THE EARLY HISTORY OF PARIS In the 3rd century bc, the Parisii tribe of Gauls settled on an island in the River Seine that later became the Ile de la Cité. The Romans took over the island in 53 bc. They named the

settlement Lutetia, and it spread to the river banks. In 212, Lutetia was renamed Paris, after the Parisii. Early rulers A Germanic tribe called the Franks took over Paris and the area around it in the 5th century. Their first ruler was Clovis, who founded the Merovingian dynasty and the Frankish Kingdom . He ruled from Paris, but after his death the city became less important.

A Viking raid on Paris in the 9th century. The Vikings repeatedly attacked Paris, killing people, looting, and burning homes.

A new dynasty The Merovingian rulers grew weak and lazy. In 751 a man called Pepin the Short took over and began the Carolingian dynasty . Charlemagne, Pepin’s son, built an empire and made Aachen, now in Germany, his capital. Paris was ruled by a governor, whose title was Count of Paris. Capetian kings When the last Carolingian monarch died in 987, a Count of Paris called Hugh Capet became king. He made Paris his capital and it began to thrive again. This was the start of a long line of Capetian kings. During this time Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre were constructed.

A plague known as the Black Death swept through France from 1348 to 1349, killing about 26,000 Parisians. Victims were covered in swollen lumps.


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