Barbarians and the Transformation of the Roman World

Birmingham Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity

College of Arts and Law


Code 21448

Level of study First Year

Credit value 10

Semester Every year 2

Module description

You will survey the archaeology of Western Europe between AD 400 and 800, the period when the Western Roman Empire collapsed and the Early Medieval kingdoms started to emerge. In particular, we will examine the interaction of the Romans and barbarians, the movements of the barbarian groups, their impact on the areas they settled, and the way that new identities were forged. We will look at how post-Roman Europe was organised, how political and social structures were shaped and what religious beliefs began to take hold. We will examine the way that networks of contacts stretched across this `new Europe’, resulting in diverse trading patterns, episodes of violence and artistic development. Sources used in this course include settlement archaeology, artefact study, funerary evidence and documentary sources.

Teaching and learning methods