THE PERIOD OF THE GERMAN INVASIONS.
WE may now return to our elementary summary of ancient European history (page 17) for a conception of the life of the countries of Northern Europe before the influence of Roman history began to reach them. What holds broadly for Italy at one date holds broadly and successively for the Germanic or Celtic races at another and a later date.
In the main the history of the art of the Middle Ages is the history of civilization in the Germanic or Germanized countries of Europe, with the all-important modifications carried by the Christian religion.
At the close of the fourth century A. D. an invasion of Mongolian tribes from Asia flooded the territory north of the Black Sea and crowded against the Gothic (German) tribes who were settled north of the lower Danube. These were themselves emigrants from Scandinavia, whose appearance in Southern Europe a century before had crowded other German tribes against the Rhine frontiers and had consequently been the cause of ceaseless warfare for the Roman legions who were there posted. At the appearance of the Mongolian Huns the Goths first menaced by them (at this date Roman Christians) begged permission to pass the Danube frontier, and this was granted. These Visigoths (West Goths) were subse