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3. History of Civilization (3.10.3-3.10.5)
Written by Messiah   
Thursday, 06 July 2006

3.10.3    Visigoths

When Rome collapsed in the end of the 5th century the Visigoths spread westwards and established the Kingdom of Iberia that by time covered Gibraltar, Spain, Andorra and southern France. The center of Visigoth rule shifted first to Barcelona, then inland and south to Toledo. The kingdom was tolerant to different religions at first, but by time Catholicism grew stronger and after the Third Council of Toledo in year 589 a new Catholic Kingdom was born. It was announced as a "triumph of the Church and the conversion of the Goths". Catholic bishops immediately instituted the program of forced conversion of Jews and extirpation of the remains of Aryanism as "heresy". And in year 633 the Bishops proclaimed the rights to select king from among the royal family. Here by the transfer on power to the new Catholic Church was complete.

The Visigoths also had a few conflicts with the Byzantine Empire but faced the general defeat against the Muslims (“The Moors”) from the south. Surviving Visigoths who were against the Catholic rule found new life with the tolerant Muslims. Those who still proclaimed catholic rights face death or fled north, to the kingdom of the Franks and played a key role in the Reconquista of Spain and Portugal. A few generations later they would play a key role in initiating the Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne.

3.10.4    Ostrogoths

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Ostragoths spread eastward and created a Kingdom in the Italian peninsula and neighboring areas during 489 to 553. The King Theodoric the great tried to preserve the social institutions of late Western Roman Empire survived during his rule. He managed to reunite the Goths (Visigoths and Ostragoths) briefly under one crown in the early sixth century. Theodoric moved westward and abandoned the Ostragoth kingdom and became regent of the Visigoth kingdom for nearly two decades. The Ostragoth Kingdom short after collapsed under attacks from the Byzantine Empire in mid to late 6th century.

3.10.5    Tailoring history

The famous and mythical Goths is said to be the once who ended the mighty Roman Empire. Well, I won't agree. I would say it was the Romans way to handle cultures and religions that killed the Empire. This infected the relations with primarily the Goths (outside threat) but also the Christians (inside threat) who also were one of Rome’s constant threats. Due the myths of the Goths, later many have tailor history to take advantages of the mythical Goths. Many prominent individuals in Sweden made a great attempt to convince Europe that Visigoths and Ostragoths were the same people as the one’s living in the west- and east- provinces of Gothia, Sweden. In the Council of Basel, 1434, a Swedish delegation proclaimed the above. The Spanish delegation then retorted that it was only the lazy and unenterprising Goths who had remained in Sweden, whereas the heroic Goths, on the other hand, had left Sweden, invaded the Roman Empire and settled in Spain. Who knows if there were distant bounds still connecting the Goths togeather? However as many greater societies became divided due to cultural reasons in history, I say it’s the same with the two different Gothic traits (Swedish Goths and European Goths). It seems like it was the same type cultural divorce that separated them west from east. And later in this dossier I have written about the impact of the Swedish Goths separation, which eventually initiated Sweden as a nation state. I would say this cultural force exists still today and are constantly trying to separate humanity for its own agenda.



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