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Childebert I

Childebert I was born about 496 at Rheims, in the Marne, département, of France and died in 558. He was a Frankish king, and a member of the Merovingian dynasty, one of the four sons of Clovis.

- Childebert I
In the partition of his father's realm in 511 he received as his share the town of Paris, and the country to the north as far as the river Somme, and to the west as far as the English Channel, with the Armorican peninsula.

In 524, after the murder of Chlodomer's children, Childebert annexed the cities of Chartres and Orléans. He took part in the various expeditions against the kingdom of Burgundy, and in 534 received as his share of the spoils of that kingdom the towns of Macon, Geneva and Lyons.

When Witiges, the king of the Ostrogoths, ceded Provence to the Franks in 535, the possession of Arles and Marseilles was guaranteed to Childebert by his brothers.

Childebert also made a series of expeditions against the Visigoths of Spain; in 542 he took possession of Pampeluna with the help of his brother Clotaire I, and besieged Saragossa, but was forced to retreat. From this expedition he brought back to Paris a precious relic, the tunic of St Vincent, in honour of which he built at the gates of Paris the famous monastery of St Vincent, known later as St Germain-des-Prés, France.

He died without issue in 558, and was buried in the abbey he had founded, where his tomb has been discovered. See "Nouveaux documents sur le tombeau de Childebert a Saint-Germain-des-Prés" in the Bulletin de la Société des Antiquaires (1887).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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