Who were the Franks and what were their pre-Christian roots? This is a question that has caused confusion and headache among those searching for the answers. Even the origin of their name has been hotly debated, although the generally accepted origin of frank
is found in the Germanic root *fr-k, which relates this word intimately to the Old English frec
, Old High German freh
and New High German frech
as well as the Old Saxon frôcni
This etymological connection leads us to speculate that by some austere quality of their constitution, they came to be known to others as the “bold, forward and wanton.”
As a modern heathen reconstructionist with primarily French (Burgundian, Norman and Belgian) ancestry, it has been my explicit goal to reconstruct the worldview of this motley confederation of Germanic and Celtic tribes to better understand how they reckoned the world around them and what form their relationship with the holy powers may have taken.
It is not sufficient, in my opinion, to simply raise a toast to Merovech and call myself a ‘modern Frank’. There are plenty of heathens today who take up the name and identity of a particular cultural group without putting the effort into understanding, through research and experimentation, the worldview of those they have chosen to emulate. I have also heard the argument, “We don’t have enough information on them so we do it our way.” This is not, however, a factual representation of what we do have on the subject; despite popular belief the Franks have left us many, many clues into their lives. These may not be to the extent of the Scandinavian sources of the same periods, but what we do have in the form of archaeology, historical texts and comparative etymology is worthy of note.