Radegund

Radegund

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Radegund

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Description:
Radegund (also spelled Rhadegund, Radegonde) (ca. 520–586) was a 6th century Frankish princess, who founded the monastery of the Holy Cross at Poitiers. Canonized in the 9th century, she is the patron saint of several English churches and of Jesus College, Cambridge.

Life history

Radegund was born about 520 to Berthar, one of the three kings of the German land Thuringia. Radegund's uncle, Hermanfrid, killed Berthar in battle, and took Radegund into his household. After allying with the Frankish King Theuderic, Hermanfrid defeated his other brother Baderic. However, having crushed his brothers and seized control of Thuringia, Hermanfrid reneged on his agreement with Theuderic to share sovereignty.

In 531, Theuderic returned to Thuringia with his brother Clotaire I. Together they defeated Hermanfrid and conquered his kingdom. Clotaire I also took charge of Radegund, taking her back to Merovingian Gaul with him and making her his wife.

Radegund was one of Clotaire I’s six wives or concubines (the other five being Guntheuca who was the widow of his brother Chlodomer, Chunsina, Ingund, Ingund’s sister Aregund and Wuldetrada the widow of Clotaire's grand-nephew Theudebald). She bore him no children, and, after Clotaire I had her brother assassinated, she turned to God, founding a nunnery in Poitiers.

Literary connections

Radegund was extensively written about and to by the poet Venantius Fortunatus and the bishop, hagiographer, and historian Gregory of Tours. She wrote...
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