Chapter 18
The Franks
Words, Terms and People to Know
• Franks
• Rhine
• Mayor of the
• Charles Martel
• Charlemagne
• Battle of Tours
Chapter 18
The Franks
Goal during the Early Middle Ages was to revive
the stability and safety of the Roman Empire
Germanic stress upon personal ties made it
impossible to establish orderly government over
large areas during much of the Middle Ages
Simply put--Germanic people were unable to
conceive of the kingdom as anything other than a
private estate
• Germanic peoples showed no
sense of political responsibility
and tended to divide and
subdivide their lands among their
• Relied upon violence to define
their powers.
• A history of their reigns is largely
a dismal story of destructive
feuds and intrigues.
Chapter 18
The Franks
The “Ballpark Franks”—distant cousins
• Feudalism and
• Transitions
Describe the conditions
that gave rise to feudalism,
as well as political,
economic and social
characteristics of feudalism,
in Asia and Europe.
Explain the lasting effects of
military conquests during
• Middle Ages including:
Equestrian statuette of
Charlemagne or Charles the Bald
The monarch, holding a globe and a sword
(now missing), asserts his authority as a conqueror.
– a. Muslim conquests;
– b. The Crusades;
– c. The Mongol invasions.
What we’re about to study.
Section One: discusses the goals of Clovis and the role of the Catholic
Church in political affairs of the Franks
Terms to Learn: Converted
“ At that time many churches were plundered by the
troops of Clovis, for he still held fast to his pagan
idolatries. The soldiers had stolen an ewer of great size
and wonderous workmanship,…”
The Franks 46 min.
Terms to Learn: anointed
People to Know: Clovis
Clovis Changes the Path of the Franks video 4:17
of Tours’ History of the Franks
A. Germanic Franks build civilization that develops
into modern-day France and Germany
B. Initially divided into many kingdoms until 481
Battle of Tolbiac. Clovis defeats the
Alammani (Paris) by circa 1881.
C. in 481 chose Clovis as king.
Clotilda was an orthodox Christian
1. Clovis brings all Franks into one kingdom. Wife
2. Run Time: [03:59] Sigobert and Clovis are victorious after Clovis prays to the Christian God, which lead to the
religious conversion of the Franks
First Germanic king to accept
– (a.) Clovis and 3000 soldiers convert,
becomes the first Germanic king to become an orthodox Christian.
I. Continued
– D. gains support of Romans in his
– E. begins speaking a form of Latin called
1. all people in kingdom now unified by
language, religion
– F. Pope and the church gave Clovis
their support and in return Clovis
protected the Church against nonbelievers
– G. Extended rule over France and
western Germany and set his capital in
A hereditary monarchy is the most common style of monarchy and
is the form that is used by almost all of the world's existing monarchies.
Under a hereditary monarchy, all the monarchs come from the same
family, and the crown is passed down from one member to another member
of the family. The hereditary system has the advantages of stability,
continuity and predictability, as well as the internal stabilizing factors
of family affection and loyalty.
Pippin III, gathered support among Frankish nobles for a change in dynasty. When the Pope
appealed to him for assistance against the Lombards, Pipin insisted that the church sanction his
coronation in exchange. In 751, Childeric III, the last Merovingian, was deposed. Pepin was
elected King of the Franks by an assembly of the Frankish leading-men and
anointed at Soissons, perhaps by Boniface Childeric was allowed to live, but his long
hair was cut and he was sent to a monastery.
Section Two: describes the rule of Charles
Martel and the Battle of Tours
People to Know: Charles Martel
People to Know: Pepin
People to Know: Charlemagne
II. Charles the Hammer
A. Clovis’ heirs divided the kingdom and fought
over their shares
B. Heirs lost power to local nobles
C. Franks accept leadership of the Mayor of the
D. Mayors take over many of the king’s duties
E. Charles Martel most powerful of the mayors
F. Charles becomes known as “The Hammer”
because of his strength in battle The Franks and Moors 8:00 min
G. Led Franks to victory over the Muslims at
the Battle of Tours in 732 which protected 10
Europe from the spread of Islam.
The Franks unflinchingly received the Moslem charge,
fending it off. The Arabs attacked repeatedly, searching
for a weakness in the Franks' line. But the Frankish Army
was like a wall against which the Arabs quickly pounded
exact casualties
to pieces. for the Battle of Tours are not
known, some chronicles relate that Christian losses
numbered around 1,500 while Abdul Rahman suffered
As Arab stamina faded, the Franks counterattacked. The
approximately 10,000. Since Martel's victory, historians
flank was
by a vengeful
Eudo and
his some
the battle's
from Aquitaine. Abd-ar-Rahman was killed while trying to
stating that his victory saved Western
rally his broken army. Next morning the Franks
while others feel that its repercussions
discovered the Moslem
camp deserted except for
were minimal. Regardless, the Frankish victory at
abandoned plunder and the Arab dead.
Tours, along with subsequent campaigns in 736 and
Charles earned his name "The Hammer," and France
739, effectively stopped the advance of Muslim forces
was invaded
a Moslem
Army. Although
the by
of the
the Arabsstates
were only
raiding, Europe
a Frankish defeat at Tours
in Western
would have led to greater incursions. As it happened,
Abdar-Rahman's death brought on a revolt by the
Berbers which destroyed Arab unity.
In November 751 at Soissons, Pepin the Short was anointed
as king by Archbishop Boniface. The timing was perfect. The papacy
was in dire straits because of the Lombards who were constantly
to Locate:
Paris door and trying to kick butt. The pope needed Pepin.
on Rome's
II. Continued
Places to Locate: Tours
And Pepin
just the man for the job.
to Locate:
But life was tough and on
the way home from one of his campaigns in Aquitaine he
– H. When
Charles died his son Pepin (Pepin
became Mayor of the Palace
– I.theWith
helpto of
the Pope
sons, Charles
and king
removed the
and was anointed the
first Frankish king anointed by the pope
had already died in 754 and half brother Grifo had
III, Pepin
the Short)
done the same in 753.
• 1. in return for the Church’s support Pepin
helped the Pope defeat the Lombards
and gave their land (Donation of Pepin) in
central Italy to the Pope
This is the famous bust of Charlemagne. His actual cranium is
contained inside the sculpture head, they used its dimensions to
design the facial structure. Other facial characteristics are based on
conjecture. The bust is pure gold, with inlaid gems.
• “Charles was large (probably 6”4” tall) and strong,
and of lofty stature, though not
disproportionately tall (his height is
well known to have been seven times
the length of his foot); the upper part…
“Einhard: The Life of Charlemagne
translated by Samuel Epes Turner
(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1880)
Section Three: explains important developments
during the reign Death
of Charlemagne
of Roland—becomes an epic poem the minstrels will
sing of throughout the Middle Ages. Chivalry: a term related
to the medieval institution of knighthood. It is usually
III. Charlemagne
associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honor and
A. 768 Pepin’s
kingdom divided between his
courtly love.
son Carloman and Charles—Carloman dies
within a few years
B. Charles becomes king of the Franks
C. Wanted to bring all Europe under his rule
1. first defeats the Lombards, a Germanic people in
central Italy.
2. attacked Saxons in northern Germany and
dispersed and absorbed them in his empire
3. campaigns across the Pyrenees to fight the
(a.) Basques attack rear guard of army and defeat
People to Know: Roland
III Continued
The Frankish king Charlemagne was a
devout Catholic who maintained a close
relationship with the papacy throughout
his life. In 772, when Pope Hadrian I was
threatened by invaders, the king rushed
to Rome to provide assistance. Shown
here, the pope asks Charlemagne for
help at a meeting near Rome
(Read “Charlemagne and the Robber Knight” pgs. 653-
D. Charlemagne’s Empire in 800
fought against Germanic and non-Germanic people
many kept their freedom, but agreed to respect
Charlemagne’s power
55 The Moral Compass)
E. A Christian Empire
1. maintained close ties with the Roman Church
2. appoints bishops
3. regards any act against the Church as a sign of
disloyalty to him
4. Christmas day 800 Pope (Leo III) crowns him the
new Roman emperor Charlemagne 9:46
– (a.) Charlemagne not please because it
seemed to place an intermediary between
his right to rule and God
Charles Becomes the Holy Roman Emperor
Although Charlemagne had by the end of the eighth
century certainly built an empire, he did not hold the
title of Emperor. There was already an emperor in
Byzantium, one who was considered to hold the title
in the same tradition as the Roman Emperor
Constantine and whose name was Constantine VI.
While Charlemagne was no doubt conscious of his
own achievements in terms of acquired territory and
a strengthening of his realm, it is doubtful he ever
sought to compete with the Byzantines or even saw
any need to claim an illustrious appellation beyond
"King of the Franks."
So when Pope Leo III called on him for
assistance when faced with charges of simony,
perjury and adultery, Charlemagne acted with
careful deliberation. Ordinarily, only the Roman
Emperor was qualified to pass judgment on a
pope, but recently Constantine VI had been
killed, and the woman responsible for his death,
his mother, now sat on the throne. Whether it was
because she was a murderess or, more likely,
because she was a woman, the pope and other
leaders of the Church did not consider appealing to
Irene of Athens for judgment. Instead, with
Leo's agreement, Charlemagne was asked to
preside over the pope's hearing. On December 23,
800, he did so, and Leo was cleared of all charges.
Two days later, as Charlemagne rose
from prayer at Christmas mass, Leo
placed a crown on his head and
proclaimed him Holy Roman Emperor.
Charlemagne was indignant, and later
remarked that had he known what the
pope had in mind, he would never
have entered the church that day,
even though it was such an important
religious festival.
It is doubtful that Charlemagne minded being an
emperor; although he never used the title "Holy
Roman Emperor" and did his best to appease the
Byzantines, he did use the phrase "Emperor, King
of the Franks and Lombards." Rather, it was the
bestowal of the title by the pope and the power it
gave the Church over Charlemagne and other
secular leaders that concerned him.
With guidance from his trusted advisor, the scholar
Alcuin, Charlemagne ignored the Church-imposed
restrictions on his power and continued to go his
own way as ruler of Frankland, which now occupied
a huge portion of Europe.
The title "Holy Roman Emperor" had been
established, but it would take on much greater
significance in centuries to come.
Charlemagne’s Empire at its Height
III. Continued
5. wise and just ruler
(a.) set up law courts throughout empire
(b.) court officials called counts to run courts
(1.) handled local problems, stopped feuds and raised
armies missi dominicus
(c.) royal messengers Charlemagne’s eyes and ears
(d.) once a year called counts together to report
6. ruled his empire from Aachen, known today
as Aix-la-Chapelle
Monogram of Charlemagne, from the
7. constantly traveled the
empire to ensure loyalty
subscription of a royal diploma:
"Signum (monogr.:
of local officials and to build
a Christian
gloriosissimi regis"
Empire in Western Europe
F. Education
Terms to Learn: Counts
segment on manuscripts/ Long Ago & Far Away Video
1. appreciated learning and believed in education
2. worked hard to encourages churches and
monasteries to establish schools
3. scholar named Alcuin headed royal school
The development
of Caroline
or revival
Carolingian minuscule, was a
was the foremost
of the
reform which increased the uniformity, clarity and legibility of handwriting.
III. More still
of learning
as the Carolingian
It was evidently
in the late 8th century
scriptorium of
Charlemagne, or in those of the monasteries under his patronage, in the
course of his conscious efforts to revive the literate culture of Classical
4. Alcuin developed minuscule
5. painting, sculpture, and metalwork began to flower
• 6. all architecture is covered with pictures and stories
the Bible
Alcuin from
(730s or 740s – May 19, 804)
• 7. illuminated manuscripts
“In the morning, at the height of my
power, I sowed seed in Britain,…”
8. a revival of the arts and learning Carolingian
Terms to Learn: Lords
Terms to Learn:
Terms to Learn:
view medieval music/ Long Ago & Far Away
G. Estate Life 1. Lords were descendants
of Frankish warriors and Roman
2. each estate took care of its own needs
III. more
– 3. stockades were built around the
– 4. most of the people in Charlemagne’s
kingdom were farmers living in simple
wooded houses in small villages on the
– 5. fields owned by the lords and farmers
worked them 3 days a week
– 6. medieval farming
– (a.) fallow land
– (b.) metal plows turned the soil
– (c.) rotated crops
– 7. wore clothing copied from earlier
Roman styles
Terms to Learn: Serf
Terms to Learn: Minstrels
Medieval farming
• Just like today, the farming year is marked by changes in the
jobs that had to be done. Peasants hoed and harvested their
own strips, but worked together on big jobs such as ploughing
or hay-making. Working together was essential, a failed harvest
could mean starvation for the whole village.Crop growing areas
around villages were usually divided into three big fields. One
field was sown with wheat in winter, the second was sown with
rye, barley or oats in spring and the third would be left empty,
or fallow, so it could recover its strength.
• In Autumn, the land had to be ploughed, in medieval times this
was done with a team of oxen pulling a small plough which was
very difficult to turn. After ploughing came harrowing, this
broke up the large lumps of soil , ready for sowing the seed.
The seed was scattered, or broadcast by hand. Small boys were
kept busy over the next few months, scaring away crows and
pigeons that would eat the seed and young corn if given a
chance. Finally, the corn would be ready for harvesting. This
was very hard work. Once it was finished, everyone would
celebrate with a Harvest Festival.
Medieval Farming
• Strip farming
• Some of the land around village homesteads was enclosed as
pasture for sheep, and cattle were grazed on the lush water
meadows but, the existence of extensive 'ridge and furrow' field
systems and archaeological evidence shows that most of the
land was used for growing crops.
Peasants did all the farm work for the Lord of the Manor, but
were allotted a few strips of land for their own use. The strips
were dotted about in each field so that good and bad soil was
shared out equally. The land was ploughed in long strips
because the ploughs were difficult to turn. The ridges and
furrows formed because, over the years, ploughing and hoeing
caused the soil to be drawn up into ridges on which crops were
The tomb of Charlemagne
Charlemagne died and was buried in Aachen in 814. In the year 1000, Emperor Otto III opened
Charlemagne's tomb and found the great emperor as he had been buried, sitting on a marble throne,
robed and crowned as in life, the book of the Gospels open on his knees.
Some of Charlemagne's bones were taken and encased in golden sculptures, and the rest of his
remains lie here, in this beautifully wrought golden tomb, in the back of the Aachen Cathedral.
– 8. eventually farmers became serfs
be nobles
Thou, O
hast granted
– 9. both
me– the
to seebecome
with myimportant
own eyes as
son seated
music of the middle ages Long Ago and Far Away
813 4 mos. Before his death
• on
of the Empire
Louis the Pious, contemporary depiction
Charlemagne crowns Louis the Pious
– 1. Charlemagne dies in 814
– 2. nobility becomes increasingly independent
from 826 as a miles Christi (soldier of Christ),
– (a.) refused to obey Charlemagne’s son Louis the Pious
– 3. Louis weakened the empire by dividing it
among his 3 sons
– 4. eldest son Lothair receives title of emperor
– (a.) 843 the brothers agree under the Treaty of Verdun
divided the empire into three unequal sections.
– 5. brothers were weak and allowed the nobles to
have most power
– 6. Europe was divided into many smaller
Pick one of the essays below to write on for
tomorrow’s test.
• How does Charlemagne’s empire in
medieval Europe compare with the
Roman Empire he was trying to
• What did Charlemagne do to encourage
learning in his empire? What
difference do you think it makes to a
society if most of its people can read
and write?
• Explain how Clovis united the Franks
and brought them Christianity.

Chapter 18 The Franks - Dalton Local Schools