Franks: A group of Germanic tribes that settled by the 3d century along the Rhine.
The Salian Franks, under CLOVIS I, moved into GAUL (486) and overthrew the Romans. Clovis united them with the Ripuarian Franks, and they accepted Christianity and founded the MEROVINGIAN dynasty. Their conquests eventually encompassed most of western and central Europe, including the kingdoms of Neustria, Austrasia, and Burgundy. In the 8th century the rule of the CAROLINGIAN dynasty was culminated by the reign of CHARLEMAGNE. In 870 the kingdom of the West Franks became France and that of the East Franks became Germany.
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