Clip to Evernote    Print this page

The Franks

We first hear of the Franks as a Germanic tribe living on the east bank of the lowere Rhine in the 3rd century AD.

At this time they were divided into three groups: the Salians, the Ripuarians, and the Chatti, or Hessians. Although related linguistically, they were politically independent.

In the mid-3rd century the Franks tried unsuccessfully to expand westward across the Rhine into Roman-held Gaul. In the mid-4th century the Franks again attempted to invade Gaul, and in 358 Rome relinquished the area between the Meuse and Scheldt rivers to the Salian Franks.

In AD 406, the Vandals began a massive invasion of Gaul. In the period following, the Franks took advantage of the overstretched Roman defences and strengthened their hold on on what is now Belgium and took control of the lands immediately west of the middle Rhine, and moved into what is now north-eastern France.

The establishment of the Franks in north-eastern Gaul by AD 480 resulted in Germania and part of the two Belgic provinces being lost to Roman rule.


 Next page: The Merovingian Dynasty



Previous page: York (Eorforwic)
Next page: The Merovingian Dynasty