Brit-Am Historical Reports (18 March, 2013, 7 Nissan, 5773)
Note: Â All items of information and opinion in our Features do not necessarily receive our sanction unless we expressly say so.
1. Father of U.S. slavery was a black man
It is well known that the first colonials arrived on these shores following the settlement of Jamestown by the Virginia Company in 1607. Perhaps what is not so well known is the fact that following the Thirty Years' War, the European economy was extremely depressed. Consequently, many skilled and unskilled laborers there were without work, and the New World offered hope and a chance for a new future.
According to some reports, one-half to two-thirds of the immigrants who came to the American colonies arrived as indentured servants, and this included some Africans, who arrived in Jamestown in 1619. This distinction is critical; indentured servants were not slaves.
In 1619, all indentured servants (white or black)had specified periods of servitude ranging from four to seven years and received precisely the same treatment and rewards. At the conclusion of their respective periods of servitude, each was entitled to freedom, citizenship and a land grant of 25 to 50 acres. Throughout the early colonial period when all land was held in trust for the king, the basis of land disposition were grants, dispensed by the local government in accordance with the king's wishes.
Land grants in Virginia were issued in accordance with a particular system. Under this system, every person who paid his own way to Virginia would be entitled to 50 acres of land, known as a 'headright'. There was no stigma attached, and all families, black or white, subsequently enjoyed all the rights and privileges of other citizens in the community. A father could indenture a family of four, and since each family member was entitled to 50 acres at the conclusion of the period of servitude, they were given their freedom and the family would qualify for a parcel of 200 acres.
The Virginia Company, however, changed the rules. ...
Indentured servants, especially whites, could (and often did) slip away, become part of another settlement and simply disappear. A permanent, economically beneficial solution for the elites was sought and implemented.
Â He [the African Johnson] was claiming the services of John Casor [also an African] for the remainder of Casor's natural life.
Parker and one other influential landowner, both white, sided with Casor. However, the court ruled for Johnson.
This is apparently the first legal sanction of slavery (not for a crime) in the New World.
Anthony Johnson must be recognized as the nation's first official legal slaveholder.
The father of legalized slavery in America was a black man.
2. Dirk: Thuringians from Goths
Subject: [Germanic-L] Evidence for violent death in migration age cemeteries
Â Â Â Â Â 1. There is the name similarity. Even ancient authors readily confused the two groups names. Even if linguists object by saying that there is no rule or law that would describe a transition from Teruingi to Tueringi, the name progression may simply be owing to mistakes. Note, there is also no law explaining the progression from Turingi to Turcilingi, but these are most likely the same groups. I think Turcilingi may have resulted from a name composition of Turingi and the newly arriving Turci, while the name Turingi itself may have resulted from a composition or combination of Teruingi with Tyra-ingi, i.e. the Tyras-Goths.
Â Â Â Â Â 2. There is the timing sequence. Just as the Teruingi name disappears from the sources, the Tueringi/Turingi name starts to emerge.
Â Â Â Â Â 3. There is the specialization: The earliest Turingi are known for their horses. Yet, the hilly and thickly forested regions of modern Thuringia is not natural horse land.
Â Â Â Â Â 4. There is the law: As Heike Grahn-Hoek has shown, there are provisions in the later Thuringian legal codes that link them to the legal codes of the Goths and which set them apart from the legal codes of Alamanni and Franks.
Â Â Â Â Â 5. There is the language: There are only a few runic remains from Thuringia, but Martin Hannes Graf in his article "Die Runeninschriften von Weimar im Lichte der Thuringerforschung", 2009 is quite clear that they show East Germanic characteristics. Graf is careful in his interpretation, saying that this does not prove that all Thuringians spoke East Germanic, but at some elite level Gothic may have been the main language.
Â Â Â Â Â 6. There is the politics: Thuringians and Gothic elites intermarried as is attested in both historical and archaeological sources. The Thuringians maintained diplomatic relationships with Ravenna, and seemed to have emerged as natural and almost favorable allies of the Goths against the Franks. Also at the battle of the Catalaunian fields, the Thuringians are found on the side of the Goths and Huns. A Thuringian named Agrifulf is even found as empoyed as governor in Visigothic Spain.
Â Â Â Â Â 7. There is the internal political structure: The Thuringians created a strong royal structure similar to that of the various Gothic groups and different from their immedate neighbors the Saxons and Alamanni.
Â Â Â Â Â 8. There is the geography. The early Thuringians are active around Passau far to the south of the heartland of the later Thuringian kingdom.
Â Â Â Â Â 9. There is the name evidence: The royal Thuringian names have an East Germanic ring to them, i.e. Ermenfried, Radagais, Artachis, Radegunde, Amalafried, but probably also Heden, which is derived from Ethana- and Athana- such as in Athanaric.
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Â Â Â Â Â See here
Â Â Â Â Â http://cma.gbv.de/dr,cma,011,2008,a,02.pdf
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Â Â Â Â Â Also, some Thuringian place names such as Gottstedt /Gothe-stete near Erfurt have according to the authors of the above mentioned article a ethnic origin from the ethnonym Goths.
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Â Â Â Â Â 10. There are other supposed family ties. According to historical sources, the Burgundian kings at the Rhine and the Sapaudia where related to the Theruingorum iudex Athanaricus. Given the large geographical distance between the Rhine and the area where Athanaric operated it is plausible that this family tie resulted from conections with the Thuringian royal family which have emerged from Athanaric' Theruingian followers. Also, there is Odovacer, who is said to have been a Thuringian on his father's side and a Scirian on his mother's side, as well as king of Goths, Rugians and others.
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Â Â Â Â Â 11. There is also the fact that the Thuringians are never mentioned in Roman sources pre-400 AD, even though Roman troops marched through their later areas. The Tueringi appear suddenly and in a way that suggests that everybody by 400AD should have known them, which strongly suggests that the name is a continuation from the earlier Teruingi.
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Â Â Â Â Â Heike Grahn-Hoek lists even more indications from historical sources that would suggest a link between Tueringi and Teruingi. And of course such a link should not be necessarily seen as a straight line migration and creation of a kingdom. In would be a much more complex development with all sorts of interaction of the various local groups that lived in the area before. Thus, the later Thuringian legal text speaks of Anglians and especially Warnians. The latter name is either the name of a section of the Thuringians or sometimes the name is used interchangibly for Thuringian.
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Â Â Â Â Â Cheers,
Â Â Â Â Â Dirk
3. First Evidence of Viking-Like 'Sunstone' Found
Ancient lore has suggested that the Vikings used special crystals to find their way under less-than-sunny skies. Though none of these so-called "sunstones" have ever been found at Viking archaeological sites, a crystal uncovered in a British shipwreck could help prove they did indeed exist.
The crystal was found amongst the wreckage of the Alderney, an Elizabethan warship that sank near the Channel Islands in 1592. The stone was discovered less than 3 feet (1 meter) from a pair of navigation dividers, suggesting it may have been kept with the ship's other navigational tools, according to the research team headed by scientists at the University of Rennes in France.
Because of the rhombohedral shape of calcite crystals, "they refract or polarize light in such a way to create a double image," Mike Harrison, coordinator of the Alderney Maritime Trust, told LiveScience. This means that if you were to look at someone's face through a clear chunk of Icelandic spar, you would see two faces. But if the crystal is held in just the right position, the double image becomes a single image and you know the crystal is pointing east-west, Harrison said.
These refractive powers remain even in low light when it's foggy or cloudy or when twilight has come. In a previous study, the researchers proved they could use Icelandic spar to orient themselves within a few degrees of the sun, even after the sun had dipped below the horizon.
European seafarers had not fully figured out magnetic compasses for navigation until the end of 16th century. The researchers say the crystal might have been used on board the Elizabethan ship to help correct for errors with a magnetic compass.
"In particular, at twilight when the sun is no longer observable being below the horizon, and the stars still not observable, this optical device could provide the mariners with an absolute reference in such situation," the researchers wrote online this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
No such crystals have been found yet at Viking sites. The team notes that archaeologists are unlikely to find complete crystals as part of a group of grave goods, since the Vikings often cremated their dead.