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Thread: Influence of the Frankish people on the rest of Europe

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    Influence of the Frankish people on the rest of Europe

    Influence of the Frankish people, language, culture on the rest of Europe

    Origins of the Franks

    The Franks were a Germanic tribe that probably descended from Scandinavia to settle in the modern day Benelux and the German Rhineland, around the 2nd and 3rd century C.E. Defeated by Roman Emperor Julian, they were allowed to remain on the territory they had conquered in Gallia Belgica, and became an ally of Rome, the first Germanic tribe to settle permanently within the Roman Empire. The Franks were divided in several tribes themselves, notably the Salian Franks in modern-day Belgium and the Southern Netherlands, and the Ripuarian Franks in the Cologne region. The Rhine and Moselle valleys in Germany is still known as "Franconia", and German dialects in this region are varieties of Franconian, direct descendent of the Old Ripuarian Frankish. Old Salian Frankish evolved into Dutch and Flemish.
    Merowig (447-458) was the first Frankish king mentioned by the Romans and is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty. He was based in
    Tournai, which the Romans had founded around 50 C.E. and had later been given to the Franks as a fief. His son Childeric I (437-482) helped the Romans defeat the Visigoths.

    The conquest of Roman Gaul

    Merowig's grandson, Clovis I (466-511), also from Tournai, conquered the neighbouring Frankish tribes in the Low Countries and Rhineland and established himself as their sole king. He defeated Syagrius, the last Roman official in northern Gaul, then the Visigoths in south-western Gaul, thus becoming the ruler of most of the old Roman Gaul. He converted to Catholicism at the instigation of his wife Clotide, a Burgundian princess, thus spreading Chrstianity among the pagan Franks. Clovis I is considered by many French people to be the first King of France, although he was really the King of the Franks. The name 'France' does come from 'Frank', but it only appeared in the 9th century, after the split of Charlemagne's Empire (see below). Under the Merovingians, most of what is now France was called 'Neustria', while the Benelux and Western and Southern Germany were known as 'Austrasia'.

    Saving Europe from Islamisation

    After 2 centuries, the waning power of the Merovingian dynasty prompted Charles Martel (686-741), a native of Liege, to proclaimed himself Duke of the Franks and by any name was de facto ruler of the Frankish Realms. In 732, he routed the invading Islamic armies of the Umayyad at the Battle of Poitiers, thus saving Europe from Islamisation. This is one of the single-most important influence of the Franks on the following history Europe up to this day. Without Charles Martel, Europe, or at least Western Continental Europe, would have become part of the Muslim world, most certainly preventing the Renaissance, the Great Voyages of the colonial period, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and everything that follows.

    Heirs of the Roman Empire

    At Charles' death, the power passed to his sons Pippin the Younger and Carloman. Pippin's son, Charles (768-814) would extend the Frankish empire to Saxony, Croatia, Northern Italy and Catalonia, and become known as Charlemagne ("Charles the Great"). In 800, he was crowned emperor by the Pope in Rome, declaring himself heir of the Roman Empire, with his capital in Aachen, 40km away from his native Liege. His empire was to last over 1000 years (until Napoleon dissolved it in 1806) and is better known under the name of Holy Roman Empire.

    Founders of the monarchies of France, Germany and Luxembourg


    In 843, when Charlemagne's son passed away, the empire was divided into three part. Charles the Bald inherited Western Francia, which would become known simply as France. The eldest son, Lothair I, inherited Middle Francia, where most of present-day Belgium lied. Louis the German received East Francia. The three brothers were soon at war with each others. Louis recovered most of Lothair's lands, and became the heir of the Holy Roman Empire. The Duchy of Brabant, the Prince-Bishopric of Liege and the County of Luxembourg all belonged to this new Holy Roman Empire, while the County of Flanders (modern provinces of East and West Flanders only) went to France. Let's also note that 16 out of 28 Holy Roman Emperors since Charlemagne (800-814) until the rise of the Habsburgs in the mid-15th century, were of Frankish descent (Carolingian, Salian Frankish, and Luxembourg dynasties). After them, all the emperors were elected instead of hereditary and all were Habsburgians except one, until dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire by Napoleon in 1806. (=> see List of Holy Roman Emperors)

    Belgium, the Frankish homeland

    The kingdom of France (later the Republic) the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (later Germany), and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg thus all have Frankish origins in their foundations. What is less obvious is that 'Belgium' is the most Frankish country of all, in spite of the fact that the modern unified state was not founded until 1830. Indeed, modern Belgium owes its name to the ancient Gallia Belgica, where the Franks settled. Gallia Belgica was bigger than the modern Kingdom of Belgium, as it included the German North Rhineland, the Southern Netherlands, and Northern France, i.e. a similar territory to the Kingdom of the Franks before Clovis I conquered the Roman part of Gaul. (see map below) The only parts of Gallia Belgica that were not Frankish were Holland, Zeeland (coastal area of the present Netherlands), Picardie and Champagne (just north of Paris). Maybe this is why the Romans renamed the Frankish area as Germania Inferior, to mark the change in population, from Celtic to Germanic.
    The place of origin and political centre of the Merovingians was in Tournai, in the West of present-day Wallonia, while the political centre of the Carolingians was in Liege, in the East of present-day Wallonia. Wallonia was thus the heart of the Frankish homeland.


    Wallonia, the base of the Frankish court


    It may be surprising that Wallonia and Northern France (Lille region) is the only part of the original Frankish kingdom that now speaks a Romance language, and not one descended from Old Frankish. There is an explanation to this. It is supposed that Wallonia and Northern France adopted French because it was the heartland of Frankish rulers and nobility. Wallonia has never belonged to France in its history (apart from 26 years during the French Revolution, like most of Europe), so the presence of the French language there can only predate the creation of the Kingdom of France in 843.
    It is known that the Frankish nobility dropped Frankish language for Latin since the Merovingian period. Clovis moved his capital to Paris after conquering Roman Gaul. His kingdom was then split between his four sons, who were all based in the part of France where the langue d'oil (direct ancestor of modern French) originated.
    The second wave of Frankish rulers, the Carolingians, originated in Eastern Wallonia, the present linguistic border between French, German and Dutch. Linguists know that it is where there is the greatest linguistic diversity in modern ttimes that a language originated. This triangle Liege-Aachen-Maastricht represent the political core of Charlemagne's Empire, and these cities now speaks respectively French/Walloon, German/Ripuarian Franconian, and Dutch/Limburgish, and yet they are only 40km from each others. The linguistic border is actually within the borders of Belgium, as the northern part ofthe province of Liege is Dutch-speaking (the "Fourons" or "Voeren"), and the the Eastern part of the province of Liege is German-speaking (Ripuarian Franconian dialect).
    In the same way, the English aristocracy spoke French while the populace spoke Middle English (a close cousin of Frisian, Frankish and Saxon languages). The difference is that the two languages eventually merged in England because of intermarriages and closer contact between the nobility and the rest of the population, while on the continent the elite continued to speak French in almost every country (as far as the Ottoman Empire !) until the mid-20th century. Wallonia and Northern France (green areas on the map below) became predominantly French-speaking as they were the first region were Vulgar Latin/Old French became spoken widely, due to the high density of noblemen and children (legitimate or not) of Frankish monarchs.



    Words of Frankish origin (3rd to 6th century)


    The influence of the Franks has survived in modern English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese languages. There are only about 800 words of Frankish origin in modern French, but this includes many very common words. (g)want : gauntlet (gant in French, guante in Spanish)
    stakka : to detach (détacher in French, destacar in Spanish)
    standhard : standard (standard in French, estandarte in Spanish)
    laubja : (to) lodge (loge(r) in French, loja, alojar in Spanish)
    skirmjan : skirmish (escarmouche in French)
    scoc : (to) shock (choc, choquer in French)
    warding : guard, guardian, warden (guarde, guardien in French)
    werra : war (guerre in French, guerra in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese)
    sakjan ("lay claim to") : seize (saisir in French)
    bannjan : abandon (abandonner in French, abbandonare in Italian), bandit (bandit in French, bandito in Italian and Spanish)
    warand : warrant (guarant in French)
    hring : rank (rang in French, rango in Italian and Spanish)
    marhskalk ("horse-servant") : marshal (maréchal in French, maresciallo in Italian, mariscal in Spanish)
    marka : (to) march (marche, marcher in French)
    bord : border (bordure in French)
    rant ("a running") : random (randonnée in French)
    trotton ("to tread") : (to) trot (trot, trotter in French, trotto in Italian, trotar in Spanish)
    walalaupan ("to leap well") : (to) gallop (galop, galoper in French)
    graper : grape (grappe in French)
    bera : beer (bière in French, birra in Italian)
    wostjan : waste (gaspiller, gaspillage in French)
    skarberg : scabbard
    stal : stale, stall (étale, étalage, étable in French)

    Frankish names


    To get a better idea of what the Frankish culture was like, here is a list of given names of pure Frankish (or at least Germanic) origin. From Charlemagne onwards the names became more and more Christianised.

    Male names


    Adalbert, Ageric, Agiulf, Andica, Ansovald, Aregisel, Arnegisel, Audovald, Austregisel, Badegisel, Bernard, Bero, Berthefried, Bertram, Burchard, Carloman, Chararic, Charibert, Childebert, Childeric, Chilperic, Chlodomer, Chramnesind, Clodio, Clovis, Corbus, Dagobert, Dagaric, Drogo,, Eberulf, Ebregisel, Engilbert, Euric, Gararic, Garivald, Gerold, Godomar, Grimald, Gundobad, Gundovald, Gunthar, Guntram, Hartmut, Hildebald, Imnachar, Ingomer, Ingund, Leudast, Lothar, Magnachar, Magneric, Marachar, Meginhard, Merovech, Munderic, Otker, Pepin, Ragnachar, Rathar, Ricchar, Rigunth, Samson, Sichar, Sigeric, Sigibert, Sigismund, Sunnegisil, Tassilo, Theudebald, Theuderic, Waltgaud, Werinbert, Willichar.

    Female names


    Adaltrude, Adallinda, Albofleda, Aregund, Audofleda, Audovera, Austrechild, Baldechildis, Basina, Berchildis, Beretrude, Berthefled, Berthefried, Berthegund, Bertrada, Bilichildis, Brunhild(a), Fastrada, Chlodosind, Chlothsinda, Chrodechildis, Clotild, Chunsina, Deuteria, Ermenberga, Faileuba, Fredegunde, Galswinth, Gersvinda, Gisela, Gundrada, Gomatrudis, Goiswinth, Guntheuc, Hildegarde, Hiltrude, Ingitrude, Ingoberg, Ingunde, Lanthechilde, Leubast, Leubovera, Liutgarde, Magnatrude, Marcatrude, Marcovefa, Madelgarde, Merofled, Nantechildis, Radegund, Regnetrudis, Rigunth, Rosamund, Ruothilde, Rothaide, Rotrude, Theoderada, Theodelinda, Theudechild, Ultrogotha, Veneranda, Vuldretrada, Vulfegundis, Wisigard.

    source

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    Re: Influence of the Frankish people on the rest of Europe

    The Batavians descend from the Chamavi from Hamaland and lived north of the Betuwe till a branch detached itself, moving into the Ruhr area where they blended into the Salii, so there's definitely an important Frankish nucleus in the Netherlands similar to Flanders dominated by the Salii as well.

    The Frankish presence diminished however along the Ysel by the incoming Saxons, while e.g. North Holland belonged to the Frisians, then distributed over a much larger territory than just the contemporary province of Friesland.

    But neither Frisians and Saxons account for any major ethnical difference.
    The Westhoek was colonized by these people, using that area initially as a platform to venture out for raids and plunder campaigns along the British coast. From the Westhoek straight down to Canche, in France, extended a strip of land called the Litus saxonicum. The gouw of Ghent used to be known as Zee-Friesland. Frisian influence and language relicts are also found in the Meetjesland, the Waasland and as far east as the environs of Antwerp, though Brabanders (including Antwerpians) and Limburgians are thoroughly Frankish in ethnical composition.

    Based on the numerous Frankish burials in Hainaut and to some degree Namur, both
    Walloon provinces, their population could claim the Franks as their ancestors, unlike the population in the remotely inhabitated Ardennes.

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    Re: Influence of the Frankish people on the rest of Europe

    How about this part of The Netherlands. The circle is the place where my family originally comes from. I was thinking of Franks.

    My family lives in the North of Holland for 70 years now.

    Germanic Ethnic, Cultural, Spiritual and Racial preservation

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    Re: Influence of the Frankish people on the rest of Europe

    what was the racial composition of the franks? and weren’t the franks one of the few non scandinavian germanic tribes but originating from pannonia?

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    Re: Influence of the Frankish people on the rest of Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by Waarnemer View Post
    what was the racial composition of the franks? and weren’t the franks one of the few non scandinavian germanic tribes but originating from pannonia?
    That's just the underhanded attempt of late Frankish Christians with an inferiority complex to link their history with that of the prestigious Romans and Greeks, to counter the accusation of Barbarism. Perhaps it had a role in managing relations with the conquered GalloROmans.

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    Re: Influence of the Frankish people on the rest of Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by Frans_Jozef View Post
    The Batavians descend from the Chamavi ,
    According to Tacitus,Batavians descend from Chathi who lived in Hessen,Germany.

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