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Word Count: 2,593
Thousands of years ago the great valley of the Danube River was an important pathway for the tribes who came to Europe from the east Settled in prehistoric times the central European land that is now Austria was overrun in pre-Roman times by various tribes including the Celts Traders also came from the north carrying goods to trade in Rome and Alexandria The route from the north and the route from the east crossed at a place in the Danube valley in the region now called Austria A settlement called Carnuntum grew up at this crossroads Another called Vindobona was soon established about twenty-four miles to the west When the Romans took control of the Danube Valley they set up strong forts at Carnuntum and Vindobona But in the late AD300s Germanic tribes from the east swept through Austria After the fall of the Roman Empire of which Austria was part the area was invaded by Bavarians and Slavic Avars By AD600 Slavs from the east had occupied all of modern Styria Lower Austria and CarinthiaAustria became a border province of Charlemagnes empire in AD 788 Charlemagne set up the first Austrian March in the present Upper and Lower Austria to halt the inroads of the Avars Colonization was encouraged and Christianity which had been introduced under the Romans was again spread energetically After Charlemagnes death 814 the march soon fell to the Moravians and later to the Magyars from whom it was taken 955 by Emperor Otto In 976 Otto II bestowed it as a separate fief on Leopold founder of the first Austrian dynasty Emperor Frederick I raised Austria to a duchy in 1156 and in 1192 Styria also passed under Babenberg rule Soon the settlement at Vindobona was renamed Vienna Charlemagnes empire was divided among his grandchildren and Austria became part of the Holy Roman Empire At that time it was given the name of sterreich kingdom of the eastFrom 1282 until
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