Class 7: Formation of the Germanic States
I. Introduction Church provides continuity in the West with Classical World but for a long time that was pretty tenuous. The new factor was the Germanic input. Modern states often derive names from these tribes -England, Sweden, France/Frankreich, Germany/Deutschland/ Allemagne, Denmark Western Middle Ages are a fusion of Roman and Germanic II. Western Europe A. Geography and Climate in the Dark Ages Rivers - Main means of communications Mountains - Provide Natural Borders Climate- Probably good btw 400-1200 B. Ethnography -Lots of empty space -Original Population - Basques? -Celts - all over the West, Often romanized -Italic peoples - Italy -Greeks in the South -In the East - Germans, plus a whole mix of others, e.g.. Vlachs, Albanians C. Population 1. Demography -Birthrate -Mortality - disease/infanticide/war -Nuptiality - importance of Women 2. Disease - Plague c. 560-750 Bacterial and viral infections untreatable Medicine in a primitive state 3. Population declined in early middle ages III. Germans A. Source: Tacitus' Germania A moral comparison with roman decadence Discuss Reading - Tierney B. Origins -Around the Baltic See C. Society -Comitatas/Warband -Tribes - really loose confederations -Women D. Migrations - To the East The, under pressure of the Huns, to the West E. Contact with Rome -The Rhine Frontier -Barbarian attitudes to Rome F. Goths - Formed around Crimea IV. The Germans Move into Roman Empire A. Rome's need for soldiers - Feodorati B. Adrianople 378/ Sack of Rome 410 - Alaric C. Absolute numbers quit small [recap why Rome so week in the West - decline of cities, withdrawal of governing classes into Villas. V. Ostrogoths and Italy A. Sources: Lots - Byzantine Authors, Papal Documents. B. Odacavar 476 C. Theodoric 496-526 -Arianism and Catholicism -Dualistic government -Preservation of classical civilization -Boethius D. Justinian's Attacks 533-48 took advantage of Ostrogothic disunity E. The Lombards F. Italian Disunity - Lombards, Papacy, Byzantines and later the Germans all ruled bits of it. VI. Visigoths and Spain A. Sources: Visigoth Law codes, St. Isidore B. Other Tribes in Spain - Suevi C. Arianism D. Kingdom of Toulouse until 507 E. Move into Spain beginning 466 - Toledo F. Reccared - Conversion to Catholicism 587 Visigothic dress and customs disappeared G. Visigothic Law - Written in Latin Uric's Law Code 476 - shows a process of fusion H. Cooperation with Bishops Visigoths' status in Spain I. 711 - Muslim Conquest J. The Asturias survive VII. Vandals -Arians -Sack of Rome 410 -Take Nth Africa in Early 5th Century -Move to North Africa - persecution of Catholics -Defeated by Justinian - Disappeared VIII. Franks and Gaul A. Origins of Franks - Unknown Invented a descent from the Trojans Based in northern Gaul, Belgium, Rhine B. Other Tribes in France - Visigoths/Burgundians C. Other Tribes in Germany Franks controlled what is now Germany and France Allemans D. Merovingians - the first Race of Kings Mythical founder - Merovechus - Long Haired Kings E. Clovis 481- Defeated Kingdom of Soissons (Roman. Married Clothilde - Conversion 506 Gregory of Tours describes his reign. Discuss Reading - Tierney F. Clovis worked with old Gallo-Roman nobility But Roman Admin. system failed No trace of Roman taxation in Gregory of Tours G. Relations with the Church - Tries to define kingship H. Last great Merovingian was Dagobert 629-30 I. Les Rois fainente - disposed of by the Carolingians IX. Anglo-Saxons A. Source: Bede B. Britain - Romanized Celts but Rome with draws 400 C. Anglo-Saxon Origins Not Romanized Not Christian (better than being Arian in the long run. D. Migrations - Slow migrations Celts called Welsh - Story of King Arthur Origin of Brittany E. Formation of England -Heptarchy by 7th century Kent Northumbria - Bernicia/Deira Wessex Mercia F. Conversion to Christianity From North - Northumbria - St. Columba/Iona 583, St. Aidan 635 From Rome - Ethelbert King of Kent, had a Frankish wife called Bertha - St. Augustine 597. Did Christianity strengthen king or not? Position of Women - convents provide women with power e.g.. Abbess Hilda of Whitby - Double Monasteries Synod of Whitby 633/4 - unites Christianity in England Canterbury and York G. Anglo Saxon Culture -Beowulf -Venerable Bede 673-735 -St. Boniface 680-755 X. German Effect on Western Europe Simplification of civilization A. Law -Territorial law with personal law -Replacement of Principle with particular law Our sources are romanized Concern with criminal acts - no police force Wergild, Ordeals -Discuss Readings on Law - Tierney B. Idea of the State -Rome a Res Publica not a Res Privitata -State as personal property of the Ruler shown in divisions -Taxation Issues - Again personal -Principles of inheritance -Much of next millennia to be spent in re-establishing these sort of ideas One Early attempt was Charlemagne C. Population's Lifestyle -End of Roman style farms with slaves -Move to free peasantry - but with labor dues XI. The Pirenne Thesis
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© Paul Halsall, 1996.
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