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Thread: Who is Germanic? The Evolutionary Distinctiveness of Modern Germanics

  1. #61
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    About 50% of men in the British Isles seem to older Celtic Y chromosome patterns, the rest Germanic. Since everyone is descended from both men and women, and there are so many generations of mating involved, that means most Brits (and Irish and Scots) are both Celtic and Germanic (genetically speaking).

    Germanic, on this forum, seems to refer more specifically to culture, which is an entirely different question. Two sisters who married different men (one with Celtic Y chromosome, the other with continental Y chromosome), all of whom shared language, appearance and cultural practices (they were all blue-eyed, let's say) and raised their children side by side with traditional English cultural practices...would still have (boy) children with different Y chromosome patterns.

    But culturally, these children would be speaking a largely Germanic language and they would be English by culture (which is sort of a moving target over the centuries, but still has, I believe, a core English-ness to it).
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  3. #62
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    I think we all more or less can agree on that the Germanic people (both with culture, language and genetics) originated in Denmark, Southern Sweden and Northern Germany. This is why putting Norway as the standard of which other regions/nations in Europe should be judged by wether they are Germanic or not is completly far fetched. Denmark would make a far better standard for comparison and would turn this analysis upside down.

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    I think it's funny that people are saying "if you have brown eyes, you aren't german". That is fucking ridiculous! It's been thousands of years of wars and exploits, conquests and invasions ... you cannot tell me that somewhere in your blood-line that there isn't a SINGLE brown eyed person. And even if your eyes aren't brown, you can carry the gene for it. Wouldn't that be kind of weird ... all your ancestors on mom's and dad's side looking exactly the same for thousands of years? Like that old horror movie, with all the kids that look exactly the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPrussian View Post
    Before I get into any arguments, would you propose any alternative definition for Germanics to the one I suggested?
    Well I don't agree with basing "Germanicness" on genetics alone.

    If you are saying that it is based on genetics then you're basically saying that Austria, Southern Germany, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Flanders and England aren't Germanic.

    What does that leave you with? North+Central Germany, Netherlands and Scandinavia. The Germanic homelands correspond roughly to "Nordic Europe" and arguably have preserved more of the original Germanic culture than the rest of the Germanics who have built upon it or been influenced by other cultures.


    Whilst the original Germanics spread from Southern Scandinavia and Northern Germany and would have been associated with certain subclades, I think it is a poor way of classifying people today.

    The expansion of the Germanics in many areas was of a minority who imposed their culture onto the majority. This is similar to how the Celtic and Slavic cultures expanded.

    I think we must look at history, culture, language and many other traits to determine whether a nation is Germanic or not and that has largely been done over and over again.
    The problem is defining when an ethnicity is Germanic in culture or merely influenced by it such as with the Scottish.

    Then there's also the fact that the Germanics probably started out as a hybrid group themselves - incoming Indo-Europeans (R1b, R1a) bringing better agriculture, pastoralism and lactose persistence met the indigenous hunter-gatherers (I1a) and the small "first farmer" minorities (J, E3b1).
    This is probably why Germanic has a large pre-Indo-European substratum too.


    Anyway, if you are going to say Austria, Southern Germany, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Flanders and England aren't Germanic then you may as well apply the title 'Germanic' to them and call the Scandinavians, Dutch and North Germans 'Nordic'.
    This would be splitting the culture though and I don't think you;d find many people who'd support the idea. I think the culture is fine with its variations.

    Or you could just accept that genetic differences exist and that the North Germanics are largely the original Germanics and that most West Germanics result from Celts being absorbed into Germanic culture.
    The correlation is quite interesting, I wonder if the West Germanics became different from the North Germanics because they were largely absorbed Celts (I know geography and language are important factors too)?

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    I find it intersting that Coon claims the Franks are not Germanic. I find that historically very inaccuate.

    First it assumes the Franks are a people, they aren't they were a confederation of German Tribes, that were located on both sides of the Rhine in Germania Magna and Germani Inferior.

    Frank meant Free-They were they Free Tribes

    The Franks were made up of the strongst and most renowed German tribes to include: the Sicambri, Chamavi, Bructeri, Chatti, Chattuarii, Ampsivarii, Tencteri and Ubii.

    Further it flys in the face of the Historical truth that Ceaser emptied Germania inferior of any celtic tribes still remaining there and populated it with Germanic tribes suchs as the Marsi, Ubii and Matci in order to protect them from the other German tribes, until they joined with their cousins east of the Rhine.

    The First Frankish Condederation contained the Cherusci, the Marsi, the Chatti, Sicambri, The Bruteria and the Chauci, under the leadership of Arminius, that defeated the Roman General Varus and annihilated his three legions at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. (colloquially known as "Hermann The German")

    Further many of the Frank confederation were Saxon tribes

    Then of course the second real confederation of the Frankish Tribes layed the smack down on the Romans and seized The remander of Modern Germany, Belgium and moved into france

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  8. #66
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    I find it questionable that you would define clearly Germanic groups, that speak German, identify as German, who's name is used to identify Germans as a whole in several languages (Alemannen), and are the only direct descendants of their branch of Germanics, as being fringe. Just because a few dominant physical genetic traits from the Celts are expressed in those populations doesn't change what they are. As the guardians of the Rhine and Alp borders to other cultures it is exactly those groups that define the difference and hold back other cultural influences. They know the difference and so should you.

    It might also be interesting to note that Prussians (even the name itself) are partly Baltic. DNA profiling is FAR from being an accurate science, and just because Prussians share a similarity with Danes in one aspect doesn't make them more Germanic. During the Teutonic expansion there was lots of mixing between the Prussians (the real Baltic tribe. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pru%C3%9Fen), the Lithuanians, and the Germans. So much so that you identify with what is clearly Baltic tribal name.

    You might also mention that the Kievan Rus and the later Russian Empire was carved out by Viking invaders. They were swallowed up and assimilated much like the Franks in Gaul. But it makes sense that there would be a shared genetic link considering the enormous amount of mixing that took place there throughout centuries of war. I would posit that the closer North German relation to the Danes is more BECAUSE of their mixing with these mixed Germano-Slavic=Baltic peoples than despite it, afterall, the other tribes moved south long before this happened and would have been unaffected.

    The Nordics, Goths, and Germans are three distinct groups (as is reflected in the languages) that descend from a common Proto-Germanic root. A genetic correlation between one group of Germans to the Nordics that is not shared by other German tribes has to come from mixing with that group, it is not a hold-over, or other groups would also show traces of it. A Goth isn't less Germanic because he isn't Nordic, and neither is a German. Prussians having some Nordic DNA doesn't make them more Germanic either, just more Nordic than those groups. You can't ignore the fact that Nordic populations also continued to evolve as time went one, they can have unique genetic traits that have nothing to do with being especially Germanic.

    If you're going to look at DNA you can always find something that is different that can set one group apart, what matters are the similarities that bind Germanic Peoples together.

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    Afrikaners are not true Germanic, in the sense that they racially mixed about 14% of their Dna is non-European or non-White! They are not only a mixture of Germanic with Latin ( French,Portuguese), Slavic (Polish), Middle-Eastern ( Lebanese). Quite a few are blond-haired as Germanic people are, but others are dark, with even non-European facial features ( flat noses for example) and so on. Afrikaners are not as Germanic as their Northern European ancestors.

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  12. #68
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    Regarding the English and our Celtic admixture, personally I don't think it matters. The Celts were the original great race of Western Europe, they just got fatally crippled from being attacked and assimilated from all sides (including by Germanics).
    England itself doesn't "feel" as Germanic as the continental Germanic countries, then again it doesn't feel especially Celtic either. It is more a mixture of the two, but with a much greater Germanic cultural input then a lot of independent development on top of that (with being on an island for a thousand years without too much interaction with the other Germanic countries it has diverged a bit and developed more independently).

    The interaction within the British Isles has shaped England a lot too, probably more so I'd say than with Swedes and their interaction with Finns and Lapps. Interaction with England has probably had a greater influence on the Celts though as interaction with Sweden effected Finland and is probably why it is considered Nordic and shares stuff in common with the North Germanic countries, so too can say Ireland be seen as part of the British group of peoples.

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  14. #69
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    Language does not coincide 100% with race or culture. Around the edges as in England there would be blurring of race and culture. Caesar encountered the Belgae, a transitional group along the Celtic-Germanic fronteir who crossed into Gaul and then Britain. Placenames might indicate that a non-Celtic language was spoken by the Belgae, potentially a discrete branch of IE connected to the archaeological Nordwestblock.

    Archaeologically its difficult to estimate who exactly was either Germanic or Celtic speaking in the absence of written language because peoples moved en masse and the cultures intergraded.

    The Harpstedt and La Tène cultures almost certainly marked the border between the Germanic and Celtic speakers. Celtic is closer to Italic than to Germanic and this firmly established branch of IE called Italo-Celtic might include smaller families or isolates,such as Belgic, Luisitanian, Venetic and Ligurian. (I don't want to endorse texts such as March of the Titans but notice that the Italic languages including Latin arrived from the north.) Italo-Celtic shares archaicisms with other branches of IE and must have diverged early whereas Germanic possesses similarities to all three of Italo-Celtic, Balto-Slavic and Albanian. From the opobservation that when Germanic is excluded from datasets the IE tree is easily resolved, proto-Germanic can be understood as a contact language between IE branches. The fact that the Albanian language arrived late and mysteriously from somewhere to the the north (as close as Dardania?) cannot help place the Germanic urheimat whereas the similarity to both Italo-Celtic and Balto-Slavic can, and accords with other lines of evidence.

    Over the past few years there have been a few trees proposed. This one is close to the consensus at present.


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    Well, a closer relationship with Albanian is quite unlikely. That’s a theory only really championed by Ringe, Warnow and consorts.
    I don't think your tree is the current consensus, the consensus rather being, that Albanian is mostly unclassifiable in relation to other IE-languages.

    Germanic is lately put close to Romance language, even closer than either of the two is put to Celtic. But that might have to do with the fact, that we lack enough knowledge of the Continental Celtic languages and Brittonnic languages might be a poor fit.


    How would a relationship with Albanian even make sense, historically speaking? It presumes largely either of two theories:

    1) A very late split of Germanic, Balto-Slavic and Albanian somewhere in the northern Balkans. Germanic and Balto-Slavic moving north, then west and east, Albanian moving south into a mountainous fringe area. But without leaving any trace among other languages.

    2) All three moving north, Albanian splitting up and likewise moving south. This time the way covered is even longer but they still leave no trace among other languages.

    Apart from that, Albanian is earliest attested since about the 14th century. To find such an old relationship by comparing Albanian of that date and contemporary Germanic languages would be nothing short of a miracle, even if it existed.

    Genetically there’s no trace of such a migration either, Albanian Y-Haplogroup frequencies being among the most different ones from either Germanics or Slavs(or Celts, for that matter).

    Shared features could most likely be explained by contact between Goths migrating south and proto-Albanians, Germanic-influenced Slavs migrating south and conserving linguistic features lost among other IE languages except for Germanic and Balto-Slavic.
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