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Re: Goths as more than barbarians

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  • allyn5157
    The History Channel did a story on Goths based on Professor Peter Heather s book about the same subject. The story on TV was more interesting than the
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 18, 2004
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      The History Channel did a story on Goths based on Professor Peter
      Heather's book about the same subject. The story on TV was more
      interesting than the professor's book (a bit too dry and academic).
      Both confirm what you are looking for: Goths, though led by a king,
      voted for said king so they used democracy of sorts. They also had a
      rudimentary concept of Christianity though they were converts when
      they joined the Roman empire. They adopted land ownership at an
      early stage so they were early capitalists. Many of the architecture
      still standing today was developed by the Goths, such as using the
      arch instead of flying buttresses.

      All of the foregoing is from memory and if not totally correct, I'm
      quite certain somebody will kindly submit a correction. Hope this
      helps and cheers from Al in Temecula (and a Goth descendant:
      Visigothic Prince, Count Alderedo de Leon)

      --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "gretchie77" <gretchie77@y...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > I am searching for reputable resources showing Goths as more than
      > just a war loving culture...any suggestions..thanks! I do know
      they
      > traveled with their families and loved their children, but cannot
      > find the literature to back it up.
    • faltin2001
      ... I think people of practically all cultures travel with their families and love their children - so you probably don t need to back this up with literature
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 19, 2004
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        --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "gretchie77" <gretchie77@y...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > I am searching for reputable resources showing Goths as more than
        > just a war loving culture...any suggestions..thanks! I do know they
        > traveled with their families and loved their children, but cannot
        > find the literature to back it up.



        I think people of practically all cultures travel with their families
        and love their children - so you probably don't need to back this up
        with literature references. If you take any standard work on Gothic
        history such as Peter Heather or Herwig Wolfram, you would find that
        they were more than just single-mindedly looking for war. If you look
        at books like Schaetze der Ostgoten, you can see many examples of
        their refined artwork.

        Cheers
        Dirk
      • gretchen harrelson
        Ok, I need to be a bit more specific... I am searching for sources dealing with the 3rd and 4th century Visigoths. I am writing against the stereotype assigned
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 19, 2004
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          Ok, I need to be a bit more specific... I am searching
          for sources dealing with the 3rd and 4th century
          Visigoths. I am writing against the stereotype
          assigned to the Visigoths, that they were Barbarians,
          in the most negative light.
          --- faltin2001 <dirk@...> wrote:

          >
          > --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "gretchie77"
          > <gretchie77@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > > I am searching for reputable resources showing
          > Goths as more than
          > > just a war loving culture...any
          > suggestions..thanks! I do know they
          > > traveled with their families and loved their
          > children, but cannot
          > > find the literature to back it up.
          >
          >
          >
          > I think people of practically all cultures travel
          > with their families
          > and love their children - so you probably don't need
          > to back this up
          > with literature references. If you take any standard
          > work on Gothic
          > history such as Peter Heather or Herwig Wolfram, you
          > would find that
          > they were more than just single-mindedly looking for
          > war. If you look
          > at books like Schaetze der Ostgoten, you can see
          > many examples of
          > their refined artwork.
          >
          > Cheers
          > Dirk
          >
          >
          >
          >




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          Meet the all-new My Yahoo! - Try it today!
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        • Tore Gannholm
          Hi, From the Roman point of view the Goths were barbarians as they were not Romans. Everybody who was not a Roman was a barbarian. This was not negative. Today
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 19, 2004
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            Hi,
            From the Roman point of view the Goths were barbarians as they were not
            Romans. Everybody who was not a Roman was a barbarian. This was not
            negative.

            Today the barbarian has another meaning. I think it is important you
            study the change in the meaning of the word "barbarian".
            Unfortunately most people today don't know the old meaning of the word
            "barbarian".

            Tore


            On Nov 20, 2004, at 1:04 AM, gretchen harrelson wrote:

            >
            > Ok, I need to be a bit more specific... I am searching
            > for sources dealing with the 3rd and 4th century
            > Visigoths. I am writing against the stereotype
            > assigned to the Visigoths, that they were Barbarians,
            > in the most negative light.
            > --- faltin2001 <dirk@...> wrote:
            >
            > >
            > > --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "gretchie77"
            > > <gretchie77@y...> wrote:
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > I am searching for reputable resources showing
            > > Goths as more than
            > > > just a war loving culture...any
            > > suggestions..thanks! I do know they
            > > > traveled with their families and loved their
            > > children, but cannot
            > > > find the literature to back it up.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > I think people of practically all cultures travel
            > > with their families
            > > and love their children - so you probably don't need
            > > to back this up
            > > with literature references. If you take any standard
            > > work on Gothic
            > > history such as Peter Heather or Herwig Wolfram, you
            > > would find that
            > > they were more than just single-mindedly looking for
            > > war. If you look
            > > at books like Schaetze der Ostgoten, you can see
            > > many examples of
            > > their refined artwork.
            > >
            > > Cheers
            > > Dirk��
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            > ����� �����
            > __________________________________
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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • F.E.J.D. IV
            Greetings (Allyn?) Indeed, the History channel s program titled The Goths (I think), was very entertaining and also informative, I am glad you enjoyed it. As
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 20, 2004
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              Greetings (Allyn?)
              Indeed, the History channel's program titled "The Goths" (I think),
              was very entertaining and also informative, I am glad you enjoyed it.
              As concerns Peter Heather's book, however, one must understand that he
              did not write it as mere entertainment but rather as academic history,
              thus it may seem a bit pedantic in comparison. Peter however, has
              terrific insights and I believe, was featured in the previously stated
              program.

              I must also point to the fact that the Goths had nothing to do with
              the development of the arch (either the round arch or the pointed
              arch). It is debatable but the idea for constructing arched spaces may
              have come from the predominantly round forms of caves during our
              cave-dwelling days. Arched structures are evident in the mammoth bone
              structures of Mezhirich Ukraine as long ago as 18,000YBP. The
              entrances and interior of the latter structures were constructed by
              facing two mammoth tusks and binding a portion of their terminal ends
              together so that the form resembled an "arch". Nonetheless, it is well
              known that stone arches and archways were already in limited use in
              ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece (see the citadel at
              Tyrinis). The latter tended to be pointed due to the technique of
              corbelling stones until they met at the apex. The "refined" pointed
              arch as developed in about 12th century Europe is of course a motif of
              what later came to be called the "Gothic" architectural style,
              however, in its own day the style was known as the modern style or the
              French style. Many individuals think (erroneously) that the Gothic
              style and the pointed arch were developed by the Gothic peoples,
              however, they were not. The term "Gothic" as it pertains to
              architecture, is historically attributed to the Italian artist and
              historian Georgio Vasari. Vasari, esteemed the architecture of
              Michelangelo above all other styles and desired to delineate
              Michelangelo's style from the French style which was still in use at
              the time, thus, Vasari attributed the the French style as an "opus
              Gothorum", (the work of the Goths). Of course, in Vasari's day the
              Goths were thought to embody everything rude, uninformed and backward
              since they were thought to have destroyed classical Roman
              civilization, the very things that Renaissance society was then
              re-discovering. Thus the word Gothic became a pejorative term to
              indicate all things destructive, grotesque and uninformed.
              Interestingly however, very little is known about permanent
              architectural structures attributed to the Goths prior to their
              arrival in the Roman empire, just some post hole patterns in Poland
              around Kowalekwo and in a few other places. Also, relief carvings
              found on the storied column (of Trajan I believe) shows us Roman
              interpretations of what may have been temporary movable Germanic
              dwellings. It is finally on Roman soil that the first Gothic
              architectural forms are first seen, however these are built long after
              the Goths have borrowed greatly from Roman and Byzantine forms.
              Firstly, the Mausoleum of Theodoric (454-556?CE) follows the domed
              rotunda plan of the Romans. Also, it is well attested that the
              Visigoths in Spain built the church of Santa Maria, Quintanilla de las
              Vinas, in Burgos. Santa Maria made great use of the Horseshoe arch
              (borrowed from Rome). On these arches are seen many relief carvings
              that show designs and motifs in use by the Goths prior to their
              arrival in Rome. The latter include interlaced designs, vegetal and
              zoomorphic (animal) forms especially eagles (or raptors) and heraldic
              juxtaposition; more specifically, grapevines with heart shaped bunches
              of grapes, birds of pray, palmettes and sun discs. Architecturally,
              Santa Maria deviates substantially from the Roman/Christian use of
              space; though it is modeled on the basilican plan, its interior space
              in the nave is no longer flanked by two isles leading to the altar,
              instead, the isles open through two doorways into the choir, the which
              separates the clergy from the laity, thus the Visigothic congregation
              was barred from approaching the altar to receive communion.
              There are many other churches and palaces built by the Visigoths,
              including the architecture of the Asturian highlands in the north of
              Spain. Asturian art and architecture were the most advanced
              forerunners of what later became the Romanesque style. These buildings
              were the first to use large buttresses to bear the weight transmitted
              downward by vaulted roofs made from stone. Alas, these were the last
              works of the Visigoths but in them is clearly seen a continuation of
              the architectural techniques, forms, motifs and styles used by the
              Visigoths since the beginning of their building tradition in Spain.
              There Visigoths of course were more than just barbarians, they were
              well versed in all of the arts and gave Europe historic institutions
              such as the anointing of kings with holy oil (a tradition derived from
              the Bible) and in Europe first practiced in the coronations of
              Visigothic kings of Spain, a tradition that is still in use today. The
              jewel encrusted votive crowns of Visigothic kings are intact and
              reside in the treasury of several museums in Spain and France. The
              Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses an excellent collection
              of fibulae including ceremonial horse bits owned by King Witiza which
              I have researched extensively. There are Visigothic slate tiles
              inscribed with writing excercises, messages, inventories, stories "
              and even gossip. The Visigoths were also fond of music and played a
              variety of instruments including the Spanish bagpipes called "gaita"
              from the Gothic (gaits) meaning goat whence comes the material used in
              constructing the bellows.

              Of course, you must understand that the things I have mentioned are
              only a small part of the story since what I have mentioned occurs
              rather late in Gothic history. Also please see the beautiful treasure
              of Pietroassa in Romania and other finds in many other parts of Europe.
              Anyway...perhaps I will continue this thread when I settle back in, I
              have just returned from an extended trip to Poland and still have a
              bit of jet lag to overcome...

              Cheers,
              F.E.J.D. IV
              Fernando Eladio (Frithunanths Elatheus) Jimenez Diaz
            • gretchen harrelson
              F.E.J.D. wow, thank you so much for your input. Aren t the Goths originally from, or I should say the earliest records of the Goths from modern day Poland,
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 20, 2004
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                F.E.J.D.
                wow, thank you so much for your input. Aren't the
                Goths originally from, or I should say the earliest
                records of the Goths from modern day Poland, then
                referred to as Dacia? This is how I understanad the
                map...but I am new to this....
                --- "F.E.J.D. IV" <jimenezf01@...>
                wrote:

                >
                > Greetings (Allyn?)
                > Indeed, the History channel's program titled "The
                > Goths" (I think),
                > was very entertaining and also informative, I am
                > glad you enjoyed it.
                > As concerns Peter Heather's book, however, one must
                > understand that he
                > did not write it as mere entertainment but rather as
                > academic history,
                > thus it may seem a bit pedantic in comparison. Peter
                > however, has
                > terrific insights and I believe, was featured in the
                > previously stated
                > program.
                >
                > I must also point to the fact that the Goths had
                > nothing to do with
                > the development of the arch (either the round arch
                > or the pointed
                > arch). It is debatable but the idea for constructing
                > arched spaces may
                > have come from the predominantly round forms of
                > caves during our
                > cave-dwelling days. Arched structures are evident in
                > the mammoth bone
                > structures of Mezhirich Ukraine as long ago as
                > 18,000YBP. The
                > entrances and interior of the latter structures were
                > constructed by
                > facing two mammoth tusks and binding a portion of
                > their terminal ends
                > together so that the form resembled an "arch".
                > Nonetheless, it is well
                > known that stone arches and archways were already in
                > limited use in
                > ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece (see
                > the citadel at
                > Tyrinis). The latter tended to be pointed due to the
                > technique of
                > corbelling stones until they met at the apex. The
                > "refined" pointed
                > arch as developed in about 12th century Europe is of
                > course a motif of
                > what later came to be called the "Gothic"
                > architectural style,
                > however, in its own day the style was known as the
                > modern style or the
                > French style. Many individuals think (erroneously)
                > that the Gothic
                > style and the pointed arch were developed by the
                > Gothic peoples,
                > however, they were not. The term "Gothic" as it
                > pertains to
                > architecture, is historically attributed to the
                > Italian artist and
                > historian Georgio Vasari. Vasari, esteemed the
                > architecture of
                > Michelangelo above all other styles and desired to
                > delineate
                > Michelangelo's style from the French style which was
                > still in use at
                > the time, thus, Vasari attributed the the French
                > style as an "opus
                > Gothorum", (the work of the Goths). Of course, in
                > Vasari's day the
                > Goths were thought to embody everything rude,
                > uninformed and backward
                > since they were thought to have destroyed classical
                > Roman
                > civilization, the very things that Renaissance
                > society was then
                > re-discovering. Thus the word Gothic became a
                > pejorative term to
                > indicate all things destructive, grotesque and
                > uninformed.
                > Interestingly however, very little is known about
                > permanent
                > architectural structures attributed to the Goths
                > prior to their
                > arrival in the Roman empire, just some post hole
                > patterns in Poland
                > around Kowalekwo and in a few other places. Also,
                > relief carvings
                > found on the storied column (of Trajan I believe)
                > shows us Roman
                > interpretations of what may have been temporary
                > movable Germanic
                > dwellings. It is finally on Roman soil that the
                > first Gothic
                > architectural forms are first seen, however these
                > are built long after
                > the Goths have borrowed greatly from Roman and
                > Byzantine forms.
                > Firstly, the Mausoleum of Theodoric (454-556?CE)
                > follows the domed
                > rotunda plan of the Romans. Also, it is well
                > attested that the
                > Visigoths in Spain built the church of Santa Maria,
                > Quintanilla de las
                > Vinas, in Burgos. Santa Maria made great use of the
                > Horseshoe arch
                > (borrowed from Rome). On these arches are seen many
                > relief carvings
                > that show designs and motifs in use by the Goths
                > prior to their
                > arrival in Rome. The latter include interlaced
                > designs, vegetal and
                > zoomorphic (animal) forms especially eagles (or
                > raptors) and heraldic
                > juxtaposition; more specifically, grapevines with
                > heart shaped bunches
                > of grapes, birds of pray, palmettes and sun discs.
                > Architecturally,
                > Santa Maria deviates substantially from the
                > Roman/Christian use of
                > space; though it is modeled on the basilican plan,
                > its interior space
                > in the nave is no longer flanked by two isles
                > leading to the altar,
                > instead, the isles open through two doorways into
                > the choir, the which
                > separates the clergy from the laity, thus the
                > Visigothic congregation
                > was barred from approaching the altar to receive
                > communion.
                > There are many other churches and palaces built by
                > the Visigoths,
                > including the architecture of the Asturian highlands
                > in the north of
                > Spain. Asturian art and architecture were the most
                > advanced
                > forerunners of what later became the Romanesque
                > style. These buildings
                > were the first to use large buttresses to bear the
                > weight transmitted
                > downward by vaulted roofs made from stone. Alas,
                > these were the last
                > works of the Visigoths but in them is clearly seen a
                > continuation of
                > the architectural techniques, forms, motifs and
                > styles used by the
                > Visigoths since the beginning of their building
                > tradition in Spain.
                > There Visigoths of course were more than just
                > barbarians, they were
                > well versed in all of the arts and gave Europe
                > historic institutions
                > such as the anointing of kings with holy oil (a
                > tradition derived from
                > the Bible) and in Europe first practiced in the
                > coronations of
                > Visigothic kings of Spain, a tradition that is still
                > in use today. The
                > jewel encrusted votive crowns of Visigothic kings
                > are intact and
                > reside in the treasury of several museums in Spain
                > and France. The
                > Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses an
                > excellent collection
                > of fibulae including ceremonial horse bits owned by
                > King Witiza which
                > I have researched extensively. There are Visigothic
                > slate tiles
                > inscribed with writing excercises, messages,
                > inventories, stories "
                > and even gossip. The Visigoths were also fond of
                > music and played a
                > variety of instruments including the Spanish
                > bagpipes called "gaita"
                > from the Gothic (gaits) meaning goat whence comes
                > the material used in
                > constructing the bellows.
                >
                > Of course, you must understand that the things I
                > have mentioned are
                > only a small part of the story since what I have
                > mentioned occurs
                > rather late in Gothic history. Also please see the
                > beautiful treasure
                > of Pietroassa in Romania and other finds in many
                > other parts of Europe.
                > Anyway...perhaps I will continue this thread when I
                > settle back in, I
                > have just returned from an extended trip to Poland
                > and still have a
                > bit of jet lag to overcome...
                >
                > Cheers,
                > F.E.J.D. IV
                > Fernando Eladio (Frithunanths Elatheus) Jimenez Diaz
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >




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                Meet the all-new My Yahoo! - Try it today!
                http://my.yahoo.com
              • Le Bateman
                To the Romans all Germanic speaking peoples were Barbarians because first of all they did not live in City States and secondly their language was to the Roman
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 20, 2004
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                  To the Romans all Germanic speaking peoples were Barbarians because first
                  of all they did not live in City States and secondly their language was to
                  the Roman mind unintelligible, to the Romans it sounded Barbaric. They did
                  not speak Latin, so they were not civilized. They had the same view of the
                  Celtic tribe in Gaul called the Belgae, yet the Belgae kept records in
                  Greek. Caesar's Gallic Wars tells of this.
                  Le
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Tore Gannholm" <tore@...>
                  To: <gothic-l@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 12:33 AM
                  Subject: Re: [gothic-l] Re: Goths as more than barbarians



                  Hi,
                  From the Roman point of view the Goths were barbarians as they were not
                  Romans. Everybody who was not a Roman was a barbarian. This was not
                  negative.

                  Today the barbarian has another meaning. I think it is important you
                  study the change in the meaning of the word "barbarian".
                  Unfortunately most people today don't know the old meaning of the word
                  "barbarian".

                  Tore


                  On Nov 20, 2004, at 1:04 AM, gretchen harrelson wrote:

                  >
                  > Ok, I need to be a bit more specific... I am searching
                  > for sources dealing with the 3rd and 4th century
                  > Visigoths. I am writing against the stereotype
                  > assigned to the Visigoths, that they were Barbarians,
                  > in the most negative light.
                  > --- faltin2001 <dirk@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  > > --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "gretchie77"
                  > > <gretchie77@y...> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > I am searching for reputable resources showing
                  > > Goths as more than
                  > > > just a war loving culture...any
                  > > suggestions..thanks! I do know they
                  > > > traveled with their families and loved their
                  > > children, but cannot
                  > > > find the literature to back it up.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > I think people of practically all cultures travel
                  > > with their families
                  > > and love their children - so you probably don't need
                  > > to back this up
                  > > with literature references. If you take any standard
                  > > work on Gothic
                  > > history such as Peter Heather or Herwig Wolfram, you
                  > > would find that
                  > > they were more than just single-mindedly looking for
                  > > war. If you look
                  > > at books like Schaetze der Ostgoten, you can see
                  > > many examples of
                  > > their refined artwork.
                  > >
                  > > Cheers
                  > > Dirk
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > __________________________________
                  > Do you Yahoo!?
                  > Meet the all-new My Yahoo! - Try it today!
                  > http://my.yahoo.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > You are a member of the Gothic-L list. To unsubscribe, send a blank
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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                • faltin2001
                  ... Hi, Peter Heather s books is one of the best on Gothic history. If in doubt I would rely on the information provided in the book rather than the TV
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 22, 2004
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                    --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "allyn5157" <allyn5157@h...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > The History Channel did a story on Goths based on Professor Peter
                    > Heather's book about the same subject. The story on TV was more
                    > interesting than the professor's book (a bit too dry and academic).






                    Hi,

                    Peter Heather's books is one of the best on Gothic history. If in
                    doubt I would rely on the information provided in the book rather
                    than the TV programme.








                    > Both confirm what you are looking for: Goths, though led by a king,
                    > voted for said king so they used democracy of sorts.






                    I think that is really streching it a bit. If anything this voting
                    right rested only with very few members of the highest elite and the
                    circle of possible candidates was also limited to only a few members
                    of the leading families. The 'demos' i.e. the people had no voting
                    right. This form of Wahlkoenigtum was practiced in Germany until the
                    late middle ages, but nobody would speak of Democracy in this
                    respect.






                    They also had a
                    > rudimentary concept of Christianity though they were converts when
                    > they joined the Roman empire.





                    The Goths were the first Germanic people to adopt Christianity, with
                    first individual conversions taking place in the last decades of the
                    3rd century. At the end of the 4th century when the Tervingi
                    (Visigoths) fled from the Huns and sought refuge on Roman territory
                    they adopted the Arian form of Christianity in greater numbers.








                    > They adopted land ownership at an
                    > early stage so they were early capitalists.



                    The term 'capitalist' really means nothing in the 3r or 4th century,
                    as there is nothing really to contrast it with. I suppose you mean
                    that the Goths dropped the Germanic Allmende form of ownership for a
                    more feudal form early on. I suppose that might be correct.




                    > Many of the architecture
                    > still standing today was developed by the Goths, such as using the
                    > arch instead of flying buttresses.



                    The Goths have nothing to do with flying buttresses and there is no
                    evidence that any architecture was developed by the Goths. You
                    confuse the Gothique period of architecture (ca. 12th - 15th century)
                    with the Goths who had seized to exist as distinguishable ethnos some
                    500 to 600 years earlier.

                    Cheers

                    Dirk
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