Germanic peoples

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The Germanic peoples (also called Teutonic in older literature) are a historical ethno-linguistic group, originating in Northern Europe and identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages, which diversified out of Common Germanic in the course of the Pre-Roman Iron Age. The descendants of these peoples became, and in many areas contributed to, ethnic groups in North Western Europe: Scandinavians (Danes, Finland-Swedes, Norwegians, Swedes and Icelanders, but not Finns and Sami), Germans (including Austrians, German-speaking Swiss, and ethnic Germans), Dutch, and English, among others.

Migrating Germanic peoples spread throughout Europe in Late Antiquity (300-600) and the Early Middle Ages. Germanic languages became dominant along the Roman borders (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and England), but in the rest of the (western) Roman provinces, the Germanic immigrants adopted Latin (Romance) dialects. Furthermore, all Germanic peoples were eventually Christianized to varying extents. Europe's Germanic peoples, such as the Franks, Saxons, Vandals, Angles, Lombards, Burgundians and Goths, transformed the Roman Empire into Medieval Europe. Today Germanic languages are spoken through much of the world, represented principally by English, German, Dutch and Scandinavian.


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