|When you've finished arguing about the difference between prime and primary sources, you have to find the things. Here is a substantial, but by no means complete, list of sources supplied by Inger- with the important difference that her many mistakes have been corrected. In addition, where I have been able to view a source myself, I have added my own comments about its potentially relevant content. I hope that other readers with access to some of the print sources will be able email me with further information.|
Part 1: The Mosaic Goths, to about A.D.800 (this page)
Part 2: The Atlantic Colonies, 9th to 15th centuries (NEXT PAGE)
Part 3: The age of rediscovery, from about A.D.1450 (LAST PAGE)
|Part 1 explores the sources for Inger's theories about the Scandinavian origins and migrations of the Goths. While standard works such as Peter Heather's "The Goths" (Oxford UK / Cambridge Mass., 1996) hesitate to take the story back beyond the 1st century AD and the cultures around the Vistula river, Inger appears confident that she can trace their history back to 475 BC, and their origins to southern Sweden. Some years ago she wrote a book called "The Gothic Mosaic", explaining her theory, but it has not been published. Here's how to find some of her evidence. (NB: I haven't given many print sources for primary texts, but most are available in the Loeb Classical Library).|
#00 Germanic sources list|
The Northvegr website, which features many texts of primary sources and scholarly works, includes, as linked above, an extensive list of sources for the history of the Germanic peoples, with links to many online texts, and some useful quotations.
#01 Jordanes, "Getica" (the same English translation is also online here)|
This work, written about A.D. 550 in Constantinople, is the most important surviving early source of information (and misinformation) about the history of the Goths. Its importance is the greater because it is based on an abridgement of a now lost history written a generation earlier by the Roman senator Cassiodorus (see #05) at the court of Theodoric the Great, the Goth who then ruled Italy. It also contains notes indicating that Jordanes knew of an earlier work on the subject by one Ablabius (see #04).
For the story of Fritigern, whom Inger suggests may be the same as the British Vortigern, see chapter 26 (sections 134 onward).
#81 Pliny (the Elder), "Naturalis Historia"|
This work, written about A.D.70, contains much more than Natural History. Its geographical information is very helpful when trying to understand the movements of tribes around the fringes of the Roman Empire.
Gaius Plinius Secundus also wrote a detailed history of the German Wars, which would probably have been a good source of information on the lands north of the Roman Empire- but no copy is known to survive.
#82 Tacitus, "Germania"|
Cornelius Tacitus' geographical work on the lands to the north of the Roman Empire was written a generation after Pliny's. It enables us to map in some detail the tribal territories of the time, and shows how the various peoples were perceived by the Romans.
#83 Dio Chrysostom and Dio Cassius|
Dio Chrysostom (approx. A.D.40-115) is not to be confused with Dio Cassius (approx. A.D.155-235), possibly his grandson. Both wrote relevant works; Chrysostom's "History of the Getae", now lost, is one of Jordanes' sources, and about 80 of his "Orations", some written while he was in exile among the Getae, still survive. The extant portion of Cassius' "Roman History" also contains information about the Getae (e.g. Book 51, Chapters 23-27). What remains in serious doubt is the relationship of the Getae to the Gothones or Goths.
NB: references by Inger to an apparent third character, "Jordanes Dio" should read "Jordanes' Dio"- i.e. Dio Chrysostom.
#84 Ptolemy, "Geography" (online version in progress)|
Written towards the middle of the 2nd century A.D., Ptolemy's Geography gives co-ordinates for major geographical features throughout the world, with instructions on how to make maps from them. The co-ordinate system assumes that the Earth is roughly spherical, but as it was written centuries before Greenwich Observatory was founded, its prime meridian of longitude (0 degrees) is in the Atlantic, to the west of all known land.
#02 475 BC- Inger's hints:|
#03 Diodorus' lost books|
The "Library of History" ("Bibliotheca historica" in Latin- but the text is actually Greek) by Diodoros of Sicily (Diodorus Siculus) was written some decades before the birth of Christ, and today only books 1 to 5 and 11 to 20 (out of 40) survive in their entirety- or, as hinted above, maybe that is not so...
"Diodor's historische Bibliothek, Griechische Prosaiter in neuen Uebersetzungen von Tasel, Ofiander und Schwab, Stuttgart 1831."
Following up this reference, Marian discovered that it had a couple of missspellings, and a key word missing after "Uebersetzungen"; it was actually: "herausgegeben von G.L.F. Tafel, C.N. Osiander und G. Schwab, Professoren zu Stuttgart". They were the editors, not the translator- that work was undertaken by Julius Friedrich Wurm, and the translation is very well known under his name. Marian also confirms that this translation was not from manuscripts but from earlier printed editions. There is not even any need to invoke "lost books", for 475 BC is within the timeframe covered by the surviving book 11 of the "Library". The only remaining mystery, then, is why Inger quoted dates of 1833 and 1835 in her later messages- and apparently in her requests to libraries, which may help to explain why she had so much difficulty finding other copies of this well-known work:
#04 Ablabius' history of the Goths|
This is another Great Lost Work, known through three references by Jordanes. The good news is that Inger agrees with the current consensus [see A.H.M. Jones et al., "Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire" vol. 1 (Cambridge UK, 1971)] that this Ablabius is likely to be Flavius Ablabius, Praetorian Prefect under the Emperor Constantine in the early 330s, some of whose letters and verses survive.
The bad news is that Inger until recently was convinced that his lost history is not lost...:
#85 Ammianus Marcellinus, "Res Gestae Divi Augustae"|
Ammianus (occasionally misspelled "Ammanianus") was a 4th century soldier, and the "Res Gestae" (of which the last 18 books are still known, concentrating on the period from A.D.353) is a good near-contemporary record of military campaigns.
Some works of the remarkable scholar and statesman Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus (cA.D.487-583) still survive, notably the "Variae" (Latin text here). James O'Donnell's 1979 book about him, "Cassiodorus" is available online, and O'Donnell also provides links to further material. As noted in the Jordanes entry above, Cassiodorus' major work on the history of the Goths is lost, except for a few fragments. Or is it?...
#08 Those wondrous monasteries|
However I wouldn't quite rule out somewhere like the monastery of St. John the Theologian, on Patmos, which has library catalogues going back to the Middle Ages- that library definitely included the works of Diodorus in the 14th century, for example.
Similarly the Turkey / Iraq border monastery could be Mor Gabriel, near Midyat, Tur Abdin, SE Turkey, founded A.D.397. But that's nearer to the Syrian border- also Inger did, just the once, specifically call the relevant monastery "Iraqian"...
#73 Roman-era Scandinavian migration to Britain|
Inger bases her claims on various sources, notably:
Hagen, Anders "Söstelid" (1953)- the study of a Norwegian farm first occupied in the Bronze Age and abandoned around the 4th century AD;
also other unspecified archaeological reports on the Vest Agder region of Norway, particularly with reference to distinctive designs of women's armrings;
Binns A L, "Anglo-Saxon and Viking Scarborough to 966", in Scarborough 966-1966 (Scarborough and District Archaeological Society, 1966) [this is presumably the 1960s publication Inger occasionally refers to as by the "Yorkshire Archaeological Society"]
#74 The guardians of Hermanric's grandson|
These two gentlemen, frequently referred to but rarely named by Inger, were Alatheus (aka Alatey / Alatei) and Saphrax (aka Safrac / Safrach / Safrak). The "grandson" was Videric (aka Vidirix / Viderichus), son of Vithimer (aka Vitimir / Vinitari) who was successor, but not necessarily son, to Hermanric (aka Hermanaric / Germanarix / Eormanric).
#17 Fathers of the Church|
This is woefully imprecise. See here for an idea of the number of writers who fall under that description,
and here for an additional list! By the way, at the bottom of that second list you'll find Zosimus, the "New History". He was the antithesis of a Church Father (and is not to be confused with Saint Zosimus, the early Pope, some of whose writings also survive) but his work is important both for students of the early Church and students of the history of the Goths.
You'll also find links on the second list to the works of another writer referred to below, Gildas.
#78 The beginnings of Christianity in Britain|
The biographical listing of Popes, Liber Pontificalis (earliest section translated as "The Book of Pontiffs" by Raymond Davis, in the series "Translated Texts for Historians", vol. 6, 1989) which was probably begun in the 6th century, mentions in its entry on St. Eleutherius (Pope c175-189) that he responded to a request for missionaries from a British king named Lucius. It has been suggested, as shown in the Catholic Encyclopaedia, that the king may actually have been Lucius of "Britio" (a Roman-era name for Edessa in Turkey), but the Encyclopaedia article notes that Eleutherius certainly corresponded with Christians in Gaul, and there is other evidence for a Christian presence in Britain by around AD 200, in the form of references by Tertullian, in chapter 7 of his "Adversus Iudaeos" and Origen in some of his Homilies (Luke iv and Psalm 149). The martyrdom of St. Alban may also date to AD209, rather than a century later as used to be thought.
At one time there was quite an industry trying to link Britain with the earliest days of Christianity; see John Foxe's "Book of Martyrs" (1583 edition, book 2) for several sources of varying authenticity relating to Lucius, but also bear in mind the promotion of Glastonbury as a wellspring of Christianity through the alleged arrival of Joseph of Aramithea with the Holy Grail in AD 63 (apparently first published in William of Malmesbury's early 12th century "De Antiquitate Glastoniensis Ecclesiae").
On 14 January 1999, Inger referred to the Eleutherius letter, as mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entries for AD 167 (the date he was formerly believed to have become Pope), and she also used it in an essay about migrations to Britain on 23 Sep 1999. She mentioned it again in September 2000: "Last time I checked the 167 event I ended up with a ref. to the Vatican's vault"...
On 19 Jul 2002, she referred to an unnamed "Britonic" king who wrote a letter to the Pope in AD 167, and when asked to supply the name she stated that she could not remember it, but that she had made notes about the incident from Kremer, Josef "Studien zum frühen Christentum in Diedergermanien" (Köln, 1993)- another contributor supplied Lucius' name etc. She mentioned it, again without names, in a different context a few weeks later (30 Aug), and reference was made back to the July discussion.
#72 Patrick and Palladius (and Pelagius)|
The problem of the apparent double deaths of St. Patrick, some thirty years apart, will probably never be solved. It has been suggested, on the basis of his absence from contemporary sources such as the Chronicle by Prosper of Aquitaine and the Gallic Chronicle of AD452 that the alleged arrival of Patrick in Ireland in the 430s is simply an attempt to superimpose him on the career of his predecessor Palladius, who is depicted as giving up his mission in Ireland after a few months. The only apparently contemporary evidence for Patrick's life comes from what is claimed to be his own writing: the Confession and the Letter to Coroticus (both available in Latin on the CELT Irish etext site).
#18 Orosius, "Seven Books of History against the Pagans"|
Orosius' work concentrates on the same period as Zosimus, but from a Christian viewpoint. Inger specifically recommends the Old English edition by King Alfred the Great, which includes extra geographical material such as the Scandinavian travel narratives of Wulfstan and Ohthere. An excerpt (in Old English) including the Wulfstan narrative and other geographical material is available here.
In dire emergency, a digital image reproduction of an early printed Latin edition (c1500) is available on the BNF Gallica site (author search on "Orose").
The Byzantine writer Procopius is famous for the "Secret History" (aka "Anecdota") exposing the seedier side of Roman government under the emperor Justinian in the early 6th century. Many have tried to put his much longer work on the wars of his era online, but it's a daunting task.
Again, if you can't get hold of the Loeb edition, there is a digital image reproduction of a 1506 Latin translation of Procopius' work on the Gothic War on the BNF Gallica site (author search on "Procope").
#88 Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks|
The link above is to the abridged translation of Gregory's (in Latin Gregorius Turonensis) late 6th-century work, by E. Brehaut, on the Internet Medieval Sourcebook. Also available is a complete Latin text on the Bibliotheca Augustana site.
#20 Gildas, "On the Ruin of Britain", also in Latin ("De Excidio Britanniae")|
Gildas' famous work is the nearest thing available to a detailed narrative of the English takeover of south-east Britain.
#21 Nennius (Ed.), "History of the Britons", also in Latin ("Historia Brittonum")|
A compilation of early documents about the English takeover of south-east Britain, including the story of the 5th century national leader Vortigern.
#79 Arthurian 1: The Easter Table annals|
The "standard" text of the Historia Brittonum (in British Library Harleian manuscript 3859) is followed by a set of Welsh annals (in Latin, "Annales Cambriae"). This is believed to have been compiled at St. David's, based on Irish annals and historical notes attached to a table of Easter dates. There are other manuscripts of Welsh annals, but this is the oldest one known to make any references to early events such as the Battle of Badon. Or is it?...
#86 Arthurian 2: The Scottish co-king|
In discussions following the release of the 2004 revisionist Arthurian movie, Inger asked "Is the Scottish border activity related to the Scottish Tales where a co-king Arthur is mentione same period as King Arthur are supposed to have lived?".
A reply mentioned both the association of Arthurian battles in Nennius (see #21) with Scottish locations, and the story of Myrddin, but Inger responded: "no I am not talking about the tales of Arthur's. I am talking about the co-king named Arthuris who lived close to the Scotish-English border nothing else. I thought you knew about that one.".
The response that there were indeed Arthurs associated with southern Scotland, such as Prince Arthur of Dalriada (early 7th century, and mentioned by one of Inger's favourite authors, Adamnan- see #22) met with the reply: "you still misunderstands me. Might be that you aren't aware of the tale which I first heard of in Scarborough 1967 and didn't find in the Scottish treasure of tales, ballads and other sources until in 1990's. I will return because I am definitely not talking about Nennius or any other Anglo-Saxon. neither one of the known Annals nor the others that have survived in later works. I will return to question." (17 Jan 2005).
Though Inger has contributed further to the discussion, she has not, so far, returned to this particular question.
#22 Sources for Celtic Christianity|
I don't need to do much work for this one, because there is already a web site called "The Celtic Christianity e-Library". The only slight catch is that it gives translations rather than original texts. Here are Latin versions of a couple of major sources:
Venerable Bede, "Historiam ecclesiasticam gentis Anglorum"
Adamnan (or Adomnan), "Vita Sancti Columbae" (first two books)
P.S. There's also another Life of St. Columba, by Cuimine on the Inchcolm website- click SOURCES for this and other interesting material
#80 "Ora Mensura"|
Inger is the only person ever to mention this source on the Internet, but she has done so numerous times over a period of some six years. According to her, (8 Jun 2004) "Ora Mensura contains information delievered to us from a 275 BC document via a 250 AD poem dealing with ancient trade. It also contains information about the Irish/Celtic monks traveling to Iceland and Greenland".
However, in a discussion on early trade with Britain, on 27 Apr 2001, she wrote "Ack, I don't know when a trade began, but I have read Ora Maritima written after Christ but the oldest complete copy of an poem written in 3rd Century BC is included". Sure enough, Ora Maritima written c380 AD by Rufus Festus Avienus does contain what seems to be information about early trade with Britain ("insula Albionum") from a source several hundred years earlier.
#98 "The Voyage of St. Brendan"- also in Latin|
As a postscript, the story of the man whose voyage apparently paved the way for that monastic colonisation of Iceland etc..