"It was so long ago and far away
I have forgotten the very name men called me.
The axe and flint-tipped spear are like a dream,
And hunts and wars are like shadows. I recall
Only the stillness of that sombre land;
The clouds that piled forever on the hills,
The dimness of the everlasting woods.
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night."

-- Robert E. Howard: "Cimmeria"

The provinces of Cimmeria

A nation of barbarian tribes situated north of Aquilonia and separated from it by a narrow strip of the Bossonian Marches and Gunderland. The Pictish Wilderness lay to the west of Cimmeria. The high Eiglophian Mountains walled off the country from Vanaheim and Asgard on the north.

Cimmeria, birthplace of Conan, was an unremittingly somber land, "all of hills, darkly wooded, under skies nearly always gray, with winds moaning drearily down the valleys". The people were the direct descendants of vanished Atlanteans. They were tall and powerful, with dark hair and blue or gray eyes. Cimmerian tribes existed contemporaneously with Atlantis, intermarrying with Atlantean colonists on the Thurian continent prior to the Cataclysm.

Cimmerian Village

Cimmerians of Conan's time were apparently still in a hunting and gathering culture, living in villages deep in the humid forests. The people used iron weapons and had borrowed other elements from the higher cultures to the south. The Cimmerian's chief god was Crom, who took little interest in human affairs.

Conan was a maverick Cimmerian, one of the few to venture out of the sopping woodlands. The Saga mentions no other Cimmerians living among the advanced nations.

Five hundred years after the Age of Conan, the Cimmerians were still ensconced in their ancient homeland. Hyrkanian invaders exploded into other Hyborian kingdoms; but their thrust fizzled out amid the ferociously defended Cimmerian hills. Only the great Nordheimr surge in advance of the glaciers finally displaced the black-haired barbarians. Many ousted Cimmerians then moved eastward, all the way to the southwestern shore of the Vilayet.

References: Hyborian Age I-II, Phoenix on the Sword, Conan the Valorous, et al.

  • Population: 800,000
  • Capital: None
  • Ruler: Various chieftains and petty kings (including Snow Hawk, Grey Bear, Black Wolf, Black Owl and Ice Leopard clans)
  • Major cities: None (small villages)
  • Resources: Cattle, furs, timber, iron, weapons
  • Imports: Extensive raiding of cattle and women from Asgard, Vanaheim and Hyperborea
  • Allies: None
  • Enemies: Asgard, Hyperborea, Vanaheim, Pictland
  • Tech level: Dark ages
  • Religion: Crom