Gepids was Re: Continued Review of _Odin in Azov_
- --- 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 aspects that have long been superceded by new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snipped the bit that is based on Sevin's outdated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.*****
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
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.
- --- faltin2001 <dirk@...> wrote:
> The East Germanic skeletons also displayed slight*****GK: What's curious is Jordanes' lumping together
> mongoloid features
> (round skulls, short flat noses, etc.) at times. The
> cited by Bona, attributed this to a mixing with
> Sarmatians, Huns and
> 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.
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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