Notes – Early Medieval Ages 7

Notes 7
The Roman Empire committed suicide by accident?
The further back the events the easier it is for the historian to “see it coming”
Who are the Barbarians?
Burgundian code

Refer to themselves as Barbarians not Romans
What do we know
From Archaeology

Have settlements but not urban 

Have grave sites

Have trade with Roman Empire

Roman items buried with them on occasion
Main written source for pre-invasion German tribes is Tacitus

Best known for his

Pessimistic annals of the Roman Empire

In Germania
For Tacitus the Germans are

Childlike and noble

The general Roman view on Barbarians

Intent on invading the empire and enjoying the riches 
Never visited Germania
Write about them as a way of castigating the Romans
Contrast a beautiful natural simple world

Gaugins paintings 


Compared to fatiguing rat race
Warlike concerned with personal bravery and honour

Close family ties


Treat women well

Contrasting with Romans 
Some vices




True of later German practices
Tacitus does not make up for a moral purpose
Extend kinship 

My second cousin will repay you if you kill me

Compensation for hurt killing

Cost – depend on who he is and what he did
Before enter empire

Lived in little villages

Cattle raisers

Cultivated grain

Iron working 

Spot of raiding
Above clan level

Federation or tribes?
Who are the Visigoths?

Come together 

Invent notion that from one place
Not a lot of evidence that they were searching for common ancestor 
Come into empire as


Allied troops

Supported by a system with bland name of hospitality
Destroyed idea of invasion with arrows on map

Came from here, then there
506 – Franks defeat Visigoths
500 – most impressive Barbarians Ostrogoths – in Italy

Been in Crimea


Tried to attack Constantinople
Impressive ruler

Ruled from Ravenna
Roman education survived in Italy for a bit 


Last person to try and spread Greek knowledge
In prison wrote

The consolation of Philosophy

Lives till 90ish
Transmits to us liberal arts

Invents idea that monks should copy literature
Liberal arts – things that are not immediately practically useful

Help illuminate the person seeking after knowledge

Seeking God and the divine 

Bible not an immediately evident document

View of world full of mysteries
Very few intellectuals in the Barbarian kingdom
After Theodoric dies 535

Eastern empire invades 

20 year war in Italy

Less accommodating than the Ostragoths

More fiercely Arian

Persecuted bishops

Plundered Rome several times in fifth century

Strong rulers
506 kingdom shrunk 

Fought among each other
Anglo Saxons

From continent in 440s

First place to withdraw


Celtic majority

Very little knowledge of what is going on

Very status orientated

Law shows a lot of Roman influence

If my dog bites you and kills you

No revenge if accident
Compensation for victims 
In west

Injure me – you break peace offend state

In early times – more personal