Rise of the Two Queens (S1: E15)

Thugs and Miracles: A History of France

22-03-2020 • 35 mins

Today's episode starts with a look at King Charibert and his addition to history. The intent behind this was two-fold: first, to show the expanding power of the Church and its relation to the Frankish state, and two, to remove Charibert from the narrative relatively quickly. His two main additions to history were a) to be excommunicated, and b) to be the father of Bertha, the Frankish princess sent to Kent, in Brittia, who would ultimately succeed in bringing her pagan husband into the fold of the Church and open the door for Saint Augustine (not thatSaint Augustine) to convert the English. The church Bertha used in England for prayer and services was named in honor of Saint Martin of Tours, that same blessed Martin who has played such an oversized role in these first formative centuries of Frankish and Merovingian existence; it still exists and can be visited to this day. According to the UNESCO World Heritage website: “St Martin’s Church, the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey and Christ Church Cathedral together reflect milestones in the history of Christianity in Britain. They reflect in tangible form the reintroduction of Christianity to southern Britain by St Augustine, commencing at St Martin’s Church where Queen Bertha already worshipped, and leading to the conversion of King Ethelbert.…St Martin’s Church has been in continuous use as a place of worship since the 6th century.”

Beyond Charibert and Guntram, two of the Merovingian kings who proceed to get into the normal early-Medieval regal hijinks of backstabbing, betrayal and family murder, we also get to start looking at some new people on the scene who are going to shake our history right to its roots; enter Fredegunda and Brunhilda, the soon-to-be wives of Chilperic and Sigibert, respectively. We'll take a take a look at both of their ascents to Queenship and lay the groundwork for what will become the single most important interpersonal dynamic in all of Francia for the next 50 years. These two Queens will alter our history and change the game for the people in their time, as well as for centuries to come.

Finally, if you're looking for other history podcasts to binge, be sure to check out the shows I mention in the closing notes of the podcast. All of them are listed on the Recommendations page of the podcast at https://www.thugsandmiracles.com/recommendations. Enjoy!