Where did France get its name from?
The Grande Nation France traces its name back to the Franks, a major Germanic tribe. Literally translated, the Franks are translated as "the bold", later they were also referred to as "the free". The name and origin of the French Empire look back on a long history and tradition. The term “bold and free” is still often mentioned by the French as a meaning for France.
France owes its name to a Germanic tribe. (Image: Olga & Demid - Fotolia)
Gauls and Teutons
Around 600 BC, Celts settled in what is now France from the northwest. From the Romans as Gauls referred to, they are considered to be the ancestors of the French, although today there are hardly any Celtic elements in French culture. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Germanic peoples increasingly founded their own empires. The Francs were a large Germanic tribe, which resulted from the merger of several small Germanic tribes. The Franks were first mentioned in writing at the end of the 1950s. Roman sources show that the Franks were called "Franci" at that time, which later became the term "France".
The Franconian Empire and the Merovingian Clovis I
The Frankish Empire referred to a kingdom in southern, western and central Europe that was formed from the western European area of the Roman Empire between the fifth and ninth centuries. The Franconian Empire emerged under the Salfränkischen Merovingian Clovis Iwho lived around 500 AD and defeated the Visigoths.
The Merovingian Empire took over numerous Roman institutions and Catholicism. The Merovingians were followed by the Carolingians who died in 800 Charlemagne crowned emperor of the empire. The west Franconian part of the Franconian Empire corresponds to today's France. Only the name France, France, remained in Germany as one of the many relics from French loanwords to this day.
The free and the brave
The name France has its origin in the Germanic word "franka", which can be translated as "free" and "brave". The origin of the country's name says it all: The French like to describe themselves as brave and, above all, freedom-loving people.
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