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PostWysłany: Czw 19:39, 25 Wrz 2008 

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Part 1

Gothic History as Historical Ethnography by Herwig Wolfram
From Roman Provinces to Medieval Kingdoms; ISBN 0415327415

The field of Gothic history is burdened with the ideological weight
of a readiness throughout the centuries either to reject the Goths as
an embodiment of everything wicked and evil or to identify with them
and their glorious history. Sympathy and antipathy have taken
grotesque forms right down to the present. The result has been a long
history of attempts to lay claim to the Gothic tradition.

At the Council of Basel (1431-1449), for example, a quarrel erupted
between the Austrians and the Swedes when each side claimed to be the
true descendants of the Goths and thus to outrank the other in
questions of protocol. The pro-Gothic attitude reached its height of
absurdity in Sweden under Olaus Rudbeck (1630-1702), professor at
Uppsala. He actually claimed to have rediscovered Gothic Sweden in
Plato's Atlantis. Still today the second crown in the Swedish royal
coat of arms stands for the regnum Gothorum. Rudbeck and his students
could fall back on Jordanes' description of Scandza as a mother of
nations which had brought forth the Goths and many other peoples.

Gothicism, Germanism, and Teutonism with all their variations had
passed out of use, or very nearly so, when National Socialism made
the transmutation of the pro-Gothic tradition into a historical

German and Scandinavian humanists sought to return to the original
sources. The foundation for all their efforts was a detailed study of
the origines gentium, among them especially the origo Gothica, the
work of Cassiodorus in the version of Jordanes.

Part 2

Gothic History as Historical Ethnography by Herwig Wolfram
From Roman Provinces to Medieval Kingdoms; ISBN 0415327415

The highly educated Cassiodorus, a Roman in the service of the Gothic
kings of Italy, composed an origo gentis, an account of the origins
of a people. His work formed part of a classical genre in which two
separate approaches had coexisted from the time of Caesar. Greek
ethnography preferred to derive the origins of the barbarians from
primordial deeds of Greek gods and heroes. In contrast, ever since
Caesar, the Romans not only accepted native traditions but on
occasion even preferred them to the familiar speculations of Greek
mythographers. Although Latin ethnographers were therefore more open-
minded about barbarian traditions than their Greek predecessors,
they did subject these traditions to an interpretatio Romana (see
message #3007). Barbarian concepts and institutions were equated with
or actually integrated into their Roman counterparts. Roman sources
present a history of the later Roman Empire into which the history of
the Goths has been thoroughly absorbed.

But because Roman history was also Christian, the Gothic pagan
origins were absorbed into the Christian notion of history as God's
plan of redemption for mankind- what is often called providential

Cassiodorus' s incorporation of Gothic history into the ecumenical
historia Romana created the model for the medieval origines gentium,
the last of which was that written by Saxo Grammaticus around 1200.
Such works, most written in classicistic Latin, elevated the
prehistory of a Germanic-Celtic- Slavic gens to the providential
history of the populus, the historia Romana. An origo of this kind
was seen as a legitimation of power. Consequently the origo and the
lex scripta- the tribal origins and the tribal law- were put into
writing at the same time.

In turning to the individual tribal histories, above all the
rediscovered Germania of Tacitus as well as the origo Gothica, the
German humanist abandoned the approach of the medieval world
chronicle. The latter had combined secular with sacred history and
eschatology and had presented between its covers the history of all
mankind as the Christianized historia Romana.

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Ostatnio zmieniony przez vid dnia Sob 19:46, 27 Wrz 2008, w całości zmieniany 3 razy
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