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{{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} Clovis (Latin: Chlodovechus; reconstructed Frankish: *Hlodowig;<ref>Alain de Benoist, Dictionnaire des prénoms, d'hier et aujourd'hui, d'ici et d'ailleurs, p. 294, éd. Jean Picollec, 2009.</ref> c. 466 – c. 511) was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of royal chieftains to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.

Clovis was the son of Childeric I, a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks, and Basina, Queen of Thuringia, and he succeeded his father in 481, at the age of fifteen.<ref>The date 481 is arrived at by counting back from the Battle of Tolbiac, which Gregory of Tours places in the fifteenth year of Clovis's reign.</ref> He conquered the remaining rump state of the Western Roman Empire at the Battle of Soissons (486), and by his death in 511 he had conquered much of the northern and western parts of what had formerly been Roman Gaul.

Clovis is important in the historiography of France as "the first king of what would become France".<ref>General Charles de Gaulle is cited (in the biography by David Schœnbrun, 1965), as having said "For me, the history of France begins with Clovis, elected as king of France by the tribe of the Franks, who gave their name to France. Before Clovis, we have Gallo-Roman and Gaulish prehistory. The decisive element, for me, is that Clovis was the first king to have been baptized a Christian. My country is a Christian country and I reckon the history of France beginning with the accession of a Christian king who bore the name of the Franks." (Pour moi, l'histoire de France commence avec Clovis, choisi comme roi de France par la tribu des Francs, qui donnèrent leur nom à la France. Avant Clovis, nous avons la Préhistoire gallo-romaine et gauloise. L'élément décisif pour moi, c'est que Clovis fut le premier roi à être baptisé chrétien. Mon pays est un pays chrétien et je commence à compter l'histoire de France à partir de l'accession d'un roi chrétien qui porte le nom des Francs.)</ref> His name is Germanic, composed of the elements hlod ("fame") and wig ("combat"), and is the origin of the later French given name Louis, borne by 18 kings of France. Dutch, the most closely related modern language to Frankish, reborrowed the name as Lodewijk from German in the 12th century.<ref>Meertens Instituut, Nederlandse Voornamenbank, Lodewijk. The second element corresponds to Middle High German wîc, with final-obstruent devoicing, as in Ludewic. The Middle Dutch form is wijch (modern Dutch wijg; see WNT, "wijg"), as in original Dutch Hadewig, Hadewijch.</ref>

Clovis is also extremely significant due to his conversion to orthodox Chalcedonian Christianity in 496, largely at the behest of his wife, Clotilde, who would later be venerated as a saint for this act. The adoption of Nicene orthodoxy (as opposed to the Arianism of some other Germanic tribes) by Clovis led to a widespread conversion among the Frankish peoples, installing a unified religion all across modern-day France and Germany, and allowing Charlemagne's alliance with the pope and birth of the early Holy Roman Empire.


Clovis I sections
Intro  Frankish consolidation  Baptism   Roman Law   Later years and death  Legacy  Ancestry  References  External links  

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