History of the Franks
Origins of the Franks
The Franks were a Germanic tribe that probably descended from Scandinavia to settle in the modern day Benelux and the German Rhineland, around the 2nd and 3rd century C.E. By the 6th century, the Franks had settled in what is now the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Lorraine (France), the eastern half of the Netherlands, and the German länder of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. The Franks were divided in several tribes themselves, notably the Salian Franks in modern-day Belgium, Northern France and the Southern Netherlands, and the Ripuarian Franks in the Rhineland region.
The Rhine and Moselle valleys in Germany is still known as "Franconia", and German dialects in this region are varieties of Franconian, direct descendent of the Old Ripuarian Frankish. Old Salian Frankish evolved into Dutch and Flemish.
The Salian Franks
In 287/288 C.E., Roman Emperor Maximian (250-310) launches a military campaign in Germania. The Salian Franks surrender and become subjects of the Roman Empire. Maximian moved them to Germania Inferior (roughly present-day Belgium), making them the first Germanic tribe to settle permanently within the Roman Empire.
They become a powerful ally of Rome, providing many imperial generals (notably Salia and Arbogast). In 324, Bonitus becomes the first Frank in charge of a Roman militia. In 351, Gaiso becomes the first Roman consul of Frankish blood, followed by Silvanus in 355. Vitta (a personal friend of Emperor Julian) in 362, Merobaud in 377, Richomer in 384, Bauto in 385. The Franks integrated remarkably well into the Roman society, speaking Latin, obtainning Roman citizenship, promoted to consular ranks (i.e. also senators) for their competences by the Emperors - some of them were even granted the clan name Flavius of the Imperial family.
Frankish kingdoms were established with the Empire, around Le Mans (North-Western France), Cambrai (Northern France), Tournai (Wallonia, Belgium), Trier (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany), and Deutz (now within Cologne, North Rhine, Germany).
Clodio the Long-Haired (395-448) is considered to be the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, named after his son Merowig/Meroveus (447-458). The Roman army having left the north of Gallia Belgica (present-day North of France) to fight the Visigoths, Clodio took control of the region, extending his realm between the Rhine, the Meuse, the Somme and the English Channel. He established his capital in Tournai, which the Romans had founded around 50 C.E. His grandson, Childeric I (437-482), helped the Romans defeat the Visigoths.
The conquest of Roman Gaul
Childeric's son, Clovis I (466-511), also from Tournai, conquered the neighbouring Frankish tribes in the Low Countries and Rhineland and established himself as their sole king.
He defeated Syagrius, the last Roman official in northern Gaul, then the Visigoths in south-western Gaul, thus becoming the ruler of most of the old Roman Gaul.
Clovis converted to Catholicism at the instigation of his wife Clotide, a Burgundian princess, thus spreading Christianity among the pagan Franks. The Romans had been predominantly Christian since the 4th century, after Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity (312 C.E.), and Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity as the official state religion of the Roman Empire (380 C.E.). Converting to Christianity was therefore a way of showing the continuity between the Roman and Frankish rules. Most importantly, it was a way of earning the acceptance of the Christian Gallo-Roman population, which greatly outnumbered the Frankish rulers. It took many generations before the Franks truly adopted Christianity. Even at the time of Charlemagne, 300 years after Clovis, a part of the Frankish population was still pagan.
Clovis I is considered by many French people to be the first King of France, although he was really the King of the Franks. The name 'France' does come from 'Frank', but it only appeared in the 10th century, after the split of Charlemagne's Empire (see below). Under the Merovingians, most of what is now France was called 'Neustria', while the Benelux and Western and Southern Germany were known as 'Austrasia'.
Saving Europe from Islamisation
After 2 centuries, the waning power of the Merovingian dynasty prompted Charles Martel (686-741), a native of Liege, to proclaimed himself Duke of the Franks and by any name was de facto ruler of the Frankish Realms.
In 732, he routed the invading Islamic Moorish armies of the Umayyad Caliphate at the Battle of Poitiers (also known as the Battle of Tours), thus saving Europe from Islamisation. This is one of the single-most important influence of the Franks on the following history Europe up to this day. Without Charles Martel, Europe, or at least Western Continental Europe, would have become part of the Muslim world, most certainly preventing the Renaissance, the Great Voyages of the colonial period, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and everything that follows.
Heirs of the Roman Empire
At Charles' death, the power passed to his sons Pippin the Younger (714-768) and Carloman (706-754), who ruled conjointly over Francia until 747, when Carloman withdrew to a monastic life. In 751, the last Merovingian puppet king, Childeric III, was deposed, and Pippin was elected King of the Franks with the blessing of the pope, and anointed in Soissons.
Pippin's son, Charles (768-814) would extend the Frankish empire to Saxony (see Paderborn), Northern Italy, Croatia, and Catalonia, and become known as Charlemagne ("Charles the Great"). In 800, he was crowned emperor by the Pope in Rome, declaring himself heir of the Roman Empire, with his capital in Aachen, 40km away from his native Liege. His empire was to last over 1000 years (until Napoleon dissolved it in 1806) and is better known under the name of Holy Roman Empire.
Founders of Western civilisation
The Frankish influence over Europe was so important from the Merovingian period onwards that the term for "European" or "non-Muslim" became (up to this day) Faranji in Arabic and Farangi in Persian, a derivative of the word "Frank". The term became used in the Indian subcontinent as well after the Muslim conquest. Firang or Farang are also used in South Asia - the latter in Thailand as well - to refer to Westerners.
In the way that Charlemagne, Emperor of Occident, became the symbol of the unified Christian Europe in the Muslim world, the Franks have become associated with the modern concept of Westerners. It could be said in a way that the Franks laid the foundations of Western society and culture.
On a side note, understanding history makes it only natural for the modern capital of Europe (Brussels) to be located in the very middle of the old Frankish homeland. In fact, Brussels was the historic capital of the Duchy of Brabant, which was the official heir of Lotharingia, the Kingdom of Charlemagne's eldest grandson, who was supposed to rule over his undivided empire (his brothers did not see it this way).
Founders of the monarchies of France, Germany and Luxembourg
In 840, Charlemagne's only surviving son, Louis the Pious, passed away. His eldest son, Lothair, was to inherit the empire. However, the Frankish tradition was to divide the land between the male heirs, and Lothair's brothers Charles and Louis, claimed their part. After 3 years of intestine conflict, Lothair was forced to cede two thirds of the empire. Charles the Bald inherited Western Francia, which would become known simply as France. Louis the German received East Francia, in what is now Germany. Lothair kept the title of emperor. His domain was now restricted to Middle Francia, a strip of land covering the present-day Benelux, Rhineland, Lorraine, Alsace, Burgundy, Provence, and Northern Italy as far as Rome.
Middle Francia, also known as Lotharingia, encompassed the old Frankish homeland, Clovis' original kingdom, where the Imperial capital of Aachen was located. It is due to this symbolic value of Old Francia and Rome that Lothair kept this strangley shaped territory for himself.
After Lothair's death in 855, his realm was split again between his three sons. Lothair II inherited the Kingdom of Lotharingia, further limited to the land between Alsace and the North Sea. In 870, a year after Lothair II's death, Charles the Bald and Louis the German obtained the leftovers of Lotharingia, most of which actually going to Louis. The imperial crown would return to Germany under Otto I (912-973).
Let's also note that 16 out of 28 Holy Roman Emperors since Charlemagne (800-814) until the rise of the Habsburgs in the mid-15th century, were of Frankish descent (Carolingian, Salian Frankish, and Luxembourg dynasties). After them, all the emperors were elected instead of hereditary and all were Habsburgians except one, until dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire by Napoleon in 1806. (=> see List of Holy Roman Emperors)
Establishing the European nobility
The European nobility, born in the Middle Ages and surviving to this day, has its roots in the Frankish nobility system. The Franks were in fact the first to use the Latin titles of dux (duke) and comes (count) to mean "feudal lord" ruling over a duchy or county. The Romans did not have any duchies or counties. For the Romans, a dux was merely a "military leader", while comes meant "imperial companion", such as courtiers and provincial officials. The Franks used these terms for the military rulers of their provinces, who later became sovereign rulers after the parcelling of the Carolingian Empire.
In the Carolingian era, a new title was created for the military governors of a March (from the Old Frankish marka, meaning "border"). This title was that of "markgrave" (from German Markgraf, "border count"), which would later become "marquis" in French and American English, then "marquess" in British English.
As the European population grew and fiefs multiplied, a need for lower titles emerged. The French coined the name of vicomte ("vice + count"), which would give the English "viscount", while in German and Dutch speaking areas, the title just under that of "count" (Graf in German) became that of "Burggraf" or "Burggraaf" (literally "town count").
The Frankish word baro ("freeman") evolve to mean "nobleman" (as opposed to peasants, who were serfs). It took the lowest place in the hierarchy of the titled nobility. "Knight" was not originally a title, but a sort of "occupation". Not all nobles were knights, as not all fought in battles. From the 17th century, when the time of feudal warfare and chivalry came to an end, knighthood became a form of gentility in countries like England, and developed into a title of its own in other countries like France.
Napoleon Bonaparte, heir of the Franks
Napoleon Bonaparte often compared himself to Charlemagne and wanted to be seen as the heir of the Frankish kings and emperors. He went on a "pilgrimage" to Aachen shortly before becoming emperor, to pay homage to his role model and see his legendary crown and sword.
When he became emperor, Napoleon long hesitated between the bee and the eagle for his coat of arms and symbol of his empire. The bee was the symbol of the Merovingian kings. 300 golden bees were also found in the tomb of King Childeric I (Clovis's father) in Tournai. Napoleon was well aware of this. The eagle was the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire, to mark the continuity with Ancient Rome. Eventually, Napoleon opted for the eagle to represent his empire, but integrated golden bees on the imperial coat.
Birth of the French language
Belgium, the Frankish homeland
The kingdom of France, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (later Germany), and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg all have Frankish origins in their foundations.
Modern unified state was not founded until 1830, it is less obvious that Belgium is the sole nation (with Luxembourg) that can really claimed to descend almost exclusively from the Franks.
Modern Belgium owes its name to the ancient Gallia Belgica, which, at the time of the conquest of Julius Caesar, comprised today's country as well as the South of the present Netherlands, the modern French regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Picardie, Champagne-Ardennes, Lorraine, Alsace, and the Rhineland (part of Germany West of the Rhine). Gallia Belgica was quickly subdivided in 3 provinces, and modern Belgium fell under Germania Inferior, along with the Northern Rhineland and the southern Netherlands, with the Rhine marking the outer border of the Roman Empire.
It is in Germania Inferior that Salian Franks settled in the late 3rd century, and this was corresponded roughly to the original Merovingian kingdom that Clovis inherited. The capital of the Merovingians until Clovis was Tournai, in the West of present-day Wallonia, while the political centre of the Carolingians was in Liege, in the East of Wallonia. Wallonia was thus the very heart of the Merovingian and Carolingian homeland.
Wallonia, the base of the Frankish court, birthplace of the French language
It may be surprising that Wallonia and Northern France (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Picardie) is the only part of the original Frankish kingdom that now speaks a Romance language, and not one descended from Old Frankish, like in Flanders or Rhineland. What is more, Wallonia has never belonged to France in its history (apart from 26 years during the French Revolution, like most of Europe), and the Nord department of France did not really belong to France until Louis XIV's conquest in the late 17th century. So the presence of the French language there can only predate the creation of the Kingdom of France in 843.
It is known that the Salian Franks (at least the nobility) spoke Latin since the 4th century, at the time when they settled in the Roman Empire. The Merovingian ruling class continued to use Latin, as they considered themselves the heirs of the Romans.
French language developed as a corrupted version of the Latin spoken by the Franks, which further evolved from the original Latin after the fall of the Roman Empire. This is why French pronunciation is so different from other Romance languages, and includes many sounds typically found in Germanic languages, like the French "eu" (written "ö" or "ø" in most Germanic languages), the "u" ("ü" or "y"), the "e" (the schwa), the "è" ("ä"), or the short "o" ("å" in Scandinavian languages).
However, not all the Frankish tribes spoke Latin, only the Salian Franks did, as they were the only ones to live within the Empire. This explains that Germanic languages descended from Old Frankish (e.g. Dutch, Flemish, Franconian German) are still spoken in most of the old Frankish territory. Wallonia and Northern France became Francophone because they lied at the political centre of the Frankish monarchy, where Latin was predominant.
Clovis moved his capital to Paris after conquering Roman Gaul. His kingdom was then split between his four sons, respectively based in Paris, Orléans, Soissons, and Reims, i.e. the regions of France where the langue d'oil (direct ancestor of modern French) originated (=> langue d'oil regions are indicated in yellow and green on the map of French dialects below).
The second wave of Frankish rulers, the Carolingians, originated in Eastern Wallonia, just at the present linguistic border between French, German and Dutch. Linguists know that it is where there is the greatest linguistic diversity in modern ttimes that a language originated. This triangle Liege-Aachen-Maastricht represent the political core of Charlemagne's Empire, and these cities now speaks respectively French/Walloon, German/Ripuarian Franconian, and Dutch/Limburgish, and yet they are only 40km from each others. The linguistic border is actually within the borders of Belgium, as the northern part ofthe province of Liege is Dutch-speaking (the "Fourons" or "Voeren"), and the the eastern part of the province of Liege is German-speaking (Ripuarian Franconian dialect).
In the same way, the English aristocracy spoke French while the populace spoke Middle English (a close cousin of Frisian, Frankish and Saxon languages). The difference is that the two languages eventually merged in England because of intermarriages and closer contact between the nobility and the rest of the population, while on the continent the elite of almost every country continued to speak French until the mid-20th century (as far as the Ottoman Empire, where French was the language of the Upper Class !) . Wallonia and Northern France (green areas on the map below) became predominantly French-speaking because they were the first region were Vulgar Latin/Old French became spoken widely, due to the high density of Frankish noblemen, and children (legitimate or not) of Frankish monarchs.
The Salic Law
The terms "Salian" or "Salic" itself comes from the ancient town of Sala, now Overijse in Flemish Brabant, just south-east of Brussels.
The so-called Salic law (Pactus legis salicae in Latin), was modelled on the Roman Law and incorporated elements of Frankish traditions. It was codified during the reign of Clovis I, regulated such matters as inheritance, crime, and murder. It forbid, for example, a throne to be passed to a female heir or through female line. It influenced the sucession practices in France and in some German states (e.g. Hannover).
The application of the Salic Law determined the sucession of John I of France in 1316, and was later contested by the allied Kings of Navarre and England. It was the cause of the Hundred's Years War (1339-1450) between France and England.
Britain only adopted the Salic law from George I (1660-1727), who was German. Upon the death of the last Hanoverian ruler, King William IV (1765-1837), the Salic law was scraped, and his niece Victoria ascended the throne of Great Britain and Ireland.
Frankish people in Germanic paganism and Romantic literature
Two operas of Richard Wagner were inspired by the Frankish court : Lohengrin and Siegfried (part of The Ring of the Nibelung).
Lohengrin, the son of Percival, was a knight of the Holy Grail, an order which members are sent out in secret to provide lords to kingdoms that have lost their protectors. Upon the death of the Duke of Brabant, Lohengrin is sent in a boat pulled by swans to rescue Princess Elsa of Brabant, and marries the Duchess. The "Bridal Chorus" ("Here Comes the Bride") in Wagner's opera is the standard march played for the bride's entrance at most formal weddings in the Western world.
Siegfried is one of the most famous Germanic heroes, the dragon-slaying hero in the Nibelungenlied. After killing the dragon, he bathed in its blood, rendering him invulnerable. Unfortunately for Siegfried, a leaf fell from a linden tree above while he is bathing and landed on his back, and the tiny patch of skin that it covered did not come into contact with the dragon's blood, and he was eventually killed by Hagen (or by Odin in Wagner's opera). Siegfried is the equivalent of 'Achilles' in Greek literature. In Wagner's opera, Siegfried had married the valkyrie Brünnhilde. The couple was clearly inspired by Merovingian king Sigebert I (Clovis' grandson) and his wife Brunhilda of Austrasia.
Christian Saints of Frankish blood
Numerous people canonised by the Roman Catholic Church belonged to the Frankish ethnicity. This is still obvious nowadays by the names of saints given to churches in the Low countries, where the Franks settled. Here are a few famous ones :
Saint Adalard (751-827)
Saint Adelgonde (639-684)
Saint Amalberga of Maubeuge (?-690)
Saint Amalberga of Temse (?-772)
Saint Angilbert (?-814)
Saint Arnulf of Metz (582-640)
Saint Arnulf of Soissons (1040-1087)
Saint Bavo (589-654)
Saint Bertha of Artois (?-725)
Saint Bertha of Bingen (?-840)
Saint Clodoald (522-560)
Saint Clotilde (475-545)
Saint Chrodegang of Metz (?-766)
Saint Cunibert of Cologne (600-663)
Saint Cunigunde of Luxembourg (975-1033)
Saint Emebert (?-710)
Saint Godeberta (640-700)
Saint Gudula (?-712)
Saint Gummarus (?-775)
Saint Hubert (657-727)
Saint Lambert of Maastricht (636-700)
Saint Medardus (457-545)
Saint Leonard of Noblac (?-559)
Saint Norbert of Xanten (1080-1134)
Saint Pharaildis (650-740)
Saint Reineldis (630-700)
Saint Rupert of Salzburg (660-710)
Saint Trudo (?-698)
Saint Vedast (?-540)
Saint Waldebert (?-668)
Saint Waltrude (?-688
Saint Wulfram of Sens (630-703)
Words of Frankish origin (3rd to 6th century)
The influence of the Franks has survived in modern English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese languages. There are only about 800 words of Frankish origin in modern French, but this includes many very common words.
(g)want : gauntlet (gant in French, guante in Spanish)
stakka : to detach (détacher in French, destacar in Spanish)
standhard : standard (standard in French, estandarte in Spanish)
laubja : (to) lodge (loge(r) in French, loja, alojar in Spanish)
skirmjan : skirmish (escarmouche in French)
scoc : (to) shock (choc, choquer in French)
warding : guard, guardian, warden (guarde, guardien in French)
werra : war (guerre in French, guerra in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese)
sakjan ("lay claim to") : seize (saisir in French)
bannjan : abandon (abandonner in French, abbandonare in Italian), bandit (bandit in French, bandito in Italian and Spanish)
warand : warrant (guarant in French)
hring : rank (rang in French, rango in Italian and Spanish)
baro : freeman, warrior
marhskalk ("horse-servant") : marshal (maréchal in French, maresciallo in Italian, mariscal in Spanish)
marka : (to) march (marche, marcher in French) / border, boundary
bord : border (bordure in French)
rant ("a running") : random (randonnée in French)
trotton ("to tread") : (to) trot (trot, trotter in French, trotto in Italian, trotar in Spanish)
walalaupan ("to leap well") : (to) gallop (galop, galoper in French)
graper : grape (grappe in French)
bera : beer (bière in French, birra in Italian)
wostjan : waste (gaspiller, gaspillage in French)
skarberg : scabbard
stal : stale, stall (étale, étalage, étable in French)
Frankish given names
To get a better idea of what the Frankish culture was like, here is a list of given names of pure Frankish (or at least Germanic) origin. From Charlemagne onwards the names became more and more Christianised.
Male names : 5th to 10th century
Abbo, Adalard, Adalberon, Adalbert, Adaldag, Adalhaid, Adalhard (or Adelard), Adalolf, Adelelm, Aega, Ageric, Agilbert, Agilfride, Agiulf (or Aigulf), Agobard, Alberic, Allowin, Altmar, Amalbert, Amalric (or Amalricus), Amand, Amator, Andica, Angegisis, Angilbert (or Engilbert or Angilbart), Anno, Ansegisel, Anskar, Ansovald, Aregisel, Arbitio, Arbogast (or Arbogastes), Arculf, Arnegisel, Arnold (or Arnoul), Arnulf, Artaud, Asselin, Atacinus, Audoen, Audomar, Audoneus, Audovald, Audramnus, Austregisel, Badegisel, Balderic (or Baldrick), Baudry, Baugulf, Bauto, Bavo, Benild, Berchar, Berengar (or Berenger), Bernhard (or Bernard), Berno, Bero, Bertelis, Berthaire, Berthefried, Bertin, Bertram, Bertulf, Besso, Birinus, Blutmund, Bodilo, Boso, Burchard, Brocard, Burchard, Butilin, Carloman (or Karlmann), Cassyon, Ceolfrid (or Ceufroy or Ceolfridus), Chararic, Charibert, Cheldric, Childebert, Childebrand, Childeric, Chilperic, Chlodomer (or Choldmer), Chlodowig, (or Chlodwig or Clovis), Chlotar (or Clothair or Clotaire), Chrodegang, Clodomir, Chramnesind, Chunibert, Clodio (or Chlodion), Cloud, Conrad, Corbinian, Corbus, Dado, Dagobert, Dagaric, Dalfin, Drogo (or Drogon), Dudon, Durand, Eberhard (or Evrard), Ebbo, Eberulf, Ebregisel, Ebroin, Ebrulf, Ecfrid, Einhard, Emebert, Emme, Emmeran, Emmon, Engilbert (or Engelbert), Egide, Eracle, Erard, Erchinoald, Erenfried, Euric, Evroul (or Evroult), Farabert, Fardulf, Faro, Flodoard, Floribert, Folcard, Folmar, Fredegar, Fridolin, Fridugis, Fulbert, Fulcaire, Fulk, Fulrad, Gararic, Garivald, Gerbert, Gereon, Gerold, Gifemund, Giselbert (or Gilbert), Giseler, Giso, Godobald, Godomar, Godun, Goisfrid, Gondulph, Goscelin, Gozbert, Gozolon, Grimbald, Grimald (or Grimoald), Grifo (or Griffon), Guido (or Wido), Gundobad, Gundovald, Gunthar, Guntram, Hagen, Halinard, Hardrad, Hartgard, Hartmut, Hartnid, Helinand, Helisachar, Heribert, Hildebald, Hildebold, Hildeprand, Hilduin, Hincmar, Hlodver, Hrodbert (later Robert), Hruoland (later Roland), Hubert, Huebald, Humbert, Hunald, Imbert, Imninon, Imnachar, Ingelram (later Enguerrand), Ingobert, Ingomer, Ingund, Jocelin (or Josselyn), Lambert, Lanfranc, Laudus, Lebuin, Ledger, Leger, Leodegar, Leudast, Leufrid (or Leutfred or Leufroy), Leuthard (or Letard or Leuthere), Liudhard, Liudolf, Lo, Lothar, Lull (or Lul), Maiuel, Maixent, Magnachar, Magneric, Malaric, Mallobaudes, Marachar, Maraulf, Marcomir, Matfrid, Mauger, Medard, Meginhard, Merobaudes, Merovech, Monulph, Munderic, Nevelung, Nibelung, Nithard, Notger, Norbert (or Nordbert), Notker, Odalric, Odilon, Odo (Eudes), Odulf, Omer, Otbert, Otker, Otto (or Otton), Otker, Ouen, Philibert, Pippin (or Pepin), Priarios, Radigis, Ragnachar, Ragnfred, Ramnulf, Rathar, Rathier, Ratold, Reginar (or Reginard), Remacle, Ricbodo, Ricchar (or Richer), Ricfried, Richomer, Rigunth, Rothad, Samson, Sichar, Siegfried (or Sigefroy), Sigeric, Sigibert (or Sigebert), Sigismund, Suger, Suidbert, Suidger, Sunnegisil, Sunno, Tassilo, Tescelin, Teutfride, Thankmar, Theodard, Theodebert, Theodemir, Theodon, Theodoric (later Dietrich/Thierry/Theodore), Theodulf (or Theodulph), Theodwin, Theudebald, Theudebert, Theuderic, Theutgaud, Thietmar, Turpin, Unroch, Vedast, Vicelin, Vigor, Vulmar, Waiofar, Wala, Walaric, Waleran, Walcaud, Waldolanus, Waltgaud, Wandregisel (or Wandregisilus), Wandrille, Warmann, Wazo, Werinbert, Wibert, Wichmann, Willehad, Willibald, Willibrord, Willichar, Wolbodo, Wulfhard, Wulfram, Zwentibold.
Male names : 11th to 16th century
Adalbert, Albert, Ameil, Anselme, Arnaud, Arnold (or Arnould), Arnulf, Baudouin, Bernard, Bertrand, Englebert, Erard, Ernest, Ernut, Erwin, Eubert, Eude, Evrard, Frederic, Gerard, Geoffroy, Gilles, Giselbert, Gobert, Godefroid (or Godfroy, Godfried, Gottfried, Godfred), Guillaume, Guy, Henri, Huart, Hubert, Hubin, Hubinet, Humbert, Huwes, Josse, Lambert, Léonard, Libert, Louis, Oger, Olivier, Ottar(d), Ottekin, Otton (or Othon), Oury, Raes, Raoul, Rasse, Rasson, Raymond, Reginar, Renard, Renaud, Rennechon, Renier, Richard, Rigaud (or Rigault), Robert, Roger, Roland, Rudolf, Ruward, Soiffart, Thibaut, Thierry, Waléran, Walter, Warnier, Wauthier (later Gauthier)
Adaltrude, Adallind(a), Adelhaid (or Adelheid), Adda, Albofleda, Alpaide (or Alpais, Alpaida, Elfide, Chalpaida), Ansgard, Aregund, Aubirge, Aude (or Oda), Audofleda, Audovera, Austrechild, Atula (or Athalia or Adele) Baldechildis, Basina, Bave, Berchildis, Begga, Berenga, Beretrude, Berga, Bertha (or Berthe), Berthefled, Berthefried, Berthegund, Bertoane, Bertrada, Bilichildis, Blesinde, Brunhild(a), Burgundefara, Chlodeswinthe, Chlodosind, Chlothsinda, Chrodechildis, Chrodtrude, Clotild(e), Chunsina, Cunegonde (or Kunegund or Cunegundis or Cunegund) , Deuteria, Ealswid, Eadgithu, Ellinrat, Engelberge (or Ingelburga or Engelberga), Engeltrude, Ermenberga, Ermengard(e), Ermentrudis, Faileuba, Fara, Fastrada, Fredegunde, Galswinth, Genofeva, Gerberga, Gersvinda, Gisela, Gundrada (or Gundradis), Gomatrudis, Goiswinth, Gundrade, Guntheuc, Gunza, Hamesindis, Hatilde, Herleva, Hildeburg, Hildegard(e), Hildegund, Hiltrude, Himiltrud, Hodierna, Ingeltrud, Ingitrude, Ingoberg, Ingunde, Irmgard (or Irmingard), Itta, Joveta, Lanthechilde, Leubast, Leubovera, Liobsynde, Liutgarde (or Luitgarde), Madelgarde, Magnatrude, Marcatrude, Marcovefa, Madelgarde (or Madelgarda), Mechtild (later Mathilde), Merofled, Merwig, Moschia, Nantechildis, Ogiva, Plectrudis, Radegund (or Radogund), Ragnachilde, Regintrude, Regnetrudis, Reineldis, Rigunth, Rosamund, Rotrud (or Hruothraud), Ruodhaid (or Rothaide), Ruothild(e), Rothaide, Rotrude (or Rotrudis), Ruothilde, Swanahilde, Teutberga, Theoderada (or Theodrada), Theodelinda, Theoderada (or Theodrade), Theudechild, Theudelinde, Theutberga, Ultrogotha, Veneranda, Vuldretrada, Vulfegundis, Waldrada, Wisigard.
Female names : 11th to 16th century
Adèle, Adelhaid (later Adélaïde), Adélaïs, Aldegonde, Adylide, Alÿde, Bertha, Bertheline, Ermengarde, Ermesinde, Gertrude, Juwette, Hedwide (or Hadwide), Helwide (or Halwide), Mahaut, Mathilde, Mechtilde, Odile, Otheline, Renewis, Sibille, Walburge