F is for Franks

Published April 6, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

The Franks were a group of Germanic tribes along the Rhine valley during the 2nd to 9th centuries, and were the arch-nemesis’ of the Romans. Ok, arch-nemesis is a bit of a stretch, but some Frankish tribes raided the Roman territories. Others joined the Roman armies, so they weren’t exactly united. By the 6th century, the Franks had spread to much of Western Europe, and had formed a bunch of mini kingdoms.

However, like the Romans, the Franks claim their descent from Troy. Depending on the legend and source, Priam and Antennor led the survivors to the sea of Azov, or that the survivors migrated to Macedonia under king Friga.

During the mid 6th century, the Franks took advantage of the Gothic War, and descended on the River Po, where both the Romans and Gothic camps were situated. They defeated both sides and marched for Tuscany, but their victory was cut short when dysentery spread through their ranks and they had to withdraw.

The Franks were described as being tall and pale with blue-grey eyes and the men sported thin mustaches. They fought with only a sword, shield, and a small axe, and cavalry men carried spears. Roman historians claim that the Franks did not use armor (I’m sensing a theme among early European tribes). Later, they incorporated many of the Roman militaristic practices.

 

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3 comments on “F is for Franks

  • Hi, as a part-German myself I feel kind of Frank-ish, or perhaps, Saxon-ish. So I appreciate learning a bit more about that tribe. I’m over from A to Z if you want to come visit. (Catherine Stine’s Idea City).

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