The Vandals were a large East Germanic tribe or group of tribes that first appear in history inhabiting present-day southern Poland. Some moved in large numbers, including most notably the group which successively established kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa in the 5th century; the traditional view has been that the Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were the same people as the Lugii. Expanding into Dacia during the Marcomannic Wars and to Pannonia during the Crisis of the Third Century, the Vandals were confined to Pannonia by the Goths around 330 AD, where they received permission to settle from Constantine the Great. Around 400, raids by the Huns forced many Germanic tribes to migrate into the territory of the Roman Empire, fearing that they might be targeted next the Vandals were pushed westwards, crossing the Rhine into Gaul along with other tribes in 406.
In 409 the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia and Baetica respectively. After the Visigoths invaded Iberia in 418, the Iranian Alans and Silingi Vandals voluntarily subjected themselves to the rule of Hasdingian leader Gunderic, pushed from Gallaecia to Baetica by a Roman-Suebi coalition in 419. In 429, under king Genseric, the Vandals entered North Africa. By 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman province of Africa as well as Sicily, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands, they fended off several Roman attempts to recapture the African province, sacked the city of Rome in 455. Their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Emperor Justinian I's forces reconquered the province for the Eastern Roman Empire. Renaissance and early-modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, "sacking and looting" Rome; this led to the use of the term "vandalism" to describe any pointless destruction the "barbarian" defacing of artwork.
However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture. The name of the Vandals has been connected to that of Vendel, the name of a province in Uppland, eponymous of the Vendel Period of Swedish prehistory, corresponding to the late Germanic Iron Age leading up to the Viking Age; the connection would be that Vendel is the original homeland of the Vandals prior to the Migration Period, retains their tribal name as a toponym. Further possible homelands of the Vandals in Scandinavia are Vendsyssel in Denmark and Hallingdal in Norway; the etymology of the name may be related to a Germanic verb *wand- "to wander". The Germanic mythological figure of Aurvandil "shining wanderer. R. Much has forwarded the theory that the tribal name Vandal reflects worship of Aurvandil or "the Dioscuri" involving an origin myth that the Vandalic kings were descended from Aurvandil; some medieval authors applied the ethnonym "Vandals" to Slavs: Veneti, Lusatians or Poles.
It was once thought that the Slovenes were the descendants of the Vandals, but this is not the view of modern scholars. Both Jordanes in his Getica and the Gotlandic Gutasaga tell that the Goths and Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula prior to the 2nd century BC, settled in Silesia from around 120 BC; the earliest mention of the Vandals is from Pliny the Elder, who used the term Vandilii in a broad way to define one of the major groupings of all Germanic peoples. Tribes within this category who he mentions are the Burgundiones, Varini and the Gutones. According to the Gallaecian Christian priest and theologian Paulus Orosius, the Vandals, who lived in Scoringa, near Stockholm, were of the same stock as the Suiones and the Goths; the Vandals are associated with the Przeworsk culture, but the culture extended over several eastern European peoples. Their origin and linguistic affiliation are debated; the bearers of the Przeworsk culture practiced cremation and inhumation.
The Lugii are identified by modern historians as the same people as the Vandals. The Lugii are mentioned by Strabo and Ptolemy as a large group of tribes between the Vistula and the Oder. None of those authors mentions the Vandals, while Pliny the Elder mentions the Vandals but not the Lugii. According to John Anderson, the "Lugii and Vandili are designations of the same tribal group, the latter an extended ethnic name, the former a cult-title." Herwig Wolfram notes that "In all likelihood the Lugians and the Vandals were one cultic community that lived in the same region of the Oder in Silesia, where it was first under Celtic and under Germanic domination." By the end of the 2nd century, the Vandals were divided in two main tribal groups, the Silingi and the Hasdingi, with the Silingi being associated with Silesia and the Hasdingi living in the Sudetes. Around the mid 2nd century AD, there was a significant migration by Germanic tribes of Scandinavian origin towards the south-east, creating turmoil along the entire Roman frontier.
The 6th century Byzantine historian Procopius noted that the Goths and Vandals were ph
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history; when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title used was imperator a military honorific. Early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus and pontifex maximus; the legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate. The first emperors reigned alone; the Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king. The first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, could not convincingly make the same claim. Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic.
From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: although the imperial succession was hereditary, it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted. Elements of the republican institutional framework were preserved after the end of the Western Empire; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century after multiple invasions of imperial territory by Germanic barbarian tribes. Romulus Augustulus is considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480. Following Nepos' death, the Eastern Emperor Zeno abolished the division of the position and proclaimed himself as the sole Emperor of a reunited Roman Empire.
The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople. Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453; the "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had meant king in Greek but became a title reserved for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire. Other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their pontifical office, some emperors were given divine status after death. With the eventual hegemony of Christianity, the emperor came to be seen as God's chosen ruler, as well as a special protector and leader of the Christian Church on Earth, although in practice an emperor's authority on Church matters was subject to challenge. Due to the cultural rupture of the Turkish conquest, most western historians treat Constantine XI as the last meaningful claimant to the title Roman Emperor. From 1453, one of the titles used by the Ottoman Sultans was "Caesar of Rome", part of their titles until the Ottoman Empire ended in 1922.
A Byzantine group of claimant Roman emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461, though they had used a modified title since 1282. Eastern emperors in Constantinople had been recognized and accepted as Roman emperors both in the East, which they ruled, by the Papacy and Germanic kingdoms of the West until the deposition of Constantine VI and accession of Irene of Athens as Empress regnant in 797. Objecting to a woman ruling the Roman Empire in her own right and issues with the eastern clergy, the Papacy would create a rival lineage of Roman emperors in western Europe, the Holy Roman Emperors, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire for most of the period between 800 and 1806; these Emperors were never recognized as Roman emperors by the court in Constantinople. Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch and Cassius Dio.
However, the majority of Roman writers, including Josephus, Pliny the Younger and Appian, as well as most of the ordinary people of the Empire, thought of Julius Caesar as the first Emperor. At the end of the Roman Republic no new, no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power. Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator Julius Caesar had been an emperor, like several Roman generals before him. Instead, by the end of the civil wars in which Julius Caesar had led his armies, it became clear that there was no consensus to return to the old-style monarchy, but that the period when several officials, bestowed with equal power by the senate, would fight one another had come to an end. Julius Caesar, Augustus after him, accumulated offices and titles of the highest importance in the Republic, making the power attached to those offices permanent, preventing anyone with similar aspirations from accumulating or maintaining power for themselves. However, Julius Caesar, unlike those after
The Visigothic Kingdom or Kingdom of the Visigoths was a kingdom that occupied what is now southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to the 8th centuries. One of the Germanic successor states to the Western Roman Empire, it was created by the settlement of the Visigoths under King Wallia in the province of Gallia Aquitania in southwest Gaul by the Roman government and extended by conquest over all of Hispania; the Kingdom maintained independence from the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the attempts of which to re-establish Roman authority in Hispania were only successful and short-lived. The Visigoths were romanized central Europeans; the Visigoths became Foederati of Rome, wanted to restore the Roman order against the hordes of Vandals and Suebi. The Western Roman Empire fell in 476 AD. Under King Euric—who eliminated the status of Foederati—a triumphal advance of the Visigoths began. Alarmed at Visigoth expansion from Aquitania after victory over the British army at Déols in 469, Western Emperor Anthemius sent a fresh army across the Alps against Euric, besieging Arles.
The Roman army was crushed in battle nearby and Euric captured Arles and secured much of southern Gaul. Sometimes referred to as the regnum Tolosanum or Kingdom of Toulouse after its capital Toulouse in modern historiography, the kingdom lost much of its territory in Gaul to the Franks in the early 6th century, save the narrow coastal strip of Septimania; the kingdom of the 6th and 7th centuries is sometimes called the regnum Toletanum after the new capital of Toledo. A civil war starting in 549 resulted in an invitation from the Visigoth Athanagild, who had usurped the kingship, to the Byzantine emperor Justinian I to send soldiers to his assistance. Athanagild won his war, but the Byzantines took over Cartagena and a good deal of southern Hispania and could not be dislodged. Starting in the 570s Athanagild's brother Liuvigild compensated for this loss by conquering the Kingdom of the Suebi and annexing it, by repeated campaigns against the Basques; the ethnic distinction between the indigenous Hispano-Roman population and the Visigoths had disappeared by this time.
This newfound unity found expression in severe persecution of outsiders the Jews. The Visigothic Code abolished the old tradition of having different laws for Romans and for Visigoths; the 7th century saw many civil wars between factions of the aristocracy. Despite good records left by contemporary bishops, such as Isidore and Leander of Seville, it becomes difficult to distinguish Goths from Latins, as the two became inextricably intertwined. Despite these civil wars, by 625 AD the Visigoths had succeeded in expelling the Byzantines from Hispania and had established a foothold at the port of Ceuta in Africa. Most of the Visigothic Kingdom was conquered by Umayyad troops from North Africa in 711 AD, with only the northern reaches of Hispania remaining in Christian hands; these gave birth to the medieval Kingdom of Asturias when a local landlord called Pelayo, most of Gothic origin, was elected Princeps by the Astures. The Visigoths and their early kings were Arians and came into conflict with the Catholic Church, but after they converted to Nicene Christianity, the Church exerted an enormous influence on secular affairs through the Councils of Toledo.
The Visigoths developed the influential law code known in Western Europe as the Visigothic Code, which would become the basis for Spanish law throughout the Middle Ages. From 407 to 409 AD, an alliance of Germanic Vandals, Iranian Alans and Germanic Suebi crossed the frozen Rhine and swept across modern France and into the Iberian peninsula. For their part, the Visigoths under Alaric famously sacked Rome in 410, capturing Galla Placidia, the sister of Western Roman emperor Honorius. Ataulf spent the next few years operating in the Gallic and Hispanic countrysides, diplomatically playing competing factions of Germanic and Roman commanders against one another to skillful effect, taking over cities such as Narbonne and Toulouse. After he married Placidia, the Emperor Honorius enlisted him to provide Visigothic assistance in regaining nominal Roman control of Hispania from the Vandals and Suebi. In 418, Honorius rewarded his Visigothic federates under King Wallia by giving them land in the Garonne valley of Gallia Aquitania on which to settle.
This took place under the system of hospitalitas. It seems that at first the Visigoths were not given a large amount of land estates in the region, but that they acquired the taxes of the region, with the local Gallic aristocrats now paying their taxes to the Visigoths instead of to the Roman government; the Visigoths with their capital at Toulouse, remained de facto independent, soon began expanding into Roman territory at the expense of the feeble Western empire. Under Theodoric I, the Visigoths attacked Arles and Narbonne, but were checked by Flavius Aetius using Hunnic mercenaries, Theodoric was defeated in 438. By 451, the situation had reversed and the Huns had invaded Gaul. Attila was driven back; the Vandals comp
Attila called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. He was the leader of a tribal empire consisting of Huns and Alans among others, in Central and Eastern Europe. During his reign, he was one of the most feared enemies of the Eastern Roman Empires, he plundered the Balkans, but was unable to take Constantinople. His unsuccessful campaign in Persia was followed in 441 by an invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire, the success of which emboldened Attila to invade the West, he attempted to conquer Roman Gaul, crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as Aurelianum before being defeated at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. He subsequently was unable to take Rome, he planned for further campaigns against the Romans, but died in 453. After Attila's death, his close adviser, Ardaric of the Gepids, led a Germanic revolt against Hunnic rule, after which the Hunnic Empire collapsed. There is no surviving first-hand account of Attila's appearance, but there is a possible second-hand source provided by Jordanes, who cites a description given by Priscus.
He was a man born into the world to shake the nations, the scourge of all lands, who in some way terrified all mankind by the dreadful rumors noised abroad concerning him. He was haughty in his walk, rolling his eyes hither and thither, so that the power of his proud spirit appeared in the movement of his body, he was indeed a lover of war, yet restrained in action, mighty in counsel, gracious to suppliants and lenient to those who were once received into his protection. Short of stature, with a broad chest and a large head. Many scholars have argued. Omeljan Pritsak considered Ἀττίλα a composite title-name which derived from Turkic *es, *t il, the suffix /a/.:444 The stressed back syllabic til assimilated the front member es, so it became *as.:444 It is a nominative, in form of attíl- with the meaning "the oceanic, universal ruler".:444 J. J. Mikkola connected it with Turkic āt.:216 As another Turkic possibility, H. Althof considered it was related to Turkish atli, or Turkish at and dil.:216 Maenchen-Helfen argues that Pritsak's derivation is "ingenious but for many reasons unacceptable",:387 while dismissing Mikkola's as "too farfetched to be taken seriously".:390 M. Snædal notes that none of these proposals has achieved wide acceptance.:215-216 Criticizing the proposals of finding Turkic or other etymologies for Attila, Doerfer notes that King George VI of England had a name of Greek origin, Süleyman the Magnificent had a name of Arabic origin, yet that does not make them Greeks or Arabs: it is therefore plausible that Attila would have a name not of Hunnic origin.:31-32 Historian Hyun Jin Kim, has argued that the Turkic etymology is "more probable".:30M.
Snædal, in a paper that rejects the Germanic derivation but notes the problems with the existing proposed Turkic etymologies, argues that Attila's name could have originated from Turkic-Mongolian at, adyy/agta and Turkish atli, meaning "possessor of geldings, provider of warhorses".:216-217 The historiography of Attila is faced with a major challenge, in that the only complete sources are written in Greek and Latin by the enemies of the Huns. Attila's contemporaries left many testimonials of his life, but only fragments of these remain.:25 Priscus was a Byzantine diplomat and historian who wrote in Greek, he was both a witness to and an actor in the story of Attila, as a member of the embassy of Theodosius II at the Hunnic court in 449. He was biased by his political position, but his writing is a major source for information on the life of Attila, he is the only person known to have recorded a physical description of him, he wrote a history of the late Roman Empire in eight books covering the period from 430 to 476.
Today we have only fragments of Priscus' work, but it was cited extensively by 6th-century historians Procopius and Jordanes,:413 in Jordanes' The Origin and Deeds of the Goths. It contains numerous references to Priscus's history, it is an important source of information about the Hunnic empire and its neighbors, he describes the Hunnic people for a century after Attila's death. Marcellinus Comes, a chancellor of Justinian during the same era describes the relations between the Huns and the Eastern Roman Empire.:30Numerous ecclesiastical writings contain useful but scattered information, sometimes difficult to authenticate or disto
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by their use of the Germanic languages. Their history stretches from the 2nd millennium BCE up to the present day. Proto-Germanic peoples are believed to have emerged during the Nordic Bronze Age, which developed out of the Battle Axe culture in southern Scandinavia. During the Iron Age various Germanic tribes began a southward expansion at the expense of Celtic peoples, which led to centuries of sporadic violent conflict with ancient Rome, it is from Roman authors. The decisive victory of Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE is believed to have prevented the eventual Romanization of the Germanic peoples, has therefore been considered a turning point in world history. Germanic tribes settled the entire Roman frontier along the Rhine and the Danube, some established close relations with the Romans serving as royal tutors and mercenaries, sometimes rising to the highest offices in the Roman military.
Meanwhile, Germanic tribes expanded into Eastern Europe, where the Goths subdued the local Iranian nomads and came to dominate the Pontic Steppe launching sea expeditions into the Balkans and Anatolia as far as Cyprus. The westward expansion of the Huns into Europe in the late 4th century CE pushed many Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire, their vacated lands were filled by Slavs. Much of these territories were reclaimed in following centuries. Other tribes became known as the Anglo-Saxons. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a series of Germanic kingdoms emerged, of which, Francia gained a dominant position; this kingdom formed the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of Charlemagne, recognized by Pope Leo III in 800 CE. Meanwhile, North Germanic seafarers referred to as Vikings, embarked on a massive expansion which led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, Kievan Rus' and their settlement of the British Isles and the North Atlantic Ocean as far as North America.
With the North Germanic abandonment of their native religion in the 11th century, nearly all Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity. In about 222 BCE, the first use of the Latin term "Germani" appears in the Fasti Capitolini inscription de Galleis Insvbribvs et Germ; this may be referring to Gaul or related people. The term Germani shows up again written by Poseidonios, but is a quotation inserted by the author Athenaios who wrote much later. Somewhat the first surviving detailed discussions of Germani and Germania are those of Julius Caesar, whose memoirs are based on first-hand experience. From Caesar's perspective, Germania was a geographical area of land on the east bank of the Rhine opposite Gaul, which Caesar left outside direct Roman control; this word provides the etymological origin of the modern concept of "Germanic" languages and Germany as a geographical abstraction. For some classical authors Germania included regions of Sarmatia, as well as an area under Roman control on the west bank of the Rhine.
Additionally, in the south there were Celtic peoples still living east of the Rhine and north of the Alps. Caesar and others noted differences of culture which could be found on the east of the Rhine, but the theme of all these cultural references was that this was a wild and dangerous region, less civilized than Gaul, a place that required additional military vigilance. Caesar used the term Germani for a specific tribal grouping in northeastern Belgic Gaul, west of the Rhine, the largest part of whom were the Eburones, he made clear. These are the so-called Germani Cisrhenani, whom Caesar believed to be related to the peoples east of the Rhine, descended from immigrants into Gaul. Tacitus suggests that this was the original meaning of the word "Germani" – as the name of a single tribal nation west of the Rhine, ancestral to the Tungri, not the name of a whole race as it came to mean, he suggested that two large Belgic tribes neighbouring Caesar's Germani, the Nervii and the Treveri, liked to call themselves Germanic in his time, in order not to be associated with Gaulish indolence.
Caesar described this group of tribes both as Germani. Gauls are associated with Celtic languages, the term Germani is associated with Germanic languages, but Caesar did not discuss languages in detail; the geographer Ptolemy described the place where these people lived as Germania, which according to his accounts was bordered by the Rhine and Danube Rivers, but he circumscribed into Greater Germania an area which included Jutland and an enormous island known as Scandia. While saying that the Germani had ancestry across the Rhine, Caesar did not describe these tribes as recent immigrants, saying that they had defended themselves some generations earlier from the invading Cimbri and Teutones, it has been claimed, for example by Maurits Gysseling, that the place names of this region show evidence of an early presence of Germanic languages, as early as the 2nd century BCE. The Celtic culture and language were however influential als
Western Roman Empire
In historiography, the Western Roman Empire refers to the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court. The terms Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire are modern descriptions that describe political entities that were de facto independent; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476, the Western imperial court was formally dissolved in 480. The Eastern imperial court survived until 1453. Though the Empire had seen periods with more than one Emperor ruling jointly before, the view that it was impossible for a single emperor to govern the entire Empire was institutionalised to reforms to Roman law by emperor Diocletian following the disastrous civil wars and disintegrations of the Crisis of the Third Century, he introduced the system of the tetrarchy in 286, with two separate senior emperors titled Augustus, one in the East and one in the West, each with an appointed Caesar. Though the tetrarchic system would collapse in a matter of years, the East–West administrative division would endure in one form or another over the coming centuries.
As such, the Western Roman Empire would exist intermittently in several periods between the 3rd and 5th centuries. Some emperors, such as Constantine I and Theodosius I, governed as the sole Augustus across the Roman Empire. On the death of Theodosius I in 395, he divided the empire between his two sons, with Honorius as his successor in the West, governing from Mediolanum, Arcadius as his successor in the East, governing from Constantinople. In 476, after the Battle of Ravenna, the Roman Army in the West suffered defeat at the hands of Odoacer and his Germanic foederati. Odoacer became the first King of Italy. In 480, following the assassination of the previous Western emperor Julius Nepos, the Eastern emperor Zeno dissolved the Western court and proclaimed himself the sole emperor of the Roman Empire; the date of 476 was popularized by the 18th century British historian Edward Gibbon as a demarcating event for the end of the Western Empire and is sometimes used to mark the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.
Odoacer's Italy, other barbarian kingdoms, would maintain a pretence of Roman continuity through the continued use of the old Roman administrative systems and nominal subservience to the Eastern Roman court. In the 6th century, emperor Justinian I re-imposed direct Imperial rule on large parts of the former Western Roman Empire, including the prosperous regions of North Africa, the ancient Roman heartland of Italy and parts of Hispania. Political instability in the Eastern heartlands, combined with foreign invasions and religious differences, made efforts to retain control of these territories difficult and they were lost for good. Though the Eastern Empire retained territories in the south of Italy until the eleventh century, the influence that the Empire had over Western Europe had diminished significantly; the papal coronation of the Frankish King Charlemagne as Roman Emperor in 800 marked a new imperial line that would evolve into the Holy Roman Empire, which presented a revival of the Imperial title in Western Europe but was in no meaningful sense an extension of Roman traditions or institutions.
The Great Schism of 1054 between the churches of Rome and Constantinople further diminished any authority the Emperor in Constantinople could hope to exert in the west. As the Roman Republic expanded, it reached a point where the central government in Rome could not rule the distant provinces. Communications and transportation were problematic given the vast extent of the Empire. News of invasion, natural disasters, or epidemic outbreak was carried by ship or mounted postal service requiring much time to reach Rome and for Rome's orders to be returned and acted upon. Therefore, provincial governors had de facto autonomy in the name of the Roman Republic. Governors had several duties, including the command of armies, handling the taxes of the province and serving as the province's chief judges. Prior to the establishment of the Empire, the territories of the Roman Republic had been divided in 43 BC among the members of the Second Triumvirate: Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Antony received the provinces in the East: Achaea and Epirus, Bithynia and Asia, Syria and Cyrenaica.
These lands had been conquered by Alexander the Great. The whole region the major cities, had been assimilated into Greek culture, Greek serving as the lingua franca. Octavian obtained the Roman provinces of the West: Italia, Gallia Belgica, Hispania; these lands included Greek and Carthaginian colonies in the coastal areas, though Celtic tribes such as Gauls and Celtiberians were culturally dominant. Lepidus received the minor province of Africa. Octavian soon took Africa while adding Sicilia to his holdings. Upon the defeat of Mark Antony, a victorious Octavian controlled a united Roman Em