Ancient warfare, Decius, Germanic peoples, Germanics, Goths, Greece, Greek, Heruls, Military history, Thermopylae
[artwork by Igor Dzis]
Fragments of an ancient Greek text telling of an invasion of Greece by the Goths during the third century A.D. have been discovered in the Austrian National Library. The text includes a battle fought at the pass of Thermopylae.
Researchers used spectral imaging to enhance the fragments, making it possible to read them. The analysis suggests the fragments were copied in the 11th century A.D. and are from a text that was written in the third-century A.D. by an Athens writer named Dexippus. During Dexippus’ life, Greece (part of the Roman Empire) and Rome struggled to repel a series of Gothic invasions.
Ancient warfare, Germanic peoples, Germanics, Goths, Greece, Greek, Heruls, Military history, palimpsest, Thermopylae
Republication from Τhe History blog
Germanic warriors battling Romans (Teutoburg Forest). In my view, the Greek combatants who confronted them would have been armed like the earlier Roman auxilia of the 2nd century AD (in the mid-3rd century AD there were no longer auxilia from the Empire’s populace because they were all citizens) bearing chain mail armour, scuta (thyreos-shields in Greek) and heavy Roman swords but with helmets of traditional Hellenic types (image and comment added by periklisdeligiannis.wordpress.com)
The leaves of books in the Middle Ages were made of parchment and vellum, created from animal skins in an expensive and time-consuming craft. It was so costly that scribes often recycled pages from earlier books, removing the ink to create a blank sheet. In the early Middle Ages, the ink was washed off and over time the shadow of former writing reappeared like a pentimento in a painting. In the later Middle Ages, they used pumice powder to scrape the ink away for good.
Ancient warfare, Battle of Adrianople, Byzantine, Constantinople, Goth, Goths, medieval warfare, Military history, Ostrogoth, Poland, Romans, Rome, Scandinavia, Sweden, Visigoths
By Periklis Deligiannis
Earlier related article: BIRTH OF THE STORMERS OF ROME: ON THE GOTHIC ETHNOGENESIS AND MIGRATIONS
After the carnage of the Roman army in the Battle of Adrianople (AD 378), the new emperor Theodosius checked as possible the Visigoths until AD 382 when he came to an agreement with them, formally accepting their settlement in the Roman territory as foederati (dependent allies). The Goths joined en masse the Eastern Roman army which was decimated after the defeat at Adrianople. They soon acquired considerable political influence in the court of Constantinople. It is characteristic that a Goth, the famous Gainas (Gaenas), came up to all the offices – one by one – of the military hierarchy and ultimately tried to seize the imperial throne, but without success. The Eastern Romans (Early Byzantines) realized the mortal danger of the Goths that was threatening the Empire and reacted violently. An intense anti-Germanic feeling prevailed in Constantinople and in a few years most Goths had been expelled from the administration and the military. Later, the Byzantines settled many Goths in Asia Minor (in the territory of the later thema of Opsikion) who were gradually Hellenized and were called Gotthograeci (Gotho-Greeks).
Until recently the modern historians used to believe that the historical Visigoths were the descendants of the Western Goths of Gutthiunta and that the Ostrogoths originated from the Eastern Goths of Hermanaric. During the last decades it was ascertained that these correlations were not correct. The Visigoth tribal union was formed around the time of the battle of Adrianople, possibly in the eve of the battle, when the Thervingi combined forces with a portion of the Greuthungi who had escaped from the Hunnish yoke and with other barbarian groups. The Ostrogoth tribal union was formed a few decades later (around AD 400) when the rest scattered Greuthungi and other Gothic-German and Sarmatian groups (namely the Goths of the Amali Dynasty and later the Goths of Theuderic-Strabo, of Radagaesus, some Alan groups and others) joined forces. However, most modern books, studies and disquisitions continue to use anachronistically the ethnic terms Visigoths and Ostrogoths for the historical events before 378.
Ancient warfare, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Byzantine, Constantinople, Goths, medieval warfare, Military history, Poland, Romans, Rome, Scandinavia, Sweden, Thrace
By Periklis Deligiannis
These Scandinavian warriors are almost identical with their Gothic relatives because of their unity of culture. The weaponry of the Scandinavians/Vikings was in fact originated from the arms and armor of their Germanic kinsmen in the main European continent , especially from those of the Eastern Teutonic tribes.
The Goths lived and fought in most parts of the European continent. From the dense frosty forests of Scandinavia and contemporary Poland, and the frigid Baltic Sea, to the warm civilized countries of Greece, Italy and the Mediterranean, and from the vast grasslands of Ukraine and the Black Sea to the Iberian Atlantic coast, their martial migration course is a truly unparalleled feat. Their Vandal brothers managed to colonize North Africa, while other Gothic branches settled in Britain (Jutes) and Asia Minor. The History of the Goths is one of the most exciting in general World History, while their admirable martial art brought the Dawn of Chivalry in Europe.
The modern theories on the ethnogenesis of the Goths are divided. The best known view (supported mainly by modern Teutonic historians and scholars) considers them of pure Germanic origins, originating from Gotland (“Land of the Goths“), i.e. modern South-Central Sweden and the adjacent long island of the same name. This view is supported by a number of medieval sources. However, there is also the theory (supported mainly by modern Slav historians and scholars) that the Goths and the Vandals were indigenous non-Germanic peoples of modern Poland, who adopted their Germanic language from a Teutonic ethnic element sparsely settled in their area.