Western approaches (500–600)

Moorhead, John (2008). Western approaches (500–600). In Jonathan Shepard (Ed.), The Cambridge history of the Byzantine empire c. 500-1492 (pp. 196-220) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521832311.010

Author Moorhead, John
Title of chapter Western approaches (500–600)
Title of book The Cambridge history of the Byzantine empire c. 500-1492
Place of Publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication Year 2008
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1017/CHOL9780521832311.010
Series The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire c. 500–1492
ISBN 9780521832311
Editor Jonathan Shepard
Volume number 1
Chapter number 3
Start page 196
End page 220
Total pages 25
Total chapters 24
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Throughout the political history of western Europe, there have been few periods of such dramatic change as the fifth century. In 400 the borders of the Roman empire in the west, by then distinct from the eastern empire which was governed from Constantinople, stood reasonably firm. They encompassed all of Europe south of the Antonine wall in Britain and the Rhine and Danube rivers on the continent, extending eastwards of the Danube's confluence with the Drava; they also included a band of territory along the African coast, stretching two-thirds of the way from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Nile. But within a hundred years this mighty entity had ceased to exist. North Africa had come under the power of groups known as Vandals and Alans; Spain of Visigoths and Suevi; and Gaul of Visigoths, Franks and Burgundians. The Romans had withdrawn from Britain early in the century, leaving it exposed to attacks from the Irish, Picts and Anglo-Saxons, while in Italy the last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed in 476 by a general, Odovacer. The supplanter of Romulus was himself deposed and murdered in 493 by Theoderic the Ostrogoth (493–526), who established a powerful kingdom based on Italy. While the empire had weathered the storms of the fifth century largely unscathed in the east, in the west it had simply ceased to exist. Western Europe, one might be excused for thinking, had moved decisively into a post-Roman period, and the middle ages had begun.
Keyword Byzantium
Roman Empire
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Feb 2012, 17:24:06 EST by Mr Mathew Carter on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry