in a kingdom of barbarian invaders located in present-day France.
5th- or 6th-century Frankish warrior
Under the Merovingian
dynasty, the Franks became Christian in the late fifth century at the
time of the baptism of the Frankish king, Clovis. In the early sixth century
the Franks conquered the Burgundians and united much of what is now France.
The Franks under the leadership of Charles Martel defeated Muslim
invaders of Europe at the Battle of Tours (732). One of Martel's descendants,
Charlemagne, as king of the Franks,
founded the Carolingian dynasty and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in
800. Under Charlemagne, the Frankish kingdom became a center of learning
and reforming influence in the church throughout the new empire. It also
became the seat from which emperors would contest the authority of popes
over both church and state.