Medieval Europe arose on the ruins of the Roman Empire not immediately, but for several centuries. It was formed as a result of the invasion of barbarian tribes, and above all Germanic tribes. These invasions completed the long process of unification of the Roman and barbarian worlds.
How could these unlinky worlds come together, which led to the emergence of the European Middle Ages?
A few centuries before the demise, the Roman Empire began to decline, its population was declining. Indigenous people in the Apennine peninsula became smaller than strangers – Gauls, Germans and other tribes. New settlers did not perceive the culture of the Greeks and Romans. Increased the barbarization of society, which turned out to be more dangerous for Rome than enemy attacks. People have become more rude, their views on life are more primitive. If at the time of their Romans lived by following the laws of their ancestors, then new generations began to fall morally, seeking only
wealth and entertainment. The spread of “alien” religions weakened the old faith. At the same time, the influence of Christianity increased. At first, state power forbade the faith of Christ, but, in the end, came to the senses and in 313 proclaimed freedom of religion. In another 12 years, the clergymen at the meeting in Nicaea adopted the symbol of faith – a summary of the Christian dogma. Since the emperor Constantine, Roman rulers professed Christianity. Since then, between the state and the church, peace and harmony have reigned. The victory of Christianity meant replacing the old worldview with a new, perceived and medieval Europe.
The economic crisis was mounting in the empire. Production declined, money depreciated, trade stopped. The shortage of slaves served as the reason for the decline of large slave-owning economies-the latifundia. Slaves worked reluctantly, somehow, so the work of the colonies and peasants attached to the land was increasingly used in agriculture. The process of replacing slave labor with peasant labor was completed later, already in the Middle Ages.
structure of the Roman Empire also changed. The state power became despotic. Former citizens turned into weak-willed subjects of a cruel emperor. The authorities killed in Romans a sense of responsibility for the destiny of the state. It came to the point that they no longer wanted to serve in the army. The emperors were forced to recruit mercenaries-barbarians in the army, who, even more so, were indifferent to the fate of Rome. The barbarization of the army became one of the main reasons for the decline and death of the Roman Empire.
Rome, therefore, was unable to withstand the onslaught of the hostile barbarian tribesmen with whom he had fought for centuries. The raids of numerous tribes of Celts, Germans, Slavs, Thracians and Sarmatians accelerated the death of this gigantic state.
The Germans played a special role in the destruction of the Western Roman Empire. The Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus described them as tall, blue-eyed, fair-haired, determined, enduring and patient.
The German tribes of the Franks, Angles, Lombards, Vandals, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Burgundians and others engaged in more cattle breeding than agriculture: there was not enough arable land. They settled mainly in small farms, located a short distance from each other. The Germans lived in communities, but they were already divided into rich and poor, noble and simple. They used the work of bonded people, who were sometimes released to freedom or adopted. Although the German families were dominated by men, women were treated with great respect.