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Meet our tribal ancestors                                                                                            The German Citizen •March - April 2024 • 7

     by Martin Ederer              Danube valley. Others                                                   through Italy and Sicily  Middle Ages the duchy of Burgundy
        t is a common American mis‐  took more direct routes                                               before eventually land‐  had a good shot at becoming a ma‐
        conception that only our indige‐  south out of what today                                          ing in North Africa  jor national monarchy.
     Inous Americans and other     is Denmark.                                                             (Carthage), where they  Jutes: Migrated into Central
     darker-skinned people from around  Franks:  Actually                                                  obstructed communi‐  Europe and Britain from what is to‐
     the world have tribes, but white Eu‐  more of a confedera‐                                            cation and shipping in  day Denmark. Island of Jutland (big
     ropeans do not. The assumption is  tion or nation of tribes                                           the   Mediterranean.  naval battle there in World War I) is
     that Europeans are somehow ex‐  spread over much of                                                   Some historians think  named for them.
     empt from the circles of kinship  Western and Central                                                 they played a key role  Angles:  Scandinavian tribe
     such as family, clan and tribe. They  Europe.  Somewhat                                               in the breakup of the  that ended up in Britain. They gave
     have nation-states, after all. Con‐  analogous to the Six                                             Roman       Empire  their name to England: Angle Land.
     sider, though, that as the circles of  N a t i o n s / H a u ‐                                        through their piracy    Saxons: Some migrated into
     relationships get wider, they also be‐  denosaunee (Iroquois                                          operations.  Vandals  central Europe (there is still a Sax‐
     come more artificial. That doesn’t  Confederation—same                                                were noted for their  ony in Germany); others went to
     mean we make less of those larger  basic  geographical                                                brutality, which is why  Britain: Think Anglo-Saxons.
     entities. Quite the opposite is usu‐  spread too) in our part                                         their name is still at‐  Marcomans: Settled in the cen‐
     ally true, and those designations, ar‐  of the world.  Politi‐  The Sack of Rome by the Vandals, Karl Briullov, 1833–1836  tached to people be‐  tral Danube Valley.  Czech-Slo‐
     tificial though they might be, usu‐  cally sophisticated enough to make                     having criminally.            vakia-Austria.
     ally take on lives of their own. Na‐  the confederation work.  Some  trogoths introduced trousers to  Alans:  Not originally Ger‐  Baiuvarii: A mashup of Celtic
     tion-states may be a collection of  Frankish tribes Romanized fairly  Italy. By that time the Visigoths  manic, but ended up unrecogniz‐  Boii and Germanic peoples. Ances‐
     peoples who may have in common  early, but others kept the Romans at  (western Goths) under Alaric had  ably intermixed with Germanic  tors of Bavarians and some Austri‐
     only an officially established lan‐  arm’s length for as long as possible.  sacked the city of Rome in 410. By  peoples after they migrated to Gaul.  ans.
     guage and the possibility of a big  They also similarly held off Chris‐  the mid-400s the Visigoths estab‐  Burgunds: Ended up in south  Lombards (later—600s): Elbe
     economy and big armies to prevent  tianization for as long as possible,  lished a brilliant kingdom in Spain,  central Gaul. We still have one of  River to Danube Valley. Terrorized
     being run over by other nearby na‐  but when they did, they finally went  which existed from until the Mus‐  their early law codes: an interesting  and occupied Italy after the Byzan‐
     tion-states. The latter two are what  all in, and that became a game-  lims invaded the Iberian Peninsula  read. Smothering in mire was a pop‐  tines toppled the Ostrogoths there.
     make big nation-states desirable.  changer for all western Europe.  in 718.                 ular punishment. The Burgunds  They were quite successful in unify‐
        Even as modern and progres‐  These are the people who rebuilt the  Vandals: Swooped down into  have given their name to a region  ing a nice piece of southern Italy.
     sive a place as Central Europe has  West after centralized Roman rule  the East and then migrated west and  noted for its wines. Ever hear of a  There is still a region in Italy named
     tribes, and that heritage still mat‐  collapsed in the West – albeit some  south.  They ravaged their way  bottle of Burgundy? During the  for them: Lombardy.
     ters. So who are our German tribal  300-400 years later. Charlemagne
     ancestors? Here is a short list, and  and all the Carolingians were
     there may be some surprises.  Frankish. France, Frankfurt and  St. Patrick's Day in München!
        Celts:  To begin with, it is  Frankenland are both named for
     worth noting that Celts inhabited  then.                        By John Duke
     much of Europe, both west and cen‐  Alemans: West central Europe.  ach year the largest group of
     tral, before Germanic tribes mi‐  Many Romans’ first encounters with Efriends and visitors to Germany
     grated in from Scandinavia. Celts,  Germans was this tribe, which is  for Oktoberfest are the Irish! So it's
     simply put, were everywhere from  how so many Romance languages  no wonder why Saint Patrick's Day
     what today is Spain, France and into  use this root word as a name for  is such a large celebration in
     central and Eastern Europe, not to  Germans/Germany:  Allemagne  Bavaria!
     mention the British Isles. It is safe to  (French), Aleman (Spanish).  A  St. Patrick’s Day in Germany is
     say that a good many Germans are a  good number of Germanic tribes  a lively celebration, and Munich, the
     mashup of Celtic and Germanic  shared Alemannic roots and ethnic‐  capital of Bavaria, hosts one of the
     peoples. A good number of Central  ity.                      largest gatherings on the European
     European towns claim Celtic roots.  Teutons: The Romans identi‐  continent. Here’s how the Emerald
        Romans: Yup. They need to be  fied the Teutones as a people who  Isle’s Patron Saint is honored in
     included. While Romans may not  lived where amber washes up from  Bavaria:
     have managed to hold onto as much  the sea, which would seem to place  Munich’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade:
     of Central Europe as they had  them well to the east, at least east of  Date: The parade typically takes  A variety of German websites promote St. Patrick’s Day festivities
     hoped, they were wandering around  the Elbe. Today more generally, we  place on the Sunday before March  including (above) and
     there, even in the north. The Ro‐  use “Teutonic” to refer to anything  17, which is the official St. Patrick’s  pois/markets-festivals/st-patricks-day.
     mans had a more lasting presence  Germanic. The Italian “Tedeschi”  Day.                      Parade and Music: On Sunday,  dance groups like Rínce Tír na Nóg
     and influence further south and  to refer to Germans derives from  Venue: The festivities center  March 17, 2024, over 1000 partici‐  and the Emerald Dancers add to the
     west, and were responsible for a  this name. This is also the origin of  around Odeonsplatz in Munich.  pants will dance, sing, and make  festive spirit.
     good number of cities as far north as  “Deutsch.”               Pre-Party: On Saturday, March  music along Ludwigstraße, starting  Other Events: Besides the pa‐
     Cologne and Trier.                Suebi: Swabians: South-cen‐  16, 2024, you can toast to the Irish-  at Münchner Freiheit. The parade  rade, there’s a suitable supporting
        Huns: Despite the British us‐  tral northern Europe, they were  Bavarian friendship at the pre-party.  ends at Odeonsplatz, where an  program throughout the city center.
     ing this term on Germans during  well-known to the Romans, and had  Numerous street food stalls and a  open-air festival takes place on two  The Munich Irish Night 2024 invites
     two world wars, they were not Ger‐  a long history with them. They had  stage will be set up in front of the  stages. Performers include ESC win‐  you  to  the  Wirtshaus  im
     manic. They came from somewhere  a lot of branch tribes.     Feldherrnhalle on Odeonsplatz. En‐  ner Johnny Logan, Hair of the Dog,  Schlachthof,  and  a  traditional
     in Central Asia.  Attila the Hun  Gepids: East Germanic tribe.  joy music and dancing from various  and the Munich Céili Band. Tradi‐  church service with Irish music
     threatened the city of Rome in 425.  Were known to be in the eastern  bands, including The Hush, the  tional dance performances by Rínce  takes place at the Ludwigskirche.
     Quick thinking by Pope Leo I and  Danube valley.             Ballinspittle Youth Céili Band,  Tír na Nóg, the Emerald Dancers,  Berlin’s Funkturm also partici‐
     some good luck averted what ap‐   Heruls: Ended up in the Black  Celtic Invasion, and the Augusta  and the Irish Dance Company Sum‐  pates in the green illumination fes‐
     peared inevitable. Needless to say,  Sea region.  Odovakar, the com‐  Céili Band.           merstorm add to the festive atmos‐  tivities on March 17.
     they became part of the local DNA.  mander of Rome’s western armies in  Parade Details: Thousands of  phere.                 So, if you find yourself in
        Then there are the tribes we  476 who ended the western half of  Irish people, Ireland enthusiasts,  Performers:  Expect  perfor‐  Bavaria during St. Patrick’s Day, join
     identify as properly Germanic.  the Roman Empire, was part Herul.  and fans of the Irish day of remem‐  mances by artists like ESC winner  the celebration, wear your green,
     They followed complicated migra‐  Goths:  Originally landed in  brance gather dressed in green. The  Johnny Logan, Hair of the Dog, and  and raise a glass to Irish-Bavarian
     tion routes from Scandinavia. Some  East/Greece/Balkans.  Eventually  parade features lively music, danc‐  the Munich Céili Band. Traditional  friendship!
     migrated along a more eastern route  some migrated west. The Ostro‐  ing, and a vibrant atmosphere.
     (Sweden/Russia) to the south and  goths (Eastern Goths) took over in
     then looped westward up the   Italy after Rome fell in 476. The Os‐
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