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

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    Re: Getica: The Origins and Deeds of the Goths

    Thracian Gods and use of burial mounds

    THE HISTORY OF HERODOTUS, By Herodotus,Translated by G. C. Macaulay,January, 2001
    Project Gutenberg Etext, http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2707

    Vol 2
    "7. These are their most remarkable customs; and of the gods they worship only Ares and Dionysos and Artemis. Their kings, however, apart from the rest of the people, worship Hermes more than all gods, and swear by him alone; and they say that they are descended from Hermes.
    8. The manner of burial for the rich among them is this:--for three days they expose the corpse to view, and they slay all kinds of victims and feast, having first made lamentation. Then they perform the burial rites, either consuming the body with fire or covering it up in the earth without burning; and afterwards when they have heaped up a mound they celebrate games with every kind of contest, in which reasonably the greatest prizes are assigned for single combat. This is the manner of burial among the Thracians."
    Last edited by ciurchea; Sunday, May 21st, 2006 at 10:55 PM.

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    Re: Getica: The Origins and Deeds of the Goths

    Quote Originally Posted by ciurchea
    We have here an additional problem: in the near future (2-3 years) an international highway will traverse this fabulous archeological site.That is how in 2004, 200 (two hundred) warrior tombs were dismantled in Vlaha above ...
    How disgusting is this! Destroy an archaelogical site to build a highway! I never were in Europe, but if I had the money to travel, these places were the first that I were to go, and ruins of roman cities and celtic circles of stones too. It's a shame that they'll destroy these last remnants of a glorious past.

  3. #33
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    Re: Getica: The Origins and Deeds of the Goths

    Quote Originally Posted by fms panzerfaust View Post
    How disgusting is this! Destroy an archaelogical site to build a highway! I never were in Europe, but if I had the money to travel, these places were the first that I were to go, and ruins of roman cities and celtic circles of stones too. It's a shame that they'll destroy these last remnants of a glorious past.
    Indeed.

    Last week, during some other works, one of the most important antique (dacian/getic/gothic) sites EVER FOUND was dismantled near Vlaha at Floresti ( view previous posts and maps): villa rustica, Roman road, and burial tumulus and necropola.

    I believe that discussions on this forum have yielded the very concrete result of anticipating such antique locations with a few month at least.

  4. #34
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    Antes=Anakes

    Maybe you remember iordannes saying about Antes-the title of the Gothic kings after defeating Fuscus. It matches Anakes/Anaktes as below:

    Citation:
    ======================================== ===============
    Plutarch, LIVES
    ( TRANSLATED WITH NOTES HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL LIFE OF PLUTARCH BY JOhN LANGHORNE M.D. AND WILLIAM LANGHORNE M.A. CAREFULLY CORRECTED AND PRINTED FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION IN FOUR VOLUMES VOL I Philadelphia, JAMES CRISSY No 4 MINOR STREET 1834)

    also http://books.google.ro/books?id=OOm_...ource=bookclip
    -------------------------------------------------------
    p.53 bottom


    "... This request was easily granted them and they were adopted by Aphidnus as Hercules was by Pylias They had also divine honours paid them with the title of Anakes which was given them either on account of the truce (anoche) which they made or because of their great care that no one should be injured though there were so many troops in the city for the phrase anakós cchein signifies to keep or take care of any thing and

    for this reason perhaps kings called Anaktes.

    Some again say they were called Anakes because of the appearance of their stars for the Athenians used the word ane cas and aneka hen instead of ano and anothen that is above or on high ..."
    ======================================== =============
    Discussion

    The Anaktes title of Getic Basilei is also bound to the Dioscuri pattern, i.e. a horse/rider with spear, which appears on most of the Dacian and Scythian coins (attributed to Scordisci="Danubian Celts" and Scythian kings) as a "Thracian knight" and has a astronomic significance also (Castor and Pollux bright stars, appearing only half of the year with the legend of the Dioscuri making shifts in Hell and Heaven; Castor is good at horse breeding and riding). This connects to the Apotheosis and burrial mounds and ressurection beliefs.
    In latin the equivalent is Dominus and Voievod(Voyevoda) - in romanian - meaning "I allow you=Voie va dau ", fitting the Greek Anakes as eplained by Plutarch, abreviated as Voda.

    In connection with the name Gotha, I presume "Goth" is the German translation of the Ankes/Voda/Basileus/Dominus title as Goth/ Gott-half God and not as a distorsion of Get. Since Gepids,Vizigoths and Ostrogoths intermarried, the original geographic meaning of Goth instead Get disappeared.

    Te significance of the titles of the Basilei of the 3 getic kingdoms is clearly connected to their adoration hails:

    - Dacia/Gepidia has a town called Apullum, more recently Alba Iulia (probably the title of th Basileus was Iulius Maximus, moked by the Hungarians as "Gyula". It is also clear that Iulius and the light associated with the Dioscuri match; the pileus of the dioscuri matches the phrigian caps of dacian tarabostes and the "pileati" of Iordanes ). Dracia/Dacia -from their flag like the carnyx, yields Teufel/Teufeliaia in German i.e. the "Taifali"

    - Vizigoths(The peerest goths, from Rom. vaza/lat. Vedere), translated in German yields Therrwingi(old Saxon root Thewes-manners customs),

    - Ostrogoth(Illustruous goths rom. lustra/lat lustra -meaninig shining) translates in German as Greuthungi(Old saxon groetin, like greeting in English)

    Apollo fits description of Woden with Slipnir , the 8 legged horse, connection with the light symbols (lightning). Since Appolo(<<Pollux) is confused with Hemes, it is perhaps about Anakes that Cesar speaks as religion of the Germans (before 100AD-my timeline). He got his Iulius title from Gallia and the gentry there?

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    Gothic Origins

    THE ORIGIN OF THE GOTHS

    Frederik Kortlandt

    Witold MaEczak 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 GdaEsk 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 ýernjahov 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 -Irius 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.
    MaEczak, 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 Altenglischen. München.

    Here is the PDF.
    http://www.kortlandt.nl/publications/art198e.pdf

  6. #36
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    Interesting theory, but I don't think I believe it. Most of the evidence points to that Goths were an East Germanic tribe that originally hailed from Scandinavia. The Goths themselves even stated in their legends that their ancestral home was "the great island of Scandza", their name for Scandinavia. And they didn't confuse it with the British Isles, as the quote in the OP suggests, because Britain was had been colonized by the Roman Empire by then.
    The name "Goths" is even related to "Götar", who are the people of southern Sweden (but they weren't Swedes - the region is known to us as "Götaland", and was once its own realm). From what I know, almost every historian has pointed to a Scandinavian origin of the Goths.

    Not that this fact has stopped Germany or Poland from faking history and claiming the Goths as their own, for various nationalistic reasons.

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