I still, occasionally, come across comments comparing ancient Northern Europe to ancient Southern Europe and beyond.
The insinuation is that, by contrast, northern Europe was less developed and primitive compared to the south.
Well, yeah and neah…..
The northern lands were significantly less accommodating to human habitation compared to the warmer climate of the south. So survival was more difficult.
But beyond that it should be kept in mind that the majority of the peoples living within the bounds of the Greco-Roman world did not live in marble halls with slave girls feeding them grapes as they lounged on luxurious couches stacked with pillows (as per every movie about Rome ever made).
No, the conditions and living standards for the average Roman citizen along the Mediterranean was no different than the average man living in the north lands.
More important than this though was that the peoples living in the north lands were significantly smaller in number than those in the south.
When the Celtic and Teutonic peoples experienced a population boom they began to move down from the north and conquer every land (and people) in their path, Rome included. The civilizations and empires they built eclipsed all that came before, and all that will come after.
For civilization is now indeed in decline and it is beyond foolish to assume that man will always progress forward.
Evolution dictates survival of the fittest within a given environment. And the environment that gave birth to European man, both north and south, will never be repeated.