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The Merovingian Gaul

The Merovingian Gaul

The Merovingian Gaul

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When the Frankish king Clovis, founder of the French monarchy, came to power, Gaul became Merovingian (from Merovech, the Frankish chieftain, perhaps legendary, who was said to be the ancestor of Clovis). The inhabitants of the kingdom, some of barbarian origin but the majority from Gallo-Roman times, were all soon known as Francs. Gaul gradually became France.

In spite of the rapid spread of Christianity, the dead were often still buried, particularly in northern Gaul and during the 6th century, with their weapons and their skilfully made, lavish jewellery.

Cloisonné jewellery contained garnets (semi-precious, dark red stones imported from Ceylon then from Bohemia) inlaid into a fine framework of metal fillets.

5th to 11th centuries AD

Objects were damascened by inserting silver or brass threads into minute furrows etched into the iron; many belt plaques were decorated in this way, particularly in the 7th century.
The damascene swords were wrought with iron bars, combining metals with different properties to produce blades that were beautiful, flexible and solid.

5th to 11th centuries AD