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The fifth through the tenth centuries was a period of significant transformation for Europe. As a result of the Germanic invasions and the collapse of the economy, the last Roman Emperor in the West, Romulus Augustulus (475-76), was deposed in 476. The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire would continue in a much-truncated form until the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453. Not only did the Germanic tribes continue their expansion into the Roman territories in the fourth and fifth centuries, the Arabs conquered substantial territory in the seventh and eighth, and Viking, Magyar, and Arab attacks tore apart Europe in the ninth and tenth. All these groups added to the mix of cultures that created the medieval world.


Originally published as Chapter 2 of Caitlin Corning's book, World History, A Short, Visual Introduction, Fortress Press.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5064-0287-1