Shrouded within the uncertainty of Europe's distant past are many mysteries. Whilst we are relatively well informed about the Mediterranean with its mighty empires we know comparatively little about the heartland and the fringes of the European continent. It wasn't until the days of Julius Caesar that a new player stepped up onto the stage of European and – by extension to the modern age – World History: The Ancient Germanic Peoples. Caesar described them as even more brutish and uncivilized than the in the eyes of the Mediterranean World already savage Gauls and justified his campaigns into Gaul partially by claiming that they needed protection from the Germans. But before we venture too far into historical events involving these peoples the term “German” and its use in the context of Antiquity has to be clarified.
Continental West Germanic Dialect Continuum
The Continental West Germanic Dialect Continuum. Today Dutch and German are thought of as distinct languages and justly so. But in actuality there was a fluent transition between what is considered Dutch and what is considered German today for most of history and in some places in the border area this still holds true today. … Continue reading Continental West Germanic Dialect Continuum
Y-DNA Haplogroups in the German Empire
The Haplogroup distribution across the German Empire prior to WW1 according to FTDNA and Robert Gabel. Haplogroup I is the oldest of them and probably resembles remnants of Hunter-Gatherer lineages whilst R1b and R1a are connected to Celto-Germanic and Slavic peoples.
The Etruscans were one of the many historic peoples inhabiting the Italian Peninsula before the Rise of Rome and influencing the Empire from within after their subjugation. It is thought that the Romans incorporated some of the Etruscan deities in their own pantheon and that even the Latin language underwent some phonetical changes as a consequence. Some words in modern English ultimately come from the Etruscans via Latin, such as 'person'.
The Migration of the Cimbri and Teutons
The migration of the Cimbri and the Teutons from Jutland across Central and Western Europe and into Northern Italy. The Cimbri and Teutons were the first Germanic people mentioned in history, although the term Teuton itself may in fact be of Celtic origin.
The German Eastward Expansion
Map showing the German Eastward Expansion, starting in the early Middle Ages at the zenith of Charlemagne's Frankish Empire. Although first German settlements east of the river Elbe in modern Eastern Germany started relatively early, it wasn't until the 10th and 11th centuries, that larger amounts of Germans moved eastward and assimilated most of the … Continue reading The German Eastward Expansion
Europe ca. 476 CE
Picture: Germanic Kingdoms in Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Although the Germans were certainly less sophisticated than their contemporary Romans, Greeks, Egyptians or even the neighbouring Celts, which to the Mediterranean world were already considered barbarians, they were to some degree responsible for the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The … Continue reading Europe ca. 476 CE