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[gothic-l] Re: The Origin of the Goths

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  • tomas.kindahl@saab.se
    ... I m an amateur. I would not like to partake in academical competitious battles between Uppsala/Stockholm vs. the rest, nor between archaeologists vs.
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 18, 1999
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      Bertil wrote:

      >>Swedish scholars tend to be (perhaps overly) sceptic about the origin
      >>of the Goths.
      >
      >Certainly they are sceptic if they reside in Uppsala
      >or Stockholm.

      I'm an amateur. I would not like to partake in academical competitious
      battles between Uppsala/Stockholm vs. the rest, nor between
      archaeologists vs. linguists - i've gotten enough of such battles in my
      job (between human factors engineers and computer scientists of artificial
      intelligence). The battles about the funds are affecting science negatively,
      creating too narrow specialists ('fackidioter' in Swedish).

      >Three possibilities have been issued:
      >> - the Goths originally came from the Vistula region of current Poland,
      >> and later probably invaded Gotland [not very probable],
      >
      >Would be interesting to know
      >which scholar proposed this unusual
      >theory.

      Sorry for being imprecise and careless. The idea of Vistula-autochtonous
      Goths was a common opinion of some of the authors in a jubilee book from
      G�tiska F�rbundet dealing with Migration time and its peoples. The book
      was dominated by archeologists, but linguist arguments were used too.
      I only remember the name of one of the authors: Herwig Wolfram; there
      were one Polish and one Russian author, the rest were Nordic - i mention
      this just so you might be able to identify the book; sorry to say i
      cannot point out the name of one individual author claiming the
      autochtonous hypothesis, but i can go to the library in a couple of days
      and try to find it. The library was burnt down to the ground a couple of
      years ago, so it might be possible that this individual book was lost then.

      The idea that the Goths invaded or colonized Gotland from east was just
      an assumption of *mine*, in order to explain the fact you are referring
      to below, that old Gotlandic shows traits similar to Wulfilan Visigothic
      Otherwise the autochton hypothesis will not be viable. (Archaeologists
      tend to disregard lingustics and linguists tend to disregard archaeology).
      I'm still regarding this as a possible (but not that probable) scenario,
      despite not being a scholar, but you might have facts that fast and easy
      can falsify this hypothesis?

      >> - the Goths originated from Gotland [possible, but there are no
      >> archeological support for this, since the population seemed to be
      >> constant on Gotland around 100 when the Vistula settlement emerged,
      >
      >
      >That the Goths originated from Gotland is a solid theory. It is probably
      >supported by the fact that numerous Old Gotlandic words are similar to
      >Gothic words. Research on this subject is ongoing.

      I didn't know that. Good! I can also add that (as i have heard) there
      is not sufficent archaeological excavations performed on Gotland, as to
      explain the 'Guta Saga' episode of the emigrating one third of the
      Gotlandians. I have heard varying times for this mass emigration, one at
      some time in the 400-600ies AD another around something 0 AD (Tore Gannholm,
      who is regarded to be merely Guta nationalist than historician, referring
      to some unnamed professor). I have also read (Bonniers "Sveriges Historia"
      band 1 i think) that during the period 400-600 Gotland was devastated by
      war attacks, the population thereby slowly vaning (i can find the name of
      the author if necessary).

      I also consider the Gotland emigration theory as highly interesting, but
      the archaeological facts has to be considered too.

      >> however the G�taland counties (�sterg�tland and V�sterg�tland)
      >> of Sweden was depopulated at the same period],
      >> - the Goths originated from G�taland [also supported by the fact that
      >> monster fibulae are found in the G�taland counties, Sk�ne (Scaney),
      >> the Vistula region and Romania (the regions now called Moldaua and
      >> Ardeal - visigothic area before the Hun catastrophy). But observe:
      >> this might be due to trade contacts.]
      >
      >
      >The main theory, held by most scholars, is that the Goths originated
      >in Vaestergoetland and Oestergoetland. There are several finds in
      >central Scania that shows relation with the horse riding peoples on
      >the Ukrainian steppes. But these finds should be related to the Erules.

      Yes maybe. But the only Ukrainian spear rune inscription i know of:
      "tilarids" appears to be a masculine a/i-stem nominative singular of
      a language very similar to Wulfilan Visigothic. If the Herules were
      very near Pre-Nordic the inscription should be tilaridaR or tilaridiR,
      or something. OK, it could be a the genitive of a root-noun "tilaridR".
      Do anyone know more about Ukrainian inscriptions?

      I can add another argument against the G�taland origin: g�tar, or as
      it originally might have sounded - gautoR - has not the same exact
      meaning as 'gutanoR' (now speaking Pre-Nordic again), gautoz meaning
      'the pourer' and gutanoR 'the (over)poured' or something like that.
      I don't know if that is very important.

      >In my opinion archeologists views can to a great extent be discarded.

      Not in my opinion.

      >Of interest is mainly linguistical similarities.

      For me that is too weak a ground. One can debate individual indications
      year after year and come to no conclusion. In order to gain insights
      where individual sciences fail, one have to assemble indications from
      a diversity of sciences. Artificial intelligence and human factors has
      no long-term chance without each other, and i think this applies to
      archaeology and linguistics too.

      Another potentially hot matter:
      -------------------------------
      When the Goths invaded Visigothia Getica there were certainly Getians
      there, who might have:

      - banished the Getians into some other place;

      - lived nearby but isolated from the Getians;

      - assimilated the Getians.

      Hypothesis: the Jordanes failure to distinguish Getians from Goths
      was caused by a considerable assimilation between Getians and Goths.
      Thus some peculiarities of the Wulfilan Visigothic compared to other
      Germanic languages might be due to a Getic substrate. Then some of
      Wulfilan Visigothic words might be of Getian origin. Do anyone know
      anything about this. I have read an idea that 'abrs' might be of
      illyrian origin, but i'm not sure that illyrians belonged to the
      same group as the Getians, who were speaking a language similar to
      the Thracians according to Herodotos (?). Opinions?! Facts?!
      Arguments?!

      Tomas Kindahl, computer engineer at SAAB Aerospace, nothing else.

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    • Eric K. Moore
      Greetings, ... This part is probably the most accurate, considering the depopulation factor. Does anyone have any ideas on why these depopulation happened,
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 18, 1999
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        Greetings,

        > however the G�taland counties (�sterg�tland and V�sterg�tland)
        > of Sweden was depopulated at the same period],
        > - the Goths originated from G�taland [also supported by the fact that
        > monster fibulae are found in the G�taland counties, Sk�ne (Scaney),
        > the Vistula region and Romania (the regions now called Moldaua and
        > Ardeal - visigothic area before the Hun catastrophy). But observe:
        > this might be due to trade contacts.]

        This part is probably the most accurate, considering the depopulation
        factor. Does anyone have any ideas on why these depopulation happened,
        famine, plague, war etc?

        There would also be the possibility that the Goths would have picked up
        other peoples ( maybe even whole tribes ) while migrating through war,
        marriage, treaties, adventurers and so on. I doubt that during their
        travels southward their would not have been mixing with other peoples.

        Eric.






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      • John Doby
        Hello, Regarding the depopulation, plagues certainly affected the settled populations of the Roman Empire at this time. If there was significant trade in
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 19, 1999
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          Hello,

          Regarding the depopulation, plagues certainly affected the settled
          populations of the Roman Empire at this time. If there was significant
          trade in areas like Gotland, they would seem to have been impacted as well.
          It is interesting that some scholars believe the establishment of the Mongol
          Empire served as a disease conduit between Asia and Europe. Depending on
          which theory of the Huns you subscribe to and the timing of the plagues this
          may have played some such role as well.

          Back to Bertil's comments, what are the theories regarding the end of these
          remnant Germanic populations of the Black Sea area? As far as the back
          migration of people like the Erules in the 6th century, has anyone done
          research on where the surviving Ostrogoths ended? Could they have migrated
          north as well and how could this be tied to the Codex Argenteus?

          Regards,

          John Doby


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        • Tomas.Kindahl@saab.se
          ... I believe the end of the Crimean Gothic duchy is historically recorded by Osman sources. They were crushed by the Turks and the Tatars in league at an
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 19, 1999
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            John Doby wrote:
            >
            > Regarding the depopulation, plagues certainly affected the settled
            > populations of the Roman Empire at this time. If there was significant
            > trade in areas like Gotland, they would seem to have been impacted as well.
            > It is interesting that some scholars believe the establishment of the
            > Mongol Empire served as a disease conduit between Asia and Europe.
            > Depending on which theory of the Huns you subscribe to and the timing
            > of the plagues this may have played some such role as well.
            >
            > Back to Bertil's comments, what are the theories regarding the end of these
            > remnant Germanic populations of the Black Sea area? As far as the back
            > migration of people like the Erules in the 6th century, has anyone done
            > research on where the surviving Ostrogoths ended? Could they have migrated
            > north as well and how could this be tied to the Codex Argenteus?

            I believe the end of the Crimean Gothic duchy is historically recorded
            by Osman sources. They were crushed by the Turks and the Tatars in
            league at an advanced stage of the Osman Empire. I also believe there
            are later sources speaking about a Gothic remnant.

            I think the common opinion (correct me if i'm wrong) is that a major
            part of the Ostrogoths stayed in Italia, with concentration in the
            northern area concentrated around Ravenna. After the catastrophic battle
            at Mons Lactarius in AD552 a small part of the surviving troups marched
            northwards, nobody knows for sure to where, the rest submitted to the
            Byzantines. One hypothesis i have heard (or maybe i'm just fantasizing
            myself) is that they joined the Visigoths. The main part of the Goths
            seems to have been assimilated (to the Romans or the Langobards?). Lars
            Hermodsson, in 'Goterna', says that there were typically gothic names
            from the 11th century in nothern Italia, he cites "Williaric" and
            others, but i want to know more about how easy it is to distinguish
            between Gothic and Langobardian in order to be sure.

            There are theories about the Erules returning to Scandinavia. I don't
            remember which of the sources, Jordanes or Paulus Diaconus, who say
            that the Erules returned to Scandinavia after being defeated by the
            Langobards. There are disputed theories that they settled somewhere in
            the counties Blekinge and Småland, and the adherents of this theory
            use to pinpoint these facts (and possibly more):

            - the Erul rune inscriptions found in that area, most of them
            mentioning 'ek erilaR'...

            - local medieval customary law in some southern of the villages
            in Småland resembled Roman law more than the customary laws
            of the rest of Sweden,

            Possible objection: (constructed by myself) the Erul inscriptions
            are in Blekinge, the villages where the medieval customary law were
            aberrant is in Småland. Another objection (told by others) has been
            that ErilaR was a noble title, who later changed to the English
            'earl', counterparted by the Nordic 'jarl'. The 'erilaR' title has
            also been believed to be a rune magic title, thus explaining why the
            title was so frequent...

            Codex Argenteus came to Sweden during the 30 Year War fought by
            France/Sweden/Northern Protestants against The German Kaiser/The
            Catholic Church. Lars Hermodsson presents in his book 'Goterna'
            the theory that Charlemagne, who were positively interested in
            the Goths, got it when he invaded North Italy and saved the pope
            from the Langobards. Thereafter it was stored in a monastery for
            a long time, and later transferred as a war trophy to Prague,
            from where the Swedes took it during the 30 Year War.

            --
            med vänliga hälsningar (greetings)

            Tomas Kindahl
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          • Bertil Häggman
            ... In the 17th century Crimean Gothic words were preserved by a Belgian traveller: ita = one (Eng), eins (Germ), ett (Swe) tua= two, zwei, tvaa tria= three,
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 19, 1999
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              >I believe the end of the Crimean Gothic duchy is historically recorded
              >by Osman sources. They were crushed by the Turks and the Tatars in
              >league at an advanced stage of the Osman Empire. I also believe there
              >are later sources speaking about a Gothic remnant.


              In the 17th century Crimean Gothic words
              were preserved by a Belgian traveller:

              ita = one (Eng), eins (Germ), ett (Swe)
              tua= two, zwei, tvaa
              tria= three, drei, tre
              fyder=four, vier, fyra
              fynf=five, fuenf, fem
              seis= six, sechs, sex

              bruder= brother, Bruder, broder
              schueester=sister, Schwester, syster
              oeghene=eyes, Augen, oegon
              handa=hand, Hand, hand
              hoef=head, Haupt,Kopf,huvud
              plut=leave, blad
              ada=egg, Ei, aegg
              broe=bread, Brot, broed
              mine=moon, Mond, maane

              In all 86 words and expressions were collected
              at this time.

              >I think the common opinion (correct me if i'm wrong) is that a major
              >part of the Ostrogoths stayed in Italia, with concentration in the
              >northern area concentrated around Ravenna. After the catastrophic battle
              >at Mons Lactarius in AD552 a small part of the surviving troups marched
              >northwards, nobody knows for sure to where, the rest submitted to the
              >Byzantines. One hypothesis i have heard (or maybe i'm just fantasizing
              >myself) is that they joined the Visigoths. The main part of the Goths
              >seems to have been assimilated (to the Romans or the Langobards?). Lars
              >Hermodsson, in 'Goterna', says that there were typically gothic names
              >from the 11th century in nothern Italia, he cites "Williaric" and
              >others, but i want to know more about how easy it is to distinguish
              >between Gothic and Langobardian in order to be sure.

              For instance many first names in northern
              Italy are of Lombard origin. I have made a comparative
              study between Langobardic first names and Scandinavian
              first names. An extensive similarity can be noted.

              >There are theories about the Erules returning to Scandinavia. I don't
              >remember which of the sources, Jordanes or Paulus Diaconus, who say
              >that the Erules returned to Scandinavia after being defeated by the
              >Langobards. There are disputed theories that they settled somewhere in
              >the counties Blekinge and Småland, and the adherents of this theory
              >use to pinpoint these facts (and possibly more):


              The return of the Erules is described in Procopius.
              In a soon to be published article in English I have
              traced the Bysantine influence in southern Sweden
              and compared with the area possibly inhabited by the Erules.

              > - the Erul rune inscriptions found in that area, most of them
              > mentioning 'ek erilaR'...
              >
              > - local medieval customary law in some southern of the villages
              > in Småland resembled Roman law more than the customary laws
              > of the rest of Sweden,
              >
              >Possible objection: (constructed by myself) the Erul inscriptions
              >are in Blekinge, the villages where the medieval customary law were
              >aberrant is in Småland. Another objection (told by others) has been
              >that ErilaR was a noble title, who later changed to the English
              >'earl', counterparted by the Nordic 'jarl'. The 'erilaR' title has
              >also been believed to be a rune magic title, thus explaining why the
              >title was so frequent...


              Archealogical finds in central Scania point toward
              a connection with horse riding peoples on the
              steppes in Ukraine and southern Russia, peoples
              the Erules came into contact with during the trek
              from the mouth of the river Vistula to the coasts
              around the Sea of Azov. The finds are treated in my forthcoming
              article as well as Byzantine influence on ringforts built
              on the island of Oeland around the time of the return
              of the Erules from the coast of the Adriatic Sea.


              >Codex Argenteus came to Sweden during the 30 Year War fought by
              >France/Sweden/Northern Protestants against The German Kaiser/The
              >Catholic Church. Lars Hermodsson presents in his book 'Goterna'
              >the theory that Charlemagne, who were positively interested in
              >the Goths, got it when he invaded North Italy and saved the pope
              >from the Langobards. Thereafter it was stored in a monastery for
              >a long time, and later transferred as a war trophy to Prague,
              >from where the Swedes took it during the 30 Year War.


              For those who want to read more details
              of the history of the Codex Argenteus I
              refer to the von Friesen et. al book from 1928.
              See the list of contents I have published on this list.

              On the word "goetar", "gutar" (inhabitants
              of the island of Gotland) and Goths ("goter" in
              Swedish) can be said that there is a protogermanic
              root (*geut-/*gaut-/*gut-). The meaning of the root
              is "the one who pours out". What is poured out could be
              semen so Goth could originally be another word
              for man.

              Concerning Vaestergoetland and Oestergoetland
              these words could be interpreted as the areas
              where the river flows (westward or eastward).
              The Goetaland region would then be the area
              where rivers pour out. Also ancient English has
              a similar word, geat (with a long e) which has the
              same ethymological origin as "goet" and "got",
              meaning watercourse or similar. There are
              English names for villages and towns pointing toward
              the existence of such a word.

              With Gothic greetings

              Bertil Haggman


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