The fusion of the Romans and Germans –

Who are the Germans, the Germanic people? What is your relationship with the Roman people? In the early years of the fifth century, the germanic peoplespushed by the Hun horsemen, crossed the Roman borders and entered the Roman empire from the West.

Who are the Germans?

Within the denomination Germans many towns of different locations are included.

  • Franks
  • Goths: Ostrogoths in the East and Visigoths in the West
  • swabian
  • angles
  • Burgundians
  • saxons
  • Alans
  • Germans
  • vandals
  • Jutes

After centuries of struggle and conquest by the Roman Empire, many of these peoples survived.

At the beginning of the 6th century, these towns settled in the ruins of a Rome that he had been unable to maintain control over his vast territory.

The date of 476 marks in traditional history the break between the existence of western roman empire and the beginning of a new order arbitrarily called the “Middle Ages”, however, this new order was not built overnight and the changes in daily life did not keep pace with the hectic political sphere.

During this period of slow social transformation, there existed throughout the European territory a coexistence between two different types of cultures, the roman and the germanic.

Romans and Germanic: differences

Long years were necessary for the communities to associate to the point of mixing their traditions and forming a true nation. The obstacles to this merger were certainly numerous, to begin with, each community had its own language, it was even almost impossible to communicate.

The Germans focused their children’s education on the war, while the romans they were accustomed to working the land, in the fields, or dedicating themselves to commercial, artisan or state work in the cities.

But the most powerful gap, perhaps, between the two cultures was the religionthat characteristic that, under the slogan of evangelization, marked Late Antiquity and transformed Europe entirely.

The Roman empire and the (Catholic) Church had gradually identified with each other to the point of mutual involvement. When the Germans they were pagans, like the Franks or the Saxons, they listened more permissively to the Roman missionaries.

But much of the germanic peoples had already converted to a form of the Christian faith that the Church had declared heretical: the Arianismwho offered strong resistance to Catholic preaching.

In some places, one culture prevailed over another. For example, in the southeast of England and on the borders of Germany, where the Roman presence was already weak, the culture of the Saxons completely dominated the new customs of the communities.

In other regions, on the contrary, Germans they only represented a minority. The Vandals of Cartagena or the Ostrogoths in Italy represented strong but temporary threats to the Roman order, which was well rooted in the community.

During these early periods there was juxtaposition and segregation between the two cultures. For example, in the region near Paris, the Germanic community founded the villa of Clignancourt, which was installed next to the Roman villa of Clichy.

Roman laws and German laws

A few kilometers separated the two settlements, between them a barrier was erected: each community obeyed the law that its culture imposed. In the same territory, the same crime was not punished in the same way.

The romans they continued to rule under the roman lex. The Germans they kept their laws, which they later wrote in Latin.

But time worked in favor of the merger: generations passed and the memory of the different origin of each community was erased, the individuals came closer.

Which of the two cultures predominated? At a certain point, it can be said that the Germans they romanized. But this was more noticeable in the upper classes. The chiefs adopted the language spoken by the majority of their subjects, Latin. But this Latin, so difficult to learn, was modified, simplified, and filled with terms germanic. Thus the Romance languages ​​were born.

In the lower and middle sectors of society, which were the majority and, ultimately, the main engine of change, it would be more appropriate to speak of a preponderance germanic.

Over time, European culture began to orbit more and more around the wara marked trait Germanic that would last throughout the medieval period.