The Franks

The Franks
Social Studies 8
Who were the Franks?
Clovis and the Franks
King Clovis I, the first King to
unite all Frankish peoples in 509
Who were the Franks???
- Germanic People
- Lived mostly what is today
- Also known as Salian Franks
& Created Salic Laws
- Known mainly for two kings:
Clovis I and Charlemagne
Clovis Converts to Christianity
• The King showed vast zeal for his new faith. He built
a splendid church at Paris, called St. Genevieve,
where later he and Clothilde were buried. Faith and
religion and zeal for justice were pursued by him all
the days of his life. Certain Franks still held to
paganism, and found a leader in Prince Ragnachairus
but he was presently delivered up in fetters to Clovis
who put him to death. Thus all the Frankish people
were converted and baptized by the merits of St.
From The Chronicle of St. Denis, I.18-19, 23:
Dictionary Definition of the Franks
• Dictionary Definition: A member of one of the
Germanic tribes of the Rhine region in the
early Christian era, especially one of the Salian
Franks who conquered Gaul about a.d. 500
and established an extensive empire that
reached its greatest power in the ninth
The Franks
• The Franks were a
speaking tribe that
occupied Northern
France (Gaul)
during the Early
Middle Ages
• The Franks grew in
power under
leaders such as
Clovis I and
Charlemagne, they
even established
their own
European Empire
Frankish Religion
• Like most Germanic tribes, the Franks Started off as Pagan
god worshippers
• As Christianity grew, Clovis I saw advantages in Christianity
as it was being spread, and therefore converted
• His Wife Clotilda impacted his decision as well
• From then on, the Franks were Roman Catholic and
Charlemagne fought and expanded to defend and spread
Charlemagne was very close with
the papacy during his reign
Charlemagne, Or “Charles the Great”
- Date of Birth: Disputed- 742/747/748 to 814
- Reigned from 800 to 814
- Coronated by Pope Leo III in 800. The Pope gave
power and title of “Emperor of the Romans”
Frank Culture Spreads
• Because of their strong leaders such as Clovis I and
Charlemagne the Franks were able to gain new territory
• They also converted more people to their religion:
• Catholicism
Frank Weapons
Salic Law
• As the Franks gained new areas and followers, these
newcomers to the Frankish Empire were subject to
the law of the Franks, which was Salic Law
Salic Law
• They were developed from Roman Pagan laws
• The laws dealt with everything from inheritance to death sentencing
• Over time, the laws were adapted and changed
What are some laws we have in place today in Canada?
Creating Laws Activity
- Read the following Salic Laws that are being
handed out and keep in mind that this is an
authentic primary source
- What comes to mind when reading this? What
can be changed? What should be kept?
- What consequences might these laws have on
the different Frankish people during this time?