Of this period scarcely any record remains, but when at the end of the 3rd century the Franks began to swarm over the Rhine into the Roman lands, the names of the old tribes had disappeared.
The branch of the Franks - who were a confederacy, not a people - which gradually overspread Gallia Belgica, bore the name of the Salian Franks..
The strip of coast from the mouth of the Scheldt to that of the Ems remained, however, in the hands of the free Frisians (q.v.), in alliance with whom against the Franks were the Saxons, who, pressing forward from the east, had occupied a portion of the districts known later as Gelderland, Overyssel and Drente.
In the north progress was much slower, and, The Franks., though a church was erected at Utrecht by Dagobert I.
In the 5th century the Franks seized Tournai, and Merovaeus made it the capital of his dynasty.