According to Tacitus's Germania (AD 98), Tuisto (or Tuisco) is the legendary divine ancestor of the Germanic peoples. The figure remains the subject of some scholarly discussion, largely focused upon etymological connections and comparisons to figures in later (particularly Norse) Germanic mythology.
The Germania manuscript corpus contains two primary variant readings of the name. The most frequently occurring, Tuisto, is commonly connected to the Proto-Germanic root *twai – "two" and its derivative *twis – "twice" or "doubled", thus giving Tuisto the core meaning "double". Any assumption of a gender inference is entirely conjectural, as the tvia/tvis roots are also the roots of any number of other concepts/words in the Germanic languages. Take for instance the Germanic "twist", which, in all but the English has the primary meaning of "dispute/conflict".[a]
The second variant of the name, occurring originally in manuscript E, reads Tuisco. One proposed etymology for this variant reconstructs a Proto-Germanic *tiwisko and connects this with Proto-Germanic *Tiwaz, giving the meaning "son of Tiu". This interpretation would thus make Tuisco the son of the sky-god (Proto-Indo-European *Dyeus) and the earth-goddess.
Connections have been proposed between the 1st century figure of Tuisto and the hermaphroditic primeval being Ymir in later Norse mythology, attested in 13th century sources, based upon etymological and functional similarity.[b] Meyer (1907) sees the connection as so strong, that he considers the two to be identical. Lindow (2001), while mindful of the possible semantic connection between Tuisto and Ymir, notes an essential functional difference: while Ymir is portrayed as an "essentially… negative figure" – Tuisto is described as being "celebrated" (celebrant) by the early Germanic peoples in song, with Tacitus reporting nothing negative about Tuisto.
Jacob (2005) attempts to establish a genealogical relationship between Tuisto and Ymir based on etymology and a comparison with (post-)Vedic Indian mythology: as Tvastr, through his daughter Saranyū and her husband Vivaswān, is said to have been the grandfather of the twins Yama and Yami, so Jacob argues that the Germanic Tuisto (assuming a connection with Tvastr) must originally have been the grandfather of Ymir (cognate to Yama). Incidentally, Indian mythology also places Manu (cognate to Germanic Mannus), the Vedic progenitor of mankind, as a son of Vivaswān, thus making him the brother of Yama/Ymir.
Tacitus relates that "ancient songs" (Latin carminibus antiquis) of the Germanic peoples celebrated Tuisto as "a god, born of the earth" (deum terra editum). These songs further attributed to him a son, Mannus, who in turn had three sons, the offspring of whom were referred to as Ingaevones, Herminones and Istaevones, living near the Ocean (proximi Oceano), in the interior (medii), and the remaining parts (ceteri) of the geographical region of Germania, respectively.
Tacitus's report falls squarely within the ethnographic tradition of the classical world, which often fused anthropogony, ethnogony, and theogony together into a synthetic whole. The succession of father-son-three sons parallels occurs in both Germanic and non-Germanic Indo-European areas. The essential characteristics of the myth have been theorized as ultimately originated in Proto-Indo-European society around 2,000 BCE.
According to Rives (1999), the fact that the ancient Germanic peoples claimed descent from an earth-born god was used by Tacitus to support his contention that they were an indigenous population: the Latin word indigena was often used in the same sense as the Greek autochthonos, meaning literally '[born from] the land itself'. Lindauer (1975) notes that, although this claim is to be judged as one made out of simple ignorance of the facts on the part of Tacitus, he was not entirely wrong, as he made the judgement based on a comparison with the relatively turbulent Mediterranean region of his day.
In 1498, a monk named Annio da Viterbo published fragments known as "Pseudo-Berossus", now considered a forgery, claiming that Babylonian records had shown that Tuiscon or Tuisto, the fourth son of Noah, had been the first ruler of Scythia and Germany following the dispersion of peoples, with him being succeeded by his son Mannus as the second king. Later historians (e.g. Johannes Aventinus) managed to furnish numerous further details, including the assertion by James Anderson that this Tuiscon was in fact none other than the biblical Ashkenaz, son of Gomer.
Ashkenaz (Hebrew: אַשְׁכְּנָז) in the Hebrew Bible is one of the descendants of Noah.
Ashkenaz is the first son of Gomer, and a Japhetic patriarch in the Table of Nations. In rabbinic literature, the kingdom of Ashkenaz was first associated with the Scythian region, then later with the Slavic territories, and, from the 11th century onwards, with Germany and northern Europe.
His name is related to the Assyrian Aškūza (Aškuzai, Iškuzai), a people who expelled the Cimmerians from the Armenian area of the Upper Euphrates.Medieval Jews associated the term with the geographical area centered on the Rhineland of Western Germany. As a result, the Jewish culture that developed in that area came to be called Ashkenazi, the only form of the term in use today.Assyria and Germany in Anglo-Israelism
In Anglo-Israelism and some currents of U.S. Christian fundamentalism, the idea has been advanced that modern Germans are partly descended from the ancient Assyrians. This notion was entertained by Edward Hine, although it is incorrect as the native Germans are actually to this day referenced as Allemanni in the Syriac language. The only link to the region of Germany by Assyria is the speculative expedition into that region by mythological Prince Trebeta who allegedly colonized what is today Trier, which is annunciated by the Archbishops of Trier in records known as the Gesta Treverorum.Borr
In Norse mythology, Borr or Burr (Old Norse: 'son'; sometimes anglicized Bor, Bör or Bur) was the son of Búri. Borr was the husband of Bestla and the father of Odin, Vili and Vé. Borr receives mention in a poem in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century form earlier traditional material, and in the Prose Edda, composed in the 13th century by Icelander Snorri Sturluson. Scholars have proposed a variety of theories about the figure.Chamavi
The Chamavi were a Germanic tribe of Roman imperial times whose name survived into the Early Middle Ages. They first appear under that name in the 1st century AD Germania of Tacitus as a Germanic tribe that lived to the north of the Lower Rhine. Their name probably survives in the region today called Hamaland, which is in the Gelderland province of the Netherlands, between the IJssel and Ems rivers.Deutsche Heidnische Front
Deutsche Heidnische Front (DHF or German Heathens' Front) is a far right Neo-pagan group which was created in 1998 as the German section of the Heathen Front. It was formed by avowed neo-Nazi Hendrik Möbus. It is inactive since 2005.Duisburg
Duisburg (, also US: , German: [ˈdyːsbʊɐ̯k] (listen)) is a city of about 500,000 inhabitants in Germany’s Rhineland, at the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr. In medieval times, it was a member of the powerful Hanseatic League, and later became a major centre of iron, steel, and chemicals. For this reason, it was heavily bombed in World War II. Today it boasts the world's largest inland port, with 21 docks and 40 kilometres of wharf. The city supports a large Turkish community.Folklore of the Low Countries
Folklore of the Low Countries, often just referred to as Dutch folklore, includes the epics, legends, fairy tales and oral traditions of the people of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Traditionally this folklore is written or spoken in Dutch.Gambrinus
Gambrinus ( gam-BRY-nəs) is a legendary European culture hero celebrated as an icon of beer, brewing, joviality, and joie de vivre. Traditional songs, poems, and stories describe him as a king, duke, or count of Flanders and Brabant. Typical representations in the visual arts depict him as a rotund, bearded duke or king, holding a tankard or mug, and sometimes with a keg nearby.
Gambrinus is sometimes erroneously called a patron saint, but he is neither a saint nor a tutelary deity. It is possible his persona was conflated with traditional medieval saints associated with beermaking, like Arnold of Soissons. In one legendary tradition, he is beer's inventor or envoy. Although legend attributes to him no special powers to bless brews or to make crops grow, tellers of old tall tales are happy to adapt them to fit Gambrinus. Gambrinus stories use folklore motifs common to European folktales, such as the trial by ordeal. Some imagine Gambrinus as a man who has an enormous capacity for drinking beer.Among the personages theorised to be the basis for the Gambrinus character are the ancient king Gampar (aka Gambrivius), John the Fearless (1371–1419) and John I, Duke of Brabant (c. 1252–1294).Gaut
Gaut is an early Germanic name, from a Proto-Germanic gautaz, which represents a mythical ancestor or national god in the origin myth of the Geats.Germania (book)
The Germania, written by the Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus around 98 AD and originally entitled On the Origin and Situation of the Germans (Latin: De Origine et situ Germanorum), was a historical and ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire.Grove of fetters
A grove of fetters (Old Norse: Fjöturlundr) is mentioned in the Eddic poem "Helgakviða Hundingsbana II":
Helgi obtained Sigrún, and they had sons. Helgi lived not to be old. Dag, the son of Högni, sacrificed to Odin, for vengeance for his father. Odin lent Dag his spear. Dag met with his relation Helgi in a place called Fiöturlund, and pierced him through with his spear. Helgi fell there, but Dag rode to the mountains and told Sigrún what had taken place.
― Helgakviða Hundingsbana II, Thorpe's translation
The description is often compared with a section by Tacitus on a sacred grove of the Semnones:
At a stated period, all the tribes of the same race assemble by their representatives in a grove consecrated by the auguries of their forefathers, and by immemorial associations of terror. Here, having publicly slaughtered a human victim, they celebrate the horrible beginning of their barbarous rite. Reverence also in other ways is paid to the grove. No one enters it except bound with a chain, as an inferior acknowledging the might of the local divinity. If he chance to fall, it is not lawful for him to be lifted up, or to rise to his feet; he must crawl out along the ground. All this superstition implies the belief that from this spot the nation took its origin, that here dwells the supreme and all-ruling deity, to whom all else is subject and obedient.
Due to the resemblance between the two texts, some scholars have identified the deity of the Semnones with an early form of Odin. Others suggest an early form of Týr may have been involved, as he is the Germanic continuation of Proto-Indo-European sky-father '*dyeus', whose cognates are Jupiter and Zeus. Furthermore, Tacitus reports that the Germanic peoples of his age regarded a "Tuisco" or "Tuisto" as the progenitor of mankind, which is sometimes surmised to be a Latinisation of Proto-Germanic '*Tiwaz', which later became "Týr" in Old Norse. Ultimately, evidence is insufficient for certain identification.Hermunduri
The Hermunduri, Hermanduri, Hermunduli, Hermonduri, or Hermonduli were an ancient Germanic tribe, who occupied an area near the Elbe river, around what is now Thuringia, Bohemia, Saxony (in East Germany), and Franconia in northern Bavaria, from the first to the third century. At times, they apparently moved to the Danube frontier with Rome. The Thuringii may have been the descendants of the Hermunduri. Claudius Ptolemy mentions neither tribe in his geography but instead the Teuriochaemae, who may also be connected to both.Ingaevones
The Ingaevones [ɪŋ.ɡae̯.ˈwoː.neːs] were a West Germanic cultural group living along the North Sea coast in the areas of Jutland, Holstein, and Frisia in the classical period. Tribes in this area included the Frisii, Chauci, (later replaced by the Saxons) and Jutes.
The name is sometimes given by modern editors or translators as Ingvaeones, on the assumption that this is more likely to be the correct form, since an etymology can be formed for it as 'son of Yngvi', Yngvi occurring later as a Scandinavian divine name. Hence the postulated common group of closely related dialects of the "Ingvaeones" is called Ingvaeonic or North Sea Germanic.Tacitus' source categorized the Ingaevones near the ocean as one of the three tribal groups descended from the three sons of Mannus, son of Tuisto, progenitor of all the Germanic peoples, the other two being the Irminones and the Istaevones. According to the speculations of Rafael von Uslar, this threefold subdivision of the West Germanic tribes corresponds to archeological evidence from Late Antiquity. Pliny ca 80 CE in his Natural History (IV.28) lists the Ingaevones as one of the five Germanic races, the others being the Vandili, the Istvaeones, the Hermiones and the Bastarnae. According to him, the Ingaevones were made up of Cimbri, Teutons and Chauci.
Stripped of its Latin ending, the Ingvaeon are the Ingwine, "friends of Ing" familiar from Beowulf, where Hrothgar is "Lord of the Ingwine"—whether one of them or lord over them being ambiguous.
Ing, the legendary father of the Ingaevones/Ingvaeones derives his name from a posited proto-Germanic *Ingwaz, signifying "man" and "son of", as Ing, Ingo or Inguio, son of Mannus. This is also the name applied to the Viking era deity Freyr, known in Sweden as Yngvi-Freyr and mentioned as Yngvi-Freyr in Snorri Sturluson's Ynglinga saga. Jacob Grimm, in his Teutonic Mythology considers this Ing to have been originally identical to the obscure Scandinavian Yngvi, eponymous ancestor of the Swedish royal house of the Ynglinga, the "Inglings" or sons of Ing. Ing appears in the set of verses composed about the 9th century and printed under the title The Old English Rune Poem by George Hickes in 1705:
Ing wæs ærest mid Est-Denum
Gesewen secgum, oþ he siððan est
Ofer wæg gewat; wæn æfter ran;
Þus heardingas þone hæle nemdun.
An Ingui is also listed in the Anglo-Saxon royal house of Bernicia and was probably once seen as the progenitor of all Anglian kings. Since the Ingaevones form the bulk of the Anglo-Saxon settlement in Britain, they were speculated by Noah Webster to have given England its name, and Grigsby remarks that on the continent "they formed part of the confederacy known as the 'friends of Ing' and in the new lands they migrated to in the 5th and 6th centuries. In time, they would name these lands Angle-land, and it is tempting to speculate that the word Angle was derived from, or thought of as a pun on, the name of Ing."According to the Trojan genealogy of Nennius in the Historia Brittonum, Mannus becomes "Alanus" and Ing, his son, becomes Neugio. The three sons of Neugio are named Boganus, Vandalus and Saxo—from whom came the peoples of the Bogari, the Vandals, and the Saxons and Thuringii.List of Germanic deities
In Germanic paganism, the indigenous religion of the ancient Germanic peoples who inhabited Germanic Europe, there were a number of different gods and goddesses. Germanic deities are attested from numerous sources, including works of literature, various chronicles, runic inscriptions, personal names, place names, and other sources. This article contains a comprehensive list of Germanic deities outside the numerous Germanic Matres and Matronae inscriptions from the 1st to 5th century CE.Man (word)
The term "man" (from Proto-Germanic *mannaz or *manwaz "man, person") and words derived from it can designate any or even all of the human race regardless of their sex or age.
In traditional usage, man (without an article) itself refers to the species, to humanity, or "mankind", as a whole.
The Germanic word developed into Old English man, mann meaning primarily "adult male human" but secondarily capable of designating a person of unspecified gender, "someone, one" or humanity at large (see also Old Norse maðr, Gothic manna "man"). *Mannaz or *Manwaz is also the Proto-Germanic reconstructed name of the m-rune ᛗ.
More restricted English terms for an adult male were wer (cognate: Latin vir; survives as the first element in "werewolf") and guma (cognate: Latin homo; survives as the second element in "bridegroom").
Adopting the term for the human species to refer to males is a common feature of Romance and Germanic languages, but is not found in most other European languages (Slavic čelověkъ vs. mǫžь, Greek ἄνθρωπος vs. άνδρας, Finnish ihminen vs. mies etc.).Mannus
Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. Tacitus is the only source of these myths.Tacitus wrote that Mannus was the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones. In discussing the German tribes Tacitus wrote:
In ancient lays, their only type of historical tradition, they celebrate Tuisto, a god brought forth from the earth. They attribute to him a son, Mannus, the source and founder of their people, and to Mannus three sons, from whose names those nearest the Ocean are called Ingvaeones, those in the middle Herminones, and the rest Istvaeones. Some people, inasmuch as antiquity gives free rein to speculation, maintain that there were more sons born from the god and hence more tribal designations—Marsi, Gambrivii, Suebi, and Vandilii—and that those names are genuine and ancient. (Germania, chapter 2)
Several authors consider the name Mannus in Tacitus' work to stem from an Indo-European root; see Proto-Indo-European religion, Brothers.
The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, "man" and Tiwaz, "Tyr, the god".Mannus again became popular in literature in the 16th century, after works published by Annius de Viterbo and Johannes Aventinus purported to list him as a primeval king over Germany and Sarmatia.In the 19th century, F. Nork wrote that the names of the three sons of Mannus can be extrapolated as Ingui, Irmin, and Istaev or Iscio. A few scholars like Ralph T. H. Griffith have expressed a connection between Mannus and the names of other ancient founder-kings, such as Minos of Greek mythology, and Manu of Hindu tradition.Guido von List incorporated the myth of Mannus and his sons into his occult beliefs which were later adopted into Nazi occult beliefs.Mythology in the Low Countries
The mythology of the modern-day Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg has its roots in the mythologies of pre-Christian (e.g. Gaulish (Gallo-Roman) and Germanic) cultures, predating the region's Christianization under the auspices of the Franks in the Early Middle Ages.At the time of the Roman Empire and in the Early Middle Ages, the Low Countries' some of the resident peoples included:
Germanic tribes north of the Rhine River (with a lot of exceptions like the Eburones or the Celtic Nervii,...)Low Franconians
the decidedly more Celtic and Gallo-Roman Belgae tribes of Gallia Belgica south of the Rhine (also mainly but with many exceptions).Old Dutch mythology can mean the myths told in Old Dutch language specifically, however many of the myths in this language are ancient and part of larger movements across Europe, such as Roman mythology that spread through the Roman Empire, and Continental Germanic mythology.
Pre-Christian traditions of veneration of trees (particularly the oak, see Donar's oak), springs and woods native to the Low Countries survived in Christianized guise into the Middle Ages.
Sources for the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions include the accounts of the Anglo-Saxon missionaries to the region, medieval and modern folklore and legend, and local toponymy.Tvastar
In the historical Vedic religion, Tvaṣṭṛ (Sanskrit: त्वष्टृ) is the artisan god or fashioner. The Purusha Sukta refers to the Purusha as Tvastr, who is the visible form of creativity emerged from the navel of the invisible Vishvakarma. In the Yajurveda, Purusha Sukta and the tenth mandala of the Rigveda, his character and attributes are merged with the concept of Hiranyagharbha/Prajapathy or Brahma. The term, also transliterated as ...Tvaṣṭr, nominative Tvaṣṭā, is the heavenly builder, the maker of divine implements, especially Indra's Vajra and the guardian of Soma. Tvaṣṭṛ is mentioned 65 times in the Ṛgveda and is the former of the bodies of men and animals,' and invoked when desiring offspring, called garbha-pati or the lord of the womb.As per Ṛgveda Tvaṣṭr known as Rathakāra belongs to clan of the Bhṛgus. Similarly, as mentioned in the epic Mahābhārata, Tvaṣṭṛ or the Rathakāra is Śukrācārya's son, Śukrācārya (the mentor of the asuras) is Bhṛgu's grandson and Vāruṇibhṛgu's son. Tvaṣṭṛ is sometimes associated or identified with similar deities, such as Savitṛ, Prajāpatī, Viśvakarman and Puṣan. He fathered Vritra, as well as the twins Trisiras and Saranyu, with Hiranyakashipu"s daughter. He is the father of Saranya, who twice bears twins to Vivasvat (RV 8.26.21), Yama and Yami, also identified as the first humans. He is also the father of Viśvarūpa or Triśiras who was killed by Indra, in revenge Tvaṣṭṛ created Vrtra a fearsome dragon. Surprisingly he is also inferred to as Indra's father.
Tvaṣṭṛ is a solar deity in the Mahābhārata and the Harivaṃśa. He is mentioned as the son of Kāśyapa and Aditi and is said to have made the three worlds with pieces of the Surya.Ymir
In Norse mythology, Ymir (), Aurgelmir, Brimir, or Bláinn is the ancestor of all jötnar. Ymir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional material, in the Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, and in the poetry of skalds. Taken together, several stanzas from four poems collected in the Poetic Edda refer to Ymir as a primeval being who was born from venom that dripped from the icy rivers Élivágar and lived in the grassless void of Ginnungagap. Ymir birthed a male and female from the pits of his arms, and his legs together begat a six-headed being. The gods Odin, Vili and Vé fashioned the Earth (elsewhere personified as a goddess; Jörð) from his flesh, from his blood the ocean, from his bones the mountains, from his hair the trees, from his brains the clouds, from his skull the heavens, and from his eyebrows the middle realm in which mankind lives, Midgard. In addition, one stanza relates that the dwarfs were given life by the gods from Ymir's flesh and blood (or the Earth and sea).
In the Prose Edda, a narrative is provided that draws from, adds to, and differs from the accounts in the Poetic Edda. According to the Prose Edda, after Ymir was formed from the elemental drops, so too was Auðumbla, a primeval cow, whose milk Ymir fed from. The Prose Edda also states that three gods killed Ymir; the brothers Odin, Vili and Vé, and details that, upon Ymir's death, his blood caused an immense flood. Scholars have debated as to what extent Snorri's account of Ymir is an attempt to synthesize a coherent narrative for the purpose of the Prose Edda and to what extent Snorri drew from traditional material outside of the corpus that he cites. By way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, scholars have linked Ymir to Tuisto, the Proto-Germanic being attested by Tacitus in his 1st century AD work Germania and have identified Ymir as an echo of a primordial being reconstructed in Proto-Indo-European mythology.
History of the Germanic peoples
Early Middle Ages)