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Chlothar I
Monnaie d'argent de Clotaire Ier.jpeg
Silver coin of Chlothar I
King of Soissons
Reign 511–558
Predecessor Clovis I
Successor Chilperic I
King of Orléans
Reign 524–558
Predecessor Chlodomer
Successor St. Guntram
King of Reims
Reign 555–558
Predecessor Theudebald
Successor Sigebert I
King of Paris
Reign 558
Predecessor Childebert I
Successor Charibert I
King of the Franks
Reign 558–561
Predecessor Vacant (last held by Clovis I)
Successor Vacant (next held by Clotaire II)
Born c. 497
Died 29 November 561
Spouse Guntheuc
Issue Gunthar
St. Guntram
Dynasty Merovingian
Father Clovis I
Mother Clotilde
Religion Roman Catholic

Chlothar I (c. 497 – 29 November 561), also called "Clotaire I" and the Old (le Vieux), King of the Franks, was one of the four sons of Clovis I of the Merovingian dynasty.

Chlothar's father, Clovis I, divided the kingdom between his four sons. In 511, Clothar I inherited two large territories on the Western coast of Francia, separated by the lands of his brother Childebert I's Kingdom of Paris. Chlothar spent most of his life in a campaign to expand his territories at the expense of his relatives and neighbouring realms in all directions.

His brothers avoided outright war by cooperating with his attacks on neighbouring lands in concert or by invading lands when their rulers died. The spoils were shared between the participating brothers. By the end of his life, Chlothar had managed to reunite Francia by surviving his brothers and seizing their territories after they died. But upon his own death, the Kingdom of the Franks was once again divided between his own four surviving sons. A fifth son had rebelled and was killed, along with his family.

Chlothar's father, Clovis I, had converted to Nicene Christianity, but Chlothar, like other Merovingians, did not consider that the Christian doctrine of monogamy should be expected of royalty: he had five wives, more from political expediency than for personal motives. Although at the instigation of his queens he gave money for several new ecclesiastical edifices, he was a less than enthusiastic Christian and succeeded in introducing taxes on ecclesiastical property.

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