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By P. Boissonade

First released in 2005. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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To the second branch, the Teutons, belonged a number of peoples extending from the North Sea to the Rhine and the Upper Danube, Saxons, Frisians, Lombards, Burgundians, Bavarians, Thuringians, Franks, and Alemanni. There were in the whole of this wide district only about two or three millions of these barbarians in the second century, and probably about four million at the end of the fourth. The most numerous, the Ostrogoths, numbered not more than 800,000 souls, the Visigoths about 200,000, the Franks, Burgundians, and Lombards fewer still.

Southern Thessaly, the Pindus region, Attica, and, above all, the Peloponnesus, 33 D LIFE AND WORK IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE were repopulated, thanks to these Slav colonies, and it was by such means that in the tenth century, by an emperor's admission, the whole of the Morea became a Slav district. It was the same in the south of Italy. The great work of Byzantium was to mould these colonists, who had as yet no national consciousness, and to Hellenize them by converting them to the orthodox religion. Out of this assemblage of so many different races sprang forth a re-rejuvenated Hellenic nationality, while at the same time there arose once more a source of agricultural labour.

They were superstitious and ignorant, quarrelsome and violent, like wild beasts driven by misery and hunger; and beneath the spur of an imperative necessity, their envy was aroused by the spectacle of the civilization of the empire, in which life seemed so full of charm, so soft and easy, in comparison with the precarious existence led by their race for thousands of years. It was at the very time when the desires of the barbarians were becoming irresistible that the Roman world was sinking into a sort of torpor of indifference, an easeful repose, from which the formidable shock of the invasions was rudely to awake it.

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