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ETHNOGRAPHY AND EARLY

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Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 832 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ETHNOGRAPHY AND EARLY HISTORY Our direct knowledge of Germany begins with the appointment of Julius Caesar as governor of Gaul in 59 B.C. Long before that time there is evidence of German communicationwith southern civilization, as the antiquities prove, and occasional travellers from the Mediterranean had made their way into those regions (e.g. Pytheas, towards the end of the 4th century), but hardly any records of their journeys sur- /".iiu as vive. The first Teutonic peoples whom the Romans are Germany. y. said to have encountered are the Cimbri and Teutoni, probably from Denmark, who invaded Illyria, Gaul and Italy towards the end of the 2nd century B.C. When Caesar arrived in Gaul the westernmost part of what is now Germany was in the possession of Gaulish tribes. The Rhine practically formed the boundary between Gauls and Germans, though one Gaulish tribe, the Menapii, is said to have been living beyond the Rhine at its mouth, and shortly before the arrival of Caesar an invading force of Germans had seized and settled down in what is now Alsace, 72 B.C. At this time the Gauls were being pressed by the Germans along the whole frontier, and several of Caesar's campaigns were occupied with operations, either against the Germans, or against Gaulish tribes set in motion by the Germans. Among these we may mention the campaign of his first year of office, 58 B.C., against the German king Ariovistus, who led the movement in Alsace, and that of 55 B.C. in which he expelled the Usipetes and Tencteri who had crossed the lower Rhine. During the period of Caesar's government he succeeded in annexing the whole of Gaul as far as the Rhine. (For the campaigns see CAESAR, JULIUS.) After peace had been established in Italy by Augustus, attempts-were made to extend the Roman frontier beyond the Rhine. The Roman prince Nero Claudius Drusus (q.v.) in the year 12 B.C. annexed what is now the kingdom of the Netherlands, and constructed a canal (Fossa Drusiana) between the Rhine and the lake Flevo (Lacus Flevus), which partly corresponded to the Zuyder Zee, though the topography of the district has greatly altered. He also penetrated into regions beyond and crossed the Weser, receiving the submission of the Bructeri, Chatti and Cherusci. After Drusus' death in 9 B.C., while on his return from an expedition which reached the Elbe, the German command was twice undertaken by Tiberius, who in A.D. 5 received the submission of all the tribes in this quarter, including the Chauci and the Langobardi. A Roman garrison was left in the conquered districts between the Rhine and the Elbe, but the reduction was not thoroughly completed. About the same time the Roman fleet voyaged along the northern coast apparently as far as the north of Jutland, and received the nominal submission of several tribes in that region, including the Cimbri and the Charudes. In A.D. 9 Quintilius Varus, the successor of Tiberius, was surprised in the Saltus Teutobergensis between the Lippe and the Weser by a force raised by Arminius, a chief of the Cherusci, and his army consisting of three legions was annihilated. Germanicus Caesar, during his tenure of the command of the Roman armies on the Rhine, made repeated attempts to recover the Roman position in northern Germany and exact vengeance for the death of Varus, but without real success, and after his recall the Rhine formed for the greater part of its course the boundary of the Empire. A standing army was kept up on the Rhine, divided into two commands, upper and lower Germany, the head-quarters of the former being at Mainz, those of the latter at Vetera, near Xanten. A number of important towns grew up, among which we may mention Trier (Augusta Trevirorum), Cologne (ColoniaAgrippinensis), Bonn (Bonna),Worms (Borbetomagus), Spires (Noviomagus), Strassburg (Argentoratum) and Augsburg (Augusta Vindelicorum). At a later date, however, probably under the Flavian emperors, the frontier of upper Germany was advanced somewhat beyond the Rhine, and a fortification, the Pfahlgraben, constructed to protect it. It led from Honningen on the Rhine, about half-way between Bonn and Coblenz, to Mittenberg above Aschaffenburg on the Main, thence southwards to Lorch in Wurttemberg, whence it turned east to the junction of the Altmuhl with the Danube at Kelheim. During the wars of Drusus, Tiberius and Germanicus the Romans had ample opportunity of getting to know the tribal The campaigns of other Roman leaders. geography of Germany, especially the western part, and though most of our authorities lived at a somewhat later period, it is probable that they derived their information very largely from records of that time. It will be convenient, therefore, to give an account of the tribal geographyof Germany in thetimeofAugustus, as our knowledge of the subject is much more complete for his reign than for several centuries later. Of the Gaulish tribes west of the Rhine, the most important was the Treveri, inhabiting the basin of the Moselle, from whom the city of Trier (Treves)derives its name. The Rauraci The probably occupied the south of Alsace. To the south German tribes, of the Treveri lay the Mediomatrici, and to the west of them lay the important tribe of the Sequani, who' had called in Ariovistus. The Treveri claimed to be of German origin, and the same claim was made by a number of tribes in Belgium, the most powerful of which were the Nervii. The meaning of this claim is not quite clear, as there is some obscurity concerning the origin of the name Germani. It appears to be a Gaulish term, and there is no evidence that it was ever used by the Germans themselves. According to Tacitus it was first applied to the Tungri, whereas Caesar records that four Belgic tribes, namely, the Condrusi, Eburones, Caeraesi and Paemani, were collectively known as Germani. There is no doubt that these tribes were all linguistically Celtic, and it is now the prevailing opinion that they were not of German origin ethnologically, but that the ground for their claim was that they had come from over the Rhine (cf. Caesar, De Bello Gallico ii. 4). It would therefore seem that the name Germani originally denoted certain Celtic tribes to the east of the Rhine, and that it was then transferred to the Teutonic tribes which subsequently occupied the same territory. There is little doubt that during the last century before the Christian era the Celtic peoples had been pushed considerably farther west by the Teutonic peoples, a process which movie was still going on in Caesar's time, when we hear of meats. the overthrow of the Menapii, the last Gaulish tribe beyond the Rhine. In the south the same process can be observed. The Boii were expelled from their territories inBohemia by the Marcomanni in the time of Augustus, and the Helvetii are also recorded to have occupied formerly lands east of the Rhine, in what is now Baden and Wurttemberg. Caesar also mentions a Gaulish tribe named Volcae Tectosages as living in Germany in his time. The Volcae Arecomici in the south of France and the Tectosages of Galatia were in all probability offshoots of this people. The name of the tribe was adopted in the Teutonic languages as a generic term for all Celtic and Italian peoples (O.H.G. Walha, A.S. Weaker), from which it is probably to be inferred that they were the Celtic people with whom the Teutonic races had the closest association in early times. It has been thought that they inhabited the basin of the Weser, and a number of place-names in this district are supposed to be of Celtic origin. Farther to the south and west Ptolemy mentions a number of place-names which are certainly Celtic, e.g. Mediolanion, `Aregelia, Lougidounon, Lokoriton, Segodounon. There is therefore great probability that a large part of western Germany east of the Rhine had formerly been occupied by Celtic peoples. In the east a Gaulish people named Cotini are mentioned, apparently in the upper basin of the Oder, and Tacitus speaks of a tribe in the same neighbourhood, the Osi, who he says spoke the Pannonian language. It is probable, therefore, that in other directions also the Germans had consider-ably advanced their frontier southwards at a comparatively recent period. Coming now to the Germans proper, the basin of the Rhine between Strassburg and Mainz was inhabited by the Tribocci; Tribes Nemetes and Vangiones, farther down by the Mattiaci .'n the about Wiesbaden, and the Ubii in the neighbourhood west and of Cologne; beyond them were the Sugambri, and north, in the Rhine delta the Batavi and other smaller tribes. All these tribes remained in subjection to the Romans. Beyond them were the Tencteri, probably about the basin of the Lahn, and the Usipetes about the basin of the Ruhr. The basin of the Lippe and the upper basin of the Ems were inhabited by the Bructeri, and in the same neighbourhood were the Ampsivarii, who derive their name from the latter river. East of them lay the Chasuarii, presumably in the basin of the Hase. The upper basin of the Weser was inhabited by the Chatti, whose capital was Mattium, supposed to be Maden on the Eder. To the north-west of them were situated the Marsi, apparently between the Diemel and the Lippe, while the central part of the basin of the Weser was inhabited by the Cherusci, who seem to have extended considerably eastward. The lower part of the river-basin was inhabited by the Angrivarii. The coastlands north of the mouth of the Rhine were occupied by the Canninefates, beyond them by the Frisii as far as the mouth of the Ems, thence onward to the mouth of the Elbe by the Chauci. As to the affinities of all these various tribes we have little definite information, but it is worth noting that the Batavi in Holland are said to have been a branch of the Chatti, from whom they had separated owing to a seditio domestica. The basin of the Elbe was inhabited by Suebic tribes, the chief of which were the Marcomanni, who seem to have been settled on the Saale during the latter part of the 1st century B.C., but moved into Bohemia before the beginning of the Christian era, where they at once became a formidable power under their king Maroboduus. The Quadi were settled somewhat farther east about the source of the Elbe. The Hermunduri in the basin of the Saale were in alliance with the Romans and occupied northern Bavaria with their consent. The Semnones apparently dwelt below the junction of the Saale and Elbe. The Langobardi (see LOMBARDS) possessed the land between the territory of the Semnones and the mouth of the river. Their name is supposed to be preserved in Bardengau, south of Hamburg. From later evidence it is likely that another division of the Suebi inhabited western Holstein. The province of Schleswig (perhaps only the west coast) and the islands adjacent were inhabited by the Saxons, while the east coast, at least in later times, was occupied by the Angli. The coast 'of Mecklenburg was probably inhabited by the Varini (the later Warni). The eastern part of Germany was much less known to the Romans, information being particularly deficient as to the populations of the coast districts, though it seems probable that the Rugii inhabited the eastern part of Pomerania, where a trace of them is preserved in the name Rugenwalde. The lower part of the basin of the Oder was probably occupied by the Burgundiones, and the upper part by a number of tribes collectively known as Lugii, who seem to correspond to the Vandals of later times, though the early Roman writers apparently used the word Vandilii in a wider sense, embracing all the tribes of eastern Germany. Among the Lugii we may probably include the Silingae, who afterwards appear among the Vandals in Spain, and whose name is preserved in Slavonic form in that of the province Silesia. The Goths (Gotones) apparently inhabited the basin of the Vistula about the middle of its course, but the lower part of the basin was inhabited by non-Teutonic peoples, among whom we may mention the Galindi, probably Prussians, and the Aestii, either Prussian or Esthonian, in the coastlands at the mouth of the river, who are known especially in connexion with the amber trade. To the east of the Vistula were the Slavonic tribes (Veneti), and amongst them, perhaps rather to the north, a Finnish population(Fenni),which disappeared in later times. In the time of Augustus by far the most powerful ruler in Germany was Maroboduus, king of the Marcomanni. His supremacy extended over all the Suebic tribes (except perhaps the Hermunduri), and most of the peoples of eastern Germany, including apparently the Lugii and Goths. But in the year A.D. 17 he became involved in an unsuccessful campaign against Arminius, prince of the Cherusci, in which the Semnones and Langobardi revolted against him, and two years later he was deprived of his throne by a certain Catualda. The latter, however, was soon expelled by Vibilius,king of the Hermunduri,and his power was transferred to Vannius, who belonged to the Quadi. About the same time Arminius met his death while trying to make himself king of the Domestic wars of the Germans. Cherusci. In the year 28 the Frisians revolted from the Romans, and though they submitted again in the year 47, Claudius immediately afterwards recalled the Roman troops to the left bank of the Rhine. In the year 5o Vannius, king of the Suebi, was driven from the throne by Vibilius, king of the Hermunduri, and his nephews Vangio and Sido obtained his kingdom. In the year 58 the Chatti suffered a serious disaster in a campaign against the Hermunduri. They seem, however, to have recovered very soon, and at the end of the 1st century had apparently extended their power at the expense of the Cherusci. During the latter part of the 1st century the Chauci seem to have been enlarging their territories: as early as the year 47 we find them raiding the Roman lands on the lower Rhine, and in 58 they expelled the Ampsivarii, who after several vain attempts to acquire new possessions were annihilated by the neighbouring tribes. During the last years of the 1st century the Angrivarii are found moving westwards, probably under pressure from the Chauci, and the power of the Bructeri was almost destroyed by their attack. In 69 the Roman territory on the lower Rhine was disturbed by the serious revolt of Claudius Civilis, a prince of the Batavi who had served in the Roman army. He was joined by the Bructeri and other neighbouring tribes, but being defeated by Petilius Cerealis (afterwards consular legate in Britain) at Vetera and in other engagements gave up the struggle and arranged a capitulation in A.U. 70. By the end of the 1st century the Chauci and Chatti seem to have become by far the most powerful tribes in western Germany, though the former are seldom mentioned after this time. After the time of Tacitus our information regarding German affairs becomes extremely meagre. The next important conflict with the Romans was the Marcomannic War (166—18o), in which all the Suebic tribes together with the Vandals (apparently the ancient Lugii) and the Sarmatian Iazyges seem to have taken part. Peace was made by the emperor Commodus in A.D. 18o on payment of large sums of money. About the beginning of the 3rd century we find a forward movement in south-west Germany among a group of tribes The Ala- known collectively as Alamanni (q.v.) who came in manna. conflict with the emperor Caracalla in the year 213. the Goths About the same time the Goths also made their first and the appearance in the south-east and soon became the Franks. most formidable antagonists of Rome. In the year 251 they defeated and slew the emperor Decius, and in the reign of Gallienus their fleets setting out from the north of the Black Sea worked great havoc on the coast of the Aegean (see GOTHS). It is not to be supposed, however, that they had quitted their own lands on the Vistula by this time. In this connexion we hear also of the Heruli (q.v.), who some twenty years later, about 289, make their appearance in the western seas. In 286 we hear for the first time of maritime raids by the Saxons in the same quarter. About the middle of the 3rd century the name Franks (q.v.) makes its first appearance, apparently a new collective term for the tribes of north-west Germany from the Chatti to the mouth of the Rhine. In the 4th century the chief powers in western Germany were the Franks and the Alamanni, both of whom were in constant conflict with the Romans. The former were pressed Arrival in their rear by the Saxons, who at some time before of the the middle of the 4th century appear to have invaded Huns. and conquered a considerable part of north-west Germany. About the same time great national movements seem to have been taking place farther east. The Burgundians made their appearance in the west shortly before the end of the 3rd century, settling in the basin of the Main, and it is probable that some portions of the north Suebic peoples, perhaps fhe ancient Semnones, had already moved westward. By the middle of the 4th century the Goths had become the dominant power in eastern Germany, and their King Hermanaric held a supremacy which seems to have stretched from the Black Sea to Holstein. At his death, however, the supremacy of eastern Germany passed to the Huns, an invading people from the east, whose arrival seems to have produced a complete displacement ofpopulation in this region. With regard to the course of events in eastern Germany we have no knowledge, but during the 5th century several of the peoples previously settled there appear to have made their way into the lands south of the Carpathians and Riesengebirge, amongst whom (besides the Goths) may be especially mentioned the Rugii and the Gepides, the latter perhaps originally a branch of the Goths. According to tradition the Vandals had been driven into Pannonia by the Goths in the time of Constantine. We do not know how far northward the Hunnish power reached in the time of Attila, but the invasion of this nation was soon followed by a great westward movement of the Slays. In the west the Alamanni and the descendants of the Marcomanni, now called Baiouarii (Bavarians), had broken through the frontiers of the Roman provinces of Vindelicia The Bur-and Noricum at the beginning of the gth century, gundians while the Vandals together with some of the Suebi and other and the non-Teutonic Alani from the east crossed tribes. the Rhine and invaded Gaul in 406. About 435—44o the Burgundians were overthrown by Attila, and their king Gunthacarius (Gundahar) killed. The remains of the nation • shortly afterwards settled in Gaul. About the same time the Franks overran and occupied the modern Belgium, and in the course of the next half-century their dominions were enormously extended towards the south (see FRANKS). After the death of Attila in 453 the power of the Huns soon collapsed, but the political divisions of Germany in the ensuing period are far from clear. In the 6th century the predominant peoples are the Franks, Frisians, Saxons, Alamanni, Bavarians, Langobardi, Heruli and Warni. By the beginning of this century the The Saxons seem to have penetrated almost, if not quite, Franks to the Rhine in the Netherlands. Farther south, and others however, the old land of the Chatti was included in in the 6th the kingdom of Clovis. Northern Bavaria was occupied century. by the Franks, whose king Clovis subdued the Alamanni in 495• To the east of the Franks between the Harz, the Elbe and the Saale lay the kingdom of the Thuringi, the origin of whom is not clear. The Heruli also had a powerful kingdom, probably in the basin of the Elbe, and to the east of them were the Langobardi. The Warni apparently now dwelt in the regions about the mouth of the Elbe, while the whole coast from the mouth of the Weser to the west Scheldt was in the hands of the Frisians. By this time all the country east of the lower Elbe seems to have been Slavonic. In the north, perhaps in the province of Schleswig, we hear now for the first time of the Danes. Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, endeavoured to form a confederacy with the Thuringi, Heruli and Warni against Clovis in order to protect the Visigoths in the early years of the 6th century, but very shortly afterwards the king of the Heruli was slain by the Langobardi and their"existence as an independent power came to an end. In 531 the Thuringian kingdom was destroyed by the Frankish king Theodoric, son of Clovis, with whom the Saxons were in alliance. During the 6th and 7th centuries the Saxons were intermittently under Frankish supremacy, but their conquest was not complete until the time of Charlemagne. Shortly after the middle of the 6th century the Franks were threatened with a new invasion by the Avars. In 567—568 the Langobardi, who by this time had moved into the Danube basin, invaded Italy and were followed by those of the Saxons who had settled in Thuringia. Their lands were given by the Frankish king Sigeberht to the north Suebi and other tribes who had come either from the Elbe basin or possibly from the Netherlands. About the same time Sigeberht was defeated by the Avars, and though the latter soon withdrew from the Frankish frontiers, their course was followed by a movement of the Slays, who occupied the basin of the Elster and penetrated to that of the Main. By the end of the 6th century the whole basin of the Elbe except the Saxon territory near the mouth had probably become Slavonic, To the east of the Saale were the Sorbs (Sorabi), and beyond them the Daleminci and Siusli. To the east of the The Saxons and the Franks. Saxons were the Polabs (Polabi) in the basin of the Elbe, and beyond them the Hevelli about the Havel. Farther north in Mecklenburg were the Warnabi, and in eastern Holstein the Obotriti and the Wagri. To the east of the Warnabi were the Liutici as far as the Oder, and beyond that river the Pomerani. To the south of the Oder were the Milcieni and the Lusici, and farther east the Poloni with their centre in the basin of the Vistula. The lower part of the Vistula basin, however, was in possession of Prussian tribes, the Prussi and Lithuani. The Warni now disappear from history, and from this time the Teutonic peoples of the north as far as the Danish boundary about the Eider are called Saxons. The conquest of the Frisians by the Franks was begun by Pippin (Pepin) of Heristal in 689 and practically completed by Charles Martel, though they were not entirely brought into subjection until the time of Charlemagne. The great overthrow of the Saxons took place about 772-773, and by the end of the century Charlemagne had extended his conquests to the border of the Danes. By this time the whole of the Teutonic part of Germany had been finally brought under his government.
End of Article: ETHNOGRAPHY AND EARLY
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