During the first centuries of the first millenium AD, smaller barbarian tribes formed into larger, distinct groups and posed a potential threat to Rome
and her provinces. In the fourth century
, the westward advance of the Huns
pushed other tribes toward the borders of the empire, which, unable to withstand the pressure
, eventually fell. The tribes below were these principal barbarian peoples involved in the upheavals during this period
Ostrogoths and Visigoths: originally from eastern Germany, they finally founded kingdoms in Italy and southern France and Spain.
Vandals: originated from eastern Europe, but ended up settling in Spain and North Africa.
Jutes, Angles, and Saxons: from the Jutland peninsula and north Holland, they invaded south and east Britain, where they settled in the fifth century.
Burgundians: migrated into the Rhine-Main area in about AD 400 and later established a kingdom; they subsequently settled on the Saone and the Rhone.
Alemanni: the second largest Germanic group, they established themselves on the Rhine.
Franks: by the fifth century they had moved from east of the Rhine to Gaul, where the Merovingian kingdom was formed.