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Author Topic: GERMANIC PEOPLE  (Read 2780 times)
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« 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
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.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 02:36:11 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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