Germanic Peoples, Migration of the, migratory movement of mainly Germanic peoples from their places of origin into the south and west of Europe that peaked from the 4th to the 6th century; it is also related to the advance of the Avars and Magyars and the migration of Slavonic tribes. In the period 113-101 B.C., Cimbri, Teutoni (Teutones) and Suebi first passed through what is now Austrian territory and advanced towards the Roman Empire. There were significant inroads in the 2nd century A.D. by the Marcomanni and in the 3rd century by the Alemanni, who moved to Lake Constance around 259/60 and to present Vorarlberg in the 5th century.
The incursion of the Huns into southern Russia around 370 caused a widespread migratory movement which was to have great impact on the Austrian Danube region during the following decades and have enormous consequences on the history of the area in the Early Middle Ages. After 375, the Visigoths were the first Germanic people to be accepted as federates into the Roman Empire of the East; under the leadership of chieftain Radagaisius they cast off Hun sovereignty and moved to Italy under Alaric (395-410), leaving their mark parts of southern Austria (destruction of Flavia Solva). Around 390, Marcomanni were settled in Noricum Ripense and Pannonia Superior, Carnuntum was destroyed. In 433, the Roman Empire of the West was forced to cede Pannonia to the Huns, who from there dominated Central Europe until the death of Attila in 453. After 453, Germanic peoples under the Gepidae King Ardaric defeated the Huns and other German groups on the unlocated river Nedao (perhaps the Leitha). Following this, a large number of Ostrogoths moved into Pannonia and eastern Austria and further on into Italy in 489. The region around Krems was settled by the Rugi, who were, however, defeated by Odoacer´s brother Hunwolf in 487. After them came the Heruli, who settled mainly around Pöchlarn. The 6th century was determined by the advance of the Langobardi from the north into the Danube area and by the formation of the tribe of the Bavarians west of the River Enns. In the second half of the century, the Avars pushed into Pannonia; Lombards and Avars destroyed the empire of the Gepidae, in 568 the Lombards entered Italy, and this date also marked the temporary end of Germanic migration. The Avar advance was followed by the advance of the Slavs into Austria, and Slav migration was to remain the chief influence in late 6th - 8th century. The last large-scale movement was the incursion of the Magyars into Pannonia toward the end of the 9th century. The historical significance of the Migration of the Germanic Peoples for Central Europe lies in the westward movement of the Germans and the Slavs, who came in their wake, and the settling of the Hungarians in Pannonia.
Literature: H.-J. Diesner, Die Völkerwanderung, 1980; H. Wolfram and A. Schwarcz, Die Baiern und ihre Nachbarn, 2 vols., 1985; H. Wolfram, Die Geburt Mitteleuropas, Geschichte Österr. vor seiner Entstehung, 1987.