Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 19th, 2017, 05:54 AM   #1
Citizen
 
Joined: Jun 2017
From: Gränna, Sweden
Posts: 18
Who were the geats.


In Sweden we suffer from a trauma caused by historians, which in it's turn has effected in how most people read Beowulf and other sources.

As you might have heard, todays Sweden was devided between two major peoples, nations or what we would like to call it, Swedes (Svear) and Geats (Götar). And thesse Swedes and Geats are the major combatants in Beowulf.

Now, here is the trouble. When Adam of Bremen writes about our country, he sais that the Geats are the strongest group among the Swedes. Other sources from ca 1100- states the same, and in fact all our first kings that we know really existed seems to kom from the Geat-region, but still they call themselves Swedes. It seams somhowe that we all became under swedish rule, however ruled by Geats... And this without leaving any archelogical records about a struggle, and almostno written sources to tell about it.

In fact, when you dig into it a bit deeper you find out that this Svea-Geat-things mostly are made up by 19'th century national-romantics... It is not at all based on any facts. The sources all way back to Jordanes infact tell us that the Geats are a sub-group to Swedes.

But then what about Beowulf? There surely are fights between Geats and Swedes. But who are those Geats? I have my opinon clear, but would like you to reason about it without my arguments at hand!

No need to be polite!
Yngwe is offline  
Remove Ads
Old June 19th, 2017, 10:10 AM   #2
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Slovenia
Posts: 3,168

Was Gotland settled by another group?
macon is offline  
Old June 19th, 2017, 10:39 AM   #3
Citizen
 
Joined: Jun 2017
From: Gränna, Sweden
Posts: 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by macon View Post
Was Gotland settled by another group?
Well motivated question, lets see if we can come to a conclusion!

Forgive me for not sharing my thoughts so far, I'd really like to hear your thoughts and not just respond to what I claim.
Yngwe is offline  
Old June 19th, 2017, 10:45 AM   #4
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2016
From: Dispargum
Posts: 2,372

Gregory of Tours, writing circa 590, mentioned a naval battle circa 520 between Franks and Danes. Beowulf mentions the same battle but has it between Franks and Geats. Gregory probably couldn't distinguish between Danes and Swedes. The Franks fought someone from the vicinity of the Baltic, and that was enough for Gregory.
Chlodio is offline  
Old June 19th, 2017, 11:46 AM   #5
Citizen
 
Joined: Jun 2017
From: Gränna, Sweden
Posts: 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
Gregory of Tours, writing circa 590, mentioned a naval battle circa 520 between Franks and Danes. Beowulf mentions the same battle but has it between Franks and Geats. Gregory probably couldn't distinguish between Danes and Swedes. The Franks fought someone from the vicinity of the Baltic, and that was enough for Gregory.
I think that is a much too simple explanation just to say "they didnt know better"

But still, this is one of the clues, the battle involvoing Chlochilaichus according to Gregory, and Hygelac accodring to Beowulf. The same battle is by the way described by Snorre Sturlasson, naming the king Hugleik. However he moves it all from Frisia to Fyris outside Uppsala. Fris - Fyris in our langauge sounds pretty much the same. But Snorry placed as much s he ever could close to Uppsala, at that time there were political reasons for that!
Yngwe is offline  
Old June 19th, 2017, 02:18 PM   #6
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2016
From: Dispargum
Posts: 2,372

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yngwe View Post
I think that is a much too simple explanation just to say "they didnt know better"
Actually Gregory was frequently confused about both his history and his geography. He thought that Thuringia was west of the Rhine. He thought the Franks came from Pannonia. The list goes on.
Chlodio is offline  
Old June 19th, 2017, 02:52 PM   #7
Citizen
 
Joined: Jun 2017
From: Gränna, Sweden
Posts: 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
Actually Gregory was frequently confused about both his history and his geography. He thought that Thuringia was west of the Rhine. He thought the Franks came from Pannonia. The list goes on.
I thought it was rater accepted that Gregor meant the Tungrians, who lived west of Rhine.... spelling wasnt always easy.

Anyhow, if you so wish we can forget about Gregor as a source, we maybe will take him back later
Yngwe is offline  
Old June 19th, 2017, 06:54 PM   #8
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Chalfont, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,126

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
Actually Gregory was frequently confused about both his history and his geography. He thought that Thuringia was west of the Rhine. He thought the Franks came from Pannonia. The list goes on.
The idea that the Franks came from Pannonia was common in later medieval times, so either Gregory was responsible from a long lasting mistake or he was accepting an already established idea. The idea that the Franks came from Pannonia on their way from Troy was accepted for a thousand years and more.
MAGolding is offline  
Old June 20th, 2017, 04:30 AM   #9
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2016
From: Dispargum
Posts: 2,372

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yngwe View Post
I thought it was rater accepted that Gregor meant the Tungrians, who lived west of Rhine.... spelling wasnt always easy.

Anyhow, if you so wish we can forget about Gregor as a source, we maybe will take him back later
Tungrians/Tongrians/Thuringians is one attempt to explain Gregory's account in Bk II Ch 27 of Clovis' war with the Thuringians. A second attempt to rationalize this flawed geography was to claim Clovis' Thuringians had migrated from the real Thuringia into Gaul.

Actually, I was refering to Bk II Ch 9 when Gregory claimed the Franks migrated from Pannonia to the Rhine Valley then crossed the Rhine east to west to settle in Thuringia where they set up their first long-haired kings. In other words, Thuringia, according to Gregory, was somewhere in Gaul.

Another problem arises when Gregory claims that Clodio lived at "Dispargum in Thuringia." Dispargum was certainly on the Roman side of the Rhine.

For that matter, we're not certain where Childeric passed his exile - in Thuringia but east or west of the Rhine?

Rather than attempt intellectual acrobatics to explain Gregory's geography, it makes more sense to just assume Gregory was geographically confused.


As to Franks fighting Danes or Geats near the mouth of the Rhine in the 520s, I don't think we can be more precise than 'Scandinavians.'
Chlodio is offline  
Old June 20th, 2017, 05:18 AM   #10
Citizen
 
Joined: Jun 2017
From: Gränna, Sweden
Posts: 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
Tungrians/Tongrians/Thuringians is one attempt to explain Gregory's account in Bk II Ch 27 of Clovis' war with the Thuringians. A second attempt to rationalize this flawed geography was to claim Clovis' Thuringians had migrated from the real Thuringia into Gaul.

Actually, I was refering to Bk II Ch 9 when Gregory claimed the Franks migrated from Pannonia to the Rhine Valley then crossed the Rhine east to west to settle in Thuringia where they set up their first long-haired kings. In other words, Thuringia, according to Gregory, was somewhere in Gaul.

Another problem arises when Gregory claims that Clodio lived at "Dispargum in Thuringia." Dispargum was certainly on the Roman side of the Rhine.

For that matter, we're not certain where Childeric passed his exile - in Thuringia but east or west of the Rhine?

Rather than attempt intellectual acrobatics to explain Gregory's geography, it makes more sense to just assume Gregory was geographically confused.



Edit, just for the sake... Gregory doesn't state that the Franks came from Pannonia, he states that
Quote:
Tradunt enim multi, eosdem de Pannonia fuisse degressus, translated to Many relate that they came from Pannonia...
. And that is a really big difference !


As to Franks fighting Danes or Geats near the mouth of the Rhine in the 520s, I don't think we can be more precise than 'Scandinavians.'
Allthough I agree on Gregory lacking the knowledge of geography to our standards, I am not so sure we should just dismiss him totally. We must also consider the reason to write , and we must ralize that spelling standards werent invented, causing a great deal of confusions and missunderstandings.

But, as said, we can leave Gregory, his words are not hte ones we are looking for.

Last edited by Yngwe; June 20th, 2017 at 06:00 AM.
Yngwe is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History

Tags
geats



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.