Cimmeria is a country of the Hyborian Age.
- See also: Cimmeria (poem)
"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.
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.
Cimmeria appears to contain wolves, panthers, deer, and rabbits, but has no snakes or reptiles.
History and politics
The Cimmerians of the Hyborian Age are the descendents of the Atlanteans, who mixed with contemporary Cimmerian tribes in the Thurian Age. Five hundred years after Conan's reign as king, the Cimmerians still remained in their homeland despite incursions from Pictish and Hyrkanian armies.
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.
In lean times, Cimmerians raid the Hyborian nations to the south and the Nordheimer to the north. Almost every grown Cimmerian knows how to fight, for their neighbours will just as willingly raid them. However, Aquilonia at least has never made a concerted effort to conquer Cimmeria; there is too little there to be profitable, and the people would sternly fight for their freedom.
Population and culture
Cimmerians were tall and powerfully built, with black hair and blue eyes. They appear to have been late Iron Age or possibly Dark Age in cultural development, or possibly even a hunting and gathering culture. They dress in skins and pelts, and do their own weaving in a rough, practical style. Cimmerians have little use for philosophy, science, or art, but seem to value entertainment, especially in the form of storytelling.
Cimmerian culture does not value materialism for avarices' sake. Although warriors such as Conan are encouraged to gather wealth and glory to themselves, Cimmerians value courage, honour, respect, and pride more than treasure. It is said that none starve in Cimmeria unless all starve, for any family would care for any who need it.
The Cimmerians' chief deity was Crom, a vengeful god who took little interest in mortal matters. He and his dark brood are said to never answer prayers, for this as seen as weak pleading and Crom would rather such supplicants die honourably. However, the Cimmerians credit their strength of arm and spirit to Crom, who allegedly grants strength and courage at birth in order to face their enemies in life.
Other gods include:
Stories set in Cimmeria
The comic book series Conan published by Dark Horse Comics has been serializing a six-part story by writer Kurt Busiek and artist Greg Ruth titled "Born on the Battlefield." As of April, 2007 four of the six parts have been released, one about every eight months in-between issues by the series' regular creative team.
The story chronicles Conan's birth and early years in Cimmeria. The final two parts are to be released within the next few months, and a collected edition would presumably follow not long after.