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A History of Germany by Bayard Taylor

Still belonged to the Visigoths

style="text-align: justify;"> CHAPTER VIII.



Extension of the German Races in A. D. 570. --The Longobards. --The Franks. --The Visigoths. --The Saxons in Britain. --The Tribes on German Soil. --The Eastern Empire. --Relation of the Conquerors to the Conquered Races. --Influence of Roman Civilization. --The Priesthood. --Obliteration of German Origin. --Religion. --The Monarchical Element in Government. --The Nobility. --The Cities. --Slavery. --Laws in regard to Crime. --Privileges of the Church. --The Transition Period.


Thus far, we have been following the history of the Germanic races, in their conflict with Rome, until their complete and final triumph at the end of six hundred years after they first met Julius Caesar. Within the limits of Germany itself, there was, as we have seen, no united nationality. Even the consolidation of the smaller tribes under the names of Goths, Franks, Saxons and Alemanni, during the third century, was only the beginning of a new political development which was not continued upon German soil. With the exception of Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Ireland, Wales, the Scottish Highlands, and the Byzantine territory in Turkey, Greece and Italy, all Europe

was under Germanic rule at the end of the Migration of the Races, in the year 570.

The Longobards, after the death of Alboin and his successor, Kleph, prospered greatly under the wise rule of Queen Theodolind, daughter of king Garibald of Bavaria, and wife of Kleph's son, Authari. She persuaded them to become Christians; and they then gave up their nomadic habits, scattered themselves over the country, learned agriculture and the mechanic arts, and gradually became amalgamated with the native Romans. Their descendants form a large portion of the population of Northern Italy at this day.

[Sidenote: 500.]

[Illustration: THE MIGRATIONS OF THE RACES, A. D. 500.]

[Sidenote: 570. LOCATION OF THE TRIBES.]

The Franks, at this time, were firmly established in Gaul, under the dynasty founded by Chlodwig. They owned nearly all the territory west of the Rhine, part of Western Switzerland and the valley of the Rhone, to the Mediterranean. Only a small strip of territory on the east, between the Pyrenees and the upper waters of the Garonne, still belonged to the Visigoths. The kingdom of Burgundy, after an existence of 125 years, became absorbed in that of the Franks, in 534.

After the death of Theodoric, the connection of the Visigoths with the other German races ceased. They conquered the Suevi, driving them into the mountains of Galicia, subdued the Alans in Portugal, and during a reign of two centuries more impressed their traces indelibly upon the Spanish people. Their history, from this time on, belongs to Spain. Their near relations, the Vandals, as we have already seen, had ceased to exist. Like the Ostrogoths, they were never named again as a separate people.

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