A link to Jordanes. English version.
Getica: How close this text comes to the thruth is hard to say. There can be severel motives for the writer. Hovever it is one of the closest sources of the time of the Visigoth or the Thervingi that excist hovever far it is in time from the actual event. It is also said to be a copy of another document written closer to the events. That can both make it more believeble, but also less, since errors might have occured copying the document. (Other Comments too this will be appreciated)
De origine actibusque Getarum (The Origin and Deeds of the Getae/Goths[n 1]), or the Getica, written in Late Latin by Jordanes (or Jornandes) in 551, claims to be a summary of a voluminous account by Cassiodorus of the origin and history of the Gothic people, which is now lost. However, we cannot assess the extent to which Jordanes actually used the work of Cassiodorus (see the discussion below on the sources also used by Jordanes). It is significant as the only remaining contemporaneous resource that gives the full story of the origin and history of the Goths. Another aspect of this work is its information about the early history and the customs of Slavs.
Because the original work of Cassiodorus has not survived, the work of Jordanes is one of the most important sources for the period of the migration of the European tribes, and the Ostrogoths and Visigoths in particular, from the 3rd century CE. Cassiodorus had claimed to have the Gothic "folk songs" — carmina prisca (Latin) — as an important source; recent scholarship regards this as highly questionable.[page needed] Its main purpose was to give the Gothic ruling class a glorious past, to match the past of the senatorial families of Roman Italy.
The Thervingi, Tervingi, or Teruingi (sometimes pluralised "Tervings" or "Thervings") were a Gothic people of the Danubian plains west of the Dnestr River in the 3rd and 4th Centuries CE. They had close contacts with the Greuthungi, another Gothic people from east of the Dnestr River, as well as the Late Roman Empire (or early Byzantine Empire).
The name "Thervingi" may mean "forest people". This is supported by evidence that geographic descriptors were commonly used to distinguish people living north of the Black Sea both before and after Gothic settlement there, by evidence of forest-related names among the Thervingi, and by the lack of evidence for an earlier date for the name pair Thervingi-Greuthungi than the late third century. The name "Thervingi" may have pre-Pontic, Scandinavian, origins.
The Thervingi first appeared in history as a distinct people in the year 268 when they invaded the Roman Empire. This invasion overran the Roman provinces of Pannonia and Illyricum and even threatened Italia itself. However, the Thervingi were defeated in battle that summer near the modern Italian-Slovenian border and then routed in the Battle of Naissus that September. Over the next three years they were driven back over the Danube River in a series of campaigns by the emperors Claudius II Gothicus and Aurelian. However, they maintained their hold on the Roman province of Dacia, which Aurelian evacuated in 271.
The division of the Goths is first attested in 291. The Thervingi are first attested around that date. Their first mention occurs in a eulogy of the emperor Maximian (285–305), delivered in or shortly after 291 (or perhaps delivered at Trier on 20 April 292) and traditionally ascribed to Claudius Mamertinus, which says that the "Thervingi, another division of the Goths" (Tervingi pars alia Gothorum) joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae. The term "Vandals" may have been erroneous for "Victohali" because around 360 the historian Eutropius reports that Dacia was currently (nunc) inhabited by Taifali, Victohali, and Thervingi.
Gothic War (367–369)
In 367, the Roman Emperor Valens attacked the Thervingi north of the Danube river. However, he was unable to hit them directly, because apparently the bulk of the Goths retreated to the Montes Serrorum (which is probably the south Carpathians). Ammianus Marcellinus says that Valens could not find anyone to fight with (nullum inveniret quem superare poterat vel terrere) and even implies that all of them fled, horror-struck, to the mountains (omnes formidine perciti... montes petivere Serrorum). In the following year, the flooding of the Danube prevented the Romans from crossing the river. In 369, Valens penetrated deep into the Gothic territory, winning a series of skirmishes with Greuthungi (and possibly Thervingi, too). A peace was concluded afterwards. Further reading for this episode: Heather, Peter, 1996, The Goths, Oxford, Clarendon Press, p. 62; Heather, Peter, 1991, Goths and Romans 332-489, Oxford, Clarendon Press, p. 86; Heather, Peter & Matthews, John, 1991, Goths in the Fourth Century, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, pp. 17–26.
Gothic War (376–382)
Main article: Gothic War (376–382)
The Thervingi remained in western Scythia (probably modern Moldavia and Wallachia) until 376, when one of their leaders, Fritigern, appealed to the Roman emperor Valens to be allowed to settle with his people on the south bank of the Danube. Here, they hoped to find refuge from the Huns. Valens permitted this. However, a famine broke out and Rome was unwilling to supply them with the food they were promised nor the land; open revolt ensued leading to 6 years of plundering and destruction throughout the Balkans, the death of a Roman Emperor and the destruction of an entire Roman army. The Battle of Adrianople in 378 was the decisive moment of the war. The Roman forces were slaughtered; the Emperor Valens was killed during the fighting, shocking the Roman world and eventually forcing the Romans to negotiate with and settle the Barbarians on Roman land, a new trend with far reaching consequences for the eventual fall of the Roman Empire.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclop
Detail of the votive crown of Reccesuinth from the Treasure of Guarrazar, hanging in Madrid. The hanging letters spell [R]ECCESVINTUS REX OFFERET [King R. offers this].
The eagles represented on these fibulae from the 6th century were a popular symbol among the Goths. Similar fibulae have been found in Visigothic graves in Spain. (The Walters Art Museum) The Visigoths (UK: /ˈvɪzɪˌɡɒθs/; US: /ˈvɪzɪˌɡɑːθs/, Latin: Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, or Wisi) were branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread during the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, or the Migration Period. The Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups (possibly the Thervingi) who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. The Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. Their long history of migration led the Visigoths to compare themselves to the Biblical Hebrew people who purportedly wandered for forty years in the Sinai Desert. After the Visigoths sacked Rome, they began settling down, first in southern Gaul and eventually in Spain and Portugal, where they founded the Kingdom of the Visigoths.
The Visigoths first settled in southern Gaul as foederati of the Romans - a relationship established in 418. However, they soon fell out with their Roman hosts (for reasons that are now obscure) and established their own kingdom with its capital at Toulouse. They next extended their authority into Hispania at the expense of the Suevi and Vandals. In 507, however, their rule in Gaul was ended by the Franks under Clovis I, who defeated them in the Battle of Vouillé. After that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, and they never again held territory north of the Pyrenees other than Septimania. A small, elite group of Visigoths came to dominate the governance of that region at the expense of those who had previously ruled there, particularly in the Byzantine province of Spania and the Suebic Kingdom of Galicia.
In or around 589, the Visigoths under Reccared I converted from Arianism to Nicene Christianity, gradually adopting the culture of their Hispano-Roman subjects. Their legal code, the Liber iudiciorum (completed in 654) abolished the longstanding practice of applying different laws for Romans and Visigoths. Once legal distinctions were no longer being made between Romani and Gothi, they became known collectively as Hispani. In the century that followed, the region was dominated by the Councils of Toledo and the episcopacy (Little else is known about the Visigoths' history during the 7th century, since records are relatively sparse.) In 711 or 712, a force of invading Arabs and Berbers defeated the Visigoths in the Battle of Guadalete. Their king and many members of their governing elite were killed, and their kingdom rapidly collapsed. Gothic identity survived, however, especially in Marca Hispanica and the Kingdom of Asturias, which had been founded by the Visigothic nobleman Pelagius after his victory over the Moors at the Battle of Covadonga.
During their governance of the Kingdom of Hispania, the Visigoths built several churches that survive. They also left many artifacts, which have been discovered in increasing numbers by archaeologists in recent times. The Treasure of Guarrazar of votive crowns and crosses is the most spectacular. They founded the only new cities in western Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire until the rise of the Carolingians. Many Visigothic names and surnames are still in use in modern Spanish and Portuguese. Their most notable legacy, however, was the Visigothic code of law, the Liber iudiciorum, which served, among other things, as the basis for court procedure in most of Christian Iberia until the Late Middle Ages, centuries after the demise of the kingdom.
There was a religious gulf between the Visigoths, who had for a long time adhered to Arianism, and their Catholic subjects in Hispania. The Iberian Visigoths continued to be Arians until 589. For the role of Arianism in Visigothic kingship, see the entry for Liuvigild.
There were also deep sectarian splits among the Catholic population of the peninsula. The ascetic Priscillian of Avila was martyred by orthodox Catholic forces in 385, before the Visigothic period, and the persecution continued in subsequent generations as "Priscillianist" heretics were rooted out. At the very beginning of Leo I's pontificate, in the years 444-447, Turribius, the bishop of Astorga in León, sent to Rome a memorandum warning that Priscillianism was by no means dead, reporting that it numbered even bishops among its supporters, and asking the aid of the Roman See. The distance was insurmountable in the 5th century. Nevertheless Leo intervened, by forwarding a set of propositions that each bishop was required to sign: all did. But if Priscillianist bishops hesitated to be barred from their sees, a passionately concerned segment of Christian communities in Iberia were disaffected from the more orthodox hierarchy and welcomed the tolerant Arian Visigoths. The Visigoths scorned to interfere among Catholics but were interested in decorum and public order. The Arian Visigoths were also tolerant of Jews, a tradition that lingered in post-Visigothic Septimania, exemplified by the career of Ferreol, Bishop of Uzès (died 581).
In 589, King Reccared (Recaredo) converted his people to Catholicism. With the Catholicization of the Visigothic kings, the Catholic bishops increased in power, until, at the Fourth Council of Toledo in 633, they took upon themselves the nobles' right to select a king from among the royal family. Visigothic persecution of Jews began after the conversion to Catholicism of the Visigothic king Reccared. In 633 the same synod of Catholic bishops that usurped the Visigothic nobles' right to confirm the election of a king declared that all Jews must be baptised.
Arianism is the nontrinitarian, theological teaching attributed to Arius (c. AD 250–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of God the Father to the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Arius asserted that the Son of God was a subordinate entity to God the Father. Deemed a heretic by the Ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325, Arius was later exonerated in 335 at the regional First Synod of Tyre, and then, after his death, pronounced a heretic again at the Ecumenical First Council of Constantinople of 381. The Roman Emperors Constantius II (337–361) and Valens (364–378) were Arians or Semi-Arians.
The Arian concept of Christ is that the Son of God did not always exist, but was created by—and is therefore distinct from—God the Father. This belief is grounded in the Gospel of John (14:28) passage: "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."
Arianism is defined as those teachings attributed to Arius, supported by the Council of Rimini, which are in opposition to the post-Nicaean Trinitarian Christological doctrine, as determined by the first two Ecumenical Councils and currently maintained by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, all Reformation-founded Protestant churches (Lutheran, Reformed/Presbyterian, and Anglican), and a large majority of groups founded after the Reformation and calling themselves Protestant (such as Methodist, Baptist, most Pentecostals). Modern Christian groups which may be seen as espousing some of the principles of Arianism include Unitarians, Oneness Pentecostals, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Iglesia ni Cristo and Branhamism, though the origins of their beliefs are not necessarily attributed to the teachings of Arius. "Arianism" is also often used to refer to other nontrinitarian theological systems of the 4th century, which regarded Jesus Christ—the Son of God, the Logos—as either a created being (as in Arianism proper and Anomoeanism), or as neither uncreated nor created in the sense other beings are created (as in Semi-Arianism).
The acceptense of Arianisme as their religious faith was also a way of not coming under the control of Rome. If they had been catholics this would have been the case. This way they maintained a degree of indepense. It can therefor be seen as a political move to convert to this kind of Christianity. On top of that Arianisme fittet better into their former believes and the way their sociaty was constructed. (Comment by Anette Boye)
- Herwig Wolfram, History of the Goths (1990).
- The Cambridge Ancient History: Volume 12, The Crisis of Empire, AD 193-337, edited by Alan Bowman, Peter Garnsey, Averil Camero (2005).