List of ancient Germanic peoples

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Early Roman Empire with some ethnic names in and around Germania

This List of Germanic Tribes includes names of populations speaking Germanic languages or otherwise considered Germanic in sources from the late 1st millennium BC to the early 2nd millennium AD. The c. 300 tribes 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.

A[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Adogit[1] Jordanes, Getica, III.19-21 Two possibilities:
  • 1. *Ādogii < *Andogii
  • 2. *Hálogi
Northern Norway, both possibilities:
Two possible modern reflexes:
  • 1. Andō, an island and part of Vesterålen
  • 2. Háleygir, people of Hålogaland
Aelvaeones[2] Ptolemy, Geography, 2.11.9 Ailouaiones, Helvaeonae, Helveconae, Helvecones Language unknown, possibly Old Prussian, possibly Germanic. Two possible locations:
Possibly Elblag, Poland
Aeragnaricii
Ahelmil
Alemanni
Ambrones (possibly Celtic)
Ampsivarii
Angles
Angrivarii
Arochi
Atuatuci
Augandzi
Avarpi
Aviones

B[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Baemi
Baetasi
Banochaemae
Batavi Around the Rhine delta, in the area that the Romans called Batavia.
Batini
Bavarii
Bergio
Blake
Brisgavi
Brondings
Bructeri
Burgundiones
Buri

C[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Caeroesi
Calucones
Canninefates
Casuari
Caritni
Chaedini
Chaemae
Chaetuori
Chali
Chamavi
Charudes
Chasuarii
Chattuarii
Chauci
Cherusci Plains and forests of northwestern Germany, in the area possibly near present-day Hanover.
Chatti
Cimbri (possibly Celtic)
Cobandi
Condrusi
Corconti
Curiones

D[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Danduti
Dani
Dauciones
Diduni
Dulgubnii

E[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Eburones
Eudoses
Eunixi
Evagres

F[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Favonae
Fervir
Favonae
Firaesi
Fosii
Frisii Low-lying region between the Zuiderzee and the River Ems.
Fundusi

G[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Gambrivii
Gauthigoth
Geats What is now Götaland ("land of the Geats") in modern Sweden.
Gepidae
Grannii
Greuthungi
Gutes
Goths

H[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Hallin
Harii
Hasdingi
Helisii
Helveconae
Hermunduri
Heruli
Hilleviones

I[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Ingriones
Ingvaeones
Intuergi
Irminones
Istvaeones

J[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Jutes
Juthungi

L[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Lacringi
Landi
Lemovii
Lentieneses
Levoni
Langobardes
Liothida
Lugii

M[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Manimi

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

N[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Naharvali

Naharvali, Narisci or Naristi, Nemetes, Nertereanes, Nervii (possibly not Germanic), Njars, Nuitones

O[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Ostrogoths
Otingis

P[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Paemani
Pharodini

Q[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Quadi

R[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Racatae

Racatae, Racatriae, Ragnaricii Raumarici, Reudigni, Ripuarii, Rugii, Rus', Ruticli

S[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Sabalingi

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

T[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Taetel

Taetel, Tencteri, Teuriochaemae, Teutonoari, Teutons, Thervingi, Theustes, Thuringii, Toxandri, Treveri (possibly Celtic), Triboci, Tubanti, Tungri, Turcilingi, Turoni

U[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Ubii
Ulmerugi
Usipetes
Usipi

V[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Vagoth
Vandals
Vangiones
Vargiones
Varini
Varisci
Vinoviloth
Viruni
Visburgi
Visigoths
Vispi

Z[edit]

Name Sources Variants Location Modern Name
Zumi

Mythical founders[edit]

Further information: Eponymous ancestor

Many of the authors relating ethnic names of Germanic peoples speculated concerning their origin, from the earliest writers to approximately the Renaissance. One cross-cultural approach over this more than a millennium of historical speculation was to assign an eponymous ancestor of the same name as, or reconstructed from, the name of the people. For example, Hellen was the founder of the Hellenes.

Although some Enlightenment historians continued to repeat these ancient stories as though fact, today they are recognized as manifestly mythological. There was, for example, no Franko, or Francio, ancestor of the Franks. The convergence of data from history, linguistics and archaeology have made this conclusion inevitable. A list of the mythical founders of Germanic peoples follows.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nansen, Fridtjof; Chater, Arthur G. (1911). In northern mists; Arctic exploration in early times. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co. p. 132. 
  2. ^ Tacitus; Anthony Richard Birley (1999). Agricola and Germany. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford University Press. p. 130. 

External links[edit]

Some tribal maps of Germania can be found at: