List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes

This list of Germanic tribes is a list of tribes, tribal groups, and other connections and alliances of ethnic groups and tribes that were considered Germanic in ancient times. These reports begin in the 2nd century BC and extend into late antiquity. Beginning with the states of the Early Middle Ages, the period in which tribes or tribal kingship had a historical impact ends, with the exception of northern Europe, where the Vendel Period from 550 AD to 800 AD and the subsequent Viking Age until 1050 AD are still seen in the Germanic context.

The associations and localisations of the numerous peoples and groups in ancient sources are subject to uncertainty and speculation, and classifications of ethnicity with a common culture or a temporary alliance of heterogeneous groups are disputed. For some, it is not even certain that these groups are Germanic in the broader linguistic sense, or in other words, that they consisted of speakers of a Germanic language.

In this respect, the names listed here are not terms for ethnic groups in any modern sense, but the names of groups that were perceived in ancient and late antiquity as Germanic, that is, as peoples, groups, alliances and associations of the Barbaricum east of the Rhine and to the north of the Danube, also known as Germania, especially those that arrived during the Migration Period.

List of the ancient Germanic tribes

The present list is largely based on the list of Germanic tribal names and its spelling variants contained in the first register of the Reallexikons der Germanischen Altertumskunde.[1]

The first column contains the English name and its variants, if one is common, otherwise the traditional ancient name. The second column contains ancient names of Latin and Greek authors, the latter both in transcription and in Greek. The third column gives a brief description followed by a localisation.

The fifth column gives important sources of tradition for the group in question. The few ancient main sources for names and localisation of Germanic tribes are not linked. These are:

Name Ancient name Description Location Sources
AdogitHålogaland, the northernmost Norwegian Petty Kingdom. Between the Namdalen valley in Nord-Trøndelag and the Lyngen fjord in Troms.Jordanes
AdrabaecampiAdrabaikampoi (´Αδραβαικαμποι)See KampoiNorth of the Danube, south of BohemiaPtolemy
Aduatuci, AtuatuciAduatici, Atouatikoi (Ἀτουατικοί)Left bank of the Rhine in the squad of the Belgian tribes against CaesarIn the first century BC in the area of today's Tongeren (Belgium), between the Scheldt and the MeuseJulius Caesar
Aelvaeones, Elouaiones, Elvaiones, Aelvaeones, Ailouaiones, Alouiones, AilouonesAlouiones (Αλουίωνες), Helouaiones ('Ελουαίωνες)See HelveconaePresumably at the middle Oder, today's SilesiaTacitus, Ptolemy
AgradingunSaxon tribeMiddle course of the Weser
Alemanni, AlamanniAlamanniFrom various Elbe Germanic tribes, among them probably Suebian tribes, armies and followers from the 3rd century on provincial Roman soil (Agri decumates) developed population groupCore areas in Baden-Württemberg and Alsace, in Bavarian Swabia, German-speaking Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Vorarlberg
AmbivaretesAmbivareti/AmbibaretosGallic tribe, clients of the Aedui, is also counted among the CeltsJulius Caesar
Ambrones, Obrones, YmbreAmbronesParticipation of tribal groups in the train of the Cimbri and the Teutons at the end of the 2nd century BC
Ampsivarii, Ampsivari, Amsivarii, AmsivariAnsibarii, Ansivaroi (Ἀνσιβαριοί)Southern neighbours of the Frisii1st century in the lower EmslandTacitus
Anartes, Anarti, Anartii, AnartoiAnartiPossibly Germanic tribe in the border area between the Teutons and the DaciansHungary or RomaniaJulius Caesar
AngariiSee Angrivarii
AngisciriTribe in the wake of DengizichJordanes
Angles, AngliansAnglii, Angeiloi (Άγγειλοι), Angiloi (Άγγιλοι)At Tacitus to the Ingaevones counted North Germanic peopleOriginally in Jutland (northern Schleswig-Holstein), later Mittelelb-Saale area, from 200 emigration to Great BritainTacitus
Anglevarii, Angleverii, Anglevaries, Angleveries
Anglo-SaxonsFrom the Angles and Saxons, as well as the Jutes, Frisii and Franks on British soil originated collecting peopleSoutheastern England
Angrivarii, Angrevarii, Angrivari, Angrevari, Angarii, Angerii, Angrii, Angari, Angeri, Angri, Aggeri, Angriouarroi, Aggerimenses, AngeriensesAngrivarii, Angriouarioi (Αγγριουάριοι)In the 1st century, south of the Chauci, north of the Cherusci, northwest of the Dulgubnii and east of the AmpsivariiOn the Weser, mainly on the right bank, from the tributary of the Aller to the Steinhuder Meer
Armalausi, ArmilausiProbably a part of the Hermunduri, in the 3rd and 4th centuries between the Alemanni and the MarcomanniPossibly in the Upper PalatinateTabula Peutingeriana
AscomanniDesignation of the Vikings at Adam of Bremen
Avarpi, Auarpoi, Avarni
Aviones, Auiones, ChaibonesAviones
Baemi, Baimoi
Baiuvarii, Bavarii, Baioarii, BaiovariiBavariiTowards the end of the migration of peoples in the 5th century, people formed with the core area in Raetia and NoricumAltbayern, Austria and South Tyrol
Banochaemae, Bainochaimai
Bardes, Bards, BardiPossibly a non-southward group of the LombardsSouth of the Elbe, in the area of Bardowick and Lüneburg
Bastarnae, Bastarni, BasternaeBastarnaeFights with the Romans in the 3rd century BC, probably outweigh Germanic tribeEast side of the Carpathian Mountains to the mouth of the Danube estuaryPolybius
Batavi, Batavii, BataviansBataviOriginally allies of the Romans in the province of Gallia Belgica, 69 Revolt of the Batavi under Gaius Julius CivilisIn the 1st century at the mouth of the Rhine
Bateinoi, BatiniBatini
Betasii, BaetasiBaetasii
Brisgavi, BrisigaviBrisgavi, BrisigaviAlemannic tribe in the 5th centuryBreisgau
Bructeri, Boructuarii, Boruactii, BorchtiiBructeri, Boructuarii, Broukteroi (Βρούκτεροι)In the 1st century, opponents of the Romans in the Battle of the Teutoburg ForestBetween the middle Ems and the upper Lippe
BucinobantesBucinobantesAlemannic tribe in the 4th centuryMain estuary at MainzAmmianus Marcellinus
BurgundiansBurgundionesEast Germanic people with late antique foundations on the Rhine and later the Rhone
CaemaniCaemani, Paemani
Caeroesi, CaerosiCaerosi, Caeroesi, Ceroesi, CerosiLeft Rhine Celto-Germanic tribeIn the 1st century BC in the Eifel-Ardennes areaJulius Caesar
Cananefates, Canninefates, Caninefates, CanenefataeCannenefates, Canninefates, Cannenafates, CannefatesIn the 1st century, western neighbours of the BataviAround Voorburg in South Holland
Carpi, CarpianiCarpi, CarpianiSoutheastern European people, classification as Germanic is controversialEnd of the 3rd century in Moesia and Dacia
CaritniLudwigshafen am RheinPtolemy
ChaetuoriChaituoroi (Χαιτούωροι)
Chaibones, Aviones, Auiones
ChamaviChamavi, Chamauoi (Χαμαυοί)Neighbours of the Angrivarii and Dulgubnii, eventually went into the FranksIn the 1st century on the Lower RhineTacitus
Charini, Charinni, HariiCharini, Harii
CharudesSee Harudes
ChasuariiSee Chattuarii
Chatti, Catti, Cattai, Cathi, Cathai, Chattai, Chatthi, ChatthaiChatti, Catti, Cathi, Chattai (Χάτται), Chattoi (Χάττοι)In the 1st century, neighbours of the Suebi, precursors of the HesseValleys of the Eder, Fulda and the upper reaches of the Lahn
Chattuarii, Chasuarii, Hasuarii, AttuariiAtthuarii, Attuarii, Chattouarioi (Χαττουάριοι)
ChatvoresName is Greek or Latin in origin and means "bristle eater"Upper PalatinatePtolemy
ChaubiChauboi (Χαῦβοι)
ChauciChauki, Chauchi, Cauci, Kauchoi (Καῦχοι), Kaukoi (Καῦκοι)From Tacitus to the Ingaevones counted tribeOn both sides of the lower Weser
CherusciCherusci, Cherouskoi (Χεροῦσκοι), Chairouskoi (Χαιρουσκοί)Tribe of Arminius, in the 1st century, opponents of the RomansOn both sides of the upper Weser run in East Westphalia and in Lower Saxony to the Elbe
CimbriCombri, Cymbri, Cimbri, Kimbroi (Κίμβροι)Along with the Teutons and Ambrones from 120 BC incidence in Gaul and ItalyOriginally probably northern Jutland
ClondicusKloilios (Κλοίλιος), Claodikus
CondrusiCondrusiCeltic-Germanic mixed cultureIn the 1st century BC in the left bank of the Middle Rhine regionJulius Caesar
Crimean GothsDescendants of the OstrogothsFrom the middle of the 3rd century on the Crimean peninsula
Cugerni, Cuberni, GuberniCugerni, CuberniTribe of the Rhine-Weser Germanic peoplesIn the 1st century in the left bank of the Lower Rhine (Kreis Kleve)
DandutiDandutoi (Δανδοῦτοι)
DanesDani, Danoi (Δανοι)From the 6th century in Scania and JutlandScania and JutlandProcopius, Jordanes
Danube Suebi
DaucionesDaukiones (Δαυκίωνες)
DulgubniiDulgubnii, Dulgitubini, DulcubuniIn the 1st century, southeast of the Angrivarii and the ChamaviSouth of Hamburg in the area of the Lüneburg Heath and all around CelleTacitus
East Herules, Ostherules
East Saxons
EburonesEburonesProbably Celtic tribe, counted from Caesar to the Germanic peopleBetween the Rhine, Meuse, Rhineland, Northern Ardennes and Eifel
Elbe GermansArchaeologically defined group of Germanic tribes (including the Semnones, Hermunduri, Quadi, Marcomanni and Lombards)From the Elbe estuary on both sides of the river to Bohemia and Moravia
Elbe Suebi
ElouaionesAilouaiones (Αἰλουαίωνες), Alouiones (Αλουίωνες), Helouaiones ('Ελουαίωνες), Ailouones (Αἰλούονες), Helouones ('Ελουωνες)
EudosesEudusii, Eudoses, Eduses, Edures, Eudures
Eutessee Jutes
FavonaeFavonae, Phauonai (Φαυόναι)
FiraesiPhrisioi (Φρίσιοι), Phiraisoi (Φιραῖσοι)
Fosi, FosiiFosiSmall neighbouring tribe of the Cherusci, who went under with theseIn the 1st century in the headwaters of the Aller
FranksLarge tribal union, which integrated numerous Germanic tribes in late antiquityRight of the Rhine to the mouth of the Rhine estuary, from the 4th century onwards to Roman territory left of the Rhine
FrisiavonesFrisiavones, FrisaebonesRhine deltaPliny the Elder, Natural History 4,101; CIL 6, 3260 et al.
Frisii, FrisiansFrisiiNorth Sea Germanic tribe, counted from Tacitus to the IngaevonesIn the 1st century from the mouth of the Rhine to about the EmsTacitus
FrugundionesEast of the OderPtolemy
GambriviiGambriviProbably near the WeserStrabo, Tacitus
GautigothsGautigothProbably in VästergötlandJordanes
GeatsGoutai (Γου̑ται), GeatasNorth Germanic people, often identified with the GothsSouthern SwedenPtolemy
GepidsGepidi, Gebidi, GipedaeFrom the middle of the 5th century, empire-building on the middle Danube, possibly related to the GothsRomaniaJordanes, Procopius
Gewisse, GewissæSaxon ethnic group in BritainAt the end of the 5th century on the Upper Thames in England
Goths, Gotones, GutonesGutonesSplit up during the Migration Period into the Visigoths and Ostrogoths, each with their own imperial formations on Roman soilAt the turn of the day, north of the Vistula kneeJordanes
Gotini, Cotini, Kognoi
Greuthungi, Greuthungs, Greutungi, GreutungsGreothingi, Grutungi, Grauthungi, GreutungiAnother name of the OstrogothsAmmianus Marcellinus, Jordanes
Gutes, Gotlanders
Hadubardes, Heaðobeardan
HariiHariiTribe of the LugiiBetween the Vistula and the OderTacitus
Harudes, Charudes, HarothesHarudes, Charudes (Χαροῦδες), Arudes,In the 1st century BC, allies of the Ariovistus against CaesarTo Ptolemy in the middle of the 2nd century in JutlandJulius Caesar, Ptolemy
Hasdingi, Asdingi, HaddingjarTribe of the VandalsIn the 2nd century in Romania and Hungary
Heinir, Heiðnir
Helveconae, Helvaeonae, Helvecones, Helvaeones, HelouaionesHelveconesTribe of the LugiiBetween the Vistula and the OderTacitus
Herminones, Erminones, Hermiones, IrminonesHerminonesLarge group of Germanic people, occupying the middle between the Ingaevones and the IstvaeonesTacitus, Pliny the Elder, Pomponius Mela
Hermunduri, Ermunduri, Hermanduri, Hermunduli, Hermonduri, HermonduliErmunduri, HermunduriElbe Germanic tribeUpper reaches of the Elbe
Herules, Erules, Heruli, EruliEruli, Erouloi (Ερουλοι)Participants in the parades of the GothsFrom the middle of the 3rd century on the north coast of the Black Sea
Holstens, Holcetae
HundingasSee HundingsWidsith
Incriones, InkrionesInkriones (ιγκριονες)Tribe of the Rhine-Weser Germanic peoples, middle of the 2nd century, neighbours of the TencteriBetween the Rhine and the TaunusPtolemy
Ingaevones, Ingvaeones, Ingwaeones, Inguaeones, Inguiones, Ingwines, GuionesIngvaeones, Ingaevones, Ingvaenoes, InguaeonesLarge group of Germanic tribes located on the North Sea coast by TacitusTacitus, Pliny the Elder
Inguaii, Ingwaii
IntuergiIntouergoi, Intouergoi (Ιντουεργοι)Between the Rhine and the TaunusPtolemy
Irminones, Herminones, Hermiones
Istvaeones, Istaevones, Istriaones, Istriones, Sthraones, ThraconesIstvaenoes, IstaevonesLarge group of Germanic tribes located on the Rhine by TacitusTacitus
Jutes, Eudoses, Eutes, EuthionesEurii, Eutii, Eucii, EuthionesOriginally in Jutland, later in the south of Great BritainUntil the 5th century on Jutland
JuthungiIouthungi, IuthungiProbably an Alemannic tribeFrom the 3rd to the 5th century, north of the Danube and Altmühl
Kampoi, Campi, CampesKampoi (Κάμποι)Group of unclear destination north of the Danube and south of Bohemia in the 2nd centuryPtolemy
Kvenir, Kvanes
Landoudioi, LandiLandi, LandoudioiFrom the 1st century on the Lahn in Middle HesseStrabo, Ptolemy
Lemovii, LemoniiLemoviiAt Tacitus neighbours of the Rugii and GothsFrom the 1st century, southern Baltic Sea coast between the Oder and the Vistula
Lentienses, LinzgauLentiensesAlemannic tribeMid-3rd century between the Danube in the north, Iller in the east and Lake Constance in the southAmmianus Marcellinus
Little GothsGothi minoresGroup of the Goths, Ulfilas tribe, at the time of the Jordanes in the area of Nicopolis in MoesiaSouth bank of the lower DanubeJordanes
Lombards, Longobards, Langobards, Winili, Winnili, WinnilersLangobardi, Langobardoi (Λαγγοβάρδοι)Part of the Suebi, from the middle of the 6th century founding of the empire in Italy (Kingdom of the Lombards)In the 1st century BC on the lower Elbe
Lugii, LygiiLugii, Lúgioi
Maiates, Maiati
ManimiManimiTribe of the LugiiBetween the Vistula and the OderTacitus
MarcomanniMarcomanniPossibly a tribe of the Suebi, from the middle of the 2nd century, opponents of the Romans in the Marcomannic WarsIn the 1st century in Bohemia
Marsi, MarsigniMarsi, Marsoí (Μαρσοί), MarsigniDestroyed after participation in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in the year 14 by GermanicusBetween the Rhine, Ruhr and Lippe
MarvingiMarouingoiLower Saxony/North Rhine-WestphaliaPtolemy
MattiaciMattiaci, Mattiakoi (Ματτιακοί)Probably a part of the Chatti, Romanised from the 1st centuryAround Wiesbaden, in the Taunus and in the Wetterau
MenapiiMenapiiCeltic-Germanic mixed people, subjugated by Caesar in the 1st century BC in Gallia BelgicaLower Rhine, FlandersJulius Caesar
MixiCalled by Jordanes as residents of ScandzaScandinaviaJordanes
Moselle Franks, MoselliansSubset of the Franks, separated from the Ripuarian Franks in the 5th centuryUpper Rhine and Moselle
MyrgingasEast Frisian part of the Frisii, who settled around 700 in NordfrieslandNordfriesland, Tönnern, RungholdtWidsith
Nahanarvali, NaharvaliNahanarvali, NaharvaliTribe of the LugiiBetween the Vistula and the OderTacitus
Narisci, Naristi, Varisti, Varasci, VarisciNaristi, Varisti, VaristaeNeighbours of the Marcomanni, Quadi and ArmalausiUpper Palatinate, Upper Franconia and North BohemiaTacitus
Neckar SuebiSuebi NicrensesRomanised tribe of the SuebiIn the 1st and 2nd century in the area of Ladenburg
NemetesNemetai (Νεμῆται)(Probably Germanic) allies of the AriovistusIn the 1st century BC on the Rhine between Lake Constance and PalatinateJulius Caesar
NerviiNerviiStrongly Celtic Germanic tribe[2][3]In the Gallia Belgica between the Meuse and the Scheldt in the north and the west of today's BelgiumJulius Caesar, Tacitus
NormansCollective name for the Northern European Germanic tribes, which undertook raids in the 8th and 11th century to the south (England, Ireland, Francia, the Mediterranean and present-day Russia), also synonymous with the Vikings
North Suebi
Nuithones, Nuitones
OstrogothsOstrogothi, Ostrogoti, Ostrogotae, Ostrogothae, AustrogothiPart of the Goths, first in Pannonia, then empire-building in ItalyJordanes
Paemani, PermaniPaemani, CaemaniLeft Rhine Celto-Germanic peopleEifel, ArdennesJulius Caesar
ParmaecampiParmaikampoi (Παρμαικαμπο)See KampoiNorth of the Danube in BavariaPtolemy
PeuciniPart of the BastarnaeTacitus
PhaliansAs Germanic "natives" of Westphalia and Eastphalia constructed tribe
QuadiQuadiTribe of the Suebi, participants of the Marcomannic WarsTacitus
RaetovariRaetobariiAlemannic tribeProbably in Nördlinger Ries
Ragnaricii, Ranii
Reudignes, Reudinges, Reudinges, Reudingi, Holstens
Ripuarian Franks, Ripuarians, Ripuarii, Rhinefranks, Rhine FranksSubset of the Franks in the Middle Rhine
Rugii, Rygir, RugiansRugiiMoved in the Migration Period with the Goths to the southOriginally between the Vistula and the Oder, later empire-building in Lower Austria
Rus'See Varangians
Salian Franks, SaliansSaliiPart of the FranksOriginally from the Lower Rhine to the Salland on the IJssel, then in North Brabant and later in the Tournai area
SaxonsSaxonesWest Germanic people's Association of the Chauci, Angrivarii and CherusciFrom the 1st century in northwest Germany and the east of the Netherlands
SedusiiSedusiiAlly of the Ariovistus, classified by Caesar as GermanicJulius Caesar
SemnonesSemnones (Σεμνόνες)Part of the Suebi, at Tacitus their tribeAround 100 between the Elbe and the Oder from the Bohemian border to the HavelTacitus
SidiniWestern Pomerania
SigambresSee Sugambri
Silingi, SilingsSilingaePart of the VandalsSilesia, later Andalusia
Sitones, SithonesNeighbours of the SuionesProbably ScandinaviaTacitus
SciriiMoved with the Bastarnae to the south, in the 5th century short imperial formation in Pannonia
Suarines, SuardonesSuarines, Suarmes, SmarinesTribe of the SuebiAround Lake Schwerin in Mecklenburg
Suebi, Suevi, Suavi, Suevians, SwabiansSuebi, Suewi, Sueboi (Σύηβοι)Important Germanic tribal group, to which according to Tacitus the Semnones, Marcomanni, Hermunduri, Quadi and Lombards belongedIn the northeast of Germania on the Baltic Sea up to the German Central UplandsTacitus
Sugambri, Sigambri, Sugambi, SigambriSugambri, Sygambri, Sugambroi (Σύγαμβροι), Sugumbri, Sucambri, Sycambres, Sugameri7 BC defeated by Tiberius and settled on the left of the RhineIn the 1st century left-bank areas on the Meuse
Suiones, Suones, Sueones, Suehans, Sweones, Swiones, SvionesSuionesNorthern European sea people described by TacitusPossibly Scandinavia
Sunuci, Sinuci, SuniciSunuciPossibly precursors of the UbiiIn the 1st and 2nd century in the Rhineland between Aachen and Jülich
Swedes, SvearSveaNorth Germanic tribeSvealand in the region of the Mälaren river valley as well as Uppland, Gästrikland, Västmanland and Södermanland
TaifalsTaifali, Taifalae, TheifaliProbably a Germanic tribe in the group of the VisigothsFrom the 3rd century in Dacia and Moesia
Tencteri, Tenchteri, TenctheriTencteri, Toncteri, Tenkteroi (Τέγκτηροι)Northern neighbours of the Usipetes, opponents of CaesarIn the 1st century BC on the Lower Rhine
Thervingi, Tervingi, TeruingiTervingiSee Visigoths
TeutonoariUnterelbe (Lower Elbe)
TeutonsTeutoni, TeutonesTogether with the Cimbri and the Ambrones from the 120 BC invasion of Gaul and ItalyOriginally Jutland, south of the Cimbri
Thuringii, Thuringians, Turingi, ToringiThueringi, Tueringi, Thuringin, TuringiIn the 3rd or 4th century from the Angles, Warini and other originated tribal groupsBetween the Thuringian Forest, Werra, Harz and the Elbe
Toxandri, Texuandri, Taxandri, ToxandriansBetween the rivers Meuse and Scheldt in the Belgian-Dutch border region[4]
Treveri, TreviriTreverii, Treviri, TreveriStrongly Celtic Germanic tribe[5][3]From the Rhine[6] to the land of the RemiJulius Caesar, Tacitus
Triboci, TribocciTriboces, Triboci, Tribocci, Tribochi, Tribocchoi (Τριβόκχοι)In the 1st century BC, allies of the AriovistusOn the Rhine around Strasbourg and HaguenauJulius Caesar, Ptolemy
Tubantes, TubantiTubanti, Tubantes, Toubantoi (Τούβαντοι)In the 1st century, opponents of GermanicusEnd of the migration period in the eastern Netherlands in the Twente regionTacitus
Tungri, Tungrians, Tungrii, TongriTungri, TongriOpponents of Caesar in the 1st century BCLeft side of the Rhine around TongerenJulius Caesar, Tacitus
Turcilingi, Torcilingi, ThorcilingiTurcilingae
Turones, TuroniTuroniPossibly Celto-Germanic tribe, south and later southeast of the Chatti
Twihanti, Twihantes, Tuihanti, TuihantesTuihanti
UbiiUbiiOriginally right of the Rhine Germanic, subjected to Caesar and from the early imperial period on the left bank of the Rhine and RomanisedOriginally from the Sieg over the Lahn to the lower Main, later in the area of Bonn and Cologne
UrugundesIncursions around 256 into the Roman EmpireLower DanubeZosimus
Usipetes, UsipiiUsipetes, Usipii, Ousipetai (Ουσιπέται), Ousipioi (Ουσίπιοι)In the 1st century BC, opponents of CaesarOn the right bank of the Lower Rhine
VagothsProbably on Gotland
VandalsVandali, Vanduli, Vandaloi (Οὐανδαλοί), Wandeloi (Βανδῆλοι), Wandiloi (Βανδίλοι)Originally in the northeastern Germania, during the Migration Period in Spain and North Africa, plunder of Rome 455
VangionesVangionesAffiliation to Celts or Germanic peoples not securedArea around Worms, Germany (Civitas Vangionum)
VarangiansSimilar to the Vikings' and Normans' name for the northern European Germanic people, who came on their journeys into contact with Slavic peoples (there also as Rus') and over the Volga and the Black Sea to Byzantium
VariniSee Warini
VidivariiVidivariiAccording to Jordanes, a mixed peopleAt the mouth of the VistulaJordanes
VisburgiiWisburgiBetween the Upper Oder and the Vistula[7]
Visigoths, ThervingiVisigothi, Wisigothae, TervingiPart of the Goths, plunder of Rome 410, Visigothic Kingdom in southwestern Gaul and SpainJordanes
VispiSouth of Caritner
Vistula Veneti, Baltic Veneti, VenetiVenedi, Venetae, VenedaePossibly Germanic people in eastern Germania
Warini, VariniVarini, Varinae, Ouarinoi (Ουαρίνοι)Smaller, after Tacitus unwarlike tribeNorthern GermanyTacitus
West Herules, WestherulesIndependent group of the Herules on the Black Sea, which appears as Roman auxiliary troops and in the 5th century as pirates in appearance
Winnilers, Winnili, WiniliSee Lombards

Mythical founders

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 recognised 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


  1. Heinrich Beck et al. (editor): Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. volume 36/37 (register volume 1 and 2): Authors, keywords, subject index, abbreviations, 2nd edition. de Gruyter, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-019146-2, p. 20 ff.; "PDF; 499 kB" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-21.. In:, Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  2. Tacitus, Germania 28; Strabo 4, 3, 4.
  3. 1 2 Cornelius Tacitus: Germania. Transmitted and explained by Arno Mauersberger. VMA-Verlag, Wiesbaden [1981?], p. 142, DNB-IDN 810365324 (Latin, German; licensed edition of Dieterich's publishing house accountant, Leipzig).
  4. Maurits Gysseling: Toponymisch Woordenboek van België, Nederland, Luxemburg, Noord-Frankrijk en West-Duitsland. Ghent 1960, DNB-IDN 560536216, p. 956 (, Retrieved 5 December 2017; Dutch).
  5. Tacitus, Germania 28.
  6. Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico book III, 11: […] Treveros, qui proximi flumini Rheno sunt. ("The Treveri who live near the Rhine.")
  7. L. S.: Visbu´rgii. In: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 2 volumes. Edited by William Smith. Walton and Maberly, John Murray, London 1854, OCLC 1000689106 (, Retrieved 5 December 2017).


  • Thorsten Andersson: Altgermanische Ethnika. In: Namn och bygd. Tidskrift för nordisk ortnamnsforskning. 97 (2009), ISSN 0077-2704, pp. 5–39 (PDF; 9.7 MB; total year).
  • Otto Bremer: Ethnographie der germanischen Stämme. In: Hermann Paul (editor): Grundriss der Germanischen Philologie. volume 2, part 1: Literaturgeschichte. 2nd, improved and enlarged edition. Karl Trübner Verlag, Strasbourg 1900, pp. 735–930.
  • Ernst Künzl: Die Germanen (= Theiss WissenKompakt). Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 3-8062-2036-0.
  • Günter Neumann: Namenstudien zum Altgermanischen (= Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde – Ergänzungsbände. volume 59). Edited by Heinrich Hettrich, Astrid van Nahl. de Gruyter, Berlin/New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-021044-6, urn:nbn:de:101:1-2016061717834.
  • Rudolf Much: Die Germania des Tacitus. 3rd considerable adult edition. Edited by Wolfgang Lange in collaboration with Herbert Jankuhn and Hans Fromm. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 1967, DNB-IDN 457642858.
  • Rudolf Much: Deutsche Stammeskunde. 3rd verb edition. Scientific association. Publisher, Berlin/Leipzig 1920, DNB-IDN 580772896; outlook Verlag, Bremen 2015, ISBN 978-3-86403-235-6.
  • Heinrich Beck et al. (editor): Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. 2nd edition. de Gruyter, Berlin/New York 1972–2008.
  • Hermann Reichert: Lexikon der altgermanischen Namen. Publisher of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1987, ISBN 3-7001-0931-8.
  • Ludwig Rübekeil: Völkernamen Europas. In: Ernst Eichler et al. (editor): Namenforschung. Ein internationales Handbuch zur Onomastik. volume 2, de Gruyter, Berlin/New York 1996, ISBN 3-11-020343-X, pp. 1330–1343.
  • Moritz Schönfeld: Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen- und Völkernamen nach der Überlieferung des klassischen Altertums (= Germanische Bibliothek. department 1: Elementar- und Handbücher. series 4: Wörterbücher. volume 2). Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 1911, DNB-IDN 362646430; Reprints each as 2nd, unchanged edition: (= Germanische Bibliothek. series 3 [much 2]). Winter, Heidelberg 1965, DNB-IDN 454448473; Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1965, DNB-IDN 454448465.
  • Ernst Schwarz: Germanische Stammeskunde (= Germanische Bibliothek. volume 5). Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 1956, DNB-IDN 454606672; reprint: VMA-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-938586-10-5.
  • Alexander Sitzmann, Friedrich E. Grünzweig: Altgermanische Ethnonyme. Ein Handbuch zu ihrer Etymologie. Using a bibliography by Robert Nedoma editor of Hermann Reichert (= Philologica Germanica. volume 29). Fassbaender, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-902575-07-4.
  • Reinhard Wenskus: Stammesbildung und Verfassung. Das Werden der frühmittelalterlichen gentes. 2nd, unchanged edition. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne/Vienna 1977, ISBN 3-412-00177-5.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.