Burgundians

The Burgundians (Latin: Burgundes, Burgundiōnes, Burgundī; Old Norse: Burgundar; Old English: Burgendas; Greek: Βούργουνδοι) were an early Germanic tribe or group of tribes. They appeared in the middle Rhine region, near the Roman Empire, and were later moved into the empire, in the western Alps and eastern Gaul. They were possibly mentioned much earlier in the time of the Roman Empire as living in part of the region of Germania that is now part of Poland.

The Roman Empire under Hadrian (ruled 117–138 AD), showing a possible location of the Burgundiones Germanic group, inhabiting the region between the Viadua (Oder) and Visula (Vistula) rivers (Poland)

The Burgundians are first mentioned together with the Alamanni as early as the 11th panegyric to emperor Maximian given in Trier in 291, and referring to events that must have happened between 248 and 291, and they apparently remained neighbours for centuries.[1] By 411 a Burgundian group had established themselves on the Rhine, between Franks and Alamanni, holding the cities of Worms, Speyer, and Strasbourg. In 436, Aëtius defeated the Burgundians on the Rhine with the help of Hunnish forces, and then in 443, he re-settled the Burgundians within the empire, in eastern Gaul.

This Gaulish domain became the Kingdom of the Burgundians, in the western Alps region. This later became a component of the Frankish Empire. The name of this kingdom survives in the regional appellation, Burgundy, which is a region in modern France, representing only a part of that kingdom.

Another part of the Burgundians formed a contingent in Attila's Hunnic army by 451.[2][3]

Before clear documentary evidence begins, the Burgundians may have originally emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the Baltic island of Bornholm, and from there to the Vistula basin, in the middle of what is now Poland.[4]


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