Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the history of the Germanic successor states of the Roman Empire, explaining that it remains unclear whether the Roman territories were conquered or handed over to the German barbarians because the German tribes were not numerous enough to have overthrown the Empire militarily. It suggests that the overall image of the successor kingdoms is one of a run-down version of the late Empire and on a much reduced scale. The chapter also highlights the fact that while the Germanic incomers brought new vitality to the western provinces, it is hard to find much that can be genuinely described as Germanic.
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