Page 1039

1039 BARBARIAN ASCENDENCY-TRIBES OF THE NORTH,

laid the foundations of the Kingdom of Lombardy, which continued for more than two

hundred years to be one of the leading barbarian states of the West.

The great race of the Franks, like the Allemanni and the Suevi, first appear as a confederation of tribes. The old names of the Sigambri, Chamavi, Amprivarii, Bructeri, and

Catti are thought to have designated those

early tribal divisions. The native seats of the

race were on the Lower Rhine, where they remained until the third century, when large

bodies of the Frankish warriors began to make

incursions into Gaul. As early as the times

of the Emperor Probus they became a menace

to Roman authority in the North. When

Carausius, who had been sent to defend the

Gallic states against the barbarians, turned

traitor to his master, he made an alliance with

the Franks, to whom in recompense for their

services he gave the country on the Scheldt.

This region they continued to hold till the

reign of Constantine the Great, when they

were repressed by that sovereign, and confined to their original settlements. In the

times of Julian the Apostate, however, they

regained the countries conferred by Carausius, and continued to hold them until the

overthrow of the Empire. They became divided into two nations, known as the Salian

and the Ripuarian Franks. It was the former

division which during the fifth century continued to assail the tribes of Gaul, and presently afterwards, under the chieftain Clovis,

laid the foundations of the Kingdom of the Franks, or France. The Ripuarian Franks

spread southward, occupying both banks of the

Rhine, extending their borders westward to

the Meuse and eastward to the Main. In the

latter region they established the headquarters of their dominion in the country named

Franconia. Both divisions of the nation have

contributed largely to the modern populations

of France and the adjacent parts of Germany.

We now come to two barbarian peoples,

who were properly the progenitors of the

English-speaking race-the Angles and the Saxons. The first were an ancient German

tribe of the North. Though migratory in

their habits, they seem to have found a permanent footing in the Danish islands, where

they multiplied and became a powerful body

of warriors and pirates. From Denmark westward they infested the seas, braving the open

ocean in two-oared boats, and fighting a constant battle with the ferocity of nature. They

made their way to Britain, invaded the island

under the lead of their chieftains, and changed

the name of the conquered country to AngleLand, or England.

The more powerful and noted nations were

the Saxons, whose original seats were in the

north-western lowlands of Germany, along

the Lower Elbe. The name of the race has

been variously derived from sahx, meaning a

knife or short sword, and from Sakaisuna, or

sons of the Sakai, or Scythians. In the earliest times the Saxons were the head of a lowland league, embracing the tribes between the

Skager Rack and the country of the Franks.

The beginning of the fifth century found them

in alliance with the Romans. A little later

they were the leaders of the barbarians by

whom Britain was wrested from the Celts. In

this great movement they were so closely

united with the Angles that the two peoples-

having no particular discrimination from each

other in race, institutions, or language-became known as Anglo-Saxons. These hardy

warriors were, if the tradition of the times may

be accredited, at the first invited by Vortigern,

king of the British Celts, to come over to the

island and aid him in repelling the Picts and

Scots, who, after the withdrawal of the Roman

legions, had broken over the northern border,

and were threatening the Celtic tribes with

destruction. No sooner, however, had the

Saxons landed in the island than their cupidity was aroused, and sending for reinforcements of their countrymen they swept the

Celts before them, and seized the better part

of Britain for themselves. The whole southeastern part of the island passed under the

dominion of the invaders, and the foundations

were presently laid of the petty Saxon kingdoms of Kent, Sussex, Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia, Essex, Bernicia, and Deira, which were destined to constitute the

basis of the greatness of England.

Next in order may be mentioned the