The Early Middle Ages: The Visigoths

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Information about The Early Middle Ages: The Visigoths

Published on September 19, 2013

Author: chusteacher



Created by María Jesús Campos, teacher of Social Studies, Geography and History in a bilingual section in Madrid (Spain)


THE FALL OF THE WESTERN ROMAN EMPIRE  The fall of the Western Roman Empire after the conquest of Rome by the Ostrogoths in the year 476 A.D. meant the break-up of Mediterranean unity and the arose of new powers and civilizations as the Germanic Kingdoms, the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic


THE GERMANIC KINGDOMS  Germanic tribes settled on the Roman territories they conquered and established different kingdoms.  Some of the kingdoms that replaced the Western Empire were:  The Franks, that settled in France  The Visigoths, that settled in Spain  The Ostrogoths, that settled in Italy  The Angles and the Saxons, that settled in Britain.

 Germans gradually intermingled with the people that lived in those territories who had already adopted Romans customs, laws and language and had become Roman

THE VISIGOTHS  In the 4th century, the Visigoths, in Asia, were attacked by the Huns. They received permission to enter the Western Roman Empire and settle under its protection as allies.  Some years later, the Roman emperor asked the Visigoths for help to expel other Germanic tribes (the Suevi, the Vandals and the Alans) from the Iberian Peninsula.

 In exchange of giving back the Iberian Peninsula territories to the Romans, they would receive lands in southern Gaul.  The Visigoths established their first kingdom in Gaul.  Later they also conquered the Iberian Peninsula.

 At the beginning of the 6th century, the Franks expelled the Visigoths from Gaul.  The Visigoths founded a new kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, the Visigoth Kingdom of Toledo. This city was made its capital.  The kingdom endured during the 6th and the 7th centuries until the Arabs conquered the Iberian Peninsula in the year 711.

 Some of its most important kings were:  King Leovigild, who extended the territory and intermingled Germanic and Roman law setting up a new code.  King Reccared who became catholic as well as his subjects to try to intermingle Visigoth and

Consequences of the Visigoth conquest of the Iberian Peninsula  Hispanic subjects (former Roman citizens) accepted Visigoth’s rules. And when Visigoths converted into catholicism they finally intermingled.  The lack of security after the Germanic invasions broke up trading. People left the cities and return to the country to farm their own nourishment.  A new legal code mixed Germanic and Roman law.  Art became less impressive as there wasn’t enough money to spend on architecture. Palaces and churches were built with poor materials.  The most important art pieces were Visigoth crowns made of gold and jewels for the king to give as a present to God for His help on the battlefield.

Developed by María Jesús Campos Chusteacher wikiteacher

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