Vita Domnae Balthidis (The Life of Lady Balthild, Queen of the Franks)
in Late Merovingian France
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Queen Balthild appears in several trustworthy contemporary souces, but it is the Vita Domnae Balthildis which gives us the most information about her. The Vita Balthildis is about as contemporary a Merovingian source as has survived. The key to Merovingian high politics was co-operation between the Crown and some faction or factions of the powerful Frankish nobility. The 'slave' Balthild will play a key role in these politics. Balthild's hagiographer, of course, saw divine will as the reason for her rise to the status of queen, but providence may well have had some significant help from the contemporary politics of the British Isles. A seventh-century hagiographical work whose author is concerned about 'friends' and 'detractors' of a saintly queen, is a strong reminder of the period's intricate relationship between political power and Christian sanctity.

Late Merovingian France

History and Hagiography 640–720


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