The Germans

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The Emergence Of The Germanic People

   The nation that we know today as Germany did not exist until relatively recent times. In his book, The Germanic Peoples, Francis Owen traced the Germanic race from the Indo-European Language stock. The people who existed in Northern Europe as hunter-gatherers during the Paleolithic Age (to approximately 8000 B.C.) and the Mesolithic Age (to approximately 7000 B.C.) came to develop into the Northern Megalithic culture. A pre-Indo-European group from the southern parts of Europe and western Asia, the Corded-Ware culture, migrated northward during the Neolithic Age. And out of the interbreeding of the Corded-Ware culture with the Northern Megalithic, the Germanic people sprang. By the year 1200 B.C., a cultural unification of many of the Northern European tribes had taken place. Therefore, it can be stated that during the Bronze Age, the Germanic Race came into being as a distinct race.

   Numerous tribes of Germanic peoples became established in the region stretching from the Danube River in southern Germany eastward into Central Asia and northward to the North Sea during the period of the expansion of the Roman Empire into Gaul. Extended tribes made up of perhaps twenty or more individual tribes developed during the Bronze Age. Each of the individual tribes consisted, more or less, of interrelated families of often fewer than two hundred individuals. Primitive tribal customs dictated that only genetically related individuals were acknowledged as members of the tribe, but that marriages between members of different tribes would allow for the family of one tribe to enter into that of another tribe. The result was that the extended tribe consisted of numerous interrelated individual tribes.

   During the Bronze Age and the pre-Roman Iron Age, the northern European region was separated from the Mediterranean in more ways than one. The Germanic tribes had developed their own unique language, which was an amalgamation of that of the Northern Megalithic culture and the Corded Ware people. Due to the physical nature of the land, travel between the Germanic homelands of the north and the southern European cities was limited. The Alps mountain range formed a daunting obstacle to travel between the north and south. Despite the physical obstacles, there were trades routes between the two regions. As the Bronze Age dawned, and more and more people discovered the benefits of bronze over stone and wooden implements, the Germanic tribes desired the weapons and ornaments made of the shiny metal. Neither of the two components of bronze, tin and copper, were available in the northern regions, therefore to obtain bronze, trade developed. Despite the fact that the Germanic tribes had little that was of value to the splendid metropolitan centers bordering the Mediterranean Sea except for amber and animal pelts, those two items were in great demand. For them the southern European traders bartered bronze.