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GERMANIC PEOPLE

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Bianca
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« on: November 30, 2007, 01:46:26 pm »



Thor/Donar, Germanic thunder god. The hammer, Mjolnir,
is associated with the thunderbolt.

Painting by Mårten Eskil Winge, ca. 1872.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 02:12:35 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2007, 02:05:37 pm »









Ethnonym





Various etymologies for Latin Germani are possible. As an adjective, germani is simply the plural of the adjective germanus (from germen, "seed" or "offshoot"), which has the sense of "related" or "kindred".

 As an ethnonym, the word is first attested in 223 BC, in the Fasti Capitolini inscription, DE GALLEIS INSVBRIBVS ET GERM, where it may simply refer to "related" peoples, viz. related to the Gauls. If the later proper name Germani derives from this word, it may refer from this use based on Roman experience of the Germanic tribes as allies of the Celts.

The name is first used in its sense of "peoples of Germania, as distinguished from Gauls" by Julius Caesar. In this sense, it may be a loan from a Celtic exonym applied to the Germanic tribes, based on a word for "neighbour". A third suggestion derives it directly from the name of the Hermunduri. Tacitus suggests that it might be from a tribe which changed its name after the Romans adapted it, but there is no evidence for this.

 
Odin riding on Sleipnir (Tängvide image stone, 8th century).

The suggestion deriving the name from Gaulish term for "neighbour" invokes Old Irish gair, Welsh ger, "near",[3] Irish gearr, "cut, short" (a short distance), from a Proto-Celtic root *gerso-s, further related to ancient Greek chereion, "inferior" and English gash.  The Proto-Indo-European root could be of the form *khar-, *kher-, *ghar-, *gher-, "cut", from which also Hittite kar-, "cut", whence also Greek character.

Apparently, the Germanic tribes did not have a self-designation ("endonym") that included all Germanic-speaking people but excluded all non-Germanic people. Non-Germanic peoples (primarily Celtic, Roman, Greek, the citizens of the Roman Empire), on the other hand, were called *walha- (this word lives forth in names such as Wales, Welsh, Cornwall, Walloons, Vlachs etc.).

The generic *žiuda- "people" (occurring in many personal names such as Thiud-reks and also in the ethnonym of the Swedes from a cognate of Old English Sweo-šēod) is not a self-designation. However, the adjective derived from this noun, *žiudiskaz, "popular", was used with reference to the language of the people in contrast to the Latin language (earliest recorded example 786). The word is continued in German Deutsch (meaning German), English "Dutch", Dutch Duits and Diets (the latter referring to Dutch, the former meaning German). Danish tysk (meaning German). From ca. 875, Latin writers refer to the German(ic) language(s) as teutonicus. Hence the English use of "Teutons" in reference to the Germanic peoples in general besides the specific tribe of the Teutons defeated at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae in 102 BC.
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2007, 02:10:45 pm »



Detail of the Uppland Rune Inscription 871 (12th century)








Classification




 
Detail of the Uppland Rune Inscription 871 (12th century)The concept of "Germanic" as a distinct ethnic identity was hinted at by the early Greek geographer Strabo [2], who distinguished a barbarian group in northern Europe, who were not part of the Celts. Posidonius, to our knowledge, is the first to have used the name, around 80 BC, in his lost 30th book. Our knowledge of this is based on the 4th book of Athenaeus, who in ca. AD 190 quotes Posidonius as saying that "The Germani at noon serve roast meat with milk, and drink their wine undiluted".

By the 1st century A.D., the writings of Caesar, Tacitus and other Roman era writers indicate a division of Germanic-speaking peoples into tribal groupings centred on:



the rivers Oder and Vistula (Poland) (East Germanic tribes),

the lower Rhine river (Istvaeones),

the river Elbe (Irminones),
 
Jutland and the Danish islands (Ingvaeones).



The Sons of Mannus Istvaeones, Irminones, and Ingvaeones are collectively called West Germanic tribes. In addition, those Germanic people who remained in Scandinavia are referred to as North Germanic. These groups all developed separate dialects, the basis for the differences among Germanic languages down to the present day.

The division of peoples into West Germanic, East Germanic, and North Germanic is a modern linguistic classification.

Many Greek scholars only classified Celts and Scyths in the Northwest and Northeast of the Mediterranean and this classification was widely maintained in Greek literature until Late Antiquity.

Latin-Greek ethnographers (Tacitus, Pliny the Elder, Ptolemy, and Strabo) mentioned in the first two centuries AD the names of peoples they classified as Germanic along the Elbe, the Rhine, and the Danube, the Vistula and on the Baltic Sea.

Tacitus mentioned 40, Ptolemy 69 peoples.

Classical ethnography applied the name Suebi to many tribes in the first century. It appeared that this native name had all but replaced the foreign name Germanic. After the Marcomannic wars the Gothic name steadily gained importance. Some of the ethnic names mentioned by the ethnographers of the first two centuries AD on the shores of the Oder and the Vistula (Gutones, Vandali) reappear from the 3rd century on in the area of the lower Danube and north of the Carpathian Mountains.

For the end of the 5th century the Gothic name can be used - according to the historical sources - for such different peoples like the Goths in Gaul, Iberia and Italy, the Vandals in Africa, the Gepids along the Tisza and the Danube, the Rugians, Sciri and Burgundians, even the Iranian Alans. These peoples were classified as Scyths and often deducted from the ancient Getae (most important: Cassiodor/Jordanes, Getica approx. 550 AD).
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2007, 02:19:06 pm »









Mythical foundations





The preserved mythical founders and namesakes of some Germanic tribes:




Angul — Angles (the Kings of Mercia, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, other Anglo-Saxon
                       dynasties are derived from other descendants of Woden)

Aurvandil — Vandals (uncertain)
 
Burgundus — Burgundians

Cibidus — Cibidi

Dan — Danes

Nór — Norwegians

Gothus — Goths

Ingve — Ynglings
 
Irmin — Irminones
 
Longobardus — Lombards

Saxneat — Saxons
 
Valagothus — Valagoths
 
Suiones — Suiones (Svear)
 
Thüringer — Thuringii
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2007, 02:20:17 pm »



Map of the Nordic Bronze Age culture, ca 1200 BC







                                                                  Origin
 




Bronze Age predecessors



Regarding the question of ethnic origins, evidence developed by archaeologists and linguists suggests that a people or group of peoples sharing a common material culture dwelt in a region defined by the Northern Bronze Age culture, centered in Schleswig and Scandinavia between 1700 BC and 600 BC.

Also more specific Iron Age cultures comprising the same region, like Wessenstedt (800-600 BC) and Jastorf,
are in consideration.

The change of Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic has been defined by the first sound shift (or Grimm's
law) and must have occurred when mutually intelligible dialects or languages in a Sprachbund were still able
to convey such a change to the whole region. So far it has been impossible to date this event conclusively.

The precise interaction between these peoples is not known, however, they are tied together and influenced
by regional features and migrational patterns linked to prehistoric cultures like Hügelgräber, Urnfield and La Tene.


A deteriorating climate in Scandinavia c. 850 BC-760 BC and a later and more rapid one c. 650 BC might have triggered migrations to the coast of Eastern Germany and further towards the Vistula. A contemporary northern expansion of Hallstatt drew part of this peoples into the Celtic hemisphere, including nordwestblock areas and the region of Elp culture (1800 BC - 800 BC).

At around this time, this culture became influenced by Hallstatt techniques of how to extract bog iron from the ore in peat bogs, ushering in the Pre-Roman Iron Age.
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2007, 02:32:08 pm »








                                                          Early Iron Age





Pre-Roman Iron Age





The expansion of the Germanic tribes 750 BC – AD 1 (after the Penguin Atlas of World History 1988):


      RED - Settlements before 750BC
 
      ORANGE - New settlements until 500BC
 
      YELLOW - New settlements until 250BC
 
      GREEN - New settlements until AD 1



Archeological evidence suggests a relatively uniform Germanic people were located at about 750 BC from the Netherlands to the Vistula and in Southern Scandinavia.

In the west the coastal floodplains were populated for the first time, since in adjacent higher grounds the population had increased and the soil became exhausted.

At about 250 BC some expansion to the south had occurred and five general groups can be distinguished: North Germanic in southern Scandinavia, excluding Jutland; North Sea Germanic, along the North Sea and in Jutland; Rhine-Weser Germanic, along the middle Rhine and Weser; Elbe Germanic, along the middle Elbe; and East Germanic, between the middle Oder and the Vistula. This concurs with linguistic evidence pointing at the development of five linguistic groups, mutually linked into sets of two to four groups that shared linguistic innovations.

This period witnessed the advent of Celtic culture of Hallstatt and La Tene signature in previous Northern Bronze Age territory, especially to the western extends. However, some proposals suggest
this Celtic superstrate was weak, while the general view in the Netherlands holds that this Celtic influence did not involve intrusions at all and assume fashion and a local development from Bronze
Age culture.

It is generally accepted such a Celtic superstratum was virtually absent to the East, featuring the Germanic Wessenstedt and Jastorf cultures. The Celtic influence and contacts between Gaulish and early Germanic culture along the Rhine is assumed as the source of a number of Celtic loanwords in Proto-Germanic.

Frankenstein and Rowlands (1978) and Wells (1980) have suggested late Hallstatt trade contact to
be a direct catalyst for the development of an elite class that came into existence around north-
eastern France, the Middle Rhine region, and adjacent Alpine regions (Collis 1984:41), culminating
to new cultural developments and the advent of the classical Gaulish La Tene culture.

The development of La Tene culture extended to the north around 200-150 BC, including the North German Plain, Denmark and Southern Scandinavia. "In certain cremation graves, situated at some distance from other graves, Celtic metalwork appears: brooches and swords, together with wagons, Roman cauldrons and drinking vessels. The area of these rich graves is the same as the places where later (first century AD) princely graves are found. A ruling class seems to have emerged, distinguished by the possession of large farms and rich gravegifts such as weapons for the men and silver objects
for the women, imported earthenware and Celtic items."

The first Germani in Roman ethnography cannot be clearly identified as either Germanic or Celtic in
the modern ethno-linguistic sense, and it has been generally held the traditional clear cut division
along
the Rhine between both ethnical groups was primarily motivated by Roman politics. Caesar described
the Eburones as a Germanic tribe on the Gallic side of the Rhine, and held other tribes in the neighbour-
hood as merely calling themselves of Germanic stock. Even though names like Eburones and Ambiorix were Celtic and archeologically this area shows strong Celtic influences, the problem is difficult.

Some 20th century writers consider the possibility of a separate "Nordwestblock" identity of the tribes settled along the Rhine at the time, assuming the arrival of a Germanic superstrate from the 1st century BC and a subsequent "Germanization" or language replacement through the "elite-dominance" model. However, immigration of Germanic Batavians from Hessen in the northern extend of this same tribal region is archeologically spoken hardly noticeable and certainly did not populate an exterminated country, very unlike Tacitus suggested.

Here, probably due to the local indigenous pastoral way of life, the acceptance of Roman culture turned out to be particularly slow and, contrary to expected, the indigenous culture of the previous Eburones rather seems to have absorbed the intruding (Batavian) element, thus making it very hard to define the real extends of the pre-Roman Germanic indigenous territories.
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2007, 03:13:26 pm »







                                                           Roman Times





Germanic expansions during early Roman times are known only generally, but it is clear that the forebears of the Goths were settled on the southern Baltic shore by 100 AD.

The early Germanic tribes are assumed to have spoken mutually intelligible dialects, in the sense that Germanic languages derive from a single earlier parent language. No written records of such a parent language exists.

From what we know of scanty early written material, by the fifth century AD the Germanic languages were already "sufficiently different to render communication between the various peoples impossible". Some evidence point to a common pantheon made up of several different chronological layers.

However, as for mythology, only the Scandinavian one (see Germanic mythology) is sufficiently known.

 Some traces of common traditions between various tribes are indicated by Beowulf and the Volsunga saga. One indication of their shared identity is their common Germanic name for non-Germanic peoples, *walhaz (plural of *walhoz), from which the local names Welsh, Wallis, etc. were derived.

An indication of an ethnic unity is the fact that the Romans knew them as one and gave them a common name, Germani (this is the source of our German and Germanic, see Etymology above), although it was well known for the Romans to give geographical rather than cultural names to peoples.

The very extensive practice of cremation deprives us of anthropological comparative material for the earliest periods to support claims of a longstanding ethnic isolation of a common (Nordic) strain.

In the absence of large-scale political unification, such as that imposed forcibly by the Romans upon the peoples of Italy, the various tribes remained free, led by their own hereditary or chosen leaders.
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2007, 03:16:28 pm »








Collision with Rome







Map showing the pre-Migration Age distribution
of the Germanic tribes in Proto-Germanic times,
and stages of their expansion up to 50 BC,
AD 100 and AD 300. The extent of the Roman
Empire in 68 BC and AD 117 is also shown.


By the late 2nd century, B.C., Roman authors recount, Gaul, Italy and Hispania were invaded by migrating Germanic tribes, culminating in military conflict with the armies of the Roman Empire.Six decades later, Julius Caesar invoked the threat of such attacks as one justification for his annexation of Gaul to Rome.

As Rome expanded to the Rhine and Danube rivers, it incorporated many Celtic societies into the Empire. The tribal homelands to the north and east emerged collectively in the records as Germania. The peoples of this area were sometimes at war with Rome, but also engaged in complex and long-term trade relations, military alliances, and cultural exchanges with Rome as well.

The Cimbri and Teutoni incursions into Roman Italy were thrust back in 101 BC. These invasions were written up by Caesar and others as presaging of a Northern danger for the Empire, a danger that should be controlled. In the Augustean period there was — as a result of Roman activity as far as the Elbe River — a first definition of the "Germania magna": from Rhine and Danube in the West and South to the Vistula and the Baltic Sea in the East and North.

Caesar's wars helped establish the term Germania. The initial purpose of the Roman campaigns was to protect Transalpine Gaul by controlling the area between the Rhine and the Elbe.

In 9 AD a revolt of their Germanic subjects headed by the supposed Roman ally, Arminius, (along with his decisive defeat of Publius Quinctilius Varus in the surprise attack on unprepared Romans at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest) ended in the withdrawal of the Roman frontier to the Rhine.

At the end of the 1st century two provinces west of the Rhine called Germania inferior and Germania superior were established. Important medieval cities like Aachen, Cologne, Trier, Mainz, Worms and Speyer were part of these Roman provinces.

The Germania by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus, an ethnographic work on the diverse group of Germanic tribes outside of the Roman Empire, is our most important source on the Germanic peoples of the 1st century.
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2007, 03:21:33 pm »









Migration Period






2nd to 5th century simplified migrations.





Europe in 400ad, before the Germanic tribes overran the Western Roman Empire.



During the 5th century, as the Western Roman Empire lost military strength and political cohesion, numerous Germanic peoples, under pressure from population growth and invading Asian groups, began migrating en masse in far and diverse directions, taking them (allegedly) to England and as far south through present day Continental Europe to the Mediterranean and northern Africa. Over time, this wandering meant intrusions into other tribal territories, and the ensuing wars for land escalated with the dwindling amount of unoccupied territory. Wandering tribes then began staking out permanent homes as a means of protection. Much of this resulted in fixed settlements from which many, under a powerful leader, expanded outwards. A defeat meant either scattering or merging with the dominant tribe, and this continual process of assimilation was how nations were formed. In Denmark the Jutes merged with the Danes, in Sweden the Geats merged with the Swedes. In England, the Angles merged with the Saxons and other groups as well as a large number of natives to form the Anglo-Saxons.

A direct result of the Roman retreat was the disappearance of imported products like ceramics and coins, and a return to virtually unchanged local Iron Age production methods. According to recent views this has caused confusion for decades, and theories assuming the total abandonment of the coastal regions to account for an archeological time gap that never existed have been renounced. Instead it has been confirmed the Frisian graves has been used without interruption between the 4th and 9th century and that inhabited areas show continuity with the Roman period in revealing coins, jewelry and ceramics of the 5th century. Also, people continued to live in the same three-aisled farmhouse, while to the east completely new types of buildings arose. More to the south, in Belgium, archeological results of this period point to immigration from the north.
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2007, 03:28:02 pm »

B,

RE: "The very extensive practice of cremation deprives us of anthropological comparative material for the earliest periods to support claims of a longstanding ethnic isolation of a common (Nordic) strain."

Add to this the use of wood for building, and the effects of glacial scraping of the landscape, deprives us of much of the most ancient traces of humans.... Unfortunately the result was a tacit agreement amongst many that NO ONE WAS THERE..... Fortunately the recent finds are showing that to be total BS.
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2007, 03:33:06 pm »



Europe in 500ad, after the Germanic tribes overran the Western Roman Empire.






Role in the Fall of Rome





Some of the Germanic tribes are frequently blamed in popular depictions of the decline of the Roman Empire in the late 5th century.

Professional historians and archaeologists have since the 1950s shifted their interpretations in such a way that the Germanic peoples are no longer seen as invading a decaying empire but as being co-opted into helping defend territory the central government could no longer adequately administer.

Individuals and small groups from Germanic tribes had long been recruited from the territories beyond the limes (i.e., the regions just outside the Roman Empire), and some of them had risen high in the command structure of the army. Then the Empire recruited entire tribal groups under their native leaders as officers. Assisting with defense eventually shifted into administration and then outright rule, as Roman government passed into the hands of Germanic leaders. Odoacer, who deposed Romulus Augustulus, is the ultimate example.

The presence of successor states controlled by a nobility from one of the Germanic tribes is evident in the 6th century - even in Italy, the former heart of the Empire, where Odoacer was followed by Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, who was regarded by Roman citizens and Gothic settlers alike as legitimate successor to the rule of Rome and Italy.
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2007, 03:39:15 pm »








Conversion to Christianity





While the Germanic peoples were slowly converted to Christianity by varying means, many elements of the pre-Christian culture and indigenous beliefs remained firmly in place after the conversion process, particularly in the more rural and distant regions.

The Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Vandals were Christianized while they were still outside the bounds of the Empire; however, they converted to Arianism rather than to orthodox Catholicism, and were soon regarded as heretics. The one great written remnant of the Gothic language is a translation of portions of the Bible made by Ulfilas, the missionary who converted them.

The Lombards were not converted until after their entrance into the Empire, but received Christianity from Arian Germanic groups.

The Franks were converted directly from paganism to Catholicism without an intervening time as Arians.

Several centuries later, Anglo-Saxon and Frankish missionaries and warriors undertook the conversion of their Saxon neighbours. A key event was the felling of Thor's Oak near Fritzlar by Boniface, apostle of the Germans, in 723.

Eventually, the conversion was forced by armed force, successfully completed by Charlemagne, in a series of campaigns (the Saxon Wars), that also brought Saxon lands into the Frankish empire.

Massacres, such as the Bloody Verdict of Verdun were a direct result of this policy.

In Scandinavia, the Germanic religion continued to dominate until the 11th century, when it was gradually replaced by Christianity.
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2007, 03:41:49 pm »







Assimilation





"Germanic" as understood today is a linguistic term. Modern ethnicities speaking Germanic languages are not referred to as Germanic peoples, a term of historic scope. All present-day countries speaking a Germanic language including Germany have mixed ethnic roots not restricted to the Germanic peoples.

Germanic peoples were often quick to assimilate (although the term absorption could also accurately be used to describe several of the following historical situations) into foreign cultures. Established examples include the Gallo-Roman Norsemen in Normandy, and the societal elite in medieval Russia among whom many were the descendants of Slavified Norsemen (a theory, however, contested by some Slavic scholars in the former Soviet Union, who name it the Normanist theory).

The Germanic settlement in England is considered by many an example of assimilation, where elements of indigenous Celtic speaking Britons culture assimilated into that of the migrating Angles, Saxons and Jutes, resulting in an English identity for the inhabitants of that land. The later (mid-11th century) arriving French-speaking Norsemen similarly altered what was known as Anglo-Saxon England and set the English language on the path from Old English to Middle English.

It should be noted that the Normans had spent 155 years or approximately 7 generations in a predominantly Gallo-Romance France[citation needed] before proceeding to invade Britain. During this time they replaced their Nordic language with a middle French/Gallo-Romance language. Since the Normans are known in particular for their ability to merge with existing populations of people it can be assumed that they would take wives from local populations and become absorbed by the lands they settled within a few short generations.

As in England, Scotland's indigenous Brythonic Celtic culture in the southeast succumbed to Germanic influence due to invasion; while across the rest of Scotland Gaelic language and culture spread replacing Brythonic, primarily Pictish, languages. The Brythonic language survived for a slightly longer period in the South West of the country, principally under the Kingdom of Strathclyde, before succumbing to Gaelic pressure as the region was absorbed into the Kingdom of Scotland. Later almost the entire Scottish Lowlands became Scots speaking as the language displaced Gaelic over a period of some centuries. The Scots language is the resulting Germanic language now spoken in Scotland and similar to the regional variation of English in the north of England, Geordie (or Northumbrian) with which it shares a common origin. The Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands, though now a part of Scotland, were historically part of the Kingdom of Norway and Norse linguistically and culturally following the Viking invasions although plantations of English speaking Scots led to the death of the Scandinavian dialects in the 18th century.

France saw a great deal of Germanic settlement. Its namesake, the Franks, were a fusion of several Germanic tribes whose homelands lay along the Roman Rhine frontier, and who had been strongly influenced by Roman culture. Entire regions of France (such as Alsace, Burgundy and Normandy) were settled heavily by Franks, contributing to their unique regional cultures and dialects, and Frankish kings ruled the country from the 6th century to the 10th century. However, most of the languages spoken in France today are Romance languages, while the people have a heavy Gallic substratum that predates Latin and Germanic settlement.

Portugal and Spain also had some measure of Germanic settlement, due to the Visigoths, the Suevi (Quadi and Marcomanni) and the Buri, who settled permanently. The Vandals (Silingi and Hasdingi) were also present, before moving on to North Africa. Many words of Germanic origin entered into the Spanish and Portuguese languages at this time and many more entered through other avenues (often French) in the ensuing centuries (see: List of Spanish words of Germanic origin and List of Portuguese words of Germanic origin).

Italy, especially the area north of the city of Rome, has also had a history of heavy Germanic settlement. Germanic tribes such as the Visigoths, Vandals, and Ostrogoths had successfully invaded and sparsely settled Italy in the 5th century AD. Most notably, in the 6th century AD, the Germanic tribe known as the Lombards entered and settled primarily in the area known today as Lombardy. The Normans also conquered and ruled Sicily and parts of southern Italy for a time. Crimean Gothic communities appear to have survived intact until the late 1700’s, when many were deported by Catherine the Great. Their language vanished by the 1800’s.

Germany itself, during the last centuries BC, was mostly occupied by Celtic and Nordwestblock tribes who were linguistically assimilated into the Germanic peoples expanding from the western Baltic littoral area, as well as speakers of Romance languages in the south and west of the country and in Austria and Switzerland. In medieval times, under the identity of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany assimilated Slavic and Baltic peoples to the east (Ostsiedlung); after World War II their descendants spread to other parts of Germany as Vertriebene.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_peoples
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2007, 03:47:18 pm »







QUOTE:


"B,

RE: "The very extensive practice of cremation deprives us of anthropological comparative material for the earliest periods to support claims of a longstanding ethnic isolation of a common (Nordic) strain."

Add to this the use of wood for building, and the effects of glacial scraping of the landscape, deprives us of much of the most ancient traces of humans.... Unfortunately the result was a tacit agreement amongst many that NO ONE WAS THERE..... Fortunately the recent finds are showing that to be total BS."



Rocky,

The above was ALL taken from Wikepedia.

They seem to encourage input by anyone, so long as references are provided.
It would be a good idea if you did. 

I am not being sarcastic, just in case you should take my remarks the wrong way.....

b
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