Germanic monarchy  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Germanic monarchy, also called barbarian monarchy, was a monarchical system of government which was predominant among the Germanic tribes of Late Antiquity (circa 300 AD - 500 AD) and the Early Middle Ages (circa 500 AD - 1000 AD). It is often contrasted with feudal monarchy and national monarchy, the later medieval systems which developed out of it.

The term "barbarian monarchy" was proposed early in the twentieth century by Russian medievalists who saw similarities between the Germanic tribal monarchies and those of the nomadic peoples of the Steppe.

Germanic monarchies were primitive states. At the apex of a society of mostly free men stood the monarch (almost always a king), who had a few limited functions. The Germanic monarchies were originally pagan, but their contact, during the Völkerwanderung or Migration Period, with the Roman Empire and the Christian Church greatly altered their structure. They soon developed into different entities in which the king was more than the leader of a war band and the law more than oral tradition.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Germanic monarchy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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