Here we look at the Goths from contemporary sources and we see that history is often misread. Like some other tribes that fought the Romans they have not a good reputation, since even in our days many people are pro-Roman. But let these rest in peace
Goth, Oxford Dictionary, Daniel, Heruli, Ostrogoth, Visigoth, Barbarian, Arianism, Wulfila, civilisation, Greeks, Phoenicians, Pytheas, Strabo, Tacitus, Ptolemy, Wielback culture, Cernjachow culture, Jordanes, Getica, Theoderic, Cassiodorus, Procopius, Widsith, Wandering Bard, Rauk StoneWidsith | back to essays | links | sitemap | home |
In my Oxford Concise Dictionary of 1982 Oxford University Press the definition of Goth = uncivilised or ignorant person. [f. name of Germanic tribe invading Eastern & Western Empires in 3rd - 5th c. Latin Gothi, Greek Go(t)hoi, Goth. * Gutas or * Gutans] the last two are academic constructed languages.
We can note a few things at the start.
Firstly a curio from our time. Naturally I have been surfing and once I tried on Google "Daniel Heruli" and got 718 URL that was 3 years ago now 751. It is telling about the heresy of the Heruli now 1500 years after the happenings. The heresy hunters have read Daniel 7:7-8 and see the "10 horns" as Huns, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Suevi, Burgundians, Heruli, Anglo-Saxons, and Lombards … and worst of all are the "3 horns" Vandal, Ostrogoths and Heruli.
The Catholic Heresy was proclaimed by Pontifex Maximus Emperor Theodosius I 378-395 AD so the Arians were not Anti-Christ before that. Hieronymus mentions Barbarian (obvioulsly Pro-Roman term) tribes within limes in 409 Quadus, Vandalus, Sarmata, Halani, Gepides Herules, Saxoni and Alemanni and that was in the age of the Huns making things up and down. Most of the tribes were fighting the Huns in the end… the people of Anglo-Saxons was not formed yet and Suevi, Burgundians and Langobards were not known.
Naturally the cause is Arianism so some forces in present Christianity with some Roman imperialism behind fire the battle and organised fight against Goths. Little those writers care for the fact that the Heruli fought the Vandali, Ostrogoths, Franks and Huns and gave their blood for Rome. I practise the UN Human Rights including freedom of religion and that includes our forefathers and with some difficulty these heresy-hunters. I cannot stand that they do not care for history and give credit to the Heruli. They are writing false history and I see a lot of faults in the stories.
The real cause is Daniel 2:1, "And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him." That king lived c.605-562 BC so today they practice Daniels vision on the time when the Roman Empire fell apart and they can easily find ten tribes in 4th century to materialise the ten horns … never mind some people find also some powers to materialise the foretelling of Nostradamus-J
"After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast-- terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
"While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
Dan 7:7-8 (NIV)
The heresy hunters set teeth in Heruli, Vandali and (Ostro)Goths. They tell that the Heruli was uprooted in 493 and still that the Langobards uprooted them in 508. Still more they united through marriage Herulian princess and king Vaco and they settled in Pannonia. Both tribes converted to Christianity around 535 and Emperor Justinian build a church in Breza where we find the rune alphabet on the door post. … see early rune texts
The Heruli were with the Romans fighting the Vandali in Africa 533 - 534 and later with the Langobards and Romans drive the Goths out of Italy in 552. The Heruli disappeared as Roman foedorati in 568, but surely some left people settled in Jugoslavia and others perhaps moved to Scandinavia like their ancestors in 508 AD. SeeHistory of Heruli
1. The Saxons ???, originating the English nation.
2. The Franks, originating the French nation.
3. The Alamanni, originating the German nation.
4. The Visigoths, originating the Spanish nation.
5. The Suevi, originating the Portuguese nation.
6. The Lombards, originating the Italian nation.
7. The Burgundians, originating the Swiss nation.
8. The Heruli, who have since disappeared.
9. The Vandals, who have since disappeared.
10. The Ostrogoths, who have since disappeared.
This list seem to have been constructed afterwards to fit the vision from the time of Daniel 1000 years before the proclaimed heresy (Let me remark that these tribes belonged to the Suevian Ritual League before the Romans but turned martial when the Romans suppressed them.) These heresy hunters do not hunt the rest of the tribes in the 10 horns. Maybe because the heirs are still visible in the kingdoms that was created with these tribes as base. There are living heirs to defend them but it easy to bark at the dead. This is surely behind the bad name of Goths.
I see no reason why these three tribes should get hatred posthumous reputation. As a peaceful world member I do not like that anyone create hatred and that counts even for our ancestors. In my moral it is always disgrace when someone slay the defenceless. I do not think the Bible prefer that either when we think of the rule "Love your fellow human as yourself!"
We should also remember that Goths got the Bible translated by bishop Wulfila (little wolf)) and it seems that the Arianism also reached Scandinavia in 4th century. The difference between Arianism and the Catholic = common religion was very little or mostly academic between church fathers … and of course it is mostly political difference when the emperor wanted to control the church.
I am fostered to be free and independent and I see it as slave mentality if I would let some ancient or present force dictate my thoughts and my life. It is not good style and education to "give names" or devaluate other people in public. So I would not support the Oxford Culture exposed above.
In Scandinavia, that gave heirs to many British, it is quite the opposite and especially in Sweden with no written early history. Many people try to make the Goths to be their heirs. This essay is going to sort out whether the Anglo Scandinavians have roots in the Goths. Since many Scandinavians and their relatives moved to England this would also be a question about British heirs. I am not going to ask how much intermarriage there were between the Romans and British those days nor I am asking if the Romans in England just was an isolated ruling class.
Another thing is that once I am thinking about roots. I have to recognise the cultural Celtic roots going back to Bronze Age at least. They were still living strong during the Great Migration and I call it the Golden Age. In Scandinavia we fortunately have evidence of civilised Scandinavians from Stone Age onwards as for instance in our rock-carvings.
If we use the Oxford Concise again civilise = bring out barbarism, enlighten, refine and educate. And it is thought to be a process of social development to and advanced stage. That is just what we se in our rock carvings beginning approximately 4000 BC. We have the figurative concept of teaching people to follow the lead in a suite. The British do not have such evidence. However if we play the role game and pretend what was needed to create for instance Stonehenge we see that some (civilised) order and suite was needed to get the big stones in order and even to dig the earlier Aubrey holes of course.
… I have noted that writers in English are eager to use the word "barbarian" and its forms. Then they are sitting above the cur with people. But that word has the understood comparison and "gives name". I cannot see a point in idolising the wild Romans andthe Circus and that they destroyed Irminsul and many cultures. I cannot see that slave culture is better than the free north European culture in the past. I do not like the word "pagan" either since I do not favour any religion or the word is often used in the disparaging sense.
In this essay I am going to sort out what we know about the concept Goths and related topics without writing their entire history. Need I say once more that I stick to the modern Human Rights even when I write about my ancestors? Science should be objective and not political pamphlets. That means we have to respect ancestors believes and behaviour and be glad that they prepared the world for us to destroy. Or in clear text we are not a bit better than they were so we cannot use pour world as reference.
The Greeks get credit for very many things. It was more outspoken in my younger days when they told that the Greeks invented it all and they taught us to think. The sophists told that the world exists only when we talk about it. Naturally they were right. Only when people desires something it gets name. Last week I checked that GOOOOGLE gave a million hits on Anna Nicole so she exists even when I am not too interested. I am more interested in the woman tennis and see that Martinas Hingis got also a million hits. We all know these days that Iraqi oil exist and it is worth a costly war that could effect the world economy ... and in Iraq give birth to many diseases and malformed children. These examples reflects the interest of mankind today
The first two examples are novelties up to technology of mankind, while the last example is old as the beloved civilisation. As soon as the lands grew big enough they demanded for monopoly if possible or like the Sumerian Enmerkar ordered the king of Aratta to deliver some precious goods around 5000 years ago. World grew a little wiser and learnt to trade since war are costly and it is hard to come back if one threaten the salesmen. If the rest of the world obey the order "if you are not with us you are our enemy" it is obvious that the pinpointed enemy exists at least in the mind of the pinpointer.
These are philosophical facts about mankind that we should have in mind when someone gets a name. Another later saying is "Your name you get by others" and that means others desires you whether it is a person or a state. But what if your name is not publicised but kept secret? Scandinavia has existed since 13000 years ago if we exclude the Finns who say they have some 70000 years old human bones. Anyway here have lived descent people since then Ice Age. In our rock-carvings we see that they discovered themselves in pace with that the ice left.
The Norse always want to be the worst so I must tell that some Egyptian early ships are sailing on the rocks near Trondheim North Norway since third millennium BC. Here on Dal our earliest written ritual laws are from around 2300 BC. We see influence from the south and it seems to be made for The Naked Lady that is a synonym for the water and moon goddess better known as Inanna in Sumer. On such a law they write down what they want to be as civilised people that are educated to follow the lead. Philosophically that is the kernel of civilisation
The Southerners discovered us much later as we see in our rock-carvings. They wanted to sell us things. But they did not tell anything in south about finding silver in the open air. Maybe they called it Berenices Hair … silver atKongsberg Norway . The visitors were maybe Minoans that wanted silver they could barter with and get gold from Egypt. They wrote on the rock "The purest pure" since the silver could be manufactured as such. That means their visit was more than 3500 years ago.
The Phoenicians came more than 500 year later and found the precious amber (Jutland and Baltic) that they could not get from other places. Maybe they had heard some rumours about the silver and decided that they should not tell about the amber. L.S. MacDonald quote an ancient source:
‘Now that the Phoenician’s had seen the amber gathered from the sea, they determined to keep the secret for themselves and thus guard the lucrative trade. When the fleets returned to Syria, many were the tales told of perils to the north, of lodestones which would draw the ships to destruction on hidden reefs, of whirlpools which would suck them down to the bottom of the ocean, of witches who enchanted men by turning them into beasts, of terrible sea serpents, and awesome monsters. So well did these ancient sailors spin their yarns that for many centuries afterwards mariners feared these mythical perils’.
That was the beginning of the scary stories about the Scandinavians. Here they found the Cynoshephalus = dog-headed = enemy in wolf-guise; one-footed = tenant; head-in-stomach = big-eater; one-eye-on-forehead = giants at Norse Dowrefjell and Oxiones animal body and male head = cowboys. Here we have the syndrome that maybe the northerners deliberately gave these names and the foreigner did not quite understand. Or maybe the Southern traders used it as a code "Those fools in North we can lure as we wish". Once we write down we lose the underlying meanings and we try to be polite and honest. Many of us are eager to "give names" and that is not civilised manners but is the way humans are in private … If I remember it right the French are frogs.
The last Swedish Catholic bishop Olaus Magnus moved to Italy in 16th century and wrote a book about the famous North. It was printed in Italy and local artists made the illustrations. They draw monstrous beings in the Nordic waters. Still I think sometimes we northerners are good to hide our nature, but most of us are so honest that we believe in everything the Greeks told. Recently I heard someone telling to foreigners that we have ice bears in the street and some naked blondes are walking around. The only naked one I have seen is Anna Nicole on giant posters showing small underwear on that big body.
Maybe the Greeks learnt about "the Blonde" at Artemis temple at Delos in late Bronze Age.Herodotos wrote around 440 BC about the Hyperboreans = northmost northerners that twice sent young girls to Delos. At least at Delos they knew that Nordic girls could compete with the Greek ones and with those cynochephalos other writers mention. It sounds much better in Greek than when translated.
Normally they do not mention Herodotos when they tell about early knowledge about Scandinavia. The notice bout the Minoans searching for silver is fairly new so not much fuss about that. Let us begin with the normal early sources:
I wrote the Prelude because they always think that time and history began wit the earliest written source. Besides Herodotos it is Pytheas from Massilia that lived at the same time as the Macedonian Alexander around 320 BC wandered in east for 13 years. Pytheas was maybe hunting for cheap tin and other metals and he sailed around England. According to his story he must have been in Trondheim maybe he liked stockfish they surely produce already then. Another thing was amber that surely was much like gold to him and that he maybe found at the west coast of Jutland.
The Greek Strabo 63 BC to 24 AD did not know about Germania north of Elbe (Observe Germania is much wider than Germany and it concerns all tribes north of Rhine) . Strabo wrote about the Hercynian Wood / Blackwood as the wooden belt from middle Germania eastward. Getae lived east of the Blackwood and it seems to include Dacia in Hungary and Romania. The Swebians lived in the Blackwood but also outside and Strabo did not really know that. The Swebian league included at least 54 tribes in entire Germania and also in Scandinavia. It seems to have been a ritual league and when the Romans became a threat they used the league also for defence
Since we are interested in tribes such writers as Pomponius Mela and Plinius the Elder are of no interest when they wrote about geography and hardly knew anything above Elbe. Scandinavia and the countries around the Baltic Sea have been there long before and with small changes to our days. The writers often copied earlier writers.
Tacitus ca 100 AD also wrote mostly "rumours" about what he heard and also read as for instance aboutGermanicus loosing his fleet in northern waters early 1st century. That could be the same occasion that left some wreck finds near Gotland in the Baltic Sea: "Everyone coming from this far region told about furious storms, unknown birds, half-humans, half-beasts and about things they thought they have seen."
Tacitus belongs to the more balanced storytellers. He sort out rumours he do not believe in but like other writers he copies earlier writers. The Greek/ Phoenician stories we copied for long as for instance Solinus 3rd century and as late as Adam of Bremen around 1070 AD ... sorry, I mean just know the last known.
Strabo mentions 18 AD the Gotones in the neighbourhood of the Hercynian Forests. Tacitus tells that the Gothones live north of Lugi and had as neighbours Rugi (in north). Ptolemy mentions Rugiclei between Oder and Vistula (Wista) and he also mentions Ulmerugi/ Holmerugi that perhaps means "Rüger at the holm Rügen": Jordanes seems to see that as the first place of Goths, but more about that later.
Tacitus mentions in this are Vendes and Slaves and the later need many. He only knows Cimbri at Jutland and they were known in Rome since 107 BC when they attacked Rome. … he hardly believe in the rumour about Oxiones and similar Helluvi people with male head and animal body. Maybe someone joked about "cowboys", i.e. people living on cattle.
Plinus knows only about Hilleviones at Scandza and maybe this was people at Hill-Levones from the big settlement at Levene middle Gautland. Tacitus knew about Sviones at an island in middle of the ocean and that is partly right since from south the peninsula Scandza looks as an island. The Sviones are known for their fleet and that they keep their weapon under lock in peacetime. This sentence makes always Swedes proud and it tells about the tendency to regulate society from the very first beginning -J
The neighbours the Sitones are ruled by a woman like the Friesians … I think the macho Tacitus must have seen this as odd society. But in the manifold of pre-Roman times they were lead by ritual. That means simply that myth and ritual was build on the female New Moon goddess perhaps.
Ptolemy ca 120 AD knows many tribes and he places them according to his method of geography:
At Jutland: Saxones, Sigulones, Sabalingii, Cobandi, Chali, Fundusii, Charudes, Cimbri
Northern Germany Mecklenburg - Pommern: Farodini, Sidini, Rugiclei at the coast of the Baltic Sea
The isle Scandza in south: Chaedini, Favonae and Firaesi, Finni, Gutae
(Gautae) and Dauciones, Levoni
North Germany West: Reudigni, Aviones, Anglii, Varini, Eudoses, Suarines, and Nuitones.
Ptolemy place Gutae/ Gautae and later sources places them sout of the Sviones soit would be natural to see Gutae as people at Gotland we know of and naturally the Gautae is people from Gautland = inner South Sweden. However since Swedes have no history they try their best to make Guthones/ Gothones coming from Scandza and as we shall see below Jordanes try his best to feed that belief. But we would not make other tribes with near names equal so why just these.
So from two sources we can decide Goths included later known Visigoths and Ostrogoths. The lived in first centuryn the inland from Oder to the Aesti/ Finns in Baltic. Tacitus mentions that the Aesti are grovers and are the only to collect amber
It is almost tradition to tell that a folk/ people came from somewhere. Migrations have been going on but let us get proof before we speculate. We know that Poland belonged to the megalith culture from ca 4000 BC onward and it extended from Ukraine to the North Sea and from Norway to the Alps as the northern culture but we have the same megaliths to Spain and even Africa in south. Megalith culture was initially for farmers but until 20th century farming was mixed cultivating and keeping cattle in most places. The same area could also be characterised as Celtic Iron Age culture. For people tied by ritual to the megaliths there is no reason for moving away from home.
However evidently the Cimbri and Goths moved southward. At Jutland it could have been that deforesting and sand storms forced people away. From our time we know that there could be flood in Poland sometimes. The Goths were cattlers and needed grassland and moved seemingly to better grass in Ukraine as first step. We have still to get many answers from archaeology.
At Polish Iron Age archaeology Tadeusz Makiewicz tells us that the Goths seems to have carried the Wielback culture 50 - 220 AD from Poznan to Danzig. It was continuing earlier Przworsk and Oksywie culturehttp://archeo.amu.edu.pl/zakladb.htm Thanks to the new pipeline for gas they have the opportunity to excavate a line through Poland and get information from the cross section. http://www.europolgaz.com.pl/english/galeria_zdjec06.htm
As a first step these Visigoths move to Ukraine around Kiev it is called Cernjachov culture and at least some of them moved southward to Moldavia and ended in Dacia. The Ostrogoths from the Baltic came later and moved to the area near Azowska Sea.
Here some martial stuff about the Visigoths athttp://www.duerinck.com/goths.html
"Battles: The first known attack was in 238 AD, when the Goths attacked the city of Histria at the mouth of the Danube River.
In 249 AD Goths under war leaders Argaith and Guntheric attacked Marcianople.
In 250 AD Goths under another leader, Cniva, broke through the "limes" (the Roman line of small outposts on the frontiers) at the Dacian corridor, crossed the Danube at Oescus, captured Philippopolis just south of the Haemus Mountains.
In 251 AD they defeated a Roman army under Decius, at Abrittus.
The Goths also used ships to cross the Black Sea. They then raided across the southwestern Caucusus Mtn area then westward along the coast. Around 255-257 AD they attacked Pityus, Trapezus and Pontus. Also attacked Bithynia, Propontis, and cities of Chalcedon, Nicomedia, Nicaea, Apamea and Prusa.
268 AD: Leaving the northern part of the Black Sea in a fleet of ships, moving south and west. They tried unsuccessfully to attack Tomi, Marcianople, Cyzicus and Byzantium. They sailed into the Aegean Sea, breaking into three groups. The first group, Heruli's, landed near Thessalonica and were defeated by Emperor Gallienus in 268 AD. The second group, Goths and Heruli, attacked Attica, and were defeated at Naissus in 270 AD by Claudius. The third group, Goths, attacked in Asia Minor at Rhodes, Cyprus, then Side and Illium, destroying the temple of Diana at Ephesus.
270-271 AD: Another raid across the Danube where the Goths sacked Anchialus and Nicopolis, but the Gothic king Cannabaudes was eventually being defeated by Emperor Aurelian.
376 AD: the Huns were attacking many tribes, including the Goths who lost two kings.
378 AD: at the Battle of Hadrianople (now Edirne, Turkey), the Goths annihilated Emperor Valens and two-thirds of his Roman army.
410 AD: Gothic King Alaric defeated the Romans and took over Rome.
(From "The Goths" by Peter Heather)
Another battle was the Battle of Chalons on the Catalaunian Plains where the Roman armies, including germanic tribal components including the Visigoths under King Theoderic I (died in battle), Burgundians and Franks, Alani, fought the Huns and the Hunnic leader Attila. With the Huns were the Gepids, Ostrogoths, and some others for a time."
The Scandinavian Heruli / Erils are mentioned. Occasionally from Kiev there are finds of golden bracts. There are some with the Balder motif and a gold medallion made on Constantius II 323 - 361 as indication that some trade passed Kiev. There is much gold stuff from the same period on Fyn and there are finds of Gothic fibulae and other jewellery. Maybe they traded with amber from the Baltic. This was something for the upper class. We can not think of Nordic goldsmithery without seeing a connection to the Black Sea and Olbia. The Greek goldsmiths there were the most famous since Bronze Age"
Tadeus has an essay "The Goths in Greater Poland"http://www.muzarp.poznan.pl/archweb/gazociag/title5.htm
I do not quite agree with the part where he uses Jordanes Getica as source since it is pure spin-up.
Once written words has often an uncanny power over readers and researchers. They live on and on like the ancient quotation mentioned above. Partly this depended on the fact that the writers were not too good at their language and then it was easier to borrow. In my high school some of us were devided in Latinos and Greccos and we Latinos had to know by heart Latin proverbs and important sentences both in our mother tongue and in Latin. Especially in writing we should use them whenever suitable. This should show that we are educated and give us some reputation. And it creates the secret society of those knowing Latin. Jordanes ca 550 AD quote Lucanus "They string Armenian bows with Getic cords" and that meaqns the Visigoths were the first to string with cords … mostly I am the individualist and I want to write a sentence in the way I think it.
Anyway as soon as some sentence is written it is supposed to be the truth. Maybe this comes from the religious mentality that every word in the book should be truth and only truth. However in science we are normally educated to use scepticism as tool. We should always ask for the context and intentions behind a text. That counts for ancient as well as today's texts. However up to my experience especially in history generation after generation copy the texts without asking if it has any meaning and truth. In Jordanes Getica there is a lot of free imagination mixed with some truth so it looks as plausible history. Many readers think, when written there must be some truth in it.
First we can ask about the context and source of Jordanes. The legend tells he borrowed Senator Cassiodorus' "History of the Goths" over night. Jordanes tells … "I do not have his books at hand and can not follow his thoughts. Still … I do not want to lie … a while ago I read his books by borrowing them through his servant for three days… I do not remember the word, but I can recall the feeling of the deeds"
It could be possible to hold a lot in memory and we do not know how big the book/ books were. The Ostrogoth Cassiodorus was secretary of King Theoderic. The king was educated at the court in Constantinopel and he was hand-picked to bring Rome under the shade of the emperor in Konstantinopel using the Ostrogoths for the dirty jobs.
However Theoderic cheated the emperor and made Rome an Ostrogothic kingdom. The emperor had not the forces to fight the Ostrogoths at that. Theoderic relayed on folks like Heruli and Langobards and he could gather more Germans if needed as for instance against France. Time goes and Theoderic feels secure on his throne but he wanted to please the senate with at least a history that told about the famous Goths which were separated in Visigoths and Ostrogoths since long
His secretary Cassiodorus 490 - 585 got the job to write the history. He could get some data from Ostrogoths in Rome but also from the Heruli that for long had been brothers. Naturally there was much stuff in the Roman libraries and like other writers he could borrow what looked like truth. I should not classify Cassiodorus, Jordanes, Procopius and others as scientist and true historian since they furnished a lot of bias to their stories. It had always been ballast that historians serve the ruling nobility and once written the "truth" is created.
We have to use the contemporary Procopius since he gives us some completing details. He was more than other servant for someone. In much he wrote pamphlets for Belisarius and openly against the emperor pair in Constantinople. Such attitude should rise our suspicion in general. We have to include Procopius since historians in our time mix the the contemperary writers to get the full picture
Theoderic died 527 Ad but the Ostrogoths were ruling to around 552 when Langobards, Heruli and other military units serving the East Roman emperor defeated them. Cassiodorus wrote for Theoderic before 527 and Getica is written just before the defeat in 550 when the Goths still seemed strong and the Senate was supposed to support them.
But let us look at the translation of Getica by Charles C. Mierows in 1915. As far as I can see it follows exactly the Latin version I have as verification. Jordanes know the near history but there is not much of interest about the origin of the Goths. He starts with the geography and tribes he knows and comes to the chapter about "United Goths". We can then begin with some cuts about the origin at
Quotes from Book IV section
IV (25) Now from this island of Scandza, as from a hive of races or a womb of nations, the Goths are said to have come forth long ago under their king, Berig by name. As soon as they disembarked from their ships and set foot on the land, they straightway gave their name to the place. And even to-day it is said to be called Gothiscandza.
The sentence 'womb of nations' has fired the imagination of historians that buy it as such. Many historians have read only that sentence it seems. Those placing the womb at Gotland should rethink that there are only ca 1800 grounds after Iron Age sites. (It is not much better when looking at sparsely populated Gautland) So few people could not have been the womb that occupied South Europe. It is more feasible that Poland and the Ukrainian plains could have generated the folks of Goths.
To avoid wrong conclusions from the beginning we should look forward to decide when this happened. Further texts shows that this must have been in Bronze Age and not near 238 AD when we know about the first attacks of Goths.
VI (26) Soon they moved from here to the abodes of the Ulmerugi (Rügen maybe), who then dwelt on the shores of Ocean, where they pitched camp, joined battle with them and drove them from their homes. Then they subdued their neighbors, the Vandals, and thus added to their victories. But when the number of the people increased greatly and Filimer, son of Gadaric, reigned as king--about the fifth since Berig -- -he decided that the army of the Goths with their families should move from that region.
Above we see that there is no archaeology to support the cultural connection Scandza - Goths. But we can prove the next portion about "wandering Goths" if we think of ca 220 but not as happening in the Bronze Age
VI (27) In search of suitable homes and pleasant places they came to the land of Scythia, called Oium in that tongue. Here they were delighted with the great richness of the country, and it is said that when half the army had been brought over, the bridge whereby they had crossed the river fell in utter ruin, nor could anyone thereafter pass to or fro. For the place is said to be surrounded by quaking bogs and an encircling abyss, so that by this double obstacle nature has made it inaccessible. And even to-day one may hear in that neighborhood the lowing of cattle and may find traces of men, if we are to believe the stories of travellers, although we must grant that they hear these things from afar.
The Roman knew about the near lands at the Black Sea so it was easy to imagine a story
VI (44) Then, as the story goes, Vesosis waged a war disastrous to himself against the Scythians, whom ancient tradition asserts to have been the husbands of the Amazons. Concerning these female warriors Orosius speaks in convincing language. Thus we can clearly prove that Vesosis then fought with the Goths, since we know surely that he waged war with the husbands of the Amazons. They dwelt at that time along a bend of Lake Maeotis, from the river Borysthenes, which the natives call the Danaper, to the stream of the Tanais.
Here we can see that Jordanes used some old literature. Older than we know since: Who was Vesosis? Never heard about him? He was battling with Amazones as well as with Goths. The Amazones are known only a few hundred years in middle last millennium BC.
VI (47) This was the region where the Goths dwelt when Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, made war upon them. Their king at that time was Tanausis. In a battle at the river Phasis (whence come the birds called pheasants, which are found in abundance at the banquets of the great all over the world) Tanausis, king of the Goths, met Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, and there inflicted a severe defeat upon him, pursuing him even to Egypt. Had he not been restrained by the waters of the impassable Nile and the fortifications which Vesosis had long ago ordered to be made against the raids of the Ethiopians, he would have slain him in his own land. But finding he had no power to injure him there, he returned and conquered almost all Asia and made it subject and tributary to Sornus, king of the Medes, who was then his dear friend. At that time some of his victorious army, seeing that the subdued provinces were rich and fruitful, deserted their companies and of their own accord remained in various parts of Asia.
In (47) weget to know that Vesosis is some of the Egyptian kings. They were so many. But I have never seen anything about Vesosis. He wins all Ethiopia and continue to take entire Asia … more I do not know about
VI (63) Afterwards Darius, king of the Persians, the son of Hystaspes, demanded in marriage the daughter of Antyrus, king of the Goths, asking for her hand and at the same time making threats in case they did not fulfil his wish. The Goths spurned this alliance and brought his embassy to naught. Inflamed with anger because his offer had been rejected, he led an army of seven hundred thousand armed men against them and sought to avenge his wounded feelings by inflicting a public injury. Crossing on boats covered with boards and joined like a bridge almost the whole way from Chalcedon to Byzantium, he started for Thrace and Moesia. Later he built a bridge over the Danube in like manner, but he was wearied by two brief months of effort and lost eight thousand armed men among the Tapae. Then, fearing the bridge over the Danube would be seized by his foes, he marched back to Thrace in swift retreat, believing the land of Moesia would not be safe for even a short sojourn there.
Now in (63 vi get some known chronology) when Jordanes tells about Persian king Darius from 5th century BC. I know nothings about Goths in alliance. But I know Darius was defeated by the Greeks 490 BC.
VI (64) After his death, his son Xerxes planned to avenge his father's wrongs and so proceeded to undertake a war against the Goths with seven hundred thousand of his own men and three hundred thousand armed auxiliaries, twelve hundred ships of war and three thousand transports. But he did not venture to try them in battle, being overawed by their unyielding animosity. So he returned with his force just as he had come, and without fighting a single battle.
In (64) the son Xerxes gathers in Persien one million men? Is the number reasonable? I know he was defeated by the Greeks at Salamis 480 BC and in Palatea and Mycale 479 BC. My books do noty mention Goths?
VI (65) Then Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, made alliance with the Goths and took to wife Medopa, the daughter of King Gudila, so that he might render the kingdom of Macedon more secure by the help of this marriage. It was at this time, as the historian Dio relates, that Philip, suffering from need of money, determined to lead out his forces and sack Odessus, a city of Moesia, which was then subject to the Goths by reason of the neighboring city of Tomi. Thereupon those priests of the Goths that are called the Holy Men suddenly opened the gates of Odessus and came forth to meet them. They bore harps and were clad in snowy robes, and chanted in suppliant strains to the gods of their fathers that they might be propitious and repel the Macedonians. When the Macedonians saw them coming with such confidence to meet them, they were astonished and, so to speak, the armed were terrified by the unarmed. Straightway they broke the line they had formed for battle and not only refrained from destroying the city, but even gave back those whom they had captured outside by right of war. Then they made a truce and returned to their own country.
In (65) we are in Greece and I ought to know more about this time. I only know that Alexander was concentrated on east for 13 years that almost fill World History of this time. His domains extended to Thrace and farther to the mouth of Danube. But we do not know of any Visigoths north of Greece or Ostrogoths east of Danube.
From the beginning I believed maybe in Jordanes and placed the migration to Black Sea some decades before the known occurrence of Goths at the Roman borders. But when I read Getica line by line I see the history as pure spin-up by Cassiodorus and Jordanes. We do not know about Goths in Bronze Age and I do not think the Greeks knew anything. They knew the Celts in West and Scythes in east and the Hyperboreans in north.
This is not the only fantastic story about "The Beginning". Sargon of Akkad ca 2300 BC was the "put out child" that surely meant unwanted or born outside law. It was much the same with Moses and the Danish Skjold. The later story could reflect that it was maybe written after Christianity became known. The Sumerians are told to have come from somewhere and the scientist guess on Qatar or some coast town at the Persian Gulf. The Hittitians were also immigrants and they guess on Caucasus, but at the early pictures they look much like Anatolians in common. Roman history begins with Aeneas in Troy and Cartage. Nordic Thor and Odin were born in Troy and so also the Friesian idol.
Hard to believe that Jordanes' history would be folk tradition either and then we are in the fiction of the writer. Then we have to start in 1st century with Strabo, Tacitus and others as feasible tradition and point out that there have lived people in the area from Oder to Baltic since Megalith Age. In Poland we have the old find of a wheel from 4th millennium. The archaeology can confirm the movement to Ukraine ca 220 AD and later to the Black Sea.
We do not know if everyone moved out. From Migration Age we have finds of Gothic jewellery in the area including South Scandinavia. There are finds in Poland of golden bracts and 2 x 4 kilos neckrings biggest find and there are the 60000 Roman silver denars that is more than 40000 Gotland. Much of this could be from the amber trade. As usual the archaeology does not cover all the land and all periods.
Widsith is maybe the oldest poem of 143 lines included in the Exeter Book. The copy is from 10th century but they think the agenda is the Migration Age 4th to 6th centuries. We can immediately note that we meet a few names we know from Beowulf also supposed to have been written down in 7th century. … seWidsith
Widsith is the Wandering Bard and we get associations to Sumerian Gilgamesh as well as Odysseus and Homer. Those days the listeners could fill out with what they knew about the names in the poem. There are three parts in the poem and the Bard begins with famous people he remembers and there is no timeline as it is when we recall. Alexander has been the hero for boys of all ages from the beginning to Widsith, Carle XII in Sweden and the generals trained at West Point. It is fantastic that 13 years at the agenda of martial fame could give that reputation. We have some rock-carvings with very long spears. Maybe it recalls the phalanx and long spears of his father Philip of Macedonia.
Most of the poem is recalling only names and it demands that the reader knows about these persons and the time
Widsith spoke unlocked the word-hoard
he travelled most of all men
through folklands across the earth
Often he gained great treasure in hall
He belonged to the Myrging tribe
Along with Ealhild the kind peace-weaver
for the first time on the Baltic coast
he sought the home of Eormanric
king of the Ostrogoths hostile to traitors
He began then to speak at length
‘I have heard of many foremen of folklands
who's people follow each one the usage
earl after earl gently rule
so that his footstool prosper
Hwala for a time the best of all
and Alexander too the noblest of men
who prospered most of all of those
I have heard of across the earth
The expression 'unlocked the word-hoard' allude the beginning in Finnish Kalevala. He mentions 60 people but no Gauts and he mixes Goths and Ostrogoths/ Eastgoths. He places the Ostrogoth in the Baltic as neighbours of Estonians/ Finns. In Beowulf the name "Geat" gives grey hair to researchers. Probably it alludes Jutes and has nothing to do with Gauts/ Goths and Beowulf seems to be pure fiction. In a few verses he tells about real happenings and people we know and we can learn a few things from them. The Goths were naturally the heroic people of the time. He starts with Eormanric /Ermanaric the first Ostrogothic leader we know of. He was killed by the Huns around 370 AD.
We can recognise three parts and in the first we hear about great leaders of the age. Second part is about people in folklands and maybe some are just clans since it was the time of growing feudalism where the clan was a unit of more or less noble people. It is maybe the only way to remember as here about 60 people or clans of the time. Half of the names could maybe be identified but 20 are very difficult. Alexander is a little out of timeline and "Casere ruled Greece" is a bit odd: Wada from Haelsingas could be a real person from the big hall in Hogom. The Haelsingas are known for iron trade (maybe also fur trade) with iron finds from 100 BC onward.
Second part is about the many people. We could understand that the real heroes are the manufacturers and traders travelling with goods and getting friendly gifts securing friendship and trade. We can compare with the Heruli/ Erils that were traders and mercenaries. Only this nobility could travel freely in Europe and it is that world the Bard tells about. Third part is about people Widsith has visited on his fictive journey in the time machine.
So I travelled widely through foreign lands
through distant countries and there I met
both good and bad fortune far from my kin
and served as a follower far and wide
And so I can sing and tell a tale
declare to the company in the mead-hall
how noble rulers rewarded me with gifts
There the king of the Goths granted me treasure
the king of the city gave me a torc
made from pure gold coins worth six hundred scilling
I gave that to Eadgils when I came home
as thanks to my lord ruler of the Myrgingas
because he gave me land which once was my father's
And then Ealhhild Eadwine's daughter
noble queen of the household gave me another
her fame extended through many lands
when I used my song to spread the word
of where under the heavens I knew a queen
adorned with gold most generous of all
Then Scilling and I with our clear voices
before our glorious lord struck up our song
sung to the harp it rang out loudly.
Then many men with noble hearts
who understood these things openly said
that they had never heard a better song
From there I travelled through the Gothic homeland
I always sought out the best companions
that was Eormanric's household guard!
I visited Hehca and Beadeca and the Herelingas
Emerca and Fridla and Eastgota
the wise and virtuous father of Unwen
I visited Secca and Becca Seafola and Theodric
Heathoric and Sifeca Hlith and Incgentheow
I visited Eadwine and Elsa Aegelmund and Hungar
and the proud household of the Withmyrgingas
Heroes never die in the Time Machine. In the last part he sings about people he visited and ends in times after Attila who also fought Goths in the forests near Vistula and that is before 451 AD. His last words are …he who wins fame
We can compare that to Havamal in the Edda
Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies
Of one who has done well
Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But I know one thing that never dies,
The glory of the great dead
The Goths were heroes among some people in Europe no doubt
The Rauk Stone
The last historical mentioning of Goths we find maybe at the rune stone atRauk in East Gautland from ca 800 AD second verse
That sakum onarth huar fur niu althum onarth
Thi fiaru mir hraithkudum auk tu mir anub sakar
Rai Thiauriki hin thurmuth
Stilir flu na stran hraithmar
Sitir nu karui kuta sinum
Skial tu fadlathr skati Marika
In my interpreting
That is said backwards how nine ages back,
then ruled mine forefather Goths
to me ancestors come.
Ruled Thiaurik that out of date.
Slowly flow at the ancestor's sea.
Now that man-guise is sitting on his mare,
shield on shoulder ... the magpie of Morrigan.
Morrigan the demon from the Otherworld with no way back and the gone times. On a chap from Thorsbjerg South-Jutland which associate to Greek Hekate as well as Nordic New Moon goddess the hope of rebirth and growth
owlthuthevar … niujamarir
owl demon … new-moon mare
HRAITH occurs in hraitkudum as well as in hraithmar and I interpret H/ HE as prefix indicating imperfect or the Otherworld to get reasonable meaning.
This short verse opens for kinship between the people in East Gautland and the Ostrogoths. However it could also be "borrowed feathers" since many people wanted to be in family with the Ostrogoths and possible get an air of being hero.
Mostly "The winner write the history" but we have also the nostalgic memories of the heydays. In Nordic tradition the Romans are often the "Wulff" and enemy, while the Latin-friends glorify Rome. In Objective and distant perspective Rome represent still today state feudalism, fasces symbolising the male union near to fascism, heresy hunters, occupants/ cultural imperialism and establishments that no normal population could bear …St Peters dome is build by contributions from all Europe and so on. Latinos and their followers have not yet understood the idea of real peoples' democracy
"Socius" is the root in 'society' and indicates that some friends are together making the society. Understood that some could be left outside and it is much like the fasces that symbolised the chosen society. The Germanic society build on togetherness indicated by Nordic SAM that means that all people together make the nation or smaller units. We have the tradition from the Germanic "thing" Tacitus wrote about. All people were obliged to participate and they could oppose the propositions by the lead.
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