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Thread: Vandals, who were they?

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    Regular Member Balder's Avatar
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    Vandals, who were they?

    The most accepted is that they supposedly were an Eastern Germanic tribe originated in Sweden, but there is a lot of alternative sources claiming they were a Slavic tribe from Northern Poland. If anyone has some knowledge about the subject could clarify a bit, where does all this claim come from that they were Slavs rather than a Germanic confederation?

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    I always thought they originated from North-east Germany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambrius (The Red) View Post
    I always thought they originated from North-east Germany.
    The name of the Vandals has often been connected to that of Vendel, the name of a province in Uppland, Sweden, which is also eponymous of the Vendel period of Swedish prehistory, corresponding to the late Germanic Iron Age leading up to theViking Age. The connection would be that Vendel is the original homeland of the Vandals prior to the Migration Period, and retains their tribal name as a toponym.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals

    Apart from superficial similarity of the name Vandal and German name for Slavs Wends I don't see any possible connection between two and there isn't a single contemporary or near contemporary sources relating them, only much later in renaissance and later it became fashion to construct relations like this among the, mostly, Slavic scholars. Just recently I found interesting article about Vandal language based mostly on their personal names and there's nothing Slavic there.

    Although I have found on some 'racialist' internet forums of that the Vandals 'were' a Slavic confederation. I see it as part of some agenda from 'some' Polish or Russian posters. That's why I did this question here. Where does this theory come from? I mean such a theory that they were Slavs rather a Germanic tribe from 'Sweden'.
    Last edited by Balder; 03-04-13 at 07:38.

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    3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Balder View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals

    Apart from superficial similarity of the name Vandal and German name for Slavs Wends I don't see any possible connection between two and there isn't a single contemporary or near contemporary sources relating them, only much later in renaissance and later it became fashion to construct relations like this among the, mostly, Slavic scholars. Just recently I found interesting article about Vandal language based mostly on their personal names and there's nothing Slavic there.

    Although I have found on some 'racialist' internet forums of that they were a Slavic confedaration. I see that this is part of some agenda of many posters, that's because I did this question here. Where it comes from, these theories that they were Slavs?
    they where a confederation on northern east-germanic tribes.

    more info below

    http://www.academia.edu/691311/Traci...of_the_Vandals
    Father's Mtdna H95a1
    Grandfather Mtdna T2b24
    Great Grandfather Mtdna T1a1e
    GMother paternal side YDna R1b-S8172
    Mother's YDna R1a-Z282

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    The problem of Vandals is that we did not have accurate data of their language, a dead or unknown language or dialect.
    and in Baltic, Poland, East Germany, the limits of Germanic and Slavic speaking is little bit not clear about that time.
    many scholars believe that Vandals had Germanic origin connection but linguistic could created their own sounds. or kept older sounds, among that IE group of languages, something close to Gothic idiom and sounds but not Gothic.
    many others support the Slavic connection and Wends as Slavs,
    as Personal believe, and from some I read about, I think we speak about a missing link, or a dialect/language inside Germanic-Baltic Slavic family, of its own but closer to centum/Gothic ones.
    ΟΘΕΝ ΑΙΔΩΣ OY EINAI
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    Divine blindness conquers them
    Hybris (abuse, opprombium) is born
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    Moving along after many investigations, I find a slow change by germanic scholars in describing the Vandals and who they where,
    from the dark ages, of being wendish and a confederation to not being wendish by the time the 18th century arrived.

    Clearly there is something amiss here
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Wikipedia map of attested and/or supposed Vandal migrations - I have the impression it also includes the Suebi (light yellow). The Vandal homeland during Roman times is commonly assumed to be Silesia and the middle Vistula, but I don't know which sources this assumption is based upon.


    Migrating Germanic tribes appear to often have assimilated rather than displaced previous inhabitants, as is, e.g., demonstrated by the survival of certain Celtic habits is SE Germany.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night
    OTOH, there is also evidence of some German tribal names, e.g. Rugii->Rujani having been taken over by Slavs in the 8-10th century. After having read the study posted by Zanipolo, I have little doubt that the Vandal elite spoke an East Germanic language closely related to Gothic. But the population may well have included other linguistic groups, including proto-Slavs.
    After arrival of the Huns, a substantial part of the Vandals, together with Suebi and some Alans, started their migration through Roman lands. The study posted by Zanipolo attests some Alan names found on tombstones in the North African Vandal empire, so Vandals seem to have had a tradition of leading multi-linguistic entities. While many Vandals migrated, others appear to have staid in Silesia. They may well have become slavicised, be it because the original population already included proto-Slavs, or due to Slavs immigrating into Vandal lands. As such, we possibly talk about a Germano-Slavic conglomerate that initially spoke East Germanic, but in Silesia later switched to Slav language (just as the North African Vandals became Romanised).

    Asides from that, there has been a lot of confusion stemming from the fact that some medieval scholars equalised Wends (West Slavs) and Vandals. The Wendish Quarter of the Hanseatic League (Hanseatic Cities on the Baltic Sea, presided by Lübeck), e.g. was in the 14th century Latinised into vandalicae urbes, even though none of those cities (Rostock, Stralsund, Visby, Stockholm, Kaliningrad, Riga, Tallinn, etc.) was even close to the territory inhabited by historic Vandals. The same applies to the Ducatus Vandaliae (Herogtum Wenden = Mecklenburg-Güstrow, south of Rostock). The root of this equalisation is commonly seen in the founding legend of the Ducal House of Mecklenburg, the Obotrite family, who claim Vandal descent. [Note that this line of argument would have made the Netherlands a Vandal territory, since Queen Juliana of the Netherlands was a born Mecklenburg (Obotrite).] That founding legend, in turn, has inspired various German and Polish scholars of the 14th to 19th century to "prove" that Wends were always German, or Silesia was always polish, respectively.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Excellent write-up FrankN.

    I think all Slavs can attest that at one time Suabi (shwabi) lived in very close proximity to them. Probably this 170 d.C. area is right on the money. In all Slavic languages there is derogatory name for Germans "Shvaby". To deserve the hatred of all Slavs they needed to fight against each other a lot before Slavic expansion.

    There is nothing about Vandals though. Except in one legend from dark ages there is princes of Krakow called Wanda (Vanda)
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankN View Post
    Wikipedia map of attested and/or supposed Vandal migrations - I have the impression it also includes the Suebi (light yellow). The Vandal homeland during Roman times is commonly assumed to be Silesia and the middle Vistula, but I don't know which sources this assumption is based upon.


    Migrating Germanic tribes appear to often have assimilated rather than displaced previous inhabitants, as is, e.g., demonstrated by the survival of certain Celtic habits is SE Germany.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night
    OTOH, there is also evidence of some German tribal names, e.g. Rugii->Rujani having been taken over by Slavs in the 8-10th century. After having read the study posted by Zanipolo, I have little doubt that the Vandal elite spoke an East Germanic language closely related to Gothic. But the population may well have included other linguistic groups, including proto-Slavs.
    After arrival of the Huns, a substantial part of the Vandals, together with Suebi and some Alans, started their migration through Roman lands. The study posted by Zanipolo attests some Alan names found on tombstones in the North African Vandal empire, so Vandals seem to have had a tradition of leading multi-linguistic entities. While many Vandals migrated, others appear to have staid in Silesia. They may well have become slavicised, be it because the original population already included proto-Slavs, or due to Slavs immigrating into Vandal lands. As such, we possibly talk about a Germano-Slavic conglomerate that initially spoke East Germanic, but in Silesia later switched to Slav language (just as the North African Vandals became Romanised).

    Asides from that, there has been a lot of confusion stemming from the fact that some medieval scholars equalised Wends (West Slavs) and Vandals. The Wendish Quarter of the Hanseatic League (Hanseatic Cities on the Baltic Sea, presided by Lübeck), e.g. was in the 14th century Latinised into vandalicae urbes, even though none of those cities (Rostock, Stralsund, Visby, Stockholm, Kaliningrad, Riga, Tallinn, etc.) was even close to the territory inhabited by historic Vandals. The same applies to the Ducatus Vandaliae (Herogtum Wenden = Mecklenburg-Güstrow, south of Rostock). The root of this equalisation is commonly seen in the founding legend of the Ducal House of Mecklenburg, the Obotrite family, who claim Vandal descent. [Note that this line of argument would have made the Netherlands a Vandal territory, since Queen Juliana of the Netherlands was a born Mecklenburg (Obotrite).] That founding legend, in turn, has inspired various German and Polish scholars of the 14th to 19th century to "prove" that Wends were always German, or Silesia was always polish, respectively.
    good post

    Also need to remember that the Swedish royal house lay claims to the Wendish people. Because vandals and wends where same people. As stated in other posts, wend means easterner, I wonder if the vandals that moved from sweden in poland where the easterners?

    and below are the only medieval slav tribes found in medieval texts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._Slavic_tribes

    The venedi and aestii are no where to be seen, but veleti are....and they are from mecklenburg area
    Last edited by Sile; 03-06-14 at 00:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    I think all Slavs can attest that at one time Suabi (shwabi) lived in very close proximity to them. Probably this 170 d.C. area is right on the money. In all Slavic languages there is derogatory name for Germans "Shvaby". To deserve the hatred of all Slavs they needed to fight against each other a lot before Slavic expansion.
    Off topic A certain despise of Swabians is not restricted to Slaws. "Swabian" (meaning Germans) is also used as derogatory term among the Swiss and Alsatians. As concerns the Swiss, the derogatory use is commonly attributed to the Swabian War of 1499, while in Alsace, it is related to the Swabian "Kehrwoche", which is also quite infamous in Northern Germany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kehrwoche.

    As a North-German, let me just say that Swabians have a quite special reputation inside Germany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swabia:
    In the past, Swabians were the target of many jokes and stories where they are depicted as excessively stingy, overly serious, prudish, or as simpletons, for instance in "The Seven Swabians" (Die sieben Schwaben) published in Kinder- und Hausmärchen by the Brothers Grimm. (..) As of 2013, "Swabian" has been used, particularly in Berlin, as shorthand for prosperous Germans from southern Germany who live in gentrified neighborhoods such as Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin. "Swabians" were reported to have fought back with spätzle and absurd separatist demands. There was a serious side to this dispute which mirrors a genuine divide between the states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg and the remainder of Germany which to a certain extent is financed by subsidies collected from the more prosperous south.
    However, I am not sure if the Slavic derogatory use of "Shvaby" really dates back to the Roman period Suebi:
    Outside of Germany, many Swabians settled in eastern Croatia (Slavonia and Syrmia), and southern and eastern Hungary, including part of what is now Serbia and Romania (the Danube Swabians and Swabian Turkey) in the 18th century, where they were invited as pioneers to repopulate some areas.
    Anyway, even further off-topic: If I attempt to speak Spanish with Swabian accent (not that I am good in any of those two), it sounds pretty close to Portuguese...

    P.S: In the interest of political correctness, I should add that Swabians in Germany also have a reputation of being industrious. The proverbial Swabian motto "Schaffe, schaffe, Häusle baue" (work, work, build a house) might not be too far away from Slavonic attitudes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankN View Post
    Off topic A certain despise of Swabians is not restricted to Slaws. "Swabian" (meaning Germans) is also used as derogatory term among the Swiss and Alsatians. As concerns the Swiss, the derogatory use is commonly attributed to the Swabian War of 1499, while in Alsace, it is related to the Swabian "Kehrwoche", which is also quite infamous in Northern Germany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kehrwoche.

    As a North-German, let me just say that Swabians have a quite special reputation inside Germany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swabia:


    However, I am not sure if the Slavic derogatory use of "Shvaby" really dates back to the Roman period Suebi:


    Anyway, even further off-topic: If I attempt to speak Spanish with Swabian accent (not that I am good in any of those two), it sounds pretty close to Portuguese...
    Italian history states, that the suebi became the swabians and one group settled in north-italian in the early middle-ages in the current area of Soave ( Soave history states , lands of the swabi )

    Soave Name Meaningregional name for a Swabian, from Soave ‘Swabia’.habitational name from any of several places in northern Italy called Soave, especially the one in Verona province.

    Soave is located in the furthermost ramifications of the Lessini Mountains. It is a charming and untouched medieval walled town, dominated by a fine castle and surrounded by crenellated walls, 24 towers and a small stream, the Tramigna. It was originally the site of a Stone Age settlement and in the Roman times an important “pagus” (village) on the Postumian Way. According to reliable sources, a Swabian tribe founded the old town in the Longobard period and Soave probably takes its name from this population (Swabian, Svevi - Suaves - Soave).

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Balder View Post
    The most accepted is that they supposedly were an Eastern Germanic tribe originated in Sweden, but there is a lot of alternative sources claiming they were a Slavic tribe from Northern Poland. If anyone has some knowledge about the subject could clarify a bit, where does all this claim come from that they were Slavs rather than a Germanic confederation?
    I thing that this claim is continuation of confusion of medieval writers going back to 8th century. In “Annales Alamanici” author referred to land inhabited by Polabian Slaves as regionem Wandalorum, by the way he also confused Vandals with Avars. In “Miracula Sancti Oudalrici” duke of Poland Mieszko I was described as dux Wandalorum. That kind of mistakes ware made many times, if you want to know where search for sources there is article in Wikipedia when you can find them. (here) Unfortunately it is only in Polish but if you use google chrome then you can make quite good quality translation to English and it would be easy to find who in what book confused Vandals with Slavs or Poles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matbir View Post
    I thing that this claim is continuation of confusion of medieval writers going back to 8th century. In “Annales Alamanici” author referred to land inhabited by Polabian Slaves as regionem Wandalorum, by the way he also confused Vandals with Avars. In “Miracula Sancti Oudalrici” duke of Poland Mieszko I was described as dux Wandalorum. That kind of mistakes ware made many times, if you want to know where search for sources there is article in Wikipedia when you can find them. (here) Unfortunately it is only in Polish but if you use google chrome then you can make quite good quality translation to English and it would be easy to find who in what book confused Vandals with Slavs or Poles.
    I have yet to see where these mistakes are from........there are too many noted historians who fall under this "mistake" that makes one think that the change of who the vandals where, is a change encouraged by 19th and 20th century for national agendas.

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    The study posted by Zanipolo attests some Alan names found on tombstones in the North African Vandal empire, so Vandals seem to have had a tradition of leading multi-linguistic entities.
    Ha ha, Zanipolo is Sile's previous incarnation.

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