Notes – Early Medieval Ages 6

Notes 6Transformation of the Roman Empire 
410 to 480

West empire disintegrated
Dismembered by Barbarians

Wanted to share in wealth and accomplishments not destroy it
476 fall of the Western Empire
Barbarian deposed a Roman emperor 

Barbarian leader Odavacer
Deposed Romulus Augustus

Us means little
He didn’t appoint new emperor and said he would follow the East
Kingdom smaller than empire
King of Italy, King of Franks

Why did the West fall?

External or internal
Who were these Barbarians?
How severe was this change?
Destruction of government also of the military 
Lost works 

Esculus wrote 60 plays 3 survive

Also Cicero’s work Hortensius


End colosseums
Literacy fell except in church
Some historians say a cataclysmic change, others quite a bit of continuity 

Survival of trade

Roll of bishops replacing government order

Bishops ensure food supply and lead rally against Barbarians
Barbarian leaders collected tax

Some maintenance of order
Not radically more primitive
Lecturer is a moderate catastrophist
Wickham – the inheritance of

Barbarian – Greek term

Uncivilised – speech unclear


Not unfamiliar

Most Arian Christians

Been at Roman border for ever

What changed 250 to 600
The ancient world became the medieval world

More rural
Why collapsed

Taken over by Germans

Who admired Rome
Last thing they wanted was to live in huts in the forest

Not that numerous 

Tens of thousands 
Changes in Roman Army
Afghan Mujahideen

Trained by USA
Lots in army were barbarians
In 370s Visigoths asked to be an allied army

Federati – barbarian troops serving

In Roman Empire
In 378 they were on the move
Emperor Valens defeated Adrianople
Magister Militum title to Barbarian leader of army
Visigoths given land in Romania

Stilicho and Alaric
Moving from the Balkans towards Italy
Where was the Roman army?
The Huns

Interested in plunder 
450s Huns united under Attila
Huns decided East too hard 
Then lost in France
Started sacking Roman cities 
Leo the first

Goes to remonstrate with Attila

Attila dies soon after
After this Barbarians takes
Vandals have taken over North Africa

Cut off grain supply
Vandals have navy

Sack Rome 455
Ostrogoths in Hungary
Angles and Saxons in Britain
493 eastern empire 
Have biography of saints
Severinus in Austria

Takes over helping poor

Organising society 
Urban population declines

Radical material simplification 

Fewer imports

More homemade crude building materials 
When vandals blocked grain supply

Cities could not support all people
In 5BC Rome 800,000 or 1,000,000
At time of Constantine 

After sack of Rome

300,000 – 500,000

In 800

Charlemagne crowned in St Peters

Max 30,000
People not aware at the time

That there was a decline

Patrick Leigh Fermov

Conversation with General

Knowledge of Latin and classics a lot weaker than in past – 100 years ago
Heirs of Roman Empire 

1 Byzantium
2 Barbarian Kings
3 Islam   
4 Church