Brunehaut, Or Brnnehild, queen of Austra-sia, born in 534, killed in 613. The daughter of Athanagild, king of the Visigoths of Spain, she married about 567 Sigebert, king of Austrasia. Chilperic, king of Neustria, brother of Sigebert, having married Galsuinda, daughter of Athanagild, abandoned and murdered her at the instigation of his mistress Fredegonda, whom he had made his queen. Brunehaut persuaded her husband to invade Neustria. The invasion was successful, but while besieging Tournay Sigebert was assassinated in 575 by emissaries of Fredegonda. The Austrasian army dispersed, and Brunehaut fell into the hands of Chilperic, and was taken to Rouen. There she induced Meroveus, one of the sons of the Neus-trian king, to marry her, and favored by Pre-textatus, bishop of Rouen, effected her escape to Austrasia, then governed by her son Childe-bert. She succeeded in recovering her authority, and in 587 concluded with Gontran the treaty of Andelot, which fixed the limits between Austrasia and Burgundy. After the death of Childebert in 596, the nobles prevented her from ruling in the name of her grandson, Theodebert II.; but another of her grandsons, Thierry II. of Burgundy, made her mistress of his affairs. She quickly kindled a war between the two brothers.
Theodebert was vanquished at Toul and at Tolbiac, and slain with his family in 612. Thierry suddenly died soon after, and Brunehaut seemed about to ascend the throne again, when she was opposed by Clothaire II., son of Fredegonda, at the head of an army of Burgundians and Austrasian s. She encountered the enemy on the banks of the Aisne, but her troops refused to fight, and Brunehaut fell into the hands of the son of Fredegonda, who reproached her with having caused the death of ten kings or sons of kings, exposed her for three days to torture and to the insults of the soldiers, and then bound her by a foot and an arm to the tail of a wild horse.
Her remains were burned, and the ashes scattered to the winds. She has been diversely judged by historians, being by some accused of monstrous crimes, and extravagantly praised by others.