Wednesday, 22 August 2018


Thanks to a clever member of the Twitterati, we learn to our delight that there was a sixth century consort of the king of the Neustrain Franks of the Merovingian dynasty (previously here, here and here), wife of Chodebert I who ruled Paris and the western part of Gaul, called Ultragoth.
Charitably, Childebert is credited for bringing Roman Catholicism to Spain, at the request of his sister Chlortilde who claimed she was being berated and abused for her faith by King Amalaric of the Visigoths (an attested follower of Arius), who brought an army to settle this domestic dispute and invaded the peninsula, ousting the heretical Visigoths in favour of a dynasty more closely aligned with the Church.  Childebert also plundered some relics from Spain, including the dalmatic vestments of Saint Vincent of Saragossa, which Ultragoth found suitable homes for. Likely spelt Ultrogothe (or Vulthrogotha, which is also cool) in Franconian, not to be a spoil-sport, there’s no indication of frequency or popularity for the name but other female regnants and consorts (which seem to never be repeated) included Ermengarde, Himiltrude, Chimnechild, Radegund, Amalberga, Bilichild, Waldrada, Fulberte, Wulfegundis and Wisigard. Nothing else is known of Childebert’s wife other than that she, having failed to produce sons and therefore heirs, and her daughters, Chrodoberge and Chrodesinde, were sent into exile after the king’s death—as was their custom, and his share of the kingdom reverted to his younger brother, Chlothar.