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The Germans

Posted in History on Sunday, 19 August 2007

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Germans (illustration, picture, art: James E McConnell)

The Germans [McConnell illustration]

The region that stretches across the central part of Europe and which is bordered by the Rivers Rhine and Oder was once inhabited by a people of Scandinavian origin. These Germanic tribes had been chased out of their homeland by enemy tribes towards the end of the 2nd century BC, and had moved towards the South along the banks of the North Sea where they began to settle. This area, the central part of Europe, became known as Germania, named after the people who inhabited the region.

The first of these Germanic tribes whom the Romans encountered were the Cimbri and the Teutoni who, in the year 113 BC, defeated the Romans near Noreia, the capital of Noricum. The ferocious-looking barbarians were greater in number than the Roman army and soon after the fighting had begun they began to slaughter the Roman soldiers on all sides.

The Germanic tribes then began to push forward into Italy itself, but were driven back ten years later. Noricum was the area which lies near the River Inn, and it was finally conquered by the Romans in 15 BC. It was then divided into two provinces. One to the north called Danubian Noricum, and one to the south called Mediterranean Noricum. They were both rich in iron, and while under Roman domination the Noric steel was used for weapons.

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