Austregilde (548[1] – 580[2][3]), also called Austrechild,[4] Austerchild,[5] Austregildis,[4] Bobilla,[5] and Bobile,[6] was a Frankish queen consort of the 6th century.

Austregilde
Queen of Orléans
Tenure565 – 580[1]
Born548[1]
Died580[1]
Chalon-sur-Saône
SpouseGuntram
IssueClotaire, Clodomir, Clotilde, and Clodeberge
DynastyMerovingian

She was not born into high social status, and was possibly a servant of Queen Marcatrude, the second wife of Guntram, King of Orléans,[2] a servant of one of Guntram's courtiers,[3] or even a slave in the household of Marcatrude's father.[7] After Guntram's repudiation of his earlier queen in 565, she became his third wife.[2][a] Objections to this marriage and to the legitimacy of Austregilde's children led to the deaths of Marcatrude's brothers and the banishment to a monastery of the Bishop of Gap, both on the orders of Guntram.[7]

Austregilde and Guntram had two sons, Clotaire and Clodomir,[b] and two daughters, Clodoberge and Clotilde.[8] Austregilde outlived her sons, who died in 576 of illness.[3][7] The fates of her daughters are unknown.[8]

She died in 580,[3] possibly of smallpox.[9] According to Gregory of Tours, she angrily blamed her doctors Nicolas and Donat, claiming their medicines were responsible for her death. She asked Guntram to kill her doctors after her death, which he did.[3][7][6][10] Gregory compares her actions to those of King Herod.[3][7] Modern historians have suggested skepticism about Gregory's account of Austregilde's death. E. T. Dailey notes that it "is difficult to square this passage" with Gregory's "supposedly heroic" overall portrayal of Guntram[7] and that "marriage to lowborn women was never likely to impress Gregory".[11] Mark A. Handley contrasts Gregory's depiction of Austregilde with that of her "glowing" epitaph, which describes her as "mother of kings, a surpassing royal wife, the light of her homeland, the world, and the court" and praises her charitable nature.[3] Handley is critical of those that have "unnecessarily followed" Gregory's lead, saying that the "opportunity to compare and contrast... has been universally missed."[3]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Marcatrude and Austregilde are sometimes referred to as Guntram's first and second wives, respectively, by sources that consider his first partner, Veneranda, a concubine and therefore not a wife.
  2. ^ The names of Austregilde's sons are also given as Chlothar and Chlodomer.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Chevalier, Ulysse (1905). Répertoire des sources historiques du Moyen-Age (in French). Vol. 1. Paris: A. Picard et fils. p. 390.
  2. ^ a b c Bouyer, Christian; Dictionnaire des Reines de France. Librairie Académique Perrin, 1992. p. 72. (ISBN 2-262-00789-6) (in French)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Handley, Mark A. (2020). "Chapter 26: Merovingian Epigraphy, Frankish Epigraphy, and the Epigraphy of the Merovingian World". In Effros, Bonnie; Moreira, Isabel (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of the Merovingian World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 557–8. ISBN 9780197510803.
  4. ^ a b Handley, Mark A. (2020). "Chapter 26: Merovingian Epigraphy, Frankish Epigraphy, and the Epigraphy of the Merovingian World". In Effros, Bonnie; Moreira, Isabel (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of the Merovingian World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 573. ISBN 9780197510803.
  5. ^ a b Davies, Norman (2011). "3. Burgundia". Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations. New York: Viking. ISBN 9781101545348.
  6. ^ a b Répertoire universel, historique, biographique des femmes célèbres, Volume 1, Ab - By (in French). Vol. 1. Paris: Désauges. 1826. pp. 272–3.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Dailey, E. T. (2015). Queens, Consorts, Concubines: Gregory of Tours and Women of the Merovingian Elite. Leiden: Brill. pp. 92–3. ISBN 978-90-04-29466-0.
  8. ^ a b Bourg, Edme Théodore (1830). Amours et galanteries des rois de France (in French). Brussels: Tencé. p. 59.
  9. ^ Nelson, Robert (1866). Asiatic Cholera: Its Origin and Spread in Asia, Africa, and Europe. New York: William A. Townsend. p. 31.
  10. ^ Celliez, Adélaïde (1851). Les reines de France (in French) (2nd ed.). Paris: P.-C. Lehuby. pp. 115–6.
  11. ^ Dailey, E. T. (2015). Queens, Consorts, Concubines: Gregory of Tours and Women of the Merovingian Elite. Leiden: Brill. p. 99. ISBN 978-90-04-29466-0.
Austregilde
Born: 548 Died: 580
Preceded by Queen of Orléans
565–580
Succeeded by