Problems

‘The poem has no strong narrative……. the battle’ (this is the strong narrative element).

The emphasis on the poem having no strong narrative is given in introduction in order to demonstrate that its not an epic poem.

The poem is thought to have originally had no strong narrative, the narrative surrounding the battle is a later inclusion.

This part is getting confused and lost as it’s replicated.

Historical argument is lost as a concern with literary classification is over-stressed in introduction.

This argument relates to no linguistic unity/ considerable linguistic unity.

I have a considerable headache here as I have over stressed the lack of linguistic unity in the early medieval period in contrast to the 13th century.

Its very easy to get into a mess here.

Over- inflected generalizations, can’t live with them/ can’t live without them

Frontier Psychiatrist

The arguments made so far have neglected the problem of explaining through what mechanism the properties of individuals give rise to properties of languages………….

One of the most basic and pervasive properties of human language is regularity. That is if one meaning is expressed using a particular rule or construction, then it is likely that another meaning will also make use of the same pattern. We might therefore expect regularity to arise from some fundamental aspect of our language faculty- in other words our prior bias might be expected to reflect this central universal strongly…. However…………. the overwhelming conclusion is that   strong biases are not necessary to explain the emergence of pervasive regularity. It seems that regularity emerges whenever the number of training samples that the learners are exposed to is small. If there is too little data stable languages do not emerge, while if there is too much training data, the emergent languages are not regular, but instead express meanings in an ad hoc way. Kirby, Smith & Brighton (2004) explain this behavior in terms of adaption to the bottleneck– the limited  amount of linguistic examples from which each speaker must learn the language. A regular rule can persist into the next generation so long as the learner sees only one example of it, but an irregular expression can only persist into the next generation if the learner is exposed to exactly that expression.

reference

> M. Dowman, S. Kirby & T.L. Griffiths, Innateness and Cultural In The Evolution of Language

 

 

Lets Get Physical

Cut and Paste

“Frontier” will be used in the historian’s sense to refer to the outer edge of settlement within a given area and not to a political boundary.”

 

Tudfwlch violent in slaughter, a fortified citadel

 

The example of Gothic Victoriacum may illustrate the point………They were aggressive outsiders, but there was no home base, either cultural or political, from which they moved or to which they could return. Try as we might, we can find no physical frontier in Visigothic Spain.

reference

M.W. Mikesell, Comparative Studies in Frontier History, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 50, No.1 (Mar., 1960)

J.T. Koch, The Gododdin Of Aneirin Text and Context from Dark-Age North Britain

M. Kulikowski, Ethnicity, Rulership and Early Medieval Frontiers

 

 

The Citadel

Tudfwlch violent in slaughter, a fortified citadel

One thing that can be drawn from M. Kulikowski’s observations on Gothic expansion in Spain is that we should expect to find no clear relationship between territorial expansion and linguistic expansion.

No linguistic unity.

If I look at the way cultural history is recorded and deployed in 12th century Wales, the identification with past is made on the basis of  linguistic unity.

The poem  appears to have been written in an archaic ancestor language of the middle Welsh spoken in the 12th century.

Continuity with the past, but the idea of Wales as a territory and a people united by language is absent from that past.

 

Is Dexter Criminally Insane?

Nearly seven decades have passed since Fredrick Jackson Turner (1861-1932) developed a new approach to American History, an approach which has come to be known as the frontier hypothesis or the Turner thesis. In the intervening years a substantial part of the work of American historians has been devoted to analysis, criticism and elaboration of Turner’s views. Yet, there is little agreement that the main problems of frontier history have been solved. For every theory there is at least one counter theory, and for every generalization there are specific objections. In view of this state of discord, there would seem to be little justification for bringing to the geographers. There is, however, one aspect of their work that deserves serious attention, and that is the growing body  of comparative research. In this review attention will be directed to several recent attempts to compare the westward movement in American history with the advance of settlement in other parts of the world. “Frontier” will be used in the historian’s sense to refer to the outer edge of settlement within a given area and not to a political boundary.”

 

Note

I know little about American history and nothing in regard to frontier studies. This was the first article I pulled from a google search “frontier studies.”

I know a little about Gothic and Frankish history but not as much as I should. I have a bias in relation to the subject due to my introduction to it as an undergraduate.

At the time the subject was notable for its calls for a return to ‘historical purity’ and a dismissal by historians of the use of archeological and comparative data.

I have a tendency to  view Gothic and Frankish history as a ‘potential hot bed of small c. historical conservatism’

This is  not correct, any branch of history throws up a range of opinions, I just have a tendency to  relate this observation to my first experience of confronting it.

It’s the first question I ask of Historians working in this area. I can’t help but note the contrast. I had some difficulty with the first sentence before reading the second source.

Try as we might, we can find no physical frontier in Visigothic Spain

 

“Frontier” will be used in the historian’s sense to refer to the outer edge of settlement within a given area and not to a political boundary.”

This is my first impression and introduction to American frontier history. I have no idea what to make of it other than to note my own bias here and not let my own imagination go into overdrive.

Reference

M.W. Mikesell, Comparative Studies in Frontier History, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 50, No.1 (Mar., 1960)

 

An Unearthly Child: The Visual Domain

A partial explanation for this may lie in the way in which Gothic kings conceived of their rule:  it was a rule over peoples, over a gens Gothorum, later over conquered Basques and Sueves. Yet at the same time, Gothic kings ruled over territory that had been a Roman province, and they inherited from Rome the tendency to visualize geography in terms of itineraries between cities rather than as abstract geographical space. Dominion was conceived of as control over points on an itinerary, in the Spanish case normally cities or roadside rest stations. The Gothic kings visualized dominion in the same terms, but the correlation between the gentes over whom the king ruled and actual swathes of territory was imprecise. The example of Gothic Victoriacum may illustrate the point. To commemorate his defeat over the Basques- and to ensure the permanence of his victory- Leovigild founded a new city and gave it the name Victoriacum, in a very Roman gesture. This foundation, an urban point whose modern identity is disputed, proclaimed Leovigild’s dominion over another people, the Vascones, and it was planted in their midst. But just as no line had separated Goth from Basque before its foundation, so the new city of Victoriacum never formed part of a Gothic northern frontier.

Regardless of the explanation, the Roman notion of a linear frontier made no headway among the Gothic kings of Spain, and they always lacked Roman-style frontiers. A fortiori, they lacked the sort of expansionary frontier modeled on the American West, which has so informed most studies of medieval frontiers. When Gothic Kings first seriously tried to control the whole peninsula in the early sixth century, they were not expanding from a Gothic heartland. The kingdom of Toulouse was almost entirely lost to them and they were adrift in Spain, struggling as one power amongst others at a very local level. They were aggressive outsiders, but there was no home base, either cultural or political, from which they moved or to which they could return. Try as we might, we can find no physical frontier in Visigothic Spain. And yet Visigothic Spain has all the characteristics we associate with frontier societies……..

reference

M. Kulikowski, Ethnicity, Rulership and Early Medieval Frontiers

 

 

Control of Territory or the Control of Shiny Objects?

Writing a historical timeline of this poem is problematic.

Its historical setting is in the 6th century, its physical location is Castle Rock, Edinburgh Scotland.

Its sense of itself is to be found in Wales and at the beginning  of its sense of Welshness. This is a 13th century development, its the start point of what we can identify with a modern sense of ethnicity and being Welsh.

Its a considerable movement and makes little sense in relation to modern concepts of British identity.

Interaction and relationship between people and places has significantly altered over-time.

 

Take some notes, I also want to learn something new myself.

Get a bit more general and specific, look at some of the wider arguments relating to  development of ethnicity.

I need to make a number of leaps and jumps with the transmission of this material. I would like to make them as undramatic as possible.

One vexing and disputed question relating to the formation of early medieval kingdoms is the land/people question.

To what extent were early medieval kingdoms based on the over-lordship of people rather than a clearly defined territory?

How far do you run with that inflection?

Switch to late antiquity in Spain and ask what was it like to be a Goth in such surroundings.

 

Tudfwlch

With red-sided blades

concealing the ground,

the reddened manslayer in fury;

the Laureate hero would slay men.

The warrior in his station, the wolf of the company,

used to be joyful.

The herb garden of the host,

a laureate hero striking;

before his blinding (in death), he was not weak.

Most truly are you called for your righteous acts-

the governor, helmsman, rampart of the tribeland’s every-boundary,

Tudfwlch violent in slaughter, a fortified citadel.

reference

J.T. Koch, The Gododdin Of Aneirin Text and Context from Dark-Age North Britain