Franks(redirected from Frakland)
Also found in: Dictionary.
See study by P. Lasko (1971).
a group of west Germanic tribes that formed a tribal alliance first mentioned in the mid-third century; the tribes included the Chamavi, Bructeri, Usipetes, Tencteri, and Sugambri. Historians divide the Franks into two groups. The nucleus of the first group was made up of the Salian Franks, later the West Franks, whose name derived from the Celtic sal (“sea”). The Salian Franks originally lived along the Ijssel River but by the mid-fourth century had moved into the regions along the lower Rhine, as far as the Schelde River, in Toxandria. The second group was made up of Franks who later came to be known as the Ripuarian Franks, from the Latin ripa (“river bank”). They lived further upriver along the Rhine, as far as the Main River.
In the mid-fourth century, the Salian Franks were defeated by the Romans but were allowed to remain in Toxandria as foederati, or allies. In 451 they fought in the battle of the Cata-launian plains against the Huns. By the beginning of the fifth century, they had conquered Gaul as far as the Somme River.
The social system of the Salian Franks, who were in transition from the agricultural commune to the mark commune (see), was reflected in the Salic Law (seeSALIC LAW). As the Salian Franks continued to conquer Gaul, the Frankish state came into being; it existed from the late fifth to the mid-ninth centuries. The Franks were the dominant ethnic group in the state, although they represented a small minority of the population, particularly south of the Seine; south of the Loire, there were only isolated settlements of Franks. As they were assimilated by the local Gallo-Roman population, the Franks living in the interfluve of the Maas and Loire became part of the northern French and Walloon nationalities; the Franks south of the Loire became part of the southern French, or Provençal, nationality.
The Franks living along the middle Rhine and in the Maas River basin retained their ethnic identity longer and formed the basis of a regional group, the Franconians. The Franks inhabiting the basin of the lower Rhine, who also retained their ethnic identity longer, played a major role in the ethnogenesis of the Dutch and Flemish.
IU. L. BESSMERTNYI