Son of Childeric, King of the Salic Franks. Becoming ruler of the Tournai Franks in 481, he began his conquest by taking Soissons, and extending his boundaries to the Loire, after which he invaded Courtrai and Tongres. He conferred on the vanquished equal rights with the Germanic peoples, and all adopted the name of Franks. About 493 he married Saint Clotilda, and when, after invoking the aid of her God during the desperate battle of Tolbiac against the Alemanni, he won the victory, he was baptized with 3,000 of his warriors at Rheims by Saint Remi, 496. His conversion helped to weld the peoples of his kingdom into that nation which was to be for ages the chief defender of western civilization and Catholicism. In 506 he defeated the Visigoth Alaric II at Poitiers, and finally completed his conquests by annexing Cologne. He displayed great talent in governing, and made Paris his capital. He founded there as a mausoleum for himself and Clotilda the church of the Apostles, later Saint Genevieve, which held his remains until the French Revolutionists destroyed the sanctuary and scattered his ashes.