Gone Medieval


Brunhild and Fredegund: The Queens Who Fought for 40 Years

Ep. 84

We've all heard epic tales of early medieval kings, but what about the queens? It doesn't get much more spectacularly brutal than Brunhild and Fredegund, two sixth century queens who fought a bloody civil war against one another that lasted no less than four decades.

The rival matriarchs commanded armies, developed taxation policies, established infrastructure and negotiated with emperors and popes... yet their story has been largely forgotten, until now. In this episode for International Women's Day, host, Dr Cat Jarman is joined by award-winning poet and writer Shelley Puhak, whose new book The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World tells this gripping tale of power, ambition and murderous rivalry in early medieval France.

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