The Merovingian dynasty was a dynastic ruling house of the Franks. Its first king was Merovech, a chief of the Salian Franks ruling from 449 to 460 approximately. Although the Merovingian dynasty was named after Merovech, it was Clovis I, his grandson, the most important king, for he was a resolute and strong-willed natural leader; he was proclaimed king in 481. Clovis I undertook the difficult task of unifying all the Frankish tribes, including the Sicambri, which, until then constituted a confederation of tribes, turning them into one Frankish nation. We can say that the Merovingian dynasty marks the primeval beginning of the French State.
In 486, Clovis I defeated the Roman General Siagrio at the Battle of Soissons, which allowed the Franks to permanently settle in the Gaul (today’s France). He married Clothilde, who was Christian. Due to his wife religious influence, Clovis I converted to Christianity during the Battle of Tolbiac in 496, in which he defeated and conquered the Alemanni, and, on Christmas day that year, he got baptized. Thus, he got the support of the Church that allowed him to conquer most of the Gaul, defeating the Burgundian in 500. Clovis I died in 511, being succeeded by his four sons who divided the Frankish kingdom into four smaller kingdoms: Childebert I ruled Paris; Clotaire I, Soissons; Chlodomer Orleans; and Theuderic I, Rheims.