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Moved here from Talk:Heruls[edit]

The title 'Heruliis' is wrong and should be changed to 'Heruls' or/and 'Eruli'. This people is usually called Heruls in the literature, but the Latin name Eruli is also widely used, while the form 'Heruliis' is a wrong mixture of the two names. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:15, June 2, 2004‎ (UTC)

I've moved it to Heruls, with a redirect at Eruli. But there is also a (larger) article at Heruli. These two articles should be merged, but I don't know under which article name. Eugene van der Pijll 10:54, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC), Bartylby, and Encarta all prefer Heruli. Heruls gets a few hundred Google hits. Heruli gets a few thousand. I'm merging them at Heruli. Quadell (talk) 18:37, Jul 13, 2004 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

I removed the following, since I couldn't confirm it, and it was questioned in the past. If there are any sources for this, please let me know.

<!--is the following more than fantasy?-->Organized as "wolf-packs", each pack of no more than a dozen or so was lead by two older males, an alpha- and beta-wolf. Younger men (aged approximately 15-21) comprised the retinue of the two wolf-leaders. After their summer-long (from April 31 to October 31) training in military, genealogy, cultic practice, sexuality, and other items necessary to social order, the youths were initiated into full manhood when they had killed another man in battle, or had killed a wild boar or large bear in the hunt. Exclusively foot-soldiers, the Heruli were a nomadic tribe who used horses only for moving their camps. A particularly frightening tactic of the Heruli which amazed the Romans, was that they were so fast on foot that they would team up with a horse-riding warrior, hang on to the mane of the horse with their left hand, wield their swords with their right hand, and charge into battle, running as fast as the horse directly into the fray. Several of these names also have homosexual innuendo, such as Hrozaz ("Agile"), Uha ("Big One"), Sa Wilag ("The Wily"), Wagigaz ("Audacious"), Wiwila ("Little Slave"), and Ubaz ("Mischievous").

Quadell (talk) 19:09, Jul 13, 2004 (UTC)

This text is complete fantasy. There is no historical source to support any of this. Even the personal names are made up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:22, November 9, 2004‎ (UTC)
I have restored my alleged "fantasy" along with the superb academic reference I drew it from. I also have included a complete list of all known "erilaZ" inscriptions, transcriptions, translations, and some commentary, to show that the names were not "made up". And I added all the classical sources at the bottom, with full references, since I have read and translated all of these from the Latin and Greek. Connell O'Donovan, UC Santa Cruz, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, January 24, 2005‎ (UTC)

Recent text removal[edit]

An anonymous user recently deleted a lot of text without explaining why. I have no idea if the deleted text was accurate or inaccurate, but if anyone knows more than I do, please, fill me in. I'm not sure if the deletions should be reverted or not. Quadell (talk) 00:03, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)

Think of them as pubescents with hockey sticks "accirentally" sweeping canned goods off the shelves of the Seven-Eleven. Wetman 00:10, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The removed text was entirely wrong. It reported speculative, outdated and simply wrong information about the Heruls. The current text is not ideal, but it is much stronger and much more reliable than the old version, which included wrong information about runic inscriptions, Herulic battle tactics etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:56, November 9, 2004‎ (URC)

Jordanes reference repeatedly erased[edit]

The following statement apparently offends Anonymous User: who has repeatedly suppressed it:

The 6th century chronicler Jordanes reports a tradition that they had been driven out of their homeland long before by the Dani, which would have located their origins in present-day Denmark. Whether Jordanes was correct or not, the statement is a statement of fact. I won't reinsert it again. I expect some nationalist program at work here, not some advanced historical understanding.

Wetman 15:47, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have no idea why, but there are Scandinavians who have political and ideological problems with Jordanes, due to an exaggerated glorification of Scandinavia based on Jordanes in the past (see for instance this article Geatish Society). The reaction was severe and it still makes this field rather infected.--Wiglaf 20:07, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The problem is that the statement is wrongly interpreted. To be precise, the interpretation is long outdated. Scholars like H. Wolfram have shown that the statement does not refer to the distant past, but to some confused recent events, or according to Christensen was inserted for political reasons. At any rate, the statement says nothing about the origins of the Heruls. Secondly, if the statement was correct and had refered to ancient times, this would not place their origins in modern Denmark, since Dani likely lived mostly in souther Sweden and the Danish isles, but not on Jutland at the time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 135:16, November 9, 2004‎ (UTC)
The problem, quite to the contrary, is that Jordanes' statement has been suppressed, not that it is wrongly interpreted here at Wikipedia. This 6th century historian's errors would be discussed rather than suppressed by any honest contributor. Dishonest justification of a dishonest action. --Wetman 14:38, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It is a fact that both Jordanes and Procopius talked about a Scandinavian origin. A small number of modern scholars may question this, but it is dishonest to remove such information, as Wetman says.--Wiglaf 18:34, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
BTW, Wolfram sounds like he is presenting a hypothesis that is even harder to prove than the Scandinavian origins.--Wiglaf 20:26, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. In areas where we know as little as we do about the Heruli, every scrap of primary evidence should be presented, whether it seems garbled or not. Then follow this with critical commentary on those scraps. The summary by User: indicated that Wolfram has one theory and Christensen as another. The proper course, if these theories have any following, is to improve the article by summarizing those theories. Also, nowhere in the article is Jutland mentioned. I don't see the relevance of that point. Jallan 14:53, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I have changed the chapter about the origin, which has been discussed earlier. I have respected the argument that it is necessary to refer to Jordanes, but Wiglaf & Co. should read the sources before they change again by referring to Jordanes. Two times the Danes were for the first time in the history mentioned in these Byzanteen sources at an interval of two years in the same city – both times together with the Heruli. None of these people were mentioned in Scandinavia by the earlier Roman historians. How possible is it that these two sources should be mentioning two different events separated by 300 years - and how could Jordanes know anything about that? The mistake was an outdated German interpretation by Much which made the Heruls a Scandinavian people – making it possible for Ludwig Schmidt to call them “ein echtes Herrenvolk” in 1933. Thorgisl (talk) 20:53, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Procopius doesn't say anything about a Scandinavian origin. He only states that some of the Heruli took refuge in Thule (i.e. the Scandinavian peninsula) when their kingdom in central Europe was defeated by the Lombards. And, IMO, what Jordanes says about Scandza must be taken as an account of the situation in the 6th century. The passage about the Dani and Heruli must therefore be referring to a recent event. -- Mark_TG 09:58, 1 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
The "Origins" section of the article, with changes by Thorgisl, is perfect, but why is it still stated in the first sentence that the Heluli migrated from Scandinavia? -- Mark_TG 10:25, 1 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Quality of Heruli article[edit]

I have several times tried to improve the Heruli article by deleting speculative and outdated information about their supposed Scandinavian origins, their mastery of runes and their battle tactics. The first assertation is impossible to demonstrate on the basis of the available sources and should not be stated so firmly as some people seem to wish. They may have come from Scandinavia or northern Germany, but the fact is that we have no way of knowing. The assertation that the Heruls were rune masters who formed the elite of Scandinavia and that the Scandinavian title Jarl is derived from their name is simply wrong. The title Jarl is derived from an IE word for 'free man' and there is no evidence that the Heruls in south east Europe ever used runes. Finally, we know nothing about their battle tactics. Procopius, reports that the Heruls who served in the Roman army were typically employed as lightly armed infantry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, November 9, 2004‎ (UTC)

Jarl did not mean "free man", it meant "chieftain". You're confusing the word with karl. You assert that there is no way of knowing their origins. You could begin with what early medieaval scholars considered to be their origins and you're closer than not knowing at all. Even though, a small number of German and American scholars question the Scandinavian origin of some Germanic tribes, modern scholarship still generally considers Southern Scandinavia (often including Northern Germany) to have been the origin of the Germanic tribes. If you disagree with some of the information, try to expand the discussion rather than removing what does not fit your picture of the Heruli.--Wiglaf 18:48, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Certainly, the term Jarl became to mean chieftain, but the IE root is derived from eril, meaning free man. Your assertation that the writing of early medieval authors would automatically bring you closer to the truth is wrong. In many cases it takes you further from the truth as the recent controversial discussions of Jordanes and Procopius have shown. You really need to familiarise yourself with the academic literature when you want to discuss these question or even edit an article on the Heruls. Secondly, the assertation that the Germanic people originated in Scandinavia has been rejected by mainstream scholarship already some 30 years ago. Most recent in this line of research is the voluminous study by Prof. Udolph who refutes this assertation on linguistic grounds. Other work has shown that also on archaeological grounds a Scandinavian origin of the Germanic people has to be rejected. Thirdly, I think this is a dictionary not a discussion board. As professional historian I can contribute to this topic, but I cannot expand an article which is ridden with speculation and outdated information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:35, November 14, 2004‎ (UTC) (Anonymous contribution from un-logged-in, whose single recent edit can be inspected at theb page History) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wetman (talkcontribs) 14:44, November 14, 2004‎ (UTC)
Thanks! It is good that you are a professional historian and consequently you would probably not mind answering these points:
  1. Can you provide any references about the Eril root, because it sounds very interesting? I have tried to look for it in my works of reference and it is oddly missing. --Wiglaf 16:09, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
See for example, Krahe/Meid "Wortbildungslehre", or G. Neuman "Heruler - Philologisches, Der Name" in RGA, Letter H. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, November 14, 2004‎ (UTC)
Two German sources. Why does not for instance the AHD note this root in its extensive list of roots?--Wiglaf 18:52, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  1. Moreover, you claims of rejection sound quite unfamiliar because mainstream archaeologists are very wary of connecting ethnicity to archaeological cultures. Even though, I have studied a lot of archaeology, I am quite unfamiliar with such discourse. Can you name more than one archaeologist who makes these rejections? --Wiglaf 16:09, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
As you probably know, we can speak of Germanic only since the first sound shift of around 500BC. The first Iron age culture that can be linked with clearly Germanic culture is the Jastorf culture in North Germany. Please refer to the large body of Jastorf literature to glean the mainstream view on this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, November 14, 2004‎ (UTC)
So what about the southern half of Scandinavia?--Wiglaf 18:52, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  1. Udolph is one scholar. In what way does he represent modern linguistics? If you go to the Goth discussion Linguistlist, you'll see that your claims of rejection are spurious[1]. --Wiglaf 16:09, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Discussion groups are hardly the source from which to optain a qualified view. Please refer to the latest RGA entries on East Germanic, Germanic etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, November 14, 2004‎ (UTC)
The people at Linguistlist do not have less credibility than an anonymous contributor at Wikipedia.--Wiglaf 20:24, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  1. If that was your single edit, why did you need to state it?
I'd be grateful if you'd like to fill in on these questions.--Wiglaf 16:09, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
PS: Hooker (1996):
Archaeologists put the geographical origin of the Germanic peoples in southern Scandinavia and northern Germany. There, they developed a warrior culture that was essentially democratic in character. As they migrated south and east, this democratic warrior society developed into a kingship and, as they came in contact with the Romans and Romanized Celts, they developed further aristocratic classes among the warriors and nobility.[...] The Goths originally migrated from Scandinavia and from there migrated south into Europe and east into southern Russia (some of their descendants still live in the Crimean area). The reason for this migration are unclear, but the standard, default interpretation is that they were pressured by overpopulation.[2]
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Wiglaf (talkcontribs) 15:46, November 14, 2004‎ (UTC)
That is not very controversial. In the past scholars believed the Germanic people originated in Scandinavia today the evidence emanating from the work on the Jastorf culture combined with linguistic studies points more to Northern Germany, but for an author like Hooker is safer to include the whole region. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, November 14, 2004‎ (UTC)
You again claim that the Jasdorf culture is the only relevant part of the Pre-Roman Iron Age. I rest my case.--Wiglaf 18:52, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)


One person has written an excellent article on the Heruls (14.11.04) (at least much better than what was there), which Wiglaf seems to have deleted or replaced by the old artilce, which is really quite bad. Wiglaf seems to be very insistent on his views. Why is that? The modern literature really shows that a Scandinavian origin of the Heruls cannot be postulated on the basis of the historical sources. I would like to see the new article of 14.11 on the Wikipedia, which is accurate and balanced. Thanks Claudia:-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:59, November 15, 2004‎ (UTC)

Dear Claudia, I am very sorry that you consider the article to convey my views. If you had read a little further down, you would have seen that I have only added info about Procopius. Moreover, thanks for confirming the veracity of the version I removed. We have had a lot of vandalism by anonymous users who remove the myths/histories provided by Procopius and Jordanes (considering your IP number, you are one of them). This is very much against the purpose of Wikipedia. You are free to edit the page as you wish as long as you don't arbitrarily remove information to fit your views (i.e. vandalizing the page). I will unwatch this article for a while and return in a few weeks. If the info about Procopius and Jordanes is gone, I will add it where I see fit, and then we can discuss my views and yours.--Wiglaf 15:31, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
First of all, I have no knowledge about this subject at all. All I can say relates only to customs on Wikipedia. Typically, when an article is "really quite bad", the first step in dealing with it is for those who see specific errors to correct them, hopefully in a way that is small and simple enough that others can easily view the difference and decide about it. If the errors are not solvable in this way, then, before replacing the whole or large parts of the article, the person who noticed the errors would explain them on the Talk page, and probably also include the new version, so it could be examined and critiqued before it replaced the original. Claudia,(you might also sign in if you don't mind, as it would make it easier to contact you), would you mind doing this with the new version of the article you refered to? (I applogize if this has already been done below, and I didn't understand it because, as I said, I am ignorent of this specific subject) Thanks! JesseW 04:44, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Not only can a pan-Scandinavian origin be hypothesized, but so can other backgrounds to these tribes constantly called "German" (when the word "German" is so recent and has such a nationalistic tone to it. If we said that these tribes where Deutschlanders, would that go over? "German" used to be called "Teutonic," which was probably better, although neither connotes much. The Heruli were one of a vast number of tribes descending from the Hallstadt culture, through several phases, each studied archaeologically. We would know nothing about them if the Romans hadn't described them as one of the "barbarian hoards." But did the Romans say they were German? Nope. Someone wants to insert Germaness here - when the article should be neutral. The Heruli seem to have traits of Scandinavia, they also have elements in common with several other areas in Europe - and not particularly "German." Certainly, at a slightly later time, they appear to be proto-Slavic. Anyway, the article is a mess. I will correct some of the worst errors.--LeValley 04:59, 16 March 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by LeValley (talkcontribs)

"Harii" equal "Heruli"?[edit]

This text is a slender personal fantasy, not worthy of Wikipedia: Plinius and Tacitus (circa 95 CE) both mention Suebian tribes called the Harii or Hirri. That the Harii and the Heruli are basically synonymous is strongly evidenced by the fact that in the 500s when Salinga, daughter of the last Heruli king Rhodoulph (Honor-Wolf?), married Wacho, king of the Lombards, as his third polygynous wife, she named her son by him Walt-Hari - modern Walter - "ruler of the Hari/marauders". See both Prokopios and Paulus Diaconus for this episode. Also note that the common name Harold is identical as well, from Hari-Walt.) I have not removed it, however, as interfering in this article seems hopeless. But why not an article Harii? --Wetman 21:01, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"Slender personal fantasy, not worthy of Wikipedia"???! That's really offensive and uncalled for. Such comments make working with Wikipedia much more of a challenge for scholars than it ought to be. In the academic world, we try to keep our criticisms less personal. If Wetman has evidence to the contrary, please reveal it; I welcome it. Otherwise keep your rudeness to your self. I've been exhaustively researching the Heruli for over nine years here at UC Santa Cruz, carefully reading and translating the more than 30 Greek and Latin classical sources that refer to them, plus reading Scandinavian, German, British and American academic commentary. While other reputable scholars have only speculated a connection between the Harii and the Heruli, to date I'm the only one who has uncovered textual proof that this might actually be accurate. To have my research trivialized by being called "slender personal fantasy" really angers me. --Connell, 2 Feb 2005 —The preceding comment signed as by Connell (talkcontribs) was actually added by (talkcontribs) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, February 2, 2005‎ (UTC)
Why does A equal B? is the intelligent question. Why is this personal fantasy, jumping about in 500 years of unrelated history to reach unwarranted amateurish conclusions (or is there some printed material on which this original "research" is based?) not to be considered "slender? My problem is with the zany text, not its inventor. --Wetman 04:37, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
My question is, why doesn't A of 95 CE equal A of 520 CE? Your ad hominem attack only reveals your own amateurishness. My conclusion is hardly "zany" for attempting to bridge a mere 450 years (in a roughly similar geographical area: "Germania"). I cite the preeminent, Dumezilian Indo-Europeanist and brilliant Estonian linguist, Jaan Puhvel, who postulated a Proto-Indo-European root *Hwergh-, "strangle", by comparing the Hittite word for wolf, hurkel of 1600 BCE with the Germanic word for wolf and "strangler", warg, found in the fifth century CE Germanic legal document, the Lex Salica. (See Jaan Puhvel, "Hittite hurkis and hurkel," Die Sprache 17 (1971) pp. 42-45 and Mary R. Gerstein's highly regarded work based on Puhvel's "slender personal fantasy", "Germanic Warg: The Outlaw as Werwolf", in Larson and Puhvel's Myth in Indo-European Antiquity, 1974, University of California Press, pp. 131-156.) Puhvel bridges TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED years, about as many miles, and only distantly related Indo-European ethnoi, and his conclusion stands; but my speculation is "unwarranted" and "zany" for looking at a mere 450 year difference, with Tacitus's Harii being nearly identical to Salinga's Hari? I can only conclude from Salinga's naming act that the last acknowledged Heruli princess believed that her son was "ruler of the Hari" (rather than "ruler of the Heruli"), otherwise she would not have bothered naming him that. Speculative? Absolutely. "Slender personal fantasy"? Not by a long shot. --Connell, 7 March 2005 —The preceding comment signed as by Connell (talkcontribs) was actually added by (talkcontribs) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, March 8, 2005‎ (UTC)
Wise users of Wikipedia always read the Discussion pages. --Wetman 00:06, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Indeed they should!--Connell, 24 March 2005 —The preceding comment signed as by Connell (talkcontribs) was actually added by (talkcontribs) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 1p:49, March 24, 2005‎ (UTC)
And they have. Original research is against Wikipedia policy. Section on Harii has been moved to the relevant article.--Wiglaf 14:32, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ah, the Premier Prosecutor Poobah of the 'Pedia Purity Police has spoken. I submit and humbly remove all my research. Connell — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:30, June 8, 2005‎ (UTC)

List of Runic Inscriptions[edit]

This article (currently at 31KB) is a bit overlong and quite frankly I fail to see the value of the list of Runic inscriptions attributed to the Heruli. That material should either be deleted or set out into a seperate article if it truly is worthy of being included in an encyclopedia. -- 01:39, 28 May 2005 (UTC)


I won't discuss the rest of the article, but this section is in my view substandard. First, it is far too speculative. The meaning of the noun erilaz is uncertain. There is no consensus on it's meaning or ethymology, though there is some small agreement that it designs one in knowledge of runes. I myself would be very interested to know some more of "the strongest academic evidence to date" of it meaning marauder and even more so in how it connects with a hypothetical wolf-warrior brotherhood. --Asdfgl 17:56, 30 May 2005 (UTC)


Basing any hypothesis on the element harjaz in personal names is ridiculous. It was a common element in Germanic personal names, and I strongly doubt that people such as Ohthere had any connection with either the Harii nor the Heruli. Here is a link [3] to an article on Scandinavian personal names, for anyone who is interested in the use of the name harjaz.--Wiglaf 15:00, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The "lost" text on the homosexuality of the Heruli[edit]

The text below seems to have been deleted by an anon on June 8th of last year, without explanation or discussion on the talk page. Fortunately some of it was still in Google so I could trace it. It seems to be well referenced and annotated. Is there any reason why I should not restore it?

--Homosexuality of the Heruli--

According to Procopius, bishop of Caesaria, the Heruli practiced a warrior-based, ritual homosexuality. In his De Bello Gothico, Prokopios is scandalized by the fact that "kai mixeis ouch hosias telousin, allas te kai andron" (Greek), or "and they have sex contrary to the ends of divine law, even with men" (VI. xiv. 36). Procopius does not elaborate upon this brief statement. However, he also noted that the young squires of the "Erouloi" (Greek for Heruli) go into battle without even a shield to protect themselves; once proven in battle, their Heruli masters then permitted them to carry one in battle, signifying their entrance into full manhood. Historian of homosexuality, David Greenberg, believes that in this passage, Prokopios implied that the homosexuality practiced by the Heruli was ritualistic and initiatory in nature, for "pederasty was practiced in connection with the transition from youth to manhood" in the early Germanic "men's societies (Männerbünder)" as well as being common to all Indo-European cultures. Again, this initiatory pederasty is identical to the practices of the closely-related Suebian tribe, the Taifali, as reported by Ammianus Marcellinus (31.9.5). (See Greenberg's The Construction of Homosexuality, 1988, p. 243.)

As Russian scholar Askold Ivancik (see section above) notes, "The formula of the Indo-European law, according to which the murderer 'became a wolf', is certainly linked to these notions [of heroic youthful initiants being considered dogs or wolves]. This formula was conserved in several Indo-European traditions, notably the Hittite, Germanic, and Indo-Iranian. It has given birth to a new sense, 'criminal, outlaw', attributed to the word 'wolf'. The notions of man-wolves and homosexuality, very prevalent in masculine societies, may explain the usual comparison in the Greek tradition between the 'erastes' [active homosexual lover] and the wolf." ("Les Guerriers-chiens", p. 313)

Several of the names of Erilaz we know from runic inscriptions (see below) also have homosexual innuendo, such as Hrozaz ("Agile"), Muha ("Marsh", muck), Sa Wilag ("The Wily"), Wagigaz ("Audacious"), Wiwila ("Little Slave" or "Little Wiggler"), and Ubaz ("Mischievous"). In addition, one of the runic inscribers notes that he himself is a thewaz, squire or boy-servant of a warrior.

Ritual, warrior-based pederasty (erotics between an adult and a youth) seems to have been common to all Indo-European peoples; variant forms of ritual homosexuality are well-documented and were particularly institutionalized in Sparta, with the nearly invincible Sacred Band of Thebes, among the Dorians and Athenians, the Scythians (who were Indo-Iranian), the Celts, and others.

The Weerdinge bog bodies of the Netherlands, who were found wrapped in each other's arms, were initially thought to have been a 2,000 year old heterosexual couple. However, both adult bodies are bearded so testing was recently performed and conclusively showed that the two intimates were actually both male. DNA testing by Dr. Carney Matheson's team at the Paleo-DNA Laboratory in Ontario, Canada has proven that the two men were not closely genetically related maternally or paternally, so the two men are not brothers, as some scholars have proposed. See for a fuller treatment of these bog bodies. While the two intimates cannot conclusively be proved to have been Harji/Heruli, circumstantial evidence indicates it is quite possible. That two adult males (one apparently somewhat younger and smaller than the other) were carefully laid to rest by local people in a marsh in an intimate embrace for eternity in ancient Germania does reflect many cultural aspects consistent with those of the Heruli.

Haiduc 01:20, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Looks like a vandal's deltion to me. This article needs closer supervision. --Wetman 06:18, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
After all the bitching from Wetman and Wiglaf I removed my research, since it's "original" and therefore against Wikipedia policy. I'd appreciate it if you removed it again. Thanks - Connell —The preceding comment signed as by Connell (talkcontribs) was actually added by (talkcontribs) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, March 15, 2006‎ (UTC)
As they say, you cannot step into the same river twice. I am sorry you're upset over the treatment you received here originally. My own experience of this project is that the individuals involved are undergoing a constant process of growth, paralleling in a way the development of the encyclopaedia. I for one know that I have learned an enormous amount by being here, learned to give people their space, learned to let go of some of my own preconceived notions. We all have to live together and reach some kind of an understanding, and the rules of this game work very well to encourage just that. Perhaps if you were willing to re-engage the process you might find that it is more workable than what you remember.
In what regards the restored paragraphs, first of all I can't identify that much there that could be claimed to be original research. Most of the important points seem to be buttressed with references to published works. The minor flourishes are not worth debating over and seem to me to fall under that large category called "editorial discretion." As for deleting it, I am not willing to join battle with anyone, pro or con. I restored it because it fits, it belongs to no one because all our work here is gift based and no different from throwing flowers into a mountain stream. Please do not be mad at me if I say to you, as an editor and a friend: "Let go." Haiduc 23:43, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Deletion of part of the Homosexuality item[edit]

The following text was deleted by me. Explanations in which ancient names appear to have a "homosexual innuendo" have no purpose in a encyclopdia

Several of the names of Erilaz we know from runic inscriptions (see below) also have homosexual innuendo, such as Hrozaz ("Agile"), Muha ("Marsh", muck), Sa Wilag ("The Wily"), Wagigaz ("Audacious"), Wiwila ("Little Slave" or "Little Wiggler"), and Ubaz ("Mischievous"). In addition, one of the runic inscribers notes that he himself is a thewaz, squire or boy-servant of a warrior.

Furthermore I deleted the reference to the weerdinge peatbodies since they bear no relevance to the Heruli. If you want to have an article on homosexuality amongst barbarian european tribes start a seperate article. I also deleted reference to Askold Ivancik. Again, start a seperate article.

Furthermore I deleted this.

Ritual, warrior-based pederasty (erotics between an adult and a youth) seems to have been common to all Indo-European peoples; variant forms of ritual homosexuality are well-documented and were particularly institutionalized in Sparta, with the nearly invincible Sacred Band of Thebes, among the Dorians and Athenians, the Scythians (who were Indo-Iranian), the Celts, and others.

and this

Again, this initiatory pederasty is identical to the practices of the closely-related Suebian tribe, the Taifali, as reported by Ammianus Marcellinus (31.9.5).

Fantasy. And a very bad one, I might add. Seems apologetic to pederasts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pelayo 2006 (talkcontribs) 14:11, March 22, 2006‎ (UTC)

Agreed, it's no coincidence either (see the wikipedia pages on pederasty) there is no proof of so called pederasty among the Celts, only a couple of claims by Greeks. If we are to take that at face value I guess we have to believe Herodotus description of dog sized ants.
Caesar was similarly notoriously inaccurate (slanderous) in several of his claims about the Celts. This bit should be removed it is extremely disengenuous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, February 14, 2007‎ (UTC)

Deletion of same-sex paragraph[edit]

After rereading it seems to me this should be rewritten as a general article on what Procopius and other mention about the Heruls. If this is not done we better delete the same-sex paragraph — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pelayo 2006 (talkcontribs) 08:23, March 23, 2006‎ (UTC)

Deletion of material was no more defensible than you writing an article on what you think of Procopius. I have reduced material to the indisputable essentials. Haiduc 11:46, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
This is no good. The part of Procopius is hardly proof of Homosexual rituals. It states for one that only the Heruls that not convert to Christianity pratice homosexuality and bestiality. In the same line it calls these men the basest of all men and utterly abandoned rascals! This is only a slur of a Christian writer towards heathendom. To extract from this passage that Heruls practiced homosexual behaviour, let alone pederast rituals, is going to far. I will delete it.
But when Justinian took over the empire, he bestowed upon them good lands and other possessions, and thus completely succeeded in winning their friendship and persuaded them all to become[413] Christians. As a result of this they adopted a gentler manner of life and decided to submit themselves wholly to the laws of the Christians, and in keeping with the terms of their alliance they are generally arrayed with the Romans against their enemies. They are still, however, faithless toward them, and since they are given to avarice, they are eager to do violence to their neighbours, feeling no shame at such conduct. And they mate in an unholy manner, especially men with asses, and they are the basest of all men and utterly abandoned rascals.
Reference: Peeke07 —Preceding undated comment added 10:46, August 24, 2007 (UTC).

Resettle depopulated "lands and cities" in Moravia, near Singidunum (Belgrade)[edit]

Is not Moravia eastern Bohemia while Belgrade is much father south (not near) in modern Serbia?

Was there an ancient Moravia that is different from the modern Moravia?

If so the link is wrong as well.

darylkohlhoff 11:39, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

are herulis germans?[edit]


Wouldn't it be wise to add references to these phrases, because all looked up some of books on this question and it is mostly written that it is hard to identify herulis with any nation. On that what concerns the language that they spoke there is only one source left this is the Lords prayer of herulis and by linguistical researches the most probable nation to associate with are Balts (reference of norvegr book by Rackus): The Heruli (spelled variously in Latin and Greek) were a nomadic Germanic people, who were subjugated by the Ostrogoths, Huns, and Byzantines in the 3rd to 5th centuries. The name is related to earl (see erilaz) and was probably an honorific military title. One of the Heruli, Odoacer, deposed the last Western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus.

Cheers Domas --Ceckauskas Dominykas 21:38, 3 November 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceckauskas Dominykas (talkcontribs)

The letter from M. Pritzbuer, provost of Marienburg, and the "Lord's Prayer" were printed in William Tooke, View of the Russian Empire during the reign of Catharine the Great, (London) 1800, vol. I, pp 402f (on-line). A certain Frank, a former provost of Mecklenburg, had written a history of Mecklenburg, in which (in the fifth "century", or fascicle) the "Lettish paternoster", also refered to as the "old Vendish" version, was printed, and reprinted by Tooke. In the 18th century the study of linguistics was in its infancy: there is absolutely no connection made with Heruli in the source.
"Hupell, the well-known scholar" can't be that well-known: the man in question is actually August Wilhelm Hupel (1737-1819), I believe.
I have deleted the misleading section, which can be read, for corroboration, in this diff. --Wetman (talk) 08:51, 4 November 2009 (UTC)--Wetman (talk) 08:51, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
What's a "German"? It's an English word for a group of people that doesn't call itself German. Does it mean "having at one time passed through the land now known by the national name of Germany? If so, that's absurd - since virtually every group in Asia and Europe - and many people from North America - have "passed through" Germany. At 200 AD, it certainly wasn't called Germany - although the Roman name could be used, since Roman sources are quoted.LeValley` — Preceding unsigned comment added by Levalley (talkcontribs) 05:48, March 16, 2011‎ (UTC)

I stumbled onto this page by accident, but I would nevertheless advise anyone who wants to try to get closer to the truth, to above all, learn BASICS! Learn what indogermanic or indoeuropean means, learn at least the names of at least the most important tribes and their wanderings. Try to understand the timespans and think. Learn about the Hallstattkultur, learn about Celtic origins and learn geography! Learn the difference between German and Germanic, learn who the Teutonen were and the difference to Teutonic, .... Basically learn, learn, learn! You still won't know everything, you'll probably despair of ever knowing "the truth" and settle for the more modest goal of glimpsing a small part of it, but you will recognise embarrassing nonsense much more easily and you will be more cautious before making assertions that prove only your own lack of knowledge. When I think about how many people look things up on Wikipedia and take what they read as proven facts, it is frightening. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:28, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

There's a lot known about the Heruli - but it needs to be sourced[edit]

The 6th century (and later) sources have been well studied and they speak to something. When people from one culture write about another, they may have all manner of biases (and incomplete material). It is also the case that people inside a culture can have biases and incomplete material. This does not mean that we are to ignore it all. If the Herulis are mentioned in Roman literature (and they are), and this literature ( as well as other literature about the Heruli ) have been studied by scholars and published in a scholarly manner since then (as this subject occupies almost an entire volume of a 1720 work by Laurence Echard, who translated and annotated from the original Latin texts). Echard knows how to contextualize his ancient sources, he's a gem. He's available electronically from various college libraries. This article should certainly start with him - every other historian does.--LeValley 06:14, 16 March 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by LeValley (talkcontribs)

The roman history from the removal of the imperial seat by Constantine the Great, to the taking of Rome by Odoacerk, of the Heruli. - that's the name of the volume I just mentioned, by Echard. Odoacerk must have quite a leader - but Germanic? That's anachronistic. He's Heruli, and his name can be parsed linguistically, as Echard attempts to do (and there are other sources, of course, on this topic).LeValley 06:42, 16 March 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by LeValley (talkcontribs)
Here are some specific questions. Is Procopius one of the Roman writers referred to in the paragraph that mentions "Roman writers"? (This is the paragraph immediately after mentioning Procopius. WHo are the other Roman writers? It seems unencyclopedic to just have unknown Romans pop up in the 21st century and be quoted in a Wiki. That's my first question, on the way to improving this article.LeValley 06:49, 16 March 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by LeValley (talkcontribs)

Refined tagging[edit]

This edit complains about the

"Origins" section reads as a dubious personal essay. Tagged for NPOV. Also tagged for further references needed—very poorly referenced.

fair enough! But shouldn't then the tags be one template:Essay-like {{Essay-like|section}} first in the Origins section, while the {{refimprove}} can remain as is? Just a suggestion... Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 12:53, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

what standardized spellings should the article use?[edit]

We currently have Herul or Herule as singular, and Heruli, Heruls, and Herules as plural forms. Anyone have a proposal for a standard?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:22, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

East Germanic?[edit]

Was East Germanic spoken as far west as present day Denmark? --Oddeivind (talk) 10:27, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

I do not think anyone knows for sure.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:50, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Recent edit by Thorgisl: what does it mean?[edit]

A recent edit is not making sense to me. The syntax and vocabulary elude me.

Examine this phrase, "...many of the royal family with fellows (maybe 1/3 (Goffart))...". Does this refer to the royal family, plus its attendants, hangers-on, and others? What does the 1/3 refer to? A third of the royal family, or a third of the Herules, or a third of something else? I don't have access to "Goffart".

I really have no idea what this phrase is referring to: "...which explains the envoy in 548 above and below...". If Thorgisl is a native speaker of a non-English Germanic language, this could be the basis of my confusion, as I only have familiarity with the Germanic language of English. Has the envoy been mentioned earlier in this article? "Above and below" what? If I don't understand these phrases, then it's likely that other readers won't either, unless they're so familiar with the Herules that they need not read the article to learn anything new about this tribe.--Quisqualis (talk) 07:59, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

Seems a reasonable question @Thorgisl:. I presume you are right that the word "fellows" must have a meaning like one of the ones you mention, but...--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:43, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
Helpful? --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:45, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
On google books I do not find the 1/3 or the fellows, but I find mention of 200 youths?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:48, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
I still have no idea what Thorgisl attempts to convey with: "...which explains the envoy in 548 above and below...". Thanks for finding Goffart. I have to go to work today. If anyone would like to read Goffart and clarify Thorgisl's edit, I thank you. Too many WP articles contain garbled edits which make little sense to English-speakers.--Quisqualis (talk) 21:10, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

Removal of source from Peter Heather and others[edit]

@Andrew Lancaster: Why did you remove two sources on the Heruli from Peter Heather and the The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity?[4] Krakkos (talk) 18:31, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

The sources are not needed, as in most of the dozens of edits you have been making into the opening sentences of articles today, and as we have discussed already on your own talk page. As mentioned in my edsum, in this case you also changed the text from East Germanic to Germanic. One is simply more specific than the other, so this was a removal of information.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:34, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

The sources call them Germanic, not East Germanic. East Germanic links to a linguistic group. The Heruli were not a language, but a people. Per the sources and common sense, they should therefore be referred to as a Germanic people. As this appears to be unclear, the sources are needed. Krakkos (talk) 18:43, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Well no in context you clearly added the same sources which you added to dozens of articles at the same and then changed the terminology in this article to suit those specific sources better to this article? And I note that on this article you are saying Germanic peoples and Germanic speaking peoples are different things. That is confusing in light of things you have been saying at the same time on other articles.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:02, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Un-discussed name change[edit]

I was very surprised to see User:Krakkos suddenly change the name of this article while we were in the middle of a discussion on the Herules talk page. The edsum is hard to connect to any obvious facts which justify it. What is the reason for this??--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:09, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

The move was performed per WP:COMMONNAME and WP:BOLD.[5][6][7] I didn't think it would be controversial. Do you want the title to be Herules instead? Krakkos (talk) 19:23, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
COMMONNAME: Indeed it should not be controversial, so why did you do this? A move is a big thing. I think you knew/saw that the specialized sources which were already in the body of the article use "Herules". The tertiary sources you add as part of your massive sweep of similar edits don't really seem to have any automatic superiority? So explanation is called for.
BOLD. You do a lot of bold and you were asked just before you did this to slow down with bold edits without prediscussion, in this type of subject area where you are clearly spreading problems which you began with boldness on Germanic peoples that is not yet resolved. Bold editing is not always appropriate, obviously.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:32, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Peter Heather uses the term "Heruli". Alexander Sarantis and Roland Steinacher appearently use the term "Herules". Heather is a more distinguished scholar than Sarantis and Steinacher. Among scholars in general the term Heruli is clearly more common.[8] If you want it changed back to "Herules" then feel free to do so. I will then start a move request. Krakkos (talk) 19:37, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
No, the point is to stop doing major-impact changes like moves, splits, fork articles etc without pre-discussion.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:41, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Could you provide a link to the discussion which preceded this edit by you?[9] Krakkos (talk) 19:48, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
WP:TENDWP:STICK, and two wrongs would not make a right anyway. You are referring to a simple edit, on another article, in April 2019, which has been discussed ad nauseum since you decided to use it for another reason (racial Germanic demand) in September 2019. I clearly believe, like many others, that it was not such a major edit if you look at the past of the article. Where are the arguments against it, or the complaints about it? They were all developed a year later. You have created a fantasy narrative which is impeding rational discussion, but OTOH, there was none of the context we have here in this case, and it was not a merge, name change, split etc. There was a lot of talk page discussion before it, and the article had contained mixed ideas that everyone wanted simplified, as you know. What's more we are still working on that, and I consider you to be working against everyone else without explaining constructively what your vision is.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:12, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
What about this edit then?[10] Krakkos (talk) 13:15, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
Do you seriously not see the difference? What controversy was on-going? Had I recently been asked to stop making merges, splits, article title changes? Were there any other sources which disagreed?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:20, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
If the move is so controversial then just move it back and i will start a move proposal. Krakkos (talk) 14:09, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
And then I say, No the point is... [see above]. Also in related talk pages I have, I think, made it clear that I see this title change as coming from a mass edit which was not best practice for a range of reasons: mid sentence un-needed footnotes, pointyness connected to Germanic peoples topic, tertiary sources being used to above better sources, etc. Overall a lot of problems arise because of the extremely high priority you place on whether language groups are named in first sentences. I do not think this aim aligns with the aims of the community very easily.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:58, 27 January 2020 (UTC)

Big revert of edits; concern about Goffart being fringe?[edit]

I have requested discussion here from Thomas.W but in the meantime here are links for reference to discussion about this article which happened in other places: [ADDED: Edsum by Thomas should be considered also: [11]: Reverted to revision 940960421 by Rv undiscussed major rewrite of the article, best described as a POV hatchet job based on, and giving undue weight to, a non-mainstream, boirdering on fringe, source (Goffart) that totally deviates from the mainstream view; do NOT restore it until there is a clear support from other editors for it!!!]

Discussions about this article at other pages
Hello Thomas, I am surprised at your aggressive edsum and post. You deleted a third of an expanded article and 6 different sources. Funnily enough, I dare say I am probably the main writer of the version I edited today, and which you have reverted to, so it is a surprise. I don't think there was anything controversial. In any case, I request that now you have done a major revert and deleted a lot of decent-looking sources, that you explain the problem on the article talk page. See WP:BRD. If the problem is only Goffart, please say so, and we will go to WP:RSN, but the answer there is easy to predict: Goffart is certainly not a fringe writer. He does have some ideas that are not consensus ideas, and we should indeed be careful to present those in a careful way. On the other hand, is there any area in this article which is really a subject that is controversial according to you? What sources can you bring to the discussion? Please explain.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:05, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
@Andrew Lancaster: If you had merely expanded the article I wouldn't have reverted you, but you didn't, your totally undiscussed major rewrite of the article was instead a POV attempt to rewrite not only the history of the Heruli but the history of all Germanic peoples, based on a source that best can be described as fringe, since it totally deviates from the mainstream view. And we do not do things like that, all major rewrites *must* be discussed, and supported by other editors, before being made, and we can *not* give undue weight to sources that deviate from the mainstream (see WP:UNDUE). So do not make edits like that. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 21:33, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
Please explain on the article talk page which exact sentences in the mass of deleted materials were undue, and why.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:44, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
I think Thomas made the right call. The recent rewrite of Heruli was not an improvement at all. The rewrite contained a bloated lead full of original research and unsourced dubious claims.[1] Walter Goffart's theories are quite extreme and not representative of mainstream views on the subject, so we should not be giving him undue weight. It was about time that someone finally reverted these unhelpful changes. Krakkos (talk) 22:20, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
There were, I think, 6 different sources deleted, from various quite different "schools" and approximately 1 third of the article deleted. Despite several messages posted, even on other articles, nothing controversial has been explained except the name of one well-known author? Please explain exactly which sentences need consideration concerning due weight, on the article talk page. If that one author is the only problem, then we can go to WP:RSN or similar. If it is one sentence, then let's look at it. etc. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:57, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
No, this RFC is only about whether certain existing sections should be merged or not, not about totally rewriting the history of all Germanic peoples based on a fringe source, like the hatchet job you did on Heruli. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 21:36, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
You deleted Vienna school sources, Reallexicon sources etc., even a reference to Jacob Grimm, not only Goffart. On both this article and that one, I think you need to home in details so we can work out what can be done? You appear to be saying no to this rather boring section rearrangement RFC because of Goffart being cited on another article by me?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:42, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

In order to continue editing without creating further concerns, I should receive some clearer definition of what the problem is. To be clear, the version reverted to is just as much my work as the version reverted from, and as the writer of the added-to materials I am not seeing the problem with the additions, but I do want to have the possibility to try to resolve whatever the concern is as long as it is reasonable. (EG banning all mention of Goffart from WP would be extreme.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 23:15, 10 March 2020 (UTC) I don't expect I am going to receive any clear answer, in which case the BRD cycle won't work, and I have to guess what is going on. I will state my starting guesses, and my ideas for working, for the sake of openness and practicality, and then get back to work:

  • From work on various other articles, I am confident Krakkos will avoid stating clear rationales as much as possible, and will not want community input.
  • As far as I can see Thomas.W has never edited on any related topic, (apart from the revert), and the edsum and other posts use wording which is based on the the exact words used by Krakkos on other articles. This is notable because the way Krakkos writes about Walter Goffart is unique and nothing like the sources Krakkos cites for example.
  • FWIW Much of the revert affected material was not cited from Goffart or anyone associated with Goffart. What was cited from Goffart was not really controversial. Goffart is criticized by Heather (the favored source of Krakkos) for proposals about things which are not discussed in this article. On many topics, such as the concerns about using Jordanes, which is relevant perhaps here, Heather has commented on the reasonableness of Goffart's position, and the similarity to his own position.
  • I will therefore make begin editing again, but I will also post here for each bit of that, starting with sections where I believe the reverted material had the possibility to be called controversial. It is my hope that on this talk page we will eventually get a clear picture of any real sourcing concerns, so that we can try to fix them.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:36, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
    Andrew, having taken a look at the material that was reverted, could I suggest that you start by editing the main and not the lead? The lead had quickly become very large and it contained information that was not in the main (such as calling the Heruli a gothic people). It would be better to write the material into the main, fully cited, first. Once established there, the lead summary can be updated to match. A lead really should not be more than 3 paragraphs long.
    Other information that should not be in the lead would be discussion and analysis. There was a line to the effect of "but Goffart thinks that..." That was definitely information that should be in the main. Thanks. -- Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 09:15, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
I had the same idea. See below. I hesitate to start posting guesses, but I imagine the lead tweaks might be the main concern. I have started with the body and deleted sources below. I would like to repair the body of the article ASAP because this is just normal editing on a near-stub article. If the problem is the lead and/or Krakkos's very recently mass-added "classification" sections (which I merged to the lead in this case) then perhaps the changes look bigger than they really were, and apparently the name "Goffart" is causing the aggression again. But we can't censor him from Wikipedia can we? --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:57, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
I agree. The recent rewrite of the lead was not an improvement at all. Krakkos (talk) 10:41, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
Just so we do not loose it: Main attempt to defend the Heruli revert by Thomas.W has been led by Krakkos at User_talk:Thomas.W#Heruli. It is certainly about Goffart, and involves the interpretation of Goffart and other sources which has been proposed on Wikipedia by Krakkos. The discussion leads me to feel concerned about edits being made on the articles of living scholars like Walter Pohl and Walter Goffart.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:35, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

Addressing the revert Part 1. deleted sources[edit]

Most of these now-deleted sources [12] have nothing to do with Walter Goffart. There were 6:

Completely removed sources were:
  • Christensen, Arne Søby (2002). Cassiodorus, Jordanes and the History of the Goths. Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 9788772897103.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Christensen wrote the most detailed 21st century walk through of Jordanes. He is good for details, because best practice is to use modern secondary sources to help us read such sources. The deleted material: This is the first mention of the Danes in surviving writing. He furthermore reports that the Heruli "claim pre-eminence among all the nations of Scandza for their tallness".<>Jordanes, Getica, 3.19-24; Christensen, pp.268-269.<>
Neumann is one of the major contributors and editors to the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde series of works, which give authoritative summaries of many details not covered in more popular English works. Neumann especially writes the philological sections. These are cited by all experts. This is a good conservative source, and it was being used for a sentence which now appears still without source, in an older form. What was being sourced: Their name, often written in Greek and Latin with no "h", is sometimes thought to be Germanic and related to the English word earl (see erilaz) implying that it was an honorific military title.
This is one of the only works with a high level of focus upon Herules. Now sections where this source was used have no source, such as the discussion about Ermaneric, are back to having no source. In terms of "schools" (which Krakkos focuses on a lot), Steinacher is a notable member of the "Vienna school", who did his doctorate with Wolfram.
  • Tacitus, Germania, 43.
Tacitus, like Pliny who has long been cited in the article in the exact same way, is classical source who mentioned the Harri/Hirri. If we mention that group, then Tacitus should be mentioned.
  • Grimm, Geschichte der deutschen Sprache p.325 and p.329.
  • Schonfeld (1911) Wörterbuch der altgermanischen personen-und völkernamen pp.138-139
Cited just to confirm that Grimm was one of the originators of the idea of the Hirri/Harri being Heruli, or connected to them somehow. The idea has not been much discussed in recent generations. If we mention the Hirri/Harri, then we should explain that it is a 19th century idea, because will not often find it in modern books. OTOH when they do find it we want to be able to explain it.

=>Proposed action: recover the reverted material fully for the above sources.

  • No. See my comment in the sub-section below. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 09:34, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
@Thomas.W: to be clear, (1) you give no answer below and (2) the above bullets concern 6 good uncontroversial sources which you deleted, and which you are refusing to justify deleting. On WP, deleting sources is an unusual and generally controversial action where caution is recommended. It is normal for someone deleting sources to give some justification?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:50, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per comments below. Krakkos (talk) 10:41, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: there are no comments below relevant to this section. Please give a clear reason for deletion of sources, here.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:30, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

@Thomas.W and Krakkos: BTW I am not seeing this as an RFC, or anything similar. The logical first step in the section has to be that the source deletions need to be explained. Deleting sources is controversial. But at this stage there is not even any evidence that the deletion was deliberate. (It was after all simply a mass revert.) There is no sign either of you have read the names of the 6 sources, and seen how they were being used. If we can't get any further in this specific discussion than that, then I think the sources simply need to be reinserted as an obvious first step after the mass reversion.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:59, 11 March 2020 (UTC) UPDATE. I have re-entered the sources, for now just as sources. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:05, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

Deleted material Part 2. Uncontroversial basic material[edit]

I would like to reinstate this information which was the basic type of additional material needed in the article and part of my long term work on this article to get the basic points in, which appear in all focused publications about this topic. (Now clearly interrupted!) It is now missing for no good reason:

  • Western Herules topic.
  • Jordanes and Scandinavia topic.
  • Archaeology of the Gothic groups topic.
  • Linguistic evidence (names)
  • Tacitus and the Harri
  • This fact: Jordanes mentions the Herules as one of the first peoples to become subject to the empire of the Gothic king Ermanaric
  • Classical concept of "Gothic peoples" and whether the Herules were one of them

I don't see anything controversial about these?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:35, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

  • UPDATE. My belief is that on this type of article I am not going to receive much feedback on proposals like this, as in the past, despite the temporary interest of recent days. So unless that turns out to be wrong, I will keep reviewing these with an eye to what controversies there might be, and adding them back if it appears appropriate. Of course I will try a bit more than usual to add in new sources or tweak wordings if I am aware of, or can guess at, any potential concern. An example of a non-controversial deleted passage is for example the Tacitus passage, which is a natural partner to the Pliny reference I added long ago, and just something I had put off.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:08, 12 March 2020 (UTC)


  • I see that Tacitus has already been discussed above, section Talk:Heruli#"Harii" equal "Heruli"? (but a very long time ago!) Tacitus does describe the Harii who have their own page. The source needs interpretation though, if it is to be asserted that this tells us anything about the Heruli. Tacitus is a primary source. This would be a case of a secondary source being required. -- Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 08:26, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
    • Well Pliny is still there for the same reason, and apparently that causes no concern. I am surprised to see the Harii have their own article, but I think in the end that is not a bit issue as here we just have a quick reference to an old speculation. I figure we can't exclude such speculations or they will be added one day by someone in more of a rush. And as another reason for being cautious about deleting such things, even though most of the discussion really happened in the 19th century, I have been looking into whether anyone still mentions it, especially given that the only etymological theory for the Herules is still the old one (see the Neumann RGA reference). Another thing I was doing when the big angry reversion happened included adding references to the 19th century proposal. (It was actually Jacob Grimm first.) I had Grimm referenced and also a later reference saying it was Grimm's proposal, which certainly seemed better than nothing, while I continued working. Does that all make sense?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:43, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

I re-entered this sourcing but then I noticed Srnec has also added some modern secondary sources to the bibliography which I had not yet considered. Still, I propose also keeping the reference to Tacitus and Grimm at least, despite being more "primary", as part of the illustration of the context. (As we commonly do in topics like this where writers of history are part of the history.) But I will have a look anyway.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:57, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

Concerning those two new references I can not access Drout, and Reynolds should be very useful for the Scirii and Torcilingi articles. Of course the connection of the Herules to Odoacer is notable and will presumably also be improved, so the source is also useful here. Though not exactly new, it is still cited I believe. I hope Srnec or others with access can help us access Drout.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:09, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
BTW I can see the theory is still discussed in RGA, but I just can't see those pages. There appears to be a Harri article.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:46, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

Deleted material Part 3. Commentary on Procopius[edit]

Concerning the remarkable comments of Procopius on Herules, our existing section at the end of the article, petered out and was tagged for sources. It was essentially based on quoting primary sources and this created a problematic situation where Wikipedia voice was being used to express opinions from a complex and political ancient writer who modern interpreters always treat as a source to be careful of. [ADDED The collapsible box contains the deleted text.]

Deleted material

The historian Procopius had a notable fascination with the Herules. In the words of Walter Goffart :

Though appreciative of their military qualities, he goes out of his way to blacken their character - "they are the basest of all men and utterly abandoned rascals," "no men in the world are less bound by convention or more unstable." His low opinion may result from the "special relationship" the Herules appear to have had with Justinian's eunuch general, Narses, who Procopius disliked.

— Barbarian Tide, (pp.206-207)

...and although Procopius praised the Herule named Pharas who brought about the surrender of the north African Vandal king Gelimer...

For all that, Procopius was not mollified. The Herules were part of the panorama of an entire "West" that, owing to Justinian's neglect, had come into the possession of the barbarians by the late 540s. [...] The crowning irony, in the historian's view, was that, because some Herules served as Roman foederati, they both plundered Roman subjects and collected pay from the Roman emperor.

— p.208

In short, it seems non-controversial that any nice modern secondary source, explaining how to understand Procopius in context is exactly what we need? Here is the deleted material, which I propose to be completely needed, uncontroversial and needing to be re-inserted.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:18, 11 March 2020 (UTC) (Similar discussions in Steinacher are of course in German. So the Goffart quotes are verifiably non-controversial, but simply very convenient for us.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:25, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

  • @Andrew Lancaster: The walls of text above, and your attempt to split it into multiple completely separate discussions, is not the proper way to do it. You need to propose what changes you want to make, why you want to make them, and what sources you want to use to support the changes you want to make. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 09:33, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
@Thomas.W: Catch 22 much? "You need to propose...changes...sources...why." That requires writing, and given the enormity of the revert, this means more than a few words. That is now exactly what I am doing above in the most compact way possible. You can choose to participate, and indeed you should as per WP:BRD, but it is up to you. You must have had your own reasons for deleting large amounts of sourced materials? Perhaps you can explain why you really want to defend all my editing up until a few days ago from my proposals to keep working on it. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:44, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
@Andrew Lancaster: You obviously had no problems writing the walls of text you posted above, split over multiple separate sections (which to be honest seems like a deliberate attempt to confuse other editors...), so you should have no problems proposing the changes you want done here, in an easy to read way, so that other editors can see what you're trying to do, and weigh in on it. And please keep the discussion in as few places as possible, not spread all over. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 10:18, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
And stop splitting what should be a single discussion into multiple separate sections, the different parts of it should be subsections, not full sections, so that A) other editors can see that they belong together, and B) they're archived together, not separately!!! - Tom | Thomas.W talk 10:24, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Andrew Lancaster your recent rewrite was not an improvement at all. The lead was far too long and detailed. There was plenty of information in the lead which was not mentioned in the body, for example claims about "Wielbark", "Przeworsk", "Jastorf" and the "Baltic". Since these claims were not backed up bu sources either, one must assume that this was original research. Original research is completely unacceptable on Wikipedia. The reclassifying of the Heruli as a "barbarian" rather than a "Germanic" people contradicted our sources from the Oxford Classical Dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity. Reverting these changes was the right thing to do. When arguing in favor of such radical changes, please express yourself concisely and clearly. Spamming talk pages with convoluted walls of text such as above discourages people from participating in the discussion, and is not helpful. Krakkos (talk) 10:41, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
@Thomas.W and Krakkos: I have chosen to present my proposals as 3 sections, not sub-sections. So I have now made my detailed proposals as requested. Please respond in the sections provided. I suggest it might be easiest to start by seeing if there are any proposals you can quickly accept so that we can move from easier to harder.
Krakkos see the proposal above by Sirfurboy, to work first on the body, not the lead. You agreed with that? Concerning your Oxford Dictionaries, see our WP:RSN discussion and the history on other articles, where the consensus has been absolutely clear that this approach you are now repeating on yet another article, of insisting everyone accept such short simplified summaries as if they define the field (and trying to censor other sources which explain more) is something this community does not agree with. If you want to claim there are no sources possible for a particular point, make that claim in a clear way, at the appropriate place (but of course the missing sources you mention will be due to my editing having been disrupted by your deliberate disruption of editing, which included source deletions). --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:04, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Back to the business of this section (Goffart's remarks about Procopius and the Herules) I note that Srnec has elsewhere remarked that "I agree with Andrew. Goffart is a mainstream historian. I do not see how anyone who has actually read Barbarian Tides could think differently. The idea that his long excursus on the Heruli is inadmissible in our article on the Heruli is asburd."[13]. I don't yet see any argument against re-inserting these secondary comments on one of the most prominent historical topics about the little-known Herules. I also don't know many English-language secondary sources which contain such extended and helpful commentary on this point. Without a secondary source we clearly have a problem on this article because we are just using blocks of primary text and interpreting them at face value, in conflict with the scholarly opinion about them.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:03, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • @Krakkos: and of course everyone else, for now this section about Procopius's rather fascinating interest in the Herules is verging on OR, because it is primary source-based, even though it is clearly not a neutral and dry subject. So we need a nice secondary source to interpret the interpretation. I also have lots from Steinacher including one paper in English if necessary, but to be honest, no matter what you think of Goffart I believe this is a case where his wording is the best I have seen, and completely in line with everyone else. (I think in these Germanic topics, every well-known author is controversial for something, and not controversial for other things, including Heather and Wolfram.) I am still suggesting this is the best solution for this particular section, though I am not going to rush to do anything. Does anyone else agree, or see a reason to disagree?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:13, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

Rewrite of Scirii[edit]

Similarly to Heruli, the article Scirii has recently been rewritten by Andrew Lancaster.[14] The rewrite starts of by classifying the Scirii with the neologism "Roman era people", and then continues claiming that Romans classified them as "Scythian" or "Gothic", that they spoke an "East Germanic language", and that they raided a city near "Odessa". None of this stuff is mentioned in the body or attributed to any source. There are WP:NOR concerns there which deserves the attention of the community. Krakkos (talk) 11:14, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

I have been working for years on slowly building up many of the Germanic articles which are (or recently were in some cases) stubs. These surreal disruptions are also disrupting the addition of more sources and missing bits. Your concerns about sourcing are very clearly zero, as shown by your massive deletion of new sources on this article. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:52, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

Section called "Classification"[edit]

The classification sections is basically also a statement concerning language.

The section has now been over-footnoted, in that familiar defensive manner, using short Oxford dictionary and Britannica articles. Obviously these sources include single word categorizations but give no explanations about doubts, even if those doubts are big ones. This puts them in conflict with WP core content policies whenever we know there is some doubt or debate possible. (On WP we have to report the debates.) Furthermore especially on a short article about an uncertain subject, it is best practice to give our readers some insight into doubts, uncertainties, and how conclusions were arrived at.) Here then, is what the RGA says about the languages of the Herules. The RGA is a far more authoritative series of works which goes into enormous detail and his highly cited:

Sprache. Aufschluss über die Sprache der H. geben nur die Namen, von denen die lat. und griech. Que. eindeutig berichten, dass sie von H.n geführt wurden. Diejenigen, die problemlos etylmogisierbar sind, lassen sich im Hinblick auf dialnostische Dialektmerkmale nicht von got. Namen derselben Zeit unterscheiden. Dies kann jedoch auf einer sekundären Gotisierung in S-Europa sowie auf lat. und griech. Schriebgewohnheiten beruhren und braucht eine skand. Herkunft nich auszuschliessen.Taylor (1999), "Heruler", Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde, 14, pp. 470–73

Basically it is saying that the evidence for the Herules' language is the names, and some names look Gothic but not all. It also says that Gothic forms of names do not rule out other origins because there was a Gothisicizing thing happening, and also Graeco-Roman writers might have been used to Gothic forms. This is basically the same thing Goffart says:

Procopius does not group the Herules among the "Gothic peoples," and the signs they were "Germanic" rather than something else are equivocal.[91] (p.205) Footnote 91 on page 335: The unusually numerous proper names of Herules reported by Procopius include: Aluith, Aordus, Arufus, Datius, Grepes, Fulcaris, Ochus, Phaniteus, Pharas, Philemuth, Sinduald, Suartas, Uligargus, Visandus. Note also Audonoballus and Naulobatus: Schmidt, Ostgermanen, p.215; and Alaric in Procopius (not the Alaric). Some of them are definitely Germanic (e.g., Alaric, Aluith, Fulcaris, Sinduald).Goffart, Walter (2006). Barbarian Tides: The Migration Age and the Later Roman Empire. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 9780812239393.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

Let's think about it. At the very least I think that we can add some words to indicate that the evidence for their language is based on personal name evidence?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:36, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

548 above and below[edit]

We have a strange remark which needs fixing. According to Procopius many of the royal family with fellows went north and settled in "Thule" (the Scandinavian Peninsula) which corresponds to the envoy in 548 above and below.[11] I found the following edits:

  • [15] added: "The news was spread by an envoy returning from Scandinavia in 548AD and both historians finished their works in Constantinople 551-553AD – making it extremely unlikely that the two meetings should be separated by 300 years." (and more)
  • [16]

It cites Goffart but something has gotten garbled. I intend to fix it by first trying to work out what it was referring to. I will check against Goffart but also against Steinacher.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:48, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

short dictionary articles[edit]

For future reference I simply note this information:

The older reference by Heather has one very short paragraph and no sources at all. The newer reference, which apparently should be better, has 2 paragraphs, and cites the Steinacher and Sarantis articles, which are sources that I added long before these two dictionary sources were added. We know these were done without any special research or consideration as part of a massive campaign of near-identical quick edits into many articles by Krakkos. I am not saying we need to remove these sources of course, but it is remarkable that the sources the better short article cites were then argued by Krakkos be superior to more focused and specialised sources which it cites, and which are clearly pre-eminent articles on this topic: [17]. To give another perspective: Peter Heather (the big name on the older dictionary article) wrote the positive afterword for the two specialist articles. It is clear that single paragraph tertiary source articles can be useful but should not normally be used to over-rule more specialized and detailed authorities. Generally speaking, being a tertiary source counts against "reliability" on WP. WP core content policy also conflicts directly with the aim of "dictionary" style tertiary sources that do not report controversies, meaning that such sources are particularly weak whenever they concern a topic with a no single simple consensus.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:46, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

Harri/Hirri theory[edit]

Not a big concern, but trying to do what's best. I have no strong opinion about this theory, but I tend to be careful about removing things that have been in an article for a long time, especially if there has even been a debate. If we are going to get rid of something then, given the aim of making a stable article, it is best practice to get the best rationale on record. So I think I discussed above that I was investigating, and had already tracked that it was certainly a serious 19th century speculation (by none other than Jakob Grimm it seems). For the record then, I note that Krakkos has removed mention now [18], though I was now in the middle of trying to get a look at the RGA article, which Google books seems to show does still mention the theory. If anyone has access to any source that helps, we can come back to it, but for now it is gone. Anyone have Reallexikon access?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:34, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

Feedback please on a couple of editing judgements[edit]

Could I ask for explanations/feedback about the following points, which I hope/think are not very controversial? But they still should be looked at, and it seems Krakkos and I have different opinions that are not clear - or maybe we just missed each other's point. @Krakkos: I am also not sure what your reasoning, so it would be helpful if you could mention any misunderstandings I am making.

  • I see that the two RGA sources have been merged into one. In secondary sources citing those two RGA passages, which are separate and individually signed, I believe you can find both separate citations and citations which treat it as one article with two authors. But I can not understand why, if someone did the extra work to cite the two article parts separately, that we would then do extra work to merge them and make our citations less accurate? Am I missing something? It seems equivalent to removing exact page numbers, or just citing the whole volume?
  • Long quote in footnote in language section. I removed it commenting that I think it adds nothing. I do not see it as answering any controversy for example. Krakkos reverted. (In fact it even shows that the way it is being used is a bit questionable IMHO. In running discussion, the Heruli simply appear in a list.) There have been many recent discussions between Krakkos and other editors about these types of footnotes, and I don't understand why it keeps happening.
  • The two parallel sections: Language and Classification. I tried to merge them, Krakkos reverted. To me these are about the same evidence and also our sources don't have separate "classification" discussions apart from language discussions. Strikingly, the more technical sources which discuss whether the Herules really spoke Germanic are now all moved to this classification section, while the language section (as in the example described above) just cites sources which are NOT discussing that question at all: just the Herules appearing in lists, etc. That seems to be WP:SYNTH especially in the context of moving specialist sources deliberately out of the discussion so that readers can not see that they were about language. I am a bit concerned about this to be honest.

More about classifications sections in general. Krakkos quite recently added such short Classification sections to dozens of articles on WP, but they are certainly not any sort of tradition on Wikipedia? Isn't this using a part of the article body as a sort of extra Category field?

Apart from common sense, a risk of having two sections about the same thing, which I keep seeing in Germanic-related articles, is that they can be used to develop a POV fork section, and then as a lever to switch the article towards a POV, and censoring parts of what the field really publishes. To put it another way, it makes it harder for good editors to find where to put their material into a good structured article, but easier for problematic things to slip past everyone's notice.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:24, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

The Romans classified the Heruli based upon geography rather than language. Classification and linguistics are not identical subjects and can easily be treated in separate sections. Given that the citations from Matthew Taylor and Günter Neumann are in German, you should add a page number and preferably a quote so that these claims can be verified. I'm also curious to know who Taylor and Neumann are. Krakkos (talk) 11:32, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Do you have a source for Romans classifying the Heruli based on geography?
  • The words "classification" and "linguistics" are indeed two different words, but that is beside the point. In our current article text, you have moved the language sources into a section called "classification" and sourced "language" from things like passing mentions in non-specialized works.
  • I am not sure what you are trying to insinuate (once again) about German language sources, especially given we are talking about the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde on this type of topic. Your constant remarks about non-English sources seem to indicate that you do not agree with the WP guidelines which allow them to be used? Are you claiming to know more than Matthew Taylor and Günter Neumann?
  • But what do page numbers have to do with whether something is in German? And if those are a concern why did you merge the citations? As mentioned above, the concern I raised is that you merged the citation of two article parts which have separate authors. Can't we just re-separate them and let them have their own page references?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:52, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

bullet 1. The RGA article(s)[edit]

...@Krakkos: so you merged two separate sources, making verifiability worse, and then when I posted a concern about it, you tagged the merged footnotes to say page number needed? [19] That is pretty unconstructive? Why do you make every little thing so difficult?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:58, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

I haven't merged the sources. On which page does Neumann and Taylor says that the identification of the Heruli as Germanic-speaking is based upon their personal names? Krakkos (talk) 12:01, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
You merged two sources Krakkos: Neumann and Taylor. These are both commonly cited by historians. The one you are asking about was sourced by me from Taylor. The exact quote was even also recently typed out and posted here by me, on this talk page, before I used it. See above. It can be found at column 1, page 469. Can you please re-separate the two articles? BTW: . What more can I do for you? --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:14, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
Taylor and Günter are frequently cited as co-writers of the same article, but it makes little difference to me. Krakkos (talk) 12:28, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, it is a minor point, as I said, and it can be cited both ways, but given your remark about needing page numbers, I think splitting it is reasonable. Thank you for that.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:25, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

A case where Heather is sceptical of Jordanes[edit]

From Heather's well-cited scholarly article about disappearing and reappearing tribes, p.98, it seems we are being more naive about Jordanes:

In the case of the Heruli, therefore, we find the same named group appearing in detailed, trustworthy, and at least partly contemporary narrative sources but with virtually a two hundred year gap between appearances. In between, they had certainly been submerged within Attila's Hunnic Empire in the fifth century, and had perhaps also been dominated by Goths in the fourth, although this latter point can only be conjecture.

Bold added by me.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:39, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Open access book (Vienna) with several Heruli-relevant articles[edit]

Perhaps useful [20] --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:41, 4 April 2021 (UTC)