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History of Franks - Essay Example

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In the essay “History of Franks” the author discusses the consolidation of most of Gaul under Clovis in the late fifth century, which is demonstrated in the book II of Gregory of Tours, History of Franks. The conversion of Clovis to Christianity plays an important role in the making of this history…
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The consolidation of most of Gaul under Clovis in the late fifth century is demonstrated in the book II of Gregory of Tours, History of Franks [cc.30-31]. That the conversion of Clovis to Christianity plays an important role in the making of this history is amply evident from the text. Clovis was a Frankish king of the Merovingian dynasty. He was also the first king to convert to Catholicism. The text highlights the marriage of Clovis to Clotilda, the exiled daughter of the Chilperic, a brother of Gundobad, the king of Burgundy. The burgundians were Christian as was Clotilda. Clotilda was instrumental in the conversion of Clovis to Christianity. Clovis prior to his marriage was a pagan ruler who believed in idol worship. Soon after his marriage, Clotilda wanted to him to convert to Christianity. She tried to do so by baptizing their first child, Ingomer, who died soon after being baptized, leaving Clovis unconvinced. And yet, when Clovis’ army seemed to lose in the battle against Alamanni, Clovis prayed to Jesus hoping he would be aided by the son of God as he had already been deserted by his pagan ones. In the passage what is apparent is that Gregory presents his work from the point of view of a Christian but with a leaning towards secularism. There seem to be gaps in the narrative; for example, why did the people welcome their conversion to Christianity from paganism, so easily, when Clovis himself was uncertain of their reactions? Modern day historians approach history from not just the manuscripts and fables passed down for generations and the academic and political scenario but take into account social norms and cultural environment when researching a period in history. Gregory in his time has written this work to convince people of the virtues of Christianity and writes about some of the miracles performed by saints like Remi, the bishop of Rheims. However, he also does mention how difficult it was for Clovis to let go of his faith and convert to Christianity and the fear of his acceptance by his people. Read More
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