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Goterkaellan

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  • Ingemar Nordgren
    Hello folks, I tried to send this as a file but it does not seem to have been received. I had a picture of the cover included. Instead i copy the written
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 3, 2001
      Hello folks,
      I tried to send this as a file but it does not seem to have been
      received. I had a picture of the cover included. Instead i copy the
      written summary after the main message.

      I have read the list from time to time and seen some very shrewd
      interpretations of my book Goterkaellan-The Well Spring of the Goths. I
      judge it nessecary to submit an English summary to straighten things up.
      I am hoping to find an English and a German publisher as well but till
      now I have been busy producing enough books in Swedish. The first
      edition is already sold out and recently the second edition is out for
      sale. It is revised containing both a German and an English summary and
      my examination of Nordic and Continental Ringnames has been adjusted to
      the last results in a summary but the full examination is published in
      Migracijske Teme 1-2, Zagreb 2000.

      The book contains 444 numbered pages plus foreword et c, has soft cover
      and is in B5 format (17,6 x 25 cm). The attached file contains the
      summary and a picture of the cover.

      Those interested in buying the book cheeper than in the bookstore may
      contact me directly via mail.

      I will probably not have time to perform a regular debate just now but I
      follow the list when I can.

      Kindly
      Ingemar Nordgren, Ph.D.
      Sjögrässtigen 15
      S-533 73 KÄLLBY
      Sweden
      46-510-541851
      ingemar.nordgren@...



      The Well Spring of the Goths - Summary
      This work rests on the hypothesis that the Goths were not a people, but
      a number of different peoples and tribes, held together through a common
      religious background. It means that not only the Vistula Goths, but also
      other peoples, could regard themselves as Goths. The religion therefore
      could be considered as the Gothic ethnicity. To verify this hypothesis
      the book starts with an examination of a number of different
      researchers' opinions concerning the Germanic religion during the Iron
      Age. The cults of the fertility gods and the combined god Óðinn-gaut are
      carefully examined and analyzed, and it is tried to reconstruct the cult
      of the presumed god Gaut, and to decide his possible place in the divine
      pantheon of the Nordic gods. During this process it is judged nessecary
      to try to follow the religious developement all the way from the
      Stone-Age. In doing this conclusions are drawn from the archaeological
      material, as well as from works within the field of history of religion
      and from old Nordic sagas.
      According to the hypothesis the cult of Gaut becomes actual in the end
      of the Nordic Bronze Age, when the climate gradually became less
      favourable, and the local chieftains needed to establish a firmer
      control of the warriors to guard the pastures of the cattle. Cattle
      breeding became more and more important the less harwest the earth
      yilded. It was not possible then to cultivate the clay-soil but it was
      exellent for cattle breeding. Because of the climate it was nessecary to
      keep the cattle in stables during the winter and it means the farm must
      lie close to the pasturelands. Because of the poor harwest it was no
      longer possible to run hughe farms with a lot of people sustained by a
      chieftain. These circumstances initiated a developement towards small
      farms run by single families, which for the chieftains resulted in a
      loss of power, when people no longer depended of them for food and
      shelter. During these circumstances, when the sacral king or chieftain
      no longer convincingly could claim to be the sun-god reborn, it was
      important to find a new motivation to recruite warriors. What then could
      be better than a personification of the god in the local chieftain.
      Farming was dependent on the protection by divine powers, and such a
      protection the chieftains could offer in the shape of secret men's
      leauges, which could be used as well as demon-hunters in the fields as
      well as warriors' leauges.
      The question is raised wether Gaut was a foreign war-god or if he
      possibly was included in the old fertility cult. This sun-fertility
      cult of Bronze Age Scandinavia is connected with the common name of the
      peoples worshipping the fruitful sun - Sviþioþ - meaning 'the
      Sun-people'. The king, Svíakonungr, accordingly must be interpreted as
      the 'Sun-king'.
      Another problem is if, and if so when, the cult of Óðinn is imported
      from the continent, or if it is originally domestic in Scandinavia and
      that Óðinn earlier was known under another name, for example Gaut. The
      examination leads to the conclusion, that the cult of Óðinn att least
      officially must be regarded as an immgrant. Still there is a possibility
      that Gaut, who gives the impression of a shamanistic fertility-god,
      could be regarded as a local variant of Óðinn, even if he was not the
      chief god-king and maybe also limited to southern Scandinavia with
      surroundings. Possibly he was from the beginning regarded mostly as a
      creator-god and divine ancestor of the people, and later sacral
      chieftains started to motivate their rule with genealogical inheritance
      from the god. Such a motivation differs widely from the claim of the
      Svíakonungr to be the reborn sun-god Ingr/Frejr. According to Skírnismál
      he was the reborn Balðr and probably earlier also ÚllR. He was indeed
      literally the reborn sun. Regarding the later cult of Óðinn the
      conclusion is drawn that it functioned very much like the hypothetical
      cult of Gaut - it supported a similar social structure. Because of this
      it is motivated to regard Gaut as in any case a variant of Óðinn. The
      Goths seem to have aknowledged a sacral king quite a long time, but with
      the continental cult of Óðinn a process is speeding up leading to the
      transfer of power to the local chieftains, even if the very beginning of
      this process goes back to the chieftains claiming genealogical descent
      from Gaut. We become a number of Gefolgschaft-kingdoms who in some
      cases with the aid of christianity are developed into modern states.
      The Vistula Goths probably kept their sacral kingdoms' structure until
      the arrival to the Black Sea, meaning that the institution of Kindins
      in Gutþiuða, which is thoroughly examined, represents the last stage of
      the declining sacral kingdom of the Goths. The cult of Óðinn, as well
      as of Gaut, is however no cult for the people but for kings, chieftains
      and warriors. The opinion is forwarded that the people all the time
      worships the old fertility-gods. The sacral king is primarily tied to
      the peoples' cult. Just this function is executed by the kinsman -
      Kindins - in the Gothic realm in Dacia.
      The family of gods, resulting of the arrival of the cult of Óðinn, are
      functionally examined. Ablabius of Jordanes is also hopingly identified
      as the praetorian prefect of Rome under Constantine the Great.
      It is concluded, that the peoples claiming descent from Gaut provenly
      come from Scandinavian surroundings or that they claim to do so. This is
      understood as another indication, that in the bottom it deals with a
      declining cultic leauge. This leads to the conclusion that the names of
      Svíar, as well as Goths, Gautar, Gutar and Ýtar (Jutes), are theophoric
      names. The last mentioned group includes the peoples claiming descent
      from Gaut - they are 'the humans', 'the outpoured'. The origin of this
      cultic league may be sought in the former sun-cult-league, who's
      tribes/peoples all regarded themselves as Sviþioþ - the sun people. Even
      the Suebs might have been part of this. The tribes/peoples claiming
      descent from Gaut and accordingly regarding each other as kind of kins,
      even if this not automatically leads to political unity, at about AD
      called themselves or are mentioned in classic sources,
      Gautar,Jutar,Gutar, Gutones/Gudones/Gutoi. As the cult of Gaut is
      moulded into a politically more open form through a sacral king,
      confronting the old sacral kingdom, and later through increasingly
      stronger local chieftains, personifying the god in the warrior cult,
      finally joins with the cult of Óðinn, and this cult is generally
      accepted all over Scandinavia in about 500 AD, the result is, that the
      old title Svíakonungr is then taken over by a ruler motivating his power
      with descent from Óðinn.
      The presumed kings of the later 'folklands' north of the Mälar lake
      formally keep the claim to be related to Yngvi-Frejr, but now in the
      form of a genealogical descent from Óðinn-gaut via Njorðr and
      Yngvi-Frejr - a clearly odinistic claim. The circumstance, that the
      king is connected with the name of Upsala, does not mean that he
      nessecarily must be tied to a decided place Upsala, because there are in
      Scandinavia and Britain within the activity-area of the old mythic
      Ynglinga- and Skilfinga-kings about 200 places with this name. These are
      in several cases possible to tie to cult-places of the cult of
      Frejr/Freja. The king, also a petty-king, was also the goðe, 'the
      priest', of the local cult of Frejr/Freja. In the Mälar lake area the
      women seemingly have preserved their positions within the cult better
      than in other areas, which leads to the conclusion that this area, at
      least within the fertility cult, has played a decisive role.
      The question wether the Vistula Goths originate from Scandinavia, as is
      supposed by Jordanes, can of course never be assuringly answered. In the
      available material is however a number of factors indicated showing a
      possible Scandinavian origin. Scandinavia includes in this sense the
      whole Nordic area inclusive Denmark/Jutland with surroundings and the
      Scandinavian peninsula up to middle Norway or, in other words, the whole
      Baltic- and Kattegat region. A hughe emigration, as is described by
      Jordanes, is hard to find evidence for in Scandinavia around AD. However
      there are in Sweden evident indications in the form of terminated
      grave-fields, specially in Västergötland, but also in other areas, and
      in the whole country there is an evident lack of finds between
      approximately 300 BC to AD. Also in Västergötland there is quite a
      great amount of migration-period gold, showing in the direction of
      contacts with the Goths. Hachmann has raised objections against an
      emigration but they are partly rejected. Still it is nessecary to
      consider his statement about the mentioning by Plinius of Pytheas'
      knowledge of the Goths on the continent already about 350 BC. To explain
      this you must consider the fact, that on the island of Gotland there are
      terminated grave-fields and other indications of an emigration around
      350-300 BC. As told above there is also a lack of finds on the Swedish
      mainland during the same period. These circumstances may possibly be
      interpreted in that way, that there could have been an emigration at
      three different occasions, which is another way of indicating three
      different immigrations to the Vistula area.
      The first emigration, perhaps with dominance from Gotland, should then
      be dated at about 350 BC. Among the Nordic dialects the dialect of
      Gotland is most similar to the Gothic of Wulfila's bible. On the
      mainland, according to Wessén, it is the dialects of Götaland
      (Gautland). According to Gutenbrunner these tribes might have intended
      to establish extended trade-posts for the amber trade. In connection
      with this trade Pytheas might have heard of the Goths. The second wave
      then should have arrived at about AD. It is nessecary to presuppose,
      that the first immgrants have not superposed the old culture in the
      Vistula area because of the not uniform graves, indicating that they
      have lived as neighbours to the other tribes. Archaeologically there
      are similarities also with Östergötland. Probably in the second wave it
      deals with a military organised enterprise with a common cult for the
      whole area and with a grave-custom that can be traced from among else
      Västergötland and West-Sweden. Earlier neighbour-peoples might now have
      been gothizised, at least what concerns the cult. Peter Heather has also
      pointed out the fact, that the Wielbark-culture gives the impression of
      a great cultic league. The third wave, coming from the whole Baltic- and
      Kattegat-region, you could connect with the Gepids as Jerzy Okulicz
      convincingly has done.
      Many linguists mean, that the Goths originate in Scandinavia. They are
      however split into two factions. Either they mean that the Goths left
      Scandinavia while they still spoke Proto-Germanic or that they spoke a
      transition-language Goto-Nordic. That question is of no importance for
      this work because for both possibilites it must be presupposed that the
      first language-shifting, which evidently began about 300-200 BC and
      resulted in dialectical differences, has influenced the Nordic languages
      but not the Gothic. The emigration accordingly must be dated at about
      this time either with a Proto-Germanic language or with a Goto-Nordic.
      Ernst Schwarz means, that this language might be unchanged still during
      the 1st c. BC. Through the name-form Goutai delivers Ptolemaios only
      about 150 AD evidence that the languge-shifting has reached Scandinavia.
      Linguistically is accordingly nothing to object against an emigration
      but nor can you prove it in that way. Müllenhoffs thesis about a Gothic
      immigration in Scandinavia, is only supported by the archaeologist
      Kmiecinski and by Scherer. The cultural superpositioning by the
      emigration which Jordanes places in the time of king Berig, and which
      might be identical with the second wave, is confirmed through
      archaeological changes indicating a military and religious, but not
      nessecarily a totally cultural, superpositioning. Among else disappears
      weapongraves completely - cf. Tacitus about 'the sueonic tribes', where
      the kings have controlled all weapons, that they only could be used in
      controlled fighting. As an alternative the custom of burying men without
      weapons may be put in connection with the initiated warriors in
      shamanistic mens' leagues. These warriors, initiated through symbolic
      hanging and spearwound, were regarded as living dead. When such a
      warrior dies another takes his place. If he already was regarded dead,
      it was only the body that was buried and the weapons were still needed.
      A woman maybe only died once and so the funeral was more costly and
      women even had knives etc. with them. There is no way to decide exactly
      why we have graves for men with no weapons in them, but these are at
      least two suggestions. Maybe both could be correct?
      It is agreed with Wenskus that the by Jordanes described emigration has
      taken place under a sacral king but disagreed with him when he means
      the kingdom grew stronger during the process of migration. During the
      actual migration is a sacral king of course strong and also when he
      leads fights for freedom and defense when they are travelling. It is
      quite another matter when they settle within their own boundaries and
      there is peace. During those circumstances the real power lies with the
      chieftains and even in case of a defensive war the king then can give
      no orders outside the boundaries. With the transition to the cult of
      Óðinn-gaut he becomes, as already remarked, weaker and weaker until his
      function totally disappears. For the Goths this process finally leads to
      the arianic kingdoms in Italy and France/Spain, all ruled by a reiks and
      not a þiuðans.
      It has been regarded as pure chance that the Goths took the arianic
      confession. In that way you may not explain why they stayed with it so
      decisively in spite of the defiance of later church-officials. It does
      also not explain the sucessful Gothic mission among all other
      continental Germanic tribes with exeption of the Franks. Maybe it is
      easier to understand if you regard the cultic background of the
      Germanic warriors. Normally they were initiated to Óðinn-gaut and was
      thereby symbolically hanged and stabbed by a spear - they were indeed
      symbolically killed and reincarnated as 'living dead'. Their kings were
      initiated in similar way and they also claimed to be descendants of
      Gaut, later Óðinn-gaut.
      In the arianism is Jesus God's son but also human, he is
      killed(sacrified) and reincarnated (as a human). Such a process might
      for the Germans be quite natural and understandable. Of course the arian
      clergymen did not regard Christ as a mere human but the common folk
      would hardly care of such finesses. The son could of course not be the
      same person as the father, and so even the Holy Ghost was added as the
      same person by the nicenians. The arian opposal to this statement might
      well be understood by the Germans as a rejection of a polyteistic
      religion with three gods. They had been told there was only one god.
      Still an important explanation is that it replaced the old common cult
      with a new which differed from the neigbouring mediterranean folks and
      in that way served as the new ethnicity, which stopped the Goths to
      merge with the new cultures. Not until they accepted the catholic faith
      did the ethnicity finally begin to dissolve.
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