We explore the expansion of Germanic tribes into the Danube region where the Germans encounter the Etruscan alphabet. The Germanic runes develop and provide the first opportunity for the Germanic tribes to write their own language.
The role of Germanic mythology on modern English is explored. Germanic gods and religious traditions are examined with an emphasis on words and phrases which are still found in modern English.
We explore the Germanic languages during the 1st century AD. The society of the early Germans is examined in the context of ‘Germania’ by the Roman historian Tacitus. Modern English words originating during this period are also discussed.
We look at the grammar of the early Germanic tribes. The decreasing use of inflexions is explored. Elements of modern English grammar are identified within the original Germanic language.
We look at the first inscription found in a Germanic language and the vocabulary of the early Germanic tribes. The impact of Grimm’s Law on the early Germanic language is examined.
The first Germanic-speaking tribes emerge in northern Europe. We explore the connection between these tribes and the original Indo-Europeans. We then look at the expansion of the Germanic tribes into the Celtic region of central Europe and their early conflicts with the Romans. Latin words pass into these early Germanic languages, including the dialects of the continental Anglo-Saxons.
We look at the emergence of the Usatovo culture which spoke an Indo-European dialect believed to be the ancient ancestor of the Germanic languages – including English. We also look at the later migrations of the Indo-European tribes throughout Europe and Central Asia.
The famous fairy-tale collector Jacob Grimm formulated the rules which help modern linguists reconstruct the ancient Indo-European language. In this episode, we look at Grimm’s Law and how the Germanic languages evolved from the original ancestral language.
A look at the family tree of Indo-European languages and the relationship of English to those related languages. The closest relatives of English are highlighted, including the Germanic languages, Latin and Greek. We explore the background of English from the first Indo-Europeans to the first Anglo-Saxons in Britain.