Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Invasions of Ancient Rome

A Time of Invasions
During the late 300s and the 400s, the Romans faced more attacks by Germanic tribes. Even the huge Roman army could not guard all of the border of the empire.

Many different Germanic tribes began to enter Roman territory. Their goal was to find new lands to settle on. Their own lands were being taken over by the Huns, a people from central Asia who were migrating westward.

The Visigoths invaded the Danube River region in A.D. 378. Led by Alaric (A»luh«rik), they captured Rome in A.D. 410 and looted the city.

Another tribe, the Vandals, crossed the Rhine River into Gaul in A.D. 406 and spread southwest into what is now Spain. They crossed the Mediterranean into northern Africa and from there attacked Rome in A.D. 455. In Rome they stole items of value and destroyed monuments. Today we use the word vandal to describe someone who purposely damages property.

In A.D. 476, a Germanic chief named Odoacer (OH • duh • way • ser) overthrew the Roman emperor in the west.

A Roman emperor continued to rule but only from Constantinople.
Germanic tribes continued to claim Roman lands in the west. The Angles and the Saxons attacked and conquered Britain. The Franks invaded northern Gaul. In A.D. 486 Clovis, a leader of the Franks, captured the last Roman territory in Gaul.

By A.D. 500, the western part of the Roman Empire had separated into several kingdoms. Visigoths ruled in Italy, Spain, and southern Gaul. Franks held northern Gaul. Angles and Saxons were spreading out through Britain.

How did Roman rule end in the western part of the Roman Empire?

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