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Thread: The Origin of the Goths (F. Kortlandt)

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    Lightbulb The Origin of the Goths (F. Kortlandt)


    THE ORIGIN OF THE GOTHS

    Frederik Kortlandt


    Witold Mańczak has argued that Gothic is closer to Upper German than to Middle German, closer to High German than to Low German, closer to German than to Scandinavian, closer to Danish than to Swedish, and that the original homeland of the Goths must therefore be located in the southernmost part of the Germanic territories, not in Scandinavia (1982, 1984, 1987a, 1987b, 1992).

    I think that his argument is correct and that it is time to abandon Iordanes’ classic view that the Goths came from Scandinavia. We must therefore reconsider the grounds for adopting the latter position and the reasons why it always has remained popular.

    The reconstruction of Gothic history and the historical value of Iordanes’ Getica have been analyzed in detail by Peter Heather (1991: 3-67). As he points out about this prime literary source (p. 5): “Two features have made it central to modern historical reconstructions.

    First, it covers the entire sweep of Gothic history. [...] Second, there is a Gothic origin to some of the Getica’s material, which makes it unique among surviving sources.” Iordanes’ work draws heavily on the lost Gothic histories of Ablabius and Cassiodorus, who “would seem to have been in the employ of Gothic dynasts and had to produce Gothic histories of a kind that their employers wished to hear” (Heather 1991: 67).

    As to the origin of the Goths and their neighbors, the Gothic migrations and the great kings of the past, oral history is the most likely source of the stories. This material must therefore be handled with particular care: “Oral history is not unalterable, but reflects current social configurations; as these change, so must collective memory” (Heather 1991: 62).

    It appears that Iordanes knew of several alternative accounts of early Gothic history, and Heather concludes (1991: 66): “There was thus more than one version of Gothic origins current in the sixth century.

    Jordanes, as we have seen, made his choice because he found written confirmation of it, but this is hardly authoritative: the Scandinavian origin of the Goths would seem to have been one sixth-century guess among several. It is also striking that Jordanes’ variants all contained islands: Scandinavia, Britain, ‘or some other island’.

    In one strand of Graeco-Roman ethnographic and geographic tradition, Britain, Thule, and Scandinavia are all mysterious northern islands rather than geographical localities.

    ‘Britain’ and ‘Scandinavia’ may well represent interpretative deductions on the part of whoever it was that recorded the myths. The myths themselves perhaps referred only to an unnamed, mysterious island, which the recorder had then to identify. The Scandinavian origin-tale would thus be similar to much else in the Getica, depending upon a complex mixture of material from Gothic oral and Graeco-Roman literary sources.”

    If we are to maintain continuity between the Baltic Gutones of the 1st and 2nd centuries and the Pontic Goths of the 3rd and 4th centuries, this only reflects the tradition of the ruling clans (cf. Wolfram 1979: 6-7). The historical evidence suggests that the Scandinavian Goths came from the south across the Baltic Sea rather than the other way round (cf. Hachmann 1970: 454-457 and 465).

    The Lithuanian name Gudai ‘Byelorussians’ < *-dh- has nothing to do with the Goths < *-t- but must be derived from Prussian gudde ‘woods’, like the Polish place-names Gdańsk and Gdynia (cf. Fraenkel 1950: 64). There is no archaeological evidence for a large-scale migration of Goths from the Baltic to the Black Sea (cf. Heather 1991: 6 and Hachmann 1970: 467).

    In fact, there are several reasons why such a migration is highly unlikely.

    First of all, there is a clear discontinuity between the Przeworsk culture in Poland and the Černjahov culture in the Ukraine which are identified with the Goths before and after the migration, respectively (see the map of Green 1998: xiv). The only reason to assume that the Goths followed the rivers Bug or San and Dniestr is that “the terrain did not offer many alternatives between a common starting-point and a shared goal” (Green 1998: 166).

    Secondly, the territory between these two areas north of the Carpathian mountains is precisely the homeland of the Slavs, who do not appear to have stirred before the arrival of the Huns in the fourth century. This can hardly be reconciled with a major migration of Goths through their territory.

    Thirdly, the periodic exposure to severe stress in the fragile borderland communities of the steppe prompted westward population movements toward areas of more stable climatic conditions. An eastward migration of Goths from the richer upland forest into the poorer lowland steppe was both unmotivated and difficult to realize against the natural forces to be encountered.

    Fourthly, the expected direction of a migration is toward more developed areas where life seems to be better, which in the present context means toward the nearest border of the Roman Empire. We would therefore expect the Goths to move to the south through the Moravian Gate toward the Danube, as did the Slavs a few centuries later.

    Fifthly, there is little reason to assume that the Goths behaved differently from the Burgundians, the Vandals, the Marcomanns and the Langobards, all of whom crossed the upper Danube at some stage. It therefore seems probable to me that the historical Goths followed the course of the Danube downstream and entered the Ukraine from the southwest. The Gepids may have lagged behind on this journey, which accounts for Iordanes’ etymology of their name (cf. Heather 1991: 5).

    Putting the pieces together, I think that the most likely chain of events is the following. The Gutones, like their East Germanic brethren, moved south toward Italy and the riches of the Roman Empire until they reached the river Danube. They may have adopted the speech of Alemannic tribes which had arrived there from the west, where these had been in close contact with the Romans for a longer period of time.

    It is possible that Gothic ethnogenesis actually took place in Lower Austria when East Germanic tribes from the north met with West Germanic tribes from the west and, having been prevented from entering the Roman Empire in large numbers, joined forces in their quest for a place to cross the lower Danube.

    This scenario is well-motivated in terms of pressures and attractions. It renders the southern origin of the Gothic language compatible with the northern origin of the name. The ‘Gothicization’ of large numbers of non-Goths was not brought about by “the predominance of ‘true Goths’” (Heather 1991: 327) but by the absence of major linguistic differences between the Germanic tribes of the 2nd century.

    It is only to be expected that the most prestigious Germanic dialect was spoken close to the border of the Roman Empire and largely taken over by the newcomers. The Gothic majority did not exist at the outset but came into being as a result of the process of assimilation as the groups adapted to one another.

    The scenario outlined here has the additional advantage of accounting for a number of peculiar characteristics of the Gothic language in comparison with its closest relatives. Gothic phonology resembles that of Latin and Romance more than that of the other Germanic languages (cf. Kortlandt 1988: 8-9 and 1996: 54).

    Though Gothic is more archaic than its sisters, its morphology appears to have been regularized to a large extent. The Latin suffix -ārius was evidently productive in Gothic bokareis ‘scribe’, laisareis ‘teacher’, liuþareis ‘singer’, motareis ‘toll-taker’, sokareis ‘disputer’.

    The Gothic words siponeis ‘disciple’, kelikn ‘tower’, alew ‘oil’, lukarn ‘lamp’ were probably borrowed from the Celts in Moravia (cf. Green 1998: 156-158), which explains their limited distribution in Germanic. The word for ‘vinegar’ is of particular interest because it has seven different variants in Germanic (cf. Wollmann 1990: 526-542):

    1. Gothic aket, akeit;
    2. Swiss German (Wallis) achiss;
    3. Old High German ezzih;
    4. Middle Low German etik;
    5. Middle Dutch edic;
    6. Old English eced, Old Saxon ekid;
    7. Icelandic edic, Swedish ättika
    , which were apparently borrowed from Low German. It is clear that the Gothic word came from Alemannic in the 1st century before viticulture spread to the Palatinate and the middle Rhine in the 2nd century (cf. Wollmann 1990: 540). The words Kreks ‘Greek’ and dat. pl. marikreitum ‘pearls’ also betray the influence of an Upper German dialect without voiced obstruents (cf. Kortlandt 1988: 9).

    Furthermore, Greek words usually appear in their Latin form in Gothic (cf. especially Jellinek 1926: 179-183 and 188-194), which points to a western origin of the Goths, e.g. aipistula ‘letter’ (but aipistaule ‘Pauline epistle’), drakma ‘drachma’, paurpura ‘purple’, gen. sg. sinapis ‘mustard’, dat. pl. Rumonim ‘Romans’, Saurim ‘Syrians’, also aikklesjo ‘congregation’, aiwaggeljo ‘gospel’, aiwaggelista ‘evangelist’, diabulus ‘devil’ (but diabaulus in St. John), Marja ‘Mary’ (but Maria in St. Luke), and Iesus Xristus.

    It seems to me that gen. pl. skaurpjono ‘scorpions’ almost suffices to show that the Goths entered the Balkans from the west, not from the north. Most important is that Greek o-stems are inflected as u-stems in Gothic, e.g. Iudaius ‘Jew’, gen. sg. -aus, dat. pl. -um, acc. pl. -uns, but as i-stems in nom. pl. Iudaieis, gen. pl. -e (Jellinek 1926: 108), which can only be explained by Latin transmission.

    Other pieces of evidence are cultural loans such as aurali ‘napkin’ and kubitus ‘reclining (company) at a meal’ and loan translations, e.g. armahairtei ‘mercy’, which were taken from Latin orarium, cubitus, misericordia, not from their Greek equivalents.

    A final point to be noted is that Baltic loanwords from Gothic were transmitted through Slavic (cf. Stender-Petersen 1927: 134 and Green 1998: 172-174), which suggests that the Balts never had direct contact with the Goths but were separated from them by the Slavs.


    References

    • Fraenkel, Ernst. 1950: Die baltischen Sprachen. Heidelberg.
    • Green, Dennis Howard. 1998: Language and history in the early Germanic world. Cambridge.
    • Hachmann, Rolf. 1970: Die Goten und Skandinavien. Berlin.
    • Heather, Peter. 1991: Goths and Romans 332-489. Oxford.
    • Jellinek, Max Hermann. 1926: Geschichte der gotischen Sprache. Berlin-Leipzig.
    • Kortlandt, Frederik. 1988: “Proto-Germanic obstruents” in: ABäG 27, 3-10.
    —. 1996: “The High German consonant shift”, in: ABäG 46, 53-57.
    Mańczak, Witold. 1982: “Kamen die Goten aus Skandinavien?”, in: IF 87, 127-137.
    —. 1984: “Origine méridionale du gotique”, in: Diachronica 1, 79-102.
    —. 1987a: “On the Ausgliederung of Germanic languages”, in: Journal of Indo-European Studies 15, 1-17.
    —. 1987b: “L’habitat primitif des Goths”, in: Folia Linguistica Historica 7/2, 371-380.
    —. 1992: De la préhistoire des peuples indo-européens. Kraków.
    Stender-Petersen, Adolf. 1927: Slavisch-germanische Lehnwortkunde. Göteborg.
    • Wolfram, Herwig. 1979: Geschichte der Goten. München.
    • Wollmann, Alfred. 1990: Untersuchungen zu den frühen lateinischen Lehnwörtern im Altengli-schen. München.

    Source: Kortlandt, F. - The Origins of the Goths
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    Post Re: The Origin Of The Goths

    The Przeworsk culture/southern Poland was Gothic rather than Vandales (another Gast-germanic tribe later closely related to the Alemannes and Bavarians in northern Italy).

    In fact there are two big settlement chambers in the Ukraine and Romania respectively which are generally explained by the splitting of the Gotes. Later the Regnum Ostrogothorum was destroyed by the Hunnes in the 5th century.

    The assumption that the Scandinavian origin of the Gothes is canonic has been abandoned a few decades ago and survived in outdated history books for school children only. You will find no newer serious academic publication which favours the Scandinavian theory.

    It´s common sense that the Goths are identical to the Oxhöft and Wallenberg cultures. Most interesting in this context are two questions:

    a) Are there close ties between the Elb-Germanic and East-Germanic tribes (especially from the linguistic point of view)?

    b) How was the Oksywie/Oxhöft culture constituted (north group of the Lusitanian culture / immigration from west and/or north)?
    Last edited by beowulf_; Saturday, May 8th, 2004 at 04:28 AM.

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    Post Re: The Origin Of The Goths

    some south and middle Bavarian dialects(southern and eastern Austria) show Gothic influence

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    Post Re: The Origin Of The Goths

    This is a deleted post (I got from a PM) from a thread discussing the origin of the Goths from Stormfront. The mod (Kveldulf--a female impersonator) who believes in the Jewish mainstream theory of the Goths was arguing against it and used his deleting powers to censor this post as it made him look good compared to Goth Seed. Female Mod impersonator is in red.

    Goth Seed, for Christ's sake ( I would have said for Odinn's sake but you think that Odin is not a God) you are quoting a book that is one hundred and five years old!
    Don't you think that the Historical Science has progressed a tad since then?
    When did I personally say Odin was a God or not a God? Show me where. Are you saying a source older than hundred and five years old is incorrect? Yet you talk of Saxo and Snorre? What’s up with that inconsistency?
    Quote:

    p.281: In the beginning of the sixth century, and after the conquest of Italy, the Goths wished to preserve memory of their ancestors. The principal of the court of Ravenna, the learned Cassiordorus, gratified the inclination of the conquerors in a Gothic history, which consisted of twelve books, now reduced to the imperfect abridgement of Jordane’s [See the prefaces of Cassiodorus and Jordanes; it is surprising that the latter should be omitted in the excellent edition, published by Grotius, of the Gothic writers.]…they deduced the first origin from the vast island, or peninsula, of Scandinavia [On the authority of Ablavius, Jordanes quotes some old Gothic chronicles in verse. De Reb. Geticisc.4.].





    They didn't even know whether Scandinavia was an island or a peninsula, and you are expecting us to take seriously once again, the writings of the Italian bishop of Croton in South Italy about Scandinavia? Italian bishop you say?

    Who are “us” Kvedlund? I’m confused when you say that, do you have some sort of cult following that I should know about? And who is “they?” they didn’t even know whether Scandinavia was an island or a peninsula? Non-Goths? Why would they? Didn't some Greek sail to what is Sweden and the Romans read it? , . If the theory of all Italian bishops write myths, and fairy tales is correct; I’ll take that into account, but then your going to have to rewrite history. What about anything written by an Italian? Is that garbage also? Please get consistent. And why are you sources so holy and true?* What is your comment on those Old Gothic chronicles in the Geticisc? What? Nothing? Your telling me some Italian dreamt up a story of where the Goths came from and the Goth oral tradition wasn’t taken into account? That the Goths were told something they didn’t know and just shaked their head “yes” it must be true because it’s on paper and some bishop wrote it? Come on if they were that dumb they wouldn't of accomplished anything. Is history presently reading the imperfect abridgement of Jordane’? No comment on that? That’s rare from you. I’m suppose to believe the Goths contributed nothing to the works of their history? That the migration was just across a 100 meter lake in Poland? That’s funny. Read again, “Jordanes quotes some old Gothic chronicles in verse. De Reb. Geticisc.4.].”


    Quote:

    and a Scandinavian king cheerfully abdicated his savage greatness, that he might pass the remainder of his days in the peaceful and polished court of Ravenna.





    Which one? The first Danish/Scandinavian Kings in our tradition are:

    Halvdan (den Gamle?)
    Hroar (Ro, Roar)
    Helge
    Hrørik (Erik)
    Hugleik / Chlochilaicus d. 515
    Rolf (Bjovulf or Beowulf in English)
    Frode?

    The only date we have thus can pinpoint the chronological position of a King in the above list, is AD 515 the year that King Hugleik died.


    Wow. Look at how many Kings you name--I cannot do that, wow. But maybe you should bring that up with that author Gibbon (time machine?), he wrote it, plus your just going to say “he thought he was a goth” anyway, so what’s the use of naming a specific king?


    Geijer, the historian of Sweden, ably maintains the Scandinavian origin of the Goths.





    I have never heard of him. Could you please quote some of his works?

    Absolutely not, never heard of him neither, hey, he’s part of Swedish history, I’m sure you have better alleged resources than I do on that--I’m sure of that. And those 18 sources you quoted to me, could you please quote some of these works also. You think all that read these posts heard of them? In what fairy tale? Most of them are after ww2 and I have absolutely no faith in truth and objectivity in them.

    Quote:

    The gothic language according to Bopp is the link between the Sancrit and the modern Teutonic dialects: “I think that I am reading Sancrit when I am reading Ulphilas” Bopp Conjugations System der Sanscrit Sprache--preface]





    Yes, Gothic was archaic but still distanced from North-West Germanic, as I have proven above.

    What? So you are saying that’s correct but the sentences before talked of Geijer are incorrect--penned by the same source? Simply amazing. You keep saying, “different people--different language,” yet my ancestors who came to America from Sweden all speak English presently (no more Swedish) does that mean were from England? And why aren’t I talking Sioux Indian? They inhabited this land first. Your “different language--different people” theory doesn’t apply all the time, whether that be 2300 years ago or today. Apply some basic knowledge to your flaky Donsk Tonga theory.



    Quote:

    p.282-283: During the middle ages, (9th to 12th Cent.), whilst Christianity was advancing with a slow progress into the North, the Goths and the Swedes composed two distinct and sometimes hostile members of the same monarchy [See in the Prolegomena of Groticus some large extracts from Adam of Bremen, and Saxo Grammaticus. The former wrote in the year 1077, the latter flourished about the year 1200]





    Once again:

    Saxo Grammaticus is his Gesta Danorum is writing about the Geats, at the time North Germanic Speakers, and originally North-West Germanic and West Germanic speakers NOT East Germanic
    .

    So your saying you know better than Gibbon on Saxo? Why are you such a better writer and researcher than him and why are your sources so much more reliable? What books did you publish again? And what about Adam of Bremen? I’m sure you will say he’s not reliable to fit with the game as a reliable source. And Groticus, oops, I said a bad word. Let’s talk about Saxo who wrote in Latin and where did he learn it from? Clergy? Did his Christian religion and the archbishop wanting a history of Denmark influence him? Was his sources written by a monk influenced by some Italian bishop or by some clergy who hated Goths on the papal throne? Were they (sources) accurate and were they from a biased source? Two can play that game of the Italian bishop of Croton in which you made. Speculation is endless on both ends.


    Quote:

    The Swedes who might as well be satisfied with their own fame in arms, have, in every age, claimed the kindred glory of the Goths. In a moment of discontent against the court of Rome, Charles the Twelfth insinuated, that his victorious troops were not degenerated from their brave ancestors, who had already subdued the mistress of the world [Voltaire, Histoire de Charles XII. 1 iii.]





    This was merely politics. Charles merely sought an excuse to brag to the Roman Courtisans.

    I’m sure it was politics that made him say it. But are you saying he said this without proof? That he didn’t fear making a fool of himself? Making more enemies, losing friends for such a false, boasting and stupid statement? Do you think the subjects and soldiers are going to be behind the king 100% after such a statement, if false? I thought Kings knew of their ancestral line. Nope, don’t believe your explanation.

    He may have considered himself related to the Goths, but the fact remains that he wasn't anymore related to the Goths than the British and the Germans are.

    Good try. Tell me of the that British/Goth angle again--I didn‘t hear. Are you an expert on Royalty minds/psychology also? Quote:

    When the Austrian desired the aid of the court of Rome against Gustavus Adolphus they always represented that conquerer as the lineal successor of Alaric. Harte’s History of Gustavus, vol. ii p.123]





    Kings and nobles always sought to find distinguished lineages in their past in order to boost their ego and their subjects. I don't think that Gustav had anything to do with Alaric, a man born on the Danube.

    So your saying they just said that for ego? So the Austrians said this to boost Gustavus’ ego? Why not say they (Kings and nobels) were a descendant of Jesus then? Are people going to believe him? Nope. Why not? Proof. Are you saying that Gustavus Adolphus wasn’t related to Alaric from the tribe of the Balti? I will believe Harte’s History of Gustavus, vol. Ii p.123, more than your theory of ego lineal succession. It's amazing how you pull things from your mind and yet say a book or phrase in a book is wrong to suit your fancy; and yet say it was true a different time to fit your fancy again. That's called Hypocritical.







    Quote:

    p.284: In a solemn assembly of the Swedes and Goths, he (Odin) wounded himself in nine mortal places, hastening away to prepare for the feast of heroes in the palace of the God of war [Mallet, Introduction a l’Historie du Dannemarc]





    Swedes and Geats? Geat was not the same with Swede. They were the Southern Swedes.

    I consider the theory that Odin was a historical figure rather than a God false, and I am basing this on the writings of Snorri Sturlusson, the best Ancient North Germanic Historian. He was originally from Island.

    Strange, are we talking of that same Snorri Sturlusson who said the Goths “operated in across to the Baltic Sea and southern Scandinavia?”** Yes. I’m not one bit concerned about the Odin as a God/god or not, it’s the mentioning of both Swedes and Goths together. And why no analysis of Mallet, Introduction a l’Historie du Dannemarc from u? Strange again. Maybe those sources of yours quoted him also? You should run for political office; you have a good talent for avoiding issues.

    Quote:

    This is a footnote of a footnote on the bottom of pg 284: ..when he announced his new religion to the Gothic Nations, who were already seated in the southern parts of Sweden.*





    Once again: They are mistaking the Geats for Goths...

    So your saying that last source is wrong? But it’s not from the Internet that you say is so bad! Who are “they” and why are you any better of a source?

    Quote:

    ..The latter appear to have been subdivided into Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Gepidae [The Ostro and Visi, the eastern and western Goths, obtained those denominations from their original seats in Scandinavia.. [Adelung, Hist. All p. 202 Gatterer Hist. Univ. 431]





    What year was that written? Any modern historical work, including the encyclopedias Larousse & Britannica will tell you that the Ostrogoths and Visigoths were thusly named for the lands they occupied in Europe, not Scandinavia...

    Well, why don’t you read Adelung and find out yourself. Larousse and Britannica are under no influence? So when you look up the words like Jew, Hitler, paper usury money and gold, republic vs. democracy your going to get the truth huh? Not on this planet. Get off the boat that Larousse & Britannica is God. What does Larousse and Britannica think of Stormfront and its views? You are so far out of it, why use mainstream Jewish resources?




    The supposedly "Scandinavian" origin of the Goths is a myth. It has never been corroborated by modern archaeology. All the oldest Gothic sites discovered to date are found in what today is Poland.

    Modern Archaeology? Your saying modern archaeology isn’t under the influence of Jews , money, power? You have talked (posted) of professors having an agenda and yet you honestly think all that is discovered is going to be laid on the table honestly and unbiasedly? What about planning on not finding something? Modern Archaeology is the same as any other institution (media, govt., religion); control, filter and more control and screening. 99% of Modern science and archaeology are modern day intellectual prostitutes, not a honest telling virgin. . I’m just amazed I have to explain this on stormfront. Let me make it simple: mainstream Science is Jewish filtered.

    I rescind any disbelief of Scandinavia not being of some Goth origin. This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue to tell my children and grandchildren they are Goths, I’m sure for some of you (the follower’s (us) especially) will find that more irritating than diaper rash. You see when someone is strong (or smart) they don’t have to wear muscle pump tank tops, go to bars to tell of how strong they are; they are secure in their identity and don’t have to force it down other throats. My resistance to the origin of the Goths has been from such a force of jamming it down the throat. At first I thought it was attitude and then realized it was insecurity. I would like a unbiased Mod to change the title (since I originally wrote it) to: Origin of the Goths??? It was changed from Pseudo-Historical Propaganda abt. Scandinavia: How they seek to butcher our history, and the present title deemed by the moderator.

    *How is your sources so true? Because you list a lot of them? Don‘t care of them--just like you feel of mine. So your sources never had any muds working for the book, or non-Europeans being quoted from or info based from? No funding from a source that wanted a certain answer to be had, regardless of how little the info/facts were? Your sources (authors) were from a free Juden curriculum college and school? Tell me which college and school this free Juden atmosphere exists, I’m so anxious to hear about it. What planet is this on again?

    **Mr. Snorre Sturluson expressed himself thus in (AD 1174 - AD 1241):
    It is assumed that the Gothic tribes people operated over a large area covering the Pontus, Great Svitjod (Scytia Magna) across to the Baltic Sea and southern Scandinavia.


    Note: Not all quotes or statements were laid bare from post 5-24-04 10:43am Neither will I address some parts of other party--especially when my views are deleted under guise of “moderating” by the rules not applied to others--a Jewish concept of censor.

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    Post Re: The Origin Of The Goths

    OK, simply read the RGA (Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde), the most prominent source for modern Germanic archaeology.

    As I stated above the Gotho-Nordic connection is extremely insecure because there is no proven cultural drift between Poland and Scandinavia. In this context it must be acknowledged that the Gothic culture remained very conservative during the migrations keeping even the same costume from "Poland" to Spain and Italy over 600 years. At the early Iron Age Sweden was populated very sparsely (There are only few Iron Age place names in Sweden!) and not until the last centuries BC the interior regions have been settled from the coast so there was no classical push-factor like overpopulation for emigration.

    Linguistically there are some archaisms shared by East and North Germanic but it must also be said that there is a close relationship between the East Germanic and the Elb-Germanic dialects (look e.g. at the Gothic-OHG correspondences).

    The Scandinavian origin is nothing but a topos which e.g. has also been used for the Langobardes which aren´t of Scandinavian origin for certain. The most important source by far, Jordanes, also mentions rival theories
    like England and only favours Scandinavia because he took it for the most probable urheimat. And most informative he preserved no memory of Pomerania where the Goths lived for several centuries.

    My bet is that the northern group of the highly divergent Lusitanian culture has yet been partly Germanized. After the detoriation of the climate conditions at the turn from the Bronce Age to the Iron Age the bearer of the Lusitanian culture gave up there ancestral homelands, moved southwards and helped creating the urn field culture. The vacated area then has been settled from the west. This progress is well documented for the southern Przeworsk culture (Oder-Warthe-group). The situation in the north and especially the role of the Pomeranian culture is not clear but immigration from the west (Jastorf culture) is more likely, too.
    Last edited by beowulf_; Sunday, September 5th, 2004 at 09:46 PM.

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    Post Re: The Origin Of The Goths

    Gothia is the latin name for Götaland in Sweden, that should say most of it...

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    Post Re: The Origin Of The Goths

    Gotland, etc. are perhaps from Gaut-, not Got-.

    Not arguing against the premise, but the text has specious linguistic connections, for instance especially in the slavic-gothic name connection. that *Got- was known in other germanic languages (Gothic had *no* short o sound, and invariably this had been conflated into short u) is seen in OE got (not related to "geat," which is from *gaut-). One theory postulates the verbal *gut- "pour" as somehow connected to the name (referring to tribal or genetic pouring, or a geographical feature related to water, catastrophe; there are various theories without having to resort to an slavic borrowing which would not necessarily support a medial Sl. -d- > Go./Gmc. -t-.

    I haven't read this other text of the author's which refers to his support for Go. phonology being more similar to Romance. This is almost automatically dismissable. Gothic has thorn and edh as well as bilabial and dentail fricative/stop pairs, not proven in Romance languages. Also its vowel set is more restricted than Latin/Romance. For instance, as mentioned above, there is no short o (as in the Greek -o- stem), which had in most cases become -u-, but was at that point distinguished from the Go. -a- stem (PIE, Gk. -o- stem).

    K in Kreks might be from Latin transmission, where C is used (as a traditional sign for G, much as C(n). stands for Gnaius). Marikreitum is probably the result of a folk-etymological restructuring of margarita, so that it's parts have clear and new meaning in Go. as mari-kreit- "sea-circle", i.e. pearl. Very clever actually, not proof of High german voiceless obstruent influence.

    Again, I'm not arguing that the premise is false, just that the linguistic support given is not strong. The latin -arius formative was in use in most if not all Germanic languages/dialects. Celtic borrowings may not necessarily have been through Moravia. I'll have to examine this text from Green a bit more; though 'alew' and 'lukarn' I have questions about. I don't know whether Latin transmission would point to western origin, that is a bit of a leap without proof. a mixed u-/i- stem declension had already developed in Gothic and was not indicative necessarily of Latin influence as of grammatical analogy.

    Also Gothic had no short e, except as 'broken' digraph "ai" occuring (preserved) natively before h or r, though whether the sound is preserved as short /e/ is arguable, or what exactly the sound was: /e/ in ai††au "or" and waila "well" as well as the Greek borrowings. Certainly Wulfila's half-greek origin might have had an "easternizing" influence on biblical Gothic, so that orthography such as the "ai" diagraph and "gg" nasovelar were isolated incidents. But the distance of Go. phonology from Romance languages is distinct.

    Besides the traditional Germ. consonantal system harmonizing with the reconstructions of contemporaneous schemes, there is the reduced set of short vowels not apparent in Latin which had a full set of distinct short and long vowels a e i o u. I wonder to what extent L-Latin was spoken in the eastern empire at this time.

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    Post Getica: The Origins and Deeds of the Goths

    Jordanes, as he himself tells us a couple of times, was of Gothic descent and wrote this work as a summary of Cassiodorus' much longer treatment of the history of the Goths. Because Cassiodorus' book no longer survives, Jordanes' treatment is often our only source for some of the Gothic history it describes. He wrote the Getica during the later stages of the reign of Justinian, not too long after the demise of the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy.

    Jordanes divided his work, apart from the brief introduction and conclusion, into four main sections (reflected in the contents below). These are 1) a Geographical Introduction; 2) the United Goths; 3) the Visigoths; 4) and the Ostrogoths. Other large sections, such as the discussion of the Huns, he treats as digressions of a sort (the more interesting or important of these have been added to the contents below).

    http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~vandersp.../jordgeti.html
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    Post Re: Getica: The Origins and Deeds of the Goths

    It's a very good read but the Gepid culture originated from continental Europe rather than from southern Sweden.
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    Post Re: Getica: The Origins and Deeds of the Goths

    Quote Originally Posted by Discordia
    It's a very good read but the Gepid culture originated from continental Europe rather than from southern Sweden.
    I read somewhere that the Gepids were from Sweden, perhaps an island in the Baltic, and that they were racially "cut from a coarser cloth" meaning that they were perhaps more UP than their Hallstatt neighbors. Sorry, no references, this was just a detail from many years ago.

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