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Aregund

Aregund Frankish queen

Frankish queen
Aregund
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Frankish queen
Is Consort
From France
Gender female
Birth 515
Death 570, ; Paris, France
Family
Father: Baderic
Siblings: Ingund
Spouse: Chlothar I
Children: Chilperic I
Aregund
The details

Biography

Sarcophagus of Arégonde

Aregund, Aregunda, Arnegund, Aregonda, or Arnegonda (c. 515/520–580) was a Frankish queen, the wife of Clotaire I, king of the Franks, and the mother of Chilperic I of Neustria.

Marriage

She was the sister of Ingund, one of Clotaire's other wives. Ingund and Aregund were the daughters of Baderic, King of Thuringia.

It is said that Ingund was quite alarmed at her sister staying single and asked her husband Clotaire to find Aregund a husband. After meeting his sister-in-law, Clotaire is rumoured to have announced to his wife that he had found her a suitable husband: himself. While Ingund bore 5 sons and one daughter, Aregund bore only one son.

The study of a skeleton long identified as Aregund suggests she had a child when she was aged about 18. However, in Frankish society at the time, girls generally married around the age of 15. The same person (whose identification has been disputed) likely had a limp as osteo-archaeology has shown that she suffered from poliomyelitis at a young age. If one accepts the original identification, Clotaire may have married his sister-in-law out of pity, as she was not deemed marriageable due to her lameness. Alternatively, as the death rate from childbirth was high, Aregund may have succeeded her sister to foster her orphaned nephews and nieces. Ingund died between 538 and 546 AD.

In 538, Clotaire married Radegund of Thuringia, who was a 1st cousin to Aregund and Ingund.

Widowhood

Aregund and Radegund both survived their marriage to Clotaire. Radegund became a Saint, whilst Aregund became the great-grandmother of the last of the Merovingian kings to wield power, Dagobert I.

Archeology

What was believed to be Aregund's sarcophagus was discovered, among dozens of others, in 1959 in the Saint Denis Basilica by archaeologist Michel Fleury. It contained remarkably well-preserved clothing items and jewellery. However subsequent research throws doubt on the identification.

Research

In an episode of the television series, Digging for the Truth, aired in May 2006, host Josh Bernstein arranged a DNA test of a sample of her remains to see if it showed any Middle Eastern characteristics. It did not. This was meant to disprove the notion put forwards by the Da Vinci Code that the Merovingians were descended from Jesus, though Aregund was merely married into the dynasty, not a blood descendant, so the results of this test are entirely irrelevant.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 20 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Reference sources
References
//www.google.com/search?&q=%22Aregund%22+site:news.google.com/newspapers&source=newspapers
//scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22Aregund%22
https://www.jstor.org/action/doBasicSearch?Query=%22Aregund%22&acc=on&wc=on
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gregory-hist.asp
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