Scandinavia /ˌskændᵻˈneɪviə/ is a historical and cultural region in Northern Europe characterized by a common ethnocultural North Germanic heritage and mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. The term Scandinavia always includes the three kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden, the remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are usually not seen as a part of Scandinavia, nor is Greenland, an overseas territory of Denmark. This looser definition almost equates to that of the Nordic countries, in Nordic languages, only Denmark and Sweden are commonly included in the definition of Scandinavia. In English usage, Scandinavia sometimes refers to the geographical area, the name Scandinavia originally referred vaguely to the formerly Danish, now Swedish, region Scania. Icelanders and the Faroese are to a significant extent descended from the Norse, Finland is mainly populated by Finns, with a minority of approximately 5% of Swedish speakers. A small minority of Sami people live in the north of Scandinavia.
The Danish and Swedish languages form a continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages—all of which are considered mutually intelligible with one another. Faroese and Icelandic, sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are intelligible in continental Scandinavian languages only to a limited extent, Finnish and Meänkieli are closely related to each other and more distantly to the Sami languages, but are entirely unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Apart from these, German and Romani are recognized minority languages in Scandinavia, the southern and by far most populous regions of Scandinavia have a temperate climate. Scandinavia extends north of the Arctic Circle, but has mild weather for its latitude due to the Gulf Stream. Much of the Scandinavian mountains have a tundra climate. There are many lakes and moraines, legacies of the last glacial period, Scandinavia usually refers to Denmark and Sweden. Some sources argue for the inclusion of the Faroe Islands and Iceland, though that broader region is known by the countries concerned as Norden.
Before this time, the term Scandinavia was familiar mainly to classical scholars through Pliny the Elders writings, and was used vaguely for Scania, as a political term, Scandinavia was first used by students agitating for Pan-Scandinavianism in the 1830s. After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism, the term is often defined according to the conventions of the cultures that lay claim to the term in their own use. More precisely, and subject to no dispute, is that Finland is included in the broader term Nordic countries, various promotional agencies of the Nordic countries in the United States serve to promote market and tourism interests in the region. The official tourist boards of Scandinavia sometimes cooperate under one umbrella, Norways government entered one year later. All five Nordic governments participate in the joint promotional efforts in the United States through the Scandinavian Tourist Board of North America, Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries
The Anglo-Saxons are a people who have inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period in Britain between about 450 and 1066, after their settlement and up until the Norman conquest. The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, with many of the aspects that survive today, including government of shires. During this period, Christianity was re-established and there was a flowering of literature and law were established. The term Anglo-Saxon is popularly used for the language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in England, in scholarly use, it is more commonly called Old English. The history of the Anglo-Saxons is the history of a cultural identity and it developed from divergent groups in association with the peoples adoption of Christianity, and was integral to the establishment of various kingdoms. Threatened by extended Danish invasions and occupation of eastern England, this identity was re-established, the visible Anglo-Saxon culture can be seen in the material culture of buildings, dress styles, illuminated texts and grave goods.
Behind the symbolic nature of these emblems, there are strong elements of tribal. The elite declared themselves as kings who developed burhs, and identified their roles and peoples in Biblical terms, above all, as Helena Hamerow has observed and extended kin groups remained. the essential unit of production throughout the Anglo-Saxon period. Use of the term Anglo-Saxon assumes that the words Angles, Saxons or Anglo-Saxon have the meaning in all the sources. Assigning ethnic labels such as Anglo-Saxon is fraught with difficulties and this term began to be used only in the 8th century to distinguish the Germanic groups in Britain from those on the continent. The Old English ethnonym Angul-Seaxan comes from the Latin Angli-Saxones and became the name of the peoples Bede calls Anglorum, Anglo-Saxon is a term that was rarely used by Anglo-Saxons themselves, it is not an autonym. It is likely they identified as ængli, Seaxe or, more probably, the use of Anglo-Saxon disguises the extent to which people identified as Anglo-Scandinavian after the Viking age or the conquest of 1016, or as Anglo-Norman after the Norman conquest.
The earliest historical references using this term are from outside Britain, referring to piratical Germanic raiders, Saxones who attacked the shores of Britain, procopius states that Britain was settled by three races, the Angiloi and Britons. The term Angli Saxones seems to have first been used in writing of the 8th century. The name therefore seemed to mean English Saxons, the Christian church seems to have used the word Angli, for example in the story of Pope Gregory I and his remark, Non Angli sed angeli. The terms ænglisc and Angelcynn were used by West Saxon King Alfred to refer to the people, at other times he uses the term rex Anglorum, which presumably meant both Anglo-Saxons and Danes. Alfred the Great used Anglosaxonum Rex, the term Engla cyningc is used by Æthelred
An earl /ɜːrl/ is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, in Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced by duke. In medieval Britain, it became the equivalent of the continental count, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could mean a sovereign prince. For example, the rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway had the title of jarl, alternative names for the rank equivalent to Earl/Count in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era. In modern Britain, an earl is a member of the peerage, ranking below a marquess, a feminine form of earl never developed, countess is used. The term earl has been compared to the name of the Heruli, proto-Norse eril, or the Old Norse jarl, came to signify the rank of a leader. The Norman-derived equivalent count was not introduced following the Norman conquest of England though countess was and is used for the female title.
In the other languages of Britain and Ireland, the term is translated as, Welsh iarll and Scottish Gaelic iarla, Scots yarl or yerl, Cornish yurl. An earl has the title Earl of when the title originates from a placename, in either case, he is referred to as Lord, and his wife as Lady. A countess who holds an earldom in her own right uses Lady, younger sons are styled The Honourable, and daughters, The Lady. In the peerage of Scotland, when there are no courtesy titles involved, the heir to an earldom, and indeed any level of peerage, is styled Master of, and successive sons as younger of. In Anglo-Saxon England, earls had authority over their own regions and right of judgment in provincial courts and they collected fines and taxes and in return received a third penny, one-third of the money they collected. In wartime they led the kings armies, some shires were grouped together into larger units known as earldoms, headed by an ealdorman or earl. Under Edward the Confessor earldoms like Wessex, East Anglia, Earls originally functioned essentially as royal governors.
Though the title of Earl was nominally equal to the duke, unlike them. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror tried to rule England using the traditional system, shires became the largest secular subdivision in England and earldoms disappeared. The Normans did create new earls like those of Herefordshire and their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. There was no longer any administrative layer larger than the shire, Earls no longer aided in tax collection or made decisions in country courts and their numbers were small
Early Irish law
Early Irish law, called Brehon law, comprised the statutes which governed everyday life in Early Medieval Ireland. These secular laws existed in parallel, and occasionally in conflict, the secular legal texts of Ireland were edited by D. A. Binchy in his six-volume Corpus Iuris Hibernici. The oldest surviving law tracts date from the 8th century, no single theory as to the origin of early Irish law is universally accepted. Early Irish law consisted of the decisions of the Brehons, or judges. Some of these laws were recorded in text form by Christian clerics, the earliest theory to be recorded is contained in the Prologue to the Senchas Már. According to that text, after a case involving St. Patrick, the Saint supervised the mixing of native Irish law. The story tells how the law transitioned from the keeping of the poets, whose speech was dark and incomprehensible, to the keeping of each group who had an interest in it. Some of the ideas in the tale may be correct, for some time, especially through the work of D. A.
For instance, historians have seen similarities between Irish and Indian customs of fasting as a method of shaming a wrongdoer to recover a debt, or to demand the righting of a wrong. Other legal institutions prominent in early Irish law but foreign to most contemporary legal systems, more recently historians have come to doubt such attributions. While few historians argue that all Irish law comes from church influence, they are much more wary as to what material is a survival. Today, the system is assumed to contain some earlier law influenced by the church. There is dispute, however, as to just how large a role each of these aspects may have played in creating the legal texts, the subject is an important scope for debate. There is, one area where scholars have found material that is clearly old, a number of legal terms have been shown to have originated in the period before the Celtic Languages split up because they are preserved in both Old Irish and in the Welsh legal texts. On the other hand, this is not regarded as evidence that the practices described by such terms are unchanged or even have their origins in the same period as do the terms.
Another important aspect when considering the origins is that the early Irish law texts are not always consistent, Early Irish law is, like the Old Irish language, remarkably standard across an Island with no central authority. However, close examination has revealed some variations, Brehon Laws have a reputation among modern scholars as rather progressive in their treatment of women, with some describing the law as providing for equality between the sexes. However, the Laws generally portray a patriarchal and patrilineal society in which the rules of inheritance were based on agnatic descent
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history, lasting from the 6th to the 10th century CE. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire, the Early Middle Ages largely overlap with Late Antiquity. The term Late Antiquity is used to emphasize elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, the period saw a continuation of trends begun during late classical antiquity, including population decline, especially in urban centres, a decline of trade, and increased immigration. The period has been labelled the Dark Ages, a characterization highlighting the relative scarcity of literary and cultural output from this time, especially in Northwestern Europe. However, the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, continued to survive, many of these trends were reversed in the period. In 800 the title of emperor was revived in Western Europe by Charlemagne, whose Carolingian Empire greatly affected European social structure, Europe experienced a return to systematic agriculture in the form of the feudal system, which introduced such innovations as three-field planting and the heavy plow.
Barbarian migration stabilized in much of Europe, although Northern Europe was greatly affected by the Viking expansion, starting in the 2nd century, various indicators of Roman civilization began to decline, including urbanization, seaborne commerce, and population. Archaeologists have identified only 40 percent as many Mediterranean shipwrecks from the 3rd century as from the first, estimates of the population of the Roman Empire during the period from 150 to 400 suggest a fall from 65 million to 50 million, a decline of more than 20 percent. Some scholars have connected this de-population to the Dark Ages Cold Period, Early in the 3rd century Germanic peoples migrated south from Scandinavia and reached the Black Sea, creating formidable confederations which opposed the local Sarmatians. In Dacia and on the north of the Black Sea the Goths. The arrival of the Huns in 372–375 ended the history of these kingdoms, the Huns, a confederation of central Asian tribes, founded an empire with a Turkic-speaking aristocracy.
They had mastered the art of shooting composite recurve bows from horseback. The Goths sought refuge in Roman territory, agreeing to enter the Empire as unarmed settlers, however many bribed the Danube border-guards into allowing them to bring their weapons. The discipline and organization of a Roman legion made it a fighting unit. The Romans preferred infantry to cavalry because infantry could be trained to retain the formation in combat, while cavalry tended to scatter when faced with opposition. While a barbarian army could be raised and inspired by the promise of plunder, the legions required a government and taxation to pay for salaries, constant training, equipment. The decline in agricultural and economic activity reduced the empires taxable income, in the Gothic War, the Goths revolted and confronted the main Roman army in the Battle of Adrianople. The general decline in discipline led to the use of smaller shields, not wanting to share the glory, Eastern Emperor Valens ordered an attack on the Therving infantry under Fritigern without waiting for Western Emperor Gratian, who was on the way with reinforcements
Temple at Uppsala
In Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Adam of Bremen provides a description of the temple. Adam records that a famous temple called Ubsola exists in a town close to Sigtuna. Adam details that the temple is adorned with gold and that the people there worship statues of three gods that sit on a triple throne. Thor, whom Adam refers to as the mightiest, sits in the throne, while Wodan. Adam adds that, in addition, they worship gods who were once men, Adam says that the three gods have a priest appointed to them each who offer up sacrifices to the deities from the people. If famine or plague occurs, a sacrifice is made to Thor, if there is war, a sacrifice is made to Wodan, if a marriage is to be held, a sacrifice is made to Fricco. Adam details sacrificial practices held at the temple, Adam describes that nine males of every living creature are offered up for sacrifice, the corpses of the nine males are hung within the grove beside the temple. Adam reveals that one Christian informed him that he had seen seventy-two cadavers of differing species hanging within the grove.
Adam expresses disgust at the songs they sing during these sacrificial rites, quipping that the songs are so many, Adam describes that near the temple stands a massive tree with far-spreading branches, which is evergreen both in summer and winter. At the tree is a spring where sacrifices are held, according to Adam, a custom exists where a man, alive, is thrown into the spring, and if he fails to return to the surface, the wish of the people will be fulfilled. Adam writes that a golden chain surrounds the temple that hangs from the gables of the building, the chain is very visible to those approaching the temple from a distance due to the landscape where the temple was built, it is surrounded by hills, like an amphitheatre. The feasts and sacrifices continue for a total of nine days, therefore, in a total of nine days twenty-seven sacrifices occur, Adam notes, these sacrifices occur about the time of the spring equinox. Simek says that details of Adams accounts have cited as potentially influenced by the description of Solomons Temple in the Old Testament.
Orchard states that it is unclear to what extent Adams description has a basis in fact rather than lurid fiction yet that Adams account contains a good deal of useful information. In the Ynglinga saga compiled in Heimskringla, Snorri presents an origin of the Norse gods. In chapter 5, Snorri asserts that the æsir settled in what is now Sweden, Snorri writes that Odin took up his residence at the Maelare lake, at the place now called Old Sigtun. There he erected a temple, where there were sacrifices according to the customs of the Asaland people. He appropriated to himself the whole of district, and called it Sigtun
Haakon the Good
Haakon Haraldsson, Haakon the Good and Haakon Adalsteinfostre, was the king of Norway from 934 to 961. He was noted for his attempts to introduce Christianity into Norway, Haakon was the youngest son of King Harald Fairhair and Thora Mosterstang. He was born on the Håkonshella peninsula in Hordaland, King Harald determined to remove his youngest son out of harms way and accordingly sent him to the court of King Athelstan of England. Haakon was fostered by King Athelstan, as part of an agreement made by his father, the English court introduced him to the Christian religion. On the news of his fathers death, King Athelstan provided Haakon with ships and men for an expedition against his half-brother Eric Bloodaxe, who had been proclaimed king of Norway. At his arrival back in Norway, Haakon gained the support of the landowners by promising to give up the rights of taxation claimed by his father over inherited real property. Eric Bloodaxe soon found himself deserted on all sides, and saved his own, Eric fled to the Orkney Islands and to the Kingdom of Jorvik, eventually meeting a violent death at Stainmore, Westmorland, in 954 along with his son, Haeric.
In 953, Haakon had to fight a battle at Avaldsnes against the sons of Eric Bloodaxe. Haakon won the battle at which Erics son Guttorm died, one of Haakons most famous victories was the Battle of Rastarkalv near Frei in 955 at which Erics son, died. By placing ten standards far apart along a low ridge, he gave the impression that his army was bigger than it actually was and he managed to fool Eric’s sons into believing that they were out-numbered. The Danes fled and were slaughtered by Haakon’s army, the sons of Eric returned in 957, with support from King Gorm the Old, King of Denmark, but were again defeated by Haakons effective army system. Three of the sons of Eric Bloodaxe landed undetected on the coast of Hordaland in 961. Haakon was mortally wounded at the Battle of Fitjar after a victory over Eric’s sons. The King’s arm was pierced by an arrow and he died from his wounds and he was buried in the burial mound in the village of Seim in Lindås municipality in the county of Hordaland. Upon his death his court poet, Eyvindr Skáldaspillir, composed a skaldic poem Hákonarmál about the fall of the King in battle and his reception into Valhalla.
After Haakons death, Harald Greycloak, the eldest surviving son of Eric Bloodaxe, ascended the throne as King Harald II, the Norwegians were tormented by years of war. In 970, King Harald was tricked into coming to Denmark and killed in a plot planned by Haakon Sigurdsson, Haakons Park is the location of a statue of King Haakon sculpted by Anne Grimdalen. During 1961, the statue was erected opposite Fitjar Church for the one thousand-year commemoration of the Battle of Fitjar, håkonarspelet is a historical play written by Johannes Heggland in 1997
Fall of the Western Roman Empire
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which it failed to enforce its rule, and its vast territory was divided into several successor polities. Increasing pressure from barbarians outside Roman culture contributed greatly to the collapse, the reasons for the collapse are major subjects of the historiography of the ancient world and they inform much modern discourse on state failure. Relevant dates include 117 CE, when the Empire was at its greatest territorial extent, irreversible major territorial loss, began in 376 with a large-scale irruption of Goths and others. In 395, after winning two destructive civil wars, Theodosius I died, leaving a field army and the Empire, still plagued by Goths. Invading barbarians had established their own power in most of the area of the Western Empire, while its legitimacy lasted for centuries longer and its cultural influence remains today, the Western Empire never had the strength to rise again. The Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which it failed to enforce its rule.
The Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events, for Dio Cassius, the accession of the emperor Commodus in 180 CE marked the descent from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron. Gibbon started his story in 98 and Theodor Mommsen regarded the whole of the period as unworthy of inclusion in his Nobel Prize-winning History of Rome. Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke argue that the entire Imperial era was one of decay of institutions founded in republican times. Gibbon gave a formulation of reasons why the Fall happened. He began a controversy about the role of Christianity, but he gave great weight to other causes of internal decline. The story of its ruin is simple and obvious, instead of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long. The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, alexander Demandt enumerated 210 different theories on why Rome fell, and new ideas have emerged since.
Historians still try to analyze the reasons for loss of control over a vast territory. Comparison has made with the Han Empire in China. At least from the time of Henri Pirenne, scholars have described continuity of culture and of political legitimacy, Pirenne postponed the demise of classical civilization to the 8th century. The more recent formulation of a period characterized as Late Antiquity emphasizes the transformations of ancient to medieval worlds within a cultural continuity. In recent decades archaeologically-based argument even extends the continuity in material culture, observing the political reality of lost control, but the cultural and archaeological continuities, the process has been described as a complex cultural transformation, rather than a fall
A thing was the governing assembly of a Northern Germanic society, made up of the free people of the community presided over by lawspeakers. Its meeting-place was called a thingstead, the Anglo-Saxon folkmoot or folkmote was analogous, the forerunner to the witenagemot and a precursor of the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Old Norse, Old Frisian, and Old English þing with the assembly is identical in origin to the English word thing, German Ding, Dutch ding. All of these derive from Proto-Germanic *þingą meaning appointed time. The word shift in the meaning of the thing from assembly to object is mirrored in the evolution of the Latin causa to modern French chose, Spanish/Italian/Catalan cosa. In English the term is attested from 685 to 686 CE in the meaning assembly, it referred to a being, entity or matter. The early sense of meeting, assembly did not survive the shift to Middle English, the meaning of personal possessions, commonly in the plural, first appears in Middle English around 1300.
In the pre-Christian clan-culture of Scandinavia the members of a clan were obliged to avenge injuries against their dead, a balancing structure was necessary to reduce tribal feuds and avoid social disorder. It is known from North-Germanic cultures that the institution was the thing, although similar assemblies are reported from other Germanic peoples. The thing was the assembly of the men and women of a country. There were consequently hierarchies of things, so that the things were represented at the higher-level thing. At the thing, disputes were solved and political decisions were made, the place for the thing was often the place for public religious rites and for commerce. The thing met at regular intervals, elected chieftains and kings, and judged according to the law, the things negotiations were presided over by the lawspeaker and the chieftain or the king. In reality the thing was dominated by the most influential members of the community, the heads of clans and wealthy families, the Thing for Vestfold in Norway, was located in Tønsberg at Haugar.
This site was one of Norways most important places for the proclamation of kings, in 1130, Harald Gille called together a meeting at the Haugating at which he was declared to be King of Norway. Sigurd Magnusson was proclaimed king in 1193 at Haugating, magnus VII was acclaimed hereditary King of Norway and Sweden at the Haugating in August 1319. Main things in Sweden were the Thing of all Swedes, the Thing of all Geats, the island of Gotland had twenty things in late medieval times, each represented at the island-thing called landsting by its elected judge. New laws were decided at the landsting, which took other decisions regarding the island as a whole, the landstings authority was successively eroded after the island was occupied by the Teutonic Order in 1398
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and an historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman emperors Tiberius, Claudius and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus, in AD14, to the years of the First Jewish–Roman War, There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including a gap in the Annals that is four books long. Tacitus is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians, details about his personal life are scarce. What little is known comes from scattered hints throughout his work, the letters of his friend and admirer Pliny the Younger, and an inscription found at Mylasa in Caria. Tacitus was born in 56 or 57 to an equestrian family, one scholars suggestion of Sextus has gained no approval. Most of the aristocratic families failed to survive the proscriptions which took place at the end of the Republic.
The claim that he was descended from a freedman is derived from a speech in his writings which asserts that many senators and knights were descended from freedmen, but this is generally disputed. His father may have been the Cornelius Tacitus who served as procurator of Belgica and Germania, Pliny the Elder mentions that Cornelius had a son who aged rapidly, which implies an early death. There is no mention of Tacitus suffering such a condition, the friendship between the younger Pliny and Tacitus leads some scholars to conclude that they were both the offspring of wealthy provincial families. The province of his birth remains unknown, though various conjectures suggest Gallia Belgica, Gallia Narbonensis and his marriage to the daughter of Narbonensian senator Gnaeus Julius Agricola implies that he came from Gallia Narbonensis. Tacitus dedication to Fabius Iustus in the Dialogus may indicate a connection with Spain, no evidence exists, that Plinys friends from northern Italy knew Tacitus, nor do Plinys letters hint that the two men had a common background.
Pliny Book 9, Letter 23 reports that, when he was asked if he was Italian or provincial, he gave an unclear answer, since Pliny was from Italy, some infer that Tacitus was from the provinces, probably Gallia Narbonensis. His ancestry, his skill in oratory, and his depiction of barbarians who resisted Roman rule have led some to suggest that he was a Celt. This belief stems from the fact that the Celts who had occupied Gaul prior to the Roman invasion were famous for their skill in oratory, and had been subjugated by Rome. As a young man, Tacitus studied rhetoric in Rome to prepare for a career in law and politics, like Pliny, in 77 or 78, he married Julia Agricola, daughter of the famous general Agricola. Little is known of their life, save that Tacitus loved hunting. He started his career under Vespasian, but entered political life as a quaestor in 81 or 82 under Titus
The Goths were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe. In the Gothic language they were called the Gut-þiuda, most commonly translated as Gothic people, gut-þiudai, or Gutans Inferred from gen. pl. gutani in Pietroassa inscription. In Old Norse they were known as the Gutar or Gotar, in Latin as the Gothi, the exact origin of the ancient Goths is unknown. Evidence of them before they interacted with the Romans is limited, Modern academics have generally abandoned this theory. Today, the Wielbark culture is thought to have developed from earlier cultures in the same area, archaeological finds show close contacts between southern Sweden and the Baltic coastal area on the continent, and further towards the south-east, evidenced by pottery, house types and graves. Rather than a migration, similarities in the material cultures may be products of long-term regular contacts.
However, the record could indicate that while his work is thought to be unreliable. Sometime around the 1st century AD, Germanic peoples may have migrated from Scandinavia to Gothiscandza, early archaeological evidence in the traditional Swedish province of Östergötland suggests a general depopulation during this period. However, there is no evidence for a substantial emigration from Scandinavia. Upon their arrival on the Pontic Steppe, the Germanic tribes adopted the ways of the Eurasian nomads, the first Greek references to the Goths call them Scythians, since this area along the Black Sea historically had been occupied by an unrelated people of that name. The earliest known material culture associated with the Goths on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea is the Wielbark culture, centered on the modern region of Pomerania in northern Poland. This culture replaced the local Oxhöft or Oksywie culture in the 1st century, the culture of this area was influenced by southern Scandinavian culture beginning as early as the late Nordic Bronze Age and early Pre-Roman Iron Age.
In Eastern Europe they formed part of the Chernyakhov culture and it has been suggested that the Goths maintained contact with southern Sweden during their migration. In the first attested incursion in Thrace, the Goths were mentioned as Boranoi by Zosimus, the first incursion of the Roman Empire that can be attributed to Goths is the sack of Histria in 238. Several such raids followed in subsequent decades, in particular the Battle of Abrittus in 251, led by Cniva, at the time, there were at least two groups of Goths, the Thervingi and the Greuthungs. Goths were subsequently recruited into the Roman Army to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars. The Moesogoths settled in Thrace and Moesia, the first seaborne raids took place in three subsequent years, probably 255-257. An unsuccessful attack on Pityus was followed in the year by another
Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, the imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated.
The senate appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus, Commodus assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine adopted Christianity which became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos.
The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperor