Who was Clovis?
Clovis was the king of the Franks in the late 400s and early 500s AD. He was significant because he created the first united Frankish kingdom and because he was a Roman Catholic.
After the "fall" of Rome, there were many small kingdoms in what used to be the Roman Empire. Clovis was able to take many of the Frankish kingdoms and weld them together under his own rule. This was important because it started to bring Europe back towards a situation in which there was more political stability. It was also important because Clovis was Catholic (as opposed to believing in Arian Christianity). This ensured that most of Europe would also be Catholic and Arianism would die out as a faith with a large following.
Clovis (c. 466-511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one king. He also introduced Christianity. He was the son of Childeric I and Basina. At age 16, he succeeded his father, in the year 481.
Clovis had previously married the Christian Burgundian princess Clotilde (493), and, according toGregory of Tours, as a result of his victory at Tolbiac (traditionally set in 496), he converted to herCatholic faith. Conversion to Christianity set Clovis apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from heathen beliefs toArian Christianity. It also ensured him of the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy in his later campaign against the Visigoths, which drove them from southern Gaul (507).
Clovis was baptised at Rheims on Christmas 496, 498 or 506 by Saint Remigius. The conversion of Clovis to catholic Christianity, the religion of the majority of his subjects, strengthened the bonds between his Roman subjects, led by their Catholic bishops, and their Germanic conquerors.