In the slow process of time they drove them into the most southerly corner of Australia, just as the Saxons drove the Celts into Cornwall and the Welsh hills.
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.
Saxon was at this period the common title of all the north German tribes; there was but little difference between Frisians and Saxons either in race or language, and they were closely united for some four centuries in common resistance to the encroachments of the Frankish power.
Towards the end of the century, Charlemagne, himself a Netherlander by descent and ancestral possessions, after a severe struggle, thoroughly subdued the Frisians and Saxons, and compelled them to embrace Christianity.
During the short reign of Valentinian there were wars in Africa, in Germany and in Britain, and Rome came into collision with barbarian peoples of whom we now hear for the first time - Burgundians, Saxons, Alamanni.