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Encyclopedia: Fredegunde

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Columbia University Press
 (frē´´dsymbolgŭn´ dsymbol) , c.545—597, Frankish queen. The mistress of King Chilperic I of Neustria, she became his wife after inducing him to murder his wife Galswintha (567). Fredegunde and Brunhilda, Galswintha's sister and wife of King Sigebert I of Austrasia, were among the leading figures in the long war (561—613) between the Frankish kingdoms of Neustria and Austrasia. Fredegunde procured the deaths of Sigebert I and of her own stepchildren. After Chilperic's murder (584) she acted as regent for her son Clotaire II.