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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Clovis, Towards a New Chronology Part Eight.

The Bishops of Gaul and chronological tables.

512. The Bishops of Gaul and the expulsion of Quintianus from Rodez.

Gregory had mentioned a few Bishops and holy men at the time of Clovis and so they are as much wrapped up in the chronology as Clovis is. As noted above in the introduction, Wood had examined the life of Quintianus in some depth in his 1998 work, but had thought Gregory was wrong for placing the paragraph about Quintianus before Vouillé, even though Gregory was clearly summarising his whole life.

Quintianus was a Bishop of Rodez in southern Gaul, that would have been in Visigothic hands in 506. He had attended the Council of Agde in 506. Gregory relates that he had sympathies for the Franks and was eventually expelled from Rodez and fled to Clermont where he was made Bishop after Apollinaris died1. Gregory claims that Quintianus was fond of Clovis' Son Theuderic and it was for this reason that he favoured them and places his death in 5212.  

As briefly discussed earlier, Wood, suggested it was wrong for Gregory to place this paragraph in around 506, which led to disparaging comments about Gregory, who did place Vouille in 507 in CC511. But in CC518, in the interpolated chronology Vouillé was placed in 513.This episode was then placed immediately before it in 512. CC511 would place Quintianus taking up the Bishopric of Clermont in 516 due to Gregory's formula of Eufrasius dying four years after Clovis, after which Quintian served. But what if this is the interpolator's distorted chronology where he placed the death of Clovis in 518. Hence the year he meant was 521. Which is actually the correct time for these events. We must therefore remove 516 as the date for these events. Wood had already seen these problems commenting, “the events and chronology however are in conflict3 We have evidence that the expulsion was long after 508 as Quintianus of Rodez attended the Council of Orleans in 511. He therefore cannot have been expelled before this time.  

One final piece of evidence for Quintianus. He was invited by Avitus to the Burgundian Synod of Epaon in 517. He was not yet Bishop of Clermont (until 521) and this is perhaps why he was invited, as he used to be Bishop of Rodez, which was close to the Burgundian border, and which may have been in Burgundian episcopal territory at some point in the early sixth century. In CC511 he would already be, in 517, Bishop of Clermont. This caused scholars confusion, as a Bishop of Clermont should not be invited to a Burgundian Synod. Reasons therefore were put forward to discredit the veracity of Avitus' letter.

The sequence of events is therefore as follows. In 507 the Franks defeated the Visigoths at Vouillé. Gregory mentions the episode of the abbot Maxentius at this point who had faced some Visigothic soldiers. As Gregory continued; Clovis' son Theuderic, after the battle of Vouillé, was sent to Albi, Rodez and Clermont to bring them under Frankish rule. This was obviously when Quintianus would have met the young Theuderic and become his friend and religious mentor. After a year or two of Frankish rule though, in 509, Theoderic sent his Goths to take back Visigothic possessions won by Clovis and the Burgundians. Rodez now passed into Ostrogothic hands. Quintianus being sympathetic to the Franks and friendly with Theuderic, a year or so later, attended the Council of Orleans in 511, upsetting his Gallo Gothic population. He was probably expelled then, in around 512. From there he went to Clermont where Eufrasius was Bishop, and after he died in 521 there was an election for the Bishopric. The Franks, wanting to reward Quintianus for his loyalty to their cause, favoured his appointment immediately, but the relatives of Apollinaris, son of the great Sidonius caused a stir as they favoured him. According to Gregory, Apollinaris bribed King Theuderic with many presents and he was then awarded the Bishopric, but he died just four months later. Quintianus then became Bishop himself, appointed by Theuderic. The table below shows the Bishops of Tours and Clermont during our period. 

Bishops of Tours
Greg. - Tours Episcopates
Bishops of Clermont

7 years 2 months
Died 497
11 years
497 - 521
12 years

10 months
521 4 months
4.5 years
6 months

Next we may be able to work out the Episcopate of Remigius of Reims. Remigius wrote a letter to several Bishops, that mention Clovis in the past tense, and he also mentioned that he had been a bishop for 53 years. If we could identify one or all of these Bishops we could pin down when Remigius' episcopate began and when this letter was written. In CC511 it is generally placed in 513 as it is thought Remigius began his episcopate around 460. Here is part of the letter :

Bishop Remegius to the truly holy and very blessed in Christ by the merits

of our lords brothers Heraclius (Paris), Leoni (Coutances) and Theodosius (Auxerre)

“ As for Claudius, who you write, is not a presbyter, I only asked you to reveal the cause of your indignation. I do not deny that he has sinned gravely but you should have respected my age, if not my merits..For fifty-three years I have been a Bishop and no one has addressed me so impudently. You say: “It would be better had you not been born...” I made Claudius a presbyter, not corrupted by gold but on the testimony of the very excellent king (Clovis), who not only strongly asserted but defended the Catholic faith. You write : “What he ordered was not canonical..” The ruler of the provinces, the guardian of the fatherland, the conqueror of nations enjoined this! ...You write that I am in my Jubilee years, ridiculing, rather than celebrating out of affection, someone whom you neither spare nor respect, having dishonestly broken the bond of love.” 4

Heraclius here, is presumed to be the Bishop of Paris whose obit is placed around 516, but is generally unknown. Theodosius of Auxerre also attended the first council of Orleans in 511, his obit again is placed around 516 but is unknown.5 Bishop Leoni (also known as Leo) however has been a bit of a mystery but there were two attendees at the Council of Orleans who are possibles. Leontianus of Coutances and Leontius of Eauze, but as Eauze is in southern Gaul and the other churches northern then Leontianus of Coutances appears to be our man. He apparently died in around 512-13, so a date for the letter of 512-513 agrees with the current understanding of the episcopate of Remigius, meaning it started probably in around 459-460.

Gregory starts off book three of his histories in the year 516, after Gundobad had passed. He also mentions that Clovis' daughter was married to Amalaric, the Visigothic King, who were both around sixteen years of age by now. He also mentions the passing of Licinius of Tours in 419 and Difinius in 520. Gregory then mentions Quintianus being made Bishop of Clermont after Apollinaris in 521. The Danes at this same time plundered the coast of Clovis' son Theuderic's kingdom, which his son Theudebert was able to repel.

Suggested Chronology
Birth of Childeric
Belgica II
Childeric King
Belgica II
Childeric Federate leader
Begica II
Childeric Paris
Childeric Marries Basina
Birth of Clovis
Childeric in Noricum - Alamanni
Death of Childeric
Accession of Clovis
Defeat of Syagrius
Marriage to Clotilda
Start of First Visigoth war.
Treaty with Armoricans
Baptism of Clovis
Death of Albofled his sister
First Visigothic war continues
Defeat of Thuringians
Germania II
Burgundian civil war
500 - 502
Meeting with Alaric
Battle of Tolbiac
Germania II
Battle of Vouillé, Poitiers, Albi, Rodez, Clermont.
Toulouse, Anguoeleme Honorary Consulship
Paris Capital
Loss of southern Gaul.
Southern Gaul
Rex Salica
Council of Orleans
Death of Clovis
Abbot Maxentius, Quintianus
Rodez /Clermont

In part nine I will come to conclusions about Clovis himself, leaning heavily in support of Daley's revisionist approach.

1Gregory. Histories II.36

2Gregory. Histories III.2

3Ibid Wood 1998 p.256.

4Full letter in appendix.

5Bunson, M, M, S.Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints Our Sunday Visitor Inc.,U.S.; Revised edition,2003.