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Francio, King of the West Franks (Fictitious)

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Francio de Lorraine, roi des Francs occidentaux

French: Francus I de Lorraine, roi des Francs occidentaux, German: Francio Des Sicambred des Francs, roi des Francs occidentaux
Also Known As: "Francio", "Francus"
Birthplace: France
Death: circa -7 (34-50)
Immediate Family:

Son of Antharius, King of the Sicambrii (Fictitious Person)
Father of Francus; Herimerus King of the Franks; Chlodio II, King of the West Franks (Fictitious) and Genebald of The Franks
Brother of Cassander de La Cheiftan Ilium

Occupation: 1st King of the West Franks (Sicambrian Franks)) Franks (39 BCE-11 BCE), King of the West Franks, King of the Franks
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Francio, King of the West Franks (Fictitious)

Francus was the eponymous ancestor and legendary hero of the Franks. According to legend, he changed the name of his tribe from Sicambrii to Franks by edit. He formed a league with the German princes, and led a Frankish, Saxon, and Thuringian army of 300,000 men to fight against the Romans.

Francus seems to have been an invention of Merovingian historians. Gregory of Tours, a 6th century Gallo-Roman historian wrote that nothing was known about the origin of the Franks except that they came from Pannonia. Gregory names some of the kings a few generations before his time but does not provide a connected genealogy. Francus is first named as an ancestor of the Franks by Fredegar (7th century), who also says he was a descendant of the Trojan king Priam but gives no details (Chronicon, II, 4-6, III, 2, 9).

In Les Grandes Chroniques (15th century) Francus was identified with Astyanax, son of the Trojan prince Hector (Chroniques de Saint-Denis, livre I, chap. I), but the chronology required a second, earlier Francus. In later iterations, the earlier Francus became a son of the Trojan prince Cestrinus, who was identified with Genger, king of the Cimmerian Bosporus, and this Francus became the son of Antharius, king of the Sicambrii.

Francus (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Francus, the invention of Merovingian scholars, is a legendary eponymous king of the Franks, a descendant of the Trojans, founder of the Merovingian dynasty and forefather of Charlemagne. In the Renaissance, Francus was generally considered to be another name for the Trojan Astyanax (son of Hector) saved from the destruction of Troy. He is not considered to be historical, but in fact an attempt by medieval and Renaissance chroniclers to model the founding of France upon the same illustrious tradition as that used by Virgil in his Aeneid (which had Rome founded by the Trojan Aeneas).[1] The 7th century Chronicle of Fredegar contains the oldest mention of a medieval legend thus linking the Franks to the Trojans.[2] The Carolingian Liber historiae Francorum elaborates new details,[3] and the tradition continued to be elaborated throughout the Middle Ages, when it was taken seriously as genealogy and became a "veritable form of ethnic consciousness".[4]

The 8th century Nennius' Historia Brittonum makes mention of Francus as one of the four sons of Hisicion (Francus, Romanus, Alamanus, and Brutus), grandsons of Alanus, the first man to live in Europe.[5]

The Grandes Chroniques de France (13th - 15th centuries), a vast compilation of historic material, make reference of the Trojan origins of the French dynasty.[6]

Johannes Trithemius' De origine gentis Francorum compendium (1514) describes the Franks as originally Trojans (called "Sicambers" or "Sicambrians") after the fall of Troy who came into Gaul after being forced out of the area around the mouth of the Danube by the Goths in 439 B.C. (section 1, p, 33). He also details the reigns of each of these kings—including Francus (section 43, p. 76) from whom the Franks are named—and their battles with the Gauls, Goths, Saxons, etc.[7]

Annio da Viterbo also describes the arrival of Trojans into Gaul.[8]

Based on the medieval legend, Jean Lemaire de Belges's Illustrations de Gaule et Singularités de Troie (1510–12) has Astyanax survive the fall of Troy and arrive in Western Europe. He changes his name to Francus and becomes king of Celtic Gaul (while, at the same time, Bavo, cousin of Priam, comes to the city of Trier) and founds the dynasty leading to Pepin and Charlemagne.[9] He is said to have founded and named the city of Paris in honor of his uncle Paris.

Gilles Corrozet's La Fleur des antiquitez... de Paris (1532) describes Francis I as the 64th descendant of Hector of Troy.[10]

Lemaire de Belges' work inspired Pierre de Ronsard's epic poem La Franciade (1572). In this poem, Jupiter saves Astyanax (renamed Francus). The young hero arrives in Crete and falls in love with the princess Hyanthe with whom he is destined to found the royal dynasty of France.

Mythological origins

Like many Germanic peoples, the Franks developed an origin story to connect themselves with peoples of antiquity. In the case of the Franks, these peoples were the Sicambri and the Trojans.

In the tradition of translatio imperii, many medieval authors established Greek or Roman genealogies for European dynasties:

  • Brutus of Troy - the legendary founder of Britain
  • Benoît de Saint-Maure, in his Chronique des ducs de Normandie, linked the Plantagenet family to Aeneas.[11]

An anonymous work of 727 called Liber Historiae Francorum states that following the fall of Troy, 12,000 Trojans led by chiefs Priam and Antenor moved to the Tanais (Don) river, settled in Pannonia near the Maeotis, now Sea of Azov, and founded a city called "Sicambria". In just two generations (Priam and his son Marcomer) from the fall of Troy (by modern scholars dated in the late Bronze Age) they arrive in the late fourth century at the Rhine. An earlier variation of this story can be read in Fredegar. In Fredegar's version an early king named Francio serves as namegiver for the Franks, just as Romulus has lent his name to Rome.

Grandes Chroniques

Selon les Grandes Chroniques de France, les Gaulois et les Franks étaient issues des fugitifs de Troie, les uns par Brutus, prétendu fils d’Ascanius, fils d’Énée, les autres par Francus ou Francion, fils d’Hector. Voici de quelle manière la narration commençait:

‘Quatre cent et quatre ans avant que Rome fût fondée, régnait Priam en Troie la grande. Il envoya Pâris, l’aîné de des fils, en Grèce pour ravir la reine Hélène, la femme au roi Ménélas, pour se venger d’une honte que les Grecs lui avaient faite. Le Gréjois, qui moult furent courroucés de cette chose, s’émurent pour aller et vinrent assiéger Troie. À ce siege, qui dix ans dura, furent occis tous les fils du roi Priam, lui et la reine Hécube, sa femme; la cité fut arse et détruite, le people et les barons occis. Mais aucuns échappèrent et plusieurs des princes de le cité s’espandirent ès diverses parties du monde pour quérir nouvelles habitations, comme Hélénus, Élyas et Anthenor, et maints autres…. Énéas, qui était un des plus grands princes du Troie, se mit en mer avec trois mille et quatre cents Troyens …. Turcus et Francion, qui étaient cousins germains (car Francion était fils d’Hector, et ce Turcus fils de Troylus, qui étaient frère et fils du roi Priam), se départirent de leur contrée, et allèrent habiter tout auprés une terre qui est appelée Thrace… Quand ensemble eurent habité un grand temps, Turcus se départit de Francion, son cousin, lui et une partie du people qu’il emmena avec lui; en une contrée s’en alla, qui est nommée la petite Scythie…. Francus demeura, après que son cousin se fut de lui départi, et fonda une cité qu’il appela Sicambrie, et long-temps ses gens furent appelés Sicambriens pour le nom de cette cité. Ils étaient tributaires aux Romains, comme les autres nations; mille cinq cent sept ans demeurèrent en cette cite, depuis qu’ils l’eurent fondée. Chronique de Saint-Denis, livre I, chap. I; apud script. Rerum francie., t. III, p. 155.


Born ca. 100 BC France. Died ca. 7 BC France