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Thread: What Germanic Tribes Are the Modern Dutch Descended From?

  1. #11
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    What is see mostly on Dutch guys is that they stick their ancestry to the word 'Saxon' or 'Frank' . Thats a shame, because especially in the netherlands a wide variety of tribes excisted... I think this is a good reference:



    Its rather a simple image that exludes many tribes, but its a good start.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Ingomar's Avatar
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    "Dutch" tribes part I - The Franks

    In this thread some tribes who used to inhabit the Netherlands are named. I think we should make a separation in times here. I will try to sketch a chronology.

    First during the Roman occupation of the Netherlands, starting ca. 12 BC, tribes like the Batavi, Canananefates, Tubanti, Eburoni (around the Dutch-Belgian border), Frisii are named. Some of these tribes are believed to be Celto-Germanic, as they lived in an area where both cultures lived between ca. 150 BC - 100 AD.

    During the Roman occupation, as you could expect, most tribes living south of the rivers were partly or completely romanized. In Dutch modern science, like in archaelogy, these tribes are called "Gallo-Romaans", i.e. Gaulish-Romanish, so Celtic-Roman. The term "Germanic" has almost completely been erased in publications from the sixties until now. I don't think this has anything to do with a fact that those tribes really aren't Germanic but Celtic, but due to the fact that people don't want to use the word "Germaans" anymore.

    When the Romans left the Netherlands around 400 AD (though most Roman soldiers already left their castella at the Rhine before 300 AD), one of the most important happenings in the Dutch pre-modern history happened: de Volksverhuizing (Migration Period), from ca. 350 - 600 AD. I don't have to explain what that happens for all tribes which were named above. Above that, some tribes dissappeared because they were destroyed, other ones mixed with each other and became bigger. The best example for these are the Franks, which are believed to originate from the Ripuarian and Salian Franks, who in their turn consist of tribe bonds of several Rhinish tribes called Usipeti, Tencteri, Sugambri and Bructeri. These bonds between Germanic tribes were quite common during the Roman period.

    Now we made this brief tribe history of the Netherlands, we should think of what remains we find in the modern Dutch. Language wise, as Æmeric already showed in an image, the Dutch dialects mostly consist of Frankish and Saxon dialects. The north east is of course represented by speakers of the Frisian language (for greater security: an own language, not a Dutch dialect).

    We could conclude that the biggest part of the Netherlands, excluding the provinces of Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, eastern parts of Overijssel and Gelderland and the southern most tip of Limburg, descended from the named Frankish tribes.
    I don't know anything about different Frisian tribes, so you could almost say the Frisii of around the year 0 are the ancestors of the modern day Frisians, though discussion still exists about this.
    For the Saxons, I will first read some more about their origin before I will post something about their appearance in Dutch history.

    Here I only treated the linguistic (edit: and geographical) part. Maybe others can add information to this?
    Last edited by Ingomar; Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Addition in conclusion.

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    The Frankish were not a Real tribe, they were rather a federation of many different tribes. The Salii were frankish too, but the Salii lived in Salland a long time before the Frankish period.

    The Dialects came because many tribes in the lowlands joined 'some' federation. Par Example, the Chamavii and the Tubantii chose the side of the Saxons, and obtained a saxon dialect.

    The other tribes were probably assimilated or defeated and assilimated, because we have no mention of the 'old' tribes like the Batavii and the Chamavii.

    Most likely, the Hollanders from Holland today (the province) descent mostly from the Frisii, with some kaninefatic and belgae traces.

    The other provinces are hard to say.
    The Sallanders descent from the Tubants and the Salii, the
    Tukkers from the Tubants and some Saxon (non-federation, ethnic Saxons) and
    the Drenths from the Chamavii, Baetasii and Ampsivarii
    The Limburgers are from the Sicambri and Ubii.
    The Frisians from the Frisii, chauci and some Chamavii.
    The Gelderlanders descent from the Batavii, Cugernii and Chamavii.
    The Utrechters from the Frisii and Batavii
    The Brabanders from the Toxandrii, Sicambrii, Eburonii, menapii.
    The Zealanders from the Menapii, Marsaci and Frisiavones.

    These are OFC speculations, but it has both archaeological and linguistic evidence.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Ingomar's Avatar
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    Valkar,

    I wrote my previous post to show that Germanic (or pure/mixed with Celtic) tribes named during the Roman occupation cannot be put in modern geographical terms without investigation. I think what you write now is not true or only partly true. You cannot simply state that, per example:

    The Gelderlanders descent from the Batavii, Cugernii and Chamavii.
    or
    The Zealanders [descend] from the Menapii, Marsaci and Frisiavones.
    First of all the Batavii were a tribe which history after the Roman occupation is unknown. They probably left the Netherlands long before people settled after the Migration Period.
    Since Gelderland is, in linguistic terms, more or less a Saxon-Frankish border region, their ancestors would probably be Saxons (and the smaller tribes that were part of them) and Franks (the tribes which joined the Ripuarian and Salian ranks).

    Secondly, Zeeland was a complete different kind of area then the cultivated islands it nowadays contains. It wasn't until the last 400-100 years that the Dutch cultivated areas like this on a major scale. I cannot believe the people that descended from the tribes named in Roman age sources constantly lived on the same spot. Not in an "living" area like that.

    We here face a hiatus of several hundred years, approximately during the Migration Period of ca. 350 - 600 AD. We have hints of what happened during this period, especially about the tribes that went westwards over the North Sea, but for most other smaller tribes we have no idea what happened to them. It makes more sense most of the tribes migrated, though some known exclusions exist.
    In conclusion I want to stress the fact that we cannot take Roman age Germanic tribe names and paste them on a post Migration Period or modern map.

    I also want to add that all these Roman age tribe names we only know from a Roman author who probably never visited the areas he wrote about himself and also provided us of false information like the "dangerous cliffs" on the shores of the Waddenzee (Tacitus: Annales 2.23). This doesn't necessarily mean the tribes didn't exist, but it can very well be that the specific locations aren't true. This kind of things could only be proven by archeaological evidence, like inscriptions in the settlement Forum Hadriani in the area of the Cananefates. But for most smaller tribes we don't have any evidence at all for their specific location(s).
    Last edited by Ingomar; Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 03:57 PM. Reason: westwards instead of eastwards

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    You are true on some subjects, but those mentions are not only from Tacitus. They are from multiple things, also based on archaeological evidence. Many of those tribes left some stuff, and we can indentificate wich culture it belongs to and wich time.

    The arae of Zeeland was indeed very different then it is nowadays. it was bigger then today. In the areas, there lived many tribes. The Menapii have left archeological evidence. The Menapian dwelling is the best known.
    Because Zeeland was a Germanic/Belgic border, you can indentificate tribes easily. Frisian stuff was found, and even in 600 Frisians were still active in all

    The Batavii have records spanning from 100 BC to 300 AD. When constantinius II was in reign, there was a record that the ancestors of the Batavii still lived in the same area. Altough the Chamavii and a small Frankish tribe, propably the Salii mixed with the Batavi.

    It makes no sense that the small tribes moved away. The only one we know that they moved away are the Chamavii, but that was from Groningen to Overijssel, and then to Gelderland. Thats why the Chamavii are on different spots on different maps of the Tribes of GEM INF. And the Ampsivarii, they moved from south-Drenthe to Germay, but that was not even 100 Miles away.

    In conclusion I want to stress the fact that we cannot take Roman age Germanic tribe names and paste them on a post Migration Period or modern map.
    That is because of the Massafederationtribes like the Franci and the Saxones. The post-roman writers didn't include small tribes but always pointed to their federation. . And there is evidence of the (ethnic) federation tribes that stayed here.
    It is most likely that the rest of the tribes assimilated with the large tribes who entered the federation, such as the Salii and Tubantii.
    A good example that iron age tribes don't die is the Frisii. They lived and still live in the same area, spanning 2000 years.

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    "Dutch" tribes part II - The Frisians

    For the Frisians it is more or less easier to verify their ancestors. This is because of the fact they are called Frisii during the Roman occupation, it is known that some of them migrated to East England and a part of them stayed in the same area during the Frankish (christian) early Medieval times.

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    Valkar,

    Thanks for your reply. I can now see some things you pointed out are more probable then I thought before. Though I still have a question.

    How are material remains like pottery evidence for a specific tribe with a specific name, if we don't know the exact location of such a tribe? The shards could easily be from another tribe, but the names were just mixed up because antique sources aren't that accurate.

    Though archeaology can be evidence in the following scenario. The example I gave earlier is that of the Cananafates; where a settlement on the border of the Roman empire includes some inscriptions proving that the name of the settlement has got something to do with inhabitans of Cananafatian origin. But I can also add that the Cananafates are among the tribes which were partly destroyed during the Roman occupation.
    The same is true for auxilia troops (Germanic volunteers in the Roman army). Some inscriptions are known of Batavian troops in specific areas. Though for soldiers and armies, who were mobile, this also isn't a full proof. Else it could mean that Tubanti lived in Northern Britian (inscription of Tubanti auxilia in Vercovicium, near the Hadrian Wall).

    I also thought about writing about Frisian tribe history (see previous post), but you were just a bit earlier.

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    Pottery (especially Iron age) is divided into groops. When you find pottery, you can easily adjust it to some sub-culture in the Germanic tribes.
    Internet is not anything for the history buff. If you want to learn about how to find the differences between Germanic pottery, read 'Germanic tribes' from Malcolm Todd. Any good library posses a piece. It contains not only information about pottery, also common information like cultures, clothing, warfare, religion, credential and burial examples and even street plans from Germanic cities.

    The site of the Tuihanti is known thanks to archaeological evidence. (a full production of swampiron was found in Overijssel). The linguistic evidence of the Tuihanti is their mention at the Varusslag. We know they participated at Arminius side, to punish the romans for their harsh treatment of their brothertribe, the Marsi. They are also mentioned at the Batavian revolt, that they provided a cohort for the Batavians.
    The Caninefatii and Batavi are both originally from Germany, so we see Jastorf elements in their pottery. That's how we can see where the pottery comes from in the 3rth century AD, when we lack roman linguistic evidence.

    The Frisii are a certainly interesting people. They are everywhere in the Germanic nations in some way. They are most present in the lowlands, but they still have some communities in Denmark and Germany. In England they are vanished in the Saxon meltinpot.

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    Senior Member Ingomar's Avatar
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    I am familiair with grouping of pottery, as well as other archealogical artefacts like fibula or sword types etc. Todd's De Germanen (the Dutch translation that is) has been on my book shelf for several years. Though I thank you for your advice.

    I told you before I do understand how archealogical evidence can be proof of a tribe's existence in a certain area. So I do think the Caninefatii and Batavi pottery is a good example. But I try to convince you we cannot take every tribe name we don't know the history of and just put them in an early medieval group/tribe name, because we think they didn't move during the hiatus between 250 and 500 (when the Romans left or were gone for a short while).

    Per example, I fail to see the connection between the iron production in Overijssel (I guess you're referring to the Raalte-Heeten site?) and linguistic evidence of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD.

    I think we're more or less on the same level, though our opinions on some specific tribes and their wandering and history differ.

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    Raalte-Heeten is indeed a good example, but there are widespread in Overijssel examples like heeten and Menheeme found.

    It doesn't has anything done with the battle of the Teutoborger wald Its connected with the Tubanti and Sali. Those are one of the tribes wandering around in Overijssel

    You're right I can't give a Iron age tribe a Medieval name. I don't say they existed in theory any more (understand, that they were a individual tribe, sovereign) but in fact the ancestors were still there, and we all know that the infrastructure of these times was horrible, so a few to no mixture with other tribes/nations occurred. Nowadays, thanks to mass immigration, free trade and other stuff, our roots with the past are vanishing. (ass you can see i am very negative against mass immigration)

    And yes, our opinions differ. But we agree about the Salii?

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