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Middle Ages
Barbarians Invade Rome!



Barbarians Invade Rome!
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.43

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    warlike, leadership, long-haired, further, commonplace, victorious, various, settling, retreat, defeat, rumor, lifestyle, frequently, wild-eyed, power, height
     content words:    Roman Empire, Danube River, King Theodoric, Middle Ages, Dark Ages


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Barbarians Invade Rome!
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     The Roman Empire, at its height, extended across much of Europe, but even then there were other groups of people who were not part of the Roman Empire living in Europe too. Many of these groups, called tribes, lived in the far north. Others lived in various parts of Europe not occupied by the Roman Empire.
 
2     The barbarian tribes, as many of them were known, didn't like the idea of settling down and farming. They preferred a roaming, warlike lifestyle. Due to climate changes and other factors, many of the tribes began to migrate closer to the Roman Empire and sometimes even settle within the borders of the empire. This eventually led to conflicts between the tribes and the Romans.
 
3     The Romans were used to being victorious in their clashes with various tribes, but this didn't happen every time. In the late 300s AD, one tribe, the Visigoths, was being threatened by another tribe, the Huns. The Huns pushed the Visigoths further into Roman territory. This brought the Visigoths into more conflicts with the Romans. Eventually, it led to a big battle at Adrianople. This battle, in 376 AD, showed that the invaders had the strength to defeat Roman soldiers.
 
4     In 395 AD, Visigoth troops, led by Alaric I, invaded Italy and Greece. By the year 410, they attacked the city of Rome itself. There they killed Roman citizens, laid waste to buildings, and robbed the city. By 412, they had attacked Spain and parts of present day France, too.
 
5     Meanwhile, the Huns had defeated another tribe, the Ostrogoths, and were threatening Rome. The Huns were especially feared. They were masters at fighting on horseback. They could shoot down enemies with their bows and arrows while riding at top speed. Rumor had it that they sacrificed their captives to their own gods of war. The Huns crossed the Danube River and attacked Greece and the Roman Empire. The Romans fought back and forced the Huns to retreat.

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