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Overview

Cimmeria was the barbaric northern land where Conan was born. Its northern neighbors include traditional ally Aesgaard and traditional foe Vanaheim. Its southern neighbor Aquilonia was a more occasional opponent.

Cimmeria was a land of hills and dark forests. It was described as permanently gloomy and grey-skied. Their environment seems to have had an influence on the mentality of Cimmerians, who tend to be moody and somber in spirit. Both the Aesir and Vanir are considered to be more "high-spirited".[1]

History

Origins

The Cimmerians are descendants of the people of Ancient Atlantis, in particular of refugees who escaped the Great Cataclysm. They are divided into various tribes, which sustain themselves through hunting and foraging.

Legacy

The Cimmerians are the ancestors of the Gaels.[2][1]

Facts

Religion and superstition

The chief deity of the Cimmerians was Crom, a grim god who seats in isolation on a high mountain. When a boy is born, a ritual asks the gods to grant it the "power to strive and slay". This is considered enough of a demand. Their gods are conceived as otherwise indifferent to humanity, and prayer is only to be used on rare occasions. Calling the attention of a cruel and/or indifferent deity to your person is thought foolhardy. The Cimmerians have a similar cheerless view of the afterlife. They believe that all souls are destined to wonder for eternity on a realm of gray clouds, cold mists, and moaning winds,[1] which sounds suspiciously close to depictions of Cimmeria itself.

The Cimmerians always mounted their horses from the left side, as they believed a devil would enter the horse if they did from the right.[3]

Alternate Realities

Earth-83600

Cimmerian from What If Vol 1 39 001

Earth-83600's Cimmeria

While Thor, escorted by Conan, was traveling to Cimmeria in the dead of winter to question the god Crom about his true origin, they both were attacked by a pack of ravenous boars.[4]

Points of Interest

Residents

Notes

  • Robert E. Howard named the Cimmerians after a historical Indo-European tribe of the same name, who are recorded to have had conflicts with the Assyrians, Phrygians, and Lydians in the 8th and 7th centuries BC.[citation needed]
  • Today most scholars view the historical Cimmerians as closely related to either the Thracians or the Iranians. But at the start of the 20th-century, the dominant theories of the time viewed them as proto-Celts or proto-Germanic. This influenced Howard, who conceived his Cimmerians as proto-Gaels. In his words: "the Gaels, ancestors of the Irish and Highland Scotch, descended from pure-blooded Cimmerian clans,..."
  • In his essay on the Hyborian Age, Howard postulates connections of the Cimmerians to the Cymry (endonym of the Welsh people), the Cimbri (a Germanic tribe in Roman times), the Gimmerai of certain Assyrian records (which was likely transcribed as "Gomer" by the Jews), and the peninsula of Crimea.
  • "Conan" is a Celtic name, and there are at least two Celtic gods actually named "Crom": Crom Cruach and Crom Dubh. In his stories, Howard has Conan make references to Lir and Mannannan. His notes on the Cimmerian pantheon include references to other Celtic deities, such as the Morrigan.

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handbook of the Conan Universe #1; Cimmeria's entry
  2. Savage Sword of Conan #17; The Hyborian Age Chapter 6: The Darkness... and the Dawn
  3. Savage Sword of Conan #141
  4. What If? #39
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