Clovis Essay, Research Paper
According to Gregory of Tours there should be no other religion besides Christianity. Gregory being a devout Christian, wants to instill his beliefs upon everyone else, especially the heretics, namely the evil sect Arianism. Gregory also believes, by choosing his God, no evil can be done, because even if a person is a sinner, God will pardon the person and their sins. Gregory especially loved the Franks. He viewed them not as destroyers, but as saviors of Christian Gaul. For they had become directly converted to Catholicism without ever passing through an Arian stage. They accepted the Catholic hierarchy and Gregory was pleased.
Gregory of Tours believed only in the Catholic church, and felt others should believe in his faith because, the end of the world was coming soon. He believed that God, as stated in the Bible, would save the Christians who believed in him and outcast all the non believers. He confessed to only on Godhead for he saw the Father, Son and holy Ghost as one, combined into the Trinity, unlike the Arians. Gregory views the Arians as heretics, he feels they are people who are against Church and the Christians; like Clovis, for he was once a believer of Paganism.
Clovis was a man who believed in Pagan worship, although he had a sister and wife who were devout Christians. Before Clovis became converted to Christianity, he would often times destroy churches. He believed in his Pagan idolatries and therefore, he would steal from the churches, taking their most prized possessions, like an ewer. Clovis wife would often times try to convince him that his Pagan Gods could not match up to her God, the Christian God and would try to make him convert to her faith. But he did not convert for some time. Clotild had bore two children whom both died shortly after being baptized by the Catholic church. Clovis believed it was because of her faith that his sons had died.
He believed if they were to receive the Pagan beliefs in which he believed under his Gods the out come would have been different.
It was not until Clovis was faced with a battle (Tolbiac) that he realized he would need help and his Gods were not able to do their job. During this battle Clovis men were being annihilated. When noticing he was being slowly defeated he raised his eyes to heaven and asked Jesus Christ, whom his wife had believed in, to help him to defeat the other army; and if he won he would be baptized in his name (143). He truly did not believe until after he had won the battle. Although, Gregory of Tours saw this as an opportune time, what Clovis did was in fact barter with a divine power. Upon winning the battle of Tolbiac Clovis did what he had promised and he converted to Christianity, turning away all of his Pagan idolatries. When Clovis converted, he did not feel that he was going to be able to make his followers give up their faith and follow in his conversion. When in fact more than three thousand of his men converted after he had converted.
Clovis appeared as a new Constantine. And like Constantine, once Clovis converted he was able to Christianize his men and bring in a lot of new followers. Although there were men who would not convert to Christianity, Clovis instead of being on their sides, would now hunt them down and persecute them. After his conversion, when he would fight in churches he would no longer destroy the church, he and his men would also not take any of the booty. He did this because he was himself as a victor because God was on his side (153). He now felt that by having God on his side was more than enough. Also, he would not steal the sacred possessions in the churches because having God as a prize was worth more than any of the possessions that he could steal.
Clovis conversion to Christianity was an important decision for himself, for his state, and for the followers of Christianity before he converted, for they were no longer persecuted. By Clovis converting, the church became more powerful and wealthy. New churches were being erected which in turn brought in more followers and more money. His decision was looked upon not only by his wife, but also the Christian community as a great thing, especially to Gregory of Tours. He was able to turn a pagan society into a Christian society. Also, in later times the people of Gaul would experience the belief in one faith only, Christianity.