The following description of Clovis I is taken from Gregory of Tours'
History of the Franks:
At that time many churches were plundered by the troops of Clovis, for he still held fast to his pagan idolatries. The soldiers had stolen an ewer of great size and wondrous workmanship, together with many other precious objects used in the church service. The bishop of the church in question sent messengers to the King to beg that, even if he would not hand back any of the other sacred vessels, this ewer at least might be restored to the church. The King listened to them and replied: 'Follow me to Soisson, where all the objects which we have seized are to be distributed. If this vessel for which your bishop is asking falls to my share, I will meet his wishes.' They came to Soissons and all the booty was placed in a heap before them. King Clovis addressed his men as follows: 'I put it to you, my lusty freebooters, that you should agree here and now to grant me that ewer over and above my normal share.' They listened to what he said and the more rational among them answered: "Everything in front of us is yours, noble King, for our very persons are yours to command. Do exactly as you wish, for there is none among us who has the power to say you nay.' As they spoke, one of their number, a feckless fellow, greedy and prompt to anger, raised his battle axe and struck the ewer. 'You shall have none of this booty,' he shouted, 'except your fair share.' All present were astounded at his words. The King hid his chagrin under a pretence of long-sufering patience. He took the vessel and handed it over to the envoy of the church; but in his heart he resented what had happened. At the end of that year he ordered the entire armyto assembe on the parade-ground, so that he could examine the state of their equipment. The King went round inspecting them all and came finally to the man who had struck the ewer. 'No other man has equipment in such a bad state as yours,' said he. 'Your javelin is in a shocking condition, and so are your sword and your axe!' He seized the man's axe and threw it on the ground. As the soldier bent forward to pick up his weapon, King Clovis raised his own battle-axe in the air and split his skull with it. 'That is what you did to my ewer in Soissons,' he shouted. The man fell dead. Clovis ordered the others to dismiss. They were filled with mighty dread at what he had done. Clovis waged many wars and won many victories." From Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks 139-40 (Penguin Books, Ltd. 1974).