The Atony of the Fifth to the Seventh Century 2. The Monks and the Papacy II. THE FRANKISH KINGDOM
Conformably with the Mediterranean character which Western Europe retained until the end of the 7th century, it endeavoured, to begin with, to expand in a southerly direction. For a time Frankish armies disputed Northern Italy with the Lombards. But the Musulman invasion, as we have already seen, was to call a sudden halt to the traditional southward orientation of the Northern countries. The last of the Merovingian conquerors, Dagobert I, directed his efforts towards Germany, and even advanced as far as the Danube. Then the expansion ceased, and decadence set in.