Austria Early History

Austria Early History


Very ancient traces of human life can be found in the Gudenushöhle (Hartenstein) and Teufelslucken (Eggendorf) deposits, where Mousterian (Middle Paleolithic) splinter tools and bifacial tools are associated with cold fauna. In the Lower Austria the station of Willendorf (➔ # 10132;) is important, already inhabited in the Upper Paleolithic. Gravettian complexes (characterized by the development of straight-backed spikes) subsequently developed throughout the region by megafauna hunters and continued until the end of the ice age (about 10,000 years ago).

The Neolithic period presents a multiplicity of cultural aspects: to those typical of the Danubian world (ceramics cultures engraved with meander and spiral motifs, punching, painted ceramics from the Lengyel complex) are added the influences of the Nordic civilizations (represented by the of Baden and the pile-dwelling of Mondsee) and, from E, those of the Balkan cultures (Vučedol); the influence of the western European environment is also relevant (attested by the advanced culture of Michelsberg and that of the bell-shaped vase)

In the Bronze Age the culture of Únětice (➔ # 10132;) spread from Eastern Europe, marking the metallurgical production of local groups. The Hallstatt civilization (➔ # 10132;), which develops between the 8th and the middle of the 5th century. BC, permeates the early Iron Age in Austria, which appears to be marked by a dynamic network of commercial relations with the transalpine and Mediterranean areas and growing economic-social differentiations. The protohistoric phase of the region ends with the civilization of La Tène (➔ # 10132;), that is, with the diffusion of the Celtic tradition, which Rome will then fight victoriously and transform. For Austria 2019, please check

Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The regions that today make up the Austria in the historical age they were part of the Rezia (to the W) but above all of the Noricum (to the E), which the Romans conquered at the time of Augustus. With the end of the Roman Empire, the Noricus was invaded by Germanic lineages, occupied by the Goths (end of the 5th century AD), then by the Franks (approx. 535), Lombards (568) and, towards the end of the 6th century., from Avars and Slavs. Della Rezia, on the other hand, was taken over by the Alamanni together with other Germanic tribes (late 4th-5th century).

The history of the to. properly called it begins in the 8th century, with the struggle between the Germanic lineages and the Slavic and Ural-Altaic ones in the Danube region; Charlemagne subsequently founded the eastern March (Ostmark), with the task of protecting the Frankish Empire from the assault of peoples from the East. Overwhelmed by the invasion of the Hungarians, the brand was reconstituted by Otto I and assigned by his son Otto II to Leopoldo di Babenberg, the first of a series of 12 margraves (➔ Babenberg). The eighth, Henry II, who transferred the capital from Pöchlarn to Vienna, obtained the ducal title in 1156; Leopold II inherited Styria in 1192 (duchy from 1180) and Frederick II added Pusteria and the county of Istria to his possessions; on his death (1246), the Babenberg domains were disputed between Bela IV of Hungary and Ottokar II of Bohemia, who obtained them (1251) and also took possession of Carinthia.

Ottocaro’s attempt to found a Slavic empire between the Alps and the Sudetes failed (1278). it became the possession of the king of Germany Rudolph I of Habsburg, who invested in it in 1282 together with Styria and Carniola his sons Alberto and Rodolfo. The Habsburgs took advantage of the imperial crown to consolidate their possessions and, even when the crown passed to the rival houses of the Wittelsbachs and Luxembourgs, continued their expansion: from the end of the 14th to the middle of the 15th century. they became masters of all the countries of the eastern Alps, reaching the Adriatic. This development was interrupted by the division of the house into the Albertine and Leopoldine lines, which compromised the authority of the dukes even in the face of the nobility gathered in the regional Stände. In 1485 Mattia Corvinus, king of Hungary, occupied Vienna and only on his death (1490) Frederick V (III as emperor) was able to regain the lost territories.

Austria Early History