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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIII:
Selected Epistles of Gregory the Great.: To Theoderic, King of the Franks.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Epistle VII.

To Theoderic, King of the Franks 206 .

Gregory to Theoderic, &c.

We have received with joy your written address to us indicating your health and safety, p. 95 and we thereby perceive that you so transcend your age in prudence as to make it evident that it is for the happiness of the nation of the Franks that the government of royal dominion has been committed by the favour of heavenly grace to your Excellency.  And this in you among other things is enough to call for praise and admiration, that in such things as you know that our daughter your most excellent grandmother desires for the love of Almighty God, in these you make haste most earnestly to lend your aid, so that thereby you may reign both happily here, and in a future life with the angels 207 .  Seeing, then, that this comes, by the gift of God, from great discreetness of judgment, we have so speedily and gladly fulfilled what your Excellency desires as to show by the celerity of our execution how much your good deeds have pleased us.

Furthermore, greeting you with paternal sweetness, we inform you that all the matters which you enjoined on the illustrious men your servants Burgoaldus and Varmaricarius, our sons, to be transacted with us have been disclosed to us in a private interview.  And we praised you greatly, that you both attend wisely, as becomes you, to the present, and also make haste so to provide for security in the future by means of a lasting peace between you and the Republic that, being made one, you may extend the stability of your kingdom salutarily to all time.  With regard to this we will announce to you in time to come what it may please God to order.  For, as to us, whatever is proved to be advantageous and conducive to peace, we desire and strive that it should be brought to pass.  The one thing is that, as our will is with regard to what is expedient, so should be the will of God, without whom we can do nothing.  May the Holy Trinity make you to advance always in His fear, and so dispose your heart in moderation well-pleasing to Him as both to grant to your subjects now joy from you, and to you from Himself joy without end hereafter.



See preceding epistle, note 2.


If the accounts given by the Frankish historians be true, Brunechild’s influence over her grandson was not in all respects such as to prepare him for life with the angels.  She is said to have encouraged him in licentious living for fear of her own power being undermined by the introduction into his court of a lawful queen.  (Greg. Turon., Hist. Franc. XI. 36; Fredegar. XXX., XXXVII.).

Next: To Senator, Abbot.

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