Do you mean about Celtic, Germanic and Slavic tribes at the time of the Ancient Greek civilization and the early days of Rome, or even before that ? For the relation between ancient and modern European languages, try this page (and the links).Originally Posted by ricecake
It is much more complicated than that. Most of France 2100 years ago was Celtic, except the South-West (south of Bordeaux), which was Basque. Then the Romans came, settled, and mixed with the Celts for about 500 years. At the fall of Rome, the Franks and Burgunds, two Germanic tribes, invaded Gaul (the old name of France, Belgium and the southern Netherlands). They became the new rulers and passed on their blood more than the natives Gallo-Romans, so that in a few centuries the proportion of Germanic blood rose dramatically. Belgium and Northern France became predominantly Germanic, as did England, which was settled by the Anglo-Saxons (another Germanic tribe) at the same time. (=> see thread Anglo-saxon apartheid led to Germanic gene prevalence in Britain). That is why there are much more people with bloand hair or blue eyes in Northern and Eastern France and Belgium than in Southern or South-Western France.Interestingly,one N Irish fellow forumer @ Jref shed light on modern day French are of both ancient Norman and Roman origins.
From the late 8th to 11th centuries, the Vikings (warriors from another Germanic tribe, the Norse from Scandinavia) invaded most of Europe. Danish Vikings got hold of Northern England and Normandy (I skip the details), and eventually became the dominant "race" in these regions. Nowadays, Normands still have blonder hair than other French people, and Northern Brits still look more Scandinavian and have much more names in "-son" (of Scandinavian origin) than other English people. So if you know people of English descent with names like Johnson, Davidson, Benson, Brandson, Bryson, etc., there is a good chance that they are of Danish Viking descent.
French language is an almost purely Latin language (as opposed to English that is hybrid Latin-Germanic). France was part of the Roman Empire for some 500 years, and still has a strong nostalgia about it (like most other countries that used to be, but maybe even more so than others). Some people have even claimed that the pronunciation of modern French language is closer to that of Classical Latin (the one spoken by the upper-class Romans), while Italian and Spanish are closer to Vulgar Latin (the one spoken by the plebs).I've wondered for awhile after I've seen some French films,there was definitely " Latin " connection to the French people but couldn't figured out what that is.
French people are culturally Latin, but genetically a melting pot of Celtic, Latin, Basque and Germanic origins. They are more Germanic in the North and East, more Celtic in Brittany (North-Western tip), more Basque in the South-West, and maybe more Gallo-Roman elsewhere. Many French people still refer to themselves or French culture as 'Gallo-Roman' or 'Gallic'. The French and Italians obviously think of themselves as cousins (in fact probably closer than with the Spaniards or Portuguese).I've sensed French's closeness and friendliness toward " Latin " peoples and cultures plus a few of them have kindda Latin looks compare to other northern European brethren.
Do French and Italians regard each other cousins ?