0 INTRODUCTIONS TO THE GOTHIC AGE
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Despite the withering of trade, the disruption of the distribution of goods and services, the self-sufﬁciency of the manor, towns survived ﬁve centuries after the fall of Rome and the rise of feudalism. Of course they were gravely reduced and depopulated. Even the Eternal City, which had a million people at the empire’s height, had shrunk to about ﬁfty thousand. But the age of devastating invaders seemed past and trade was reviving within Europe and across the Mediterranean.