The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes from east of the Rhine. Roman authorities settled them in northeast Gaul (now France and Belgium) to protect Rome from barbarian invasion.
The Franks fought with the Romans against the Huns.
The Frankish realm consisted of several kingdoms, namely Neustria in the west (centered on Paris) and Austrasia in the east (centered on Metz).
Aquitane, Alemannia and Bavaria were effectively autonomous duchies. Established by King Clovis, a Salian Frank, the Merovingian dynasty ruled until 751.
481 - 511
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, King Clovis united the Frankish tribes and began territorial expansion and established the powerful Merovingian dynasty, which governed both the Franks and the native Gallo-Romans. He and his sons annexed much of present-day France and west Germany, expelling the Visigoths from south of the river Loire in 507. Under Clovis the Franks converted to Christianity, a momentous event, though west of the Rhine continued the ritual practice of burying the dead with their possessions until the early 8th century.