The Franks

Edward James, Author Blackwell Publishers $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-631-14872-2
The Franks began as a loose confederacy of undistinguished barbarians from the marshy Rhine lowlands. In the third century they attacked Rome, but within 300 years, as rulers of Gaul, Frankish aristocrats became partial heirs to Rome, extending their dominion over much of Western Europe by appointing counts and dukes to rule in their name. This careful account by a senior lecturer in history at the University of York in England uses archeological evidence to fill in the Franks' often obscure history in the five centu ries before Charlemagne (a Frank) was crowned Emperor of Rome in 800 A.D. Crammed with pictures of forts, burial artifacts, coins, bowls and jewelry, the volume is primarily for scholars, but the general reader will enjoy such details as the symbolism of Frankish clothing, the sanctioned custom of family feuds to end disputes and King Guntram's reputed miracle-working and healing powers. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-631-17936-8
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