The Germanic Invasions of Rome: A History
The Germanic invasions of the Roman Empire were a series of migrations and movements of Germanic peoples throughout the Roman Empire. These Germanic people are typically referred to as the “barbarians.” The barbarian groups included the Goths, Vandals, Lombards, and Franks. The invasions began in the 3rd century AD, when the Goths crossed the Danube and invaded Roman territory. The first major invasion occurred in 410 AD, when the Vandals sacked Rome. In 455 AD, the Vandals again invaded Italy, this time with even more force. The invasions continued until 476 AD when Odoacer, a Germanic chieftain, overthrew Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of Rome. The Germanic invasions can be attributed to the slow disintegration of social, economical, and political standings of the empire which led to its fall.
2. The Germanic invasions
2.1 The Visigoths
The Visigoths were a Gothic tribe who invaded and sacked Rome in 410 AD. They were originally from Scandinavia but migrated to southern Russia in the 2nd century AD. In 376 AD, they crossed the Danube and entered Roman territory. By 382 AD, they had reached Constantinople. In 410 AD, they sacked Rome and then moved on to Spain where they established their kingdom.
2. 2 The Franks
The Franks were a Germanic tribe who invaded Gaul in 486 AD. They originally settled in present-day Belgium but migrated to Gaul in search of new lands. In 486 AD, they defeated the Roman general Syagrius and established themselves in Gaul. They went on to conquer most of Gaul and parts of Germany and Italy.
2. 3 The Ostrogoths
The Ostrogoths were a Gothic tribe who invaded Italy in 489 AD and established their kingdom there. They originally settled in present-day Ukraine but migrated westward in search of new lands. In 489 AD, they crossed into Italy and defeated the Roman general Odoacer at the Battle of Verona. They then established their kingdom in Italy with its capital at Ravenna.
2. 4 The Lombards
The Lombards were a Germanic tribe who invaded Italy in 568 AD and established their kingdom there with its capital at Pavia. They originally settled in present-day Austria but migrated southward in search of new lands after being displaced by the Huns in 450 AD. In 568 AD, they crossed into Italy and quickly conquered most of the north except for Ravenna which remained under Byzantine control.
3. The slow disintegration of the Roman Empire
3.1 Social standings
The Roman Empire was once a great and mighty empire. It was the largest empire in the world and controlled a huge amount of territory. However, by the time of the Germanic invasions, the empire had shrunk significantly in size and was no longer the powerful force it once was. The Barbarians saw the empire as weak and ripe for conquest.
3. 2 Economic standings
The economy of the Roman Empire was also in decline by the time of the Germanic invasions. The empire had been spending more money than it was bringing in and was deeply in debt. This led to high taxes which caused many people to rebel against the government. The government also became increasingly corrupt which further contributed to the decline of the empire.
3. 3 Political standings
The political situation of the Roman Empire was also in decline by the time of the Germanic invasions. The empire was plagued by internal conflict and civil war. This made it easier for the Barbarians to conquer Rome as there was no one to stop them.
The Germanic invasions can be attributed to the slow disintegration of social, economical, and political standings of the Rome Empire which led to its fall. The Visigoths, Franks, Ostrogoths, and Lombards were all looking for new lands to settle and saw the declining Roman Empire as an easy target for conquest. The decline of the Roman Empire was also due to internal conflict, corruption, and high taxes which made it easier for the Barbarians to invade and conquer Rome.