9. Bronze Age
11. Roman Iron Age
Within the science of history, there are three great debate topics relating to the Cimbri and Teutons, and that is: How many were they? - Where did they come from? - Were they Celts or Germanic?
1) How many were they?
It can be established immediately that Plutarchos numbers around 300,000 is far way out. Likewise Publius Annius Florus, who states that 65,000 Cimbric fell by Vercellae, while the Romans lost less than 300 men. He is surpassed by Livius, who indicates that 140,000 Cimbri fell and 60,000 were taken prisoner.
The Romans were very aware of the value of propaganda, and facing the Senate and the Roman public they most likely had to give a reason, why so many Roman armies had been defeated by the barbarians, therefore systematicly exaggerating the number of enemies.
Besides, Roman numbers are not suitable for calculations. The Romans were very bad in math. It is said that when they wanted to find out how many soldiers they had, they used a standard enclosure and, depending on how many times, they could fill it with soldiers, they estimated the size of the army.
The Cimbri and Teutons did not cultivate any land during their expedition in Europe, they "lived on the land", in the same way as the armies of the Thirty Years war did in Germany in the 1600's.
One must assume that a given agricultural area, at least in the past, was marginally populated depending on the nature of the soil and development of agricultural technology. Precisely so many people lived in a given area, as it could produce food for over the long term.
But then, how could a foreign army of many thousands of men come and "live on the land"? It could do this by depriving the local peasants of their storage, seeds and most important their animals. But at some point everything in a given area had been eaten, and then the army had to go on to a new area that not yet had been looted. This was for example the reason why the Swedish general Torstenson attacked Jylland in 1643; the whole of Germany had already been plundered, and he lacked food for his soldiers, so he eyed the Danish Jylland, which not yet had been robbed.
It is believed by military experts that before the emergence of railways an army in the field could not exceed 50,000 men for logistical reasons. Napoleon's Grande arms against Moscow in 1812 numbered 600,000 men, but the campaign did not work out so well. The Swedish armies in the Thirty Years War, which typically "lived on the land", numbered around 20-30,000 soldiers.
One must also assume that the ancient Roman agriculture was less productive than the 1600's agriculture, and thus could not support such large armies, which "lived on the land". Perhaps it is realistic to say that the ancient Roman Agriculture was half as efficient as the German agriculture of the 1600's.
Therefore, we must conclude that an army, which "lived on the land" in Roman times, could not be much bigger than about 10-15,000 persons.
But the Cimbri brought women and children, who also represented mouths to feed, but who in general did not take part in the fighting. It means that the number of armed men in a wandering Cimbric army must have been max. 5-6,000.
2) Where did they come from?
Many have doubted that such gigantic masses as Plutarchos' 300,000 could have come from such a limited area as Jylland. But as they really were not that many, it becomes also more likely that Cimbri actually came from Jutland.
Gudmund Schutte has analyzed the ancient writers:
1) Cimbri live on a peninsula - Strabo, Mela, Pliny.
2) A mighty bay extends east of the Cimbrian peninsula - Mela, Pliny.
3) The bay on the east of the Cimbrian peninsula contains several islands - Mela, Pliny.
4) Among island names are Skandia - Pliny.
5) The name Skandia is attributed to the largest of the islands; by Pliny the largest island is called Scadinauia, by Mela Codanouia.
6) The Cimbri are neighboring the Charudes - Augustus.
7) The Charudes are neighboring the Fundusis - (Ptolemaeus).
8) The Cimbric area that was visited by the Roman fleet is located near the Semnones - Augustus, Vellejus.
9) The Cimbri live near the Teutons - Mela, Pliny.
10) The Teutons live at the Baltic Sea - Mela.
Compared with the Ptolemy world map, one can only come to the conclusion that the Cimbri came from Jutland, and the Ambrones and the Teutones lived nearby.
3) Were they Celtic or Germanic?
We must say that Southern Scandinavia was a Germanic core area. There have been made no archaeological finds from before the Cimbri expedition, which suggest that a Celtic culture should have been present in parts of Jutland. There are no place names or surviving personal names that have any Celtic touch. In fact, it is difficult to imagine that Himmerland or northern Jutland should have been a Celtic enclave in an otherwise extensive Germanic area.
It is argued that all the known Cimbrian leaders had Celtic names such as Boiorix, Gaesorix and Lugius. Celtic was the international language of Central Europe, it was probably the language in which they communicated. Cimbri toured around in the Celtic world for nearly twenty years, so one should expect that they had learned the language. Perhaps it has been easier for other people to remember their names if they were something that sounded Celtic, maybe they thought that it was a little more noble to have a Celtic-sounding name. Maybe the names of the Cimbri kings really were Bøjerik or Geiseric, which the Romans heard as Boiorix and Gaesorix.
Moreover, Pliny the Elder about 77 e.Kr in "Natural History" listed which Germanic tribes that could be classed to the northern main group, called Ingveones, and that were Cimbri, Teutones and Chauci. It does not suggest that Cimbri were Celts.
Det ptolemæiske Danmarkskort Dr. phil. Gudmund Schütte.
Tollundmanden.dk Et møde med din fortid
Storslået arkæologisk fund er blandt årets vigtigste Videnskab.dk.
Den Hellige Mose Den Store Danske.
The Geography of Strabo Strabo Geography.
The Parallel Lives by Plutarch The Life of Marius
Pliny's Natural history Internet Archieve.
Appian - Chapter I Illyrian wars - First Contact with the Romans.
Epitome of Roman History by Florus Book 1 Wikisource.
Orosius Book 5 The fifth book.
The Cimbri of Denmark David K. Faux.
Total War Center Cimbri and a rebuttal to David Faux.
Total War Center Cimbri and a rebuttal to David Faux part 2.
Windeby I The Nicholson Museum.
Noter om moseligene
Bodies of the Bogs Archaeology - A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America.
Huldremosekvindens vilde vej til Nationalmuseet Videnskab.dk
Arthurian Passages from The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth - Partly history and partly fiction.
"Da våbnene tav - Hjortspringfundet og dets betydning" af Flemming Kaul - Arnold Busck.
"Danmarks Oldtid - Tredie bind - Jernalderen" af Johannes Brøndsted - Gyldendal.
"Gyldendal og Politikkens Danmarks Historie 1"
"Gyldendal og Politikkens Danmarks Historie 2" - Indeholder en grundig gennemgang af landbruget i jernalderen.
"De etnografiske kilder til Nordens Historie" Allan A. Lund - Wormanium.
"Mumificerede moselig" Allan A. Lund - Høst og Søn.
"Nordens Barbarer" Allan A. Lund.
"Gundstrupkedlen" Flemming Kaul - Nyt Nordisk Forlag Arnold Busck.
"Kimbrerne" Jens Bråten. - Jens Bråtens Forlag.
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