The first volume of the new series promoted by Società degli archeologi medievisti italiani is dedicated to the campaigns of Western Europe, in particular of Italy, Gaul and the Iberian Peninsula, between the age of Constantine and that of Charlemagne. A crucial period in European history, the subject of a large number of researches in the last twenty years that have tried to analyze and interpret the structural and social changes that accompanied the last phases of the Roman Empire and the formation of the Roman-barbarian states, a period that is no longer seen solely with the predominant catastrophic perception until the 80s but is now analyzed through a much more positive and nuanced perspective, marked by the concept of transformation. Using both written sources and archaeological data, an original reading is proposed, underlining the comparison between different cultures in search of a balance that is still the basis of current European societies. The end of the Roman villas, the foundation of castles between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, the barbarian settlement in Roman farms, the tendency to concentrate the population in villages, the widespread diffusion of Christian places of worship constitute the lines of research through which the threads of the transformations of the settlement structures and of the aristocracies that have guided them are re-tied. of Padua.