Although my focus on history is usually centred on my native country of Scotland and the British Isles, I wish to explore the history of one of the Teutonic tribes from Continental Europe. The reason for this is that I have more recently felt drawn towards Continental Germanic spirituality as opposed to the Norse or Anglo-Saxon paths, particularly with regards to the tribe known as the ‘Franks’, who settled in what is now Flanders and the Netherlands as foederati; landed mercenaries hired by the Romans to defend their territory from other Teutonic tribes. The Franks went on to conquer Gaul and gave their name to France, and it is from them that the Franconian peoples are descended, namely the Dutch, Flemish and Afrikaners.
My own clan is descended from one of the Flemish families that participated in William the Bastard’s conquest of England and who were later invited to Scotland by David I in the 12th Century. Though the Franks were some of the main participants in abandoning their spiritual heritage in favour of the poison of Judeo-Christianity and spreading the disease to other tribes, they also had a reputation for ferocity and bravery and are an example of the archetype of the barbarian who fought against civilization only to succumb to its lure (as did many other Teutonic tribes during the ‘Folk-Wandering’ or ‘Migration Period’).
The Franks began as a confederation of smaller tribes who lived East of the Rhine, and coalesced into a singular ethnic entity in order to stand together against the Romans to the West. They were initially like most other barbarian tribes, described by the Romans as lacking armour and carrying swords, shields and the francisca, a type of throwing axe which was invented by the Franks and could bounce back when it hit the ground, potentially killing a foe from behind if you missed him on the initial throw. However, they do have their own origin history and are said to be descended from Trojans, which means that they may have had the same origin as the other Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and migrated to Western Germany.
Francisca, the tribal weapon of the Franks, note the curved head
The founder of their ruling dynasty, Merovech, was said to descend from a water god, possibly a Teutonic equivalent of Neptune. The confederation of tribes, led by the Cherusci and including the Bructeri and Sicambres, inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Romans at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9AD. The Roman general Varus thought that he had secured the fealty of Arman, chief of the Cherusci, and accepted his invitation to pass through Teutoburg Forest with his army and retinue. The Romans were ambushed and slaughtered; the whole event was so traumatic to the Romans that Augustus subsequently went mad and they never again attempted to conquer the Germans, although they still raided their lands.
Between the 3rd and 5th Centuries AD, the Roman Empire was beginning to weaken and the Franks were frequently crossing the Rhine and invading the borderlands. Initially, the Romans had been able to repel them and return the favour; however, by this point civil war and reluctance to join the military among the Roman populace meant that they could no longer keep the Franks at bay and eventually they struck a deal with them. Several of the tribes would be settled on the other side of the Rhine in Toxandria (and areas which straddles both Flanders and the Netherlands) in exchange for military service, becoming known as the ‘Salian Franks’ (meaning ‘paid Franks’).
Thus, the Romans made allies of their enemies and the Franks became foderati, a system which eventually led to the Fall of the Roman Empire by allowing foreign warlords to take control of the army and carve up the empire among themselves. Though the Salian Franks were initially helpful in repelling invaders, and even participated in defeating the Huns and their allies at the Battle of Chalons, they began to adopt a more predatory attitude towards the weakening Romans, and so they broke their allegiance and pushed West until they reached the Somme under Chlodio. The exposure to Roman tactics and mass produced weapons and armour made them a more effective fighting force, and they simply decided to use this against the Romans when they became dissatisfied with their pay.
Eventually, the Franks on both sides of the Rhine were united under Childeric and his son, Clovis, through a combination of subjugating and assassinating rival chieftains. Clovis also conquered most of Gaul and put an end to the last vestige of Roman authority at Soissons. His Burgundian wife, Clotide, was a devout Catholic, and attempted incessantly to convert her husband, even causing the death of their first son through forced baptism. However, he was finally won over after gaining a victory against the Alemanni (another tribe from Western Germany) at the Battle of Tolbiac.
The story goes that Clovis was losing the battle and prayed to the Christian god rather than his own for victory, which he then achieved. To him, this proved the superiority of Christianity and he converted to Catholicism, despite the fact that the Catholics within his kingdom were outnumbered by both pagans and Arian Christians. Even more so, in the 7th Century Irish missionaries had to establish monasteries in Gaul in order to have more of an influence on the rural population, which was still largely pagan. This was the beginning of the gradual submission of the Teutonic tribes to the Catholic Church, which was one of the only things that united the Franks after the kingdom fell apart upon Clovis’ death.
The extent of the Frankish realm under Clovis
As was part of the Salic Law, Clovis’ kingdom was divided among his sons. This, however, only led to instability and the four kingdoms began to fight amongst themselves. Though the Frankish kingdom was eventually united again under Chlothar the Great in 613, they began to suffer raids from other tribes outside of the kingdom and were eventually faced with the Islamic invasion in the early 8th Century. The Muslims had conquered Spain and were now marching into France, but were defeated at the decisive Battle of Tours by the king’s regent, Charles Martel, in 732, halting any further Islamic advance into Europe.
Unfortunately, at this point the Merovingian dynasty was weaker than before and the kings were reliant on their generals. Eventually, the last Merovingian king was overthrown by Pepin the Short, who established a new dynasty and campaigned against the Basques as well as the Muslims. He also established Frankish vassal kingdoms in Spain, which eventually enabled the Reconquista and the eventual expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Spain. However, his son has been given more fame as a result of his conquests.
The Frankish king known as ‘Charlemagne’ (‘Charles the Great’) is one of the most famous and infamous rulers of the Dark Ages. While he managed to expand the Frankish domain well beyond its former territory, he was also a ruthless despot and Catholic fanatic, which is why he is also known as ‘Karl the Saxon Slayer’. He is remembered among Wotanists as the tormentor of the Saxons in Germany and for the defeat and subsequent forced conversion of their leader, Widukind. He oversaw the felling of oaks dedicated to Thonar (Thor) and the various ‘Irminsuls’ (sacred poles representing the axis of the universe) in Germany.
However, despite helping to spread to Judeo-Christian virus to the other German tribes, he outlawed usury and defeated the Turkic Avar Empire in modern Hungary, neutralizing them as a threat to Western Europe. He may be most famous for helping Pope Adrian I by conquering the hostile Kingdom of Lombardy and for assisting Pope Leo III against his enemies in Rome, for which he was coronated as ‘Holy Roman Emperor’ by the pope. Thus, he is a divisive figure who represents both an effective monarch and a religious bigot, the builder of a hegemony that included much of Western Europe under one god and one king.
After Charlemagne’s death, his kingdom was inherited by his son, Louis, whose kingdom was then split among his three sons when he died. The resulting divisions were never again united, and the three kingdoms lay the foundations for the modern countries of France, Germany and Italy. Though France solidified into a centralized kingdom, Germany and Italy were governed as the Holy Roman Empire, a loose coalition of various duchies and city-states that swore fealty to the successors of Charlemagne.
By this time, the Latin -derived French language had become the tongue of the Western Franks and German the that of the Eastern Franks, although their native language persisted in the Frankish heartlands of Flanders and the Netherlands. Though these territories were claimed by either the French king or the Holy Roman Emperor, as trading centres they soon gained more power and influence and functioned largely independently of the kings they were supposedly ruled by. The Franconian peoples not only ventured to nearby Britain, but also became explorers and traders in the form of the Dutch Empire between the 16th and 20th Centuries, as well as the Boer colonies of South Africa.
Despite their noble origins and past conquests, the Franconians are not a numerous people, and are at risk of being outnumbered in their homelands by mass immigration from Islamic and African nations and are facing gradual genocide in South Africa. As a descendant of the Franks, I wish to invoke our brave ancestors and our gods to guide us in these dark times. The Franks are remembered as one of the foremost barbarian tribes who brought the might of Rome to its knees, and I am confident that the heroic spirit of those tribes can rise up again in their descendants to fight against the Modern Rome; the EU and the various globalist power structures that strangle our folk with the rope of Modern civilization.
Wodan, id est furor!