Saturday, April 14, 2007

Early history of Belgium

455-843 Frankish Empire: The start of the great divide

A slow peaceful invasion takes place - more like a colonisation of the sparsely populated lands of today's Flanders. It was at this time that the division between the Flemish and Walloons originated.

The Franks were not conquerors. Accepted by the Romans as mercenaries with their own chiefs, they were loyal to Rome and considered themselves a part of its army. They used its political organisation and titles, and even dressed in Roman style. But the language became Frankish, a primitive form of Dutch, and was used throughout the region right down to Paris and the Loire. Latin was the language of the church. Frankish was used for administration. The upper/ruling classes employed both...