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The Other German Peoples

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Like said about the Saxons -or the Franks- the diminutive German tribes were united into confederations during the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. The Saxons excepted, those confederations, the Alamanni, the Thuringians, and the Boiarii, along with the people of the Frisians and the Hessians, gradually passed under the Frankish rule, once the Merovingians conquered Gaul. The Frisians, for example, West of the Weser river, had managed to retain their independency during the extension westwards of the confederation of the Saxons. Each territory which was conquested by the Franks was, for large extents of it, transferred to the property of the king, with military colonies -the famed 'hundreds'- founded and managed by commanders. They eventually turned into administrative civil servants as the colonies turned into peaceful rural communities. That Merovingian rule however swiftly weakened, with the German tribes seeing the elevation of tribal dukes over the fellow tribesmen, and becoming independent sovereigns. Those dukes had originated like the commander of large bodies of troops, with the administration of large territories. The development of the dukes took place at the detriment of the power of the Merovingian counts, who ruled over the 'gaus,' these territorial districts. Along with the missionaries, the Franks, as soon as the first Carolingians, with Charles Martel, managed to have such German territories back to Frankish dominions. The German people there however retained their own old laws, or the 'leges barbarorum.' The effort of the Franks to control the German tribes was linked to the progress of Christianity there. Germany maybe remained late during that epoch of the Early Middle Ages and only emerged really under the Carolingians and Ottonians as Germany however at those times featured a clear unity

Website Manager: G. Guichard, site Learning and Knowledge In the Carolingian Times / Erudition et savoir à l'époque carolingienne, Page Editor: G. Guichard. last edited: 12/28/2010. contact us at
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