Austria or Östreich, c.-at.- d Kingdom of the East, is an ancient state that corresponds to the region of Eastern Gaul during the Merovingian period.
After the first invasions of the Francs in Gaul, the countries occupied by them received the name of Francia, and naturally the meaning of this word underwent variations because of their conquests. However this term was never of common use for their acquisitions made since Clovis in Southern Gaul.
During the partitions of the Frankish Empire between the Merovingian princes, the name of Francia was no longer sufficient to designate the various kingdoms including all the countries they had colonized, and one distinguished eastern France or Austrasia (Austria) from western France or Neustria (Neustria). It is in the writings of Grégoire de Tours that it is for the first time a question of the Austrasians or inhabitants of Austrasia.