Talk:Germanic peoples

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RfC: Is information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of Germanic culture, within the scope of this article?[edit]

There is a clear consensus that information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of Germanic culture are within the scope of this article. How much weight to give this material is a matter of editorial judgment that should be the subject of further discussion. If there is disagreement about whether any future changes are due weight or relevant to this article, then a new RfC will be needed to solicit editors' opinions on those changes.

Cunard (talk) 02:00, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Is information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of Germanic culture, within the scope of this article? Krakkos (talk) 10:51, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Close to a year ago, the topic of this article was subtly transformed from being about peoples "identified by their use of the Germanic languages" to being about peoples "identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples".[1][2][3] This major change of scope was only partially discussed in beforehand at the talk page, in a RfC initiated by a trolling IP sock[4][5] of Freeboy200.[6] As a response to the change of scope, an article titled Germanic peoples (modern) was created. In a subsequent discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Germanic peoples (modern) (2nd nomination), the majority of participating editors were in favor of merging that article into this, and the result was a redirect. More recently, i have attempted to merge content, such as citations from Francis Owen and Edward Arthur Thompson and plenty of other scholars, into this article. Owen and Thompson were both university professors who wrote books on the subject of Germanic peoples.[7][8] With the current scope used as justification, these sources have been removed[9][10] as "inappropriate sources" that are "about another topic (speakers of Germanic languages)".[11][12] This leads to the question of this RfC: Is information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of Germanic culture, within the scope of this article? Krakkos (talk) 10:51, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

I want to put on record that this summary, not only the RFC, is not accurate or helpful. The real concerns editors have with this article, even those of Krakkos, are so hard to resolve partly because of this way in which Krakkos works on it without coordinating with others. No one has argued that we can't discuss Germanic language speakers in this article, but we do need to distinguish different uses of terms in our sources and make those distinctions clear here. Such balancing is very difficult when there is a bull in the china shop.
The Thompson source which continues to be used here is problematic because it is a tertiary source and out of date. Owen's work is essay like and based on a theme that the "Germans" are still in the process of becoming "European". Both Thompson and Owen are not from the most recent generations of authors and this is a complex and moving field, and also Krakkos uses them in concerning ways. Krakkos has tended to push the use worse sources even more, such as books about Europe generally or about specific regions such as Roumania, or Spanish grammar.
It is also clearly hard to see this RFC as good faith when it is quite clearly connected to a sudden massive effort to create another new article out of this one, as rejected in the past.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:03, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
In reliable sources, Germanic peoples are generally treated as peoples characterized primarily as speakers of Germanic languages (and followers of Germanic paganism, Germanic law, Germanic warfare etc). Explicit definitions can be found from Edward Arthur Thompson,[13] Malcolm Pasley,[14] Encyclopædia Britannica,[15] and the Webster's New World College Dictionary.[16] The body of this article, and the sources most frequently used, are clearly using this definition. They include plenty of information about peoples such as Norsemen. Norsemen were not "identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples". Norsemen lived outside of Germania after the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and had no Celtic neighbors. They are considered Germanic because they spoke Germanic languages. This is the primary concept for the term Germanic peoples.
If information about the primary concept is considered beyond the scope of this article, a separate article could be created. Articles for speakers of every other major Indo-European language family currently exist, so it would be strange not to have one on Germanic peoples. Creating multiple articles like this is however discouraged per WP:BROADCONCEPT. The best solution is therefore to include information and sources about peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of early Germanic culture, into this article. Krakkos (talk) 10:51, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    • See now also my remarks in the section below entitled Revisiting the article topic controversy. This addresses what the real problem being hidden under this misleading RFC, and also the pseudo concern about article length which has suddenly become urgent for Krakkos today only after I started shortening the article based on previous discussions and consensus.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:51, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Sources of Krakkos. [Moved to sub-section below]
Misleading explanations about the history of this article [New sub-section below]--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:53, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Presumably you think this article is about Germanic speaking peoples then? If it is, then it should not be about all the Germanic peoples. There are obvious ways to do this, but, as Krakkos has hopefully considered, it will lead to new problems. See my new section below. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:30, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes is is within the scope of the article, and no one has ever said otherwise, but it is not the topic of the article. This Rfc is just the latest attempt to confuse everyone. It is irrelevant to any editing discussion, but the explanation of Krakkos shows that the question posted is not the question he wants to ask (which is a question he has already asked many times). I propose this Rfc should be closed, at least as currently worded. Referring to the IMPLIED question, (1) Norse peoples were "Germanic language speaking peoples" and (2) "Germanic peoples" is a term sometimes used as a shorthand for Germanic language speaking peoples. It is a topic handled in other articles and also relevant to this article. (3) But being exact with our terminology, like we have to be, there are TWO concepts with an overlap, not one. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:15, 17 January 2020 (UTC) I should also say that the Norse peoples were also at least sometimes listed as "Germanic peoples" in the classical sense, at least on the edge of that concept, and they are discussed in this article. They were not only speakers of Germanic languages. So also the implied question is misleading and does not easily connected to any real editing discussion. People should bring real sources and real editing decisions to this talk page, and stop trying to re-play the same RFC over and over.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:19, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Uh, what? The Norse peoples were not speakers of Germanic languages? No wonder this absurd debate goes nowhere ... ---Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:01, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Please read it again more slowly. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:46, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
To get everything out from between the lines: Norse people were and are Germanic speaking peoples. They were also sometimes considered to be Germani in Roman times. These are the two sourceable meanings of Germanic peoples. To avoid the ambiguity which is the real problem we can re-title and shift and split articles like Krakkos keeps doing, but the REAL question here is what sourced material we would have for yet another article about Germanic speaking peoples. There are too many over-lapping articles, and Krakkos has a history of massive restructuring of groups of topics without discussion and agreement, and without good judgement and logical forethought.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:54, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes. The whole debate is completely bizarre. There is no definable point at which the ancient Germanic peoples stopped being Germanic peoples. We have articles about Iranian peoples, Turkic peoples, Balts, Slavs, etc., without some arbitrary temporal cut-off; it's impossible for me to see why there should be one here. What some people are doing here can only be described as waging a holy war based on an irrational dogma and completely divorced from sources, facts, and reason. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:02, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
So we are all agreeing, but not. You are going beyond the RFC, and the fact that everything in this RFC is between the lines makes it effectively useless. But anyway, based on this logic of having articles for all peoples into modern times independent of sourcing etc, we should have articles on modern Goths, modern Vandals, etc? If not, why not.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:46, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes, I think that the article's scope should continue to the present day, in line with other language/ethnic groups. It should also be made clear that modern scholarship has cast a lot of doubt on there being any sort of "Germanic" identity (and in same cases eschews the term entirely).--Ermenrich (talk) 15:11, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
See my response to Blaschke above.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:46, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes, the scope of this article should include Germanic peoples from antiquity until the present day. The article did this previously, while mentioning how the modern manifestation of ethnic and racial identity was misused and abused for nationalistic political purposes (and the associated dangers)—so to this end, I am in favor of primarily focused attention on ancient and medieval peoples with a brief transition into modern ethnic identity. --Obenritter (talk) 19:27, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
The article changed when discussions like this lead us, the editors, to define whether we were talking about Germanic-speaking peoples, or the original Germanic peoples, the Germani. We got strict and we looked at the sources. The problem we found was that these are clearly two over-lapping subjects, not one, and that the best sources, written most carefully, tend to reserve the term for the Germani. The article must discuss both either way, but it has to be primarily about one. So which one? (Germanic-speakers, or classical Germani?) Currently it is the Germani, and so it includes non Germanic language speakers in classical times, and it is a set of peoples who no longer exist, but who clearly set the scene for medieval and modern Germanic language speakers.
Another approach is to split into two articles, but then based on our previous study of the sources the current name of this article can not be used for Germanic speakers. So if we split, "Germanic peoples" should become a dab, and the other two might be "Germanic speaking peoples" and "Germani" for example.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:42, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Just to be clear though, I have NO PROBLEM with your vision for this article. It can be primarily about the classical peoples and have later sections that link to the "legacy" including Germanic speaking peoples. That has been the basic model most of us have agreed I think, except Krakkos who keeps adding and deleting things in ways which make no sense to me. This RFC comes out of a chaotic period however where Krakkos is making massive changes. Krakkos is apparently very dissatisfied, and in action. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 00:20, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes, it is in the scope of the article.(KIENGIR (talk) 23:45, 17 January 2020 (UTC))
  • @Krakkos: what is your brief and neutral statement? At over 5,000 bytes, the statement above (from the {{rfc}} tag to the next timestamp) is far too long for Legobot (talk · contribs) to handle, and so it is not being shown correctly at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/History and geography. The RfC will also not be publicised through WP:FRS until a shorter statement is provided. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:14, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    My apologies. This can be used as the statement: "Is information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of Germanic culture, within the scope of this article?" Krakkos (talk) 23:26, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    But it is clearly not the real question! In any case you already started acting, and creating mirror article to this one, as you've tried to do in the past. But as the feedback to your RFC shows, there is no call for splitting this article in two. (See Germani which you are building from material from here and deleting as you go.) And you have never given a clear explanation about why this is needed. You have to explain what you are really doing and why. Wikipedia requires people to work together. You've been warned many times by people trying to help you (including me) that you need to stop making massive undiscussed actions like you have been doing again. I would say there is a broad consensus that this article needs work, but there is no consensus at all that splitting this article or making these types of edits is improving Wikipedia in any way. Why don't you let this article try to stand on its feet and stopping adding and deleting things so inexplicably the whole time? Let other editors try? --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 00:20, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Krakkos: then it needs to be the first item after the {{rfc}}, and be given its own timestamp, in accordance with WP:RFCST. Legobot is incapable of wading through the replies to find the intended statement. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:20, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Redrose64: Thanks for the correction. I will remember this if initiating further RfC's in the future. I hope everything is OK now. Krakkos (talk) 09:34, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Note to closer - There appears to be universal agreement that information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of Germanic culture is within the scope of this article. A majority of the respondents have also stated that information on modern peoples speaking Germanic languages is within this article's scope, although such information should not be given much space. I want to note that i agree with the majority on this question too. Previous ambiguity on these questions have led to a lot of controversy at this article in recent times. A clearly worded statement from the closer on these questions would therefore be of great help in ending the ambiguity, and thus mediate controversy. Krakkos (talk) 11:45, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
No there was no previous ambiguity about this, and it was not the cause of the problems. This RFC was called too late, in an attempt to justify actions that this RFC does not justify, because the wording is deliberately uncontroversial. See the what the RFC should have said in the sub-section below.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:07, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
That the RfC is appropriate and its wording is sufficiently "controversial" can easily be determined by examining the edit summary of these two edits by you.[17][18] Krakkos (talk) 18:37, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Please make your point more clearly in the appropriate place. Anyone watching this article knows you have a secret plan to change this article; and the RFC and the new article are clearly meant to back that up. You are already editing as if everyone has agreed to major changes which you have never even explained, let alone got agreement for. You also clearly believe they are going to be controversial to other editors, so you know you have a responsibility. You also have no choice: Make an honest proposal first, before trying to move ahead with your secret plans. You need to propose what each new version of the changed set of articles you envision will look, and what they will be titled, etc. This needs to be consistent with WP policy and not just a POVFORK. Do that first, and stop working as if you already did it.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:32, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

User:Krakkos who proposed the RFC should really be explaining why he has created another new article[edit]

Everyone will say yes to the RFC. It is pointless. See Germani which is a WP:POVFORK as clear as day. User:Krakkos please convince other editors about why you are once again attempting to make a new version of this article under another name. It is clearly somehow connected to this RFC as shown by the original subtext you gave it which mentioned your past attempts to make a new article. Why have you done this with no warning or agreed plan about how it would be done?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 00:32, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Watching the edits of Krakkos on his secret new article done with this RFC shows that what he really should have been asking opinions about was whether the term "Germanic Peoples" should be used exclusively for "Germanic (language) speaking peoples", which is a MUCH more controversial proposal. Anyone care to vote on that?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:23, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • No, I definitely disagree with this proposal. This would put Wikipedia in strong conflict with almost all reliable sources, and it requires the complete re-writing of this article to the point where it is not clear what it could even be about. It is really a hidden article move and POVFORK. It is much more problematic than the proposal first made above.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:23, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Sources discussion moved out of RFC[edit]

As noted above I take the liberty of moving this out of the RFC discussion.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:21, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Sources of Krakkos. Owen wrote an essay-like book partly concerned with WW2 arguing that the Germans are still becoming European, trying to track that all the way back. Consider WP:DUE. The only work of Thompson being cited is the Encyclopedia Britannica. See WP:TERTIARY. Pasley wrote about literature and the citation seems to say that the adjective "Germanic" can be used in a linguistic sense. It is in the context of German usage. So, like Halsall and Heather, the writer is being careful to explain a potentially confusing secondary meaning of "Germanic". As we are writing a tertiary source for a non-specialist audience we should be even more careful.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:18, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Francis Owen was for decades Professor of German and Chairman of the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Alberta. Fluent in Old English, Old Norse, German, Russian and a host of other Indo-European languages, Owen specialized in the study of Early Germanic literature, which is our most important source on the subject of Germanic peoples. Well versed in archaeology, anthropology and history, Owen spent thirty years collecting data throughout Europe for the writing of his book The Germanic People (1960), which was his magnum opus. This is a rigorous scholarly work from one of the world's most foremost experts in the field. It's not an essay.
Edward Arthur Thompson was for decades Professor of History at the University of Nottingham. He was the author of the book The Early Germans (1965), which is a scholarly work on the subject of this article. When Malcolm Todd, Professor of Archaeology at Durham University, published his book The Early Germans, he dedicated that book to Thompson. Thompson was clearly one of the leading experts on the subject of Germanic peoples. That's why he was commissioned by Encyclopædia Britannica to write their article on Germanic peoples. An encyclopedic article, written by one of the world's foremost experts on a subject, is an excellent source when writing an encyclopedic article on such a subject, particularly with regards to defining the subject. Krakkos (talk) 14:43, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Obviously there is no need to defend the character and life of people who wrote 2 or 3 generations ago. That is missing the point entirely. The point is that you use them in questionable ways and these works do not represent the latest consensus in the field. They can't.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:48, 18 January 2020 (UTC) And after double checking, I confirm my description of Owen's book as essay like. There are not footnotes or endnotes and his preface states that the book relies on trusting the research of others. I find no discussions about the kinds of debates which we have been concerned with. That does not mean it is a bad book and of course Thompson and Owen are potentially useful for this article - just NOT for discussion of what the latest consensus is on a particular point of recent controversy we have all been concerned with getting right on this article. But honestly why is this even being disputed?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:55, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Edward Arthur Thompson and Francis Owen are more representative of the consensus in the field than yourself. Owen's book is only one of a dozen sources that have been used, and Thompson's book in the Encyclopedia Britannica article cites all the major works that had been published in the field. Almost a year has passed since you, without any prior discussion or reasoning, entirely changed the scope of this article.[19][20][21] So far you have failed to provide a single source for this change of scope. Meanwhile, you are demanding perfect sources from others. Your double standard is staggering. Krakkos (talk) 16:09, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
What an extraordinarily misleading remark! Interesting that you say there has been no discussion or sources given for the changes! Also interesting that above you say the changes were made by a sock puppet. Fact is that anyone can check the record and see years of discussion involving both of us over a long period, often looked at sources you have trouble with like Heather and Halsall etc. But for the issues most important to you, you can only find out-dated and off-topic sources about Roumania, Spanish Grammar, European geography, German literature, and the like. Why would that be?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:20, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
What a load nonsense. The sources i have recently provided are all of high quality. If you have such high regard for Peter Heather, let's look at how he defines the subject. Here is an excerpt from his article on the ancient history of Germany in Encyclopædia Britannica: "Germanic peoples occupied much of the present-day territory of Germany in ancient times. The Germanic peoples are those who spoke one of the Germanic languages... Clearly the people who came to speak Proto-Germanic must have been isolated from other Indo-Europeans for some time, but it is not obvious which archaeological culture might represent the period of the shift. One possibility is the so-called Northern European Bronze Age, which flourished in northern Germany and Scandinavia between about 1700 and 450 bc... Germanic peoples such as the eastern Franks, Frisians, Saxons, Thuringians, Alemanni, and Bavarians—all speaking West Germanic dialects—had merged Germanic and borrowed Roman cultural features. It was among these groups that a German language and ethnic identity would gradually develop during the Middle Ages."[22] Krakkos (talk) 16:48, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Now you are cherry picking new sources which you never want to use! Why not discuss these sources in the sections where I am trying to get such discussion???? The point is that your editing behavior is very problematic. Other editors might want to look at the discussion I managed to now get going on your new mirror article Germani which show how you badly you use the sources.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:13, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

As editors will see at the Germani talk page, Heather is one of the sources Krakkos has problems with. When we look at the context of cherry-picked words both Heather and Halsall, who disagree on many things, make sure to mention here and there whether they are talking about Germanic speakers or Germanic peoples in the other less controversial sense. Both authors point out that recent (understandable, reasonable) tendencies to equate the two cause confusion. We all know such comments are common in the generations AFTER Owen and Thompson. And yet on Wikipedia we are ignoring exactly those warnings. Why would we do that? I would say it fits perfectly with the fact that Krakkos actually does not use such sources for this subject, but instead uses WW2 authors and books about Roumania, Spanish grammar etc. Anyway, I would be interested to know when Heather wrote the Encyclopedia article which is now being mentioned, and also to see more of the context around the words chosen by Krakkos.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:25, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

User:Krakkos you have now added the cherry picked quote to make your WP:POINT [23] so this makes it more urgent that you give us the words before and after especially the first sentence of this Heather quote. I also note that it is from decades before his better known work which is quite clear about these matters and which we have been discussing at Germani. So you are perhaps knowingly choosing to side with the earlier Heather despite his later clarity. That seems pretty hard to justify?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:21, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
It was you who brought up Peter Heather as a quality source. How can it be cherry picking to introduce a relevant citation from a scholar you mention as reliable?
Heather's article in Encyclopedia Britannica can be read here. The best way to understand the context is to read the source yourself.
When referring to Heather's "better known work", i assume you're referring to his book Empires and Barbarians (2009).[24] As a matter of fact, that book makes no mention of "Germanic peoples".[25] A book which doesn't mention Germanic peoples is not useful for defining Germanic peoples. Krakkos (talk) 21:46, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
It is clearly NOT cherry picking to note that your supposed authority (actually I do not believe you have been using Heather in the past) has changed his own approach concerning the words and definitions he uses in this topic! Choosing to use the approach your authority REJECTED is certainly cherry picking. You are also right that in 2009 Heather's language is more careful, so he uses terms like Germani and Germanic speakers. That is indeed my point. But it is clearly nonsense to say that because of this change in terminology, to be more exact and less ambiguous, that his newer works are now irrelevant as if they are about a different subject! Changing the words you use does not change the reality being referred to! If we are really taking Heather seriously then we should try to understand what he means, not google his books looking for bits to pick out of context.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:16, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Put it this way. You are now claiming that Empires and Barbarians has nothing in it about the topic of this article. That is an incredible claim. Can you see that problem? Both Heather and Halsall, along with other recent authors make it clear that definitions are being refined and that terminology is being used more carefully as a result. That is exactly what WP therefore needs to do, according to core content policy.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:20, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Practical. I've shown that Heather's changed his approach on terminology and is being more precise in more recent works, where he deliberately uses terms in a way to emphasize that the Germanic dominated part of Europe was not all Germanic speaking. We therefore should not be using his 1973 source to effectively make WP disagree with him, as in this recent edit. It should be fixed. It is clear that the consensus has shifted around in recent decades on these issues, and it is our job to report that in a balanced way. All our recent specialist sources mention this evolving situation. (Halsall, Heather, Liebeshuetz, Wolfram, Todd, etc.) Why is there so much resistance to allowing WP to report this? --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:36, 18 January 2020 (UTC) And of course Owen and Thompson can not help us because they had no time machine.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:37, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

What i claim is that since Empires and Barbarians does not mention the term "Germanic peoples", it is not an appropriate book to define the term "Germanic peoples". This is not the same as claiming that the book is irrelevant to the topic. The topic of this article is not "the Germanic dominated part of Europe". It is about Germanic peoples. For inhabitants of "the Germanic dominated part of Europe", an interesting subject indeed, we now have the article Germani. Krakkos (talk) 23:09, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
So, incredibly, you are really going to claim that when writers in a field explain they are using new more careful wording and definitions, actually it actually means they are no longer talking about the same subject? You are going to insist the 1973 wording must be referring to something else. You're saying Peter Heather has for some reason decided not to mention the Germanic Peoples in the 2005 or 2009 books, because those exact words don't appear? On the other hand, you have no problem assuming that he means the same thing as you when he uses the word Germani, and asserting that it can not mean the same as Germanic Peoples. This is amazing. Frankly you seem to be unable to parse books logically and see the connections properly between them. I honestly don't know how else to put it.
Trying to find some other way to communicate with you, I have not seen any published source which distinguishes the Germani from the Germanic Peoples. Have you found one Krakkos? Same question as we discussed here. Both terms can clearly be used two overlapping ways, but I've seen no author who contrasts them. Have you?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 23:33, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Effectively it is the same issue we are discussing here--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 23:55, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
The difference between Germanic peoples and the classical concept of Germani is explained at Germani through the use of numerous reliable sources. I doubt Peter Heather wrote his article in the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1973. He was only 13 years old at the time. I have replied in detail at Talk:Germani#Falsified citation from Peter Heather. Krakkos (talk) 11:32, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Editors can check to confirm that the arguments you are using are still incompetent, also on your secret duplicate article.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:09, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Misleading myth making about the history of this article[edit]

In this RFC we have for not for the first time seen angry references to the history of this article which was supposedly changed without warning by me only recently, after no discussion, and at the behest of a sock puppet user. This is very dishonest. I would like to call out this dishonest accusation against me, and ask Krakkos to justify this. What has been presented so far are only a couple of diffs showing that I changed a couple of sentences at the top of the article in 2019, but the accusation is that there was no discussion before this. Editors are invited to type "Lancaster" into the archives search. My first post on this talk page was in 2011 and involved the misuse of genetics sources. That fact that different parts of the article implied completely different definitions of what the article was about was already an old topic then, as were controversies where people tried to rewrite the lead. I was certainly involved in such discussions by 2012. Funnily enough the first post of Krakkos on this talk page, which was only in 2018, meaning he has no right to talk about the past of this article before my 2019 edit, but was also a complaint about these exact same problems which Krakkos says were never discussed. See Archive 6 ("The lead does not adequately summarize the contents of the article. Undue weight is given to etymology and the relationship between Germanic tribes and the Roman Empire. It would be better to make these parts shorter so that one can include other important information addressed in the article." [26]). The exact same archive, just above, shows that Freeboy200 arguing against me for the same position as Krakkos [27], and then it is not far before we get to these discussions repeating in the lead up to the edits where the changes were, according Krakkos, made without pre discussion. At least by March 2019 (Archive 7), Krakkos was also involved in those. But look at the history for yourselves. What we should all be embarrassed by is how long it is taking us to make a minimally acceptable article. Shame on User:Krakkos for such blatant and personalized dishonesty.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:16, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

You didn't merely change "a couple of sentences". Your edits entirely changed the scope of the article, from being about a peoples primarily defined by speaking Germanic languages to being about peoples defined by the Romans as being "distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples".[28][29][30] To make matters worse, your change of scope was in contradiction of the source used.[31]
Let's have a look at "the past of this article before" 2019. Prior to your edits, the previous[32] scope of the article had been in place since 2006 (more than 13 years).[33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45] Freeboy200, a barely literate trolling sockmaster, initiated three clumsily phrased RfC's in 2018 and 2019.[46][47][48] It was during the third RfC, initiated by an IP sock of Freeboy200,[49][50] that you drastically changed the scope of this article.[51][52][53] As can be seen from the RfC's of Freeboy200, or any other discussion ever carried out on this talk page for that matter, you never received a mandate to change the scope of this article. Krakkos (talk) 21:46, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't know what your obsession is with Freeboy200, but you have to admit you are focusing on one bit of text at the top of the article, not even in the actual article, as if it was magic, and ignoring all other context in the article and on the talk page right? The article has a long history of being very bad, and everyone including you noticed that different parts of the article were using different concepts of what the article was about. Freeboy was not the only person noticing the problems. There is no getting around that. There was no good happy period in the history of this article. If you can't even admit that then you are out of touch with reality, and that makes it very difficult for anyone to work with you.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:04, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

@Krakkos: You ask for scrutiny, but have requested to close the RfC within three days? I wonder what kind of comments you expect to elicit except for ready-at-hand POVs? It takes more than that time to inspect the heap of information and meta-information piled up in diffs and quotes provided by Andrew Lancaster and you in a discourse that is increasingly held to the exclusion of other editors. –Austronesier (talk) 15:53, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Almost every posting by Krakkos on this talk page and the Germani one is a "leading question" with the aim of getting useful "admissions" for ... whatever. Also...
  • Krakkos has cited the RFC once now already to justify a bad edit. 1:29, 20 January 2020‎ Krakkos added a new section under "Ethnonyms", which already includes Germani and Teutons, called "Germanic": "includes information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages, per unanimous consensus at Talk:Germanic peoples#RfC: Is information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of Germanic culture, within the scope of this article?" Concerning this, I registered concerns and have been discussing on the talkpage of Krakkos.[54]
  • You can also get some insight into "whatever" by looking at the original subtext of the RFC.[55]
Close to a year ago, the topic of this article was subtly transformed from being about peoples "identified by their use of the Germanic languages" to being about peoples "identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples".[56][57][58] This major change of scope was only partially discussed in beforehand at the talk page, in a RfC initiated by a trolling IP sock[59][60] of Freeboy200.[61] As a response to the change of scope, an article titled Germanic peoples (modern) was created. In a subsequent discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Germanic peoples (modern) (2nd nomination), the majority of participating editors were in favor of merging that article into this, and the result was a redirect. More recently, i have attempted to merge content, such as citations from Francis Owen and Edward Arthur Thompson and plenty of other scholars, into this article. Owen and Thompson were both university professors who wrote books on the subject of Germanic peoples.[62][63] With the current scope used as justification, these sources have been removed as "inappropriate sources" that are "about another topic (speakers of Germanic languages)".[64][65] This leads to the question of this RfC: Is information and sources on peoples speaking Germanic languages and following other aspects of Germanic culture, within the scope of this article?
Normally by now most of us would have come to a point and actually made a clear proposal. We might all be happy by now. Krakkos has some kind of issue with doing this, and it is making the article worse, just like he refuses to discuss his sweeping category innovations which also cause problems.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:09, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Austronesier - Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure states: "The default length of a formal request for comment is 30 days... if consensus becomes clear before that and discussion has slowed, then it may be closed early. However, editors usually wait at least a week after a discussion opens, unless the outcome is very obvious, so that there is enough time for a full discussion." The outcome of this RfC has become obvious, and discussion has slowed. Everyone agrees. Even Andrew Lancaster agrees, and he has suggested that the RfC be closed.[66] Requesting an early closure of this RfC is in full accordance with policy. Krakkos (talk) 16:12, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: You have pinged me, and I haven't come up with a comment yet, and so it is a bit quick to say that "Everyone agrees". I can assure you that it is not a sign of lack of interest in your RfC that I have not answered yet. And I have explained above why. –Austronesier (talk) 16:57, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Note:

  • This controversial and closed RFC was archived with many other inactive sections, 9 Feb by Andrew Lancaster [67] "creating archive 9 ahead of schedule because of heavy talk page use, and new phase of discussion".
  • Returned to talk page some hours later by User:Krakkos [68]. "Reinserted discussion from archive which is still of relevance"

But @Krakkos: what is that relevance? What is your message here? There is no obvious reason it needs to be here, or that it is part of any on-going discussion. The archives are full of relevant (and accessible) information anyway, but we should not be pulling any of it back out to this page, especially when it is in heavy use? This seems very disruptive and pointy? This reinsertion is certainly not any sort of clear communication? (Purpose of a talk page.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:00, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Drafting: easier to show[edit]

To take pressure of this talk page, and try something else, I have created a drafting page in my user space. Please feel free to post comments on my talk page. I think eventually that the short article Germania should also be merged into this, but let's see if I can get a balance which proves it is possible to handle all the concerns of everyone - with the exception of the demand for a list of modern racial Germanic peoples, given in Wikipedia's voice. As usual in such cases the challenge is to get everything near the top of the lead, without creating a mess.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:28, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

I've made a comment on the draft - I encourage everyone to just make constructed suggestions/add supported text over there.--Ermenrich (talk) 15:42, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
To be clear to everyone, the draft page has its own talk page: [69] --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:48, 22 January 2020 (UTC)


Etymology of Germani[edit]

I've noted before that despite some authorities having strong opinions about particular guesses, the etymology should be considered speculative. In case we need a source for an actual statement of this, here is a recent, language-oriented one: https://books.google.be/books?id=GO1oDwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA10 A Comparative Grammar of the Early Germanic Languages By R.D. Fulk --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:50, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

@Andrew Lancaster: Looks good as source for the statement that the etymology is uncertain (or per source: "unknown"; or per source of the source (Schmidt 1991): "disputed").
While we're at it: I will look for more sources about Gēr-manni generally being rejected as obsolete folk etymology (right now I only have Partridge 1966, cf. note [17]). Currently there is only the unsourced statement "Others have proposed" with a pseudo-source (of course Mallory & Adams don't claim such nonsense, they're just the source for the OR-etymologizing); and the know-it-all-ish OR explanation why it can't be true. Isn't it funny that such kind of OR always starts with "However"... However, this might be a generalization.[citation needed]Austronesier (talk) 11:09, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
But is there any really "strong" proposal? If there is NOT, then a possible solution is simply to say something like "The etymology is unknown but historical proposals include [short list only, no details].--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:15, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
There are no strong proposals; some are weak within normal parameters, others are just plain nonsense. So yes, the most valid information is that it is unknown. And yes, the current bullet list creates undue weight over the primary statement. But I think Gēr-manni should receive special mention as the bullshittiest of all proposals, since it is still widely circulated (at least in German-speaking countries). –Austronesier (talk) 11:44, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't remember if we already have a source for the criticism of that theory? In any case my basic idea is that the section should be shorter. (I think I ended up making that bullet list to be honest, but only because the material kept getting added to, and was very messy. That type of history is typical of many sections on this article.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:56, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Well, there is Partridge 1966, cf. note [17]: "The 'Spear Man' theory (OHG gēr, cf. OE gār, a spear) is obs.", and I have dug up some stronger-worded refutals from 19th and 20th century sources. Will add them later here. –Austronesier (talk) 10:52, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Would be great.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:32, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
It's worth noting that in Caesar's day, the "spear-man" would still have been *gaiza-mann-, so you'd expect something like **Gaisamanni instead. Most scholars these days seem to suspect that the name is actually of Celtic origin. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:01, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
@Florian Blaschke: Do you know a source that goes into these details? It's self-evident, but so far I have only found sources which dismiss the etymology right away, but without presenting the arguments (mismatch of vowel + medial consonant). –Austronesier (talk) 17:13, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
If the Germani near the Rhine really did speak another Indoeuropean language then all bets are off. I also sometimes wonder why the old Latin derived ideas are rejected by some modern authors. I think Isidore of Seville gave the most obvious Latin proposal and Strabo thought it was Latin for "genuine"?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:22, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Just for the record, the etymology of the name doesn't say anything definitive about the native language(s) of the tribes labelled with the name. It might have been a name given to them by neighbouring Celtic tribes. It's quite likely that names like Cimbri and Teutoni and certain river names (Vacalus is an example often named, IIRC) which do not show the expected effects of Grimm's law were mediated through Celtic-speakers. In any case, the original Germani, even if they primarily spoke Germanic dialects, were quite likely not the entirety of Germanic-speaking people.
Yes, and I suppose those add to the reasons that all options seem very speculative?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:54, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Certainly. I'm not sure, however, how the language of the original Germani is relevant in context. The Suebi, whose linguistic Germanicity is not in doubt, may have a name whose derivation is Celtic, too. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:00, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Surprises me if no one has ever doubted even the linguistic Germanicity of the (early) Suebi :) . Overall my impression is that any stable version of this article is going to open with more careful language and admission of doubts and uncertainty. I am thinking the second section which has lately been about Ethonyms really needs to be about the whole "definitions" subject, to set the scene properly at the beginning (and make the article possible to read). I also think the etymology of Germani should not be a major topic as it has sometimes tended to be in past versions. These are just current ideas, so feedback welcome!--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:06, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't know of a single mainstream scholar who has doubted it. If you can find one, it's easy enough to falsify my assertion that their linguistic Germanicity is not in doubt. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:00, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
No: see the smiley. My point is that many things relevant to this WP article are debated by scholars in one way or another. Actually I have not found much argument FOR this position, let alone against. It seems Wenskus might be the the most common source of more recent statements, but if anyone knows better sources I would be interested to see how the argumentation and evidence is laid out. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:33, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Have you already checked this article? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:22, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I have seen Much mentioned but not read him yet given that he is further back. Will have a look. Thanks.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:54, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
@Austronesier: I actually intended to address you, not Andrew, primarily, with Much's article. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:02, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

@Florian Blaschke: It's hard reading matter (stylistically). I'll try to digest it this weekend, Probably we should also have a look at Feist's book which Much so strongly criticizes. Do you have access to this article by Feist? –Austronesier (talk) 16:05, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

I had a look at that article, didn’t find anything about why the Germanic etymology is bad, unfortunately. He mentions gaiza, but only in the context of names like Gaiseric. I didn't "read" it per se, so it's possible I missed something, but I'd say that it's unlikely I missed a mention of the Germanic theory.--Ermenrich (talk) 16:09, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
@Austronesier: Not without an account, anyway, and it seems it's not worth creating one ... --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:57, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Concerning "gaiza" I notice that a common position in recent generations is that the "de Galleis Insvbribvs et Germ(aneis)" inscription already mentioned in our article (with only very old secondary sources so far) originally referred to the Gaesatae, citing mainly Polverini, https://www.academia.edu/40220094/Germani_in_Italia_prima_dei_Cimbri . See for example Goffart https://books.google.be/books?id=dM3kdRzztiIC&pg=PA282 and Walter Pohl's Die Germanen. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:14, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

@Florian Blaschke, Austronesier, and Andrew Lancaster: I found a book that discusses why Spear-Men doesn't work [70] (Hermann Paul, Grundriss der germanischen Philologie, 1900 p. 739: Die frühere Herleitung aus dem Deutschen als "Ger-Männer" ist sprachlich unmöglich; denn wir wissen, dass in diesem Falle die Römer ihn uns als Gaisoman(n)i überliefert haben würden. It's an old book, but it's an old theory that is summarily dismissed elsewhere, so it should be fine as a source.--Ermenrich (talk) 23:12, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, but I also still tend to think that if we find sources which show people saying the etymology is unknown, then that is enough? Here is a more recent discussion though, though it only explains it briefly: https://books.google.be/books?id=0YwgAAAAQBAJ&lpg=PR2&pg=PA80 --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:34, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
That does look like a good source. However, I think that a brief section on the etymology with the main proposals (the chief one being Celtic) is warranted. Obviously there are more than we can cover and we can just deal with most of them summarily.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:03, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
I suppose this is a bit of a matter of taste, but in practice people will keep inserting stuff if we don't. I am tempted to argue it should be in a footnote, but in any case my main real concern is that it does not become a long section jammed into the middle of something more important.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:17, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
My own suggestion would be having an etymology section. If we deal with lesser-discussed proposals quickly enough we can remove whatever long thing someone adds as undue.--Ermenrich (talk) 15:45, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
In my drafting of new sections after the lead, I've put a bit there now, but I do feel concerned that it is a distraction. I see the second section as having a major function in the future of this article, because the article clearly needs a very solid topic definition. The Germanische Altertumskunde source which I mentioned above has pages of theories, and I am not seeing any of them as particularly "leading"? If we have several strong sources saying that the etymology is unknown do we really need to explain every historical proposal and why it is not conclusive?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:53, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

Roman definition of Germani was not all "inhabitants of Germania"[edit]

While drafting I am also looking at current and past versions and also the talk page. I notice since the recent Split attempt @Krakkos: has inserted remarks in the articles and talk pages to the effect of this sentence which currently comes immediately after the lead. "The term Germani was applied by the Romans too all inhabitants of the region they alled Germania, including Celts, Finnic peoples, Balts and the Germanic peoples themselves.[c][d]" One source given is Waldmann and Mason, a weak non-specialist source which Krakkos uses a lot, apparently also using it for the positions which he ascribes to the more respectable sources which both he and Waldmann and Mason cite. Tacitus is also cited in a way which disagrees with the modern consensus apparently by citing a pre WW2 source (Schütte) under the date of a 2014 printing. Some remarks about why this is quite wrong:

  • The Roman authors, as noted by our sources, always contrasted Germani with Gauls and Sarmatians/Scythians, including within Germania. (I picked a nice Wolfram quote in my draft.)
  • One Roman author, Tacitus, is sometimes interpreted as having mentioned Baltic (Aestii) and Slavic speakers (Veneti) but actually he makes it clear that although they share some Germanic traits he is not sure if they are fully Germanic. He treats the east like a transitional zone so to speak. He specifies that the Aestii do not speak like the Germani.
  • In contrast, historians like Liebeschuetz see Tacitus as the Roman author who, a bit like modern authors, seems to use language to define the ethnicity of Germanic tribes. This is an area of some disagreement which we have to handle better in future versions. I am working on that in my drafting.

Indeed this shows how the linguistic definition is not agreed by all the experts to be only a modern definition which disagrees with the Romans. I am realizing now that the mistaken interpretations being inserted are supporting positions on the talk page about the clarity and distinctness of supposed ancient and modern definitions. As this assumption is wrong, and both ancient and modern definitions involve debate and disagreement, all those explanations about the topics being clearly distinct are invalid. In fact, to explain any of these definitions we are compelled to discuss them all, because the field is not in agreement.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:56, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

According to Walter Goffart, the Roman definition of Germani "never applied" to the Goths.[71] E. A. Thompson, Peter Heather and Omeljan Pritsak classify the Goths as a Germanic people. This means, as Guy Halsall has asserted, that the modern concept of Germanic "does not equate with the classical idea of the Germani".[72] As these concepts are different, we must determine whether the primary topic of this article is the modern concept of Germanic or the classical concept of Germani. This is what i have tried to determine by an RfC, but you have removed it without a valid reason.[73] I intend to restore the RfC. If you revert it again, i will follow the suggestion of Bbb23 and take it to WP:ANI. Krakkos (talk) 15:39, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
First, please don't let me stop you taking this to ANI. Second, you are not addressing what I wrote. The sentence in the currently frozen article remains quite wrong. Concerning the Goths etc, you made the same logical mistake above. See my response there. There is more that could be said, but for example that actually many authors today point out that hardly anyone or anything was really called Germanic by Romans after Tacitus, and also that according to Liebeschuetz and others Tacitus might well have called the Goths Germani, on a linguistic basis. But where is this all going? The sentence remains wrong and your logic is broken, and conclusions based on these remain wrong. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:07, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
So what was the Roman notion of Germani, then? I thought it was primarily a geographical concept: people who dwelt in a certain region to the north of Italia and the east of Gaul. And presumably, the concept was generalised from a single tribe or group of tribes, or named after this tribe or group, but I'm even less sure of that. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:05, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
My drafting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Andrew_Lancaster/Germanic_peoples_drafting#Roman_era Feedback welcome.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:25, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

RfC: Is this article primarily about people called Germani in Latin-language ancient Roman sources, or is it primarily about people called Germanic in English-language modern sources?[edit]

RfC: Is this article primarily about people called Germani in Latin-language ancient Roman sources, or is it primarily about people called Germanic in English-language modern sources? Krakkos (talk) 10:43, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

There appears to be some uncertainty on this question,[74] although the answer to this question may seem obvious to most of the community. Krakkos (talk) 10:43, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

  • People called Germanic in English-language modern sources - This article is titled "Germanic peoples", not "Germani peoples". This is a modern English-language encyclopedia, and we should therefore primarily define subjects based upon how they are defined in modern English-language sources. Krakkos (talk) 10:43, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
The article is currently called Germanic peoples and Germani is given immediately as the Latin term. Moves (name changes), splits, merges etc are not what RFC's are for. See WP:RFCNOT. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:11, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
The title is Germanic peoples. That's what matters. I suggest you read the RfC again. There is no move, split or merge proposal involved here. Krakkos (talk) 16:20, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
What is the editing relevance of the RFC then? Which decisions will it be used for? This is not social media where we do quizzes for fun. Of course the editing relevance is what matters here, and it is obvious that you've been trying this type of things for a very long time, and you never explain why.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:12, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
This RfC is relevant to the article's content. Wikipedia editing is not only about moving, splitting and merging, it's primarily about creating content. Krakkos (talk) 20:05, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
So it is relevant to the content because it is relevant to the content? Gee thanks for that.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:28, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Neither and both. This is a false distinction which is being inserted here to try to avoid discussion by inserting your preferred conclusion as an assumption, and not to clarify anything. You want people to imply with their answers that they agree there are two distinct topics. The strategy is known as a leading question, and the famous example is "when did you start beating your wife?". What you disagree with, and want to block using this RFC, is that neither the Roman definitions nor the modern definitions are all the same, and there is no simple "official" correct version. All good sources are talking about the same general range of topics under this type of heading though, as they all make clear.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:57, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I want to note the edsum made when @Krakkos: pseudo-answered a point in a discussion thread after reposting this RFC: "Will you refrain from my attempt to create an RfC on the topic of this article, or will i have to go to WP:ANI?" As I understand it, Krakkos wants other talk page discussion to cease while the RFC is now going????? Don't think so. The questions to Krakkos are still needing answers.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:10, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
  • The Goths were never referred to as Germani by the Romans, but are always referred to as Germanic in modern sources. According to Guy Halsall, the modern definition of Germanic "does not equate with the classical idea of the Germani".[75] There is a distinction, whether you like it or not. Krakkos (talk) 16:18, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Nope, he did not say that as we have discussed ad nauseum. But in any case we can not based Wikipedia off one author if we know there are disagreements. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:10, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Worth noting that this citation shows that what your RFC is really about is a proposal to make this article EXCLUSIVELY about Germanic peoples defined by language (which you twist Halsall to call a modern definition, but not all other editors will get that), though of course you do not say that in the RFC definition. That would be an article topic change requiring a SPLITTING out of Germanic peoples defined any other way, EXACTLY like in the previous split you attempted, when you also made an RFC to try to back it up. This is not an appropriate RFC.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:51, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
I've never advocated making this article "EXCLUSIVELY about Germanic peoples defined by language". I've just pointed out that in reliable sources, Germanic peoples are primarily identified by language. This article should reflect what reliable sources say. Krakkos (talk) 20:11, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
There are two problems with who you are going to work here: First yes you never explain what you are trying to get to, but everyone can see you have other ideas which are not mentioned in your RFCs and other actions. Apparently you see that as a good thing that we should see as a good thing, but it is the opposite. Second, and more into a detail, I think your whole approach here to distinguishing primary and secondary is unclearly defined. What would it mean in editing practice to say Germanic speaking peoples are more primary than the original various concepts from which this neologism developed? Well, you've stated in these threads that you see the Germania article as being the place for discussing Germanic peoples who are not Germanic speaking. That seems to say a lot, or can you honestly say that is not relevant? It is a kind of split, but just less apparent. If that is not the agenda though, then I would suggest that it is MUCH easier to try drafting. Have you looked at my draft and how it handles whatever concerns you?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:35, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - Agree with Andrew Lancaster that the formulation is not correct. Or should I say: "Germanic people (broadly defined) as they existed from Roman times until the early medieaval age. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 16:19, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
I might as well note here that the post migration period Germanic [speaking] peoples are a topic where I am think we can and should compromise and add a bit of add-on information about the sequel [in terms of languages, but also in terms of the various debates]. I think there are enough sources. Two reasons 1. The scholarly debates including about Germanism etc, the more I look, are a key to making real definition discussions at the head of the article, so the debate is known to readers from the beginning 2. A correct handling of what little can be said about later peoples will make the article more stable. Otherwise we risk drive by edits which add nonsense based on amateur webpages etc. Of course language branching etc can all be done in short form with emphasis on giving readers linking to the other topics. I think my lead draft helps explain my current thinking. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:08, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Add + comment We should primarily define subjects based upon how they are defined and treated in modern English-language sources. After all, this is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. A source which only provides a definition of "Germanic peoples" in a circumstantial context, but does not discuss them as topic at length, is less relevant for this discussion. More important are sources which deal with "Germanic peoples" as primary topic (e.g. the article in Encyclopædia Britannica or Herwig Wolfram's The Roman Empire and its Germanic Peoples). So I have two interrelated questions:
  1. Among the sources which define "Germanic peoples" as to include "Germanic-speaking peoples" of all ages, which of them actually treat "Germanic peoples" and especially the "modern Germanic peoples" at length?
  2. In all sources which have "Germanic peoples" as primary topic, how much space is devoted to the ancient Germanic peoples (≈ Germani + X), and how much to the modern Germanic peoples (if the latter are included by the author)?
Reliable sources do not only provide definitions, but they also should serve us as template for what to include here, with all due weight.–Austronesier (talk) 16:29, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Richard Corradini, Maximilian Diesenberger, Helmut Reimitz (editors)(2003), The Construction of Communities in the Early Middle Ages: Texts, Resources and Artefacts, BRILL. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 16:53, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
These are interesting perspectives and questions Austronesier. Among the sources i have found dealing with Germanic peoples at length, modern populations are given barely any space. This means that modern populations should be given minimal space here too. I'd say Herwig Wolfram is a quite problematic source in several respects. First of all, he's a German-language scholar, and the translations of his works into English have been done quite clumsily (the translator confuses Germans with Germanic peoples). The theories of the Vienna School of History, with which he is closely associated, are quite controversial. His book is more about the relationship between the Roman Empire and the Germanic peoples than about the Germanic peoples themselves (Anglo-Saxons and Norsemen aren't covered in his book). There are English-language scholars who have written at length about this subject, and i think we should rely primarily on their works rather than German ones. Krakkos (talk) 17:04, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that few good sources treat modern peoples at any length, and then only as an add-on. That means most of all the sources are talking about Roman era and early medieval peoples. But concerning the medieval subject there is a long term debate about the question of whether there is a connection. In other words: the medieval and modern people are seen as Germanic only in a sense of being "continuations" from those Roman era Germanic peoples. This is why from an editing stand-point all discussion has to start from the Roman era, just as in all serious sources.
But I think you missed a question: which sources argue that we should see Germanic speaking peoples and Germani as 2 different topics with 2 different names? None. If you look at this talk page and that of Krakkos I have asked him many times to name one so Krakkos also should admit there is none. Relevant? The RFC is written as if such discussions will normally be found throughout the sources.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:19, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
I would object to the characterization of the Vienna school as controversial - there are two basic positions in modern scholarship, the Vienna school and the Toronto/Goffart school, and both disagree with each other vehemently. Many scholars are somewhere in the middle, particularly nowadays. Obviously we need to use sources written from both perspectives to balance at the article. It's odd for you, Krakkos, to denigrate the Vienna school - they are much more traditional and clearly allign with your position on Germanic peoples much better. Goffart says there is no such thing as Germanic peoples.--Ermenrich (talk) 17:26, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Agree with @Ermenrich: entirely here, while concomitantly disagree wholeheartedly with Krakkos that we should outright dismiss German language scholarship on Germanic peoples—and as a student of Wolfram am actually a bit offended. Meanwhile, I respect the position taken by the likes of Goffart on several fronts (especially with regard to Jordanes). Ermenrich has made clear an important distinction between the two schools of thought. Both sides are very much in disagreement on certain points and they should be correspondingly represented in any future reconstruction of this article.--Obenritter (talk) 18:46, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Obenritter, I'm sorry that i offended you. I'm of course not advocating the dismissal of German language scholarship, but when it comes to defining topics on an English-language encyclopedia, i think English-language sources are more suitable than non-English-language sources.
Ermenrich, it seems to me that the Vienna School and the Toronto School are strictly composed of historians/archaeologists working on ethnogenesis in late antiquity. Even within this field, there are scholars who belong to neither camps, such as Peter Heather.[76] I'm more in line with the ideas of Heather than the Toronto and Vienna schools. This topic is not just part of late antiquity, it also encompasses subjects like religion, linguistics, philology, etc, which are outside the expertise of the Toronto and Vienna schools. Religion, linguistics and philology must also be taken into account. Krakkos (talk) 21:19, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: WP policy is clear: we should follow no camp, and report all the well-known ones. So let's just do that. Concerning the Germanen/Deutsch problem with the translation I looked at that problem also in recent days, as I guess you know from my remarks. It is clear from the translations and the language that Germanen is the considered translation of what we are calling Germani, for example in the titles, and WP policy also allows us to use our languages. That is also exactly what we would expect. I'd add that in context it is clear that Wolfram and many others like him, some writing in English, are simply not making a distinction between what you call ancient and modern definitions. The only source you have for there being two such definitions is Halsall, but you are definitely misreading him. I've shown you how according to your definitions Tacitus has been argued to be following a partly "modern" definition by authors like Liebeschuetz. What we have is a field with as many definitions as there are writers, but still enough clarity to work with if we use some common sense.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:44, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
@Austronesier I will try to put it in terms of your questions, but as they are based on the misleading RFC this is awkward:
1. For the Roman era, all sources define "Germanic peoples" so as to equate what Krakkos distinguishes as "Germani" and "Germanic-speaking peoples" as one topic. From late antiquity, the time of Goths and Franks, Germani is already a concept which Romans were not using much anymore except, so there is no point speaking of a distinction between two concepts in any answer to your "basics" question. Linguistic evidence is almost the only evidence. But as mentioned already I know of no sources which say one is called A and the other is called B. Language-defined and otherwise defined are always one topic in the sources. They are all imperfect ways of defining. If people want to distinguish the peoples by the categorizing criterion they simply use clear language, such as "German speaking".
2. As per 1, there is no such thing as sources which divide these into two topics, so they don't have primary and secondary importances. There are discussions where languages are important and where they are less important.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:34, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
@Ermenrich, I agree. The Vienna school (and their critics in Toronto) are both important schools of thought. We should be trying to write an article which explains the different positions in areas where there is disagreement between experts. Hence my drafting work which I hope is now covering exactly this much better.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:34, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
@Andrew Lancaster: Nope, this was not about the RfC, but simply about the "scope of this article" (as Joshua Jonathan correctly noted). I don't care about the wording of RfC's and stuff, I just try to place my irrelavent comments and thoughts somewhere here before they get drowned in obnoxious drama and useless finger-pointing.
The point is that definitions don't suffice. There are many sources that define "Germanic peoples" in some way or the other, but do not cover them. So my challenge actually went to Krakkos to show us any source that uses the linguistic definition "Germanic peoples", but which at the same time covers any modern ethnic groups at length. I think he gave a clear answer: "Among the sources i have found dealing with Germanic peoples at length, modern populations are given barely any space. This means that modern populations should be given minimal space here too." That's a word. –Austronesier (talk) 18:29, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Note that minimal space does not equal zero space. Krakkos (talk) 21:21, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Austronesier - Now that i've given "a clear answer" to your "challenge". I'd like to give you an interrelated challenge:

  • In all sources which have "Germanic peoples" as primary topic, how much space is devoted to Germanic-speaking peoples not considered Germani by the Romans (Goths, Vandals, Norsemen, Anglo-Saxons), and how much to non-Germanic-speaking peoples called Germani by the Romans, (Aesti, Vistula Veneti, Treveri), if the latter are included by the author? Krakkos (talk) 11:31, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: Good question. I pass it on to all. My earlier question was related to the fact that practically all post-WWII sources (which have Germanic peoples as primary topic) make a "temporal" cut-off somewhere with the end of the Migrations. Some authors make a soft cut-off (e.g. Owen), some make a hard cut-off (many late 20th century scholars). And yes, it is equally well justified to ask if modern scholarschip makes non-temporal cut-offs with regards the tribes/peoples you have mentioned, and if some of them do, we need to know why they do so. I know it sounds boring and tedious, but a source matrix could be helpful here. It doesn't have to be a "matrix" in the literal sense (like a yes/no checklist for significant features, that's too simplistic), but we badly need an overview here about which source covers what. –Austronesier (talk) 13:42, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos:@Austronesier: I am afraid I do not agree that this is a good question>
1. It is still a leading question, trying to make people believe that there is a standard way of dividing up ancient and modern "definitions" into two. There is not.
2. The question has no obvious editing relevance because the Aesti, Vistula Veneti, Treveri are not a "primary" topic under anyone's proposals. It is always important to notice when a talk page discussion is always being diverted away from anything with editing relevance. We have to ask why this is happening and where is this leading to? What is the real point Krakkos is making? And once again we notice this is one those "typical Krakkos" demands where everyone has to answer a mysterious question which will be explained when the numbers are in. Not good.
3. Krakkos is trying to give the impression that apart from there being exactly two well-defined definitions, the is also clarity about the sub-set which fits in one category and not both: the Aesti, Vistula Veneti, Treveri. This is very misleading indeed. Actually these 3 are all peoples that Tacitus said were probably not real or full, "ancient" Germani. That is why no one says much about them, and also why we don't and no one is proposing to. They are significant as cases literally on the edge, so they are often discussed in terms of describing the limits what Germani/Germanic peoples were.
4. Better examples of real, full, original Germani, from their earliest times the first peoples to be called Germani according to Tacitus, but probably not Germanic speaking by modern definitions according to many, would be the Istvaeones on the Lower Rhine, and these are definitely some of the bigger names in our sources whenever the meaning of Germanic peoples is being discussed. See also Germani cisrhenani, Eburones, Sigambri, Ubii. This is the area where the Franks last appear who Walter Goffart says were the only people still being called Germani in later Roman times after Tacitus. He wondered if this was because they lived in and near the Roman provinces named Germania, which, as he noted, were the best defined Germania. In any case discussion of these Germani is actually necessary even if we would say the article has to be only about Germanic speakers. So again, where is this leading?
Again I would suggest looking at my drafting of a new article opening which has been trying to take such things into account and PROPOSE the right balance.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:56, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

@Austronesier: - It's hard to progress in this discussion when good questions are simply passed on. You've previously referred to "the article in Encyclopædia Britannica" as one of the "sources which deal with "Germanic peoples" as primary topic".[77] That article is quite short and simple, so making an evaluation of it is not a difficult task. I want to challenge you once more: How much space is devoted in the Britannica article to Germanic-speaking peoples not considered Germani by the Romans (Goths, Vandals, Norsemen, Anglo-Saxons), as compared to the space devoted to non-Germanic-speaking peoples called Germani by the Romans, (Aesti, Vistula Veneti, Treveri)? Krakkos (talk) 17:24, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Krakkos talk pages are not meant to be run as game-show quizzes where you demand people have to ask questions without explaining why. We all know the answer, because you picked examples of well known and not well known Germanic peoples. If you have a point to make, what is it? That well known Germanic peoples should get more space?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:31, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos and Andrew Lancaster: I think you can handle the further discussion with an equal degreee of expertise and listening compentence by your own. Good luck. –Austronesier (talk) 18:06, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Neither - agree with Andrew Lancaster and Joshua Jonathan. In particular, Krakkos, as is his usual practice, trying to present linguistic or ethno-linguistic groups into ethnic groups. Johnbod (talk) 17:40, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Johnbod Side note: A collection of ethnic groups speaking languages of the same language family is not called an "ethno-linguistic group". The widespread misuse of this term here in WP is bunk. An ethno-linguistic group is a group of people who speak the same language and self-identify as a single ethnic group. Lumping together ethnic groups under a single header just based on the languages they speak is common practice in tertiary sources, but there is not even a proper term for such a thing in Ethnology. I like Calthinus's ironic term "ethnoclubs" when modern ethnic groups artificially self-identify as larger groups based on criteria such as language family. –Austronesier (talk) 18:03, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Don't tell me, tell Krakkos! Johnbod (talk) 18:05, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
OK, see my post to Joshua Jonathan then, and my drafting. Taking a lead from you I will write a bulleted response about saying "I think the scope of the article is...". Maybe everyone should, including @Krakkos:.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:40, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
@Austronesier: What is your opinion of Romance peoples? Srnec (talk) 21:35, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
@Srnec: Hit the spot. I will place my comments there later, not here. –Austronesier (talk) 13:52, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Scope. I think the scope of the article is and/or should be the peoples referred to in the best sources as Germanic Peoples or Germani, defined in the various imperfect ways the sources do today, and did in Roman times, and that included language in both cases. I do not feel that we need to exclude late medieval and modern Germanic speaking peoples especially with regards to explaining to readers how the topics all fit together, the controversies involved, and links to other articles. This is partly because those exact controversies are critical to explaining the current consensus about the Germanic peoples generally. And partly because we have to aim at a stable article which drive by editors won't be tempted to chop and change because they think something is missing. But the modern Germanic SPEAKING peoples can only be understood as a secondary and relatively small topic, which can only be explained in the context of the older peoples.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:40, 25 January 2020 (UTC) Otherwise look at my drafting.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:41, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
It does not appear that there is much disagreement anymore over the scope of the article. The disagreement is over the primary characteristic of Germanic peoples. Are they characterized by how the Romans defined them, or are they, like Slavs, Celts, Balts, Thracians, Illyrians, Dacians etc., characterized by the unique characteristics (primarily language) they shared among themselves. That's the question. Krakkos (talk) 21:32, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Good comment. Thanks. I did not notice it when I posted a similar comment above. But then we move to the question of what this primary/secondary distinction means in THIS article. I understand what it would most articles, but in this one I think we need to write an article in an almost Aristotelian way, starting with what all experts would agree with and then leading towards what they don't. So that might be different from a classic approach to primary/secondary on simple Wikipedia articles, and it is different to the primary/secondary break you are saying we should use in our thinking, but it is also not hard to understand or uncommon on more complex ones. Again, I'd suggest looking at my draft as a quick way of explaining what I am thinking.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:59, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Neither to be honest I can't read all that's said above (thanks for the shout-out Austronesier) but I think the most policy-adherent way to handle this page is to discuss the concept of Germanic peoples as it is discussed in RS, while remaining agnostic on what its definition is. Instead we present rival definitions with the weight they deserve according to WP:DUE and WP:NPOV. Of course there are differences between what Romans called Germani and what people in the 19th century did, and then the definitions in the early 20th, late 20th, and 21st centuries have changed with different trends of romanticism, nationalism, anti-nationalism, primordialism, et cetera. Within these eras and even to an extent among the Roman authors, you can find disagreement. I don't think it's our our job to take sides.--Calthinus (talk) 19:25, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Well put in my opinion.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:27, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
  • "Germanic peoples" is a modern construct and should be treated as such. Beyond that I can't much follow these debates. I have no problem with splitting off Germani into a separate article on ancient and medieval terminology. Srnec (talk) 21:35, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
While I would do my best if everyone wanted that I fear that both topics need to explain the other one to make sense to a reader. For example, not all the sources agree that it is a modern construct (to say the least) so in the article about the modern construct we'd have to say half the field or more actually think this article is about the same concept Tacitus and Pliny were writing about. So I don't see a logical split. My proposal is to write an article explains the debate about whether it is a modern construct, and also the "raw material" of that debate, including the ancient authors and the linguistics, archaeology etc. I think that would work better because these different factions don't see themselves discussing a different subject.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:53, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Agreeing with Krakkos on this. There is even a source (Herwig Wolfram) that said equating Germanic peoples with the modern Germans as naive. The title denotes a broad conceptualization and therefore the scope of the article must adhere to it. Germani is very specific: a people who lived in Germania, which the Romans used to refer to the area between the Rhine and Vistula. Darwin Naz (talk) 22:30, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@Darwin Naz:
1. Wolfram. I don't see how that remark from Wolfram would imply a need for two articles. Both articles need to explain that naivité, which is widepsread even in published sources. In all proposals so far, both articles would be mainly about the Roman era, and would require the explanation of what Wolfram is saying, and some discussion of oft-proposed connections to post Roman peoples, and the Gothic peoples.
2. Yes, this article has historically attempted to cover a broad conceptualization and I agree with that. Attempts to narrow it hit problems, and we still have not achieved this aim. If/when we have one broad article, the question arises of what a split-off article would add, and where the line would be drawn. I personally don't see how it helps with the most urgent editing challenges in any way, but I can see that every nascient idea about splitting would be messy unless we first have a structured article about the broad topic before us.
3. I don't think Germani is extremely specific in Roman or modern terms, and I see no evidence of there being two definitions which refer to different things. Our modern sources and ancient sources are clearly working with a concept that was inconsistent from day one. In contrast to what you say, Tacitus expresses doubts about who is Germanic in the east and apparently thinks it went beyond the Vistula. Caesar describes Germani living west of the Rhine had been there since before the Cimbric Wars, who he also calls Gauls. Strabo thinks Germani are the "genuine Gauls". Jordanes, not exactly a modern person, was probably not the first person to connected the "Gothic peoples" with the ones Tacitus had once described, even if he does not call them Germani. (But he certainly speculated and made mistakes.) All factions of recent scholars write words to the effect of the concept Germani being vaguely and inconsistently defined already by Caesar and Tacitus, not just in modern times. Even the modern use of languages to try to define them is already attempted by Tacitus.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:17, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Genetics synth[edit]

In the genetics section we have I1 discussed. Okay, this is plausible though disputable: many peoples in Europe who speak Germanic languages have elevated frequencies of I1 -- although so do some Romance, Finnic, Hungarian etc speakers who may or may not have it because of some supposed "Germanic" ancestry (in Albania, I1 has huge spikes in some northern mountainous areas such as Puka that tbf may have some obscure Norman connection). However, one of the (only three) sources the section uses, McDonald 2005, does not have the string "Germanic" occurring even once [[78]]. The other two, Manco 2013, and Mellars Boyle et al, are not accessible, and do not give a page let alone a quote, leaving me... suspicious. Curiously also our page Haplogroup I-M253 (the new name of I1) mysteriously does not have a single sentence asserting a "Germanic" origin for the clade -- whose emergence seems to predate the emergence of Germanic language -- yet there is a humongous box at the bottom navigating users to "ancient Germanic history"... thoughts?--Calthinus (talk) 19:08, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

According to wp:SCIRS, we should only use genetics review articles to create content. This remains my position on the matter. Genetics sections on Wikipedia are hotbeds of OR and SYNTH.--Ermenrich (talk) 19:40, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
SCIRS is not policy. And would make little difference as these sources are secondary. And is not the topic anyways. The topic is SYNTH and verification. --Calthinus (talk) 20:57, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
these sources are secondary. That's exactly the point. It's much harder to use a review article to pretend that it mentions "Germanic peoples" (though I suppose it's theoretically possible...). Anyway, that's my two cents: delete it all, most of it probably doesn't have anything to do with Germanic peoples except that whoever added it thought "Germanics" had some haplogroup that is mentioned in the study.--Ermenrich (talk) 21:01, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
I used to work a lot on genetics articles, but I want to take a deep breath before diving back into this one. The need to often use secondary sources because the field moves so fast and has almost no reviewing tradition, or strong connections to the disciplines they often make conclusions about (history, linguistics etc) creates constant concern (for editors who care about avoiding SYNTH), but Wikipedia has armies of people who will add stuff if you put nothing, so putting at least some structured remarks can be important. Manco is not a secondary source but a bigger review, and I have a copy. It is not by a geneticist but it seems to have gained a reputation and citations. I'll eventually look into this. Another concern is the use of Y DNA at all. This is really a difficult type of DNA to associate with this type of people, and I think this just comes from out-dated studies when these tests were all anyone could afford or do. I think the strongest sourcing will be for the time depth of the Indoeuropeans to the Proto Germanic speakers which is basically outside our scope here. Studies of the Roman and post Roman mixing up of people are still few and far between, and I can't think of any which really mention Germanic peoples. The Peoples of Britain project in Leicester makes some very simple suggestions about possible traces of later north German immigration to NE England. I think one of the first steps will be looking for all potentially relevant ancient DNA tests in the correct timeframe. All these are just notes.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:26, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, I feel your pain. I am not against having a genetics section so long as it is well sourced and balances whatever major views there are in the literature. A quick scroll through Google Scholar reveals another analysis where I1 is considered a pre-Indo-European marker that survived in remote northerly regions (and I presume coincidentally spread later with Germanic languages after this substrate was assimilated). Another thing that may be important for balance is one of those analyses saying genetic distns are clinal blablabla, people marry, genes dont equal language or identity etc but they can tell us some limited hints about the past -- so we are not subtly endorsing a "genetic" conception of "Germanicness".--Calthinus (talk) 22:05, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes I would recheck but last I read most/all I haplogroups are seen as very old in Europe. I think for this article even the dispersal of R1b and R1a are too early. But autosomal studies and ancient DNA have made some of those tenuous old debates a bit irrelevant.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:08, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Y-DNA is useful as it provides evidence for or against theories of specifically male-mediated historical events. Of course everything else matters too, and we must observe due weight, and basics of citation/SYNTH. The question is Andrew Lancaster what should we do now? If you want to pull the section into sandbox for a time, I'd trust you and others to fix it up. Me putting unsightly tags all over it could be a less visually pleasing solution that could nevertheless possibly motivate outside help. I would also like to delete that box at the bottom of the Haplogroup I-M253 page. Objections?--Calthinus (talk) 22:23, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
The article is currently frozen so we have time. But if anyone has time to look into it that sounds great to me. The above were just notes. Concerning Y DNA, I get what you mean, but as far as I know the most recent candidate for such a male-mediated wave of Y DNA relevant to this case, by which I mean one which has been well studied, was R1b and R1a and various branches. I think the branching that has been well studied won't bring us past proto Germanic? I'd have to recheck but that is my fear. (I guess there will be R1b branching relevant to Western Indoeuropean branching.) A typical difficulty is also that these dominant Y lines just write over all the others, erasing a lot of information we will probably never know. That's why R1b and R1a are useful: you can look at a whole phylogeny. Reason for saying all this is that older and weaker secondary sources don't worry about all that.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:35, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Fair (yeah I was kind of thinking Gimbutas PIE horse warrior patriarchy stuff --- but, "Viking rape" also has limited discussion for some coastal areas of Ireland and Scotland). Agree with removing the box from the I-M253 page? --Calthinus (talk) 22:41, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
You really should post there first. If you mean the phylogenetic tree right at the bottom I guess that would be seen as controversial, as it is a standard thing on a lot of articles, which gives a big picture to readers.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:50, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Calthinus, if this article contains original research, it should be removed per WP:NOR. There appears to be some additional OR in the lead. It would benefit from examination by an OR-hunter. Krakkos (talk) 21:44, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Sounds correct, but of course the article is frozen and I would therefore say: post here first and don't rush (once the freeze is over). In the mean time we can use the opportunity to trying to all get in the same line. My advice on the lead is to look at my drafting, and of course get involved in the discussions already going. My advice on the genetics section is that eventually someone will need to dive in. I am not opposed to removing OR but editors should keep in mind the project of trying to bring this article up to a better standard while we have so many watchers activated. With that in mind it can be handy to leave in any sources which might be worth looking further into later when someone has time.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:49, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

This article being discussed elsewhere by Krakkos and Andrew Lancaster[edit]

For reference, this discussion should have been here (if anywhere) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Heruli#Un-discussed_name_change --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:13, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Verification check: Liebeschuetz re. Gillett etc[edit]

@Krakkos: We currently have, citing Liebeschuetz p.87 https://books.google.be/books?id=6QV2CQAAQBAJ&pg=PA87 :

Scholars of the what Liebeschuetz refers to as the "post-Wenskus generation", deny that early Germanic peoples spoke related languages.[27] Andrew Gillett has emerged as a leading figure among these scholars, whom Liebeschuetz considers revisionists.[27]

I don't find this claim, at least not on that page, and it seems quite a strong claim to be making which does not match my readings of Goffart, Gillett or their critics. Liebeschuetz actually says p.94 that the critics of the Traditionskern approach are skeptical of the important of shared language, implying that they do not strongly doubt the possibility of shared language. I also think the wording has other issues: "post Wenskus" is not suitable for using out of the context of Liebeschuetz's exact narrative, and "revisionist" is not helping explain.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:27, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Wolf Liebeschuetz (pp. 87-90, 94, 99-100) refers to the theories of both Reinhard Wenskus (Vienna School) and Andrew Gillett (Toronto School) as forms of "revisionism". He refers to the circle around Gillett as the "post-Wenskus generation". He writes that the "post-Wenkus generation" considers "arguments from language and etymology" as "irrelevant", and that they are "extremely critical of the use of arguments from language in discussion of the nature of these peoples." Liebeschuetz writes that the theories of the "post-Wenskus generation" are "flawed because they depend on a dogmatic and selective use of the evidence" and "very strongly ideological, deriving from the rejection of nationalism and the acceptance of multiculturalism". The theories of the "post-Wenskus generation" seems rather fringe, politically motivated and outdated, so i'm not particularly in favor of giving to much weight to their theories in this article. Krakkos (talk) 11:16, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
Nobody denies that, e.g., Gothic and Frankish were related languages. Nor does Liebeschuetz say that they do. What is denied is the extent to which language was a marker of ethnic identity. Did you have to speak Gothic to be a Goth? Were all native speakers of Gothic Goths? Did speakers of related but distinct Germanic languages regard themselves as having more in common on that basis than they had with other non-Germanic-speaking peoples? Was there any material or nonmaterial culture which connect all or most Germanic-speaking peoples? If I deny, say, that the Visigoths in Aquitaine and the Franks in Belgica spoke related languages it is because I think the Visigoths were Latinized by then and not because I think the Gothic language was unrelated to Frankish. The theories of the post-Wenskus generation are not at all fringe. Srnec (talk) 12:49, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos:, thanks for checking the use of the words. The use of terms like revisionism and "post Wenskus" is of course an editing decision, but still good to check. However on the point of fact it seems that Liebeschuetz does not claim that those authors "deny that early Germanic peoples spoke related languages". (Let me know if I misunderstand.) Concerning whether the Goffart, Gillett, Callendar Murray and so on are important (I think the term post Wenskus is not one we should be using) I think we can not avoid reporting them because even their critics agree with some of their most important conclusions. In any case we have to get due balance on each controversial issue. I think this is very doable, and I continue to draft a new lead for eventual proposal/discussion. I hope you can see that I am trying hard to consider all valid concerns including yours.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:58, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Future of the article[edit]

Inevitably we need to get back to this topic. My attempt to define what I think should happen:

  • Article topic: broad concept of "Germanic people". The "home base" article which focuses upon all variants of the concept AND controversies.
  • Re. Splitting, merging etc: I propose we first try to get the broad article made, and think about such ideas but don't yet push them through. I don't think any past version of the article showed a clear single vision or structure and many related articles are also imperfect, so without this first step we are talking past each other.
  • First editing job: Lead and Ethnonyms sections just after the Lead. See my drafting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Andrew_Lancaster/Germanic_peoples_drafting
  • What I am proposing to move out of the lead: the discussions about specific historic incidents and individuals can be better be handled in the body. (Arguably our lead is currently better on some details than the body!) Because this is an article with a lot to cover, some historical details might even eventually be redirected to discussions in other articles.
  • Ethnonyms: proposed to change to a discussion of Definitions, which will cover details to be moved out of the lead in some cases. This becomes a crucial section of the article. See my drafting. I think the ethnonyms approach has never worked to create a clear editing focus, with editors (including me) feeling the need to insert too much there, creating duplications, similar to what has happened in the lead.
  • The rest of the article should in my opinion then later be looked at to make sure it has a good structure and lots of easy linking into more detailed articles. Probably it should still be all/mostly chronologically structured, beginning with archaeology/language considerations (pre Caesar).--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:06, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
I notice no feedback so far here, but positive feedback in other discussions, so I will move ahead by replacing the lead first based on the draft. The draft page is not really perfect yet for the first sections after the lead, but at some point it will be good enough to start working directly into the article. The current lead contains a lot of details which should be in the body, and possibly others will want to check that for moving it etc. For now I will try to preserve a link on the talk page to edits where I remove large chunks, to any other type of recovery or partial recovery easier to discuss or perform. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:18, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Lead editing started here.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:30, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
The previous opening paragraph was better. It had only one bolded and one italicized term. And nobody says "Gothonic". Its definition of Germanic peoples as "a category of ethnic groups" seems to me to be about the best possible. Srnec (talk) 04:28, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
@Srnec: thanks for the feedback.
  • I personally don't have a strong opinion about Gothonic. I included it for the purely formal reason that we currently have a source (Schütte) which uses it. I won't rush, but now that the footnote to that first sentence has exploded, we could consider removing it and also the "Early Germans" bit.
  • I personally also thought "a category of ethnic groups" was ok. (I think it was my wording.) It just made the sentence longer, and I was trying hard to please other editors who wanted the opening sentence to mention languages. Again, I'll see if anyone else says anything, but as per the above point maybe we can shorten the first sentence in other ways.
  • Did you see any other problems beyond that opening? I have for example aimed to make the lead as a whole shorter, and more about getting the big issues on the table (which implies changes to the body) rather than already talking about individual examples of Germanic people or countries etc.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:04, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

@Krakkos, Austronesier, Obenritter, KIENGIR, Florian Blaschke, Johnbod, Ermenrich, Joshua Jonathan, and Dimadick: anyone opposed to doing the following with the opening (which now mentions languages again)?

OLD: The Germanic peoples (Latin: Germani, sometimes referred to imprecisely as "Germans"), were a category of ethnic groups of continental Northern European origin, identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples.

NOW: The Germanic peoples (Latin: Germani; German: Germanen), or in older publications sometimes Teutonic peoples (Latin: Teutones), Gothonic peoples, or the now-criticized "Early Germans", from the north European region of Germania were first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors; and many of them, especially the Suebian peoples, are believed to have spoken similar Germanic languages.

PROPOSAL: The Germanic peoples (Latin: Germani; German: Germanen), or in older publications sometimes Teutonic peoples (Latin: Teutones), Gothonic peoples, or the now-criticized "Early Germans", are a category of north European ethnic groups, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors; and many of them, especially the Suebian peoples, are believed to have spoken similar Germanic languages.

BTW basic comparison of old and new opening can be made here. Feedback welcome of course, but try to see this as step 1 and consider how to fit everything together. (If everyone would demand to move different things to the top it won't work.) In particular, some of the definitions/conceptual debates will, I hope get a new home immediately after the lead, as per my drafting.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:39, 5 February 2020 (UTC) @Srnec: above make sense to you?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:40, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

@Andrew Lancaster: The PROPOSAL revision looks fine to me, as it takes into consideration many of the widely debated concerns. Let's see what the others have to say.--Obenritter (talk) 20:03, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Out the three, the PROPOSAL is the best option. However, i think it's redundant to single out the "Suebian peoples" as more Germnanic-speaking than other Germanic peoples. Krakkos (talk) 20:13, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't feel super strong about it, but I suggest leaving it there for now, because in the back of my mind I feel we need to explain the the Suebians and their possible connection to the core of the topic in a careful way fairly early in the article. I have placed a few little leads, but I am not sure any of them do it properly. So for now this is a bit of a reminder? I will already make the change as proposed so far though.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:41, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
No reader is going to have a clue why the Suebi are mentioned there and the link will not help them. The clause "many of them ... are believed to have spoken similar Germanic languages" is weird, since modern scholars generally classify peoples as Germanic based on language. (Were the Taifals Germanic? Nobody pretends to know because we don't know their language.) That is the modern concept of Germanic peoples as opposed to the Roman concept of Germani! It is also why Goffart et al. object: all the Germanic-speaking groups cannot be lumped together on any other basis, i.e., they didn't share a single culture, identity or origin. Srnec (talk) 00:26, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Support per Krakkos, yes, the single out should be treated somehow.(KIENGIR (talk) 02:12, 6 February 2020 (UTC))
@KIENGIR: Not sure what you mean by the "single out"?
@Srnec: Short answer first: yes I also think they don't fit well, so I will try to find a better way to show what I mean. Ideas welcome but keep in mind there is a lot of balancing going on. Very quick review of problems in the background: After trying hard all attempts to neatly split this article topic into several topics, (and your position is a known one) end-up twisting the topic, partly because even the best sources disagree quite a lot on even the basic definitions. (Tacitus defined Germanic peoples by language, as far as he could anyway, and is clearly the origin of modern approaches. So ancient/modern is not a "real" split. And no editor really wants this article to be purely about a language family with no connection to the Roman era anyway.) This can of worms is Caesar's fault for adding the Suevi into the category, and the fault of Tacitus for taking this further and trying to connect it to their language. And so I/we've been trying to write something which helps the readers see different ways that good sources can divide it up, right from the start. Once we take this approach there is suddenly a lot which sources have to say, which is very helpful - unlike some other Wikipedia articles about language-based peoples. Not sure if that makes sense? I have just tried another tweak. Your continuing feedback on my edits, and here on the talk page would be really great BTW .--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:50, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
@Andrew Lancaster: i think it's redundant to single out the "Suebian peoples" as more Germnanic-speaking than other Germanic peoples.
OK, it's out.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 00:24, 7 February 2020 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 1 February 2020[edit]

Change “The term Germani was applied by the Romans too all inhabitants of the region they alled Germania” to “The term Germani was applied by the Romans to all inhabitants of the region they called Germania”

(Changing “too” to “to” and “alled” to “called”) Aughtandzero (talk) 21:21, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

 Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 22:47, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

Drastic and highly problematic edit to the lead[edit]

Now that the two-week long protection for this article has ended, Andrew Lancaster has once again made a drastic edit to the lead of this article. This edit is problematic on many levels

  1. It defines Germanic peoples as people who "came from the north European region of Germania during the era of the Roman empire". This narrow definition excludes peoples who lived before the era of the Roman Empire, such as the Cimbri, Teutons and the Suebi of Ariovistus; peoples who lived outside of Germania such as the Norsemen, Goths, Vandals and Gepids; and peoples who lived after the collapse of the Roman Empire, such as the Anglo-Saxons. The Cimbri, Teutons, Norsemen, Goths, Vandals, Gepids and Anglo-Saxons are almost always classified as Germanic in reliable sources. This article is supposed to be a WP:BROADCONCEPT article, and should therefore be presented as "an article on the broadest understanding of the term".
  2. It uses Walter Goffart as the primary source to define the topic of the article. Goffart believes that Germanic peoples didin't even exist until the 8th century AD. His views on this subject are fare outside of the mainstream, and should not be given undue weight. Using Goffart to define Germanic peoples is kind of like having Karl Marx define capitalism, Milton Friedman define communism, or Richard Dawkins define Christianity.
  3. Per MOS:LEAD, the lead of an article is supposed to summarize the body. The new lead doesn't reflect the body of the article at all, but represents a completely different approach to the subject. It revolves almost entirely around terminology and ideology, to the exclusion of subjects such as Germanic history and culture, which constitutes the core of the body of the article.
  4. The lead is largely composed of original research. For example the source from Goffart used for the definition of "Germanic peoples" doesn't mention "Germanic peoples" at all, but is instead on the origins of the term "German". Further down, the lead claims that the "Roman-era Germanic peoples" were possibly not "all unified by any single unique shared culture, collective consciousness, or even language." The source for this claim is Peter Heather, who does not mention Germanic peoples either. He says that it was the region of Germania (Germanic-dominated Europe as he calls it) which wasn't culturally and linguistically homogenous. The region Germania and Germanic peoples are not the same thing.

This drastic and problematic edit should not have been made until there was a consensus for it. Krakkos (talk) 11:43, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

Krakkos, why did you wait until now to comment? And why use such dramatic language now? The draft has been prepared over the course of two weeks and there have been lots of positive remarks from editors about it, and none negative. You clearly knew about, and thanks me at least once. I will go through your points, but as a general issue I will start by saying the opening is better than the old one.
1. We can look at tweaking the wording, but we should not make another monster sentence. Technically, the opening line does not exclude events before or after but merely connects them to something they were present for during one era. In context, i.e. reading beyond the first line, this is made more clear. Part of the problem here is that we can't put everything into the first line, and so we have to try to distill the common ground for that opening.
2. We can look at adding more sources, but I already feel this lead has more than would be considered normal. I think your comments about Goffart are a bit over-the-top. He is nowhere near as controversial as you say, and you exaggerate his position. In reading around I see that all schools have changed their positions towards his to some extent. Anyway, this particular sentence was one which got to the core quickly. (See point 1.) It is not, I think, controversial or very different to other recent authors confronting the same topic?
3. Can you be more specific? Just adding everything back seems a very bad idea to me. I have indeed tried to keep the lead shorter, some historical trends are mentioned though. I think past versions also did not include all the things you mention, though they all picked bits and pieces. Furthermore, I am thinking we have some level of broad agreement between us all that that the article should become a broad concept article and some discussions, such as the dodgy culture section, will continue to be shortened and they were in the process of being moved to other articles. This can not be the main article for everything, of course.
4. As you point out yourself, Heather does not say "Germania", but does indeed refer to Germanic peoples or "Germani" in a broad sense, and anywhere that they "dominated". If you look at the context he is clearly not restricting himself to "Germania", using the Bastarnae as an example.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:32, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Update. I have tweaked the opening sentence. I believe this directly resolves concern number 1? Given that concern number 2 is about the sourcing for the same sentence, even though nothing controversial about the sentence has been explained, it also should indirectly help regarding concern number 2. In reality the main sourcing should not all be loaded into the lead though, and as already advised, I am preparing a more detailed section to replace the current ethnonyms sections immediately after the lead, which will bring readers directly to the required explanations and more sourcing. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:44, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
I'm not criticizing the amount of sources, I'm pointing out the fact that the used sources are falsified, and represent fringe views (Walter Goffart in particular). This lead neither presents the article as a broad concept, nor does it properly summarize the body of the article. To be honest, it is also poorly written. It leaves the average reader utterly confused on what the article is about. This wasn't a good edit. Krakkos (talk) 15:29, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Krakkos on this one specific issue. -TrynaMakeADollar (talk) 17:17, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Now the sources are "falsified"? All of them? A specific one? Given the use of the words "drastic and problematic" and "falsified", this all seems surprisingly vague and uncertain? Can either of you explain exactly what further improvements you have just proposed, and on what basis? Please note that I already made quite some changes to attempt to cover what I could make sense of so far.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:47, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Let's also address the accusation that Goffart is "fringe". Every serious scholar I have been reading, which seems to include everyone Krakkos has been citing plus more, seems to be very respectful of him, and to take over some of his innovations, even if they disagree on other details. His papers and those of his "school" appear in all the big collections which include all the big names in this area. @Krakkos: you know that is true so the onus is on you to show any sort of evidence at all that he is a "fringe" writer. Honestly I find this a spectacular claim? Can you name any scholar at all who writes about him in your way?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:18, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Goffart is absolutely not fringe. This is an especially strange accusation since Krakkos also argues against using Herwig Wolfram of the Vienna school, Goffart's chief adversaries, because his views are "controversial" [79].--Ermenrich (talk) 19:22, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Even stranger that Krakkos chose to describe this concern above, and in the tag placed, as a "falsification" of a source or a "verification failure". The two complaints seem to be incompatible descriptions of a real good faith concern about one single citation?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:56, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: did you read my 4 responses to your 4 incompletely explained concerns above, before tagging? It is hard to see why you would post 4 specific-looking, supposed concerns and then switch completely to vaguer, different un-explained concerns as if nothing happened? Why not give 4 responses, following your own format, and/or try to home-in on your real concerns clearly so that we can explore possible solutions? (Otherwise it looks like you don't want to be clear, and don't care about solutions. Can you see that it looks that way?)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:11, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
In his latest book, which Andrew Lancaster cites, Walter Goffart writes that "there were no Germanic peoples in late antiquity",[80] that the term "German" should be "banished from all but linguistic discourse",[81] that "Germanic collectivity exists in linguistics but never existed anywhere else",[82] that "there was no Germanic world before the Carolingian age",[83] that "the history of a language as known to philologists has nothing to do with that of human beings,"[84] and that the term "Germanic" should be entirely dispensed with.[85] These views are far outside of the mainstream. Goffart actually admits this in his conclusion, writing that although has been promoting these views since 1972, "nothing has happened".[86] Goffart his of course a notable scholar, and his views should be included in this article, but we should not use someone with such extreme views to define the subject.
The Vienna School of History is, as i said,[87] controversial. According to Wolf Liebeschuetz, Walter Pohl, the foremost representative of the Vienna School today, believes that the Germanic peoples had no genuine history or culture of their own, and that they made no contribution to medieval Europe. Liebeschuetz describes these views as "extraordinarily one-sided" and a form of ideological "dogmatism" evincing "a closed mind".[88] Herwig Wolfram, in turn, writes that Germans have "as much a Germanic history" as Turks, Maltese people, Tunisians and the "Slavic nations".[89] Looking at literature on Germans and Maltese people, it becomes clear that Wolfram's theories on the amount of Germanic history throughout Europe has little acceptance.
I think it is mistake to believe that reliable sources on Germanic peoples are somehow limited to works of the "Toronto School" and "Vienna School". There are plenty of classical scholars who belong to neither school, such as Peter Heather. Also note that the study of Germanic peoples is not limited to the classics. Study of the Germanic peoples is an interdisciplinary field which also encompasses prehistory, medieval history, philology, archaeology, comparative religion etc. This article, like any other, should reflect the consensus of all relevant fields. Krakkos (talk) 20:37, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

Examining the replacing of links reveals how ridiculous this edit was. Links to Arminius and Alaric I have been removed and replaced with links to Walter Goffart and Guy Halsall. Links to Goths, Franks and Germanic paganism have been removed, and replaced with a links to French people, Scythians, Sarmatians and Nazism.[90] Krakkos (talk) 20:53, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

That is obviously a very strange description! It is a new lead. Links were not replaced with other links. I have been drafting in public and posting on this talk page to explain that I would be removing some things, such as specific historic details like Arminius and Alaric. Walter Goffart does have a link. We can discuss adding more links, but I can't help thinking this is a side issue you are trying to use?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:05, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

(edit conflict)Krakkos you are back to "answering" things no one has said in order to try to slip out of answering the questions you need to answer if you want people to take you seriously as an editor of articles.

  • You surely know that I never implied that you were "criticizing the amount of sources". I am sure you know it is quite the opposite: I have complained that it is wrong to demand every sentence in a lead to be filled with long footnotes, as you are now doing. (My drafting shows me preparing more sourcing for the detailed discussion to be placed after the lead.) At the very least you should demonstrate in such a case that you honestly believe the things are not sourceable, explain what facts need better sourcing, rather than not even making your supposed concerns consistent and logical.
  • You surely know that neither myself nor Ermenrich have implied in any way that if you disagree with Goffart you should agree with the Vienna school. Goffart is pretty much universally respected. He is certainly respected by the two authors you now choose to mention, Liebeschuetz and Heather! Both authors are clearly influenced by the work he has done.
  • You clearly do not understand what "WP:FRINGE" means on Wikipedia, or else, very likely, you are deliberately exaggerating as with the words you throw around like "drastic" and "falsification". The fact that Liebeschuetz disagrees with almost everyone else also does not make him "fringe" either. We don't ban the use of reliable sources because they disagree with other reliable sources??? If you seriously want Goffart declared "fringe" there is a community noticeboard, but I am sure you realize this would be a waste of time?
  • More practically, if you think Goffart is controversial and far from the consensus concerning the topic of the sentence he is being cited for, please explain why you would say this? To me the sentence seems perfectly orthodox in the field in the 21st century. The footnote does not only cite him. It is not a particularly "Goffart" position. Explain your concern. I am open to feedback on this. Please explain why not if you disagree. That would be what most good faith editors would have done first.
  • Which "literature on Germans and Maltese people" are you saying is relevant??? Isn't this just a red herring?
  • Please answer my responses to your 4 supposed concerns; and please answer, as requested, my questions about your 4 strange tags.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:00, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

New lead source verification discussion[edit]

I will go through the 4 tags @Krakkos: has now placed on the new lead. I think based on past form if Krakkos can't get to the point in a simple and timely way, we are justified to simply remove these tags? I am open to feedback, but honestly to me this tagging appears to be purely tendentious. Krakkos please explain each case for me? What am I missing?

  • Failed verification? Footnote is very detailed and included exact quotes:

Goffart (2006, p. 5): "'German' was basically a Roman word, used by authors in the early Empire as a shorthand term for many of the northern barbarians. [...] At best, they spoke dialects that our linguists call 'Germanic'." Similar remarks: Müller (1998, p. 14), Todd (2009, p. 1) etc. "Gothonic" was the preferred term of the Danish writer Gudmund Schütte, before World War 2, and "Early Germans" was for example used in for a book title by Malcolm Todd, (Todd 2004). For criticism of such terminology see for example Wolfram (1988, p. 10-13), Halsall (2014).

  • Original research? Tagged text says something pretty basic:

Languages in this family [[[Germanic languages]]] are widespread today in Europe, and have dispersed worldwide, the family being represented by major modern languages such as English, Dutch, Nordic languages and German.

  • Failed verification? Footnote is simply 2 exact quotes:

Heather (2012, p. 6): "When we talk of Germanic Europe, therefore, we are really talking about Germanic-dominated Europe, and there is no reason to suppose that the entire population of this truly vast area – some of it militarily subdued in the recent past – was culturally homogeneous in terms of belief systems or social practice, or even it that it necessarily spoke the same language"; Goffart (1989, p. 112-113): "The many tribes considered Germanic by moderns include quite a few with uncertain claims to speaking Germanic dialects."

  • Original research? Is this simply a request for a footnote on every sentence? Please be more specific as this type of statement already exists for a long time in this article and related ones commonly edited by Krakkos.

It is for example now commonly believed that among the earliest reported Germanic peoples near the Rhine and Danube, only the Suebian Germanic peoples spoke Germanic language.

--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:03, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

BTW, note that none of these footnotes depends only on Goffart. Krakkos should say which facts need better sourcing, not demand sources "on principle" for every lead sentence.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:29, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

  1. The citation from Goffart is about the term "German". It does not mention "Germanic peoples". Using that source to define Germanic peoples is a falsification.
  2. There is more text to that paragraph than the sentence you're quoting here. That text is dubious and appears to be original research.
  3. Heather talks about Germanic Europe not being culturally and linguistically homogeneous. The text of this article cites this as evidence that Germanic peoples were not culturally and linguistically homogeneous. As Germanic Europe and Germanic peoples are not equivalent, this citation fails verification.
  4. Unless you provide a source which writes that the Suebi were the "only" early Germanic people of the Rhine and Danube speaking Germanic languages, this claim amounts to original research. Krakkos (talk) 20:43, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
  • 1. Firstly, in context Goffart is talking about the terms German, and Germanic, which is the key adjective in "Germanic peoples", and when he says "they" he is talking about Germanic peoples. To edit on Wikipedia we need to be able to break up sentences and words and put them back together. Note that according to your complaint Goffart makes an even bigger mistake, thinking that the modern English word "German" was a word used by the Romans. Secondly, did you look at the other sources provided or is ONLY the Goffart quotation a concern? [ADDED: Goffart clarifies in this passage by saying he is talking about the peoples surveyed by Tacitus.]
  • 2. OK, so your concern is not about the sentence you tagged? What then? Please clarify if you want to be treated seriously.
  • 3. So you are reading Heather to be saying there was a sort of apartheid system? That is putting a lot between the lines and not how I read him. Did you also check the other citation given?
  • 4. OK, why not just say you'd like a wording tweak? Why all the drama? --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:17, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Update. I have added and adjusted sources in three cases which were tagged and removed the tagged sentence in the fourth case.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:06, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

@Krakkos: there are currently 4 specific issues included into a "multiple issues" tag at the top of the article - posted there by you recently. If these issues are no longer urgent or clearly defined then the tag should be removed. (Such tags should not be used just to create a general atmosphere etc.)

  • 3 of them are about the lead specifically, but various changes have been made to the lead since various complaints including this tagging started, and so it is no longer clear what these refer to. If necessary, then these should be explained on this talk page. If they are already explained, then can you please point out which exact concerns are still considered open?
  • One says the article might have "Original Research". I am not sure if this is intended to point to one of the already addressed discussions about the new lead, or something else? In any case this also should either be removed or else clearly defined here on the talk page.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:33, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: another editor removed these article tags but you have simply reverted that now, but still not explained why they are still there. I believe the acceptable tagging norms are that people who tag, but are unwilling to discuss, can expect their tags to be removed? I believe that both the article tags and the second section tags can be removed unless you can give a convincing explanation about their purpose.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:08, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
The tags were removed by an IP without explanation.[91] The issues in the lead which caused the tagging are still present. The lead gives undue weight to controversial viewpoints, and doesn't accurately summarize the contents of the article. Krakkos (talk) 17:57, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: You are ignoring the fact that the tags were removed after this discussion and others, a large number of tweaks aimed at addressing any concerns that have been openly mentioned, and with all open questions on your side. Most disturbingly, you demanded an overdose of lead footnotes, and you got them. In other words, this response is not a real answer. In effect there should be new complaints to justify the new tagging, or else there should be clear explanation of what the exact problems are which remain. The lead is now strongly sourced. The rest of the article is also being worked on, as pre-discussed. I have also tried VERY hard to engage you in constructive talk page discussions, to no avail.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:11, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: please give examples here of text from the lead which are claimed to be non-neutral or original research. Otherwise we should remove the tagging, with possible exception of the disagreement between lead and body (because indeed the whole article is being worked on, and there is even an editor actively adding POV fork duplication sections). You have had a very good period of time to do so already, and it should be easy to give examples and have a civil discussion.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:56, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
The lead is currently a summary only of your pet section Germanic peoples#Definitions of Germanic peoples, while the rest of the article is ignored. The lead contains next to no information on the history and culture of Germanic peoples, which is the core of the article. An excessive amount of weight is given to the controversial theories of Walter Goffart and Guy Halsall. As long as these issues persist, the current tagging is appropriate. Krakkos (talk) 21:02, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
The rest of the article is not ignored, it is just not duplicated. But putting aside your unusual personal preference for duplication of materials into multiple sections, and putting aside your personal dislike of post WW2 scholarship in this field: Please give any example from the current lead text (first let's ignore footnotes) which is controversial or imbalanced. (Not everything with a Goffart citation in a footnote is automatically controversial.) This should not be difficult given that you keep repeating these things?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:40, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
The purpose of the lead is to be a concise duplication of the body of the article. As i've already said plenty of times, the current lead is only a summary of the definitions section, while culture and history is left out. Goffart and Halsall's theories on the Germanic peoples not having any common culture or history is given undue weight. Krakkos (talk) 10:53, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I do think your definition of the purpose is distorted. MOS:LEDE says: "It should identify the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies." Of course it also does not use the word "duplication", instead it has "overview" and "summary of most important contents". And the lead does mention culture and history as being aspects of the topic covered below. Specifically it mentions there are controversies about the definition of culture, and concerning history and culture there is mention of both early Roman origins, and late Roman/medieval new political entities.
  • You have until now never made a reasoned proposal about things to be added to the lead. Do you have a suggestion that you can explain, that fits with the idea of keeping the lead short? Why not explain your ideas, especially given that you are apparently complaining and tagging based on these? Please keep in mind the past problem that people adding favorite bits and pieces leads to massive and illogical lead expansion so this needs to be carefully thought through.
  • MOS:LEDE says we need to report prominent controversies in the lead. You seem to be arguing against reporting prominent controversies?
  • Is there any other concern with the lead which is not covered by the above 2 bullets?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:23, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: I guess you can give no examples of proposals of things to add, or sentences really in the lead which you think might be imbalanced in a way relevant to WP policy? In fact, even if you have subtle concerns, there should be no tags. The type of over-tagging you are using if for very obviously problematic cases, and if we had those you could have explained it by now with real concrete examples.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:54, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Section on linguistics[edit]

It has previously been pointed out that this article lacks a section on linguistics.[92] The question of linguistics is indeed of essential importance to the subject of this article. I have therefore created[93] a section in which the languages of Germanic peoples are discussed. As this is a somewhat contentious topic, i have attached quotes to the sources. In the future, these quotes may be removed as a way to reduce the size of the article. This article is already of large size, so it must be shortened somehow, but it should not be shortened by removing a section of such importance as that of linguistics. Krakkos (talk) 10:07, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

I think indeed it is a good idea to have a specific place for this. I think you are saying that it can stay short and link to a main article? That makes sense to me, if so. Some of this new section also duplicates the current archaeology-related sections, so please review those? As a background thing, I think concerning both archaeology and language, we should be careful not to include too much speculation about "proto" people, and also we should be careful not to make it look like there is a simple clear and certain consensus if there is not. My reading of the field is that the experts are cautious about trying to go much beyond the Jastorf culture, at least in any detailed way.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:44, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

(edit conflict)A new linguistics section has suddenly been added [94] by @Krakkos: and here are some concerns about specific bits, focusing only on the first paragraph for now:

  • Title of section. Would "Germanic languages" not be simpler?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:29, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Footnotes. This should eventually be discussed, but the section is starting off with some problems already seen in the rest of the article, including sentences with 6 separate footnotes, and efn notes which contain no mention of the source, but rather link indirectly to an sfn footnote before you can find it. Surely we can use simple Harv templates within the efn templates instead?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:15, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • First sentence. We do not need 6 long footnotes to say that Germanic languages are in the Indoeuropean family. But we should make sure our grammar is correct.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:15, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Second sentence. "Speaking Germanic languages is the most characteristic trait of the Germanic peoples." There are two sources, and only one says it is the most characteristic trait. That source is by a Kafka expert who is explaining in a book about German, how German makes a distinction between Germanen and Deutsche. However in contrast, our expert sources, such as those now in the lead, with the exception of Liebeschuetz, all state clearly that the "Germanen" are defined by multiple criteria. So the sentence should be removed. Clearly, by the way, it has been written to deliberately disagree with the new lead, and I think that is not the correct way to work.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:15, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Third sentence. "However, there are populations, such as Insular Celts, that are not considered Germanic although they speak Germanic languages." This is sourced to a 1911 work which does not mention "Insular Celts", but is actually talking about Irish people, so at the very least it would be easier to say Irish people. However this pre-WW2 approach to naming people according to the language their grandparents spoke, and where it sits within a theoretical linguistics phylogeny, is no longer valid and no longer mentioned in expert sources unless it is being criticized, as we have discussed on this talk page many times. So the whole sentence should be removed.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:29, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • 4th sentence: "Meanwhile, certain ancient tribes, such as the Treveri and Belgae, were classified as Germanic by Roman authors because they claimed Germanic descent, despite speaking Celtic languages." This is an unorthodox wording, citing a 1971 work by Hachmann. The Roman authors he mentions by name are Caesar and Tacitus, but neither of them said they would call all the Belgae, or the Treverii, Germani. Caesar just mentioned the ancestry, and Tacitus was implying that the Nervii (he does not mention all the Belgae) and the Treverii were being dishonest and not genuine Germani. So unsurprisingly, this claim does not appear in other expert sources, and so I don't think it is the right one to put in Wikipedia voice. It is obvious what most serious books would mention instead in this place though, and that is that the Germani cisrhenani were probably the first Germani of all, and probably did not speak a Germanic language according to modern definitions.
  • 6th sentence. "Early Germanic peoples however shared other traits than simply language, such as religions, which like the languages, were ultimately derived from Indo-European culture." Why does this need to be stated in a section about Germanic "linguistics"? The comment is also clearly not something the experts all agree on, and so we should not put it in Wikipedia voice. The two sources are the Kafka expert and a military historian.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:29, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • 7th sentence. "For this reason, modern scholars,[ax] such as historians,[ay][az][ba][bb] archaeologists,[bc] philologists[bd][an][aq] and religious scholars,[bd][au][be] generally define Germanic peoples as speakers of Germanic languages." I suppose watchers of this talk page will recognize that the reason this sentence has no less than 12 footnotes is that it is trying to insist that Wikipedia pick a winner, using OR, when we know that the field is not universally in agreement with this method of definition. I think switching the "generally" to an "often" would reduce the controversy of this approach and also reduce the need for 12, yes 12, footnotes.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:36, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  1. These footnotes are connected to the entire sentence, not just the last part about Germanic languages being Indo-European.
  2. Both Malcolm Pasley and Jacqueline Simpson write that speaking Germanic languages is the most characteristic/distinguishing trait of early Germanic peoples. There are other criteria, but the linguistic one is the most important one. Pasley was a professor of German studies at the University of Oxford, while Simpson is a British folklorist specializing in Old Norse religion and Germanic paganism. They are clearly reliable sources on the subject. Peter Heather (historian), E. A. Thompson (historian), Edgar C. Polomé (philologist/religious scholar) and T. Douglas Price (archaeologist) define Germanic peoples as speakers of Germanic languages, meaning that they agree with Pasley and Simpson. Barbara H. Rosenwein writes (in 2018) that this is the general definition among modern historians.
  3. Hector Munro Chadwick lived a long time ago, so he is not a "perfect" source, but his statement is hardly controversial. The Irish, Welsh and other Insular Celts are indeed mostly speakers of Germanic languages, but they are never classified as Germanic. This is significant and totally uncontroversial information which belongs to a section on Germanic linguistics.
  4. The Treveri and many of the Belgae are believed to have been Celtic-speakers, but Tacitus and Julius Caesar writes that they claimed Germanic origins. This is information which belongs in a section on Germanic linguistics.
  5. What early Germanic peoples shared beyond linguistics is relevant to a section on Germanic linguistics because our sources considers it so. That the Germanic peoples had things in common beyond linguistics, like religion, mythology, warfare and law, is hardly controversial in general scholarship.
  6. The statement that Germanic peoples are primarily identified in modern scholarship as speakers of Germanic languages is attributed to reliable sources. It isn't OR. Although there is not a "universal agreement", this is the most common definition in the fields devoted to studying Germanic peoples. Krakkos (talk) 11:16, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
1. The other part of the sentence also doesn't need so much sourcing? Or is it intended to say/imply the same as the next sentence? In any case such a sentence would normally be saying something already in the lead. Current version is heavily sourced.
2. This is not responding to the point. In effect this is still your wish, being hidden behind one inappropriate source.
3. This is not responding to the points. (Insular Celtic peoples is quite simply not a normal way to refer to modern Irish people, not for anyone, but certainly not dropped into another topic like this.)
4. But they did not claim it themselves. And why are we not using the better example which is normally used (Germani cisrhenani).
5. It could be relevant but this sentence makes no connection. It just says "there is also another thing". And the list you give is not a field consensus anymore, so it is controversial. Even people who do not agree fully with Goffart have moved in his direction.
6. If there is no universal agreement then shouldn't we should tweak the wording, which would be easy in this case, to avoid having Wikipedia imply this?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:11, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Update:
1. I've tweaked the sentence and split it into 2. Footnotes in this section are still really problematic in many ways, including that they are opaque and include many questionable sources. They seem to be trying to give an impression with their numbers.
2 and 3. Now the third and 4th sentences. I have tweaked them
5. "Early Germanic peoples however shared other traits than simply language" does not seem to fit. Taking it literally it is being said that it fits with the next sentence as a REASON WHY the 12 cherry picked sources in the next sentence all decided to define Germanic peoples spoke Germanic languages. None of those sources say any such thing?
6 (& 4. 5.) Wikipedia is currently saying that "modern scholars ... GENERALLY define Germanic peoples as speakers of Germanic languages" BECAUSE of two reasons ("for these reasons"). I have already questioned the manner in which field unanimity has been decided by using specially chosen quotes which is WP:OR, but even based on these 12 selected sources, I question whether ANY of them imply the "generally" or the because ("for these reasons"):
  1. During antiquity, there were numerous non-Germanic populations living under Germanic domination in Germania, who did not speak a Germanic language
  2. Germanic peoples shared other traits than simply language, such as religion and law, which like the languages, were ultimately derived from Indo-European culture
@Krakkos and KIENGIR: is there really any source which gives these 2 reasons for making a supposedly new definition like this? As far as I can see most/all of these sources are not even seeing a distinction between linguistically defined Germani and Roman defined Germanic peoples?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:54, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos:, so to put it on record you then did a small number of footnotes, but with an edit that had a large number of reverts, source deletions, and a completely misleading edsum [95]. That was not really a constructive reaction.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:02, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Here is a summary of where we are (back to) on the concerns listed above, after the misleadingly labelled mass revert, going through the first sentences of this new section. Anyone who can help explain/justify this? @Krakkos:? Anyone?
  • Section title. I had proposed "Germanic languages and their origins", and asked for feedback [96], as first discussed here with other editors (see below), but some time later Krakkos has changed to "Languages" (plural) [97], without commenting on the talk page. Edsum says: "This section is not only about Germanic languages. Restoring concise and precise title". Not sure how to understand that, especially considering that at least half of the section is about archaeology, and linguistically it is only about Germanic languages and indeed seems designed to try to imply that all Germanic peoples spoke Germanic languages. Can anyone explain/justify?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:45, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • The style and number of footnotes. Krakkos has increased the number of footnotes, and even reverted an early uncontroversial edit I did to make the first sentence split into two parts with their own footnotes [98]. (Krakkos many times immediately after, and apparently accepted that edit.) The sources being used are mostly poor sources, and clearly Krakkos is trying to give a visual effect by having a high number of these sfn footnotes which take several steps to check. Does anyone disagree with me?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:45, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • 1st sentence. As mentioned above, even the uncontroversial edit to this sentence is now reverted as part of the massive reverting today. So we have a sentence with 8 footnotes, 6 of which are mid sentence. I propose that my uncontroversial version was better.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:43, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • 2nd sentence. As discussed above, important to Krakkos in order to "contradict" other parts of the article, this sentence is now completely reverted to exactly how it was. "Speaking Germanic languages is the most characteristic trait of the Germanic peoples." Strikingly, there are only 2 footnotes for this strong wording: a book by a Kafka expert explaining the word Germanen and a book about Norse sagas by folklore people, published by Time-life. My proposal was "Especially in later contexts, the use of Germanic languages is the most common reason to describe peoples as "Germanic". [99]--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:43, 8 February 2020 (UTC). That compromise attempt was probably a silly idea? I propose deletion.
  • 3rd sentence. We are back to "However, there are populations, such as Insular Celts, that are not considered Germanic although they generally speak Germanic languages." I had: "Less commonly since the second world war, older publications sometimes categorized nations in a way which speculatively connected language with a racial concept, which for example could make English people closer to Germans than Irish people." This time, even more strikingly, there is only ONE source, from 1911. We all know these types of comments are no longer taken seriously, so it is no surprise how hard it has been to find such a source! I propose deletion. Krakkos sees this as "uncontroversial" (above). This seems to show an absolute disconnect from what serious sources write about such things.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:43, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Rest of the first paragraph (4 sentences) are apparently all meant to create one WP:SYNTH chain of logic. Last sentence now has 14 footnotes!! (More than before.) It should really be deleted because not one of those sources says that "modern scholars ... GENERALLY define Germanic peoples as speakers of Germanic languages" BECAUSE of two claimed reasons:
  1. During antiquity, there were numerous non-Germanic populations living under Germanic domination in Germania, who did not speak a Germanic language
  2. Germanic peoples shared other traits than simply language, such as religion and law, which like the languages, were ultimately derived from Indo-European culture--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:43, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

@Krakkos:, I'll give some time on these questions, but the implied edits are clear. Concerning archaeology, in case you are interested, there are some relatively recent articles on academia.edu giving more accurate and recent definitions of the apparent areas covered by relevant material cultures. (The maps in Müller (1998) who I have cited several times in the new material, are handy.) Some of these might be more relevant to other articles though...--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:05, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

I oppose this section. I am not intending to get involved in the editing of this article, but I think a linguistics section is out of scope for this page as we have Germanic languages. If you wish to mention linguistics (and you may wish to mention the subject), you have two choices as I see it:
  1. You can link to Germanic languages as the main article and the linguistics section should only summarise what is on that page.
  2. You can include points about linguistics as relevant in other sections, but don't create a whole section about Germanic languages.
I won't make any edits myself. I will leave it to editors here to decide what to do. Should have added an option 3: just ignore me :) -- Sirfurboy (talk) 19:19, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
That reasoning is, well, reasonable to me. To put it in perspective though all text proposals at the moment are very short and basically pointing to another article. In that context, I already mentioned below that it might not necessarily need to have its own section.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:34, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
By this reasoning, we might as well remove the sections on the history, culture, demographics, economy and geography of Germany from the article Germany, because main articles for those subjects exists.
As is established by the sources at Germanic peoples#Linguistics, linguistics is an essential aspect of the subject of Germanic peoples.[100][101] This is also the case for other articles about ethnic groups. Almost every developed article on ethnic groups on Wikipedia has a section on linguistics. Such a section is useful for this article too. Krakkos (talk) 19:49, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with having the section, but the section should be a summary of the main article it references. As long as it is a summary of the article Germanic languages, that is fine. If it starts saying something different to what is on the parent article we have a problem. If you disagree with what is on the parent article, fix it there first and then your summary can reflect the fixed version. -- Sirfurboy (talk) 19:54, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
The section on Germanic languages in this article should be about the relevance of Germanic languages to Germanic peoples. This relevance is determined by reliable sources on the subject of Germanic peoples. Having said that, i don't think there is any significant contradiction between what is written about Germanic languages in this article and what is written at the article Germanic languages article itself. Krakkos (talk) 20:04, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Also can I say about this use of efn notes, there is a better way to do this. You, Krakkos (talk · contribs), are putting in a quote from the source and then an sfn Harvard ref at the end. Here is an example:
{{Efn|"The branch of Indo-European that English belongs to is called Germanic, and includes German, Dutch, Frisian, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. All these languages are descended from one parent language, a dialect of Indo-European, which we can call Proto-Germanic... We have no records of the language in this period, but we know something about the people who spoke it, because they are described by Roman authors, who called them the Germani."{{sfn|Barber|Beal|Shaw|2012|p=85}} }}
This would be much better as:
{{sfn|Barber|Beal|Shaw|2012|p=85|ps=: "The branch of Indo-European that English belongs to is called Germanic, and includes German, Dutch, Frisian, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. All these languages are descended from one parent language, a dialect of Indo-European, which we can call Proto-Germanic... We have no records of the language in this period, but we know something about the people who spoke it, because they are described by Roman authors, who called them the Germani."}}
Just stick the sfn template inside ref tags if you want it to become a footnote.
Thanks for this tip. I'll make sure to make use of it in the future. Krakkos (talk) 19:53, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: I hope you will also fix up the footnotes you've made in the past?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:19, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos:, so to put it on record you then did a small number of footnotes, but with an edit that had a large number of reverts, source deletions, and a completely misleading edsum [102]. That was not really a constructive reaction.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:02, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Sirfurboy:@Krakkos:, Just to be clear about the footnotes, whatever you did has not worked. (Edsum [103]: "Cleaned up sources in the languages section per suggestions of Sirfurboy".) The article as a whole really has a lot of problems with the footnotes, IMHO partly because of the types of sourcing problems they are being used to cover up by using thickets of lower quality sources, but in any case I wonder if the efn/sfn distinction really helps much. I suppose there is a case to be made for deleting a lot of the sources in this article.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:13, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Andrew Lancaster, Thank you. I will make no comment on other edits - O don't feel I have sufficient expertise on this topic area to do so. On the matter of efn/sfn,however, I think Krakkos' changes helped but noticed there is a long way to go. Efn is an explanatory footnote. It is treated differently from cited refs, sfn and other harvard style refs. References should be in a numbered reference section, all together, using one of the wikipedia citation styles. This page uses sfn, which is a Harvard style. Efn footnotes are for explanations that are not citations. It is an editorial aside, used occasionally but not commonly. They get a lettered reference to the notes section. This article still has many examples of explanatory notes that are really just references, so the reader reads the notes, then follows the link to the reference and then (because Harvard referencing is used) from the references to the Bibliography. An example of this, taken at random is note [w] on the page which reads "See for example Polverini (1994, p. 2)". You don't need a note that just says "see this reference". You should just link the reference directly to Polverini (1994, p. 2) (sfn instead of efn). I hope that is helpful. As always, feel free to ignore me as you are the page editors here, not me. -- Sirfurboy (talk) 10:33, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I am very happy that you are commenting. The Polverini example (by me) shows a concern I have with the efn/sfn distinction as used on this article: for some footnotes, I literally switch between the two templates when I make the footnote longer or shorter, and it all gets a bit arbitrary and hard to do perfectly. A second and bigger concern I have is that whereas a harvtxt template takes a reader straight to the bibliography, the sfn's nested inside efn's go to an enormous section filled with Harvard references. A third problem is that links and templates seem to very often cease to work in these templates, whereas they tend to work in a simple <ref></ref> set-up. ANYWAY, all of this is a bigger discussion which needs to be had. The article struggles to handle these things well partly because of the abuse of the footnoting. BUT RIGHT NOW, the revert-connected footnotes of Krakkos now placed a big group of very large efn footnotes into the sfn section. Did you notice that?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:46, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

The section is called "Linguistics", yet the second para is dominated in the first half by hypotheses that try to equate archaeological cultures with ((pre-)pre-)Proto-Germanic speakers. While that's a legitimate subject, it falls out of the scope of a section called "Linguistics" (or "Languages"). Agree with Sirfurboy that there should be less detail (and cite-bombing). A hatnote to "Germanic languages" plus an explanation why these are relevant for this article should suffice. The first para aims at that, but it rather looks like a justification of the article scope than an explanation, but this can be remedied by appropriate wording. (A natural consequence of hasty writing in the midst of a discussion.) –Austronesier (talk) 20:05, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Off-topic here, but the archaeological hypotheses are—and should remain—covered in "History / Origins". The Germani didn't come out of nowhere, and even though pots and bones don't talk, the very fact that the ancient Germanic peoples shared more than just language(s) makes the study of archaeological evidence well-founded and relevant for this article. –Austronesier (talk) 20:14, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Just looking back at this earlier comment, both the existing treatment and the ideas being discussed only really handle one part of the Germanic peoples: the Jastorf=Suebian part.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:20, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
The comments of Sirfurboy and Austronesier makes sense to me. I prefer the title Language, but I note that this might become a bit of a combination Language and Archaeology section? I still think it does not need to say much but this proposed connection between at least a big part of early Germanic language and the Jastorf culture is commonly discussed. We should see how practical editing goes but Krakkos may well be right that there is at least one little topic that is relevant to this article. BTW some of the material culture articles for Jastorf and surrounding are pretty minimal.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:37, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Imo -- I would protest the linkage of Language and Archaeology. Recall that in the specific case of the Goths that is particularly controversial. I think we should try our best to keep them separate --- as two different approaches to tackling the same problem. Regarding whether we should have a language section, actually I think a properly made one can be useful, in the sense of linguistic forensics about the culture of Proto-Germanic speakers. For example, IE having a reconstructed sky-father word, a horse, sheep, etc matters historically; same goes for Germanic. I do not think we should simply reproduce the text of Germanic languages -- we should be interested in only linguistic data that is presented in RS as shedding light on the history of Germani/"Germanic peoples" as defined in said source. Perhaps the ideal thing would be to have such a Language section, to have an Archaeology section, and also to have a third section about the (many) (controversial) historiographical attempts to reconcile the two (along with other factors -- i.e. Roman commentary etc). Also, quick note on "Germanic" and "Celtic" peoples: ancient, some authors used Germanic to mean "origins over the Rhine" with zero ethnographic meaning; modern, it is also false that (modern) Insular Celts have never been considered "Germanic" (though its not as if this really matters...) -- this book from Nat Geo literally does [[104]]. --Calthinus (talk) 04:45, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Again this is not necessarily a disagreement (also, I think, not with Krakkos). Here is one way to look at it: Have a look at the comments about language and archaeology in the new "definitions" section, concerning evidence from before Julius Caesar. @Krakkos: may or may not agree (I would be interested to know), but I think this new section he has been working on, if it remains small, could even be merged into that material, because it is also about how Germanic peoples are defined. But (and here is my point in response to the remarks) even if we do not merge it in there, so far it looks like it will in effect be "further discussion" about that same type of perspective. Let's say it gets big and someone says it should be moved to a specialist article? Then we have that discussion. In any case to me these questions should sit in the background while work goes on: Question 1. Make sure this section does not create duplication, and does not become a case where one section is arguing against another; Question 2. Is all or part of this section better merged into the definitions discussions (which I see as the core of the article) or merged into specialist articles. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:18, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Per Calthinus, perhaps it is just what you call it that matters. If you want to look at linguistic evidence for the development of the Germanic Peoples, perhaps call the section "linguistic evidence" or something. Anyway, I have said my caution (which is just about ensuring we don't have two articles discussing the same subject and saying different things). Its up to editors here what they do with that now. -- Sirfurboy (talk) 13:52, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Actually it probably needs to be seen as the section about "Germanic languages and their origins"? The current "origins" and "prehistory" sections maybe needs to be merged into that? Or alternatively all these three small sections should be 2 sub-sections of a single section about "Germanic languages and their origins": Germanic languages, Archaeological evidence. I am interested to read what others think. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:17, 6 February 2020 (UTC) @Krakkos:
I think that's a great idea^. --Calthinus (talk) 14:34, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

Update. I started by moving the Origins and Prehistory sections to the new Language section, and out of the "History" section. @Krakkos: has not responded to any discussions here but I note my edit was now reverted with the message "These sections are about the history of Germanic peoples, not Germanic languages. Transferring them back to the history section." In the spirit of trying hard to get all rationales open and clear I post that here and then make the following obvious comments:

  • The two sections are not about history. They are about "pre-history" and periods where there is no written evidence.
  • With some exceptions due to recent additions by me, they are about Germanic speakers, defined by language, and not any broader concept.
  • The new "language" section which they were moved to connect to, is currently at least 50% about archaeology.

You only have to read the new section and the two moved sections to see the topic duplication in common sense terms. Possibly these two sections should simply be deleted? If not then why not, and what should they eventually look like?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:42, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

Origins and prehistory are more relevant to the history section than the languages section. Germanic peoples as defined by language is the broadest and most common definition of Germanic peoples. Per WP:BROAD, that is what a broad concept article should be about. Origins and prehistory plays a prominent part in reliable sources on Germanic peoples, and should therefore not be deleted from Wikipedia's article on Germanic peoples. Krakkos (talk) 14:54, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: thanks for your reply. The situation now is a duplication of content, so removing one of the duplications would clearly not be a deletion of our handling of that topic. But anyway, how should we avoid this duplication? Any ideas? If there must be these two different sections then how will they really be different?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:01, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Andrew Lancaster: Avoiding duplication is not the primary purpose of a Wikipedia article. The primary purpose of a Wikipedia article is to inform readers. Archaeology is of importance both for the history of the Germanic peoples, and the history of their languages. Archaeological information therefore belongs in both the history section and the languages section. In order to avoid excessive duplication, the majority of archaeological information should be located in one of the two sections. Currently most of the archaeological information is located in the history section, while the languages section contains a mere paragraph. I think this solves the duplication issue.
I can not see how it addresses the issue of duplication at all, to say the least. Currently the two sections cover more or less exactly the same basic topic. By your reasoning we should discuss every part of every topic in every section. (That is indeed how you've edited historically.) I don't think this is consistent with any community consensus you want to name.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:38, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
There are no perfect solutions on Wikipedia. There are upsides and there are downsides with every solution. By retaining information on archaeology in the languages section, we increase the amount of text in the article. By deleting this information, we reduce the informativeness of the languages section. I think keeping the article informative is of larger importance than keeping it small. It's also worth noting that you've duplicated plenty of information from every major section of this article in your pet section Germanic peoples#Definitions of Germanic peoples. The issue of duplication appears to only concern you on information which contradicts your own views on the subject. Krakkos (talk) 17:54, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
This is really a non answer. The article has a historical problem with duplication but this is unusual and avoidable. Obviously the aim of all my edits is to change that in the future. You are literally working against this, and admitting that you are inserting duplicate sections which contradict other sections with better sourcing. Instead of contradicting within mirror sections in the article you should be explaining on this talk page why the sections I have made need changing. There is no way to justify your approach in terms of common sense or WP norms. These are POV forks within an article.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:06, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
And just to put it on record, in your mass of reverts you deleted these well-known recent articles, and reverted, as in all other cases, to a sentence with poor sourcing and no understanding. Hard to find any AGF interpretation but if there was an error or misunderstanding, please say so, and show by your future actions:--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:07, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Heyd, Volker (2017). "Kossinna's smile" (PDF). Antiquity. 91 (356): 348–359. doi:10.15184/aqy.2017.21.
  • Kristiansen, Kristian; Allentoft, Morten; Frei, Karin M (2017). "Re-theorising mobility and the formation of culture and language among the Corded Ware Culture in Europe". Antiquity. doi:10.15184/aqy.2017.17.
Those articles do not mention "Germanic peoples". Please familiarize yourself with WP:SYNTH. Krakkos (talk) 22:13, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
No that is broken logic I'm afraid. One topic you have put into this section which needs sourcing is the Corded Ware culture, and for whatever reason you've wanted to emphasize the origins of that culture, which is of course going in the other direction, back in time, whereas Pre-Proto-Germanic would be long after it. So of course these articles are relevant to that. Whether we need discussion of this MUCH earlier period is another question.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:28, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Sorry that I did not realize there is already a discussion here about generally, however in my talk page incdidentally occured the topic as well.(KIENGIR (talk) 00:24, 9 February 2020 (UTC))

Update. As analyzed above looking at the sources, insistent reverting, insisting on duplicate sections, talk page comments of Krakkos (talk · contribs), etc, the following becomes clear about the current version of this "Languages" section:

  • Much of the section is not about language.
  • It is intended to conflict with the lead (WP:POVFORK), and in particular give a seemingly different definition of "Germanic peoples" semi-based on language even though it specifically also says adds that language is not the only factor. In contrast, the current lead can openly mention multiple criteria, and the definitions section can clarify further. Some old or non-specialist books simply see no complications. But why would anyone specifically want to find a way to say that language "is but isn't" the definition?
  • One reason it is so confusing, and twists logic and the sources so much, is that it wants to imply that this article is largely about a category of modern peoples, linguistically but NOT purely linguistically defined. (Irish are NOT included for example. They are "Insular Celtic", using a 1911 source. Krakkos insists this needs to be in this section. We know from elsewhere on Wikipedia that French-speaking Normans were however "Germanic warriors" according to Krakkos!)
  • Another reason it insists on language and then insists it is actually not just language, is because it wants to imply that together with the language, go other ancient connections, such as "religion and law". Much of the section is not even about language.

So, in case anyone is missing the point, according to Krakkos, English and Germans and Flemings and Austrians are closer to each other than to Irish or Czechs or Walloons or Slovenians respectively. This is because they are united by a deep heritage which went together with their language all the way back to Indo-Europeans in a family tree of language, religion, law etc. This is also the way Krakkos edits throughout Wikipedia, categorizing the human race (Normans in, Irish out, etc). But Krakkos can't find good post-1945 sources, needs to use WP:SYNTH, and won't openly explain the programme or answer questions in a direct way.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:27, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Examples of other problems (discussed above) apart from the content and sourcing. Just in one revert edit [105] we see the lack of concern with article quality and inability to coordinate with other editors:

  • Removal of better sources for the Corded Ware culture.
  • Reintroduction of noticed grammatical error in first sentence. "languages is".
  • Completely misleading edsum, not mentioning multiple reverts, pretending the concern was footnote format.
  • Complete messing up (worse than before) of footnote format (mixing long notes into the snf section) apparently not even looked at, despite edsum.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:25, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: you've been actively editing and commenting on some topics. I think in this section on "Languages" there are now some obvious first steps which I can't see any arguments against:
  • The first sentence, which was even reverted back to a grammatically incorrect version, should be changed back to the correct two sentences that you initially apparently found acceptable.
  • The second and third sentences should be deleted. See above for various reasons. Also the text box by the Kafka expert should be deleted.
  • The Corded Ware discussion should either be deleted or changed to something like it was before your mass revert, with the much better sources.
Those are easier points. Here are some you seem to find harder, although to be honest, I think you are making it artificially hard:
  • Do you need more time to try to find a decent source for the claim leading to the sentence which has 14 footnotes? (I mean, as explained above, that WP is saying "modern scholars ... GENERALLY define Germanic peoples as speakers of Germanic languages" BECAUSE of two claimed reasons in the previous sentences). ...Or do you think the whole approach of those sentences might need review?
  • To be clear about another concern: I see no reason to be open to the duplications you create, and intend to keep finding ways to remove them bit by bit with as much pre-discussion as possible. I don't see that as a personal preference, but as absolutely normal and possible to fix. To me it is just obvious that no one can agree with the idea of allowing massive duplication, which is easy to avoid. Even worse, to point to the real reason for this artificial problem, we have sections near each other which are POVforks arguing with each other. That is not something we hope will last, surely? So we need to think about what will replace that situation. I've made many proposals.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:35, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: I see you made a stunning change here concerning above-mentioned "modern scholars ... GENERALLY define Germanic peoples as speakers of Germanic languages BECAUSE of" claim. It is now "BECAUSE of" something completely different! Magic. You were apparently able to simply move a sentence which begins "For this reason" without changing any sources or wording in the sentence, or the preceding sentence. So to be frank, we have to admit now that it is and was BS, surely? We now have this chain of meaninglessness: "Speaking Germanic languages is the most characteristic trait of the Germanic peoples.[22][29] For this reason, modern scholars,[30] such as historians,[31][32][33][34] archaeologists,[35] philologists[36][22][25] and religious scholars,[36][29][37] generally define Germanic peoples as speakers of Germanic languages." None of those 14 long footnotes make any kind of reference to what is in those 2 very weak, specially chosen, footnotes in the previous sentence. Yet, the second sentence is now hanging completely on those two sources: (1) a book by a Kafka expert explaining the word Germanen to English readers, and (2) a book about Norse sagas by folklore people, published by Time-life. This is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Obviously this simply can't be used to over-rule any of the better sources cited in the lead or the Definitions section and this can't remain in this state. The first sentence needs to go and the second one is OR/SYNTH, especially in its present strongly worded form ("generally"). You own words above describing the reality were significantly less strongly worded, though you were looking at the same sources: "Although there is not a "universal agreement", this is the most common definition in the fields devoted to studying Germanic peoples." But that was also OR. Individual sources which make no mention of other definitions are not sources for what is most common.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:57, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Update. I have started editing again on these few sentences, making changes which simply need to be done such as the basic grammatical and footnote problems, and the source abuse. For the record, apart from attempts to discuss above, I should note that these VERY long footnotes are duplicated fully and exactly within this short space - up to 5 times, all done using the sfn template! The first sentence had 3 long footnotes at the end which are all found also in the middle of that same sentence, and so on. This one short paragraph has had footnotes the size of a decent Wikipedia article on their own. I don't think any competent editor would ever have a good reason to work like this, and it clearly can't be said that this disaster has been made to help verification.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:15, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

New second section: "Definitions of Germanic" (instead of "Ethnomyns", which are now part of it)[edit]

I apologize for moving fast, but I think anyone interested knows what I was drafting, and on balance I fear discussion of the new shorter lead might be hampered if I do not also introduce the new LONGER second section, which will replace the "Ethnonym" section. This is like an extension lead, so it answers a lot of concerns - I hope. This aims to now contain the important and complicated "conceptual" topics that past versions of the article have always avoided confronting clearly in one place. As we are apparently all in agreement that we are trying to make this a broad concept article, this section might even be seen as the core of the article if it works as hoped.

  • Here is the edit to bring in a block of new material. This link is placed here to make it easy to find and compare anything, and potentially to recover etc.
  • I will of course work on the footnotes and formatting etc.
  • The article has had, and still has, some duplication when it comes to language and archaeology. This new section also touches on them, so we need to decide how much we expand or reduce what is here in this new section.
  • Apologies for not yet including a fuller discussion of etymology. I note that there has been on-going discussion about that, which is not finished. But I think that whatever we decide to do will not be much helped by keeping the old discussion.

Feedback welcome and requested. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:00, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Update. It would be good to get clear feedback on these sections. Currently the whole section was tagged by @Krakkos: when it first appeared but what that refers to is unclear. Possibly it referred to things which are now fixed for example. If the section tagging is no longer appropriate it should of course be removed.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:28, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: I suppose the tagging can be removed then.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:33, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Concerns about the incoherent and confusing nature of Germanic peoples#Definitions of Germanic peoples still apply. In my opinion, there is more work to be done before the tags can be removed. Krakkos (talk) 17:44, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
That is close to no answer at all. Can you give an example of anything confused or incoherent?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:49, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: explain the "more work to be done". Give an example? If there needs to be big section tags then it can't be difficult to give an example, because they should be big obvious problems? Or are the concerns subtle and complex ones?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: to be clear, if the problems are not big bold and obvious then there should be no section tagging. If they are big, then you'd normally have been able to explain with clear examples long ago, but that does not seem to be the case. You've clearly been active, and had a chance to answer this. Do you need more time? I am thinking this discussion shows that the tagging can be removed? If not, please post a real example with a clear explanation.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:17, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

I support this [[106]] as valuable and enlightening for readers who are often otherwise confused by the variance in the who the term has been used to refer to. --Calthinus (talk) 00:49, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Proposed sections to be merged-out/deleted or moved[edit]

Some proposals:

  • Language/Linguistics, which now has a new section by @Krakkos:, should IMHO move higher. Unless the plan is to lengthen it, it could be merged into the relevant parts of the new definitions section.
  • The current third section which discusses Subdivisions in classical sources, could become one part of a section about the Germanic peoples in Roman era sources? (Apart from concerning definitions of the Germanic peoples, already handled in the new definitions section.) What else could go into this section as sub-sections? This is where I propose to put "Roman tropes" and something about Roman descriptions of religion and culture? (Short versions, linking to main articles.)
  • Delete the separate Pytheas section. Again, unless there is a good reason to length and/or improve it, we can merge into the new definitions section, which gives the most important information.
  • Origins and Germania before Roman contact, should be made to complement what is now said above them, in the new definitions section.
  • I think the current Demographics section (one sentence from a quite old source) is not worth keeping unless there are lots of sources which could add to it, but I doubt that.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:48, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Despite complaints from numerous editors over your previous rewrite of the lead, you have once again made another drastic edit to this article by replacing the Ethnonym seciton with a "Definitions" section.[107] Like the rewrite of the lead, this rewrite of the Ethnonym section is far from an improvement to the article. It is overly long and detailed, and lacks coherence. It reads more like an essay than an encyclopedic section. It reeks of original research. Your new suggestions will not be an improvement either. Merging the sections on Germanic origins, history and languages into this "Definitions" section is a terrible idea. I agree with Obenritter that the Pytheas section can be shortened. Except from that, these proposals are poor. You must get a consensus before completely rewriting a high-quality established and important article like this. Krakkos (talk) 18:11, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
That's astonishing nerve coming from you, Krakkos! When did you ever do that? Johnbod (talk) 18:14, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
I am going to go out on a limb and say the amount of effort I made to get pre-discussion was "better than average" :). {{re|Krakkos)) your remarks are pretty vague but concerning the new definitions sections "long and detailed, and lacks coherence" is exactly what you'd expect given (1) my vision as explained that this is the start of the missing core of the future article, (2) you are judging the initial pasting in of draft materials, into an article which is itself un-structured. Please watch how it develops. One way or another we will be incorporating more recent scholarly material and reducing the use of tertiary sources, old sources, and sources written about different topics such as German literature or Rumania. As we do that, re-structuring will be needed.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:45, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
I entirely agree with Andrew Lancaster's proposal.--Calthinus (talk) 04:21, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

As an update:

  • Language ("Linguistics") as a section (or sub-section) is already being discussed in a more constructive way in another section. Krakkos is involved in that discussion. I see no enormous controversy.
  • Subdivisions, classical sources etc, is something not to rush to yet, at least in my vision so far. I don't see any extreme controversy about likely. This is basically a proposal about moving similar bits together.
  • Archaeology is clearly part of the Language discussion already, involving Krakkos. See: Origins and Germania before Roman contact. I think the proposal I made about this almost by definition can't be controversial so far.
  • I think for demographics it is more or less a formal "devil's advocate" question. Are there really sources about this topic? If not, then we shouldn't be scraping around looking for something-anything to say.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:09, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Has anyone come up with a reason to keep the Demographics section?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:58, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: you have now added a sentence from Heather and a sentence from Wolfram. Two concerns:
  • Are you sure you have the page numbers correct? I own both books, and do not immediately find these remarks.
  • The section is apparently based three separate comments from 3 separate authors. They are not really about exactly the same thing, but just generally about similar themes. I don't know of any notable consensus on this topic and these quotes aren't really indicating any?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:17, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Krakkos: now you've added footnotes [108], but done the same thing which you did to the Languages section: the efn notes now appear in the sfn section. PLEASE take note of the concerns I have been raising and do not just keep doing this?
Secondly, the Heather quote is (I find) from page 64, not 87, and you have removed the words "will have" which indicate that it is a rough speculation.
Thirdly, Heather is clearly NOT talking about "late antiquity".--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:37, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
And checking the Owen citation which started this section: Owen wrote "could scarcely have have been more than about 4,000,000" again a wording which indicates hand-waving speculation and not emphasis on the estimate itself, but Wikipedia has converted this to "around 4,000,000".
In summary there is still no evidence of notability, nor that we are reporting any real serious consensus. So far I think the section should still be deleted.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

The elephant in the room: section 4 "History" should be pruned[edit]

Just to set discussion up: This history section is a large article in itself, about half the total article. It is filled with disputed, tagged, poorly sourced material, duplications that are handled better elsewhere (including in other sections within this article), digressions and commentary on the whole of European history, European history writing, etc. OTOH, my understanding is that it should be a "in a nutshell" summary of some key turning points relevant to Germanic speaking peoples? ...because the historical events, national histories, etc, are all handled in other articles, and so this article should just show how certain events etc link to this topic? I hope that the new definitions section should help us feel safe in pruning this down to a basic timeline, because my understanding is that the reason for inserting so many digressions and debatable points into a short summary is that there was nowhere else to put it. These are just first thoughts on this section, but eventually we have to confront this question.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:32, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

What I will do as a first step to help us think about this is use the same draft page I was using to try to make a simple bullet chronology. What I see is that despite being long, there will actually be things missing once you put things in a systematic format.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 00:27, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
The history section is certainly too long and detailed, but reducing it to "a basic timeline" with a "simple bullet chronology" is not a good idea. As shown in reliable sources, history is an important part of the subject of Germanic peoples, and should be discussed comprehensively in its own section. Krakkos (talk) 14:37, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
You possibly misunderstand. I suggested making a chronology/timeline on my drafting page, in order to better proceed in a structured and pre-discussed way. Any concern with that?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:55, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
My interpretation is that you wanted to "prune" the history section of this article into a "basic timeline". I think history is too important for this subject to be reduced to a basic timeline. What you do with your own draft doesn't concern me at all. Krakkos (talk) 17:40, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Not being concerned about the opinions of other editors is not really a good approach to working on Wikipedia.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:49, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

Do we need two discussions of Pytheas (internal POV forking?)[edit]

Having previously moved discussion of Pytheas into a new section which is specifically about sourced who might have mentioned the Germani before Julius Caesar, I find that a new discussion of this same historiographical point about the terminology has been inserted into the "History" section. Strikingly, this new discussion disagrees with the one I wrote, and specifically says Pytheas is known to have distinguished the Celts and Germani, which is not known. To do this, generalist sources are used rather than the specialist sources I used. And it is not about historical events, but about history writing. This seems to be a POV Fork within the article, and the same could be said about some other new insertions. Can anyone give a reasoning for keeping this duplicate section, which argues against another part of the article? @Krakkos:?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:31, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

@Krakkos: it is not history, it is dubious, and it is a duplicate. I suppose it can be removed?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:58, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Open question about Clovis/Visigoths should be handled[edit]

@Krakkos: you now archived a section which noted a problem which has not been fixed yet [109]. I am guessing you have no intention of fixing it though, as getting such things right is not really your thing? So I propose for now the simplest action is to delete all of this: "Against Germanic tradition, each of the four sons of Clovis attempted to secure power in different cities but their inability to prove themselves on the battlefield and intrigue against one another led the Visigoths back to electing their leadership.[165]". I think the original poster was correct. This looks like SYNTH, and/or a misunderstanding of the sources. Do you see any problem with that?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:54, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

The problem has now been fixed.[110] Krakkos (talk) 12:10, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:10, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

"Physical characteristics"[edit]

At present we have a section with this text:

Here are my issues.

1. Roman authors are known stereotypers and bsers when it comes to physical characteristics of literally any foreigner. If the foreign group is in Europe and considered barbaric, they are nearly always portrayed as physically large, with "red" (could mean red, or blonde, or auburn, or just brown as opposed to black like most people from idk S Italy maybe) hair. This is not only true of the "Germani", "Celt(ic)i", etc but also Balkan peoples such as Dacians, Thracians, Illyrians etc. But genetic tests on remains have severely challenged this stereotype of Thracians at the least -- the available evidence suggests they were quite dark and if anything darker than the present Bulgarians. We have Francis Owen's take that it means blond, but none of the scepticism that much of modern literature has about Roman (or Greek) physical descriptions of foreigners. Really the Romans were quite "racist", remember that play where Italians put chalk on their skin to imitate the barbarous Galli?

2. We have Tacitus comments about mixing and then There is little evidence of large-scale migration into Scandinavia... and the physical type of the Germanic people then has therefore remained largely the same.[166] Oh boy I have so many issues with this. First, The Germanic people? Just one?! Second, the physical type of the Germanic people? What type? Do Swedes look like English people? Only sometimes. This sounds like it time warped from 1880. Okay, actually, it seems the section is based on the work of Owen from 1960. WP:UNDUE. Has our knowledge about "major migrations into Scandinavia" or other territories inhabited by this single "Germanic people" changed since then? Yes we have plenty of evidence of Slavic origins from geneologies ... and genes... in eastern parts of Germany. Not a "migration" but in the north of Scandinavia tons of Sami were "Germanicized". Oh, and also, are not totally assimilated migrants or adopted kids who have no identity but Swedish/Dutch/whatever and no culture but their "Germanic" national culture "Germanic", or are they not, solely because of some obscure ancestry? I don't think we should be tackling that question. I think the whole section should be deleted at least for now. If we want to talk only about their alleged appearance in ancient times that would be a bit more in line with policy. Imho. --Calthinus (talk) 19:51, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

I agree this section raises concerns. Just so much to do. I won't bother finding a diff, but recently I changed the title of this section to "Roman tropes", but there have been a lot of reverts. Basically though, every modern scholarly source that mentions these types of comments describes them as Roman tropes, and emphasizes that these tropes were already old before Romans knew who Germani were, because the same tropes were used for Gauls. Somewhere I saw someone (maybe David Green) point out that funnily enough the Romans must have seen the Germani as people with some good hair colouring formulations, which is apparently what the first "soap" was - soap being a Germanic word which was loaned into Latin. What we have instead is pure 19th century romanticism, but that unfortunately describes a lot of stuff which is on a lot of articles related to Germanic historical subjects. That kind of hero-worshiping Germanism was still trendy among people who should have known better until the generation who lived through WW2, and it is still popular outside of academia in nerdy culty people on the internet.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:46, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
As "Roman tropes" the section could stay. Without the parts talking about "no migration ever happened". That was a good call. Cheers, --Calthinus (talk) 21:28, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Gaulish versus Gallic[edit]

@Calthinus: Might as well register this as I note a few edits remarking this word choice. I guess none of us have really strong feelings about Gaulish versus Gallic, but I think Gaulish is the more common word, and easier to know how to pronounce. :) I don't think it is "wrong"? I see Gaulish as a modern term in English for anything pertaining to Gauls, and Gallia is the Latin name for Gaul - which does not have to be the name of a Roman province. If there was a Gallia there was a Gaul, so to speak? (Gaul is I suppose another geographical term in this period, which was in effect given a definition by Caesar, at least for Latin speakers?) Just thoughts.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:54, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Now I saw this addition [111]. I am a bit cautious of lists in this article. There is a history of every list being added to until they become silly. Do we really need Wallach AND Wallachia? And concerning "Gaul" I do not see that theory mentioned on that Ringe blogpost. Sounds genuinely interesting but unless it is a well-known theory with no controversy do we really want to add on this list in this article, where it is only a side issue? (But I am interested to see the Ringe theory if you have a URL.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:59, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Wallachia is more relevant. Keep Wallachia. Re Walhaz < Volcae -- I simply copied that from Walhaz, as I noted in my edit summary. I've seen this elsewhere, can fetch. Re Gaul(ish)/Gallic(i/etc) -- this one is so confusing there is literally a paper about it :). You can't say "Celtic" either because that can refer to Celtica i.e. Central Gaul. In English Gaul survived as some sort of modern vestige of the (OE) ethnonym Galwalas for French people, and was reapplied by classicism to equate to "Gallia", hence a geographic territory. Likewise, in French historiography, it's just used to mean France, thank you nationalism. But since "France" as a state obv didn't exist in Roman times and Romans knew "Galli(ci)" on ethnic terms, "Gallia" meant something a little different -- which make Gallia/Gallic the non-anachronistic translations, since our conception of "Gaul" is shaped by its "pre-Frenchness" (i.e. see also Galatia, obv nothing to do with France there but still called Galli). But this is kind of hairpicking; I did self revert.--Calthinus (talk) 21:11, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Andrew Lancaster actually, Ringe's blog does say this (showing whole para as you might find it otherwise interesting too per Celtic/Germanic contact:
Yeah it's a blog, but surely we can make a special case for some as accomplished as Ringe.--Calthinus (talk) 21:14, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Oh, if you're referring to the placename Gaul and *walha, yeah that's not there. It's here. --Calthinus (talk) 21:16, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes that was the new one for me. And also yes, Ringe is a big enough name that we could, if we needed to, cite a blog. However, this particular list of words is really a side-side issue? My experience on WP is that one thing that tends to go wrong is side-side-issues expanding until it gets hard to remember what the subject was. This article has more than its fair share of those types of situations :) --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:31, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't particularly care about the list. Re Gaulish/Gallic, well, to be fair, just checked, and well established current research by people who have published on matters concerning Gaulish is still using "Gaulish" indiscriminately for pre-French Galli and not-pre-French Galli, i.e. Kerkhof '18... so it's definitely not an issue. --Calthinus (talk) 21:33, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Well (Guell?), I would tend to go more minimal, partly because I am thinking about how this article's tendency to develop malign growths, and we still has a lot of material to be carefully pruned and re-packed. Sorry to bring it up though, because it is good to get more people daring to work on this article again! :) --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:54, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Gwatever gworks. --Calthinus (talk) 22:19, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Right on cue someone started adding Spain/Visigoths into all the lists while this discussion was happening.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:37, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Bibliography check: many Britannica articles[edit]

In recent heavy discussions and attempts to get this article improved, the quality of the large bibliography has come up often. Many of the sources seem specially selected to represent out-of-date or over-simplified viewpoints, and to ignore controversies in a way which WP (unlike most tertiary sources) aims NOT to do. More generally WP RS policies recommend being careful of tertiary sources, and certainly not to use them to over-rule stronger secondary sources.

Concerning Britannica, one specific issue needing investigation is that these articles are given no dates. Consider the implications of WP:V. The "publication dates" on the website clearly have nothing to do with when the articles were written. I offer the following checks:

=>Aubin died in 1954.

=>Moulton was active in the 1960s and 1970s and died in 2008. The article was in the 1998 upload.

=>Chadwick died in 1947.

=>Authors listed as "the editors", it was in the 1998 upload.

=>Grancsay died 1980. This link goes to a one paragraph section of a long article on Metalwork generally. Some of the many authors listed were active in the 19th century. The use of the word "Teutonic" suggests that this paragraph is probably pretty old. Also, this particular article is one of many which are NOT actually being cited in the text. That's another problem.

=>Peter Heather is obviously still active and an important source. Like Goffart, he is for example one of the modern authors who is sceptical of using Jordanes, which is one of the important controversies we must report better. But of course Britannica studiously avoids complications, discussions about evidence, controversies etc. So we should use his books instead of this tertiary source, and never use this source to trump things he says in his own more specialized works.

=>https://www.fordham.edu/info/20762/faculty/6419/joseph_f_ocallaghan . However, this particular article is one of many which are NOT actually being cited in the text. That's another problem.

=>Died 1981. Was publishing in 1960s and 1970s.

=Retired 1979, died 1994.

=Retired 1979, died 1994.

=>Died 1978. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:44, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Certainly in the case of Aubin and Chadwick, they published so early their works could not be used as WP:RS.--Calthinus (talk) 13:41, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Well, I am not sure I agree with your exact wording. RS is context-dependent. So it matters what you are using a source for. But for example I think what I think is important here is that you would not cite these to prove that a newer publication was controversial or wrong. (And that is basically how they have been used some times.)
Also of course, you would not gather a few of these until you have a large number, and then put big quotes from each source into separate footnotes, put each of these twice or three times into single sentences, 5 or 6 times per paragraph, in order to show that there is a consensus in the field. But that is also OR and SYNTH, not just an RS or V problem. But of course no one would do that?
Chadwick is an interesting chap for example. One of his last books shows him occasionally grappling with his categorizations of people into nations, in the light of the Nazis: The Nationalities of Europe and the Growth of National Ideologies (1945). Writers like Halsall and Goffart, who've been caricatured a bit on this talk page, often remark that many of the romanticists were nothing like the Nazis - but that scholars who defend their lack of methodological care by saying they are not Nazis are missing the point. For example a very popular alternative mythology was the one about the Northern tribes fighting for freedom, and the rule of law, against tyrannical southerners, leading to the inventions of modern parliaments and all the rest. Much nicer than the master race story, but still just myth making. The methodological problems of this whole find a story which "sounds about right" approach were the real problem. It always leads people to the conclusions they set out to find.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:04, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
In many topic areas -- the Balkans for one -- literally anything before 1950 is immediately suspect and considered not RS. Even if authors were not themselves rac(ial)ists/working for national "interest"/etc, it falls under suspicion, as even works written in protest against the norm of that time often reasoned using the same parameters and methodology. For me at least IAR does apply if editors do agree a source is nonetheless valuable, but each is a special case. Now, SYN is also a troubling issue. Cleaning up SYN is a pain, as it requires a lot of source access... --Calthinus (talk) 19:59, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
It is an effort, but bit by bit... Of course sentences with 14 footnotes are a red flag.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:57, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

the article length topic revisited[edit]

Back about a month ago discussions started with the observation that this article is too long. We have gone through a lot of discussion and I continue to work on the basis that re-structuring is the necessary first step so that we can see what the really has and needs. We are now making some progress. I'll make a few observations indicating how I think the priorities look today. I really hope other editors will comment and help also.

  • To improve (even expand if necessary): Concerning sections which have NO equivalent in coverage in any other article, step 1 is getting all this collected and in a more polished form so we can see how big that is. If these on their own are still too big for one article we need to look at that. So far however, these sections make up only a small part of the article. I guess a quarter?
  • To reduce: anything which is duplicated.
  • To structure and reduce: Concerning sections which DO overlap a lot with other articles dominate the article still. The History section is the biggest section and on its own would be a large article which people might consider splitting. We certainly have to shorten it and make intelligent links to the various articles which cover the same material. This does not look difficult to reduce because there are lots of digressions and duplications, though this is maybe not yet easy to see because it so unstructured still, as the whole article was. We need to try to structure it in order to get it both complete enough, and short enough.
  • To reduce: a special problem on this article is the footnoting and bibliography. This is maybe one third of the article?!
  • Footnotes (both types). It is obvious that the footnotes in this article are not normal. They are too large, with long quotes often including completely useless words ("This books will..."). There are too many (several per sentence sometimes), all just confirming the same thing, or often not really directly confirming anything. Many of the footnotes are duplicates, and repeat near each other.
  • Bibliography. Many of the items in the Bibliography are not being used. Many are being used once, but then for something which could have been sourced from many of the other hundreds of sources. Many of the items are old, and/or not books which even focus upon the topics we need them for, and we have better sources. It is as if we were desperate to fill this article up.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:01, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • To reduce/merge. The culture section is dodgy and based almost entirely on one very old book. It also has a main article (which probably also needs review). What we really know about this topic is minimal: Caesar and Tacitus, the "linguistic archaeology" of Dennis Green, some things confirmed by archaeologists like human sacrifice, and some argumentation like Liebeschuetz thinking all the medieval kingdoms had something like weregild. Probably, in fact, this should be combined with the Roman Tropes section, because it would be a section about uncertain things.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:08, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • To reduce/merge. To be consistent I think also the Later Germanic studies and their influence at the end, which is not chronological history of Germanic peoples themselves, but of writers and concepts, can be merged into Modern "Germanic" concepts and "Germanism". As it is has another main article, it only needs to cover main points.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:20, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback? Concerns? Proposals? Questions?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:20, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

I don't think it is necessarily "too long" actually. Before some of the issue was large amounts of text making sections hard to read. But that is increasingly less of the case. Much of the information here is valuable in some way, so the best way would be trimming unnecessary text here and there. At the same time, I can't say I would oppose the merge to Modern "Germanic" concepts and "Germanism" either... that is also a possibly good idea. --Calthinus (talk) 01:27, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Keep in mind I've been reducing the size bit by bit. At the maximum, this article was above 200,000 bytes, but is now around 155,000. It might indeed be difficult to ever go under 100,000 (a rough target). In some cases lower down in the article there is lots which can be reduced (digressions, dodgy/fluffy unsourced stuff, duplications, bad wordings etc), but on the other hand, there are some important things missing. I am also trying to add whatever is needed, and once it is there, the wordings can be reduced a bit more by better wordings and the better use of links, including links within the article. Indeed higher up in the article this can also be improved. (Notice for example I have some "see below" and "see above" bits, which should eventually be links.) Such things can only really be finished when there is a whole article based on one logical structure.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:00, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

It would be good to get feedback about the footnoting from other editors. I have several long term ideas:

  • If/when the article settles down, I think the efn footnotes should mainly be shortened. Many would then become normal footnotes.
  • Also the bibliography: step 1, once the article has a stable looking structure, would be to move all un-used sources to the Further reading section, which eventually might also then need shortening.
  • Possibly we need a better Primary/classical sources section. There is an external links section with a link to the Perseus website Caesar, which has Latin and English. I am NOT a fan of having "Caesar (2009)" references which only give us links to one person's English. Clearly readers and editors of this article sometimes needs to look at the Latin or Greek, because it is partly about terminology.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:07, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

UPDATE on REFERENCES. I have moved all the unused references after the used ones, and separated them with a title. Perhaps other editors can help give comment on which, if any, should be used, put in further reading, or simply deleted. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:26, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

Several edits[edit]

@E-960: I have been working on this article, so concerning your edits, some further discussion is requested. Please consider and comment:

  • Map removal, archaeological cultures. [112]. If I understand correctly you think the map should only show "Germanic" archaeological cultures? You mean only Jastorf? I think it would be good to have not only a map of the Jastorf culture but also neighbouring cultures including La Tène, because these are discussed in the article also. What do you think?
  • Removal of the Hermannsdenkmal picture. [113]. I think also in this case you did not look at the text which the picture is next to? The connection between some simplified concepts of Germanic people and German romanticism and nationalism is discussed, as it has to be, but I don't think you can say Wikipedia is taking a positive side with such movements (if you read the text). I added the picture to help illustrate that connection. On the other hand, given that many readers might also just notice the picture and get the wrong idea, perhaps it should be in the more specific section? Here?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:02, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
The possible issue with the archaeological cultures map is that it shows various cultures, and some indeed are though to be related to Germanic peoples, and others not. It's not outright problematic to have it in the article, so it can be put back, but it lacks broader correlation to the text.
As for the Hermannsdenkmal image, 19th century romanticism is a side note to this article, which focuses on the ancient Germanic peoples, referencing historical sources and archeology. Later correlations to romanticism are really a passing note, especially given that they were often based on pseudo-history, especially that modern Germans (as evident in DNA) are a mix of Gallo-Romans from the Rhine region and the invading Germanic tribes, not to mention further mixing with Slavs in what is today eastern Germany. So, such an image places too much emphasis on made up ideologies, rooted in fantasy rather than historical realities. Just to show you how screwy this concept is, take for example that 19th century German romantic ideals showing Germanic peoples as blond haired, yet most Roman sources describe Germanic peoples as having ruddy/brown hair. --E-960 (talk) 10:49, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • If anything I would put some image related to Wagner, who is the quintessential romantic composer who based his operas on Germanic legends, rather than a political movement.--E-960 (talk) 11:12, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
@E-960: Let me know what you think:
  • I have tried adjusting the archaeological map, so that the text is only focused on the cultures in the middle of the map.
  • I have moved the Hermannsdenkmal picture and changed the text.
  • I don't see Wagner as very useful for this article because his interest was in medieval myths. The connection between those and the Germanic peoples is another can of worms, which I think does not fit in this big article? Arminius OTOH was a real Germanic person, discussed by Tacitus, who really did become a very big thing for Germans. Make sense?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:45, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

I think this is indeed a better place for an image relating to Germanism, however I still think the image is not the best one for this section, it has less to do with artistic romanticism, and more with political ideology based on ancient Germanic peoples. --E-960 (talk) 13:50, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

@E-960: But that situation makes sense to me, and is not a mistake, so maybe it needs discussion. To explain my perspective: The article is about Germanic peoples of course, and not about romanticism. Romanticist nationalism is relevant to the article, I think, because many sources discuss its strong effect on ways of understanding the basic definition of what Germanic peoples even are/were. 2 examples of connections which need to be discussed are (1) the linguistic approach to defining peoples and (2) the way in which the concept "Germanic" got mixed up with politics both in Roman times and modern times, which tended to twist the meanings around also. In contrast, I am not seeing any big reason to write about the effect on the modern arts?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:03, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

Unusued references in bibliography[edit]

Placing here for consideration, discussion etc.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:30, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

Unused references[edit]

Further reading (please review if we really need any of these)[edit]