Balthilde, abbesse de Chelles (c.634 - c.679) MP

public profile

Saint Balthild, Abbess of Chelles's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Nicknames: "Baldahildis", "Bathilde", "Bathilda", "Bathild", "Bathylle", "Batilde", "Balthild", "Bathildis", "Balthilde", "St.Bathilde", "Bilihilde", "Bilichild", "Saint Balthild"
Birthplace: Chelles,Neustria,,Belgium
Death: Died in Chelles,Seine Et Marne,,France
Occupation: Abbess Of Chelles, Queen of Franks., Regent 657-664, died as a nun, Reine de Neustrie (Vers 657-664), Regentes (657-665).<, Reine, des Francs, Régente, 657/665, Queen, Régente de France (657-665), Abbess of Chelles
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About Balthilde, abbesse de Chelles

Saint Balthild, also known as Bathilde d'Ascagnie, Batilde, Bathylle, Bathild, Bathildis, or Bathilda (626 or 627 – January 30, 680), was the wife and queen of Clovis II, king of Burgundy and Neustria (639 – 658). Her name comes from the Old English and means "bold battle". Two traditions, independent and conflicting, trace her career. One is a hagiography which was intended to further her successful candidature for sainthood. The other is a record of chroniclers, confirmed by a chance archaeological find in an East Anglian field.[2]

Both traditions represent her as an Anglo-Saxon of elite birth, perhaps a relative of King Ricberht of East Anglia, the last pagan king there. Ricberht was ousted by his Christian rival Sigeberht, who had spent time in the Frankish court. He was established as the rightful heir to the throne with Frankish help. Balthild was sold into slavery as a young girl and served in the household of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria to Clovis.

--------------------

Balthild

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Saint Balthild

Statue of St. Bathilde, Queen of the Franks

Born 626 or 627

Died January 30, 680

Venerated in Roman Catholic Church

Canonized c. 880 by Pope Nicholas I

Major shrine Abbey of Chelles outside of Paris

Feast January 30[1]

Saint Balthild of Ascania (pronounced /ˈbɔːltɪld/ enPR: bôlʹtĭld; Old English: Bealdhild, "bold battle"; c. 626 – January 30, 680), also called Bathilda, Baudour, or Bauthieult,[2] was the wife and queen of Clovis II, king of Burgundy and Neustria (639 – 658). Two traditions, independent and conflicting, trace her career. One is a hagiography which was intended to further her successful candidature for sainthood.[citation needed] The other is a record of chroniclers, confirmed by a chance archaeological find in an East Anglian field.[3] Balthild is also sometimes known by the unrelated name Varburgis.

Both traditions represent her as an Anglo-Saxon of elite birth, perhaps a relative of King Ricberht of East Anglia, the last Heathen king there. Ricberht was ousted by his Christian rival Sigeberht, who had spent time in the Frankish court. He was established as the rightful heir to the throne with Frankish help. Balthild was sold into slavery as a young girl and served in the household of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria to Clovis.

Contents [hide]

1 The hagiographic tradition

2 The chronicles and the seal

3 Notes

4 References

5 External links

6 Further reading


[edit] The hagiographic tradition

According to Vita S. Bathildis[4] Balthild was beautiful, intelligent, modest, and attentive to the needs of others. Erchinoald (whose wife had died) was attracted to Balthild and wanted to marry her, but she did not want to marry him. She hid herself away and waited until Erchinoald remarried. Next, King Clovis noticed her and, sometime in 649, asked for her hand in marriage. Balthild was nineteen when she became queen. Different versions of this story suggest Clovis was somewhere between the ages of twelve and sixteen at the time.

Even as queen, she remained humble and modest. She is famous for her charitable service and generous donations. From her donations, the abbeys of Corbie and Chelles were founded (and likely others such as those of Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil). She also provided support to Saint Claudius of Besançon and his abbey in the Jura Mountains.[5][6] She bore her husband three children, all of whom became kings: Clotaire, Childeric, and Theuderic.

When Balthild's husband died between 655 and 658, Clotaire, the eldest son and heir to the throne, succeeded at age five. Balthild served as the queen regent until he came of age in 664, when she was forced into a convent. As queen, she was a capable stateswoman. She abolished the practice of trading Christian slaves and even sought the freedom of children sold into slavery. As the story goes, after Balthild's three children were of age and "established in their respective territories" (Clotaire in Neustria, Childeric in Austrasia, and perhaps Theuderic in Burgundy), Balthild entered the abbey and gave up her royal rank. She dedicated the rest of her life to serving the poor and the infirm.

Balthild died on January 30, 680. She is buried at her foundation, the Abbey of Chelles outside of Paris. Her Vita was first written soon after her death, probably by one of the community of Chelles. The Vita Baldechildis/Vita Bathildis reginae Francorum in Monumenta Germania Historica, Scriptores Rerum Merovincarum 2, like most of the vitae of royal Merovingian-era saints, provides some useful details for the historian. Her official cult began when her remains were transferred from the former abbey to a new church, in 833, under the auspices of Louis the Pious. Balthild was canonised by Pope Nicholas I about 200 years after her death.

[edit] The chronicles and the seal

In the context of seventh-century culture it is clear that Balthild was simply the outright gift of Erchinoald to Clovis as a bedfellow,[7] though her hagiography emphasizes her chastity as a slave. Other Merovingian queens who arose from servile status are Fredegund, mother of Clothaire II; Bilichild, wife of Theudebert of Austrasia; and possibly Nanthild, mother of Clovis II. During the minority of Clotaire III she had to deal with the attempted coup of Grimoald, the major domus of Austrasia, but enjoyed the continued support of her former master Erchinoald.

By some chroniclers' accounts[8] she was a ruthless ruler, in continuing conflict with the bishops; she seems to have been responsible for several assassinations.[9] The vita of Saint Eligius by his companion Dado reports (ch. 32), "Then his widowed queen with her boys obtained the reign for a few years. She was afterward removed by law and left the principate to her sons..."[10] She was frustrated in her desire to have Eligius entombed at her monastery of Chelles (Eligius, vita, II.37). By an apparition of Eligius (II.41) was convinced to strip off her gold and jewelled ornaments, "keeping nothing except gold bracelets."

Her gold seal matrix, which was originally attached to a ring, was uncovered in 1999 by a metal detector in a field a few miles east of Norfolk's county town, Norwich. It has two sides. The official side shows her face and her name BALDAHILDIS in Frankish lettering. The private side shows naked figures, doubtless Balthild and Clovis, in a frank erotic position beneath a cross.[11] One seal identified official documents; the other, apparently, private ones. The seal matrix is conserved in the Norwich Castle Museum. It is surmised that the seal matrix was returned to her kin after her death.[12]

[edit] Notes

^ Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0140513124.

^ Other names: Baldhild, Bautour, Bauduria, Bat(h)ilde (d'Ascagnie), Bathild, Bathildis, Balthilde, Batilda, Baltilda, Betilda, Bathylle, Badechild, Baldechild, Berthildis, etc.

^ David Keys, "Erotic royal seal shows Anglo-French entente", The Independent, 15 June 2003

^ Vita Sanctae Bathildis, probably written by a nun of Chelles, and translated and paraphrased in Sainted Women of the Dark Ages pp 264ff. (ref.).

^ Saint-Claude (Municipality, Jura, France)

^ Saint Claude

^ Joanna Story, Carolingian Connections: Anglo-Saxon England and Carolingian Francia, C. 750-870 (2003) p. 32.

^ Eddius Stephanus of Ripon, vita of Wilfrid.

^ Bede reported that Aunemundus, bishop of Lyon, was assassinated at her instigation in 658.

^ Medieval Sourcebook

^ Worldtimelines, with image

^ British Archaeology April 2001, p. 26.

[edit] References

Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0140513124.

[edit] External links

January 30, 680, Once a Slave, Humble Queen Bathilde Died.

St. Bathilde from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Société Internationale pour l'Etude des Femmes de l'Ancien Régime:Bathildis (French)

[edit] Further reading

J.L. Nelson, "Queens as Jezebels: the careers of Brunhild and Balthild in Merovingian history" Medieval Women, D. Baker, ed. (1978) pp 31-77.

Jo Ann Macnamara, John E. Halborg, E. Gordon Whatley, Sainted Women of the Dark Ages, pp 264ff.

Alexander Callander Murray, ed. From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader (in series Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures), 1999. Chapter 14 ""Sanctity and politics in the time of Balthild and her sons"

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthild"

--------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthild

--------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthild

--------------------

Seu dia comemorativo é 30 de Janeiro. Ela era, inteligente, bonita, modesta e atenciosa. Mesmo sendo rainha ela continuou sendo modesta e humilde. A sua generosidade até hoje é bem lembrada até hoje (como abadias construídas e doações altas). Depois de entrar no convento (após a morte de Clovis), Bathilde dedicou-se à ajudar os pobres e enfermos,

--------------------

Balthild

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saint Balthild, also known as Bathilde d'Ascagnie, Batilde, Bathylle, Bathild, or Bathilda (626 or 627 – January 30, 680), was the wife and queen of Clovis II, king of Burgundy and Neustria (639 – 658). Her name comes from Old English and means "bold battle". Two traditions, independent and conflicting, trace her career; one is the hagiography, which was intended to further her successful candidature for sainthood, the other the record of chroniclers, and a chance archaeological find in an East Anglian field.[2]

Both traditions represent her as an Anglo-Saxon of elite birth, perhaps a relative of King Ricberht of East Anglia, the last pagan king there. Ricberht was ousted by his Christian rival Sigeberht, who had spent time in the Frankish court; he was established as the rightful heir to the throne, with Frankish help. Balthild ("bold in battle") was sold into slavery as a young girl and served in the household of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria to Clovis.

The hagiographic tradition

According to Vita S. Bathildis[3] Balthild was beautiful, intelligent, modest, and attentive to the needs of others. Erchinoald (whose wife had died) was attracted to Balthild and wanted to marry her. But she did not want to marry him: she hid herself away and waited until Erchinoald remarried. Next, King Clovis noticed her and asked her hand in marriage sometime in 649. Balthild was nineteen when she became queen. Different versions of this story suggest Clovis was somewhere between the ages of twelve and sixteen at the time.

Even as queen, she remained humble and modest. She is famous for her charitable service and generous donations. From her donations, the abbeys of Corbie and Chelles were founded (and likely others such as those of Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil). She also provided support to Saint Claudius of Besançon and his abbey in the Jura Mountains.[4][5] She bore her husband three children, all of whom became kings: Clotaire, Childeric, and Theuderic.

When Balthild's husband died between 655 and 658, Clotaire, the eldest son and heir to the throne, succeeded at age five. Balthild served as the queen regent until he came of age in 664, when she was forced into a convent. As queen, she was a capable stateswoman. She abolished the practice of trading Christian slaves and even sought the freedom of children sold into slavery. As the story goes, after Balthild's three children were of age and "established in their respective territories" (Clotaire in Neustria, Childeric in Austrasia, and perhaps Theuderic in Burgundy), Balthild entered the abbey and gave up her royal rank. She dedicated the rest of her life serving the poor and the infirm.

Balthild died on January 30, 680. She is buried at her foundation, the Abbey of Chelles outside of Paris. Her Vita was first written soon after her death, probably by one of the community of Chelles. The Vita Baldechildis/Vita Bathildis reginae Francorum in Monumenta Germania Historica, Scriptores Rerum Merovincarum 2, like most of the vitae of royal Merovingian-era saints, provides some useful details for the historian. Her official cult began at the time her remains were transferred from the former abbey to a new church, in 833, under the auspices of Louis the Pious. Balthild was canonised by Pope Nicholas I about 200 years after her death.

The chronicles and the seal

In the context of seventh-century culture it is clear that Balthild was simply the outright gift of Erchinoald to Clovis as a bedfellow,[6] though her hagiography emphasizes her chastity as a slave. Other Merovingian queens who arose from servile status are Fredegund, mother of Clothaire II, Bilichild, wife of Theudebert of Austrasia, and possibly Nanthild, mother of Clovis II. During the minority of Clotaire III she had to deal with the attempted coup of Grimoald, the major domo of Austrasia, but enjoyed the continued support of her former master Erchinoald.

By some chroniclers' accounts[7] she was a ruthless ruler, in continuing conflict with the bishops; she seems to have been responsible for the assassination of several.[8] The vita of Saint Eligius by his companion Dado reports (ch. 32): "Then his widowed queen with her boys obtained the reign for a few years. She was afterward removed by law and left the principate to her sons..."[9] She was frustrated in her desire to have Eligius entombed at her monstery of Chellers (Eligius, vita, II.37) and by an apparition of Eligius (II.41) was convinced to strip off her gold and jewelled ornaments, "keeping nothing except gold bracelets."

Her gold seal matrix, which was originally attached to a ring, was uncovered in 1999 by a metal detectorist in a field a few miles east of Norfolk's county town, Norwich, has two sides. One, official side shows her face and her name BALDAHILDIS in Frankish lettering. The other, private side, shows naked figures, doubtless Balthild and Clovis, in a frank erotic position beneath a cross One sealing identified official documents, the other, apparently, private ones. The seal matrix is conserved in the Norwich Castle Museum. It is surmised that the seal matrix was returned to her kin after her death.[10]

Notes

^ Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0140513124.

^ David Keys, "Erotic royal seal shows Anglo-French entente", The Independent, 15 June 2003

^ Vita Sanctae Bathildis, probably written by a nun of Chelles, is translated and paraphrased in Sainted Women of the Dark Ages pp 264ff. (ref.).

^ http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/fr-39-sc.html

^ http://www.encyclopedie-universelle.com/Saint%20Claude.html

^ Joanna Story, Carolingian Connections: Anglo-Saxon England and Carolingian Francia, C. 750-870 (2003) p. 32.

^ Eddius Stephanus of Ripon, vita of Wilfrid.

^ Bede reported that Aunemundus, bishop of Lyon, was assassinated at her instigation in 658.

^ Medieval Sourcebook

^ British Archaeology April 2001, p. 26.

References

Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0140513124.

--------------------

Saint Balthild of Ascania (pronounced /ˈbɔːltɪld/ us dict: bôl′·tĭld; Old English: Bealdhild, "bold battle"; c. 626 – January 30, 680), also called Bathilda, Baudour, or Bauthieult, was the wife and queen of Clovis II, king of Burgundy and Neustria (639 – 658). Two traditions, independent and conflicting, trace her career. One is a hagiography which was intended to further her successful candidature for sainthood. The other is a record of chroniclers, confirmed by a chance archaeological find in an East Anglian field. Balthild is also sometimes known by the unrelated name Varburgis.

Both traditions represent her as an Anglo-Saxon of elite birth, perhaps a relative of King Ricberht of East Anglia, the last Heathen king there. Ricberht was ousted by his Christian rival Sigeberht, who had spent time in the Frankish court. He was established as the rightful heir to the throne with Frankish help. Balthild was sold into slavery as a young girl and served in the household of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria to Clovis.

The hagiographic tradition:

According to Vita S. Bathildis[4] Balthild was beautiful, intelligent, modest, and attentive to the needs of others. Erchinoald (whose wife had died) was attracted to Balthild and wanted to marry her, but she did not want to marry him. She hid herself away and waited until Erchinoald remarried. Next, King Clovis noticed her and, sometime in 649, asked for her hand in marriage. Balthild was nineteen when she became queen. Different versions of this story suggest Clovis was somewhere between the ages of twelve and sixteen at the time.

Even as queen, she remained humble and modest. She is famous for her charitable service and generous donations. From her donations, the abbeys of Corbie and Chelles were founded (and likely others such as those of Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil). She also provided support to Saint Claudius of Besançon and his abbey in the Jura Mountains. She bore her husband three children, all of whom became kings: Clotaire, Childeric, and Theuderic.

When Balthild's husband died between 655 and 658, Clotaire, the eldest son and heir to the throne, succeeded at age five. Balthild served as the queen regent until he came of age in 664, when she was forced into a convent. As queen, she was a capable stateswoman. She abolished the practice of trading Christian slaves and even sought the freedom of children sold into slavery. As the story goes, after Balthild's three children were of age and "established in their respective territories" (Clotaire in Neustria, Childeric in Austrasia, and perhaps Theuderic in Burgundy), Balthild entered the abbey and gave up her royal rank. She dedicated the rest of her life to serving the poor and the infirm.

Balthild died on January 30, 680. She is buried at her foundation, the Abbey of Chelles outside of Paris. Her Vita was first written soon after her death, probably by one of the community of Chelles. The Vita Baldechildis/Vita Bathildis reginae Francorum in Monumenta Germania Historica, Scriptores Rerum Merovincarum 2, like most of the vitae of royal Merovingian-era saints, provides some useful details for the historian. Her official cult began when her remains were transferred from the former abbey to a new church, in 833, under the auspices of Louis the Pious. Balthild was canonised by Pope Nicholas I about 200 years after her death.

The chronicles and the seal:

In the context of seventh-century culture it is clear that Balthild was simply the outright gift of Erchinoald to Clovis as a bedfellow, though her hagiography emphasizes her chastity as a slave. Other Merovingian queens who arose from servile status are Fredegund, mother of Clothaire II; Bilichild, wife of Theudebert of Austrasia; and possibly Nanthild, mother of Clovis II. During the minority of Clotaire III she had to deal with the attempted coup of Grimoald, the major domus of Austrasia, but enjoyed the continued support of her former master Erchinoald.

By some chroniclers' accounts she was a ruthless ruler, in continuing conflict with the bishops; she seems to have been responsible for several assassinations. The vita of Saint Eligius by his companion Dado reports (ch. 32), "Then his widowed queen with her boys obtained the reign for a few years. She was afterward removed by law and left the principate to her sons..." She was frustrated in her desire to have Eligius entombed at her monastery of Chelles (Eligius, vita, II.37). By an apparition of Eligius (II.41) was convinced to strip off her gold and jewelled ornaments, "keeping nothing except gold bracelets."

Her gold seal matrix, which was originally attached to a ring, was uncovered in 1999 by a metal detector in a field a few miles east of Norfolk's county town, Norwich. It has two sides. The official side shows her face and her name BALDAHILDIS in Frankish lettering. The private side shows naked figures, doubtless Balthild and Clovis, in a frank erotic position beneath a cross. One seal identified official documents; the other, apparently, private ones. The seal matrix is conserved in the Norwich Castle Museum. It is surmised that the seal matrix was returned to her kin after her death.

--------------------

Saint Balthild of Ascania (pronounced /ˈbɔːltɪld/ us: bôl′·tĭld; Old English: Bealdhild, "bold battle"; c. 626 – January 30, 680), also called Bathilda, Baudour, or Bauthieult,[2] was the wife and queen of Clovis II, king of Burgundy and Neustria (639 – 658). Two traditions, independent and conflicting, trace her career. One is a hagiography which was intended to further her successful candidature for sainthood.[citation needed] The other is a record of chroniclers, confirmed by a chance archaeological find in an East Anglian field.[3] Balthild is also sometimes known by the unrelated name Varburgis.

Both traditions represent her as an Anglo-Saxon of elite birth, perhaps a relative of King Ricberht of East Anglia, the last Heathen king there. Ricberht was ousted by his Christian rival Sigeberht, who had spent time in the Frankish court. He was established as the rightful heir to the throne with Frankish help. Balthild was sold into slavery as a young girl and served in the household of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria to Clovis.

Contents [hide]

1 The hagiographic tradition

2 The chronicles and the seal

3 Further reading

4 External links

5 References


[edit] The hagiographic tradition

According to Vita S. Bathildis[4] Balthild was beautiful, intelligent, modest, and attentive to the needs of others. Erchinoald (whose wife had died) was attracted to Balthild and wanted to marry her, but she did not want to marry him. She hid herself away and waited until Erchinoald remarried. Next, King Clovis noticed her and, sometime in 649, asked for her hand in marriage. Balthild was nineteen when she became queen. Different versions of this story suggest Clovis was somewhere between the ages of twelve and sixteen at the time.

Even as queen, she remained humble and modest. She is famous for her charitable service and generous donations. From her donations, the abbeys of Corbie and Chelles were founded (and likely others such as those of Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil). She also provided support to Saint Claudius of Besançon and his abbey in the Jura Mountains.[5][6] She bore her husband three children, all of whom became kings: Clotaire, Childeric, and Theuderic.

When Balthild's husband died between 655 and 658, Clotaire, the eldest son and heir to the throne, succeeded at age five. Balthild served as the queen regent until he came of age in 664, when she was forced into a convent. As queen, she was a capable stateswoman. She abolished the practice of trading Christian slaves and even sought the freedom of children sold into slavery. As the story goes, after Balthild's three children were of age and "established in their respective territories" (Clotaire in Neustria, Childeric in Austrasia, and perhaps Theuderic in Burgundy), Balthild entered the abbey and gave up her royal rank. She dedicated the rest of her life to serving the poor and the infirm.

Balthild died on January 30, 680. She is buried at her foundation, the Abbey of Chelles outside of Paris. Her Vita was first written soon after her death, probably by one of the community of Chelles. The Vita Baldechildis/Vita Bathildis reginae Francorum in Monumenta Germania Historica, Scriptores Rerum Merovincarum 2, like most of the vitae of royal Merovingian-era saints, provides some useful details for the historian. Her official cult began when her remains were transferred from the former abbey to a new church, in 833, under the auspices of Louis the Pious. Balthild was canonised by Pope Nicholas I about 200 years after her death.

[edit] The chronicles and the seal

In the context of seventh-century culture it is clear that Balthild was simply the outright gift of Erchinoald to Clovis as a bedfellow,[7] though her hagiography emphasizes her chastity as a slave. Other Merovingian queens who arose from servile status are Fredegund, mother of Clothaire II; Bilichild, wife of Theudebert of Austrasia; and possibly Nanthild, mother of Clovis II. During the minority of Clotaire III she had to deal with the attempted coup of Grimoald, the major domus of Austrasia, but enjoyed the continued support of her former master Erchinoald.

By some chroniclers' accounts[8] she was a ruthless ruler, in continuing conflict with the bishops; she seems to have been responsible for several assassinations.[9] The vita of Saint Eligius by his companion Dado reports (ch. 32), "Then his widowed queen with her boys obtained the reign for a few years. She was afterward removed by law and left the principate to her sons..."[10] She was frustrated in her desire to have Eligius entombed at her monastery of Chelles (Eligius, vita, II.37). By an apparition of Eligius (II.41) was convinced to strip off her gold and jewelled ornaments, "keeping nothing except gold bracelets."

Her gold seal matrix, which was originally attached to a ring, was uncovered in 1999 by a metal detector in a field a few miles east of Norfolk's county town, Norwich. It has two sides. The official side shows her face and her name BALDAHILDIS in Frankish lettering. The private side shows naked figures, doubtless Balthild and Clovis, in a frank erotic position beneath a cross.[11] One seal identified official documents; the other, apparently, private ones. The seal matrix is conserved in the Norwich Castle Museum. It is surmised that the seal matrix was returned to her kin after her death.[12]

[edit] Further reading

Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0140513124.

J.L. Nelson, "Queens as Jezebels: the careers of Brunhild and Balthild in Merovingian history" Medieval Women, D. Baker, ed. (1978) pp 31-77.

Jo Ann Macnamara, John E. Halborg, E. Gordon Whatley, Sainted Women of the Dark Ages, pp 264ff.

Alexander Callander Murray, ed. From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader (in series Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures), 1999. Chapter 14 ""Sanctity and politics in the time of Balthild and her sons"

[edit] External links

January 30, 680, Once a Slave, Humble Queen Bathilde Died.

St. Bathilde from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Société Internationale pour l'Etude des Femmes de l'Ancien Régime:Bathildis (French)

-------------------- As a result of Saint Balthild's generous donations, several abbeys were founded. She worked to abolish Christian slaves and children sold into slavery. After her husband had died and her children were grown and established, she entered an abbey and dedicated the rest of her life helping the poor and infirm. Her feast day is celebrated on January 30. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthild -------------------- Saint Balthild of Ascania (in Old English: Bealdhild, "bold battle"), also called Bathilda, Baudour, or Bauthieult, was the wife and Queen of Clovis II, King of Burgundy and Neustria (639 – 658). Balthild is also sometimes known by the unrelated name Varburgis.

Bathilde was an Anglo-Saxon of elite birth, perhaps a relative of King Ricberht of East Anglia, the last heathen king there. Ricberht was ousted by his Christian rival Sigeberht, who had spent time in the Frankish court. He was established as the rightful heir to the throne with Frankish help. Balthilde was sold into slavery as a young girl and served in the household of Erchinoald, Mayor of the Palace of Neustria to Clovis.

Balthilde was beautiful, intelligent, modest, and attentive to the needs of others. Erchinoald (whose wife had died) was attracted to Balthilde and wanted to marry her, but she did not want to marry him. She hid herself away and waited until Erchinoald remarried. Next, King Clovis noticed her and, sometime in 649, asked for her hand in marriage. Balthilde was 19 when she became queen. Different versions of this story suggest Clovis was somewhere between the ages of 12 and 16 at the time.

Even as Queen, she remained humble and modest. She is famous for her charitable service and generous donations. From her donations, the abbeys of Corbie and Chelles were founded (and likely others such as those of Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil). She also provided support to Saint Claudius of Besançon and his abbey in the Jura Mountains. She bore her husband three children, all of whom became Kings: Clotaire, Childeric, and our ancestor Theuderic.

When Balthilde's husband died between 655 and 658, Clotaire, the eldest son and heir to the throne, succeeded at age 5. Balthilde served as the queen regent until he came of age in 664, when she was forced into a convent. As Queen, she was a capable stateswoman. She abolished the practice of trading Christian slaves and even sought the freedom of children sold into slavery. As the story goes, after Balthilde's three children were of age and "established in their respective territories" (Clotaire in Neustria, Childeric in Austrasia, and perhaps Theuderic in Burgundy), Balthilde entered the abbey and gave up her royal rank. She dedicated the rest of her life to serving the poor and the infirm.

Balthilde died on January 30, 680. She is buried at her foundation, the Abbey of Chelles outside of Paris. She was canonized by Pope Nicholas I about 200 years after her death. By some chroniclers' accounts, however, she was actually a ruthless ruler, in continuing conflict with the bishops; she seems to have been responsible for several assassinations--all in spite of being a Saint. Tsk-tsk.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthild for more information.

-------------------- BIOGRAPHY: Balthilda was an Anglo-Saxon slave girl, married to Clovis II out of love. When Clovis died in 657, Balthilda became a nun. She later founded the monastery of Chelles.

view all 16

Saint Balthild, Abbess of Chelles's Timeline

630
630
France
634
634
Chelles,Neustria,,Belgium
649
649
Age 15
Metz,Moselle,,France
650
650
Age 16
651
651
Age 17
Alsace & Lorraine
653
653
Age 19
Neustria, Belgium
668
668
Age 34
France?
672
672
Age 38
679
January 30, 679
Age 45
Chelles,Seine Et Marne,,France
681
681
Age 45