Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1720
Chlodovald, son of King Chlodomer, renounces his patrimony and becomes a cleric, later a presbyter, after AD 524. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Histories", Tours (Gaul), AD 573-594.
Kings Childebert I and Clotaire I kill two sons of the late King Chlodomer in Paris.
Tertium vero Chlodovaldum conpraehendere non potuerunt, quia per auxilium virorum fortium liberatus est. His, postpositum regnum terrenum, ad Dominum transiit, et sibi manu propria capillos incidens, clericus factus est, bonisque operibus insistens, presbiter ab hoc mundo migravit.
(ed. Krusch 1937: 119)
Kings Childebert I and Clotaire I kill two sons of the late King Chlodomer in Paris.
There was a third boy, Chlodovald: him they could not catch, for those who guarded him were brave men. Chlodovald had no wish for earthly dominion, but devoted himself to God. With his own hands, he cut his hair short. He was made a cleric, devoted himself to good works, and departed this world as a presbyter.
(trans. Thorpe 1974: 182, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


Chlodovald's brothers were killed in Paris after the death of their father in 524.
Chlodovald's cutting of his own hair might have had a double meaning: he both renounced his claim to the Frankish throne (all Merovingian rulers had to be long-haired) and adopted a hairstyle more suiting a cleric.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Paris

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: The History of the Franks, Gregorii episcopi Turonensis historiarum libri X, Histories
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory of Tours (Gaul) wrote his ten books of Histories (known commonly in English as the History of the Franks) during his episcopal reign in Tours between 573 and 594. The books vary in scope and length. The first book covers 5,596 years from the creation of the world to AD 397, that is the death of Saint Martin of Tours, Gregory`s predecessor in bishopric. The second book deals with the history of Gaul between 397 and 511, the latter being the year of death of King Clovis I. The third and fourth books cover the next 64 years till the death of Austrasian King Sigibert II in 575. Finally, the following six books describe exclusively the sixteen years from 575 to 591. Probably in 594, Gregory added the list of bishops of Tours in the end of the Histories, with brief accounts of their actions.
B. Krusch ed., Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis Historiarum Libri X [in:] Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingiciarum 1.1, Hannover 1884 (repr. 1951): 1­-537.
Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, trans. L. Thorpe, London 1974.


Non-Latin Origin - Frankish
Social origin or status - Monarchs and their family
Food/Clothes/Housing - Hairstyle
Former ecclesiastical career - Unspecified clerical grade
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Economic status and activity - Inheritance
Further ecclesiastical career - None
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1720,