(Frankish queen) (550?-613), queen
of the Frankish kingdom known as Austrasia (in present-day
northeastern France and southwestern Germany), the daughter
of Athanagild (reigned 554-67), king of the Visigoths in
was married to Sigebert I, the Merovingian
king of Austrasia. Her sister Galswintha married Sigebert's
brother Chilperic, ruler of the neighboring Frankish kingdom
of Neustria. Fredegund, Chilperic's former concubine, caused
Galswintha to be murdered; she then married Chilperic. Brunhild
determined to avenge herself on Fredegund, and the annals
of the next half century in Gaul are filled with the bloody
deeds provoked by the enmity of the two women.
and her husband were successful until Sigebert was murdered
in 575 at the instigation of Fredegund. Brunhild herself
was captured by Chilperic, but she escaped, returned to
Austrasia, and governed as regent in the name of her son,
the death of her son, she ruled Austrasia in the name of
her young grandson. Finally, the armies of Austrasia were
overthrown in 613 by Clotaire II of Neustria, son of Fredegund;
the aged queen herself was taken captive. For three days
she was subjected to insult and torture, then bound to a
wild horse and dragged to death.
(Frankish queen)," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia
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