Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Frankish Church$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

J. M. Wallace-Hadrill

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269064.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2020

From Paganism to Christianity

From Paganism to Christianity

(p.17) II From Paganism to Christianity
The Frankish Church

J. M. Wallace‐Hadrill

Oxford University Press

The Franks, or any other Germanic people, were not pagan one day and Christian the next; this simple solution does no justice to the texts and is overthrown by archaeological evidence. Fifth‐century Gaul was Christian and mostly Catholic in a formal sense, but behind the forms lay a scarcely converted countryside where Celtic and other pagan beliefs still worried the clergy, and remained active in the 6th and 7th centuries, not only in indigenous peoples, but also in the various settler enclaves; these pagan beliefs also affected the way the Franks accepted Christianity. This is one side of the picture; the other is the nature of Germanic paganism — no sense can be made of Frankish Christianity, when it comes, unless allowance is first made for the fact that all Germans were religious people, conditioned by the sense they had of good and evil, life and death, gods and demons. This can best be seen in the archaeological evidence from their remote homeland in a more distant time, and much can be inferred from later literary evidence. This chapter discusses Frankish (Germanic) interest in and worship of pagan gods and heroes (Woden, in particular), Frankish grave gods (and the grave gods of settlers, with which they can be easily confused), the new religion the Franks found and were converted to under Clovis (or Chlodovech), their conqueror from northern Gaul, who was himself a convert to Catholicism, and the difficulties in converting the people in the countryside, where there had been a fusion of Germanic and Celtic paganism.

Keywords:   archaeological evidence, Catholicism, Celtic paganism, Christianity, Clovis, conversion, Frankish Christianity, Frankish grave gods, Gaul, Germanic paganism, grave gods, history, literary evidence, pagan gods, pagan heroes, paganism, religious history, Woden

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .