Sergeant Lewis - The Franks
From their origin as aconfederacy to the establishment of the kingdom of France and their German Empire
The story of the Nations
The story of the Franks, especially of the earlier Franks, is rich in fable but poor in history. In the legend of Clovis, and even in the legend of Charles the Great, it is a work of considerable difficulty to separate what is historically accurate from that which has at best a dubious origin. My aim in writing this volume has been to present a general outline of the history of the Franks, and, in doing so, to confine myself almost exclusively to facts which have a sure foundation.
That aim implied that the greater part of the volume should be devoted to periods in which the historical foundation was least secure-to the long struggle between Romans and Teutons, during which the tribes on the east of the Rhine were perpetually combining against their enemies until the Frank confederacy clearly emerged, and to the subsequent Merovingian period, during which the Franks were gradually subjecting the whole of Gaul. It is in this domain, overgrown as it is with fable, and meagrely as its central facts have been dealt with by historians, that the student of history should find his greatest attraction.
I have ventured in the following pages to support an interpretation of a particular passage in Gregory of Tours which has been either ignored or repudiated for more than a thousand years. The reader must decide for himself as to the probable origin of the Franks, and the position of Gregory's "Dispargum" ; but in any case it is impossible that we should continue to attach the slightest credence to the imaginary Belgic Thuringia.
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