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Soldier of Macedon 01-24-2009 11:25 PM

Origin of the Goths: Slavic or Germanic?
This should make for an interesting topic now that we have someone of Germanic origin who can shed some more light from the other end of the spectrum. I recall conversations in the past with Slovak regarding this issue and came to some sort of consensus whereby it would have to be accepted that the Goths may have consisted of both Slavic and Germanic peoples.

Most western sources consider them Germanic, but much of the evidence we have suggests a heavy Slavic element. Their locations of travel and settlement in Europe, personal names, etc.

Goths reached as far as Iberia, the Balkans and other parts of Europe, where are all the Germanic placenames in Iberia and the Balkans? Slavic placenames are found in nearly all countries of Europe, even Iberia, in many instances as slaves or members of another group of people, as recently cited by Risto the Great on another thread:


Jordanes, a Goth himself, considers the Goths and Getae one in the same, this is also confirmed by Procopius who states that some "[B][I]called these nations Getic[/I][/B]". I see that an old article of mine about the Getae is being used over at the Macedonian Brotherhood, another group of dedicated and proud Macedonians.


Here are some of the Gothic/Getic names mentioned by Jordanes:

[B][I]Telefus, Gradivus, Filimer, Thuidimer, Valamir and Vidimer.[/I][/B]

Do these seem more Slavic or Germanic?

It is interesting to note that Jordanes speaks of the Goths/Getae as inhabiting lands where Macedonians and Thracians dwelt, where the Slavic-speaking people in this region live, which is also further supported by Theophylact Simocatta who states that the Getic name is another older way of referring to the Slavic rebels.

I think that's enough to kick off this topic, let's hear some thoughts.

Delodephius 01-25-2009 03:44 AM

Think of the Goths as a faction not an ethnic group.

Thorvald 01-25-2009 05:57 AM

They were Germanic, but certainly there would be Slavic fractions along with it, as I think people often misunderstood history.

Take for example the Spanish occupation forces in the Netherlands during the Dutch revolt 1568-1648. We learn at school we fought against the Spanish, although in reality the Spanish troops existed out of many Italians, Germans, Swiss, and Dutch troops were often more Germans then Dutch.

Maybe a bad example, but it needed to say ;)

Soldier of Macedon 01-25-2009 06:17 AM

Thorvald, can you post some more information with regard to the Germanic character of the Goths? What do you believe the ratio to be between the Germanics and Slavs? Where are the Germanic placenames in the Balkans where the Goths/Getae are spoken of as ancestors of Thracian peoples?

Thorvald 01-25-2009 09:42 AM

[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;10186]Thorvald, can you post some more information with regard to the Germanic character of the Goths? What do you believe the ratio to be between the Germanics and Slavs? Where are the Germanic placenames in the Balkans where the Goths/Getae are spoken of as ancestors of Thracian peoples?[/QUOTE]

Article below I posted earlier on the Germanic forum:

[QUOTE]Goths (Gotones, later Gothis), a Teutonic people who in the 1 st century of the Christian era appear to have inhabited the middle part of the basin of the Vistula. They were probably the easternmost of the Teutonic peoples. Early P Y P P history. According to their own traditions as recorded by Jordanes, they had come originally from the island Scandza., i.e. Skane or Sweden, under the leadership of a king named Berig, and landed first in a region called Gothiscandza. Thence they invaded the territories of the Ulmerugi (the Holmryge of Anglo-Saxon tradition), probably in the neighbourhood of Riigenwalde in eastern Pomerania, and conquered both them and the neighbouring Vandals. Under their sixth king Filimer they migrated into Scythia and settled in a district which they called Oium. The rest of their early history, as it is given by Jordanes following Cassiodorus, is due to an erroneous identification of the Goths with the Getae, and ancient Thracian people.

The credibility of the story of the migration from Sweden has been much discussed by modern authors. The legend was not peculiar to the Goths, similar traditions being current among the Langobardi, the Burgundians, and apparently several other Teutonic nations. It has been observed with truth that so many populous nations can hardly have sprung from the Scandinavian peninsula; on the other hand, the existence of these traditions certainly requires some explanation. Possibly, however, many of the royal families may have contained an element of Scandinavian blood, a hypothesis which would well accord with the social conditions of the migration period, as illustrated, e.g., in Volsunga Saga and in Hervarar Saga ok Heib'reks Konungs. In the case of the Goths a connexion with Gotland is not unlikely, since it is clear from archaeological evidence that this island had an extensive trade with the coasts about the mouth of the Vistula in early times. If, however, there was any migration at all, one would rather have expected it to have taken place in the reverse direction. For the origin of the Goths can hardly be separated from that of the Vandals, whom according to Procopius they resembled in language and in all other respects. Moreover the Gepidae, another Teutonic people, who are said to have formerly inhabited the delta of the Vistula, also appear to have been closely connected with the Goths. According to Jordanes they participated in the migration from Scandza.

Apart from a doubtful reference by Pliny to a statement of the early traveller Pytheas, the first notices we have of the Goths go back to the first years of the Christian era, at which time they seem to have been subject to the Marcomannic king Maroboduus. They do not enter into Roman history, however, until after the beginning of the 3rd century, at which time they appear to have come in conflict with the emperor Caracalla. During this century their frontier seems to have been advanced considerably farther south, and the whole country as far as the lower Danube was frequently ravaged by them. The emperor Gordianus is called " victor Gothorum " by Capitolinus, though we have no record of the ground for the claim, and further conflicts are recorded with his successors, one of whom, Decius, was slain by the Goths in Moesia. According to Jordanes the kings of the Goths during these campaigns were Ostrogotha and afterwards Cniva, the former of whom is praised also in the AngloSaxon poem Widsith. The emperor Gallus was forced to pay tribute to the Goths. By this time they had reached the coasts of the Black Sea, and during the next twenty years they frequently ravaged the maritime regions of Asia Minor and Greece. Aurelian is said to have won a victory over them, but the province of Dacia had to be given up. In the time of Constantine the Great Thrace and Moesia were again plundered by the Goths, A.D. 321. Constantine drove them back and concluded peace with their king Ariaric in 336. From the end of the 3rd century we hear of subdivisions of the nation called Greutungi, Teruingi, Austrogothi (Ostrogothi), Visigothi, Taifali, though it is not clear whether these were all distinct.

Though by this time the Goths had extended their territories far to the south and east, it must not be assumed that they had evacuated their old lands on the Vistula. Jordanes records several traditions of their conflicts with other Teutonic tribes, in particular a victory won by Ostrogotha over Fastida, king of the Gepidae, and another by Geberic over Visimar, king of the Vandals, about the end of Constantine's reign, in consequence of which the Vandals sought and obtained permission to settle in Pannonia. Geberic was succeeded by the most famous of the Gothic kings, Hermanaric (Eormenric, Iormunrekr), whose deeds are recorded in the traditions of all Teutonic nations. According to Jordanes he conquered the Heruli, the Aestii, the Venedi, and a number of other tribes who seem to have been settled in the southern part of Russia. From Anglo-Saxon sources it seems probable that his supremacy reached westwards as far as Holstein. He was of a cruel disposition, and is said to have killed his nephews Embrica (Emerca) and Fritla (Fridla) in order to obtain the great treasure which they possessed. Still more famous is the story of Suanihilda (Svanhildr), who according to Northern tradition was his wife and was cruelly put to death on a false charge of unfaithfulness. An attempt to avenge her death was made by her brothers Ammius (Hamoir) and Sarus (Sorli) by whom Hermanaric was severely wounded. To his time belong a number of other heroes whose exploits are recorded in English and Northern tradition, amongst whom we may mention Wudga (Vidigoia), Hama and several others, who in Widsith are represented as defending their country against the Huns in the forest of the Vistula. Hermanaric committed suicide in his distress at an invasion of the Huns about A.D. 370, and the portion of the nation called Ostrogoths then came under Hunnish supremacy. The Visigoths obtained permission to cross the Danube and settle in Moesia. A large part of the nation became Christian about this time (see below). The exactions of the Roman governors, however, soon led to a quarrel, which ended in the total defeat and death of Valens at Adrianople in the year 378. (F. G. M. B.) From about 370 the history of the East and West Goths parts asunder, to be joined together again only incidentally and for a season. The great mass of the East Goths overlordship of the Hun. They do not for the present play any important part in the affairs of the Empire. The great mass of the West Goths crossed the Danube into the Roman provinces, and there played a most important part in various characters of alliance and enmity. The great migration was in 376, when they were allowed to pass as peaceful settlers under their chief Frithigern. His rival Athanaric seems to have tried to maintain his party for a while north of the Danube in defiance of the Huns; but he had presently to follow the example of the great mass of the nation. The peaceful designs of Frithigern were meanwhile thwarted by the ill-treatment which the Goths suffered from the Roman officials, which led first to disputes and then to open war. In 378 the Goths won the great battle of Adrianople, and after this Theodosius the Great, the successor of Valens, made terms with them in 381, and the mass of the Gothic warriors entered the Roman service as foederati. Many of their chiefs were in high favour; but it seems that the orthodox Theodosius showed more favour to the still remaining heathen party among the Goths than to the larger part of them who had embraced Arian Christianity. Athanaric himself came to Constantinople in 381; he was received with high honours, and had a solemn funeral when he died. His saying is worth recording, as an example of the effect which Roman civilization had on the Teutonic mind. " The emperor," he said, " was a god upon earth, and he who resisted him would have his blood on his own head." The death of Theodosius in 395 broke up the union between the West Goths and the Empire. Dissensions arose between them and the ministers of Arcadius; the Goths threw off their allegiance, and chose Alaric as their king. This was a restoration alike of national unity and of national independence. The royal title had not been borne by their leaders in the Roman service. Alaric's position is quite different from that of several Goths in the Roman service, who appear as simple rebels. He was of the great West Gothic house of the Balthi, or Bold-men, a house second in nobility only to that of the Amali. His whole career was taken up with marchings to and fro within the lands, first of the Eastern, then of the Western empire. The Goths are under him an independent people under a national king; their independence is in no way interfered with if the Gothic king, in a moment of peace, accepts the office and titles of a Roman general. But under Alaric the Goths make no lasting settlement. In the long tale of intrigue and warfare between the Goths and the two imperial courts which fills up this whole time, cessions of territory are offered to the Goths, provinces are occupied by them, but as yet they do not take root anywhere; no Western land as yet becomes Gothia. Alaric's designs of settlement seem in his first stage to have still kept east of the Adriatic, in Illyricum, possibly in Greece. Towards the end of his career his eyes seem fixed on Africa.

Greece was the scene of his great campaign in 395-96, the second Gothic invasion of that country. In this campaign the religious position of the Goths is strongly marked. The Arian appeared as an enemy alike to the pagan majority and the Catholic minority; but he came surrounded by monks, and his chief wrath was directed against the heathen temples (vide G. F. Hertzberg, Geschichte Griechenlands, iii. 391). His Italian campaigns fall into two great divisions, that of 402-3, when he was driven back by Stilicho, and that of 408-10, after Stilicho's death. In this second war he thrice besieged Rome (408, 409, 410). The second time it suited a momentary policy to set up a puppet emperor of his own, and even to accept a military commission from him. The third time he sacked the city, the first time since Brennus that Rome had been taken by an army of utter foreigners. The intricate political and military details of these campaigns are of less importance in the history of the Gothic nation than the stage which Alaric's reign marks in the history of that nation. It stands between two periods of settlement within the Empire and of service under the Empire. Under Alaric there is no settlement, and service is quite secondary and precarious; after his death in 410 the two begin again in new shapes.

Contemporary with the campaigns of Alaric was a barbarian invasion of Italy, which, according to one view, again brings the East and West Goths together. The great mass of the East Goths, as has been already said, became one of the many nations which were under vassalage to the Huns; but their relation was one merely of vassalage. They remained a distinct people under kings of their own, kings of the house of the Amali and of the kindred of Ermanaric (Jordanes, 48). They had to follow the lead of the Huns in war, but they were also able to carry on wars of their own; and it has been held that among these separate East Gothic enterprises we are to place the invasion of Italy in 4 05 by Radagaisus (whom R. Pallmann' writes Ratiger, and takes him for the chief of the heathen part of the East Goths). One chronicler, Prosper, makes this invasion preceded by another in 400, in which Alaric and Radagaisus appear as partners. The paganism of Radagaisus is certain. The presence of Goths in his army is certain, but it seems dangerous to infer that his invasion was a national Gothic enterprise.

Under Ataulphus, the brother-in-law and successor of Alaric, another era opens, the beginning of enterprises which did in the end lead to the establishment of a settled Gothic monarchy in the West. The position of Ataulphus is well marked by the speech put into his mouth by Orosius. He had at one time dreamed of destroying the Roman power, of turning Romania into Gothia, and putting Ataulphus in the stead of Augustus; but he had learned that the world could be governed only by the laws of Rome and he had determined to use the Gothic arms for the support of the Roman power. And in the confused and contradictory accounts of his actions (for the story in Jordanes cannot be reconciled with the accounts in Olympiodorus and the chroniclers), we can see something of this principle at work throughout. Gaul and Spain were overrun both by barbarian 1 Geschichte der Volkerwanderung (Gotha, 1863-1864).

stayed north of the Danube, and passed under the Y P invaders and by rival emperors. The sword of the Goth was to win back the last lands for Rome. And, amid many shiftings of allegiance, Ataulphus seems never to have wholly given up the position of an ally of the Empire. His marriage with Placidia, the daughter of the great Theodosius, was taken as the seal of the union between Goth and Roman, and, had their son Theodosius lived, a dynasty might have arisen uniting both claims. But the career of Ataulphus was cut short at Barcelona in 415, by his murder at the hands of another faction of the Goths. The reign of Sigeric was momentary. Under Wallia in 418 a more settled state of things was established. The Empire received again, as the prize of Gothic victories, the Tarraconensis in Spain, and Novempopulana and the Narbonensis in Gaul. The " second Aquitaine," with the sea-coast from the mouth of the Garonne to the mouth of the Loire, became the West Gothic kingdom of Toulouse. The dominion of the Goths was now strictly Gaulish; their lasting Spanish dominion does not yet begin.

The reign of the first West Gothic Theodoric (419-451) shows a shifting state of relations between the Roman and Gothic powers; but, after defeats and successes both ways, the older relation of alliance against common enemies was again established. At last Goth and Roman had to join together against the common enemy of Europe and Christendom, Attila the Hun. But they met Gothic warriors in his army. By the terms of their subjection to the Huns, the East Goths came to fight for Attila against Christendom at Chalons, just as the Servians came to fight for Bajazet against Christendom at Nicopolis. Theodoric fell in the battle (451). After this momentary meeting, the history of the East and West Goths again separates for a while. The kingdom of Toulouse grew within Gaul at the expense of the Empire, and in Spain at the expense of the Suevi. Under Euric (466-485) the West Gothic power again became largely a Spanish power. The kingdom of Toulouse took in nearly all Gaul south of the Loire and west of the Rhone, with all Spain, except the north-west corner, which was still held by the Suevi. Provence alone remained to the Empire. The West Gothic kings largely adopted Roman manners and culture; but, as they still kept to their original Arian creed, their rule never became thoroughly acceptable to their Catholic subjects. Theystood, therefore, at a great disadvantage when a new and aggressive Catholic power appeared in Gaul through the conversion of the Frank Clovis or Chlodwig. Toulouse was, as in days long after, the seat of an heretical power, against which the forces of northern Gaul marched as on a crusade. In 507 the West Gothic king Alaric II. fell before the Frankish arms at Campus Vogladensis, near Poitiers, and his kingdom, as a great power north of the Alps, fell with him. That Spain and a fragment of Gaul still remained to form a West Gothic kingdom was owing to the intervention of the East Goths under the rule of the greatest man in Gothic history.

When the Hunnish power broke in pieces on the death of Attila, the East Goths recovered their full independence. They now entered into relations with the Empire, and were settled on lands in Pannonia. During the greater part of the latter half of the 5th century, the East Goths play in south-eastern Europe nearly the same part which the West Goths played in the century before. They are seen going to and fro, in every conceivable relation of friendship and enmity with the Eastern Roman power, till, just as the West Goths had done before them, they pass from the East to the West. They are still ruled by kings of the house of the Amali, and from that house there now steps forward a great figure, famous alike in history and in romance, in the person of Theodoric, son of Theodemir. Born about 454, his childhood was spent at Constantinople as a hostage, where he was carefully educated. The early part of his life is taken up with various disputes, intrigues and wars within the Eastern empire, in which he has as his rival another Theodoric, son of Triarius, and surnamed Strabo. This older but lesser Theodoric seems to have been the chief, not the king, of that branch of the East Goths which had settled within the Empire at an earlier time. Theodoric the Great, as he is some times distinguished, is sometimes the friend, sometimes the enemy, of the Empire. In the former case he is clothed with various Roman titles and offices, as patrician and consul; but in all cases alike he remains the national East Gothic king. It was in both characters together that he set out in 488, by commission from the emperor Zeno, to recover Italy from Odoacer. By 493 Ravenna was taken; Odoacer was killed by Theodoric's own hand; and the East Gothic power was fully established over Italy, Sicily, Dalmatia and the lands to the north of Italy. In this war the history of the East and West Goths begins again to unite, if we may accept the witness of one writer that Theodoric was helped by West Gothic auxiliaries. The two branches of the nation were soon brought much more closely together, when, through the overthrow of the West Gothic kingdom of Toulouse, the power of Theodoric was practically extended over a large part of Gaul and over nearly the whole of Spain. A time of confusion followed the fall of Alaric II., and, as that prince was the son-in-law of Theodoric, the East Gothic king stepped in as the guardian of his grandson Amalaric, and preserved for him all his Spanish and a fragment of his Gaulish dominion. Toulouse passed away to the Frank; but the Goth kept Narbonne and its district, the land of Septimania - the land which, as the last part of Gaul held by the Goths, kept the name of Gothia for many ages. While Theodoric lived, the West Gothic kingdom was practically united to his own dominion. He seems also to have claimed a kind of protectorate over the Teutonic powers generally, and indeed to have practically exercised it, except in the case of the Franks.

The East Gothic dominion was now again as great in extent and far more splendid than it could have been in the time of Ermanaric. But it was now of a wholly different character. The dominion of Theodoric was not a barbarian but a civilized power. His twofold position ran through everything. He was at once national king of the Goths, and successor, though without any imperial titles, of the Roman emperors of the West. The two nations, differing in manners, language and religion, lived side by side on the soil of Italy; each was ruled according to its own law, by the prince who was, in his two separate characters, the common sovereign of both. The picture of Theodoric's rule is drawn for us in the state papers drawn up in his name and in the names of his successors by his Roman minister Cassiodorus. The Goths seem to have been thick on the ground in northern Italy; in the south they formed little more than garrisons. In Theodoric's theory the Goth was the armed protector of the peaceful Roman; the Gothic king had the toil of government, while the Roman consul had the honour. All the forms of the Roman administration went on, and the Roman polity and Roman culture had great influence on the Goths themselves. The rule of the prince over two distinct nations in the same land was necessarily despotic; the old Teutonic freedom was necessarily lost. Such a system as that which Theodoric established needed a Theodoric to carry it on. It broke in pieces after his death.

On the death of Theodoric (526) the East and West Goths were again separated. The few instances in which they are found acting together after this time are as scattered and incidental as they were before. Amalaric succeeded to the West Gothic kingdom in Spain and Septimania. Provence was added to the dominion of the new East Gothic king Athalaric, the grandson of Theodoric through his daughter Amalasuntha. The weakness of the East Gothic position in Italy now showed itself. The long wars of Justinian's reign (535-555) recovered Italy for the Empire, and the Gothic name died out on Italian soil. The chance of forming a national state in Italy by the union of Roman and Teutonic elements, such as those which arose in Gaul, in Spain, and in parts of Italy under Lombard rule, was thus lost. The East Gothic kingdom was destroyed bef ore Goths and Italians had at all mingled together. The war of course made the distinction stronger; under the kings who were chosen for the purposes of the war national Gothic feeling had revived. The Goths were now again, if not a wandering people, yet an armed host, no longer the protectors but the enemies of the Roman people of Italy. The East Gothic dominion and the East Gothic name wholly passed away. The nation had followed Theodoric. It is only once or twice after his expedition that we hear of Goths, or even of Gothic leaders, in the eastern provinces. From the soil of Italy the nation passed away almost without a trace, while the next Teutonic conquerors stamped their name on the two ends of the land, one of which keeps it to this day.

The West Gothic kingdom lasted much longer, and came much nearer to establishing itself as a national power in the lands which it took in. But the difference of race and faith between the Arian Goths and the Catholic Romans of Gaul and Spain influenced the history of the West Gothic kingdom for a long time. The Arian Goths ruled over Catholic subjects, and were surrounded by Catholic neighbours. The Franks were Catholics from their first conversion; the Suevi became Catholics much earlier than the Goths. The African conquests of Belisarius gave the Goths of Spain, instead of the Arian Vandals, another Catholic neighbour in the form of the restored Roman power. The Catholics everywhere preferred either Roman, Suevian or Frankish rule to that of the heretical Goths; even the unconquerable mountaineers of Cantabria seem for a while to have received a Frankish governor. In some other mountain districts the Roman inhabitants long maintained their independence, and in 534 a large part of the south of Spain, including the great cities of Cadiz, Cordova, Seville and New Carthage, was, with the good will of its Roman inhabitants, reunited to the Empire, which kept some points on the coast as late as 624. That is to say, the same work which the Empire was carrying on in Italy against the East Goths was at the same moment carried on in Spain against the West Goths. But in Italy the whole land was for a while won back, and the Gothic power passed away for ever. In Spain the Gothic power outlived the Roman power, but it outlived it only by itself becoming in some measure Roman. The greatest period of the Gothic power as such was in the reign of Leovigild (568-586). He reunited the Gaulish and Spanish parts of the kingdom which had been parted for a moment; he united the Suevian dominion to his own; he overcame some of the independent districts, and won back part of the recovered Roman province in southern Spain. He further established the power of the crown over the Gothic nobles, who were beginning to grow into territorial lords. The next reign, that of his son Recared (586-601), was marked by a change which took away the great hindrance which had thus far stood in the way of any national union between Goths and Romans. The king and the greater part of the Gothic people embraced the Catholic faith. A vast degree of influence now fell into the hands of the Catholic bishops; the two nations began to unite; the Goths were gradually romanized and the Gothic language began to go out of use. In short, the Romance nation and the Romance speech of Spain began to be formed. The Goths supplied the Teutonic infusion into the Roman mass. The kingdom, however, still remained a Gothic kingdom. " Gothic," not " Roman " or " Spanish," is its formal title; only a single late instance of the use of the formula " regnum Hispaniae " is known. In the first half of the 7th century that name became for the first time geographically applicable by the conquest of the still Roman coast of southern Spain. The Empire was then engaged in the great struggle with the Avars and Persians, and, now that the Gothic kings were Catholic, the great objection to their rule on the part of the Roman inhabitants was taken away. The Gothic nobility still remained a distinct class, and held, along with the Catholic prelacy, the right of choosing the king. Union with the Catholic Church was accompanied by the introduction of the ecclesiastical ceremony of anointing, a change decidedly favourable to elective rule. The growth of those later ideas which tended again to favour the hereditary doctrine had not time to grow up in Spain before the Mahommedan conquest (711). The West Gothic crown therefore remained elective till the end. The modern Spanish nation is the growth of the long struggle with the Mussulmans; but it has a direct connexion with the West Gothic kingdom. We see at once that the Goths hold altogether a different place in Spanish memory from that which they hold in Italian memory. In Italy the Goth was but a momentary invader and ruler; the Teutonic element in Italy comes from other sources. In Spain the Goth supplies an important element in the modern nation. And that element has been neither forgotten nor despised. Part of the unconquered region of northern Spain, the land of Asturia, kept for a while the name of Gothia, as did the Gothic possessions in Gaul and in Crim. The name of the people who played so great a part in all southern Europe, and who actually ruled over so large a part of it has now wholly passed away; but it is in Spain that its historical impress is to be looked for.

Of Gothic literature in the Gothic language we have the Bible of Ulfilas, and some other religious writings and fragments (see Gothic Language below). Of Gothic legislation in Latin we have the edict of Theodoric of the year 500, edited by F. Bluhme in the Monumenta Germaniae historica; and the books of Variae of Cassiodorus may pass as a collection of the state papers of Theodoric and his immediate successors. Among the West Goths written laws had already been put forth by Euric. The second Alaric (484-507) put forth a Breviarium of Roman law for his Roman subjects; but the great collection of West Gothic laws dates from the later days of the monarchy, being put forth by King Recceswinth about 654. This code gave occasion to some well-known comments by Montesquieu and Gibbon, and has been discussed by Savigny (Geschichte des riimischen Rechts, ii. 65) and various other writers. They are printed in the Monumenta Germaniae, leges, tome i. (1902). Of special Gothic histories, besides that of Jordanes, already so often quoted, there is the Gothic history of Isidore, archbishop of Seville, a special source of the history of the West Gothic kings down to Svinthala (621-631). But all the Latin and Greek writers contemporary with the days of Gothic predominance make their constant contributions. Not for special facts, but for a general estimate, no writer is more instructive than Salvian of Marseilles in the 5th century, whose work De Gubernatione Dei "is full of passages contrasting the vices of the Romans with the virtues of the barbarians, especially of the Goths. In all such pictures we must allow a good deal for exaggeration both ways, but there must be a ground-work of truth. The chief virtues which the Catholic presbyter praises in the Arian Goths are their chastity, their piety according to their own creed, their tolerance towards the Catholics under their rule, and their general good treatment of their Roman subjects. He even ventures to hope that such good people may be saved, notwithstanding their heresy. All this must have had some groundwork of truth in the 5th century, but it is not very wonderful if the later West Goths of Spain had a good deal fallen away from the doubtless somewhat ideal picture of Salvian. (E. A. F.) There is now an extensive literature on the Goths, and among the principal works may be mentioned: T. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders (Oxford, 1880-1899); J. Aschbach, Geschichte der Westgoten (Frankfort, 1827); F. Dahn, Die Konige der Germanen (1861-1899); E. von Wietersheim, Geschichte der Volkerwanderung (1880-1881); R. Pallmann, Die Geschichte der Volkerwanderung (Gotha, 1863-1864);. B. Rappaport, Die Einfdlle der Goten in das romische Reich (Leipzig, 1899), and K. Zeuss, Die Deutschen and die Nachbarstamme (Munich, 1837). Other works which may be consulted are: E. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, edited by J. B. Bury (1896-1900); H. H. Milman, History of Latin Christianity (1867); J. B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire (1889); P. Villari, Le Invasioni barbariche in Italia (Milan, 1901); and F. Martroye, L'Occident a l'epoque byzantine: Goths et Vandales (Paris, 1903). There is a popular history of the Goths by H. Bradley in the " Story of the Nations " series (London, 1888). For the laws see the Leges in Band I. of the Monumenta Germaniae historica, leges (1902). A. Helfferich, Entstehung and Geschichte des Westgotenrechts (Berlin, 1858); F. Bluhme, Zur Textkritik des Westgotenrechts (1872); F. Dahn, Lex Visigothorum. Westgotische Studien (Wiirzburg, 1874); C. Rinaudo, Leggi dei Visigote, studio (Turin, 1878); and K. Zeumer, " Geschichte der westgotischen Gesetzgebung " in the Neues Archie der Gesellschaft fiir eiltere deutsche Geschichtskunde.[/QUOTE]


This aricle reffers to the origin of the word Teutonic, posted by the site-admin:

[QUOTE]Teutonic refers to Germanic peoples and/or Germanic languages. The word Teutonic derives at once from both the Latin name for a tribe who were thought by the Romans to be Germanic, die Teutonen (wich means the Teutons), and from the Germanic word tiutisch (New High German deutsch = German), originally meaning belonging to the people.

The Romans identified die Teutonen as a Germanic tribe, and therefore Roman writers began to use the term Teutonicus as a synonym for their existing word for Germanic peoples, Germanicus.

Today many scholars think that die Teutonen were not a Germanic tribe at all, but were actually a Celtic tribe, and it has been suggested that Teutone derives from the Celtic word tuath meaning "the people" or "the tribe."

Tiutisch is the source of the German word Deutsch, as well as the English word "Dutch".

By 900 Germans writing in Latin used Teutonicus, instead of the earlier Theodisca, which was a Latin word form of the Germanic tiutisch, which meant Germanic. It appears they thought it was an alternative form, of the same Germanic derivation, as Theodisca. The words Teutone and tiutisch thus merged into one modern term, Teutonic. The Italian form Tedesco derives from the older Theodisca.

The term was used by the economist William Z. Ripley to designate one of the three races of Europe which by later writers was called the Nordic race.

This word was also incorporated into The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald as part of a phrase describing "The Great War" or in other words, World War I.[/QUOTE]


Another article from our site-admin:

[QUOTE]Germanic Origins: A Study in Primitive Culture. Contributors: Francis B. Gummere - author. Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1892.

Click on the url to read the study:


Germanic and Celtic in the English race--Appearance of the
Germanic element in European history--Clash of Roman and
German--Sources of information about the early Germans--
Chronological and geographical data--Germania of Tacitus chief
authority--The Ingævonic tribes.

WHO were the founders of our race? Working
backwards, up the stream of national descent, we
come to the great influx of Norman people, Norman
words, Norman ways; and we stop to reckon with
this fact in the development of English life. A very
brief study, a few minutes of consideration, assure us
that here are no founders of England, but only gen*
erous contributors; immigrants we may call them, who
brought along valuable property, and furnished us
with some new and desirable elements of civilization.
Again, and for still stronger reasons, we reach the
same conclusion with regard to that earlier conquest
of England by the Northmen. The Danes gave us a
few words,--the common vocable "are," for example,
--a few customs, a few laws; and that is the whole

Germanic and Celtic in the English race--Appearance of the
Germanic element in European history--Clash of Roman and
German--Sources of information about the early Germans--
Chronological and geographical data--Germania of Tacitus
chief authority--The Ingævonic tribes.

The German in Germany--His former home--Inherited and
actual culture--Country and climate--Pastures, flocks, and
herds--Nomad or farmer?--Boundaries.

Stature and features--A fair-haired race--Sense of personal
beauty--Food and drink--Habits of daily life--Clothing--

Hatred of cities--Underground dwellings--Houses wooden and
frail--Construction, and later improvements--The burg, and
the hall--Descriptions in Béowulf--Banquet, songs, flyting,
etc.--Amusements and vices--Hunting--The primitive house
compared with modern dwellings.[/QUOTE]


Also by the site-admin:

[QUOTE]Derived from an Analysis of the Early German Vocabulary

David J. de Laubenfels
Department of Geography
Syracuse University

It is well known that proto-Germanic, a prehistoric language that essentially defines the original German people, was diverse and contained both Indo-European and non-Indo-European words. The origin of any language is always a fascinating topic which reveals a great deal about the people speaking that language and particularly the people who first spoke that language. What happened in pre-history to bring about the later peoples of historic times may be shrouded in obscurity but, nevertheless, much can be said about human pre-history. The purpose of this study is to shed some light on the pre-history and origins of the Germanic-speaking people from an analysis of the early German vocabulary.
Read the full story:



By site-admin too:

[QUOTE][B]Germanic culture and origin[/B]

The native tribal religion of the Germanic peoples was born in the fog shrouded forests on the North and Baltic Sea shores of Europe. The Germanic peoples are descended from explorers who settled in extreme Northern Europe, and spoke a language that was a fusion of an Indo-European tongue, and the language of the Northern Megalithic culture (a culture related to the builders of Stonehenge). These two cultures, the Indo-European, and Northern Megalithic met and fused in Northern Europe sometime around 1600 BCE. Linguists, working backwards from historically-known Germanic languages, know that this group spoke proto-Germanic a distinct branch of the Indo-European language family. The tribes that resulted from this fusion remained in a core area that is modern Denmark, Southern Norway, Southern Sweden, and Northern Germany until about 200 BCE when they started expanding into areas formerly held by the Celts, and Illyrians. Rock carvings in the core area dating from 4000 BCE to 500 BCE portray many sacred symbols of Asatru. Ships, Sun wheels, Fylfots, Wagons and other pictures all show the continuality of religious belief. Archaeological finds dating from 3500 BCE to 500 BCE such as the Sun Chariot from Trundholm also confirm this.

The earliest Germanic culture that archaeologists can identify as such is the so-called Jastorf culture, a cultural province of northern Europe in the early Iron Age (c.800 BCE), covering present-day Holstein, Jutland, northeast Saxony, and western Mecklenburg. From the linguistic point of view, however, the Germanic people constitute an archaic branch of the Indo-European family. At the time they entered into history, their closest neighbors were the Celts in Gaul, as Germanic tribes had spread south toward the Rhine and the wooded hills of southern Germany. To the east their neighbors were the Balts and the Scythians and Sarmatians, Iranian tribes that roamed the plains of Russia. To the north they were in contact with Lapps and with Finns. Most of the information we have about them from early times comes from classical authors such as Caesar and Tacitus. Although they were primarily pastoralists, they also practiced agriculture. Their cattle were relatively small and could not entirely be depended upon for a livelihood; hunting provided an additional supply of meat. Their social organization was originally geared toward egalitarian communalism, but as contact with the Roman empire changed economic conditions, a more diversified society developed in which wealth and rank tended to prevail, although nominally power still rested in the hands of the Þing (Thing), the popular democratic assembly of all free men able to carry arms.

The first mention of a Germanic tribe is circa 230 BCE when the Basternae tribe migrated to the Black Sea, and came to the attention of Greek chroniclers. From then on, the Germanic tribes would come in increasing conflict with the Celts, Illyrians, and Romans, eventually swallowing up most of the Celtic and Illyrian territories in Central Europe. This was the beginnings of the Migration Era which lasted from about 350 BCE to 650 CE (although the Viking expeditions of colonization from 780 CE to 1100CE should be counted as a part of this as well), an era when nearly every Germanic tribe was actively on the move. Over population and a need for new farm lands sent the Germanic tribes in search of new lands. This expansion of Germanic peoples into virtually every corner of Europe dramatically indicates the energy and dynamism of our so-called barbarian ancestors.

German historians in the 19th century used the term Völkerwanderung (pronounced: 'fœl ker 'van der ung), or the "wandering of the peoples" to describe the great Germanic tribal migrations starting in the mid 4th century. We can see that these migrations had a large contributory factor leading to the break-up of the Roman Empire. These groups all developed separate dialects, the basis for the differences among Germanic languages down to the present day.

Many details of early movement and change within this group remain obscure, but by the late 2nd century, B.C.E., Roman authors recount, Gaul, Italy and Spain were invaded by migrating Germanic tribes, culminating in military conflict with the armies of republican Rome. Julius Caesar, six decades later, invoked the threat of such attacks as one justification for his annexation of Gaul to Rome. By the 1st century of the Common Era, the writings of Caesar, Tacitus and other Roman and Mediterranean writers indicate a division of Germanic-speaking peoples into tribal groupings centered on the lower Rhine river, the river Elbe, the river Vistula (Poland), Jutland, Scania and the Danish islands.
As Rome advanced her borders to the Rhine and Danube, incorporating many Celtic societies into the Empire, the Germanic tribal homelands to the north and east emerged collectively in the records as Germania, whose peoples were sometimes at war with the Empire but who also engaged in complex and long-term trade relations, military alliances and cultural exchanges with their neighbors to the south.[/QUOTE]


Soldier of Macedon 07-23-2009 09:11 AM

Here's a relevant source. I don't have the text, it would be good to get some more information on it.

[QUOTE]Historia Salonitana by Thomas the Archdeacon is a historic chronicle from the 13th century which contains significant information about the early history of the Croats.

It was first published by Ivan Lučić Lucius.[1] An extended version of this work, known as the Historia Salonitana maior was published in the sixteenth century,[2] and critical editions of both have been republished by Nada Klaić (Belgrade: Naucno delo, 1967).[3]

The chronicle gives an account of the arrival of the Croats:

From the Polish territories called Lingonia seven or eight tribal clans arrived under Totilo. When they saw that the Croatian land would be suitable for habitation because in it there were few Roman colonies, they sought and obtained for their duke…[B][I]The people called Croats…Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs[/I][/B], according to the particular name of those who arrived from Poland and Bohemia.
This account may be considered more similar to that which is found in De Administrando Imperio than the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja.

The chronicle notes that by the time of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius and Pope John IV, some Croats had been converted to Christianity. Both these men died in the mid 7th century, which leaves an estimate of the actual arrival of the Croats to the Adriatic at sometime in the early part of the century.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]Summary: The author presents the famous chronicler of the earliest periods of Croatian history, Archdeacon Thomas (1200. – 1268.) of the Split Church. After being schooled in Italy and elected to the position of Split Archdeacon, Thomas became an influential reformer of the city’s government and institutions, copying Italian models and even placing Italians in important positions. Thomas was the author of a chronicle of the Split Bishops and Archbishops until 1266, which Ivan Lučić Lucius, its first publisher, entitled the “Historia Salonitana.” The significance of this work lies in the fact that the chronicle incorporates important information about various aspects of Croatia’s earliest history. Thus, [B][I]Thomas writes about the arrival of Croats, proposing the so-called Gothic theory of their provenance[/I][/B], and he mentions various Croatian rulers—Trpimir, Branimir, Muncimir, Tomislav, Držislav, Krešimir, and Zvonimir. Aparticularly noteworthy feature of Thomas’ work is that it relies on historical sources, not on myth and legend. “Historia Salonitana” has been reworked and enlarged by other authors; the revised work is generally referred to as the “Historia Salonitana maior. Archdeacon Thomas; Split; Croatia-Dalmatia; 13th Century; Historical Source[/QUOTE]

TrueMacedonian 07-23-2009 01:20 PM

[QUOTE]From the Polish territories called Lingonia seven or eight tribal clans arrived under Totilo. When they saw that the Croatian land would be suitable for habitation because in it there were few Roman colonies, they sought and obtained for their duke…[B]The people called Croats…Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs[/B], according to the particular name of those who arrived from Poland and Bohemia.[/QUOTE]

This is a very interesting sentence. I wonder has anyone from any of the Slavic speaking countries done any research into the origins of the Goths and how they are connected to us today? I imagine some researcher from Russia may have written something along these lines.

Soldier of Macedon 07-24-2009 02:46 PM

Not sure TM, but there would have to be some scholars that have entertained the notion in their studies.

[QUOTE]Goths reached as far as Iberia, the Balkans and other parts of Europe, where are all the Germanic placenames in Iberia and the Balkans? Slavic placenames are found in nearly all countries of Europe, even Iberia, in many instances as slaves or members of another group of people, as recently cited by Risto the Great on another thread:


THORVALD, when you get a chance, can you get back to us on this, as I would like to know where and how much is the presence of Germanic placenames where the Goths had travelled, and what their frequency is compared to Slavic in the same areas.

Thorvald 08-05-2009 08:00 AM

[QUOTE]Italian Surnames:

Ethymology and Origin

An interesting site to discover the origin of Italian surnames, many which are of Germanic origin.

Additionally, there are aswell quite many Italian surnames of Greek, Albanian and Arab origin.


A few examples:

ACARDI, ACCARDI, ACCARDO : From the German origine akhard, consisting of aki (wound) or agi (fear) and hart (hard) as a nickname for a strong warrior.

AIRALDI, AIROLDI, AIROLDO, ARALDI, ARALDO, ARIOLDI, ARIOLDO : Patronimic, from the German name Ariovaldo consisting of haria (army) and waldan (to lead), meaning "that who leads the army".

ALAMANNI: From the nickname "alemannus", of German origin.

ALBERTAZZI, ALBERTI, ALBERTINI, ALBERTOLLI, ALBERTONI: From the German first name Alberto, deriving from Adalberto = famous for nobility

ALBERICI, ALBERIGHI, ALBRICI, ALBRISIO, ALBRIZIO: Patronimic, from the Gothic name Alberico, consisting of albhi (elf) and rix (lord) meaning Lord of the elfs.

ALBERTA, ALBERTARIO, ALBERTAZZI, ALBERTI, ALBERTO, ALIBERTI, ALIBERTO: Patronimic, from the German name Adalberto consisting of athala (nobility) and berth (brightness).

MAINELLA, MAINELLO, MAINELLI, MAINETTO, MAINO, MAINOLI, MAINIS: From the surname Maino, derived from the German first name Maino

MAINERI, MAINIERI, MAINIERO, MANERA, MANERO, MEINERO: From the first name Mainerius, of German origin, consisting of "magin" = power and "harja" = army


UBALDI, UBALDINO, UBOLDI: From the first name Ubaldo, of German origin meaning bold

PARDI : Derived from the abbreviation of "Longobardi" = Lombards

FRIGATO, FRIGHI, FRIGO, FRIZZARIN, FRIZZERA, FRIZZI, FRIZZOTTI: From the first name Federico, derived from the ancient German name Frithurik, composing of "frithu" = peace, friendship and "rikja" = lord, prince

ODOARDI, ODOARDO: From the German first name Edoardo = guardian of the property

ODORISIO, ODORICO, ODERICO: From the first name Odorico of German origin meaning rich, noble

GARIN: From the first name Guarino, derived from the German name "Warino", consisting of "warin" = to protect

GELMETTI, GELMI, GELMINI: From the first name Guglielmo, derived from the German name consisting of "wilian" = will and "hëlma-" = helmet[/QUOTE]



[QUOTE]The most recent Y-hapologroup research published by University College London in 2006 shows Old Germanic / Nordic haplogroups to be considerably higher in Portugal than previously thought. A very comprehensive study produced by Beleza, et al. shows a country average of 6.1% for I1 and 1.5% for I1b2 (total of 7.6%). The highest concentrations were recorded in the old Suevian capital of Braga (NW Portugal) and environs, a total of 17.7% overall. Braganca (NE Portugal) came in at 16%. The south-central city of Leiria, once an important part of the Visigothic kingdom in Iberia, totaled 14.3%. The figures are roughly on par with what has been recorded throughout Wales (7.1%) recently.[/QUOTE]


I have a map of Gothic/Germanic placenames in Iberia (Spain & Portugal), but Iam unable to add it on here.

I'll post more soon ;)

Sovius 08-06-2009 12:20 AM

You’ve presented a well constructed overview of the Victorian Age interpretative model of the history of the Gothic people during the early Medieval and late Ancient Periods. As someone who continues to accept the relevance of the Renaissance Period Model, which regarded and continues to regard the Goths as a Northern Thracian people, I’ve been wondering for a long time what prompted this departure away from the primary source historical documents which were used to substantiate prior interpretations made during previous eras of European history. Beyond translations of Getica and Germania into the Nordic languages, which were used to substantiate this particular revision, do you happen to know of any empirical evidence or other contemporaneous historical sources that were used in the decision made by 19th Century Western European researchers to re-classify the ethnic heritage of many of my ancestors as being Germanic in the sense that having been classified as Germanic (of Germania/Gminija) during the late Roman Period must have meant what Nordic came to represent during the Modern Period?

Some interesting observations to throw into the mix:

Gmina meant and continues to mean a ‘community of people’ in the Polish language. Tutejeszy (too-tey-shi) meant and means ‘an indigenous person’ ‘a local’ in the Sarmatian languages, which were reclassified as the Slavic languages after the 16th Century (1839 officially?). It was traditionally used in the [U]possessive[/U] sense, not as a proper noun, according to historian Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski.

People defined by Haplogroup I in Western Europe have the same forefathers as populations who continue to inhabit the Illyrian Peninsula, like many Macedonians and Serbians, but that was quite a few thousand years ago (M170). Another explanation for the presence of the markers that you’re identifying as Gothic are the archeologically defined advances of Galatian and Vindelician populations onto the Iberian Peninsula. The Gothic lands, as attested to by Herodotus and other historians, were and are near one of the oldest zones found for the R1a genetic marker. Geneticists have determined that a few thousand years ago, populations ancestral to folks still living in Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe colonized Scandinavia.

Nordic prehistory is a fascinating subject. Computational linguists over at the University of Pennsylvania during the 1990s demonstrated that the Nordic languages came into existence through the amalgamation of Caledonian (Insular Celtic, according to the Victorian Model), Italic, Baltic and Sarmatian populations who formed a unique collection of cultures in NW Europe during prehistory, as genetic evidence continues to uphold. There were economically forged (driven) cultures that came to be linguistically cosmopolitanized (creolized 19th C.) around the Mediterranean Sea and the Baltic, as well, it would seem.

Peace and Prosperity

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