Germans, summary term referring to one particular group of the peoples and tribes of Central Europe; they developed in the plains and low mountains of northern Germany during the late Iron Age, were exposed to Celtic influences to the south and involved in conflicts with the Roman Empire. Around the year of the birth of Christ various tribes entered into alliances under the chieftains Ariovistus, Arminius and Maroboduus, from the 3rd century larger tribes were formed. Cimbri, Teutoni and Ambroni advanced to the regions of present-day Austria from 113-101 B.C. During the 1st and the 2nd centuries A.D. Marcomanni and Quadi established an empire comprising parts of present-day Austria. Austrian regions were also involved when the Marcomanni, Quadi and Langobardi invaded the Roman Empire 166-180, when the Alemanni expanded their territories after 213, when the Vandals and Alani moved towards the west 406 and when the Ostrogoths, Heruli and Sciri fled the Huns in the 5th century. At the end of the 5th century Rugi settled in the Waldviertel region. The rule of the Langobardi in the 6th century was followed by the formation of the Bavarian and Alemannic tribes.
Literature#H. Doebler, Die Germanen, Legende und Wirklichkeit, 2 vols., 1979; H. Wolfram, Die Geburt Mitteleuropas, Geschichte Oesterreichs vor seiner Entstehung, 1987.