Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Alemanni, the Aryamanni

I have discussed before on this blog the connection between the Indo-Aryan Aryaman, the Iranian Airyaman, the Gallic Ariomanus, the Irish Eremon and the Germanic Irmin, how they are all variants of the Indo-European racial God, the very representation of the Aryan folk before and after their division into the multiple separate folk groups that have manifested through recorded history as the Teutons, Celts, Slavs, Balts, Iranians, Indo-Aryans, Greeks, Latins and Hittites etc. All of these deities derive from the Proto-Iindo-European *aryo-mn. See my earlier articles  and

I have now identified a further link between this *aryo-mn and the Alemanni, a tribal confederation of Germanic peoples centred on the Upper Rhine and first referred to by Cassius Dio in the 3rd century CE. Their descendants are the native populations of French Alsace, Baden, Swabia, the Austrian Vorarlberg and northern Switzerland. They are responsible for the formation of the Old High German (OHG) dialect. Because the Alemanni were drawn from neighbouring Germanic tribes they became known as the "all men" or at least that was the explanation given by the 3rd century CE Greek historian Gaius Asinius Quadratus but Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire equated them with the Suebi, the name which they used as a self-descriptor. They apparently did not refer to themselves as Alemanni. That is the accepted historical view. However there is an alternative explanation which will be of interest to my readers.

Alexander Jacob states in his The Indo-European Origins of the Grail (published as part of The Two Grails, 2015, which contains an essay by Leopold von Schroeder, The Roots of the Saga of the Holy Grail (1910), translated by Alexander Jacob):

"Farther west, one of the oldest branches of the Germanic peoples is called the Alemanni, a name that may be a corruption of an earlier form as Aryamanni." (page 162)

He also briefly remarks that "the Germanic tribes may have formed a part of the northern Cimmerian Celtic race,", an exceedingly ancient Aryan people who he believes to have settled in the British Isles and Gaul, the original Druids being their priestly caste. The Alemanni my readers may recall are descended from the Herminones who I conjectured were named after their ancestral deity Irmin who is one of the Indo-European deities cognate with *aryo-mn.

The very fact that Indo-European peoples as widely dispersed as the Teutons, Irish, Gauls, Iranians and Indo-Aryans should have a common deity from which we get the term Arya is in itself sufficient evidence for the original common origins of these peoples. The realisation that the Germans should like the Iranians and Indo-Aryans call themselves Arya is further compelling evidence that this is a term which belongs not just to the Indo-Iranians but other Indo-Europeans. It is also interesting to note that the Alemanni is a term used of the entire German folk by the French, Allemands. The Alamanni, the Germans are thus the Aryan men. Likewise the ancient Irish in their caste system called their nobles Arya or more specifically aire:

"The ceile was the producer, the basis of the entire society. Above them came the warriors and nobles, the flaith, often coming under the title of aire (noble), which is cognate with the Sanskrit word arya, freeman. Then came the professional class, originally the Druids." (The Celts, Peter Berresford Ellis, 1998)