The Gothic sack of Rome on 24 August 410 was perhaps one of the most fateful events in Christian history. Indeed, conceptions of Western-Nicene Christianity were forever altered with Emperor Honorius's (A.D. 384-423) abdication of Rome. Pope St. Innocent I (d. 417 A.D.) filled the vacuum of Roman stewardship thereby preserving a loose notion of a demonstrable "church." The theological implications notwithstanding, Clovis I of the Franks (ca. 466 A.D. -ca. 511) -- an obscure Gallic chieftain -- would find himself in a unique and significant position to select, preserve and perpetuate Nicene Christianity. His decision to choose "the God of Clotilda" (A.D. 475-575) -- the faith representative of his Burgundian wife -- not only precipitated the establishment of "Francia," but created a geographical bastion to affect the conversion of Britania, Germania, Scotland and Ireland. Moreover, the development of Christianity from the catacombs to the Nicene Council appeared supplanted by the floundering Roman Empire. The end was indeed nigh, for Rome was commanded and garrisoned by a conglomeration of "barbarian" (e.g., non-Roman) tribes. These tribes brought with them a myriad of faiths such as native paganism, Manichaeism and Arianism that sought the assimilation of Roman Christianity. Despite these dire developments of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, the coronation of Clovis I as "King of the Franks" in A.D. 509 marked perhaps the biggest peripeteia in Christian memory. Indeed, his antecedent marriage to St. Clotilda -- a Burgundian princess who prayed unceasingly for his conversion -- became the precipitating event for a successful Nicene-Christian resurgence.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Religion; Clovis, King of the Franks, approximately 466-511; Nicene Creed; Church history -- Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Seaver College



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Highfield, Ronald