FRANKS, Clodius - I31418

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Clodius FRANKS

Clodius Franks.jpg
Ephraim Blood Line. [1] "Chlodio." Clodius, or Chlodion the Hairy is also known as Clodion, Chlodio, or Chlogio. He was a king of a tribe of Salian Franks that probably occupied what is now Belgium. Chlodio's tribe renounced the suzerainty of Rome after 428 and broke across the Scheldt River, spreading southward into Gaul until they reached Tournai and Cambrai. Their defeat ca. 431 by the Romans at Helena (between Tournai and Cambrai) prevented further expansion. Chlodio did occupy all the country as far as the Somme, however, and he made Tournai the capital of the Salian Franks. He ruled between 428 and his death, ca 447.

Chlodio is considered by some to be the founder of the Merovingian dynasty. [2] "France" and "Merovingian and Carolingian Age." The period of the Morovingian and Carolingian Frankish dynasties (476-887) marked the transition from antiquity to what can properly be called the Middle Ages. Who were these earliest ancestors of ours? A mixing of cultures in northern Europe occurred at this time. The settlement of Germanic peoples in Roman Gaul brought into contact people from two entirely different worlds. Linguistic barriers were quickly overcome, for the Germans adopted Latin. In keeping with the Roman principle of hospitality, the Germans who settled in and around Gaul were able to preserve their own judicial systems. Multiple contacts in daily life between the two cultures produced an original civilization composed of a variety of elements, some of which were inherited from antiquity, some brought by the Germans, and all strongly influenced by Christianity. The two groups fused rapidly. The first sovereigns committed the customs of the people into writing. By the beginning of the Seventh century, there arose an aristocracy of office which increased in importance. Its members were given lands confiscated from the collapsed Roman Empire. Small and middle-sized landholders existed, but that class decreased in size. Slavery was a viable institution, as slaves continued to be obtained during wars and through trade with the Muslim lands of the Mediterranean. Military needs encouraged the origination of feudalism, and thus manorialism, at this time. Men who swore loyalty (fealty) to a more powerful lord were given parcels of land (fiefs or manors) in return for their services. The land was not owned, but could be passed on in the hereditary mode, generally to the eldest son. Parts of the fief could be given to vassals who pledged loyalty (and military service) to that landholder, and so a pyramid of vassal/lord connections grew.

"Enfeoffment" became a practice whose term was still used in 18th and 19th century land deed found among our family records.) Of course, those people who were greatly landed had a much easier, freer existence than those who weren't. Europe at that time was poor, under-developed and thinly populated. At least half the land could not be farmed because of dense forests or swamps. War, disease, famine, and a low birth rate kept the population low. People lived an average of 30 years, and there was little travel or communication for most of them. The lord and his lady lived in the manor house, from which the manor's knights were trained. She was an accomplished housekeeper and overseer, but she had few rights. If his lady could not produce a male heir, her lord could end their marriage. Education was generally limited to the clergy, who also became advisers to the undereducated lords or kings. Peasants lived in crude huts and slept on bags filled straw. They ate what they could grow or raise, as the manor's game was the property of the lord. Life was not easy. [3]

It is interesting to note that our ancestor Chlodius was a forefather of that period in time. [4] Chlodion's title, "the Hairy," probably had some historic basis which then started the custom followed by later kings of his dynasty of growing their hair to an inordinate length as a sign of their royal status. His son and successor was Meroveus (or Merovech), who gave his name to the Merovingian dynasty. The period of the Merovingians was one of wars and atrocities, economic stagnation, urban inactivity, and artistic and intellectual decline. Only the spread of Christianity and the growth of monasticism seem significant in this dynasty. (After Clodius, all the Merovingian kings had long hair, and their royal power was thought to be connected to the length of their hair. They are often referred to as the "Long-Haired Kings".)

  1. Clodian, King of the Salic Franks, 428-448, was born about 380 and died about 448. The Salic Franks came from Dieburg in Hessen, the name of Salic being derived from the river Saale which flows southwest into the Main River in Franconia about thirty miles east of Dieburg. Clodian's lands were at Tournai and correspond generally with the territory of Hainaut.
  2. Merovaeus, son or son-in-law of Clodian, b. ca. 411, d. 458, defeated Atilla with the aid of Aetius, 451, king, 448-458.
  3. Childeric I, b. ca. 436, d. 481, king of the Salic Franks, 458-481; after 463, Basina of Thuringia; his kingdom included Seine, Marne, Meuse, Moselle, Treves, Angers and Orleans; in 1653, his tomb was discovered in Tournai; it contained his seal ring and several gold bees, the imperial emblem of the Merovingians later adopted by Napoleon.

  4. Clovis the Great, b. 465, d. 11 Nov. 511; m. (2) St. Clothilda, b. 475) d. 3 June 548, dau. of King Chilperic, son of Gundioc, King of Burgundy, 436-473, son of Gundicaire, b. ca. 385, King of Burgundy, slain by the Huns in 436. Clovis, King of the Salic Franks, 481-511, defeated the Roman general Syagrius near Soissons, 486, and the Alemanni 496. Through the influence of Chlotilda, he was baptized as a Christian by St. Remy at Rheims, 25 Dec. 496.
  5. Clothaire I, b. 499, d. 561; m. Radegonda, a dau. of the king of the Thuringian Franks. He was king of Soissons, 511-561.
  6. Chilperic I, b. 539, d. 584, King of Neustria (Soissons), 561-584, m. Fredegonda, b. 543, d. 597.
  7. Clothaire II, b, 584, d. 628, King of Soissons, 584-613, sole king of the Franks, 617-628; m. Altrude.
  8. Dagobert I, b. 602, d. 638, King of Austrasia, 622-628, sole king of France, 628-638; considered the greatest of the Merovingian kings of France.
  9. Seigbert III, King of Austrasia, 639-654. He was banished to an Irish Monastery by Pepin of Landon.
  10. Dagobert II, King of Austrasia, 676-680.
  11. Adela, dau. of Dagobert II, and mother of Aubri I.
  12. Aubri I, Count of Blois.
  13. Aubri II, Count of Blois
  14. Theidlindis, dau. of Aubri II, m. Count Gainfroi, fl. 795, son of Mainier, Count of Sens, Duke of Austria, 791-796, d. 800, and his wife, a dau. of Duke Haudre.
  15. Giselbert, Count in the Massgau (the valley of the Lleuse river), 839-842; prob. m. a sister of Echard, Count of Hesbaye.
  16. Giselbert, Count of Darnau, 846-863; m. Helletrude of Lorraine (also called Ermengarde), dau. of the Emperor Lothair I (53-15). Quoted from "Genealogy of the Nances in Cornwall" by Martin L. "Pete" Nance, 1970, who quoted from Mr. Frederick Lewis Weis who states: "The Compiler purposely has not had his work copyrighted, so that any descendant or scholar may use freely whatever he desires". Mr. Harold King Bowen, 428 Vista Avenue, Pasadena, California, has compiled and copyrighted "The Book of Adam" which includes the genealogy of the Bible and its connecting link to most of the royal families found in this section of the NANCE REGISTER. (Nance Genealogy Clearinghouse /Crouchmas is May 3 )


  1. Ref: Enclopedia Britannica Micropedia, 1989 ed. S.v.
  2. Ref: Encylopedia Britannica Micropedia, 1989 ed. S.v.
  3. (World Book Encyclopedia, 1989, s.v. Bryce Lyon, "Feudalism" and "Middle Ages.")
  4. Ref: Douglas Johnson, A Concise History of France (New York: The Viking Press, 1971), p. 41.