The Merovingian and Carolingian lines
So, we left off at Clovis, but it goes back a bit more. The father of Clovis was Childeric I, his father was Merovech, and Merovech's father is thought to be to be Chlodio, though Merovech is also believed to have been conceived when Chlodio's wife went swimming and encountered a sea monster.
So anyhoooo...not much is known of Merovech so next is Childeric I, who was exiled from the Franks for his tendency to "love all women". He married some one else's wife, and made his name in ruling and warfare. Childeric's grave was found in the seventeenth century and it was one of the richest in the medieval period.
As Clovis comes in to the picture, historians start to make more sense of the chronology of it all. He married a Burgundian Princess who tried to convert him to Catholicism and failed. He vowed to convert if he won a battle. He won...and he converted. Enter family discord...this person assassinates this person...etc.
Five generations later, we had an outbreak of sainthood in the family tree. This was probably started from the "Burgundian Princess" in Clovis's life, Saint Clotilde. Their 3 gr-grandson was Saint Gondolfus, Bishop of Tongres. Gondolfus' grandson was Saint Arnulf, patron saint of lost articles, brewery, millers and music. Arnulf's daughter was St Clodule, and his daughter-in-law was St Begga of Landen. Phew!
There are different opinions as to whether Arnulf was a descendant of Clovis, but for now, I am keeping my Claire to Clovis theme.
A few generations later Charlemagne appears. He was King of the Franks, and crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800. The reason for this could be that there was a new Pope elected in 795, Pope Leo III, who needed the protection of Charlemagne. After the coronation the Emperor would never again set foot in the City of Rome.
From the rising of the sun to the sea-shores
where it sets, lamentation beats upon men's breasts.
Franks, Romans, and all believers
are tormented by lament and great distress.
Rivers of tears flow now unceasing,
for the world bewails the death of Charlemagne.
Dirge composed by a monk of Bobbio