Rise of the Franks 481–511

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Map Code: Ax00633

The expansion of Frankish territories began under Clovis I, who became leader of his tribe, the Salian Franks, in 481 CE at 15 years old. Clovis soon began expanding his influence, assimilating other Frankish tribes, and strengthening his position by removing familial threats to his power – all the Frankish chiefs came from a single extended family that claimed descent from the pagan god Wotan. In 486 CE he gained control of the territories of the Roman commander Syagrius who was weakened following the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire. In 496 CE Clovis converted to Christianity during his campaign against the Allemani of the lower Rhine area, a factor which would prove useful in securing a level of favour amongst other Catholic powers in the region. Finally, in 509 CE, Clovis I became the first King of all Franks after a lengthy consolidation of power.

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