Irminones

Irminones

The Irminones, also referred to as Herminones or Hermiones, were a group of early Germanic tribes settling in the Elbe watershed and by the 1st century AD expanding into Bavaria, Swabia and Bohemia. Irminonic or Elbe Germanic is a conventional term grouping early West Germanic dialects ancestral to High German.

The name Irminones comes from Tacitus’s "Germania" (98 AD) who categorized them as one of the tribes of Mannus. Other West Germanic proto-tribes were the Ingvaeones and Istvaeones, all of them living in the "Central region" of Germania, as well as the Suebi, which include the Semnones, the Quadi and the Marcomanni.

Pomponius Mela writes in his "Description of the World" (III.3.31) in reference to the Kattegat and the waters surrounding the Danish isles (see the Codanus sinus):: On the bay are the Cimbri and the Teutoni; farther on, the farthest people of Germania, the Hermiones.Mela then begins to speak of the Scythians.

Pliny's "Natural History" (4.100) claims that the Irminones include the Suebi, Hermunduri, Chatti,and Cherusci.

In Nennius the name "Mannus" (see Mannaz) and his three sons appear in corrupted form, the ancestor of the Irminones appearing as Armenon. His sons here are Gothus, Valagothus/Balagothus, Cibidus, Burgundus, and Longobardus, whence come the Goths (and Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Crimean Goths), Valagoths/Balagoths, Cibidi, Burgundians and Lombards/Langobards.

They may have differentiated into the tribes Alamanni, Hermunduri, Marcomanni, Quadi, Suebi by the 1st century AD. At this time the Suebi, Marcomanni and Quadi had moved southwest into the area of modern day Bavaria and Swabia. In 8 BC, the Marcomanni and Quadi drove the Boii out of Bohemia.

The term Suebi is usually applied to all the groups that moved into this area, though later in history (ca. 200 AD) the term Alamanni (meaning "all-men") became more commonly applied to the group.

"Jǫrmun", the Viking Age Norse form of the name "Irmin", can be found in a number of places in the Poetic Edda as a by name for Odin. This pans with both the historical circumstances of the Irminones in relationship to Rome, Widukinds confusion over whether Irmin was comparable to Mars or Hermes, and with Snorri Sturluson's allusions at the beginning of his Prose Edda; that Odin's cult appeared first in Germany and then spread up into the Ingaevonic North.

ee also

*Alamanni
*Irmin
*Mannaz

References

* Grimm, Jacob (1835). "Deutsche Mythologie" (German Mythology); From English released version "Grimm's Teutonic Mythology" (1888); Available online by Northvegr © 2004-2007: [http://www.northvegr.org/lore/grimmst/015_02.php Chapter 15, page 2] -; [http://www.northvegr.org/lore/grimmst/015_03.php 3] . File retrieved 09-26-2007.
* Tacitus. "Germania" (1st Century AD). (in Latin)


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