Germanic Tribes

Beliefs, Everyday Life and Customs

When the Romans deliberately encountered the Germanic tribes in the 2nd century BC, they knew almost nothing about their soon-to-be most dangerous enemies and even today, much is still obscure as the Germanic tribes, unlike the Romans, did not leave behind large stone edifices but built their houses from wood – and this is ephemeral.

The Germanic tribes knew no writing either until about 160 AD. They left only short texts in runic characters to posterity.

Almost everything written down about the Germanic tribes was handed down by a few Greek geographers, Roman chroniclers, foremost among them Tacitus, and even Julius Caesar himself. But these traditions were partly distorted, exaggerated and frequently false, because these writings were often only re-narrated or politically motivated. At the times of the Greek and Roman high cultures little was known about the ethnic groups of the North and they were generally referred to as “barbarians“. This just meant that these people were different and knew neither Greek nor Roman civilisations.

Thus we know only very little about the everyday life of the Germanic tribes around 100 AD.

  • Article no.: 4679037
  • Targetgroups: Sek I
  • Length: 21:43 min
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