By these measures the counts became citizens, the rural population ceased to rank as serfs, and the Italo-Roman population of the towns absorbed into itself the remnants of Franks, Germans and other foreign stocks.
The Armenians in the south-east of Asia Minor borrowed feudal institutions from the Franks and the feudal vocabulary itself.
- The office of mayor of the palace was an institution peculiar to the Franks of the Merovingian period.
Of this period scarcely any record remains, but when at the end of the 3rd century the Franks began to swarm over the Rhine into the Roman lands, the names of the old tribes had disappeared.
The branch of the Franks - who were a confederacy, not a people - which gradually overspread Gallia Belgica, bore the name of the Salian Franks..
The strip of coast from the mouth of the Scheldt to that of the Ems remained, however, in the hands of the free Frisians (q.v.), in alliance with whom against the Franks were the Saxons, who, pressing forward from the east, had occupied a portion of the districts known later as Gelderland, Overyssel and Drente.
In the north progress was much slower, and, The Franks., though a church was erected at Utrecht by Dagobert I.
In the 5th century the Franks seized Tournai, and Merovaeus made it the capital of his dynasty.
Odoacer inaugurated that long series of foreign rulersGreeks, Franks, Germans, Spaniards and Austrians who have successively contributed to the misgovernment of Italy from distant seats of empire.
This was accomplished by calling the Franks in against the Lombards.
The indigenous inhabitants; and the rapid succession of conquerors, Lombards, Franks and Germans following each other at no long interval, and each endeavouring to weaken the remaining strength of his predecessor, prevented this alien hierarchy from acquiring ixity by permanence of tenure.
Kingdom, founded by the Lombards, recognized by the Franks and recently claimed by eminent Italian feudatories, virtually ceased to exist.
Towards the end of the 3rd century, the inroads of the Franks having been repelled by the emperor Probus, the city rapidly acquired wealth and importance.
The Franks, who had thrice previously sacked the city, gained permanent possession of it about 455.
In 407 a multitude of Franks, Vandals, &c., burst over Gaul: Roman rule practically ceased and the three kingdoms of the Visigoths, Burgundians and Franks began to form.
The legions at once joined him; numbers of Franks enlisted in his service; an increased and well-equipped fleet secured him the command of the neighbouring seas.
In the 5th century came other German tribes, the Alamanni, and then the Franks, who drove the Alamanni into the south.
The custom, indeed, so far from dying out, was adopted by the barbarian conquerors and spread among the Christian Goths in Spain, Franks in Gaul, Alemanni in Germany, and Anglo-Saxons in Britain.
Charles's son, Pippin, was crowned king of Italy, entered the peninsula at the head of the Franks, defeated the Lombards, took Ravenna and presented it to the pope, while retaining a feudal superiority.
Venice was now brought face to face with the Franks under their powerful sovereign, who soon showed that he intended to claim the lagoons as part of his new kingdom.
He and his followers plotted the murder of the doge, were discovered, and sought safety at the court of Charlemagne, where Fortunatus strongly urged the Franks to attack the lagoons.
The period from the election of the first doge to the appearance of the Franks was characterized by fierce struggles between Heraclea and Jesolo.
In order to hold these possessions, she borrowed from the Franks the feudal system, and granted fiefs in the Greek islands to her more powerful families, on condition that they held the trade route open for her.
The original significance of the name remains in dispute, but the first of the family to whom it was applied was Hugh, who was elected king of the Franks in 987.
The real founder of the house, however, was Robert the Strong, who received from Charles the Bald, king of the Franks, the countships of Anjou and Blois, and who is sometimes called duke, as he exercised some military authority in the district between the Seine and the Loire.
Robert's two sons, Odo or Eudes, and Robert II., succeeded their father successively as dukes, and, in 887, some of the Franks chose Odo as their king.
They gave the kingdom a connexion of its own with the Red Sea and its shipping; and they enabled the Franks to 2 Pisa naturally connected itself with Antioch, because Antioch was hostile to Constantinople, and Pisa cherished the same hostility, since Alexius I.
The disunion between the Mahommedans of northern Syria and the Fatimites of Egypt, and the political disintegration of the former, were both favourable to the success of the Franks; but they had nevertheless to maintain their ground vigorously both in the north and the south against almost incessant attacks.
The plan of conquering Egypt had indeed presented itself to the Franks from the first, as it continued to attract them to the end; and it is significant that Godfrey himself, in 1100, promised Jerusalem to the patriarch, "as soon as he should have conquered some other great city, and especially Cairo."
Before the accession of Zengi, there had been constant fighting, which had led, however, to no definite result, between the various Mahommedan princes and the Franks of northern Syria.
Himself was captured by Balak, the successor of Ilghazi, in 1123, but on the whole the Franks held the upper hand.
If Fulk had been left alone to wage the struggle against Zengi, and if Zengi had enjoyed a clear field against the Franks, the fall of the kingdom of Jerusalem might have come far sooner than it did.
One of the great mistakes made by the Franks was the breach of the alliance in 1147 - a breach which was widened by the attack directed against Damascus during the Second Crusade; and the conquest of Damascus by Nureddin in 1154 was ultimately fatal to the Latin kingdom, removing as it did the one possible ally of the Franks, and opening the way to Egypt for the atabegs of Mosul.
On the whole, the interference of the Comneni, if it checked Zengi for the moment in 1138, may be said to have ultimately weakened and distracted the Franks, and to have helped to cause the loss of Edessa (1144), which marks the turning-point in the history of the kingdom of Jerusalem.
The fact is that until the 13th century the Franks lived consuetudinibus antiquis et jure non scripto.
The former courts, under their bailiffs, gradually absorbed the separate courts which the Syrians had at first been permitted to enjoy under their own refs; and the bailiff with his 6 assessors (4 Syrians and 2 Franks) thus came to judge both commercial cases and cases in which Syrians were involved.
Continually recruited from the West, they retained the vigour which the native Franks of Palestine gradually lost; and their corporate strength gave a weight to their arms which made them indispensable.
The Franks of northern Europe attempted to live a life that suited a northern climate under a southern sun.
Little driblets of men might indeed be added to the numbers of the Franks; but the great bodies of crusaders either perished in Asia Minor, as in I ioi and 1147, or found themselves thwarted and distrusted by the native Franks.
The result was the renewed enmity of the Greek empire, while the French adventurers who won the prize ruined the prospects of the Franks by their conduct.
Not only so, but in the spring of 1147 the Franks were unwise enough.
The villages were mostly inhabited by Syrians: it was rarely that Franks settled down as tillers of the soil.
3 After 1143 one may therefore speak of the period of the Epigonithe native Franks, ready to view the Moslems as joint occupants of Syria, and to imitate the dress and habits of their neighbours.
The attack was impolitic: Damascus was the one ally which could help the Franks to stem the advance of Nureddin.
The position of the Franks in the Holy Land was not improved by the attack on Damascus; while the ignominious failure of a Crusade led by two kings brought the whole crusading movement into discredit in western Europe, and it was utterly in vain that Suger and St Bernard attempted to gather a fresh Crusade in 1150.
Nureddin pursued in his policy the tactics which the Mahommedans used against the Franks in battle: he sought to envelop their territories on every side.
If a religious union had been effected between Egypt and northern Syria, political disunion still remained; and the Franks were safe as long as it lasted.
He was confronted, however, by Raymund, count of Tripoli, the one man of ability among the decadent Franks, who acted as guardian of the kingdom; while he was also occupied in trying to win for himself the Syrian possessions of Nureddin.
It is a struggle between the king and the haute tour: it is a struggle between the aristocratic feudalism of the Franks and the monarchical feudalism of the Normans.
It was, however, by their own folly that the Franks lost Jerusalem in 1244.
The Franks evacuated Syria altogether, leaving behind them only the ruins of their castles to bear witness, to this very day, of the Crusades they had waged and the kingdom they had founded and lost.
Partly by contact with the Byzantines, partly by conflict with the Mahommedans, the Franks learned new methods 1 Authors like Heeren (Versuch einer Entwickelung der Folgen der Kreuzziige) and Michaud (in the last volume of his Histoire des croisades) fall into the error of assigning all things to the Crusades.
2 The art of the sapper and miner, the use of siege instruments like the mangonel, and the employment of various "fires" as missiles, were all known among the Mahommedans; and in all these respects the Franks learned from their enemies.
It is from the Second Crusade that William of Tyre, representing the attitude of the Franks of Jerusalem, begins to be a primary authority; while on the Mahommedan side a considerable authority emerges in Ibn Athir.
The various continuations of William of Tyre above mentioned represent the opinion of the native Franks (which is hostile to Richard I.); while in Nicetas, who wrote a history of the Eastern empire from 1118 to 1206, we have a Byzantine authority who, as Professor Bury remarks, "differs from Anna and Cinnamus in his tone towards the crusaders, to whom he is surprisingly fair."