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Re: Visigoths

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  • ingemar.nordgren@ebox.tninet.se
    ... greater ... Hello Dirk, Yes indeed, and that is exactly what happened in the Visigotic realm - the different groups melted but the preconditions were
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 4 2:19 PM
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      --- In gothic-l@y..., dirk@s... wrote:


      > On the other hand, the conversion to Catholicism allowed for a
      greater
      > degree of integration with the 'native' population a fact that has
      > often been stress as reason for the relative success of the Frankish
      > kingdom.

      Hello Dirk,
      Yes indeed, and that is exactly what happened in the Visigotic realm -
      the different groups melted but the preconditions were dissimilar.
      What was good in France was bad in Spain. The Goths cesed to be Goths
      and so they also ceased to feel loyalty with the king but just with
      themselves. They were a small group of Germanic speaking nobles and
      warriors ruling a majority of Roman and Jewish population. When they
      ceased to stick together their ethnicity and the central state
      control dissapeared gradually. At first they could have opportunity to
      grab riches from the Jews and try to make business for themselves but
      in lack of good trade contacts they did not succeed in the long run.
      Maybe the riches annihilated were used also for imports making a short
      flourishing economy and then collaps. Compare Spain before the Dutch
      and British took over trade.The pope also may have contributed with
      kind of bribes making it more appealing for the kings to follow the
      dictate of Rome in spite of an increasing discontent among the
      commoners. The copper coinage may be local, isolated communities inner
      trade after the collapse of distant trade, earlier cared for by the
      Jews.Also note that free slave labour by the Jews might have in short
      sight led to increased revenue of agriculture.

      Greetings
      Ingemar
    • dirk@smra.co.uk
      ... Frankish ... - ... Goths ... to ... but ... short ... inner ... short ... Hello Ingemar, you seem to hold the view that conversion from Arianism to
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 5 3:05 AM
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        --- In gothic-l@y..., ingemar.nordgren@e... wrote:
        > --- In gothic-l@y..., dirk@s... wrote:
        >
        >
        > > On the other hand, the conversion to Catholicism allowed for a
        > greater
        > > degree of integration with the 'native' population a fact that has
        > > often been stress as reason for the relative success of the
        Frankish
        > > kingdom.
        >
        > Hello Dirk,
        > Yes indeed, and that is exactly what happened in the Visigotic realm
        -
        > the different groups melted but the preconditions were dissimilar.
        > What was good in France was bad in Spain. The Goths cesed to be
        Goths
        > and so they also ceased to feel loyalty with the king but just with
        > themselves. They were a small group of Germanic speaking nobles and
        > warriors ruling a majority of Roman and Jewish population. When they
        > ceased to stick together their ethnicity and the central state
        > control dissapeared gradually. At first they could have opportunity
        to
        > grab riches from the Jews and try to make business for themselves
        but
        > in lack of good trade contacts they did not succeed in the long run.
        > Maybe the riches annihilated were used also for imports making a
        short
        > flourishing economy and then collaps. Compare Spain before the Dutch
        > and British took over trade.The pope also may have contributed with
        > kind of bribes making it more appealing for the kings to follow the
        > dictate of Rome in spite of an increasing discontent among the
        > commoners. The copper coinage may be local, isolated communities
        inner
        > trade after the collapse of distant trade, earlier cared for by the
        > Jews.Also note that free slave labour by the Jews might have in
        short
        > sight led to increased revenue of agriculture.
        >
        > Greetings
        > Ingemar




        Hello Ingemar,

        you seem to hold the view that conversion from Arianism to Catholicism
        was a 'bad' move for the Visigothic state in Spain. Your argument
        implies that if the Visigoths had maintained Arianism and thus avoided
        integration into the majority Catholic population they would have
        maintained a higher degreee of ethnic Germanic cohesion and loyalty to
        the king, which in turn would have strengthen state power.


        That is an interesting view, but (without knowing too much about it) I
        would tend to see this differently. I thought that the change-over to
        Catholicism came in fact too late for the Visigoths. If they had
        adopted the religion of the majority of the population and allowed for
        a higher degree of social integration they could have mobilised this
        majority population to rally around the king and the ruling Visigothic
        elites. Instead, they continued to alienate virtually all sections of
        society, including the Roman Cathothic majority population to some
        extent but the Jews in particular. The latter may not have been
        essential for the survival of Visigothic power, but Visigothic policy
        towards this group seems to exemplify their overall attitude towards
        different ethnic and religious groups.

        In my view, the adoption of Catholicism may have succeeded in buying
        the Visigothic state some time, by for example removing the basis for
        religiously motivated attacks by the Frankish kingdom. Thus, I believe
        that adopting Catholicism at the end of the 6th century (with some
        retractions under Witteric in the early 7th century) was politically
        the right move, but it came far too late and was not accompanied by a
        more general change of attitude.

        Also, I cannot see why the conditions in the Frankish kingdom were so
        different from that in the Visigothic realm that the same fundamental
        policy should have produced opposite results. I believe that the
        Visigothic state was weakened by a high degree of segregation among
        different ethinic and religious groups. On top of this came a
        continuous infighting amongs Visigothic nobles, which I don't think
        would have been prevented by the maintaining of Arianism. So when the
        Muslim armies attacked in the early 8th century they were only met by
        different smaller Visigothic military detachments at different points
        and may actually have been very welcomed as saviours from Visigothic
        oppression by other parts of the population (most notably the Jews who
        knew that their brethren in North Africa were generally well-treated
        by the Muslims).

        cheers

        Dirk
      • Yair Davidi
        ... Some (perhaps many) of the Jews were Goths who had converted to Judaism. The Jews were allied to the Gothic nobility and economically important to them.
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 26 11:13 PM
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          At 15:40 16/02/01 +0000, you wrote:
          >--- In gothic-l@y..., Ingemar Nordgren <ingemar.nordgren@e...> wrote:
          > >
          > > >
          > > > I am trying
          > > > to gain some understanding of Visigothic attitudes to other ethnic
          > > > groups in the 7th century. Thus, as we know under King Sisebut
          >(610-32
          > > > or so) the Visigoths aquired sad notorieity for becoming one of
          >the
          > > > first European states to procecute the Jews on a large scale. I
          > > > suspect that the reason for this policy was a combination of
          >religious
          > > > fervour and economic interest. Is there any suggestion for the
          > > > latter? Sisebut is interestingly the first Visigothic king to
          >issue
          > > > gold coins on exceptionally large scale. In fact, Tremisses of
          >Sisebut
          > > > and his successor Suinthila make up some 90% of all 7th century
          > > > Visigothic coins. If anybody has some insights I would be
          >interested
          > > > to discuss these issues.
          > >
          > > hello Dirk,
          > >
          > > It is not so complicated in broad I think. The problem is the
          >conversion
          > > to Catholicism by Reccared. After that the pope arranged to withdraw
          >the
          > > royal protection of the faith of non-christians because of the
          >Catholic
          > > persecution of Jews.
          >
          >
          >Hello Ingemar and Manuel,
          >
          >thank you both for your replies. Ingemar, if I understand you
          >correctly, the persecution of the Jews by the Visigoths is the result
          >of the conversion from Arianism to Catholicism. But then, the Franks
          >were Catholic as well... although they may not have had significant
          >Jewish communities in their realm.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Before Arianism had been the uniting glue
          >keeping
          > > the Ethnicity intact. When catholics, every nobleman was closest to
          > > himself and allied with Roman and Celtic groups after the possible
          > > economic or other benefit.
          >
          >
          >On the other hand, the conversion to Catholicism allowed for a greater
          >degree of integration with the 'native' population a fact that has
          >often been stress as reason for the relative success of the Frankish
          >kingdom.
          >
          >
          >
          >Several groups also struggled for power.
          > > There were a number of Toledocouncils issuing more and more crazy
          > > decisions about Jews and in 702 they were made slaves without
          > > possibility to be freed, and the owner should control they did not
          > > practise their cult. Of course they joined the Arabs 711 and helped
          > > them before that to victory. The Jews had carried the whole
          >Visigothic
          > > economy you could say and the catastroph 711 was directly related
          >to
          > > the conversion and persecution of the Jews.I must however stress
          >that
          > > this was royal and papal policy and several opposition-groups
          >struggled
          > > for a return to Arianism.
          >
          >
          >Yes and early attempt was made under Witteric, but in general, I
          >thought the conversion to Catholicism was the better strategy for the
          >reason mentioned above.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >I think some of them joined the Cathars in
          > > Provence after the fall in 711.
          > >
          > > Kindly
          > > Ingemar
          >
          >
          >
          >One thing that I cannot understand is: you said that Jewish merchants
          >carried the Visigothic economy (and I belief that this is true to a
          >large extent), why should the first severe percecution of the Jews
          >coincide with a significant monetarisation of the Visigothic economy.
          >As I said in my first posting, the coins of Sisebut and Suinthila
          >account for about 90% of Visigothic minting in the 7th century. Such
          >an increase in monetarisation should have coincided with flourishing
          >trade.
          >
          >In other words, trade seemed to have increased at a time were the
          >conditions for the main trading group deteriorated. One possible
          >solution is of course that the sharp increase in mint output is not
          >related to trade at all, but to large scale military action, the
          >payment of mercenaries and the collection of taxes. After all under
          >Suinthila the remaining Byzantine strongholds in southern Spain were
          >driven out. On the other hand, this cannot really be the answer as
          >many towns in Visigothic Spain started to introduce a small
          >municipal copper coinage at the same time. This coinage would not be
          >suitable for paying for armies, but served small trade.
          >
          >cheers
          >Dirk

          Some (perhaps many) of the Jews were Goths who had converted to Judaism.
          The Jews were allied to the Gothic nobility and economically important to them.
          The conversion to Catholicism increased the power of the Monarchy which allied
          itself with the Church. By persecuting the Jews it was possible to
          undermine the power
          of the nobility something that both the Church and Monarchy were interested
          in doing.
          This in effect also placed more emphasis on the non-Gothic sections of society.
          Consequently both Gothic nobles and Jews were not entirely opposed to the
          Arab invasion.
          Yair Davidi, Jerusalem, Israel
        • Manuel Gutierrez Algaba
          ... I think that Gothic nobility had all the power. A strong Monarchy didn t appear in Europe till 15th-16th centuries. The best you could expect from a hard
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 28 12:54 PM
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            On Tue, 27 Mar 2001, Yair Davidi wrote:
            > >Dirk
            >
            > Some (perhaps many) of the Jews were Goths who had converted to Judaism.
            > The Jews were allied to the Gothic nobility and economically important to them.
            > The conversion to Catholicism increased the power of the Monarchy which allied
            > itself with the Church. By persecuting the Jews it was possible to
            > undermine the power
            > of the nobility something that both the Church and Monarchy were interested
            > in doing.

            I think that Gothic nobility had all the power. A strong Monarchy
            didn't appear in Europe till 15th-16th centuries. The best you
            could expect from a "hard" king is to have his nobles scared of him.
            Undermine the power of nobility ? I think it's impossible in that
            epoch. A king was more than happy just by no being killed by his fellow
            noblemen.

            > This in effect also placed more emphasis on the non-Gothic sections of society.
            > Consequently both Gothic nobles and Jews were not entirely opposed to the
            > Arab invasion.
            > Yair Davidi, Jerusalem, Israel
            >

            I think the Gothic state was so decadent they even didn't realize
            that an invasion was going on and much less what that invasion
            really meant.

            --
            Regards/Saludos
            Manolo
            http://spain.50g.com
          • kaoru666@hotmail.com
            Well... the visigotic empire in the 8th century was in decandency, yes; but not in that state of decadency that you meant, since in the past it was a glorious
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 28 3:28 PM
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              Well... the visigotic empire in the 8th century was in decandency,
              yes; but not in that state of decadency that you meant, since in the
              past it was a glorious empire. Even in that times, the life was
              better there than in the frankish, burgundian, lomabradic... kingdoms.

              Por cierto, preferiría escribir en castellano, pero pues es mejor que
              todos entiendan.

              Nos leemos,
              Alberto
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