north germanic countries
These La Tène peoples, who included the Germani cisrhenani, are generally considered unlikely to have spoken Germanic languages as defined today, though some may have spoken unknown related languages or Celtic dialects. Peter Heather for example writes that around 400, "a highly explosive situation was building up in the Middle Danube, as Goths, Vandals, Alans and other refugees from the Huns moved west of the Carpathians" into the area of modern Hungary on the Roman frontier. , Tacitus's ethnography won the attention it had formerly been denied because there now was a Germany, the "German nation" that had come into existence since the Carolingians, which Tacitus could now equip with a heaven-sent ancient dignity and pedigree. , In this context, in the 19th century, the famous folklorist and linguist Jacob Grimm helped popularize the concept of Germanic languages as well as of Indo-european languages. Notably, as the old territory of the western empire came to be ruled on a regional basis, the barbarian military forces, ruled now by kings, took over administration with differing levels of success.  (See below.) After these Marcomannic wars, the Middle Danube began to change, and in the next century the peoples living there tended to be referred to as Gothic, rather than Germanic.  He reported that the peoples on either side of the Rhine had long ago taken to using these contrasting names, treating it as a boundary, but "very anciently both peoples dwelling on either side of the river were called Celts". Secondly, the Germanic descriptions of both authors are recognized as having been intended to be both critical of Roman moral softness, and pushing for specific foreign policies.  For Tacitus the boundaries of Germania stretched further, to somewhere east of the Baltic Sea in the north, and its people blended with the "Scythian" (or Sarmatian) steppe peoples in the area of today's Ukraine in the south.  Modern historical linguists and archaeologists have also come to doubt that these western Germani spoke a Germanic language as defined today, or shared the same material culture, at least at the time of their first contact with Caesar and the Romans.  The larger group that the Suevi were part of according to Pliny, the Hermiones, is mentioned in one other source: Pomponius Mela, in his slightly earlier Description of the World, places "the farthest people of Germania, the Hermiones" somewhere to the east of the Cimbri and the Teutones, apparently on the Baltic. Controversially, Caesar moved his attention to Northern Gaul. In the words of Walter Goffart: Between 401 and 411, four distinct groups of barbarians – different from Alaric's Goths – invaded Roman territory, all apparently on one-way journeys, in large-scale efforts to transpose themselves onto imperial soil and not just plunder and return home. In 408, the eastern emperor Arcadius died, leaving a child as successor, and the west Roman military leader Stilicho was killed. Guy Halsall for example writes: "The danger, barely addressed (at best dismissed as a purely 'ideological' objection), is of reducing ethnicity to biology and thus to something close to the nineteenth-century idea of race, at the basis of the 'nation state'.". These names have also been compared to that of the Heruli, who are another people from the area of modern Ukraine, believed to have been Germanic. In 55 BCE he made a show of strength on the Lower Rhine, crossing it with a quickly made bridge, and then massacring a large migrating group of.  By the late 3rd century CE, linguistic divergences like the West Germanic loss of the final consonant -z had already occurred within the "residual" Northwest dialect continuum, which definitely ended after the 5th- and 6th-century migrations of Angles, Jutes and part of Saxon groups towards modern-day England.  These are believed to have been a mixture of mainly Suevian peoples, who coalesced in the Agri Decumates. All have fierce blue eyes, red hair, huge frames, fit only for a sudden exertion. The languages of the earliest known Germanic peoples of classical antiquity have left only fragmentary evidence.  Much later, Pliny the Elder placed them to the north near the Vistula together with an otherwise unknown people called the Hirrii. They are also associated with Germanic languages, which originated and dispersed among them, and are one of several criteria used to define Germanic ethnicity..
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