Interesting article! (And great work on your site by the way!)
Please allow me to offer some critical remarks.
Linguistically speaking, Suebi is an unmistakably Germanic name. As far as I know the Celtic languages didn't have names/words beginning with /sw-/. The name is a latinisation of Proto-Germanic *Swēbōz, the plural of *Swēbaz, which is derived from a Proto-Germanic root meaning something like 'of ones own, of the people' or 'independent'. The same root can be found in *swēsaz 'own, familiar' (whence Gothic swēs, Old Norse sváss, Old English swǣs, Old High German swās).
Originally Posted by Maciamo
If you want to call the Suebi Celts, then you might as well call all the Germanic tribes (an offshoot of the) Celts. However, the Germanic languages are not descended from the Celtic languages. Therefore, the Suebi were either germanised Celts, or a mix of Celts and Germanics, or just plain Germanics who had ousted earlier Celts.
From Germania by Tacitus:
(2.3) But the term 'Germania', they say, is modern and recently applied, since those who first crossed over the Rhine and drove out the Gauls (and now are called the Tungri) were at that time called Germani. Thus the name of a tribe, and not of a people, gradually became dominant, with the result that they were all called Germani, at first by the conquered from the name of the conquerers because of fear, and then, once the name had been devised, also by the Germani themselves.So if we can lend Tacitus some credibility, there was ethnic self-awareness among the Germanics. They distinguished themselves from the Gauls, and their language was their own (i.e. non-Celtic). The name Tungri can be explained as a latinisation of Proto-Germanic *Tungrōz, a derivation of the root of *tangrijan 'to press together'. Their name could then mean something like 'those pressed together' > 'the united' or 'those under (demographic) pressure'.
Also, it is very plausible that Germani is simply a Latin translation of Proto-Germanic *Swēbōz. That both meant 'those of the own seed'.
As far as I know the title Germanicus was honorary and first given to Nero Claudius Drusus (and his family) for his efforts in Germania as a military commander. This kind of nomenclature resembles that of Publius Cornelius Scipio, who was named Scipio Africanus after his defeat Hannibal. Germanicus and Africanus are then rather examples of victory titles*; they do not indicate kinship or ancestry.
This may be why the name Germanicus was used in the Rome aristocracy, like for Emperors Caligula (Germanicus Julius Caesar) and Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus). It may have been a reference to the Roman's origins in Germania
. In any case they didn't think of these Germani
as contemptible or inferior, otherwise they would not have named members of the imperial family after them. It was closer to an honorific title.
* The board won't allow me to post URLs, seeing as this is my first post, so you'll have to look it up yourself on Wikipedia.