Franks  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Franks or the Frankish peoples were an ever-changing confederation of west Germanic tribes.

The name France originates from the Franks (Francs), a Germanic tribe that occupied northern Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Name

The name Franci was not a tribal name, but within a few centuries it had eclipsed the names of the original peoples who constituted it. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English. There have also been proposals that Frank comes from the Germanic word for "javelin" (such as in Old English franca or Old Norse frakka). Words in other Germanic languages meaning "fierce", "bold" or "insolent" (German frech, Middle Dutch vrac, Old English frǣc and Old Norwegian frakkr), may also be significant.

Eumenius addressed the Franks in the matter of the execution of Frankish prisoners in the circus at Trier by Constantine I in 306 and certain other measures: "Ubi nunc est illa ferocia? Ubi semper infida mobilitas?" ("Where now is that ferocity of yours? Where is that ever untrustworthy fickleness?"). Feroces was used often to describe the Franks. Contemporary definitions of Frankish ethnicity vary both by period and point of view. A formulary written by Marculf about 700 AD described a continuation of national identities within a mixed population when it stated that "all the peoples who dwell [in the official's province], Franks, Romans, Burgundians and those of other nations, live ... according to their law and their custom." Writing in 2009, Professor Christopher Wickham pointed out that "the word 'Frankish' quickly ceased to have an exclusive ethnic connotation. North of the River Loire everyone seems to have been considered a Frank by the mid-7th century at the latest; Romani [Romans] were essentially the inhabitants of Aquitaine after that".

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Franks" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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