Kingdom of Francia (3rd century–843)
Main articles: Kingdom of the Franks, Merovingian dynasty, and Carolingian dynasty
See also: List of French monarchs and France in the Middle Ages
Frankish expansion from the early Clovis I' kingdom (481) to the divisions ofCharlemagne's Empire (843/870).
At the end of the Antiquity period, ancient Gaul was divided into several Germanic kingdoms (Early Francia (North), Alamannia (North-East), Burgundia(East), Septimania (South), Visigothic Aquitania (South East)) and a remaining Gallo-Roman territory, known as the Kingdom of Syagrius (West). Simultaneously, Celtic Britons, fleeing the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britannia, settled the western part of Armorica (far West of Gaul). As a result, the Armorican peninsula was renamed Brittany, Celtic culture was revived and independent petty kingdoms arose in this region.
The pagan Franks, from whom the ancient name of "Francie" was derived, originally settled the northern part of Gaul, but under Clovis I conquered most of the other kingdoms in northern and central Gaul. In 498, Clovis I was the first Germanic conqueror after the fall of the Roman Empire to convert to Catholic Christianity, rather than Arianism; thus France was given the title "Eldest daughter of the Church" (French: La fille aînée de l’Église) by the papacy, and the French kings would be called "the Most Christian Kings of France" (Rex Christianissimus).
With Clovis' conversion to Catholicism in 498, the Frankish monarchy, elective and secularuntil then, became hereditary and of divine right.
The Franks embraced the Christian Gallo-Roman heritage and ancient Gaul was eventually renamed Francia ("Land of the Franks"). The Germanic Franks adopted Romanic languages, except in northern Gaul where Roman settlements were less dense and where Germanic languages emerged. Clovis made Paris his capital and established theMerovingian dynasty, but his kingdom would not survive his death. The Franks treated land...