This region is seeing major population movements. The German peoples are expanding, moving outward in all directions from their homelands in northern Germany and southern Scandinavia. At the same time, Iranian people from the central Asian steppes, called the Sarmatians, are moving into Eastern Europe.
The Greek city-states and kingdoms have fallen under the power of Romeclick to view Greece and the Balkans 30BC
The free inhabitants of Italy all now enjoy full Roman citizenship, and provide Rome with the bulk of its soldiers and officialsclick to view Italy 30BC
The whole of the area of modern France has been conquered by the Romansclick to view France 30BC
Central Europe beyond the Roman frontiers is now dominated by, on the one hand, Germanic peoples, notably the Goths, migrating in from the north; and on the other hand by the Sarmatians, an Iranian people who have moved in from the eastern steppes.
The German tribes along the Roman frontier have experienced great changes in their way of life. Trade across the frontier has led to divergences in wealth within their previously egalitarian communities. At the same time, the constant military pressure – both from the Roman army in front of them and other German tribes pressing in from behind – has militarized their societies. Old tribal groups have vanished and new ones emerged, organized more on the lines of mobile armies than of the traditional tribe. These new formations are set to cause the Roman empire grave damage.
The Greek cities are in decline, though their glorious past is still reveredclick to view Greece and the Balkans 200AD
Italy holds a privileged position within the Roman empireclick to view Italy 200AD
Roman civilization has become deeply entrenched throughout the area of modern Franceclick to view France 200AD
This region, once dominated by the Goths and Sarmatians, was transformed by the coming of the Huns from the east. These were for a time the dominant group here. Their coming pushed the Geman tribes on the Roman frontier - Goths, Vandals, Suevi, Burgundians, Alemani, Franks - across en masse into Roman territory. Roman power in the west crumbled under this onslaught.
Because of this great migration, German speakers ceased to be the majority group in central Europe during the 5th century. Other tribes were absorbed into the Hun confederacy or, accepting Hun overlordship, expanded into areas vacated by the Germans. A people belonging to one language group in particular, the Slavs, have expanded, and it is in this period that they begin to predominate in eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, the Huns, after terrorizing the Roman empire for some years, have ceased to be a major power, and have in fact all but vanished, first weakened by internal squabbling and then disappearing amongst their former subjects.
The Balkans have been lost to Byzantine rule, and Slavs and Bulgars have settled the region.click to view Greece and the Balkans 500AD
In Italy, Roman admininstration and society remains largely intact under the rule of the Ostrogothsclick to view Italy 500AD
Gaul is now divided amongst German-ruled kingdoms, but much of the old Roman civilization enduresclick to view France 500AD
In the wake of the Huns, another nomadic people swept in from the steppes. These were the Avars. They established their rule over a wide area, destroyed the Gepids and pressured the Lombards into leaving their Danubian lands and invading Italy. Avar power has since declined, but they remain a strong power in the region.
Slav tribes now inhabit the lands east of Elbe, which German peoples lived in until the period of the migrations into the Roman provinces. The German tribes in the Rhineland have largely come under Frankish rule, as have the Bavarians, who form a semi-independent enclave within the Frankish realm. These peoples have been converted to Christianity, coming within the spiritual orbit of the Catholic Church of western Europe.
The Saxons are the main German tribe still beyond the reach of the Franks. They remain stubbornly pagan, and fiercely warlike.
The Balkans have been lost to Byzantine rule, and Slavs and Bulgars have settled the region.click to view Greece and the Balkans 750AD
The Kingdom of the Franks now covers all of the old Roman region of Gaul.click to view France 750AD
In Italy, long wars have caused massive destruction, and the peninsula is now divided between the Lombards and Byzantinesclick to view Italy 750AD
Scandinavian society was experiencing change as regional kingdoms were beginning to replace the local chiefdoms.click to view Scandinavia 750AD
The Khazars dominate the Ukrainian steppesclick to view Russia 750AD
Hover MAP for summary and tap to zoom. MAP < and > buttons change date. TIMELINE icons jump to date. See below for historical summary.