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Childebert I°


CHILDEBERT I °, ruler of the Merovingian kingdom of Neustria (the Western Kingdom of the Franks) from 511 to 558. He ratified the anti-Jewish acts of the Third Council of Orleans (538). Childebert's nephew chilperic also ruled in Neustria from 561 to 584. A self-styled poet, scholar, and theologian, he had a Jew named Priscus for an adviser. Chilperic had a disputation staged between Priscus and Gregory of Tours. After the debate ended in a draw, Chilperic ordered the forcible baptism of some of the Jews in his kingdom and attempted to ensure their prosperity by becoming their godfather. Priscus refused and was put in jail where he was murdered.


K.J. Hefele and H. Leclercq, Histoire des Conciles… 2 (1908); Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, tr. by O.M. Dalton, 2 vols. (1927), index; S. Katz, Jews in the Visigothic and Frankish Kingdoms of Spain and Gaul (1937), index.

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