Guntram, or more properly Gunthchramn, »battle-raven«, 532592, king of the Franks in Burgundy, long the elder in the dynasty of the long-haired Merovingians, who made otherwise a habit of dying by the age of thirty. His capital was Orléans.

To Gregory of Tours he was the good king Gunthchramn, mainly it seems because he kept his murdering and whoredom to a functioning minimum; subsequently beatified as Saint Guntram, presumably for these same incomparable virtues. And yet this very saintliness was Guntram's great sin, for if he had only been less indulgent of the vices of his sister-in-law Fredegunda and had her strangled at some auspicious juncture, much could have been avoided of later evil.

There was also a duke Guntram Boso, a contemporary of the good king Guntram. He was a blackguard and a traitor through and through, and concerning him a story is told of good king Guntram's wisdom: when young King Childebert had taken Boso and brought him to his uncle's judgment, King Guntram's wrath was so far audible that the duke found it best to flee; he took refuge in the house of a bishop Magnerik. The duke seized this poor bishop and declared that »you and I shall share one fate! Obtain my freedom, holy bishop, or I shall slay you myself!« This was a pickle; but behold King Guntram's sagacity (Gregory says): he shouted »Fire the house! The bishop must burn if he cannot get out!« So the duke had to release the holy Magnerik to escape; and some brother priests managed to haul the bishop out through a small window. Guntram Boso, on the other hand, fled through the door, and there »spears met him, many in number«, and an end was made of him in accordance with protocol.


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