Human occupation of the territory corresponding to France today is very old . Groups present from the Paleolithic and Neolithic were added until the first millennium, successive waves of population composed of Celts, of Germanic peoples - Franks, Visigoths , Burgundians and Alemanni .
The name of France comes from a Germanic people , the Franks . Clovis , King of the Salian Franks , for his baptism in Reims, sealed the alliance of the Frankish kingdom with the Catholic Church in France which will continue until the separation of church and state in 1905 and unites Salian Frankish tribes and Ripensis and conquers a group of territories in Gaul and Germania , which are magnified by his descendants Merovingians and the new Carolingian dynasty founded in 751 Charlemagne conquered particularly northern Germany ( Saxony ), the Austria and Italy . The Carolingian Empire was finally divided into 843 between his small son by the Treaty of Verdun between West Francia of the East Franks , who will become the kingdom of Germany. The name of France is used officially until about 1190 , when the chancery of King Philippe Auguste begins to use the term Franciæ rex ( king of France ) 1 instead of rex Francorum ( King of the Franks ) to denote the sovereign. The word was already commonly used to designate a territory more or less well defined, as seen from a reading of the Song of Roland , written a century earlier . By June 1205, the territory is designated in the charter as the regnum Franciæ , that is to say, the kingdom of France in Latin 2.3 . Philip Augustus and his successors give a new impetus to the territorial unification of the kingdom of France and push the eastern borders of the Alps Rhône and Saône on the Rhine.