died 597, Paris

Queen consort of the Frankish king Chilperic I.

Originally a servant, she became Chilperic's mistress after he killed his wife (с 568). The murder set off a 40-year feud with the family of his half brother Sigebert I, whose assassination Fredegund ordered in 575. Known for her ruthlessness and appetite for intrigue, she also made attempts on the lives of his widow and son. After Chilperic was murdered (584), possibly at her order, she took his riches and fled to Paris, where she lived until her death. Her son, Chlotar II, triumphed over Fredegund's rival and took control of the Frankish kingdom in 613.

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▪ Merovingian queen consort
French  Frédégonde  
died 596 or 597, Paris

      queen consort of Chilperic I, the Merovingian Frankish king of Soissons.

      Originally a servant, Fredegund became Chilperic's mistress; she encouraged him to murder his wife and queen, Galswintha (c. 568). Galswintha, however, was also the sister of Brunhild, the wife of Chilperic's half-brother Sigebert I, king of the eastern kingdom of Austrasia. Galswintha's murder engendered a violent animosity between Fredegund and Brunhild and an irreconcilable feud of more than 40 years' duration between the respective families. Fredegund was certainly responsible for the assassination of Sigebert in 575 and made attempts on the lives of Guntram (her brother-in-law and the king of Burgundy), Childebert II (Sigebert's son), and Brunhild.

      After the mysterious assassination of Chilperic (584), Fredegund seized his riches and took refuge in the cathedral at Paris. Both she and her surviving 3-month-old son, Chlotar II, were at first protected by Guntram, but, when he died in 592, Childebert II, who had taken over his throne, attacked Chlotar, albeit unsuccessfully. From Childebert's death (595) until her own, Fredegund intrigued on Chlotar's behalf against Brunhild, who sought to rule through Childebert's sons, Theodebert II of Austrasia and Theodoric II of Burgundy. Ruthlessly murderous and cruel, Fredegund is portrayed by her contemporary Gregory of Tours (Gregory of Tours, Saint) as having few rivals in monstrousness.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Fredegund — or Fredegunda (also Latin Fredegundis or French Frédégonde ; died 597) was the Queen consort of Chilperic I, the Merovingian Frankish king of Soissons. Originally a servant, Fredegund became Chilperic s mistress after he had murdered his wife and …   Wikipedia

  • Fredegund — (d. 597)    Wife and mother of the Merovingian kings Chilperic I and Chlotar II respectively, Fredegund was one of the great queens of the dynasty. She was also one of the most ruthless and ambitious Frankish queens, and her rise to power… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Chilperic I — (c. 537 584)    Merovingian king from 561 to 584, Chilperic was the son of Chlotar I (d. 561) and grandson of the great king Clovis (r. 481 511). His reign as king was marred by almost constant warfare with his brothers, especially Sigebert, for… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Brunhilde — (d. 613)    Visigothic princess, Merovingian queen, and rival of the queen Fregedund, Brunhilde had great influence on politics in the Frankish kingdoms in the late sixth century and the early seventh. Her struggle with Fredegund contributed to… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Merovingian Dynasty — (450 751)    Ruling family of Frankish Gaul from the mid fifth to the mid eighth century, when it was replaced by Pippin the Short and the Carolingian dynasty. Creators of the most effective and longest lasting successor state to emerge in the… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Brunhilda of Austrasia — Brunhilda [Her name has many forms, Brunhilda is the German form, it also happens to be the most common in English. In French, she is Brunehaut, in Spanish Brunegilda or Brunequilda. She is also called Brunilda , Brunichildis , Brunechildis ,… …   Wikipedia

  • Chilperic I — For the Burgundian king ruling 473–474, see Chilperic I of Burgundy. Portrait of Chilperic I on a bronze medal 1720 …   Wikipedia

  • Galswintha — (d. 567)    Spanish Visigothic princess, whose marriage with and subsequent murder by the Merovingian king, Chilperic I, may have caused a terrible blood feud between Galswintha s sister Brunhilde and Chilperic s new wife, Fredegund.    The… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Guntram — (c. 535 592)    King of the Merovingian Franks, grandson of the great king Clovis, and favorite ruler of the bishop and historian Gregory of Tours, Guntram ruled over Burgundy, one of the kingdoms of the Franks, during a particularly tumultuous… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Gregory of Tours — (c. 538 594)    Bishop of Tours from 573 until his death in 594, Gregory came from an illustrious Gallo Roman family that included powerful political and religious figures. His father, Florentius, was a member of the senatorial class, and… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

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