Germanic-Scandinavian mythology

Article

May 25, 2022

Germanic-Scandinavian mythology (sometimes simply Scandinavian mythology) is a collective name for the myths and religious beliefs of various Germanic tribes that appeared in Europe at the beginning of the Iron Age, ie about 500 BC. Origin and distribution of Germanic tribes The origins of the Germanic tribes are still the subject of heated academic debate, but there is no doubt that there are clearly defined groups among them at the time of their first contacts with the Roman Empire in the second and first centuries. BC. Northern Europe was inhabited by the English, Saxons, Danes, Utahs and Swedes, in the northwest by the tribes of the Franks, the Swabians settled in the southwest and the Goths in the east. They used different languages, but these tribes were not always a single group - each could consist of smaller tribes. For example, the Alemanni probably belonged to or separated from the Swabians, and their language is a dialect of Upper German, which is still spoken in Swabia (note that the name comes from the Swabians). In the first millennium AD, and especially with the weakening of the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes, many of whom remained semi-nomadic, spread and settled large areas of Europe. The Goths, who were divided into Ostrogoths and Visigoths, moved south under Huns pressure and moved to Spain. The Franks moved to Gaul (modern-day France), and the Vandals moved to Spain and from there to Africa, from where they sent an army that plundered Rome in 455. The Saxons moved south along the coast of Gaul, and finally arrived in Britain. The Lombards, moving from the north, moved south through Hungary and Austria, and finally the Alemanni and Burgundians settled in Central Europe. Generally speaking, the Germans were pagans who worshiped many gods, although little is known about their religion. Naturally, during their migration through such large territories, due to foreign influence (mainly Roman and Christian, but also Celtic and Slavic), and their own historical experience, their religious views developed differently. Therefore, there is no single Germanic mythology. Apart from runic inscriptions and drawings on the fireplace, the Germans did not develop writing as a means of writing history.