Germanic-speaking Europe refers to the area of Europe that today uses a Germanic language.Over 200 million Europeans (some 30%) speak a Germanic language natively. At the same time 515 million speak a Germanic language natively in the whole world (6.87%) (the plurality of whom are speakers of North American English, with approximately 245 million native speakers).
By the 1st century AD, most of what is today Germanic-speaking Europe was dominated by peoples speaking Germanic languages. These peoples were called Germani by the Romans, and the area they dominated was called Germania. In the preceding centuries, this area had expanded greatly through a series of Germanic expansions. By the 1st century AD, it stretched from the Danube in the south to the North Sea and Baltic Sea in the north, and from the Rhine in the west to beyond the Vistula in the east. The population of this area was however not entirely composed of Germanic peoples. Modern research has determined that much of the area was also inhabited by a non-Germanic indigenous population, who probably spoke a non-Germanic Indo-European language. For this reason, scholars sometimes use the term Germanic-dominated Europe for the region during this time.
During Late Antiquity, improvements in agricultural methods resulted a massive population expansion in Germanic Europe.During the Migration Period, the area of Germanic Europe was shifted towards the south and west as a result of a series of Germanic migrations. Most notably, there was the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, which placed this region into the orbit of Germanic Europe.
Independent European countries whose population are predominantly native speakers of a Germanic language:
|Countries without officially recognised minority||Countries with an officially recognised non-Germanic minority||Countries with a Germanic minority|
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The Burgundians were an early Germanic tribe or group of tribes. They appeared in the Rhine region, near the Roman empire, and were later moved into the empire, in the western Alps and southeastern Gaul. They were perhaps mentioned much earlier in the time of the Roman Empire as living in part of the region of Germania that is now part of Poland.
The Germanic peoples are a category of north European ethnic groups, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also associated with Germanic languages, which originated and dispersed among them, and are one of several criteria used to define Germanic ethnicity.
The Goths were a Germanic people who played a major role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe. They were first definitely reported by Graeco-Roman authors in the 3rd century AD, living north of the Danube in what is now Ukraine, Moldova and Romania. Later, many moved into the Roman Empire, or settled west of the Carpathians near what is now Hungary.
The Heruli were an early Germanic people. Possibly originating in Scandinavia, the Heruli are first mentioned by Roman authors as one of several "Scythian" groups raiding Roman provinces in the Balkans and Aegean, attacking by land, and notably also by sea. During this time they reportedly lived near the Sea of Azov.
The Vandals were a Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland. They established Vandal kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean islands, and North Africa in the 5th century.
The Rugii, Rogi or Rugians were a Roman-era Germanic people.
The Migration Period was a period in the history of Europe, during and after the decline of the Western Roman Empire, during which there was widespread migration of and invasions by peoples, notably the Germanic tribes, the Huns, the early Slavs, and the Pannonian Avars within or into the Roman Empire. The period is traditionally taken to have begun in AD 375 and ended in 568. It is also sometimes called, from the Roman and Greek perspective, the period of Barbarian Invasions.
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. Speaking the German language is the most important characteristic of modern Germans, but they are also characterized by a common German culture, descent and history. The term "German" may also be applied to any citizen, native or inhabitant of Germany, or member of the Germanic peoples, regardless of whether they are of German ethnicity or not. Estimates on the total number of Germans in the world range from 100 to 150 million, and most of them live in Germany.
Germania, also called Magna Germania, Germania Libera or Germanic Barbaricum to distinguish it from the Roman provinces of the same name, was a large historical region in north-central Europe during the Roman era, which was associated by Roman authors with the Germanic peoples. The region stretched roughly from the Middle and Lower Rhine in the west to the Vistula in the east. It also extended as far south as the Upper and Middle Danube and Pannonia, and in the north some Roman authors considered Scandinavia to be part of it. Archaeologically, these peoples correspond roughly to the Roman Iron Age of those regions. While apparently dominated by Germanic peoples, Magna Germania was inhabited by non-Germanic peoples as well, including Celts and Early Slavs and their precursors.
The Vistula Veneti were Indo-European peoples that inhabited the region of central Europe east of the Vistula River and the coastal areas around the Bay of Gdańsk. The name first appears in the 1st century AD in the writings of ancient Roman geographers to differentiate a group of peoples whose manner and language differed from those of the Germanic and Sarmatian tribes around them. Later, in the 6th century AD, Byzantine historians described the Veneti as the ancestors of the Early Slavs of the 6th to 8th centuries: Vends, Sclavens and Antes, who, during the second phase of the Migration Period, crossed the frontiers of the Byzantine Empire.
Germanic paganism refers to the various religious practices of the Germanic peoples from the Iron Age until Christianisation during the Middle Ages. Religious practices represented an essential element of early Germanic culture. From both archaeological remains and literary sources, it is possible to trace a number of common or closely related beliefs amid the Germanic peoples into the Middle Ages, when the last areas in Scandinavia were Christianized. Rooted in Proto-Indo-European religion, Proto-Germanic religion expanded during the Migration Period, yielding extensions such as Old Norse religion among the North Germanic peoples, the paganism practiced amid the continental Germanic peoples, and Anglo-Saxon paganism among the Old English-speaking peoples. The Germanic religion is best documented in several texts from the 10th and 11th centuries, where they have been best preserved in Scandinavia and Iceland.
The Hunnic language, or Hunnish, was the language spoken by Huns in the Hunnic Empire, a heterogeneous, multi-ethnic tribal confederation which ruled much of Eastern Europe and invaded the West during the 4th and 5th centuries. A variety of languages were spoken within the Hun Empire. A contemporary report by Priscus has that Hunnish was spoken alongside Gothic and the languages of other tribes subjugated by the Huns.
The Scirii were a Germanic people. They are believed to have spoken an East Germanic language. Their name probably means "the pure ones".
The Wielbark culture or East Pomeranian-Mazovian is an Iron Age archaeological complex which flourished in Magna Germania, from the 1st century AD to the 5th century AD.
Because of Germany's long history as a non-united region of distinct tribes and states before 1871, there are many widely varying names of Germany in different languages, more so than for any other European nation. For example, in the German language, the country is known as Deutschland from the Old High German diutisc, in Spanish as Alemania and in French as Allemagne from the name of the Alamanni tribe, in Italian as Germania from the Latin Germania, in Polish as Niemcy from the Protoslavic nemets, and in Finnish and Estonian as Saksa and Saksamaa respectively from the name of the Saxon tribe.
Michael Kulikowski is an American historian. He is Professor of History and Classics and Head of the History Department at Pennsylvania State University. Kulikowski specializes in the history of the western Mediterranean world of late antiquity. He is a member of the Toronto School of History and a pupil of its leader Walter Goffart.
The Sunuci was the name of a tribal grouping with a particular territory within the Roman province of Germania Inferior, which later became Germania Secunda. Within this province, they were in the Civitas Agrippinenses, with its capital at Cologne. They are thought to have been a Germanic tribe, speaking a Germanic language, although they may also have had a mixed ancestry. They lived between the Meuse and Rur rivers in Roman imperial times. In modern terms this was probably in the part of Germany near Aachen, Jülich, Eschweiler and Düren, and the neighbouring areas in the southern Netherlands, around Valkenburg, and eastern Belgium, in part of the old Duchy of Limburg. There is a town just over the Belgian border from Aachen called Sinnich, in Voeren, which may owe its name to them. In other words, they lived just north of the modern northern limits of Romance languages derived from Latin.
The Baetasii was the name Germanic tribal grouping within the Roman province of Germania Inferior, which later became Germania Secunda. Their exact location is still unknown, although two proposals are, first, that it might be the source of the name of the Belgian village of Geetbets, and second, that it might be further east, nearer to the Sunuci with whom they interacted in the Batavian revolt, and to the Cugerni who lived at Xanten. The area of Gennep, Goch and Geldern has been proposed for example.
The Germani cisrhenani, or "Left bank Germani", were a group of Germanic peoples who lived west of the Lower Rhine at the time of the Gallic Wars in the mid-1st century BC.
The Civitas Tungrorum was a large Roman administrative district dominating what is now eastern Belgium and the southern Netherlands. In the early days of the Roman Empire it was in the province of Gallia Belgica, but it later joined the neighbouring lower Rhine River border districts, within the province of Germania Inferior. Its capital was Aduatuca Tungrorum, now Tongeren.