Franks, a confederacy of German tribes, which first appeared under this name near the lower Rhine about the middle of the 3d century. It is now generally believed that the tribes which constituted the bulk of the Frank -ish confederacy were the same which were known to the Romans in the time of the first emperors under the names of Sigambri, Cha-mavi, Ampsivarii, Bructeri, Catti, etc. The first mentioned were the most powerful. A part of these tribes had passed the Rhine as early as the first half of the 1st century. In the 3d and 4th larger bodies successively passed into the N. E. part of Gaul, which country they finally wrested from the Romans in the 5th century. Under Probus they appear as dangerous enemies of the Romans. Carausius, who was appointed to defend the province against them both by land and sea. having betrayed his master and assumed the purple in Britain, made them his allies, surrendering to them the islands of the Batavi and the country on the Scheldt. Constantius I. and Constan-tine the Great expelled them from this territory, but they soon invaded it again, and were finally left in its possession by Julian. From that period they appear to have formed two separate groups, the Salian (from the old German sal, sea, or from Sala, the ancient name of the river Yssel), and Ripuarian (from the Latin ripa, bank of a river). The former continued the attacks on Gaul during the 5th century, and established an empire under Clovis and his successors (see France); the latter spread southward on both sides of the Rhine, extending their conquests W. as far as the Meuse, and E. as far as the head of the Main. From them the country adjacent to the Main derives its modern name of Franconia. The Franks form an element in the modern population of France, which received its name from them, as well as of S. W. Germany. Their two divisions had separate laws, which were afterward collected in two codes, known as Lex Salica and Lex Ripuariorum.