top of page


The success of the Lombards was temporary. Under the pretense of restoring to the papacy its lost territories, Pope Stephen II (r. 752-57) persuaded the FRANKS (another Germanic tribe) to invade Italy.

The Franks originated as a number of German tribes that migrated from Northern Europe into the territory known today as France, which is where the country of France derived its name from. During the Middle Ages, two dynasties ruled the Franks, i.e. the Merovingians and the Carolingnians.

​First united under King Clovis, who founded the Merovingian Dynasty in 509, they ruled the Franks for 200 years.  Most notably, King Clovis was the first king of the Franks who converted to Christianity and was subsequently recognized as king by the Pope.

​The Merovingian Dynasty ended when “Pepin der Jüngere” or “Pepin the Short”, with the support of  the Frankish nobles, assumed power and established the Carolingian Dynasty which would rule the Franks from 751 to 843.

King Clovis
Pepin the Short

King Clovis I

Pepin The Short


In 774 the Franks expelled the Lombard rulers; Lombard territory passed into the hands of the Frankish ruler CHARLEMAGNE, Pepin’s son, who was crowned emperor of the Romans in 800.

The following century was marked by continual battles between Franks and Byzantines, which mostly benefited the SARACENS who had recently migrated from North Africa. Contrary to their original objective of assisting rebels against the Byzantine Empire, the Saracens remained to conquer Sicily (827-78), and established outposts throughout southern Italy.

In 846 they launched an attack on Rome itself. The collapse of the Carolingian empire in the 9th century, at the same time as the resurgence of Byzantium under the Macedonian dynasty, caused a brief return to eastern influence.


Images: subscription

bottom of page