The German populations of these lands seem in Roman times to have been scanty, and Roman subjects from the modern Alsace and Lorraine had drifted across the river eastwards.
While the other primitive populations of the peninsula were either hellenized or latinized, or subsequently absorbed by the Slavonic immigration, the Albanians to a great extent remained unaffected by foreign influences.
On several occasions they incited the populations of the towns through which they passed against the Jews, and also against the monks who opposed their propaganda.
A Bourbon at Versailles, a Habsburg at Vienna, or a thick-lipped Lorrainer, with a stroke of his pen, wrote off province against province, regarding not the populations who had bled for him or thrown themselves upon his mercy.
Milan and Piedmont were comparatively well governed; but repugnance to Austrian rule in the former case, and the contagion of French Jacobinical opinions in the latter, brought those populations into increasing hostility to the rulers.