Regicides, Dethronements, Mutilations and Expulsions of Germanic Kings in the 5th and 6th Centuries

Bystrický, Peter

The first part of the paper summarizes all regicides that were committed in the kingdoms of the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Suevi, Vandals, Franks, Burgundians, Thuringians, Lombards, Gepids and Heruli in the 5th and 6th centuries, and gives a brief historical overview of when, why and how the kings were killed or overthrown. A closer look into some specific cases, the political context, social situation, the murderers’ motives, and a detailed analysis of the sources, will be subject of the second part. Regicides and dethronements are documented in all Germanic kingdoms.

Loyal and Disloyal to the King

Herucová, Angelika
Hudáček, Pavol

In the Middle Ages a good relationship between the ruler and his people was built on loyalty (fidelitas). Loyalty to the king was also very important for the political order and preservation of the power of the ruler as well as his people (magnates, mounted warriors, bishops, abbots and provosts). The oath of personal fidelity, devotion and loyalty was a part of the ritual in strengthening the relationship between the lord and his man. In Medieval Latin the words fides and fidelitas had originally a religious meaning – believer, a Christian, and Faith.

Germanic Kingship

Bystrický, Peter

The author is concerned with the origin and development of Germanic kingship from the 1st century BC to the 6th century AD. The first mention of Germanic tribes, their social structure and habits is in Caesar's and particularly Tacitus' writings. Although their terminology is different, they described basically the same circumstances. Both of them clearly distinguished between elected war leader, the commander, and chosen judge, the chieftain or king, who descended from respected and noble family.

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