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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
VIII. THE GERMANS TO 476 A.D.
» Contents of this ChapterPage 4
BREAKING OF THE DANUBE BARRIER
North of the Danube lived, near the close of the fourth century, a German people called Visigoths, or West Goths. Their kinsmen, the Ostrogoths, or East Goths, held the land north of the Black Sea between the Danube and the Don. These two nations had been among the most dangerous enemies of Rome. In the third century they made so many expeditions against the eastern territories of the empire that Aurelian at last surrendered to the Visigoths the great province of Dacia. The barbarians now came in contact with Roman civilization and began to lead more settled lives. Some of them even accepted Christianity from Bishop Ulfilas, who translated the Bible into the Gothic tongue.
THE VISIGOTHS CROSS THE DANUBE, 376 A.D.
The peaceful fusion of Goth and Roman might have gone on indefinitely but for the sudden appearance in Europe of the Huns. They were a nomadic people from central Asia. Entering Europe north of the Caspian Sea, the Huns quickly subdued the Ostrogoths and compelled them to unite in an attack upon their German kinsmen. Then the entire nation of Visigoths crowded the banks of the Danube and begged the Roman authorities to allow them to cross that river and place its broad waters between them and their terrible foes. In an evil hour for Rome their prayer was granted. At length two hundred thousand Gothic warriors, with their wives and children, found a home on Roman soil.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy