Crimean Gothic Buckle

Crimean Gothic Buckle

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Crimean Goths

The Crimean Goths were descendants of that part of the Ostrogoths who had settled on the Black Sea on the Crimean peninsula in AD 257 there they became allies of Rome . Their cities, the so-called Gothic castles , were mostly carved directly into the rock. They made Dori their capital. The remains of Dori are known by the Tatar name Mangup Kale and are located south of today's Bakhchysarai city .

Cultural Landscape of “Cave Towns” of the Crimean Gothia

The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


Mangup-Kale: N44 35 32 E33 48 01

Eski-Kermen: N44 36 35 E33 44 22

Crimean Gothia appeared as a specific polity in the 3rd-4th centuries AD as a result of the Gothic tribes' migration to the northern Black Sea area. In the 6th cen­tury, the Goths and the Alans became phoideratoi (allies) of the Byzantine Empire and therefore numerous fortresses and fortified settlements were built in the mountainous Crimean area to protect the local population and the Empire's northern frontiers. During the complicated historical events of the 13th-14th centuries, an autonomous principality of Theodoro appeared in this area. This principality is considered to be the legal successor of the Crimean Gothia. The most important medieval settlements of the Crimean Gothia have acquired a specific naming, that of &ldquocave towns&rdquo, due to their specific nature. Today we know about 10 sites of this type that look like monadnocks covered by the remains of the urban buildings and numerous cave constructions that sit on the tops and slopes of the plateaux they occupy. Among the numerous settlements situated in the area there are two - Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen, which are the largest in size and the most outstanding in value for the Crimean Gothia, the land with deep historical roots and unique natural landscapes.

Hence the object &ldquoCultural Landscape of 'Cave Towns' of the Crimean Gothia&rdquo is a serial one and belongs to the mixed type of nominations (that have cultural and natural heritage characteristics). The object consists of the sites that are unique remains of the mediaeval settlements located on the slopes and plateaux of the two natural monadnocks, Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen. Composed of bryozoan limestone and located at a distance of 5 km from each other within the Outer Ridge of the Crimean Mountains, these monadnocks have been announced as natural sites because of their picturesqueness supported by the cuesta landscape that surrounds them. The importance of the sites is significantly enforced by the historical name of &ldquocave town s &rdquo that they bear and which appeared as a result of hundreds of man-made caves carved by humans at the slopes and plateaux. The object has also the archaeological value because of the numerous cave constructions and ground-based buildings from the Mediaeval Period that are still planted in the area. The results of the archaeological research show that Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen were the main centres around which the mediaeval Crimean Gothia polity and then the Theodoro Principality - formations that played an outstanding role in the contact zone of the Byzantine civilization and the barbarian world, have been formed.

Mangup-Kale is a rocky plateau of irregular form covering the area about 90 hectares, which is limited by rocky precipices up to 60 m high and steep sides on every side that are more than 100 m high. The territory of the plateau and slopes of Mangup-Kale does not have modern buildings, but it is partly covered by bushes and mixed forest.

Man-made caves of defensive, religious, and administrative purpose are grouped at the top of rocky precipices in the central and eastern areas of the plateau. There are also isolated groups of caves related to the mediaeval monasteries that are situated at the foot of the cliffs on the southern and northern side of the monadnock. The total number of ancient cave constructions within the limits of Mangup-Kale exceeds 100. There are also the remains of the mediaeval ground-based buildings (fortifications, basements of residential houses, and churches) located in the northern part of the plateau&rsquos top as well as in the ravines&rsquo mouths. The top eastern area of the plateau is occupied by the remains of the citadel castle of the 14th-15th centuries.

The first settlements in Mangup-Kale that date back to the Aeneolithic Period appeared in the area at least 5000 thousand years ago. Later on, in the Bronze and Early Iron Age, the place functioned as a temporary refuge. However, a permanent settlement appeared on the plateau as early as the second half of the 3rd century AD, when the first Goths migrated to the Crimea. From this moment on, there started the formation of the administrative centre of the Crimean Gothia polity, which established federative relations with the Byzantine Empire. A mighty fortress was constructed on the Mangup plateau i n the 6th century with the help of Byzantine architects. Since the 6th century the settlement atop Mangup-Kale started acquiring the characteristics of the capital of the &ldquoCrimean Gothia&rdquo polity which it had fully gained by the end of the 9 th century. Then, due to the expansion of the Khazars, the city got into a temporary decline period which lasted until the end of the 13th century and caused the reversed changes in Mangup-Kale that again turned it into a small settlement. I ts fast development started after the invasions of Mongol khan Nogai in the late 13th century, and it became the capital of the independent princedom of the Theodoro that in the 14th-15th centuries had the entire south-western part of the Crimean peninsula in its possession. In 1475 the principality was destroyed as a result of the Theodoro capital siege exercised by the Ottoman army. T he settlement in Mangup-Kale then gradually declined, so did the life on the plateau. Though the final glimpses of life in this area were fixed only in the 18th century.

Eski-Kermen is a rocky plateau that stretches from north to south, covers the area of about 9 hectares, and is encircled by the rocky precipices almost 30 me ters high. The territory of the plateau and slopes of Eski-Kermen are free of modern buildings, though they are partially covered by bushes and mixed forest.

The groups of caves of defensive, religious, and administrative purpose stretch along the whole perimeter of the plateau rocky precipices. There are also numerous man-made caves, which served as the cellars in the mediaeval houses. They are scattered all over the top of the plateau too. The total number of the ancient rocky caves in the Eski-Kermen plateau is more than 300. There is a unique siege well among them and a few cave churches that keep the remains of the 13th-14th century frescoes. There are also the archaeological remains of the mediaeval ground-based buildings, such as fortifications, basements and walls of the residential houses and churches, including the remains of the great basilica located on top of the plateau.

Eski-Kermen was first inhabited in the 6th century AD when Byzantine emperors ordered a mighty fortress to be constructed there for a garrison of the Goths, phoideratoi (allies) of the Empire. Although the fortress of Eski-Kermen was initially subordinated to Mangup-Kale, later on, after the Khazarian expansion, it became the capital of the Crimean Gothia. Eski-Kermen was a flourishing town with dense and complicated system of urban planning. In the end of the 13th century it was ruined by the Mongol khan Nogai army. Eski-Kermen has never revived as a capital city since then, instead turned into a small settlement of religious interest. The settlement was finally abandoned in the late 15th century because of the Ottoman conquest of the northern Black Sea area.

Today the object named &ldquoCultural Landscape of 'Cave Towns' of the Crimean Gothia&rdquo is managed by the Crimean Republic Institution of Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Preserve. It is among the most famous and popular tourist sites in the Crimea. The history of archaeological investigations and conservation works of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen is almost a century long, and the monuments are now open to tourists.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

&ldquoCave Towns&rdquo of the Crimean Gothia is a unique phenomenon in the history and culture of the northern Black Sea area and a remarkable monument well-known in the world. The value of the object is defined not only by its complicated historical component (and the fact that in the Middle Ages it has become the part of the Crimean Gothia polity formation, development of the Theodoro principality, establishing federal relations with the Byzantine empire as well as struggling against the Khazars, khan Nogai's Mongols, the Genoese and the Ottomans) but also by a specific space planning that the Crimean Gothia had. The peculiarity of the latter was explained by the skilful combination of the numerous rocky caves gouged by the local population into the natural and picturesque massif landscape. All this showed the appearance of a specific cultural tradition of constructing urban and castle type fortifications that with time developed as a specific mark of the Crimean Gothia polity in the south-western Crimea.

Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen urban settlements are known as the biggest and the most exciting examples of the &ldquocave towns&rdquo in the Crimean Gothia, since they functioned through the centuries as administrative centres (the capitals) of different polities in this area. Numerous wars have ruined most of the ground-based structures of the settlements so today only the archaeological site of them has been preserved untouched for the last 500 years.

Criterion (iii): The settlements of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen are unique examples of the ancient urban assembles that have original systems of ground-based and underground fortifications as well as specific town planning system which reflects cultural traditions of the Gothic phoideratoi (allies) who populated a contact zone between the Byzantine empire and the Barbaricum.

Criterion (v):The settlements of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen are outstanding ex­amples of human-environmental interaction, since they were created, with maximum use of natural conditions of mountainous landscape, atop plateaux of isolated monad­nocks. Natural environment was supplied with various man-made caves used as ap­proach roads, defences, religious edifices, and administrative structures.

Criterion (vi):The settlements of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen were in the centre of nu­merous events of regional and all-European importance from the Great Migration Pe­riod to the Ottoman conquest. Particularly, these settlements were directly connected with the Gothic invasions in the middle of the 3rd century A.D., administrative reforms in the Byzantine empire's northern province in the 6th century, anti-Khazar rebellion in the late 7th century led by the St. John of Gothia, the establishment of the Theodoro principality and its fall in the late 15th century.

Criterion (vii): Cultural landscape of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen could be attributed to the sites of extraordinary natural beauty that have survived being surrounded by the untouched area of various natural monuments of the Outer Range of the Crimean Mountains. The aesthetic value of the object is enforced by the organic combination of extraordinary picturesque mountainous landscapes, fantastic formations of natural limestone and a great number of man-made caves that are well seen amidst vertical cliffs.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The settlements of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen as integral parts of the ob­ject &ldquoCultural Landscape of the 'Cave Towns' of Crimean Gothia&rdquo are entirely authentic and sound sites of archaeology and cultural landscape. These settlements envelop archaeological monuments of ancient urban planning, numerous complexes of man-made caves and natural landscape of mountainous cliffs. All these elements form the environmental framework of this object.

Archaeological site of the remains of the middle-aged urban building and planning includes archaeological layers and ruins of ground-based buildings, which have survived almost &ldquoin one piece&rdquo on top and at the foot of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen plateaux. The whole area of both settlements keeps the remains of the ancient fortified constructions (such as walls of the residential premises, administrative and religiously oriented ground-based buildings) some of them, like citadel of Mangup-Kale, being 5 m etre high. The state of preservation of these monuments allows the researchers to reconstruct the type and features of architecture and urban planning of the ground-based spaces at that time, fulfil conservation and restoration of the ancient ruins making them museum exhibits.

Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen caved complexes, examples of man-made medieval monumental architecture, continue keeping their authentic condition and archaeological status. Archaeologists who have partly excavated the caves have left their material structure untouched. Most of these complexes, with the exception of some that have been ruined by natural erosion, have not experienced any huge damage. Moreover, wall-painting fragments of the Late Byzantine period can still be seen in some of the ancient settlements&rsquo man-made caves. Special conservation efforts have been applied to conserve the frescoes that help them keep in their present state.

Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen settlements that sit atop natural rocky monadnocks are free of any modern buildings and have not underwent any visibly seen ruination. Their harmonious combination with the sites of ancient constructions is the background of the integrally preserved and authentic cultural landscape of the &ldquocave towns&rdquo of the Crimean Gothia.

Comparison with other similar properties

The World Heritage List includes several objects comparable with the &ldquoCultural Landscape of 'Cave Towns' of the Crimean Gothia.&rdquo Among the sites combining picturesque natural cliffs and numerous man-made caves there are:

· &ldquoPetra&rdquo (Jordan, 1985, comparable criteria &ndash i, iii, iv)

· &ldquoG ӧ reme National Park and the Cave Structures of Cappadocia&rdquo (Turky, 1985, comparable criteria &ndash i, iii, v, vii)

· &ldquoMeteora&rdquo (Grece, 1988, comparable criteria &ndash i, ii, iv, v, vii)

· &ldquoCultural Landscape and Archeological Remains in Bamyan Valley&rdquo (Afghanistan, 2003, comparable criteria &ndash i, ii, iii, iv, vi).

Special emphasis has to be given to the fact that apart from the monuments of Cappadocia all other objects on the above-mentioned list (such as, ancient tombs, Christian and Buddhist monasteries) have mostly been used for the religious purposes. This explains their specific architectural look and planning style. Although the sites of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen incorporate monastic complexes and urban churches, they compose only a small part of the vast majority of the ancient architectural forms and therefore could be called exceptional.

Moreover, a great part of the Cappadocian monuments, mediaeval underground fortifications, were concentrated mainly at the foot of the cliffs to play the role of the ancient type storehouse or refuge. On the contrary, the Crimean defensive caves were casemates and guardhouses located in the upper parts of the cliffs and precipices. The use of man-made caves as defensive constructions was a specific feature of the Crimean cave towns rather than a distinct aspect of the Byzantine fortifications.

Generally, man-made Crimean caves are second in number after the Cappadocians but their &ldquointerior design&rdquo and authentic look are better preserved than those of the G ӧ reme National Park because they have not been later used or reconstructed.

It is also worth mentioning that none of the world sites analogous to the Crimean include well preserved archaeological types of ancient urban buildings. Apart from cave casemates, the group of Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen monuments includes various kinds of unique cellars found nowhere else in the world. Those in Eski-Kermen are carved into the bedrock to form an underground part of numerous urban houses in these settlements.

An important aspect of this comparative analysis is the historical background of the above-mentioned objects. In contrast to the sites of Cappadocia and Meteora, the Crimean medieval monuments represent ancient settlements that had not only regional but larger scale influence.

According to the experts&rsquo point of view, the range of events that happened in the Crimean region (establishing the Crimean Gothia and Theodoro principalities, federal relations with the Moldavian princedom and the Genose, the siege of Mangup and St. John of Gothia's anti-Khazar rebellion) make Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen sites extremely important for the formation of the All-European history.

Besides, one would no doubt mention the significance of the landscape that reinforcing harmonious combination of the natural rocky cliffs with man-made cave constructions adds to the beauty of the Crimean Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen &ldquocave towns&rdquo and improves their visual panorama. occupy dominant positions within picturesque landscape, so their size and beauty are comparable with those of Meteora, though the latter does not have archaeological sites of large settlements and numerous cave constructions.

Finally, it is worth admitting that Mangup-Kale and Eski-Kermen are not the only Crimean &ldquocave towns&rdquo. More sites of analogous history and nature (such as, Tepe-Kermen, Kyz-Kermen, Kachi-Kal'yon), located within the limits of the Outer Ridge of the Crimean Mountains and objectively regarded as those that need further thorough archaeological research and safeguarding measures, could be in future added to the existing nomination widening and enriching it.

1 Answer 1

I can't find any scholarship that really touches on this question, which honestly leaves me a bit skeptical.

A caption under this image in the Wikipedia article on "Crimean Goths" claims that it shows "Indo-Scythians/Śaka/Sarmatians on Crimea" but the footnotes provided don't support this.

It is true that Scythians and Sarmatians both had a historical presence in Crimea. This article lists them among many other groups to had a religious influence at some point in the region.

Crimea is an exceptionally interesting research area for religious studies scholars. This rather small region (25,900 km2) has been home to - one after the other or at the same time - Tauri, Cimmerians, Maeotae, Scythians, Greeks, Sarmatians, Romans, Goths, Byzantines, Jews, Krymchaks, Khazars, Karaites, Bulgārs, Kipchaks, Pechenegs, Slavs, Armenians, Tatars, Italians, and Turks. Each of these nations was frequently characterised by their own more or less strongly defined religious specificity.

Did any of these groups use the Sri Yantra or something like it? I'm not an archeologist and I'm not familiar with these cultures but I'm just not finding anything so far to indicate that they did.

EDIT: I agree with the comment above from @Spencer that a closer look at the photo suggests that this Sri Yantra is just a recent act vandalism. It is drawn over what looks like an electrical conduit, circled here in red:

The history of the construction of the Swallow’s Nest

In the Middle Ages, the Christian monastery of Saint Theodore of Tyrone was located at Cape Ai-Todor (Eng: Saint Theodor), and nearby Tatars also called the cape – Monastery Burun, however in the 19th century, there was no sign of these ancient religious buildings, and the cape was given a new name – Aurora.

During the second half of the 19 th century, at the time when the southern coast of Crimea was actively built up by nobles and retired military men, an inconspicuous wooden house appeared on the Aurora Cliff. It was erected for a retired Russian general following the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878. The original building has been replaced by several owners over time, and the wooden cottage was acquired in 1912 and replaced with the current structure within a year. Photos of the original building, already dilapidated at that time, have been preserved and can be seen in the museum.

The land upon which the caste is constructed was purchased by the oil industrialist P. L. Steingel (nephew of the famous Russian railroad builder Baron Rudolf Steingel, a German nobleman who had made a fortune extracting oil in Baku. Baron von Steingel adored the Gothic architectural style, so he ordered the prominent Russian architect Leonid Sherwood to use the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany as an example for the new construction, but to make the building even more fairytale-like.

View from the top of Aurora Cape on the Neo-Gothic castle “Swallow’s Nest” (Russian: “Lastochkino Gnezdo”) under a blue sky with fluffy white clouds in the background of the water of the Black Sea and the bay of Yalta city in Autumn season.

The available land only measured 20 x 10 meters, so the castle was built up high with turrets, spires and open battlements. Inside the main tower, there were 2 tiny bedrooms. The living room, with a large fireplace and stairs, were brought closer to the “shore” for security reasons. Sherwood made a beautiful toy “copy” of the Gothic Rhine castles but did not take into account that large grottoes were located under the cliff. Behind the balconies, at the edge of the cliff, there was originally a garden, but in 1927 an earthquake occurred, and the rock upon which the castle stood broke: the garden fell into the sea, and one main tower was almost completely destroyed.

The next large-scale reconstruction took place in the 1960s. Originally it was proposed that the castle be dismantled brick by brick and moved “to the mainland”, however, this idea was abandoned. The Soviet architect Tatiev was responsible for the eventual reconstruction and the Swallow’s Nest was “rebuilt” with the entire castle being dismantled with each brick numbered and then reassembled on an earthquake-resistant slab placed on top of the rock. During Soviet times an Italian restaurant occupied the castle, and because of its inspiring location, the exterior of the castle has also been used in multiple Soviet films.

Rectangular belt buckle

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AHC Crimean Gothic Diaspora

Make the Crimean Goths become a diaspora people. Diaspora people similarily to how Romani are a diaspora people.

Perhaps a new term should be used for Crimean Goths as they will not be concentrated in Crimea. What about Coths, as combination of the words "crimean" and "goth". Any suggestions?


Deleted member 114175

Well, if the Khazar Khaganate had survived, the Crimean Goths would be the primary Christian group inside the Khaganate other than Byzantine Greeks. Enmity with the Byzantine Empire itself could keep the Byzantine Greeks from converting other peoples inside the Khazar Khaganate.

Over time, the Crimean Goths might just migrate across the Khaganate, dispersing themselves, but also remain distinct due to their Christian faith. This could be reinforced by having Kievan Rus' convert to Judaism or Islam instead of adopting Christianity, so that no new Christian influences arrive in Khazaria.

Additionally, perhaps during a war in Crimea with the Byzantines or the Rus', the Khazars resettle some Crimean Goths on the Volga, which could speed up the creation of the Gothic diaspora.


Well, if the Khazar Khaganate had survived, the Crimean Goths would be the primary Christian group inside the Khaganate other than Byzantine Greeks. Enmity with the Byzantine Empire itself could keep the Byzantine Greeks from converting other peoples inside the Khazar Khaganate.

Over time, the Crimean Goths might just migrate across the Khaganate, dispersing themselves, but also remain distinct due to their Christian faith. This could be reinforced by having Kievan Rus' convert to Judaism or Islam instead of adopting Christianity, so that no new Christian influences arrive in Khazaria.

Additionally, perhaps during a war in Crimea with the Byzantines or the Rus', the Khazars resettle some Crimean Goths on the Volga, which could speed up the creation of the Gothic diaspora.

Do you think this could happen in a Khazar Khaganate with similar course as OTL? Similar course as in dissapearing and the territory becomes occupied by groups like Mongols, Tatars and Russians later? How would the Gothic population react to the coming and going of these different groups?

The Land of Oium

The Ukrainian Week continues a series of publications about ancient peoples who once inhabited Ukrainian lands and left behind their rich cultural heritage (see The Ukrainian Week, Is. 50, 2011 about the Celts). This week we look at the Goths.

Today the Goths remain one of Europe&rsquos most powerful cultural myths. However, the historical tribal union has, in fact, nothing to do with them in most cases. Neither Gothic architecture, nor Gothic literature and visual arts, nor the fairly common &ldquoGothic&rdquo youth subculture that exploits the popular brand is in any way connected to the historical heritage of the East Germanic tribes that were involved in virtually all notable events in European history at the end of antiquity and the early Middle Ages.


The Goths are mentioned in historical sources starting from early 1st century AD when they migrated from the legendary island of Scandza (Scandinavian peninsula) to the southern shore of the Baltic Sea near the mouth of the Vistula River. From there they moved southeast, eventually reaching Polissia and Volhynia. The Gothic state of Oium was founded in the 2nd-3rd centuries AD and spanned what is now Right-Bank Ukraine. It became the base for a series of attacks the East European barbarians launched on the Roman Empire.

The Romans were able to put an end to these invasions only in the early 270s when, following lengthy wars, they agreed to grant their neighbours the status of confederates essentially making them allies. In the 3rd century, the Goths as a whole split into the Visigoths, ruled by the Balti dynasty, and the Ostrogoths, ruled by the Amali dynasty.

The Gothic state reached its peak in the mid-4th century under the Amali ruler Ermanaric. This state's power was not lasting however, as the Huns destroyed it when they invaded the southern Ukrainian steppes in 375. This made the Ostrogoths the first European people to face the atrocities of an invasion by nomads. They lost the war and were subjugated but managed to preserve a certain cultural-historical autonomy within the &ldquosteppe empire&rdquo of the Huns. They even had their own princes.


The history of the Ostrogoths, who found themselves under foreign rule, was dramatic. In the most prominent event of the age of Attila &ndash the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains (451) &ndash the Ostrogoths were part of the Hunnish troops and fought against the Visigoths who accounted for about a third of the Roman army. After the breakup of the &ldquosteppe empire&rdquo soon after the death of its ruler, they actively participated in dividing Hunnish heritage. Ostrogoths often assumed key offices in the Constantinople court and in the armed forces of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Theodoric (451-526), who later earned the appellation &lsquothe Great&rsquo, became king of the Ostrogoths in 474. He achieved the highest military and civil ranks in Rome but was, above all, the king of his own people. After a series of misunderstandings with the Constantinople court, Theodoric raided the Apennine Peninsula, and his army proclaimed him ruler of Italy in autumn 493, thus launching the history of the Ostrogothic kingdom. Despite this victory, Theodoric's kingdom would not last long.

In 535, Constantinople Emperor Justinian (527-565), whose idée fixe was to restore the empire within the limits of the &ldquogolden age&rdquo of the Antonines, started a war against Theodoric&rsquos heirs. This conflict continued, with varied success, until 554 when the Byzantines became the nominal victors. A small part of the Goths remained in Italy after the defeat, while the majority returned, researchers believe, to their original land of Scandinavia. The so-called Vendel period began in the 6th century. This period included a culture filed with the vivid manifestations of a post-imperial heritage, the trappings of a state tradition likely brought with the returning Goths.

The Codex Argenteus. The manuscript of the Holy Scripture translated by Gothic bishop Ulfila

Islands of Ostrogoths were scattered across a large territory around the Black Sea in the early Middle Ages. In particular, the so-called &ldquoSmall Goths&rdquo who did not follow Theodoric to Italy lived in the vicinity of Bulgaria's Nikopol and continued to serve emperors in Constantinople. The writer Jordanes who wrote the history of the Goths since their migration from Scandinavia to the mid-6th century was one of the &ldquoSmall Goths&rdquo and several high-ranking officers in Justinian&rsquos army shared the same origin. Gothic guards accompanying the emperor are also shown in the famous mosaic in the Basilica of San-Vitale (Ravenna). Ostrogothic settlements are known to have existed in the approaches to the Crimean Mountains and even on the Black Sea coast in the Caucasus (in modern Russia). So the odyssey which lasted several centuries left large groups of the Ostrogoths scattered outside Scandinavia.

The Gothic settlement in the Crimea, with Mangup as its capital, survived the longest. It was destroyed only in 1475 by Mehmed II&rsquos Ottoman troops. But by then the locals were not purely Gothic, as the Crimean peninsula had become a melting pot of peoples. All the Christian inhabitants of Crimea rallied around the rulers seated in Mangup, and Greek was the language of international communication. However, the Principality of Theodoro was of Gothic origin and the Orthodox eparchy there was also called Gothic.

The Crimean Goths maintained their cultural distinctiveness even in the Ottoman Empire. A small glossary of their language, compiled and published in the 16th century by Austrian ambassador Augier de Busbecq, permitted contemporary linguists to establish that it was incredibly close to Swedish, despite inclusions of numerous Turkic, Iranian and Slavic words. Catherine II put an end to the Crimean chapter in Gothic history when she decided to make the land part of the Russian Empire. She ordered all Crimean Christians moved to areas north of the Sea of Azov. Their descendants are now called &ldquoMariupol Greeks&rdquo in Ukraine.


Despite the Goth's long sojourn in what is today modern Ukraine and their prolonged stay in the land and especially the Gothic state which prospered under Ermanaric, archaeologists have been searching for traces of the culture for over a century now.

Contemporary scholars are somewhat sceptical about this history and tend to limit the territory controlled by the Goths to the area of the Cherkiakhiv archaeological culture. But even within these &ldquomodest&rdquo limits, the Gothic state was a unique phenomenon of barbarian Europe during the late Roman Empire.

Still, Gothic heritage did not vanish without a trace in the eastern part of the continent. In the early Middle Ages, the most active group of the local &ldquonew barbarians&rdquo were the Slavs who followed in their path to a certain extent when they migrated south and southeast in the 5th century, from Polissia towards the Danube border of Byzantium. Numerous borrowings from East Germanic languages (primarily Gothic) show that they adopted a number of cultural elements from the Goths. In particular, valuable elements of the military culture of the time (swords, helmets and armour) have Germanic names. Remarkably, the ceremonial dress of wealthy Slavic women included a mandatory pair of large fibulas which matched the way noble Gothic women dressed. In the early Middle Ages, Gothic was synonymous with &ldquoelite&rdquo and &ldquoprestigious&rdquo among East European barbarians (including our ancestors). Another telling detail is that the Common Slavic name for a ruler &mdash kniaz (prince) &mdash is a Germanism. Even the word for bread (khlib) is present in Gothic, leaving all Ukrainians with a vestige of Gothic culture every time they ask for bread.

What is goth metal?

By the late 80s and 90s, goth had faded as a youth culture, and was the source of some ridicule by the music press.

But the influence the scene had had on industrial music and metal meant that it lived on in the music of Type-O Negative, Paradise Lost, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, Ministry, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, HIM, Lacuna Coil and more. They took the darkness, doomy vocals, guitar tones, and look of goth and bolted it to grim industrial sounds or massive riffs.

It helped rescue goth's image: what had been laughed at as sad and pathetic became dangerous, sexy and obscene. By the time of Marilyn Manson's Tainted Love video, the goths were the ones gatecrashing the Jocks' party, turning good girls bad etc:

Alameda Old House History

We’ve learned tonight about the passing today at age 104 of beloved neighborhood author Beverly Cleary, whose stories about Klickitat Street, an adventurous girl named Ramona, and a bunch of creative kids bring our early neighborhood vividly to life. To celebrate her gifts, we’ve reprised below this post from 12 years ago. Thank you Beverly Cleary: your stories touched our own childhood, and connect us with our kids and with this place.


The Geography of Imagination: Exploring Neighborhood History With Henry, Ramona and Beezus

We’ve been re-reading some favorite books recently, and as it turns out, finding quite a few clues to the world of neighborhood history. Award winning children’s writer Beverly Cleary grew up in the neighborhood and if you read carefully, you’ll find real echoes of our past in her books.

Cleary imagined an entire universe in a few small blocks. Our favorite young residents—Ramona, Beezus, Henry, Ribsy—crisscrossed their kingdom on bikes and on foot walking to their beloved Glenwood School, delivering the evening Journal newspaper, and getting themselves into some memorable misadventures.

Ramona Rides downhill (is that Regents or maybe NE 37th?) in a drawing by Louis Darling.

The geography of that imagined place came from author Beverly Cleary’s own experience as a child growing up here in the 1920s and 1930s. She lived in a home on Northeast 37th Avenue, and attended the school now named for her: the Beverly Cleary School Fernwood Campus. The landmarks that define Henry and Ramona’s world—the churches, schools and houses, the hills and even the vacant lots—are drawn from places Cleary frequented as a young person.

It’s possible to find clues to Cleary’s own geography—and even a sense of Alameda neighborhood life in the 1950s—by exploring Henry and Ramona’s neighborhood as it unfolds on the pages of more than a dozen of her books.

A good place to begin looking for clues is Ramona Quimby’s house, just up the street from Henry Huggins on Klickitat Street. Cleary actually tells us in one of her books that Ramona lived with her mother, father and sister Beezus in a rented house near the corner of 28 th and Klickitat. I remember reading that part of the story to my daughter one night and making a mental note that I needed to go look up that address on my next walk through the neighborhood.

As many astute readers will recognize, the corner of 28 th and Klickitat is actually a “T” intersection adjacent to the playground at Alameda School. The day I walked past that spot and realized it was the setting for Ramona’s fictional house (a school playground), I laughed out loud and tipped my hat to Beverly Cleary.

All readers of the series know that Henry Huggins lives with his mother, his father and his dog Ribsy in a square white house on Klickitat Street. Cleary never really tells us exactly where on Klickitat that might be. But if it’s a square white house—let’s imagine an old Portland foursquare style house with a nice porch—chances are it’s west of Ramona’s house. In Henry And the Paper Route, Cleary hints that Henry’s square white house was slightly elevated above the sidewalk with a sloping lawn the kids rolled down. This sounds indeed like a four-square, built in the 19-teens. Now all we have to look for is Henry’s red bike and the barking Ribsy.

Ramona and Henry’s Glenwood School is an obvious stand in for Fernwood School (known today as Beverly Cleary School), where the young Cleary attended before moving on to Grant High School. Why didn’t she create a fictionalized role for Alameda School? We do know there was a certain rivalry between neighborhood schools. Kids from one school sometimes looked down their noses at kids from the other. Was omitting Alameda School a diss? Probably not. Just a little too complicated to explain why kids living in the playground of one school (wink) would be going to a different school a few blocks away.

Vacant lots…now there is a commodity of the 1950s that we just don’t have any more. By the late 1950s virtually every easily buildable lot in Alameda had been developed (many of the last ones by builder Ken Birkemeier). During Cleary’s growing up years—the 1920s and 1930s—there were plenty vacant lots to be found and they surely provided a refuge for everything from baseball to clubhouses. In Cleary’s 1955 Henry And the Paper Route, Henry watches as the ladies club sets up sawhorses and planks in a nearby vacant lot for the annual fundraising rummage sale. The vacant lot was a community commodity as well as landmark. Reading more closely between the lines, was the ladies club the fictional counterpart of our own Alameda Tuesday Club? Could be.

The business district of the fictional neighborhood bears some resemblance to places we all shop and frequent today. The movie theater, dime store, Rose City Barber Shop and even the “Colossal Market” are landmarks in today’s Hollywood neighborhood. The Colossal—where Henry’s mother bought everything from vegetables to hair clippers—was probably patterned after the original Fred Meyer store at 42 nd and Sandy.

Al’s Thrifty Service Station, where Ribsy steals a policeman’s lunch, is today’s 76 station at 33 rd and Broadway. Kids at Glenwood School watch from their classroom windows as a new supermarket is built: today’s QFC (formerly Kienows) just south of Fernwood. All the pieces line up.

In addition to the fun of hearing about these thinly disguised places we all know from our area’s past, there’s some wonderful imagery in these books that evokes an earlier time in the neighborhood, while also being timeless:

  • Ramona and Beezus playing outside on a summer’s evening until the street lights come on, when it’s time to go in.
  • The 11-year-old Henry riding his bicycle through the neighborhood in the late afternoon and early evening, delivering the afternoon newspapers hot off the press.
  • Kids jumping in puddles and playing in rivulets of muddy water on a rainy morning’s walk to school.
  • The Fuller Brush man in trenchcoat walking door-to-door selling his wares.
  • Henry crawling on all fours through Grant Park at night with flashlight in search of nightcrawlers for fishing.

And a timeless image that could have been borrowed from this winter: Ramona sledding down the 37 th Street hill on her dad’s old sled. Now there’s a scene drawn from the author’s personal experience, just a few doors up from her own childhood home.

Which gets to what makes Beverly Cleary’s work so appealing and enduring (and even instructive, for us students of history who also like to read to our kids): she crafts a slice of universal life through the experiences of her likeable, believable characters, and all through the lens of a remembered Northeast Portland childhood.

Top 10 Villainous Victorians

Queen Victoria spent a total of 63 years on the throne. One could say that Victoria ruled over two nations&mdashtwo groups of people who didn&rsquot understand how one another lived. Two groups of people who ate different food, had different ways and were even subject to different laws. The rich and the poor.

Many of the poor were villainous to survive they had to be. They robbed and rioted, grabbed and garroted, stabbed and stole in a world of hangings, disease, crime and easy death. On the other hand, many of the rich were villainous as well. They had to be in order to cling onto their wealth. They were cheating aristocrats and violent teachers who made slaves of servants and indulged in alcohol and drugs. In this list, we are going to see ten villains from all walks of Victorian life, along with their crimes.

Crime: Butchering the English language.

Marzials was a Victorian poet who made hundreds of people suffer when he started reading his poems. Theo is credited for writing quite possibly the worst poem to have ever been written in the English language, which goes by the name of A Tragedy . The ironically named poem, which was published in 1873, lived up to its name exceptionally well, since it has been chosen as the worst ever by Ross and Kathryn Petras in the 1997 book Very Bad Poetry and by the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain along with many other writers and critics. If that wasn&rsquot convincing enough, have a read for yourself here.

Crime: Cruelty to children.

Up until 1869, parents could send their children to school if they wanted to&mdashprovided that there was one in the area. Then in 1870 the newly appointed Vice President of the Committee of Council of Education decided that it was time for a change. So wicked William came up with the 1870 Education Act, in which it was stated that from that year onwards, all children were obliged to go to school by law. There are a hundred ways that young people learn&mdashWilliam decided that packing a bunch of children into the same room to learn the same thing at the same time was the best. And today all around the world, we are still stuck with the same wacky idea. Cruel or what?

Crime: Using the law to make money.

Justice Blackborough was a judge so he was paid very well to do his job. However, Blackborough was also corrupt and greedy so he often bent the law in his favor for personal gain. He was paid more every time someone was set free on bail. When arrested, people bribed him so they didn&rsquot have to spend time in prison while they waited for their trial. Every time Blackborough gave someone bail, he was paid two shillings and four pence, which was a whole week&rsquos wage for a poor flower seller at the time. So sly Blackborough simply had dozens of innocent people arrested, gave them bail and then pocketed the money.

Hudson had over a thousand miles of railways built in Britain and made the Victorian period the golden age of railways. But he was more concerned about how he could make himself rich instead of industrializing the country. He lied and cheated to get more money from other people. He would often sell land that didn&rsquot even belong to him. Eventually, dishonest George was found out but hundreds of people still lost their money, because George was the Member of Parliament for Sunderland. This meant that he could get away with anything, provided that he bribed the right people. So George ended up keeping his job, even though the world knew that he was a liar and a cheat.

Crime: Cruelty to children.

Sneyd-Kynnersley was the head teacher at a public school in Victorian England famed for his extreme violence by flogging his students. One of his pupils was Roger Fry who described the beatings of the boys:

&ldquoIn the middle of Sneyd-Kynnersley&rsquos room was a large box covered in black cloth. The victim was told to take down his trousers and lean over the block while I and another boy held him down. The swishing was given with the master&rsquos full strength and it only took two or three strokes for drops of blood to form everywhere. It continued for 15&ndash20 strokes by which time the wretched boy&rsquos bottom was a mass of blood. Generally the boys took in in silence but sometimes there were scenes of screaming and howling and struggling, which made me almost sick with disgust.

And that wasn&rsquot the worst. There was a wild, red-haired Irish boy, a cruel brute himself, who was punished. Either it was deliberate or he had diarrhea, but he let fly. The angry headmaster, instead of stopping, went on with even more fury till the ceiling and the walls of his room were covered with filth.&rdquo

And you thought your teacher was bad?

Crime: Robbing the poor and needy.

The MacDonald clan is one of the largest clans in Scotland, concentrated in the Highland and Islands regions. However, back in Victorian times, the clan was struggling for survival. They were starving in the 1848 Scottish famine, but there was cheap food available for them in Liverpool. The Scottish chieftain decided that he would buy all of the provisions available. But instead of giving the food to his people, heartless Lord MacDonald sold it for twice as much as he had paid. The Lord then simply pocketed the money, while his people starved to death.

Crime: Making poor people&rsquos lives a misery.

Unfortunately for the poor, the government was run by the rich, so the laws they made were all for the rich. (In fact, the government even started a series of wars, known as the Opium Wars in China to look after the rich British opium dealers.)

When there was suffering, it was usually the ordinary people who suffered. The poor were punished for petty crimes (even children), and were left to rot in the slums to die of disease. And the government was criminally useless as well. They sent troops to fight in the Crimean War against Russia, but rather carelessly they sent them poisoned meat and ill fitting clothes. In fact, all the boots they sent to their soldiers were unwearable because they were all left-footed!

The Victorian age was the age of the poisoner, and Neill Cream was one of the deadliest. Dr. Cream went to prison in the United States for murdering three women and a man. But they released him so he could come back to Britain. He offered tablets to girls saying that they were cosmetics which would make them beautiful. They made them corpses instead. Cream then offered to help the police to catch the killer of one of his victims&mdashapparently he had a twisted sense of humor. In April of 1892, he emptied the posh Metropole Hotel in London by printing and sending out a notice to all the guests under a manager&rsquos name. It read:

Ellen Donworth&rsquos Death
To the guests of the Metropole Hotel

I hereby notify you that the person who poisoned Ellen Donworth on the 13th of October last year is today working at the Metropole. Your lives are in danger as long as you stay in this hotel.

Yours faithfully,
W. H. Murray

Eventually Cream was discovered and sentenced to hang. As he was hanged, he cried, &ldquoI am Jack the Ripper!&rdquo However, when Jack the Ripper was murdering girls in London, Neill Cream was imprisoned in America, so his claims were ignored. Ultimately, Dr. Cream killed more people than the infamous Ripper.

The Londonderry family owned a lot of land in the north of England. When coal was discovered on their land, they made a fortune. However, the men, women, and children who dug the coal out were treated worse than animals. Lord Londonderry made £61,364 in a year from selling coal, while his workers were lucky to make £8 a year! The miners hated the Londonderrys so much, that they went on strike for better pay. Lord Londonderry simply threw them out of their homes, sold their land and replaced them with other cheap workers so the coal could continue to be mined. During an explosion at a colliery, Lord Londonderry ordered the mine managers to block off the mine shaft so the coal could be saved. The men left underground were left to die. Another story tells of a disaster which killed 95 men in one of the mine&rsquos pits. The miner&rsquos wives and children were paid just one week wages for their dead husbands. The rest of the town raised £4,265 for the families, while Lord Londonderry refused to give another penny.

Victoria took the throne and all the wealth that went with it. While most of her people had to work hard to earn their money to ensure their survival, Victoria did nothing. In fact, after her dear husband died she spent forty years hidden away from the people she was supposed to lead&mdashbut she still took their money in the form of taxes. She was amused while millions of her people slaved in the mines and in the factories, shivered in the slums and the workhouses, and starved to death from poverty.

Christian is a freelance writer, and spends way too much time blogging, writing and sketching. When he&rsquos not on the Internet, he&rsquos usually studying to get into Architecture school, getting his head around Photoshop, obsessing over fashion, and listening to music. Maybe once exams are over he&rsquoll finally have a chance to publish his novel. You can read his tumblr here.

Watch the video: TNO Custom Super Event: Gothic Kingdom (August 2022).