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Thread: Getai being Sarmation?

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    An Imperfect Follower of Light Member Wolfman's Avatar
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    Default Getai being Sarmation?

    I've been reading a book that I got from my public library named The Reach of Rome by Derek Williams. It talks about the beginning of the permanent roman frontier. Most of the subjects he touches on I can agree with and I can back up with historical data. But one statement bothers me. He states that the Getai were a Sarmation not Thracian people. This doesn't sound right to me since in all the sources I've read about them it specifically states that they were of Thracian stock. It even says it on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getae. Am I wrong because this looks like blatant error or oversight . Please EB team help me in this perplexing problem.
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    Closet Celtophile Member Redmeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    I read something about the Sarmatians helping the free Dacians rebel against the Romans (I might be wrong here), but this theory about the Getai being descendants of the Sarmatians is new to me.

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    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Herodotus lived in the 5th century BC and he described the Getai.

    As far as I know the Sarmatians weren't even around in the general area until the late 4th century.

    They might have traveled back in time, though.

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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    I can't say I know very much about Getai history, but weren't they already around long before the Sarmatians had finally absorbed what was left of the Scythians (who were sort of between the two groups) ?
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    I've heard of the Getai even being Germanic .


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    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Quote Originally Posted by russia almighty
    I've heard of the Getai even being Germanic .
    I think that would be the Bastarnae, not the Getai.

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    An Imperfect Follower of Light Member Wolfman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Every source I've read says Thracian. This is the first time i've read something that says they were other than Thracian.
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    EBII Mapper and Animator Member -Praetor-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Perhaps he got confused, (or you misunderstood) the part of the Dacian wars, on which some sarmatians fought side to side with the getai (dacian), but that`s some 100 years after the end date of EB...

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Sarmatians? What the ebing news in the world is that contraption?

    Getai are of Thraikian origin. There were two types. Northern Danube Thracians, the Getai, and the southern Thracians, the proper Thracians. Sarmatians are a people from the steppes of modern Russia, and never had a single impact on the Getai world. Except in the Roman wars, where Decebal ( the Dacian king ) allied with Sarmatian warlords and they supplied him with powerful Sarmatian cavalry.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Well, isn't there some connection there, even if it's a later one? I always thought there was something there that I wasn't knowledgeable about.

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    Member Member paullus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Derek Williams probably confused the Skythian influence on the Getai with Sarmatian influence. For a non-specialist, the Skythians and Sarmatians probably seem synonymous.

    The Getai were a Thraikian people I suppose, though those sorts of distinctions are rather fuzzy. Skythians infiltrated the area pretty frequently at various points in the mid-centuries of the first millenium BC, and bestowed upon the Getic people some elements of their material culture at least, and perhaps other practices as well. The influence was largely among the elite, thus the main Skythian influence is seen in the construction of elite tombs and in elite items, like ceremonial helmets and some types of weapons. But to say that these examples of borrowing show descent from the Skythians, or even worse, to then confuse the Skythians with the Sarmatians, is plain wrong.

    The same sort of borrowing we see from the Skythians we also see from celtic peoples and the Hellenes. That's one of the things that I find interesting about the Getai: at an archaeological site, you'll find traditional Thraikian ware alongside La tene (ie, Celtic derived) artifacts, which had a much larger impact on the middle and lower classes than did the Skythian influence, along with upper class and predominantly elite materials from the Skythians, Hellenes, and again from the Celts. Its a really cool fusion.

    Oh, and as far as the Sarmatians, the Getai continue to engage with their neighbors to the northeast, whether Skythians, Bastarnai, or Sarmatians, well into the first century AD. If anything, the Getai may have shown a stronger steppe influence at the time of the Dacian Wars than they'd had in the EB time period. However, the changes we see in the culture group that we should probably identify as the Bastarnoz are more sweeping. The Sarmatians seem to have mixed fairly extensively with them, though the picture there is even more fuzzy than it is when working with the Getai. Anyway, hope that helped a little.
    "The mere statement of fact, though it may excite our interest, is of no benefit to us, but when the knowledge of the cause is added, then the study of history becomes fruitful." -Polybios


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    An Imperfect Follower of Light Member Wolfman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Could you reccomend more books by professional historians on the getai, sarmation, scythian, carthaginian, armenian, and celtic peoples. I would like to get even more information on them.
    Last edited by Wolfman; 06-04-2007 at 06:04.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    I can suggest some good reading on dealing with the Celts as well as some of the Celt/Roman interaction.
    Simon James "The World of The Celts"
    H.D.Rankin "Celts and the Classical World"
    Dyson "The Creation of the Roman Frontier"
    Cunliffe "The Ancient Celts"

  14. #14

    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfman25
    Could you reccomend more books by professional historians on the getai, sarmation, scythian, carthaginian, armenian, and celtic peoples. I would like to get even more information on them.
    From my knowledge "Prehistoric Dacia" is a complete book on the subject. You can find it here:
    http://www.pelasgians.bigpondhosting.com/index.htm
    in English.
    Last edited by cezarip; 06-05-2007 at 09:06.

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    Member Member paullus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Prehistoric Dacia is a prime example of nationalist discourse, I'd steer clear. I'll try to get back to you on a good, sorta introductory book on Dacians and Getai that's not either really intense archaeology or crazy nationalism.
    "The mere statement of fact, though it may excite our interest, is of no benefit to us, but when the knowledge of the cause is added, then the study of history becomes fruitful." -Polybios


  16. #16

    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Quote Originally Posted by paullus
    Prehistoric Dacia is a prime example of nationalist discourse, I'd steer clear. I'll try to get back to you on a good, sorta introductory book on Dacians and Getai that's not either really intense archaeology or crazy nationalism.
    Did you read it? I would say read it and speak after. What he claims may not be the truth but the books contains nevertheless a lot of informations about Dacian mythology and beliefs.

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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Be careful. This man here does this sort of thing for a living, so don't underestimate him.



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  18. #18

    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm
    Be careful. This man here does this sort of thing for a living, so don't underestimate him.
    I do not. I did not read that book as the "absolute truth". There isn't such a thing. If paullus has proofs that the author was telling fairy tales, then the problem changes. I am not an expert in history, but I like to learn. Enlighten me!
    Last edited by cezarip; 06-05-2007 at 17:08.

  19. #19
    Member Member paullus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    No, its not that the whole book is fairy tales. He's got some good stuff in there, but its sprinkled in among a complex web of exaggeration and invention, which means that its much more likely to mislead someone new to the subject than to actually help them get their feet wet.
    "The mere statement of fact, though it may excite our interest, is of no benefit to us, but when the knowledge of the cause is added, then the study of history becomes fruitful." -Polybios


  20. #20

    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Quote Originally Posted by paullus
    No, its not that the whole book is fairy tales. He's got some good stuff in there, but its sprinkled in among a complex web of exaggeration and invention, which means that its much more likely to mislead someone new to the subject than to actually help them get their feet wet.
    I think you're right. Not a good choice for a beginner.

    By the way paullus I would be interested in a good book about the pelasgians. Any advice?
    Last edited by cezarip; 06-06-2007 at 09:11.

  21. #21
    Member Member paullus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Well, most anything I know about the Pelasgians comes from Jonathan Hall's Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity, which is a really smart and really thick work, in which the Pelasgians are only occasionally important as he seeks to piece together elements of the various Hellenic constructions of ethnicity and descent.

    And I'll go ahead and add that, at least as far as I've been told by the Archaic historians and archaeologists I know, "Pelasgian" is a vague term used nowadays either a) in a literary sense, referring to mythologies of ethnic descent (as in Hall's work), or b) in a historical sense, referring generally to people around the area that we now identify as Greece. Its not connected with any specific archaeological culture, as far as I know, so I'm not sure you'll find any credible historical/archaeological work that tells you much about them. But I could be wrong, I am by no means an Archaic specialist.
    "The mere statement of fact, though it may excite our interest, is of no benefit to us, but when the knowledge of the cause is added, then the study of history becomes fruitful." -Polybios


  22. #22

    Default Re: Getai being Sarmation?

    Quote Originally Posted by paullus
    And I'll go ahead and add that, at least as far as I've been told by the Archaic historians and archaeologists I know, "Pelasgian" is a vague term used nowadays either a) in a literary sense, referring to mythologies of ethnic descent (as in Hall's work), or b) in a historical sense, referring generally to people around the area that we now identify as Greece. Its not connected with any specific archaeological culture, as far as I know, so I'm not sure you'll find any credible historical/archaeological work that tells you much about them. But I could be wrong, I am by no means an Archaic specialist.
    No, you are right. I was thinking that maybe someone wrote a good book and focused on the people who preceded the Hellenes. Whether the Hellenes were their descendants or invaders, it's controversial. It is safer to consider them as Paleo-Balkan and this group of populations interests me a lot.
    Just curious if there were any recent serious studies about them, last references are from 1960.

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