Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Today in Language: Clovis

Clovis, the first king of France, or rather of the Franks, died on November 27, 511. He began the Merovingian dynasty, which was followed by the Carolingiens, Capetiens, Valois, and Bourbons, until the Franks/French finally decided they'd had enough of monarchies and all that and opted for a violent, bloody, fairly sudden turn to the republic.

The name Clovis, in case you're looking for a good boy's name, is the Latinized form of Ludwig, meaning "famed warrior." Clovis was that, since he conquered Gaul, in addition to uniting the different tribes of Franks.

Clovis is also remembered for his conversion to Christianity, which is generally thought to have been genuine, though it is hard to know motives. Was it for his wife, or for political power with the papacy, or for some other ulterior motive? Only God and Clovis know.

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