Fire and Steel, Volume 1eBook - 2017
Germania and the Holy Roman Empire By the time of Christ and the Christian era, the Roman Empire, with its insatiable quest for land, riches, slaves, and power, had swallowed up much of the European continent. One could leave the Roman capital and travel in a northwesterly direction on well-maintained Roman roads for 1,200 miles. But if one traveled due north, up the long boot of Italia and across the Alps, one quickly reached the northern border of the empire. In the vast lands to the north of the Danube River and to the east of the Rhine lived a collection of tribes so fierce, so warlike, and so incapable of being civilized that eventually the Roman legions fortified the southern border of those lands and left the people alone. Caesar called that unconquerable north land with all of its dozens of tribes Germania. The Germani were not farmers other than having small garden plots cultivated by individual families. They were hunters and warriors. No one owned land as permanent property. Each year the tribal chiefs would assign land to the clans, who then parceled it out to their people. But the next year, everyone was impelled to move to a new place so that the people didn't become focused on the land and lose their zeal for war. This also kept them from building permanent shelters against the cold and the heat. Too much comfort weakened the character, they thought. The men generally each had one wife, and adultery was rare. The opinions of women were respected to the point that they often accompanied the men into battle to give them counsel and encouragement. Robbery among their own people was not tolerated, but it was encouraged when it involved outsiders. Often, senior chieftains would lead plundering expeditions to give the young men experience in battle and help them avoid idleness. To the Germani peoples, the highest glory was to lay waste to lands bordering their territory, thus making them uninhabitable. They saw this as proof of their valor. It also kept their borders secure from invasion. The Germani did not keep written records, so not much is known about them from the ensuing centuries. They must have consolidated the tribes to some degree, because when the French King Charlemagne was appointed to be the first ruler of what came to be known as the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Germany was largest group within it. In the minds of Germans ever after, the Holy Roman Empire came to be known as the First German Reich. The Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years' War After Charlemagne's death, the empire limped along for centuries, almost dissolving due to the weak leadership of Charlemagne's successors...
Publisher: [S.I.] : Deseret Book Company, 2017.
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