Varying depending on time (4th-18th centuries), currently none (all languages are extinct)|
Until late 4th century:
Central and eastern Europe (as far as Crimea)
late 4th—early 10th centuries:
Much of southern, western, southeastern, and eastern Europe (as far as Crimea) and North Africa
early 10th-late 18th centuries:
Isolated areas in eastern Europe (as far as Crimea)
One of the proposed theories for the approximate distribution of Germanic dialect groups in Europe in around AD 1:
The only East Germanic languages of which texts are known are Gothic and its dialect, Crimean Gothic. Other languages that are assumed to be East Germanic include Vandalic and Burgundian, though very few texts in these languages are known. Crimean Gothic, the last remaining East Germanic language, is believed to have survived until the 18th century in isolated areas of Crimea.
By the 1st century AD, the writings of Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, and Tacitus indicate a division of Germanic-speaking peoples into large groupings with shared ancestry and culture. (This division has been appropriated[clarification needed] in modern terminology about the divisions of Germanic languages.)
Based on accounts by Jordanes, Procopius, Paul the Deacon and others; linguistic evidence (see Gothic language); placename evidence; and archaeological evidence, it is believed that the East Germanic tribes, the speakers of the East Germanic languages related to the North Germanic tribes, had migrated from Scandinavia into the area lying east of the Elbe. In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and northern Poland from period III[clarification needed] onwards was so considerable that this region is sometimes included in the Nordic Bronze Age culture (Dabrowski 1989:73).
There is also archaeological and toponymic evidence that Burgundians lived on the Danish island of Bornholm (Old Norse: Burgundaholmr), and that Rugians lived on the Norwegian coast of Rogaland (Old Norse: Rygjafylki).
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Possible East Germanic-speaking tribes include: