Conceming the tribes having the element got in their names I state shortly what Svennung says about these:
Nr. 5 uagoth 'Vag-goter' (gautar vid Skälderviken).
Leffler hat uagoth als 'Vag-Goten' erklärt.
Die alte Bedeutung von vagr ist oben S.20 ff. erörtert worden. Der Sinn des zusammengestezten Namen hängt davon ab, wie mann das vorhergehende Wort liest und deutet. Wer aber die theutes S.von Halland verlegt, ihm dürfte es naheliegend sein, den vagr des Namens Vaggothi auf die grosse Bucht im NW Schonens zu beziehen, die jetzt Skälderviken heisst und die sich den Seefahrern in vorhistorischer Zeit wie ein willkommener Meerbusen darstellen musste. Hier sei erwähnt, daß in demselben Kulturkreis (s.S.170 f.)auf der dän. Insel Sams0 in denaltnord. Sagas zwei Häfen angeführt werden: in Orvarodds Saga 28, 3 Munarvagr, in Hervararsaga Unavagr. Über diese "mytischen Namen" s.Danmarks Stednavne I, 116.
An der Mündung des Busens liegt Väderön, aisl. Veärey.. .Diese Insel könnte eine Operationsbasis der Gauten gewesen sein. Vgl. Väderöarna vor Bohuslän unten S.202 f. (Svennung 1966, s.55 ff.)
Da unser Text von den Stämmen Nr. 4-8 sagt, daß sie auf ihrer fruchtbaren Ebene von anderen Stämmen angegriffen werden, und da nach der nächsten Gruppe, Nr. 9-12, die Charakteristik (die wohl kaum nur mit dem Gauthigothae zusammengehört) folgt; "eine tapfere und sehr kriegerische Völkerschaft", wäre es vielleicht möglich anzunehmen, daß Cassiodor in den Vag-gothae Gauten aus dem heutigen Västergötland(vielleicht auch aus den damit verbündeten Landgebieten), also * Vag-gautar, gesehen hat, die die schonische Küste bei Skälderviken (vagr) invadiert haben? Sie könne später vertrieben oder von den Ureinwohnern assimiliert worden sein. Die Archäologen haben im Schonen des 5. u. 6. Jhs. einen kulturellen Aufschwung festgestellt, aber auch Kriege und Anfälle, vor allem in den Küstenstrichen. Was die nähere Lokalisierung der Vag-goten angeht, ist es wohl möglich, daß sie an der Mündung des Vegea oder des Rönnea wohnten. (Svennung 1966, p.56 f)
Svennung accordingly claims that these Vag-goter could be West-gautic Gautar who had invaded the Skäldervik-area and settled there during the 5th to 6th cc.
Nr. 12. gauthi-goth 'Gaut-Goter
Einige Forscher (v. Friesen, Wessen) wollen in goth ein aus dem Rande falsch hereingekommenes Glossem sehen. Da aber die Getica—Hss. keineswegs durch Glosseme gekennzeichnet sind, muss ich *Gauthi- gothae als eine wahrscheinlich von Cassiodor geschaffene Bildung auffassen, im Sinne von Gaut-Goten. Der zweck des Werkes war ja, die Geschichte der Goten zu schreiben; dazu gehörte, ihre Urheimat, die Scandia-Insel, zu schildern. Dabei sollen nun vor allem die "zurückgebliebenen" Goten erwähnt werden.
Hier finden wir demnach:
Die 'Goten' im Lande der Gauten, d. i. Västergötland (Nr. 12)
Die östlichen 'Goten', d. i. Gauten in Östergötland(Nr. 15)
Die 'Goten' am Vagr (Nr. 5)." (Svennung 1966, p.65)
Svennung accordingly here equals the construction of the word Gautigothae with the earlier by Schönfeldt (Schönfeldt, p.267) assumed original writing by Cassiodorus—Wisigothae (Vesegothae with Jordanes). Svennung interestingly enough calls the name Gautigothae, i.e. the name he applicates on the Westgautar, for "Urgauten-Name". Concerning the Eastgautar he means the name has been directly copied from the famous Ostrogothae on the Continent. As an alternative possibility to the first component 'gaut' he gives a thinkable compositum as in e.g. the Germanic names Gaudipert, Gaucibert and Gautbert. He remarks that a Gepidic prince who is mentioned by Prokopius (Bell.Goth. 4, 27, 19) was called Oustri-gotdoz, and that you with Jordanes find names like Thiudi-goto, Theudi- gisclus and similar. He presents as a parallel the construction of Gothi-scandza, which he understands as a latinization of the Gothic Scandia, and he remarks that it was, and is, a custom among emigrants to bring with themselves names from the old habitation-area. He then gives still a possibility for the namegiving of Gautigothae. He draws a parallel with his interpretation of the names eua- greotingi—'ö-grytingar'(Island-Grytings)—and *Vagi-gothae (alt. *Vaga-gothae) as the Goths in the 'vik' (=bay) (vdgr) (=waves) with 'the Goths who live at Gauts river'—Gautigothae. He then writes: "Of these alternativs I prefer the first." (Analogie nach Wisigothae, auth.remark) He accordingly then has dismissed the second possibility—that they should have been named in this way by Cassiodorus/Jordanes because they lived at the Göta älv river. In spite of this he later claims just that they should have been named so by this very reason. (Svennung 1966, p.65)
The meaning and origin of the name Gautar/Gauter has been discussed above. Svennung (Svennung 1966, p. 66-78) means here, that I have already treated above, that the name comes from the fact they lived at the Göta älv river, which name earlier can have been not composited and the river could only have been called *Gaut (f.). During later times, he means, the name "ef'might have come into use and been added to the old name. He will derive the name—origin of the whole of Götaland to this circumstance, and the explanation hence that the culture in Östergötland is as old he claims depends on a colonisation of Gautar. As a proof he refers to the results of an examination by Olof Arrhenius, showing that:
daß sich ein an Grabfeldern reiches Gebiet von der Alvastra-Gegend, von dem Boren-See und Skänninge ostwärts bis W von Roxen-See und dann nordwärts bis zur Gegend von Braviken erstreckt; in überraschend ähnlicher Weise reicht ein phosphatreicher, ca. 20 bis 30 km breiter Gürtel vom Vättersee, W und N vom Takern-See über Skänninge bis W und SO vom Roxen-See, dann bis S von Braviken. Die Frequenz der Grabfelder ist ungefähr die gleiche im W und im O, der Phosphatgehalt
dagegen ist erheblich grösser im W. Dies dürfte auf eine ältere Kultur im W Östergötlands hindeuten. (Svennung 1966, s.86).
He can in spite of this not convincingly explain why a river-name meaning 'water that pours' (into the sea) should have the same name as the main-god of the Goths/the Gautar. I mean instead, as stated above, that the name is derived from the creator of the humans, 'the out-poured', meaning the god Gaut, who consequently has given name to both the people and the river. Why else should the Jutes/Ytas have the same basic meaning in their name living on the other side of the Kattegat and with no hughe, pouring rivers?
Svennung remarks that the informer, who got his information from the Gautar in Västergötland, först after having left Bohuslän starts mentioning more distant peoples. First then he brings up a group which seems to be "eastwards emigrated Gautar".. .(in alliance with the Westgautar?)", he writes. He claims the most important connection-route between Norway, in the vincinity of Uddevalla, and Västergötland went via Naglumssund NE of Trollhättan, Norra Björke, Nybro at the Nossan and Lidköping to Skara. On that route, he suggests, the knowledge of the Eastern Goths might have come to Euagreotingi and Ragnaricii (N of present Uddevalla). (Svennung 1966, s. 86)
I note that this route indeed seems to have very old traditions, and the latest remarkable gold-find in Västergötland in Vittene in just Norra Björke, which according to the place-name bookwas called Birke in 1527, while Södra Björke was called Birka. It is, accordingly, a suspected Birk-place (trading-place). It might be added, that after excavations in 1999 in Vittene it has been found the presumably biggest of the till now known grave-fields in Västergötland, with graves from the Pre-Roman and Roman Iron Age. The material is still not officially analyzed.
The people-name Ostrogothae means after Svennung East-Goths—the Eastern Gautar—and he dismisses the interpretation 'Glanz-Goten' by Streitberger. Svennung 1966, p.87) Adamus Bremensis (Adam 4, 23) calls them "gothi orientalis" in opposite to "gothi occidentalis". It may also be remarked that the connection to the Goths for the Gautar was that strong in Europe of that time, that the pope Gregorius VII in a letter to the brother-kings in Västergötland in the year 1080 AD did adress it to "Wisigothorum gloriosis regibus".(Diplom.Suec.I Nr.25)
Nr. 13. mixi = *hixi (for ON. *hiskiR) 'Hisingsborna','The inhabitants of the Hising island'
Mixi is interesting in this connection, since it often is combined with Euagre- Otingi[s] and hence occur together with the on the Continent known tribal names.
...Codd. BXY haben mixti, was entschieden den Eindruck einer interpolatorischen "Verbesserung" erweckt, aber von Gelehrten wie Müllenhof (Ed. S.163), v. Grienberger u. a. aufgenommen worden ist. Die "lectio difficilior" ist unleugbar mixi, das ich als eine Verschreibung für *hixi betrachte: dies wiederum dürfte m. E. einen urnord. Volksnamen *hiskiR latinisieren, im Sinne von 'Bewohner der Insel *His' (jetzt Hisingen, mit dem nordischen suffigierten bestimmten Artikel).
Einem Römer des 6. Jhs.war nämlich die Lautverbindung-sk- vor weichem Vokal ganz ungewohnt, seitdem in späteren Latein-sk- in dieser Stellung zu einem Zischlaut geworden war; er hat hier die Aussprache einfach durch Metathese erleichtert und in *hiksi, geschr. *hixi, latinisiert. Die moderne Forschung hat gezeigt, daß die Metathese verschiedener Sprachen ziemlich willkürlich und sporadisch auftritt, bes.in Fremdwörtern, z. B. Plin. 8, 39 in achlis für germ.*alcis 'Elch' oder in der Latinisierung Scandia für *Skapnia.
Es lässt sich denken, daß *hiskir aus *his durch ein k-Suffix gebildet worden ist, etwa wie der Fluss Vis-k-a(n) in Nordhalland, dessen Namen man mit dem Namen des Sees Visu-langer (durch den der Fluss Viskan fliesst) verbunden hat; die Flussniederung wird 1231 Visk^rdal (jetzt Viske härad) genannt, was die Form *Viskr voraussetzt.
Der Plural *hiskir kann auch durch eine Art Haplologie aus *his-isk- ir, Sing. *his-isk-r enstanden sein, gerade wie aisl. friskr aus fris-isk-r,' 'Friese', 'einer der frisir'; wie holl. friesch 'friesisch', fries.frysk, mnd. vresch, nd. freisch." (Svennung 1966, p.79)
Svennung wants to add to the linguistic confirmations, that mixi shall be interpreted *hiskir—inhabitant of the island Hisingen, which includes both the mouth-branches of the Göta älv river, that it must have been of strategical importance for as well shipping, trade and defense. The island was according to Svennung probaly called His from the beginning.
Nr. 14. euagre otingi[s]=*eua-greotingi 'the Cave-dwellers- or 'the Stone-people- on the islands'
This name has been discussed intensively and the opinions still are strongly split. In the original it is divided into two words—Evagre Otingis. Mommsen remarks that it might hint on Greutungi, Th. von Grienberger proposes mixti etiam Greotingis and J.V. Svensson chooses mixti Auragreotingi, which he beleives shall mean the population in Örgryte. Läffler writes Eva-Greotingis, where Eva is eya, island, while Greotingis are 'those living in stone-houses'. Läffler places them on Öland.
Svennung continously argues:
Meinesteil möchte ich behaupten, daß die Eua-Greotingi—das u bezeichnete bilabiales v (eng. w, Noreen AIG §42)—auf der Insel Orust, N von Hisingen, wohnten; wahrscheinlich umfasste ihr Gebiet (bis Ranriki, Nr. 17) bisweilen auch die Küste des Festlandes, die früher Grözbakka skiprei- dha (1465), später Kreis Grötsbacka (härad), jetzt Inlands Nordre genannt wird. Urgerm. *aujo,das im Vorderglied steckt, bedeutete nicht nur 'Insel', sondern auch 'Wasserland', 'Halbinsel'usw. (Bach §307), ähnl. aisl. ey u. a. Wörter der jetzigen nordischen Mundarten. Eng. island (aus izland) hat auch bedeutet 'watered place', 'meadow'. Das verwandte ae. ealond, eig. 'water-land', 'riverland', auch 'island'. Bei Beda ist eu 'Insel': Smith I 147 f. (vgl. Ekwall, Place-Names 158 b).
Das zweite Glied, ano. grjot, aschw. gryt (aus urgerm. *greuta-; vgl. das finn. Lehnwort riutta 'Klippe'), bedeutete u. a. 'Gestein'.
Der Völkername Greotingi deutet an, daß sie in einer felsigen Provinz wohnten, das Vorderglied Eua-, daß sie auf Inseln, bzw. an der Küste, wohnten. Das alles passt vortrefflich zur heutigen schwedischen (früher norwegischen) Provinz Bohuslän (früher Viken). Der Name Eua- Greotingi kann die Inselbewohner, im Gegensatz zu den Einwohnern des Festlandes in der (späteren) Grözbakka skipreida, bezeichnet haben, etwa wie *EuniskiR im Geg. zu Aetel-Rugi (s.Nr. 25, 26)."
Verträgt sich nun damit der Zusatz: hi omnes ('alle diese Menschen') excisis rupibus quasi castellis inhabitant, ritu beluino? Die bejahende Antwort wird unten S.148-154 gegeben.
Im Mittelalter wurden die Inseln Hising, Tjörn und Orust samt dem Küstenland bis Uddevalla unter dem Namen Elfarsysla zusammenge- fasst(das Gebiet N oder NW des Flüsses Elfr). Die Stämme Nr. 13 und 14 gehörten wahrscheinlich schon im 6. Jh. zusammen. Elfarsysla wurde später Inland genannt, im Gegensatz zum Utland (offebar vom Norden her benannt) S oder SO vom Elfr ; über dieses s.auch unten S.179 f. (Svennung 1966, p.80 ff.)
Among else Sophus Bugge has wanted to interpret eua- as a Old-Nordic eynir of PrtGerm.*aujiniz 'island-inhabitant', 'island-liver'. This should mean that the i-Umlaut and the syncopation of i in the second part already should be introduced in Nordic around year 500 AD, which is supported by von Friesen, Neckel and Hesselman.(Svennung 1966, p.84 f) As a conclusion Svennung offers a possible connection to the Continental tribal names Greutungi and possibly Mixi, which later writing however is questioned. Concerning Gauthi-gothae and Ostrogothae it is hardly possible to confirm an emigration with only this material, but it however clearly indicates that the Gautar living in Scandinavia were reckoned as Goths by their contemporaries.
Norbert Wagner remarks of the unsecurity of the writing Eva Greotingi, and it's connection with Mixi/Mixti, and he also remarks, that for the interpretation 'stone', 'mountain' et c. it is the Proto-Nordic grjot forming the base, and that other Germanic languages also can have the meaning 'sand', 'gravel' et c. It accordingly should presuppose a linguistic connection with the North-Germanic, since the word not is confirmed in the Gothic of Wulfila. (Wagner 1967, p.171 ff) This argument is however weakened through Wessen, as mentioned above, who has demonstrated that Gothic and the dialects of Gotaland show a certain similarity, and also Schwarz has indeed wanted to see a Gothic language-area around the southern Baltic Sea inclusive Scandinavia.
As stated above new sources to the Gothic pre-history do really not exist. It is still Jordanes' Getica, Strabo, Tacitus, Ptolemaios and Plinius (with debated possible qoutation of Pytheas) dealing with times being close to the origin of the Goths. Certain loose remarks can be found also in e.g. Orosius, Zosimus, Dio and other but nothing substantially. The source-value for Jordanes' according to himself from Ablabius fetched information is disputed. I however consider myself to have demonstrated that Ablabius probably is a far more beleivable source than hitherto presumed. The devastating criticism of Curt Weibull,and latest also Christensen, which has been demonstrated above, and which claims that Tacitus and Ptolemaios give no support for an immigration-theory, and that Getica is a strictly literary construction by Cassiodorus without any source-value, must definitely be rejected. It is not possible to ignore oral traditions unless the research will be made impossible and become only a static history-writing.
Since new peoples during the Antique tried to get themselves an old and honourable history, which indeed is noticeable in Getica when Cassiodorus/Jordanes mix Getae and Goths, there is much that speaks for, some researchers mean, that Ablabius refers to a true tradition since they mean, that of this proposed tradition comes no honour in those times.
Norbert Wagner efficiently kicks away the feet of Weibull through referring to Hieronymos Hebraicae quaestiones in libro Geneseos, where the Gog and Magog- interpretation already is known. Concerning the island with Jordanes Wagner also remarks that behind Brittany lies Prufienland, and hence the island of Britain is quite inactual.
Jerker Rosen does not see any proof-value in the story, but he remarks that the problem with the similarity in names between the Goths, Gotaland and Gotland still remains to be explained. He accordingly is not totally convinced by the arguments of Weibull. (Carlsson/Rosen 1962, p.65)
The discussion between Hachmann, Wagner, Wenskus and Schmidt, which has been referred above, leads up to an estimation of the strenght of the kingship. Wenskus claims that th kingship grew stronger but I then question his definitions. I mean that the power of the sacral-king should have decreased continously, but that the king through the migration and the continous wars indeed could claim his old rights better than during peace-time. That far I can agree that the kingship gets stronger. On the other hand the power of the local chieftains/petty- kings all the time increases and finally this leads to Odinistic Gefolgschaft-kingdoms led by former chieftains/petty-kings/kuningaz, later reiks. We know in any case that 03inn(Mercury) is claimed to have been the main-god under the proposed Filimer, and here I mean the foundations are laid for the later realm of Ermanarik, who is a genuine 03inn-king and reiks. Wenskus accordingly in the bottom supports my thesis of agradual developement from a sacral-kingdom of basically fertility-character, where the king however claims genealogy from Gaut, to an army-kingdom where the power in time is transformed to local chief- tains/petty-kings/reiks while the power of the sacral-king is weakened and finally, when settling at the Black Sea, totally disappears.
Wenskus claims the chroniclers did not want to have an incomplete lenght of kings, and since they lacked information of this in the early history, speciallydur- ing periods of peace, they have described the migration from the Vistula as a gathered enterprise under one leader. Wenskus himself however claims that it actually deals with a number of Gefolgschaft-kings with their followers having led individual tribes or groups of tribes to the Black Sea area. These kings should have been reiks. This supports, as remarked, my earlier stated thesis. It is only during outer disturbances that a sacral-king has a real political power and in periods of peace and permanent habitation it lies with the reiks/chieftains. This patterns also appears in Gut^iu3a concerning the kindins.
To this may be added Wenskus remarks about the name of the Goths and the name of the tribe called Greutungi which is traceable in the name-material in the Vistula-area, and opens the possibility a native population has been over-layered, and the idea of Gutenbrunner that the Goths might have had early trade-depots in the area, and that this should be the origin to the later tradition-nucleus.
The thesis of Gutenbrunner agrees with my earlier stated hypothesis of several different Gothic emigration-waves, where the first could have taken place somewhere around the 300's BC from Gotland and possibly East-Scandinavia and have taken the form of Gutenbrunners trade-depots in connection with the amber-trade. If Pytheas really knew of the Goths, which is indeed disputed, this is in that case the only possibility with regard to a Scandinavian origin.
The claim by Ernst Schwarz of the similarities between Gothic and North- Germanic makes indeed in his eyes a gradual over-layering less probable. Against Schwarz however Wenskus claims that it should have come wave after wave of Nordic immigrants from a bigger area than hitherto fancied.
Finally the survey of Josef Svennung of the different people-names in Getica becomes a decisive instrument of interpretation. Concerning the indication of a direct emigration of certain tribes through similar names the possibilities are confined to primarily the Greutungi, derived from Euagreotingi[s] after the original form Evagre Otingi, which should mean approximately 'island-livers from the rocky island' or 'island-livers who inhabit stone-houses'or 'caves'. Mommsen thinks it is possible it might hint on Greutungi, while von Grienberger reads mixti etiam Greotingis. J. V. Svensson interprets it as mixti Auragreotingi, whicch he beleives is 'the people in Orgryte'. Laffler uses the writing Eva-Greotingis, where Eva is eya, 'an island', while Greotingis are 'they who live in stone-houses'. He places them on Oland. Svennung claims the island is Orust, lying strategically just outside the mouth of the Gota alv river. On Orust there is the old Grozbakka skipreidha (1465, which later becomes Grotsbacka harad. Groz comes of ON. grjot, OSw. gryt (from PtGmc. *greuta-) and means among else 'stone'.
The people some call Mixi or Mixti Svennung reads as Hixi and gets from this His-ischen—Hixi or 'the inhabitants of the island *Hi's', now Hisingen. This Island controls the mouth of the Gota alv river and is there fore naturally connected with Gautar/Goths. This interpretation Hixi is however quite disputed but when it concerns the Greutungi we are indeed on a more stable ground.
is reasonable and useful, but is not possible to use as direct tribal names, and can not be referred to as confirmations of a possible earlier emigration from Scandinavia. They evidently just mean Gaut-Goths and East-Goths, the later meaning East- Gautar. In any case it is clearly demonstrated that to the Continental peoples of the 6th century they were regarded as Goths. Goths and Gautar accordingly were equalized which could possibly suggest a still living tradition.
Uagoth—Vaggoter (Wave-Goths) might in this connection be disregarded except of a possible connection with certain high-cultures indicated in Skane(e.g. suspected Heruls et c.). They can in no way be connected with any early Gothic migration.
The meaning of and origin of the Gautar has been discussed. Svennung claims the name comes from the fact the people lived at the Gota alv river and was named after their living-area. It could earlier have been called only *Gaut (f.), he claims. He will derive the name-origin of the whole Gotaland from this and he also claims Ostergotland was colonised by Gautar from this area. As a proof he refers to an examination by Olof Arrhenius indicating an older culture in Western Ostergotland. Svennung however can not explain in a convincing way why a rivernamn meaning "'pour out water' (in the sea)should have the same name as the main-god of the Goths. I claim the name derives of the god Gaut, the creator of humans, 'the outpoured'. Both the people and the river are named after the god I mean. The Jutes have the same basic meaning of their name and they have no swallowing rivers to refer to and live on the other side of the Kattegat.
Interestingly enough Svennung lifts forward the old trade-route between Gauti-gothae and Norway via Naglumssund N.of Trollhattan, Norra Bjorke, Nybro at the Nossan and Lidkoping to Skara. This way indeed has ancient traditions and the latest remarkable gold-find referred to above has been made in Vittene in Norra Bjorke and in time close to the presumed Gothic emigration. It has also been excavated parts of the probably just now greatest known grave-field in Vastergotland right in Vittene. This gravefield includes the Pre-Roman and Roman Iron Age but the analysis are still not official and only a minor number of graves are still examined.
The name Ostrogothae means according to Svennung Eastgoths—the Easter Gautar—and he dismisses Streibergers' Glanz-Goten. Adamus Bremensis calls them "Gothi orientalis" in opposite to "Gothi occidentalis". Gauthi-gothae are by Svennung called also Ur-Goten, i.e. Proto-Goths. Whether this implies only that they colonised Ostergotland, or if they are the original Goths he does not explain.
If any preliminary conclusions shall be drawn from this material we can at first conclude that there is no agreement in the issue of a possible mass-emigration to the Vistula-area neither from Scandinavia nor Gotland. Instead appears with a greater sharpness the possibility of a possible three-step-emigration of a number of smaller groups. The Gutar could possibly be the ones referred to by Pytheas in Plinius, if this referrance is real and not,with Hachman, a later adding. Also gau- tar from the Eastern Swedish main-land are thinkable at this time—around the 300's BC and on. Gautar also from Western Sweden and the Kattegat-area are thinkable around the birth of Christ and as the last step the tribe of the Gepids can have been formed, and have included except of locals in the Vistula-delta also Scandinavians from all over the Katttegat and Baltic area. The telling of Jordanes should in this case refer to the peoples from the Kattegat-area and Western Sweden. According to Erik Nyle, who was referred to in the archaeology-section, there was a Gotlandic emigration also around 200 AD. (Nylen 1991, p.173 ff) I must here stress that in my opinion these groups were just addings to already existing cultures in the Vistula—area and what they brought was mainly, as stated also by Wenskus, a tradition-nucleus. This tradition in my opinion is the religious origin of the peoples from the god Gaut which finally gave rise to a cultic league also in the Vistula-area.
Since Rosen, Hachmann and other also agree there are strong connections between Gautar and Goths, and what Hachmann concerns, that the Gautar indeed were Goths, this leads to the by mestated thesis: Goths were all those peoples worshipping the god Gaut—he who had poured them out. They were the humans who all had the same divine origin. This goes for the Vistula-goths, the Gutar, the Gautar and the Jutar who all have names after the god Gaut, and maybe also other names of Gaut may have existed to explain the Norwegian connection. In anty case there are a lot of name on Gaut in Norway but they are traditionally explained as incolent names (nature names). It is remarked by Schwarz that it might have existed a common language-area arond the Southern Baltic and including Scandinavia and the Kattegat-area, but this is opposed by many. According to Wessen the Gothic language should be closest related to to the Swedish Gotaland-dialects and Gutnic—i.e. not with the Old Swedish, which is rather a medieval language with North-Swedish dialects involved. This does not contradict there are great linguistic differences between Scandinavian and Gothic, but this does not make an inflow of people from the whole area in any way impossible. Naturally enough you accept the language normally spoken when you immigrate into a country and the language might possible have been established by the Gutar from the beginning or they could have been included in a already existing language-group on the main-land. The Gutnic seems anyhow to be the Nordic language being closest to Gothic, and that is also what Wenskus claims. What really is important with this reasoning, however, is that it is, in my opinion, the religion and not the language which is the original ethnical common symbol of unity. The Gothic ethnicity is primarily based on their religious origin and neither on language or politics.
Another question is from where this religion has spread, and we so again land in the Nordic Bronze Age-culture, which at its dissolution demands a more use- able religion and that leads, in my opinion, to the rise of the cult of Gaut as a political factor. This happens in Southern Scandinavia where still lie Gaut's land and Gaut's river and in close connection Jutland (after *ytland). The religious nucleus with the Goths accordingly very well might have an Scandinavian origin, and hence the tradition of a Scandinavian ancestry is not unreasonable even if we do not talk about great numbers of humans. The archaeological confirmations in Southern and Western Sweden in no way contradicts this possibility and indicate indeed close and intensive contacts with the Continental Goths.
As is demonstrated above it is all the time a continous developement from a sacral-kingdom to an Odinistic army-kingdom with Gefolgshaften, and hence there is also a continous weaking of the power of the sacral-king. This results on sight in a thinner ethnicity for the whole group, but an increased such within the frames of the single army-kingdoms. Still all the time the common religion lies as a uniting factor, differing Goths from non-Goths, and this also during the Arian epoch. Not until Reccared converts to Catholicism the Gothic ethnicity starts declining finally and the realm goes under.
3. Linguistic judgements
The discussion about the possible kinship of the Gothic language with the North-Germanic languages has been going on for long now. It must be made clear that this divisionis invented by linguists. All Eastgermanic languages are today extinct. To these were counted among else Gothicand Vandilic. The only reason, it is said, the philologists originally had to clump together a line of tribes and call them Eastgermanic was the law "lex Gothica" where a common language, spoken by all these tribes, existed. Be it as it will with that statement- I dare not say anything conclusive. Some have wanted to place the Gothic totally among the Northgermanic languages, but the majority claim it is a, at least now, quite alone representative of the Eastgermanic languages. Those exist also, who claim a closer relationship with Southgermanic. A complication in this matter is also that there is a definite difference between so called Old Swedish, which is a medieval language, and the Swedish Gotaland-dialects, who are older, like also the old dialects of Northern Sweden. They have been mixed together in Old Swedish. According to Wessen the relationship between Gothic and the Swedish Gotaland-dialects and Gutnic is greater than with other Germanic languages. This circumstances should indeed have contributed to the fact that some have seen Gothic as a Northgermanic language. Since I am myself no linguist I can hardly make any authorative claims about who is right or wrong on linguistic grounds, but I have to take position in regard of all facts from all disciplines where the language is just but a part of the whole picture. I however intend to report on the most important points of sight in this discussion as best as I can achive. Except of linguistics it will of course also touch other important disciplines of importance for the understanding, like archaeology, history, religion,geography and so on. In this way I also will try to give a survey of the division of the Indo-Germanic languages according to the both the former and the present wiew.