Showing posts with label teutonic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teutonic. Show all posts

11 March 2015

Ancient-Germanic languages documented - a preliminary-sketch

This image depicts an early map of Scandinavia,
the origination place for many invaders of
Rome's former-province of Britannia
(Olaus Magnus (1490-1557)
Published, edited, formatted, images added & annotations/comments (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig



One of the very few Anglo-Saxon warhelmets
ever found in the British-Isles
Ancient-Germanic languages documented - a preliminary-sketch


by Bertil Haggman

Group I
Gothic (Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths)


Through MS such as the Codex Argenteus (Uppsala-University Library) Gothic is reasonably well documented. Also Crimean Gothic is represented with a list of words by diplomat Busbecq in the sixteenth century.

map, showing several major Germanic/Teutonic
kingdoms in the late middle-ages

24 February 2015

The "All-Men", Alamanni- the High-Germans

frieze: Alamannic warriors in combative mêlée

Published, edited & annotations/comments (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig
(websource: Wikipedia)
map: showing location of various major Scando-Teutonic nations in late-antiquity
(mapsource)


The Alemanni (also Alamanni; Suebi "Swabians") were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the upper Rhine river. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captured the Agri Decumates in 260, and later expanded into present-day Alsace, and northern Switzerland, leading to the establishment of the Old-High-German language in those regions.

In 496, the Alemanni were conquered by Frankish leader Clovis and incorporated into his dominions. Mentioned as still pagan allies of the christian-Franks, the Alemanni were gradually christianized during the 7th century.
 
The Pactus Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period. Until the 8th century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was mostly nominal. But after an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility and installed Frankish dukes.

During the later and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire the Alemannic counts became almost independent, and a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance.

The chief family in Alamannia was that of the counts of Raetia Curiensis, who were sometimes called margraves, and one of whom, Burchard II established the Duchy of Swabia, which was recognized by Henry the Fowler in 919 and became a stem duchy of the Holy Roman Empire.

Burgundian coin with imperator romanorum 
Ualentinianus I (A.D. 364-375)
(mapsource)

The area settled by the Alemanni corresonds roughly to the area where Alemannic-German dialects remain spoken, including German Swabia and Baden, French Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland and Austrian Vorarlberg.

Name
According to Asinius Quadratus (quoted in the mid-6th century by Byzantine historian Agathias) their name means "allmen". It indicates that they were a conglomeration drawn from various Germanic tribes.

This was the derivation of Alemanni used by Edward Gibbon, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and by the anonymous contributor of notes assembled from the papers of Nicolas Fréret, published in 1753, who noted that it was the name used by outsiders for those who called themselves the Suebi. This etymology has remained the standard derivation of the term.

Walafrid Strabo, a monk of the Abbey of St. Gall writing in the 9th century, remarked, in discussing the people of Switzerland and the surrounding regions, that only foreigners called them the Alemanni, but that they gave themselves the name of Suebi.

The name of Germany and the German language in several languages is derived from the name of this early Germanic tribal alliance. 
Alemannic belt-mountings, from 7th-century
grave in the gravefield at Weingarten


The Alemanni were first mentioned by Cassius Dio describing the campaign of Caracalla in 213. At that time they apparently dwelt in the basin of the Main, to the south of the Chatti. (the later-Hessians)

Cassius Dio (78.13.4) portrays the Alemanni as victims of this treacherous emperor. They had asked for his help, says Dio, but instead he colonized their country, changed their place names and executed their warriors under a pretext of coming to their aid.

When he became ill, the Alemanni claimed to have put a hex on him (78.15.2). Caracalla, it was claimed, tried to counter this influence by invoking his ancestral spirits.

In retribution Caracalla then led the Legio II Traiana Fortis against the Alemanni, who lost and were pacified for a time. The legion was as a result honored with the name Germanica.

The 4th-century fictional Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Caracalla, relates (10.5) that Caracalla then assumed the name Alemannicus, at which Helvius Pertinax jested that he should really be called Geticus Maximus, because in the year before he had murdered his brother, Geta.

Not on good terms with Caracalla, Geta had been invited to a family reconciliation, at which time he was ambushed by centurions in Caracalla's army and slain in his mother Julia's arms. True or not, Caracalla, pursued by devils of his own, left Rome never to return.

Caracalla left for the frontier, where for the rest of his short reign he was known for his unpredictable and arbitrary operations launched by surprise after a pretext of peace negotiations.

If he had any reasons of state for such actions they remained unknown to his contemporaries. Whether or not the Alemanni had been previously neutral, they were certainly further influenced by Caracalla to become thereafter notoriously implacable enemies of Rome.

This mutually antagonistic relationship is perhaps the reason why the Roman writers persisted in calling the Alemanni barbari, "savages". The archaeology, however, shows that they were largely Romanized, lived in Roman-style houses and used Roman artifacts, the Alemannic women having adopted the Roman fashion of the tunic even earlier than the men.

Most of the Alemanni were probably at the time in fact resident in or close to the borders of Germania-Superior. Although Dio is the earliest writer to mention them, Ammianus Marcellinus used the name to refer to Germans on the Limes Germanicus in the time of Trajan's (correct, classical Latin-Traianus, genitive, Traiani) governorship of the province shortly after it was formed, c. 98/99.

At that time the entire frontier was being fortified for the first time. Trees from the earliest fortifications found in Germania-Inferior are dated by dendrochronology to 99/100 AD.

Shortly afterwards Trajan was chosen by Nerva to be his successor, adopted with public fanfare in absentia by the old man shortly before his death. By 100 AD. Trajan was back in Rome as Emperor instead of merely being a Consul.

Ammianus relates (xvii.1.11) that much later the Emperor Julian (Iulianus /YOO-lee-awn-ooss/ - hiss full name was  Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus) undertook a punitive expedition against the Alemanni, who by then were in Alsace, and crossed the Main (Latin Menus), entering the forest, where the trails were blocked by felled trees.

As winter was upon them, they reoccupied a "fortification which was founded on the soil of the Alemanni that Trajan wished to be called with his own name".

In this context the use of Alemanni is possibly an anachronism but it reveals that Ammianus believed they were the same people, which is consistent with the location of the Alemanni of Caracalla's campaigns.
 
Alemanni & Hermunduri
The early detailed source, The Germania, c. 95 AD,  written by  Tacitus, (Tacitus is pronounced- /TAHK-ee-toss/)  has sometimes been interpreted in such a way as to provide yet other historical problems. In Chapter 42 we read of the Hermunduri, a tribe certainly located in the region that later became Thuringia. T

Tacitus stated that they traded with Rhaetia, which in Ptolemy is located across the Danube from Germania-Superior. A logical conclusion to draw is that the Hermunduri extended over later Swabia and therefore the Alemanni originally derived from the Hermunduri!

However, no Hermunduri appear in Ptolemy, though after the time of Ptolemy, the Hermunduri joined with the Marcomanni in the wars of 166–180 against the empire. A careful reading of Tacitus provides one solution. He says that the source of the Elbe is among the Hermunduri, somewhat to the east of the upper Main.

He places them also between the Naristi (Varisti), whose location at the very edge of the ancient Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is well-known, and the Marcomanni and Quadi. Moreover, the Hermunduri were broken in the Marcomannic Wars and made a separate peace with Rome.

The Alemanni thus were probably not primarily the Hermunduri, although some elements of them may have been present in the mix of peoples at that time that became Alemannian.
 
Ptolemy's Geography
Before the mention of Alemanni in the time of Caracalla, you would search in vain for Alemanni in the moderately detailed geography of southern Germany in Claudius Ptolemy, written in Greek in the mid-2nd century; it is likely that at that time, the people who later used that name were known by other designations.

Nevertheless some conclusions can be drawn from Ptolemy. Germania Superior is easily identified. Following up the Rhine one comes to a town, Mattiacum, which must be at the border of the Roman Germany (vicinity of Wiesbaden).

Upstream from it and between the Rhine and Abnoba (in the Black Forest) are the Ingriones, Intuergi, Vangiones, Caritni and Vispi, some of whom were there since the days of the early empire or before. On the other side of the northern Black Forest were the Chatti about where Hesse is today, on the lower Main.

Historic Swabia was eventually replaced by today's Baden-Württemberg, but it had been the most significant territory of mediaeval Alamannia, comprising all Germania Superior and territory east to Bavaria.

It did not include the upper Main, but that is where Caracalla campaigned. Moreover, the territory of Germania Superior was not originally included among the Alemanni's possessions.

However, if we look for the peoples in the region from the upper Main in the north, south to the Danube and east to the Czech Republic (a.k.a., Czechia) where the Quadi and Marcomanni were located, Ptolemy does not give any tribes. There are the Tubanti just south of the Chatti and at the other end of what was then the Black Forest, the Varisti, whose location is known.

One possible reason for this distribution is that the population preferred not to live in the forest except in troubled times. The region between the forest and the Danube on the other hand included about a dozen settlements, or "cantons".

Ptolemy's view of Germans in the region indicates that the tribal structure had lost its grip in the Black Forest region and was replaced by a canton structure. The tribes stayed in the Roman province, perhaps because the Romans offered stability.

Also, Caracalla perhaps felt more comfortable about campaigning in the upper Main because he was not declaring war on any specific historic tribe, such as the Chatti or Cherusci, against whom Rome had suffered grievous losses.

By Caracalla's time the name Alemanni was being used by cantons themselves banding together for purposes of supporting a citizen army (the "war bands").
 
Germanic peoples' concentration under Ariovistus
The term Suebi has a double meaning in the sources. On the one hand Tacitus' Germania tells us (Chapters 38, 39) that they occupy more than half of Germany, use a distinctive hair style, and are spiritually centered on the Semnones. On the other hand the Suebi of the upper Danube are described as though they were a tribe.

The solution to the puzzle as well as explaining the historical circumstances leading to the choice of the Agri Decumates as a defensivepoint and the concentration of Germans there are probably to be found in the German attack on the Gallic fortified town of Vesontio in 58 BC. The upper Rhine and Danube appear to form a funnel pointing straight at Vesontio.

Iulius Caesar in Gallic Wars tells us (1.51) that Ariovistus had gathered an army from a wide region of Germany, but especially the Harudes, Marcomanni, Triboci, Vangiones, Nemetes and Sedusii. The Suebi were being invited to join.

They lived in 100 cantons (4.1) from which 1000 young men per year were chosen for military service, a citizen-army by our standards and by comparison with the Roman professional army.

Ariovistus had become involved in an invasion of Gaul, which the German wished to settle. Intending to take the strategic town of Vesontio, he concentrated his forces on the Rhine near Lake Constance, and when the Suebi arrived, he crossed. The Gauls had called to Rome for military aid.

Caesar occupied the town first and defeated the Germans before its walls, slaughtering most of the German army as it tried to flee across the river (1.36ff). He did not pursue the retreating remnants, leaving what was left of the German army and their dependents intact on the other side of the Rhine.

The Gauls were ambivalent in their policies toward the Romans. In 53 BC the Treveri broke their alliance and attempted to break free of Rome. Caesar foresaw that they would now attempt to ally themselves with the Germans. He crossed the Rhine to forestall that event, a successful strategy.

Remembering their expensive defeat at the Battle of Vesontio, the Germans withdrew to the Black Forest, concentrating there a mixed population dominated by Suebi. As they had left their tribal homes behind, they probably took over all the former Celtic cantons along the Danube.

Conflicts with the Roman Empire
The Alemanni were continually engaged in conflicts with the Roman Empire in the 3rd and 4th centuries. They launched a major invasion of Gaul and northern Italy in 268, when the Romans were forced to denude much of their German frontier of troops in response to a massive invasion of the Goths from the east.

Their raids throughout the three parts of Gaul were traumatic: Gregory of Tours (died ca 594) mentions their destructive force at the time of Valerian and Gallienus (253–260).

When the Alemanni assembled under their "king", whom he calls Chrocus, who "by the advice, it is said, of his wicked mother, and overran the whole of the Gauls, and destroyed from their foundations all the temples which had been built in ancient times.

And coming to Clermont he set on fire, overthrew and destroyed that shrine which they call Vasso Galatae in the Gallic tongue," martyring many Christians (Historia Francorum Book I.32–34). Thus 6th-century Gallo-Romans of Gregory's class, surrounded by the ruins of Roman temples and public buildings, attributed the destruction they saw to the plundering raids of the Alemanni.

In the early summer of 268, the Emperor Gallienus halted their advance into Italy, but then had to deal with the Goths. When the Gothic campaign ended in Roman victory at the Battle of Naissus in September, Gallienus' successor Claudius II Gothicus turned north to deal with the Alemanni, who were swarming over all Italy north of the Po River.

After efforts to secure a peaceful withdrawal failed, Claudius forced the Alemanni to battle at the Battle of Lake Benacus in November. The Alemanni were routed, forced back into Germany, and did not threaten Roman territory for many years afterwards.

Their most famous battle against Rome took place in Argentoratum (Strasbourg), in 357, where they were defeated by Julian, later Emperor of Rome, and their king Chnodomarius was taken prisoner to Rome.

On January 2, 366, the Alemanni yet again crossed the frozen Rhine in large numbers, to invade the Gallic provinces, this time being defeated by Valentinian (see Battle of Solicinium). In the great mixed invasion of 406, the Alemanni appear to have crossed the Rhine river a final time, conquering and then settling what is today Alsace and a large part of the Swiss Plateau.

The crossing is described in Wallace Breem's historical novel Eagle in the Snow. Fredegar's Chronicle gives the account. At Alba Augusta (Alba-la-Romaine) the devastation was so complete, that the Christian bishop retired to Viviers, but in Gregory's account at Mende in Lozère, also deep in the heart of Gaul, bishop Privatus was forced to sacrifice to idols in the very cave where he was later venerated. It is thought this detail may be a generic literary ploy to epitomize the horrors of barbarian violence.


 
Culture & Language
 The traditional distribution area of Western Upper German (Alemannic) dialect features in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The German spoken today over the range of the former Alemanni is termed Alemannic German, and is recognised among the subgroups of the High German languages.

Alemannic runic inscriptions such as those on the Pforzen buckle are among the earliest testimonies of Old High German. The High German consonant shift is thought to have originated around the 5th century either in Alemannia or among the Lombards.

Before that the dialect spoken by Alemannic tribes was little different from that of other West Germanic peoples.Alemannia lost its distinct jurisdictional identity when Charles Martel absorbed it into the Frankish empire, early in the 8th century.

Today, Alemannic is a linguistic term, referring to Alemannic German, encompassing the dialects of the southern two thirds of Baden-Württemberg (German State), in western Bavaria (German State), in Vorarlberg (Austrian State), Swiss German in Switzerland and the Alsatian language of the Alsace (France).
Political organization.

The Alemanni established a series of territorially defined pagi (cantons) on the east bank of the Rhine. The exact number and extent of these pagi is unclear and probably changed over time.

Pagi, usually pairs of pagi combined, formed kingdoms (regna) which, it is generally believed, were permanent and hereditary. Ammianus describes Alemanni rulers with various terms: reges excelsiores ante alios ("paramount kings"), reges proximi ("neighboring kings"), reguli ("petty kings") and regales ("princes").

This may be a formal hierarchy, or they may be vague, overlapping terms, or a combination of both. In 357, there appear to have been two paramount kings (Chnodomar and Westralp) who probably acted as presidents of the confederation and seven other kings (reges). Their territories were small and mostly strung along the Rhine (although a few were in the hinterland). I

t is possible that the reguli were the rulers of the two pagi in each kingdom. Underneath the royal class were the nobles (called optimates by the Romans) and warriors (called armati by the Romans). The warriors consisted of professional warbands and levies of free men. Each nobleman could raise an average of c. 50 warriors.
Religion
 

The gold bracteate of Pliezhausen (6th or 7th century) shows typical iconography of the pagan period. The bracteate depicts the "horse-stabber underhoof" scene, a supine warrior stabbing a horse while it runs over him. The scene is adapted from Roman era gravestones of the region.

The 7th-century Gutenstein scabbard, found near Sigmaringen, Baden-Württemberg, is a late testimony of pagan ritual in Alemannia, showing a warrior in ritual wolf costume, holding a ring-spatha.

The christianization of the Alemanni took place during Merovingian times (6th to 8th centuries). We know that in the 6th century, the Alemanni were predominantly pagan, and in the 8th century, they were predominantly christian.

The intervening 7th century was a period of genuine syncretism during which Christian symbolism and doctrine gradually grew in influence.

Some scholars have speculated that members of the Alemannic elite such as king Gibuld due to Visigothic influence may have been converted to Arianism even in the later 5th century.

In the mid-6th century, the Byzantine historian Agathias of Myrina records, in the context of the wars of the Goths and Franks against Byzantium, that the Alemanni fighting among the troops of Frankish king Theudebald were like the Franks in all respects except religion, since they worship certain trees, the waters of rivers, hills and mountain valleys. 

In the honor the revered horses, cattle and countless other animals, sacrifice they, by beheading them, and imagine that they are performing an act of piety thereby.
 
He also spoke of the particular ruthlessness of the Alemanni in destroying Christian sanctuaries and plundering churches while the genuine Franks were respectful towards those sanctuaries.

Agathias expresses his hope that the Alemanni would assume better manners through prolonged contact with the Franks, which is by all appearances, in a manner of speaking, what eventually happened.

Apostles of the Alemanni were Saint Columbanus and his disciple Saint Gall. Jonas of Bobbio records that Columbanus was active in Bregenz, where he disrupted a beer sacrifice to (the OHG version of Woden's [Odin] name was Wuotan /WOO-oa-tawn/, modern-Highgerman,  Wotan /VOH-tawn/).

Despite these activities, for some time, the Alemanni seem to have continued their pagan  activities, with only superficial or syncretistic christian elements. In particular, there is no change in burial practice, and tumulus warrior graves continued to be erected throughout Merovingian times.

Syncretism of traditional Germanic animal-style with christian symbolism is also present in artwork, but christian symbolism becomes more and more prevalent during the 7th century.

Unlike the later christianization of the Saxon and of the Slavs, the Alemanni seem to have adopted Christianity gradually, and voluntarily, spread in emulation of the Merovingian elite.

From c. the 520s to the 620s, there was a surge of Alemannic Elder-Futhark inscriptions. About 70 specimens have survived, roughly half of them on fibulae, others on belt buckles ( and other jewelry and weapon parts. Use of runes subsides with the advance of Christianity.

The Nordendorf-fibula (early 7th century) clearly records pagan theonyms, logaþorewodanwigiþonar read as "Wodan and Donar are magicians/sorcerers", but this may be interpreted as either a pagan invocation of the powers of these deities, or a Christian protective charm against them.

A runic inscription on a fibula found at Bad Ems reflects Christian pious sentiment (and is also explicitly marked with a Christian cross), reading god fura dih deofile ᛭ ("God for/before you, Theophilus!", or alternatively "God before you, Devil!"). Dated to between AD 660 and 690, it marks the end of the native Alemannic tradition of runic literacy.

Bad Ems is in Rhineland-Palatinate, on the northwestern boundary of Alemannic settlement, where Frankish influence would have been strongest.The establishment of the bishopric of Konstanz cannot be dated exactly and was possibly undertaken by Columbanus himself (before 612).

In any case, it existed by 635, when Gunzo appointed John of Grab bishop. Constance was a missionary bishopric in newly converted lands, and did not look back on late Roman church history (unlike the Raetian bishopric of Chur, established 451) and Basel, which was an episcopal seat from 740, and which continued the line of Bishops of Augusta Raurica, see Bishop of Basel.

The establishment of the church as an institution recognized by worldly rulers is also visible in legal history. In the early 7th century Pactus Alamannorum hardly ever mentions the special privileges of the church, while Lantfrid's Lex Alamannorum of 720 has an entire chapter reserved for ecclesial matters alone.
 


29 December 2014

The Anglo-Saxon Invasion- Britain Is More Germanic than It Thinks

Anglo-Saxon helmet
Published, edited, images added & comments/annotations (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig

(websource)


06/16/2011 01:13 PM
The Anglo-Saxon Invasion
Britain Is More Germanic than It Thinks

27 November 2014

Why is English a Germanic language?

Image: Anglo-Saxon god Þunor (literally,
thunder), from Proto-Germanic,PGmc 
*Þunraz (*thunraz), Þórr in western
Old-Norse, Donar in OHG, cognate to
other Indo-European gods, seeming to be,
essentially the same personage. 

Published, edited, images added & annotations/comments (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig


Map/Karta/Mapa: Northwestern Europe, around the
Northsea. Whence the Scando-Germanic precursors to
the "Anglo-Saxons" (the English & many  eastern
Lowlanders (Scotland: Borders, Midlothian, etc.)
came. The semi-legendary year of the  "Anglo-Saxons'"
main invasion-arrival (Hengist & Horsa, brothers from the
Kimbric peninsula, modernday Denmark's Jutland, in
AD 449. At that time, they would have spoken various
 Common-Germanic dialects (Old-English 'OE', per se,
had yet to come into existence) came.


(websource: The Grammarphobia Blog}
(http://www.grammarphobia.com/)

Why is English a Germanic language?

Q: I’ve read that a majority of the words in English are derived from Latin or French? So why is English considered a Germanic (Gmc) language, not a Romance language?
A: Let’s begin with where linguists place English among the world’s languages.
English, Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Frisian, Flemish, Dutch, Afrikaans, German, and Yiddish are the living languages that are part of the Germanic family.
This family is divided into North-Germanic (NGmc) (Icelandic, Faroese, (or Faeroese), Norwegian, Swedish, Danish) and West-Germanic (WGmc) (English, Frisian, Flemish, Dutch, Afrikaans, German, Yiddish). The now defunct East-Germanic (EGmc) branch consisted of Gothic, which is extinct (also included; Vandalic, Lombardic/Langobardic. I believe that since, primarily, Gothic's very early attestation & equally importantly, scholars, antiquarians & archaeologists don't have the typical attributes/attestations of most ancient languages, in their graphogenesis. 

Many such ancient tongues have given us a scant few words, often scratched on bark, wood, carved in stone or crudely impressed into some malleable medium [claytablets, stylus, cuneiform]. The Gothic bishop, Ulfilas (or Wulfilas) of Thrace, but don't quote me on that, Thrace, a man of apparently mixed parentage, half-Gothic & half-Hellenic. Most of the EGmc may not be a separate branch from "Northwest-Germanic, i.e., NGmc, WGmc & Kimbro-Germanic[a] 

[a.k.a., as per prof. Gudmund Schütte, Univ. Hafniae, in his magnum opusOur Forefathers, the Gothonic Nations by Gudmund Schütte
Vol. 50, No. 2 (Feb., 1935), pp. 106-108 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
states good reasons for not calling Germanic, "Germanic", first of all, it is an exonym, we are virtually positive they never called themselves by this appellation, given them by the 'Graeco-Roman' world. "German", itself, is of uncertain etymology. 

It resembles older Celtic words meaning "neighbor", or from Italic, i.e., from Latin, germanus, meaning brother; literally from the same germ, {womb}. Hence Ibero-Romance, Castilian, Galician, Portuguese, Catalan, etc., with forms like hermano/hermana, Castilian-Spanish brother/sister, Portuguese irmão , etc.
 The following in blueletter is from OED 

Ptolemy. German measles attested by 1856.german (adj.)

"of the same parents or grandparents," c.1300, from Old-French germain "closely related" (12c.), from Latin germanus "full, own (of brothers and sisters); one's own brother; genuine, real," related to germen (genitivegerminis) "sprout, bud," dissimilated from PIE *gen(e)-men-, from root *gene- "to give birth, beget" (see genus). Your cousin-german (also first cousin) is the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt; your children and your first cousin's are second cousins to one another; to you, your first cousin's children are first cousin once removed.
.
(Main article continues)
The other principal European language family is the Italic (popularly called Romance). This consists of the modern languages derived from Latin: Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Provençal, French, Italian, Rhaeto-Romance and Romanian.
These two families are branches of a single prehistoric language called Indo-European or Proto-Indo-European.
The language-group descended from Indo-European includes the Balto-Slavic, Albanian, Celtic, Italic, Greek, and Germanic families of languages.
It’s estimated that about half the earth’s population speaks a language from the Indo-European group, which is only one of several language groups that have been identified worldwide.
But back to English. Why do we call it a Germanic language?
As Calvert Watkins writes in The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, one of the dialects of Indo-European “became prehistoric Common-Germanic, which subdivided into dialects of which one was West-Germanic.”
This in turn, Watkins says, “broke up into further dialects, one of which emerged into documentary attestation as Old English. From Old English we can follow the development of the language directly, in texts, down to the present day.”
But while English is Germanic, it has acquired much of its vocabulary from other sources, notably Latin and French.
As Watkins explains: “Although English is a member of the Germanic branch of Indo-European and retains much of the basic structure of its origin, it has an exceptionally mixed lexicon. 

During the 1400 years of its documented history, it has borrowed extensively and systematically from its Germanic and Romance neighbors and from Latin and Greek, as well as more sporadically from other languages.”
Where exactly does our modern vocabulary come from? The website AskOxford cites a computerized analysis of the roughly 80,000 words in the old third edition of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary.

The study, published in 1973, offered this breakdown of sources: Latin, 28.34 percent; French, 28.3 percent; Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and Dutch, 25 percent; Greek 5.32 percent; no etymology given, 4.03 percent; derived from proper names, 3.28 percent; all other languages, less than 1 percent.

11 August 2014

Germans; Teutons; Germanic (Gmc) peoples; From: Encyclopedia of European Peoples: Part I


Scando-Teutonic (Gmc) c. urheimat, c. 1000 BC
                                   
c. 1000 BC

Published, edited, formatted, images added & annotations/comments (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig 
(source:Encyclopedia of European Peoples;
 written by Carl Waldman & Catherine Mason)
Front Cover
(click for websource)
           
The name Germanics (Gmc), synonymous with ancient Germans or Teutones in other texts, applies to all those ancient European peoples speaking a Gmc language throughout history, known by a variety of names.



bronze-age Europe
 Some among the Gmc peoples, the Franks and groups they absorbed such as the Alamanni, were critical in the founding Germany as a nation-state, but Gmc peoples also played a role in the history of every part of Europe.
Gmc tribes & polities c. 500 AD
The Anglo-Saxons in Britain; the Vikings in Scandinavia; the Normans, Burgundii, and Franks in France; the Rus in Russia and Ukraine; the Vandals and Visigoths in Spain. 
And then there were the Ostrogoths and Lombards in Italy, to name the most obvious examples. Many more German tribes were spread throughout the Continent.

21 October 2013

þá gewisse : "a Saxon by any other name.."

SÚÐSÉAXISC WÍGEND / SOUTH-
SAXON WARRIOR
Published, edited, formatted, annotated (in redletter) & images added by Kenneth S. Doig
Map of Mid 6th Century Britain - © Nash Ford Publishing
Britain in late-sixth century. Greenish areas are
Under Germanic, "Anglo-Saxon", or as this
mapmaker calls them, with an Arthurian flair "Saxons"
He uses "Saxons" to mean other Gmc invaders. (Mapsource:
Early British Kingdoms. Website & map created by David
Ford Nash. 
I highly recommend his colorful, entertaining
site with a wealth of well-written history, facts &
legend. EBK)

(from Wikipedia)
The Gewisse /jɛˈwiːsə/ (Old English; Latin: Geuissæ) was a tribe or clan of Anglo-Saxon England, based in the upper-Thames region around Dorchester on Thames. 

Etymology The name of the tribe may be derived from an Old English word for "reliable" or "sure", (cf. German gewiss = "certain, sure"). The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle presents an eponymous ancestor figure, named Giwis. 


Eilert Ekwall proposed that the similarity in toponymy between the kingdoms of the Gewisse and Hwicce suggests a common origin. 

16 October 2013

SUEBO-GOTHONIC'S (GERMANIC) SEVEN DISTINCTIVE FEATURES


Published, edited, formatted & commentary (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig

SCANDO-TEUTONIC'S SEVEN DISTINCTIVE FEATURES

Germanic became different from the other Indo-European language groups in seven main ways:
1.
The Indo-European verbal system was simplified. Indo-European distinctions of tense and aspect (indicates whether an action or state is viewed with regard to beginning, duration, in-completion, etc.) were lost except for the

Wendþéod/Wandals/Vandals

Published, edited, formatted, annotations/comments (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig
File:Invasions of the Roman Empire 1.png
Simplified map of the various incursions into the Roman Empire, showing the Vandals' migrations (in blue) from Germany through Dacia, Gaul, Iberia, and into North Africa, and their raids throughout the Mediterranean, including the eventual sack of Rome in 455
(websource: Wikipedia)
The Vandals (remember that the letter V in Latin was always pronounced as an English W. Usually, in classical Latin, the letter U, e.g., vir or uir [man/virile] was used instead of V. Same for the written V in Old-Norse.

08 October 2013

"ORIGIN OF THE ANGLO-SAXON RACE" by Thomas W. Shore


Published, edited, comments (in red) & images added by Kenneth S. Doig
ORIGIN OF THE ANGLO-SAXON RACE 
(websource: us.archive.org)
BY THE LATE THOMAS WILLIAM SHORE 

AUTHOR OF 'A HISTORY OF HAMPSHIRE,' ETC, 
HONORARY SECRETARY LONDON AND MIDDLESEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY; HONORARY ORGANISING SECRETARY OF THE HAMPSHIRE FIELD CLUB AND 
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY 

EDITED BY HIS SONS: T.W.SHORE AND L.E.SHORE 
LONDON, ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.G. 1906
CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTION
If we had no contemporary information of the settlement, for instance, of 

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