Manton, thank you for giving me an opportunity to show off a tidbit of knowledge that you apperently do not know - something that I hadn't thought I would ever have a chance to do. the scale of the invasions of the saxons and the vikings in England were close in numbers and complexity to those of the romans and the normans, they were simply much more poorly documented. granted, you could call them "waves of settlement", but they were "waves of settlement" of armed men formed into armies.
This is true. And if you crack Vol. 4 of Gibbon's Decline and Fall, you can find numerous other references to various invaders of the British Isles. According to Gibbon, word had spread throughout many of the "barbarian" tribes located in Europe that the British Isles were a great place for farming, and inhabited with easy slaves. There were waves of barbarian invaders of all sorts from 300-500 AD. Some bands were small, as in 5 or 6 boats, and driven off easily by invaders already settled there, or by the Romans, as "Briton" did not gain its independence from Rome until early 400AD (I believe 410-415, something like that). When Vortigern ruled in the mid-400's, he was paranoid of Roman invasion, and overlooked various other barbarian invasions, which were generally fought off by the Picts and Celts. There were multiple hundreds of "barbarian" tribes throughout France and Germany, and Eastern Europe. The largest and most powerful are generally the only ones to be recognized in more cursory historical documents: the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Moors, etc. The Persians did not become a serious threat to the Roman empire (and Europe) until the rule of Chosroes, when the various barbarian tribes had already successfully invaded most of the Western Roman Empire and controlled the African regions also. Chosroes' battles in Europe were primarily with the Moors and Vandals, along the Danube and into the Slavic regions. He had allied with Rome and was seeking to invade Barbary and Gaul. However, Justinian betrayed Chosroes (allying with Visigoths was it? I forget exactly), so Chosroes came back south for revenge, and focussed his attacks on the Eastern Roman Empire and Africa (which after Justininian's betrayal of Belisarius had fallen back into the hands of primarily the Vandals and Ostrogoths, I believe). Gibbon makes many references to the customs of various barbarian tribes in Vol. 4 of Decline and Fall. According to Gibbon, the barbarian tribes were wearing pants long before the first Turkish empire or the Persian empire had invaded Europe and Africe. He quotes in Vols. 2-4 some of the writings of Roman merchants and historians which gave quite colorful descriptions of pants (and dress) worn by various barbarian tribes who had come to trade with the Roman empire. The Visigoths, according to Gibbon, wore pants when they invaded the Western Roman Empire, and says that Romans in various occupied cities like Ravenna viewed the barbarian manner of dress (and behaviour) as extremely crude - although Theodoric would change that, and his wise rule would lead to adoption of various Gothic customs by the Western Romans, as well as an adoption of various Roman customs by the Visigoths. Gibbon mentions in Vol. 4 that Theodoric himself wore pants. It is worth noting that Theodoric ran from nobody, and was defeated in exactly one battle - that with Belisarius. He had called for all Visigoths to join him in a very deadly march to occupy the Western Empire only after Justinian had turned down his extortionary efforts demanding higher payment for the Visigoth alliance (they had been mercenaries for Justinian). This made him very mad, so he decided to claim the Western empire for himself. Ha ha ha. Theodoric was one hell of a warrior, and I doubt the Visigoths would ever have run from the Persians under his rule. As a matter of fact, had Theodoric been alive, he probably would have easily defeated Chosroes, as he was a brilliant strategician with highly disciplined and fierce soldiers. Every tribe in Europe feared the Visigoths at that time, and Belisarius' successful battles against them sealed his fame. The Moors, who commonly clashed with the Persians, Turks and Mongols, did not wear pants. According to Gibbon, they wore animal hides, and fought battles completely naked. Anyway... Gibbon's Decline and Fall, especially Vol. 4, has a ton of great information about pants. It's worth reading if you are really interested. I've blabbered enough.