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Thread: Were the Goths related to the Scythians or Cimmerians ?

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Question Were the Goths related to the Scythians or Cimmerians ?

    Before settling into the Roman Empire from the 4th century onwards, the Goths had migrated from Sweden to East Germany, Poland, then established themselves for a while around modern Moldova and Ukraine.

    While looking at pictures of various Bronze-age and Iron-age artefacts, I was startled by the similarity between two Scythian belt plaque and Gothic fibulae, both in the shape of an eagle. 1200 years separate the two artefacts, and yet the style is just too analogous to be related by chance. Judge by yourself.

    Scythian eagle (Dnieper area, 7th century BCE)


    Scythian eagle (?)


    Ostrogothic eagle (500 CE)


    This kind of eagle actually pops up a lot in Visigothic and Ostrogothic art.

    Visigothic eagle (Castile-La Mancha, Spain, 6th century CE)


    Visigothic eagle (Castile-La Mancha, Spain, 6th century CE)


    Visigothic eagle (France)



    From the 8th to the 5th century BCE, it is actually the Cimmerians who inhabited the north of the Black Sea, from the North Caucasus to the Dnieper. The similarity of name and culture with the Cimbri, a tribe from Jutland in Denmark, has led some to believe that the Cimbri are descended from the Cimmerians. The timing fits to some extent. The Cimmerians were expelled from the Pontic Steppe around 500 BCE, while the Cimbri enter the historical records of the Romans in the 2nd century BCE.

    But the Scythians still occupied the Pontic Steppe when the Goths moved there in the 3rd-4th century CE. So it could be that the Goths descend from the Cimmerians that moved to Scandinavia, or that the Goths absorbed a considerable number of local Scythians before moving into the Roman Empire.
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    Well, there's a number of issues to this:

    - The East Germanic peoples did have extensive contact with the Iranic peoples living in southern Ukraine in Antiquity.

    - However, contact must have been already earlier and substantially longer, since Proto-Germanic also borrowed a few words from Iranic languages.

    Where I do generally disagree is regarding a connection between the Cimbri and the Cimmerians. In my opinion, the Cimbri spoke a late form of the Pre-Germanic language (that is, the Proto-Germanic language before the First Germanic Sound Shift). On the flip side, Strabo (in book 7, chapter 2.2), citing Posidonius, mentions that the Greeks certainly believed that there was a connection between the Cimmerians living at the sea of Azov and the Cimbri.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Where I do generally disagree is regarding a connection between the Cimbri and the Cimmerians. In my opinion, the Cimbri spoke a late form of the Pre-Germanic language (that is, the Proto-Germanic language before the First Germanic Sound Shift). On the flip side, Strabo (in book 7, chapter 2.2), citing Posidonius, mentions that the Greeks certainly believed that there was a connection between the Cimmerians living at the sea of Azov and the Cimbri.
    I am not saying that the Cimbri spoke an Iranian language. The Cimmerians could have been assimilated by Germanic people and lost their original language (what's the point of keeping your language if all your neighbours speak another language*), while still influencing Germanic art.


    * around 500 BCE, Proto-Germanic and Iranian languages must have been still reasonably similar in structure to shit easily from one to the other, just like Celtic speakers who readily adopted Latin 500 years later.

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    the eagles of the goths
    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...gothic&f=false

    The other know thing I found is that the gothic eagle represents an osprey ( sea-eagle) linking gotland with east sweden in regards to goths people, the symbol was given to leaders of the migratatory goths after after selection of which third of the populace was to migrate. i do not know how many of these migration took place to settle on and around the vistula and baltic sea.

    In respect of the sycthians, I think they only got this symbol after the goths settled on the north of the black sea
    Father's Mtdna H95a1
    Grandfather Mtdna T2b24
    Great Grandfather Mtdna T1a1e
    GMother paternal side YDna R1b-S8172
    Mother's YDna R1a-Z282

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    * around 500 BCE, Proto-Germanic and Iranian languages must have been still reasonably similar in structure to shift easily from one to the other, just like Celtic speakers who readily adopted Latin 500 years later.
    I'm not sure what you mean with Latin and Celtic still being reasonably similar... Spanish and French are certainly much more similar than Latin and any of the Celtic languages were around 1 AD. For example, Cicero was unable to interpret an Old Latin ritualistic formula because he could not understand much of it!

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    Obviously Scandinavian art has been influenced by Indo Iranic people. I found this on wkipedia about the Gundestrup cauldron:
    The scene has been compared to a similar seal found in the Indus Valley
    In his 1928 book Buddhism in Pre-Christian Britain, Donald Alexander Mackenzie proposed the figure was related to depictions of the Buddha, and of the Western Buddha-god Virupaksha.[6]Also known as shiva by Hindus.


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    I also found that the Grimm's law applied to Armenian perhaps due to ancient Cimmerian presence but I'm not sure about this

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Obviously Scandinavian art has been influenced by Indo Iranic people. I found this on wkipedia about the Gundestrup cauldron:
    Ah, the Gundestrup Cauldron poses a bit of a problem. My opinion (and the opinion of others) the imagery on it is Celtic, including Cernunnos (the stag-horned deity), the wheel of Taranis, and the frequent usage of torques (note that the latter isn't exclusively Celtic however). The imagery is largely Celtic in my opinion, but the manufacturing style/technique is generally considered Thracian. As for how this is possible, there was Celtic presence in Thracia from the 3rd century BC onwards, so it would have been possible for Celtic motives to be manufactured inside Thracia. The question, of course, is how this cauldron ended up in Scandinavia. Regardless of this, I agree that an Iranic connection exists, but it's rather indirect. The Celtic iron age culture of Hallstatt and La-Tene was clearly Iranic influenced (the spread of iron working into Central Europe occured from an iranic context).

    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    I also found that the Grimm's law applied to Armenian perhaps due to ancient Cimmerian presence but I'm not sure about this
    The Armenian language possesses a complex sound shift that is similar to Grimm's Law, but that does not work exactly the same:

    Armenian:


    *p > *h
    *t > *tʰ
    *k > *kʰ
    *k´ > *s


    *b > *p
    *d > *t
    *g > *k
    *g´ > *ts


    *bh > *b
    *dh > *d
    *gh > *g
    *g´h > *ds


    Germanic:


    *p > *f
    *t > *θ
    *k and *k´ > *x (later *h)


    *b > *p
    *d > *t
    *g and *g´ > *k


    *bh > *b
    *dh > *d
    *gh and *g´h > *g

    Otherwise, there is the question when Grimm's Law did actually occur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Obviously Scandinavian art has been influenced by Indo Iranic people. I found this on wkipedia about the Gundestrup cauldron:





    interesting, compare it with Thracian orpheus

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/DSC00355_-_Orfeo_(epoca_romana)_-_Foto_G._Dall'Orto.jpg
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    there are similar birds on Croatian art, not eagles tho but falcons




    I dont think there is much to it, birds of pray are viewed by most civilisations as powerful animals, and with primitive handwork in metal or stone, you can only do so much to make an art description of a bird

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Before settling into the Roman Empire from the 4th century onwards, the Goths had migrated from Sweden to East Germany, Poland, then established themselves for a while around modern Moldova and Ukraine.

    While looking at pictures of various Bronze-age and Iron-age artefacts, I was startled by the similarity between two Scythian belt plaque and Gothic fibulae, both in the shape of an eagle. 1200 years separate the two artefacts, and yet the style is just too analogous to be related by chance. Judge by yourself.

    Scythian eagle (Dnieper area, 7th century BCE)


    Scythian eagle (?)


    Ostrogothic eagle (500 CE)


    This kind of eagle actually pops up a lot in Visigothic and Ostrogothic art.

    Visigothic eagle (Castile-La Mancha, Spain, 6th century CE)


    Visigothic eagle (Castile-La Mancha, Spain, 6th century CE)


    Visigothic eagle (France)



    From the 8th to the 5th century BCE, it is actually the Cimmerians who inhabited the north of the Black Sea, from the North Caucasus to the Dnieper. The similarity of name and culture with the Cimbri, a tribe from Jutland in Denmark, has led some to believe that the Cimbri are descended from the Cimmerians. The timing fits to some extent. The Cimmerians were expelled from the Pontic Steppe around 500 BCE, while the Cimbri enter the historical records of the Romans in the 2nd century BCE.

    But the Scythians still occupied the Pontic Steppe when the Goths moved there in the 3rd-4th century CE. So it could be that the Goths descend from the Cimmerians that moved to Scandinavia, or that the Goths absorbed a considerable number of local Scythians before moving into the Roman Empire.
    Art of the Getae,indegenous tribe of the lower Danube which in fact resemble the name of the "Goths" which were to be found in same place,their names multiple time confused among historians,Jordanes one of them who wrote the history of Goths and wrote about Getae in distant past.
    Herodotus mention them as most warlike of all Thracians.

    Beaker with birds and animals, Thraco-Getian, 4th century BC



    The golden denarius minted with the legend ΚΟΣΩΝ.

    The Thracian-Getic Tomb of Sveshtari, Bulgaria.Notice the bird.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post


    From the 8th to the 5th century BCE, it is actually the Cimmerians who inhabited the north of the Black Sea, from the North Caucasus to the Dnieper. The similarity of name and culture with the Cimbri, a tribe from Jutland in Denmark, has led some to believe that the Cimbri are descended from the Cimmerians. The timing fits to some extent. The Cimmerians were expelled from the Pontic Steppe around 500 BCE, while the Cimbri enter the historical records of the Romans in the 2nd century BCE.

    But the Scythians still occupied the Pontic Steppe when the Goths moved there in the 3rd-4th century CE. So it could be that the Goths descend from the Cimmerians that moved to Scandinavia, or that the Goths absorbed a considerable number of local Scythians before moving into the Roman Empire.
    The origin of the Cimmerians is unclear. They are mostly supposed to have been related to either Iranian or Thracian speaking groups,or being ruled by Iranian speaking elite,As to Cimbri i can found this art on the internet Gundestrup cauldron.



    Origins in Archeology


    Interior plate B, replica
    The silverworking techniques used in the cauldron are unknown from the Celtic world, but are consistent with the renowned Thracian sheet-silver tradition. The scenes depicted are not distinctively Thracian, but certain elements of composition, decorative motifs, and illustrated items (such as the shoelaces on the antlered figure) identify it as Thracian work.

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    What we see is pieces of art found among western I-Eans people (Celts, Germans), groups of tribes which had been sooner or later in contact with more eastern I-Eans long after their ancestors splitted off. Elites of these times practized trade at high scale and had no problem to order and use manufactured products of other cultures: if they found them fashionable they could have produced these art pieces after some time or "bought" artists of the cultures who produced these kinds of pieces at first. Celts by instance were very good "learners" if we rely on Ancients statements. By the way Goths or Eastern Europe were no more completely the same Goths as the ones remained in Scandinavia or in Pomerania and I'm not sure we can take them as an example for first western Germanics.
    Concerning languages, I'm not sure at all ancient Germans and ancient Iranians (at iron Age) could have stiil known inter-understanding, even superficially. But...? I lack knowledge here.
    Concerning Gaulish and Latin, their languages were entirely different when Rome took the strong side, spite an evident previous proximity. Maybe only the grammars were still close enough, what could have helped the language shift?

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    Stop saying Iranian because it’s not accurate. Aryan is not Iranian, Persians or Iranians didn’t invade India from The North The Aryans did. Scythian’s invaded Mizraim.

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    Why do you assume they weren’t Germanic like the rest that came into Europe from The Steppe?

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    Cimmerians were “Indo-European“ as they say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asturrulumbo View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean with Latin and Celtic still being reasonably similar... Spanish and French are certainly much more similar than Latin and any of the Celtic languages were around 1 AD. For example, Cicero was unable to interpret an Old Latin ritualistic formula because he could not understand much of it!
    I know right. Tell me if you can understand this if you speak portuguese, spanish or italian because I cannot understand a dam thing except the word dona.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    I know right. Tell me if you can understand this if you speak portuguese, spanish or italian because I cannot understand a dam thing except the word dona.
    One of the sentences makes sense to me, but the translation says it’s something else.

    “Regu c cambio exsops pissiu misu c canti risso”

    “I waited at changing from that ‘dirt’ I was in, so I sang and laughed!”

    “Aspettai (reggere / mantenere) a cambiarmi dallo ‘sporco’ che indossavo (misu), così ho cantato e riso”

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    Aren't Goths related to East Germanic people?

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