The Barbarian Migrations, 4th–6th Centuries
In cultural-historical terms, “Europe” is the product of a human alloy composed of three elements: Greco-Roman traditions, Christianity, and “new” peoples (the so-called “barbarians” and their cultures). The first two components were present in the Roman Mediterranean world by the opening of the 4th century. The last was added by migrations of non-Roman societies into the territories of the Roman Empire during the 4th through 9th centuries. Without these, one can barely imagine Europe as anything but a geographical term.