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Re: [gothic-l] Emigration av Goths

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  • Tore Gannholm
    Hi Otto, I have another interesting book about the Gotlanders cultural and commercial involvement in the southern Baltic shores during the centuries BC.
    Message 1 of 15 , Mar 3, 2006
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      Hi Otto,
      I have another interesting book about the Gotlanders cultural and
      commercial involvement in the southern Baltic shores during the
      centuries BC.

      http://www.stavgard.com/romaniron/kringjarnaldern/default.htm

      Unfortunately the book written by professor Erik Nylén is written in
      Swedish with summary in German

      On Mar 1, 2006, at 11:07 AM, Wilhelm Otto wrote:

      > Hi Tore,
      >
      > Goth’s heritage.
      >
      > I have been pondering the answer I got from you 06 02 05. In that
      > message
      > you refer to the same book as you referred to in an earlier answer
      > to mine
      > 06 01 29. I have given several leads to several threads to
      > questions to be
      > pursued in this discussion. I have tried several approaches. But
      > there is,
      > whatever I say, only one answer – Kaliff’s book. Thus Kaliff’s book
      > contains
      > all the answers to the enigma of the Goth’s heritage! Still, Kaliff
      > does not
      > answer how to bridge the gap between the archaeological findings
      > and the
      > investigated culture. And how could he do that?
      >
      >
      >
      > Your answer, that the Goths came from Gotland, is remarkable, to
      > say the
      > least.

      Please note, I don't say the Goths came from Gotland. I say Gotland
      was in the center of the culture in the southern Baltic area. I can
      only interpret it that the Gotlanders played a leading role in this
      area. Therefore they might also have taken a leading part in the
      formation of the "Gothic league".

      > Most scientists acknowledge that they don’t know from where the Goths
      > came. What we know is that that they surface in history a couple of
      > centuries AD in the area of the Donahue or north of the Black Sea.
      > This is
      > what we think we know. That is what we have as a working
      > hypothesis. Then
      > just to point at Kaliff’s book and say that there is your answers,
      > is that
      > good science? I do not think so! Do not forget that there is a need
      > for a
      > scientific discussion, a weighing of pros and cons in order to
      > search for a
      > better answer than that we have? There is always a better answer.
      >

      Of this reason I try to find all sources to the Gotlandic trade and
      cultural links in this area. I think this is good science.


      >
      >
      > There is a danger in answering such a question with archaeology and
      > a couple
      > of authors from a time when the truth had other claims then it does to
      > today. Peter Heather shows the difficulties with using archaeology
      > as a
      > geographical positioner of a political force. On pages 15 and 16 he
      > shows
      > two maps. One shows “Groups named in Tacitus’ Germania and their
      > approximate
      > locations” and the other shows “Traditional archaeological cultures
      > of the
      > earlier Roman Iron Age”. Pondering the two maps I figure that a
      > negative
      > indication is in some cases fair. A certain culture is probably not
      > connected with a distant tribe if they do not have much in common,
      > but a
      > positive identification seems very difficult. A searching process
      > in this
      > manner, is it not the essence of the scientific culture which has
      > given us
      > so much benefit and ultimately made this part of the world rich?
      >
      >
      >
      > There is in our culture a dividing line between us who ask and
      > those who
      > decree. And there is a dividing line between our itchingly curious
      > learning
      > culture and those who know it all. There is a clash of cultures, in
      > these
      > days seen every day on the telly, and we, who think ourselves as
      > historians,
      > know that this is a long battle. The forces of ignorance and thus
      > poverty
      > have through the centuries been pushed back. The battle is no
      > longer bloody,
      > fought among the western countries. There, mostly, the battle is
      > fought with
      > words of arguments and reason. But it is still a long battle we
      > have in
      > front of us. And that battle is fought with asking questions.
      >
      >
      >
      > And the frontline is there not only between us. It is in our own
      > minds too.
      > At least is has to be in yours. You point out in a very good little
      > book
      > about history from Gotland that Gotlands nearest point on the
      > mainland is in
      > Curland and of a similarity of place names, duplicated in both
      > places, both
      > in Curland and Gotland. I had thought that you would draw the
      > conclusion
      > that a lot of people on Gotland descended from Curland.

      Why should they. We have plenty of proof of Gotlandic colonies in
      Curland. Excavated by professor Nerman in the 1920's

      > You did not. Great
      > people seldom derive from small islands, but rather the other way.
      > Could you
      > just point to an exception? It would have been a very natural
      > conclusion. It
      > would at least have been a natural conclusion to ponder and
      > ultimately to
      > discuss. These similar place names could maybe have been dated.
      > Thereby
      > their position in the development of Gotland could have been
      > established.

      I don't understand your reasing. Just look at the archaelogical finds
      in Gotland!!

      > And further there could maybe be analogies drawn from the
      > importance of
      > Iceland. It is another island where property was claimed by fire as
      > Tjelvar
      > did in Gotland. We could have gained some knowledge that way.

      First settlers in Gotland arrived 8000 years ago and we have a very
      rich archaeological history.

      We can't just ignore Gotland. It exists with the rich archaeological
      sites.

      It is ridiculous that you can still read in some Swedish books that
      Tacitus wrote about the prosperous Swedes and did not know about
      Gotland.

      Tacitus' informer visited the amber diggings in the Visla area and
      visited the most important trading places in the Southern Baltic. If
      you stand in the Visla area Gotland is straight out in the middle of
      the Baltic. If you instead want to se the so called "Svear" you have
      to submerge Gotland.


      The first settlers arrived in Iceland 1200 years ago.

      Tore

      > Somebody else
      > could have done that too. So we all had come out of it better off.
      > And so I
      > could go on.
      >
      >
      >
      > It did not happen. But the essence of the scientific discussion is
      > that
      > there is a process of persuasion; a sort of marketing of ideas if
      > you got
      > any, and are prepared to give and take. Such discussion convinces.
      > It makes
      > us believe that this or that is a clear cut case, or that the best
      > questions
      > are not yet asked. You have at least convinced me that Gothic
      > heritage is
      > not easily discussed. I can not see it as a matter of faith. I see
      > it as a
      > yet unsolved historical problem.
      >
      > Yours
      >
      > Wilhelm
      >
      >
      >
    • akoddsson
      Hi Wilhelm and Tore. ... the least. Most scientists acknowledge that they don t know from where the Goths came. What we know is that that they surface in
      Message 2 of 15 , Mar 9, 2006
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        Hi Wilhelm and Tore.

        > Your answer, that the Goths came from Gotland, is remarkable, to say
        the least. Most scientists acknowledge that they don't know from where
        the Goths came. What we know is that that they surface in history a
        couple of centuries AD in the area of the Donahue or north of the
        Black Sea. This is what we think we know. That is what we have as a
        working hypothesis.

        Two things seem obvious to me in connection with the Goth's homelend.
        The first is that there is a land, Gotland, that is called the land of
        the Goths. As far back as sources go, the land appears to have born
        this name. As parallels we have Sweden (the land of the Swedes),
        Ireland (the land of the Irish), and likely thousands of other such
        names from throughout the world and in numerous languages. This makes
        me wonder why Goths should be such an exception, emigration aside. The
        second is that as one specializing mostly in Germanic linguistics, and
        as one who has studied both Gothic and Gotlandic, it seems painfully
        obvious that Gotlandic, while absorbed into North Germanic, deviates
        from it, especially phonologically but also in other matters, in ways
        which agree with Gothic. As a non-specialist in Gothic history, and as
        a layman in Gothodemia, I still see no reason why the Goths should not
        have a homeland in Gotland, where Goths still live, emigration aside,
        and even if their original territory was wider, as it likely was.

        Sincerely,
        Konrad
      • macmaster@riseup.net
        Names can stick around after peoples move on (or those left behind transform into something else). Just looking at the peoples of the Volkerwanderung, we also
        Message 3 of 15 , Mar 9, 2006
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          Names can stick around after peoples move on (or those left behind
          transform into something else). Just looking at the peoples of the
          Volkerwanderung, we also find Rugen as the homeland of the Rugi and
          Bornholm as the Burgundian homeland. Other names left behind include the
          several Burgundies in France and the "Homeland of the Boii", a Celtic
          people, giving the name to a Slavic area (bohemia) and a German area
          (Bavaria) as well as a name in French for a group ultimately from India
          (the Romany "Bohemians"). "Frank" meant a Germanic people now but
          "French" means a romance speaker. And so on.

          Similarity of names may indicate a historic link but doesn't prove it (if
          one reads Jordanes literally, one would assume that the Sarmatian "Getae"
          were Goths rather than just similarly named; if he'd known about them, I'm
          sure Jordanes would have tossed in the Guti, 'barbarian' raiders of
          ancient Mesopotamia).

          As the names of bavarians and French suggest, there probably is a
          hoistoric link between Gotland and the Goths but it may be much less
          straight forward.

          I'm inclined to leave it in the "Unprovable speculation" category.

          Tom


          akoddsson wrote:
          > Hi Wilhelm and Tore.
          >
          > > Your answer, that the Goths came from Gotland, is remarkable, to say
          > the least. Most scientists acknowledge that they don't know from where
          > the Goths came. What we know is that that they surface in history a
          > couple of centuries AD in the area of the Donahue or north of the
          > Black Sea. This is what we think we know. That is what we have as a
          > working hypothesis.
          >
          > Two things seem obvious to me in connection with the Goth's homelend.
          > The first is that there is a land, Gotland, that is called the land of
          > the Goths. As far back as sources go, the land appears to have born
          > this name. As parallels we have Sweden (the land of the Swedes),
          > Ireland (the land of the Irish), and likely thousands of other such
          > names from throughout the world and in numerous languages. This makes
          > me wonder why Goths should be such an exception, emigration aside. The
          > second is that as one specializing mostly in Germanic linguistics, and
          > as one who has studied both Gothic and Gotlandic, it seems painfully
          > obvious that Gotlandic, while absorbed into North Germanic, deviates
          > from it, especially phonologically but also in other matters, in ways
          > which agree with Gothic. As a non-specialist in Gothic history, and as
          > a layman in Gothodemia, I still see no reason why the Goths should not
          > have a homeland in Gotland, where Goths still live, emigration aside,
          > and even if their original territory was wider, as it likely was.
          >
          > Sincerely,
          > Konrad
          >
          >
        • akoddsson
          Hi Tom and all. ... Sure. The problem, however, is that not everyone moves on. Some stay behind. Gotland, for instance, has been continuously populated, and
          Message 4 of 15 , Mar 10, 2006
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            Hi Tom and all.

            > Names can stick around after peoples move on (or those left behind
            > transform into something else).

            Sure. The problem, however, is that not everyone moves on. Some stay
            behind. Gotland, for instance, has been continuously populated, and
            the island can only hold so many folk, at least as a traditional
            agricultural society (one man one farm). Logically, folk who didn't
            inherit farms would be inclined to seek other employment.

            > Just looking at the peoples of the Volkerwanderung, we also find
            Rugen as the homeland of the Rugi and Bornholm as the Burgundian
            homeland.

            Yes, but there are also modern Rugi and Burgungians, and these land
            have also been continually populated. I, for instance, work with
            several folk from Rogaland, who mostly claim to be descendants of
            Rugi as far back as they can trace their descent. I found this out
            after I asked. Thus, there certainly are Rugi, like there are Goths,
            even if times have changed.

            > Other names left behind include the several Burgundies in France
            and the "Homeland of the Boii", a Celtic people, giving the name to
            a Slavic area (bohemia) and a German area (Bavaria) as well as a
            name in French for a group ultimately from India (the
            Romany "Bohemians").

            Yes.

            > "Frank" meant a Germanic people now but "French" means a romance
            speaker. And so on.

            Yes, but France is, admittedly, a rather large nation. Perhaps one
            should look at provincial populations more closely, as several
            groups in France would seem to exist as smaller cultural groupings,
            common language aside (Basks an exception here). Consider, for
            instance, the Gaelic population of Galitia (wrong spelling, no
            doubt ;) From what I understand, they still speak a kind of Gaelic.
            I discovered on a radio program that they also play some fierce and
            beautiful Gaelic music, closely related to Irish. There are likely
            numerous other links. Thus, I don't believe that cultures simply
            disappear due to emigration by some members.

            > Similarity of names may indicate a historic link but doesn't prove
            it (if one reads Jordanes literally, one would assume that the
            Sarmatian "Getae" were Goths rather than just similarly named; if
            he'd known about them, I'm sure Jordanes would have tossed in the
            Guti, 'barbarian' raiders of ancient Mesopotamia).

            But a simple survey of major European 'tribal' names would seem to
            suggest, emigration aside, that most groups still live in areas
            where they once lived. Obviously, folk move, but those that remain
            often have descendants as well, as so on.

            > As the names of bavarians and French suggest, there probably is a
            hoistoric link between Gotland and the Goths but it may be much less
            straight forward.

            Probably complicated, like most issues involving human populations,
            I agree. However, as there is still a Gotland and a Gothic folk, I
            think it important that cultural sensitivity be shown. No one will
            deny the existance of England, simply because Americans, Canadians,
            Australians and others speak English, or because academics deeming
            English highly important wish to locate its origins in Canada, for
            instance. That would be absurd. Likewise, while Goths would seem to
            be highly important to certain Germanic academics (no doubt largely
            due to a fluke attestation of a portion of their language via a
            Bible translation), this hardly gives them the right to fleece the
            Gotlanders of their culture and history. A fluke is a fluke, not
            something planned. Earlier Gotlanders could hardly have known that
            Goths would become such an important and hotly debated topic in the
            future, raising by extention questions and controversial debate on
            the topic ad infinitum. Gotlanders are, after all, regular folk and,
            as history would have it, Goths. Not that it matters, or should even
            matter. Denying it, I think, could only be based on romantic ideas,
            whereby an historical folk cannot be allowed to exist in any form in
            modern times, especially not an historical folk deemed important by
            academics. Thus, if anything, we academics probably owe Gotlanders
            an apology for dragging their culture and history through the mud
            for personal gain and academic agendas.

            > I'm inclined to leave it in the "Unprovable speculation" category

            What I would say is that, like other populations, Goths experienced
            emigration. How many left and how many stayed is not the point. The
            point is that while academia may be highly interested in the remains
            of their 4th century language, or in the historical activities of
            later continental Goths, this hardly gives us the right to simply
            remove Gotland and its Goths from the map or erase them from the
            history books. Folks change, but they don't thereby loose membership
            in their culture. Thus, I will grant the Gotlanders the same rights
            as other folks to define their own culture and see it as they will,
            without too much interference from the rest of us. Stating things
            like 'you are not a Goth' or 'this list has nothing to do with your
            culture' to living Goths would be like telling an Irish person that
            he need no apply to a list about ancient Irish or Celts, as he is
            neither Irish nor Celtic. Therefore, I simply offer these words in
            the hope that academics, and others, interested in Goths, show the
            living the same respect as the dead.

            Sincerely,
            Konrad

            > Tom
            >
            >
            > akoddsson wrote:
            > > Hi Wilhelm and Tore.
            > >
            > > > Your answer, that the Goths came from Gotland, is remarkable,
            to say
            > > the least. Most scientists acknowledge that they don't know
            from where
            > > the Goths came. What we know is that that they surface in
            history a
            > > couple of centuries AD in the area of the Donahue or north of
            the
            > > Black Sea. This is what we think we know. That is what we have
            as a
            > > working hypothesis.
            > >
            > > Two things seem obvious to me in connection with the Goth's
            homelend.
            > > The first is that there is a land, Gotland, that is called the
            land of
            > > the Goths. As far back as sources go, the land appears to have
            born
            > > this name. As parallels we have Sweden (the land of the Swedes),
            > > Ireland (the land of the Irish), and likely thousands of other
            such
            > > names from throughout the world and in numerous languages. This
            makes
            > > me wonder why Goths should be such an exception, emigration
            aside. The
            > > second is that as one specializing mostly in Germanic
            linguistics, and
            > > as one who has studied both Gothic and Gotlandic, it seems
            painfully
            > > obvious that Gotlandic, while absorbed into North Germanic,
            deviates
            > > from it, especially phonologically but also in other matters,
            in ways
            > > which agree with Gothic. As a non-specialist in Gothic history,
            and as
            > > a layman in Gothodemia, I still see no reason why the Goths
            should not
            > > have a homeland in Gotland, where Goths still live, emigration
            aside,
            > > and even if their original territory was wider, as it likely
            was.
            > >
            > > Sincerely,
            > > Konrad
            > >
            > >
            >
          • joe
            In the March 2006 edition of National Geographic there is an article on the Celts, their history and culture. It includes a map showing where Celtic people
            Message 5 of 15 , Mar 10, 2006
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              In the March 2006 edition of National Geographic there is an article on the Celts, their history and culture. It includes a map showing where Celtic people currently live in Western Europe..and it includes Brittany in France and Galicia in Spain.

              akoddsson <konrad_oddsson@...> wrote:
              Yes, but France is, admittedly, a rather large nation. Perhaps one
              should look at provincial populations more closely, as several
              groups in France would seem to exist as smaller cultural groupings,
              common language aside (Basks an exception here). Consider, for
              instance, the Gaelic population of Galitia (wrong spelling, no
              doubt ;) From what I understand, they still speak a kind of Gaelic.
              I discovered on a radio program that they also play some fierce and
              beautiful Gaelic music, closely related to Irish. There are likely
              numerous other links. Thus, I don't believe that cultures simply
              disappear due to emigration by some members.



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            • Ingemar Nordgren
              Hear, hear! At last a sensible voice. Thank you Konrad.As you know I have already stated since long both gutar, gautar and possibly ýtar (Eutoz) and many
              Message 6 of 15 , Mar 10, 2006
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                Hear, hear!
                At last a sensible voice. Thank you Konrad.As you know I have already
                stated since long both gutar, gautar and possibly ýtar (Eutoz) and
                many Norwegians are Gothic or kindred folks (e.g. Rugii) and a large
                quantity of them remains. The Gutar probably might have been more
                directly involved with the Continental Goths because of geographical
                reasons but also other Scandinavians are Gothic or else e.g.
                Gautland/Götaland should not exist. Well, I know there is opposition
                by certain members tovards my theories and I do not intend to try to
                convert them. The easiest way to understand what I claim is, for those
                other interested, to buy and read my dissertation that is published as
                'The Well Spring of the Goths' by iUniverse and available at every
                major netbookstore as paperback or e-book.

                Best
                Ingemar

                --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "akoddsson" <konrad_oddsson@...> wrote:

                Thus, I will grant the Gotlanders the same rights
                > as other folks to define their own culture and see it as they will,
                > without too much interference from the rest of us. Stating things
                > like 'you are not a Goth' or 'this list has nothing to do with your
                > culture' to living Goths would be like telling an Irish person that
                > he need no apply to a list about ancient Irish or Celts, as he is
                > neither Irish nor Celtic. Therefore, I simply offer these words in
                > the hope that academics, and others, interested in Goths, show the
                > living the same respect as the dead.
                >
                > Sincerely,
                > Konrad
              • macmaster@riseup.net
                Actually, Galician (or Gallego as it is called) is a Romance language closely related to Portuguese (it s sometimes considered a dialect of Portuguese) and is
                Message 7 of 15 , Mar 10, 2006
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                  Actually, Galician (or Gallego as it is called) is a Romance language
                  closely related to Portuguese (it's sometimes considered a dialect of
                  Portuguese) and is spoken in the northwest corner of Spain, immediately
                  'above' Portugal.

                  It's actually a good example of my point of how names move around.
                  There's also a Galicia divided between Poland and the Ukraine and formerly
                  a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that happens to have the same name
                  (it's a latinization of the name "Halych" and has nothing to do with
                  Celts. The region around Ankara in Turkey used to be called Galatia (iit
                  appears in the New Testament as such) due to Celtic settlers.

                  Northern Italy was Cisalpine Gaul in Roman times and France was Gaul, of
                  course. All but the Polish region do show a relation with the ancient
                  Celts but not so much with modern speakers of Gaelic (except that all come
                  from the same source).

                  As has been pointed out, there are several place names/peoples in what are
                  now Sweden and Denmark that look a lot like "Goths" - Geats, Gotlanders,
                  Jutes and so on. Are they all the same people? maybe but maybe not.

                  There are also "Danes" scattered all over the Indo-European diaspora, from
                  the Hebrew Tribe of Dan that seems to have been one of the "sea-peoples"
                  initially through the Greek Danaans of Homer and the Irish Tuatha de
                  Danann to the Don Cossacks and so. Are they all one people? Of course
                  not ...

                  While it's nice to imagine ourselves as descended from magnificent ancient
                  peoples, sticking to the actual stuff of history is more convincing and
                  sometimes more exciting. With the Goths, let's try to stick to what is
                  actually known from the written sources and from archaeology. To me,
                  that's fascinating enough.

                  Tom macMaster


                  joe wrote:
                  > In the March 2006 edition of National Geographic there is an article
                  > on the Celts, their history and culture. It includes a map showing
                  > where Celtic people currently live in Western Europe..and it includes
                  > Brittany in France and Galicia in Spain.
                  >
                  > akoddsson wrote:
                  > Yes, but France is, admittedly, a rather large nation. Perhaps one
                  > should look at provincial populations more closely, as several
                  > groups in France would seem to exist as smaller cultural groupings,
                  > common language aside (Basks an exception here). Consider, for
                  > instance, the Gaelic population of Galitia (wrong spelling, no
                  > doubt ;) From what I understand, they still speak a kind of Gaelic.
                  > I discovered on a radio program that they also play some fierce and
                  > beautiful Gaelic music, closely related to Irish. There are likely
                  > numerous other links. Thus, I don't believe that cultures simply
                  > disappear due to emigration by some members.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • OSCAR HERRERA
                  the other speakers seem to be on track, pretty much......tho faura rodaizaim atsaila fagra god laistjana......oscar macmaster@riseup.net wrote: Actually,
                  Message 8 of 15 , Mar 11, 2006
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                    the other speakers seem to be on track, pretty much......tho faura rodaizaim atsaila fagra god laistjana......oscar

                    macmaster@... wrote:
                    Actually, Galician (or Gallego as it is called) is a Romance language
                    closely related to Portuguese (it's sometimes considered a dialect of
                    Portuguese) and is spoken in the northwest corner of Spain, immediately
                    'above' Portugal.

                    It's actually a good example of my point of how names move around.
                    There's also a Galicia divided between Poland and the Ukraine and formerly
                    a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that happens to have the same name
                    (it's a latinization of the name "Halych" and has nothing to do with
                    Celts. The region around Ankara in Turkey used to be called Galatia (iit
                    appears in the New Testament as such) due to Celtic settlers.

                    Northern Italy was Cisalpine Gaul in Roman times and France was Gaul, of
                    course. All but the Polish region do show a relation with the ancient
                    Celts but not so much with modern speakers of Gaelic (except that all come
                    from the same source).

                    As has been pointed out, there are several place names/peoples in what are
                    now Sweden and Denmark that look a lot like "Goths" - Geats, Gotlanders,
                    Jutes and so on. Are they all the same people? maybe but maybe not.

                    There are also "Danes" scattered all over the Indo-European diaspora, from
                    the Hebrew Tribe of Dan that seems to have been one of the "sea-peoples"
                    initially through the Greek Danaans of Homer and the Irish Tuatha de
                    Danann to the Don Cossacks and so. Are they all one people? Of course
                    not ...

                    While it's nice to imagine ourselves as descended from magnificent ancient
                    peoples, sticking to the actual stuff of history is more convincing and
                    sometimes more exciting. With the Goths, let's try to stick to what is
                    actually known from the written sources and from archaeology. To me,
                    that's fascinating enough.

                    Tom macMaster


                    joe wrote:
                    > In the March 2006 edition of National Geographic there is an article
                    > on the Celts, their history and culture. It includes a map showing
                    > where Celtic people currently live in Western Europe..and it includes
                    > Brittany in France and Galicia in Spain.
                    >
                    > akoddsson wrote:
                    > Yes, but France is, admittedly, a rather large nation. Perhaps one
                    > should look at provincial populations more closely, as several
                    > groups in France would seem to exist as smaller cultural groupings,
                    > common language aside (Basks an exception here). Consider, for
                    > instance, the Gaelic population of Galitia (wrong spelling, no
                    > doubt ;) From what I understand, they still speak a kind of Gaelic.
                    > I discovered on a radio program that they also play some fierce and
                    > beautiful Gaelic music, closely related to Irish. There are likely
                    > numerous other links. Thus, I don't believe that cultures simply
                    > disappear due to emigration by some members.
                    >
                    >
                    >






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                  • Wilhelm Otto
                    Hi Tore, Oscar, Macmaster and Konrad et al. This is about idea swapping. On one hand everyone has a right to hold any views, and on the other side if I give
                    Message 9 of 15 , Mar 29, 2006
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                      Hi Tore, Oscar, Macmaster and Konrad et al.

                      This is about idea swapping.

                      On one hand everyone has a right to hold any views, and on the other side if
                      I give voice to a line of thought on a mailing what I say is fair game, so
                      to speak. I see such a view as unconditional. If I confront your views I
                      also stake my own, i.e. if my views do not stand the test I am prepared to
                      try the views of the other party, at least tentatively, and the other way
                      around. It is like comparing watches in the market. The best watch wins and
                      winner takes al. This applies to science matters. But how do we treat belief
                      systems? And where in the grey zone do I draw the line between myth and
                      science?



                      There is certainly a grey zone as we know much less than we think we do.
                      Much of that we take for granted is just a more or less well founded
                      intellectual construction. We imply, we presume, we consider that a
                      statistical probability speaks for this or that. We are actually lumbering
                      about with a back pack full of myths. This is OK in everyday life. It makes
                      it possible for us to navigate in life. But is it good enough when it comes
                      down to science or those areas, where we apply scientific rules? And on a
                      mailing list we try to apply scientific methods. The general answer to these
                      and similar questions is answered by historians, who I am not, by careful
                      testing of every assumption on which an idea is founded. Similar sounding
                      words are not given much credit by these historians. If you pick Goth and
                      Gotland you could as easily pick jute and Jutland. They contain the same
                      root of the word. And why leave out Gotaland, i.e. the south of Sweden.
                      There has to be a well proven binding connection. Historians of this kind
                      are found in every country. In Tore’s Sweden there are among others the
                      Weibull brothers, Erik Lönnroth.





                      This is but an example of method to push our knowledge a bit further. Sir
                      Karl Popper tells us to disprove and falsify our own views. In the wake of
                      failure we might have found something useful. According to this view
                      intellectual improvement is a result of consecutive failures. And history
                      teaches us that what we believe in to day is to morrow probably all wrong.
                      What is great and important to day will to morrow probably be forgotten.
                      Admittedly we know a lot more to day about the construction of our solar
                      system then we did in Kepler´s times, but we are still making great
                      improvements. So your views, as well as mine, are probably tentative. There
                      are indeed very few matters that can described as final. Not even the Goths
                      heritage.



                      This process of intellectual development is intimately connected with the
                      evolution of ideas. Thomas S Kuhn came in the early 1960´s with “The
                      Structure of Scientific Revolutions”. There he claimed there was a sudden
                      shift of paradigms. Gradually the old dominant one was considered obsolete
                      and a new one was chosen. These revolutions can be triggered by
                      technological breakthroughs, such as construction of the first telescope and
                      we found that the heavenly bodies were not perfect and unchanging. There can
                      be a conceptual breakthrough as the invention of calculus so laws of motion
                      can be formulated. And there can be a breakthrough which explains older
                      ideas as when Mendel’s genetic results proved Darwins theories. Most
                      researchers see this to day as a Darwinian process. Teachers, researchers
                      but maybe foremost the staffs of the scientific newspapers play an important
                      part. This is a very slow process, you think, when you are inside it. But
                      remember that this process is still young. It is about 180 years ago that a
                      young man started to organize the Kings of Denmark cabinet of curiosities.
                      He then sorted the very old things in three compartments, one for things of
                      stone, one for things of bronze and on for iron. Eventually the concepts of
                      Stone Age, of Bronze Age and of Iron Age were born out of this. It is my
                      grandparents’ time. In the history of nations it is not even yesterday. It
                      is to day. Let this process then work for a notable time and you see the
                      evolution of science. And in this process of change some of us are slower,
                      but others are more up to change. But history can not be an isolated part of
                      that process!



                      So it is doubtful that we ever will find common acceptance of facts and how
                      they are related from times long gone, for example the heritage of the
                      Goths. Those were times when common writing seldom took place, and when it
                      happened it had other purposes than finding the truth. But it seems to me,
                      with all this in mind that Heathers revision of Jordanes, which is very well
                      considered by the leading scientists, was not entirely out of place.

                      Wilhelm




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