Facts and Events
Clovis (Latin Chlodovechus; reconstructed Frankish Chlodowig; c. 466 – c. 511), was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of royal chieftains to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs. Clovis was the son of Childeric I, a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks, and Basina, Queen of Thuringia. He succeeded his father in 481, at the age of fifteen. He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.
He conquered the remaining rump state of the Western Roman Empire at the Battle of Soissons (486), and until his death in 511 went on to conquer much of the northern and western parts of what used to be Roman Gaul.
He is important in the historiography of the French Republic as "the first king of what would become France". His name, a Germanic name composed of the elements hlod "fame" and wig "combat", is the origin of the later French given name Louis, borne by 18 kings of France.