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German Ethnology
THE CAMBRIDGE ANCIENT HISTORY
VOLUME XI
THE IMPERIAL PEACE
A.D. 70-I92
EDITED BY
S. A. COOK, LITT.D., F.B.A.
F. E. ADCOCK, M.A., F.B.A.
M. P. CHARLES WORTH, M.A.
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS

CHAPTER II
THE PEOPLES OF NORTHERN EUROPE: THE GETAE AND DACIANS

By G. Ekholm, Dozent in the University of Uppsala

Section 5
THE GERMANIA AND THE CIVILIZATION OF THE GERMANI pp. 68-76

Abstracts related to the
Germanic Ethnology and its comparison with Türkic Ethnology

     

Foreword

Below follow the excerpts from the chapter of the "Cambridge Ancient History" that describe Germanic traits found in the ancient sources. The close parallelism between some of the ethnological properties between the ancient Germanic people and the Türkic people is widely scattered in the literature, and can be surely compiled together. The citation illustrates the assembly of the recorded traits.

To add a spice to the following ethnological comparison, here is a citation from very peculiar times, when things theretofore held in the desk drawer all of a sudden became politically acceptable and allowed for print, and now are precious antiquariate: Cheboksarov N., Mongoloid elements in the population of Central Europe//Scientific Notes of Moscow State University, Moscow, 1941, Vol. 63, pp. 235-270

“The Germans have more common very prominent cheekbones, slanting and a narrow section of the eye orbits, upper eyelid crease, low nosebridge, flattened nasal ridge ... Sheidt's comparison of Germans with various Eastern European groups - Russian, Finnish, and even Türkic - indicates that in central Europe the Mongoloid features are common not any less, but rather even more than in the east of Europe. The Hannovers and Badens by many main racial traits clearly fall into “Mongolised” in comparison with the Voronej Russians or Vychegda Komi, yielding little in this regard to the Turkmens (Turkmen Oguzes live in Caspian - Black Sea bimarine since 8th c., but here the reference is more likely to the generic Türkic population, in somewhat derisive racist form) of the North Caucasus consisting in half of Mongolised elements. On individual Mongoloid features, and sometimes a combination thereof can be also stated for the German cranials of Bavarians (Zaller, p. 75), Franconians (Jaeger, p. 57), Hanover (Gaushild, p. 52; Zaller, p. 77).  Most clearly the Mongoloid admixture is visible in the Lombard series of the 6th c. from Nikich in Burgenland (eastern Austria), studied by Gertrud Mueller ... In the article, Mueller also mentioned the Germanic tribe of Gepids from Croatsia, studied by Lebzelter and exhibiting even more notable admixture with Mongoloids (Mueller p. 65). In light of these facts it is interesting to recall the old works of the H¸lder, who found about 20% mixed “Turano-Germanic” forms among the old Germanic skulls from “ordinary graves” in Wurtemberg (H¸lder 55 p. 13). Under “Turanian type” H¸lder certainly meant Mongoloids; not without reason he held the characteristic features of this type broad face with forward cheekbones, flat weakly protruding nose with broad nosebnridge, and low jaw (ibid., p. 5). The skulls with “Turanian” featurse are concentrated, from the testimony of H¸lder, in the upper valley of the Danube from Günsburg to Sigmaringen (ibid. p. 13). The accuracy of the conclusion on the presence of Mongoloid elements among the central European Germanic tribes is confirmed by juxtaposition of images of the German skulls with similar materials from Sweden, nicely published in the Rettzius' album ... the Mongoloid types are widespread in the territory of modern Austria, Tyrol, Bavaria, and Württemberg, where their traces clearly stand out on the old Germanic skeletons, and likewise among the modern population ...

At a first glance it may seem strange that modern Germans are often display in their anthropological type more Mongoloid features than most of the Eastern Europeans. But this paradox is only seeming, because in reality the large  “Mongolised” degree of  Bavarians in comparison with the Russians is due to the fact that the carriers of Mongoloid elements, the nomads of the Black Sea steppes, settled in large numbers not on the path of their movement, but in their final stages ... Formed by the end of the 1st millennium BC, the Germanic tribes were anthropologically admixed already at the time of their origin. They consisted of not only various second order Caucasoid racial types, but also intermediate “Ural-Laponoid” complexes. The close contact with the nomads in the 4 - 10th cc. increased the proportion of Mongoloid elements among the Germans ....”

G. Ekholm Türkic comparison

Sources

Tacitus' work is the most important source about the Germani, though this work has lost some of its authority because of the penetrating criticisms of some scholars. The Germania is a late representative of a long succession of geographical-ethnographical works by Greek and Roman authors. In these works on various peoples can be discerned a long series of 'ethnographical migration motives',  one of Tacitus' statements about the Germani is met with in the Hippocratic Corpus referring to the Scythians, another in Herodotus, where it refers to the Persians. Directly and indirectly, Tacitus must have availed himself largely of other sources, such as Posidonius, Caesar, Livy and Pliny.
68

 

 

Name

Tacitus gives the tribal saga of the Germani and about the origin of their name, which only the Tungri are said originally to have borne. The general opinion is that the name was originally that of a tribe, which was later given to the whole people as the result of the prominence of its bearers as conquerors. Tacitus gives no explanation of the name Germani, and the question must still be considered unsolved; there is not even unanimous agreement to what language the name belongs.
69

1. Tungri is reportedly a Türkic tribal name. The area immediately west of the traditional Kurgan area of the steppes abounds with tribal names built around base “Tr”: Tyr, Thracian, and more.

2. German in Türkic is "strong", a suitable name for a tribe. And it is an exonym name, no tribe would call itself "strong", but would enjoy a status of "strong" from the outside.

3. None of the Germanic tribes called themselves Germani neither generally, nor specifically (compare. with Deuch),  for Germanic peoples it is a recognized exonym.

 

Appearance

After the description of the physical characteristics of the Germani, a description which proves to be largely in agreement with Posidonius' account of the Celts.
69

1. I.e. unlike Greeks/Latins, non-black hair, lighter skin, lighter eyes, straight hair.

2. A number of Türkic ancient tribes are described as different from the Chinese in respect to hair color, eyes, rosy disposition, and prominent noses: Dinlins, Kagases, Usuns (N.Aristov, "Usuns and Kyryzes, or Kara-Kyryzes", Bishkek, 2001, p. 133) .

3. A number of Türkic ethnonyms directly indicates white/yellow/pale appearance: Sary, Shary, Ky-/Ku- Sary/Shary, Kypchak, Kuman, and many others.

4. It is worth to note that the Mediterranean and Near Eastern peoples, including  Greeks/Latins/Persians, exceptions notwithstanding, are darker and dark-eyed and black-haired.

 

Dress

 Before the Bronze Age the dress for men of all classes was a mantle, held together by a fibula, or by a thorn. Extremely rich development of the fibula in Germanic territory accords excellently with this statement.

The dress had been greatly changed since the Bronze Age. The Roman reliefs, as well as sculptures and statuettes, show us the normal Germanic costume of that period. The change since the Bronze Age, above all, is manifested by the adoption of long trousers, which are supposed to have been borrowed from one of the horse-riding peoples in South-East Europe. Wealthier had also close-fitting undergarments. Among their objects of luxury were furs, sometimes brought from distant countries in the most northerly parts of Europe.
70

1. This is a clearest and direct statement of the change in the Germanic culture. Before the Bronze Age (Scandinavia Bronze Age c. 1800 -500 B.C.) the dress was indistinguishable from the local culture. With the  Bronze Age came the Bronze Age and long trousers, borrowed from the horse-riding peoples.

2. The association with South-East Europe horse-riding peoples is a direct reference to ancestors of Sredni Stog, Andronovo, and Kurgan horse-riders

3. This observation conflicts with the Indo-Europeanistic Kurgan hypothesis, if Indo-European Germanics were Kurgan people, they would not need to borrow trousers from the horse-riding peoples, but have them from the very beginning

 

Dress - Women

The women's clothing was similar in character.
70

It is a common and continued observation that starting from the Scythian times, the Türkic women wore dress similar with men. The identical dress is best seen on thousands of female mortuary statues left behind by Kypchaks and Kumans from the South-East Europe to Irtysh.

 

Women - Relations Between Sexes

In the relations between the sexes, monogamy was the rule and matrimony, which was entered into fairly late, was held sacred. Adultery was rare and was severely punished.
70

It is a common and continued observation for most of the Türkic societies starting from the Scythian times.

 

Women

The women occupied a highly honored position. In peace woman was the man's adviser, even credited with a prophetic instinct; in wartime she urged him on to combat, and wavering armies had stood firm at the adjurations of their womenfolk.
70

It is a common and continued observation for most of the Türkic societies starting from the Scythian times. Documented examples are Masguts (Massagets), Scythians, Huns, Kipchaks, up to the later times Kazakhs.

 

Serfs - Status

No difference was made between children of the free-born and the serfs.
70

1. It is a common and continued observation for most of the Türkic societies starting from the Scythian times and continuing to the Islamic times. In nomadic societies serfs can only exist temporarily, in the domestic role, as a part of the family, since the horse herders are totally autonomous and can't be bound by serfdom bondage.

2. Not only in the Türkic nomadic societies, but also in the Türkic sedentary societies serfdom appeared only as a trace of previous ingrained tradition of the conquered societies.

 

Family and Clan

Tribal and family feeling were very strong among the Germani, and they were loyal to each other both in friendship and enmity. Family revenge was an imperative duty on every man, but the vendetta was not implacable. Even murder could be expiated by fines, a principle preserved in the Germanic laws which were codified much later. Indeed reconciliation between families was almost a social necessity in view of the temperament of the Germani and their forms of social intercourse. Extensive hospitality was practiced, and feasts often finished with fights and bloodshed. As a drink Tacitus mentions a fermented beverage prepared from barley and wheat.
70

1. Türkic societies are known for their clan ties, a bond that survives till present in some modern states.

2.In most of the Türkic ancient and Middle Age societies starting from the Scythian times and continuing into the  Middle Age the traditional punishment  for most of the crimes, except the crime of adultery and treason, was a pre-set fine. This tradition influenced, for example, the Rus 12th c. legal code, where the condoned vendetta was replaced with a pre-set fine.

3. Türkic extensive hospitality is a law of the society from the ancient to the present times.

4. feast traditions included wrestling and horseracing recorded from the most ancient times.

5. Unlike barley and wheat of the sedentary populace, equivalent drink of the horse herders is , documented from the Homeric to the present. Drinking feasts are documented from the Scythian to the Islamic times and beyond.

6. The use of lightly alcoholic kumys for drink disinfection unites the Türks with the sanitation methods of the beer and wine Western world, while the sanitation method in the Eastern Asia is boiling water (tea making).

 

Dice Games

Dice-throwing was also a favorite amusement of the Germani. This statement is well corroborated by the archaeological material; from the first century A.D. until the time of the Vikings, dice and gaming-men — the older ones of glass, the later ones of bone — frequently recur in the furnishings of the men's graves.

Ditto for Scythian, Sarmatian, and Türkic. This statement is well corroborated by the archaeological material from the 5th century BC to present.

 

Name

The reason why so much time could be devoted to social life and amusements is that peaceful work was considered unworthy of a freeman, who therefore left it to the women and serfs. The chief industries were cattle-raising and farming. The latter was of a primitive character. It is a debated question whether it was on communal lines, as described in Caesar's Gallic Wars. It has been argued that full ownership of land existed among the Germani.
71

1. It is well documented that from the Scythian times the Türkic nomadic men limited themselves to herding, hunting, and war, allowing the women take care of the rest. However, neither record of the Germani, nor of the Türks addresses their metalwork, horse trimmings, yurt/house/fort/kurgan construction, weapon production, etc.,  at least some of which were prestigious male occupations.

2. The contempt for work equally infected the Germanic and Türkic aristocracy equally badly, but it did that even more to all other bums of the mankind. In this respect the Germanic and Türkic societies contrast positively with the slave-based agricultural "civilizations" like Rome, Greece and Near East.

3. Even though  land ownership existed among the Türks, it was more a permanent communal allotment, or a power land grab by nobility, than a private ownership as implied in the modern literature. Both in the Middle Asia and in the steppe zone the allotment needed a constant defense against encroaching neighbors and adversaries. Both land tillers and herders were always armed and on high alert.

 

Trade

Germani obtained furs from the far distant North. The tribes in the interior of Germania traded chiefly by barter, and only those nearest to the borders used money. As early as the Stone Age the South Scandinavians carried on an extensive export of flint implements and amber. The latter attained still greater importance during the Bronze Age for the purpose of barter for metals (bronze and gold). During the last century before Christ connections with Italy began. This is proved, for instance, by the importation of bronze situlae dating from the La Tene period. The extent of Roman imports into the continental portion of free Germania was undoubtedly considerable. The considerable proportion of trullae (wine-ladles) among the bronze vessels indicates that wine had also penetrated far beyond the frontiers of free Germania, probably as early as the time of Tacitus.
71, 72

The extent and expanse of the Türkic trade is well documented starting from Sredni Stog times. A slew of  Türkic embassies were sent to organize, support, and defend the trade relations, sometimes using a guise of embassies for trade. Scythian Ukraine fed the Greece and Rome for centuries. Chinese goods reached Europe through the Asian Scythians and Türks. naturally, there always was internal trade, and symbiotic trade with sedentary neighbors of all kinds.

 

Wealth

Germani amassed capital in the form of herds of cattle. The large part played in the economy of the Germani by cattle-rearing is reflected in the fact that the word in the Germanic languages for cattle during ancient times (Got. faihu, old Norse fae) also denotes property in general.
71, 72

Exactly ditto for Türks.The Türkic word tovar "cattle" became a Türkic/Rus/Russian word for "goods" in general, and later developed into the famous Russian tovarisch, akin to "equity partner".

 

Money

The beautiful gold , which give evidence of great technical skill, indicate love of precious metals. The enormous quantities of gold the continental tribes demanded from the Roman Empire during the period of migrations, and the tributes in silver which the Vikings imposed on Western Europe, show plainly the Germani desire for money.
72

The fabled Akathyry, Scythian gold ornaments, and tons of gold paid by Roman Empire and other neighbors to the Scythian, Sarmatian, and Türkic "protectors" also show plainly the Türkic desire for money. The trait of greed exceeds way beyond Germanic and Türkic societies.

 

Burials

The burial kurgans with cremated bones and few objects which Tacitus describes are characteristic especially of the districts of the Lower Rhine, whence he got much of his information about Germani. The best goods of foreign and native extraction are almost entirely taken from graves. But in other parts of free Germania are  graves of another type with more abundant furniture.

Before the beginning of the Christian era isolated skeleton-graves had begun to make their appearance, probably as a result of Celtic influences. At first their adornment had been quite simple, but during the first century of our era grave objects were often very abundant. The inhumation flat graves in particular often contain rich deposits either of native earthenware vessels or of imported wares of bronze, glass or occasionally of silver. The imported Roman goods are found mainly in this type of graves.
73

The oldest Türkic burial custom in the 1st millennium BC was cremation with subsequent burial of the bones in an ossuary-type cask, and enclosure of the tomb with a kurgan, the tradition documented in Siberia and Kazakhstan. Later the cremation was mainly replaced by inhumation. The burial included grave goods, from minimal to elaborate.

 

Cultural Influence

As early as the Later Stone Age, Germani had shown to be extremely susceptible to cultural influences from abroad. During the Bronze and Early Northern Iron Ages was a decided increase in these influences in connection with the metal import, which reaches its height during the first two centuries A.D.
72

The variety of Türkic cultures, and the variety of its forms and languages are unmatched.

 

Religion

In Tacitus time the Germani had not yet got quite beyond their original nature-worshipping stage. During the Bronze Age they had still worshipped the divine powers, mainly in the shape of axes and other symbols. A number of small statuettes of a naked woman are found from the end of this period, and in the time of Tacitus the divine world is entirely anthropomorphized. But the Germani had not yet reached the stage of images and temples, and all kinds of magic, the interpretation of signs and other primitive customs, still constituted part of their religion. There was a priesthood, but the father of the family also had certain religious duties.
73

1. Exactly ditto for the contemporary Türks. The superficial view glanced by strangers did not penetrate beyond the outward rituals and locations, and could not relay the substance of the Türkic Tengri or Germanic Odin/Tor/Tyr.

2. Germanic and Türkic societies had all kinds of magic, interpretation of signs and other primitive customs. Just like did Romans, Greeks, Mayans, Persians etc.

 

Political and Social Structure

During the time of Tacitus and much later, the Germanic State was of the nature of an alliance of families and constituted a rather loose association of a number of small territories ruled by a prince (princeps).  The bond of union within each state is the national assembly (the Thing ) and the king (rex), who possesses very limited powers.

The three distinctive functions of the king — as generalissimo, supreme judge and chief priest — suggest its great antiquity because they indicate that the office ultimately has its roots in the authority of the head of the family.

The word king is proved to be of North-Germanic origin and further that it is absent in the Gothic — Ulfila's term is piudans — and that in the West-Germanic languages it is borrowed from the North.

1. The Türkic State was of the nature of an alliance of families and constituted a rather loose association of a number of small entities ruled by a Khan/Bey/Bek, an elected leader with very limited powers.
The Thing = Kurultai
Türkic ruler has three distinctive functions of the king — as generalissimo, supreme judge and chief priest.

2. The word king is shared with the form kuning  documented on the early Khoresmian coins (Türko-Sogdian language, ca 600 AD), and is identical in the E.Siberian Ugric languages.

The kings were chosen for their noble birth. As the history of the Germani shows, kingship was so strictly confined to certain families that in practice it was hereditary — even though not in the direct line.
74, 75

3. Exactly ditto for the contemporary Türks. The Suavids dynasty in the Middle Asia lasted for 2,500 years. The Ashina dynasties kept the rule within the dynasty as their domains kept splitting. The Dulo dynasty lasted for thousand years and occupied thrones in the Rus, Hungary, Itil Bulgaria, and Danube Bulgaria. The kingship was so strictly confined to certain families that in practice it was hereditary — even though not in the direct line (lateral succession).

 

Liberty

The power of the king was limited. The love of liberty was strongly developed and the Germani submitted to authority unwillingly. By the side of the king there was a council of princes, who settled minor matters and had the right to prepare more important ones before they were laid before the national assembly, which had the right of decision, in certain cases (matters of life and death), also jurisdiction. The members of the Thing, which was composed of all free men, received the proposals with a murmur of disapproval or an assenting clash of weapons.

1. Ditto word for word for the Türkic societies, except we do not know about "murmur of disapproval or an assenting clash of weapons".

The democratic features of the Germanic method of government were counterbalanced by certain aristocratic ones. Although the serfs were well treated—some of them seem to have been in a position almost resembling bond tenants-—sharp distinctions were drawn between them and the men who had been freed, and between these and the real freeborn. The nobility (nobiles) had the greatest iniuence in the Thing, and a certain order of precedence was observed in the division of land. The power of the aristocracy was very much strengthened by the chieftains' surrounding themselves with large armed body-guards (comitatus) of freemen and youths. The institution of body-guards with their cultivation of the virtues of war and their glorification of the bond of loyalty between the chieftain and his men appears to be a forerunner of the chivalry of the Middle Ages and seems to have had a close analogy among the Celts
75

2. Ditto word for word for at least some of the better known Türkic societies.

 

 

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Scythian Ethnic Affiliation
Foundation of the Scythian-Iranian theory
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Türkic in Greek
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Alan Dateline
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6/30/2007
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