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Re: Gothic Patronymic Names

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  • Mike
    As far as we know, they only had one name. Names were either composed of two elements, an element and a diminutive suffix, or one element. Two elements: Thiuda
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 26, 2012
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      As far as we know, they only had one name. Names were either composed of two elements, an element and a diminutive suffix, or one element.

      Two elements:

      Thiuda + reiks = Thiudareiks
      Ala + reiks = Alareiks
      Thiuda + mers = Thiudamers
      Amala + swintha = Amalaswintha

      One element and a diminutive:

      Wulfs + ila = Wulfila
      Mers + ila = Merila
      Hilds + iko = Hildiko (that one is pretty speculative)

      One element / simple word for a name:

      Wamba
      Liuba
      Walja


      It's worth noting that families tended to repeat naming elements through their lines. This was by no means consistent. So you have Thiudamers whose son is Thiudareiks. Thiudareiks family being the Amalings, so his daughter had the name Amalaswintha and his grandson through Thiudaguto, Amalareiks. If your father was Wulfareiks, you might be Wulfaswinths or Wulfamers. Or it could be the second element that you took from your father. Or you could have a completely different name, as naming conventions weren't set in stone.

      Dynastic families had names, for the Goths we only really know of two. We have Amaling (Amaliggs) and Balthing (Balthiggs) attested, and I believe some literary traditions refer to Theodoric's family as the Merings, but contemporary sources call them Amalings. So Theodoric might be referred to as Theodoric the Amaling. This kind of family name also shows up in other Germanic cultures. The Anglo-Saxons had the Wuffings and in Beowulf there are the Scyldings. But we don't see any Goths with last names like Amalingson or anything like that.






      --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas" <the_lothian@...> wrote:
      >
      > I was wondering if the Goths used Patronymic name like the Swedish, Icelandic and the Russian people do.
      >
      > If they did, how were they constructed?
      >
      > Thanks.
      > Tom
      >
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