Medieval Europe (5th to 9th c.)
Medieval Europe emerged on the ruins of the Western Roman Empire but the transition from the Ancient to the Medieval Times took place gradually. The Western Roman Empire began to decline before the invasions of the barbarian peoples. Thus the deposition of the last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus by German chieftain Odoacer did not cause any greater disruption at the time although the event is traditionally viewed as the end of the ancient period and the beginning of the Medieval Times.
The period following the deposition of Romulus Augustulus was marked by the emergence of new political entities competing with each other for the territory. Medieval kings could extent their wealth and power only by territorial expansion which explains virtually incessant warfare that marked the period of the Middle Ages. Medieval kingdoms also had to deal with numerous invasions of non-European peoples which greatly affected the course of history of some parts of Europe particularly the Iberian Peninsula, Russia, Central Europe and the Balkan Peninsula.