Baptism of Clovis (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The baptism of Clovis facilitates the conversion of the Franks, spreading Catholicism into France and Germany.
Summary of Event
The conversion of Clovis to Christianity was one of the major events of the early Middle Ages and established a pivotal political and religious relationship between the Germanic tribe of the Franks and the papacy. The Franks are central to much of early medieval history, because they were the basis of the political and religious institutions and of the social and economic organization that distinguished the medieval world of Gaul, which became the geographic center of Charlemagne’s empire, and of the subsequent rise of the principalities and kingdoms of France and Germany.
The significance of Clovis’ baptism was that he converted to the Nicene faith—the belief of Roman Catholicism and eastern Byzantine Orthodoxy. Most other Germanic tribes occupying the Western Roman Empire were followers of Arian Christianity. Arianism had been condemned as a heresy at the first ecumenical council in 325, because it denied the full humanity of Jesus. The Nicene faith proclaimed the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) and declared Jesus to be both God and man. Germanic Arians included the Goths (both the Ostrogoths in Italy and the Visigoths in Spain), who were converted to Arianism by the missionary Ulfilas in the mid-fourth century, the Vandals in North Africa,...
(The entire section is 1511 words.)
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