When Paris became capital?

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,023
Canary Islands-Spain
#11
I agree on the Hugh Capet option. That's the real stablishment of the Kingdom of France.
 
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Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,932
Dispargum
#12
To say that the Frankish capital must either be Paris or Aachen (or any other single city) implies a unity that the Franks rarely had. More often than not, the Franks were ruled by multiple kings, each with his own capital. In the 150 or so years leading up to Charlemagne the Frankish realm was usually divided between Neustria in the west with its capital at either Soissons or Paris, and Austrasia in the east with its capital usually at Metz. Charlemagne's dynasty, the Carolingians, had come out of Austrasia so it was natural that they would base out of the east - Metz, Aachen, or some other eastern city.

In the earlier Merovingian times, Neustria usually dominated Austrasia, but the Germanic-speaking Austrasians always resisted assimilation with the more Romanized, increasingly Latin/French-speaking Neustrians. This resistance to assimilation usually expressed itself in the Austrasians usually finding a way to have their Frankish king independent or at least semi-independent of the Neustrian king. (Quite often the two kings were father and son or sometimes they were brothers, but each king had his own court and therefore a different set of advisors.)

Charlemagne ruling a unified Frankish Kingdom and holding court in the east, whether at Aachen or anywhere else, is something of an anomaly in Frankish history. Usually the Frankish realm was divided between multiple kings, kingdoms, courts, and capitals.
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,106
Netherlands
#13
Wait ... the Franks were Germanic, the Gauls were Celtic [like South Western Germans in that age, but this is a different matter]. If you consider "proto-France" a "post-Carolingian Gallic state" the connection with Franks becomes weak: they weren't Gallic, but Germanic. So [as sometime actually I hear] you are saying that the Franks weren't able to make old Gaul a Germanic state. Failing in this, I don't see why we should note a continuity with their Western Kingdom.
i don't know how "Celtic" current France was or how Frankish Austrasia was. The Old French is more Germanic (or Frankish) than later medieval French for example. And certainly still during Hugh Capet the area was considered part of the "Frankish state" judging from Otto II's actions.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,175
Las Vegas, NV USA
#14
i don't know how "Celtic" current France was or how Frankish Austrasia was. The Old French is more Germanic (or Frankish) than later medieval French for example. And certainly still during Hugh Capet the area was considered part of the "Frankish state" judging from Otto II's actions.
Carolingian rule ended ended in the East before the West. Otto the Great was decedent of the first German (Saxon) kings. It was in Otto's interest for a non Carolingian to rule Francia believing he (Otto) would have more influence in France.

From Wikipedia "Hugh Capet: "
Indeed, for the Ottonian to make France a vassal state of the empire, it was imperative that the Frankish king was not of the Carolingian race, and not powerful enough to break the Ottonian tutelage. Hugh Capet was for them the ideal candidate, especially since he actively supported monastic reform in the abbeys while other contenders continued to distribute church revenues to their own partisans. Such conduct could only appeal to Reims, who was very close to the Cluniac movement."

The western populations lost their Celtic character after the Roman conquest and were totally Latinized linguistically. The modern French language has almost no words of Celtic origin and few of Germanic origin. I would assume Hugh Capet spoke a dialect between vulgar Latin and medieval French. The use of word "Frankish" can be confusing because it seems to be used for both Gallic and Germanic populations.
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,106
Netherlands
#15
Carolingian rule ended ended in the East before the West. Otto the Great was decedent of the first German (Saxon) kings. It was in Otto's interest for a non Carolingian to rule Francia believing he (Otto) would have more influence in France.

From Wikipedia "Hugh Capet: "
Indeed, for the Ottonian to make France a vassal state of the empire, it was imperative that the Frankish king was not of the Carolingian race, and not powerful enough to break the Ottonian tutelage. Hugh Capet was for them the ideal candidate, especially since he actively supported monastic reform in the abbeys while other contenders continued to distribute church revenues to their own partisans. Such conduct could only appeal to Reims, who was very close to the Cluniac movement."

The western populations lost their Celtic character after the Roman conquest and were totally Latinized linguistically. The modern French language has almost no words of Celtic origin and few of Germanic origin. I would assume Hugh Capet spoke a dialect between vulgar Latin and medieval French. The use of word "Frankish" can be confusing because it seems to be used for both Gallic and Germanic populations.
Very true.

Don't forget that the Franks were in the area of Paris since the 5th century, so they definitely had a linguistical impact, which was reversed when the church gained influence. Unfortunately the Franks weren't as good in writing as they were with fighting each other, so it is difficult to reconstruct that period linguistically.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,175
Las Vegas, NV USA
#16
Very true.

Don't forget that the Franks were in the area of Paris since the 5th century, so they definitely had a linguistical impact, which was reversed when the church gained influence. Unfortunately the Franks weren't as good in writing as they were with fighting each other, so it is difficult to reconstruct that period linguistically.
What about the population? Germanic speaking rulers were the case throughout the Frankish period but how much of the Gallic population was affected? In fact literacy was defined as being able to speak, read and write the the Vulgate (ecclesiastic form of Latin) throughout post Roman Europe. Since literacy was so rare, we probably will never know how much the population's speech was influenced. I've always wondered how illiterate populations of that time experienced Mass.
 
Jun 2017
2,881
Connecticut
#17
Question appeared in neighboring topic.

MamlukWarrior wrote:



and



I was quite surprised by such statements. So decided to read some about it. What i have seen:

Only third son of Clovis got Paris. Eldest son Theuderic got Rheims. Looks like Rheims was official main town, which was important for kings title. But in reality Theuderic lived in Metz.

Next 100 years there were hash of kings and princes which stayed in Metz, Soissons, Paris, Orlean. So Paris were only one of main towns.

Paris wasnt dominant town in Church's history too. Only several not primary Councils gathered in Paris (whole list). Rheims cathedra was superior for Paris.

In reality Paris became something like capital during the reign of Chlothar II. I didnt read after him yet, but i know that there were several Roi faineant . So their residence in Paris didnt mean much. Later Charlemagne lived in Austrasia.

So, how do you think. When did Paris become real capital of the state?

...I am not certain about XV-XVI centuries even. Because i know that many Estates General gathered not in Paris.
This is complicated by the Frankish practice of splitting up their realms. In the early days only one of the Frankish leaders had their realm in Paris at once and the kingdom was rarely united. Paris was always a central location but my answer is going to be when the Capetians took over.

The Capetians were the fief in charge of Paris at least the guy who defended it from the Normans was and this was what escalated them into eventually becoming the ruling family of West Francia. This was the area which the King of France had direct control over even at the height of feudalism so that from that era forward Paris had the status in France in retains to this day. Of course as you've mentioned Paris was Clovis's capital and the capital of some Merovingian rulers(depending on if they even had it in their realms) but Achaean had certainly supplanted it for awhile.
 
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AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,209
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#18
i don't know how "Celtic" current France was or how Frankish Austrasia was. The Old French is more Germanic (or Frankish) than later medieval French for example. And certainly still during Hugh Capet the area was considered part of the "Frankish state" judging from Otto II's actions.
You see, it was a kind of rebirth of the Roman - Gaul soul. I could make a parallel with Northern Italy. Here [well, now I'm in London, I mean in my homeland, Piedmont] the "Lombards", a Germanic population, dominated for centuries and they controlled almost all the peninsula. They made something similar to what Franks did in France. They left a legacy and they even gave the name to a wide region: the Lombardia [the land of the Lombards]. Today it's the richest Italian region with about 10,000,000 inhabitants. But Northern Italy has kept its Roman - Gaul soul. Like modern French is "Latin", also modern Italian [developed in Northern Italy starting from the Florentine school] is "Latin". Both the languages are well far from being "Germanic".

Probably in both the regions they felt also the cultural / social need to differentiate themselves from the Germanic invaders / rulers.
 
Jan 2014
1,010
Rus
#19
I've never heard of Hugues Capet being considered the first King of France, every French list I have ever seen starts with Clovis I.
"King of Franks" and "King of France" is a very different things (Which is unnecessary to know for modern French schoolkids :)).
 
Jan 2014
1,010
Rus
#20
Anyway, the concept of a "capital" in the present-day sense doesn't really arise until much later. The centre of power is wherever the King is, and medieval courts were quite peripatetic outfits. There is no concept of a permanent central government administration, always located in the same city. The reason Paris eventually got this status was that it was the biggest town in the Île-de-France, the crown estate, which for a long time was the only part of France the King wielded real direct power over, and where he therefore tended to spend a lot of time. Plus of course it also became the biggest city in France, and for quite a while in Europe.
So, when it happened?