The first traces of human presence in the Danube Valley come from the Palaeolithic, as evidenced by the statue of Venus of Willendorf found in this area, whose age is determined by 25 thousand. years. W 1991 r. A Late Stone Age human body was discovered at the foot of a glacier in the Oetztal Alps (tooth. Ice Tomb frame in chapter Tyiol). When in the first century. p.n.e. the Romans came to this place, there were already Celtic settlements here, founded approx 500 years earlier by Gauls wandering east. The Celts had a long history of mining salt in Hallstatt and trading along the alpine routes leading from north to south. The Romans founded settlements in the area from Brigantium (Bregencja) do Carnun-tum (Petronell), lying 40 km east of the military camp known as Vindobona (later Vienna). The northern border of the empire was marked by the Danube, called Danuvius in Roman times. It was a natural barrier for the Germanic tribes advancing from the north.
W V w. neither. the Roman Empire has fallen, and the Romans were defeated by the tribes coming from the north.
Danube Valley, which is an important place for crossings on the east-west route, it attracted successive waves of warlike tribes, trying to gain control of these areas. Before and after the Romans, these lands were inhabited by Teutons, Slavic, Huns, Goci, Franks, Bavarians, Avars and Magyars. W VII w. the territory between the Eastern Alps and the Vienna Forest was controlled by rival Bavarians and Slavs (the latter came from the southeast).
Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Roman Emperor, having defeated all, who stood in his way, w 803 r. neither. he made the Danube valley a border province of his empire – Eastmarch (Ostmark). It was located west of Vienna and was bordered by rivers: Anisia (Enns), Raba (Raab) and Drawa. After the death of Charlemagne, St. 814 r. the Carolingian Empire was divided into three parts, and the Eastmarch was taken by the tribe of Magyars (Hungarians).
When Otto I the Great, exercising control over the eastern part of the old Carolingian empire, defeated the Magyars in the Battle of the Lech River (955 r.), Marchia Wschodnia została odbudowana. Seven years later, Pope John XII crowned Otto as Emperor of the Roman Empire of the German Nation. W 966 r. Ostmark was first mentioned as Ostarrichi, which name is similar to the present name of Austria – Osterreich.
W 976 r. the dignity of the margrave (a German title of nobility higher than that of the count) The Eastern March was given to Leopold von Babenberg, descendant of a noble Bavarian family. The Babenbergs gradually expanded their influence, occupying in the 11th century. Vienna and much of today's Lower Austria, a w 1192 r. taking over Styria and a large part of Upper Austria. It was also a period of lively trade and economic boom. W 1156 r. Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa gave the Babenbergs the princely title, and the head of the family, Henryk II, He established his permanent residence in Vienna.
W 1246 r. in the battle with Hungary over Lithuania (at the Austro-Hungarian border) the last male descendant of the family died, Prince Frederick II. All of Austria was shortly thereafter, as an easy magnifier, came under the control of the later Czech King Otokar II. This ruler, prevailing in a huge area (from the Sudetes, at the northern border of today's Czech Republic, all the way to the Adriatic Sea), refused to pay tribute to the new Roman emperor Rudolf I Habsburg. He paid for it with his life, because in 1278 r. he died in battle with his mighty enemy at Dry Lattice (in the Moravian fields). W 1282 r. Rudolf I granted his two sons Austria and Styria a fief, and from that moment began the. Habsburg rule – one of the most powerful dynasties in the history of Europe.