View Full Version : Successors Of Rome: Germania, 395-774

Tuesday, October 12th, 2004, 11:40 PM
Six major German tribes, the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, the Vandals, the Burgundians, the Lombards, and the Franks participated in the fragmentation and the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. The Vandals were actually two tribes, the Asding and the Siling Vandals. Several other tribes were also involved, the Alans and the Suevi in particular, though the Alans were an Iranian steppe people, not Germans. The six major tribes, however, founded significant kingdoms. All of them disappeared except one, the Franks, who gave their name to Western Europe in languages like Arabic. The diagram illustrates the fate of the kingdoms, two overthrown by the Franks, two by Romania, and one by Islām. The parts of Italy preserved from the Lombards by the Romans later, of course, fell to the Franks too (if then ceded to the Pope); and North Africa, retrieved by the Romans from the Vandals, then went to Islām. The Frankish kingdom breaks up into the elements of Mediaeval European history. Although Burgundy and Lorraine are now gone as such, Switzerland and Monaco are Modern pieces of the former, and the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg are Modern pieces of the latter.

Besides the German tribes that entered and conquered or damaged the Western Roman Empire, there were the tribes that remained back in Germany proper. These were the Saxons, the Alemanni, the Thuringians, and the Rugians. When the Rugians were destroyed by Odoacer in 487, a new confederation of Germans formed in their place, the Bavarians. All these tribes in Germany were eventually subjugated by the Franks, the Alemanni in 496 and 505, the Thuringians in 531, the Bavarians at some point after 553, and then finally the Saxons by 804. When Germany eventually separated as East Francia, the old tribal areas assumed new identities as the Stem Duchies.