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Re: Gothic "origin" - what is that?

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  • Ingemar Nordgren
    Grüß Dirk, ... I never did say so in any case, and I agree with you that there are no hidden agendas. About the expertness in Scandinavian business I am not
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 10, 2002
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      Grüß Dirk,

      Du hast geschrieben:

      >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.


      I never did say so in any case, and I agree with you that there are no
      hidden agendas.
      About the expertness in Scandinavian business I am not that sure. This
      is partly a matter of understanding and interpreting language, meaning
      that not all scientists can get hold of all Scandinavian materiel, even
      if the more well known people probably can access and understand most
      of it. (Accidentally you have my book but can not read and understand
      it). This is however not a question of language solely but also of
      interpretation of both archaeological finds/reports and written sources.
      To read is not always to understand!
      I am also convinced that nobody of any nationality and in any country
      can suceed to gain all information being written long ago and have
      access to all archaeological reports et c. I do not only speak of
      Scandinavian materiel now. There are also, in any country, a lot of
      unpublished papers on undergraduate level that can contain important
      point of wievs, that are not known to more than some local people et c.
      I have gained access to some such material myself and it is now
      published in my book. So I would not say that there are no unknown
      documents/reports but I have no idea of how many or where. I do however
      agree that it is wrong to make the possibility of unknown documents et
      c.the main point of argumentation.

      >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).


      As stated above there sure are local sources in any land that native
      researchers have a better chance to find - not only in Scandinavia. I
      agree these names that you mention are outstanding and I have used
      materiel from all of them except Andreas in my book. Besides I have had
      personal contacts with e.g. both Wolfram and Heather and with Polish
      archaeologists as Jerzy Ockulicz in Warszawa and Piotr Kaczanowski in
      Krakow and in Germany e.g. Torsten Capelle in Münster and a German
      archaeologist in UK-Heinrich Härke in Reading, and also with historians
      as Maciej Salamon in Krakow being considered a Gothic specialist et c.
      et c. I accordingly humbly might suggest that my book/dissertation is on
      no lower level than the other historically based multi-disciplinary
      books but I am of course not an archaeologist. It happens that mine book
      is the first multidisciplinary research on the Goths ever published in
      Sweden in our own language. Earlier there has been linguistic and
      archeological and historical resarches but not combined and not in
      modern time. I have indeed introduced a brand new explanation of
      ethnicity for the Goths that go contrary to everybody above, as you well
      know, and that is why I find it natural that different archaeological
      and especially osteological finds might seem contradictionary. Heather
      has e.g. concluded the Wielbark culture gave the impression of a cultic
      league (including different peoples) which is exactly my wiew.

      >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.


      Well, my book is only available in Swedish, and if I not find a
      publisher in German or English I can not afford to print it myself. That
      is the problem not being tied to an institution and being close to
      retirement age. I just understood that you were saying there were no
      problems for foreigners to get access to Scandinavian materiel??



      >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.


      I will read it with interest when I have possibility to get hold of it
      and have the time. Right now I have more urgent affairs in the Viking
      Age and the late Merovingian and Carolingian period. I do however not
      doubt there is a consencus of leading experts rejecting the Scandinavian
      theory. Still this does not mean that "the" leading experts all have
      this consensus. I never knew any time when all "experts" did agree
      because it would mean the end of research and competition on academic
      level. And many skilled researchers are not supported by institutions
      and hence are not published.

      Below are some comments to your text:
      >
      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.


      I answered that above indicating that the definition of "origin" may
      differ. This is in my book.



      > 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.


      No Dirk, he did not use a careful language. He meant the continental
      Goths as a tribe formed above the upper Vistula, and of local
      continental origin, and not in Scandinavia, because he could not see
      traces of a Scandinavian immigration, but he regarded indeed also
      Scandinavians as Goths who did not emigrate. He was careful in his
      hypothesis and in his demographical survey in Scandinavia, but not in
      his final conclusion. Again this is a matter of how to interpret a
      written text.


      > 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.


      Principally I agree - there were a line of ethnogenesis - but I still
      claim a common origin of the name.


      >> Herwig Wolfram also sees the connection.

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


      Wolfram does not deny a possible migration but can not prove it, and so
      he concludes we can as well beleive there is a ground for the tradition.
      It is not contradicted by his analysis of Jordanes and the names
      mentioned there and he sees the religious connection - as do I.


      > 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.


      Yes, you are right in that, but you forget that I trace the name Goths
      or variants back to Scandinavia or, as we might express it a little
      wider, the Baltic and Kattegat area. Please differ on names and peoples.
      That they later became Arians was just one factor that maybe helped
      preserve the ethnicity, but it was not its origin.


      Die besten Grüße lieber Dirk!

      Ingemar
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