Published on September 19, 2013
THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES (PART 2). THE GERMANIC KINGDOMS: THE VISIGOTHS María Jesús Campos learningfromhistory.wikispaces.com
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 BREAK-UP OF MEDITERRANEAN UNITY
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.
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