Bronnen van de Antwerpse geschiedenis

Boek: The Franks

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Auteur: Lewis Sergeant

Uitgeverij: G.P. Putnam's sons



Whilst Clovis was resting at Paris he privately sent word to Cloderic, son of Siegbert the Lame, who had fought on his side at Vougle - as Siegbert had fought with him against the Allemans - suggesting to him that his father had grown old and decrepit, and that if he should happen to die the wealth which had been accumulated by Siegbert, as well as the kingdom of the Rhinelands, would in the ordinary course fall into the hands of Cloderic. So much as this, no doubt, Clovis might have said, without any sinister purpose, in answer to a question as to his own wishes and intentions concerning the succession. But Gregory takes the darker view, saying that Clovis sent his message secretly in order to stimulate Cloderic to action.

However this may be, Cloderic resolved to be king without further delay. One day Siegbert rode out of Cologne and crossed the Rhine, intending to spend the afternoon in the "Burconian" wood - that is, the wood of Duisburg, about two miles from the right bank of the river. As the midday heat came on, he rested beneath an awning, and, whilst he slept, the assassins hired by his son came in and slew him. Cloderic then sent word to Clovis, saying, "My father is dead, and his treasures are mine. Send trusty men, to whom I may give whatever you desire." And Clovis sent messengers, who asked Cloderic to show them the treasure ; and, whilst the murderer was stooping over a chest of gold, they stabbed him in the back. When Clovis knew that the son had paid the penalty of his crime he came to Cologne, and addressed the leudes, denying his responsibility for the two murders, and suggesting that the Franks of the Rhinelands should accept his protection. The proposal was received with acclamation, and he was forthwith raised upon a shield and saluted as king.

Now came the turn of Cararic, who ruled over the Northern Franks between Teruenna and the sea. Clovis accused Cararic of holding back in the war against Syagrius, and of playing him false in his struggle against the Gallo-Romans. Having secured the persons of the king and his son, he degraded them in the old Frank fashion, on which he had improved after embracing Christianity, by shaving their heads and devoting them to the religious life, in token that their days of warriorship were ended. The son consoled his father by saying that their hair would grow again, and that they would be avenged ; but the words were reported to Clovis, who ordered his captives to be slain, and added their kingdom to his own dominions.

Ragnacar, the king at Cambrai was the next victim. In this case the task of Clovis was all the easier because the vices of Ragnacar and one of his favourites had excited the disgust of his subjects, who made little or no resistance to the invader, but delivered their king into his hands. Ragnacar was led bound into the presence of Clovis, who, feigning indignation, demanded of his prisoner, "Why have you disgraced our race by suffering yourself to be bound? It would have been better for you to die." And, suiting the action to the word, he smote Ragnacar on the head with his axe, and slew him. Then, all his relatives having been removed, he publicly lamented, as Gregory tells us, that he was "left as a stranger amongst strange people, without a kinsman to stand by him if misfortune should befall him."

© nizrab .::. laatste update 2017-06-28