This book offers a distinctive and accessible approach to the earliest encounters of the barbarian societies of Northern Europe with classical antiquity and with early Christianity. It brings together linguistic evidence from across Europe and dating from before Caesar to about 900 AD, to shed light on important aspects of Germanic culture. It shows how historical phonology and semantics, often avoided by nonspecialists, can provide important clues for historians and archaeologists of the period. Likewise, it demonstrates that philologists and linguists ignore historical evidence at their peril.
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