Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For alternate meanings see Germania (disambiguation)
In the Roman era Germania was the Latin name for a geographical area that stretched from the west bank of the Rhine to a vaguely-defined eastern frontier with the forest and steppe regions of modern Russia and Ukraine.
Germania was inhabited by different tribes, mostly Germanic but also including Celtic, Baltic and Scythian, or steppe elements. Though Germanic tribes were in the majority, the ethnic makeup was complex and changed over the centuries as a result of migrations. Most of the Germanic peoples probably spoke Proto-Germanic languages.
Germania was defined by Rome as having two regions: 'the inner Germania', west and south of the Rhine, occupied by the Romans, and 'the free Germania' east of the Rhine. The occupied Germania was divided into two provinces: Germania Inferior (approximately corresponding to the southern part of the present-day Low Countries) and Germania Superior (approximately corresponding to present-day Switzerland and Alsace).
"Germania" is also used in the present, sometimes, to refer to all the lands inhabited by Germanic peoples, much like "Romania" (when not referring to the country) and "Slavia." Hitler hoped to make Berlin into a new and great city he would call Welthauptstadt Germania (World-capital Germania).
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