WHEN BRITAIN WAS INVADED BY GERMAN TRIBES

nr-mE Visigoths (Western Goths) established, with imperial i. recognition, a kingdom in south-western Gaul. Similarly in Spain, other barbarian tribes had set up new kingdoms which, nominally at least, acknowledged the Emperor of the West as overlord. Britain was lost entirely at the beginning of the fifth century, when the semi-Romanised natives fell victims to raiding Picts from Scotland, and to Angles and Saxons, German tribes from overseas, who seized the land without seeking any recognition from the Emperor. From Spain a section of the Vandals crossed over to North Africa and conquered the country (A.D. 429-440). Another invasion which threatened Western Europe with heathen barbarism was repulsed in A.D. 451 at Chalons in France, when the Franks and Goths united with the Imperial troops to defeat Attila, leader of the Huns, who came from Asia. The victory saved Western Europe for the Indo-European races. Italy, the only land now left to the Western Empire, also became a separate kingdom in A.D. 476 under Odoacer, leader of yet another German tribe. The new king acknowledged the suzerainty of the Eastern Emperor at Constantinople, but he was, in fact, as absolutely independent as the other kings in Gaul, Spain, and Africa. The Empire's gifts to the world have been permanent. The Romans were the great builders and pioneers of antiquity. They brought the waste lands under the control of man by encouraging agriculture and by building roads and bridges on such strong foundations that many of them have continued in use until the present day. In the sphere of government they had not only given the world peace and security ever since the time of Augustus, but, by bestowing their citizenship on the subject peoples, had made them enthusiastic partners in the Empire. Their language, which Cicero had made into a perfect instrument of dignified and precise speech, had become the mother-tongue of millions to whom Rome was nothing but a name, and was not only the vehicle by which Greek thought was transmitted to the West, but was destined to be the origin of modern French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Roumanian. The scientific and humane code of Roman law which embodied the experience of a thousand years of jurisprudence, remains the basis of the legal systems of many nations to-day. Europe, however, was destined to undergo centuries of travail before she could enter into and enjoy this splendid heritage.