« PreviousContinue »
of the Gothick War; For where he describes the place where the Rhine falls into the Ocean; “In these parts (says he ) there are great “ Marshes, where of old the Germans dwelt; “ a barbarous People, and at that time of small “ Reputation, which now are called Franks---. And Zonarus, in the 3d. Tome of his Annals, quotes this very Passage of Procopius. Also Flavius Vopiscus, in his Life of Probus, tells, us, That the Franks were discomfited by Probus in their inaccessible Marshes. ---Testes sunt Franci inviis strati paludibus. Also Sidonius Apollinaris says thus;
“ Francorum dy penitissimas paludes,
Now what we have said concerning the Neiglibourhood of the Franks to the Chauci, may be plainly proved by comparing of Places, and the Descriptions of their particular Seats. Those of the Chauci are described by Pliny, lib. 16. cap. 1. Those of the Franks by the Rbetorician Panegyrist, above-mentioned: For Pliny says thus, “We have seen in the Northern 6C parts the Nations of the Cbauci , called
Majores B Minores, where twice every 24
great way over the Land, thro' a vast Paf“ sage which is there, making it a perpetual
Controversy, of Nature ; and a Doubr, “ whether it ought to be reckon'd part of the “ Land or of the Sea.
The Panegyrist speaks in these Terms , 5 ---- Quanquam illa Regio, &c. When thy noble " Expeditions, O Cæfar, have proceeded so. “ far, as to clear and conquer that Country,
“ which the Rhine runs through, with his cun “ ning Mæanders or Windings, [Meatibus calli
dis, for so it must be read, and not Scaldis, as in some Copies, ] and embraces in his Arms a Region, which I can scarce call Land ; 'tis fo foak'd with Water, that not only the Marshy part of it gives way, but
even that which seems more firm, Thakes “when trod upon, and trembles at a distance “ under the weight of the foot.
We think therefore we have made it plain from what Seats the Nation of the Franks first came into Gallia ; that is to say, from that marshy Country which lies upon the Ocean, between the Rivers Elb and Rhine : which may be further confirm'd by this Argument. That the Franks were very well skill'd in maritime affairs, and sail'd far and near all about those Coasts : For so says Eutropius, lib. 9. where he gives a short History of the Emperor Galienus.“ Af“ ter this time, when Caraufius had in charge " to scour the Sea-coasts of Belgia and Armori“ ca, then infefted by the Franks and Saxons, &c. The very fame thing Paulus Orofius mentions, lib. 7. Also what the Panegyrist, before cited, says in a certain place, has reference to this.--“ The Franks (lays he) are cruel above all “ others; the tide of whose warlike fury sur« mounting that of their very Ocean it self, “ carried them to the Sea-coasts of Spain, which
they very much infefted with their Depreda& tions. And therefore the Emperor Justinian, when he explains to the General Governor of Af frick the duty of his Office, makes mention of those Franks which were seated in a certain part of Gallia, bordering upon Spain.
But we find a very memorable passage, which highly sers forth the great Glory of their warlike Atchievements, in another place of that Panegyrick; viz. That a small Body of Franks, which Probus the Emperor had overcome and carried captive into Pontus, seiz'd on some Ships, wandred all about the Sea-coasts of Græcia and Asia, invaded Sicily, took Syracula, and afterwards laden with booty, return’d into the Ocea an thro' the Streights of Gibraltar. “Recursa“ bat in animos Tub Divo Probo & paucorum ex “ Francis Captivorum incredibilis' audacia, & “ indigna felicitas : qui à Ponto usque cor
reptis navibus, Græciam Afiamque populaci, nec impune plerisque Lybiæ littoribus appula si, ipfas postremò navalibus quondam victo
riis nobiles ceperant Syracusas : & immenso “ itinere permensi, Oceanum, qua terras rupit § intraverant : atque ita eventu temeritatis “ oftenderant, nihil effe clausum piraticæ de“ fperationi quò navigiis pateret accessus. •
And, as farther Arguments of what I have been proving, may be added all those places in several Authors, which inform us that the Habitations of the Franks were Bordering upon the Batavians. The same Rhetorician, in his Speeches to Maximianus and Constantine, says --“ Many thousand Franks, who had crossed the " Rhine, and invaded Batavia, with other Coun“ tries on this side, were slain, driven out, or “ carried away captive.
Besides, there is a notable instance in Corn, Tacitus, lib. 20. where speaking of the Neighbourhood of Frisia and Batavia to each other, he mixes the Caninefates among them, whose custom in Electing their Kings was (as I shall hereafter shew) the very fame with that of the
Franks. Franks. " Ambassadors (says he ) were fent “ to the Canincfates, to persuade them to enter “ into the Confederacy: That People inhabit
one part of the Island, equal as to their “ Descent, Laws and Valour, to the Batavians ; “ but inferior in number. And again---Brin“ nio being set upon a Shield (according to " the Custom of the Country) and hoisted up « on men's Shoulders, was chosen their Com“ mander. Which words will prove of no small authority for us, when we come hereafter to that part of the Controverfy.
The case being so; I cannot forbear wondring at the opinion of the learned Andreas Turnebus, who despising the Authority of so many grave and ancient Writers, says, that he thinks the Franks were originally of Scandinavia : because in Ptolomy he finds the Phirassi seated in that Peninsula, which word he will needs suppose to be corrupted; and that, instead of it, the word Franci ought to be there : but brings no reason for his opinion more than his own mere guess, tho this opinion differs manifestly from all other ancient Authors.
As to all those who are pleas'd with Fables, and have deduced the Original of the Franks from the Trojans, and from one Francion, a Son of Priam, we can only fay, that they furnish Materials for Poets rather than Historians: And among such, William Bellay deserves the first place, who, tho' he was a Person of singular Learning and extraordinary Ingenuity ; yet in his Book, which treats of the Antiquities of Gallia and France, seems rather to have design'd a Romance, like that of Amedis, than a true Hiitory of the Francogallicen Affairs.
froras to a deduce
CHAP. V. Of the Name of the Franks, and their
sundry Excursions ; and what time they first began to establish a Kingdom in Gallia.
RUT I think it requisite that we shou'd enD quire a little more carefully into this Name of Franks; which, as we told you before, is not 'to be found in any of the ancient Descriptions of Germany. That I may no longer detain the Reader in suspence, it must needs be, that either the Nation of the Franks, by which such mighty things were done, was at first very obscure and mean, (as we see in Switz, an ordinary Village ;) yet because the first beginning of the Liberty of those Countries proceeded from thence, gave the name of Switzers to all the rest of the Cantons : Or (which seems to me most probable ) this Appellation had its Original from the occasion; viz. When those that set up for the prime Leaders and Beginners, in recovering the publick liberty, called themselves Franks; by which name the Germans understood such as were Free, and under no Sera vitude; as the Writers of that Nation do unanimously hold : And therefore in ordinary Speech, by a Frank was meant a Freeman: byla Franchise, an Asylum, or place of refuge ; and Francisare signified to restore to liberty and freedom. The first proof we shall give of this, is, what Procopius in his first Book of the Gothick