Guntram - King and Pawn (S1: E18)

Thugs and Miracles: A History of France

23-04-2020 • 35 mins

Before I get into the notes, I want to give a shout-out to my Dad on his birthday! This podcast has been a wonderful journey, and it's made even better by knowing that my family is supporting me by listening, offering encouragement, and providing feedback. My dad has always been there for me, and this experience has been no different; with all of that said, happy birthday and thanks for listening!

Today we’re going to take a quick pause from the back and forth of Brunhilda and Fredegunda to get our bearings and re-evaluate who’s still in play. In all of the excitement, assassinations, illicit marriages and murders in the midst of the Easter Mass, it’s easy to forget that there were more than two people who were vying for control of Francia at this time. The most prominent of these “other” fighters was Guntram, the last of the four sons of Chlothar remaining alive and still the King of Burgundy. Of the four, Guntram was the only one to be acknowledged by the Catholic Church as a saint, which is relatively surprising given the opening story. But then again, it was the sixth century and things were… different. So maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised.

We'll also get into the Gundovald Affair, an interesting attempt by a bastard child of Chlothar to leverage support from the Byzantine Dynasty to stake his claim to the throne. Beyond that, as I have come to realize that the narrative has taken on a bit of a Tarantino-esque, Pulp Fiction-style feel with characters arriving, getting fleshed out, and then eventually merging into the main narrative and overlapping with the other characters at key intervals, I chose to take a moment to take a quick review of the Merovingian world since the death of Chlothar in 561, just to sort out any possible confusion.

Finally, I offer up a slew of other history podcasts you may like to try out while you have some time on your hands. I talk about them in more detail on the show, but as a quick who's-who, I offer you the following high-quality pods:

Written In Blood History

Happy Hour History

The History of Byzantium

The Year That Was

Inside History

The History of the British Isles

Pax Britannica

The Age of Napoleon

The Siècle

The French History Podcast

Alright, enjoy the show and stay safe; the world will get back to normal again soon enough, so in the meantime let's enjoy this extra free time we have! And please, let me know if you have a show you think I should have included for everyone else to hear about; there's so much to listen to and we all love finding something new, so please feel free to share!