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Re: Goths and Scandinavia

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  • faltin2001
    Hi Ingemar, I read the recent posts with some concern about the standard to which this list is sinking (not yours, but I address this to you since I know you
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 10, 2002
      Hi Ingemar,

      I read the recent posts with some concern about the standard to which
      this list is sinking (not yours, but I address this to you since I
      know you as a resonable person). There are people actually implying
      that continental scholars have 'hidden agendas' or are not expert
      enough on Scandinavia to be able to assess the problem of the origin
      of the Goths.

      Nobody in his right mind, can deny that people like V. Bierbrauer,
      Wolgakiewycs, K. Godlowski, A. Schwarcz, W. Pohl, H. Wolfram, P.
      Heather and others are (or in some cases were) 'the' leading experts
      on the Goths. Their research encompassed all available sources,
      primary and secondary. To suggest that there are Scandinavian
      sources and 'secret' evidence to which only Scandinavian scholars
      have access is complete and utter non-sense (as you no doubt know).
      The above scholars have (to varyings degrees) shown (with ample
      evidence) that an Scandinavian origin of the Goths is not likely. In
      purely scholarly terms, the burden of proof for a Scandinavian origin
      of the Goths has now shifted to those who still uphold those claims.

      I warmly recommend to you the latest book by Walter Pohl (Die
      Voelkerwanderung: Eroberung und Integration), Kohlhammer Verlag 2002.
      Pohl summarises the status quo of the research on this question and
      thus illustrated that a consensus of leading experts now rejects the
      theory of a Scandinavian origin of the Goths.



      Below are some comments to your text:



      --- In gothic-l@y..., Ingemar Nordgren <ingemar.nordgren@e...> wrote:
      >
      > There has been some negative comments concerning connections Goths
      and
      > Scandinavia as answers to Al. In some cases Al evidently has
      > misunderstood the Goths activities, indeed, but there still remains
      a
      > lot of Scandinavian traces. You simply can not regard the
      Scandinavian
      > hypothesis as obsolete even if some new Anglo Saxon and German
      books
      > claim that.




      Then you will have to provide the evidence for that and show that the
      volumes of evidence against a Scandinavian origin of the Goths are
      wrong.




      Bertil has pointed out other alternatives ( I am not
      > referring to Musset) and I could add my own doctoral thesis from
      1999,
      > as revised book 2000, "The Well Spring of the Goths", still only in
      > Swedish,sorry to say, and also the Swedish archaeologist docent
      Anders
      > Kaliff with his Gothic Connections. Professor Erik Nylén of Gotland
      has
      > also written a lot about Scandinavian/Gotlandic Goths and even
      Hachmann
      > has agreed the Nordic peoples are Goths - not only the Vistula
      Goths.



      Hachmann wrote in the 1960s and could hardly belief his findings,
      when the evidence pointed away from a Scandinavian origin of the
      Goths. He therefore used a very careful language.

      Nowadays' we know that there was not one Gothic tribe, which moved
      through history in a single line, but many different Gothic
      ethnogeneses. The Goths of the south Russian steppe will likely have
      been a very different people from those at the Baltic coast. The
      various Balkan and Danubian Gothic groups were again very different
      groups, often comprising people who where not even of Germanic
      origin. By far not all Goths followed Theoderich to Italy, instead
      he was accompanied by Alans, Rugians, Taifalians and probably many
      others who participated in yet another Gothic ethnogenesis.










      > Yurij Knysch also had some good arguments for a Nordic connection.
      > Herwig Wolfram also sees the connection.


      But Wolfram regards this only as a tradition, not an actual migration
      of a people or tribe.





      Another question is, of course,
      > if the Goths are a single folk or a number of different peoples as
      I
      > claim.


      Here we agree. If you read recent archaeological interpretations it
      becomes clear that a tribal identity meant much less than a social
      identity. The things that seem to define a 5th century Goths are in
      reality blurred. For example, many Romans were also Arians, even the
      head of the Arian church was a Roman and Theodric's mother was a
      Catholic. Being a Goth meant bearing weapons, and many whom we would
      identify now as Goth were perhaps Roman provincials or Alanic
      tribesmen.




      I could not resist jumping into the debate but I have no time to
      > continue now because I am still working on a paper and being
      busy
      > arranging the preparations for parttaking in an international
      conference
      > about Icelandic Sagas. I wish everybody a good summer already now
      > because I will just pop up now and then.


      A good summer to you too

      Dirk
    • Tore Gannholm
      ... Dirk, What worries me is that you are only referring to German scholars when we are talking about Scandinavian archaeology. As I can t get hold of Pohl s
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 10, 2002
        >
        >
        >
        >I warmly recommend to you the latest book by Walter Pohl (Die
        >Voelkerwanderung: Eroberung und Integration), Kohlhammer Verlag 2002.
        >Pohl summarises the status quo of the research on this question and
        >thus illustrated that a consensus of leading experts now rejects the
        >theory of a Scandinavian origin of the Goths.
        >
        > pop up now and then.
        >
        >
        >A good summer to you too
        >
        >Dirk
        >


        Dirk,
        What worries me is that you are only referring to German scholars
        when we are talking about Scandinavian archaeology.
        As I can't get hold of Pohl's book presently perhaps you can tell
        what Pohl writes about Kaliff's "Gothic connections" as this is the
        official standpoint at the University of Uppsala it is interesting to
        know if Pohl has any opinion about the present Swedish standlpoint.

        Tore
        --
      • finnestorp
        The connection between Goths, Götar and Gutar can not be decided by historians. Having spoken to leading Swedish archeologists and some polish i belive that
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 10, 2003
          The connection between Goths, Götar and Gutar can not be decided by
          historians. Having spoken to leading Swedish archeologists and some
          polish i belive that this short summary from Kaliff gives you an
          indication on where science stand in this issue today. Kaliff,
          Anders. 2001. Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern
          Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BC – 500 AD.
          Occational Papers in Archaeology 26. Uppsala.
          Different finds from archaeological investigations in eastern Sweden
          show evidence of close contacts with the Baltic coastal area on the
          continent, and further towards the south-east. This is visible in the
          find material from the Bronze Age onwards. Swedish rescue excavations
          in the past few years have contributed with material for the study of
          such contacts. From the Bronze Age onwards, there are signs of
          contacts between eastern Sweden and areas in modern Poland and
          eastern Germany and also with areas in the Baltic states. This is
          evident in material from several sites in eastern Sweden. Pottery as
          well as special house types and graves show contacts with the
          Lusatian culture, but also with more distant areas. These cultural
          elements fit well into a pattern of long-distance cultural contacts
          during the Bronze Age, probably maintained by an élite in society.
          These contact routes across the Baltic sea seem to have continued in
          a similar way during the Early Iron Age. During this period, some
          grave structures and objects demonstrate cultural contacts between
          Scandinavia and the Wielbark culture in Poland. Such finds have
          traditionally been connected with Jordanes´ Getica, and its account
          of a migration of Gothic people from Scandinavia. In modern research,
          the theory of a massive migration has generally been abandoned. The
          Wielbark culture is generally believed to have developed from earlier
          cultures in the same area. Research of recent years have more often
          focused on questions regarding a Gothic identification with a Nordic
          origin, as possibly invented during the 4th century or as a genuine
          tradition in the form of a myth. However, this does not explain
          archaeological evidence for contacts during earlier periods. A
          reasonable explanation for similarities in the material cultures can
          be that they are products of long-term contacts, perhaps originating
          in connections between the Lusatian culture and other urnfield groups
          on the continent and eastern Scandinavia already during the Late
          Bronze Age – Early Iron Age. Regular contacts between high ranking
          groups in different geographic areas could eventually have developed
          into a close relationship between certain groups of the Wielbark
          culture and groups of people in Scandinavia, visible in similarities
          in material culture, language and burial customs. The archaeological
          record could indicate that Jordanes´ history concerning the origin of
          the Goths was based on an oral tradition with some sort of real
          background.
        • Tore Gannholm
          Thanks for your comment. We have discussed this earlier but it seems to be forgotten after a while. Just to remind you the book is available for reading in my
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 10, 2003
            Thanks for your comment. We have discussed this earlier but it seems
            to be forgotten after a while. Just to remind you the book is
            available for reading in my research library on
            http://www.stavgard.com/Gotland/gothicconnectio_/gothic/default.htm

            Tore


            >The connection between Goths, Götar and Gutar can not be decided by
            >historians. Having spoken to leading Swedish archeologists and some
            >polish i belive that this short summary from Kaliff gives you an
            >indication on where science stand in this issue today. Kaliff,
            >Anders. 2001. Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern
            >Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BC – 500 AD.
            >Occational Papers in Archaeology 26. Uppsala.
            >Different finds from archaeological investigations in eastern Sweden
            >show evidence of close contacts with the Baltic coastal area on the
            >continent, and further towards the south-east. This is visible in the
            >find material from the Bronze Age onwards. Swedish rescue excavations
            >in the past few years have contributed with material for the study of
            >such contacts. From the Bronze Age onwards, there are signs of
            >contacts between eastern Sweden and areas in modern Poland and
            >eastern Germany and also with areas in the Baltic states. This is
            >evident in material from several sites in eastern Sweden. Pottery as
            >well as special house types and graves show contacts with the
            >Lusatian culture, but also with more distant areas. These cultural
            >elements fit well into a pattern of long-distance cultural contacts
            >during the Bronze Age, probably maintained by an élite in society.
            >These contact routes across the Baltic sea seem to have continued in
            >a similar way during the Early Iron Age. During this period, some
            >grave structures and objects demonstrate cultural contacts between
            >Scandinavia and the Wielbark culture in Poland. Such finds have
            >traditionally been connected with Jordanes´ Getica, and its account
            >of a migration of Gothic people from Scandinavia. In modern research,
            >the theory of a massive migration has generally been abandoned. The
            >Wielbark culture is generally believed to have developed from earlier
            >cultures in the same area. Research of recent years have more often
            >focused on questions regarding a Gothic identification with a Nordic
            >origin, as possibly invented during the 4th century or as a genuine
            >tradition in the form of a myth. However, this does not explain
            >archaeological evidence for contacts during earlier periods. A
            >reasonable explanation for similarities in the material cultures can
            >be that they are products of long-term contacts, perhaps originating
            >in connections between the Lusatian culture and other urnfield groups
            >on the continent and eastern Scandinavia already during the Late
            >Bronze Age – Early Iron Age. Regular contacts between high ranking
            >groups in different geographic areas could eventually have developed
            >into a close relationship between certain groups of the Wielbark
            >culture and groups of people in Scandinavia, visible in similarities
            >in material culture, language and burial customs. The archaeological
            >record could indicate that Jordanes´ history concerning the origin of
            >the Goths was based on an oral tradition with some sort of real
            >background.
            >

            --
          • faltin2001
            ... These are names - ethnonyms! Only historians and philologists can decide on a connection between ethnic groups, because artefacts don t usually carry
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 11, 2003
              --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "finnestorp" <martin.skoglund@s...>
              wrote:
              > The connection between Goths, Götar and Gutar can not be decided by
              > historians.



              These are names - ethnonyms! Only historians and philologists can
              decide on a connection between ethnic groups, because artefacts don't
              usually carry names. Archaeologists can tell us which material
              cultures had contacts, moved to which places or took influences from
              which other cultures. But they cannot say that Goths and Goetar and
              Gutar have anything to do with each other.

              Hence, this problem was studied by historians and philologists mostly
              and the latest work in this line is A. S. Christensen's book on
              Jordanes and Cassiodorus, and Christensen showed that Gutar/Goetar
              and Gothi have basically nothing in common, thus confirming the
              archaeological evidence regarding the respective material cultures
              involved.

              Francisc said a few important things in an earlier message. There are
              always those people who want to connect themselves, their country
              their people their history to the glorious past of a seemingly heroic
              people like the Goths. Hence, we had Scandinavians for centuries
              claiming that they are the Goths or that they are decendents of the
              Goths or at least that the Goths are Scandinavians. Some people even
              said that the Goths were the brethren or kinsmen of the
              Scandinavians. And now we have even some Indians making similar
              claims. All of this is wrong and a distortion of history. It
              completely disregards what we know about ethnic dynamics in those
              periods.

              The actual ethnic people of the Gothi was created just north of the
              Black Sea sometime around 200AD. The most eminent scholars like
              Wolfram, Schwarcs, Heather, Pohl, Goffart and others would all agree
              on this. The history of the Goths is a fractured history consisting
              of multipe ethnogeneses. The straight migration lines of old text
              books are a thing of the past. The ethnogenesis at the Black Sea
              involved various groups, of which the Germanic component was clearly
              the most dominante. We can only assume that the Gotones of the first
              century were involved, but we cannot deduct this from the Getica.
              Instead, we must use archaeology and first/second century
              historiography to presume this link.

              This ethnogenesis took place in a geographical region which was bound
              to the Germania proper for centuries, by trade links etc. as A.
              Kaliff and others have shown. Other Germanic groups, like the Sciri
              and Basternae had also moved from the Oder river to the lower Danube
              along the same routes which people had used for centuries as finds
              like the Vedersfelder fish show. Clearly, Scandinavia was certainly a
              part of this trade and exchange nexus. Groups of Scandinavians will
              at practically all times have settled on the continent, and
              archaeological evidence seems to point to a movement of
              Scandinavians, especially from the broad aread Funen to the Black
              Sea, which may be linked to the movement of Heruls from 200AD.

              However, all this is different from claims that the Goths were
              Scandinavians, that the Goths had come from Scandinavia etc. The
              Goths emerged only aroud 200AD in an area far removed from
              Scandinavia. The material culture on which their ethnogenesis was
              based has never been in Scandinavia or derived from Scandinavia (let
              alone India, but his goes without saying). Their Germanic language
              was not closer to North Germanic than to any other Germanic dialect.
              Tracing a Gothic history to the Vistula is already questionable, as
              Christensen has demonstrated, but trying to push their history back
              to the period BC is simply not permissable.


              Cheers,
              Dirk







              Having spoken to leading Swedish archeologists and some
              > polish i belive that this short summary from Kaliff gives you an
              > indication on where science stand in this issue today. Kaliff,
              > Anders. 2001. Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern
              > Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BC – 500 AD.
              > Occational Papers in Archaeology 26. Uppsala.
              > Different finds from archaeological investigations in eastern
              Sweden
              > show evidence of close contacts with the Baltic coastal area on the
              > continent, and further towards the south-east. This is visible in
              the
              > find material from the Bronze Age onwards. Swedish rescue
              excavations
              > in the past few years have contributed with material for the study
              of
              > such contacts. From the Bronze Age onwards, there are signs of
              > contacts between eastern Sweden and areas in modern Poland and
              > eastern Germany and also with areas in the Baltic states. This is
              > evident in material from several sites in eastern Sweden. Pottery
              as
              > well as special house types and graves show contacts with the
              > Lusatian culture, but also with more distant areas. These cultural
              > elements fit well into a pattern of long-distance cultural contacts
              > during the Bronze Age, probably maintained by an élite in society.
              > These contact routes across the Baltic sea seem to have continued
              in
              > a similar way during the Early Iron Age. During this period, some
              > grave structures and objects demonstrate cultural contacts between
              > Scandinavia and the Wielbark culture in Poland. Such finds have
              > traditionally been connected with Jordanes´ Getica, and its account
              > of a migration of Gothic people from Scandinavia. In modern
              research,
              > the theory of a massive migration has generally been abandoned. The
              > Wielbark culture is generally believed to have developed from
              earlier
              > cultures in the same area. Research of recent years have more often
              > focused on questions regarding a Gothic identification with a
              Nordic
              > origin, as possibly invented during the 4th century or as a genuine
              > tradition in the form of a myth. However, this does not explain
              > archaeological evidence for contacts during earlier periods. A
              > reasonable explanation for similarities in the material cultures
              can
              > be that they are products of long-term contacts, perhaps
              originating
              > in connections between the Lusatian culture and other urnfield
              groups
              > on the continent and eastern Scandinavia already during the Late
              > Bronze Age – Early Iron Age. Regular contacts between high ranking
              > groups in different geographic areas could eventually have
              developed
              > into a close relationship between certain groups of the Wielbark
              > culture and groups of people in Scandinavia, visible in
              similarities
              > in material culture, language and burial customs. The
              archaeological
              > record could indicate that Jordanes´ history concerning the origin
              of
              > the Goths was based on an oral tradition with some sort of real
              > background.
            • Tore Gannholm
              Another intersting piece of information is Professor Mårten Stenbergers descritpition of Gotlands trade relations from an archaeological point of view.
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 13, 2003
                Another intersting piece of information is Professor Mårten
                Stenbergers descritpition of Gotlands trade relations from an
                archaeological point of view.

                Unforutnately I can't find that it has been published in either
                English or German.
                http://www.stavgard.com/Gotland/romaniron_/forngotland/default.htm


                "Under yngre bronsålder, som inföll ca 1000-500 f. Kr. f.,
                intensifierades den gotländska handeln. Med de av nordisk formgivning
                kännetecknade föremålen förenar sig ett stort antal främmande
                produkter, som peka åt samma håll som många av importartiklarna från
                äldre bronsålder, men en del ge perspektiv av långt större räckvidd.
                Handeln hade blivit vad vi på modernt språk skulle kallat
                internationell. Inte så, att de gotländska köpmännen alltid
                personligen uppsökt de områden, där dessa olika föremål blivit
                framställda, men genom egen och andras verksamhet och initiativ hade
                de blivit medlemmar av den merkantila gemenskapen i ett affärsivrigt,
                av handelsforor och farkoster livligt genomkorsat Europa. Det var
                alltså ej endast med grannländerna i väster, söder och öster och de
                närmast utanför dessa belägna affärskretsarna, man på Gotland var mer
                eller mindre förbunden, utan ön nåddes av varor, som tillverkats i
                avlägset liggande länder, i väst- och centraleuropa, ja till och med
                i Kaukasusområdet. Föremålen från det senare området torde angiva en
                handelsled tvärs genom det nuvarande Ryssland. Särskilt livliga voro
                emellertid förbindelserna med nordtyskland, östra Skandinavien och
                Baltikum, medan av allt att döma det dansk-skånska området av någon
                anledning nu kommit mera i skymundan.

                Den gotländska kulturen var emellertid inte endast mottagande utan
                även expansiv. Väster om Rigaviken, i Kurland, finns en flock
                skeppsformiga stensättningar, lika dem på Gotland och hänförande sig
                till samma tid som dessa, vilka ej kunna uppfattas på annat sätt än
                som byggda av människor, vilka utflyttat från Gotland till andra
                sidan Östersjön."

                "During younger bronze age that occurred ca 1000-500 B.C. the
                Gotlandic trade was intensified. Together with those of Nordic design
                recognized artefacts we can also see a large amount of imported
                products. These point at the same direction as the import goods from
                the older bronze age. However some give the perspective of coming
                from much further away. Trade had become,as we today call
                international. That does not mean that the Gotlandic business men
                always personally visited the areas where these artefacts were
                produced. Through their own and others efforts and initiative had
                they become members of the mercantile community which in various ways
                criss-crossed Europe. It was not only with the neighbors in West
                East and South and those countries next to them the people on Gotland
                had contact. Goods from far away like West- and Central Europa as
                well as Kaukasus reached Gotland. Goods from the latter area indicate
                a trade route through present day Russia. Especially lively were the
                connections with North Germany, Eastern Scandinavia and Balticum. On
                the other hand the Danish-Skåne area lost in importance.

                The Gotlandic culture was however not only receiving but even
                expansive. West of the Golf of Riga in Kurland there are a couple of
                graves in ships form, similar to those in Gotland and date to the
                same period. These can only be interpreted as built by people that
                have emigrated from Gotland to the other side of the Baltic."

                "Tiden ca 150-Kr. f. har kännetecknats av stort materiellt uppsving
                på Gotland liksom på Öland och i de östra delarna av det
                fastlandssvenska området samt mellansverige. Stora gravfält, som
                varit gemensamma för några gårdar eller en begränsad bygd, börja visa
                sig. Den tidigare fattigdomen avlöses av rikedom på fynd, så talrika
                till och med, att Gotland är rikare representerat från denna tid än
                varje annan del av vårt land. "

                "The time about 150 B.C. marks a great material lift in Gotland as
                well as in Öland and in the eastern parts of the Swedish mainland.
                Large grave fields that were common for some farms or a limited area
                start to show. The earlier time of poverty is changed into large
                richness of finds, so numerous that Gotland has more finds than any
                other part of Sweden."

                "Den utrustning, som den gotländske krigaren har under keltisk tid,
                var i stort sett densamma som de östgermanska stammarnas på
                kontinenten och med keltiskt vapenskick hade den föga gemensamt. I
                vapenformerna på östgermansk botten spåras inflytanden under ett
                tidigare skede från den för länge sedan försvunna Hallstattkulturen. "

                "The equipment that the Gotlandic warrior uses during celtic time is
                more or less the same as the East germanic tribes on the continent.
                With celtic armour it had nothing to do. In the forms of weapons in
                the East germanic areas one can trace the influence from an earlier
                era long ago, the Hallstatt culture that disappeared"

                Tore





                Thanks for your comment. We have discussed this earlier but it seems
                to be forgotten after a while. Just to remind you the book is
                available for reading in my research library on
                http://www.stavgard.com/Gotland/gothicconnectio_/gothic/default.htm

                Tore


                >The connection between Goths, Götar and Gutar can not be decided by
                >historians. Having spoken to leading Swedish archeologists and some
                >polish i belive that this short summary from Kaliff gives you an
                >indication on where science stand in this issue today. Kaliff,
                >Anders. 2001. Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern
                >Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BC – 500 AD.
                >Occational Papers in Archaeology 26. Uppsala.
                >Different finds from archaeological investigations in eastern Sweden
                >show evidence of close contacts with the Baltic coastal area on the
                >continent, and further towards the south-east. This is visible in the
                >find material from the Bronze Age onwards. Swedish rescue excavations
                >in the past few years have contributed with material for the study of
                >such contacts. From the Bronze Age onwards, there are signs of
                >contacts between eastern Sweden and areas in modern Poland and
                >eastern Germany and also with areas in the Baltic states. This is
                >evident in material from several sites in eastern Sweden. Pottery as
                >well as special house types and graves show contacts with the
                >Lusatian culture, but also with more distant areas. These cultural
                >elements fit well into a pattern of long-distance cultural contacts
                >during the Bronze Age, probably maintained by an élite in society.
                >These contact routes across the Baltic sea seem to have continued in
                >a similar way during the Early Iron Age. During this period, some
                >grave structures and objects demonstrate cultural contacts between
                >Scandinavia and the Wielbark culture in Poland. Such finds have
                >traditionally been connected with Jordanes´ Getica, and its account
                >of a migration of Gothic people from Scandinavia. In modern research,
                >the theory of a massive migration has generally been abandoned. The
                >Wielbark culture is generally believed to have developed from earlier
                >cultures in the same area. Research of recent years have more often
                >focused on questions regarding a Gothic identification with a Nordic
                >origin, as possibly invented during the 4th century or as a genuine
                >tradition in the form of a myth. However, this does not explain
                >archaeological evidence for contacts during earlier periods. A
                >reasonable explanation for similarities in the material cultures can
                >be that they are products of long-term contacts, perhaps originating
                >in connections between the Lusatian culture and other urnfield groups
                >on the continent and eastern Scandinavia already during the Late
                >Bronze Age – Early Iron Age. Regular contacts between high ranking
                >groups in different geographic areas could eventually have developed
                >into a close relationship between certain groups of the Wielbark
                >culture and groups of people in Scandinavia, visible in similarities
                >in material culture, language and burial customs. The archaeological
                >record could indicate that Jordanes´ history concerning the origin of
                >the Goths was based on an oral tradition with some sort of real
                >background.
                >

                --

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