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Juvenile History of France (Classic Reprint)

Juvenile History of France (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Juvenile History of France

Nearly 2500 years ago, a company of men from Greece, sailing along the northern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, stopped near the mouth of the Rhone in the country now known as France, but then called Gaul. Here they founded the colony now called Marseilles. At this time three great races lived in Gaul, and they soon became very jealous of these strangers who had settled in their country, and commenced a war with them The people of Marseilles sent to Rome to ask for help, and the Romans came very willingly under their governor, Julius C?sar, and soon defeated the Gauls. In the last battle their chief, Vercingetorix, after fighting for a long time in the fields, shut himself up with his army in a fortified town, which was soon surrounded by C?sar and his soldiers. At last hunger and despair induced Vercingetorix to ask for peace. He rode into the Roman camp all alone, wearing his richest armor, and hoping to move C?sar's heart, threw on the ground his spear, his helmet and his sword. He was sent a prisoner to Rome, and, six years afterward, was led through the streets in chains. Soon all Gaul fell into the hand of the Romans.

In the year 476 we find three great tribes had settled in Gaul, and the Roman power was at an end. These were the Franks, the Burgundians and the Visigoths. Their first king was Clovis, a descendant of Merov?us, from whom this dynasty is named. Clovis married Clotilda, who was a Christian, and tried very hard to convert her husband. He refused, however, although he allowed his eldest son to be baptized. At last an accident occurred which brought about the event. He was at war with a German tribe, and in one of the battles, fearing he was being defeated, he raised his hands to heaven, and praying to Clotilda's God, promised that if he should gain the victory he would be a Christian. He then continued the battle, and gained, and he and many thousands of his soldiers were baptized. During this reign was introduced the Feudal system, the word feud meaning property held as a reward.

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