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Gothic Origins

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Emperor Barbarossa View Drop Down
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  Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gothic Origins
    Posted: 19-Aug-2005 at 20:40
I have been wondering where the Goths came from, where they from around Sarmatia?

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2005 at 21:27
It's believed the are originally from Sweden (from the region still now called Gotland or Gtaland), they migrated to the mainland (Poland), where they fought and subjugated the Slavs (proto-Slavs), at some late time during the German migrations. Later they moved to Ukraine and Romania, where they divided between Western and Eastern Goths (Visigoths and Ostrogoths).

See: Goths in Wikipedia. This map, showing the early Gothic migrations is also there:


Green: Gthaland, Magenta: Gotland island, Red: 3rd Century CE, Orange: 4th century CE.

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  Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 12:37
So they later split up and went around Greece and Spain?

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  Quote Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 13:54
I notice that the green area is the same area where the Geats of Beowulf fame dwelt. I was told that these people were not Goths, despite the similar name, and a differend people all together.
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  Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2005 at 14:55
Beowulf, didn't that have something to do with Nordic Mythology? As for similar names, how bout the Gaels who later settled in Scotland and the Gauls. I know that they were both Celtic but were they similar?

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  Quote mord Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 09:57

Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa

Beowulf, didn't that have something to do with Nordic Mythology? As for similar names, how bout the Gaels who later settled in Scotland and the Gauls. I know that they were both Celtic but were they similar?

Beowulf is a piece of Anglo-Saxon literature which uses history as a plot device.  Beowulf was supposedly a Geat.  The Geats were alledgedly from what is now Southern Sweden--the Svear were their enemies. 

Mord.

errr...left turn at vinland?
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 10:25
Originally posted by Belisarius

I notice that the green area is the same area where the Geats of Beowulf fame dwelt. I was told that these people were not Goths, despite the similar name, and a differend people all together.


I'm not very knowledgeable but, as all Germans came eventually from Scandinavia and nearby regions, my guess is that Goths actually came from Gtaland, though, in a sense you can also say that they are not the same as the Goths of the mainland, once they got separated. Much as Dane Vikings and French-speaking Normans aren't exactly the same, or as North Americans aren't the same as English.

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 10:28
Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa

Beowulf, didn't that have something to do with Nordic Mythology? As for similar names, how bout the Gaels who later settled in Scotland and the Gauls. I know that they were both Celtic but were they similar?


Gaels, Gaelic, Gauls are names of what we commonly call Celts (from Greek Keltoi). Nothing to do with Goths at all. The same that Latins and Latvians, Austria and Australia have nothing in common either.

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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 11:19

The Goth ("Gue ti" or Chinese "Yueh chi") was an anicent Indo-European people who lived around Hamadan in the central Zagros Range of Iran. They were a strong political force throughout the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, especially about 2230, when they swept down into Babylonia (southern Mesopotamia), overthrowing the Akkadian empire (ruled at that time either by Naram-Sin or by his son Shar-kali-sharri), and traditionally took over control of most of the region.

You can see the original land of Goths/Gutians in the above map, however they had to leave this region after the Assyrians and Elamite invasions but there are still some poeple in this region who call themselves Goth such people of Gotvand (See the map) in the Khuzistan province.

Rev. Dr. Joseph Bosworth (1789-1876) was a reknowned language scholar in his day. On the subject of origins, he stated, The Goths were of Asiatic origin... [early Roman historian] Tacitus speaks of no Goths in Scandinavia. (The Origin of the Germanic And Scandinavian Languages And Nations, pp. 112-113) The scholarly twenty-volume series, Asiatic Researches, adds this important information: A late very learned writer concludes, after all his laborious researches, that the Goths or Scythians came from Persia; and another contends with great force, that both the Irish and old Britons proceeded severally from the borders of the Caspian; a coincidence of conclusions from different media by persons wholly unconnected, which could scarce have happened, if they were not grounded on solid principles. (II:65)

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 13:53
Then why they spoke Germanic? It's 100% clear that Goths spoke an Eastern Germanic dialect and no Iranian tongue.

I think that Guti-Goths connection is as solid as the Austria-Australia I joked about before. Gutians remain being a mistery but relating them to Goths is nonsense. Gutians probably just were absorbed by other peoples when Goths didn't even have a name for themselves.

On the so serious opinions (sic) on Britons being original from the Caspian this is another nonsense. Britons were Celtic and therefore they came most directly from continental Europe (at least the ruling elithe that imposed their language), where Celts dwelt since before any clasical historian could remember. And, anyhow, I don't see any relation between Britons (Celtic-speakers) and Goths (Germanic-speakers) as Cyrus' quote want's to mean.

Apart of Scythian and Cymmerian incursions and Persian historical campaigns, both with only anecdotic consquences, there's not been any Iranian movement towards Europe at least since the Thracians (asuming Thracians were Eastern IEs) and anyhow these haven't but touched the eastern regions of Europe.

True that eventually all IEs came most likely from the Caspian region but that was soo deep in the past that nobody could have recorded it.

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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 15:08
It sounds strange if we want to compare languages of Goths/Gutians and Persians (in fact it is said Persians entered the Iranian plateau around 1800 BC) but there are really some similarites between Gothic words and Persian words.
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 16:24
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

It sounds strange if we want to compare languages of Goths/Gutians and Persians (in fact it is said Persians entered the Iranian plateau around 1800 BC) but there are really some similarites between Gothic words and Persian words.


Of course there are, both Germanic and Iranian languages are, after all, indo-european/aryan.

That being said, we really have no reason to doubt that the Goths originated in Scandinavia. They spoke a Germanic language, they carved Germanic runes, used Germanic names and referred to their ancestral homeland as "Scandza, the womb of peoples". There'll always be people making up far-fetched theories, but we, as historians, must be able to apply our critical senses to them.

Gothic runes have been found near Buchuresti, Romania, on a golden armlet, which isn't surprising seeing as they settled in that area for a while. It reads: "Gutani o wi hailag", "clenodium of the Goths, a holy bringer of fortune". Distributing golden armlets as a reward for deeds done was a common practice among the Germanic peoples, all the way up to the end of the Viking Age. A warlord could be given the informal "title" of "ring-giver", if he was generous with these things.
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 01:18
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

It sounds strange if we want to compare languages of Goths/Gutians and Persians (in fact it is said Persians entered the Iranian plateau around 1800 BC) but there are really some similarites between Gothic words and Persian words.


It seems that Indo-Iranian tribes like Scythians, Sarmatians and Alans were also in Eastern Europe contemporarily with Gothic estance in Ukraine-Romania, this could explain some loans. Some words anyhow are never evidence of anything: I've found some words coincidences with Basque in totally unrelated contexts, like Serbo-Croat, but that proves nothing.

On Gutians we know next to nothing. According to F. Lara Peinado's book La Civilizacin Sumeria (The Sumerian Civilization, 1999): Actually from this people (called in some texts the Serpent, the Scorpion of the Mountains) we have got too few data (...) who were actually those Qutu, neighbours of the Lullubi? We only know that they were dwellers of a montainous region called by diferent names depending on the sources (Kutiim, Gutium, Kutuum, Guti, Kuti, Qutu, Qudu, etc.) and which exact location is not clear either, though it should be looked for in the high course of the Upper Zab, in the area of modern Kurdistan.

(...)

The Royal List (...) opens the relation of their kings with an unexpected indication for the first of them: "a king without name"!

(...)

After the first king without known name, the List gives other 20 (of Qutu, Akkadian and Amorrean ethymologies) headed by some Imta' (variant Imbia) (...) and ends with Tiriqan (...).

Then he mentions several other royal Qutu names (and their badly known deeds): Inkishush, Sarlagab, Shulme (or Iarlagash),  La'erabum (Laerab or Lasirab), Puzur-Sin, Iarlaganda (or Iarlagan), Si'um. He specifically mentions that the Qutu are of unknown ethicity and language and that they were pretty much hated by Sumerians, who welcomed their expulsion.

I suspect that the choice of Guti/Gutium instead of the other mentioned variants of this people's name is intentional to try to "demonstrate" their "Indo-Germanity" and supposed relation with the Goths. But that's very very unlikely and forced.


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  Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2005 at 07:45
Originally posted by Maju

Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa

Beowulf, didn't that have something to do with Nordic Mythology? As for similar names, how bout the Gaels who later settled in Scotland and the Gauls. I know that they were both Celtic but were they similar?


Gaels, Gaelic, Gauls are names of what we commonly call Celts (from Greek Keltoi). Nothing to do with Goths at all. The same that Latins and Latvians, Austria and Australia have nothing in common either.

All right, I get why different groups of Celts have similar names. I reject the theory that the Goths were an Iranian people because they do not seem to be like Scythians, they seem more Nordic in their culture.

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