Chlothar I

Chlothar I
Coins of Chlothar I

Chlothar I[1] (c. 497 – 29 November 561), called the Old (le Vieux), King of the Franks, was one of the four sons of Clovis. He was born circa 497, in Soissons (now in Aisne département, Picardie, France).



On the death of his father in 511, he received, as his share of the kingdom, the town of Soissons, which he made his capital; the cities of Laon, Noyon, Cambrai, and Maastricht; and the lower course of the Meuse River. But he was very ambitious, and sought to extend his domain.

The division of Gaul upon Chlothar's death (561).

He was the chief instigator of the murder of his brother Chlodomer's children in 524, and his share of the spoils consisted of the cities of Tours and Poitiers. He took part in various expeditions against Burgundy and, after the destruction of that kingdom in 534, obtained Grenoble, Die, and some of the neighbouring cities.

When the Ostrogoths ceded Provence to the Franks, he received the cities of Orange, Carpentras, and Gap. In 531, he marched against the Thuringii with his nephew Theudebert I and in 542, with his brother Childebert I against the Visigoths of Spain. On the death of his great-nephew Theodebald in 555, Chlothar annexed his territories. On Childebert's death in 558 he became sole king of the Franks.

He also ruled over the greater part of Germany, made expeditions into Saxony, and for some time exacted from the Saxons an annual tribute of 500 cows. The end of his reign was troubled by internal dissensions, his son Chram rising against him on several occasions. Following Chram into Brittany, where the rebel had taken refuge, Chlothar shut him up with his wife and children in a cottage, which he set on fire. Overwhelmed with remorse, he went to Tours to implore forgiveness at the tomb of St Martin, and died shortly afterwards at the royal palace at Compiègne.


Chlothar's first marriage was to Guntheuc, widow of his own brother Chlodomer, sometime around 524. They had no children. His second marriage, which occurred around 532, was to Radegund, daughter of Bertachar, King of Thuringia, whom he and his brother Theuderic defeated. She was later canonized. They also had no children. His third and most successful marriage was to Ingund, by whom he had five sons and two daughters:

His next marriage was to a sister of Ingund, Aregund, with whom he had a son, Chilperic, King of Soissons. His last wife was Chunsina (or Chunsine), with whom he had one son, Chram, who became his father's enemy and predeceased him. Chlothar may have married and repudiated Waldrada


Further reading

  • Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 0-81660-621-8.
  • Geary, Patrick J. (1988). Before France and Germany: The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19504-458-4.
  • James, Edward (1991). The Franks. London: Blackwell, ISBN 0-63114-872-8.
  • Oman, Charles (1914). The Dark Ages, 476–918. London: Rivingtons.
  • Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. (1962). The Long-Haired Kings, and Other Studies in Frankish History. London: Methuen.
  • Wood, Ian N. (1994). The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450–751. London: Longman, ISBN 0-58221-878-0.


  1. ^ Also spelled Chlothachar, Chlotar, Clothar, Clotaire, Chlotochar, or Hlothar, giving rise to Lothair.
Chlothar I
Born: 497 Died: 561
Preceded by
Clovis I
King of Soissons
Succeeded by
Chilperic I
Preceded by
King of Orleans
Succeeded by
Preceded by
King of Reims
Succeeded by
Sigebert I
Moved to Metz
Preceded by
Childebert I
King of Paris
Succeeded by
Charibert I
Title last held by
Clovis I
King of the Franks
Title next held by
Clotaire II

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chlothar IV — (or Chlotar, Clothar, Clotaire, Chlotochar, or Hlothar, giving rise to Lothair; died ca. 719), king of Austrasia (717–18), was installed by the mayor of the palace, Charles Martel, as an ally during the civil war that was then raging. In 717,… …   Wikipedia

  • Chlothar — ist ein männlicher Vorname, eine veraltete Form von Lothar Es gab einige Frankenkönige aus dem Geschlecht der Merowinger namens Chlotar: Chlothar I. (* um 500; † 561) Chlothar II., (* 584; † 629/630) Chlothar III. (* 650/651; † 673) Chlothar IV.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chlothar —   [k ], Chlotar, fränkische Könige aus dem Haus der Merowinger:    1) Chlothar I., * um 498/500, ✝ 29. 11. (12.?) 560 oder Anfang 561, Sohn Chlodwigs I.; war 511 558 König in Soissons, 558 560/561 im ganzen Frankenreich, das durch Thüringen (531) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Chlothar IV. — Chlothar IV. († 719) war merowingischer Frankenkönig in Austrasien von 717 bis 719. Vermutlich war er der Sohn des Frankenkönigs Childebert III. eventuell aber auch von Theuderich III. Die Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Plektrudis, Karl Martell… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chlothar — (Chlotar, fränkisch so v. w. Lothar); 1) Ch. I., Sohn Chlodwigs d. Gr. u. der Chlothilde, geb. 497, wurde 511 König des Reiches Soissons; zog 528 mit seinem Bruder Theoderich gegen Thüringen, eroberte 534 mit Childebert Burgund, kämpfte… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Chlothar — (Chlotachar), Name mehrerer fränk. Könige aus dem Geschlechte der Merowinger: 1) C. 1., Chlodwigs I. und Klothildens jüngster Sohn, erhielt 511 bei der Teilung des Reiches den nördlichen Teil mit Soissons. 523 und 524 bekriegte er mit seinen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Chlothar — (d.h. der Heerberühmte), Lothar, Frankenname; C., Sohn Chlodewigs, geb. 497, 511 König von Soissons, kriegerisch, eroberte mit seinen Brüdern Burgund, riß Austrasien und Neustrien an sich, führte einen blutigen Krieg mit den Sachsen, st. 561. C.… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Chlothar I. — Denar mit Abbild von König Chlothar I. Chlothar I. (auch Chlotachar; † Ende 560/61 in Compiègne) war ein Frankenkönig aus dem Geschlecht der Merowinger. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chlothar II — Coin of Chlothar II. The kingdom of Chlothar at the start o …   Wikipedia

  • Chlothar II. — Münze Chlothars II. Chlotar II. in Verhandlung mit den …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.