Monday, 13 April 2009

Asian cultures, people and old texts on the Asian origin of the Ancient Nordic Goths

There seems to be an interesting connection between the ancient Nordic Goths and the ancient Khotan people. The Khotans were according to different sources a melting pot of people from different cultures i.e. Ancient India (Mahajanapada, Maurya, The middle kingdoms including the Kushan empire), Persia, Greece, China, Tibet and Turkestan or Turkmenistan (before and during Kanishka). The Khotan people inhabited in an ancient kingdom present areas of Kashmir (Jammu and Kashmir) and the culture in the northern – western frontier of India before and under Vedic period India (a few hundred years before and after the Common Era). The Khotans were closely related to the Gandhara - Taxila Mahayana Buddhism of Peshawar (Read more: 1. Mahayana, 2.).

You can see a Map in the following article:

The Silk Road

Arch Net about the northern areas of ancient "Khotan", Hotan, Hotian, Hetian, Chotan, Ho tien, Ho-T'ien, Yu-t'ien: "The Khotan Kingdom became a major center of Buddhist teaching and ritual during the spread of the religion from India to China in the second and first centuries B.C. The city was invaded in 70 A.D. by Chinese general Pan Ch'ao of the Later Han Dynasty (230-220 A.D.), although it was only briefly administered by China" (End of quote).

Cotan, Cotam, Hotum, Khoten, Khotan, from which the useful material of manufacture, cotton, takes its name.

“According to legend, the foundation of Khotan occurred when Kushtana, said to be a son of the Indian Buddhist emperor Ashoka, settled there in the early 3rd century BCE.
However, it is likely to have existed earlier than this as the Yuezhi (known later as the Kushans) had been trading the famous nephrite jade from the region to China for some centuries prior to this.” Source: Wikipedia: Kingdom of Khotan. The ancient Khotan (Kushans) is according to the text founded by Kushtana, a son of Emperor Asoka, in the 3rd century BCE.
Possibly people of Khotan descent had settled India (i.e. present areas Northern and Western Pakistan and India) several hundred of years before Common Era.

Segment of a large rock stupa, the life of buddha, Gandhara from the Kushan dynasty, late 2nd century or early 3rd century CE. Exhibited: Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution. Photo by Quadell. 2005 Wikimedia.

Ancient Khotan: Volume 1 by M. Aurel Stein, 1907.
“A text that proves that Kashmir was credited with having supplied to Khotan statuary of ancient date, a fact throwing light on the channel, or one of the channels, through which Khotan art derived its unmistakable connection with Graeco -Buddhist art of Gandhara. It is the only trace we possess of a Khotan tradition pointing to an invasion of Kashmir across the great mountain barried of the Karakorum.” (end of quote). A legend told in length both by His-yu-chi and Hsuan-tsang.

Near Taxila (Gandhara) there is an area called Rajar and a Town called Hashtnagar, Asghatnager, Ashtnagar or Ashnagar. The Sanskrit word “Ashtnagar" means "Eight Towns”.
"Ashtnagar" from “Astan”, “Astau” or “Asta” (Sanskrit) meaning “eight” (Eng.) and the word “nagar” (Sanskrit) meaning “Town” (Eng.)

In Gothic: “Ahtau”= “Eight”. According to the following linked article by Juan-José Marcos (2008) the Gothic script style has nothing to do with the Goths, but is most likely influenced by the Christian Crusaders in Europe during the Medieval period. Likely it is the same with the Gothic language in general. The period of the Gothic script started about the 13th century and lasted to the 16th century, however in the German areas and German influenced areas Gothic scripts were still used in the 18th century. The Nordic Goths had settled the Nordic before the Common Era according to some old texts and archaeological findings. The ancient Nordic Goths used runic scripts. A tradition later preserved by the Laplander = Sami people until the 1800 eds.

Back to Asia: There was probably a movement of people from the northern mountainous areas to the coastal areas of present Pakistan and India during and after the conquests of Alexander the Great about 325 BCE. You can see the areas that he conquered in the following website (red arrow)

Ancient story of Pakistan

Skanda: The Alexander Romance in India

by N. Gopala Pillai, M. A. Vol. IX (Trivandrum: Government Press, 1937), pp. 955-997.

Emperor Ashoka ruled 273 - 232 BCE during the Maurya Empire.

“Excavations of Sir John Marshal at Taxila unearthed enough proof to establish the close cultural and economic ties between Kashmir and Gandhara in ancient times when, as Heun Tsiang records, Taxila was a part of the kingdom of Kashmir” (end of quote page 51).
Culture and political history of Kashmir by Prithivi Nath Kaul Bamzai (1994). Read the text under the subheading “Later Immigration” from page 60 that tells about how King Asoka built a Buddhist center in Kashmir with about 5000 Buddhist monks.

Distribution of the Ashokan edicts in Ai Khanoum and India by PHGCOM, 2007. Wikimedia GNU file. Read more in The Buddhist architecture of Gandhāra by Kurt A. Behrendt, 2004.

A language transformation of the word "Khotan" to the word "Goth" and "Jute" are found in a book by Samuel Klinger (1952): “The Goths in England: A Study in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Thought”. In this book by Kliger there is a reasoning about the word connections of “Jute” and “Gothic” and he mentions old English names that might be identical with a Geat-form:

Northumbriam [Iote, Iotan],
Mercian [Eote, Eota],
Early West Saxon [Yete, Ietan]
Late West Saxon [Yte, Ytan].

Both Tacitus and Jordanes placed the origin of the Goths in Asia according to Klinger. This is supported by observations and texts in the Nordic. The ancient Scandinavian Goths are not the ones that brought the Gothic script to the Nordic areas, this script was introduced during the Medieval with the Christians.

Other names are Gotones, Gutones (Pliny the Elder), Gothones (Tacitus), Gauthigoths (Jordanes), Guti (Spelman, Giles Jacob's New Law Dictionary, 4th ed.), Gotti or Jutae (English Goths), Jutae, Getae (Romans), Gutae, (De Anglorum Cambridge, 1670), Geatuni (Annales Petroburgenses), Jotuni, Jetae, Jutae and Juitae (Danish writers) and also Getae and Giotae, Gutae, Geatuni, Jotuni, Jetae, Jutae, and Juitae. From Dictionarium Saxonico et Gothico-Latinum ( London, 1722). "Geatar." Source: Klinger, (1956).

In a book called “Eddalæren og dens oprindelse” by Finn Magnusen (1824) it is told about mythological "Giants" i.e. "Jætter" (danish language). The Swedish Sami Laplanders called the Giants for ”Jatton” and the Finlanders used several names to describe them such as “Jätit”, “Jutut”, “Jutas” or “Jattolaisit”. The younger Norwegians call them “Jutul” or “Risar”. I am ignoring the mythological semantics regarding these names mentioned by Magnusen, the syntax resemblence of these names are interesting in relation to "Khotan" and Gottan and for the ones mentioned by Klinger to e.g. Jute and Iotan. I will add more from this book by Professor Magnuson later on, including the myths of the Giants.

The ethnicity of the Goths in general have often been confused with the Gothic script, this connection is incorrect. The ancient Nordic Goths used the futhark (Runic script) until the Medieval. The runic futhark were changed during the Medieval Era to what is called "Medieval Runes" and in some areas of the Nordic they were preserved longer and were still in use during the 1800eds e.g. in runic calendars and religious runic drums.

The Medieval Gothic script was introduced by the christian crusaders and into the northern part of Europe, including the Nordic areas. This book might give some interesting perspectives on the christian crusaders of the Medieval Era: Contributions toward a history of Arabico-Gothic culture by Leo Wiener, 1917.

While Sweden and Denmark was christianised from Germany, Norway and Iceland was christianised from England according to Guðvarður Már Gunnlaugsson.

Quoted from an article Font for Latin Paleography by Juan-José Marcos, 2008: “The name “Gothic” started as a term of deprecation; it was meant to be synonymous with rude or barbaric. Gothic style has nothing whatever to do with the Goths; according to an obsolete meaning of the word, “Gothic” meant Germanic or Teutonic. This, if the pitfall of nationalistic interpretation be avoided, represents one clue to the entire period; The Gothic style was definitively northern. It was, however, a style greatly influenced by Saracenic art – an influence that resulted from the Crusades… Roughly, the Gothic period lasted from 1150 to 1500.” (End of quote). Marcos writes that the Gothic script still was commonly used in Germany during the 1800eds.

Most of the Nordic Saga were written in Latin with Gothic script-form. According to a study by Guðvarður Már Gunnlaugsson the first manuscripts at Iceland was written in Vernacular scripts, a few in Carolingian script, and most are written in Proto-gothic script that were used from 1300. Only one a short part (a single page) of the earliest Icelandic manuscripts was in Norwegian.

A Reading list that might be of interest: Scandinavian manuscripts & manuscript culture

Comment: "Jute" is the people of ancient goth origin that inhabited Jutland in present Denmark and southern Sweden. Denmark and some parts of southern Sweden were previously called Dacia.
A 1482 edition of a map of the Nordic areas after Ptolemai or Ptolemy (90 – 168 CE). Dacia et Scantzia is marked with red. Click on the map. Internet source: Project Gutenberg

Were there Asians in Denmark?
There is evidence for Asians in Denmark before Common Era, for instance the ancient findings of Pasupati resembling figures on the Gundersrup Cauldron found at Jutland. There are also other Buddhist similar ornaments found in Denmark, some are mentioned other places in this blog. This is a photo of the Bog man – Grauballemanden, found at Jutland:
Photo by Malene Thyssen, 2004 Wikimedia GNU

This bog man mummy is called Grauballemanden and is dated 375 BCE to 52 BCE. Grauballemanden clearly was of Asian origin.

Where Did the Goths Come From: Michael Kulikowski Explains That Our Main Source Shouldn't Be Trusted by N.S. Gill,

“The ancient Greeks considered the Goths to be Scythians. The name Scythian is used in Herodotus (440 B.C.) to describe barbarians who lived on their horses north of the Black Sea and were probably not Goths.” The text continues: "Kulikowski says the only evidence of a Gothic people from before the third century comes from Jordanes, whose word is suspect."

The Goths might have been mentioned before Jordanes, i.e. by Ptolemy. In the map already mentioned which is a newer 1482 edition of Ptolemy from the 2nd Century CE the Goths (e.g. Gottia and Gottiam) was mentioned in Scandinavia and so were the Laplander people. It need to be checked if these were denominations mentioned by Ptolemy or Ptolemai.

Source: Project Gutenberg
As can be seen from this map Scania (present areas of Sweden) settled by the Goths and Dacia (present areas of Denmark) settled by the Jutes were one: Scania et Dacia.

A List of Editions of Ptolemy's Geography 1475-1730 (1886) by Wilberforce

Most ancient Goths were likely driven away from the areas they had settled, a fact that is mentioned by Jordanes texts about the Ancient Goths. However the timing of this happening mentioned in Jordanes must be incorrect. One reason is the continuity seen in ancient Gothic picture and runic scripts with old futhark runes. New long runes occurred after about 800 CE, however this might be part of a continuous development from the Old Futhark, after the long runes the runes developed to medieval runes. Real discontinuity was however obvious with the Christian crusaders from Germany and England in the Medieval period, they introduced Latin scripts.


The mentioned ancient texts by Tacitus and Jordanes are based on retold stories and not on direct observations. Some not quite so ancient texts negate the text of for instance Jordanes, that wrote how the ancient Nordic Goths had been displaced from Sweden early in history and to areas of "Scythia" (comment: likely this was present Russia and Black Sea areas). In Jordanes words:
"But when the number of the people increased greatly and Filimer, son of Gadaric, reigned as king--about the fifth since Berig--he decided that the army of the Goths with their families should move from that region. (27) In search of suitable homes and pleasant places they came to the land of Scythia, called Oium in that tongue."

The source of Jordanes (6th century CE): THE ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS translated by Charles C. Mierow in "The origin and deeds of the Goths" (1908).

All ancient Nordic Goths unlikely moved from Scandza or Scania as early as told by Jordanes (before 5th Century CE). This is known from the continuity of the Ancient Nordic Goth culture, art, jewelery, monuments, scripts and other archaeological finds. Remains of this ancient Nordic culture can still be seen in some old churches in Norway, Sweden and likely also in Denmark. The continuity lasted until the Christians violently broke down the religion and culture of the old Nordic people. The Christians for instance combined medieval runes with ornaments of the old Nordic culture, and added Christian ornaments. But soon the old culture was completely replaced and also the runes. Further south in Europe the ornamentation was clearly Christian, while the pre-Christian religion clearly have been practiced in the Nordic areas during the Medieval period and in some areas even longer. Likely the ancient Nordic people were extremely resistant against Christianity, because they already had a religious system.

An example of how old culture were mixed with the Christian is a coffin with Runic inscriptions in Botkyrka, Södermanland after Christening 1000-1100 CE. It is important to remember that the Nordic people were not all together Christians at such an early time.

There are good reasons of why these old text should not be trusted alone as accurate sources or interpreted literally. Many available objections should be considered and it is important to remember that these are not scientific texts, but much is part of told stories that were written rather than reporting observed facts. It is important not to forget the political and personal interests of the authors e.g. to please their employer. In addition most of these old texts are translated from Latin, which in itself might be a source of error. Many of the text were written by the Christians who's intention was to destroy the ancient religion and culture in the Nordic. The Christians wrote down the Nordic Saga literature. "Lapponica" or "The History of Lapland" is written in Latin by Johan Scheffer and translated into several languages and this book is an excellent example in how the ancient religion in the Nordic were torn apart by Christian priests. You can find out more about this book in Saamiblog.

Some later texts told another story about the Ancient Nordic Goths
Eusèbe Salverte, Anne Joseph Eusèbe Baconnière-Salverte and Louis Henry Mordacque (1864) wrote that the Ancient Goths where driven to Northern Lapland areas (Page 48 - 51): “Just as Zoroaster teaches that Ormuzd and Mithras are constantly employed in combating the Dews, i.e. the gods of Hindustan, so the gods who had been conquered by Thor, and who with their worshippers had been driven back into the ice-bound caverns of Lapland and Finland..."

Summarized: According to Salverte et al. the Dews are the worshipers of Thor, and the worshipers of Thor had been displaced to Lapland and Finland.

P. Læstadius asks on page 491 in the book “Fortsättning af Journalen öfver Missions-resor i Lappmarken innbefattende årene 1822 – 1832” how the Kven people could have been replaced from Upland to Torneå without any known battles and without many traces is completely incomprehensible. They might have merged with Swedes and Lapps before they disappeared. This text by Læstadius indicates that the Kven people that first settled in Finland, and some migrated to the northern parts of Norway from 1500 to the late 1800eds have something to do with the ancient Scandinavian Goths.

You can read about the ancient Nordic people previously called Laplanders or Lapps in the following blog. Today the Laplanders are called "Sami" and Lapland or Lappland is called Sapmi or Sámiid Ædnan = "Sámi etnan" = Sami Ednan. In some areas the Lapps merged genetically and culturally with the ancient Scandinavian Goths:


The Ancient Goths were still in Southern Scandinavia in 1600 - 1800
However, the texts by e.g. Jordanes and Eusèbe Salverte et al. are incorrect or only partly correct about the ancient Scandinavian Goths being displaced because they were reported to still be in the southern Scandinavian areas both during the 1600, 1700 and 1800-eds. For instance Jaque de la Tocnaye (1801) writes that the Goths are of Tatar origin and so did the Swedish and Norwegian kings, jarls, etc. This particular text by de la Tocnaye is not based on observations (source: Lindkjølen, 1995). Concepts used in literature in relation to the ethnic Asian connection of some people in the Nordic areas, such as Tatar or Huns, might have been used in lack of better ones or because of missing or erroneous information. To this day nothing is certain about when and from where the ancient Goths arrived to Scandinavia.**

Some old texts that are based on observations in the Nordic areas additionally support the perception about the Asian origin of the Scandinavian Goths. I have translated a few of these old texts, but first I will make a short comment.

Origin is a highly complex matter and the theory about clean races is a myth. From 1700 – 1800 and until recently many believed in the notion of “pure races”, a simplistic idea that has been utterly challenged in the last decade for instance with the new genetic research. The new genetic research have supported that the indigenous people of the Nordic first were of European origin, with haplogroups such as mtDNA U5b and V and YDNA I1a. These first people in the Nordic areas were likely the people called Laplanders = Find, Finns or Lapps (there are many more names on the same people). "Find"or "Finns" must not be confused with present day Finlanders. The indigenous Nordic people merged genetically and culturally with later migrating people such as the ancient Goths, and then mainly during and after the medieval period with the arriving Christian Colonists that particularly immigrated from Russia, Germany, and Netherlands.

In some areas the ancient Nordic people without doubt had some early influx of people from Asia, but they cannot be said to be from or to originate from Asia. The Asians that migrated to the Nordic came very early and merged genetically with the aboriginal people.

It is correct to say that some of the people in the Nordic partly have roots in Asia.

If it is so that some of the indigenous people of Scandinavia merged genetically with people such as the ancient Asian Khotans, this will furthermore illuminate how extremely complex the matter of origin is because the ancient Asian Khotan areas were a melting pot of people from different cultures.

Here are a few texts based on observations in the Nordic that are translated from the works by Hans Lindkjølen (1993, 1994 and 1995):

Tuderus (1638 – 1705) that observed the populations in the Nordic areas placed the origin of the Nordic Goths and also the Finlanders in Asia.

Jonas Rasmus (1711) that described the origin of the people of Norway tells that the Goths unlikely came via land or via Lappland and the Gulf of Bothnia. Lindkjølen interpret this text to mean that Rasmus with this text suggests that Lapponia existed before the Goths came to Scandinavia.

Johannis Peringskiold (early 1700eds) wrote that it is still to be told from what direction the Goths came to Scandtzia*. It is unlikely that they came via a land route from Asia and Scythia, and it is unlikely that the Goths migrated from Asia and Scythia and wandered in Lapponia and the Bothnian Fjord: because the language and customs of the people in Lapland and the Goths are very different and because old geographers such as Pytheas (300 BCE) and Jordanes that was a Goth himself called Scantzia an Island.

* Scandtzia = Southern Scandinavia, where the Goths first settled. This text by Peringskiold suggests that the ancient people of Lapland not were of Asian origin. A suggestion that makes sense in regard to the ancient European haplogroups that are high-frequent in present Northern Scandinavian areas.

Thomas Myers travelled in the Nordic countries and after that wrote the book “Modern geography: Sweden and Norway” (1822). He wrote that the Goths, who originally sprung from the regions east of the Caspian Sea, are a more noble race than their northern neighbours. The Goths arrived 7 or 8th centuries before the Christian era, particularly in the south were the population is still purely gothic.

I will later add texts from the Nordic Sagas and about them, they seem to have been written by Christians in the medieval period and the old texts of the Nordic Sagas have been changed until the 16th century. The Nordic Sagas were first known to the learned in mid 1600eds.

Additionally translated quotes from the following book about the Asian origin of the Scandinavian Goths will be added later on:

Hollander, A.G.: Om Gotiska Folkstammens österlandska Härkomst. Indvandring i Skandinavian och äldsta religionsformer. Borås 1889

My Questions:

Can it be that "Goths" is an ethnic description of different groups of Asians in Europe rather than cultural distinctive concept?

Jordanes writes: "The same mighty sea has also in its arctic region, that is in the north, a great island named Scandza, from which my tale (by God's grace) shall take its beginning. For the race whose origin you ask to know burst forth like a swarm of bees from the midst of this island and came into the land of Europe"(End of Quote).

In accordance with Tacitus, Jordanes and others the Goths were Asians, but in the just quoted text Jordanes makes it sound like all European Goths were from Scandinavia.

The fact that Scandinavia was and always has been sparsely populated makes the ideas about different origin groups of European Goths appealing. It is more likely that different groups of people with a somewhat similar Asian origin populated some areas of Europe and Caucasus in different waves. Did the Nordic areas have several migrations of Asian people? Or was it people with the same partly Asian Goth origin that settled different part of the Nordic, some that merged with the indigenous Laplanders (Lapps) and some that settled in present Finland?

Some texts are mentioned which tells that the Ancient Goths where driven to the Northern Lapland areas (Page 48 - 51): “Just as Zoroaster teaches that Ormuzd and Mithras are constantly employed in combating the Dews, i.e. the gods of Hindustan, so the gods who had been conquered by Thor, and who with their worshippers had been driven back into the ice-bound caverns of Lapland and Finland, were even then pursued by the Aijekewetschera, or formidable hammer with which the hand of Thor is armed, just as the hand of Mithras was armed with a club.

There a fresh defeat awaited them; they disappeared, and the national religion of the Laplanders, that which even now contains a mixture of the old religion with Christianity, has ever since presented to worship of the faithful entire group of these three Scandinavian deities.” (Quote from: History of the Names, Nations, and Places in their Connection with The Progress of Civilization by Eusèbe Salverte, Anne Joseph Eusèbe Baconnière-Salverte and Louis Henry Mordacque (1864). Many of these old texts build on sources that might provide incorrect information.

What is particularly interesting about this text is that it contrasts the Indian Asian religions (Dews) that have a trinity of Gods with a dualistic system. An interesting fact and as demonstrated in this blog, the trinity of Gods in pre-Christian Nordic religion continued until christianisation during the medieval period.

It is well known that the religious symbols of the old people have been systematically destroyed in the Nordic. From the medieval period the Christians conquered the Nordic areas. The Christians simply destroyed and redefined the history of the Nordic. Likely there were fights and conflicts that has been silenced in our history. History has been constructed partly to disguise the colonizer's violence and later to justify their theft of land and resources from the ancient people.

A relation between the Indian Jats and the Nordic and European Goths?

An old book about races mention the relation between the Jats of India and the Scandinavian Goths: The Ruling Races of Prehistoric Times in India, Southwestern Asia, and Southern Europe by James Francis Katherinus Hewitt (1894). Here is a cut and paste from this book from page 480 to 483. Such texts are not necessarily correct in every aspect but may provide some lead treads towards a deeper understanding. To me it seems that the Jats are another group than the Nordic Goths. Likely the Jats belong to a different group of Asians that settled in southern parts of Europe, and they were likely related to the R1b men of Southern Europe. The male genetic haplogroups of the first Nordic Goths were most likely R1a1 and possibly N1. I will look into and discuss this text and genetics in later blogs.


The two most numerous of the agricultural castes in the Muttra district, are the Jats, numbering 117,265 persons, and the Chaniars, 99,110. The crops grown consist almost entirely of autumn crops, Joar {Holcus sorghum), Bajra (Holcus spicatus) and cotton, and winter crops wheat, gram (Cicer arietinum) and barley — barley being the crop which is most grown, while rice crops are unknown. Hence we see clearly that the people who first cleared the land of forest were the race who grew millets, cultivated, according to the Song of Lingal, by the Gonds who were saved from the Flood and the hostility of the alligator Mug-ral, by the tortoise, and were followed by the first growers of barley, who were, as I have shown in Essay III., immigrants who had come to India from Asia Minor. Of the two most numerous agricultural tribes descended from these early immigrants, the Chamars, who are hereditary slayers


of cattle and dealers in leather, are undoubtedly the descendants of a race of cattle herdsmen, who under Kushite rule, when the artisans were divided into septs practising special trades, became tanners and sellers of leather goods.
The Jats, on the other hand, are pure agriculturists, who boast that they can produce better crops from their lands than any other race of hereditary farmers. Their chiefs still hold extensive estates in the district, and it must have been they who originally cleared, not only the lands of Muttra, but also those of all the other districts west of the Ganges, in which the Jats hold a similar position as leaders of the agricultural tribes to that held by the Kurmis in Oude to the
east of the Ganges, in Bengal, Central India, and Bombay, where Jats are unknown.

The Jats must, therefore, be the race known in the Mahabharata and Rigveda as the Srinjaya or sons of the sickle (srini), the Panchala rulers of the Gangetic Doab, who conquered India under the Pandavas, and they must also have belonged to the tribes who formed in India the confederacy of the sons of the tortoise, for they trace their descent to the land of Ghuzni and Kandahar, watered by the mother-river of the Kushika race, the sacred Haetumant, or Helmend. Their name connects them with the Getæ of Thrace, and thence with the Guttones, said by Pytheas to live on the southern shores of the Baltic, the Guttones placed by Ptolemy and Tacitus on the Vistula in the country of the Lithuanians, and the Goths of Grothland in Sweden.

This Scandinavian descent is confirmed by their system of land-tenures, for the chief tenure of the Muttra district is that called Bhayachara, in which the members of the village brotherhood each hold as their family property a separate and defined area among the village lands, according to the custom of the Bratsvos of the Balkan Provinces and the Hof-Bauers of North-west


Germany, which I have already described in Essay II., and not the mere right to an allotted portion of the village lands held in common by the rice-growing matriarchal village communities. The Getæ of the Balkans are said by Herodotus to be the bravest and most just of the Thracians, who worshipped one god, called Zalmoxis, or Grebeleizen, the thunder and lightning-god, to whom they send a messenger every five years, the mission being accomplished by throwing him on three spears and thus sacrificing him.
These Thracian Getæ must, as a Northern race of individual proprietors, have held their lands on the tenure existing in the Jat villages, and these Indian Jats, or Getæ, have not degenerated from the military prowess of their forefathers, for those Jats, who have become Sikhs in the Punjab, are known as some of the best and most reliable Indian soldiers.
Further evidence both of the early history and origin of the race of Jats, or Getæ, is given by the customs and geographical position of another tribe of the same stock, called the Massagetæ, or great (massa) Getæ. Herodotus describes them as living on the western shores of the Caspian Sea in the lands watered by the Araxes and its tributary, the Kur. Thus their home is the same as that of the ancient Iberians, whose mother-mountain is Ararat, whence the Araxes rises,
which stands almost halfway between the Caspian and Black Seas, and the names of the former sea and of the river Kur, preserve the roots kus and kur, the two forms of the name of the father of the tortoise race. It was here, in the land of Georgia, that the reverence for the rain-god as the father of life originated, and it was here, as I have shown in discussing the myth of St. George, that the festival to the plough-god, the Naga, held in the month of April-May, the original form of the Palilia of Italy, and Maifeuer of Germany was first instituted, and it is this festival which is still observed by the Jats of Muttra and the Gonds of Central India as the Akht-uj" (End of quote).

It is indeed interesting to see how this author as many of the same generation particularly during the late 1800-eds completely turned the facts, as if the very sparsely populated Scandinavia could have been the cradle of people in Europe, Caucasus and India. Additionally many authors of this time-period often had a "one cradle" theory of the Goths. It is more likely that the Goths came to e.g. different parts of Europe and Caucasus from Asia, than the other way around. The origin of the Goths and the Jats were unlikely in Scandinavia.

In spite of this, the connection between the Jats and the Scandinavian Goths is a very interesting one in the perspective of this blog. I will continue to work on this text.

Some references:

Lindkjølen, Hans: Nordkalotten. Oppdagelser-Ressurser-Misjon. Atheneum 1995
Lindkjølen, Hans: Nordisk Saga,. Tyri Forlag. 1995
Lindkjølen, Hans: Samene og andre urbefolkninger i Nordområdene. 1994
Myres, Thomas: Moderen Geography of Sweden and Norway, 1822.

Goths and Jats

Origin of the Jat people

The Goths in England: A Study in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Thought by Samuel Kliger; Harvard University Press, 1952.

Ancient Khotan: Volume 2 by M. Aurel Stein, 1907.

I will add text from the following sites to this blog later on:
Codex Regius
Old Icelandic
Spread of Christianity in Europe
The Origin of Icelandic Script: Some Remarks by Guðvarður Már Gunnlaugsson.
The origin and the development of Icelandic script by Guðvarður Már Gunnlaugsson

Gothic script style has nothing whatever to do with the Scandinavian Goths in particular or Goths in general, but with Saracenic art of the Christian Crusaders. Gothic is a Latin script style. The Gothic period lasted roughly from 1150 to 1500. Praegothica developed from the earlier Carolingian minuscule. Fonts for Latin Paleography by Juan-José Marcos, 2008.

**If there is some hold in the hypothesis about the ancient Nordic Goths being partly Khotan, the origin subject is even more complex. The ancient Khotans inhabited the areas of present northwestern India, Pakistan and China a few hundred years before and after the Common Era. The ancient Khotans were an ethnical mixed group. It has been reported in the Tibetan Annals of Khotan that their language were 50% Indian and 50% Chinese. This particular people has also been described in ancient texts of a Chinese Monk called Tang Shu or Tang S'hu

The Language of Ancient Khotans by F.W. Thomas. From “The Tibetan Annals of Khotan”: "Li (Khotan) being a country half Chinese and half Indian, the dialect of hte people is neither Indian nor Chinese ( i.e. a mixture of two). The letters resemble those of India (Rgya). The habits of the people are very similar to those of China." (end of quote).

The ancient Khotans were a mixture of people from India and China that had merged with ancient Greek and Persians. Likely they were connected to Gandhara and Taxila, some had migrated along the mountain fringes of the Himalayas and additionally to the coastal areas of present Pakistan and India.

The empire of the steppes by René Grousset, 1970.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Names in Kashmir, India, and the Nordic

A few names of Kashmiri, Indian & Pakistani and Nordic origin.

Nordic Names Kashmiri Names Indian & Pakistani Names Buddhist Words
Uddevalla, Udvalla
Uddevalla is a town and municipality in southern Sweden - Udvalla related
to an ancient eastern frontier kingdom of Assam, Sarvesvari ruled by queen Shiva Shima to 1744 CE (URL page 302)
Balto, Balti Balto (Surname) Balti language is spoken in Baltistan & Ladakh of Kashmir. - -
Turi Turi
Turi (Nick name for gothras) - -
Aga Aga
Aga (Surname) - -
Dass Dass
Dass (Surname) Dass(i) (Surname, India) -
Padar Padar , Paadar (Surname) Padar (Nick name for gotras) - -
Walle, Valle Walle, Valle (Surnames) Walli, Wallu (Surnames) - -
Bror Bror, first name, meaning “Brother” Bror (Surname meaning “cat”) - -
Mandal Mandal (place name in southern Norway) Mandal (Surname for 'buttocks' or nick name for gotras) Mandal(ik) (surname, India) Mandala has meaning in Buddhism. The concept first appeared in RigVeda.
Jan Jan (Male first name) Jan, Janh(Male first name & nick name for gotras) - -
Siv Siv (Feminine first name) Siv (Male first name) - Siva, Shiva (Kasmiri Buddhist Shaivism)
Sajet (s), Saijet (s) Sajets, Saijets (Surname) - Sajet, Sajeti (place name, Uttar Pradesh between Ghatampur and Hamirpur) -
Ugra - Ugra (Surname and nick name for gotras) - ”Ugra Sutta” ancient script *, Mahayana Buddhism
Soppero, Sopor (e) Soppero (Place name, northern Sweden near Kiruna) Sopor, Sopore (Place name and surname) - -
Dal, Dahl Dal, Dahl (common surnames & word for “valley”) Dal (Surname) Dal & Dahl (Hindi, Urdu, Nepalese word) -
Tana, Tanha Tana (place name, Norway Tanha (Surname) - Tanha means thirst, carving or desire in Buddhism
Magga Magga (Surname and feminine first name) Magga (surname) - The of the (dharma) noble truths of the path (way) to Nirvana. According to Merv Fowler (1999): Magga is the way to end Dukkha.
Jota or Jute Jute (name of people of Jutland, ancient Denmark or Dacia inhabited by the ancient Nordic Goths) Jota (surname and nick name of gotra) - -
Jotshi - Jotshi (nick name of gotra) - -
Zutshi - Surname - -
Utz, Utsi, Utze Surname - - -
Lukkar(i), Lukhar, Luhkkár Surname - - -
Sami Sami (cultural descriptive name) - Sami (name in Punjab, Punjabi) -
Somby, Sombi Somby (surname) Sombi (first name) - Sombi (sambhu or Lord Shiva)
Kar, Kahr Kar: Scandinavian word for man, bloke, guy. In Norwegian also for container Kar (surname) - -
Naga(s), Nagar
”Gonagas” "Gánagas" (Sami language for king). "Nidhogg Nagar" is a name of a dragon in Nordic Mythology. See previous posting in this blogg.
Nagas, tribe name and for serpents Nick name for gotra, and placename (e.g. srinagar, or ancient “ashtnagar”
“hashtnagar”). “Nagar”
(Sanskrit) meaning “Town” (Eng.)
Salman - first name and nick name for gotra - -
Kem, Kemdal - Nick names for gotras - -
Vangar Word in old Nordic e.g. “biartir vangar” (vangar means "cheeks", the word appeared in rigsThula) Nick name for gothra - -

**A book about the Ugra: A Few Good Men: The Bodhisattva Path according to The Inquiry of Ugra (Ugrapariprccha) by Jan Nattier (2003).

Manjusri and the Cult of the Celestial Bodhisattvas by Paul M. Harrison, 2000.

Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary - n


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