30. The ancient Roman race called itself by the Greek name γένος, which in Latin became gens, and by which they identified themselves with the Greek race in general and by which they distinguished themselves from non Greek races and nations. It was this term gens which was taken over by the Germanic races to designate their own nobility as contrasted by their conquored West Romans whom they reduced to slavery under the titles of vilains and serfs right up to the French Revolution in 1789.
31. However, in sharp contrast to these serfs and vilains of 1789, the ancestors of the middle class of 1789 were those Romans who had been escaping from the slave camps of their Frankish Castelani (fortress dwellers) beginning in about the 11th century and began forming fortified towns at about the time that these castellani were in turn becoming independent of their royal power. By about the same 11th century the king in turn began offering protection to these independent village dwellers by installing his soldiers within the walls of these towns quartered within a citadel, which on surviving maps are called Frankish Quarters. The king was paid handsomely for this protection, especially since the descendants of these Franchised (adopted Franks and set free) villagers and their cities developed into the very wealthy middle class which made the King of France the most wealthy man in Europe. One sees clearly how both the French middle class and the serfs and vilains of 1789 are direct descendants of the imperial Romans of both Elder Rome and New Rome.
51. As the French Revolution* was in its infant stages the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons was being translated by a pseudonym of King Louis himself into French. This history became very popular, not only because the middle class knew that they, the vilains and the serfs were descendants of the Gallo-Romans, but also because the so-called Greek Empire in the East which had fallen to the Ottoman Turks never existed since it was the same Roman Empire composed of Romans like themselves. It was no accident that an a secret organization was established to promote a Roman Revolution within the Ottoman Empire as part of the Gallo-Roman Revolution underway in France. Unfortunately the coordination between this secret East Roman revolutionary organization and the French Government fell to the lot of Napoleon who had taken over the command of the French Army of Italy at war with the Austrian Empire. Thus we find Rhigas Pheraios, one of the chief leaders of the East Roman revolutionaries, as one of Napoleon's advisors at the signing of the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797[ 44 ] which put an end to the war between France and Austria. In this way Napoleon purposely got the Austrians to take a good look at this East Roman who was about to go to South Rumeli (land of the Romans) with his companions to guide already well organized insurgents to begin their Roman Revolution against the Turks. The reason for this is that Napoleon himself was a fanatic Frank who believed and called himself Charlemagne. At his coronation as Emperor the statues Kings Clovis and Emperor Charlemagne adorned the Portico of Notre Dame. Indeed his code name among the East Roman Masons was Carolosmanoglou, Turkish for The Son of Charlemagne. In no way was Napoleon about to aid an East Roman Revolution since at the first opportunity he would quell the one still going on in France. So the Austrians captured Rhigas with his companions about to embark for Rumeli and finally turned them over to the Turks for execution.
Ok, if Romanides was correct
- a) Frankish conquerors were 2%
- b) All the rest were Romans
- c) All the Romans were originally reduced to slavery, and if only 85% remained so till the French Revolution (his estimate) the 13% were only later distinct from the 98% "Romans reduced to Slavery"!
Is this even a possibility, militarily speaking?
I do not know where he gets his information on what happened around Clovis from, but the author he relied on was far from accurate.
Fustel de Coulanges gives us quite another story of what happened** - the Franks took one third of the estates from existing ones. No Roman free populations were reduced to slavery, but the slaves they had remained slaves. And Latin remained the tongue spoken by all, except that Low Dutch was also spoken in some areas.
His article in Révue des Deux Mondes*** says that there is really no parallel in Gaulic History to the British lamenting of the Saxon invasion, neither from Roman stock writers, like Gregory of Tours, nor from Germanic stock writers like Jornandes (Jordanes). And the Middle Ages wrote sufficiently for such an event to have left a paper trail. And the letters of Bishop St Remigius to Clovis indicate that the latter was simply a Provincial Commander - under Rome - when he started.
Calling the Franks un-Roman is like calling the Normans un-French.
Cities indeed grow poorer for a while, but never ever do they cease to exist. So much for saying all the "13%" of Middle Class came from runaway slaves.
Sorry, but if Romanides could have had a point about Aeneas speaking in Greek to King Latinus, because he had not learned Latin, he has no point at all in painting the Frankish rule as a deromanisation, as an enslavement of Romans.
And it is also sad that he when making such a gross claim shows how much he admired the French Revolution.
BpI, rue du Renard
St Gabriel's Day,
*CHARLEMAGNE'S LIE OF 794 AD, THE GREEK LATINS OF ALBA LONGA AND OF ROME, THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE LIE AND BALKANIZATION
© John S. Romanides
**Histoire des institutions politiques de l'ancienne France. Première partie. L'empire romain, les Germains, la royauté mérovingienne. Paris, Hachette, 1875. Une deuxième édition « revue, corrigée et augmentée » a paru en 1877. Repris en plusieurs volumes dans Histoire des anciennes institutions françaises, Paris, Hachette, 1901-1914. Les six volumes de L'histoire des institutions politiques de l'ancienne France ont été réédités en 1964 à Bruxelles par la librairie Culture et Civilisation
***L’invasion germanique au cinquième siècle, son caractère et ses effets
Fustel de Coulanges
Revue des Deux Mondes T.99, 1872