Literacy and Its Discontents


Gundovald was born in Gaul and educated with great care. He wore his hair long and down his back, as is the custom of the Frankish kings. He was taught to read and write. . . . Childebert sent the boy to Lothar, who took one look at him and ordered him to have his hair cut. ‘This is no son of mine,’ he said. After the death of King Lothar, Gundovald was taken up by King Charibert. Later on Sigismund summoned him and had his hair cut off a second time, sending him to Cologne. Gundowald escaped from there and let his hair grow long again.

–Gregory of Tour, The History of The Franks



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