Storm Over Europe - Episode 4
Good morning, we are going to conclude our Storm over Europe series. So who would inherit Europe after the Roman Empire collapsed? Could the barbarians rule Europe? The run time for this episode is 50:19.
The Visigoths had come from Scandinavia and traveled around. They went on a long journey and traveled to France. Eventually, they were pushed out and started their long trek south. They left behind all their possessions once again and moved. It was a long and difficult journey. The Visigoths were pushed from their kingdom by the Franks. Anyone who joined up with the Visigoths, they were welcomed. The Visigoths were considered a tribe of many peoples.
Thirty to forty thousand people made the journey over the mountains into Spain. The plains of Spain welcomed them. Spain would be the home of the Visigoths, and they wanted to stay forever. Toledo would become the seat of their kingdom. For two centuries Toledo was the residence of the Visigoth kingdom.
Few remains remain of their occupation. However, what remains leaves tantalizing traces of the Visigoth culture and are known to experts. Stones and carvings were found and were reused to decorate a palace. Archeologists further suspect that there are additional traces of the Visigoths found throughout Toledo. There were figures found carved into churches. The figures in the church show the type of faith the Visigoths had. Any additional remains will probably stay hidden forever underneath the buildings.
There were no remains of construction work done by the Visigoths, perhaps they moved into what the Romans built. The Visigoths settled in the Spanish plains. They farmed and worked the land. Others became wealthy landowners. There was one king of the Visigoths and he built up his empire in the Gothic Tradition. The King was the highest authority of the land beneath God. A crown discovered hammered home this idea. It was left on an altar.
The locals regarded the Visigoths as barbarians. So the Visigoth king got rid of his furs because they stank. He donned a purple cloak. However, only the Roman Emperor was allowed the purple cloak. The Visigoth king donning the purple cloth showed that they were claiming power in their territories for themselves. The Visigoths were the first to wear the purple and this tradition carried on through the generations with future Kings and Queens. The Visigoths minted their coins, another sign that they were their kingdom. Minting coins were a privilege of the Romans, however, the Visigoths minting their coins showed they arrived.
The Visigoths built churches and there are only a few remains of the churches that are left. Archeologists continue to work on the site to uncover the remains of a Visigoth settlement. This settlement was named after a Visigoth king’s son. Through the years, more and more of this settlement has been uncovered. Visigoths built their settlement on new foundations. It was a place of toleration where different groups lived together in peace.
The gate was huge and there was a market area and shops. The gate marked a transition between the living area and the commerce area. It reinforced that the Visigoths had arrived and they had powerful kings. Every single piece that is dug up highlights the lives lived in the settlement. The city was an important trading place and a financial center. Recently, the foundations of the King’s Palace were dug up. This palace had no precedent in the Ancient World. Several thousand people called this settlement home. It will take several generations to discover everything about this Visigoth city.
The Visigoths were strangers to the new land, but they spoke Latin like the Romans and tried to adopt Roman ways. They were still treated as foreigners by the locals. The bones of the Visigoths tell their tales as well. Several hundred Visigoth graves were discovered and the grave goods showed a people who were adapting to their new lands. Eventually, the kingdom of the Visigoths was overthrown by the Muslims and they were scattered. To learn more about what happened to the Visigoths continue to watch this episode.
This is a good episode that sums up the Visigoths quite nicely, so it would be a good episode to show in the classroom.
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