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The Danes were a North Germanic people residing in what more or less comprised modern-day Denmark in Iron Age Scandinavia. They are mentioned in the 6th century in Jordanes' Getica, by Procopius, and by Gregory of Tours. The Danes spoke Old Norse (dĒ«nsk tunga), which was shared by the Danes, the people in Norway and Sweden and later Iceland.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

In his description of Scandza, Jordanes says that the Dani were of the same stock as the Suetidi ("Swedes") and expelled the Heruli and took their lands.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

According to the 12th century author Sven Aggesen, the mythical King Dan gave name to the Danes.

The Old English poems Widsith and Beowulf, as well as works by later Scandinavian writers (notably by Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1200)), provide some of the written references to Danes. Archaeology has revealed and continues to reveal insights to their culture, organization and way of life.


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