NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Francia historically refers to the region that was part of the Frankish Empire, a medieval kingdom that emerged in Western Europe during the early Middle Ages.

The term “Francia” is Latin for “Land of the Franks,” and it encompassed territories inhabited and ruled by Frankish people. The concept of Francia evolved over time and had different meanings in various historical periods.

Francia | History

Frankish Empire | 5th – 9th centuries
The Franks were a Germanic people who lived in the region that is now modern-day Germany and the Netherlands. Over time, they migrated westward and became a dominant force in Western Europe.

The Frankish Empire began to take shape in the fifth century as the various Frankish tribes coalesced under leaders such as Clovis I – a Merovingian king. Clovis I played a crucial role in unifying the Frankish tribes and converting to Christianity.

The Frankish Empire went through different dynastic phases. The Merovingian dynasty, named after Clovis’s semi-legendary ancestor Merovech, ruled from the fifth to the eighth century.

Carolingian Empire | 8th – 9th centuries
The Carolingian dynasty, founded by Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, succeeded the Merovingians in the eighth century and continued to rule Francia. Charlemagne’s empire is often referred to as the Carolingian Empire.

Charlemagne, who became King of the Franks in 768, expanded his realm through conquests and formed a vast empire that included parts of modern France, Germany, Italy, and parts of Spain. In 800, Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III, reviving the title of Roman Emperor in the West.

Treaty of Verdun | 843
After Charlemagne’s death in 814, his empire was divided among his grandsons in the Treaty of Verdun in 843. This division laid the groundwork for the formation of distinct European kingdoms, including West Francia, East Francia, and Middle Francia (which did not endure as a unified entity).

Evolution into Modern France
Over the centuries, the territories that were once part of Francia evolved into modern nation-states. West Francia became the Kingdom of France, while East Francia formed the core of the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of France continued to evolve through the medieval period and later into the modern nation-state.