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Ahmad ibn Fadlan in the 10th century gives an account of the Bolghar and the Rus' peoples.

In the context of European ethnography in particular, the terms ethnic group, people, nationality or ethno-linguistic group, are used as mostly synonymous, although preference may vary in usage with respect to the situation specific to the individual countries of Europe.

There are eight European ethno-linguistic groups with more than 30 million members residing in Europe.

Roman Empire period authors include Diodorus Siculus, Strabo and Tacitus.

Julius Caesar gives an account of the Celtic tribes of Gaul, while Tacitus describes the Germanic tribes of Magna Germania.

Ethnographers of Late Antiquity such as Agathias of Myrina Ammianus Marcellinus, Jordanes or Theophylact Simocatta give early accounts of the Slavs, the Franks, the Alamanni and the Goths.

Book IX of Isidore's Etymologiae (7th century) treats de linguis, gentibus, regnis, militia, civibus (of languages, peoples, realms, armies and cities).Herodotus described the Scythians and Thraco-Illyrians. Dicaearchus gave a description of Greece itself besides accounts of western and northern Europe.His work survives only fragmentarily, but was received by Polybius and others.A number of authors like Diodorus Siculus, Pausanias and Sallust depicts the ancient Sardinian and Corsican peoples.The 4th century Tabula Peutingeriana records the names of numerous peoples and tribes.A group of Tyrrhenian languages appears to have included Etruscan, Rhaetian and perhaps also Eteocretan and Eteocypriot.A pre-Roman stage of Proto-Basque can only be reconstructed with great uncertainty.The total number of national or linguistic minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people, or 14% of 770 million Europeans.There is no precise or universally accepted definition of the terms "ethnic group" or "nationality".The beginnings of ethnic geography as an academic subdiscipline lie in the period following World War I, in the context of nationalism, and in the 1930s exploitation for the purposes of fascist and Nazi propaganda so that it was only in the 1960s that ethnic geography began to thrive as a bona fide academic subdiscipline.The emergence of population genetics further undermined the categorisation of Europeans into clearly defined racial groups.

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