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Migration Era and The Fall of Rome

By Gambargin
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The Voelkerwanderung or the Migration Era, in the strictest sense, describes the timeline at which various Germanic tribes, both nomads settled, invaded the territories of the Roman Empire and their later Successor, the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. Depending the timeline, this could be set as early as 21 AD and as late as 700 AD, but generally speaking, from the 4th till the 5th century AD, when the last of the Western Roman empire, Romulus, was overthrown in 476 C.E by Odoacer, the first Barbarian king of Italy.

For the purpose of this monthly series, I will only focus on the Germanic tribes and exclude the other migratic tribes, such as the slavic and the steppe nomads. :)

What differs in this Era from the previous era is that, while previously most of the Germanic tribes were small confederation (with few exception, such as the Suebis), most of the Germanic tribes now have formed into a super tribes, giving birth to the culture we know today such as that like the Goths, Saxons, Allemanic, Langobardi (Lombards), Rugii, Vandals etc. Not only that, many of the Germanic tribes now boast plenty of warrior-elite societies, whose warriors were more armed and armored compared to their early ancestors, thanks to the contact with both the Roman world and the Steppe Nomads. At the same time, many of these Germanic tribes served as Roman foederati, which in the context of the migration period, was an extended Roman practice of subsidizing entire barbarian tribes — which included the Franks, Vandals, Alans and, best known, the Visigoths — in exchange for providing warriors to fight in the Roman armies. Some of the famous personality of the migration era served as Roman Foederati, such as Alaric and Odoacer.  

This map, like the previous one, is an attempt to roughly visualize the many Germanic tribes that migrated and brought about the fall of Western Roman Empire. Several factors contributed to the migratio of these people and in comparison to the previous centuries, they are were more severe. A major climatic change which caused a short of short "ice-age" which reached its height in the extreme weather during 535–536 that caused drastic drop in temperature of the northern eurasia, resulting in crop failures and famine. Such severe condition, coupled with the migration of steppe nomads into the western steppe, further pushed these Germanic tribes to migrate into the Roman territories; some out of desperation for survival, while others, to vulture on the dying Western Roman Empire. As such, several of these Germanic tribes would later establish their own realm and building their realm, which laid the foundation of the later medieval state of Europe.

To list a few, the Tervingi (Goths) entered Roman territory (after a clash with the Huns) in 376. Some time thereafter in Marcianopolis, the escort to Fritigern (their leader) was killed while meeting with Lupicinus. The Tervingi rebelled, and the Visigoths, a group derived either from the Tervingi or from a fusion of mainly Gothic groups, eventually invaded Italy and sacked Rome in 410, before settling in Gaul, and then, 50 years later, in Iberia, founding a Visigothic kingdom that lasted for 250 years. They were followed into Roman territory first by a confederation of Herulian, Rugian, and Scirian warriors, under Odoacer, that deposed Romulus Augustulus on 4 September AD 476, and later by the Ostrogoths, led by Theodoric the Great, who settled in Italy. In Gaul, the Franks (a fusion of western Germanic tribes whose leaders had been aligned with Rome since the 3rd CE) entered Roman lands gradually during the fifth century, and after consolidating power under Childeric and his son Clovis’s decisive victory over Syagrius in 486, established themselves as rulers of northern Roman Gaul. Fending off challenges from the Allemanni, Burgundians, and Visigoths, the Frankish kingdom became the nucleus of what would later become France and Germany. The initial Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain occurred during the fifth century, when Roman control of Britain had come to an end. The Burgundians settled in North Western Italy, Switzerland and Eastern France in the fifth century. The Lombards, a Germanic people, settled in Italy with their Herulian, Suebian, Gepid, Thuringian, Bulgarian, Sarmatian and Saxon allies in the 6th century. The Vandals followed a similar paths as their Visigothic bretheren, eventually settling down in North Africa and established the Kingdom of the Vandals.

Created as part of Gambargin's Monthly Historical Sketch Series that aims to portray various cultures across the globe in the context of history, as a spin-off from the Historically Wrong Sketch Series :) (Smile)


Part 11: Germanic Men and Women of the Migration Era

Germanic Men and Women of the Migration Era by Gambargin



Part 9: The Migration of The Early Germanic People

The Migration of The Early Germanic People by Gambargin

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© 2016 - 2021 Gambargin
Comments6
anonymous's avatar
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Arminius1871's avatar
Fantastic, that topic is so cool **

Another idea, you could draw Wulfila, the one who christianized the goths and
wrote the famous bible in gothic language. Not to forget Theoderich, Alarich and Geiserich^^
Gambargin's avatar
There's a separate drawings coming for Germanic women warriors :D
jelitoto's avatar
yes!!!migreation era!!!
Gambargin's avatar
atomcyber's avatar
Great work dude! Interesting and unusual!
Gambargin's avatar
Thank you, glad you like it bro :)
anonymous's avatar
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