NameChlothar (Lothar) I King of Franks
Birth499, Rheims, Marne, Loire-Alantique, France
Death29 Nov 561, Braines, Loire Atlantique, France
BurialSt Medard Abbey, Soissons, Aisne, France
MotherClothilda of Burgundy (475-548)
Misc. Notes
Merovingian king of Soissons from 511 and of the whole Frankish kingdom from 558, who played an important part in the extension of Frankish hegemony.

The youngest of Clovis I's sons, Chlotar shared in the partition of his father's kingdom in 511, receiving the old heartlands of the Salian Franks in modern northern France and Belgium. After the death of his brother, Clodomir, in 524, he murdered his nephews and shared the kingdom of Orléans with his two remaining brothers, Childebert I and Theodoric I. The deaths without heirs of the latter's grandson, Theodebald, in 555 and of Childebert in 558 brought all the Frankish lands finally under Chlotar's sway.

Chlotar's principal campaigns were against the Burgundians in 523 (with Childebert and Clodomir) and 532-534 (when he and Childebert finally imposed Frankish rule), against the Visigoths in 532 (with Theodoric) and 542 (with Childebert), and against the Thuringians in c. 531 (with Theodoric); he married the Thuringian princess, Radegunda. Chlotar was ruthless and brutal, and the family rivalries and sometimes open hostilities in which he figured prominently were characteristic of Merovingian history; in 560 he even had his rebellious son, Chram, together with Chram's family, put to death. Gregory of Tours describes Chlotar, wracked with fever on his deathbed, asking--whether in outrage or in admiration--what manner of heavenly king it was who would bring great rulers to their deaths in such a fashion.

Clothaire I ruled Soissons which consisted of Soissons, Laon, Amiens, Cambrai, Terouanne and Limoges, being largely the original Merovingian kingdom. He conquered Burgundy and Provence, 534-536; from 558 until his death in 561 he was sole king of the Franks. {see Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1959 Edition, 5:845} He was the last of the great Merovingian kings - at his death the kingdom was divided among his surviving sons. At his death Clothaire protested, "Wa! Wa! How
great is the king of Heaven, who can kill kings as great as I am." {-"The Age of Arthur," John Morris, 1973, p.258.} Clothaire reigned 511-561. He is buried at Saint Medard at Soissons; he died of a fever after strenuous hunting. Clothaire was married six times and also had several affairs. On the death of his brother, Clodomir, he murdered his children and married his widow. He repeated this on the death of his nephew Theodebald (marrying his widow, Valrada, dau. of the King of the Lombards). Two of his wives were sisters.

His first name is also spelled "Closaire", "Clothaire" or "Chlothachar"
"Le Vieux" He was the youngest son of Clovis I.
Accession to the thrown in 558. King of Franks (558-561); King of Soissons
Source: Genealogy of the Kings of France; Charlemagne's Ancestors;
Charlemagne's 40 Generation Ahnentafel Chart by Tom Peterson, 24 Oct 1992
The Lives of the Kings and Queens of France, p 19
Birthabt 518
Death5 Aug 587
 Chilperic I (539-584)
Birthbef 502, France
Deathabt 536
ChildrenSigebert I (535-575)
Last Modified 17 Oct 1999Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh