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Re: Amali insignia

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  • dirk@smra.co.uk
    Hi Keth and the others, there is a depiction of a noble Roman women (believed to be Amalasuentha, but not certain) wearing this Phrygian Cap. I can positively
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 6, 2001
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      Hi Keth and the others,

      there is a depiction of a noble Roman women (believed to be
      Amalasuentha, but not certain) wearing this Phrygian Cap. I can
      positively say that there are no coins of any Ostrogothic ruler
      showing that type of head-gear. I remember that as a sign of royalty,
      an Ostrogothic king wore his hair unparted, but I am not sure about
      the exact source!

      The depiction of Theoderic on the gold medallion shows him holding a
      globe with the Roman goddess victory on top. Otherwise, his atire is
      that of a noble Roman. There is no depiction of Amalasuentha on any
      coin. Not even here name appears on a coin. There is also no portrait
      of Athalaricus. Theodahat was the first and only Ostrogothic rule to
      show his real, life-like portray on a coin. On these coins he is
      wearing what some people called a Spangenhelm, others despribed it as
      crown of Italy. He wears a large cross around his neck. Theodahatus is
      depicted as a slightly fat man, with neck-long hair and a moustache.
      The reverse is again the Roman Victory.

      On coins of Baduila, the king is presented in frontal view. The
      portrait is highly stylised, but a moustache is discernable on better
      specimines. Baduila also wears the 'Spangenhelm' (i.e. crown of
      Italy). None of the Ostrogothic coins show an Amal insignum of any
      type. However, as I said earlier, the Theodric monogramme seemed to
      have been used in that way on coins, artwork and documents.

      cheers,
      Dirk





      --- In gothic-l@y..., keth@o... wrote:
      > Mat├żaius wrote:
      >
      > >on 8/3/01 12:27 AM, Beril Haggman at mvk575b@t... wrote:
      > >
      > >Athalaric and Amalaswintha
      > >
      > >Seen reference that on coins they carried pilos (don't
      > >know what pilos is?) as head ornament. Also a collar
      > >cloak has been mentioned and in the case of
      > >Amalaswintha a tiara.
      > >
      > >
      > >Liddell and Scott say for Pilos from classical Greek sources:
      > >
      > >I wool or hair made into felt, used as a lining for helmets; for
      shoes. II
      > >anything made of felt, a felt skullcap like the modern fez. 2 a
      felt cloth.
      > >3 a felt cuirass.
      >
      > Could it be something like a Phrygian cap?
      >
      > I also have a picture of Amalaswinthas head, which is a bust
      > made of smooth stone. She wears an ornament in her hair that
      > looks like a chain and in the front there is something that looks
      > like a little medallion with 3 little hangers attached too it.
      > I also have a photo of a colden medallion that show Theoderic
      > en face. "rex theodericv spivsprincis" the Latin text says.
      > He wears Roman attire and holds up in his left hand somthing that
      > looks like an apple, and on top of the apple is a little angel(?)
      > holding what lookes like a plume and a diadem. The plume could
      > be a quill for writing, and the diadem looks a bit like a Greek
      > omega. Maybe these are the royal insignia that you were looking
      > for? Apart from that there isn't much concrete symbolism, except
      > for a kind of abstract art that seems to make a point of displaying
      > not symbols, but rather ornaments. What I do see, however, is
      > Theoderic's monogram on top of some capitels. (stone pillars)
      > By ornamental I mean flowers and wavy bands and things like that.
      >
      > What you do find are the various bird forms, but they wouldn't
      > be vultures, I don't think, because there are no such birds
      > in Northern Europe, though there might be some in Iran (?)
      > Then there are the many belt clasps and fibulae. But here
      > to the decorative patterns are remarkably abstract. Definitely
      > not symbolic in the sense of the later heraldic symbolism.
      > Perhaps these were 12th century artists who represented
      > Theoderic in the style of the artist's own century, which caused
      > him to look like a 12th century knight with shield and lance?
      > In that case heraldic symbols may have been added to the shield
      > by the artist. But such symbols probably only represented
      > the artist idea of what kind of "coat of arms" the legendary
      > king might have used. I do see a star on one medallian from Spain,
      > but from the context (Maria with Child) it is clear that it is
      > the Star of Bethlehem. I do not recall seeing many stars in
      > Germanic ornament/symbolism. Usually what you see, if you look
      > closely, are sometimes serpents, one-headed and two-headed ones.
      > Or other animals. Also many small concentric circles often
      > stamped on combs and ornaments such as belt buckles. Does any
      > one know what they might have signified? Crescents I have seen
      > as ornament/symbols in some cases, but not often. Crescent with
      > star sounds like the Turkish flag to me.
      >
      > Best regards
      > Keth
    • Francisc Czobor
      ... I have read somewhere that the bird-shaped fibulae of Goths and Gepids, representing birds of prey, are due to Iranic influence. On the other hand, the
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 7, 2001
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        --- In gothic-l@y..., keth@o... wrote:
        > ...
        > What you do find are the various bird forms, but they wouldn't
        > be vultures, I don't think, because there are no such birds
        > in Northern Europe, though there might be some in Iran (?)

        I have read somewhere that the bird-shaped fibulae of Goths and
        Gepids, representing birds of prey, are due to Iranic influence.
        On the other hand, the Goths knew the eagles, since there is a word
        for these birds in Gothic: ara, having cognates in other Germanic
        languages (OE earn, Eng. ern(e), MLG arn, Germ. dial. Aar, etc.)

        Francisc
      • dirk@smra.co.uk
        ... Hi Francisc, eagles lived all over Europe in these days and they are still living in the Alps and other parts and they played an important role in the
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 7, 2001
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          --- In gothic-l@y..., "Francisc Czobor" <czobor@c...> wrote:
          > --- In gothic-l@y..., keth@o... wrote:
          > > ...
          > > What you do find are the various bird forms, but they wouldn't
          > > be vultures, I don't think, because there are no such birds
          > > in Northern Europe, though there might be some in Iran (?)
          >
          > I have read somewhere that the bird-shaped fibulae of Goths and
          > Gepids, representing birds of prey, are due to Iranic influence.
          > On the other hand, the Goths knew the eagles, since there is a word
          > for these birds in Gothic: ara, having cognates in other Germanic
          > languages (OE earn, Eng. ern(e), MLG arn, Germ. dial. Aar, etc.)
          >
          > Francisc

          Hi Francisc,

          eagles lived all over Europe in these days and they are still living
          in the Alps and other parts and they played an important role in the
          mythology of many peoples. For the Romans it was usually associated
          with the dead and the eagle carried the soul of the dead away to
          heaven. Ostrogothic 40-nummi coins show a sitting Eagle, spreading its
          wings and turning its head backwards. This eagle is, most likely
          aluding to Roman traditions rather than Gothic beliefs, as this would
          be in keeping with the design on other Ostrogothic coins (Romulus and
          Remus, Roma-head, Victory, etc.)

          cheers,

          Dirk
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