Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Clovis


In my post The year 1966 in stamps I was announcing that I would surely show you some stamps issued by France in 1966. Here is the first one I wanted to show you. This stamp is very special for me for various reasons.
First of all it has been issued in 1966 the year of my birth (more precisely it has been issued the 7th of November 1966). Secondly it pictures Clovis, the first king of Franks, and Clovis is the first name of my grandfather ! I can tell you this is not a very common first name in France. In fact Clovis is the ancient form of the modern Louis. I know very very very few people bearing the first name Clovis… Third point this is a stamp designed and engraved by the famous stamps designer and engraver Albert Decaris. I really think he has produced very nice stamps. And last point that makes this stamp special for me is that this was the first French stamp I got when I started by collection years ago, when I was still a little boy…Now back to the subject of the stamp. It pictures the baptism of Clovis by Saint Remi, the bishop of Reims. Clovis was born in 466 and succeeded to his father Childeric I in 481 as king of the Salian Franks. He will later become the first king of all Franks, reaching the unification of the whole nation, in 509. He is considered as the founder of France and also of the Merovingian dynasty that will rule France for two centuries. In 496 Clovis converted to Catholicism at the instigation of his wife, Clotilde. This is very important act that will greatly influence the history of France and Western Europe. Clovis died the 27th of November 511 and his realm was divided among his four sons : Clotaire, Childebert, Chlodomer and Theuderic.

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