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.
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.
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
The Greco-Roman Concept of the Barbarian
'Barbarian' and 'barbaric' are nowadays commonly used to describe somebody or something behaving in a particularly uncivilized or - to the observer - foreign way, and in this regards differs surprisingly little from it's ancient counterpart. This article seeks to examine the meaning and history of the term in short.
The Roman Border in Ancient Germany
The borders of Rome weren't as much boundaries as they were frontiers: Areas of cultural exchange between different peoples. This article explores the relationship between Rome and the Germanic tribes living beyond the border.
Spartan Agoge and Athenian Ephebeia – A Comparison
An in-depth analysis of the infamous Spartan Agoge and it's Athenian counterpart - the Ephebeia.
The Origins of the Ancient Greeks
An attempt at answering - in brief - the question of the origin of the Ancient Greeks from an archaeological, mythological and genetic approach.
Justice in Aristotelian Ethics
Justice in Aristotle's philosophy differentiates between general and particular justice, the latter of which can be divided further into distributive and equalising justice.
Remnants of Proto-Indo-European Society in Sparta
In Nigel M. Kennels book "The Gymnasium of Virtue" he discusses the possible influence of Proto-Indo-European customs on ancient Spartan society.
Origins and Culture of the Ancient Germanic Tribes
The origin of the ancient Germans (not to be confused with the modern Germans) is still debated, although somewhere between Northern Germany and Southern Scandinavia seems to be the most likely place. Bu where did the people inhabiting this area come from?
The Ancient Italic Peoples
Before the expansion of Rome the Italian peninsula was inhabited by a variety of different, mostly Italic peoples, such as the Umbrians, Veneti and Semnintes. But they shared the peninsula with non-Italic peoples as well, such as Greeks in the South, Etruscans in the North and Celts further beyond.