Childebert II was the Merovingian king of Austrasia, which included Provence at the time, from 575 until his death in 595, the eldest and succeeding son of Sigebert I, and the king of Burgundy from 592 to his death, as the adopted and succeeding son of his uncle Guntram.
When his father was assassinated in 575, Childebert was taken from Paris by Gundobald, one of his faithful lords, to Metz (the Austrasian capital), where he was recognized as sovereign. He was then only five years old, and during his long minority the power was disputed between his mother Brunhilda and the nobles.
Chilperic I, king at Paris, and the Burgundian king Guntram, sought an alliance with Childebert, who was adopted by both in turn. Because Guntram was lord of half of Marseille, the district of Provence became a centre of a brief dispute between the two.
With the assassination of Chilperic in 584 and the dangers occasioned to the Frankish monarchy by the expedition of Gundoald in 585, Childebert threw himself unreservedly into the arms of Guntram. By the Treaty of Andelot of 587, Childebert was recognised as Guntram's heir, and with his uncle's help he quelled the revolts of the nobles and succeeded in seizing the castle of Woëwre. Many attempts were made on his life by Fredegund, wife of Chilperic, who was anxious to secure Guntram's inheritance for her son Clotaire II.
On the death of Guntram in 592, Childebert annexed the kingdom of Burgundy, and even contemplated seizing Clotaire's estates and becoming sole king of the Franks. He died, however, in 595. Childebert II had relations with the Byzantine Empire, and fought on several occasions in the name of the Emperor Maurice, against the Lombards in Italy, with limited success.
He had two sons: the older being Theudebert II who inherited Austrasia with its capital at Metz, and the younger being Theuderic II who received Guntram's former kingdom of Burgundy, with its capital at Orléans.
|Reigned as||In Country||From||To||Coins Issued|
|King Childebert II (Reims and Metz)||Francia (Kingdom of the Franks)||575||595|