In the book Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism by Perry Anderson, what are the main points in pages 107-142? What were the main characteristics and differences of the two waves of invasion...

In the book Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism by Perry Anderson, what are the main points in pages 107-142? What were the main characteristics and differences of the two waves of invasion discussed in these pages?

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In this section of From Antiquity to Feudalism, Perry discusses the two Germanic invasions of Rome and the West. The first wave started in 405 and involved the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410. While the Roman Empire's economy and society was destroyed by these invasions, the invaders nonetheless upheld many aspects of Roman management and traditions. The author states that the Germanic tribes were far too primitive to take over Rome and the west without co-opting many of the practices of the people they had conquered (page 113). For example, the Ostrogoths in Rome kept the Roman civilian bureaucracy while imposing their military structure on top of it. Therefore, this first wave of barbarian invasions was in some ways very limited. 

The next wave of invasions had more significant results. As Perry writes, "It was the next wave of Germanic migrations which determined the later map of Western feudalism profoundly and permanently" (page 120). These invasions included the Frankish takeover of Gaul, the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England, and the Lombard takeover of Italy. By this point, organized resistance to invasions had been lessened by the first wave of invasions.

By the 6th century, the dual system of old and new systems had given way to a new system, feudalism. Villages developed as agricultural units in France and elsewhere. By the 7th century, a hereditary aristocracy had developed in Anglo-Saxon England. Western countries also began to adopt Christianity. Feudalism developed as what Perry calls a "synthesis" of Roman and Germanic systems (page 128). Many of the features of feudalism, such as serfdom, came from both legacies. The Christian Church played a vital role in the transition of western societies to feudalism. As Perry writes, "the Church was thus the indispensable bridge between two epochs" (page 137). For example, the Church was the supporter of the Carolingian Monarchy, the first feudal dynasty. After this time, feudalism was the dominant system in Europe.

 

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