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great division of the race, that of the Hermiones, was spread, the tribes of which spoke Upper or High-German dialects. Beginning in the west with the country of the Sigambri on the Rhine, and from that of the Cherusci and Angrivarii, near the Weser and the Hartz, this division comprehended, besides those tribes, the Chatti, the Langobardi, the Hermunduri, the Marcomanni and Quadi, the Lugii, and beyond the Vistula, the Bastarnæ in the neighbourhood of the Carpathian hills. To the eastward and northward of the last-mentioned, near the lower course of the Vistula, and thence at least as far as the Pregel, were the primitive abodes of the Goths and their cognate tribes, who are perhaps the Istævones.
In the second century of the Christian era movements began to take place, almost simultaneously, as it would appear, in various parts among the northern and western nations of Germany, which gave rise to extensive changes in their relative positions and brought them into new combinations. The confederacies that were formed for the common objects of conquest or migration assumed new names, and it is in many instances difficult to recognise under the epithets now given to the several groupes of German tribes, the various nations associated in each department. In some few examples the old designations were preserved, but in most they were abandoned for titles which are now for the first time heard, but which continued to be celebrated during the middle ages, and in some instances still maintain a conspicuous place in the history of modern Europe. I shall enumerate the most extensive of these confederacies: their history contains that of the principal revolutions which changed the condition of ancient Europe, and brought into existence the national divisions, and the social and political arrangements of modern times.
1. Of the confederacy of the Alemanni.
One of the earliest of these confederacies was that which bore the name of Alemanni. The origin of the Alemanni was a coalition of various bands, the relics of many conquered tribes in the middle parts of Germany.
It is uncertain what particular tribes contributed in the first place to form this aggregate. It is probable that they were
chiefly Suevic nations. The name of Suevi or Suabi was soon associated with that of Alemanni, and here we find the link by which the old Suevian designation passes into the modern one of Suabian.
They are called by the earliest writer who mentions them ξύγκλυδες ἄνθρωποι καὶ μιγάδες,* a communion or assemblage of many nations, which, as it seems, they meant to express by the assumed name of All-men, Alle-männer, or Alemanni.
The original position of the Alemanni was the debated and often vacant land in the corner between the Rhine, the Danube, and the Mayne, which is nearly the situation of Suabia. They became known about the time of Caracalla,† and were powerful on the Rhine and in the north-eastern parts of France till they were conquered by Clovis and the Franks. Procopius and Jornandes, in relating the transactions of the times of Aetius and the Gothic king Theodoric, mention a tribe termed Suevi, Suavi, or Zovaẞoɩ, as intimately associated with the Alemanni.‡ By Paul, the Lombard historian, they are identified.§ "Regio illa Suevorum," says Jornandes, "quibus juncti Alemanni, ab oriente Boioaros habet, ab occidente Francos, in meridie Burgundos, a septentrione Thuringos." The German Swiss and || the Suabians are the descendants of the Alemanni.
2. Of the Franks.
All the countries on the Rhine, from the Alemannic or Suabian territory to the mouth of the river, were the region of the Franks, a name more formidable to the Romans than even the preceding. The first Franks were the Sigambri, who after their subjugation under Drusus, disappear for a time, but
* The earliest account of the Alemanni is found in a passage cited by Agathias the Byzantine (Histor. i. 6.) from the relation of Asinius Quadratus, who is extolled for his accurate knowledge of German affairs. (See M. Zeuss, p. 306.)
+ Alemannorum gentem devicerat. Spartian in Antonin. Caracall. c. 10. Dion. Cassius, 67. Gibbon, chap. 10. Zeuss, 205.
The Peutingerian table places Alamannia between Suavia, (which name is here applied to the country of the Chatti and Hermunduri,) Hessia and Thuringia, and the Armalausi in the back of the Schwartzwald. (Zeuss, 808.)
§ Droctulf ex Suavorum, hoc est, Alamannorum gente oriundus. (Paul. Diac. iii. 18. Zeuss, 317.)
Iornandes de Rebus Geticis.
are mentioned by Ptolemy under their old name, and soon afterwards appear in alliance with the Chamavi under the designation of Franks or "Freemen " on the banks of the Lower Rhine, from the Lippe to the mouth of the river. It appears from Gregory of Tours and other writers, that the name of Sigambri was not forgotten by the Merovingian Franks.*
But there was another and a distinct nation who also took the name of Franks. In the reign of Aurelian, a people called Franks appeared in the neighbourhood of Mentz, and laid waste Gaul. Shortly before this period the Chatti had invaded the empire in the same quarter, about the end of the second century, and these eastern Franks are called for some time indifferently Franks and Chatti. They were separated from the Lower Franks by the intervening tribe of Bricteri or Bructeri.
A. Of the Lower or Salian Franks.
The Franks of the Lower Rhine are called by Sidonius, "Paludicolæ Sicambri." From the river Sala,-the Issel?-it has been conjectured that they derived the celebrated name of Salii, by which, as Ammianus says, it was in his time customary to distinguish them. In the time of Constantius they occupied Batavia; they were held in check by the Romans till the age of Valentinian: the same people, still termed Sigambri as well as Franci and Salii, thenceforward made continual encroachments, and under Clovis founded the empire of the Merovingians.
B. Of the Upper or Ripuarian Franks.
The Upper Franks laid waste Gaul and invaded Spain in the time of Gallienus.§ The main body consisted of the warlike Suevic nation of the Chatti, to whom were joined their northern neighbours the Ampsivarii. They were termed in Latin Riparii and Ripuarii, perhaps from the shores of the Rhine. Their last king, Sigibert, according to Gregory of Tours, had
"Mitis depone colla Sicamber. Adora quod incendisti, incende quod adorasti," are the curious words addressed by Bishop Remi to Clovis at his baptism. (Greg. Tur. ii. 31. Zeuss, 227.)
+ These two nations of Franks have left their names respectively in France and in Franconia.
§ Vopisci Aurel. 7. Zeuss, p. 338.
his court at Cologn: they were conquered soon afterwards by Clovis; and the Riparian Franks in submitting to the Salians retained the "leges Ripuariorum," which are always distinguished from the Salic Law.*
3. The Thuringians.
The Thuringian kingdom was of great extent and power, in the centre of Germany, before it yielded to the ascendancy of the Franks. The Suevian Hermunduri are mentioned for the last time by Jornandes: soon after the Thuringi† appear in their place. They are mentioned under the Latinised name of Toringi among the vassals of Attila by Sidonius, and at the fall of the Hunnish empire they appear to have become powerful through the eastern parts of Germany. Bisinus, king of the Thuringians, was, according to Gregory of Tours, contemporary with Childerich, and his wife Basina is said to have been the mother of Clovis. The Thuringian empire was conquered by the Merovingians in the time of Justinian, and all the east of Germany fell under the power of the Franks.‡
The Thuringian popular idiom is a strongly-marked dialect of the Oberdeutsch. Michaelis thought it very similar to the Mosogothic.§
4. The Saxons.
In the northern circuit of the Hartz forest, from the Elbe to the Ems, the principal tribes of early times were the Langobards, the Cherusci, Angrivarii, Chauci, and Chamavi. Only two of these names are traced in later history. The Langobards moved towards the south-east, and the Chamavi to the Rhine, where they became united to the Franks. In this region it was that the name of Saxons first displayed itself, and there can be no doubt that the new confederacy absorbed the old tribes of this quarter. In the time of Carausius the Saxons are men
* Zeuss, p. 344.
+ Hermunduri. Hermun is perhaps the general epithet of the Herminones ; Duri may be the particular name, which slightly modified becomes Thuri, and with the usual termination, Thuringi.
Boucquet, iv. 59. Zeuss, 257.
§ Michaelis, Introduction to the New Testament vol. iv., on Versions.
M. Zeuss maintains that the Cherusci were the principal tribe who took the name of Saxons. We must suppose that the league was headed by the tribe of Saxones properly so termed, viz. the Saxons beyond the Elbe, from whom came
tioned as powerful marauders in company with the Franks. By Julian the Φράγγοι καὶ Σάξονες are termed “ ἐθνῶν τὰ μαχιμώTara." In the time of Valentinian the league of the Saxons had become formidable to the Romans. They were attacked and defeated by that emperor in the country of the Franks. On this occasion they are termed a nation inhabiting the coasts and morasses near the ocean, terrible by their bravery and agility, and dangerous to the Roman borders.* The piracies of the Saxons who infested the Baltic during the fifth century probably issued from the tribe beyond the Elbe; but the expeditions by land seem to have been undertaken chiefly by the people who had newly assumed the Saxon name.
The Saxons and the Franks were the chief nations in the western part of Germany during the fifth and sixth centuries, and they were frequently at war after the formation of the Frankish confederacy until the ascendancy of the Franks became established. This, according to the researches of M. Zeuss, happened at the same time with the fall of the Thuringian kingdom. They had been the allies of the Thuringians, as it appears from passages of Comes Marcellinus and of Gregory of Tours. But the Saxons were never subdued till the time of Charlemagne.
This account of the origin of the Saxon league explains the variations and peculiarities of the Saxon dialects. The Cherusci were an Upper-German race; but the Chauci, who in the history of the wars carried on against the Franks in the fourth century appear to have formed the western part of the Saxon body, and may be supposed to have furnished a great part of the population of Westphalia, were a LowGerman race, as we learn from the enumeration of tribes by Pliny. The dialect of the Chauci was probably similar to that of their lowland neighbours the Frisians; but the speech
the Saxons of Hengist. Claudian more than once mentions the Cherusci, when he alludes to the incursions of Saxons, as
Claudian, Laud. de Consulat. Honor.
Orosii, vii. 32.
+ Eo anno rebellantibus Saxonibus, Chlothacharius rex-pervagans totam Thoringiam et devastans, pro eo quod Saxonibus solatium præbuissent.