From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Germanic peoples (also called Teutonic in older literature) are a historical ethno-linguistic group, originating in Northern Europe and identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Common Germanic in the course of the Pre-Roman Iron Age. The descendants of these peoples became, and in many areas contributed to, the ethnic groups of North Western Europe.
Migrating Germanic peoples spread throughout Europe in Late Antiquity (300-600) and the Early Middle Ages. Germanic languages became dominant along the Roman borders (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and England), but in the rest of the (western) Roman provinces, the Germanic immigrants adopted Latin (Romance) dialects. Furthermore, all Germanic peoples were eventually Christianized to varying extents. The Germanic people played a large role in transforming the Roman Empire into Medieval Europe.