Frankish EmpireTimeline: Magnam Europae
Frankish Empire and the Byzantine Empire at the conclusion of the Unification Wars in 831
|Regional Languages||Old Frankish|
|-||King of the Franks||Clovis I (471-511)
Pepin the Short (751-768)
|-||Rule of Clovis||509-511|
|-||Battle of Tours||October 732|
|-||Coronation of Charlemagne||768|
|-||Marriage of Irene and Charlemagne||803|
|-||Raid of Paris||845|
|-||First Viking Wars||845-864|
The Frankish Empire, also called Francia, Kingdom of the Franks, or the Frankish Kingdom was the territory inhabited by the Franks from c.3rd Century until its complete merge with the Byzantine Empire into the Carolingian Union in 893. The campaigns of rulers such as Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, Lothair I, and Atticus Baitelle expanded the Frankish Empire to be one of the leading powers in Europe during the Early Middle Ages.
Due to the division of realms by siblings, the Frankish Empire was an entity divided into several subkingdoms. This practice began to halt after the marriage of Charlemagne to Irene of Athens, eventually ceasing by the time of Atticus Baitelle.
For detailed info on the Frankish Empire's history before the point of divergence in 802, please visit Wikipedia's page on the Frankish Empire.
The Frankish Empire traces its origins to Germanic Tribes east of the Rhine. As the tribes migrated, a confederation formed before the tribes finally settled in Gaul. The Franks invaded Roman holdings in Gaul, pushing the border as it went. As Rome fell due to invasions from other tribes, the Frankish Kingdom consolidated and expanded. The Merovingians expanded the border further south as Francia evolved into the form for which it had become known. Of all the Merovingian kings, however, none was as famous as Clovis.
Clovis expanded the Frankish Kingdom to become a major power in Gaul. He vassalized the Bretons, destroyed and annexed the Visigoths, and defeated the Soissons. In essence, all of Francia's neighbors at the time were invaded and annexed or vassalized by Clovis. Upon Clovis' death, the kingdom was split into four kingdoms, as was the tradition of the Franks. The sons and their respective kingdoms were constantly in a rivalry with each other.
While the Franks were reunited for a time by Chlothar, the Merovingian kings were constantly at odds with each other. Upon the conquest of Pepin of Heristal, the Mayors of the Palace entered power. His son, Charles Martel, became known for defending Francia against Arab invaders from Spain. Most notably, Charles led an army to fight the Arabs between Tours and Poitiers. The Battle of Tours ended with the invaders repelled, the tide turned, and Charles earning the nickname 'The Hammer'.
When Charles Martel died, he divided his kingdom between his sons, Pepin the Short and Carloman. Upon Carloman's retirement in 751, the Carolingian Kings were in power. The Carolingian Kings expanded Francia into an even more powerful state, first under Pepin the Short and then under Charlemagne. While Charlemagne's wars with many nations, namely the Saxons, expanded the Frankish Kingdom, his marriage with Irene changed Europe forever.
On 803, Irene of Athens and Charlemagne married, fusing the Byzantine and Frankish Empire. The two nations, which had been opposed to each other politically, became more accustomed to each other under the actions of Charlemagne, Irene, and Pope Leo III. As a sign of unity between the two nations, the Franks and Byzantines invaded the southern Slavs in the Unification Wars. Despite the interference of the First Bulgarian Empire, the Unification Wars ended in a victory for the nations.
Upon Charlemagne's death, his son, Louis the Pious, acquired the Frankish Empire as Pepin of Italy. The tradition of splitting the Empire slowly began to end before, finally, the practice stopped with Atticus Baitelle in 871. As the Franks and Byzantines continued to unify politically, the Danes began to attack the Franks again, leading to a war with Holy Roman Emperor and Frankish King, Atticus Baitelle. The legendary war lasted for twelve years and ended with the temporary seizure of the Danes.
Eventually, in 893, the Franks and Byzantines became one nation under the Magnam Europae Charter, which unified them under the banner of the strengthened entity, the Carolingian Empire.
Life in Francia
Francia existed as a monarchy with multiple subdivided kingdoms. When a king died, he split his lands among his sons, though this practice was abandoned with Atticus Baitelle. In Francia, there were several duchies and other areas that were all maintained by a duke or count. Kings, however, sometimes took charge of a duchy too. Notably, Charlemagne was very involved in the affairs of the duchies that existed during his rule. He took a pro-active role in reintroducing trade between towns as well as reintroducing education and health care to the citizens of the Frankish Empire.