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Year 7 - Ancient Rome: The Fall of the Roman Empire

Fall of the Roman Empire


Barbarian Peoples and Invasions of Rome 

The barbarians weren't just one people group. The term "barbarian" was used to describe a wide variety of different peoples that had little to do with each other. Many of the groups that attacked and invaded the Roman Empire were Germanic tribes from Northern Europe.

  • Goths - One of the most powerful and organized groups of barbarians were the Goths. The Goths were divided into two major branches: the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths. The Visigoths took over much of Western Europe and battled Rome constantly in the late 300's. Under their leader Alaric I, the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410.
  • Vandals - The Vandals migrated from Northern Europe to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) and eventually to North Africa where they established a powerful kingdom. They established a peace treaty with Rome in 442 AD, but attacked Rome in 455 when the treaty was broken. Under the Vandal King Genseric, the Vandals sacked Rome in 455 AD and plundered the city for two weeks.
  • Huns - The Huns were a nomadic warrior people who came from the east. Under the leadership of their leader Attila, the Huns defeated the Ostrogoths and invaded the Eastern Roman Empire. They then moved to conquer much of Roman Gaul (France). In 452, the Huns invaded Italy. They plundered much of Italy, but did not take the city of Rome.
  • Franks - The Franks were a number of Germanic tribes that settled in the region that is today the country of France (France gets its name from the Franks). They began invading the borders of the Roman Empire around 300 AD. The Franks truly became powerful after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and would eventually become one of the leading empires in Western Europe.
  • Saxons - As Rome began to weaken, the Saxons moved from Western Europe and began to invade Great Britain. They took over many Roman settlements in Great Britain as the Emperor was too weak to send the Romans in Great Britain aide.
  • Others - There were many other peoples that the Romans referred to as barbarians including the Celts, Thracians, Parthians, Picts, Lombards, and the Burgundians.

Information from Ducksters

Constantine and the rise of Christianity