The Medieval Invasions of Italy: The History and Legacy of the Conflicts across the Italian Peninsula in the Middle Ages, Charles River Editors
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The Medieval Invasions of Italy: The History and Legacy of the Conflicts across the Italian Peninsula in the Middle Ages

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Bill Caufield

Unabridged: 4 hr 48 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 08/25/2023

Genre: History - Medieval

Synopsis

The gradual collapse of the Roman Empire brought monumental changes to Europe and beyond. The system that once bound both sides of the Mediterranean Basin together was gone, and with it, many of the connections people from Mesopotamia to Spain and from Gaul to Arabia once enjoyed. In its place, a period of transition began - once referred to as the “Dark Ages,” although that term has fallen out of favor with modern scholars - after the Western Roman Empire ended in 476 and a host of new, primarily Germanic people inherited Roman lands, wealth, and ideas in Western Europe. Many of these Germanic tribes established large kingdoms, such as the Vandals in Spain and North Africa, the Franks in Gaul, the Visigoths in Spain, and the Ostrogoths in Italy.

Like the other Germanic tribes, the Lombards originated in Scandinavia before migrating slowly through central Europe, and as the Western Roman Empire collapsed and the Byzantine successor state in Constantinople attempted to reestablish order, the Lombards took advantage of the chaos and planted themselves firmly on Italian soil. 

As the Roman Empire in the West collapsed, the Berbers succumbed to the Vandals, a Germanic tribe from Europe, in the 5th century CE. However, the Eastern Roman Empire, centered in Constantinople rather than Rome, underwent something of a renewal, and the whole of the African coast from the Sinai Peninsula to the Straits of Gibraltar returned to Byzantine rule. With that, the Berbers were once again subject to a foreign power, but soon they would exchange their new masters for another, the Arabs, who would bring a new religion, Islam. Through Islam the Berbers would once again come into their own and influence the course of Mediterranean history as their ancient ancestors had done.

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