The barbarians
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   1. Life and customs of the Germans

   The Romans called barbarians to foreigners, that is, those who were outside of the boundaries of the Empire. The Slavs from the Russian steppes and the Germans from Central Europe stand out. The Germans were tall Indo-Aryans with blue eyes and white skin. They are distinguished by their personal value.

   - LIFE: freemen and slaves were distinguished among the Germanic. The family was the basic unit of society and the father had absolute authority. The lands were cultivated by women and slaves, while the men worked in the war and in the hunting.

   - FORM OF GOVERNMENT. The Germans were grouped into tribes. When there was any danger, several tribes grouped in a confederation led by a commander or king. In the upper picture, we see that the German warriors are holding a general assembly directed by the king. In these assemblies the important issues as the choice of the leader, declaration of war, land distribution and justice were discussed.

   - RELIGION: Wotan was the god of battles and his wife Freya was the goddess of love. They believed that the soldiers killed in battle were collected by the Valkyries and taken to Valhalla, where they could hunt eternally.


   2. Indicate if these sentences refer to the life, to the government or to the religion:
 

There were freemen and slaves

 

Wotan, the god of battles

 

They were grouped into tribes

 

Freya, the goddess of love

 

The men worked in the war

 

They held general assemblies

 

The Valkyries collected the dead

 

Women and slaves worked

 

The assembly declared war

 

    3. Types of invasions

   The Germanic peoples soaked into the borders of the Roman Empire in two ways:

   - PEACEFUL invasion: during 200 years A.C, the Germans went into the territories of the Empire peacefully, sometimes as soldiers collecting a salary and other times as farmers. These Germans were forced to defend the borders of the Empire.

   - VIOLENT INVASION: from the third century (A.C) the Germans, moved by the Huns of yellow race, entered in large groups, without the Roman legions could stop the avalanche.


   4. Indicate if these sentences refer to the peaceful invasion or to the violent invasion:

They entered as soldiers

 

They were moved by the Huns

 

They cultivated the land

 

They entered in large groups

 

    5. Principal invasions

    The Huns who came from the steppes of Asia moved various peoples:

   The Visigoths came from Thrace (currently Romania). When they invaded the Iberian Peninsula, they expelled the Vandals and Alans into North Africa. The King Athaulf led the Visigoths to Spain. After several monarchs, Eurico was the first independent king who did not obey the Roman authorities. He was a legislative monarch who promulgated the Code of Euric and took control of the Iberian Peninsula, except Galicia where the Swabians remained.
   The King Leovigild achieved the territorial unit of the Visigoth kingdom, suppressing the Swabians and snatching the cities of Malaga and Cordobathe to the Byzantines.
   The King Reccared got the religious unity, adopting at the Council of Toledo Catholicism as the official and only religion of the Visigoth kingdom (See the side picture).

   The last Visigoth king was Ruderic. His enemies called for help to the Muslims of North Africa and they defeated him with an army of 7 000 berbers at the Battle of Guadalete. From the year 711 (A.C) Muslims lived in Spain for nearly eight centuries.

   - THE FRANKS : at the beginning of the V century A.C., the Franks entered in France and their king Meroveo fought with the Romans against Attila's Huns in the Catalaunian fields ( 451 A. C. ). Then the king Clovis I founded the Frank independent kingdom.

   - The Swabians, Vandals and Alans: These people arrived to Spain before the Visigoths and divided among them the territory: the Swabians settled in Galicia, the Alans in the Plateau and east and the Vandals in Andalusia. But then the latter migrated to Africa.

   - Angles and Saxons: From the north of Germany, they arrived to the British Isles and the Saxons settled in the north of the River Thames and the Angles in the south of that river.

   - The HUNS: their great leader was Attila, a great warrior who destroyed Gaul (France) , but was defeated in the Catalonian Fields . After a year, he entered in Italy and only the mediation of Pope Leo the Great saved Rome from a terrible looting.

   - The Ostrogoths occupied Italy. Odoacer took control of Rome (476 A. C.) and the Western Roman Empire collapsed.


   6. Indicate if these sentences refer to Visigoths, to Franks, to Swabians, to Vandals, to Alans, to Angles, to Saxons or to Huns

They settled in Galicia

 

They occupied the plateau and the east

 

They were in Andalusia

 

Leovigild achieved the unit

 

They settled at the north of the Thames

 

They were in the south of that river

 

They had the King Clovis I

 

They occupied Italy

 

Attila was their leader

 




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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL