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Is Jordanes a "clumsy rehash"?[edit]

"clumsy rehash" is the correct phrasing - I don't believe there any modern historians who would disagree. If there are, let's get a name. Stan 14:43, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes, he is very much flogged by modern scholars. I just don't think that clumsy rehash is a neutral way of phrasing it.--Wiglaf 14:51, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
BTW, here is a list of scholars and publications who don't question everything he says, from Linguistlist [1]
  • Bell-Fialkoff, A., _The Role of Migration in the History of the Eurasian Steppe_, London: Macmillan, 2000.
  • Findeisen, Joerg-Peter, _Schweden - Von den Anfaengen bis zur Gegenwart_, Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 1998.
  • Hermodsson, Lars, _Goterna - ett krigafolk och dess bibel_ , Stockholm, Atlantis, 1993.
  • Nordgren, I., Goterkaellan - om goterna i Norden och paa kontinenten_, Skara: Vaestergoetlands museums skriftserie nr 30, 2000.
  • Rodin, L. - Lindblom, V. - Klang, K., _Gudatraed och vaestgoetska skottkungar - Sveriges bysantiska arv_, Goeteborg: Tre boecker, 1994.
  • _Schaetze der Ostgoten_, Stuttgart: Theiss, 1995.
  • _Studia Gotica - Die eisenzeitlichen Verbindungen zwischen Schweden und Suedosteuropa - Vortraege beim Gotensymposion im Statens Historiska Museum_, Stockholm 1970.
  • Tacitus, _Germania_, (with introduction and commentary by J.B. Rives), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.
So, I would not say that every scholar would agree with the text "clumsy rehash".--Wiglaf 15:02, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Your answer is unclear - lots of people use Jordanes as a source (there being not much else to choose from), while "clumsy rehash" is a specific comment about the style and quality of the material. So are you saying all these guys think Jordanes made a well-composed epitome of Cassiodorus? If there really is a disagreement about Jordanes' quality, then it should be expanded upon in the article. Stan 18:33, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
What do you mean by unclear? You state that the expression clumsy rehash sums up the opinions of all scholars: I don't believe there any modern historians who would disagree. If there are, let's get a name. If they agreed with you they would hardly use him as a source. Now you accuse me of saying: So are you saying all these guys think Jordanes made a well-composed epitome of Cassiodorus?. No it is not about that. It is about raising the prose to a decent level, above the level of blurting out aggressive and subjective phrasing. I suggest you find one single scholar who uses such a phrase about Jordanes and quote him.--Wiglaf 18:57, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
In classics we're often stuck using sources that are pretty shaky; think of the Augustan History for example. That doesn't mean we're precluded from saying that they're poor, in fact it's important to be pretty blunt about the quality of a source, because it affects the strength of arguments made from it. I don't happen to have your references at hand (and I don't read Swedish in any case), but it's a very important to distinguish between "Jordanes' statement about X is garbled, but is clarified by an inscription" versus "Jordanes' testimony is utterly reliable". Now I notice that the Getica article does have an external link to a paper by James J. O'Donnell [2], where he tries to rehabilitate Jordanes a bit, but in the 4th paragraph observes that "The universal assumption, however, is that Jordanes was not a particularly clever fellow. The principal evidence for this claim is his slovenly grammar, on the good classicizing principle that cleverness and good grammar are always found together." (In fact, to a native English speaker, "clumsy" is a somewhat nicer word than "slovenly", the latter having the connotation of deliberate badness, while the former connotes something that one has no control over.) I'm certainly open to alternate phrasings ("aggressive" is not a word that comes to my mind for the original phrase, but if it does to you, then perhaps it will to other people) but let's be careful not to whitewash to the point that readers will be misled. Stan 03:57, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
OK, I see what you mean, and I think "very criticized" fits the situation. If you have a better suggestion, go ahead.--Wiglaf 08:53, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Let's get some of these points into the entry text. --Wetman 19:37, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
No, let's get some right points into the text. Now, what you folks say about the grammar is more or less true, but that does not reflect the personal ignorance or unskill of Jordanes. He was writing a Latin that the classicists call "Late Latin", in which the old literary language was coming into serious conflict with the developing vulgar Latins that would become the Romance languages. I challenge you to find a single author of mediaeval Latin who writes any better classically than Jordanes. Suppose English changed right out from under us as spoken, but we were expected to write comprehensible English in the 20th century style. We'd face some of the same problems as Jordanes and the others, how to say things right!
As for the "very criticised" it seems to stem from one statement of Jordanes himself in which he characterized himself as agramatus before his conversion. What this can mean no one at all knows. He was a notarius so it cannot mean he could not read and write. This is where reading between the lines can result in some unhistoric characterization. Better to have an agramaticus notarius than a phony criticized ignorant hack. Secretaries of state were not that even in ancient times. That's what he was, you know, not a rustic agrarian (no offense to the latter).Dave 01:23, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Jordanes, the Goths, Cassiodorus[edit]

I'm not ready to take on this article seriously yet, but my understanding from what I do read is that Jordanes was legitimate east Goth and furthermore the work is primarily his. Cassiodorus wrote a work that was several volumes (mega biblion, mega kakon) and so the church asked Jordanes to summarize it. Jordanes had three days to read Cassiodorus, which he did before being assigned to condense it. When he worked on his version, he did not have access to Cassiodorus'. So he just bit the bullet and wrote about what he knew as a Goth and what he could remember Cassiodorus had said. We can be too hypercritical about this. So the Alans had married into the Goths. So what? If Homer could work from an oral tradition, so could Jordanes. He was also a Goth, so we don't need to find mysterious reasons why he would show sympathy to the Goths. To some extent you have to take historical circumstances presented at face value. You and I could experience a common event, but suppose you consented to an interrogation by me. I could have you so confused, doubting everything you said, that you wouldn't be sure just what did happen! That trick has been used to convict the innocent many times. Try reading a history of the Salem witchcraft trials or the Inquisiton, but you don't have to get that far back by any means. Keep your eye on the local newspaper, or better yet, go to court a few times. The sources are the only way we have to know the past. If they are to be discarded, forget it, we know nothing. If they are to be accepted, you can't pick and choose what to accept without compelling reasons.Dave 19:15, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Quite to the contrary, assessing one's sources, understanding their cultural milieu and limitations, and reading between the lines are the very first things that distinguish prep school-level from parochial school history teaching. --Wetman 21:05, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
That's partly not what I mean and also partly, it seems to me, wrong. Of course it is necessary to assess the sources and understand the cultural milieu, etc. That is what the historians are supposed to be doing. We are in agreement there. Reading between the lines, we all do it, but I tend to be more cautious. That is what the prep-schoolers do, and it tends to be called speculation. There is a tendency to take it as certain or as documented, and that is what I mean by saying you are partly wrong (in my understanding of what you are saying). Two speculators can take exactly the opposite meaning between the lines.
No, what I mean is, after you assess the sources, etc., you are faced with a source containing, usually, irreconcilable contradictions. That is to be expected, I say. Beware of sources that NOT contradictory, as it means they probably have been doctored. That is the whole point of what I am saying. Man in his natural unconsidered state is a contradictory reporter. Two people don't report the same and one person diachronically does not remember the same. We must accept the bottom line contradictions as part of the record. To "clean" them out is the ethnic cleansing of history. What if you clean the wrong one? Better to have a contradictory author than an artificially pat one. Now that you know what I mean my guess is you will agree. To make eveything smooth and comprehensible is to create a history that was not there.
You know what? I think I will take on this article in a serious way, but for the moment that will be only structure and expansion. After all , we are NOT the Encyclopedia Britannica or the Catholic Encyclopedia. Anyway, I don't think they did that good on this article.Dave 01:04, 26 April 2006 (UTC)


Since the subject is Jordanes, why is there material inserted here not drawn from The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, for which there is a separate article? Why are details of Jordanes' biography elided here? --Wetman 23:02, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I just happened to see this months later. it may be too late now, but what do you mean about material not drawn from the origin and deeds? I mean, define "drawn from", and also "material", and give us an idea of the expectation you have that leads you to reject "material not drawn from" Getica. Or does your comment still apply after all this time? As for the elision, what do you mean by "elision"? Do you mean something has been left out or abbreviated that should have been in an article of this length? It is really too hard to conjecture what you might mean by this very brief qvetch, so to speak. None of this may be relevant now but if it is, give us a clue, hey?
PS. I picked the article up when it wasn't saying much and added some content but only in support of some other articles I was working on. It could still use some work, some tables, some pictures, more links, more Wikification. Since for me it was only a necessary improvement I am not going to do more on it so I invite you all to a biography party at this article at which you may act on your advice and bring its rating up if you can. After all nothing ventured nothing gained and discovery of error is only a prelude to discovery of truth An error is only a step on the path to truth, etc. (you epistemologists take heed). So step right out there.Dave 02:51, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

your bezkritical edits[edit]

Jordanes wrote Getica. The Roman Empire, capital Constantinople, is shown in pink. Conquests of Justinian shown in green.]] Iordanis, known in English as Jordanes (also Jordanis or even Iornandes, 'bold as a boar'), was a 6th century bureaucrat of the Eastern Roman Empire,[1] who turned his hand to history late in life.

Though he wrote a history of Rome (his Romana), the book most of interest to us now is De origine actibusque Getarum (The Origin and Deeds of the Goths), or Getica, written in Latin[2] (probably Jordanes' third language) at Constantinople[3] about 551 CE.[4]


This romana do not looks like 15 century old babay :)). by the way this nonsense is all the time repeated, but factual quotes are sweaped undr carpet. The Jordanes is a Mommsen crap, literary book designed to buster his poolitical goal and big anemity of weaked man.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:13, 25 April, 2007 (UTC)

How interesting. Pity your's is just a pov, and as such has no place in wikipedia (ever heard of WP:NOR?). Like it or not, this article respects WP:ATT, so stop disrupting the article.--Aldux 10:49, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

List of Jordanes people[edit]

According to old transliteration of Jordanes by Zeuss: "Die Deutschen" (deutsch > diot = human being = Gothic thuidos) he list following peoples (tribes) conquered by the Goths (Guets) in Rotshland (please note not Russia): "Scythas, Thuidos, Inaunxis, Vasinas, Broncas, Mercens, Mordens (Remnis), Imnis and Caris".

  • Thuidos correspond old Russian Tshud, (strange humans), a word which was used of Finns.
  • Inauxis which could be transliterated as Thiudos in Aunxis (Finns in Aunus / Olonets). The isthmus between Laatokka (Ladoga) and Äänisjärvi (Ozero Onega).
  • Broncas can not be identified, but presumably Vatjas or Livonians living between Aests and Imnis.
  • Aestes is Gothic name for Ests (Estonians) who lived with Finns at Gotland (Ojamaa / Vuojonmaa) with Guetos.
  • Vasinas are Veps (Vepsäs) mentioned by Nestor as Ves people. (Vaaseni is a place at River Syväri, known later by the Russians Svir.)
  • Mercens are Merjas. (Melanklains by Homeros)
  • Mordens (of Remnis = Raw / Volga) are Mordvas. (Androfagis by Homeros)
  • Imnis are Ingrians
  • Caris are Karelians.

He also mentions Vagsola, a river bigger than Tanais (Don). When looking through the Finno Ugric words for river Vagsola it can be freely transliterated as Valkasula (Valkeasula)= White River-bed. The first name of later Russificaned Volga.

There is in old British transliteration mention of Morsius Swamps. It can be derived from Finno Ugric word morsio = bride. Usually when the bride was disgrased before going to "miehelä", (to live with her man), it was common that she could not bear the shame and she drowned herself to river or swamp. There are still many swaps with same name even today.

At least the for people of Finno Ugric origin the text written by Jordanes, describing the peoples (tribes) of Finnish origin, is easy to locate from Jordanes list of peoples.


Wulfila never recanted[edit]

The Arianism conversion theory opens with a bald-faced lie. Wulfila's adopted son, Auxentius of Durostorum makes this quite clear. Jacob Haller 08:03, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Announcing major deletions - nothing to do with pope Vigilius[edit]

The Vigilius that Jordanes wrote his Romana for is unknown. Other than the not uncommon name and contemperineity, there is nothing supporting the identification with pope Vigilius. In fact, scholars agree that it would have been highly improper for Jordanes to adress a pope the way he addresses Vigilius, even admonishing him to "turn to God" (see Arne Søby Christensen's book about Jordanes). /Pieter Kuiper 10:28, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Iordanes and Getica. Getica is not Gothica, is about Getae[edit]

There is a controversy about Getica because the described deeds belong to Getae (a Getic population in Carpathian area)and not to Goths. Because of Jordanes confusion between Getae and Goths, large parts of Getic and Dacian history were introduced in the history of some germanic populations (see Some historic events in germanic histories are distorted following this confusion. Caracalla (in 214) received Geticus Maximus and Quasi Gothicus titles following battles with getae and goths. Also Belizarius received Geticus title after battles against getic tribes and not against goths (Christensen, A. S., Cassiodorus, Jordanes, and the History of the Goths. Studies in a Migration Myth, 2002, Dissertation, ISBN 978-87-7289-710-3) Readder (talk) 11:07, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Christensen A. S., Troya C. and Kulikowski M. (see reference list), demonstrated in their works that Jordanes developed in Getica the history of Getic and Dacian peoples mixed with a lot of fantastic deeds. This shows Goths real name was Getae.Readder (talk) 18:36, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

First, that's not what Kulikowski argues, that's something you're misattributing to him. Second, who incorporatred this into the lead? (talk) 00:55, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

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  1. ^ "If Jordanes was a bishop (as is frequently assumed) and if he lived in Italy (also frequently assumed), those elements of his background have left no trace in his two histories" (Brian Croke, "Cassiodorus and the Getica of Jordanes" Classical Philology 82.2 [April 1987, pp. 117-134] p 119.).
  2. ^ Theodor Mommsen, (MGH: AA 5.1:vi) observed many forms of grammar and orthography that revealed a translation into Greek from a Latin original.
  3. ^ "Constantinople is "our city" (Getica 38).
  4. ^ He mentions the great plague of 546 as having occurred "nine years ago" (Getica 104.)