assembled his army and invaded Burgundy; he ransacked the kingdom, seized the cities and castles, garrisoned them with his own men, and appointed leaders and chatelains with feudal obligations, to keep the peace and to fight rebels. When he had arranged things as he wished, and pacified the entire country, he returned, by way of the city of Lyons, took possession of it, then assigned it to be guarded by men whom he trusted; from there he returned to France. At this time Eudo, the duke of Aquitaine, died; Charles Martel, when he heard the news, on the advice of his barons moved an army assembled for the purpose to seize his land. He crossed the river Loire, and then the Gironde; he took the city of Bordeaux, and then Blaive (Blaye), forcing the entire region, cities and castles, to acknowledge his authority. Then he returned to France in glory, victorious in everything he did, with the aid of the King of Kings, who lives and reigns endlessly. But some chronicles say at this point that before he conquered Aquitaine, he fought against Hunaldus and Waifer, the two sons of duke Eudo. Waifer was the son of Hunaldus, who was the son of Eudo. ]
At this time the Frisians, a cruel and brave people, rebelled against him brutally; they could not be reached by land, for the region was surrounded by the sea. Therefore it was necessary to assemble a large navy of ships and gallies to reach Frisia. He set out by sea and reached this land with the aid of Our Lord. He went through two sections of this region, Austrasia and Anistrachie, burning and killing, destroying everything. He met Rabodus, the duke of Frisia [in the continuation of Fredegar, the name is Bobon or Popon], at a river called Burdone, fought him and killed him, together with his army, and broke and burned all their idols. Then he returned to France, prosperously, with great victories and great booty from his enemies.
At this point the Vandals [actually the Saracens, in 725], a cruel, treacherous, and inhuman people, came to France [Chronicon S. Petri Vivi, ed. Luc Achery, in Spicilegium etc. Paris, 1723, II, p. 464]. They captured cities, destroyed churches, looted and burned abbeys, destroyed castles, killed people, and spilled terrifying amounts of blood. Thus they came, laying waste the whole country, until they reached the city of Sens. They began a powerful assault on the city, with javelots, with catapults, battering rams, and with whatever instruments they had [Primat turns the Latin jaculis et machinis more specifically into de fondes et fandofles]. But Ebbo, the archbishop of the city, came out to face them, with as many people as he could gather, armed with faith and hope for the aid of Our Lord; he raised the siege, and made them turn in flight, pursuing them until they were out of the country.
The victorious prince Charles Martel raised his army at this point, invaded Burgundy, and reached the city of Lyons, compelling the noblest and greatest men of this province to submit to his authority. From there he went to Marseille, and then to Arles the White, leaving his seneschals and bailiffs everywhere. Then he returned to France, laden with great gifts and great presents.
The Saxons then began to rebel throughout the parts that border the Rhine. But Charles Martel, who do not wish to permit this presumption to go unavenged, moved his army across the Rhine, through a place where a river called the Lippe runs, destroying and laying waste part of this region, and making the rest tributary; he took good hostages, and then returned to France.
At this time a strong and brutal people, called the Ysmaeliciens, arose, though by some they were called the Saracens. They came from the direction of Spain, and crossed the Rhone and approached the city of Avignon, which was so strong and high, that they could not have captured it by force for a long time, had it not been betrayed. But Marontes, a duke of the country, and some other traitors made an agreement with them, and opened the gates to them; they who had destroyed the whole country then entered the city. When prince Charles Martel heard the news, he sent his brother, duke Hildebrand, ahead of him, together with many other princes and dukes, with a large army, and many siege-weapons. They laid siege to the city, which was very strongly fortified, drawing up their machines and people to deliver the assault. They drew near, setting the ladders to the walls. At this point the victorious prince, Charles Martel, arrived with a large force, and the assault was begun with astounding vigor. From all directions they surrounded the city, launched stones, moved their battle-lines closer, drew their bows and cross-bows, let the projectiles fly, shouting on all sides, while sounding trumpets, in the same way that Jericho was once captured. They assailed the city from all directions so strongly and so bravely, that those inside were terribly frightened. Then the French gathered their courage and climbed the ladders up the walls and onto the houses, dropping down into the city. They captured the Saracens and killed them all; thus was the city recovered. He led his army beyond the Rhone, searching out Goths through the whole country, arriving at Narbonne, a noble, wealthy city, mistress of this entire province. Inside the city was Authumes [Athima, according to Fredegar, and according to the Chronique de Moissac, perhaps Youssouf-ibn-Abderaman], a Saracen king, together with many men. Charles Martel laid siege to the city, shutting them in. When the greatest of the Saracen kings and princes heard of this, they moved from their country with a great army, together with a pagan king named Amor [Omar-ibn-Chaled, according to Chronique de Moissac], to help king Authume. They got out of their boats, for they came by sea, and came up against Charles Martel, who was entirely prepared for battle. He faced them bravely, meeting them in a valley called Corbaria, at a river called the Birra [La Berre, in the Aude]. A great battle took place there, but, by the power of Our Lord, the greatest of their kings was killed, and all the others defeated. When they saw that their lord was dead, those who were left turned from this killing and fled to the border of the sea, where they thought that they could escape with the aid of their navy. Those who managed to reach them climbed into the ships, and those who could not, jumped into the sea out of fear and horror of being killed. But the French, who pursued them closely, leaped into the gallies and attacked them, killing some by throwing them into the sea, and others by casting arrows and javelots at them. Thus prince Charles Martel won a victory over the Saracens, with the aid of Our Lord, and the French won as much booty as they could carry. They captured the territory of the Goths and destroyed it, and they captured duke Victor [Primat's mistake, as Viard points out, in translating Fredegar's capta multitudine captivorum, cum duce victore regionem goticam depopulant] and many other important prisoners. They destroyed and tore to the ground the greatest and noblest cities of the country, setting fire to cities inhabited by Saracens, like Uceticum (Uzes), Menansum (Nimes), Altimurium (near Montpellier), Agathom (Agde), Biteris (Beziers), Substanterom, which today is called Montpellier. When he had vanquished all his enemies, he returned to France, victorious everywhere, with the aid of Our Lord.
In the second month of the following year, prince Charles Martel sent his brother, duke Hildebrand, and several other princes, into Provence, with a large army. He himself moved from one side directly towards the city of Avignon, to punish duke Barontus [Maronte in Fredegar, correctly], who had done some damage to him in this area. He pursued him to the edge of the great sea, through mountains and valleys so high and so dangerous that it seemed no one could climb them. He conquered the castles and fortresses above the coast, and made all these lands submit to his authority. Then he returned to France, glorious and famous for all the things he had done with the help of Our Lord. He was so strong and feared that he never found anyone who dared defend himself against him.
Then the Saracens returned from Spain, captured Arles the White, and laid waste the entire countryside. But Charles Martel, aided by Liuddprand, the king of Lombardy, attacked them. They were so afraid of him that they fled without a battle, merely because of his reputation. He pursued the Saracens, and left them, who had previously conquered nearly all of Asia, Libya (that is, Africa), and a large part of Europe, without any hope of ever returning to France. He captured duke Barontus, whom the Saracens had summoned from Spain, as the history told earlier, and then returned to France, a glorious victor everywhere, by the power of him who rules and will rule forever.
From that point the king began to grow weak, and he contracted an illness in a town called Vermerie, which is on the banks of the Ysar (l'Oise). Before this he had concluded an alliance with Liudprand, the king of the Lombards. He sent Pepin, the youngest of his sons, to him, so that Liudprand might be the first to cut his hair, and might be his godfather, as was the custom in those days. King Liudprand did this willingly, and was delighted with him, sending him back to his father honorably laden with great gifts.
Exactly at this time, saint Gregory, the apostle of Rome, sent him the keys of the Holy Sepulcher and the chains with which saint Peter the apostle was bound, together with so many and such large gifts that no one had ever seen or heard described such gifts, on condition that the king would place heavenly before earthly concerns, and would defend the church of Rome against the brutality of the Lombards, and would break off relations with them, and come to Rome as the prince and counselor of the Romans. He gave a very honorable reception to the emissaries who carried this news and these gifts, and gave them many generous gifts when they left. He also sent large, expensive gifts to the church of Saint Peter of Rome by his own emissaries, Singobert, the abbot [Contin. of Fred. says merely "recluse" and not abbot] of Saint Denis in France, and by Grimo, the abbot of Saint Peter of Corbie.
With the advice of his barons, he divided his kingdom among his sons while he was still alive. To Carloman, the eldest, he gave Austrasia, Swabia, Allemania and Thuringia; to the next youngest, whose name was Pepin, he gave France, Burgundy, Province, and Neustria, which is now called Normandy. To the third, whose name was Grifo, the eldest of them all [Primat again makes an error, since Grifo is the youngest; he commits the same error below], he assigned no land; contention about this arose after his death. In that same year, Pepin, together with his uncle Hildebrand, invaded Burgundy with a large army. He ransacked the whole land, and took possession of the gift that his father had given him.
Meanwhile, an event occurred that is very painful to relate, for a new sign appeared in the sun, in the moon and in the stars, and was a portent of a troubled Easter. These signs were thought to point to the fall of a great prince, and a short time later the king suffered a very high fever in a town called Karisi (Quierzy-sur-Oise today), which is on the bank of the Ysar. In his time he enlarged the kingdom of France and left it in great peace and prosperity. He passed from this world on the eleventh calends of November (22 October). He governed the two kingdoms for 25 years, and he died in the year of the Incarnation 741; he was buried in the church of Saint-Denis in France, to which he had given many rich gifts. He was placed at the side of the main altar, in a rich, alabaster sarcophagus.
Here the deeds of king Pepin begin [Primat begins to use the Royal Frankish Annals, also known as Annales d'Eginhard, MGH, Scriptores I, pp. 135ff].
The victorious prince Charles Martel had three sons: Caroloman, Pepin, and Grifo. Grifo, the eldest (Latin text says he was the youngest), had a mother named Simanhild (Swanahildis in Latin text), who was the niece of Odilo, the duke of Bavaria. On her evil advice, Grifo went to war against his brothers, in the hope of obtaining the entire kingdom. His presumption mounted so high that he seized the city of Monloon, and challenged his brothers to battle on an assigned day; they raised their armies and laid siege to him in the city. He finally gave in to them when he saw that he lacked sufficient power, and could not fight successfully against them. The brothers then returned, to supervise the kingdom, and to recover the provinces that had broken their ties and alliances with France after the death of their father. They intended to leave the kingdom securely at peace while they fought in foreign countries. Because they feared that their brother Grifo might make trouble for the kingdom while they were gone, Caroloman took him and put him in prison in a new castle situated near Ardane. There he had him well guarded until he set out on the road to Rome.
The brothers then moved their armies into Aquitaine, against duke Hunaldus, for this was the country they wanted to recover first. They captured a well-fortified castle named Louche, then went to old Poitiers, where they divided up the kingdom, which they had previously held in common, before leaving the country. When they returned to France, Caroloman raised his army and invaded Alemannia on his own, because it had cut off its ties with France, and he laid waste the whole region, burning and killing, and then returned to France.
A short while later, the two brothers, Caroloman and Pepin, assembled their armies and moved against Odilon, the duke of Bavaria, because he had carried off one of their sisters, and they fought and defeated him, together with his entire army. When they had returned to France, Caroloman went alone to fight in Saxony, where he captured a castle named Hohseoborc, as well as a duke of the country whose name was Theodoric. Then he returned to France. At another time, the two brothers went back into Saxony and again took into their service this same Theoderic, and when they had laid waste the entire country, they returned.
In that year Caroloman showed the holy purpose he had always had, for his heart yearned to abandon the world, and he wished to turn his back on the vain glory of this life, to enter religious service, and to repent. For this reason, Pepin left off fighting this year, to carry out his brother Caroloman's vow, for he wanted to put him in a position to fulfill his wishes. Caroloman went to Rome, and left all the false glory of this world, founding a monastery in a place called Monsorapt [Mt. Soractus] in honor of saint Silvester, for there he had been sheltered, as they say, in the time of the persecution of Christians under the emperor Constantine. There Pope Zacharius cut his hair, blessed him, and gave him the habit of a monk. Then he left this place, because the nobles of France who went there visited him too often, and entered the abbey of Saint Benedict at Montecassino, in a society of other brothers, and there he served Our Lord, and produced the fruit of good works by leading the good life for the rest of his days.
Grifo, the other of the brothers, did not wish to be his brother Pepin's subject, although he had lived honorably under him, but he assembled as many men as he could, and fled into Saxony. A short while later he assembled an army and came up against his brother at a river named Ovacre [the Ocker today], at a place named Orphan; prince Pepin assembled a French army against the treachery of his brother, went through Thuringia and invaded Saxony, bivouacking in a placed named Skahingue, on a river called the Misaha [Schoeningen, on the Meissau]. They did not fight, however, but held a discussion, and then separated.
Grifo, who clearly perceived the unreliability and treacherous nature of the people of Saxony, left the country out of fear of being betrayed, and went into Bavaria. He retained the knights and servants of the French kingdom who had gone with him, including Swithgerum who had come to help him. He took the duchy from duke Tassilo, who was the duke of the country. When the news of these deeds was reported to prince Pepin, his brother invaded Bavaria with a large army, capturing Grifo, all those who were with him, and all those who had joined him. He gave back to duke Tassilo his land, and then returned to France. To Grifo, his brother, he gave twelve counties in the kingdom of Neustria, but that was still not enough for him; that year he fled to Waifer, the duke of Aquitaine.
Prince Pepin, who clearly saw that the kings of France at that time were doing the kingdom no good, sent Burkhardt, the archbishop of Bourges, and Fulrad, his chaplain In the Latin, Burkhardt is archbishop of Wurzburg, and Fulrad abbot of Saint-Denis. ] as emissaries to the apostle Zacharius. They were to ask advice about the problem of the current kings of France: would it be better that the king of France should have no power in the kingdom, but only the name of king, or should he be the one by whom the kingdom is governed, with all power and responsibility in his hands? The apostle answered that he should be called king by whom the kingdom is governed, and who has sovereign power, and he gave the judgment that prince Pepin should be crowned king (751). In that same year he was proclaimed king, by the judgment of Pope Zacharius, and by the choice of the French. He was anointed and consecrated in the city of Soissons by the hand of saint Boniface, the martyr, in the year of the Incarnation of Our Lord 750. Childeric, who had the name of king, was shorn of his hair and placed in an abbey; king Pepin then reigned fifteen years, four months, and twenty days. Before this he had held the authority in the palace and in the kingdom ten years, since the death of his father, Charles Martel.
In the next year after his coronation, he assembled his army and invaded Saxony, and although the Saxons put up a strong defense at the border of their country, they gave way finally, and fled, defeated. The king then rode on through the land until he reached a place called Rimi, which is situated on the Weser river. In this battle Archbishop Hildegar was killed. When he had laid waste the land, the king set out to return. Upon his arrival, he was told that his brother Grifo, who had fled to Duke Waifer, had been killed, and how and by whom he had been slain.
At this time king Pepin had corrections and changes made in the songs and liturgy of the churches of France, as authorized by the learned authority of the church of Rome. Remi, the archbishop of Rouen, king Pepin's brother, flourished in good works at this time.
In this year pope Stephen came to France, to speak to king Pepin, in the town of Karisi (Quierzy). The purpose of his journey was to ask for help defending himself and the church of Rome against the Lombards. After him, Carloman, the king's brother, who was a monk of Saint Benedict at Montecassino, arrived, having been ordered by his abbot to ask his brother the king not to ally himself with the apostle, nor to consent to his request. It was thought that he did not do this of his own free will, but he did not dare to go against his abbot's order, nor did the abbot dare resist the order that had been given to him by the king of the Lombards. This king's name was Astolph, and he had done much harm to the Romans, for he wished to have the tribute entirely for himself.
King Pepin agreed, however, to the apostle's request, agreeing to protect and to defend the church, and the pope anointed and consecrated him in the royal authority, together with his two sons, Charles and Caroloman, in the church of Saint-Denis in France (754), confirming them in such a way that their entire lineage would hold the authority of the kingdom by inherited right forever, and excommunicating by the authority of the holy Father all those who would resist them, or use force against them. Pope Stephen remained the entire winter in France.
An incident. In that year (5 June 755) saint Boniface, the archbishop of Mainz, was martyred in Frisia, where he had been sent to preach.
King Pepin assembled his army in the spring to invade Lombardy, to establish the holy Father's rights in respect to the king of the Lombards, at the request of the apostle Stephen, and the Lombards assembled all their forces to resist the king and the French, and to defend the borders of Lombardy. They came forward to meet them at the mountain passes, and put up a strong fight, but they were defeated and fled, and the French easily passed through, although the trip was difficult. When they had passed through the mountains, and were in the plains of Lombardy, king Astulph and his Lombards did not dare wait for a battle, but they shut themselves up in the city of Pavia, where they were besieged; king Pepin would not raise the siege until king Astulph had given him 40 hostages, and had sworn an oath that he would respect the rights of the Roman church. With his task confirmed by oath and guaranteed by hostages, the king returned to France, and he had the apostle conducted to Rome by his chaplain Force [an error by Primat, for Fulrad], together with a large company of Frenchmen.
Caroloman, the king's brother, who was a monk, had come to France to subvert the apostle's mission, as the history related above; he remained in the city of Vienne with his sister-in-law, Bertha; there he caught a fever and died before the king returned from his battle with the Lombards, and the king had his body removed and carried to Montecassino, where he had received the monk's habit and vocation.
Astulph, the king of Lombardy, who had, in the previous year, sworn an oath to the king and given him hostages, swearing that he and his barons would keep and protect the rights of the church of Rome, paid scant attention to his oath, keeping none of his promises. Therefore king Pepin again summoned his army, and invaded Lombardy with a very large force, again laying siege to king Astulph in Pavia, as he had done before, compelling him by force to carry out what he had sworn he would do for the church, and to give over to him Pentapolis and Ravenna, with everything that belonged to them; the king then gave them over to the apostle and to the church of Rome. Then he returned to France, and when king Pepin had returned, king Astulph did not bother to carry out what he had promised, but instead revoked everything he had done. But Our Lord intervened [Annals of Einhard 756], helping the king by thwarting his evil intentions, for Astulph fell from his horse one day while hunting in the woods. From the resulting fracture he contracted an illness and died a short time later. One of the princes of his palace, who was named Desiderius, took over the kingdom after his death, and reigned for 18 years.
At this time emissaries from Constantine, the emperor of Constantinople, reached the king at his castle in Compiegne, where the king was holding a general meeting. They brought him rich presents from their lord, among which was an organ of marvelous beauty [the phrase de merveilleuse biaute is an addition of Primat]. Tassilo, the duke of Bavaria, was also present, with a large company of the noblest men of his country; there he became Pepin's man, placing his hands in the king's hands, according to the French custom, and he swore fealty to him and to his two sons, Charles and Caroloman. He then renewed the oath over the body of saint Denis and over the body of saint Germanus of Paris, and over the body of saint Martin of Tours, and promised that he would remain faithful and loyal to the king and to his two sons all the days of his life, as a retainer to his lords, and all the princes and most important men of Bavaria, who had come with him, made the same oath over the bodies of the previously mentioned saints.
The king assembled his army and invaded Saxony, but the Saxons fought against him and defended their fortresses and castles strongly; however, they were finally pushed back and defeated, and the king and all of his army entered their territory through the passage that they had defended, and when they had passed beyond it, there was a great battle, in which many Saxons were killed. Thus they were compelled to do the king's will utterly, and his demand was that each of them would come to his court, to a general meeting, to honor him, and they would present him with 300 prize horses. When the king had charged them with this tribute, he returned to France. There a son was born to him, named Pepin, like his father, but he died at the age of three.
In this year, the king celebrated the Nativity in a place named Longlaires, and Easter in another place, which is called Jopila (both in Belgium); he did not ride outside of his kingdom for the whole year.
Duke Waifer of Aquitaine angered the king, because he kept for himself the income of the churches that had been established in his territory by order of the king, and he would not give the income over to the priests in charge. The king issued warnings to him through his own emissaries, then gathered his army and invaded Aquitaine to protect the church, and to restore what the duke had taken for himself. In a place called Tedoad [Doue, today] the king set up camp for his army. Duke Waifer, who dared not fight a battle, sent emissaries to say that he was ready to obey the king's will entirely, by giving back to the churches what he had taken, and he would give whatever guarantees the king might demand. For greater security, he would give to him two of the noblest men in Aquitaine, Adalgarius and Itherius. With this offer he appeased the king, who had been very angry with him; Pepin then held back from fighting, in exchange for the hostages who were handed over. He then dismissed his army and returned to France, where he spent the winter in the village of Quierzy, celebrating the holidays of Christmas and Easter there.
Duke Waifer very much wanted to avenge in some way the damage that the French army had done to him, and, even though he had sworn an oath to the king to obey his will, and given him hostages, he soon sent his army to Chalon in Burgundy to lay waste the countryside. When the king, who was holding a general meeting in a town called Duria [Duren, in Germany, today], heard about this, he again got his army together, invaded Aquitaine fully prepared for battle, and took some castles by force, among which the noblest were Bourbon, Cantilla [Chantelle, today] and Clermont; some of them surrendered without a fight because they had been harmed too often by sieges and battles. Whatever the French found outside of the strongholds they destroyed by sword and by fire. The king brought his troops as far as the city of Limoges, laying waste all before them, and then he returned to France, to spend the winter at Quierzy, where he celebrated the holidays of Christmas and Easter.
In his army he brought along the eldest of his sons, Charles, who held the kingdom and the empire after Pepin's death.
King Pepin very much wanted the war which he had begun against Waifer to come to an end; he assembled (762) his army and invaded his land with a large force. He spent much time fighting, capturing the city of Bourges and the castle of Thouars, and then returned to France. He spent the winter in a town called Gentil, celebrating the holidays of Christmas and Easter there.
At this point Chilpingus, the count of Auvergne, and Amingus, the count of Poitiers, fought against his people, but they and many of their supporters were killed.
When the fighting season returned, the king assembled a general meeting of his barons in the city of Nevers. After this general meeting he assembled his army from all parts of the kingdom and invaded Aquitaine, ransacking the entire land, as far as the city of Cahors, laying waste before him the countryside and everything he found outside the fortresses with sword and with fire. He returned through Limoges, safe and sound, with all his troops. Tassilo, the duke of Bavaria, left the army, excusing himself by pretending to be sick, returned to his country, severing his alliance and vassalage with the king, proposing never to return to his court. The king dismissed his army and spent the winter in a town named Longlaire, celebrating the holidays of Easter and Christmas there.
An incident. In this year the winter was harsher and more brutal than any that had ever before been recorded.
The king had two plans for two different war-campaigns, one in Aquitaine, which had lasted a long time, and the other, a new one, against duke Tassilo of Bavaria, who had broken his allegiance, and severed his feudal ties. He assembled a large general meeting of his barons in a city named Garmare (Worms). He spent the whole year within his own kingdom, without going to war. He celebrated the holidays of Christmas and Easter in the town of Quierzy.
There was an eclipse of the sun in this year, on the first nones of May [Einhard says the second nones of June, corresponding to June 4; Art de verifier les dates gives 4 June 764, 11 in the morning], around noon.
The king did not leave the kingdom for the whole year, neither to fight in Bavaria, nor in Aquitaine, where the war was not yet over; afterwards he held a general general meeting at Attingy, and celebrated the holidays of Easter and Noel at Aix-la-Chapelle. In the spring, the king held a great general meeting in the city of Orleans, to resume the war against duke Waifer; he assembled his army and invaded Aquitaine. He fortified the castle of Argent, which duke Waifer had destroyed; he had destroyed and torn to the ground this castle and several others, because he well knew that it could not long hold out against the king's forces. The king set up his garrison in the city of Bourges, then returned to France, celebrating Christmas in a town called Saumonci, and Easter at Gentili.
In that year a controversy arose between the church of the East and that of the West, that is to say, between the Greeks and the Latins, about the holy Trinity and the images of the saints. To settle this question the king assembled a council of prelates in the town of Gentili. When the council broke up, and Christmas had passed, the king moved his army and invaded Aquitaine. He went to the city of Narbonne, and then to Toulouse; he captured Arles the White and Gaieste [another error in translation: Albigeois and Gevaudan in Einhard], placed all the surrounding territory under his authority, and then returned by way of Vienne, where he celebrated Easter. He campaigned up and down the country until the battle-season had passed; he rested his army, which was extremely tired, and then, in the month of August, set out to finish up the rest of the war in Aquitaine. He returned by way of Bourges, and convoked a general meeting of his barons, then set out across the Gironde, destroyed the countryside around Limoges by fire and killing, and captured many castles and fortresses. He subjected to his authority all of Agenois, Angelousme, and Perigord. He captured many of his enemies, who were defending themselves in ditches and in caves [another apparent error, here in translating Castella multa et petras atque speluncas], and his men captured Remistame, duke Eudo's brother, and the uncle of duke Waifer. He had him hanged on a gallows when he perceived his treachery. Then the king returned to France and dismissed his troops for the winter, which was approaching. He remained in the city of Bourges to celebrate Christmas, where an emissary arrived to announce the death of the apostle Stephen [Paul, in fact, 28 June, 766]. Messengers from Amirmon [probably Almansor, the caliph of Baghdad], the king of Spain, also arrived there, bearing presents from their lord, who offered him friendship and an alliance.
When the king saw that the season for fighting had arrived, he assembled his army from all parts of the kingdom, to bring an end to the war in Aquitaine, riding directly to the city of Saintes. But before he arrived there, the mother of duke Waifer was captured, together with his sister and his nieces, and they were brought before the king. He received them very graciously, and ordered that they be guarded with honor, then he set out to cross the Gironde. There a knight named Erounque [in Annals of Einhard, (H)erowicus] came forward, giving up and delivering to him another sister of duke Waifer. After the king had done what he wished in Aquitaine, he returned to a castle named Cels to celebrate the holiday of Easter. When the holiday was over, he took his wife, queen Bertha, and all of his entourage, and went to the city of Saintes. He left her there, and quickly went after duke Waifer, nor did he wish to return until he had killed him. The history says nothing of the manner of his death, but some chronicles say at this point that he was killed by his own people, because they thought that by this act they might acquire the king's favor [Sigebert of Gembloux, 768]. He was killed in Perigord. The king took a gold ornament, with precious stones, which he placed in his arms on solemn holidays, which is still called Waifer's (bouz), and had them hung as a sign of victory in the church of Saint Denis of France, behind the main altar, and they are still there, but now they hang above the arms of a golden crucifix.
When duke Waifer was dead, and the king had finished his war, he returned to the city of Saintes. While he was staying there, he caught an illness, but before it got worse he had himself carried to the city of Tours. There he prayed to saint Martin; then he was carried to Paris. From that point on the illness [according to Einhard, hydropsy] grew worse, and he did not long survive. He passed from this world on the eighth calends of October (24 September 768), in the fifteenth year of his reign, 768 years after the Incarnation, and he was buried in the church of Saint Denis in France. He was placed face down in the sarcophagus, a cross above his face, and his head turned towards the Orient. Some say that he wished to be buried in such a way because of the sins of his father, who had taken the tithe from the churches. He left two sons as heirs to his kingdom, whom the history has mentioned. Charles and Carloman, with the advice and consent of the French, were both crowned, Charles, the eldest, in the city of Noion, and Carloman in the city of Soissons. Charles went off to Aix-la-Chapelle, celebrated the Nativity there, and Easter in Rouen.