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Thread: The Origins of the Goths

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    Do You Have Info About the Goths?

    Hi

    First of all, I'm sorry to post under a pseudonym, but this is a controversial website and there's plenty of idiots out there.

    I'm looking for information about the goths, the Visigoths in particular. You see, as a Catalan, this shouldn't be something that awakens my curiosity; but my surname is of gothic origin, and a word related to warfare. Also, according to 23andMe my haplogroup is I, which is very uncommon in Catalonia.

    I'd like to ask you any info you have on goths, books you recommend, anything, I'd be very grateful. Also, does anyone recognize this symbol? (I rendered it here by striking [ s] [ /s] a Pi symbol ∏). My family's coat of arms is this red symbol on a yellow background.

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    I can refer you to a great genealogical site, from which you start to research the names of individual Goths and their families:

    www.fabpedigree.com

    I also advise you get access to JSTOR and start reading on Goths. There's information all over the place, and they were around for a very long time (and their origins are still being studied by the biological anthropologists).

    They did make it down into Catalan, of course, I just don't know the date off the top of my head.

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    Senior Member Alfadur's Avatar
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    The Origins of the Goths

    Lately, I've had a huge interest in ancient history, so I've decided to make some threads about it. (Skadi is as good a place for intellectual venting as any, so I guess this will be the first of several "intellectual threads" on my part.)

    I'm rather fascinated by the history of the Goths (the ancient Germanic tribe, not the modern teenage subculture ). They're an important part of Sweden's history, even though the Vikings have been more remember by later generations. The Gothic tribes, as most of us know, were from Scandinavia (Goths = Jutes, Gotland, Götaland) originally.

    Here's a link to an ancient Roman text about the origins of the Goths: http://people.ucalgary.ca/~vandersp/.../jordgeti.html



    Although I'm sure the text has many misunderstandings, there's still many flashes of information in there. We're told that the contemporary Gothic tribes originally came from the great island Scandza (Scandinavia, which people mistook for an island). The people are said to be as harsh as the land, which is contrasted with the warmer European lands. We're also told that the Goths left their northern home by three ships, and traveled south to end up in the borderlands of the Roman Empire. The author describes the Goths as being militarily powerful, because each citizen was trained as a warrior, but also as being very wise ("Wherefore the Goths have ever been wiser than other barbarians and were nearly like the Greeks in wisdom and beauty.") Their religion is also described, and it sounds very similar to Norse paganism.

    From a "racialist" point of view, this text is interesting. The Huns, an Asian race who stormed into Europe from the east, first came into contact with the Goths. The author of the text describes a gender conflict between the males and females of the Goths. At one point, the male Goths destroy a temple to the goddess Diana, and the temple's witches are chased away to die in the wilderness. But these witches mate with the demons of the wilderness, and give birth to semi-human creatures - the Asian Huns. It's interesting both because it is how they viewed racial aliens, and because it's a form of atavism to the Goths' own past. The Goths, who had been "Romanized", now tried to forget their own past as barbarians. The text also describes the wars between the Goths and the Huns.

    So, what do you think of the historical Goths, and how do they relate to modern Germanic peoples?

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    I think Goths are far too often overlooked in the grand scheme of European history. Were it not for them, Rome would have taken a far different course in it's downfall (or evolution). They hammered the final nail in the coffin of the Huns, picked up the shambles of Rome and rectified it into Germanic Kingdoms and set the course for further kingdoms in the Middle Ages, were among the first to convert to Christianity, were amoung the first literate Germanic peoples, and provided us with some of the most spectacular pieces of archeological artifacts. All because of their illegal immigration into Rome

    I'd say they've earned my respect.

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    The Goths are indeed fascinating, especially how they were regarded as almost superhuman in the old days, but have been totally overlooked nowadays. The aristocracy in Spain, and also in Sweden, took pride in being descendants of the Goths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    All because of their illegal immigration into Rome
    Highly legal immigration, actually. The Goths served as federati in the Roman legions for hundreds of years, and were give permission to settle the northern lands of the Roman Empire. They rebelled because of Roman mistreatment, and defeated the legions in several battles. By the end, when they seized power over Rome, the Goths were basically "Romanized" themselves.

    In other words, it wasn't a high civilization being torn down by the barbarians, as the popular image goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odalman View Post
    Highly legal immigration, actually. The Goths served as federati in the Roman legions for hundreds of years, and were give permission to settle the northern lands of the Roman Empire. In the end, they rebelled because of Roman mistreatment, and defeated the legions in several battles. By the end, when they seized power over Rome, the Goths were basically "Romanized" themselves.
    Indeed. Don't take remark seriously , just a tongue in cheek about their refugee status in Dacia, as many modern day "barbarians" seek refuge in our lands under the guise of asylum.

    Perhaps that's how they relate to modern Germanics?

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    The Goths were a really interesting people. They're a part of Swedish history that is often overlooked, most people nowadays pay more attention to the Vikings or the imperial era of Karl XII.

    Didn't the Goths speak one of the now-extinct East Germanic languages?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigyn View Post
    Didn't the Goths speak one of the now-extinct East Germanic languages?
    Indeed they did. The East Germanic tribes - the Goths and related groups - all went south and west, conquering the local populations. They usually ruled as a warrior-aristocracy, but eventually adopted the customs and behaviors of their subjects. So they were absorbed into the subject populations. The Ostrogoths were quickly "Romanized" and became the North Italians of today, while the Visigoths gradually became Spaniards.

    This didn't happen in Britain, since the Germanic invaders (the Angles and Saxons) did not merely conquer the Celts but totally overran them. Most of the Celts were either killed, enslaved, or absorbed into the Anglo-Saxon population. This is mainly the reason why English is still a Germanic language, and not an Anglo-Celtic creole. And, indeed, this is the reason why English people are counted as Germanic.

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    The Goths are my favourite Volkerwanderung tribe of them all. They have been overshadowed by the Franks, unfortunately. The willful assimilation of the Franks into Romanisms snuffed out the light of the Goths as a distinct people in the Mediterranean. The status of Arian Christianity held the Germanics free from the same community that the other residents belonged to. Adopting Catholicism was the worst choice they ended up making.

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    I actually met a Goth about 25 years ago. He was working as a giant in a circus side show that stopped in a town I was living in. The sign outside the tent said see the 8' tall man. I think he was under 8', maybe 7'8" or 7'10". His hands were huge. Take the 2 fingers of your right hand an place them in the palm of your left hand. This was my hand in his. He could pass a US 50 cent piece thru his ring. He had blond hair and blue eyes and white skin. He was not one on the long skulled people. He had more of a round face. He was not extremely handsome , but had a pleasant look to his face. He had a slight accent that I could't place at the time. He showed no signs of acromegaly, the condition that distorts the skull from having a tumor on the pituitary gland. He was so impressive I will never forget his name, Johann Petrussian. That name may derive from the Swedish tribe the Russ. This size is unusual but not unheard of in the Goths. I read a book on the Germanic tribes some 23 years ago in the Stanford University library in California. I distinctly remember reading about an early leader of the Goths whose name was Maxim. He was 8' tall and weighed 500 lbs. His name was a runic name, all the letters were straight lines. I have not been able to find a reference to him since. I think we get the word maximum from his name. He was not the only Gothic leader 8' tall. After he died the very next leader was also 8' tall. They were not that tall by the time they got down to the Balkans. I also read a book from the same library that said the Goths that left southern Sweden were the over flow population. Many Goths stayed. I read that they were overpowered by the Servige, a Swedish tribe that ruled Sweden after the Goths. That is the name that the Swedes call their country now. If that isn't correct, maybe one of the Swedes on here can clarify that.

    These libraries in the large universities are treasure houses of information about the ancient peoples.

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