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A member of a Germanic people that conquered Gaul in the 6th century and controlled much of western Europe for several centuries afterwards. Also (in the eastern Mediterranean region), a person of western European nationality or descent.

The name is recorded from Old English (in form Franca) and is of Germanic origin, perhaps from the name of a weapon and related to Old English franca ‘javelin’; it is ultimately related to France and French.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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