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List of Germanic peoples: Wikis


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This is a list of Germanic peoples.


Classical philosophy

The Greeks assigned names to populations they considered distinct based on the city-state (polis) to which they belonged. Intermingled with this system was an earlier one derived from the idea of a family tree. They grouped primary families into clans and the clans into tribes. The highest unit was the ethnos, i.e. people, or race, which they believed descended from a single ancestor. If they couldn't identify the ancestor, they simply invented them.

As a result, the classical historians conceived of history as a story unfolding between ethnic identities led by heroic men. They always named the identity: a Roman, a Germanic tribesman, a Thracian, a Carthaginian, an Athenian. It was operant even though sometimes not factual as understood: an individual behaved in a certain way because he was a Germanic tribesman and not a Roman or vice versa. Moreover these identities are often still operant today or have been replaced by those that are. The individual learns their expected behaviors and attendant lore as part of the socialization process growing up, just as an actor would learn to play a role.

The main article on this topic is about one such identity, the Germanic. The article attempts to define it and to present some of the associated ideology. This is not an idle exercise, as history and national politics are still to a large extent viewed as a story of the interactions between such groups.

Scholars divide Germanic identities into the historical and the contemporary. There is some overlap, as many of the ancient have descended to the contemporary.

Ancient and Medieval

The elder Futhark, oldest Germanic writing system.

The ethnic names below come from ancient and mediaeval sources dating from the late 1st millennium BC to the early 2nd millennium AD. They do not necessarily represent contemporaneous, distinct or Germanic-speaking populations or have common ancestral populations. Some closely fit the concept of a tribe. Others are confederations or even unions of tribes. Some may not have spoken Germanic at all, but were bundled by the sources with the Germanic speakers.

Some were undoubtedly of mixed culture. They may have assimilated to Germanic or to other cultures from Germanic. Long-lasting ethnic identities changed population base and language over the centuries. As for genetic characteristics, they must be considered unrelated to these names.

Apart from these limitations, it is probably safe to assume that, on the whole, most of these populations spoke some branch of Germanic and contributed to pools of descendants who currently live in the Germanic-speaking countries.[citation needed] Many of the names descend to modern place names.


Alphabetic list


Adogit, Aelvaeones, Aeragnaricii, Ahelmil, Alamanni or Alemanni, Ambrones, Ampsivarii or Ampsivari, Angles, Angrivarii or Angrivari, Arochi, Augandzi, Avarpi, Aviones


Baemi, Banochaemae, Batavii or Batavi today known by Batavians, Batini, Bavarii, Bergio, Brisgavi, Brondings, Bructeri, Burgundiones, Buri


Calucones, Canninefates, Casuari, Caritni, Chaedini, Chaemae, Chaetuori, Chali, Chamavi, Charudes, Chasuarii, Chattuarii, Chauci, Cherusci, Chatti, Cobandi, Condrusi, Corconti, Curiones


Danduti, Dani, Dauciones, Diduni, Dulgubnii


Eburones, Eudoses, Eunixi, Evagre,


Favonae, Fervir, Finni, Firaesi, Forsi, Franks, Frisians, Fundusi, Fischer


Gambrivii, Gauthigoth, Geats, Gepidae,Gutar Grannii


Hallin, Harii, Harudes, Hasdingi, Helisii, Helveconae, Heruli, Hermunduri, Hilleviones, Horder


Ingriones, Ingvaeones (North Sea Germans), Intuergi, Irminones (Elbe Germans), Istvaeones (Rhine-Weser Germans)


Jutes, Juthungi


Lacringi, Landi, Lemovii, Levoni, Lombards or Langobardes, Liothida, Lugii


Manimi, Marcomanni, Marsi, Marsaci, Marsigni, Marvingi, Mattiaci, Menapii, Mixi, Morini, Mugilones


Naharvali, Narisci or Naristi, Nemetes, Nertereanes, Nervii, Njars, Nuitones, Norwegians


Ostrogoths, Otingis






Racatae, Racatriae, Ranii, Raumarici, Reudigni, Rugii, Ruticli


Sabalingi, Saxons, Scirii, Segni, Semnoni or Semnones, Sibini, Sidini, Sigulones, Silingi, Sitones, Suarini or Suardones, Suebi or Suevi, Suetidi, Suiones, Sugambri


Taetel, Tencteri, Teuriochaemae, Teutonoari, Teutons, Theustes, Thuringii, Toxandri, Treveri, Triboci, Tubanti, Tungri, Turcilingi, Turoni


Ubii, Ulmerugi, Usipetes, Usipi or Usippi


Vagoth, Vandals, Vangiones, Vargiones, Varini, Varisci, Vinoviloth, Viruni, Visburgi, Visigoths,Vispi



Mythical founders

The preserved mythical founders and namesakes of some Germanic tribes:

Distribution of the native speakers of major Continental West Germanic dialects today (Dialects of the following standard languages: Dutch, German and Frisian). The colours in this map do not reflect the actual relationship between the languages or dialects.


Modern Germanic-speaking ethnic groups include:

Links to maps

Some tribal maps of Germania can be found at:

These maps or any other maps represent an interpretation of the information available to the map-maker. Typically the ancients did not know or did not leave enough information for us to locate them exactly. The maps only give us a rough idea of the features and ethnic locations of Germania. In addition, some of tribes, e.g. the Bastarnae are not identified as Germanic with any certainty and large areas in Central Europe the Germanic tribes probably only constituted a newly arrived minority among Slavs and remaining Celts. Wolfram (1990:91f), for instance, points out that the early Visigoths, called Tervingi also comprised many Taifalans (unknown origin) and Alans (Iranians). The Alans became so Gothicized that non-Germanic people considered them to be Goths.

See also



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