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The strangling of Galswintha by Chilperic I

Galswintha (540–568) was the daughter of Athanagild, Visigothic king of Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal), and Goiswintha. Galswintha was the sister of Brunhilda, queen of Austrasia; and the wife of Chilperic I, the Merovingian king of Neustria.

Galswintha and Chilperic were married at Rouen in 567, but soon afterwards she was murdered at the instigation of Chilperic's mistress Fredegund, who then married him. Chilperic in turn was murdered by Fredegund in 584.[1]

Galswintha's death aroused the enmity of her sister Brunhilda against Chilperic, bringing about 40 years of warfare between the Frankish kingdoms of Austrasia and Neustria.

Commemorated in Verse[edit]

The Late Latin poet Venantius Fortunatus wrote a long commemorative poem (Carmina VI.5) in honour of Galswintha.[2] Symphonic metal band Leaves' Eyes also wrote a song from their album Symphonies of the Night, titled "Galswintha"


  1. ^ Kingdom of Neustria (561-584)
  2. ^ English translation by Judith George, in Venantius Fortunatus: Personal & Political Poems (Liverpool: Translated Texts for Historians, 1995), p.40 - 50.