List of ancient Germanic peoples

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Early Roman Empire with some ethnic names in and around Germania
One proposed theory for approximate distribution of the primary Germanic dialect groups, and matching peoples, in Europe around the year 1 AD: North Germanic peoples: West Germanic peoples:
  North Sea Germanic - Ingvaeonic peoples - Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Chauci, Frisii/Frisians, others
  Weser-Rhine Germanic - Istvaeonic peoples: Franks, others
  Elbe Germanic - Herminonic/Irminonic peoples: Suebes/Suebi/Alemanni, Swabians, Hermunduri/Thuringians, Marcomanni, Quadi, Bavarians, others
East Germanic peoples:
  East Germanic - Vandilic peoples: Goths, Burgundians, Vandals, Gepids, Rugii, Buri, Herules, others

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

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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
Adogit Hålogaland, the northernmost Norwegian Petty Kingdom. Between the Namdalen valley in Nord-Trøndelag and the Lyngen fjord in Troms. Jordanes
Adrabaecampi Adrabaikampoi (´Αδραβαικαμποι) See Kampoi North of the Danube, south of Bohemia Ptolemy
Aduatuci, Atuatuci Aduatici, Atouatikoi (Ἀτουατικοί) Left bank of the Rhine in the squad of the Belgian tribes against Caesar In the first century BC in the area of today's Tongeren (Belgium), between the Scheldt and the Meuse Julius Caesar
Aelvaeones, Elouaiones, Elvaiones, Aelvaeones, Ailouaiones, Alouiones, Ailouones Alouiones (Αλουίωνες), Helouaiones ('Ελουαίωνες) See Helveconae Presumably at the middle Oder, today's Silesia Tacitus, Ptolemy
Agradingun Saxon tribe Middle course of the Weser
Ahelmil Scandza Jordanes
Alemanni, Alamanni Alamanni From various Elbe Germanic tribes, among them probably Suebian tribes, armies and followers from the 3rd century on provincial Roman soil (Agri decumates) developed population group Core areas in Baden-Württemberg and Alsace, in Bavarian Swabia, German-speaking Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Vorarlberg
Ambivaretes Ambivareti/Ambibaretos Gallic tribe, clients of the Aedui, is also counted among the Celts Julius Caesar
Ambrones, Obrones, Ymbre Ambrones Participation of tribal groups in the train of the Cimbri and the Teutons at the end of the 2nd century BC
Ampsivarii, Ampsivari, Amsivarii, Amsivari Ansibarii, Ansivaroi (Ἀνσιβαριοί) Southern neighbours of the Frisii 1st century in the lower Emsland Tacitus
Anartes, Anarti, Anartii, Anartoi Anarti Possibly Germanic tribe in the border area between the Teutons and the Dacians Hungary or Romania Julius Caesar
Angarii See Angrivarii
Angisciri Tribe in the wake of Dengizich Jordanes
Angles, Anglians Anglii, Angeiloi (Άγγειλοι), Angiloi (Άγγιλοι) At Tacitus to the Ingaevones counted North Germanic people Originally in Jutland (northern Schleswig-Holstein), later Mittelelb-Saale area, from 200 emigration to Great Britain Tacitus
Anglevarii, Angleverii, Anglevaries, Angleveries
Anglo-Saxons From the Angles and Saxons, as well as the Jutes, Frisii and Franks on British soil originated collecting people Southeastern England
Angrivarii, Angrevarii, Angrivari, Angrevari, Angarii, Angerii, Angrii, Angari, Angeri, Angri, Aggeri, Angriouarroi, Aggerimenses, Angerienses Angrivarii, Angriouarioi (Αγγριουάριοι) In the 1st century, south of the Chauci, north of the Cherusci, northwest of the Dulgubnii and east of the Ampsivarii On the Weser, mainly on the right bank, from the tributary of the Aller to the Steinhuder Meer
Armalausi, Armilausi Probably a part of the Hermunduri, in the 3rd and 4th centuries between the Alemanni and the Marcomanni Possibly in the Upper Palatinate Tabula Peutingeriana
Ascomanni Designation of the Vikings at Adam of Bremen
Avarpi, Auarpoi, Avarni
Aviones, Auiones, Chaibones Aviones
Baemi, Baimoi
Baiuvarii, Bavarii, Baioarii, Baiovarii Bavarii Towards the end of the migration of peoples in the 5th century, people formed with the core area in Raetia and Noricum Altbayern, Austria and South Tyrol
Banochaemae, Bainochaimai
Bardes, Bards, Bardi Possibly a non-southward group of the Lombards South of the Elbe, in the area of Bardowick and Lüneburg
Bastarnae, Bastarni, Basternae Bastarnae Fights with the Romans in the 3rd century BC, probably outweigh Germanic tribe East side of the Carpathian Mountains to the mouth of the Danube estuary Polybius
Batavi, Batavii, Batavians Batavi Originally allies of the Romans in the province of Gallia Belgica, 69 Revolt of the Batavi under Gaius Julius Civilis In the 1st century at the mouth of the Rhine
Bateinoi, Batini Batini
Betasii, Baetasi Baetasii
Brisgavi, Brisigavi Brisgavi, Brisigavi Alemannic tribe in the 5th century Breisgau
Bructeri, Boructuarii, Boruactii, Borchtii Bructeri, Boructuarii, Broukteroi (Βρούκτεροι) In the 1st century, opponents of the Romans in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest Between the middle Ems and the upper Lippe
Bucinobantes Bucinobantes Alemannic tribe in the 4th century Main estuary at Mainz Ammianus Marcellinus
Burgundians Burgundiones East Germanic people with late antique foundations on the Rhine and later the Rhone
Buri Buri
Caemani Caemani, Paemani
Caeroesi, Caerosi Caerosi, Caeroesi, Ceroesi, Cerosi Left Rhine Celto-Germanic tribe In the 1st century BC in the Eifel-Ardennes area Julius Caesar
Cananefates, Canninefates, Caninefates, Canenefatae Cannenefates, Canninefates, Cannenafates, Cannefates In the 1st century, western neighbours of the Batavi Around Voorburg in South Holland
Carpi, Carpiani Carpi, Carpiani Southeastern European people, classification as Germanic is controversial End of the 3rd century in Moesia and Dacia
Caritni Ludwigshafen am Rhein Ptolemy
Chaedini Chaideinoi
Chaetuori Chaituoroi (Χαιτούωροι)
Chaibones, Aviones, Auiones
Chali Chali
Chamavi Chamavi, Chamauoi (Χαμαυοί) Neighbours of the Angrivarii and Dulgubnii, eventually went into the Franks In the 1st century on the Lower Rhine Tacitus
Charini, Charinni, Harii Charini, Harii
Charudes See Harudes
Chasuarii See Chattuarii
Chatti, Catti, Cattai, Cathi, Cathai, Chattai, Chatthi, Chatthai Chatti, Catti, Cathi, Chattai (Χάτται), Chattoi (Χάττοι) In the 1st century, neighbours of the Suebi, precursors of the Hesse Valleys of the Eder, Fulda and the upper reaches of the Lahn
Chattuarii, Chasuarii, Hasuarii, Attuarii Atthuarii, Attuarii, Chattouarioi (Χαττουάριοι)
Chatvores Name is Greek or Latin in origin and means "bristle eater" Upper Palatinate Ptolemy
Chaubi Chauboi (Χαῦβοι)
Chauci Chauki, Chauchi, Cauci, Kauchoi (Καῦχοι), Kaukoi (Καῦκοι) From Tacitus to the Ingaevones counted tribe On both sides of the lower Weser
Cherusci Cherusci, Cherouskoi (Χεροῦσκοι), Chairouskoi (Χαιρουσκοί) Tribe of Arminius, in the 1st century, opponents of the Romans On both sides of the upper Weser run in East Westphalia and in Lower Saxony to the Elbe
Cimbri Combri, Cymbri, Cimbri, Kimbroi (Κίμβροι) Along with the Teutons and Ambrones from 120 BC incidence in Gaul and Italy Originally probably northern Jutland
Clondicus Kloilios (Κλοίλιος), Claodikus
Cobandi Jutland
Condrusi Condrusi Celtic-Germanic mixed culture In the 1st century BC in the left bank of the Middle Rhine region Julius Caesar
Corconti Korkontoi
Crimean Goths Descendants of the Ostrogoths From the middle of the 3rd century on the Crimean peninsula
Cugerni, Cuberni, Guberni Cugerni, Cuberni Tribe of the Rhine-Weser Germanic peoples In the 1st century in the left bank of the Lower Rhine (Kreis Kleve)
Danduti Dandutoi (Δανδοῦτοι)
Danes Dani, Danoi (Δανοι) From the 6th century in Scania and Jutland Scania and Jutland Procopius, Jordanes
Danube Suebi
Dauciones Daukiones (Δαυκίωνες)
Diduni Diduni
Dorsaetan Dornware
Dounoi Δοῦνοι
Dulgubnii Dulgubnii, Dulgitubini, Dulcubuni In the 1st century, southeast of the Angrivarii and the Chamavi South of Hamburg in the area of the Lüneburg Heath and all around Celle Tacitus
East Herules, Ostherules
East Saxons
Eburones Eburones Probably Celtic tribe, counted from Caesar to the Germanic people Between the Rhine, Meuse, Rhineland, Northern Ardennes and Eifel
Elbe Germans Archaeologically 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
Elouaiones Ailouaiones (Αἰλουαίωνες), Alouiones (Αλουίωνες), Helouaiones ('Ελουαίωνες), Ailouones (Αἰλούονες), Helouones ('Ελουωνες)
Eudoses Eudusii, Eudoses, Eduses, Edures, Eudures
Eutes see Jutes
Favonae Favonae, Phauonai (Φαυόναι)
Færpingas Feppingas
Finnaithae Finnaithae
Firaesi Phrisioi (Φρίσιοι), Phiraisoi (Φιραῖσοι)
Firihsetan Virsedi
Fosi, Fosii Fosi Small neighbouring tribe of the Cherusci, who went under with these In the 1st century in the headwaters of the Aller
Franks Large tribal union, which integrated numerous Germanic tribes in late antiquity Right of the Rhine to the mouth of the Rhine estuary, from the 4th century onwards to Roman territory left of the Rhine
Frisiavones Frisiavones, Frisaebones Rhine delta Pliny the Elder, Natural History 4,101; CIL 6, 3260 et al.
Frisii, Frisians Frisii North Sea Germanic tribe, counted from Tacitus to the Ingaevones In the 1st century from the mouth of the Rhine to about the Ems Tacitus
Frugundiones East of the Oder Ptolemy
Fundusi Jutland
Gambrivii Gambrivi Probably near the Weser Strabo, Tacitus
Gautigoths Gautigoth Probably in Västergötland Jordanes
Geats Goutai (Γου̑ται), Geatas North Germanic people, often identified with the Goths Southern Sweden Ptolemy
Gepids Gepidi, Gebidi, Gipedae From the middle of the 5th century, empire-building on the middle Danube, possibly related to the Goths Romania Jordanes, Procopius
Gewisse, Gewissæ Saxon ethnic group in Britain At the end of the 5th century on the Upper Thames in England
Goths, Gotones, Gutones Gutones Split up during the Migration Period into the Visigoths and Ostrogoths, each with their own imperial formations on Roman soil At the turn of the day, north of the Vistula knee Jordanes
Gotini, Cotini, Kognoi
Grannii Granii
Greuthungi, Greuthungs, Greutungi, Greutungs Greothingi, Grutungi, Grauthungi, Greutungi Another name of the Ostrogoths Ammianus Marcellinus, Jordanes
Gutes, Gotlanders
Hadubardes, Heaðobeardan
Hallin Hallin
Harii Harii Tribe of the Lugii Between the Vistula and the Oder Tacitus
Harudes, Charudes, Harothes Harudes, Charudes (Χαροῦδες), Arudes, In the 1st century BC, allies of the Ariovistus against Caesar To Ptolemy in the middle of the 2nd century in Jutland Julius Caesar, Ptolemy
Hasdingi, Asdingi, Haddingjar Tribe of the Vandals In the 2nd century in Romania and Hungary
Heinir, Heiðnir
Helusii Hellusii
Helveconae, Helvaeonae, Helvecones, Helvaeones, Helouaiones Helvecones Tribe of the Lugii Between the Vistula and the Oder Tacitus
Herminones, Erminones, Hermiones, Irminones Herminones Large group of Germanic people, occupying the middle between the Ingaevones and the Istvaeones Tacitus, Pliny the Elder, Pomponius Mela
Hermunduri, Ermunduri, Hermanduri, Hermunduli, Hermonduri, Hermonduli Ermunduri, Hermunduri Elbe Germanic tribe Upper reaches of the Elbe
Herules, Erules, Heruli, Eruli Eruli, Erouloi (Ερουλοι) Participants in the parades of the Goths From the middle of the 3rd century on the north coast of the Black Sea
Hilleviones Hilleviones
Holstens, Holcetae
Holtsaeten Holtsati
Hundingas See Hundings Widsith
Incriones, Inkriones Inkriones (ιγκριονες) Tribe of the Rhine-Weser Germanic peoples, middle of the 2nd century, neighbours of the Tencteri Between the Rhine and the Taunus Ptolemy
Ingaevones, Ingvaeones, Ingwaeones, Inguaeones, Inguiones, Ingwines, Guiones Ingvaeones, Ingaevones, Ingvaenoes, Inguaeones Large group of Germanic tribes located on the North Sea coast by Tacitus Tacitus, Pliny the Elder
Inguaii, Ingwaii
Intuergi Intouergoi, Intouergoi (Ιντουεργοι) Between the Rhine and the Taunus Ptolemy
Irminones, Herminones, Hermiones
Istvaeones, Istaevones, Istriaones, Istriones, Sthraones, Thracones Istvaenoes, Istaevones Large group of Germanic tribes located on the Rhine by Tacitus Tacitus
Jutes, Eudoses, Eutes, Euthiones Eurii, Eutii, Eucii, Euthiones Originally in Jutland, later in the south of Great Britain Until the 5th century on Jutland
Juthungi Iouthungi, Iuthungi Probably an Alemannic tribe From the 3rd to the 5th century, north of the Danube and Altmühl
Kampoi, Campi, Campes Kampoi (Κάμποι) Group of unclear destination north of the Danube and south of Bohemia in the 2nd century Ptolemy
Kvenir, Kvanes
Landoudioi, Landi Landi, Landoudioi From the 1st century on the Lahn in Middle Hesse Strabo, Ptolemy
Lemovii, Lemonii Lemovii At Tacitus neighbours of the Rugii and Goths From the 1st century, southern Baltic Sea coast between the Oder and the Vistula
Lentienses, Linzgau Lentienses Alemannic tribe Mid-3rd century between the Danube in the north, Iller in the east and Lake Constance in the south Ammianus Marcellinus
Little Goths Gothi minores Group of the Goths, Ulfilas tribe, at the time of the Jordanes in the area of Nicopolis in Moesia South bank of the lower Danube Jordanes
Lombards, Longobards, Langobards, Winili, Winnili, Winnilers Langobardi, 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, Lygii Lugii, Lúgioi
Maiates, Maiati
Manimi Manimi Tribe of the Lugii Between the Vistula and the Oder Tacitus
Marcomanni Marcomanni Possibly a tribe of the Suebi, from the middle of the 2nd century, opponents of the Romans in the Marcomannic Wars In the 1st century in Bohemia
Marsi, Marsigni Marsi, Marsoí (Μαρσοί), Marsigni Destroyed after participation in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in the year 14 by Germanicus Between the Rhine, Ruhr and Lippe
Marvingi Marouingoi Lower Saxony/North Rhine-Westphalia Ptolemy
Mattiaci Mattiaci, Mattiakoi (Ματτιακοί) Probably a part of the Chatti, Romanised from the 1st century Around Wiesbaden, in the Taunus and in the Wetterau
Menapii Menapii Celtic-Germanic mixed people, subjugated by Caesar in the 1st century BC in Gallia Belgica Lower Rhine, Flanders Julius Caesar
Mixi Called by Jordanes as residents of Scandza Scandinavia Jordanes
Moselle Franks, Mosellians Subset of the Franks, separated from the Ripuarian Franks in the 5th century Upper Rhine and Moselle
Mugilones Mougilones
Myrgingas East Frisian part of the Frisii, who settled around 700 in Nordfriesland Nordfriesland, Tönnern, Rungholdt Widsith
Nahanarvali, Naharvali Nahanarvali, Naharvali Tribe of the Lugii Between the Vistula and the Oder Tacitus
Narisci, Naristi, Varisti, Varasci, Varisci Naristi, Varisti, Varistae Neighbours of the Marcomanni, Quadi and Armalausi Upper Palatinate, Upper Franconia and North Bohemia Tacitus
Neckar Suebi Suebi Nicrenses Romanised tribe of the Suebi In the 1st and 2nd century in the area of Ladenburg
Nemetes Nemetai (Νεμῆται) (Probably Germanic) allies of the Ariovistus In the 1st century BC on the Rhine between Lake Constance and Palatinate Julius Caesar
Nervii Nervii Strongly Celtic Germanic tribe[2][3] In the Gallia Belgica between the Meuse and the Scheldt in the north and the west of today's Belgium Julius Caesar, Tacitus
Normans Collective 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
Ostrogoths Ostrogothi, Ostrogoti, Ostrogotae, Ostrogothae, Austrogothi Part of the Goths, first in Pannonia, then empire-building in Italy Jordanes
Paemani, Permani Paemani, Caemani Left Rhine Celto-Germanic people Eifel, Ardennes Julius Caesar
Parmaecampi Parmaikampoi (Παρμαικαμπο) See Kampoi North of the Danube in Bavaria Ptolemy
Peucini Part of the Bastarnae Tacitus
Phalians As Germanic "natives" of Westphalia and Eastphalia constructed tribe
Pharodini Pharadinoi Mecklenburg
Quadi Quadi Tribe of the Suebi, participants of the Marcomannic Wars Tacitus
Raetovari Raetobarii Alemannic tribe Probably in Nördlinger Ries
Ragnaricii, Ranii
Reudignes, Reudinges, Reudinges, Reudingi, Holstens
Ripuarian Franks, Ripuarians, Ripuarii, Rhinefranks, Rhine Franks Subset of the Franks in the Middle Rhine
Rosomoni Rosomoni
Rugii, Rygir, Rugians Rugii Moved in the Migration Period with the Goths to the south Originally between the Vistula and the Oder, later empire-building in Lower Austria
Rus' See Varangians
Sabalingioi Sabalingioi Jutland
Salian Franks, Salians Salii Part of the Franks Originally from the Lower Rhine to the Salland on the IJssel, then in North Brabant and later in the Tournai area
Saxons Saxones West Germanic people's Association of the Chauci, Angrivarii and Cherusci From the 1st century in northwest Germany and the east of the Netherlands
Sedusii Sedusii Ally of the Ariovistus, classified by Caesar as Germanic Julius Caesar
Segni Segni
Semnones Semnones (Σεμνόνες) Part of the Suebi, at Tacitus their tribe Around 100 between the Elbe and the Oder from the Bohemian border to the Havel Tacitus
Sibini Sibinoer
Sidini Western Pomerania
Sigambres See Sugambri
Silingi, Silings Silingae Part of the Vandals Silesia, later Andalusia
Singulones Sigulones Jutland
Sitones, Sithones Neighbours of the Suiones Probably Scandinavia Tacitus
Scirii Moved with the Bastarnae to the south, in the 5th century short imperial formation in Pannonia
Sturii Sturii
Sturmarii Sturmera
Suarines, Suardones Suarines, Suarmes, Smarines Tribe of the Suebi Around Lake Schwerin in Mecklenburg
Suebi, Suevi, Suavi, Suevians, Swabians Suebi, Suewi, Sueboi (Σύηβοι) Important Germanic tribal group, to which according to Tacitus the Semnones, Marcomanni, Hermunduri, Quadi and Lombards belonged In the northeast of Germania on the Baltic Sea up to the German Central Uplands Tacitus
Sugambri, Sigambri, Sugambi, Sigambri Sugambri, Sygambri, Sugambroi (Σύγαμβροι), Sugumbri, Sucambri, Sycambres, Sugameri 7 BC defeated by Tiberius and settled on the left of the Rhine In the 1st century left-bank areas on the Meuse
Suiones, Suones, Sueones, Suehans, Sweones, Swiones, Sviones Suiones Northern European sea people described by Tacitus Possibly Scandinavia
Sunuci, Sinuci, Sunici Sunuci Possibly precursors of the Ubii In the 1st and 2nd century in the Rhineland between Aachen and Jülich
Swedes, Svear Svea North Germanic tribe Svealand in the region of the Mälaren river valley as well as Uppland, Gästrikland, Västmanland and Södermanland
Taifals Taifali, Taifalae, Theifali Probably a Germanic tribe in the group of the Visigoths From the 3rd century in Dacia and Moesia
Tencteri, Tenchteri, Tenctheri Tencteri, Toncteri, Tenkteroi (Τέγκτηροι) Northern neighbours of the Usipetes, opponents of Caesar In the 1st century BC on the Lower Rhine
Thervingi, Tervingi, Teruingi Tervingi See Visigoths
Teutonoari Unterelbe (Lower Elbe)
Teutons Teutoni, Teutones Together with the Cimbri and the Ambrones from the 120 BC invasion of Gaul and Italy Originally Jutland, south of the Cimbri
Thiadmariska Thiadmariski
Thuringii, Thuringians, Turingi, Toringi Thueringi, Tueringi, Thuringin, Turingi In the 3rd or 4th century from the Angles, Warini and other originated tribal groups Between the Thuringian Forest, Werra, Harz and the Elbe
Toxandri, Texuandri, Taxandri, Toxandrians Between the rivers Meuse and Scheldt in the Belgian-Dutch border region[4]
Treveri, Treviri Treverii, Treviri, Treveri Strongly Celtic Germanic tribe[5][3] From the Rhine[6] to the land of the Remi Julius Caesar, Tacitus
Triboci, Tribocci Triboces, Triboci, Tribocci, Tribochi, Tribocchoi (Τριβόκχοι) In the 1st century BC, allies of the Ariovistus On the Rhine around Strasbourg and Haguenau Julius Caesar, Ptolemy
Tubantes, Tubanti Tubanti, Tubantes, Toubantoi (Τούβαντοι) In the 1st century, opponents of Germanicus End of the migration period in the eastern Netherlands in the Twente region Tacitus
Tungri, Tungrians, Tungrii, Tongri Tungri, Tongri Opponents of Caesar in the 1st century BC Left side of the Rhine around Tongeren Julius Caesar, Tacitus
Turcilingi, Torcilingi, Thorcilingi Turcilingae
Turones, Turoni Turoni Possibly Celto-Germanic tribe, south and later southeast of the Chatti
Twihanti, Twihantes, Tuihanti, Tuihantes Tuihanti
Ubii Ubii Originally right of the Rhine Germanic, subjected to Caesar and from the early imperial period on the left bank of the Rhine and Romanised Originally from the Sieg over the Lahn to the lower Main, later in the area of Bonn and Cologne
Urugundes Incursions around 256 into the Roman Empire Lower Danube Zosimus
Usipetes, Usipii Usipetes, Usipii, Ousipetai (Ουσιπέται), Ousipioi (Ουσίπιοι) In the 1st century BC, opponents of Caesar On the right bank of the Lower Rhine
Vagoths Probably on Gotland
Vandals Vandali, 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
Vangiones Vangiones Affiliation to Celts or Germanic peoples not secured Area around Worms, Germany (Civitas Vangionum)
Varangians Similar 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
Varini See Warini
Vidivarii Vidivarii According to Jordanes, a mixed people At the mouth of the Vistula Jordanes
Viruni Mecklenburg
Visburgii Wisburgi Between the Upper Oder and the Vistula[7]
Visigoths, Thervingi Visigothi, Wisigothae, Tervingi Part of the Goths, plunder of Rome 410, Visigothic Kingdom in southwestern Gaul and Spain Jordanes
Vispi South of Caritner
Vistula Veneti, Baltic Veneti, Veneti Venedi, Venetae, Venedae Possibly Germanic people in eastern Germania
Warini, Varini Varini, Varinae, Ouarinoi (Ουαρίνοι) Smaller, after Tacitus unwarlike tribe Northern Germany Tacitus
West Herules, Westherules Independent 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, Winili See Lombards

Mythical founders

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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.; Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.. In:, Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  2. Tacitus, Germania 28; Strabo 4, 3, 4.
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  6. Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico book III, 11: […] Treveros, qui proximi flumini Rheno sunt. ("The Treveri who live near the Rhine.")
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