At the end of the second and in the third century AD important new families came to power in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and northern Germany. They shared symbols of power and contacts over long distances. Thanks to alliances with the Romans, the families maintained their power. They were the biggest users of Roman goods in northern Europe. Many bronze vessels, drinking glasses and coins found their way here from the Roman Rhine provinces. Contacts with the Roman Empire became very important to the Scandinavian magnates, who to a certain extent adopted the lifestyle of the Romans.