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The Cause For The Great Migrations

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The cause for the 'Great Migrations' was to plunder new lands and settle. Germanic tribes had for centuries challenged the Roman frontiers because their primitive, unproductive economies forced them to search constantly for new lands to plunder or settle. The Germans were attracted by the wealth and splendor of the Roman world, and the Romans admitted them into the Empire, even while resisting their armies. The barbarians came initially as slaves or prisoners of war, then as free peasants to settle on deserted lands, and finally as mercenary soldiers and officers. In the fourth century the barbarian penetration of the Roman Empire was made more violent because the barbarians themselves were being invaded and forced southwestward by nomadic hordes from central Asia.
The migration, with the nomadic hordes, was turning into a course of destruction. These nomads who sowed tumult in the barbarian world were the Huns. It is believed that it was because of reaction to climate changes that desiccated their pastures, the Huns swept out of their Asiatic homeland and terrorized Western Europe. The course the Huns took was that of many raids. Their great chief Attila established his horde on the plain of the Danube and from there he led the Huns on raids into both Gaul and Italy. With Attila's death in 453, the Hunnic empire disintegrated, but the Huns had already given impetus to the great movement of peoples that marks the beginning of the middle ages. The beginning of the Middle Ages would be the final outcome from the 'Great Migrations.' There would be many small kingdoms that would become known as medieval kingdoms.
The Visigoths were the first of the Germanic tribes that the Huns dislodged. Fleeing before the Huns, the Visigoths asked the Byzantine emperor to settle them in a depopulated area south of the Danube. In 376 the emperor Valens admitted them into the Empire. The Visigoths wanted to settle peacefully but the Byzantine officials treated them miserably, raping their women and forcing their children into slavery. The Goths rebelled against Valens. Valens led an expedition against them and at the battle of Adrianople in 378 the Visigoths cavalry won over the Roman foot soldier. Visigoths continued moving westward sacking Rome in 410.They took gold and silver treasure, slaves, and moveable property. In 418 the Visigoths established the first autonomous kingdom on Roman soil. At its height the Visigoths extended from Gibraltar to the Loire River. Another Germanic people, the Franks, conquered the Visigothic kingdom in Gaul in the sixth century and confined the Visigoths to Spain.
Next were the Vandals and Burgundies, they were yet another Germanic group that the Huns forced out of their territory. They broke across the Rhine River into Gaul. They continued south through the Iberian Peninsula and crossed to North Africa, where they established a permanent kingdom in 429.They were Arians and persecuted orthodox Christians. They became very powerful in the Mediterranean Sea that in 455 they plundered Rome. This act, the cruelty in involved in their religious persecutions, and their piracy in the Mediterranean earned the Vandals a reputation for senseless violence. Justinian, a Byzantine emperor, destroyed the Vandal Empire in the 6th century.
The Burgundies, another Germanic tribe from eastern Europe, followed the Vandals into Gaul, probably around 411.They established their own kingdom in the valleys of the upper Rhone and Saone rivers in 443, which gave the region its permanent name, Burgundy.
The ease with which all these Germanic peoples invaded the Roman frontier shows that the Empire had lost virtually all authority in the West by the middle of the fifth ...

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