The Vidivarii are described by Jordanes in his Getica as a melting pot of tribes who in the mid-6th century lived at the lower Vistula:[1][2]

Ad litus oceani, ubi tribus faucibus fluenta Vistulae fluminibus ebibuntur, Vidivarii resident ex diversis nationibus aggregati.[3]

Though differing from the earlier Willenberg culture, some traditions were continued,[2] thus the corresponding archaeological culture is sometimes described as the Vidivarian or widiwar stage of the Willenberg culture. The bearers of the Willenberg culture have been associated with a heterogeneous people comprising Vistula Veneti, Goths, Rugii, and Gepids.[4] One hypothesis, based on the sudden appearance of large amounts of Roman solidi and migrations of other groups after the breakdown of the Hun empire in 453, suggest a partial re-migration of earlier emigrants to their former northern homelands.[2]


The first element vid/wid means "wood" (sacred grove ?), from Proto-Germanic *widuz. The second element -varii is most prolific among Germanic tribal names (Ampsivarii, Angrivarii, Raetovarii, Falchovarii, Baiuvarii, ...), commonly taken to mean "inhabitants of", "dwellers in". Its precise etymology remains unclear.

See also


  1. ^ Andrew H. Merrills, History and Geography in Late Antiquity, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p.325, ISBN 0-521-84601-3
  2. ^ a b c Mayke de Jong, Frans Theuws, Carine van Rhijn, Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages, BRILL, 2001, p.524, ISBN 90-04-11734-2
  3. ^ Jordanes, Getica, chapter 5, as cited by Jacob Grimm et al, Werke, 2nd edition, Georg Olms Verlag, 1999, p.500, ISBN 3-487-03207-4
  4. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, 1999, p.25, ISBN 83-906184-8-6