Monthly Archives: August 2017

Paleo-Suavs

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Interestingly, the world’s oldest known boomerang was found over thirty years ago in Poland.  This is a bit off topic but since the site deals with prehistory, might just as well go deep once in a while.The boomerang was found in the Obłazowa Cave (Jaskinia Obłazowa) in  Nowa Biała near Nowy Targ by a team led by Paweł Valde-Nowak.  It was described in Nature magazine.

The boomerang is apparently 23k-30k years old and was made from a mammoth tusk.  More recent work in the cave produced finds related to the Micoquien culture – these are dated at 50k-60k.  However, even older finds firmly establish settlement at 80k-100k thereby proving that Slavic Polish settlement of central Europe preceded even that of the Neanderthals (likely Germanic ancestors, of course, ;-)). 

Given the hostile climate, not to mention the various predators and other dangers it is little wonder that so many humans must have loved the relative shelter of such caves.  My guess is people lived their entire lives in some of these (if they were lucky).  They ate, slept and had sex there.  They might have had wars over who gets to keep a cave (inheritance fights? neighboring tribes?).  Cool stuff.

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August 29, 2017

Cauldrons, Top Knots and Sarcophagi

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The Suevian knot is supposedly known from several works of art.  Take these, for example:

Mušov cauldron

Czarnówko cauldron

Portonaccio sarcophagus

But here is the interesting thing.  These “Suevian knots” do not seem to be the kinds of knots that are described by Tacitus.  There is nothing dramatic about these hairstyles.  In fact, they seem to be fairly ordinary ways for managing overlong hair – just tie it at the side.  Some of the Germanic figures in the battle scene on the above sarcophagus have them but most do not.

But did not Tacitus talk about “Suevian knots”?  Yes, but in the wishful thinking of those eager to find proof in his words, researchers seem to have concluded that all these male hair knots must be the Tacitan Suevian knots.  What did Tacitus write again?

“Insigne gentis obliquare crinem nodoque substringere: sic Suevi a ceteris Germanis, sic Suevorum ingenui a servis separantur. In aliis gentibus seu cognatione aliqua Suevorum seu, quod saepe accidit, imitatione, rarum et intra iuventae spatium; apud Suevos usque ad canitiem horrentem capillum retro sequuntur. Ac saepe in ipso vertice religatur; principes et ornatiorem habent. Ea cura formae, sed innoxia; neque enim ut ament amenturve, in altitudinem quandam et terrorem adituri bella compti, ut hostium oculis, armantur.”

What does this mean?

“We must now speak of the Suebi, who do not, like the Chatti or the Tencteri, constitute a single nation. They occupy more than half Germany, and are divided into a number of separate tribes under different names, though all are called by the generic title of ‘Suebi’. It is a special characteristic of this nation to comb the hair sideways and tie it in a knot. This distinguishes the Suebi from the rest of the Germans, and, among the Suebi, distinguishes the freeman from the slave. Individual men of other tribes adopt the same fashion, either because they are related in some way to the Suebi, or merely because the imitative instinct is so strong in human beings; but even these few abandon it when they are no longer young. The Suebi keep it up till they are gray- headed; the hair is twisted back so that it stands erect, and is often knotted on the very crown of the head. The chiefs use an even more elaborate style. But this concern about their personal appearance is altogether innocent. These are no lovelocks to entice women to accept their advances. Their elaborate coiffure is intended to give them greater height, so as to look more terrifying to their foes when they are about to go into battle.”

So… is it sideways or upwards?  The words are crinem nodoque substringere. Let’s compare another translation:

“This people are remarkable for a peculiar custom, that of twisting their hair and binding it up in a knot. It is thus the Suevians are distinguished from the other Germans, thus the free Suevians from their slaves. In other nations, whether from alliance of blood with the Suevians, or, as is usual, from imitation, this practice is also found, yet rarely, and never exceeds the years of youth. The Suevians, even when their hair is white through age, continue to raise it backwards in a manner stern and staring; and often tie it upon the top of their head only. That of their Princes, is more accurately disposed, and so far they study to appear agreeable and comely; but without any culpable intention. For by it, they mean not to make love or to incite it: they thus dress when proceeding to war, and deck their heads so as to add to their height and terror in the eyes of the enemy.”

That is right. Nothing is done sideways.  Here is the deal… Tacitus clearly describes hair being raised up not sideways like some dead rat hanging from one’s head.  If you want to know what Tacitus describes, take a look at this famous work of metallurgy:To get to the point: he is describing a top knot:

even this is not exactly right (though better):

Thus, none of these (except that guy in a t-shirt) are sporting Tacitan Suevic knots.

And if you long for bright blond Suevi then you will be disappointed.  Take this guy:

Reddish-blond?

Sorry.  According to Peter Vilhelm Glob’s “The Bog People” the hair of the Osterby Man has been coloured a reddish brown by the acids in the bog; microscopic analysis showed that it had been dark blond and that the man had had some white hairs.

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August 27, 2017

Where Are They Now?

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Here is an interesting description of a medicine stamp found in England:

Note that our Ariovist the Oculist is named Vindacus.

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August 24, 2017

Return of the Halfbreeds

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Apparently the most recent attempt to make sense of the phrase Suevi non sunt nati sunt seminati comes from Ernst Erich Metzner (a German medievalist) in the collection Kulturgeschichtliche Daten zur Deutschmaehrischen Literatur (Amici Amico III – Metzner was born in  Czechoslowakia’s Sudetenland so this text is apparently part of some sort of bridge building).  Metzner’s interpretation is a bit half-assed but it is still better than most.

His view is essentially that whoever wrote the “mysterious” words referred to the entire list of tribes listed by the “Bavarian Geographer.”  Barring random scribbles that seems obvious though even this is admitting a lot.  Essentially, he is saying that for the writer of that scribble “Suevi” meant all the preceding tribes – the vast majority of whom are indisputably Slavs.

But after this auspicious beginning Metzner begins to rationalize.  He does not say that all of these are Slavs as he seems to find in some names “Restgermanen.”  He then says that the phrase Suevi are not born they are sown must refer not to “sown” as in seedlings but rather to mixed-blood Suevi.  Specifically, he says this must refer to a historical memory retained by the writer of those words that these East German lands were previously occupied by the Suevi and now they are occupied by some Restgermanen and by the Slavs and so the former are the “true” Suevi but they are now mixed up with the majority of the incoming Slavs and, therefore, they are, in effect, “halbgeborene” Suevi.  Whether Metzner means that these Slavs are Mischlinge or bastards or something along those lines is not entirely clear but that is where his logic seems to be heading.

It is not clear whether he thinks that “Slavs” is, in fact, a German name (a bastardization of Suevi, I suppose).  Such a view would be odd since the Sclavenes and Sclavi that invaded the Byzantine Empire would, presumably, in any telling of the “Slavs out of the East” story not have come into contact with the Suevi, if at all, until after the times of Procopius and Jordanes.  In any event, Metzner seems content to avoid the question.

Metzner believes that whoever the writer was must have been a Schwabe who was familiar with Tacitus and, as we know, “according to Tacitus “all the North and East Germans were in fact Suevi with the exception of the Bastarnae.” For this proposition Metzner points to Tacitus but the above citation is actually from Rudolf Much.  Much’s leanings were decidedly pan-Germanic but more importantly for the current point, the above statement is unsubstantiated by Tacitus.

As is well known, in chapter 46 Tacitus waffles as to where to put the Bastarnae (and the Veneti and the Fenni) – on the Germanic path or on the Sarmatian wagon.  But he notes that the Bastarnae or Peucini have the same language, customs and dwellings as the Germans and does not say anything – one way or the other – whether they were Suevi.

More importantly, Metzner may have actually bothered to examine chapter 38 of Germania which (along with the subsequent chapters) he cites.  Had he done so, he would have discovered some relevant information for the point he was trying to make. Specifically, a review of chapter 38 would have revealed that the point about Suevi being “halbgeboren” is implicit in the words of Tacitus – without needing to rely on a conjectured and unproven Slavic immigration into Germania.  Let us then quote Tacitus:    

“I must now speak of the Suevi, who are not one nation as are the Chatti and Tencteri, for they occupy the greater part of Germany, and have hitherto been divided into separate tribes with names of their own, though they are called by the general designation of ‘Suevi.'”

Thus, the Suevi are not “one” nation but rather many – they are Suevi and come from separate tribes.  Already here is open the possibility that there is no unifying principle as to who is part of the Suevi other than those who somehow become part of the club.  One thinks of the modern gangs or other types of groups where the name that inspires fear becomes used by other imitators – who are perhaps initially not related to the feared group.  Indeed, the same process, as we know, may have occurred with the Avars who may not have been the “true” Avars.  Later the Hungarians have called themselves Huns.  And so on.  Once again, however, all these processes may be gleaned from the words of Tacitus without the need to posit a very hypothetical Slavic migration.

I note again that there is zero proof as to what language the Suevi of Caesar and Tacitus spoke.   Plenty of articles on Suevic names on this site does provide circumstantial evidence that they may have spoken some something other than Germanic.  (Hell, we do not even know what language the Portuguese Suevi spoke!).

Whether or not the Glossator of the text was learned in Tacitus’ Germania is also hardly something that can be established based on that single note.

Finally, Peucini may well have a Slavic etymology – thus you have Pełka or Pełczyński.  The name was so Slavic sounding that the Communists even renamed the formerly German Bernstein with the name of Pełczyce.

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August 23, 2017

Further from Bosau

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To complete the Chronicle of the Slavs – previously showcased Book I here and now we’ve added Book II here.

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August 22, 2017

Nasuavs

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I’ve had the post about Suevic names up about two years ago.  These are the only Suevic names from prior to the fifth century,  About Ariovistus I wrote here.  About Veleda here.

What about some of the other names?  Are there similar Slavic versions?

  • Nasua – Suevic
    • Nasław (pronounced Nasuav) – Polish:
    • Naslav – Czech

What does this mean?  Well, obviously the 6th century invading Sclavi (Slavs or Suavs) who covered, inch by inch, the territory of the Teutonic Suevi (then Suavi) were able to find a few remaining Suevi that taught the Slavs what a proper name was (the Slavic Slavs probably ate their Teutonic teachers after that – the Teutons were, of course, delicious).

Or maybe this is different,  Maybe, the medieval Slavs read Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War and said, let’s name our kids after the anti-Roman protagonists?  That’s another highly=probably possibility.

But why not give some space to the experts.  Here is an entry on Nasua fromthe Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde volume 20.  The entry comes from Reinhard Wolters:

“In contrast to Cimberius, there is nothing to connect connect/associate the name Nasua with; whether this otherwise unattested proper name (?) is a Celtic or Germanic construct is debatable…”

But, you say, quite correctly, what about the German town of Nassau.  Well, Nassau is not exactly Nassua but even if it were the same, note that the first recorder appearance of that name is in 915 (in a gift made by Conrad I)  as Nassova.  Then we have Nassouva (1034), Nassove (1159), Nassaw (circa 1600) and Nassauw then Nassau.  What does Nassova mean?  The ridiculous claim that -ava has to mean water presumably would state that so does -ova.  So then we have, what, “wet” (nass) water?

what does the donation actually say:

curtem nostram Nassova nominatam, cum omnibus rebus magnis et parvis, in utroque latere fluminis Logene, in duobus illis comitatibus Sconenberg et Marvels iuste legitimeque ad eandem curtem pertinentibus, cum curtilibus aedificiis, macipiis utriusque sexus, terris cultis et incultis… in proprietatem donavimus…

curtis or cortis is supposed to mean villa (cors or chors).  Oddly, Nassova meaning “ours” looks like “nostram” even though that does not seem to be a translation.

Who lived there before the Franks?  We don’t know but perhaps the Usipi

Note that Cimber sounds like Szymbor, Czymbor or Sambor.  Bor means a forest but also meant a warrior.  Of course, it might have something to do with the Cimbri instead.

Even more interesting is the fact that in North America there were Nashaway (or Nashua) Indians of the Algonquian set of tribes.  See here about the Algonqiuan tribes.

On the borrowings between Germanic and Slavic see here and here.

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August 19, 2017

Limes Saxoniae

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We’ve already mentioned the following text from Tschan’s Adam of Bremen (Book 2, 15) but think its worth repeating and reviewing some names here since Tschan took some interpretative liberties with the text.  This is the description of the eastern limits of Saxony as set by Charlemagne (and “other emperor”) after the Slavs have been driven back by the Franks (now with Saxon help).

First, here is the Tschan translation

“We have also found that the boundaries of Saxony across the Elbe were drawn by Charles and other emperors as follows:  The first extends from the east bank of the Elbe up to the rivulet which the Slavs call Boize.  From that stream the line runs through the Delvunder wood up to the Delvenau River.  And so it goes on to the Hornbecker Muehlen-Bach and to the source of the Bille, thence to Liudwinestein and Weisbirken and Barkhorst.  Then it passes on through Suederbeste to the Trave woods and again through this forest to Blunk.  Next it goes to the Tensfelder Au and ascends directly up to the ford called Agrimeswidil.  At that place, too, Burwid fought a duel with a Slavic champion and slew him; and a memorial stone has been put in that spot.  Thence the line runs up, going to the Stocksee, and thus on to the Zwentifeld lying to the East as far as the Schwentine River itself.  Along the latter stream the Saxon boundary goes down to the Scythian Lake and to the sea they call the Eastern Sea.”

Here is the Latin

Invenimus quoque limitem Saxoniae, quae trans Albiam est, prescriptum et Karolo et imperatoribus ceteris, ita se continetem, hoc est:

Ab Albiae ripa orientali usque ad rivulum quem Sclavi Mescenreiza vocant, a quo sursum limes currit per silvam Delvunder usque in fluvium Delvundam. Sicque pervenit in Horchenbici et Bilenispring; inde ad Liudwinestein et Wispircon et Birznig progreditur. Tunc in Horbinstenon vadit usque in Travena silvam, sursumque per ipsam in Bulilunkin. Mox in Agrimeshou, et recto ad vadum, quod dicitur Agrimeswidil, ascendit. Ubi et Burwido fecit duellum contra campionem Sclavorum, interfecitque eum; et lapis in eodem loco positus est in memoriam. Ab eadem igitur aqua sursum procurrens terminus in stagnum Colse vadit; sicque ad orientalem campum venit Zuentifeld, usque in ipsum flumen Zuentinam. Per quem limes Saxoniae usque in pelagus Scythicum et mare, quod vocant orientale, delabitur. 

Here is the English translation of the Latin

“I’ve also discovered the description of the Saxon border, on the other side of the Elbe, that was laid down by Charlemagne and the other emperors.  The border runs as follows:

From the eastern shore of the Elbe to the rivulet that the Slavs call Mescenreiza.   From there the border runs up into the Delvun forest up until the river Delvunda.  From [that river] you come to the Horchenbici [wood] and the sources of the river Bilena.  From there you go further to the Ludwin stone and Wispircon [white birches?] and Birznig.  Then in Horbinstenon it runs until the Travena forest, and then upwards through this [wood] in[to] Bulilunkin.  Soon thereafter in[to] Agrimeshou and straightaway climbing to the ford that is called Agrimeswidil.  There Burwido fought with a Slavic champion and killed him and there stands [too] a memorial stone to that event.  From this water the border runs upwards until it ends at the Colse pond;  and further to the east, you come to the field [called] Zuentifeld, until the very river Zuentina.  The Saxon border runs along it until it slides into the Scythian field/see and the sea that is called  the Eastern [sea].”

Thus we have

  • Albia
    • Elbe, Slavic Laba
  • Mescenreiza
    • name comes from miedzyrzecza, zwischenfluss, interamnium 
      • this suggestion comes from Friedrich Bangert (Spuren der Franken in the Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Niedersachsen)
    • which is it?
      • somewhere on the Elbe by Glüsing?
      • Bille – which means Sachesnwald on the Slavic side?
      • Boize or Boizena?
  • Delvunder forest
    • castrum in loco Delbende 822
  • Delvunda
    • near Lauenburg
  • Horchenbici
  • Bilenispring
  • Liudwinestein
  • Wispircon
  • Birznig
  • Horbinstenon
  • Travena forest
  • Bulilunkin
  • Agrimeshou
  • Agrimeswidil
  • Colse
  • Zuentifeld
  • Zuentina
  • Scythian field/see

Will try to trace this but in the meantime the 1880 map (Spruner-Menckes) above claims that that is the right border.

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August 17, 2017

Neighbors

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One of the more interesting medieval German books is the Sachsenspiegel which is beautifully illustrated and preserved in over 400 manuscripts.  It contains a number of passages about Slavs but, more relevantly for the current topic, it also makes the following reference to the Frankish or Saxon conquest of Thuringia (Landrecht III, 44):

“Unse vorderen die her to lande quamen unde die doringe verdreven. die hadden in allexandres here gewesen, mit erer helpe hadde he bedvungen al asiam.  Do alexander starf, do ne dorste sie sik nicht to dun in’me lande, durch des landes hat, und scepeden mit dren hundert kelen; die verdorven alle up vier unde vestich.  Der selven quamen achteine to prutzen unde besaten dat; tvelve besaten rujan; vier unde tvintich quamen her to lande.  Do irer so vele nicht newas, dat sie den acker verdreven, do lieten sie die gebure sitten ungeslagen, unde bestadeden in den acker to alsogedaneme rechte, als in noch die late hebbet; dar af quamen die late.  Von den laten die sik verwarchten an irme rechte sint komen dagewerchten.”

The Doringe seem to be Thuringians.  Doringe, however, could just mean “those from over there” which would suggest a rather simple explanation for the Thuringian name.

Of course, the above also mentions the conquest of the Prussians and the Rugians (Rujani or Rani).

But let’s look at the gebure.  The gebure are local peasants.  There is, apparently, a gloss in some manuscripts that says these were Wends…

This has been rejected by Gaupp because Wends can’t be that far deep in Thuringia – only Thuringians and Saxons can be there – and so forth.  (check out Die germanischen Ansiedlungen und Landtheilungen in den Provinzen des Römischen Westreiches by Ernst Theodor Gaupp).

More interestingly, the Slavic word gbur is supposed to have come from the same (German) source.  It means a rustic, rude person.

First of all, as with many of these German “borrowings,” it’s not very clear that it is a borrowing at all.  The fact that it was first mentioned from the 16th century does not mean much since written works in Polish from before 1500 are few and far between.  To the extent anything was written it was usually written in Latin so the fact that Bruckner did not find it before 1500 does not mean that it was not already in use.

But what’s also interesting about this Germanic word is that Bur is, apparently, the same word as:

Bursche (young man)
Bauer (farmer, peasant)

and, even more interestingly, to neighbor which can be traced to the Old English neahgebur (West Saxon) or nehebur (Anglian) “neighbor,” from neah “near” (see nigh) plus gebur “dweller.”

The same word is related to bur as in “dwelling” – think “to burrow”.

And what about the various references to the Legii/Lygyi/Lugii Burii?  Were these neighbors too?

Speaking of neighbors, let’s look at how one says “neighbor” in various languages.  The following groupings are in no way scientific as should be obvious but… they are suggestive.

Germano-Finno-Estonian

neighbor
Nachbar (German)
nabo (Danish, Norwegian)
naaber (Estonian)
naapuri (Finnish)
buur or buurman (Dutch, Afrikans)

Latin

These are virtually all based on the the concept of “vicinity”:

vecino (Spanish)
voisin (French)
vizinho (Portuguese)
vicino (Italian)
vecin (Romanian)
veí (Catalan)

Baltico-Persico-Serbo-Turko-Irish!

hamsāye (Persian)
kaimynas (Lithuanian)
kaimiņš (Latvian)
komşu (Turkish)
qonşu (Azeri)
goňşy (Turkmen)
kòmšija (Serb/Croat – borrowing from Turkish)
comharsa (Irish!)
cymydog (Welsh)

All that sounds great but is this a stream of consciousness narrative or does any of this have anything to do with the Slavs?

Let’s try to bring this full circle.

Here is something neighborly suggesting “Russian“:

Latino-Urdo-Hindi

prossimo (Italian)
prossimu (Corsican)
paṛosī (Urdu)
paṛosī (Hindi)

Here is something neighborly suggesting “Antes/Antoi“:

Tamil

aṇṭai (Antes?)

Here is something neighborly suggesting the “Rani“:

Germano-Suahilic!

nágranni (Icelandic)
granne (Swedish)
jirani (Suahili!)

Perhaps this also sheds some light on why the Slavic Rugians were called Rani? Were they called that by themselves? Or only by others?  Note that Granni is also a form used by Jordanes.

And, to really come full circle here is something suggesting “Saxons“:

Slavic

sąsiad (Polish)
sosed (Slovene, Russian, Macedonian, Serb)
soused (Czech)
sused (Slovak, Lower Sorbian, Belarussian, Bulgarian)
susid (Ukrainian)
susod (Upper Sorbian)
susjed (Croatian, Bosnian)

we should include here the Hungarian as well as it looks like a borrowing:

szomszéd (Hungarian)

What does the Slavic name for “neighbor” (sąsiad in Polish) mean?  Well, Bruckner above thinks the są- is just a prefix meaning “from”.  And, indeed, such a prefix does appear in other words as seen above.  But is that what it means here?

Regarding “siad” – that part is clear.  The suffix just means “sat” or “there sat”.  But this is a bit odd since this form of the verb seems to be in the past tense.  Who sat?

Now, whether the Saxons derive their name from the God Saxnot or from a knife (sax) is beside the point.  What matters is that others – Slavs but also Irish and others referred to Saxons not with an “x” but with an “s” – that is:

  • Sasové (Czech)
  • Sasi (Polish)
  • Sasana (Celtic)

This makes some sense since the “x” is not the easiest to pronounce.  Indeed, that form (Saß/Sass) also survives in Germanic languages (and names).

So how would you say a Saxon sat there in Slavic?

Well, today, you might say: Sas siadł

Crazy?  And yet it is interesting.  You can almost hear someone warning:

“Don’t go there. There [tamSas siadł” or

“There be Saxons!”

(Ya know the guys with the sæxes!)

If this is correct, it answers a number of questions.  it means that:

  • the Saxons were from rather old times neighbors to Slavs
  • the Saxons “sat” near the Slavs, that is the Saxons were newcomers who “sat” next to already present Slavs; note that the Saxons are present – probably – in Ptolemy but otherwise make their historical appearance about the 4th century
  • since all Slavic languages have the above form of “neighbor,” since we have no evidence of Saxons coming anywhere into Europe other than from the North into Germany and since the Saxons never expanded further east than what is today’s Poland, it would seem that the eastern Slavs migrated West to East after the coming of the Saxons from Scandinavia.

The point is not whether this is true or not but that many a more prominent theory rests on foundations just as strong (or as weak) as the above .

P.S. The compiler of the Sachsenspiegel was Eike of Repgow.  And yes, Repgow aka Repkow aka Repchow aka Repchau aka Reppichau was originally a Slavic town as the name pretty clearly indicates.

P.S. 2 If you look at the above map, the first question that has to come to mind is what is east of the “Saxon coast”?  Which also raises the question of why was it that the Saxons decided to invade Britain all the way across the water rather than settling lands to the east?

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August 13, 2017

Äußerst Bedenkliche Dummheit

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I have previously written about the ridiculous idea which is consequently pushed forth by either blind, stupid or biased researchers that – no matter what one finds in the past it must be “Germanic”.  Thus, we have:

Personal names

  • Germanic personal name suffixes – mar, mer, mir
    • Slavic?  -mir (maybe! it could be Germanic!)
  • Germanic personal name suffixes – muesl
    • Slavic? – mysl (maybe! it could be Germanic!)
  • Germanic personal name suffixes – gast, gost, gaist, gaisus
    • Slavic? – gost (maybe! it could be Germanic!)

etc

Funerary rites

  • Germanic funerary rites – cremation, inhumation, anything else
    • Slavic funerary rites? – cremation (maybe! it could be Germanic!)

etc

Housing

  • Germanic – above the ground houses, in-ground hovels, no house (wanderers)
    • Slavic – in-ground hovels (maybe! they could be Germanic!)

etc

Tribes mentioned in the past

  • Germanic – all tribes of Germania – a Rassenpure environment includes Suevi, perhaps also the Veneti – there could be some pieces left that were Celtic
    • Slavic – none

etc


yes, sorry, the dumbasses are still at it

However, the most ridiculous suggestion to date has been from an archeologist mascarading as an anthropologist – Elisabeth Anna Kruger a doktorant at the Freie Universitat Berlin.

Her article actually suggests that anthropological data can not be used to tell Germans from Slavs either…

Why? Because, Germanics may not have been “pure” in an anthropological or genetic sense says the author.

She presumes to teach her Polish colleagues that ethnicity is not a function of race suggesting that they “move in an extremely questionable framework which strongly recalls the racial science of past years.”  What she, not so delicately, means is that this is politically incorrect and hence verboten.

Her uttering this takes real chutzpah.  For an (alleged) German to lecture a Pole about the dangers of “racial science” requires either a moral blindspot the size of a mellon or a mildly revolting level of cynicism.  But, as the Slavic parable goes, the man who screams “thief” and points at someone else, is usually the thief himself.

What she says is that all this kind of stuff can prove is that there was a continuity of settlement – not a continuity of ethnic groups.

Ok… let’s go with that, and then let’s review what German science tells us about the prehistory of Germania:

  • “Germans” lived like the much later Slavs
  • “Germans” were named like the much later Slavs
  • “Germans” had funerary rites like the much later Slavs

and now:

  • Germans looked like the much later Slavs*

(* note: the Germans that “looked” like Slavs are those from Poland and East Germany – as far as I know, no one has conducted similar studies in West Germany)

Combine this with the fact that there are no (zero, nada) sources suggesting any Slavic migration into Germany.

German conclusion:

  • Germania was occupied by Germanics only and Slavs came into Germania much later.

The illogic here is astounding.

I mean, if you really cannot tell a Slav from a German anthropologically, culturally, genetically and so forth, then how can you say that the people who lived in Germania were, what we would today call, German?

She accuses Polish anthropologists of (1) assuming that there can be a racial difference between Germanics and Slavs, (2) of assuming homogeneity of populations and (3) nationalist bias.

As to the first assertion…

But, of course, there can be differences.  In 90% of cases anyone from Europe could tell a Scandinavian from a Slav.  If there might be a confusion between Germans and Slavs, it is only because the former really are the latter (and just don’t, or don’t want to, know it).

As to the second claim…

Notwithstanding, Tacitus and many other eyewitness accounts she implies that the Germanic population was diverse, almost multiethnic… Of course, Tacitus did differentiate the Suevi from other Germans but that could not have been Slavs.  In fact, she seems to think Germania was home to every type of person (but seemingly didn’t include Slavs… except maybe their biological ancestors… say, what?).

In her worldview, it seems the Germanic label covers everything. At least all “Europid” (as she calls them) cases but, hey, maybe more.

I get the sense that if she were to find a black guy from the Roman times in Nurnberg, she’d either claim that you can’t ever tell between blacks and whites and Asians or, better yet, that Germanics included Slavs, blacks, Asians, etc – we are human after all – or, more properly, Germanic, so that kind of makes sense.  And haven’t the Germans been in Africa? (oh, yes, those reparations…)  Romans? Germanic.  Romulans? No problem – Germanic.

As to the third accusation…

She accuses Polish anthropologists of having a nationalist bias… all the while implying that Germania in its totality was occupied by Germanics only (Germans who looked like Slavs but never you mind that).

We can deal with dumb people.  We can deal with arrogant people.  But dumb and arrogant people no one should have to suffer.

You have to ask yourself, what if they found evidence of Roman era Slavic language in Germany?

Would that change her mind?  My guess is absolutely not – it would just prove that Germanic tribes spoke Germanic dialects but also spoke Slavic.  (It’s not just muscles that an Uebermensch make). After all, don’t most Indians and Europeans speak an Indo-Germanic language?  Well, the Indians speak Indian languages and the Europeans speak Germanic variants so there you have it.

The most irksome assertion of hers, however, is that Polish anthropologists are falling into Rassenkunde theories.  One wonders what exactly is the problem here?  That, what, WWII happened?  Yes, thanks a lot for that.  All that proves is the well-known German tendency to take things to an extreme usually results in shit happening.

In other words, just because some German took a knife and went around stabbing Slavs, does not mean that from now on Slavs are obligated to ban all knives and try to slice their kielbasa with a chopstick (she might even ask us to ban kielbasa…).

Kruger appears to be a product of this weird amalgam of political correctness combined with a German sense of superiority.  The people who delivered the “best” Christians, the “best” Romantics, the “best” nationalists, the “best” fascists, the “best” Communists are now delivering the “best” democrats and multiculturalists.  The ideologies change like wind but the demeanor is constant.

This is also exhibited by her noting how backward Polish archeological discourse is – the Germans no longer derive themselves from Germanic tribes so Slavs should not either – it’s so passé.  But here is the thing: Germans are partly derived from those Germanic (as in Nordic) tribes. The only thing is they’ve been forbidden to actually think that because people familiar with where that thinking goes did not want German egos to get overinflated for obvious reasons to which Kruger alludes herself.  No matter what you would like to believe, ideas do not seem to be abused the same way when spouted by other peoples.  Don’t know why that is but German culture seems to be special that way – and no amount of self-therapy along the lines of believing that “other people can fall for these demons too” will make that go away.  There is only one way to address the underlying problem – don’t try to be the most extreme in whatever the “in” thing currently is… (The pessimist in me has a feeling though that Germans could cloak even “moderation” in an extremist shroud).

To be perfectly honest, I could not care less where Slavs came from (if they came from anywhere), but the logic-imperviousnes demonstrated by some people is an indicator either of stupidity or of ideological zealotry.  We owe more to our ancestors than to acquiesce in that.

P.S. Kruger is hardly alone among Germans who promote similar transparently politically-motivated views.  Just look at the moronic statements of other political archeo-historians (one example is Walter Pohl – a man whose biggest claim to fame is fingering his chin (deep in thought) in every known public photo).  People like that prostitute the past of our ancestors to fit current political needs.  A century ago, their political need was Germanic expansionism.  Today they serve the interests of European statism/universalism.  But wie es eigentlich gewesen war, is to them scheißegal.

If you want to take a step in the right direction, ask yourself first what do you think happened to the Suevi whose peoples covered most of Germania?

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August 9, 2017