I give up. I got muddled so much reading this. I wonder if it's because I don't know much about European history, least of all those that happened during Roman time. Goth, Visigoth, Saxon all are a muddle... I usually very good at catching the big concept and filtering out the details; this book should be easy peasy since it dealt with the history so broadly, no beating the details out of the sack, time was vaguely reffered as the 300s, 500s and when I pick it up after taking a break from reading at a chapter end, the new chapter is about 1500s and Martin Luther, and the princes (who are they at this point of time? there were princes, emperor and church since the dawn of german time and they refused to get along, that much I think I do get)I wonder if this is the mistake I've made. I was rather preoccupied with German's WWII history and part of WWI, starting to get interested with DDR time as well. I was just browsing around at my local library trying to get something to read about WWI when I saw this book. I thought, great, instead of jumping around the timeline and filling the holes randomly, I'll give myself an even general knowledge of their full history then focus on the time I'm interested in. so far so good. The thing is, I suspect this book is not the right book fo that purpose. It's not to give general knowledge but to make you see german history with a new perspective. For those who has seen almost none, it's rather like walking in the dark. So, yes, I give up. Perhaps I'll try it again in the future, perhaps not.