The Franks or Frankish people ( _la. Franci or "gens Francorum") were
West Germanic tribesfirst identified in the 3rd century as an ethnic groupliving north and east of the Lower Rhine. Under the Merovingiandynasty, they founded one of the Germanic monarchies which replaced the Western Roman Empirefrom the 5th century. The Frankish state consolidated its hold over large parts of western Europe by the end of the eighth century and the Carolingian Empireand its successor states were Frankish. 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" [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=frank http://www.etymonline.com/] ] , the same case as the Saxons and their weapon of choice, the seax. The franciscais named after the Franks, because they used this weapon too.
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.
From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salians formed a kingdom on Roman-held soil that was acknowledged by the Romans after 357. In the climate of the collapse of imperial authority in the West, the Frankish tribes were united under the Merovingians and conquered all of
Gaulsave Septimaniain the 6th century.
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. 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 Sicambriand the Trojans. An anonymous work of 727 called " Liber Historiae Francorum" states that following the fall of Troy, 12,000 Trojans led by chiefs Priamand Antenor moved to the Tanais(Don) river, settled in Pannonianear the Sea of Azovand founded a city called "Sicambria". 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. An earlier variation of this story can be read in Fredegar. 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
Rhineinto the Roman Empire. They are first mentioned on the " Tabula Peutingeriana" as the "Chamavi qui et Pranci" (meaning " Chamavi, who are Pranci", probably an error for "Franci"). 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 Apollinarisand Gregory of Tours. As early as 357 a Frankish king from the Saliansenters Roman-held soil to stay.
Modern scholars of the
Migration Periodare 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, Chattuarii, and Ampsivarii, who inhabited the lower Rhine valley and lands immediately to its east. This was a social development.
The Salian Franks invaded the Roman Empire and were accepted as
Foederatiby Julian the apostatein 358. By the end of the fifth century, the Salian Franks extended their footprint on Roman soil to a territory including the Netherlandssouth of the Rhine, Belgiumand Northern Francein which they received other peoples, mainly of the Frankish ethnicity. They gave rise to the Merovingian dynasty [cite book|author= Previté-Orton|title= The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History, vol. I|pages=151] in the 5th century.
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
Tarragonain present-day Spain, plaguing this region for about a decade before Roman forces subdued them and expelled them from Roman territory. About forty years later, the Franks had the region of the Scheldtriver (present day west Flanders and southwest Netherlands) under control Fact|date=December 2007, and were raiding the Channel, disrupting transportation to Britain. Roman forces pacified the region, but did not expel the Franks Fact|date=December 2007, 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. [cite book|author= Previté-Orton|title= The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History, vol. I|pages=51-52]
Merovingian kingdom (481–751)
The first Frankish chief to make himself "King of the Franks" ("rex Francorum") was
Clovis Iin 509. He had conquered the Kingdom of Soissons of the Roman general Syagriusand 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.
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 Iand Chilperic Iand their sons and grandsons, largely fueled by the rivalry of the queens Fredegundaand Brunhilda. This period saw the emergence of three distinct "regna" (realms or subkingdoms): Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. Each region developed in its own way and often sought to exert influence over the others. The rising star of the Arnulfingclan of Austrasia meant that the centre of political gravity in the kingdom gradually shifted eastwards from Paris and Tours to the Rhineland.
The Frankish realm was united again in 613 by
Chlothar II, son of Chilperic. Chlothar granted the Edict of Paristo the nobles in an effort to cut down on corruption and unite his vast realm under his authority. 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". 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." Finally, in 751, with the approval of the papacy and the nobility, the mayor Pepin the Shortdeposed the last Merovingian king, Childeric III, and had himself crowned, inaugurating a new dynasty, the Carolingians.
Carolingian empire (751–843)
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. 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 Piousand his sons.
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
Bataviand Menapii. When Roman administration collapsed in Gaul in 260 due to a joint invasion of Franks and Alamanni, The Germanic Batavian Postumuswas forced to usurp power to restore order. 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. In the mid of the 4th century Frankish soldiers like Magnentius, Silvanus and Arbitioheld a dominating position in the Roman army. From description of Ammianus Marcellinusit becomes clear that both Frankish and Alamannic armies were organised like Romans and fought comparably.
After the invasion of
Chlodiothe 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. 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.
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.
Early Frankish warfare
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.
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
Theudebertand 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. [Procopius "HW", VI, xxv, 1ff, quoted in Bachrach (1970), 436.]
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. [Agathias, "Hist"., II, 5, quoted in Bachrach (1970), 436–437.]
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. 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 Apollinarisand Gregory of Tours) and the archaeological evidence. Scramasaxes and arrowheads are numerous in Frankish graves even though the Byzantine historians do not assign them to the Franks.
The evidence of Gregory and of the "
Lex Salica" implies that the early Franks were a cavalry people. 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. [Bachrach (1970), 440.]
Composition and development
The Frankish military establishment incorporated many 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. 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. 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. After the conquest of Burgundy (534) the well-organised military institutions of that kingdom were integrated into the Frankish realm. Chief among these was the standing army under the command of the Patrician of Burgundy.
In the late sixth century, during the wars instigated by
Fredegundand Brunhilda, the Merovingian monarchs introduced a new element into their militaries: the local levy. 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. 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 duchiesat the bequest of a monarch. The Saxons, Alemanni, and Thuringiiall 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. Radulf of Thuringia called up the levy for a war "against" Sigebert IIIin 640.
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. Under the so-called " rois fainéants", the levies disappeared by mid-century in Austrasia and later in Burgundy and Neustria. 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 eighth in Merovingian Gaul, the chief military actors became the lay and ecclesiastical magnateswith 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.
trategy, tactics, and equipment
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. 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 Armoricawhich influenced the fighting style of the Bretonsdown into the twelfth century. 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 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. 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 warfarewas 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. 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
Danesby Theuderic Iin 515 and involved ocean-worthy ships. More regular was the use of rivercraft on the Loire, Rhone, and Rhine.
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 Saxonswere named or the halberd(battle-axe) after which the Lombardsmay have been named. The throwing axe of the Franks is known as the franciscabut, conversely, the weapon may have been named after the tribe. 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." [A. C. Murray, "From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader". Broadview Press Ltd, 2000. p. 1.]
Language and literature
The language spoken by the early Franks is known as
Old Frankishand is only attested in a few words in the Lex Salicaand in personal names, and is mostly reconstructed from Old Low Franconian and loanwords in Old Frenchand Latin. It evolved eventually into Old Low Franconianand then into Old Dutchin the Low Countries, while in what is now Germanythe Eastern Franconian dialects were slowly replaced from the 14th century by High German. 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 ', ', "") This arose because, after the conquest of
Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation. [cite book|title=A History of Private Life: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium|editor=Paul Veyne|publisher=Belknap Press|chapter=The Early Middle Ages in the West|author=Michel Rouche|year=1987|isbn=0674399749|oclc=59830199|pages=425]
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
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. [Schutz, 152.] 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. [ Gregory of Tours, in his "History of the Franks", relates: "Now this people seems to have always been addicted to heathen worship, and they did not know God, but made themselves images of the woods and the waters, of birds and beasts and of the other elements as well. They were wont to worship these as God and to offer sacrifice to them." (Gregory of Tours, "History of the Franks", [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gregory-hist.html#book1 Book I.10] )]
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. The symbolism of these insects is unknown.
Some Franks converted early to Christianity, like the usurper Silvanus in the 4th century. In 496,
Clovis I, who had married a BurgundianCatholic named Clotildathree years earlier, was baptised into the ( Trinitarian) Catholicfaith by Saint Remiafter a decisive victory over the Alemanniat the Battle of Tolbiac. According to Gregory of Tours, over 3000 of his soldiers were baptised alongside him. [cite book|title=History of the Franks|author= Gregory of Tours|chapter=Book II, 31|chapterurl=http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gregory-hist.html#book2] Clovis' conversion to Catholicismwould 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, Burgundiansand Lombards, had converted to Arian Christianity), and this led to a naturally amicable relationship between the Church of Rome and the increasingly powerful Franks.
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. [Sönke Lorenz (2001), "Missionierung, Krisen und Reformen: Die Christianisierung von der Spätantike bis in Karolingische Zeit" in "Die Alemannen", Stuttgart: Theiss; ISBN 3-8062-1535-9; pp.441-446] 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. ["The Chronicle of St. Denis", [http://www.northvegr.org/lore/conversions/index.php I.18-19, 23] ] 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. [Lorenz (2001:442)]
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. [J.M. Wallace-Hadrill covers these areas in "The Frankish Church" (Oxford History of the Christian Church; Oxford:Clarendon Press) 1983.] 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. 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. [Michel Rouche, 435-436.]
The period of Frankish rule saw the gradual replacement, always pushed for by Rome, of the
Gallican riteof the Gallo-Romanchurch with the Roman rite; this does not seem to have stirred passions outside the clergy.
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.
Art and architecture
Early Frankish art and architecture belong to that phase of European art called
Migration Period art, and have left very few remains. The later period is called Carolingian art, or, especially in architecture, the Pre-Romanesque.
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
basilicaplan, but the most completely surviving example of Merovingian architecture is a baptisterydedicated to Saint John in Poitiers. 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.
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. Not many illuminated manuscriptssurvive from the Merovingian period, though the few that do, like the Gelasian Sacramentary, contain a great deal of zoomorphic representations. Compared to the similar hybrid works of Insular artfrom 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. The numbers surviving are so small, however, that the best quality of work may not be represented. [Otto Pächt, "Book Illumination in the Middle Ages" (trans fr German), 1986, Harvey Miller Publishers, London, ISBN 0199210608]
The work of the main centres of the
Carolingian Renaissancerepresents a great transformation from that of the earlier period, and has survived in far greater quantity. 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.
The main surviving monument of
Carolingian architectureis the Palatine Chapel in Aachen, which is an impressive and confident adaptation of San Vitale, Ravenna, from where some of the pillars were brought. Many other important buildings can be largely reconstructed, such as the monasteries of Centulaor St Gall, or the old Cologne Cathedral, now rebuilt. 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. [Eduard Syndicus; "Early Christian Art"; pp. 164-74; Burns & Oates, London, 1962]
illuminated manuscripts and ivory plaques survive in reasonable numbers, and now approach those of Constantinoplein quality, as was certainly the intention.
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. [Michel Rouche, 421.] 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. Gallo-Romans south of the Loire Riverand the clergy remained subject to tradiational Roman law. [Michel Rouche, 421-422.] 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." [Michel Rouche, 422-423]
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). See also Thai ฝรั่ง "
Farang". [ [http://www.thai-language.com/id/131256 "ฝรั่ง fa rang", thai-language.com, 2008] ] 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. 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. 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 Frangistanwas used by Muslims to refer to the land where the Crusaders came from, i.e. Christian Europe.
List of Frankish kings
Name of France
Ammianus Marcellinus. " [http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/ammianus_00_eintro.htm Roman History] ". trans. by Roger Pearse. London: Bohn, 1862.
Procopius. "". trans. by H. B. Dewing.
Fredegar. " [http://www.bu.edu/english/levine/grch4+5.htm The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations] ". trans. by John Michael Wallace-Hadrill. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1960.
Fredegar. " [http://webvoy.uwindsor.ca:2048/login?url=http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=752306201&sid=1&Fmt=2&clientId=2241&RQT=309&VName=PQD Historia Epitomata] ". Woodruff, Jane Ellen. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 1987.
Gregory of Tours. [http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/gregorytours.html "Historia Francorum".]
Gregory of Tours. "The History of the Franks". trans. by Earnest Brehaut. 1916. [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gregory-hist.html Excerpts here]
Gregory of Tours. "The History of the Franks". 2 vol. trans. O. M. Dalton. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967.
*Bachrach, Bernard S. (trans.) "
Liber Historiae Francorum". 1973.
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