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 Barbarian Invaders

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The Great LEO

The Great LEO

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PostSubject: Barbarian Invaders   Barbarian Invaders EmptyThu Apr 15, 2010 5:07 am

[font:6caa=&quot]Around the year 200 AD, nomadic tribes on
the great grass steppes of Central Asia began migrating toward China, India,
Persia, and Europe. The reasons for this migration are not fully understood.
The largest group of nomads was the Huns. Their small stature and small ponies
belied a fierce and determined ruthlessness. They terrified other tribes they
encountered in their migrations, causing something like a domino effect. Moving
west, the Huns displaced the Goths living northwest of the Black Sea, for
example, who pushed south over the Danube into the Balkans lands ruled by the
Eastern Roman Empire. More Huns moved toward the German plains, encouraging
other Germanic tribes to cross the Rhine.[/font]

[font:6caa=&quot]The Western Roman Empire was already
weakened by this time from sporadic raids and invasions across the Rhine and
Danube. Germanic tribes with growing populations coveted the sparsely occupied
lands in Gaul and the benefits of being within the Roman Empire. By 400 the
Roman army was already 30 to 50 percent German mercenaries. In desperation,
some barbarian groups were enlisted into the Roman army as entire units to help
defend against other groups. This was especially popular during civil wars of
the fourth century, when pretenders to the throne in Rome needed to raise
armies quickly. These barbarian units did not have the loyalty and discipline
of the legions and kept their own leaders. This stopgap measure backfired when
whole barbarian armies revolted. The Rhine and Danube frontiers dissolved and
Germanic tribes moved into Gaul, the Balkans, and even Italy itself. The
fighting was nearly incessant along the shrinking frontier and the number of
loyal Roman troops continually diminished.[/font]

[font:6caa=&quot]The last legions in Britain were
withdrawn for service in Gaul in 410, abandoning that province forever. Saxon
raids increased and became actual invasions. The Jutes, Frisians, and Angles,
other Germanic tribes from the north German coast, joined the Saxons. Together
they overwhelmed the Romano-British culture and took possession of what is
today England (Angle-land).[/font]

[font:6caa=&quot]The Eastern Roman Empire suffered through
the loss of most of the Balkans but was able to deflect or bribe the barbarians
before they could attack Constantinople. The invaders in this area were the
Goths, who had become much more civilized through their contact with the
Eastern Empire than had the Germanic tribes along the Rhine. The Goths came as
settlers primarily, not conquerors.[/font]

[font:6caa=&quot]During the fifth century Rome was sacked
several times and the Western Empire ceased to exist effectively. Italy was
repeatedly invaded and ravaged. In 476 the last recognized Roman emperor was
killed. Italy and the old Roman Empire were now occupied by Germanic tribes.
Despite a general wish by the barbarians to preserve the stability and order of
the past Roman civilization, only vestiges of it survived the turmoil and
devastation that followed the invasions. Most of Europe fell back into a much
more primitive and barbaric period.[/font]
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