Who are the Franks: definition, features, history and interesting facts

Who are the Franks: definition, features, history and interesting facts
Who are the Franks: definition, features, history and interesting facts

In the history of the world, there have been many peoples who have had a small or significant impact on world culture. One of these peoples are the Franks. And who are the Franks, we will analyze further.


The Franks are a union of Germanic tribes that lived in the third century. They were first mentioned in 242 AD in chronicles. The exact definition of francs is still a topic of discussion among scholars. Some believe that the word "franc" means "brave, courageous", others believe that it means "wandering", others say that the word means "wild".

Who are the Franks

Franks are divided into two groups. The first group includes the Salic Franks, they are also called the upper ones. In the IV century they settled down in the lower reaches of the Rhine. The second group includes the coastal, or, as they are called, the lower francs. They lived in the middle reaches of the Rhine and Main. In the third century, the Franks included such tribes as the Hattuarii, Sigambri, Tencters and Bructers. During this period, they had a break in tribal relations. The largest tribes united in unions. Previously, such alliances of the Franks were formed, such as the Gothic alliances, Suevian, etc.

who are the francs

History of occurrenceStates of the Franks

To answer the question: "Who are the Franks?" Let's take a look at their history. The Franks have long been enemies of the Romans, they raided their territory. One of the famous leaders of that period is Merovei. Under his leadership, they fought against Attila, and the Merovingian clan is also named after him. At the time of Julius Caesar, the tribes existed quite apart, but later they began to stratify. The Roman Empire had a great influence on the development and fate of the Franks. In fact, the Franks themselves began hostile relations with the Romans when they began to move to the other side of the river and organize raids. Caesar destroyed the tribe of Usepets and Tencters. Soon he met a detachment of Sigambri who refused to hand over the captives who had hidden with them, and as a result they were forced to hide in the forests.

French state

After the death of Caesar, Agrippa continued the feud. Due to countless wars, the government of Rome decided to conquer the surrounding territories of Germany. Druz began to implement the plan. Thanks to him, fortifications were built on German soil, he also defeated several tribes, but death overtook him on the way from the Elbe. Tiberius won the final victory over the Sigambras. They began to serve the Roman Empire and soon became part of the Salian Franks.

King Clovis

Clovis was the son of the chief Childeric. After he became the king of the Franks, he began to conquer, together with other leaders, the lands of Gaul in the interests of the state. At the end of the fifth century, the last remaining possession of the Romans was capturedin Gaul - this is the Soissons region. At the end of the 5th century, Clovis converted to Christianity along with his retinue, which numbered about three thousand. The king was baptized not because of deep faith, but because of political views. The ceremony was held according to the rules of the Roman church. The Germanic tribes that lived in the Black Sea region were heretics. Thanks to the adopted Christianity, all the clergy who lived beyond the Loire joined Clovis. This clergy opened its gates when there was a war with the Visigoths. Under their control was the whole of southern Gaul. As a result, the Franks defeated the Visigoths and they got only part of Spain.

history of the Franks

As a result of all the conquests, the French state was created, which stretched almost throughout Roman Gaul. The history of Frankish success can be attributed to the fact that, unlike the Visigoths, they did not disperse in the mass of the population, but settled in large companies. And when they started a war, they drew strength and troops from their homeland. The role of the clergy in the history of the Franks was also important.

Salic Truth

"Salic truth" is information about the judicial customs of the Franks, which began to be conducted under King Clovis. It contains records of the social order of the Franks, records of their daily lives. For various crimes, appropriate fine payments were indicated. It even records minor crimes in the form of chicken theft, as well as murder. The Salic Truth was divided into chapters and subchapters. The most significant place in the chapters was occupied by crimes and fines for them. Alsothere were punishments for insulting with words, for stealing someone else's wife, and so on.

Frank economy

The economy of the Franks was an order of magnitude higher than that of the Germans. Animal husbandry played an important role in the economy. There were fines for stealing pets. Also, theft of fish, birds, dogs was not allowed. In addition to animal husbandry, fishing, hunting, and agriculture played a significant role. The Franks planted flax, cereals, beans, lentils, and turnips. They built watermills.

alliance of the Franks

The political structure of Frankish society

Changes in the economic relations of the Franks led to the emergence of changes in the political system. Even in the time of Clovis, there is a tendency towards the emergence of the kingdom of the Franks. One of the events that characterize the emergence of royal power was the case described by Tours. George of Tours, the author of the chronicle, wrote that during the war for the city of Soissons, the Franks seized booty in the church. This prey was rich, there was also a valuable cup, which simply fascinated everyone with its beautiful appearance. When the division of the captured began, the Roman church asked to return the stolen cup. Clovis agreed to do this only if he gets it.

kingdom of the francs

When the king asked the warriors to give the cup to him, no one said a word against it, only saying that the thing was rightfully his. Thus, all the warriors confirmed the status of the king and their readiness to follow him and fulfill his orders.

Clovis, thanks to his cunning, had no crueltyopponents in power. After he captured Gaul and received vast lands, he killed all his opponents in the face of other leaders. As mentioned above, the king was cunning, he killed his relatives out of fear that he would be overthrown from the throne. And later he began to grieve that he was left alone, but in fact he wanted to check who else was left of the living relatives.

composition of the francs

The "Salicheskaya Pravda" indicates that the Supreme Court was the highest authority. There was no popular assembly, it was replaced by military reviews conducted by the king. If someone stole the property of the king, then the thief had to pay a triple fine. Also, the life of the priest was guarded by a fine (about six hundred solidi). The highest fines were imposed on violators for damaging and burning churches. Church and state power supported each other, so mutual immunity was important for them.

Kingdom of the Franks in the VI-VII century

The development of Frankish society was influenced by both Roman and Frankish social order. The Franks abolished the slave system, and thanks to the influence of the Romans, there was a more rapid stratification of tribal relations. Due to the migrations of the Franks, unions that were based on blood ties were broken. Because of the constant movement, clans, tribes of the Franks mixed up, unions of small communities appeared, owning the same land. Also, Frankish society was familiar with such a concept as private ownership of land. There was a private property of the king, his squad, close associates.

definition of francs

In the "Salic Truth" it was stated that not only sons, but also daughters can inherit the land. Neighbors could not claim someone else's property. Frankish society soon entered a period of early feudalism.

After the death of Clovis, the Frankish state was broken into separate parts several times and reunited again. Only after a while did it maintain its integrity for a sufficiently long period. Soon the Merovingians lost their former power and representatives of other, larger and larger families came to their place of government. Charlemagne continued the conquest of the lands, like his predecessors. Thanks to him, such lands as the kingdom of the Lombards, the northeast of Spain, and the lands of the Avars were annexed.

Answering the question: "Who are the Franks?" - we can say that they were an association of tribes that pursued a policy of conquest to create and expand their state.

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