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Continued Review of _Odin in Azov_

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  • Bertil Haggman
    Thor Heyerdahl - Per Lilliestroem, Jakten pa Odin - Pa sporet av var fortid, Oslo, Norway, J.M. Stenersens Forlag, 2001. 320 pages.
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 6, 2002
      Thor Heyerdahl - Per Lilliestroem, Jakten pa Odin -
      Pa sporet av var fortid, Oslo, Norway, J.M. Stenersens Forlag, 2001.
      320 pages.
      ____________________________________________________

      Per Lilliestrom: På 200-tallet var gepidene en del av den opprinnelige
      gotiske stammen som dannet en egen fraksjon og dro vestover. De gikk
      inn i historien som visigotere eller vestgotere. Pa 300-tallet
      under kong Ermanrik, nadde ostrogoterne den stoerste utbrdelse
      av sitt herredoemme, og som haerfoerer er Ermanrik blitt sammenlignet
      med Alexander den store. Men da hunerne i ar 375 kom stormende
      pa hesteryggen fra oest, ble han sveket av noen av sine heruliske
      undersatter, som gikk over til fienden. Etter a ha lidd nederlag mot hunerne,
      forsoekte Ermanrik a hevne seg pa en av de svikefulle heruliske
      hoevdingene. Men da han ikke klarte a fa fatt pa denne hoevdingen,
      hevnet han seg ved a la hoevdingens hustru, Sunilda, slites i stykker mellom
      to hester. Noen historikere mener at han begikk rituelt selvmord, andre
      tror at denne ostrogoternes stoerste haerfoerer doede i en grotesk
      blodhevnkamp med herulernes kongeklan, rosomonene, som Sunilda
      tilhoerte. Den grufulle og tragiske skjebnen til Sunilda, eller Svanhilde
      som hun ogsa ble kalt, ble et populaert motiv i den germanske saga-
      litteraturen, ikke minst pa Island, der temaet er tatt opp i Jormundreks-sagaen
      og ogsa i to av eddadiktene.

      Jordanes regarded the Gepidi as a Gothic people and am not aware of any
      researchers who have another opinion. Personally I am a supporter of the
      Gepidi being treated on this list as Goths, and it would be interesting to know
      opinions on this matter.

      In 2003, hopefully, there will be extended study of archaelogical finds
      using modern DNA-methods. Generally the present methods are
      not sufficient.

      Mr. Bertil Haggman, LL.M.
      author
      Member, Swedish Writer's Union
      E-mail: mvk575b@...


      All we know is that there was an
      > eastern group of Eruli at the Black Sea.

      Procopius knew of a group that decided to split from the latter
      > group before accepting settlement on Roman soil and which he said
      > travelled to 'Thule, the farthest corner of the world'.

      > The Eruli might have been Gothicised to a certain degree over time,
      > but they are mentioned as a separate group and maintained a seprate
      > identity even during the Hunnic domination of Goths and Eruli.

      > Ukrainian archaeologists have found no indication that the Heruls
      > settled north of the Maeotis in 250AD, as far as I know.
    • faltin2001
      ... opprinnelige ... gikk ... sammenlignet ... mot hunerne, ... stykker mellom ... andre ... Svanhilde ... Jormundreks-sagaen ... any ... of the ...
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 11, 2002
        --- In gothic-l@y..., "Bertil Haggman" <mvk575b@t...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Thor Heyerdahl - Per Lilliestroem, Jakten pa Odin -
        > Pa sporet av var fortid, Oslo, Norway, J.M. Stenersens Forlag, 2001.
        > 320 pages.
        > ____________________________________________________
        >
        > Per Lilliestrom: På 200-tallet var gepidene en del av den
        opprinnelige
        > gotiske stammen som dannet en egen fraksjon og dro vestover. De
        gikk
        > inn i historien som visigotere eller vestgotere. Pa 300-tallet
        > under kong Ermanrik, nadde ostrogoterne den stoerste utbrdelse
        > av sitt herredoemme, og som haerfoerer er Ermanrik blitt
        sammenlignet
        > med Alexander den store. Men da hunerne i ar 375 kom stormende
        > pa hesteryggen fra oest, ble han sveket av noen av sine heruliske
        > undersatter, som gikk over til fienden. Etter a ha lidd nederlag
        mot hunerne,
        > forsoekte Ermanrik a hevne seg pa en av de svikefulle heruliske
        > hoevdingene. Men da han ikke klarte a fa fatt pa denne hoevdingen,
        > hevnet han seg ved a la hoevdingens hustru, Sunilda, slites i
        stykker mellom
        > to hester. Noen historikere mener at han begikk rituelt selvmord,
        andre
        > tror at denne ostrogoternes stoerste haerfoerer doede i en grotesk
        > blodhevnkamp med herulernes kongeklan, rosomonene, som Sunilda
        > tilhoerte. Den grufulle og tragiske skjebnen til Sunilda, eller
        Svanhilde
        > som hun ogsa ble kalt, ble et populaert motiv i den germanske saga-
        > litteraturen, ikke minst pa Island, der temaet er tatt opp i
        Jormundreks-sagaen
        > og ogsa i to av eddadiktene.
        >
        > Jordanes regarded the Gepidi as a Gothic people and am not aware of
        any
        > researchers who have another opinion. Personally I am a supporter
        of the
        > Gepidi being treated on this list as Goths, and it would be
        interesting to know
        > opinions on this matter.


        This raises a wider and important question. What did it mean or
        entail to be a Goth? Was Gothic a religion, which Gepids (Gepidae)
        and other tribes could join, thus justifying the identification of
        Gepids with Goths? Clearly at the time of Jordanes and for several
        centuries before him being Gothic had no religious conotiation. The
        Goths were Arian Christians, being Gothic was a purely political
        term. That Gepids and Goths cannot have shared much of a common
        religious pre-Christian tradition is borne out be the fact that the
        Gepids did not share the Gothic practice of burying their dead
        without weapons. For the Goths this remained a defining element of
        their identity from their beginings in the Wielbark culture right to
        Italy and Gaul. Yet, Gepidic warriors went to their graves heavily
        armed.

        So if Gepids were not Goths in a religious sense, is there evidence
        that they regarded themselves as identical (i.e. Gepids being Goths)
        in a political sense. We certainly have no evidence that Gepids
        called themselves Goths at occations. In fact, Gepids and Goths
        seemed to have had a hostile attitude towards each other for much of
        their known history. As we know, there has not been just one Gothic
        tribe, but several groups and several ethnogenesis. Thus, the Goths
        at the Black Sea were the product of a new ethnogenesis, combining
        several ethnic groups including non-Germanic groups. In the Balkan
        again, new Gothic groups formed, now combining people like Tracians,
        Dacian, Getae and others. Yet, while those groups which regarded
        themselves as Goths seemed to have maintained some sort of common
        link, the Gepids were consistently regarded as separate and mostly
        hostile polity. In this sense it it difficult to argue that Gepids
        are Goths or a Gothic people.

        Yet, Jordanes called the Gepids a Gothic people. What does that mean?
        Should that mean that the Gepids emerged out of the Goths? Possibly,
        but other authors call the Goths a Skythian people (as opposed to
        Germanic people). Would this then imply that the Goths are a Sythian
        splinter group? No, the term Gothic has increasingly superceded the
        term Scythian in my view. Thus, when ancient authors categories
        Gepids as Gothic people and Vandals as Gothic people (and Goths as
        Skythians) they probably wanted to say that these were **eastern**
        Barbarians as opposed to the Germanics.

        The only way in which the Gepids may be labled a Gothic (speaking)
        people in a meaningful way might be in linguistic terms. As East
        Germanic people they probably spoke a language that was close or even
        identical to Gothic.

        Dirk
      • Bertil Haggman
        Heinrich Sevin has expressed the case for the Gepids being Goths well in his book _Die Gebiden_: At the beginning of the Christian era the Goths and Gepids
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 11, 2002
          Heinrich Sevin has expressed the case for the Gepids
          being Goths well in his book _Die Gebiden_:

          At the beginning of the Christian era the Goths
          and Gepids lived at the mouth of the Vistula.

          They did not come from there, but according to
          their own historians, their forefathers came by ship,
          they migrated from Scandinavia on the other side.
          Pointing in that direction is also their language,
          which is closest to the North Germanic. In South
          Sweden there are still names close the Gothic:
          Goetarike (Gotenreich), Vaester- and Oestergoetland
          (West- and East Gothland) as well as Gotland and
          Gotska Sandoen. In Goetarike long after the
          Goths had migrated the Gauts lived.

          The defining difference came seemingly, in my
          opinion, when the Gepids came under the rule of
          the Huns, where they formed their own ethnic union.
          But in 454 AD the Gepids were at the head of a
          coalition against the Huns.

          Personally I think Per Lilliestrom is correct when
          depicting the Gepids in the third century AD as
          of Gothic stock.

          This supports the argument that the Gepids, at least
          before they were subjugated by the Huns, could be discussed
          on this list, as has been the Eruli, as a Gothic people.

          Gepidically

          Bertil Haggman




          Yet, Jordanes called the Gepids a Gothic people.

          The only way in which the Gepids may be labled a Gothic (speaking)
          people in a meaningful way might be in linguistic terms. As East
          Germanic people they probably spoke a language that was close or even
          identical to Gothic.
        • faltin2001
          ... I read Sevin s book. It is old (1950s or 60s) and portrays many aspects that have long been superceded by new research especially with regards to the
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 12, 2002
            --- In gothic-l@y..., "Bertil Haggman" <mvk575b@t...> wrote:
            > Heinrich Sevin has expressed the case for the Gepids
            > being Goths well in his book _Die Gebiden_:
            >


            I read Sevin's book. It is old (1950s or 60s) and portrays many
            aspects that have long been superceded by new research especially
            with regards to the origin of the Goths.


            <snipped the bit that is based on Sevin's outdated introduction>



            > Personally I think Per Lilliestrom is correct when
            > depicting the Gepids in the third century AD as
            > of Gothic stock.



            What does of 'Gothic stock' mean? Gothic is not a biological or
            genetic characteristic, but a political term. There is no Gothic DNA.
            There were likely Roman provincials, Sarmatians, Tracians, Dacians,
            etc. who became Goths. The Gepids originated from the same Iron Age
            culture as the Goths and their ancestors may have been part of the
            earliest Goths, the Gutones. Yet, it makes no historical sense to say
            that Gepids are a Gothic people in the 5th or 4th century.



            >
            > This supports the argument that the Gepids, at least
            > before they were subjugated by the Huns, could be discussed
            > on this list, as has been the Eruli, as a Gothic people.



            Any tribe that was directly involved with the Goths can be discussed
            on this list if the context relates to the Goths directly.

            Dirk


            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yet, Jordanes called the Gepids a Gothic people.
            >
            > The only way in which the Gepids may be labled a Gothic (speaking)
            > people in a meaningful way might be in linguistic terms. As East
            > Germanic people they probably spoke a language that was close or
            even
            > identical to Gothic.
          • george knysh
            ... *****GK: We might wish to take our cue from the Romans on this one. The distinction between Goths and Gepids was already made in the 3rd century. We
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 12, 2002
              --- faltin2001 <dirk@...> wrote:
              > --- In gothic-l@y..., "Bertil Haggman"
              > <mvk575b@t...> wrote:
              > > Heinrich Sevin has expressed the case for the
              > Gepids
              > > being Goths well in his book _Die Gebiden_:
              > >
              >
              >
              > I read Sevin's book. It is old (1950s or 60s) and
              > portrays many
              > aspects that have long been superceded by new
              > research especially
              > with regards to the origin of the Goths.
              >
              >
              > <snipped the bit that is based on Sevin's outdated
              > introduction>
              >
              >
              >
              > > Personally I think Per Lilliestrom is correct when
              > > depicting the Gepids in the third century AD as
              > > of Gothic stock.
              >
              >
              >
              > What does of 'Gothic stock' mean? Gothic is not a
              > biological or
              > genetic characteristic, but a political term. There
              > is no Gothic DNA.
              > There were likely Roman provincials, Sarmatians,
              > Tracians, Dacians,
              > etc. who became Goths. The Gepids originated from
              > the same Iron Age
              > culture as the Goths and their ancestors may have
              > been part of the
              > earliest Goths, the Gutones. Yet, it makes no
              > historical sense to say
              > that Gepids are a Gothic people in the 5th or 4th
              > century.
              >
              >
              >
              > >
              > > This supports the argument that the Gepids, at
              > least
              > > before they were subjugated by the Huns, could be
              > discussed
              > > on this list, as has been the Eruli, as a Gothic
              > people.


              *****GK: We might wish to take our cue from the Romans
              on this one. The distinction between "Goths" and
              "Gepids" was already made in the 3rd century. We have
              coins of Emperor Probus (276-282) with the legend
              "VICTORIA GOTHICA" and at least one that I'm aware of
              with the legend "VICTORIA GEPIDICA". And there are
              other texts (including one pertaining to events of ca.
              291) which clearly distinguish Goths and Gepids.*****


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            • faltin2001
              ... Hi George, I agree of course and think that in political terms Gepids and Goths were certainly different peoples/tribes, who were often even hostile
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 13, 2002
                --- In gothic-l@y..., george knysh <gknysh@y...> wrote:
                >
                > --- faltin2001 <dirk@s...> wrote:
                > > --- In gothic-l@y..., "Bertil Haggman"
                > > <mvk575b@t...> wrote:
                > > > Heinrich Sevin has expressed the case for the
                > > Gepids
                > > > being Goths well in his book _Die Gebiden_:
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > I read Sevin's book. It is old (1950s or 60s) and
                > > portrays many
                > > aspects that have long been superceded by new
                > > research especially
                > > with regards to the origin of the Goths.
                > >
                > >
                > > <snipped the bit that is based on Sevin's outdated
                > > introduction>
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > > Personally I think Per Lilliestrom is correct when
                > > > depicting the Gepids in the third century AD as
                > > > of Gothic stock.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > What does of 'Gothic stock' mean? Gothic is not a
                > > biological or
                > > genetic characteristic, but a political term. There
                > > is no Gothic DNA.
                > > There were likely Roman provincials, Sarmatians,
                > > Tracians, Dacians,
                > > etc. who became Goths. The Gepids originated from
                > > the same Iron Age
                > > culture as the Goths and their ancestors may have
                > > been part of the
                > > earliest Goths, the Gutones. Yet, it makes no
                > > historical sense to say
                > > that Gepids are a Gothic people in the 5th or 4th
                > > century.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > >
                > > > This supports the argument that the Gepids, at
                > > least
                > > > before they were subjugated by the Huns, could be
                > > discussed
                > > > on this list, as has been the Eruli, as a Gothic
                > > people.
                >
                >
                > *****GK: We might wish to take our cue from the Romans
                > on this one. The distinction between "Goths" and
                > "Gepids" was already made in the 3rd century. We have
                > coins of Emperor Probus (276-282) with the legend
                > "VICTORIA GOTHICA" and at least one that I'm aware of
                > with the legend "VICTORIA GEPIDICA". And there are
                > other texts (including one pertaining to events of ca.
                > 291) which clearly distinguish Goths and Gepids.*****
                >



                Hi George,

                I agree of course and think that in political terms Gepids and Goths
                were certainly different peoples/tribes, who were often even hostile
                towards each other. A statement that 'Gepids are a Gothic people' or
                are 'of Gothic stock' as Bertil put it, is difficult to support for
                the period from the 3rd to 6th century. As a modern historical
                identification this identity seems to make little sense. As I stated
                earlier, I think that the term 'Gothic people' has occationally been
                used like the term Scythian people, for 'eastern barbarians'.

                The term being of 'Gothic stock' seems to imply some sort of
                biological relationship or physical similarity. In this respect,
                Istvan Bona's book called 'Anbruch des Mittelalters:
                Gepiden und Langobarden im Karpatenbecken', Budapest 1975, is of
                interest. Bona reports about anthropological investigations on
                skeletons from the middle Danube and Theis area. He states that
                anthropologists found that male Langobards had an average height of
                1.8m, with typical caucasian features (he mentioned long skulls,
                eagle-noses, etc.). In contrast, the East Germanic people (Gepids,
                Heruls, Goths) in that area showed only an average height of 1.7m.
                Thus, they were significantly and noticably smaller than Langobards.
                The East Germanic skeletons also displayed slight mongoloid features
                (round skulls, short flat noses, etc.) at times. The anthropologists
                cited by Bona, attributed this to a mixing with Sarmatians, Huns and
                Alans.

                I could imagine that this kind of physical similarity among eastern
                people like Goths, Gepids and Heruls in contrast to West Germanic
                people like the Langobards could have provided ancient authors like
                Jordanes (himself apparently of Gothic-Alanic origin) with additional
                reason for putting them into one category.

                cheers,
                Dirk
              • george knysh
                ... *****GK: What s curious is Jordanes lumping together of Goths and Gepids (Heruli not included here). Perhaps this was also due to the Gepid control
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 13, 2002
                  --- faltin2001 <dirk@...> wrote:
                  > The East Germanic skeletons also displayed slight
                  > mongoloid features
                  > (round skulls, short flat noses, etc.) at times. The
                  > anthropologists
                  > cited by Bona, attributed this to a mixing with
                  > Sarmatians, Huns and
                  > Alans.
                  >
                  > I could imagine that this kind of physical
                  > similarity among eastern
                  > people like Goths, Gepids and Heruls in contrast to
                  > West Germanic
                  > people like the Langobards could have provided
                  > ancient authors like
                  > Jordanes (himself apparently of Gothic-Alanic
                  > origin) with additional
                  > reason for putting them into one category.

                  *****GK: What's curious is Jordanes' lumping together
                  of Goths and Gepids (Heruli not included here).
                  Perhaps this was also due to the Gepid control
                  ("Gepedoios") for some time of the area previously
                  held by the Goths ("Gothiscandza"). Archaeologically,
                  the Wielbark Goths evolved into the Chernyakhiv Goths,
                  while the Gepids apparently stayed at the Late
                  Wielbark stage (many of them at any rate). But the
                  point about fusions with eastern steppe peoples (esp.
                  Huns) seems valid.*******
                  >

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