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The Frankish Empire in 555, the year of Theudebald's death

Theudebald (in modern English, Theobald; in French, Thibaut or Théodebald; in German, Theudowald) (534 – 555), son of Theudebert I and Deuteria, was the king of Metz, Rheims, or Austrasia—as it is variously called—from 547 or 548 to 555.[1]

He was only thirteen years of age when he succeeded and of ill health.[2] However, the loyalty of the nobility to his father's memory preserved the peace during his minority. He married Waldrada, daughter of the Lombard king Wacho[3] and his step-aunt, sister to his father's second wife, Wisigard. This marriage fortified the alliance between Austrasia and Lombardy.

Nevertheless, Theudebald could not hold on to the conquests of his father in the north of Italia. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian I sent an army under the command of Narses in 552. The Gothic king Teia called upon the Franks for help. Although King Theudebald refused to send aid, he allowed two of his subjects, the Alemanni chieftains Leutharis and Butilinus, to cross into Italy. The Franks who did not perish of want or plague in Apulia were defeated at Casilinum.[4]

In 550, Theudebald convoked the Council of Toul. Theudebald apparently convoked the council because Nicetius, bishop of Trier, had begun excommunicating Frankish aristocrats who contracted marriages within the prohibited degree of consanguinity.[5]

After a prolonged sickness and prostration, he died in 555. His realm passed finally outside of the family of Theuderic I and was united to the kingdoms of his granduncle Clotaire I, who would soon become king of all the Franks.[6]


  1. ^ Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Theodebald". Encyclopedia Britannica, 1 Jan. 2023
  2. ^ "Theudebald", The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, OUP, 2018 ISBN 9780198662778
  3. ^ Historia Francorum IV.9, p. 202.
  4. ^ Oman, Charles (1905). The Dark Ages, 476-918. Periods of European History, Period 1. London: Rivingtons. p. 119. OCLC 558421317.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ Dumézil, Bruno (2007). "Gogo et ses amis: écriture, échanges et ambitions dans un réseau aristocratique de la fin du VIe siècle". Revue Historique. 309 (643): 33, 263. JSTOR 40958005.
  6. ^ Oman 1905, p. 120.
Born: 535 Died: 555
Preceded by King of Rheims
Succeeded by