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Boek: History of the Later Roman Empire

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Auteur: John Bagnall Bury

Uitgeverij: Macmillan & Co, Ltd



The Salian Franks had been living for nearly seventy years in the north-eastern corner of Lower Belgica, in the district known as Thoringia, where they had been settled as Federates by the Emperor Constantius II and Julian. In these lands of the Meuse and Scheldt they seem to have lived peacefully enough within the borders assigned to them by Rome. They were ruled by more than one king, but the principal royal family, which was ultimately to extinguish all the others, was the Merovingian. They seemed to be the least formidable of all the German peoples settled within the Empire, though they were destined to become the lords of all Gaul.

The first step on the path of expansion seems to have been taken by Chlodio, the first of the long-haired Merovingian kings whose name is recorded. Taking advantage of the weakening of the Roman power, which was manifest to all, he invaded Artois. Aetius led an army against him and defeated him at Vicus Helenae, about A.D. 428. But before his death Chlodio seems to have succeeded in extending his power as far as the Somme, crossing the Carbonarian Forest (the Ardennes) and capturing Cambrai. This annexation was probably recognised by the Imperial government; for the Salians remained federates of the Empire and were to fight repeatedly in the cause of Rome.

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