Germania::germanic    Roman::language    Tribes::first    Rhine::empire    Peoples::german    Title::ancient


Map of the Roman Empire and Magna Germania in the early 2nd century

Germania ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Greek: Γερμανία{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} Germanía) was the Roman and Greek term for the geographical region inhabited mainly by the Germanic people. It bordered to west on the Rhine river, to the south on the Danube river, to the north on the Baltic Sea, and to the east on the Vistula river.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> According to Friedrich Engels in his book The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (first published in 1884) Germania covered an area of {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} and had a population of 5,000,000 in the 1st century BC.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The areas west of the Rhine were mainly Celtic (specifically Gaulish) and became part of the Roman Empire<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> in the first century BC.

Some Germani, perhaps the original people to have been referred to by this name, had lived on the west side of the Rhine. At least as early as the 2nd century BC this area was considered{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=By whom |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[by whom?] }} to be in "Gaul", and became part of the Roman empire in the course of the Gallic Wars (58-50 BC). These so-called Germani cisrhenani lived in the region of present-day eastern Belgium, the southeastern Netherlands, and stretching into Germany towards the Rhine. During the period of the Roman empire, more tribes settled in areas of the empire near the Rhine, in territories controlled by the Roman Empire. Eventually these areas came to be known as Lesser Germania, while Greater Germania (Magna Germania{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}; it is also referred to by names referring to its being outside Roman control: Germania libera{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, "free Germania") formed the larger territory east of the Rhine.

The Roman parts of Germania, "Lesser Germania", eventually formed two provinces of the empire, Germania Inferior, "Lower Germania" (which came to eventually include the region of the original germani cisrhenani) and Germania Superior (in modern terms comprising an area of western Switzerland, the French Jura and Alsace regions, and southwestern Germany). Important cities in Lesser Germania included Besançon (Besontio{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), Strasbourg (Argentoratum{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), Wiesbaden (Aquae Mattiacae{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), and Mainz (Mogontiacum{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}).

Germania sections
Intro  Origins of the term  History  Roman conquests  Modern use  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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