Germanic Tribes

Julius Caesar named the barbarians he encountered in the northeast of the Roman Empire "Germanii" - the Germans. But who were these peoples? Where did they come from? Do they still exist today and where did they end up living? This eight-week course will explore the origins and destinies of some two dozen Germanic peoples including the famous Franks and Saxons, but also such lesser known tribes as the Ubii and Avars. We shall also look at what differences or commonalities there were with Celtic and Slavic tribes and ask how Germanic are the Germans?


  • Hybrid (F2F & Online simultaneously)


The following ancient Latin texts are available in English translations as free downloads from Project Gutenberg ( They are not required readings to be able to follow the course, but mere suggestions for those students wishing to dive into even more detail. Other titles of interest will be mentioned at the end of each module as appropriate.

  • Julius Caesar, The Gallic Wars aka De Bello Gallico
  • Tacitus, Germania aka Tacitus on Germany


  • Cimbri, Teutoni.
  • Treveri, Eburones, Ubii, Chatti, Cheruscii.
  • Sugamber, Trencterii, Franks.
  • Frisians, Jutes, Angles.
  • Saxons, Thuringians, Langobardi.
  • Suevi, Alemanni, Burgundi.
  • Avars, Bavarii, Marcomanni.
  • Goths, Vandals, Alans.

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