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    France History
    Source: France Ministry of Foreigh Affairs, The Library of Congress Country Studies and other sources.

    Photograph of Orcival, France

    << Back to France History Index

    Barbarian Invasions and Charlemagne

    Visigoths, Franks, and Burgundii invaded France in the fifth century. In 486 Clovis, chief of the Franks, unified the country, accepted Christianity, and established the Merovingian dynasty.

    France was invaded by Muslim Saracens in the seventh century, but in 732 Charles Martel defeated the Saracens. His son, Pepin the Short, overthrew the last Merovingian ruler in 751 and proclaimed himself king. Pepin's son, Charlemagne, greatly expanded his kingdom and compelled the Roman Pope Leo to crown him "Emperor of Rome" in 800.
    See also Roman History at

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    NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of French History information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France History should be addressed to The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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    Revised 26-Jul-05
    Copyright © 2005 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)