Page 1077

1077 BARBARIAN ASCENDENCY-KINGDOM OF THE FRANKS.

modified by their conversion. The ferocious

manners and coarse instincts of the barbarians

still continued to predominate until what time

the gradual influences of enlightenment dispelled the

darkness of heathenism. The reign

of Clovis thus became a mixture of

Christian profession and pagan practices. He accepted the miracles performed at the holy sepulcher at Tours by St. Martin, and drank in the entire superstition of his times. He received from the Catholic clergy

the title of Eldest Son of the Church; for he was the first of the pagan kings to accept the doctrines of Christianity as they were promulgated from Rome.

But neither the professions of religious faith, nor the baptismal ceremony, nor any humanity

in the king himself prevented him from imbruing his hands in the blood of the innocent. He assassinated all the princes of the Merovingian family as coolly and deliberately as though he were an Oriental despot;

nor was any human life or interest permitted

to stand between him and his purpose. In

the year 497, the Armoricans were obliged to

submit to the new French monarchy. About

the same time, the remaining troops and garrisons within the limits of Gaul were overpowered by the Franks. In further conquests

Clovis extended his authority over the northern provinces, and in 499 he began war on

Gundobald, king of the Burgundians. In the

realms of that monarch, as previously in those

of the king of the Franks, religious clamor

was at its height between the Catholic and

Arian parties. The king adhered to the latter, and the former, having a natural affiliation with Clovis, % good excuse was given to

the king of the Franks for undertaking the

war in the name of religion. In the year

500 a great battle was fought between Langres

and Dijon. Victory declared for Clovis. Burgundy became tributary to the Franks. Within