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GUNTRAM, or GONTRAN (561-592)

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Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 730 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GUNTRAM, or GONTRAN (561-592), king of Burgundy, was one of the sons of Clotaire I. On the death of his father (561) he and his three brothers divided the Frankish realm between them, Guntram receiving as his share the valleys of the Saone and Rhone, together with Berry and the town of Orleans, which he made his capital. On the death of Charibert (567), he further obtained the civitates of Saintes, Angouleme and Perigueux. During the civil war which broke out between the kings of Neustria and Austrasia, his policy was to try to maintain a state of equilibrium. After the assassination of Sigebert (575), he took the youthful Childebert II. under his protection, and, thanks to his assistance against the intrigues of the great lords, the latter was able to maintain his position in Austrasia. After the death of Chilperic (584) he protected the young Clotaire II. in the same way, and prevented Childebert from seizing his dominions. His course was rendered easier by the fact that his own sons had died; consequently, having an inheritance at his disposal, he was able to offer it to whichever of his nephews he wished. The danger to the Frankish realm caused by the expedition of Gundobald (585), and the anxiety which was caused him by the revolts of the great lords in Austrasia finally decided him in favour of Childebert. He adopted him as his son, and recognized him as his heir at the treaty of Andelot (587); he also helped him to crush the great lords, especially Ursion and Berthefried, who were conquered in la Woevre. From this time on he ceased to play a prominent part in the affairs of Austrasia. He died in 592, and Childebert received his inheritance without opposition. Gregory of Tours is very indulgent to Guntram, who showed himself on occasions generous towards the church; he almost always calls him " good king Guntram," and in his writings are to be found such phrases as "good king Guntram took as his servant a concubine Veneranda" (iv. 25); but Guntram was really no better than the other kings of his age; he was cruel and licentious, putting his cubicularius Condo to death, for instance, because he was suspected of having killed a buffalo in the Vosges. He was moreover a coward, and went in such constant terror of assassination that he always surrounded himself with a regular body-guard. See Krusch, " Zur Chronologie der merowingischen Konige," in the Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, xxii. 451-490; Ulysse Chevalier, Bio-bibliographie (2nd ed.), s.v. " Guntram." (C. PF.) GUNTUR; a town and district of British India, in the Madras presidency. The town (pop. in roof , 30,833) has a station on the Bellary-Bezwada branch of the Southern Mahratta railway. It is situated east of the Kondavid hills, and is very healthy. It appears to have been founded in the 18th century by the French. At the time of the cession of the Circars to the English in 1765, Guntur was specially exempted during the life of Basalat Jang, whose personal jagir it was. In 1788 it came into British possession, the cession being finally confirmed in 1823. It has an important trade in cotton, with presses and ginning factories. There is a second-grade college supported by the American Lutheran Mission. Until 1859i Guntur was the headquarters of a district of the same name, and in 1904 a new DISTRICT OF GUNTUR was constituted, covering territory which till then had been divided between Kistna and Nellore. Area, 5733 sq. m. The population on this area in roof was 1,490,635. The district is bounded on the E. and N. by the river Kistna; in the W. a considerable part of the boundary is formed by the Gundlakamma river. The greater part consists of a fertile plain irrigated by canals from the Kistna, and producing cotton, rice and other crops.
End of Article: GUNTRAM, or GONTRAN (561-592)
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