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Author Topic: GERMANIC TRIBES  (Read 2141 times)
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« on: November 30, 2007, 05:56:14 pm »

The word deutsch (German) probably first became common currency in the 8th century and initially defined only the language spoken in the eastern part of the Franconian realm.

This empire, which reached the zenith of its power under Charlemagne, incorporated peoples speaking both Germanic and Romance dialects.

After Charlemagne’s death (814), it was not long before it fell apart.

In the course of various divisions prompted by the respective lines of noble inheritance, a western and an eastern realm developed, whose political boundary approximately coincided with the boundary between German and French speakers.

Only gradually did a feeling of cohesion develop among the inhabitants of the eastern realm. It was not until then that the term deutsch was transferred from the language to its speakers and ultimately to the region they lived in, henceforth termed Deutschland.

There are four main national minorities residing in Germany from early times: the Sorbs, Frisians, Danes, German Sinti, and Romas. The Lusatian Sorbs are the descendants of Slavic tribes. They settled the territory east of the Elbe and Saale rivers in the 6th century in the course of the migration of people that occurred in the early centuries A.D. The first document in which they are mentioned dates from 631. In the 16th century, under the influence of the Reformation, a written Sorbian language evolved.

The Frisians are the descendants of a Germanic tribe on the North Sea coast (between the Lower Rhine and the Ems River) and have preserved numerous traditions in addition to their own distinct language. A Danish minority lives in the Schleswig region of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, especially around Flensburg. The number of Sinti and Roma peoples with German citizenship is estimated at 70,000 and have the Romani language.
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