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[gothic-l] SV: Crimean Gothic

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  • Bertil Häggman
    I have in earlier postings presented a number of titles on the Crimean Goths. There are articles in several works published during the 1980s and 1990s. Gustav
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 1999
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      I have in earlier postings presented a number of titles
      on the Crimean Goths. There are articles in several works
      published during the 1980s and 1990s.
       
      Gustav Karlsson in his essay "Goten, die im Osten blieben" (Studia
      Gotica, 1972) has mentioned sources published up until 1970,
      but much more has been added in the 30 years in between. All
      sources of Karlsson are either German, Russian or French, but
      works in Englis exist from the period 1970 to 1999.
       
      There were Orthodox Christians in the Bishopric of Gothia on Crimea.
      Around 759 AD Johannes was made Bisjop of Gothia by the Archbishop
      of Georgia, Katholikos. In 787 AD, so Karlsson in his essay in German,
      the Kazars took the capital of gothia, Doros, and placed a garrison
      in the city. Thus the Gothic princes on Crimea were made vasalls
      of the Kazars. There was soon an attempt by the Gothic princes and
      the new Bishop to restore Gothic power, but it failed quickly after some
      intial successes. The Bishop was thrown in jail but he managed to
      escape to present day Turkey (then Byzantine), where he died but
      his body was brought back to Gothia and be buried there in Parthenitai,
      where he was born.
       
      The church in Parthenitai has been found and has been searched in detail
      by Russian archaeologists (there are numerous publications in Russian).
      Archaelogists have also found a castle, destroyed around the time of
      the revolt in a town named Eski Kermen in Crimean Tartar language.
       
      I have written for a Crimean Tartar webpage on Swedish-Crimean Tartar
      relations during the centuries and I will contact the owners and see
      if they have any suggestions on recent Gothic discoveries. One must
      keep in mind that Crimea now belongs to Ukraine, not Russia,
      and the Ukrainian economy does possibly not allow for much
      archaelogical work.
       
      If nobody bets me to it I will try to provide the list with a few English
      anguage titles of interest. The whole word list of Busbecq is available.
       
      Gothic greetings
       
      Bertil Haggman

      I am interested in the subject of the Crimean Goths, but my sources for
      information are rather poor. Can anybody give me some information on this
      matter, or indicate me appropriate sources (some web page, if there is one
      on this subject)? Is there available somewhere the whole word list of
      Busbecq? I know only a dozen of Crimean Gothic words. And is there some
      information available on the culture or the religion of the Crimean Goths?

      I give below all I know about this subject [and in square brackets, my
      comments]:

      At the middle of the 3rd century (in 258), Gothic tribes were already
      settled in Crimea; "Gothi" are here mentioned in writings of the Middle
      Age [which are these?]. A Gothic principality survived in Crimea until the
      capture of Mankup by the Turks in 1475 [Are known the names of some
      princes? Where was their capital?].

      Attestations of the existence of the Gothic language in Crimea persist
      until late.  A Venetian named Joseph Barbaro, who lived in Tana (an
      Italian commercial settlement at the mouth of the Don river) between 1436
      and 1462, wrote that his German servant could talk with a Crimean Goth as
      easy as a Florentine with a Genovese.  A German chronicle mentions the
      fact that, in the 16th century, merchants from Nürnberg, thrown by a storm
      on the Crimean coast, have found a young native who could answer to their
      questions asked in German.  The Goths of Crimea are mentioned for the last
      time by a Fleming, Ogier Ghiselin (or Ghislain?) van Busbecq (or van
      Busbeck, or de Busbecq, or de Busbeck? I have found all the four
      variants!), Charles V's imperial envoy to Constantinople, who encountered
      there some Goths originating from Crimea. He collected from them a number
      of about 60 (or 80?) words and phrases in use among the Crimean Goths, and
      published the list in 1589. (This Busbecq had to be a remarkable man,
      because it's him who brought the lilac and the tulips from the Levant into
      Europe!)  The Crimean Gothic, located in south-western Crimea, became
      extinguished about the middle of the 18th century [what is attesting this,
      since it was mentioned for the last time by Busbecq in the middle of the
      16th century??].  Another descendant of Gothic that also survived for a
      longer time was Tetraxites, spoken on the Taman peninsula (in Caucasia,
      but close to Crimea), which became extinguished in the 18th century also
      [what is the evidence? Is there some certificate?] and of which we have
      no remains.

      The words of Busbecq's list show clearly that the Crimean Gothic, though
      not unaffected by Iranian influence, was still a form of Gothic.

      Below I list all the Crimean Gothic words that I found in several sources:

      ada = egg (probably  < Go. *addja- < Gmc. *ajja-)
      ano = hen (Go. *hanó, fem. of hana "cock")
      apel = apple (Gmc.)
      bars = beard (Gmc.)
      bruder = brother (Go. bróþar)
      fyder = four (Go. fidwór)
      geen = to go (Gmc.)
      hazer = thousand (Iranic, cf. Pers. hazár)
      mine = moon (Go. ména)
      myche = sword (go. mékeis)
      schieten = to shoot (Gmc. *skiutan)
      stap = he-goat (probably Iranic, cf. Pers. chabish)

      Does anybody know also other words? It's very interesting to see how did
      evolve this language from Wulfila (4th century) to Busbecq (16th century).

      Francisc



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