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SIR AUGUSTUS WOLLASTON FRANKS (1826-1...

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Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 36 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR AUGUSTUS WOLLASTON FRANKS (1826-1897), English antiquary, was born on the loth of March 1826, and was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He early showed inclination for antiquarian pursuits, and in 1851 was appointed assistant in the Antiquities Department of the British Museum. Here, and as director of the Society of Antiquaries, an appointment he received in 1858, he made himself the first authority in England upon medieval antiquities of all descriptions, upon porcelain, glass, the manufactures of savage nations, and in general upon all Oriental curiosities and works of art later than the Classical period. 111'1866 the British and medieval antiquities, with the ethnographical collections, were formed into a distinct department under his superintendence; and the Christy collection of ethnography in Victoria Street, London, prior to its amalgamation with the British Museum collections, was also under his care. He became vice-president and ultimately president of the Society of Antiquaries, and in 1878 declined the principal librarianship of the museum. He retired on his seventieth birthday, 1896, and died on the 21st of May 1897. His ample fortune was largely devoted to the collection of ceramics and, precious objects of medieval art, most bf which became the property of the nation, either by donation in his lifetime or by bequest at his death. Although chiefly a medieval antiquary, Franks was also an authority on classical art, especially Roman remains in Britain: he was also greatly interested in book-marks and playing-cards, of both of which he formed important collections. He edited Kemble's Horae Ferales, and wrote numerous memoirs on archaeological subjects. Perhaps his most important work of this class is the catalogue of his own collection of porcelain. 36 soldiers; Salii seniores and Salii juniores are mentioned in the Notitia dignitatum, and Salii appear among the auxilia palatina. At the end of the 4th century and at the beginning of the 5th, when the Roman legions withdrew from the banks of the Rhine, the Salians installed themselves in the district as an independent people. The place-names became entirely Germanic; the Latin language disappeared; and the Christian religion suffered a check, for the Franks were to a man pagans. The Salians were subdivided into a certain number of tribes, each tribe placing at its head a king, distinguished by his long hair and chosen from the most noble family (Historia Francorum, ii. 9). The most ancient of these kings, reigning over the principal tribe, who is known to us is Chlodio .l According to Gregory of Tours Chlodio dwelt at a place called Dispargum, which it is impossible to identify. Towards 431 he crossed the great Roman road from Bavay to Cologne, which was protected by numerous forts and had long arrested the invasions of the barbarians. He then invaded the territory of Arras, but was severely defeated at Hesdin-le-Vieux by Aetius, the commander of the Roman army in Gaul. Chlodio, however, soon took his revenge. He explored the region of Cambrai, seized that town, and occupied all the country as far as the Somme. At this time Tournai became the capital of the Salian Franks. After Chlodio a certain Meroveus (Merowech) was king of the Salian Franks. We do not know if he was the son of Chlodio; Gregory of Tours simply says that he belonged to Chlodio's stock —" de hujus stirpe quidam Merovechum regem fuisse adserunt," —and then only gives the fact at second hand. Perhaps the remarks of the Byzantine historian Priscus may refer to Meroveus. A king of the Franks having died, his two sons disputed the power. The elder journeyed into Pannonia to obtain support from Attila; the younger betook himself to the imperial court at Rome. " I have seen him," writes Priscus; "he was still very young, and we all remarked his fair hair which fell upon his shoulders." Aetius welcomed him warmly and sent him back a friend and foederatus. In any case, eventually, Franks fought (451) in the Roman ranks at the great battle of Mauriac (the Catalaunian Fields), which arrested the progress of Attila into Gaul; and in the Vita Lupi, which, though undoubtedly of later date, is a recension of an earlier document, the name of Meroveus appears among the combatants. Towards 457 Meroveus was succeeded by his son Childeric. At first Childeric was a faithful foederatus of the Romans, fighting for them against the Visigoths and the Saxons south of the Loire; but he soon sought to make himself independent and to extend his conquests. He died in 481 and was succeeded by his son Clovis, who conquered the whole of Gaul with the exception of the kingdom of Burgundy and Provence. Clovis made his authority recognized over the other Salian tribes (whose kings dwelt at Cambrai and other cities), and put an end to the domination of the Ripuarian Franks. These Ripuarians must have comprised a certain number of Frankish tribes, such as the Ampsivarii and the Bructeri. They settled in the 5th century in compact masses on the left bank of the Rhine, but their progress was slow. It was not until the Christian writer Salvian (who was born about 400) had already reached a fairly advanced age that they were able to seize Cologne. The town, however, was recaptured and was not definitely in their possession until 463. The Ripuarians subsequently occupied all the country from Cologne to Trier. Aix-la-Chapelle, Bonn and Zulpich were their principal centres, and they even advanced southward as far as Metz, which appears to have resisted their attacks. The Roman civilization and the Latin language disappeared from the countries which they occupied; indeed it seems that the actual boundaries of the German and French languages nearly coincide with those of their dominion. In their southward progress the Ripuarians 1 The chronicler Fredegarius and the author of the Liber historiae Francorum make Sunno and Marcomeres his predecessors, but in reality they were chiefs of other Frankish tribes. The author of the Liber also claims that Chlodio was the son of Pharamund, but this personage is quite legendary. In the Chronicon of Fredegarius it is already affirmed that the Franks are descended from the Trojans.encountered the Alamanni, who, already masters of Alsace, were endeavouring to extend their conquests in all directions. There were numerous battles between the Ripuarians and the Alamanni; and the memory of one fought at Zulpich has come down to us. In this battle Sigebert, the king of the Ripuarians, was wounded in the knee and limped during the remainder of his life—hence his surname Claudus (the Lame). The Ripuarians long remained allies of Clovis, Sigebert's son Chloderic fighting under the king of the Salian Franks at Vouille in 507. Clovis, however, persuaded Chloderic to assassinate his father, and then posed as Sigebert's avenger, with the result that Chloderic was himself assassinated and the Ripuarians raised Clovis on the shield and chose him as king. Thus the Salian Franks united under their rule all the Franks on the left bank of the Rhine. During the reigns of Clovis's sons they again turned their eyes on Germany, and imposed their suzerainty upon the Franks on the right bank. This country, north of the Main and the first residence of the Franks, then received the name of Francia Orientalis, and became the origin of one of the duchies into which Germany was divided in the loth century—the duchy of Franconia (Franken). The Franks were redoubtable warriors, and were generally of great stature. Their fair or red hair was brought forward from the crown of the head towards the forehead, leaving the nape of the neck uncovered; they shaved the face except the upper lip. They wore fairly close breeches reaching to the knee and a tunic fastened by brooches. Round the waist over the tunic was worn a leathern girdle having a broad iron buckle damascened with silver. From the girdle hung the single-edged missile axe or francisca, the scramasax or short knife, a poniard and such articles of toilet as scissors, a comb (of wood or bone), &c. The Franks also used a weapon called the framea (an iron lance set firmly in a wooden shaft), and bows and arrows. They protected themselves in battle with a large wooden or wicker shield, the centre of which was ornamented with an iron boss (umbo). Frankish arms and armour have been found in the cemeteries which abound throughout northern France, the warriors being buried fully armed. See J. Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthiimer (Gottingen, 1828) ; K. Mullenhoff, Deutsche Altertumskunde (Berlin, 1883—1900) ; E. von Wietersheim, Geschichte der Volkerwanderung, 2nd ed., ed. by F. Dahn (Leipzig, 188o—1881); G. Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, vol. i. (4th ed. revised by Zeumer) ; R. Schroder, " Die Ausbreitung der salischen Franken," in Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, vol. xix. ; K. Lamprecht, Frdnkische Wanderungen and Ansiedelungen (Aix-la-Chapelle, 1882) ; W. Schultz, Deutsche Geschichte von der Urzeit bis zu den Karolingern, vol. ii. (Stuttgart, 1896) ; Fustel de Coulanges, Histoire des institutions politiques de l'ancienne France—l'invasion germanique (Paris, 1891). Also the articles SALIC LAW and GERMANIC LAWS, EARLY. (C. PF.)
End of Article: SIR AUGUSTUS WOLLASTON FRANKS (1826-1897)
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