The Migration Period

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The Migration Period
Called Völkerwanderung, by Germans, the period of AD 200-700 is marked the Great Migration Period of Europe. It describes the invasion, and migration of Germanic tribes, in Europe. The migration included Goths, Huns, Vandals, Franks and other Germanic Tribes. Although the fall of the Roman Empire is subject to many interpretations, it is agreed that the Migration Period of Europe had a serious impact. This migration was due to military pressures, climate change and population pressure. The Germanic tribes at this time were first to make the mass migration in Europe.

The first people to settle in what is now southern Scandinavia and Denmark were people who shared a common culture. Called the “Nordic Bronze Age” (World Book) this period is described as pre-A.D. times. What brought about a migration to the south, and the European mainland was a change in climate around 2700 B.C. This brought about a much colder climate, deterring crops and farming. Most of the people moved south into what is now modern day Germany and Denmark. The loss of people in Scandinavia brought about and end to the “Bronze Age” and they settled off until the rise of the Viking age. New settlements began to spread into the mainland as time progressed.

██ Settlements before 750BC
██ New settlements until 500BC
██ New settlements until 250BC
██ New settlements until AD 1

The Romans started invading this territory in the 2nd century. Rome extended its empire to the Rhine and Danube rivers, conflicting with Germanic tribal territory. The Germanic people held their ground and kept the Romans out beyond these boarders; the Romans quickly named them “barbarians” meaning foreigners. As the Romans seized Celtic tribes in the area and established important northern cities such as Cologne and Mainz, the Germanic people were getting annoyed with the Romans and a rebellion seemed forthcoming. (Pagden)

The first people to challenge the Roman Empire were the...
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