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Originally the "North Sea coast from "Friesland to "Jutland
"Linguistic classification "Indo-European
"Glottolog high1286  (High German)[1]
high1287  (High Franconian)[2]
The distribution of the primary "Germanic dialect groups in Europe in around AD 1:
  "North Sea Germanic, or Ingvaeonic
  "Weser-Rhine Germanic, or Istvaeonic
  Elbe Germanic, or Irminonic

The Irminones, also referred to as Herminones or Hermiones ("Ancient Greek: Ἑρμίονες), were a large group of early "Germanic tribes settling in the "Elbe watershed and by the 1st century AD expanding into "Bavaria, "Swabia and "Bohemia. Notably this included the large sub-group of the "Suevi, that itself contained many different tribal groups, but the Irminones also for example included the "Chatti.

Irminonic or "Elbe Germanic is also therefore a term for one of the unattested dialect groups ancestral to the "West Germanic language family, especially the "High German languages,[3] which include modern "Standard German.


The name Irminones or Hermiones comes from "Tacitus's "Germania (AD 98), where he categorized them as one of the tribes of descended from "Mannus, and noted that they lived in the interior of Germany. Other "Germanic groups of tribes were the "Ingvaeones, living on the coast, and "Istvaeones, who accounted for the rest.[4] Tacitus also mentioned the "Suebi as a large grouping who included the "Semnones, the "Quadi and the "Marcomanni, but he did not say precisely to which (if any) of the three nations they belonged.

"Pomponius Mela wrote 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) claimed that the Irminones included the "Suebi, "Hermunduri, "Chatti, and "Cherusci.

In "Nennius, the name Mannus 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 "Langobards.

They may have differentiated into the tribes "Alamanni, "Hermunduri, "Marcomanni, "Quadi, "Suebi by the first century AD. By that 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 (around 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. Some aspects of the Irminones' culture and beliefs may be inferred from their relationships with the Roman Empire, from Widukind's confusion over whether Irmin "was comparable to "Mars or "Hermes, and from "Snorri Sturluson's allusions, at the beginning of the Prose Edda, to Odin's cult having appeared first in Germany, and then having spread up into the Ingvaeonic North.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "High German". "Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "High Franconian". "Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ "Friedrich Maurer (1942), Nordgermanen und Alemannen: Studien zur Sprachgeschichte, Stammes- und Volkskunde, Strasbourg: Hünenburg.
  4. ^ "Cornelius Tacitus, Germany and its Tribes, chapter 2". www.perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 16 April 2018.  line feed character in |title= at position 20 ("help)


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