The Franks

By Kyle Duncan

The Frankish Kingdom

The Franks, as they are known today, were a Germanic tribe, dominating what is present-day northern France, Belgium, and western Germany. They eventually became the French and lead the foundation for France.

The Franks were easily distinguished by their military prowess and able leadership. It was the Franks who created the strongest and most stable barbarian kingdom in the days after the Western Roman Empire had collapsed. Gradually the Franks conquered most other Germanic tribes and established their supremacy in western and central Europe under the leadership of the Carolingian family.

The most notable Frankish ruler was a man named Charlemagne or Charles the Great.

He was able to built up a capable bureaucracy, a fair judicial system, and revived the arts. Charlemagne followed up his military victories by converting most of the people to Christianity and he was justly honored for his military and religious activities. On Christmas day on the year AD 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne "Charles Augustus, Emperor of the Romans." and made him the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Another notable member of the Franks is Clovis I, king of the Franks and ruler of much of the Gaul from 481 to 511. His dynasty, the Merovingians, survived more than 200 years, until the rise of the Carolingians in the 8th century. While he was not the first Frankish king, he was the kingdom’s political and religious founder.

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