Friday, July 01, 2011

Roman Law in Europe in the Early Middle Ages

The influx of Germanic tribes into Europe, which had begun even before the turn of the 3rd century, produced many groups who charged for territorial dominance after the collapse of the Roman Empire, wedging against one another to define the areas which would soon characterise the kingdoms of medieval Europe. This process, which stabilised before the end of the 6th century, was a destructive force to many elements of Roman culture.

The vibrant interdependence of cities and territories in the classical world ended, and focus shifted much more locally, with tribal boundaries inhibiting the relative freedom of the Roman empire. There was a decline in countryside settlement, as civilisation moved to hide itself within the more reliable security of city walls in a less certain world, thus shutting itself off inside its strongholds. The heretofore wavering capability of knowledge and learning in Roman Europe collapsed totally, along with rates of literacy.

By Kevin Stoba

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