Storm Over Europe episode 1 – Cimbrians and Teutons: This documentary deals with the mass migration of Germanic tribes at the very beginning of European history, while Ancient Rome raced towards inevitable collapse and a new political centre developed in Northwest Europe. This period, from the invasion of the Huns in 375 to the conquest of Italy by the Lombards in 568, is one of the most fascinating, significant and complex epochs in history.
“An incredible mass of people surged forwards. 300,000 warriors, women and children were in search of land capable of feeding such a vast horde.” It was the year 113 BC when the terrible news reached distant Rome. The Cimbrians and the Teutons were heading south: the first great mass migration of the Germanic tribes. “They fell upon Gaul and Italy like a tempest.”
Storm Over Europe episode 1 – Cimbrians and Teutons
The Cimbri were an ancient tribe in Europe. Ancient authors described them variously as a Germanic people, Celtic people (or Gaulish), or even Cimmerian. Several ancient sources indicate that they lived in Jutland, which in some classical texts was called the Cimbrian peninsula. There is no direct evidence for the language they spoke, though some scholars argue that it must have been a Germanic while others argue that it must have been Celtic.
Together with the Teutones and the Ambrones, they fought the Roman Republic between 113 and 101 BC during the Cimbrian War. The Cimbri were initially successful, particularly at the Battle of Arausio, in which a large Roman army was routed. They then raided large areas in Gaul and Hispania. In 101 BC, during an attempted invasion of the Italian peninsula, the Cimbri were decisively defeated at the Battle of Vercellae by Gaius Marius, and their king, Boiorix, was killed. Some of the surviving captives are reported to have been among the rebellious gladiators in the Third Servile War.
The Teutons were an ancient northern European tribe mentioned by Roman authors. The Teutons are best known for their participation, together with the Cimbri and other groups, in the Cimbrian War with the Roman Republic in the late 2nd century BC.
Julius Caesar described them as a Germanic people, a term he applied to all northern peoples from east of the Rhine, and later Roman authors followed him. On the other hand, there is no direct evidence that they spoke a Germanic language, and evidence such as their name, and the names of their rulers, indicates at least a strong influence from Celtic languages. On the other hand the indications which classical authors gave about the homeland of the Teutones is considered by many scholars to show that they lived in an area associated with early Germanic languages, and not Celtic languages.