Flavius Paulus, also known as Paul of Narbonne was a general of the Visigoth King Wamba, and later a rebel against that King.
As King of the Visigoths, King Wamba's authority included both Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula) and Septimania (corrsponding to the present-day southern French coastal area from the Spanish border to Nimes). However, some weeks after ascending the throne in 672, Wamba had to face a revolt from Hilderic, governor of Nîmes, who had aspired to become king. Hilderic was supported by Gunhild, Bishop of Maguelonne.
Wamba sent Paul, a dux (military commander) to crush the rebellion. But upon his arrival at Narbonne, Paul became a rebel himself, inducing his troops to renounce their loyalty to Wamba and elect him king. He was joined by Hilderic and his followers, as well as by duke Ranosindus of Tarraconensis and the palace official (gardingatus) Hildigisus; Paul further attempted to improve his chances by recruiting "multitudes" of Franks and Basques to join his forces. With this, the Visigothic cities in Gaul and a large part of northeastern Hispania came over to Paul's side.
In response, Wamba marched into the Tarraconensis region, and in a few days turned most of the cities back to his side. He then divided his forces into three groups, attacking over the Pyrenees by way of Llívia (then the capital of Cerdanya), Auch, and the coastal road, taking the fortresses of Collioure, Vulturaria, and Llívia, and finding "much" gold and silver there.
When Wamba moved on Narbonne, Paul placed a general, Wittimer, over that city and retired to Nîmes. Wamba's forces quickly subdued Narbonne and then secured the surrender of Nîmes on September 3, 673. This included the surrender of Paul and the other rebel leaders who, three days later, were brought to trial and, for their crimes, scalped and imprisoned for life.
- Historia Wambae Regis auctore Juliano episcopo Toletano, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptorum rerum Merovingicarum tomus V, Passiones Vitaeque Sanctorum Aevi Merovingici, pp.504-507.
- Bishop Julian of Toledo, in his History of King Wamba, accuses Paul of crowning himself with a votive crown King Reccared (the king who converted the Visigoths from Arianism to Catholicism) had dedicated to the body of St. Felix in Girona. Historia Wambae Regis in MGH, Scriptorum rerum Merovingicarum t. V, p. 522.
- Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptorum rerum Merovingicarum tomus V, Passiones Vitaeque Sanctorum Aevi Merovingici, p. 507.
- Roger Collins, The Basques (2nd ed., 1990, Blackwell: Cambridge Mass.), points out that "there exists a measure of looseness about the use of the name of Cantabria" both before and after Wamba's time, so it could include a wider area than at present. See Collins, pp. 92-93 & 138-139.
- Historia Wambae Regis in MGH, Scriptorum rerum Merovingicarum t. V, pp. 509-511.