invasions in europe 800 bc - 400 bc

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1 Description of the migration movement
2 Causes of migration
3 Consequences of migration
4 Reactions on migration


Economics did not change much during this period. Iron -a functionally superior metal to copper- was now used to construct tools. Although agriculture was still very important, improved farming methods enabled parts of the population to pursue other means of making a living while relying on the availability of food produced by others. Some people for example specialised solely in the crafting of tools, while others devoted their life to religion. As the population continued to increase Europe became more crowded, so that it was no longer possible to find new fertile farmland simply by migrating.

Shifts took place in cultural and political life. From the large number of cultures that had come to exist during the first appearance of agriculture in Europe, a few had developed further and come to dominate. While the Greek culture for example developed in the south-eastern part of Europe, north-western Europe and central Europe saw the appearance of relatively new cultures. The Celtic culture came to dominate large parts of Europe, while the Germanic culture was firmly established in northern and north-eastern Europe. Eastern Europe on the other hand was dominated by new cultures from Asia. The Germanic and Celtic cultures were each composed of many separate groups that had similar cultures, yet each group had its own territory and political organisation. The first signs of conflicts between "states" became manifest as each group held on to its own culture and territory.


Migration, in fact, is particularly characteristic of this period. The new cultures from the east migrated to Europe because of invasions of Steppe tribes from Asia, and changes in climate pompted Germanic culture to leave the Baltic area. The Celts were on the move because they were chased away by Germanic and Steppe tribes.


1.1 Who were they, and where did they come from: ethnic origin, geographical background, religion, adults, men or women, special qualities

* 800 B.C.: Steppe-tribes reached Europe. At the eastern borders of Europe, the Steppe-tribes were the most significant migrants for a long time.
* 750-700 B.C.: The Sumerians lived in the steppes north of the Black Sea around 1200 B.C. They were chased away from this area by the Scythians.
* 750-700: The Scythians themselves were on the move because of the movements of the Sarmatians, who originally came from the area near the Aral-lake, who were from the 4th century B.C. onwards moving to the west also. {Chal}
* 600-100 B.C.: Strictly speaking there were two main streams of migrating Germans, namely West-Germans and East-Germans. The West-Germans were the most well known due to their contact with the Romans, and can be subdivided into Germanic tribes near the North Sea (Chaukes, Frisians and Batavians), between the Rhine and Elbe (Ubians, Sugambri, Chamavi, Cherusci and Chatti) and in Central and Southern Germany (Hermunduri, Marcomanni and Quades in the Danu be area). At the end of the first century B.C. the West-German population remained relatively stable, in that they did not mix with any other groups. The East-Germanic tribes on the other hand were constantly renewed by and mixed with people travelling from Northern Germany and Poland through the valleys of the Oder and Vistula.
* 600 B.C.: *600 B.C.: Many Celtic tribes came to Central and Western Europe: the Boyards, the Noricae, the Vindelici and, in the mountains between Hungary and Switzerland, the Helvetians. Two groups of Celts existed in Gaul: those between Garonne and the Pyrenees, and those between Garonne and the Seine: the Arverni, the Haeduers, the Veneti, the Parisii and the Serones. The Allobroges settled in the area around the Rhône and the Maritime Alps. The last to arrive were the Belgae between the Seine and the Rhine, the Bellovaci around Beauvais, and the Remi between Marne and Meuse. Some Belgae settled on the British Islands, near London. The Brigantes lived in the Pennine Chains in England, while the Caledones occupied an area to the north. The Boyards, the Insubrians and the Serones influenced Italy while in western-Spain Celts mingled with Iberians to give rise to Celtiberian tribes.

1.2 How did they travel: transport, circumstances of travelling

1.3 When?

1.4 How many?

1.5 Permanent or temporary?

1.6 Where did they go and where did they stay?

* 1800-800 B.C.: Steppe-tribes moved from 1800 B.C. onwards to the area east of the Don, and from there on to Central Europe. Around 1100 B.C., they reached the valleys of the Dnieper, and afterwards the Dniester. In 800 B.C., they reached Northern Romania and the steps of the Ukraine.
* 750-700 B.C.: The Sumerians fled to the west and to Asia Minor.
* 750-700 B.C.: The Scythians moved towards Europe and also to the north of Russia.
* 600 B.C.: The culture of the Scythians also appeared near the Dnieper and in the Crimea. They conquered pieces of land numerous times. They even reached the Caucasus and Mesopotamia. In the 6th century B.C., they reached Poland and the Danube-area.
* 600 B.C.: Groups of Germans came down from the Baltic. Other groups of Germans, the Cimbri and Teutons who came from the Danube-area, reached Italy and the southern part of Gaul in the 2nd century B.C. There the Romans beat them.
* 600 B.C.: Many sorts of Celts came to Central and Western Europe.


2.1 Circumstances that favoured migration

2.2 Circumstances that hindered migration

2.3 Direct causes of migration

* 600 B.C.: The Germans moved south from the Baltic because of changes in the climate of the area.
* 600 B.C.: One of the reasons the Celts moved was the advance of Germans from the Baltic area to the south.
* 600 B.C.: Another reason the Celts moved was the advance of Steppe-tribes, Scythians and Sarmaten.
* 600 B.C.: The Celts expanded their power over a large part of Central and Western Europe, partly because of all these movements made by Steppe-tribes, Scythians, Sarmaten and Germans.


3.1 Short term consequences
Positive consequences
- for the migrants (first generation)
- for their new environment/ the native born

* 600 B.C.: Nomadic Scythian shepherds chased away small groups of farmers.
- for the country they left

Negative consequences
- for the migrants (first generation)
- for their new environment/ the native born
- for the country they left

3.2 Long term consequences Positive consequences
- for the migrants (second and third generation)
- for their new environment

* 600-200 B.C.: The Celts played a big part in the trade between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean world. In the third century B.C., the Celts controlled the area in Central Europe surrounding the Danube.
* 600 B.C.: Because the Celts were chased into Europe, they spread all over central and western Europe and their culture became a very important one in the region.
- for the country they left

Negative consequences - for the migrants (second and third generation)
- for their new environment
- for the country they left


4.1 Reactions of the receiving society on the immigrants
- official reaction
- from the ‘common people’

4.2 Reactions of the immigrants on their new environment - integration / assimilation

* The mixture of Scythian culture and Greek culture that emerged here resulted in Thracian culture. At the same time near the Volga and between the Don and the Urals a different culture emerged, that of the Sarmatians. About the 2nd century B.C. they reached the Black Sea.
- maintaining their own identity
- differences between first, second and third generation


This period is characterised by migration: Steppe-tribes moved from Asia into Europe while Germans moved from the Baltic to the South, in turn prompting the migration of Celts all over Europe. Cultures developed essentially in isolation during this period, forcefully defending their territory.


Dr. Marlou Schrover