Gregory, bishop of Tours 573–94, describes in his ‘History of the Franks’ how, in AD 585, the army of the Merovingian King Guntram of the Franks set out to attack the city of Poitiers, whose inhabitants had rebelled against him. Having captured Poitiers, the army marched south to crush the army of Gundovald, who claimed to be a son of King Lothar I (d. 561) and therefore Guntram’s brother and a contender for the throne. This army contained men on horseback and on foot. Gregory mentions that they were armed with javelins, or spears. The army had a large baggage train of wagons, which was left in the care of the less able-bodied when the army went to attack the church of St Vincent at Agen.
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