The Franks or Frankish people (Latin: Franci or gens Francorum) were West Germanic tribes first identified in the 3rd century as an ethnic group living north and east of the Lower Rhine. Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. The West Germanic tribes were Germanic peoples who spoke the branch of Germanic languages known as West Germanic languages. The Lower Rhine (Niederrhein kilometers 660 to 1033 of the Rhine River flows from Bonn, Germany, to the North Sea. Under the Merovingian dynasty, they founded one of the Germanic monarchies which replaced the Western Roman Empire from the 5th century. The Merovingians (also Merovings) were a Salian Frankish dynasty that came to rule the Franks in a region (known as Francia in Latin Germanic monarchy, also called barbarian monarchy, was a monarchical systemof government which was predominant among the Germanic tribes of Late Antiquity The Western Roman Empire refers to the western half of the Roman Empire, from its division by Diocletian in 285 the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern The Frankish state consolidated its hold over large parts of western Europe by the end of the eighth century and the Carolingian Empire and its successor states were Frankish. Carolingian Empire is a historiographical term sometimes used to refer to the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty. The Salian political elite were one of the most active forces in spreading Christianity over western Europe. It is traditionally believed that the name Frank is derived from their usage of the javelin, which in Old Germanic is *frankon, the same case as the Saxons and their weapon of choice, the seax. The Saxons or Saxon people were a Confederation of Old Germanic tribes. Seax (also Hadseax, Sax, Seaxe, Scramaseax and Scramsax) in The francisca is named after the Franks, because they used this weapon too. The francisca (or francesca) is a Throwing axe used as a weapon during the Early Middle Ages by the Franks, among whom it was a characteristic
Contemporary definitions of the ethnicity of the Franks vary by period and point of view. It is often unclear whether people referred to as Franks referred to themselves as such. Within Francia, the Franks were initially a distinct group with their own culture. Francia or Frankia, later also called the Frankish Empire (imperium Francorum Frankish Kingdom (Latin regnum Francorum, "Kingdom of the
From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops. Only the Salians formed a kingdom on Roman-held soil that was acknowledged by the Romans after 357. Salians redirects here for the eleventh-century dynasty see Salian dynasty, for Roman priests see Salii. In the climate of the collapse of imperial authority in the West, the Frankish tribes were united under the Merovingians and conquered all of Gaul save Septimania in the 6th century. Gaul (Gallia was the Roman name for the region of Western Europe comprising present day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Septimania was the western region of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis that passed under the control of the Visigoths in 462 when Septimania was ceded to
The mythology of the Franks was probably a form of Germanic polytheism, later adapted and supplanted in the wake of their incursion into the Roman Empire. Frankish mythology comprises the mythology of the Franks, from its roots in polytheistic Germanic paganism through the inclusion of Greco - Roman Germanic paganism refers to the religious beliefs of the Germanic peoples preceding Christianization. The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial Like many Germanic peoples, the Franks concocted an origins story to explain their connection with peoples of classical history. In the case of the Franks, these peoples were the Sicambri and the Trojans. The Sicambri (var Sicambers Sicambres Sigambrer Sugumbrer or Sugambri) were a Germanic people living in what is now called the Netherlands An anonymous work of 727 called Liber Historiae Francorum states that following the fall of Troy, 12,000 Trojans led by chiefs Priam and Antenor moved to the Tanais (Don) river, settled in Pannonia near the Sea of Azov and founded a city called "Sicambria". Liber historiae Francorum ("The book of the history of the Franks " is a book that briefly starts as secondary source for early Franks in the Troy ( Greek: grc Τροία Troia, also, Ilion; Latin: Trōia, Īlium, Hittite: Wilusa or In Greek mythology, Priam ( Greek Πρίαμος Priamos) was the king of Troy during the Trojan War and youngest son In Greek mythology, Antenor was a son of the Dardanian noble Aesyetes by Cleomestra. Tanais ( Greek: Τάναϊς Tánaïs) is the ancient name for the River Don in Russia. Pannonia is an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, The Sea of Azov (Азо́вское мо́ре - Azovskoye more; Азо́вське мо́ре - Azovs'ke more, Azaq deñizi is the world's shallowest sea linked In just two generations (Priam and his son Marcomer) from the fall of Troy (by modern scholars dated in the late Bronze Age) they arrive in the late fourth century at the Rhine. Marcomer (Marcomeres Marchomer Marchomir was a Frankish leader ( dux) in the late 4th century that invaded the Roman Empire in the year An earlier variation of this story can be read in Fredegar. The Chronicle of Fredegar is a Chronicle that recounts the events of Frankish Gaul from 584 to around 641 In Fredegar's version an early king named Francio serves as namegiver for the Franks, just as Romulus has lent his name to Rome.
The Franks enter recorded history around 260 due to an invasion across the Rhine into the Roman Empire. Francia or Frankia, later also called the Frankish Empire (imperium Francorum Frankish Kingdom (Latin regnum Francorum, "Kingdom of the The Rhine (Rhein Rijn Rhin Reno Rain Rhenus is one of the longest and most important Rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 mi with an average discharge They are first mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana as the Chamavi qui et Pranci (meaning "Chamavi, who are Pranci", probably an error for Franci). The Tabula Peutingeriana ( Peutinger table) is an Itinerarium showing the Cursus publicus, the road network in the Roman Empire. The Chamavi were a Germanic tribe of Late Antiquity and the European Dark Age. Over the next century other Frankish tribes besides the Chamavi surface in the records. The major primary sources include Panegyrici Latini, Ammianus Marcellinus, Claudian, Zosimus, Sidonius Apollinaris and Gregory of Tours. The Panegyrici Latini or Latin Panegyrics is a collection of twelve ancient Roman Panegyric orations Amiricanus Gambilinus (325/330-after 391 was a fourth-century Roman historian. Claudian (lat Claudius Claudianus) was a court Poet to the Emperor Honorius and Stilicho. Zosimus ( ''fl'' 490s-510s was a Byzantine historian who lived in Constantinople during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius For the Franco-Irish saint see Sidonius of Saint-Saëns. Gaius Sollius (Modestus Apollinaris Sidonius or Saint Sidonius Apollinaris Saint Gregory of Tours ( November 30, c 538 &ndash November 17, 594) was a Gallo-Roman historian and bishop of Tours As early as 357 a Frankish king from the Salians enters Roman-held soil to stay. Salians redirects here for the eleventh-century dynasty see Salian dynasty, for Roman priests see Salii.
Modern scholars of the Migration Period are in agreement that the Frankish identity emerged at the first half of the third century out of various earlier, smaller groups, including the Salii, Sicambri, Chamavi, Bructeri, Chatti, and Chattuarii, who inhabited the lower Rhine valley and lands immediately to its east. The Migration Period, also called Barbarian Invasions, or sometimes Völkerwanderung ( German for "wandering of peoples" is the English name Salians redirects here for the eleventh-century dynasty see Salian dynasty, for Roman priests see Salii. The Sicambri (var Sicambers Sicambres Sigambrer Sugumbrer or Sugambri) were a Germanic people living in what is now called the Netherlands The Chamavi were a Germanic tribe of Late Antiquity and the European Dark Age. The Bructeri were a Germanic tribe located in northwestern Germany (Soester Börde between the Lippe and Ems rivers south of the Teutoburg The Chatti (also Chatthi or Catti) were an ancient Germanic tribe whose homeland was near the upper Weser. The Chattuarii ot Attoarii are a tribe of the Franks. They lived originally east of the northern Rhine and west of the Chatti, that later were This was a social development.
The Salian Franks invaded the Roman Empire and were accepted as Foederati by Julian the apostate in 358. Foederatus (pl foederati) is a Latin term whose definition and usage drifted in the time between the early Roman Republic and the Flavius Claudius Julianus, known also as Julian or Julian the Apostate (331 or 332 to 26 June 363) was Roman Emperor (Caesar By the end of the fifth century, the Salian Franks extended their footprint on Roman soil to a territory including the Netherlands south of the Rhine, Belgium and Northern France in which they received other peoples, mainly of the Frankish ethnicity. The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. They gave rise to the Merovingian dynasty in the 5th century. The Merovingians (also Merovings) were a Salian Frankish dynasty that came to rule the Franks in a region (known as Francia in Latin
Franks appear in Roman texts as both allies and enemies (laeti or dediticii). Around 250, one group of Franks, taking advantage of a weakened Roman Empire, penetrated as far as Tarragona in present-day Spain, plaguing this region for about a decade before Roman forces subdued them and expelled them from Roman territory. Tarragona (tərəˈɣonə in Catalan) is a city located in the south of Catalonia and east of Spain, by the Mediterranean Sea. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. About forty years later, the Franks had the region of the Scheldt river (present day west Flanders and southwest Netherlands) under control, and were raiding the Channel, disrupting transportation to Britain. The Scheldt (Dutch Schelde, French Escaut, Latin Scaldis) is a 350 km[http //www Roman Britain refers to those parts of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire between AD 43 and 410 Roman forces pacified the region, but did not expel the Franks, who continued to be feared as pirates along the shores at least till the time of Julian the Apostate (358), when Salian Franks were granted to settle as foederati in Toxandria, according to Ammianus Marcellinus. Flavius Claudius Julianus, known also as Julian or Julian the Apostate (331 or 332 to 26 June 363) was Roman Emperor (Caesar Foederatus (pl foederati) is a Latin term whose definition and usage drifted in the time between the early Roman Republic and the Toxandria is the classical name for a region between the Meuse and the Scheldt rivers in The Netherlands and Belgium. 
The first Frankish chief to make himself "King of the Franks" (rex Francorum) was Clovis I in 509. The Merovingians (also Merovings) were a Salian Frankish dynasty that came to rule the Franks in a region (known as Francia in Latin Clovis I (c 466 &ndash 27 November 511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler He had conquered the Kingdom of Soissons of the Roman general Syagrius and expelled the Visigoths from southern Gaul at the Battle of Vouillé, thus establishing Frankish hegemony over most of Gaul (excluding Burgundy, Provence, and Brittany), which he left to his successors, the Merovingians, to conquer. In the Late Antique period two states in the area of modern-day northwest France were termed the Domain of Soissons. Flavius Afranius Syagrius (born 430 died 486 or 487 was the son of Aegidius, the last Roman Magister militum per Gallias The Battle of Vouillé or Campus Vogladensis was fought in the northern Marches of Visigothic territory at a small place near Poitiers ( Gaul Burgundy (Bourgogne Burgund is a region historically situated in modern-day France and Switzerland, inhabited in turn by Celts ( Gauls) Provence ( Provençal Occitan: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm is a region of southeastern France Brittany (Breizh bʁejs Bretagne; Gallo: Bertaèyn) is a former independent Celtic kingdom and Duchy, now incorporated into The Merovingians (also Merovings) were a Salian Frankish dynasty that came to rule the Franks in a region (known as Francia in Latin
Clovis divided his realm between his four sons in a manner which would become familiar, as his sons and grandsons in turn divided their kingdoms between their sons. Clovis' sons united to defeat Burgundy in 534, but internecine feuding came to the fore during the reigns of the brothers Sigebert I and Chilperic I and their sons and grandsons, largely fueled by the rivalry of the queens Fredegunda and Brunhilda. Sigebert I (535-575 was the king of Austrasia from the death of his father in 561 to his own death Chilperic I (c 539 &ndash September 584 was the king of Neustria (or Soissons) from 561 to his death Fredegund or Fredegunda (also Latin Fredegundis or French Frédégonde; died 597 was the Queen consort of Chilperic This period saw the emergence of three distinct regna (realms or subkingdoms): Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. Austrasia (rarely Austria, both meaning "eastern land" formed the north-eastern portion of the Kingdom of the Merovingian Franks, comprising The territory of Neustria or Neustrasia, meaning "new land" originated in 511 made up of the regions from Aquitaine to the English Channel, Each region developed in its own way and often sought to exert influence over the others. The rising star of the Arnulfing clan of Austrasia meant that the centre of political gravity in the kingdom gradually shifted eastwards from Paris and Tours to the Rhineland. The Pippinids or Arnulfings are the members of a family of Frankish nobles whose select scions served as Mayor of the Palace, de facto rulers of the Frankish kingdoms
The Frankish realm was united again in 613 by Chlothar II, son of Chilperic. Chlothar II (or Chlotar, Clothar, Clotaire, Chlotochar, or Hlothar, giving rise to Lothair; 584 &ndash 629 called Chlothar granted the Edict of Paris to the nobles in an effort to cut down on corruption and unite his vast realm under his authority. The Edict of Paris of Clotaire II, the Merovingian King of the Franks, promulgated October 18 614 (or perhaps 615) is After the militarily successful reign of his son and successor Dagobert I, royal authority rapidly declined under a series of kings traditionally known as rois fainéants. Dagobert I (c 603 &ndash 19 January 639) was the king of Austrasia (623&ndash634 king of all the Franks (629&ndash634 and king of Roi fainéant is a French language phrase meaning "do-nothing king" By 687, after the Battle of Tertry, the chronicler could say that the mayor of the palace, formerly the king's chief household official, "reigned. The Battle of Tertry was an important engagement in Merovingian Gaul between the forces of Austrasia on one side and those of Neustria and Mayor of the Palace was an early medieval Title and Office, also called Majordomo, from the Latin title Maior domus ("superior " Finally, in 751, with the approval of the papacy and the nobility, the mayor Pepin the Short deposed the last Merovingian king, Childeric III, and had himself crowned, inaugurating a new dynasty, the Carolingians. Pepin or Pippin (714 &ndash 24 September 768) called the Short, and often known as Pepin the Younger or Pepin III, was Childeric III (died about 753 was the last King of the Franks in the Merovingian dynasty from 743 to his deposition in 751 The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolings, or Karlings) was a Frankish noble family with its origins in the
The unification of most of what is now western and central Europe under one chief ruler provided a fertile ground for the continuation of what is known as the Carolingian Renaissance. Carolingian Empire is a historiographical term sometimes used to refer to the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty. The Carolingian Renaissance was a period of intellectual and cultural revival occurring in the late eighth and ninth centuries with the peak of the activities Despite the almost constant internecine warfare that beset the Carolingian Empire, the extension of Frankish rule and Roman Christianity over such a large area ensured a fundamental unity throughout the Empire. Each part of the Carolingian Empire developed differently; Frankish government and culture depended very much upon individual rulers and their aims. Those aims shifted as easily as the changing political alliances within the Frankish leading families. However, those families, the Carolingians included, all shared the same basic beliefs and ideas of government. These ideas and beliefs had their roots in a background that drew from both Roman and Germanic tradition, a tradition that began before the Carolingian ascent and continued to some extent even after the deaths of Louis the Pious and his sons. Louis the Pious (778 &ndash 20 June 840) also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781 and co-Emperor
In general Germanic peoples on the borders are known to have served in the Roman army since the days of Julius Caesar. The tribes at the Rhine delta that later became Franks are no exception to that general rule. Despite the fact that from the 3rd century onward large quantities of Germanic peoples served in the Roman army, others kept on invading and raiding Roman soil. This caused confrontations between Franks and their neighbours on Roman soil as the Batavi and Menapii. The Batavians ( Latin Batavi) were a Germanic tribe originally part of the Chatti, reported by Tacitus to The Menapii were a Belgic tribe of northern Gaul in pre-Roman and Roman times When Roman administration collapsed in Gaul in 260 due to a joint invasion of Franks and Alamanni, The Germanic Batavian Postumus was forced to usurp power to restore order. For the alleged son of this emperor also called Postumus see Postumus Junior; for the son of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa see Agrippa Postumus From that moment on Germanic soldiers in the Roman army, most notably Franks, were visibly promoted from the ranks. A few decades later the Menapian Carausius (born in Batavia) created a Batavian-British rumpstate on Roman soil that was supported by Frankish soldiers and pirates. Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius (died 293 was a military commander of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century In the mid of the 4th century Frankish soldiers like Magnentius, Silvanus and Arbitio held a dominating position in the Roman army. Flavius Magnus Magnentius (303– August 11, 353) was a Roman usurper ( January 18, 350 – August 11, 353 Arbitio was a Roman general ( Magister militum) and Consul who lived in the middle of the 4th century From description of Ammianus Marcellinus it becomes clear that both Frankish and Alamannic armies were organised like Romans and fought comparably. Amiricanus Gambilinus (325/330-after 391 was a fourth-century Roman historian.
After the invasion of Chlodio the Roman armies at the Rhine-border became a Frankish "franchise", and Franks were known to levy Roman-like troops that were supported by a Roman-like armour-industry. Chlodio (395-448 was a king of the Salian Franks from the Merovingian Dynasty. This lasted at least till the days of Procopius, when the Roman Empire was gone for more than a century, because this historian reported that the former Rhine-army was still in operation and that legions kept on using the same standard and insignia as their forefathers during Roman time. Procopius of Caesarea ( Προκόπιος ο Καισαρεύς, c
Militarily, the Franks under the Merovingians melded Germanic custom with Roman organisation and several important innovations. Before the conquest of Gaul, the Franks fought primarily as a tribe unless they were part of a Roman military unit fighting in conjunction with other regiments.
The primary sources for Frankish military custom and armament are Ammianus Marcellinus, Agathias, and Procopius, the latter two Eastern Roman historians writing about Frankish intervention in the Gothic War. Amiricanus Gambilinus (325/330-after 391 was a fourth-century Roman historian. Agathias or Agathias Scholasticus (c AD 536-582/594 of Myrina, an Aeolian city in western Asia Minor, was a Greek Poet and the Procopius of Caesarea ( Προκόπιος ο Καισαρεύς, c See Gothic War (376-382 for the war on the Danube The Gothic War was a war fought in Italy and the adjoining regions of Dalmatia, Sardinia
Writing of 539, Procopius says:
At this time the Franks, hearing that both the Goths and Romans had suffered severely by the war . . . forgetting for the moment their oaths and treaties . . . (for this nation in matters of trust is the most treacherous in the world), they straightway gathered to the number of one hundred thousand under the leadership of Theudebert and marched into Italy: they had a small body of cavalry about their leader, and these were the only ones armed with spears, while all the rest were foot soldiers having neither bows nor spears, but each man carried a sword and shield and one axe. Now the iron head of this weapon was thick and exceedingly sharp on both sides, while the wooden handles was very short. And they are accustomed always to throw these axes at one signal in the first charge and thus to shatters the shields of the enemy and kill the men. 
His contemporary, Agathias, says:
The military equipment of this people [the Franks] is very simple. . . . They do not know the use of the coat of mail or greaves and the majority leave the head uncovered, only a few wear the helmet. They have their chests bare and backs naked to the loins, they cover their thighs with either leather or linen. They do not serve on horseback except in very rare cases. Fighting on foot is both habitual and a national custom and they are proficient in this. At the hip they wear a sword and on the left side their shield is attached. They have neither bows nor slings, no missile weapons except the double edged axe and the angon which they use most often. The angons are spears which are neither very short nor very long they can be used, if necessary, for throwing like a javelin, and also in hand to hand combat. 
While the above quotations have been used as a statement of the military practices of the Frankish armies in the sixth century and have even been extrapolated to the entire period preceding Charles Martel's reforms (early – mid eighth century), post-Second World War historiography has emphasised the inherited Roman characteristics of the Frankish military from the date of the beginning of the conquest of Gaul. Charles "The Hammer" Martel (Carolus Martellus Charles "the Hammer" (ca The Byzantine authors present several contradictions and difficulties. Procopius denies the Franks the use of the spear while Agathias makes it one of their primary weapons. They agree that the Franks were primarily infantrymen, threw axes, and carried a sword and shield. Both writers also contradict the authority of Gallic authors of the same general time period (Sidonius Apollinaris and Gregory of Tours) and the archaeological evidence. For the Franco-Irish saint see Sidonius of Saint-Saëns. Gaius Sollius (Modestus Apollinaris Sidonius or Saint Sidonius Apollinaris Saint Gregory of Tours ( November 30, c 538 &ndash November 17, 594) was a Gallo-Roman historian and bishop of Tours Scramasaxes and arrowheads are numerous in Frankish graves even though the Byzantine historians do not assign them to the Franks. Seax (also Hadseax, Sax, Seaxe, Scramaseax and Scramsax) in
The evidence of Gregory and of the Lex Salica implies that the early Franks were a cavalry people. Salic law ( Lat Lex Salica) was an important body of traditional Law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the Early Middle Ages In fact, some modern historians have hypothesised that the Franks possessed so numerous a body of horses that they could use them to plough fields and thus were agriculturally technologically advanced over their neighbours. Perhaps the Byzantine writers considered the Frankish horse to be insignificant relative to the Greek cavalry, which is probably accurate. 
The Frankish military establishment incorporated much of the pre-existing Roman institutions in Gaul, especially during and after the conquests of Clovis I in the late fifth and early sixth centuries. Frankish military strategy revolved around the holding and taking of fortified centres (castra) and in general these centres were held by garrisons of milites or laeti, that is, former Roman soldiers. Laeti, the plural form of laetus, was a term used in the late Roman empire to denote communities of barbari (" Barbarians " literally Throughout Gaul the descendants of Roman soldiers continued to wear their uniforms and perform their ceremonial duties.
Immediately beneath the Frankish king in the military hierarchy were the leudes or sworn followers of the king. They could be Gallo-Romans or Franks, laymen or clergy. Some historians have gone to the length of relating their oath-making to the later development of feudalism. Feudalism, a term first used in the early modern period (17th century in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval Europe Political system composed The king also had an elite bodyguard called the truste (trustis). Members of the truste, antrustiones, often served in centannae, garrison settlements of Franks (or others) established for military and police purposes throughout the realm. The actual day-to-day bodyguard of the king was made up of pueri who were probably antrustiones. All high-ranking men had pueri (bodyguards).
The Frankish military was not composed solely of Franks and Gallo-Romans, but also contained Saxons, Alans, Taifals, and Alemanni. The Saxons or Saxon people were a Confederation of Old Germanic tribes. The Alans or Alani (occasionally but more rarely termed Alauni or Halani) were an Iranian nomadic group among the Sarmatian people The Taifals, Taifali, Taifalae, Tayfals, or Theifali were a Barbarian people settled by the late Roman Empire in Poitou The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Main river ( Germany After the conquest of Burgundy (534) the well-organised military institutions of that kingdom were integrated into the Frankish realm. Burgundy is a region of Western Europe which has existed as a political entity in a number of forms with very different boundaries Chief among these was the standing army under the command of the Patrician of Burgundy. Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which
In the late sixth century, during the wars instigated by Fredegund and Brunhilda, the Merovingian monarchs introduced a new element into their militaries: the local levy. Fredegund or Fredegunda (also Latin Fredegundis or French Frédégonde; died 597 was the Queen consort of Chilperic A levy consisted in all the able-bodied men of a district who at the call had to report for military service. The local levy applied only to a city and its environs. Initially only in certain cities in western Gaul, in Neustria and Aquitaine, did the kings possess the right or power call up the levy. The commanders of the local levies were always different from the commanders of the urban garrisons. Often the former were commanded by the counts of the districts. The French Solar Energy Authority ( Commissariat à l'Energie Solaire, ComES) a public Scientific and industrial entity was set up in A much rarer occurrence was the general levy, which applied to the entire kingdom and included peasants (pauperes and inferiores). General levies could also be made within the still-pagan trans-Rhenish stem duchies at the bequest of a monarch. Stem duchies (from the German Stammesherzogtum, literally "tribal duchy" were associated with the Frankish Kingdom, especially the East The Saxons, Alemanni, and Thuringii all had the levy and it could be depended upon by the Frankish monarchs until the mid-seventh century, when the stem dukes began to sever their ties to the monarchy. The Thuringii or Toringi were a Germanic tribe which appeared late during the Völkerwanderung in the Harz Mountains of central Radulf of Thuringia called up the levy for a war against Sigebert III in 640. Radulf was the Duke of Thuringia ( dux Thoringiae) from 632 or 633 (certainly before 634 until his death after 642 Sigebert III (c 630&ndash656/660 was the king of Austrasia from 634 to his death probably on 1 February 656, or maybe as late as 660
Soon the local levy spread to Austrasia and the less Romanised regions of Gaul. On an intermediate level, the kings began calling up territorial levies from the regions of Austrasia (which did not have major cities of Roman origin). However, all the forms of the levy gradually disappeared in the course of the seventh century after the reign of Dagobert I. Dagobert I (c 603 &ndash 19 January 639) was the king of Austrasia (623&ndash634 king of all the Franks (629&ndash634 and king of Under the so-called rois fainéants, the levies disappeared by mid-century in Austrasia and later in Burgundy and Neustria. Roi fainéant is a French language phrase meaning "do-nothing king" Only in Aquitaine, which was fast becoming independent of the central Frankish monarchy, did complex military institutions persist into the eighth century. In the final half of the seventh century and first half of the eight in Merovingian Gaul the chief military actors became the lay and ecclesiastical magnates with their bands of armed followers called retainers. The other aspects of the Merovingian military, mostly Roman in origin or innovations of powerful kings, disappeared from the scene by the eighth century.
The equipment of the Merovingian armies was as varied as the composition. Magnates were known to provide their retainers with coats of mail, helmets, shields, lances, swords, bows and arrows, and war horses. A hauberk is a shirt of mail Armour. The term is usually used to describe a shirt reaching at least to mid-thigh and including sleeves A helmet is a form of Protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries a variation of the hat A shield is a protective device meant to intercept attacks The term often refers to a device that is held in the hand as opposed to Armour or a Bullet proof vest The term lance has become a catchall for a variety of different Pole weapons based on the Spear. A bow is a Weapon that projects arrows powered by the elasticity of the bow Horses were first used in warfare over 5000 years ago The earliest evidence of the use of horses ridden in warfare dates The magnates private armies resembled in armament those of the Gallo-Roman potentiatores of the late Empire. The descendants of Roman soldiers continued to use their service weapons. There was a strong element of Alanic cavalry settled in Armorica which influenced the fighting style of the Bretons down into the twelfth century. Armorica or Aremorica is the name given in ancient times to the part of Gaul that includes the Brittany Peninsula and the territory between the The Bretons are a distinct Ethnic group located in the region of Brittany in France. Local urban levies could be reasonably well-armed and even mounted, but the more general levies were composed of pauperes and inferiores who were mostly farmers by trade and carried into battle whatever weapons they had at hand, often tools or farming implements which made them of militarily ineffective and thus rarely called upon. The peoples east of the Rhine — Franks, Saxons, and even Wends — who were sometimes called upon to serve wore less and more rudimentary armour and carried more primitive weaponry, including spears and axes. The Rhine (Rhein Rijn Rhin Reno Rain Rhenus is one of the longest and most important Rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 mi with an average discharge This is an article about a particle accelerator For uses of spear, see Spear or Spear (disambiguation. Few of these men were mounted and they were not affected very much by Roman traditions and technologies.
Merovingian strategy was wound up in the militarised nature of the entire society. The Franks, to a good deal unlike their Germanic neighbours in this respect, were disposed to call annual meetings in March (the so-called Marchfeld, because assemblies so large had to meet in open fields) whereat the nobles in the presence of the king determined the military target or targets for the coming season of campaigning. In their civil wars with one another, the Merovingian kings concentrated on the holding of fortified places and cities (castra) and siege warfare was a primary aspect in all their endeavours. Siege engines of Roman type were used extensively and the greatest emphasis on tactics was tied to sieges. A siege engine is a device that is designed to Break or circumvent City walls and other Fortifications in Siege warfare. In offensive wars waged against external foes, the objective was typically the acquisition of booty or the enforcement of tribute. Only in the lands beyond the Rhine did the Merovingians seek to extend their political control over their neighbours.
Tactically, the Merovingians borrowed heavily from the Romans, especially regarding siege warfare. However, they were not bereft of innovation and there seems to be little remnant of tribal custom in their battle tactics, which were highly flexible and designed to meet the specific circumstances under which battle was being given. Subterfuge, as a tactic, was endlessly employed. Cavalry formed a large segment of the Merovingian military, but mounted troops readily dismounted when appropriate to fight on foot with the infantry. The Merovingians were capable of raising naval forces when necessary. The most significant naval campaign was waged against the Danes by Theuderic I in 515 and involved ocean-worthy ships. The term Dane may refer to People with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity whether living in Denmark, emigrants or the descendants of emigrants Theuderic I (or Theuderich, Theoderic, or Theodoric; in French, Thierry) (484 &ndash 533 or 534 was the Merovingian king More regular was the use of rivercraft on the Loire, Rhone, and Rhine. Loire ( Arpitan: Lêre, Occitan: Léger) is an administrative department in the east-central part of France occupying the The Rhone, or the Rhône is one of the major Rivers of Europe, running through Switzerland and France.
A well known weapon of the Franks is the "scramas", a javelin that is better known under the Latin word francisca. Historian Ammianus Marcellinus shows us that the Franks used this weapon in the same way late Roman troops used their javelins.
The ethnonym Franc has sometimes been traced to Francisca (Latin) *frankon (Old English franca), meaning "javelin" This would compare to the seax (knife) after which the Saxons were named or the halberd (battle-axe) after which the Lombards may have been named. Seax (also Hadseax, Sax, Seaxe, Scramaseax and Scramsax) in The Saxons or Saxon people were a Confederation of Old Germanic tribes. The Lombards ( Latin Langobardi, whence the alternative names Langobards and Longobards) were a Germanic people originally from The throwing axe of the Franks is known as the francisca but, conversely, the weapon may have been named after the tribe. The francisca (or francesca) is a Throwing axe used as a weapon during the Early Middle Ages by the Franks, among whom it was a characteristic A. C. Murray says, "The etymology of Franci is uncertain ('the fierce ones' is the favourite explanation), but the name is undoubtedly of Germanic origin. "
The language spoken by the early Franks is known as Old Frankish and is only attested in a few words in the Lex Salica and in personal names, and is mostly reconstructed from Old Low Franconian and loanwords in Old French and Latin. Old Frankish was the language of the Franks and it is classified as a West Germanic language. Salic law ( Lat Lex Salica) was an important body of traditional Law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the Early Middle Ages Old French was the Romance Dialect continuum spoken in territories which span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It evolved eventually into Old Low Franconian and then into Old Dutch in the Low Countries, while in what is now Germany the Eastern Franconian dialects were slowly replaced from the 14th century by High German. Old Dutch (aka Old West Low Franconian) is a branch of Old Low Franconian spoken and written during the early Middle Ages (c The Low Countries, the historical region of de Nederlanden, are the countries on low-lying land around the delta of the Rhine, Scheldt Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. The High German languages (in German, Hochdeutsch) are any of the varieties of standard German, Luxembourgish and In what became France, from the 8th century Frankish was replaced by Old French south of the language border. From the 10th century the language border slowly retreated north to the current border between French and the Germanic languages Dutch and German.
There is no surviving work of literature in the Frankish language and perhaps no such works ever existed. Latin was the written language of Gaul before and during the Frankish period. Of the Gallic works which survive, there are a few chronicles, many hagiographies and saints' lives, and a small corpus of poems.
The word Frank has the meaning of "free" (e. g. English frank, frankly, franklin) This arose because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation. Gaul (Gallia was the Roman name for the region of Western Europe comprising present day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western 
Echoes of Frankish paganism arise in the primary sources, but their meaning is not always clear. Modern scholars vary wildly about their interpretation, but it is very likely that Frankish paganism shared most of its characteristics with the other varieties of Germanic paganism. Germanic paganism refers to the religious beliefs of the Germanic peoples preceding Christianization.
It was highly ritualistic and many daily activities centred around the multiple deities, chiefest of which may have been the Quinotaur, a water-god from whom the Merovingians were reputed to have derived their ancestry. The Quinotaur is a mythical Sea creature mentioned in the 7th century Frankish Chronicle of Fredegar.  Most of the pagan gods were associated with local cult centres and their sacred character and power were associated with specific regions, outside of which they were neither worshipped nor feared. Most of the gods were "worldly", possessing form and having concrete relation to earthly objects, in contradistinction to the transcedent God of Christianity. 
Archaeologically, Frankish paganism has been observed in the burial site of Childeric I, where the king's body was found covered in a cloth decorated with numerous bees or flies. Childeric I (c 440– c 481 was the Merovingian king of the Salian Franks from 457 until his death and the father of Clovis. The symbolism of these insects is unknown.
Some Franks converted early to Christianity, like the usurper Silvanus in the 4th century. Claudius Silvanus (died 7 September 355) was a Roman general of Frankish descent usurper in Gaul against Emperor In 496, Clovis I, who had married a Burgundian Catholic named Clotilda three years earlier, was baptised into the (Trinitarian) Catholic faith by Saint Remi after a decisive victory over the Alemanni at the Battle of Tolbiac. Events By Place Europe Battle of Tolbiac: Clovis I defeats the Alamanni, and is baptized into the Catholic Clovis I (c 466 &ndash 27 November 511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler Saint Clotilde (475 – 545 also known as Clotilda or simply Clotild, was the daughter of Chilperic II of Burgundy and Caretena and wife of the Frankish Catholic is an Adjective derived from the Greek adjective '' / 'katholikos' meaning "whole" or "complete". Saint Remigius (Saint Rémi or Saint Rémy Remigio Remigio Romieg Remigiusz and Remig was Bishop of Reims and Apostle of the Franks, (c The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Main river ( Germany The Battle of Tolbiac was fought between the Franks under Clovis I and the Alamanni, traditionally set in 496. According to Gregory of Tours, over 3000 of his soldiers were baptised alongside him.  Clovis' conversion to Catholicism would prove to have an enormous effect on the course of European history, for at the time the Franks were the only major Christianized Germanic tribe without a predominantly Arian aristocracy (their contemporary rivals, the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians and Lombards, had converted to Arian Christianity), and this led to a naturally amicable relationship between the Church of Rome and the increasingly powerful Franks. As a Christian Ecclesiastical term Catholic —from the Greek adjective, meaning "general" or "universal"—is described The historical phenomenon of Christianization (or Christianisation &mdash see spelling differences) the conversion of individuals to Christianity Arianism is the theological teaching of Arius (c AD 250-336 who was ruled a heretic by the Christian church at the Council of Nicea. The Ostrogoths (Ostrogothi or Austrogothi were a branch of the Goths, an East Germanic tribe that played a major role in the political events of the late The Visigoths (Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, or Wisi were one of two main branches of the Goths, an East The Burgundians or Burgundes were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the island of Bornholm, whose The Lombards ( Latin Langobardi, whence the alternative names Langobards and Longobards) were a Germanic people originally from Arianism is the theological teaching of Arius (c AD 250-336 who was ruled a heretic by the Christian church at the Council of Nicea.
Though a sizeable portion of the Frankish aristocracy quickly followed Clovis in converting to Christianity, the conversion of the whole of the people under Frankish rule required a considerable amount of time and effort - in some places two centuries or more.  Early efforts towards organized resistance were quickly squelched: the Chronicle of St. Denis relates that, following Clovis' conversion, a number of devout pagans, unhappy with this turn of events, rallied around Ragnachairus (or Ragnachar), a powerful figure who had played an important role in Clovis' initial rise to power. Though the text remains unclear as to the precise pretext, Clovis soon had Ragnachairus thrown in chains and then executed.  As for the remaining pockets of resistance, they were overcome region by region - primarily due to the work of the quickly expanding network of monasteries. 
The Frankish church of the Merovingians was shaped by a number of internal and external forces: it had to come to terms with an established Gallo-Roman Christian hierarchy entrenched in a culturally resistant aristocracy; it had to Christianize pagan Frankish sensibilities and effectively suppress their expression; it had to provide a new theological basis for Merovingian forms of kingship, which were deeply rooted in pagan Germanic tradition; it had to accommodate Irish and Anglo-Saxon missionary activities on the one hand and papal requirements on the other. The historical phenomenon of Christianization (or Christianisation &mdash see spelling differences) the conversion of individuals to Christianity  The Carolingian reformation of monastic life and teaching and church-state relations can be seen both as the culmination of the Frankish church and a transformation of it.
The increasing personal wealth of the Merovingian elite allowed the endowment of many monasteries, such as those of the Irish missionary Saint Columbanus. Not to be confused with St Columba, also Irish and partly his contemporary The fifth, sixth and seventh centuries saw two major waves of hermitism in the Frankish world, a movement which was eventually reorganised by legislation requiring that all monks and hermits follow the Rule of St Benedict. A hermit (from the Greek ἔρημος erēmos, signifying " Desert " "uninhabited" hence "desert-dweller" adjective "eremitic" 
The period of Frankish rule saw the gradual replacement, always pushed for by Rome, of the Gallican rite of the Gallo-Roman church with the Roman rite; this does not seem to have stirred passions outside the clergy. The Gallican Rite is a historical sub-grouping of the Roman Catholic Liturgy in Western Europe; it is not a single rite but actually a family of Rites This article covers the culture of Romanized areas of Gaul. For the political history of the brief "Gallic Empire" of the 3rd century see Gallic Empire The liturgical rite of the Church of Rome is called the Roman Rite.
The Church seems to have had a somewhat uneasy relationship with the Merovingian kings, whose claim to rule depended on a mystique of royal descent that the Church had not yet come to terms with, and who tended to revert to the polygamy of their pagan ancestors. When the mayors took over, the Church was supportive, and an Emperor crowned by the Pope was much more to their liking.
Early Frankish art and architecture belong to that phase of European art called Migration Period art, and have left very few remains. Merovingian art and architecture is the art and architecture of the Merovingian dynasty of the Franks, which lasted from the 5th century to the See also Carolingian architecture Carolingian art is the roughly 120-year period from about AD 780 to 900 &mdash during the reign of Migration Period art is the artwork of Germanic peoples during the Migration period of 300 to 900 The later period is called Carolingian art, or, especially in architecture, the Pre-Romanesque. See also Carolingian architecture Carolingian art is the roughly 120-year period from about AD 780 to 900 &mdash during the reign of The term architecture (from Greek αρχιτεκτονικήarchitektoniki) can be used to mean a process a profession or documentation Pre-Romanesque art and architecture is the period in Western European art from either the emergence of the Merovingian kingdom in about 500 or from the Carolingian
Very little is preserved in the way of Frankish architecture of the Merovingian period. The works of Gregory of Tours praise the churches of his day, which mostly seem to have been timber-built, with larger examples using the basilica plan, but the most completely surviving example of Merovingian architecture is a baptistery dedicated to Saint John in Poitiers. The Latin word basilica (derived from Greek, Basiliké Stoà, Royal Stoa) was originally used to describe a Roman In Christian architecture the baptistery or baptistry ( Latin baptisterium) is the separate centrally-planned structure surrounding the Poitiers is a town on the Clain River in west central France. It is a small building with three apses, now much rebuilt, essentially continuing Gallo-Roman style. In the South of France a number of small baptistries have survived, as separate baptistries fell permanently out of fashion in later periods, so they were not updated as the main churches have been. In Christian architecture the baptistery or baptistry ( Latin baptisterium) is the separate centrally-planned structure surrounding the
What is preserved of the visual and plastic arts largely consists of archaeological finds of jewellery (such as brooches), weapons (such as swords with decorative hilts), and apparel (such as capes and sandals) found in grave sites, such as the famous grave of the queen Aregund, discovered in 1959, or the Treasure of Gourdon, deposited soon after 524. Aregund, Aregunda, Arnegund, Aregonda, or Arnegonda was the wife of Clotaire I, King of the Franks, and the mother of The Treasure of Gourdon ( Trésor de Gourdon) unearthed near Gourdon, Saône-et-Loire, in 1845 is a hoard of gold the objects dating to the end of the Not many illuminated manuscripts survive from the Merovingian period, though the few that do, like the Gelasian Sacramentary, contain a great deal of zoomorphic representations. An illuminated manuscript is a Manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration such as decorated Initials borders and The so-called "Gelasian Sacramentary" is a book of Catholic Liturgy, containing the priest's part in celebrating the Eucharist. Compared to the similar hybrid works of Insular art from the British Isles, Frankish works in all these media show more continuing use of late Antique style and motifs, and a lesser degree of skill and sophistication in design and manufacture. Insular art, also known as the Hiberno-Saxon style is the style of art produced in the post-Roman history of the British Isles and the term is also used in The numbers surviving are so small, however, that the best quality of work may not be represented. 
The work of the main centres of the Carolingian Renaissance represents a great transformation from that of the earlier period, and has survived in far greater quantity. The Carolingian Renaissance was a period of intellectual and cultural revival occurring in the late eighth and ninth centuries with the peak of the activities The visual and literary arts were lavishly funded and encouraged by Charlemagne, using imported artists where necessary, and Carolingingian developments were in many areas decisive for the future course of Western art. Charlemagne (ˈʃɑrlɨmeɪn Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus meaning Charles the Great) (747 – 28 January 814 was King of the Franks from 768 to his
The main surviving monument of Carolingian architecture is the Palatine Chapel in Aachen, which is an impressive and confident adaptation of San Vitale, Ravenna, from where some of the pillars were brought. Carolingian architecture is the style of north European architecture belonging to the period of the Carolingian Renaissance of the late 8th and 9th centuries The Palatine Chapel in Aachen is the chapel of Charlemagne 's palace, now part of Aachen Cathedral. The Church or Basilica of San Vitale — styled an " ecclesiastical basilica " in the Roman Catholic Church though it is not of architectural basilica Many other important buildings can be largely reconstructed, such as the monasteries of Centula or St Gall, or the old Cologne Cathedral, now rebuilt. Saint Gall, Gallen, or Gallus (c 550 - c 646 was an Irish disciple and one of the traditionally twelve companions of Saint Columbanus Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom officially de Hohe Domkirche St These were now large structures and complexes with a distinctive and sophisticated style, including an emphasis on the vertical and the frequent use of towers. 
Carolingian illuminated manuscripts and ivory plaques survive in reasonable numbers, and now approach those of Constantinople in quality, as was certainly the intention. An illuminated manuscript is a Manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration such as decorated Initials borders and Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS
Like other Germanic peoples, the legal precedents of the Franks were originally housed only in the memory of designated specialists, rachimburgs, parallel to Scandinavian lawspeakers. Salic law ( Lat Lex Salica) was an important body of traditional Law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the Early Middle Ages The Lex Ripuaria is a 7th century collection of Germanic law, the laws of the Ripuarian Franks. See also Medieval Scandinavian laws Lawspeaker ( Swedish: lagman, Old Swedish: laghmaþer or laghman, Danish  By the time codes began to be written down in the sixth century, there persisted two basic legal subdivisions within the Frankish nation: Salian Franks were subject to Salic law, Ripuarian Franks to Ripuarian law. Salic law ( Lat Lex Salica) was an important body of traditional Law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the Early Middle Ages The Lex Ripuaria is a 7th century collection of Germanic law, the laws of the Ripuarian Franks. Gallo-Romans south of the Loire River and the clergy remained subject to tradiational Roman law. The Loire River (lwaʁ in French) is the longest River in France. Roman law is the legal system of Ancient Rome. As used in the West the term commonly refers to legal developments prior to the Roman/Byzantine state's adopting  Germanic law was overwhelmingly concerned with private law, which protects individuals, over public law, which protects the interest of the state. According to Michel Rouche, "Frankish judges devoted as much care to a case involving the theft of a dog as Roman judges did to cases involving the fiscal responsibility of curiales, or municipal councilors. "
Because the Frankish kingdom dominated Western Europe for centuries, terms derived from "Frank" were used by many in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and beyond as a synonym for Roman Christians (e. g. , al-Faranj in Arabic, farangi in Persian, Frenk in Turkish, Feringhi in Hindustani, and Frangos in Greek). Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language Turkish ( tr Türkçe IPA) is a language spoken by over 63 million people worldwide making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Hindustani (हिन्दुस्तानी ہندوستانی Hindustānī, hɪn̪d̪ʊst̪aːniː also known as " Hindi-Urdu," is a term covering Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly See also Thai ฝรั่ง farang. Thai (th ภาษาไทย, transcription: phasa thai, transliteration:; pʰāːsǎːtʰāj is the national and During the crusades, which were at first led mostly by nobles from northern France who claimed descent from Charlemagne, both Muslims and Christians used these terms as ethnonyms to describe the Crusaders. The Crusades were a series of military campaigns of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal opponents Charlemagne (ˈʃɑrlɨmeɪn Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus meaning Charles the Great) (747 – 28 January 814 was King of the Franks from 768 to his An ethnonym ( Gk έθνος ethnos, 'tribe' + όνομα onoma, 'name' is the name applied to a given Ethnic group. This usage is often followed by modern historians, who call Western Europeans in the eastern Mediterranean "Franks" regardless of their country of origin. Compare with Rhomaios, Rûmi ("Roman"), used for Orthodox Christians. Rûm, also Roum or Rhum (in Arabic الرُّومُ ar-Rūm, Persian / Turkish Rum) is a very indefinite Catholics on various islands in Greece are still referred to as Φραγκοι, "Frangoi" (Franks). Examples include the naming of a Catholic from the Island of Syros as "Frangosyrianos" (Φραγκοσυριανος). The term Frangistan was used by Muslims to refer to the land where the Crusaders came from, i. Frangistan ( Persian: فرنگستان) was a term used by Muslims and Persians in particular during the Middle Ages and later historical e. Christian Europe.
The Carolingian elite produced Feudalism. Feudalism, a term first used in the early modern period (17th century in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval Europe Political system composed This social structure, or parts of it, went on to influence much of Western Europe from the Middle Ages onwards. Western Europe at its most general meaning means 'all the countries in the West of Europe ' Also, the Franks and their leaders became an important part of the legendary history of Western Europe. Because of this, many European rulers and writers used the idea of a Frankish legacy as justification for political claims or for political and social theories. In the twentieth century, Franks and Frankish leaders became common political symbols for European unity. Europeanism refers to the concept of or assertion that the people of Europe have a distinct collective Cultural identity within the larger context of Western