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For other nobles of the same name, please see Sigismund
Saint Sigismund of Burgundy
Fresco by Piero della Francesca
Died 524 AD, Orléans
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Patronage Czech Republic
Herma of Saint Sigismund in Płock

Sigismund (died 524) was king of the Burgundians from 516 to his death. He was the son of king Gundobad, whom he succeeded in 516. Sigismund and his brother Godomar were defeated in battle by Clovis' sons and Godomar fled. Sigismund was taken by Chlodomer, King of Orleans, where he was kept as a prisoner. Godomar then rallied the Burgundian army and won back his kingdom. Meanwhile, Chlodomer ordered the death of Sigismund and marched with his brother Theuderic I, King of Metz, on Burgundy in 524.

Sigismund was a student of Avitus of Vienne, the Catholic bishop of Vienne who converted Sigismund from the Arian faith of his Burgundian forebears. Sigismund was inspired to found a monastery dedicated to Saint Maurice at Agaune in Valais in 515. The following year he became king of the Burgundians.

The 6th century king's difficulties began shortly thereafter. Sigismund's son opposed him in 517, and insulted his new wife, so Sigismund had him strangled. Then, overcome with remorse, Sigismund retreated to the monastery that he had founded.

In 523, he led the Burgundians against the invading Franks of Childebert I, Clotaire I and Theodebert I. Though he put on a monk's habit and hid in a cell near his abbey, he was captured by Clotaire, taken to Orléans and put to death. Afterwards, he was honoured by the Burgundians as a martyr. His bones were recovered from the well at Coulmiers where his body had been thrown, and a shrine developed near Agaune. Eventually Sigismund was canonized.

Correspondence has survived between Sigismund and Avitus, who was a poet and one of the last masters of the classical arts.



In the 14th century, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, transferred Sigismund's relics to Prague, hence he has become a patron saint of the Czech Republic.

Family and Issue

He married Ostrogotha, the illegitimate daughter of Theodoric the Great and a concubine in 494 as a part of Theodoric's negotiation for an alliance with Sigimund and the Burgundians. Both had the following issue:

  • Sigeric (494/95 - 522, murdered by his own father
  • Suavegotha (495/96 - ?) She was married to Theuderic I, son of Clovis I.


Preceded by
King of Burgundy
Succeeded by

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