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Thread: Primal Germanic Territories

  1. #21
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    I think the reason Scandinavia is held separately on most maps of prehistory is that Old Norse and Old German were already separate languages when the so-called "Germanic" sound shift took place. It really should be called Nordo-Germanic or Germano-Nordic, right? At least, that's what I've turned up on that question (always open to newer research).

    It's hard to know just how distinctive two languages have to be to call them separate languages. That Old English is a descendant of both Old Norse and Old German is also undisputed. But before there were Old Norse and Old German, both were within proto-Celto-Germanic, and before that, an even larger group. So, depending on where you slice up the time (and that's fairly arbitrary), you get different language groups.

    I found the maps (especially the Burgundian one) to be very helpful. Now that more and more genetic research shows the rise of blue eyes (still in the same place - on the coastal area north of Pskov, spreading both directions after the initial mutation, and eventually all around the North Sea - probably everyone there was blue-eyed at 6000BP. But their march inland is less well documented.

    When the Viking/Rurikids were invited/came into Rus-land, there were already blue-eyed people there - lots of them, and they were the ones asking for help from Scandinavia. The upper classes of Russia still contain many blue-eyed members (which is interesting). The Slavs/Sclaveni were brown-eyed. The Varangians and the Heruli, both of whom may be Germanic/Slavic hybrid groups (genetically) were probably also entirely blue-eyed.

    Hallstat culture emerges about the same time that blue eyes become more widely spread.

    I am myself brown-eyed btw, so I'm not trying to make all the blue-eyed people feel superior (although you are all lovely). My mother has blue eyes, and on my father's side, so does one grandparent - so I was surrounded by mostly blue eyed people growing up.

    I do think the Germanic, Celtic and Rus tribes (the word "Slavic" doesn't fit here) were extremely proud of their blue-eyed-ness and tried very hard to swap their sisters for woman of other clans and tribes who were also blue-eyed - else the mutation would never have been preserved and spread so thoroughly around the North Sea.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Ingomar's Avatar
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    I would like to contribute by naming tribes that are possibly are very early or pre-Germanic.

    Three different cultures are believed to be Germanic, as they spoke the Germanic language instead of the dominantly Celtic one in Western-Europa during the pre-Roman Iron Age (ca. 1000 - 0 BC). Also their material is pointing the direction of a continuation in the Germanic culture of the last part of the pre-Roman Iron Age.
    We can name the Pomerelian Face Urn culture (or Gesichtsurnenkultur) in northern Poland, the Jastorf culture from northern Germany and the Harpstedt culture in the north west (parts of the Netherlands and Germany). Around this time the Hallstatt and later La Tène cultures controlled the mid part of Europe. It was only around the first century BC that Germanics migrated to these parts.

    We also have some evidence that from an relatively early age (ca. 110 BC) that the homeland of Germanics was in the north: the well known migration of the Cimbri and Teutoni from Jutland to the south. Around 50 BC they returned to their homeland in northern Jutland, so probably the memory of their northern homeland lived along with their wanderings through Europe.

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    Senior Member Ingomar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingomar View Post
    We also have some evidence that from an relatively early age (ca. 110 BC) that the homeland of Germanics was in the north: the well known migration of the Cimbri and Teutoni from Jutland to the south. Around 50 BC they returned to their homeland in northern Jutland, so probably the memory of their northern homeland lived along with their wanderings through Europe.
    I just came across this passage about the Cimbri and Teutones of between 108 and 101 BC:

    "The personal names of their leaders, such as are known, are all purely Celtic, and passages from Diodorus, Strabo and Pliny could all be taken as showing that the Cimbri spoke a Celtic language. The name Teutones itself is a Latin form of the Celtic word meaning 'people' (...)."
    Source: Powell, T.G.E., 1958: The Celts, London. The passage can be found on page 163.

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    Names are not so important. The Celtic names had a great prestige.
    Compare it with the eighteenth fashion in Germany and Netherlands
    that the upper classes baptized their children with French names
    and the spoke French with themselves.

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