Identification of the Lost Ten Tribes with Gothic peoples in Legendary Account
In the Middle Ages it was not uncommon to fuinds the Lost Ten Tribes identified with the Goths.
We have quoted from John Mandeville in the past, e.g.
# The Goths of history interpreted their name to mean "People (Chosen) of God". Popular traditions (such as that related by John Mandeville, 1499) identified the GOTHS of history with the LOST TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL.
John Mandeville ch.29, Korkaner pp.54-58, Anderson p.72 ff., Ortellius "Map of Tartaria", see "The Tribes" p.62, etc. #
On of the sources in this regard is that of John Mandeville/
"The Travels of Sir John Mandeville," is "a travel memoir which first circulated between 1357 and 1371. The earliest surviving text is in French. "
This work is a collection of legends and travellers tales which have been put together as if they were the account of an English Noble and his peregrinations.
At all events the work is of value since it shows what was the popular beliefs concerning foreign lands, etc, in the 1300s and before them.
He mentions the Ten Tribes and conflates them with the Goths, the Scythians, the people of Gog and Magog. He locates them in the Caucasus region and by the Caspian Sea.
Despite the fairy tale atmosphere evoked by these tales they may contain a grain of historical truth. The Ten Tribes were indeed in these areas. They too were associated with the Scythians and Goths.
These ideas were quite common at the time in question.
They dove-tail and supplement traditions concerning the Red Jews.
The relevant chapter in the work of Mandeville is ch. 29. It describes a journey from the east towards the west, see Excerpts below.
After passing "Cathay" (i.e. China) one comes to Bactria ("Bacharia"), then to the Caspian Sea, then to Uber which is probably Iberia in the Caucasus.
Here once finds "Goth and Magoth," ... "between the mountains of Scythia." They are the Ten Tribes, or the Ten Tribes are also in that area,
# Between those mountains the Jews of ten lineages be enclosed, that men clepe [call] Goth and Magoth and they may not go out on no
They give tribute to the Queen of the Amazons. In the future they will emerge to conquer the entire Christian World.
_Of the Countries and Isles that be beyond the Land of Cathay_; _and of
the fruits there_; _and of twenty-two kings enclosed within the
Wherefore I say you, in passing by the land of Cathay toward the high Ind
and toward Bacharia....
In that same region be the mountains of Caspian that men clepe Uber in
the country. Between those mountains the Jews of ten lineages be
enclosed, that men clepe Goth and Magoth and they may not go out on no
side. There were enclosed twenty-two kings with their people, that
dwelled between the mountains of Scythia. There King Alexander chased
them between those mountains, and there he thought for to enclose them
through work of his men. But when he saw that he might not do it, ne
bring it to an end, he prayed to God of nature that he would perform that
that he had begun. And all were it so, that he was a paynim and not
worthy to be heard, yet God of his grace closed the mountains together,
so that they dwell there all fast locked and enclosed with high mountains
all about, save only on one side, and on that side is the sea of Caspian.
... And also ye shall understand, that the Jews have no proper land of their
own for to dwell in, in all the world, but only that land between the
mountains. And yet they yield tribute for that land to the Queen of
Amazonia, the which that maketh them to be kept in close full diligently,
that they shall not go out on no side but by the coast of their land; for
their land marcheth to those mountains.
And often it hath befallen, that some of the Jews have gone up the
mountains and avaled down to the valleys. But great number of folk ne
may not do so, for the mountains be so high and so straight up, that they
must abide there, maugre their might. For they may not go out, but by a
little issue that was made by strength of men, and it lasteth well a four
And after, is there yet a land all desert, where men may find no water,
neither for digging ne for none other thing. Wherefore men may not dwell
in that place, so is it full of dragons, of serpents and of other
venomous beasts, that no man dare not pass, but if it be strong winter.
And that strait passage men clepe in that country Clyron. And that is
the passage that the Queen of Amazonia maketh to be kept. And though it
happen some of them by fortune to go out, they can no manner of language
but Hebrew, so that they cannot speak to the people.
...For the Jews say that they know well by their
prophecies, that they of Caspia shall go out, and spread throughout all
the world, and that the Christian men shall be under their subjection, as
long as they have been in subjection of them.
And if that you will wit how that they shall find their way, after that I
have heard say I shall tell you.
... From thence go men by many journeys through the land of Prester John, the
great Emperor of Ind. And men clepe his realm the isle of Pentexoire.
Extract from The Tribes
The Geographer Ortellius (1570) charted a map of northern Scythia in which he utilized legendary traditions. He included the Naphtalite Huns and "Danites" as part of one body from the Israelite Tribes of Naphtali and Dan. To the east of the Naphtali Ortellius located the rest of the Lost Tribes whom he said were called "Gauths". The position which Ortellius allocated to the "Gauths" corresponds to that of the Guti (Yuehchi) who neighbored the Sacae-Scyths. The Guti (Yuehchi) in the west were referred to as "Gauths," "Goths" and as Massagetae. Evidence exists indicating that the Naphtalites ultimately migrated to Scandinavia, on the whole, apart from small splinter groups, one of which amalgamated with the Khazars. In Europe the Goths, Jutes, Danes and Nephtalite "Vikings" of Norway were destined to be closely associated with each other. This association had been preceded in Scythia by the union of their immediate ancestors: The Naphtali became the Norwegians, Dan the Danes, Yadi the Jutes of Denmark, and the Guti became the Goths of Scandinavia.