ORIGINS (of 58 front. J.-C. with 887)
FEUDALITY (from 887 to 1483)
Any power of Feudality
Decline of Feudality
One Hundred Years old war
MONARCHY (of 1483 to 1789)
Wars of Italy
Wars against the house of Austria
Wars of religion
Apogee of monarchical France
Decline of monarchy
Ruin Ancien Régime
The Franks tackled the Roman Empire as of the middle of the third century, and started to be established between the Rhine and the North Sea; at the fourth century one sees them often beaten by Constantin, Julien, by Théodose, but they benefit skilfully from the disorders of the Empire to make buy their services and to firmly get a foothold in the north of Gaule.
At the fifth century, one their kings, Clodion the Hairy one, seizes Turned, Cambric, and extends its conquests until the Sum (451).
Frank king on the bulwark
The Franks were vêtus of a sayon and braies; they carried large moustache and long hair which floated on their back like a mane; they scorned the armour; their armament was composed of a bad shield, of one framée, small iron lance, of francisque, axe with two edges, of a harpoon and a sword called scramasax.
When they had elected their king, they raised it on the bulwark, i.e.
on a shield, and they carried it on their shoulders to the acclamations of the army.
The history of the frank kings before Clovis is extremely obscure.
Mérovée is not more known to us than Clodion.
We know only that it succeeded to him as king and that the Franks went with Aétius against Attila; one can suppose that Mérovée ordered them with the battle of Châlons.
We also know that he was the father of Childéric, but we cannot affirm that he was the son of Clodion, nor that it is not another older Mérovée which gave its name to the race mérovingienne.
Saint Wolf and Attila.
Huns were wildest of all the barbarians: their pointed head, with small eyes, a crushed nose, high cheekbones and enormous ears, made them horrible to see; they ate believed meat, drank blood, and adored a rusted sword.
Their Attila chief glorifiait himself to leave behind him only ruins, and of the "Plague of God entitled", i.e.
the executor of celestial justice: all the cities which were on its passage were delivered to the massacred flames and inhabitants.
Troyes, city open and without defense, had to its holy bishop Loup to escape from the destruction: adorned its episcopal clothes, it went ahead of of Attila with his clergy, a kind of religious fear inspired to him, and decided it to go its way.
The Parisian ones trembled in their turn, when they learned the approach from Attila, and already they started to flee, when holy Genevieve made them shame of their weakness, reassured them by its preachings, and decided them to return in the city and to put their confidence as a God.
Huns did not appear, and Paris allotted its safety to holy Genevieve (451).
Against Attila all the people linked themselves, Gaulois, Romains, frank, Burgondes, Visigoths, and one saw walking against him a formidable army, which the Roman General Aétius, the king Théodoric Visigoth, and frank king Mérovée ordered.
Huns, surprised in the town of Orleans, that they had just taken, beat a retreat and stopped only in the plains of Champagne, more close to Troyes that of Châlons: Attila had sought a battle field where it could deploy his innumerable cavalry.
The shock of the two armies was terrible; never of memory of man of similar masses had not run up.
The Jornandès historian tells that a small brook was changed into torrent which rolled of the floods of human blood.
Finally Huns were inserted, and the night alone saved them of an immense massacre.
Attila, tight of near in his camp, made prepare large to rough-hew, and placed himself at the top with a torch, ready to throw itself in the flames with the first danger, "so that no man praised himself to have killed him".
The winners did not renew their attack, and let Attila withdraw on the other side of the Rhine.
The Roman Empire, fallen in decline, cannot be defended any more against the Barbarians who surround it.
At the fifth century Gaule is invaded and devastated.
Three people come from Germanie succeed in being established in our country, and mingle with it little by little with the Gallo-Roman populations: Burgondes, in the country called from Burgundy; Visigoths, in the basin of the Garonne; in North.
Gaule is furrowed at the same time by destroying barbarians, of which most terrible are Huns, from Asia: they pile up ruins on ruins, but end up disappearing.