Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This entry is about the Teutonic people, not to be confused with the Teutonic Knights.
The Teutons (Teutones) were mentioned as a Germanic people in early historical writings by Greek and Roman authors. Their homeland was given as Jutland, the western peninsula of modern Denmark. There is debate as to whether they were a Celtic or Germanic people since the name Teutones itself appears to be Celtic; Strabo and Velleius, however, counted them among the Germanic tribes. German historians did not associate the name Teutons with their Germanic ancestors until the 13th century.
During the late 2nd century BC, the Teutons are recorded as marching south through Gaul along with their neighbors, the Cimbri, and attacking Roman Italy. After several victories for the invading armies, the Cimbri and Teutones were then defeated by Marius in 102 BC at Aquae Sextiae (near present-day Aix-en-Provence).
The terms "Teuton" and "Teutonic" have sometimes been used in reference to all of the Germanic peoples. "Teut-" is a western Indo-European word root meaning "people," and is not only found in German deutsch (= "German") and Old Norse thjod "people," but also in the Romance word for "all" (as in Latin totum, French tout, and Spanish todo). It is therefore sometimes used as a synonym of proto-Germanic. Also note the Irish and Scottish Gaelic word for "people," tuath.
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