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was a queen of Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....
in the middle of the fifth century.
Basina was a daughter of the Thuringian king Basin and Basina, a Saxon princess.
She left her husband, king Bisinus
Bisinus, Basinus, Besinus, or Bisin was the king of the Thuringii .According to Gregory of Tours, he supplied refuge to Childeric I, the Frankish king who was exiled by his own people...
and went to Roman Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...
. She herself took the initiative to ask for the hand of Childeric I
Childeric I was a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks and the father of Clovis.He succeeded his father Merovech as king, traditionally in 457 or 458...
, king of the Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...
, and married him. For as she herself said, "I want to have the most powerful man in the world, even if I have to cross the ocean for him". This remark of hers may have been related to Childeric's successful invasion of the Roman Empire and his attempt to settle a Frankish kingdom on Roman soil.
Basina's name is probably Low Franconian for 'female boss'. She is the mother of the man who is remembered as the founder of the Frankish realm and modern France. She (not her husband Childeric) named her son Chlodovech, but he is better remembered under his Latinized name, Clovis I
Clovis Leuthwig was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the leadership from a group of royal chieftains, to rule by kings, ensuring that the kingship was held by his heirs. He was also the first Catholic King to rule over Gaul . He was the son...
. The simple fact that Chlodovech's name comes from Basina is remarkable since it was a common practice for the Franks to name a son after a member of the family of the male-line of ancestors.
Through the ages historians have been intrigued by the story of Basina since she obviously acted as a player and not as bystander — which is not uncommon for women of the German clans, but highly uncommon for the Romans.
- Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius, later adding the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather...