- See also: Cimmeria (poem)
Geography[edit | edit source]
- "A gloomier land never was - all of hills, darkly wooded, under skies nearly always gray, with winds moaning drearily down the valleys."
- ―Conan, "The Phoenix on the Sword"
Cimmeria is located north of Aquilonia, and east of the Pictish Wilderness. The Eiglophian Mountains separate Cimmeria from the Nordheim countries Asgard and Vanaheim. The Border Kingdom separates Cimmeria from Nemedia in the south east.
Cimmeria appears to contain wolves, panthers, deer, and rabbits, but has no snakes or reptiles.
Cimmeria was undoubtedly a rugged wilderness, hilly, probably mountainous, heavily forested, and often cold and overcast. Based on the Hyborian map as it overlaps a modern map of Europe, there was likely a mountain range along Cimmeria's western border. Howard confirms this in The Hyborian Age: "...the ocean flowed around the mountains of western Cimmeria to form the North Sea; these mountains became the islands later known as England, Scotland and Ireland..."
When Hyboria is superimposed over modern Europe, Cimmeria occupies the a region containing Denmark and the east coast of Scotland, most of the land submerged under the North Sea. In the interval between the Older and Younger Dryas 10,000 years ago (which is when Robert E. Howard placed the Hyborian Age), much of the North Sea area was in fact above water.
History and politics[edit | edit source]
Cimmeria is a country where colonists from Atlantis survived the Cataclysm. Devolving in little more than ape-men, eventually they re-evolved into the people known as Cimmerians, through fighting against their old enemies, the Picts, and the Nordheimir to the north. Cimmeria remained immune and unaccessible to the advances of the Hyborian civilization.
Cimmerians also fought against the Bossonian Marches and even fought their way to Aquilonia for plundering raids. Once, an Aquilonian army was routed from Cimmeria, one of the few humiliating defeats of the almighty empire. The Aquilonian kings toyed with the idea of putting Picts and Cimmerians against each other and let both barbarian peoples destroy each other.
While Aquilonia was being invaded by the Picts and their vassals were deserting them, the Cimmerians found the opportunity and came from their hills, looting the cities and devastating the lands, completing the ruin, before returning with the plunder to their land.
Shortly after the fall of Aquilonia, Hyrkanians invaded from the east and north. A united force of riders swept into the Cimmerian hills, where their horses were less effective. The Cimmerians turned on them, and after a whole day of bloody fighting, the Hyrkanian hosts retreated to escape complete annihilation. Cimmeria remained unconquered both by the Pictish and the Hyrkanian empire that dominated the former Hyborean world. Only the restless Nordic tribes warred continually with the Cimmerians.
When the glacier age came, the Cimmerians fled before the Nordic onrush.
Cimmeria was afterwards covered by the waves in another cataclysm. Its mountains became the British Isles.
Society and culture[edit | edit source]
Although the nation has no overall government, the individual tribes are governed in a vaguely democratic way by all the tribes' men. Even women have a respected place in Cimmeria, for while they are not soldiers, many wives and mothers have stood in defence of their homes and families. Almost every grown Cimmerian knows how to fight, for their neighbours will just as willingly raid them.
The ancient Atlanteans were vaguely related to and antagonistic towards the Picts. They had black hair and brownish flesh with nobility sometimes having grey eyes. Cimmerians are Atlantean offshoots. They are strong, but less imposing and not as tall; they’re muscular and even more brutish by comparison. Cimmerians have mostly black hair, mostly smooth or straight, blue to hazel eyes often, and variable complexion which can tan dark. Conan’s people are fated to be the Celts due to their original use of iron and lasting mythology. Those who mix with the Nordheimers and Hyborians became Slavs. Cimmerian culture was at its sturdy height 8,000 to 5,500 years ago (somewhat before Conan, his people were mostly displaced or enslaved by his birth.)
Stories set in Cimmeria[edit | edit source]
- Cimmeria (poem)