This is part of the Medieval European History Metanode.

The Frankish Empire was the most lasting of the Germanic kingdoms. It was located in the area of modern-day France. The Empire was founded in 486 by Clovis I, who had deposed the previous Roman king. The main source of information about Clovis I is Bishop Gregory of Tours, who wrote A History of the Franks in ca. 590. Clovis created a new code of law for his kingdom, which blended Frankish law with Roman law. In 496, Clovis defeated the Alemanni, another Germanic tribe, at the Battle of Strasbourg. Bishop Gregory presented the idea of a Constantine-like conversion to Christ if Clovis was victorious. Clovis won, was baptized at Rheims, and the Franks were officially converted to Roman Christianity (they had previously been Arian). Clovis defeated the Burgandians and the Visigoths as well, carving out quite a territory for himself.

Clovis's death in 571 was a disaster for the kingdom. The idea of kingship was new to the Franks, and they were unaccustomed to dealing with the subtleties of successorship. Clovis divided his kingdom among four of his sons, leaving four weak, quarreling kingdoms. There were many civil wars in the following centuries.

In the 7th century, a new dynasty began to rise. The majordomos, or head administrators, grew in power as the kings weakened. One particular family of majordomos was to rise to the kingship. Pepin II, the first of the Carolingians, began the sequence of events by invading and annexing the neighboring territory of Nuestria. His son, Charles Martel, conquered both Burgandy and Aquitaine, thus restoring the unity to the kingdom that had been absent since the death of Clovis I. Charles's son, Pepin III, would ascend to kingship in the 8th century, beginning the true rule of the Carolingian Dynasty.

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