Historical setting: 602 C.E. On the road to Luxeuil
Greg is agape studying every soldier in the line, noting every detail: the armor, the swords, the horses, the rich silks, the banner. This is not the banner of the queen.
“It’s not royalty at all under that banner.” I tell them, but my boys are absorbed in the pomp. The murmur through the crowd persists that it is Queen Brunechildis. And for twelve-year-olds hearing the crowd saying it is a queen it seems more trusted than their papa saying it is not.
“Really, Greg, Gabe,” I insist. “if this were Brunechildis (Brunhilda) the banner would bleed purple. I don’t know who this is and the crowd doesn’t know either. I know something of the history of this error, and I can assure you she would not be coming on a holy pilgrimage to the baths of Luxeuil.”
“Who is this Brunechildis?” asks Gabe. “Maybe she was a friend of King Guntram, and now that he is gone, here she came in his place.”
“That would be a reasonable guess by one knowing nothing of it. Brunechildis was the widow of Guntram’s brother, Seigebert. The four brothers, the sons of Clothar the elder, were four squirrely rascals always fighting among themselves. So when Chilperic saw Siegebert’s princess Brunechildis he put aside his own favorite princess, Fredegund, and sent for Brunechildis’s sister Galswintha. Then Siegebert was the first of the four brothers killed off, and Guntram, who had no heir of his own, sheltered Brunechildis and Siegebert’s little son Childebert II for a while. Brunhilda ruled Astrasia as the regent for Childebert II and by the time he was of age to rule Guntram’s protection was moot. Meanwhile Galswintha was murdered in her bed, and Chilperic went back to Fredegund. So Brunechildis was raging and it didn’t help matters when later Guntram adopted Chilperic’s son to be his own heir with Fredegund, regent. The story is a complicated tapestry. But it is a sure thing that Brunechildis is not likely to show up at an Irish monastery where the late King Guntram was benefactor. I’m just saying you can’t trust rumors that snake through a crowd if you want to know what is true.” [Footnote]
Greg says it all, “The horses are splendid, anyway.”
As the rich procession passes there has been a parting in the crowd exposing the people moving through these masses unseen, those who cannot stand, crawling toward the pools. It is likely this is the view of a crowd that caught the eye of Jesus most often.
[Footnote] Yes, this blogger revisited that Merovingean Genealogy—Apendix A of Patrick J.Geary’s Before France & Germany…
(Continues Tuesday, March 28, 2023)
2 thoughts on “#42.11, Thurs., March 23, 2023”
So much research goes into this. It is more entertaining than history though.
That’s the fun part. Sooo interesting what happened back in the day.